Showing posts with label Jeffrey Wechsler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeffrey Wechsler. Show all posts

Aug 9, 2018

Thursday, August 9th 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: ISLE BE BACK - The Terminator's description of today's theme:

16A. Lombardy skiing destination: THE ITALIAN ALPS. Lanai. Lombardy has all sorts going for it, Milan, great food & wine, Lake Como, skiing. No wonder it's beyond my retirement budget. I blame George Clooney for jacking up the prices.

22B. One of many standing in a Mexican bar: TEQUILA BOTTLE. Bali. The tequila would work well in my 48A restaurant "CANTINA BURRATA" below.

36A. Gene Autry Easter song critter: PETER COTTONTAIL. Crete. Unknown critter for me. Another letter-by-letter fill.

48A. Carl Orff opus: CARMINA BURANA. Aruba. Completely unknown to me. I had ***INA BUR*NA at one point, and decided it had to be a restaurant called CANTINA BUR*** and then BURRATA didn't fit. I didn't know the work, but I certainly know "O Fortuna" from the opus. Here's conductor Simon Rattle giving the Berlin Philharmonic the full eyebrow treatment.

Then the reveal:

58A. Vacation spots found in each set of puzzle circles: ISLAND RETREATS. 

Lawks-a-mercy, this was a toughie! I did a speed warm-up with the monthly puzzle in the United Airlines in-flight magazine (a pre-Shortz NYT reprint) and then cracked my knuckles for a quick JW Thursday jaunt. 70 minutes later, I'm still not done. That ALBI/CARMINA/ACS/LAVISH/BRUSHY perfect storm almost did for me. Finally, FINALLY teased it out. That "Congratulations" Mr. Pencil box was never so welcome. Cracking stuff.

Let's see what else gave me wounds to lick this week:


1. Kvetch's phrase: OY GEVALT! What? Right off the bat. I should have seen the omen for bad things to come.

9. Obstruct: DAM UP. JAM UP? No.

14. Military award phrase: FOR VALOR. This is the Medal of Honor awarded to Sgt. John Randolph "J.R." McKinney. I never knew him nor met him, but his memorial page came up when I was searching for a suitable image to post. He was also awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman's Badge (the, "See, I Been there") during the Pacific campaign in WWII. He passed away aged 76 in 1997. Thank you for your service.

15. Cut out for marriage?: ELOPE

18. Feed bit: OAT

19. "Can I get a word in here?": AHEM?

20. Addams cousin: ITT

27. Merged comm. giant: G.T.E.

29. Large garden ornament: URN

30. Viewed warily: EYED

31. Looks down on: DISDAINS. This caused me a huge problem. I know "DISTAINS" and so "TEN**" was just not revealing a fabric. I stared down that section for a loooooong time. Finally, I thought that maybe it might be a "D". I looked up DISTAIN after I was done, and apparently it's archaic. That ages me quite precisely, I guess.

34. Gas __: TAX

41. Extreme degree: NTH

42. Moot point: NON-ISSUE

43. Toulouse-Lautrec's birthplace: ALBI. Pretty place. This is the Pont Vieux ("Old Bridge"). I like the French literalism. Which begs the question, why isn't he called "Albi-Lautrec"? Toulouse is a good 74Kms away. We should be told.

46. Like -trix, at times: Abbr.: FEM.

47. Brief "I think": IMO

54. "Law & Order: __": SVU. Special Victims Unit, apparently.

55. Boy of la casa: NIÑO

56. Farmers' business: Abbr.: INS. I like the commercials, the always jaunty "We are Farmers, bam-de-bam, bom, bam-bam-bam". The spokesperson in the commercials, actor J.K. Simmons is a regular patron of my local Italian restaurant. It's tough not to sing the hook line when he walks in.

64. Stand out: SHINE

65. Behind closed doors: IN SECRET

66. Publicizes showily: HYPES

67. Car named for a small warship: CORVETTE


1. Many times o'er: OFT

2. Pirate song snippet: YO, HO! 

Fifteen men on the Dead Man's Chest — 
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! 
Drink and the devil had done for the rest — 
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! 

Robert Louis Stevenson

3. Classic circus adjective: GREATEST

4. Site with clickable RSVPs: EVITE

5. Industrial-sized tank: VAT

6. Helen Keller is on its st. quarter: ALA.

7. Brief chuckle: LOL. Brief, as in abbreviated. Nice clue. First instincts here are HAH! or HAW!

8. Dry run: TRIAL

9. Cygnus' brightest star: DENEB

10. Budget rival: ALAMO

11. Gretchen of "Manchester by the Sea": MOL. I think I saw the movie, but either I gave up on it halfway through, fell asleep or it just didn't register.

12. Presumptuous: UPPITY

13. Mortar's partner: PESTLE. Seems obvious when you fill it in, but my first thought was "BRICKS", closely followed by military ballistics. Considering I used my pestle and mortar more often than bricklaying or aerial bombardment, I wondered why I struggled.

17. Revelation reaction: AHA!

21. "Chopped" host Allen: TED. Gimme. One of my favorite shows, and favorite hosts. He's so classy. Never a bad word to say about anyone.

23. Ice cream buy: QUART

24. "Spenser: For Hire" actor: URICH. I tried URIAH first. Yep, that worked just great.

25. __ particular order: IN NO

26. Student's backpack burden: TEXTS. TESTS/TEXTS. I was wrong at first.

27. Econ. indicator: G.D.P.

28. Exec's accessory: TIE

32. Sturdy fabric: DENIM. I spent about 40 minutes on these nine or ten squares. Paid off in the end, although I'm sure the guy next to me on the plane was wondering if I was trying to solve by sheer stare-down tenacity.

33. RR stop: STN. 

34. Copier need: TONER

35. Jungian archetype: ANIMA

37. Stir-fry staple: TOFU. I use the extra-silky type in pad thai noodles. Tip - pour boiling water over it to drive out the moisture before you fry it. Counter-intuitive I know.

38. Buddha statues, Japanese silk prints, etc.: ASIAN ART

39. Periodic table suffix: -IUM

40. Celestial feline: LEO

43. Carrier products, briefly: ACS. Aircraft from a carrier? AC voltage carried by your power utility company? Appellation d'origine contrôlée wines imported by Robert Carrier? Questions, questions.

44. Profuse: LAVISH

45. Like some hillsides: BRUSHY. Not GRASSY, then. Darn.

49. Ludicrous: INANE

50. Array just before an odometer reaches 100,000: NINES

51. "So?": AND

52. __ acid: BORIC

53. Family member: NIECE

57. Dele canceler: STET

59. Cup rim: LIP

60. Eclectic musician Brian: ENO. Elevators, Roxy Music and U2. Versatile guy, and very useful in crosswords.

61. Original D & D company: TSR. One day, one day I'll remember this.

62. Prepare to drag: REV. As in your engine, before your drag race. Here's the famous start to the race in Grease, filmed here in LA on the not-exactly-bucolic river bed under the 6th Street Bridge.

63. Sault __ Marie: STE.

The seatbelt sign has been on for most of the ride across the country today. I call it "trampolining" when you're bouncing up and down. Amazing the internet cable doesn't get disconnected, eh?

And it's Sierra Tango Echo Victor Echo signing off from 37,000 feet, or 11,280 meters, give or take, in Euro-money.

Here's the grid:

Jul 27, 2018

Friday, July 27, 2018, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: Hide a noun, hide a verb.

Jeffrey uses the contrasting meanings of the verb -  to put out of sight, and the noun - the skin of an animal, to create a puzzle where synonyms of the noun are hidden in the theme fill. To accomplish this we once again are presented with a 15x16 puzzle. It all is tied up with a ribbon with a wonderful reveal in another classic 3/5/8/11/13 placement of themers. The bigger size allows for additional wonderful sparkly answers such as INCLINE, IT SEEMS, LATCHES, ORDERED, BEDSPREAD, MERCURIAL, NON-PUBLIC, and SPRING DAY. As always with Jeffrey on Friday, there are very difficult sections, but the overall puzzle, the wit and the head slap moments are a joy.

18A. "Bummer!": THAT'S KIND OF A DRAG (16). SKIN gets right to the heart of the animal hide.

24A. An unquestionable fact: THE GOSPEL TRUTH (14). The trading in pelts was very important for the trek west in our nation's history. A pelt is a skin and fur together. 

39A. Hershey's collectible: COCOA TIN (8). We associate coat with domesticated animals like horses and dogs, and generally not removed. 

53A. Pressing feeling: SENSE OF URGENCY (14). Fur can be either be still attached or removed and made into an article of clothing. 
And the reveal, 
62. What words concealed by the other four longest Across answers do ... and also, what each of them is: HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT (16). Hide is usually cured skin and hide and go seek is a game we all have played.  The clue is perfect. 


1. Bar rooms?: JAILS. BY making this two words, we get this punny clue.

6. Organic jewelry source: AMBER. Made most famous by Jurassic Park.

11. Nation west of Mumbai: OMAN. There are many countries west of Mumbai but Oman is directly across the Arabian Sea.  I do not know my geography but I can now find Thailand.

15. Part of a John Williams quintet: OSCAR. A most amazing COMPOSER.

16. High-end German appliance brand: MIELE. I never heard of this COMPANY.

17. Overhaul: REDO.

21. Harmony: SYNC. You want some?

22. Odds partner: ENDS. This expression may have originated as odd ends in the mid-1500s, meaning “short leftovers of some material” (such as lumber or cloth) (dictionary).

23. Bench press target: PECtoral. Your chest muscle.

30. In the past, once: ERST. We just had this archaic word on July 2, 2018.

31. Nutritional abbr.: RDARecommended Daily Allowance.

32. Northern terminus of I-79: ERIE. Yeah guys, a big CSO.

33. Operatic villains, often: BASSI. More than one bass voice.

36. Veto, in Vienna: NEIN.

37. Actress Meyer of "Johnny Mnemonic": DINA. I remember this ACTRESS first from an early superhero show BIRDS OF PREY  but she has worked steadily the last 25 years. For whatever reason, two roles I recall were as a Dominatrix on CASTLE and a Madam interested in Gibbs on NCIS.

38. Matterhorn, e.g.: ALPWheel of Fortune had their Switzerland trip this week.

43. Field concerned with fields: Abbr.: AGRiculture. I think this is a debut for this witty clue.

44. Alexa counterpart: SIRI.

46. Fishing hole site: POND.

47. Kept from squeaking: OILED.

49. Sweater fabric: KNIT. Is this a fabric? Oh, damn that was a nit!

50. What may come to those who wait: TIP. Another example of a creative wit.

51. "... that struts and frets his hour __ the stage": Macbeth: UPON. I look forward to JW's quotes from Shakespeare. This quote was very inferrable but the passage is wonderful. Act V, Scene V.
"The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

57. Salon application: GEL. Did you know that it was in 1929 a British company invented Brylcreem  This became the market leader in hair styling products in both the U.K. and the U.S. during the following decades. In the 1960s, modern hair gel was invented in the United States, by what would later be renamed the Dep Corporation. (wiki)

58. Rancor: BILE.

59. Get rid of: LOSE.

67. West of Gotham City?: ADAM. Gotham City was/is the fictional home of Batman, played in the 60s camp version by the late Adam West.

68. Privileged group: ELITE.

69. Western __: UNION.

70. Giant great: MAYS. The say hey kid!
Baseball legend.

71. How many commute: BY CAR.

72. What Italians may use to commute: VESPA. A little clecho especially if the car is a Fiat.


1. Notes: JOTS. Another unexpected verb - synonym.

2. Grayish: ASHY. Defined as of a pale grayish color; ashen. "the ashy shadows of the mountains"

3. "__ even!": I CAN'T. I can’t even is an emotional exclamation in response to an event. Its abrupt ending implies something is too amazing, frustrating, surprising, exciting (or any other adjective imaginable) to handle, which renders a person speechless because they’re so incredulous

4. Gate closers: LATCHES.

5. Yearbook gp.: SRS. Seniors.

6. Self-affirming query: AM I NOT. The expression “aren’t I” is often used in place of “am I not”, particularly in conversational speech. Example 1 (incorrect usage): “I’m going with you on vacation, aren’t I?”
Although the use of this phrase is widespread, it is atrocious English that could be considered equivalent to “you is”, a phrase which most educated people abhor (although for some reason, these same people have no qualms about saying “aren’t I”). The correct form of the sentence in Example 1 is as follows:  Example 2 (correct usage): “I’m going with you on vacation, am I not?”

7. Watches: MINDS. The young-uns.

8. Something fit for a king?: BEDSPREAD. King sized bed, very cute.

9. Symphonic rock gp.: ELOElectric Light Orchestra.

10. Call the game: REF.

11. Called for takeout, say: ORDERED.

12. Fickle: MERCURIAL. Mercury went retrograde Wednesday, for those who care.

13. Org. promoting fluoridation: ADAAmerican Dental Association.

14. Rich quaff: NOG.

19. Pub inventory items: KEGS.

20. Proper: APT.

25. "South Park" kid: ERIC.

26. Find better words, say: EDIT.

27. Civil rights theorist Guinier: LANI. A most accomplished Yale Law graduate working at HARVARD.

28. Trace amount: TINGE.

29. Got wind (of): HEARD.

33. Luxuriates: BASKS.

34. Dior dress: A-LINE.

35. Amy Lowell poem of a "fresh-washed and fair" time: SPRING DAY. The poem is made up of 5 parts of the day, with Bath first, and opening line, " The day is fresh-washed and fair, and there is a smell of tulips and narcissus in the air."

36. Private: NON-PUBLIC.

40. Eye-related prefix: OPTO. For example, the optometrist.

41. Salon product: COIF.

42. Common lunch hour: NOON.

45. "Indications are ... ": IT SEEMS.

48. Lean: INCLINE.

51. More nasty, as weather: UGLIER.

52. Hammer part: PEEN
54. Yale figure: ELI.

55. Gear for a gaucho: RIATA.

56. Meditative ones: YOGIS.

60. Small business: SHOP.

61. Mediterranean mount: ETNA. The Sicilian mountain.

62. Baked __: HAM. Very random.

63. Director Lupino: IDA. This actress became a pioneer for female DIRECTORS.

64. S.D. neighbor: NEBraska. CSO to HG.

65. Work at: PLY. Like a trade.

66. Cherokee, e.g.: SUV. Jeep.

Wow, July is almost over and August is on the horizon. Always fun to finish Friday with Jeffrey. Thank you all.

Jul 18, 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: The Great Park Adventure.  The Theme answers in this unusual grid can be combined with the word PARK to yield a meaningful phrase.  The brilliant aspect to it is that the sense of the word PARK is different in each instance.  Let's have a look.

1 D. *It may be political: SCIENCE.  Political SCIENCE is a field of study.  Whether it is an actual SCIENCE is a debate I will not engage at this time.  And politics is outside the limits of discussion on this blog, so caution is advised.  A SCIENCE PARK or RESEARCH PARK is a location where organizations devoted to the study of various aspects of SCIENCE are clustered.

6 D. *Period in the Age of Reptiles: JURASSIC.  This period lasted 46 million years, from 201 to 145 million years ago, when it was succeeded by the Cretaceous Period.  It began with a major extinction event which wiped out over half of all species known to have existed at that time. Two additional, but less severe, mass extinctions happened during the period. JURASSIC PARK is a science fiction movie, based on a book of the same title by Michael Crichton, in which dinosaurs are cloned from the DNA in fossilized remains, and much mayhem ensues.  There are several sequels in the franchise.  The subject PARK is a cross between a theme PARK and a nature PARK, but since it's used as a fiction title, I'll grant it it's own category.

11 D. *New Orleans time zone: CENTRAL.  The continental U.S. has 4 time zones, Eastern, CENTRAL, Mountain and Pacific.  This zone contains all of 9 states, and parts of 6 others.  CENTRAL PARK is located in Manhattan, New York City.  I'm sure it's the best known of New York's municipal PARKS, and was surprised to learn it is only the 5th largest.  It was established in 1857 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.  I also went to CENTRAL Catholic High School in Toledo many decades ago, but that's off topic.

13 D. *Deep __: SOUTH.  This is a geographic and cultural region of the southern United States, not necessarily defined by state boundaries.  Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas are generally included, along with all or parts of other neighboring states.  SOUTH PARK is an animated TV show for adults, set in the fictional eponymous city, that features satire via dark, surreal humor on a variety of mature topics.

15 D. *Main idea: THEME.  The major topic of a talk, written work or exhibition.  A THEME PARK is an amusement park with a unifying idea or setting.  The Disney PARKS spring to mind. 

And, of course, the unifier -- 54A. Completes a road test maneuver ... or the answers to starred clues, as arranged: PARALLEL PARKS.  This is a parking maneuver in which the vehicle ends up parallel to the street edge or curb.  I used to be pretty good at this, but cannot remember having done it in many, many years.  In this uniquely designed grid, all the above mentioned PARKS are oriented vertically and parallel to each other.  And, as a no-extra-charge bonus, the puzzle is also a pangram, with 6 letters occurring one time each.  IMHO, this is quite stellar.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa in the driver's seat.  Let's take a cruise through the rest of this puzzle.


1. Moo __ pork: SHU.  Sounds like it should be beef, and actually can also be either that or chicken.  This is a northern Chinese dish of stir fried meat, onions and eggs, wrapped in thin pancakes and served over rice.

4. Low-level employment: MCJOB.  Had this entry the last time I blogged.  A lousy job with low pay and limited prospects.

9. Starz competitor: TMCThe Movie Channel.  These are cable channels featuring movies as regular programming.

12. Police: COPS. Slangily.

14. Sweet text: I LUV U.  Because I LOVE YOU has way too many letters.  Possibly influenced by the 1965 Tony Award winning play and resulting 1967 movie romantic comedy LUV.  Or maybe not.

15. "No argument": TRUE.  I agree; amen brother.

16. "Don't make __ hard!": IT SO.  Somehow, I always manage to avoid the easy way.

17. Drew (in): LURED. Was attracted to.

18. Backwoods possessive: HIS'N.  Well, y'all, I ain't so sure 'bout this'n.

19. "__, Brute?": ET TU.  Big Julie's lament, when he was done in by his friends for being too ambitious.

20. Some ski lifts: T-BARS. These are devices which push the skier up the slope by providing a bar on which to sit or lean.

21. "It is the __, and Juliet is the sun": Romeo: EAST.  In this bright metaphor, Romeo refers not only to Juliets's beauty, but also suggests that her affection has relieved the darkness of his rejection by Rosaline.

22. "How cool!": NEATO.  Well done, Will!

24. Former JFK lander: SST. Super Sonic Transport - commercial passenger aircraft that traveled faster than the speed of sound.  The last flight was in 2003.

25. "Burnt" pigment: UMBER.  Raw UMBER is a brown earth pigment containing oxides of iron and manganese.   Heat transforms this into the more richly colored red-brown burnt UMBER by dehydrating the iron oxide.

26. Comic strip woman who married Irving: CATHY.

27. Baja bear: OSO. Spanish is spoken in Baja California.

28. Mac: FELLA.  Just some guy.

29. Language suffix: -ESE.  Englandese, Germanese, Francese.  This isn't working.

30. Prefaced: LED INTO.  Preceded whatever ensued.

33. Au pair's subj.: ESL.  A foreign person who provides housework and/or baby sitting services in exchange for room and board.  So that person might study English as a Second Language.

34. Many Olympic events: RACES. Running, swimming, various down-hill events

35. Wolfs (down): SCARFS. Gobbles, devours.

40. Vistula River city: KRAKOW.  Second largest city in Poland, and an academic, cultural and artistic center that dates from the 7th century.  Early settlements there go back to the stone age.

46. Chef's hat: TOQUE.  Does the hat matter as much as what's under it?

47. Little untruth: FIB.

50. Ewe-ish?: OVINE.  Does this one have Jeffrey feeling sheepish?  How wool we ever know?

51. Uncertainty: DOUBT.   Maybe; maybe not.

52. Master: ACE.  Someone who exhibits excellent skills.

53. Medieval weapons: MACES.  A MACE is a heavy club with a metal hear and spikes.

57. Game before the finals: SEMI. Game involving the last four eligible teams.  The winners move on to the finals.

58. Doughnut finish: GLAZE.  A mixture of confectioner's sugar in milk, applied to a fresh donut and allowed to dry.. 

59. Analogy words: IS TO.  A is to B as Y is to Z.

61. __ II razor: TRAC.  A double-bladed razor.

62. One wearing gloves to work: BOXER.  An athlete who engages in pugilistics.

63. Poolroom array: CUES.  Sticks used to strike the CUE balls.

64. Tax form IDs: SSNSSocial Security Numbers.

65. Pipsqueak: TWERP.  An insignificant silly and annoying person.

66. Omar of "House": EPPS. [b 1973] American actor, rapper, song writer and record producer.


2. Starbucks purchases: HOT TEAS. Alternatives to coffees.

3. Lake Placid, vis-a-vis New York City: UPSTATE.  A place or area farther north, from the coast, or at a higher elevation from one's present location.

4. Jazz vibraphonist Jackson: MILT. [1923 - 1999] His nickname was "Bags."

5. Spritzer mixer: CLUB SODA.  Carbonated water with either potassium carbonate, potassium sulfate or both added to enhance flavor.

7. Intimation: OVERTONE.  A subtle quality, implication or connotation.

8. Blossoms-to-be: BUDS.  a BUD is a growth element on a plant that develops into a leaf, flower or shoot.

9. Subject to court judgment: TRIABLE.  Able to be put on trial.

10. Common paella ingredients: MUSSELS.  Edible marine bivalve mollusks.

23. Skinny toon Olive: OYL.

25. Mysterious craft: UFO. Unidentified Flying Objects, typically suspected of being of extra-terrestrial origin.

31. Stammering sounds: ERS.  Along with ems and ums.

32. Disapproving sound: TSK.  Tongue clucking sounds.

35. Criterion: Abbr.: STD.  Standard, or benchmark against which something may be judged..

36. Craftsmen paid by the barrel?: COOPERS.   They make and repair barrels and casks.

37. Atlantis dweller of comics: AQUAMAN.  I mis-read this as Atlanta dweller, and was vary confused.  He first appeared in MORE FUN COMICS #73 [November, 1941]; then in the late 50's became a founding member of The Justice League.

38. Protocols: RUBRICS.  Statements of policies, purpose or action.

39. Greek cheese: FETA. A Greek white cheese made from the milk of ewes or goats.

41. Tomato variety: ROMA.  A firm, meaty, flavorful tomato, suitable for canning and making paste and sauce.

42. Greed: AVARICE.  Extreme covetous materialism.

43. Creates, as a fuss: KICKS UP.

44. Ragtime dance: ONE STEP.  Shortest direct route from A to B?  With possible KICKING UP.

45. Director Craven: WES.  Best known for horror films of the slasher variety.

47. Uncultivated, as farmland: FALLOW.  Plowed, but left unsown, to restore fertility as a part of crop rotation.

48. Mountaineer's aid: ICE AXE.  Item used by climbers to cut footholds in the ice.  It has a fead with one flat and one pointed end, and a spike on the foot.

49. Richard of "Law & Order: SVU": BELZER. [b 1944] American actor, author and comedian.

55. Pride parade letters: LGBTLesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered.  The initialism has been adopted as self-identification by those so described, and is intended to emphasize the the diversity of sexuality and gender identity-based cultures.

56. Heist puller: PERP.  The original meaning of a term [that we have adopted here for some fell purpose of our own] is as the PERPETRATOR of a crime, i.e. the guilty party.

57. City map parts: Abbr.: STS.  Along with Aves. Blvds. and Pkwys.

60. CIA predecessor: OSSOffice of Strategic Services, founded in 1942 to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for all armed forces branches.  other functions included the use of propaganda, subversion and post-war planning.  It was dissolved by President Truman in 1945, and it's functions assigned to other agencies.  In 1946 the Central Intelligence Group was formed by the Presidnet.  The National Security act of 1947 established the Central Intelligence Agency, which then took up OSS functions.

Having completed our maneuver, we are now safely PARKED at the finish line of this UNPARALLELED puzzle.  Hope you enjoyed the excursion.

Cool regards!

Jul 4, 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: Buried Treasures.  Highly desirable, indeed, coveted items are concealed in multi-word answers.  Let's look first at the unifier to see what kind of hidden words we should look for.

53 A. They're "presented" in 20-, 28- and 46-Across: ACTING AWARDS. They'll be identified in the theme entries below - "presented," yes, but in an obscure way.

20 A. "What a terrifying experience!": I WAS SO SCARED.  We've all had those moments.  You know what yours are.  Twenty-four OSCARs are presented each year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science for acting and various other categories of artistic and technical excellence.

28 A. "Love to everyone!": GIVE THEM MY BEST.  Lots of affection to spread around.  The EMMY awards are presented at various times throughout the year for excellence in television by three different organizations -  the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

46. Leave the firm to work solo: GO OUT ON YOUR OWN. Do you have that entrepreneurial spirit?  The TONY awards recognize excellence in Broadway plays.  They are presented at an annual ceremony in New York by the American Theater Wing and the Broadway League.

Hi, Gang - JazzBumpa on center stage today, a bit surprised to not see an Independence Day theme.  But we do have a fine entry by Jeffrey.  So let's read this script down and see if we can act on it.

But first - come on, it's the 4th of July, so this is mandatory.

Who doesn't love the Muppets?
OK - back to business.


1. Error: SLIP.  Starting off with a mistake.  Did somebody miss a cue or forget their lines?

5. Place for a panel: DAIS.  A low platform for a lectern, seats of honor or a throne. STAGE also fits.

9. Chemistry lab fluids: ACIDS.  Solutions of pH less than 7, capable of neutralizing alkaline materials by donating a proton or accepting an electron pair.  Sorry for going all geeky on you.  Long ago I was a chemist.

14. "Gray's Anatomy," for one: TOME.  A large, heavy or scholarly BOOK [which also fits, BTW,] not the like-named TV drama.

15. Austen novel: EMMA. A comedy of manners set in Regency England.  The eponym considers herself to be a match-maker, and misadventures ensue.

16. Four-page sheet: FOLIO.  This is one of three page-related meanings indicated by this word.

17. Wilson of "Father Figures": OWEN. Actor, producer and screen-writer who received an OSCAR nomination for best screen play for co-writing The Royal Tannenbaums with Wes Anderson

18. Ground corn, e.g.: MEAL.  The edible portion of ground grain.

19. "Poems are made by fools like me" poem: TREES.  By Joyce Kilmer.

I think that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree. 

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; 

A tree that looks at God all day, 
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in Summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain. 

Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree.

23. __ Major: constellation: CANIS.  Had the sky bears last week, along with Orion the Hunter.  Today, it's going to the dogs.  This is the big one, Orion's hunting dog, Laelaps.

24. Fitting: APROPOS. Apropriate, apt, timely.  From French, meaning "on that subject."

32. Summer on the Seine: ETE.  A French season that is not tarragon.

33. Sch. term: SEM.  Short or long, a school term is a semester.

34. Author Joyce Carol __: OATES. [b. 1938] Author of over 40 novels, and many plays, short stories, novellas and poems.

35. Arctic deer: CARIBOU.  Also known as reindeer, they are native to all sorts of arctic and sub arctic terrain in Europe, Siberia and North America.

38. Org. providing creature comfort?: ASPCAAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  Be kind to your hunting dog.  Or caribou.

42. Sue Grafton's "__ for Lawless": L IS.  Her alphabet mystery series started with A is for Alibi.  I lost interest around D.

43. "Cats" monogram: T S EThomas Sterns Elliot.  Jellicle Cat comes from his infant niece's attempts to say "calico cat," or perhaps it was "dear little cat."  Some things are uncertain.

50. Run: OPERATE.  Be in control of.

51. "There is __ in the affairs of men": Brutus: A TIDE. "  .  .  .  Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune."  Sounds like an opportunist to me.

57. Sprint, e.g.: TELCO.  Telecommunications Company.

60. Bearded critter: GOAT.  I wanted a GNU, the the news is - that didn't fit.

61. Picket fence piece: SLAT.  Aka -- picket.  If you are keenly interested, this vid might be fascinating.  Otherwise, it might cure insomnia.

62. First-stringers: A-TEAM.  The best ones we have.

63. Quasimodo creator: HUGO.  Victor [1802 - 1885] One of the best known French novelists.  Q is The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  His other famous work is Les Miserables.  Two of my grandsons were in a youth production of the musical a few years AGO.  Watching them die at the barricade was wrenching.

64. Head, in Le Havre: TETE.  French.  I have no head for French.

65. Muckety-muck: NABOB.  A person of conspicuous wealth or high status.  Sometimes used ironically about one who overestimates himself.

66. Lose one's cool: SNAP.  Throw a fit.

67. River of central Germany: EDER.  A 177 Km long tributary of the Fulda, a 220 KM long tributary of the Weser, a 281 Km long river which flows through Bremen and empties into the North Sea at Bremerhaven.  From this port my Hungarian grandmother came to America, lo, these many years past.


1. Unlikely to become overwrought: STOIC.  One who does not show emotion, named for the 3rd century B.C. Greek school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium.  This was a philosophy of personal ethics based on logic and an unwillingness to give in to the passions of the moment, with a view towards fairness and justice.

2. Like a McJob, typically: LOW WAGE.  Also with few prospects, for which the worker is typically over-qualified.

3. "This is serious!": I MEAN IT.  Not joking, this time.

4. Thoughtful: PENSIVE.  Long ago I saw a movie that had a snippet of dialog that went something like this --

He: You look pensive.
She: No.  I was just thinking  .  .  .

Don't remember what movie it was.

5. Sales rep's aid: DEMO.  A working model or example, used to demonstrate the product

6. Iowa college city: AMES.  Iowa State U. is in AMES, which is about 30 miles north of Des Moines.

7. All-in-one Apple desktop: I-MAC.  Computer.

8. Arabic for "peace": SALAAM.

9. Door holder's words: AFTER YOU

10. Andalusian city: CORDOBA.  In southern Spain, this area has been occupied since Neaderthal times. The city originated as a Roman settlement, then was a center of Muslim culture from the 8th century until it was recaptured by Christian forces in 1236.  It is the hottest city in Europe with an average high temperature of 37 C [99 F] in July and August.

11. Martinique, par exemple: ILE.  An island in the Lesser Antilles.

12. Quit working: DIE.  Said of batteries and machinery.  I quit working almost a decade ago, and am still alive.

13. Coast Guard pickup: SOS.  An international code signal indicating great distress and an urgent need for help, used especially by ships at sea.

21. Chicago-to-Chattanooga dir.: SSE. South-southeast.  Maybe even add in another south.

22. LP's 33 1/3: RPM.  Spin [or should I say "swirl"] rate of Long Playing phonograph records, in Revolutions Per Minute.

25. Adoptee from the 38-Across, perhaps: PET.  An animal taken into a person's home to live.

26. Sugar suffix: -OSE.  Glucose, dextrose, fructose, etc.  I wasn't able to track down the origin with only minimal effort, so we can all wonder why.

27. GPS lines: STS.  Streets.

29. Safety org. with "Travel Tips" blog posts: TSATransportation Security Administration.

30. Part of HMS: HER. The other parts are "Majesty's" and "Ship," because the Queen owns the navy.

31. First name in American poetry: EMILY.  Dickenson [1830 - 1886]

Ample Make This Bed

Ample make this bed.
Make this bed with awe;
In it wait till judgment break
Excellent and fair.

Be its mattress straight,
Be its pillow round;
Let no sunrise' yellow noise
Interrupt this ground.

- Emily Dickenson

35. Ancient underground tunnel: CATACOMB.  Originally, a subterranean cemetery, with recesses for tombs, as constructed by the Romans. Less strictly, any similar underground construction.

36. Sci. course: BIOlogy.

37. Stillwater sch.: OSU.  Oklahoma State University, not THE O. S. U.

38. In the past: AGO.  Derived from an obsolete Middle English verb used to indicate the passage of time.

39. Absorb, with "up": SOP.  As a sponge, or slice of bread.

40. "The Tell-Tale Heart" author: POE. Edgar Alan [1809-1849.]  The story of a murder, committed for no known reason, as told by the murderer, who wants us to think he is sane.

41. Mai tai liqueur: CURACAO.  It is flavored with the dried peel of the laraha, a bitter orange native to the Lesser Antilles island for which the drink is named.

43. How food may be salted: TO TASTE.  A lot or a little - your choice.

44. Moved like a dust devil: SWIRLED.  A dust devil is a well-formed, generally harmless whirl-wind a few meters wide with an upward thrust. It is formed when a pocket of warm surface air rises through cooler air above it.

45. Last chance to catch a live show: END DATE.  The date on which something comes to a close.

47. Baseball legend Mel: OTT. [1909 - 1958] Right fielder for the New York Giants from 1926 to 1947; 6-time National League home run leader; All-Star for 11 consecutive seasons; inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1952.

48. Paddock sounds: NEIGHS.  Horses, not whispering.

49. Like fish in ceviche: RAW.  This dish is popular in the Pacific coastal regions of Latin America.  The fresh fish is cured in citrus juices and spiced with peppers, and other seasonings such as onions and cilantro.  It must be prepared and eaten fresh, since it is not cooked.

52. Fragrant compound: ESTER. Formed by the reaction of an alcohol with a carboxylic acid.  Low molecular weight ESTERS are usually pleasantly fragrant.  They commonly occur in the essential oils of plants, and are responsible for the aromas of fruits.

54. Soup or salad: NOUN.  Maybe it's just me, but I find this type of reflexive clue to be profoundly annoying.

55. Wildly enthusiastic (over): GAGA.  Are you enthusiastic?

They have way too much fun

56. Surmounting: ATOP.  On top of.

57. Khaki kin: TAN.  Colors, not fabrics.

58. Landing hr. calculation: ETAEstimated Time of Arrival.

59. Isr. neighbor: LEBanon.  To the north.

Well, not surprisingly, I had my nit, but this was still a fine and fun outing from Jeffrey.

I'll close with some musical selections from last Thursday's concert when your humble trombonist performed with the Plymouth Community Band at Kellogg Park.  This program is traditional for the last performance before the 4th of July, and draws, by far, the largest audience of the Summer.  Videos courtesy of my Lovely Wife.

Cool regards - and have a happy and blessed holiday.

Liberty Fanfare and the National Anthem

America the Beautiful, Olympic Fanfare and Armed Forces Salute

And - to counter-balance that bit of foolishness at the top --

The Best Sousa march EVAH!

Jun 22, 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: Duck, Duck GOOSE?

Jeffrey is back again with a pre-tribute to a new MOVIE that comes out in August. Okay, probably not, but this is a really impressive creation as we have a 15 x 16 grid (to leave room for 59 across) with only one cheater square in the grid! We have the word "DUCK" implied but not written in eight (8) answers, and they are set up in lines (rows) 1, 6 and 9 with a two-part reveal in 12 and 14. Again pushing the no rebus envelope at the LAT we are presented with a pretty easy Friday that glows with its originality. I think this may be a combination that appeals to many, but YMMV. I loved the visual appeal of the grid, which reminds me of the old Atari game SPACE INVADERS. As always, we have a goodly mix of sparkly fill, this time BEATLES, DIGNIFY, LONG RUN, NO RULES, OREGANO, SONNETS, CANARY CAGE and  FAT-BUSTING.

1A. *Sparkling wine: COLD DUCK. (4). Red wine and sparkling wine mixed. LINK.

5A. *Classic Chinese dish: PEKING DUCK. (6). Never Beijing LINK.

11A. *Defeated incumbent: LAME DUCK. (4) No politics  LINK.

27A. *Toon with a speech problem: DAFFY DUCK (5) Daffy first appeared in Porky's Duck Hunt, released on April 17, 1937. The cartoon was directed by Tex Avery and animated by Bob Clampett. Porky's Duck Hunt is a standard hunter/prey pairing for which Leon Schlesinger's studio was famous, but Daffy (barely more than an unnamed bit player in this short) was something new to moviegoers: an assertive, completely unrestrained, combative protagonist.

30A. *Goner: DEAD DUCK(4). This phrase is very similar to Lame Duck. The phrase “dead duck” is an Americanism from the 1830s. Originally it was political slang referring to a person who has lost influence or power and was therefore useless. 

34A. *Charmed one: LUCKY DUCK. (5) Lucky duck is a saying meaning someone has good fortune. It likely was derived solely from the rhyme. 

46A. *Bath toy: RUBBER DUCK (6) Perhaps the most famous ONE.

48A. *Fictional uncle of triplets: DONALD DUCK (6) Donald Duck is a cartoon character created in 1934 at Walt Disney Productions. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor shirt and cap with a bow tie. Donald is most famous for his semi-intelligible speech and his mischievous and temperamental personality.

59A. With 69-Across, organizational process implied by eight answers in this puzzle: GETTING ONE'S DUCKS (16) 69A. See 59-Across: IN A ROW(6).

62 theme squares!


15. Trendy berry: ACAI. I think the bloom is off this berry.

16. Critter: ANIMAL. Daffy and Donald are both anthropomorphic critters.

17. Natural resources: ORES.

18. Fillmore's party: WHIG. Lucky 13, Millard Fillmore was the last Whig President. When my son and d-i-l were in graduate school in Buffalo we went to the cemetery where he is buried. Interestingly, both of his wives are buried there. I include a nice SUMMARY of the WHIG Party.

19. Hyundai sedan: SONATA. Hmm. Etymology: past participle of sonare "to sound," from Latin sonare "to sound," 21A. Browning works: SONNETS.  Etymology: directly from Italian sonetto, literally "little song," from Old Provençal sonet "song," diminutive of son "song, sound," from Latin sonus "sound"

20. Tide table term: NEAP. This is a tide just after the first or third quarters of the moon when there is the least difference between high and low water.

23. Pizzeria jarful: OREGANO. And parmagianno.

25. Martinique, e.g.: ILE. Our regular French for Island. If you have not been, it is a wonderful place to visit. The food is great and you can get Paris fashions for reasonable prices. But it is not designed for a long vacation.

26. Always, in 21-Across: E'ER.

38. Former owner: eBAY. was a subsidiary of eBay. eBay shut down the service on September 1, 2017. It was a website where sellers offered items for sale at fixed prices. The items available on were limited to books, textbooks, music, movies, video games, and video game consoles.

39. "Not guilty," e.g.: DENIAL.

41. Second start?: NANO.

42. Home security giant: ADT. The company started as American District Telegraph and has a very diverse HISTORY.

43. Take into account: REMEMBER.

45. Just issued, in Innsbruck: NEU. Kazie,  Spitzboov-what are the differences between Austrian/German?

50. Swung about: SLUED. slew verb: past tense: slued; past participle: slued turn or slide violently or uncontrollably in a particular direction. "the Chevy slued from side to side in the snow"

51. Places for notes: PADS. Not music.

55. Iberian Peninsula city: PORTO. A new tourist destination in PORTUGAL.

56. Blue: SAD.

57. Fit to __: A TEE.

58. Mock conclusion?: ERY.

65. Either of two Monopoly sqs.: UTIL.

66. Like boxers: CANINE. Doggies.

67. Parrilla of "Once Upon a Time": LANA. Never heard of this actress, but then again I do not watch the show. She actually has been very BUSY.

68. Debussy subject: LUNE. I love good PIANO.

70. Self-images: EGOS.

71. Overdoes it, with "out": PIGS.

72. Lawgivers: SOLONS. A fun Friday fill. Solon, (born c. 630 BCE—died c. 560 BCE), Athenian statesman, known as one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece (the others were Chilon of Sparta, Thales of Miletus, Bias of Priene, Cleobulus of Lindos, Pittacus of Mytilene, and Periander of Corinth).

73. Son of Eve: SETH. The third son, but The Works of Josephus states: "The number of Adam's children, as says the old tradition, was 33 sons and 23 daughters." TITUS FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS was a prolific scholar. Historic reading, no religion.


1. Cornfield calls: CAWS. Cute continued alliteration.

2. Tres y cinco: OCHO. Spanish math.

3. Placed: LAIN.

4. Give due respect: DIGNIFY.

5. Scrapbooker's supply: PASTE.

6. Son of 73-Across: ENOS. Or Enosh is a link in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but that would be religion.

7. Holiday guests, often: KIN.

8. Bread's "Baby __ Want You": I'M A. A forgotten band from the early 70's? The song lives on.

9. Org. led by Jens Stoltenberg: NATONorth Atlantic Treaty Organization. Now led by this MAN.

10. Driving hazard: GLARE.

11. Broadway producer's desire: LONG RUN.

12. Region: AREA.

13. Nasty: MEAN.

14. Hockey's Phil, to fans: ESPO. Phil and Tony Esposito were both very successful.

22. Historic Nevada city: ELY. Rhymes with eely.

24. Sushi roll fish: EEL. A C.C. favorite.

27. Darlings: DEARS.

28. Former "Idol" judge: ABDUL. A successful dancer who has fought bulimia.

29. Adjective in some diet ads: FAT-BUSTING. These ads probably cause the onset of bulimia.

30. JFK or LBJ: DEMocrat.

31. Chemical suffix: ENE.

32. Intention: AIM.

33. Apply carefully: DAB.

35. Pet bird's home: CANARY CAGE.

36. Lowered oneself?: KNELT. “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”
--Danny Thomas founder of St. Jude's children's hospital.

37. "Really?": YOU DO?

39. German article: DER.

40. Was first: LED.

43. __-wip: REDDI.

44. Cordoned (off): ROPED.

47. '60s pop group: BEATLES.

49. Free-for-all situation: NO RULES.

51. 2010s Colts head coach Chuck: PAGANO. The first use of this clue/fill combo.

52. Without a key: ATONAL.

53. Hathaway's "The Intern" co-star: DE NIRO.

54. "As __ TV": SEEN ON. So many stores have their sections devoted to the variety of products sold 'only' on TV.

59. [Yikes!]: GULP.

60. Notions case: ETUI. This was a common fill because of the vowels.

61. CBS maritime drama: NCIS. Oo and I watched the first few seasons on Netflix. They were really good.

62. Finishes (up): SEWS.

63. Celtic __: KNOT. This is not as simple as it sounds. LINK.

64. Merit badge site: SASH.

Well, I am back in the saddle again, riding to the finish of another Friday frolic. Jeffrey's wide variety of puzzles continue to please and I leave it to you all to let me know if you agree. Lemonade out.

Jun 8, 2018

Friday, June 8, 2018, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: JW is back on Friday and he is switching letters again!

Hey; in this case, he is replacing "S" before "H" with "TC" resulting in similar sounding, but witty fill, clued appropriately. Two grid-spanners in the classic 3 and 13 rows, with 12s in the 7/9 slots make for a classic look. There are 43 words which are 5 letters or longer which means if you get some things solved you get much help from the perps. As with all Friday puzzles, it was not easy, but it was doable and fun. It featured many sparkly 7 and 8 letter fill like BAHAMAS, ENEMIES, GOT SORE, SEEMS OK, AUTOSAVE,  BY NATURE, GAINED ON and STAMP TAX. So let us solve this puppy.

17A. Surveillance camera?: WATCHING MACHINE (15). WASHING machine.

31A. Interconnected irrigation channels?: DITCH NETWORK (12). DISH Network is one of the early satellite TV providers.  

39A. Member of Cassidy's baseball team?: BUTCH LEAGUER (12).  A BUSH leaguer is a player not of the highest quality or sophistication; second-rate.  This was the stretch for me. 

56A. Obsessively uniform French fries?: MATCHED POTATOES.(15). By far my favorite of the themers. I also like good MASHED potatoes. I like potatoes, which can be a challenge living with my rice addicted wife.


1. Trap: HEM IN. The first of the many sparkly multi-word fill that Jeffrey uses this week.

6. Leaps in tutus: JETES. Defines as jumps in which a dancer springs from one foot to land on the other with one leg extended outward from the body while in the air. They can be GRAND.

11. "Major Barbara" monogram: GBSGeorge Bernard Shaw wrote this PLAY in 1907.

14. Dress style: A-LINE. The term was first used by the French couture designer Christian Dior as the label for his collection of spring 1955 (wiki).

15. Think the world of: ADORE.

16. Roger's relative?: AYE. Yessir!

20. Set of pieces: KIT.

21. They're for members only: DUES. A nice Friday, tricky clue/fill.

22. When the break rm. gets busy, perhaps: TEN AM. Eleven where I am, but people eat lunch late at our office.

23. Opposite sides: ENEMIES. A bit strong.

26. Fine art and antiques, say: ASSETS.

27. Desires more from Us?: RENEWS.  The magazine subscription, notice the capital "U."

28. Slithery danger: ASP. A very popular crossword snake.

30. Holmes and Watson, e.g.: DUO. I have never thought of them as a duo since Watson was mostly comic relief.

35. Garage sale term: AS IS.

37. Actor Stephen: REA. Will he always be most famous for THE CRYING GAME?

38. Lose impact: WANE.

42. One-time connection: AT A.  I actually usually solve looking at across/ down clues together.

43. Put in: ADD.

44. Signal on the road: BEEP AT. In many states, Florida included,

48. Religious discourse: HOMILY. I will let you consider HOMILY VS SERMON but no religion.

51. Had it up to here: GOT SORE.

52. Org. offering puppy love?: ASPCAAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

53. Tenerife, por ejemplo: ISLA. Spanish- for example.

55. Nutritional fig.: RDA.  I think this is being swallowed up by the new term DRI.

60. Gardner on screen: AVA. It was not easy to be HER. She was quite striking.

61. Ahi et al.: TUNAS.

62. Take a little off: PRUNE. A tree or bush, not a diet.

63. "Think you I am no stronger than my __": Portia: SEX. It is good to see JW and his Shakespeare quote; this is from JULIUS CAESAR, Act II, Scene 1.

64. Part of a caddie's burden: IRONS. Woods are not wooden, and irons are not iron, and golf is just a game.  I am not sure if HG and Big Easy agree.

65. Unwelcome company: PESTS. The reveal two weeks ago.


1. Bazaar figure: HAWKER. Defined as a person who travels around selling goods, typically advertising them by shouting. Clecho - 34D. Bazaar array: WARES.

2. "Primary Colors" screenwriter May: ELAINE. This talented writer-performer had much of her success partnered with Mike Nichols. BIOGRAPHY.

3. Bit of winter wear: MITTEN.

4. Business end?: INC. Cute and better than Ltd. reference.

5. Bk. after Ezra: NEHemiah. This person and BOOK are intertwined with the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. No religion.

6. Two-faced god: JANUS. He gave us January. No religion.

7. Verge: EDGE.

8. Barnyard males: TOMS. I can only think of two- turkey and cat - neither of which are in every barnyard. Also, 19D. 8-Down, for instance: HES.

9. Diamond stat: ERA. Baseball diamond, Earned Run Average.

10. Groups breaking away: SECTS. I said, NO RELIGION!

11. Began to overtake: GAINED ON. One of the two-word fill.

12. Inherently: BY NATURE. And another...

13. "Nothing wrong that I can find": SEEMS OK. and...

18. Clarifying words: ID EST. Now two Latin words, more commonly known as i.e. and Steve should be happy two days in a row.

24. "M*A*S*H" figure: MEDIC. A medic is an umbrella term for a person involved in medicine. The following fall under this term: a medical doctor, medical student and sometimes a medically-trained individual participating in an emergency such as a paramedic, army medic or an emergency medical responder. In M*A*S*H they were mostly surgeons.

25. "Would that it were true!": I WISH.

26. Dian Fossey subject: APE. Actually, she studied gorillas which are a subgroup of the family of great apes. Louis Leakey sent her along with Jane Goodall and Birute Galdikas to study great apes in their native habitat.

28. Down the road: AHEAD.

29. Complication: SNAG. There often are when you go down the road.

32. Street __: CREDibility.

33. Occasionally newsworthy comment: TWEET. No politics either.

35. Crash insurance?: AUTOSAVE. The interesting divergence of automatic from the Greek automatos of persons "acting of one's own will;" of things "self-moving, self-acting," Thus the fun play on words here as crash relates both to cars and computers.

36. Short-lived 1760s levy: STAMP TAX. The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765. The new tax was imposed on all American colonists and required them to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. Ship's papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards were taxed. The Act was repealed on 18 March 1766.(various).

39. Commonwealth off Florida: BAHAMAS. The Bahamas comprises 700 islands and over 2,000 rocks and cays, sprinkled over 100,000 square miles of ocean. The archipelago is an ecological oasis, boasting the clearest water on the planet. Brochures.

40. Big name in chips: LAY. In 1932, salesman Herman Lay opened a snack food operation in Dorset, Ohio; and, in 1938, he purchased the Atlanta, Georgia, potato chip manufacturer "Barrett Food Company", renaming it "H.W. Lay Lingo and Company." Lay crisscrossed the southern United States, selling the product from the trunk of his car.

41. WWII peril: U-BOAT. U-boat, German U-boot - the abbreviation of Unterseeboot -  (“undersea boat”), a German submarine. LINK.

45. Like much sandstone: POROUS. I have a nephew who works as a geologist for the government, but I know almost nothing about these ROCKS.

46. Gung-ho: ARDENT.

47. Toys with: TEASES. Like CED's cats and their mouse playthings.

49. Global sports org. concerned with wickets: ICC. The International Cricket Council is the international governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909.

50. "Chicago Hope" Emmy winner: LAHTI. Lahti, 67, writes about her infamous appearance at the Golden Globes in 1998 when she won best actress in a television drama for "Chicago Hope" but was in the bathroom when her name was announced.

51. Give short shrift to, with "over": GLOSS.

53. Access-providing fig.: ID NO.

54. Go across: SPAN. A bridge.

57. NATO HQ locale: EURope.

58. Handy program: APPlication.

59. Half of sei: TRE. We finish with a bit of division in Italian. 6/3.

I had a really fine time working on this puzzle, and welcoming JW back to Friday. Thanks, Jeffrey and all who read and all who write. Lemonade out.