Showing posts with label Joe Schewe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joe Schewe. Show all posts

Jul 26, 2019

Friday, July 26, 2019, Joe Schewe

Title: There is no "I" in "team" or this theme.

Joe is back for his fifth LAT publication, his first Friday and second 2019 publication. The concept is simple - remove the letter "I" from the first word of a two word in the language phrase and then clue the result for maximum humor. The icing on the Friday cake is the puzzle has both the puns created by removing the letter and a punderful reveal - 63A. Minimal red-removing amount ... and a phonetic hint to four long answers: ONE EYE DROP (10). So you drop one "I" to get the theme. The puzzle is a bit of an homage to our dear editor, who penned this Sunday Puzzle back in 2000.

There is some fun fill such as AMHERST, CISTERN, ELECTEE, MANATEE, OPEN-AIR, RENT OUT, SO AND SO, SOCKETS, TEENAGE, and UNDERGO. Nothing else new to the puzzle world, so let's get on with it. (BTW this is my Friday, we do every other- Lemonade).

17A. Airline category for hombres?: SEÑOR CLASS (10). The "I" disappears from the Senior Class which airlines still mention but no longer discount.

25A. Run in prison?: CON OPERATED (11). Here the I in "COIN" leaves.

37A. Sculptor, at times?: NOSE MAKER (9). This missing I made for the most amusing fill for me. Noise to Nose - very cute.

53A. VIP at royal banquets?: CHEF OF STATE (11).

And since I already gave the reveal, on to the rest.


1. Promotional giveaways: COMPSCOMPlimentaryS. Freebies.

6. Hard-to-sell wheels: HEAP. I believe it signifies a car ready for the scrap HEAP.

10. Muscles in a flex-off: PECS. Pectorals - chests.

14. Illusory pictures: OP-ART. Optical.

15. __ rug: AREA.

16. Mélange: OLIO. A favorite C.C. word.

19. Colorado's __ Verde National Park: MESA. Go see it. The LINK.

20. It's as low as it gets: NADIR. Apogee is the highest point.

21. Handy bag: TOTE.

23. USPS delivery: CTN. An abbreviation for a carton.

24. Fast no more: EAT.

28. Battle (for): VIE.  Old French: to challenge, provoke from the Latin invītāre to entertain, invite.

29. Menlo Park, N.J., notable: TAEThomas Alva Edison.
30. Surgical tools: LASERS. I had YAG laser capsulotomy after my cataract surgery.

31. Bellicose god: ARES.  Clearly not an airhead. MYTHOLOGY

33. "__ the night before ... ": TWAS. And all through the blog...

36. Gregg user: STENO. Gregg is a system of shorthand used by many secretaries including all of the ones I employed when I practiced law.  Or a stenographer is a person who makes a written verbatim record using a unique shortened writing style called “steno” on a steno machine.

40. Old Nick: SATAN. Yes, the coach of Alabama football.

43. Massachusetts Bay city: LYNN. Was this a Natick for you?

44. "Little we see in Nature that is __": Wordsworth: OURS.

48. Code of silence: OMERTA. Sicilian.

50. Freight weight: TON.

52. Born, in Bordeaux: NEE. Just French that used universally for the birth name of a woman.

56. Chain letters?: DNA. Cute clue; it has been a while since I received a chain letter, though I see many attempts on Facebook.

57. Author Kesey: KEN. And LSD pioneer. He is most famous for ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. It reminds me of orange sunshine and purple owsleys.

58. Piece of farm equipment: PLOW?

59. Limited message: TWEET. Nope, I am not falling into that trap.

61. Historic periods: ERAS.

66. USAF NCO: TSGT. "TSgt" in informal parlance, is the sixth enlisted rank (pay grade E-6) in the U.S. Air Force, just above staff sergeant and below master sergeant.

67. Gray's subj.: ANATomy.

68. Uninterrupted movement: SEGUE. Seg-way in its Italian root form.

69. Bit of choreography: STEP.

70. Youngster: TYKE. Etymology: 14th Century: from Old Norse tīk meaning bitch. What?

71. Govt. security: T-NOTE.


1. NYSE listings: COS. Companies.

2. Like outdoor theaters: OPEN AIR.

3. Dugong relative: MANATEE. Both manatees and dugongs, nicknamed "sea cows", are slow-moving herbivorous (mostly) marine mammals that belong to the Sirenian animal order.

4. Encourage: PROD. That is harsh. Probably a parent who is...

5. Rigid: STRICT.

6. Actor Holbrook: HAL. A wonderful actor who is famous for his portrayal of Mark Twain who is still with us as a 94-year-old.

7. Sister of Euterpe: ERATO. The Nine Muses were: Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomeni, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania, and Calliope. The word museum also comes from the Greek Muses.

8. Writer with lessons: AESOP. A fabulous answer.

9. Soft shade: PASTEL.

10. Little dog: POMeranian.

11. Winner at the polls: ELECTEE. I do hate the EE words.

12. Water storage tank: CISTERN. A fun word.

13. Blankety-blank type: SO AND SO. A wonderful fill, usually dirty so and so.

18. Certain Slavs: CROATS.

22. Clear: ERASE.

24. Girl rescued by Uncle Tom: EVAUncle Tom's Cabin

26. Staircase post: NEWEL.

27. Member of MLB's 2017 champions: ASTRO. Watch the series.

32. 24-Across greedily: SNARF. An odd word. They suggest it either comes from the sound one makes eating quickly, or from its cousin scarf and snack combined.

34. Acker of "The Gifted": AMYLINK.

35. Nick working at night?: SANTA. A little Nickolodeon reference.

38. Good way to go out: ON TOP.

39. __ pine: KNOTTY. My childhood bedroom was knotty pine panels.

40. Light bulb holders: SOCKETS.

41. UMass town whose third letter isn't pronounced: AMHERST. I know many who say the "H" but they are wrong.

42. Like many new drivers: TEENAGE.

45. Experience: UNDERGO.

46. Charge to occupy: RENT OUT.

47. Red or Black: SEA.

49. Financially sound: AFLOAT.

51. Having collected the least dust: NEWEST. Meh.

54. Corleone brother: SONNY.

55. Fine-tune: TWEAK. Miley Cyrus?

60. Fall locale: EDEN. Wonderful misdirection, fall from grace the garden of Eden.

62. Indy letters: STP.

64. Automne follows it: ETE. En Francais.

65. Protest leader?: PEE. Urine charge of this clue CED.

I hope you all enjoyed your morning Joe. I did and maybe Joe will stop by and say hello and tell us a story. See you all in August. Lemonade out.

May 23, 2019

Thursday May 23rd 2019 Joe Schewe

Theme: Scramble  - as the nicely-placed reveal tells us:

60A. Simple salad ... and what the starts of the five other longest answers are?: MIXED GREENS. I like it when the reveal is placed towards the bottom of the puzzle, it gives you a chance to figure out the theme before you get to it. This time, it was key to me going back and unlocking some of the theme entries, SEGA and VOILE in this case.

17A. U.S. gaming release of 1989: SEGA GENESIS. Sage green. I'd never heard of the console, mainly because it was marketed as the Mega Drive in Europe.

24A. Chiffon-like materials: VOILE FABRICS. Olive green. Often used for sheer window drapes.

33A. Future first lady wed in 1842: MARY TODD Army green. Crosses all the way here. Mary Todd before she married Abraham Lincoln. She had a tough life, not only did she witness her husband being assassinated, but out of four children only one outlived her.

41A. Foam toy: NERF BALL Fern green. The brand is now owned by Hasbro, and annual Nerf sales are estimated at more than $400 million. Enthusiasts claim that the name is an acronym for "non-expanding recreational foam".

49A Rocky Mountains nickname: MILE HIGH CITY Lime green. Denver, home to Denver International Airport terminal which is more than half a mile long, and I always seem to arrive at Gate 95 and have to walk the 0.66 miles to Gate 17 for my LAX connection. (Gate 17 is the first gate in Terminal B, for reasons unknown to me).

Joe returns for what I think is his fourth LAT appearance. Straightforward theme once you tumble to the gimmick, some of the theme entries were obtuse enough that I needed the reveal, as I mentioned above. Let's see what else catches the eye:


1. Analyze critically: PARSE

6. Counting gadgets: ABACI. "Counting" seems a little simplistic for what you can do with an abacus.

11. Business address abbr.: STE. Suite.

14. Michener novel with astronauts: SPACE. Never heard of the book, crosses all the way.

15. Answer an insult with an insult, say: REACT

16. Short flight: HOP. The shortest commercial flights I have taken were between LAX and Carlsbad, about 80 miles as the crow flies. You'd think it would be better to drive, but the traffic between LA and San Diego is so unpredictable I'd have kept missing meetings. The airport is so tiny that almost everybody waits in a bar called "The Landings" about 20 feet from the terminal until they open security, usually about ten minutes before the flight is scheduled to depart. The planes that land there aren't exactly big:

19. It often follows you: ARE. I am, you are, he/she/it is.

20. Ivan or Nicholas: TSAR

21. Actor Chaney: LON

22. Windy home, probably: AERIE. Nice cluing.

28. Left the country?: SECEDED. Another nice clue. Some inventive stuff today.

31. Piccadilly Circus statue: EROS. Except it's not. The statue is commonly referred to as Eros, but actually it depicts his brother, Anteros. The statue is a memorial to the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, and Anteros, "the God of selfless love" symbolizes the Earl's philanthropy and his efforts to replace child labor with school education. It's a total waste of time trying to tell people this, however, but I still like to try.

32. Plain text: PROSE

37. It's all around us: AIR. Depends on whether you happen to be on dry land or not.

38. Hangs on a line?: WAITS. Seems a good excuse to revisit this Blondie hit from 1978.

40. Word from a bull: BUY

44. Line to the audience: ASIDE

46. Took the bus: RODE

47. Becomes a burden: IMPOSES

53. Give a speech: ORATE

54. Longing: YEN

55. Cheese with an edible rind: BRIE. Pretty much all cheese rinds are edible, except those made from wax or other such stuff. I always eat the rind.

59. Beans or baloney: ROT. Beans? I didn't see this until now, the crosses filled it in for me. I'd not heard of the synonym "beans" before. Webster's list about 60 synonyms for "baloney".

64. Aardvark snack: ANT

65. European woman's name meaning "peace": IRENA. Common in Russia and Poland, hence the "European" part of the clue.

66. Safe places?: BANKS

67. Caustic chemical: LYE

68. State of northeast India: ASSAM. Famous for its tea - strong and favorful. I usually blend it in with some Earl Grey for the bergamot flavor.

69. Temporarily unavailable: IN USE


1. "Hey!": PSST!

2. Gibbons, e.g.: APES

3. Music featuring sitars: RAGA

4. Often colorful accessories: SCARVES

5. Neurologist's printout, briefly: EEG. I always get mixed up with EKG. This instance was no exception - SPACE fixed my error, SPACK didn't look quite right.

6. "Dover Beach" poet: ARNOLD.
The sea is calm tonight. 
The tide is full, the moon lies fair 
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light 
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, 
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. 

That's a cross-channel ferry in the background of this picture. The Dover-Calais crossing is the shortest of the routes across the English Channel.

7. __ Bag: eponymous '70s designer label: BEENE. Geoffrey Beene created the brand in 1974 as a low-cost alternative to his haute couture offerings.

8. Remote batteries: AAS. Not always, one of my TV remotes uses AAA batteries.

9. Third-century date: CCI. 201 A.D.

10. Delivery announcement: IT'S A BOY!

11. Puppeteer Lewis: SHARI

12. Tire-shaped: TORIC. I tried OVOID at first, which didn't really make a ton of sense.

13. They're heavier than foils: EPÉES. In Olympic fencing, the foil's target is limited to the torso. In the epée competition, you can hit your opponent anywhere, including the head and feet, recreating the fighting capabilities of the weapons in actual combat.

18. Nobelist Wiesel: ELIE. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.

23. Once, old-style: ERST

25. Poem of homage: ODE

26. Skillful deed: FEAT

27. SFO postings: ARRS. Arrivals at San Francisco International airport.

28. Time period: SPAN

29. Buffalo's county: ERIE

30. Irish pop group family name: CORR. I haven't heard much from this musical family recently. Four siblings, here's one of their singles from 2009.

33. End of a corporal's URL: MIL. Reserved for the U.S. Department of Defense.

34. Sapporo sashes: OBIS. The city, not the beer.

35. "Seriously, man!": DUDE!

36. Adds highlights to, perhaps: DYES

38. Arabian arroyo: WADI. I learned this from my Dad, who was posted to North Africa during WWII. He was a gunner in the Royal Artillery, but transferred to the Medical Corps when he discovered he would earn an extra sixpence a week.

39. Words after shake or break: A LEG

42. Worry: FRET

43. Czech Republic region: BOHEMIA. Leading moment for me. I always assumed, for no good reason, that it was somewhere in Germany.

44. Likely: APT

45. Nutrient-rich legume: SOYBEAN

47. Winter eave buildup: ICE DAM. I'd never heard of this before. Here's an example:

48. "Merciless" Flash Gordon foe: MING. Thank you, crosses. No clue.

49. Story lesson: MORAL

50. Device common on "Seinfeld": IRONY. Don't talk to Alanis Morissette about this. She was teased mercilessly that all the situations she described in her song "Ironic" were not, actually, ironic.

51. Starbucks order: LATTE

52. Spotted African predator: HYENA

56. OPTI-FREE rival: RENU. Contact lens cleaners. I don't have contacts, so I'd not heard of either of them.

57. Contents of many cartridges: INKS

58. To be, to Brutus: ESSE

61. Apr. addressee: I.R.S. Nice clue, I enjoyed this one. See how you can get cunning with what seems to be simple fill?

62. Crosses (out): X'ES

63. Slugger's stat: RBI. No explanation needed? Runs Batted In in baseball.

And with that, I think I'm done, save for posting the grid.


Jun 19, 2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 Joe Schewe


17. Carry only a carry-on, say: TRAVEL LIGHTWIRED LIGHT  💡

24. MLB's National League nickname (because it was founded first): SENIOR CIRCUIT. WIRED CIRCUIT

47. Unscrupulous sales tactic: BAIT AND SWITCH. WIRED SWITCH  

57. Chaw in a cheek: TOBACCO PLUGWIRED PLUG  🔌

39. Tense with excitement ... and a hint to the ends of the four longest puzzle answers: WIRED.


1. Like aged cheddar: SHARP.

6. Three-dimensional: CUBIC.ऒ

11. Clavell's "__-Pan": TAI.  Big shot. 

14. Down-yielding duck: EIDER.

15. IRA-establishing legislation: ERISA. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act

16. __ Tin Tin: RIN. The German Shepherd Dog is my favorite.

19. "__ had one job!": YOU.   The perfect opening for CrossEyedDave.  I'll link this one to get him started. 

20. Bottom edge of a dress: HEM.

21. Slithery swimmer: EEL.

22. Bacteria in food recalls: E. COLI.

29. "Of course": YES.

30. Least fresh: OLDEST.

31. Rainbow-shaped: ARCED.

34. Five-time Silver Slugger Award-winning catcher Joe: MAUER.   Some guys are just athletically gifted.  Like another Minnesotan, Dave Winfield.   Mauer was a great multi-sport ballplayer in high school.  Click the link to read about him.   
C.C. used to have Joe Mauer as her avatar:
35. The 2% in 2% milk: FAT.

38. Nobel physicist Niels: BOHR.

40. Vague amount: SOME.

41. Wonderment: AWE.  If you take the previous answer at 40A, and append it to this answer, you will have the adjective that I sense grates on Husker Gary's ears. 

42. Funeral rite heaps: PYRES.

43. Aleppo's land: SYRIA.

44. Martin of "Route 66": MILNER.  We had a clue of "66, for one"  yesterday at 5D, and the answer was RTE.  Boomer commented, "I think there was a famous TV show with Martin Milner about Rte. 66."   So anyone that read the blog yesterday should have been able to get Milner today.  That's him on the right.  Reruns of Route 66 are on late night TV.    Nice car for a pair of drifters. 

46. Buddhist discipline: ZEN.

51. Takes a break: RESTS.

52. Ill. neighbor: IND.

53. Piece of history: ERA.

56. Framed works: ART.

62. Knight's title: SIR.

63. Downloadable read: EBOOK.

64. Moan and groan: WHINE.

65. "Listen up!": HEY.  Hey now, hey now, don't dream it's over.

66. Takes a chance on: RISKS.

67. Vetoes: NIXES.


1. Meyers of late-night TV: SETH.

2. Put on the payroll: HIRE.

3. Frequent Yosemite photographer Ansel: ADAMS.

4. Gun, as an engine: REV.

5. Fussed in front of a mirror: PREENED.  This sure sounds like fussing to me.  Never heard of scritch before.

6. Upright violin kin: CELLO.

7. Ocean State sch.: URI.  The University of Rhode Island is the flagship university for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. 

8. The __ Dipper: BIG.

9. "Kinda" suffix: ISH. Sorta.

10. Party food provider: CATERER.

11. Seek a spot on, as a sports team: TRY OUT FOR

12. Garlicky mayo: AIOLI.

13. Alaskan native: INUIT.

18. Floral garlands: LEIS.

23. IV units: CCs.

25. Ogler: EYER.  Oxford Dictionaries:  Eyer.  Noun.  Rare.
    1 Chiefly literary and poetic. A person who looks at or sees something or someone; an observer.
    2 A person who makes eyes in needles. Now historical.

26. Loud crowds: ROARERS.  Like the fans at the 2018 U.S. Open played at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.

27. Crossword puzzle list: CLUES. Also from Oxford Dictionaries... Origin: Late Middle English: variant of clew. The original sense was ‘a ball of thread’; hence one used to guide a person out of a labyrinth.  I could use a better ball of thread on some Saturday puzzles.

28. Fingered in a lineup, briefly: ID'ed.

31. Old hoops org.: ABA.  American Basketball Association. 1967 to 1976.   I was a fan.  Dr. J (Julius Erving), Rick Barry, Moses Malone, Dan Issel,  Artis Gilmore, George Gervin, Tiny (Nate) Archibald and others. 

32. Line of seats: ROW.

33. Mutual attraction in a relationship: CHEMISTRY.  Are we talking about covalent bonding ?  Or 💑 ?

34. Stuck in the mud: MIRED.

36. "__ dreaming?": AM I.

37. Earl Grey, e.g.: TEA.  I believe this is Abejo's favorite.  So much so that he takes it with him when he dines out.

39. Casino mogul Steve: WYNN.  I would have preferred the clue to have been about Ed, Keenan or  Early.  

40. Lip-__: mouth the words: SYNC.

42. Wall surface: PLASTER.

43. Land a plane: SET DOWN.  Hi Dudley ! 

45. Hairy Addams cousin: ITT.   Linked ITT's picture last time.

46. Galvanizing metal: ZINC

47. Audacious: BRASH.

48. Eagle's nest: AERIE.

49. Trimmable candle parts: WICKS.

50. DNA structure: HELIX.
54. Ancient character: RUNE.

55. Long, long time: AGES.

58. __-Wan Kenobi: OBI.

59. Mass. MLB team: BOSBoston Red Sox.   In 1967 I was playing Little League and devoured anything / everything baseball.  Yaz won the Triple Crown and Boston won the AL Pennant to face St Louis in the World Series.  The series was tied at 3 games apiece.  Our teacher,  Mr Kelly,  rolled a TV into the classroom.  We all watched the deciding Game 7.   Bob Gibson of the Cardinals won his 3rd game and St Louis took the series 4-3.  I was pulling for the Cardinals, but became a Yaz fan that season.  Great ballplayer.  1st ballot HOF'er.  Born in Southampton, N.Y., site of the 2018 U.S. Open.  BTW,  no other Triple Crowns were won in either league until 2012, when Miguel Cabrerra of the Tigers accomplished the feat.

60. "All systems go!": AOK.  Jinx might see that in his side view mirrors as he leaves the campgrounds.

61. __ Beta Kappa: PHI.

Jul 17, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017 Joe Schewe

Theme: L C - but not a Lost Cause.

17. '70s Wonder Woman portrayer: LYNDA CARTER

23. Wonderland creator: LEWIS CARROLL

36. Borden cow ... and a phonetic hint to this puzzle's four longest answers: ELSIE

44. Her fashion company made the Fortune 500 in 1986: LIZ CLAIBORNE

55. "Who's on First?" funny guy: LOU COSTELLO

Argyle here. Joe Schewe hasn't been here since that punny Sunday in 2016. There are several subtle connections between some clues.


1. Gumbo pod: OKRA

5. Built with, as straw, sticks or bricks: MADE OF

11. Sculler's need: OAR

14. Indian bread: NAAN. Now a crossword staple.

15. On the train: ABOARD

16. Sport-__: versatile vehicle: UTE

19. Dreidel, essentially: TOP

20. Thus far: YET

21. Bulletin board fastener: TACK

22. Not at all serious, as threats: IDLE

27. Bridge support: TRUSS

29. Rime: HOAR

30. Source, as of knowledge: FOUNT

31. Plane arrivals: LANDINGS

35. Plane measure: AREA. Different plane.

38. Joint malady: GOUT

39. Said again: RESTATED

41. Longtime P&G soap "for women": CAMAY

42. "Who __ blame?": IS TO. "Not moi!"

43. Purvey provisions for a party: CATER

49. Gabor and Perón: EVAs

50. Hubbubs: ADOs

51. Treat like a dog?: PET. Aah.

54. Luau serving: POI

59. Drop the ball: ERR

60. Accumulate on a surface: ADSORB. [to gather (a gas, liquid, or dissolved substance) on a surface in a condensed layer] Antonym of absorb?

61. Like a busybody: NOSY

62. Ham on __: RYE

63. Itty-bitty: TEENSY

64. Henna and others: DYEs


1. "For Your Eyes __": Bond film: ONLY

2. Multi-talented Danny: KAYE. From White Christmas (1954).

3. Go ballistic: RANT

4. "Furthermore ... ": "AND ... " (more rant)

5. Colorful parrots: MACAWS

6. Old calculators: ABACI

7. Nerds: DORKS. Originally as a slang term for “penis”, I'm surprised to see it here.

8. Break bread: EAT

9. Metal-bearing rock: ORE

10. New Deal pres.: FDR. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)

11. One-up: OUTDO

12. Wake Island or Bikini: ATOLL

13. Fend off: REPEL

18. '50s nuclear experiment: A TEST

22. Provide water to artificially: IRRIGATE. The "to" should be dropped from the clue.

23. Maniacs: LUNATICS

24. Indian spiced tea: CHAI

25. Top-rated: A ONE

26. "Cool!": "RAD!"

27. Ripped up: TORE

28. Bitterly regrets: RUEs

30. Partner of wide: FAR

31. '60s hallucinogen: LSD

32. Alaskan city on the Seward Peninsula: NOME

33. __ gum: thickening agent: GUAR. Not AGAR for a change. Wiki

34. Pigs' digs: STY

36. Soulful James: ETTA

37. First of 13 popes: LEO I

40. Comm. system with hand motions: ASL. (American Sign Language)

41. Art able to: CANST. Archaic.

43. Singer with Stills, Nash and Young: CROSBY. David.

44. Sufferer healed by Jesus: LEPER

45. Old piano key material: IVORY

46. Former name of the Congo: ZAIRE

47. Breakfast strips: BACON

48. Smells: ODORS. But bacon frying is an aroma.

51. Clever tactic: PLOY

52. "If all __ fails ... ": ELSE

53. Santa's sackful: TOYS

55. Back muscle, for short: LAT. (Latissimi dorsi)

56. Keats creation: ODE

57. Waste not: USE

58. Tackle's neighbor on the line: END. And our end, too.


Oct 30, 2016

Sunday, Oct 30, 2016 Joe Schewe

Theme: "Eekology 101" - Halloween puns.

23A. Ghosts' car safety devices? : SHEET BELTS. Seat belts.

25A. Witches living together? : BROOMMATES. Roommates. This and 23A has extra consonant added.

51A. Dracula's least favorite lunch? : STAKE SANDWICH. Steak sandwich. Total homophone.

70A. Monster's favorite cereal? : SCREAM OF WHEAT. Cream of wheat. Same as 23A/25A.

98A. Dracula's favorite fruit? : NECKTARINE. Nectarine. No surface meaning.

102A. Where werewolves seek stardom? : HOWLLYWOOD. Hollywood. No surface meaning.

32D. Monster's daily newspaper reading? : HORRORSCOPE. Horoscope. Sound alike.

43D. Monsters' cookie-selling group? : GHOUL SCOUTS. Girl scouts. Vowel sound change.

Another debut. Conflagrations, Joe, great grid!

Punny theme is an art I have not grasped. I would not have considered 98A & 102A as they're totally madeup words and make no surface sense other than they sound like certain phrases. But as we've seen a few other LAT puzzles this year, punny theme can involve a variety of changes as long as the result is amusing & the entries are all related to one common thread.


1. Golfer's concern : HOOK. Thought of TRAP first. We also have 16. Golf scorecard number : PAR

5. Spanish appetizers : TAPAS

10. Bill entry : CHARGE

19. Southern cuisine staple : PONE. Not OKRA.

20. __ Coast : IVORY

21. Above-ground, as a ski lift : AERIAL. Got via crosses.

22. Before, to Byron : ERE

27. Retreats : LAIRS. We also have 106. Binge-watching site : DEN

28. Warty amphibians : TOADS. Not NEWTS.

30. Pacific relative of the Canada goose : NENE

31. Muffin man : THOMAS. English muffin. Not Stud muffin.

33. Evening reception : SOIREE

34. "Just to See You Smile" country singer : MCGRAW (Tim)

36. Tool with a blade : SHOVEL

37. More sick : ILLER. Also 40. Firstborn : ELDEST. 89. More spicy : HOTTER. 92. More pleasant : NICER.  94. Most lucid : SANEST

38. Saharan : SERE. Not ARID.

39. Messed up : ERRED. We also have 60. Transpose, say : MISTYPE
42. Spanish noble : HIDALGO. Learning moment for me.

45. One of five inhabited U.S. entities : TERR. D-Otto was stationed in Guam.

46. Seed covering : ARIL. Pomegranate seeds are called arils. I've been OD'ing on them the past few weeks. The season is almost over.

47. Retreat : OASIS

48. Buzz : HUM

50. Iconic WWII island, familiarly : IWO

55. Lennon's lady : ONO

56. State of rest : REPOSE

58. Lumps : CLODS

59. __ tape : DUCT

62. Daycare banes : BRATS. And 113. Like 62-Across : SASSY

63. Anniversary celebration : JUBILEE. No couple beat Chickie & Bill on our blog. Spitzboov and Betty are close.

66. Donald, to Dewey : UNCA

67. Top-rated : PRIMO

68. World __ : SERIES. Timely. No incident. Lots of thought goes into Rich's editing process.

69. U.N. workers' gp. : ILO. Put in ILA first.

74. French vineyard : CRU

77. Unit in a gym : REP

78. Prickle : THORN. Painful to remove the one in our garden last week. Should have just left it there for Mr. Winter.

79. Viscount's superior : EARL

80. Troubles : WOES

81. Place for afternoon refreshment : TEAROOM. Retired folks in Guangzhou gather for afternoon tea & idle chat every day. Neighborhood dim sum is very affordable.

83. Saunters : MOSEYS

86. Reason : CAUSE

87. Failure : BUST

88. Emulated Paul Bunyan : HEWED
90. Help with money, perhaps : DONATE

93. Road hog? : HARLEY

 95. "Ben-Hur," e.g. : EPIC

96. Common teen phase : ANGST

97. Mosaic artist : TILER. I'm impressed by Splynter's bathroom job.

107. Choler : IRE

108. Futuristic 2009 James Cameron film : AVATAR

109. Conjure up : EVOKE

110. Real estate sale : ACRE. I read the clue but pictured "estate sale".

111. Equinox mo. : MAR

112. Negligent : REMISS
114. Story : YARN

1. Officejet Pro printers : HPs. We're now using HP Envy.

2. "__ la la!" : OOH

3. Till bill : ONE

4. Faint : KEEL OVER

5. Shin-related : TIBIAL

6. Declares : AVERS. Or AVOWs.

7. D.C. bigwigs : POLs

8. Works at a gallery : ART. Also 29. Many Manets : OILS

9. Ventricular contraction : SYSTOLE. New word to me.

10. Minnelli movie musical : CABARET

11. One on a drive : HERDER. Oh, cattle drive.

12. Sprang up : AROSE

13. Kia model : RIO

14. Whale group : GAM. Not POD.

15. Slippery __ : ELM

16. Pan in the air : PETER. Peter Pan. Nice clue.

17. Quicken Loans, for one : ARENA. Home to the Cavaliers.

18. Adjust, as a faulty stitch : RESEW

24. Taught to submit : TAMED. Wild animals.

26. "Heaven Can Wait" character : ANGEL
31. Meant to lose : THREW

33. Move obliquely : SIDLE

34. Front man? : MEDIC. Oh, battlefront.

35. Wall Street debacle : CRASH. And 83. Wall Street headlines : MERGERS. Clue echo.

36. UFO-tracking org. : SETI. This will irk Barry G. SETI does not track UFOs.

38. Spanish ayes : SI SI

40. Clear : ERASE

41. Similar to : LIKE

42. Relatives of hems : HAWS

44. Smidgen : OUNCE. Also 65. Smidgen : BIT.  Clue echo again.

46. Perched on : ATOP

47. Chances : ODDS

49. Speck of dust : MOTE

51. Mole, maybe : SPY

52. Curtain fabric : SCRIM

53. Budget competitor : ALAMO. Car rental.

54. __ this world : NOT OF. Not OUT OF.

57. LAX info : ETA

59. One usually has six sides : DIE. This got me last time.

60. The Sierra Nevada's Mount __ : MUIR. Guessable.

61. Bay, say : INLET

62. Fiber source : BRAN. I admire those who eat brown rice or whole wheat. I've got to eat white rice.

63. Catcalls : JEERS

64. River through Orsk : URAL

67. Salon job : PERM

68. One-horse carriage : SHAY

70. Pompous gait : STRUT

71. Stopped waffling : CHOSE

72. Origin : ROOT

73. Overrun with crabgrass : WEEDY

75. Odometer control : RESET

76. One with an instruction manual : USER

80. Port feature : WATERWAY

82. Unawares : ABACK. OK, taken unawares/aback.

84. Symbols of wisdom : OWLS

85. Boils : SEETHES

86. __ Island : CONEY

88. Animator Bill and others : HANNAs. No other famous Hanna.

89. Eponymous comet tracker : HALLEY

90. Casual jacket fabric : DENIM. Finally threw away my black leather jacket. Too many cuts and scratches. I might consider a denim jacket next. Much easier to maintain.

91. Art form with singing : OPERA
93. Part of Hispaniola : HAITI

94. Outfit at the track : SILKS. Race track.

97. Ark units : TWOS

99. Carwash challenge : TAR

100. Blvd. cousin : AVE

101. Butter from a farm : RAM. Butt-er.

103. In vitro cells : OVA

104. Andean stew veggie : OCA. Never had it.

105. '60s-'70s teammate of Esposito : ORR