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

Jul 6, 2019

Saturday, July 6, 2019, Jeffrey Wechsler

Themeless Puzzle by Jeffrey Wechsler 

Archie League
On July 6th, 1936, the National Air Traffic Control System was created and it has progressed immensely since the days of the first air traffic controller - Archie League of St. Louis in 1929.

We now have a very high tech group of professionals that keep us safe in the wild blue yonder. To appreciate their job please click on this site that shows where every plane is that is currently flying anywhere in the world. I was shocked when I first saw how many planes are aloft at one time.

You can zoom in and out to see what plane is flying over your head right now and understand how hard it was to get all those planes on the ground on September 11, 2001

Today marks the second Jeffrey Wechsler themeless Saturday I have blogged in my year-and-a-half tenure here at the Corner. My first Wechsler Saturday puzzle blog was on the first Saturday of this year. He is shown below as the second from the left in this Minnesota event.  We all know the beautiful lady who is front and center. C.C.'s interview with Jeffrey

Now I will try to guide you through Jeffrey's crossword flight path from my Nebraska control tower. Wechsler flight 7.6.09 is now leaving the gate with various ETA's for the end of the trip:


1. Copper container?: POLICE CAR - The thought of copper meaning slang for a policeman occurred to me but I thought, nah, Jeffery wouldn't start with that. Well that was the first turbulence I hit on this flight. I most remember Car 54 and Adam-12

10. Avian sounds: CAWS - Not COOS it turns out

14. Clues in: MAKES AWARE.

15. Bypass: OMIT.

16. Field of operations?: ARITHMETIC - No new iteration of New Math makes sense to this math teacher. Pearson Publishing makes big bucks if you choose New Math as shown here.

17. Infiltrator: MOLE.

18. Car wash supply: RAGS - What? No SOAP?

19. Follower of TV?: SET.

20. Grapefruit stuff: PULP 

21. Penultimate of 24 letters: PSI - Next to last in Greek alphabet

22. Soup base: PEA 

25. 2002 Soderbergh film based on a 1961 sci-fi novel: SOLARIS - Rotten Tomatoes thought more of George Clooney's space effort that came eleven years later

27. "Stone walls do not a prison make" poet: LOVELACE - "Nor iron bars a cage" from Richard's 1642 poem To Althea, From Prison

30. Go bad: ROT.

31. Boxy conveyances: ELEVATORS - Art Deco entrances to said boxy conveyances in the lobby of the Empire State Building

33. Tolkien terror: ORC - Hello old cwd friend 

35. Accommodate: SUIT.

36. Pull apart: RIP - Just RIP that bandaid off!

37. Part of a bust: KILO - Illicit drugs (correction) often come in these 2.2. lb lots

39. Mideast group with observer status at the U.N.: PLO.

40. "After the Gold Rush" musician: NEIL YOUNG Here ya go!

43. Bushes seem to flourish in it: Abbr.: GOP - Of these GOP Bushes, W's library is at 
50. Dallas sch.: SMU.

45. Playful Pacific Northwest marine denizen: SEA OTTER.

46. Like pens designed for detailed work: FINE NIB - We crossworders are familiar with a pen's NIB

51. Auditor, often: Abbr.: CPA.

52. Bank product: LOAN.

53. Position, briefly: POV - It all depends on your Point Of View 

55. Where the tibialis anterior originates: SHIN.

56. Opposed to: ANTI.

57. Dismissed lightly: POOH POOHED - A 1939 NYT editorial POOH POOHED the idea that  TV would ever replace the radio. Origin of the phrase

61. In __: unmoved: SITU - An IN SITU mosaic in a Pompeii bathhouse 

62. Conscience: INNER VOICE 

63. Robert of "Airplane!": HAYS - The funniest movie I have ever seen (Robert HAYS on trumpet)! Craziness in the air traffic controller tower was a big part of this movie

64. Insignificant: PENNY ANTE - Also a low rent poker game


1. "The Mikado" props: PARASOLS.

Emma Kerr as Peep-Bo
2. "Just tell me already!": OK I GIVE UP, "What do you call a boomerang that won't come back?" (*Answer at the bottom of the blog)

3. With 23-Down, chow line: LETS 
23. See 3-Down: EAT 

4. Cousin of -like: ISH.

5. Cell feature: CAM - I wonder if this lens would really enhance my cell CAM

6. One of Bo Peep's charges: EWE - She can't find 'em!

7. Best Musical Tony winner after "Nine": CATS.

8. First of 12: ARIES - Where the sun is during the spring equinox.  Why it really isn't in ARIES any more

9. Clerical leader: RECTOR.

10. Niels Bohr, to Victor Borge: COMPATRIOT - Fellow Danes in two very different disciplines 

11. Affaire de coeur: AMOUR - Love is an Affair of the heart

12. "__ ever!": "Yes!": WILL I 

13. Prominent Lincoln Memorial features: STEPS  - There are 58 STEPS from the plaza level up to the chamber.

14. Sleuth who knits: MARPLE - Margaret Rutherford was Agatha Christie's Miss Jane MARPLE in film from 1961 - 1964

22. Military group: PLATOON.

24. Seed with a prominent cap: ACORN 

26. "And another thing, buddy ... ": LOOK YOU.

28. Typical Bond foe: EVIL GENIUS - Here's some (I can only name Dr. No and Goldfinger)

29. Iroquois enemies: ERIES.

32. Infiltrators: SPIES.

34. Walk-off home run, e.g.: CLUTCH HIT - Baseball's most famous (1:00)

38. Swimwear option: ONE PIECE - In 1922 this D.C. cop's job was to make sure these ONE PIECERS were no more than 6" above the knee

41. On the __: LAM.

42. Starbucks size: GRANDE.

44. Repetitive British farewell: PIP PIP - Cheerio old bean!

46. Word with mob or card: FLASH - Gotta love this as it builds for six minutes

47. Ancient Greek region: IONIA Map

48. Dapper: NATTY.

49. Northernmost Kentucky county: BOONE - Our 4,800 mile trip to Rome began at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport which is in BOONE County KY just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati 

54. Lindsey on skis: VONN.

55. "For violent fires __ burn out themselves": Shak.: SOON - "
His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last. / For violent fires SOON burn out themselves" John of Gaunt said of Richard II

58. Farm female: HEN.

59. Explore where you shouldn't: PRY.

60. Fertility clinic supply: OVA - It's also the name of this In Vitro Fertilization clinic in Zurich 

*A boomerang that won't come back is called "A Stick"

Now put your seat backs and tray tables in their upright and locked position and feel free to comment.

Jun 14, 2019

Friday, June 14, 2019, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: To B E or not to B E.

Our resident Shakespeare aficionado uses the letter B and E to wrap around the last word of an in the language phrase. He even provides us with a reveal that is a bit obscure, but it is a Friday. 38A. Also ... and, in three parts, a hint to the four longest Across answers:  BESIDES (7). The three parts are "B" "E" and "SIDES." This advises you that B and E are on the sides of words. Even with 56 theme spaces, the puzzle is chock full of long fill and new fill to add to his always tricky cluing. Example of the great fill are DIGITAL,  MADISON,  PALED AT,  TAVERNA,  UNTIMED, FIRST BASE, OBSERVANT,  CALAMITOUS and FRONT TEETH.
He has some foreign language stuff, some sports, some geography, some poetry, some music...well you can see for yourselves.

17A. Best Custard Enhancement award?: THE GOLDEN  BRULEE (15). We start with a grid spanning fill built off of the Golden Rule. My favorite of the themers.

28A. Eve's incentive not to eat the apple?: ADAM'S BRIBE (10). Adam's Rib is also a biblical reference unless you think only of

46A. Whom to interrupt to end a couple's tedious conversation?: EITHER BORE (10). I like this one a lot also. 

61A. Description of a consistent ogre?: THE SAME OLD BRUTE (15). JW does not get in a RUT unless cranking out fun puzzles that are challenging can be considered a rut. 


1. Chem lab array: ACIDS. My chemistry classes never trusted us to get near the acids.

6. Grainy side: PILAF. Rice, the one staple in my Oo dominated diet.

11. Pixar SFX: CGIComputer Generated Imagery has been around in some form since 1974. A LIST of favorite movies.

14. Certain Sri Lankan: TAMIL. Another PEOPLE whose history is filled with the results of Imperialism and ethnic incompatibility.

15. Defense concern: ALIBI. Alibis like eyewitnesses are not very reliable.

16. Orbital section: ARC. Both in the sky and near your eye.

20. Like moves in casual chess games: UNTIMED. Is the time lessened the better you are? I have never played with timers.

21. Overly orotund orator: GASBAG. Aren't you happy that OROTUND wasn't the fill?

22. Sacred symbol: TOTEM.

24. Pro __: TEM.

25. Romeo's partner?: ALFA. Another Shakespeare misdirection from our Will S. quote master.

33. "Free to Be... You and Me" co-creator Thomas: MARLO. She gathered the celebrities and put together the book which also became a PLAY.

35. Information: DATA.

36. See 13-Down: TEA. Paired with 13D. With 36-Across, summer drink: ICE. No Lemonade this week.

37. Sette minus sei: UNO. Italian for 7 - 6.

41. Minn. neighbor: ONT.

42. Jose's opening?: SAN. Can you see? Nope, California. Do you know the way?

43. Je ne __ quoi: SAIS. The French expression, used in America par example: There's just been a certain je ne sais quoi about the hue that many can't quite put their finger on.
— Donna Freydkin, Allure, "How Beyoncé and Rita Hazan Chose the Perfect Blonde Hair Color for Bey's On the Run II Tour," 29 Aug. 2018.

44. Keyboard offering: ETUDE. We had our discussion of this recently.

50. Part of NAACP: Abbr.: ASSN.

51. Roadwork supply: TAR.

52. Israeli desert: NEGEV. Half of the land in Israel. LINK.

54. Big improvement over a mop, for short: WET-VAC. Just what the name sounds like. A new clue/fill introduced by JW.
57. Was horrified by: PALED AT. This fill also is being introduced in the entire mainline puzzle world today!

63. "Take a load off": SIT.

64. Stealthy fighter: NINJA.

65. Result of a leadoff single: ONE ON. Baseball.

66. "Feh!": UGH.

67. Wyoming county: TETON. Think Grand! Some DF HISTORY.

68. Aggressive stingers: WASPS.


1. Westernmost Aleutian island: ATTU. Attu Island is so far west, it’s actually in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is the westernmost of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, even farther west than the Hawaiian Islands.

2. "All the Way" lyricist: CAHN. I wish I had remembered the C a few puzzles ago. A classic Sinatra tune.
3. "__ a traveller from an antique land": "Ozymandias": I MET.
"Ozymandias" is regarded as one of Percy Bysshe Shelley's most famous works. In antiquity, Ozymandias was an alternative name for the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. Shelley wrote the poem in friendly competition with his friend and fellow poet Horace Smith (1779–1849) who also wrote a sonnet on the same topic with the same name.

4. Like most selfies: DIGITAL.

5. Cinematographer's option: SLOMO. A portmanteau of SLOMOtion.

6. Fraudulently increased: PADDED. The bill, the expense account, the bra, the damages and many more.

7. Martinique, par exempleILE. A French island, clued in French.
JW has used this a few times; it was first used in the NYT by Martin Schneider on a Sunday, Mar 14, 1999

8. CNN host Lisa: LING.

9. Their logo has a mirrored letter: ABBA. I do like their movies.

10. Diamond corner: FIRST BASE. This is only the second time this fill has graced an LA Times puzzle; it was introduced by our own Steve Marron in his solo debut PUZZLE in 2014.

11. Disastrous: CALAMITOUS. Very nice sparkly long word which JW introduces to the LAT. It has appeared only once in an NYT in 2010.

12. Novelist Iles: GREG. A very popular multi-genre AUTHOR. I have read only The Bone Tree so far. I may try more.

18. "__ Smile Be Your Umbrella": LET A. Jeffrey was feeling musically nostalgic this week.
19. Designated driver alternative: UBER.

23. "The Federalist Papers" co-author: MADISON. President 1.
It is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the pseudonym "Publius" to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution.

25. What jesters do: AMUSE.

26. Mostly private Hawaiian island: LANAI. Many here know Hawaii better than I do.

27. Incisors: FRONT TEETH. Another fill introduced to both LAT and NYT today.

29. Like Lear, ultimately: MAD. More Shakespeare.

30. Notre-Dame honoree: Abbr.: STE. Saint in French.

31. Switchback features: BENDS. This was the hardest for me to parse since I never heard the term switchback before. The definition is - a zigzag road, trail, or section of railroad tracks for climbing a steep hill.

32. Moth-__: EATEN.

34. Paying attention: OBSERVANT. I hope you have been paying attention today because this grid is just loaded with the good stuff.

39. Stirrup location: EAR. Did you bone up on your anatomy?

40. Bro, say: SIB.

45. Spot to sip ouzo: TAVERNA. It is all Greek to me.

47. Kentucky Derby showpieces: HATS. There are some nice horses there as well.

48. Change the itinerary: REPLAN.

49. "Great Scott!": EGAD. Perry White?

53. Nudge: ELBOW. Rude!

54. Fillmore was the last president who was one: WHIG. He is buried in Buffalo with both of his wives. President 2.

55. Lisette's BFF: AMIE. French.

56. You can see Lincoln on one: CENT. President mini-theme. Number 3.

58. Club payments: DUES.

59. On: ATOP.

60. Second-ranked pinochle cards: TENS. A fun GAME that I played when I was young.

61. Nashville sch.: TSUTennessee State University.

62. Eye in most of Iberia: OJO. Spanish.

Well, we done did it again. Fabulous fill JW. I leave you with this LINK as we observe Flag Day 242 years after the flag was chosen. Thank you all -  now go and get ready for Father's Day. For which I give you this Dad Joke. (A Dad joke is an embarrassingly bad joke, often read through the eyes of a dad's lack of comedy).

My friend was a very indecisive rower. He could not pick either oar.

May 31, 2019

Friday, May 31, 2019, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: Boris: “Do you agree?” Natasha: “ДА!”

My regular doubles partner here at the Corner, Jeffrey Wechsler is back on a Friday with one of his classics - an add letters puzzles to create funny fill. Today DA is added and I hope it did not addle your brain. DA is the yes in Russian, an abbreviation for DAD in Britain (I think-Steve?) and a common shortcut for District Attorney. He also sneaks in the amusing non-themer DADAIST, along with many other sparklies like ANALYST,  DOGGIES, I'M ALONE, MASCARA, ON A DATE, PORGIES, STENCIL, ALARMING, MACARENA, MIRRORED, and SEDATION. We also have many apostrophes and the usual trickery in some cluing. On with the fun.

17A. Short-order bear?: FRYING PANDA (11). If you can have a Kung-fu Panda why not one in the kitchen making your lunch, using a FRYING PAN.

24A. News item from Hoda Kotb?: TODAY STORY (10). The 4th-hour anchor is away with her new adopted BABY. It is too soon to watch TOY STORY.

34A. Skeptical response to "Here's the drink I owe you"?: SAY IT ISN'T SODA (13). Obviously not the response of a teetotaller.

46A. Element of avant-garde music?: DARING TONE (10). I think the tonality or lack thereof of Arnold Schoenberg was more daring. I have a cousin who married a Schoenberg.

55A. Prosecutor ... or what four long puzzle answers have received?: ASSISTANT DA (11). So maybe this is the one he had in mind. I hope he doesn't mind my subversive write-up, but I just must have fun. On with the show. 


1. Just right: APT. Not an easy start, but it is Friday.

4. Some pets, in totspeak: DOGGIES. Totspeak is a term I think was developed solely for crossword fill like OWIE, WAWA and oh yeah DADA!

11. Ronda Rousey's sport, initially: MMAMixed Martial Arts.

14. Supporting: FOR. Not a beam but a person.

15. Tempting text to a lover: I'M ALONE. Sounds like some kind of illicit rendezvous.

16. McShane of "Deadwood": IAN. Ian has been one of my favorites, I think Steve also, since his days as LOVEJOY. However, in the John Wick 3 movie, he is not a nice man, and that is not a nice movie. Halle Berry continues to look nice, though.

19. Label for some Usher releases: RCA. Do people care about record labels anymore?

20. Words from a bell ringer: IT'S ME. Not in the tower, but at your front door. Obviously not an academic visitor.

21. Pen part: NIB. All you ever wanted to know about PENS.

22. Continental border river: URAL. This divides Europe and Asia.

23. Coolidge who wasn't president: RITA. This mostly Cherokee and mostly forgotten SINGER was married to Kris Kristofferson as well as having hits like...

27. L'Oréal's Voluminous Carbon Black, e.g.: MASCARA. I love having this in the puzzle with 12D. Popular '90s  dance:  MACARENA.

29. Longtime preceder of Johnny?: HERE'S. Both Ed McMahon and Jack Nicholson made this famous.

30. Maurice Sendak/Carole King musical "Really __": ROSIE. A hard Friday fill but a wonderful collaboration between the creator of Where the Wild Things Are and the very talented Ms. King,  subject of the Broadway hit Beautiful.

33. "__ you clever!": AREN'T. Yes, he is.

38. Apollo's birth island: DELOS. This Greek god has great BACKSTORY.

39. Nautical pole: SPRIT. I will leave the words to our sailors.

40. Saw: ADAGE. Nope, just letters here.

41. At the movies, maybe: ON A DATE. Here too.

50. Bird's biological class: AVES. I like this followed by...

51. Bill distributors: ATMS. Since birds have bills.

52. Detroit labor gp.: UAWUnited Auto Workers.

53. Research support: GRANT.

54. Sundial marking: III.

58. Luke, to Anakin: SON.

59. Sign maker's aid: STENCIL. Do they need them any longer?

60. Court fig.: ATTorney. Not an abbreviation popular in the profession.

61. "Star Trek" spin-off, briefly: TNGThe Next Generation.

62. Fish also called sea breams: PORGIES. This little FISH is one the many considered as a kosher fish. Catfish are not.

63. Future 62-Across: ROE. JW just egging you on.


1. Validate: AFFIRM.

2. "The quality of mercy is not strain'd" speaker: PORTIA. "It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven." Merchant of Venice Act IV, Scene I. Jeffrey and I both love our Friday Shakespeare.

3. Secret meetings: TRYSTS.

4. Order the Beef Wellington, say: DINE.

5. Bit of texting shock: OMG.

6. Space: GAP.

7. Endocrine __: GLAND.

8. Ancient region of present-day Turkey: IONIA. I always thought it was in Greece.

9. Not continue past: END BY. Also Use By.

10. Ahab's milieu: SEA.

11. Did the same as: MIRRORED.

13. Pro with a couch: ANALYST. Psycho-

18. Apple product: IMAC.

22. Unborn, after "in": UTERO. Literal Latin.

24. Unhurried pace: TROT.

25. Refreshing place: OASIS. Or maybe you want to visit...

26. Siskiyou County peak: SHASTA. I am sure this was a gimme for our West Coast contingent.

28. Gotten up: ARISEN.

31. Many a cable co.: ISPInternet Service Provider. Not related to 55D. Cleopatra's "poor venomous fool": ASP. A double dose of Will from Act V, Scene 2.
"Poor venomous fool
Be angry and dispatch. Oh, couldst thou speak,
That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass."

32. 2001 scandal subject: ENRON.

34. It puts people out: SEDATION. A very nice clue for a Friday deception.

35. Frightful: ALARMING.

36. Ones using asanas: YOGIS. And so many of your neighbors. 12 FAVORITES.

37. Pitchfork part: TINE. Actually any fork.

38. Arp, for one: DADAIST.

42. "Phooey!": DARN. Probably the tame version of what JW is thinking about my silliness.

43. Video game figure: AVATAR.

44. Take care of: TEND TO.

45. Wayne Manor and environs, e.g.: ESTATE. An odd Batman reference?

47. Relish: GUSTO.

48. Law enforcement tool: TASER.

49. In arrears: OWING.

53. Hoedown misses: GALS. Not misses, but misses. Not related to Hoda Kotb.

56. Chem. or phys.: SCI.

57. Bun package closer: TIE. If you keep your legs tied together you will not get a bun in the oven.

We have made it through another Friday challenge from Jeffrey. It always feels good to solve and then discuss one of his creations. I hope you had fun and I will leave you with the grid and another picture of a classic DA. Lemonade out.

May 16, 2019

Thursday, May 16th 2019 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: The Modern Prometheus - all the theme entries refer to the alternative title of this novel:

17A. Classic 1818 novel: FRANKENSTEIN. Here's the cover of the first edition:

20A. Unnamed character in 17-Across: THE MONSTER. "It" is known by number of names in the novel, none of them particularly flattering, including "It".

35A. Author of 17-Across: MARY SHELLEY. She wrote the novel when she was 18, she was 20 when it was published. Her, her husband Percy and Lord Byron had a competition to see who could come up with the best horror story.

47A. 1974 portrayer of 17-Across: GENE WILDER. Here's the classic moment from the movie when Wilder meets Marty Feldman's Igor for the first time.

53A. 1931 portrayer of 20-Across: BORIS KARLOFF. A little before my time, but surely everyone has seen Karloff's performance in this classic movie.

So, a nice challenge from Jeffrey, I didn't really get a toe-hold until the SW corner, then it was a question of working across and back up. The Karloff theme entry was my first, then it was just a question of fitting the pieces of the puzzle into place.

There's a lot of fresh fill in the puzzle too. SEED HEADS in the center of the downs was impressive as it crosses all five theme entries. Let's check out the rest.


1. Expert in Islamic law: MUFTI. A learning moment. I knew the word as a military term for civilian clothes but not the Islamic connection.

6. Classroom tools: RULERS

12. Nation partly in the Arctic Circle: FINLAND. Brrr. Not a whole lot of daylight in winter, either.

14. Left: GONE OUT

15. "I didn't lie!": IT WAS SO!

16. Select, as a jury: EMPANEL. I'm not sure I knew this. Crosses filled in a lot of it for me.

19. Otoscope target: EAR. I learned "oto-" from this photograph of David Niven in his book "The Moon's A Balloon". The caption read "Cupid developed otosis as a result" which sent me scurrying for the dictionary.

24. In a calculating way: SLYLY. Just pipped by "rhythm" as one of the longest words with no vowels.

27. Antipoverty agcy.: O.E.O. The Office of Economic Opportunity. Established by Lyndon Johnson to manage his War on Poverty programs. It was abolished in 1981.

28. Actor Stephen: REA. I had him as RAE first which slowed things down a tad.

29. Prefix with plus: SUR. Surplus.

31. Reduce in status: DRAG DOWN

37. Slapstick reaction: SPIT TAKE. Never heard of this term before either. One of these:

39. Borrow, but not really: BUM. "Not really" because you'e not going to give it back, as in "bum a smoke".

40. "__ you serious?": ARE

41. Talk and talk: YAP

43. Namely: TO WIT

52. "__ scale of 1 to 10 ... ": ON A. Fill it in and move on.

56. King in 1 Kings: SOLOMON

59. Shoulder piece: EPAULET

60. Like some rural bridges: ONE LANE

61. July 4, 1776, notables: SIGNERS. I tried FATHERS first, knowing it was probably wrong. I proved myself right (wrong) eventually.

62. Green field?: BOTANY. Field of study.

63. Campus figures: DEANS


1. Kind of heart valve: MITRAL

2. Easily led astray: UNWARY

3. Rich dessert: FLAN

4. Something to do: TASK

5. Map box: INSET. Took me a while to figure this out, even though the clue is familiar enough.

6. "Did my heart love till now?" speaker: ROMEO. Yay! I actually knew this.

7. Detach, as a dress pattern: UNPIN. My mom used to make her own dresses, I witnessed lots of unpinning of patterns as a kid.

8. Isn't straight: LEANS

9. Big stretch: EON

10. Deeply regret: RUE

11. Mo. town: STL St. Louis.

12. High winds: FIFES. Nice clue. A fife is a high-pitched flute.

13. Honolulu-born singer: DON HO

14. Go back for a second helping: GET MORE

18. A dandelion's are called blowballs: SEED HEADS. We used to drive my dad nuts blowing the seed heads; as fast as he was trying to get the pissenlit out of the lawn we were just compounding the problem.

21. Fox NFL analyst Aikman: TROY. He's actually pretty good as an analyst; the Cowboys did something right, Tony Romo is a quite excellent announcer.

22. "Ick!": EEW!

23. Fled: RAN

25. Future JD's exam: LSAT

26. Mongolian tent: YURT. Now available as expensive "glamping" accomodations in Big Sur, among other places.

30. Shaggy rug from 12-Across: RYA. Remembered from crosswords past.

32. Kosovo neighbor: Abbr.: ALB. Albania, on the Balkan Peninsula.

33. Surfeit: GLUT

34. How-to presentation: DEMO. I've demoed a lot of software in my time. One of the more enjoyable parts of my work day.

35. Bearing: MIEN

36. Prominent New York City feature: SKYLINE. The most impressive skyline I've seen is Hong Kong island overlooking the harbor, especially at night when all the buildings are lit up in neon.

37. Give a little: SAG

38. Not post-: PRE-

42. Short dogs, for short: PEKES

44. Like some scarves: WOOLEN. This gave me pause for quite some time. I've always spelled it with two "L"s.

45. Works out: INFERS

46. Last family to keep a White House cow: TAFTS. Two cows actually, Wooly Mooly and Pauline Wayne. There's that single "L" again in "Wooly".

48. Dangerous virus: EBOLA

49. Lennon love song: WOMAN. Written for Yoko, as 57D cross-references.

50. Twist: IRONY

51. Fleet: RAPID

54. Heated state: RAGE

55. Large green moth: LUNA. Quite impressive-looking things. I don't think I've ever seen one.

56. One may be choked back: SOB

57. Dedicatee of 49-Down: ONO

58. __ alone: not to mention: LET

And with that, I'm on my way. Have a great day!


May 3, 2019

Friday, May 3, 2019, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: AM I too early?

I am back and so is Jeffrey. Our other resident cruciverbalist, JW, joins PC this week in giving us another UP-DOWN  puzzle. This one is the reverse - the theme is an added AM (morning) to the beginning (the "top") of four phrases two of which are grid-spanners, as is the reveal TOP OF THE MORNING. Showing off his mad gridding skills, he wraps the theme in double stacks of 7 and triple stacks of six in the middle.  Despite 69 spaces of theme, he includes such sparkly fill as BARCODE. BLOOPER, CURATOR, DEAFENS, DO A DEAL, EDAMAME, EURASIA, PINENUT, STAMENS, and UNIFIER. Much to say, so away we go.

3D. Chronicles of Sodom and Gomorrah?: AMORAL HISTORIES (15). While the Torah is an early written history, it likely is based on Oral histories handed down.

4D. Group of stealthy attackers?: AMBUSH LEAGUE (12). This is fun; bush league comes from a baseball term.

7D. Act like a court jester?: AMUSE AS DIRECTED (15). My favorite repurposing.

23D. Flashy jewelry for a stroll in the park?: AMBLING BLING (12). A bit of a stretch but maybe I just do not like the term bling.
And the reveal:

11D. Supposedly Irish greeting ... or a hint to four long answers: TOP OF THE MORNING (15).
Probably top o' the mornin'.


1. Org. monitoring wetlands: EPAEnvironmental Protection Agency. No politics.

4. Reachable: AT HAND. This was NEARBY until it wasn't.

10. Wall support: STUD. Stud is an ancient word related to similar words in Old English, Old Norse, Middle High German, and Old Teutonic generally meaning prop or support. In case you wondered.

14. Like the dawn's early light: DIM. No Star-spangled banner here.

15. "Old MacDonald" sound: MOO MOO. ... a moo moo there.

16. One might be commanding: TONE. Also not my first thought.

17. Year, in Seville: AÑO. Just straight Spanish, though the newspaper did not give you the hint.

18. Caviar fish: BELUGA. Beluga caviar is caviar consisting of the roe (or eggs) of the beluga sturgeon Huso huso. Not related to Beluga whales- they are being trained by the Russian  MILITARY.

19. Capital of Samoa: APIA. With all the nice vowels I am surprised we do not see this more.

20. Debussy's "La __": MER. The Sea in French.

21. Purposes: USES.

22. July 4th or December 25th, for many: DAY OFF. Some misdirection and holiday did not fit.

24. With 64-Across, "Henry and June" author: ANAIS. We get her full name in parts. 64A. See 24-Across: NIN.

26. Request at the bar, with "up": SET EM. A partial, I think.

28. Old-style "Tsk!": FIE. Fee fie fo fum?

29. Gardener's supply: MULCH. You really do not need mulch, but it is pretty and all.

30. Many a southwestern Asian: ARAB. Many forget that Arabs, Indians, and others are Asian. They all have booths at the annual Asian Festival in Fruit and Spice Park in Miami (the Redlands). You missed this year but there is still an Orchid Show and Fruit Festival coming up.

31. The "1" in 15, really: TEN. Base ten math.

32. Lucy's TV pal: ETHEL. Ethel Mertz is not related to yesterday's Zach Ertz.

33. Move using eBay: SELL.

34. Shop sign nos.: HRS.

35. Cause to boil: IRE. Not a favorite word, po'd appealed to me more.

36. '60s campus org.: SDS. My old friend is back to vote with your feet.

37. Chem. class suffix: IDE. This is a bit of classic fill.

39. Small shot: BBS. Almost funny. So big shot could be a cannonball? Damn, I just wasted a great new potential clue/fill. Or even a clecho - Big shots:CANNONBALLS the Not big shots: BBS.

41. When "Fair is foul, and foul is fair" is spoken in "Macbeth": ACT I. JW gets his obligatory Friday Will Shakespeare into this week early.

43. Identifies: NAMES. J'accuse!

46. PC key: ALT.

47. __ gum: thickening agent: GUAR. More than that it may be GOOD for you.

48. Tile space-filler: GROUT. Not to be confused with GROOT.

49. Friend of Tigger: ROO. The joey of Kanga.

50. More than asks: URGES.

52. "I didn't really say everything I said" speaker: BERRA. The amazing thing is how natural he was.

53. Pupil covering: CORNEA. I wonder if this is a tortured CSO to me since I have had so many Cornea operations? Nah.

55. "Sweet!": COOL.

57. "Platoon" setting, briefly: NAM. Viet-

58. Ronny Howard role: OPIE.

59. Teahouse mat: TATAMI. A tatami (畳) is a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms. Traditionally made using rice straw to form the core, the cores of contemporary tatami are sometimes composed of compressed wood chip boards or polystyrene foam. wiki

61. British suffix: ISE. Instead of IZE.

62. Divided trio?: DEES. There are three "D"s in that word.

63. Type of band: ONE MAN. Is this one word or two? What do you think?

65. Once, quaintly: ERST. Also, not related to Zach, at least not for a while.

66. Equestrian's forte: RIDING.

67. Empty talk: GAS. Stop gassing me was once popular.


1. Sushi bar side dish: EDAMAME. This is just a fancy name for boiled green soybeans.

2. Pesto morsel: PINE NUT. So much to know about this little GUY.

5. Ring holders: TOES. No, thank you.

6. Tiger's targets: HOLES. Woods, not cat variety.

8. Seasonal quaff: NOG.

9. Negotiate successfully: DO A DEAL. No politics.

10. Obedience school word: STAY.

12. One promoting togetherness: UNIFIER. Is that like a reveal?

13. Overwhelms with sound: DEAFENS.

25. Writer of sweet words?: ICER. Oooo, many hate the idea of calling one who decorates a cake an icer. Where is Tinbeni? Perhaps back on vacation at Hedonism, or off to Eastern Europe again now that it is warming up there.

27. Chic modifier: TRÈS. More accents.

36. Buck: STAG.

38. Take the risk: DARE.

39. Checkout facilitator: BARCODE.

40. Outtake, often: BLOOPER.  50 all-time FAVORITES.

42. Museum manager: CURATOR. Why since he doesn't cure anything? In Ancient Rome, curatores were senior civil servants in charge of various departments of public works, overseeing the Empire's aqueducts, bathhouses, and sewers. By the end of the 20th century, 'curator' came to describe a broad category of exhibition makers such as those who run museums.

44. It borders four oceans: EURASIA. This is the combined landmass of the continents of Europe and Asia - a portmanteau. It also is home to 71% of the world's population.

45. Pollen producers: STAMENS. Stamens are the units of androecium which are the male reproductive whorl of the flower.

51. "Ditto!": SO AM I.

54. Aerie, for one: NEST.

56. Arabian Sea nation: OMAN. One of the Oceans above.

60. Darth, when he was young: ANI. Anikan Skywalker sends off until next week.

What more fun can you ask on a Friday morning in spring? Well, ok a lot more but not in solving a very entertaining return from JW and his Boswell. Be well all. Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Happy 75th birthday to Dave (D4E4H), who went through quite a few health issues last year, but he remained optimistic and cheerful through the whole deal. Did Lynn bake you another special cake pie, Dave?

Apr 28, 2019

Sunday April 28, 2019 Jeffrey Wechsler

Theme: "Ooh, I Get It!" - Long I sound is changed into long U sound, changing spellings as needed.
24A. Grinch victim in the Wasatch Range?: ROCKY MOUNTAIN WHO. Rocky Mountain High.

37A. Bilks corporate bigwigs?: TAKES IN THE SUITS. Takes in the sights.

45A. Puff's ailment?: DRAGON FLU. Dragonfly.

56A. Nickname for a seafaring Smurf?: CAPTAIN BLUE. Captain Bligh.

77A. Amphibian College curriculum?: NEWT COURSES. Night courses.

82A. Inspiration for "The Hulk"?: BRUTE IDEA. Bright idea.

93A. Exceptional wind?: FIRST CLASS FLUTE. First class flight.

111A. 18-Down?: FATHER OF THE BROOD. Father of the bride.

Jeffrey told me that the puzzle title is from Rich and Patti. His suggested "The Right Route". Sometimes it's tricky to find a perfect title that captures the sound changing gimmick.

Total 102 theme squares. Our average. The top and bottom edge design is not very Jeffrey, but the side edges is, with triple stacks of 7's and 6's. Those are hard to pull off cleanly, but Jeffrey is a pro. And he managed a 140 worder.


1. Some old Eur. republics: SSRS. Soviet Socialist Republics. Tiny "republics"/R dupe. Jeffrey mentioned that this is not his entry. He said "Rich didn’t like something in that section, but he did not request a revision, which I would have gladly worked on." He said SSRS is an entry he would do anything to remove, esp at 1-Across.

5. Brownstone-front hangout: STOOP.

10. Homer's "rosy-fingered" time: DAWN. Tiny dupe: 96. Dawn goddess: AURORA.

14. One looking badly?: OGLER.

19. Astute: KEEN.

20. Aquatic predators: ORCAS.

21. "Nasty" Nastase of tennis: ILIE. Honored on a stamp.

22. Good, to Giovanni: BUONO.

23. "__ la Douce": IRMA.

27. High point: PEAK.

28. College domain: EDU. Two more U's: 105. Charlottesville sch.: UVA.75. Columbus campus: Abbr.: OSU.

29. Large wardrobe: ARMOIRE. Not an armoire here. Just want to show you my friend Carmen's vases.

30. College dorm figs.: RAS.

31. Legal memo phrase: IN RE.

32. Pro Football Hall of Famer Merlin __: OLSEN.

35. Modigliani subject: NUDE. Andy Garcia played him in the 2004 movie.

36. Set (on): BENT.

41. Airhead: DUNCE.

42. Bit of trickery: GAG.

43. Chris of "American Pie" films: OWEN. Wiki says this: "In 2014, a New York Daily News article reported Owen was working as a waiter at a sushi restaurant in Santa Monica, California. In the article, Owen says that "life doesn’t always go the way you planned. I love acting and this job lets me stay in the fight." After that article was published, he appeared in two films in addition of a role on Criminal Minds".

44. Urn turner, perhaps: POTTER.

50. Real-estate holding account: ESCROW.

54. D.C. VIPs: REPS.

55. __-B: hygiene brand: ORAL.

61. __-Locka, Fla.: OPA.

62. Arena roarer: CROWD.

63. In cahoots: AS ONE.

64. Swahili honorific: BWANA. Literally "sir".

65. Meal with a crust: POTPIE.

67. "Ghosts" playwright: IBSEN.

69. Shoulders, e.g.: JOINTS. Nina kindly sent us an exercise routine to improve Boomer's body mass and balance. We just started the easiest ones. 

70. "God __ refuge and strength": Psalm 46: IS OUR.

71. Traded (in): DEALT.

73. Like honey: GOOEY.

76. 2000 Richard Gere title role: DR T. OK. I just read the plot for the first time. Surreal.

79. Way back when, once: ERST.

80. Alone, in Arles: SEUL.

81. Two-time Pulitzer Prize for Fiction awardee: UPDIKE.

84. Bering, e.g.: STRAIT.

88. Arp's art: DADA.

91. Whole effort: ALL.

92. Coat of arms element: CREST.

101. Dusters: RAGS.

102. Just: MERE.

103. Prepare for bodybuilding photos: OIL UP. Would you believe that they use PAM cooking spray?

104. Egyptian deity: ISIS.

106. Takes, as a bus: RIDES ON.

108. Friend of Eeyore: ROO.

110. Bygone depilatory brand: NEET.

115. Canadian gas: ESSO.

116. Belong: FIT IN.

117. Wishes one hadn't done: RUES.

118. Actress Delta: BURKE.

119. Ado: STIR.

120. Billiards slab: SLATE.

121. Gucci of fashion: ALDO. Also 10. Chanel competitor: DIOR

122. Motel 6 visits: STAYS.

123. Tokyo electronics giant: SONY.


1. "Let's not do that": SKIP IT.

2. Sister of Venus: SERENA. The Williams sisters.

3. Say casually: REMARK.

4. Whence some garters?: SNAKE EGGS.  Garter snakes. I did not know that snakes lay eggs. Google Images shows this corn snake laying an egg.

5. Hot under the collar: SORE.

6. Walked over: TROD ON.

7. Like Hogwarts lore: OCCULT.

8. Sturdy tree: OAK.

9. 101 class involving Freud: Abbr.: PSY. No more K-Pop rapper.

11. Many college donors: ALUMNI.

12. Succeed despite obstacles: WIN OUT.

13. Coll. students' access codes: NETIDS. Another learning moment for me.

14. Tony's cousin: OBIE. Or EMMY.

15. Staple __: GUN.

16. Inexpensive, as housing: LOW RENT.

17. Improve: ENHANCE.

18. Wake-up call provider: ROOSTER. The black character is how it's written in traditional Chinese.

25. Minister's house: MANSE.

26. "There you __!": ARE.

33. Uncertain query before a query: SHOULD I ASK. I normally send an email to D-Otto: "Does this feel solid to you?"

34. "Yuck!": EEW.

36. On the other hand: BUT.

38. __ Paulo: SAO.

39. Pass over: IGNORE.

40. Mild angst: UNEASE.

41. Warning about overexuberance: DOWN BOY. Great fill.

44. Pasty food: POI.

45. Surprise with a visit: DROP IN.

46. Rest: REPOSE.

47. "Trainwreck" director Judd: APATOW.

48. Back again: FRO.

49. Foundation of a civil society: LAW.

51. Stress-relief tool: SPONGE BALL. Never used these. I do have spike balls.

52. UPS unit: CTN.

53. Actress Issa: RAE.

56. Play lists: CASTS.

57. Airport near D.C.: BWI. Baltimore–Washington International. Also 72. NW Penn. airport: ERI.
Erie International Airport. Googled afterwards.

58. Alit: LANDED.

59. Like perjured testimony: UNTRUE.

60. Cal. locale of the Latino Walk of Fame: EAST LA. We had this clue before.

62. Basic electrical component: CIRCUIT.

66. Delay, with "off": PUT.

68. Runs in the wash: BLEEDS.

69. Beetle relatives: JETTAS.

71. It doesn't go off: DUD.

74. Hockey legend: ORR (Bobby). So grid-friendly. ORR and OTT.

78. Choose: OPT.

80. Endearing quality of puns: SILLINESS.

83. Often pointy-eared figure: ELF.

84. Kitten handles?: SCRUFFS. Nice clue/fill. Consonant-rich.

85. Hard work: TRAVAIL.

86. Sailing competition: REGATTA.

87. Braying beast: ASS.

89. Expiate, with "for": ATONE.

90. Rank of Brit. TV sleuth Morse: DCI. OK, Detective Chief Inspector. 

93. Indiana Jones' hat: FEDORA.

94. Filled with rage: IREFUL.

95. Ready to play again: RESTED.

97. Goosebump-inducing: SPOOKY.

98. Employs so that one may: USES TO.

99. Connects logically: TIES IN.

100. Editing app on Google Play: E STORY. Unfamiliar to me.

102. Orbiter for 15 years: MIR.

106. Philosopher Descartes: RENE.

107. Rather: OH SO.

109. Wordsworth works: ODES.

112. Musical success: HIT.

113. Small ammo: BBS.

114. Tedious situation: RUT.