Showing posts with label Kurt Krauss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kurt Krauss. Show all posts

Jun 8, 2020

Monday June 8, 2020 Kurt Krauss

Theme: SHORT TERM (60. Temporary ... and how both ends of the answers to starred clues might be described) - Short can precede both words of each theme answer.

17. *Plot of a movie, say: STORY LINE. Short story. Short line.

25. *Single-layer dessert: SHEET CAKE. Short sheet. Short cake.

36. *Stock buying or selling directive with a specified price: STOP ORDER. Shortstop. Short order.

50. *Nintendo income source: GAME SALES. Short game. Short sales.

Boomer here.

Thank you, desper-otto, for explaining the theme to C.C. and me. We could not figure out "how both ends of the answers to starred clues might be described".

Things have settled down a bit in Minneapolis with smaller crowds and very little violence.  Businesses are opening up. Wow, the Governor allows the bowling centers to open at 25% capacity.  I am staying away and wasting time on a golf course. I don't know about fall leagues. Many of my bowling buddies are saying no vaccine - no league bowling, and I'm afraid I agree.


1. Dada pioneer Jean: ARP.  Add one more "A" and you have an organization for seniors.

4. Closes: SHUTS.  Most every nonessential was SHUT for two months.

9. Newborn horses: FOALS. The Kentucky Derby for three year olds was moved to September.  They did not lose qualified entries.  All race horse's birthdays are January 1.

14. Keep out of, with "from": BAR. All the BARS in Minnesota were closed for two months.  Recently they were allowed to open.

15. Basic belief: TENET.

16. Boutros-Ghali's U.N. successor Kofi __: ANNAN.

19. Sam of "Jurassic Park": NEILL.

20. Animated film mermaid: ARIEL.  A Disney Princess. 

21. Give it a shot: TRY.  I give a golf ball a shot every Monday.  It's very TRYing.

23. Docs' org. with a noted journal: AMA.  My June visit to my oncologist was changed to a phone call.  First I gave a blood sample to our VA Clinic Northwest of our home. Then My doctor phoned me and indicated that I'm doing okay. I did not visit our VA hospital this time. The small clinic in Ramsey, MN has been incredibly changed. Very clean, chairs in the waiting room are 6-10 feet apart.  Many have been removed.  I was impressed.  I told C.C. that I figured the clinic was a lot safer than some of the grocery stores we visit. 

24. Pennsylvanie, par exemple: ETAT.

28. Gridiron pitchout: LATERAL.  A pitchout on the baseball diamond is to catch a base stealer.

31. Caught, as a butterfly: NETTED.  I don't remember netting a butterfly.  We used to net fish now and then to bring them into the boat.   

32. Kingston Trio hit with the lyric "Fight the fare increase!": MTA.  "Vote for George O'Brien, get poor Charlie off the MTA.  I sang this solo in concerts of the Benilde High School Glee Club.

33. Supreme Norse god: ODIN.

35. Equals on a jury: PEERS.

39. Bingo-like game: BEANO. Never played this game, but C.C. planted bush beans in our small garden last week.

42. Dressed in: WORE.  Dress in too many times and it may become WORE out.

43. Freshly painted: WET.

46. Glue brand: ELMER'S.  I ruined a lot of baseball cards with good old Elmer's.

48. London's theatre district: WEST END.  I wonder if they ever presented "West Side Story"?

53. Feed bag bits: OATS.  "Mares eat OATS and does eat OATS and Little Lambs eat Ivy."

54. Pince-__ glasses: NEZ.

55. Gangster's gun: GAT.

56. Penniless: BROKE.  Many small businesses in Minneapolis won't be back after damaged by rioters and looters.

58. Playful swimmer: OTTER.  Fraternity Chairman in "Animal House".

63. Half-and-half half: CREAM.  The other half is milk.

64. Giggle sound: TEHEE.

65. "The Matrix" hero: NEO.

66. Fruity desserts: TARTS.  Also the name of the sorority sisters in "Animal House".

67. Casino lineup: SLOTS. Casinos are opening up across the USA.  SLOTS are located 6-8 feet apart.  I have not witnessed any in MN.  Mostly SLOTS are touched.  Do we wear rubber gloves?  Do they clean them after every use?

68. '80s missile prog.: SDI.


1. Stomach muscles, briefly: ABS.

2. Machine gun sound: RAT-A-TAT. Rum a Tun Tun.  Which way did they run?

3. Like a fair share: PRO RATA.  The stock market went up a bit last week. Not sure if we got our fair share.

4. Eye affliction: STYE.

5. Satan's realm: HELL.  Angels on motorcycles.

6. Prefix with cycle: UNI.  Does anyone ever ride these anymore??

7. First extra inning: TENTH.  I'm still waiting for the first inning.

8. Cubic meter: STERE.

9. Devotee: FAN.  Because I am a baseball FAN.

10. Play sans intermission: ONE-ACTER.  I get it, but it may have more than ONE ACTOR!

11. Bring to life: ANIMATE.  Thank you Walt Disney.

12. Calif. NBAer: LA LAKER. I was just talking about my bowling buddy Eddie George.  His son, Devean George, graduated from my H.S. alma mater and played a few years for the LAKERS.

13. NBC's "Weekend Update" show: SNL.

18. Confirmation, e.g.: RITE.

22. Japanese money: YEN.

24. Stately tree: ELM.  Rather have a maple and steal some sap for syrup in the fall.

25. "Freudian" oops: SLIP.

26. Flap-doored homes: TEPEES.  We have a number of homeless people in tepees and tents near the protesters' area in Minneapolis.  I feel sad for those people.

27. Masthead list, briefly: EDS. Editors.

29. Helicopter parts: ROTORS.

30. Big fuss: ADO.  Much ADO about nothing.

34. "This minute!": NOW.

36. Pooh-pooh: SNEEZE AT.  Did you ever notice when preparing a big one, you need to fill your lungs with air.  I enjoy sneezing. It assumes that I don't have the virus.

37. Lettered theater locations: ROWS.  Make sure you sit at least six feet apart.

38. Dr. of rap: DRE.

39. Plead with: BEG.

40. Hyundai sedan: ELANTRA. We are preferring the Santa Fe when the time comes. I filled my tank on March 13, and filled again last week.  It took 12 gallons.

41. Electrical measuring device: AMMETER.

43. Loses strength: WEAKENS.  I think my meds WEAKEN my legs a bit but I can still hit a golf ball.  And take a cart.

44. Went in: ENTERED.

45. NFL six-pointers: TDS.  Indeed!  I wonder if they are going to play this fall and will the stadiums be 25% filled??  I guess I don't care about a ticket.  I have not seen a game in person since they moved from the Metrodome to U.S. Bank Stadium.  But my TV still works!!

47. Droop: SAG.

49. Friendly honk: TOOT.  TOOT,TOOT, Tootsie, don't cry.

51. Endures: LASTS.

52. Six-decade actress Barrymore: ETHEL.  Fred's wife on the "I Love Lucy" show.

56. Writer Harte: BRET.  My son's name also.

57. Rd. map lines: RTES.

58. Fall mo.: OCT.  My birthday month. Usually I can still play golf.  It does not look like I will be doing that other sport anytime soon.

59. Real estate ad abbr.: RMS.

61. "Caught you!": OHO.  Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of Diet Pepsi.

62. Miss Piggy catchword: MOI.


Apr 13, 2020

Monday April 13, 2020 Kurt Krauss

Theme: Colorful Songs

17. Colorful Top 10 Beatles hit: YELLOW SUBMARINE.

21. Colorful Top 10 Prince hit: PURPLE RAIN.

37. Colorful Top 10 Lemon Pipers hit: GREEN TAMBOURINE.

46. Colorful Top 10 Rolling Stones hit: BROWN SUGAR.

54. Colorful Top 10 Santana hit: BLACK MAGIC WOMAN.

Boomer here.  

Looks like a rainbow of colors in the puzzle.  "Why are there so many songs about rainbows, and what's on the other side?"  (Kermit).


1. Time gone by: PAST.  While traffic is lighter than normal, Many cars are flying PAST, driving recklessly and we had over 12 fatal accident in Minnesota last week. Almost as many Covid-19 deaths.

5. Wedding VIPs with playlists: DJS.  DJS DJS, why not just invite me to sing.

8. Shot of liquor: JIGGER. I thought a Jigger was 1-1/2 shot.  But I gave up liquor in favor of chemo pills.

14. Do recon at, as an enemy camp: SCOUT OUT.

16. Collection of beehives: APIARY.

19. Apple mobile platform: IOS.

20. "When is a door not a door?," e.g.: RIDDLE.  Duh, when it's ajar.

26. GPS suggestions: RTES.  These days people just ask Siri on their phone.

27. Bad picnic omen: ANT. It still amazes me how they build their houses in the middle of our driveway.

28. Treasure container: CHEST.  Mine contains my rib cage.

33. Vienna's land: Abbr.: AUS. Austria.

34. Delhi dress: SARI.  Sounds like the voice in the phone.

36. Hamm's "Mad Men" role: DRAPER.  I am confused.  Hamm's is a St. Paul beer.  They sponsored a very famous bowling team in Minneapolis. The team won a national all events title in 1965, and two 5 man team ABC championships in 1970 and 1972.  The last surviving member of that team and a good friend of mine, Bob Hanson passed away last month.  He was 93.

Bob and his son Gregg

40. Open, as a present: UNWRAP.

41. "Jeopardy!" first name: ALEX.  I watch two episodes nearly every day.  Remember I am stuck in the basement with a TV set and nowhere to go.  Alex is a bit boring, but I absolutely admire him for hanging in there with pancreatic cancer.

42. Moon lander, for short: LEM.  Short for Lunar Excursion Module.  I think Apollo 11 left it on the moon, but I cannot see it from here.

43. English county on the North Sea: ESSEX.

44. Absorbed, as a cost: ATE.  Or finished, like a hamburger.

45. A bit, in music: POCO.

49. __ of Liberty: STATUE.  It bothers me when the Statue appears in Liberty Mutual commercials.  ("Give me your tired, your poor.  Your huddled masses yearning to breath free.)

53. Granola kernel: OAT.  "Mares eat oats, and does eat oats, but little lambs eat ivy.  A kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you ?"

60. Portable HP, say: LAPTOP.  Where I put my bowling ball when I'm changing shoes.

61. All tangled up: IN A SNARL.

62. Dwell constantly (on): OBSESS.

63. Home of MLB's Cardinals: STL. Also home of a river we send them called the Mississippi.  There is a power plant dam on the Mississippi about a mile from our home.  C.C. and I have walked across it many times.  It's a little less than a mile across up here.  I've been to St. Louis and it's about 4 miles across there.  Must be even wider as it heads to Louisiana.

Boomer, August 2, 2019

64. A few: SOME.


1. College maj. for a future therapist: PSY.

2. Trick taker, usually: ACE.  ACE hardware stores were designated essential up here and are open during our stay at home order.  We did not need any hardware.

3. Note after fa: SOL.  "SOL a needle pulling thread, La, a note that follows SOL.  TI, a drink with jam and bread ! That will bring us back to DOE.  The hills are alive, with the Sound of Music.

4. Dutch floral export: TULIPS.  We are receiving temps in the 30s this week.  Too early to tiptoe through the TULIPS.  Tiny Tim.

5. Search for water: DOWSE.

6. Gravy, on menus: JUS.  I thought Au Jus was just juice before you add the flour.

7. Guy's name spelled with an alphabet sequence: STU

8. Pack very tightly: JAM IN. Anyone JAMMING IN for a party these days is asking to be a statistic.

9. Apple tablet: IPAD.

10. Encircle with a belt: GIRD.  I have a Copper Fit one,  But do not call it a girdle.

11. O'Grady of "NYPD Blue": GAIL.  I think I have seen every episode twice.  I think Gail hooked up with Greg Medavoy.  Andy Sipowitz called his medical problem "Prostrate Cancer".

12. Sea eagle: ERNE.

13. Corned beef on __: RYE.  Seems like forever since St. Patrick's Day when our governor locked us down.  No sauerkraut sandwich for me.

15. Home Depot purchase: TOOL.  I guess Home Depot and Lowe's are still open here.

18. Petrol pumper: BRIT.

21. Czech Republic capital: PRAGUE.  We have a "New PRAGUE" in Minnesota.  I suppose it may have been settled by Czech immigrants at one time.

22. About-faces: U-TURNS.  No U-Turns, but C.C. and I get out for a walk now and then when our thermometer hits 50, and we see a lot of traffic, and I don't think they are going to a grocery store, post office or bank.  Maybe they are going to Home Depot or Lowe's. 

23. Adjusts, as a hem: RESEWS.

24. __ avis: RARA. RA RA RA for SKY U MAH

25. Lively, in music: ANIMATO.

28. Central idea: CRUX.

29. Kramden laugh syllable: HAR.  HAR, HAR, HARDY HAR, HAR

30. Literary wrap-up: EPILOG.

31. Five Nations tribe: SENECA.  Settled near Lake Ontario.

32. Aftershock: TREMOR.  In 1968, I lived through one of these at Fort Campbell, KY.  The next day we learned that it was felt in a number of states.  Anybody remember this ?

34. Munchies, in adspeak: SNAX.

35. Novak Djokovic's org.: ATP.

36. Anonymous John: DOE. A deer, a female deer, Re a drop of golden sun, Mi, a name I call myself, Fa a long long way to run See 3 Down.

38. Before, old-style: ERE.

39. Huffed and puffed: BLEW.  Who's afraid of the big bad wolf ??

44. Length times width, for a rectangle: AREA.  More geometry for the weak.

45. Hoaxes: PUT-ONS.

46. Dirt road irregularities: BUMPS.  We have plenty of these in MN.  I guess they cannot fill the damage with tar until the weather warms up.

47. Diet-friendly: NO-CAL.  I am stuck on Diet Pepsi.

48. Carpentry tools: SAWS.

49. Concrete section: SLAB.

50. Lights-out music: TAPS.  This was traditional on an army base.  Stop what you are doing, face a flag and salute.

51. Part of un drame: ACTE.

52. Bout enders, briefly: TKOS.  Back in the days of Clay and Foreman, there were some vicious TKOs.

54. Rain-__ gum: BLO.  Never heard of this.  We had Fleer and Double Bubble, but we preferred Topps baseball card gum.  This was in the 60s and 70s.  I don't think Fleer printed cards until the 80s.  except they printed a small set in 1963, but no one cared much. 

55. PX patrons: GIS.  We had a huge one at Fort Campbell. When I got to Hardheim Germany, the PX was just a small room where you could buy cigarettes and aspirin.

56. Bad result for a QB: INT.

57. Cultural Revolution chairman: MAO.

58. Branch: ARM.  I have two.  I never knew they were called branches.

59. Phillies' div.: NLE.  I wonder if there will be a season this year.  A Major League baseball stadium is not a place where spectators can hover six feet apart with a mask on.


Mar 23, 2020

Monday March 23, 2020 Kurt Krauss

Theme: GETTING CLOSER (36. Parlor game encouragement suggested by the starts of 17-, 28-, 45- and 60-Across)
17. *Very limited consolation: COLD COMFORT.

28. *Tidy Lotto prize: COOL MILLION.

45. *Genuine greetings: WARM REGARDS.

60. *In-demand real estate listing: HOT PROPERTY.

Boomer here. 

Thank you for describing Minnesota weather from January to June.  The news media is still swamped with news of the Covid-19 virus.  I hope the Crossword Corner Family is staying healthy and safe.  Our Governor here in Minnesota has closed bars, restaurants, schools, public places, and - sadly- Bowling centers. Both of my leagues have been called off for the season. No banquets either. So now, we are all just sitting around and waiting for our share of prize money, so we can buy more toilet paper. Sorry to make a bad joke because this is serious and I hope we can recover.

1. Bldg. units attended to by supers: APTS.  Lived in one for many years.  Very happy to have a modest townhome now.

5. "Queen of Soul" Franklin: ARETHA.  The "Queen of Soul".  Left us in August, 2018.

11. Flow back, as the tide: EBB.  I wish the Stock Market would stop EBBing.

14. Half a toy train?: CHOO.  Or "Part of a sneeze".

15. "You cheated!": NO FAIR.  We have a state fair in the fall that attracts thousands and thousands.  Hopefully the virus threat will subside so people can have some fun.

16. Water tester: TOE.

19. Gasteyer of "Mean Girls": ANA.  SNL Graduate.

20. Approaches: NEARS.

21. "__ show time!": IT'S.  IT'S about time.

22. Illuminated: LIT.

23. Left-hand page: VERSO. Vs. "recto".

24. Sun.-to-Sat. periods: WKS.  I wish someone could zero in on the number of WKS that this virus shut down might last.  I've heard every estimate from 6 to 60.

26. Go for the hook: BITE.  I hope it's not a carp.  Fishing is a bit dangerous this time of year.  The ice over on lakes prevents boats, however, walk out at your own risk.  I think houses needed to be off the lakes by March 15.

27. Greek vowel: ETA.

32. Skin pics: TATS.  Not my favorite.  I do not own any body art.

34. Boston skyscraper, with "the": PRU.  Dential insurance.  NOT Dental insurance.

35. Low grade: DEE.  There are many Dianes and Dianas out there who might argue about the "Low Grade".

41. Novelist Rand: AYN.

42. "The Simpsons" bartender: MOE.  Also a buddy of Larry and Curly.  For us old guys who do not watch The Simpsons.

43. Northern New Mexico art community: TAOS. A very art worthy town. I believe Georgia O'Keeffe is most famous.

50. Monotonous routine: RUT.  With home confinement, I feel I am in a rut.

51. Above: ATOP.

52. Number that's its own square root: ONE.  "ONE, is the loneliest number that you'll ever know".  Three Dog Night.

53. Beav's big brother: WALLY.  And his friend was Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford.  A PGA Golfer from Minnesota named Tim Herron also looked like "Clarence" so now guess what his nickname is.

55. Bumped into: MET.  "As I was walking to St. Ive's, I met a man with seven wives".

56. Nashville awards org.: CMA.  Country Music.  I was not too smart.  18 months at Fort Campbell, KY, and I never made it to the Grand Old Opry in Nashville.

58. Scout's merit __: BADGE.

59. Square of butter: PAT.  Mr. Boone was not square, now he's selling bathtubs on TV.

64. Apply: USE.

65. Iron deficiency concern: ANEMIA.  "We call it Tired Blood"

66. Riga resident: LETT.  LETT us pray. Our archbishop closed all the churches  except for weddings and funerals.  However only a maximum of 10 humans may attend either event.

67. Guys: MEN.  Tom Cruise was one of the few good ones.

68. Fails to: DOESN'T.

69. Watched closely: EYED.


1. Duke's conf.: ACC.  Many thought Duke was a contender in the NCAA tournament.

2. Back-and-forth missed calls: PHONE TAG.  I answer my phone about 4 times a day. Once a week it is someone worth talking with.

3. Put up with: TOLERATE.

4. Root beers, e.g.: SODAS.  Diet Pepsi and diet Ginger Ale are my favorites.

5. Calendario units: ANOS.

6. Bucharest is its cap.: ROM. Romania.

7. Terrible grade: EFF.  I did receive an "F" in college.  It was in French.  But I also got an "A" in bowling.

8. Lao-tzu's philosophy: TAOISM.

9. Trumpeter Al: HIRT.  Dixieland Trumpeter from New Orleans.

10. Performing __: ARTS.

11. Bibliography space-saver: ET ALII.  Et no favorite of Joe Frazierr.

12. Beautiful, in Barcelona: BONITO.

13. Scrambled, as eggs: BEATEN.

18. Gator's kin: CROC.

23. Chow Chow checker: VET.  Wow, I have never been called that, have you Veterans out there??

24. __-out: exhausted: WORN.  Not yet, but I am getting there.

25. Jack who played Quincy: KLUGMAN.  More famous to me as Oscar Madison.

26. Sanctified: BLEST.  I used to spell this "BLESSED", but never mind.  The churches are all closed.

29. Express a view: OPINE.  Yup, Everyone has an OPINION!

30. Twiddled one's thumbs: IDLED.  Let my van warm up in the driveway.

31. "Seinfeld" uncle: LEO.  Loud talker.

33. "Forever" post office purchase: STAMP.  Our post office did not have the new Arnold Palmer stamps, but C.C. was able to order online.  Still waiting for them.

37. Norse war god: TYR.

38. Apple throwaway: CORE.  "And from the Garden of Eden, picked the apple they was eatin' and I swear that I'm the one that et the CORE.  The Braggin' Song.  Chad Mitchell and many.

39. Tea named for William IV's prime minister: EARL GREY.

40. Casino wheel: ROULETTE. A decent bet. There are 38 numbers on the wheel and a single number bet pays 35 - 1.  Black-Red and Odd-Even- and High Low are even money bets.

44. Snorters' quarters: STY.  I get it.  Snorers' quarters are my bedroom.

45. Beads once used by Native Americans as currency: WAMPUM.  Now we have Native American casinos all over Minnesota and Wisconsin where you can blow you Wampum maybe on a roulette wheel.

46. Opposite of "Atten-hut!": AT EASE.

47. Way past ripe: ROTTEN.

48. Pointed beard: GOATEE.  I tried a regular beard one winter.  Pretty itchy.

49. Cashless deal: SWAP.  We used to have a number of these in the Baseball Card Collecting world.

54. One-named "Hello" singer: ADELE.

56. Landlocked African land: CHAD.  Did he not once form the CHAD Mitchell Trio ??

57. Like old records: MONO.  Mostly were 78RPM records played on a turntable with one speaker.  You may want to sit by the fire someday and tell your grandkids about it.

58. Dinghy or dory: BOAT. These are those things I mentioned that are sitting around waiting for the ice to melt.

61. Canadian VIPs: PMS.

62. __ Tin Tin: RIN.  1950s TV show.

63. Since Jan. 1: YTD.


Mar 5, 2020

Thursday, March 5th 2020 Kurt Krauss

Theme Trouble Ahead - a none-too sunny outlook in the forecast:

34A. Song first sung by Ethel Waters at Harlem's Cotton Club ... and a hint to four other long answers: STORMY WEATHER. Too good a music link to pass up.

17A. They're ominous: DARK CLOUDS

28A. They're luminous: LIGHTNING BOLTS. One of the most colorful light shows I saw was a lighting storm in the Amazon basin flying above it at 35,000 feet. It wasn't just flashes of white, it was like the Northern Lights gone crazy.

42A. They're clamorous: THUNDER SHOWERS. Paired with the lightning bolts. Quite spectacular unless you're caught out in the open.

59. They're ruinous: HAILSTONES. The largest recorded hailstone in the U.S. was nearly as big as a volleyball and fell on July 23, 2010, in Vivian, South Dakota. It was 8 inches in diameter and weighed almost 2 pounds. That's one hailstone you don't want to get hit by.

Hailstones were certainly ruinous to this car:

Neatly done by Kurt with the adjectival cluing. A fun, quality puzzle, so no more to say other than to meander through the fill and see what splashes over the rocks:


1. __ Plaines: Chicago suburb: DES. Just north of O'Hare airport, and proud home of Ray Kroc's first franchised McDonald's restaurant. The town is named for the river, whose name, in turn, comes from 18th century French, referencing the plane tree which is similar in appearance to the American sycamore.

4. J. Edgar Hoover Building org.: THE F.B.I.

10. Catch: TRAP

14. Suffix with hero: -INE

15. Sea between Greece and Turkey: AEGEAN. A wonderful region for sailing, the Mediterranean has a very small tidal range and rarely gets rough at the Eastern end. I spent a few vacations chartering a sailboat; in the region only rarely did we encounter "stormy weather" where the crew were "feeding the fishes"! More complicated was knowing when to fly a Greek or Turkish flag approaching a secluded island mooring. Get it right, you eat a great meal at at the only restaurant on the island. Get it wrong ...

16. Dutch South African: BOER

19. Decent-sized lot: ACRE

20. "No more, thanks": I'M GOOD

21. End of many long weekends: Abbr.: MON.

23. Ad __ committee: HOC

24. Many a "Twilight" character: TEEN

25. Gulf State native: OMANI. A crossword staple, but I sent myself down the wrong alley by getting fixated on U.S. states on the Gulf Coast.

27. That, in Oaxaca: ESA

32. Word in a January song: AULD. lang syne. Incidentially before it was dubbed "The Athens of the North", Edinburgh was (and still is) somewhat affectionately known as "Auld Reekie".

33. Wood strip: SLAT

40. Flat-bottomed boat: SCOW. It could be PUNT, so I wait and see.

41. "Sesame Street" pal of Zoe: ELMO

49. "Jingle Bells" contraction: O'ER. You have to get to the fourth verse tae find it, but it's there.

50. Last Supper question: IS IT I?

51. "Ivy and __": kid-lit series by Annie Barrows: BEAN. Thank you, crosses.

53. Infamous Amin: IDI

54. More than unfriendly: ICY

55. Breed of sheep: MERINO. What do you call a sheep with quarterback skills? Dan Merino. Which inspired me to get out a Sharpie and a piece of paper, and with no cartooning skills, here I present my own Dan Merino:

Signed, limited edition copies are available! Time for a second career?

57. Astrological transition point: CUSP

62. Wasatch Mountains resort: ALTA. Thank you, crosses. Neither the resort nor the mountain region had hitherto blipped my radar.

63. "Twilight" vampire: EDWARD. I should watch more vampire and zombie shows, I'm clueless with this stuff. Crosses to the rescue again.

64. Suffix with Brooklyn: -ESE. The dropped "r" used to be considered posh - FDR's “The only thing we have to feah is feah itself”. Post WWII it became the language of Archie Bunker and Tony Soprano.

65. For fear that: LEST

66. Trounces: WHOMPS

67. Some NFL blockers: R.T.S. Right Tackles. If your quarterback is left-handed (like Steve Young) you're guarding his blind side, so you'd better be on your toes (as much as a 350lb tackle can be!).


1. Finished a job: DID IT

2. Dental layer: ENAMEL

3. Composer Rachmaninoff: SERGEI

4. Food truck fare: TACO. Food! The taco is probably LA's signature food item, in my humble opinion. The mariscos jalisco shrimp tacos from Raul Ortega's truck in Boyle Heights are the best in the city, and there's a lot to choose from!

5. Believed: HELD

6. Swelled head: EGO

7. Pot-au-__: French stew: FEU

8. Outlaw: BAD MAN. I ran through a few options here. BANISH was my first and I was rather proud of identifying a verb, rather than a noun. Then I was wrong. Pride comes before a fall, as they say.

9. Happy way to break out: IN SONG. Tra-laaaaaa!

10. Abbr. in an unfilled TV slot: T.B.A

11. New __, NY: home of Iona College: ROCHELLE

12. Ford's first minivan: AEROSTAR

13. Like some concrete: PRE-CAST

18. Big ape: KONG

22. Bird's beak: NIB. This is interesting - I knew NIB only in the fountain-pen sense, or as a small piece of black licorice.

25. Sole: ONLY

26. Corn Belt region: MIDWEST

29. Guffaw syllable: HAR

30. Rum __ Tugger: "Cats" role: TUM

The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat:
If you offer him pheasant he would rather have grouse.
If you put him in a house he would much prefer a flat,
If you put him in a flat then he'd rather have a house.
If you set him on a mouse then he only wants a rat,
If you set him on a rat then he'd rather chase a mouse.

T.S.Eliot. "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats."

31. __Kosh B'gosh: OSH. Wis-KAAan- sin, while are on the subject of Brooklynese.

34. Bus kiosk posting: SCHEDULE

35. Ones seeing things: TOURISTS

36. Dominate: OWN

37. K-12, in education: EL-HI

38. Latin lover's word: AMO, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant. C.C. and I once offered a puzzle to an (unnamed) editor who turned it down - he didn't pronounce the words the same way that we did. (Or I did, to be fair).

39. Parking violation risk: TOW. Expensive. I once was with a friend on Hollywood Boulevard when he got his car towed from outside Musso and Frank in the late afternoon. He "swore he'd parked it right here" until I pointed out the sign right above the empty space that read "Two Hour Parking 10-4. Violators will be towed". It was 4:30. Oops.

40. Showing no emotion: STOICAL

43. 502, in old Rome: DII

44. Steer clear of: ESCHEW. I always thought it was "enschew". Crosswords corrected me.

45. Saudi Arabian capital: RIYADH

46. Iberian river to the Mediterranean: EBRO

47. Carl with nine Emmys: REINER

48. Most sensible: SANEST

52. Snoops (around): NOSES

55. Car sticker no.: MSRP

56. Postings at an airline gate, for short: ETD'S

58. Vanna's partner: PAT. All together now: Wheel! Of! Fortune!

60. __ Jima: IWO

61. Quick flight: LAM. Of course I confidently filled in "HOP" and was proved wrong. Too impulsive! Nice clue.

Fun puzzle, thank you Kurt, the grid is here and I'm off, sated and happy with a great puzzle.


Feb 12, 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 Kurt Krauss

Theme:  Throwing you a curve.  Here we have hidden words -- well, not so hidden if you got the circled letters.  And they all are completely different meanings of the word PITCH.  Each is split across two words of the theme fill, in each case with one separated letter. Lets have a look.

17 A. *Power outage standbys: GAS LANTERNS. Ours are battery powered, but to each his own.  Here,  PITCH means the SLANT, as of, frex, your roof.  This is also known as the SLOPE and is calculated as the rise divided by the run.

24 A. *"I don't care if you made plans, cancel them": GET OUT OF IT!  What? And give up a date with my lovely wife?  Not a chance!  Here we have an aggressive sales PITCH [which I am not buying] or, in verb form, to TOUT something, as an attempt to promote or convince

39 A. *Morally upright person: STRAIGHT ARROW.  One who lives according to rigidly proper or conventional standards.   The words PITCH and TAR are often used interchangeably, denoting a type of viscoelastic polymer extracted from petroleum, coal tar or by heating plant matter. It can be used as a marine caulk and for other types of water proofing.  PITCH is considered to be more solid, while TAR is more on the liquid side. The distinction seems a bit arbitrary.

53 A. *Stretch between two Bushes: CLINTON ERA.  You were probably thinking of a gap in the hedge row.  But, no.  This refers to the 41st, 42nd and 43rd presidents of the United Sates. The CLINTON era included most of the last decade of the most recent past century, and separated the terms of presidents Bush Sr. and Jr.  Here TONE describes a musical sound.  The clue relates it to the PITCH which is a vibrational frequency, relative to a standard reference, typically A = 442 Hz. This is close but not quite right. TONE refers to sound quality and timbral characteristics.  The TONE of a piano is different from the TONE of a trombone. And my TONE can vary daily based on any number of factors.  To complicate matters further, playing in tune, that is, at the proper PITCH, is called proper intonation.  Music terminology is not always rational.  Farther down that rabbit hole we shall not venture.

And, at last, the unifier -- 64 A. Ballpark brushback, perhaps ... and a hint to each set of circled letters: INSIDE PITCH.  This refers to a baseball thrown off the plate by the PITCHER, in or near the occupied batter's box, either accidentally or on purpose, possibly to make the batter uncomfortable.  MLB pitchers and catchers are reporting to their training camps this week, many of them today, so this theme is quite timely.  The other sense of the unifier is to describe the meaning of each target word HIDDEN in the theme fill entry.

Hi, Gang.  JazzBumpa here to umpire today's game.  I might not get all the calls right, but I promise to be fair.  And, yes, I do need glasses.


1. Home on the range: RANCH.  A plot of land and associated structures, typically devoted to raising and grazing live stock.

6. Hardly wimpy: MACHO.  Showing aggressive pride in one's masculinity.

11. Film watcher's channel: TMC. Turner Movie Classics.

14. Take the honey and run: ELOPE.  Run away to get married, typically secretly and without parental consent. Clever clue.  Did you hear about the heart broken melons who found out they cantaloupe?

15. "Encore!": AGAIN.  Request from an audience to have another song played after the scheduled program.

16. Évian water: EAU.  Water in French

19. Digital readout, for short: LCD. Liquid Crystal Display.

20. Up the creek: IN A SPOT.  Colloquially, in a bad situation.

21. "I, Claudius" star Jacobi: DEREK. [b 1938] British actor and stage director.

23. RSVP part: SIL. RSVP is short hand for Répondez s'il vous plaît, meaning "please respond." I can't parse the French, and Google translate renders s'il as "it."  So I'm not sure what the word [if it is a word and not a particle] actually means.

28. Airplane assignment: SEAT. Haven't been on a plane in years, but I will be next month.

31. Escape: LAM. In flight [not necessarily on a plane,] usually from law enforcement.  To be "on the lam" is late 19th century American slang of uncertain origin.

32. Man-to-man defense alternative: ZONE.  Ways of playing defensive schemes.  I'm thinking American football, but it probably applies to other sports as well.

33. Treat like a dog?: PET. Interesting and misdirecting word play.  To treat somebody like a dog means to be nasty to them.  But to give a dog a treat is to give the canine a nice reward.  This can be a food morsel or a show of physical affection.  Well played!

35. Place for a "ped" to cross: XING.  Abbreviated signage vocabulary indicating a pedestrian crossing at a roadway.

38. Bobbsey girl: NAN.  On of the famous twins from old time kiddie lit.

43. __-fi: SCI.  Abbrv. for science fiction, a genre of speculative literature.

44. Big rig: SEMI.  This is some blurry vocabulary.  The rig is the truck or tractor part of a tractor-trailer combination.   The SEMI is trailer without a front axle. Much of the trailers weight is supported by the tractor.  I doubt most people are this precise when speaking of these items.

45. Bandleader Lombardo: GUY. Of the Royal Canadiens, famous for playing Auld Lang Syne at the start of a new year.  His sugary saxophones played with vibrato about a minor third wide.  I hate that sound.  It was dated before I was born. /rant.

46. Beanery sign: EATS. Indicates an establishment unlikely to offer gourmet fare.

48. Ticker tape letters?: EKG.  The ticker being one's heart, and the tape being the paper graph readout of an electrocardiogram machine.  Clever!

50. Award adjective: BEST.  As in ___ Picture, ____ Actor, ____ In Show, etc.

57. "Huh!?": WHA?   Expressions of confusion or disbelief.

59. __ squash: ACORN.  A dark green winter squash that is roughly acorn shaped.

60. Language spoken by Jesus: ARAMAIC.

63. Bygone airline: TWATrans World Airlines, established in 1930 and acquired by American Airlines in 2001.

67. Rock's Fleetwood __: MAC.

68. Code name: MORSE.  Not a name in code, but the name of a code.

69. Driving instructor's urgent reminder: BRAKE.  The most important thing any vehicle can do is stop safely.

70. "Hometown Proud" supermarket chain: IGA.  Nope.  Not a chain.  The Independent Grocer's Alliance, founded in 1926, operates as a franchise with stores that are independently owned and operated, mostly as family businesses in small towns.

71. Weapon with a hilt: SWORD.  The hilt is the handle of a bladed weapon.

72. Fills completely: SATES.  Literal.


1. TV host Philbin: REGIS. Regis Francis Xavier Philbin [b 1931] is an American media personality who holds the Guinness world record for most time spent in front of a TV camera.

2. "Jagged Little Pill" co-songwriter Morissette: ALANIS.  [b1974] She is a Canadian singer, song writer, record producer and actress.

3. Old register key: NO SALE.  This opens the cash drawer in an instance when no transaction has occurred.

4. They report to sgts.: CPLS.  Sergeants and Corporals in the military.

5. Pile: HEAP.  Stuff thrown together in an unorganized way

6. Barbie's company: MATTEL.  True, but doesn't Ken keep her company? Barbie is a fashion doll introduced in 1959.  There have been many variants over the years since.

7. Get on in years: AGE.  This is what I do.

8. Aries or Taurus: CAR. A Plymouth and a Ford.  Any resemblance to signs of the zodiac is completely accidental.

9. Like many yoga practitioners: HINDU.  From the Indian subcontinent.

10. Beginning: ONSET.

11. Ringer in la casa: TELEFONO.  In a Spanish speaking home.

12. Wool coat that is often plaid: MACKINAW. Made of a heavy, water-resistant cloth.  They were originally made in the Straits of Mackinaw [or Mackinac, same pronunciation -it's a Michigan thing] region in the early 1800's, before Michigan was even a thing.

13. Something to chew: CUD.  If you are a cow.

18. Holiday quaff: NOG. A drink made from eggs, sugar and milk or cream, often alcoholic.

22. Cartoonist Chast: ROZ. [b 1954]  Staff cartoonist for the New Yorker, also publishes in Harvard Business Review and Scientific American.

25. Source of increased government revenue: TAX HIKE.  Yes - contrary to what you might have been told, this really is how it works.

26. Overlook: OMIT. Leave out.

27. Common base: TEN. Math?  Who said there would be math?

29. Auto financing abbr.: APRAnnual Percentage Rate.  And more math!

30. Afternoon affairs: TEAS.  Small meals where TEA is served with sandwiches some time in the afternoon, since dinner isn't until 8:00.  Wait --- what were you thinking?

Nope -- this is not ABBA

34. Even score: TIE.

36. Pester: NAG.

37. Pub __: casual fare: GRUB.  Ugly sounding word for simple food.

39. Rascal: SCALAWAG. Someone whose bad behavior is amusingly mischievous rather than evil. Or so I've been told. YMMV.

40. Bolivian border lake: TITICACA.  At an elevation of 12, 507 feet, it is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world.

41. Fed. agents: G-MEN. Government Men - federal law enforcement agents.

42. Deli choice: RYE. Bread for sandwiches.  Most delis don't serve whiskey.

43. Brief time: SEC.  An abbreviated second - so probably shorter than a normal second? 

47. __-Caps: candy: SNO.  Semi-sweet chocolate drops covered in white nonpareils.

49. Marked for the class: GRADED.  Did you get 100%?

51. Go after, as a fly: SWAT AT.  And usually miss.

52. "The Masked Singer" judge Robin: THICKE. [b 1977] An American singer, song writer and record producer.

54. Cuts back: TRIMS.

55. Currently airing: ON NOW.

56. "All bets __ off": ARE.

58. Flu symptoms: ACHES.

61. LAPD alerts: APBS. All Points Bulletins.  Broadcasts issued by a law enforcement agency to its personnel, or to other agencies, typically containing information about a wanted suspect.

62. Actress Sorvino: MIRA. [b1967] An American actress who has won Golden Globe and Academy awards.

63. Texter's "No more details!": Too Much Information.   Please -- tell me less.

65. Sellout letters: SRO. Standing Room Only

66. Leb. neighbor: ISRael.  Countries along the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea.

So - the game is now over.  Hope you didn't have to many swings and misses.  And remember - they're all judgment calls.

Cool regards!

Nov 26, 2019

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 Kurt Krauss

Don't Go Away Mad, Just GO Outside!  Each two-word theme answer begins with the letter G and ends in O, hence the word "GO" is on the "outside" of each answer.

17-Across. Transmission specification: GEAR RATIO.  How to determine Gear Ratio:
25-Across. Stockholm-born three-time Best Actress nominee: GRETA GARBO.   This Swedish actress never actually said, "I want to be alone."  According to her, she said, "I want to be let alone."

Greta Garbo (née Greta Lovisa Gustafsson; Sept. 18, 1905 ~ Apr. 15, 1990)

36-Across. Longtime New Year's Eve bandleader: GUY LOMBARDO.  Guy Lombardo (né Gaetano Alberto Lombardo; June 19, 1902 ~ Nov. 5, 1977), was a Canadian-born musician.  In 1924, he formed the Royal Canadians along with his brothers.  He began his tradition of playing big band music on New Year's Eve in 1929.  His band could be heard on this date for the next 47 years ~ first on radio, then finally in the late 50s on television.

50-Across. Video game series with a Warriors of Rock edition: GUITAR HERO.

And the unifier:
59-Across. Leave the house ... and a literal feature of 17-, 25-, 36- and 50-Across: GO OUTSIDE.

1. Cigar residue: ASH.

4. "West Side Story" sides: GANGS.

9. Cul-__: dead-end street: DE-SAC.

14. Versatile truck, for short: UTE.

15. Head off: AVERT.

16. Oven emanation: AROMA.

19. Divided island of Southeast Asia: TIMOR.  The island is divided between East Timor and Indonesia.

20. Fielder's mishap: ERROR.  Think baseball.

21. Irish watering hole: PUB.  The Best Irish Pubs according to the Irish Post.

23. Trucker on a radio: CB-ER.

24. Catch one's breath: REST.

28. Barfly: SOT.

29. Run out of juice: DIE.

30. Weekend show with Aidy Bryant, to fans: SNL.  Aidy Bryant (née Aidan Mackenzy Bryant; b. May 7, 1987) is an American comedian who has been a cast member on Saturday Night Live since 2012.

31. "Dig in!": EAT.

32. Actress Berry: HALLE.  Halle Berry (née Maria Halle Berry; b. Aug. 14, 1966), is probably best known for her role in the 2001 movie Monster's Ball, which also starred Billy Bob Thornton.

34. Real estate units: ACRES.  Some Acres are Green.

39. Dalmatian marks: SPOTS.  This dog breed can actually trace its roots to the Dalmatia region of Croatia.  Can you Spot the Dalmatians on the book's cover?

41. Skin irritations: SORES.

42. PC key near Z: ALT.  The Alt key, or optional key, is used to change the function of another pressed key.  //  And 54-Across. Escape key function: UNDO.

43. Partners for mas: PAs.  Ma and Pa Kettle were a bit before my time, but I remember hearing about them.

46. Terminate: END.

47. Suffix with Brooklyn: -ESE.  As in Brooklyese, the dialect of speech associated with Brooklyn.

53. Dashing style: ELAN.  A crossword staple.

55. Comfy footwear: MOC.

56. Leave the chair: STAND.  Here's a chair with its stand.

57. Secret Service role: AGENT.

62. Rodeo rope: REATA.

63. Bring together: UNITE.

64. Gp. that isn't gun-shy: NRA.  As in the National Rifle Association.

65. Welles on-screen: ORSON.  Orson Welles (né George Orson Welles; May 6, 1915 ~ Oct. 10, 1985), is probably best known for his role as Charles Foster Kane in the 1941 movie, Citizen Kane.  The character of Kane was believed to have been modeled after the San Simeon Castle Builder of 3-Down: William Randolph HEARST.

66. Hall of Fame pitcher Ryan: NOLAN.  Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. (b. Jan. 31, 1947), had a 27 -year career in major league baseball.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.

67. Corn serving: EAR.

1. Hole-making tools: AUGERS.  Scary looking tools!

2. Den music system: STEREO.

3. San Simeon castle builder: HEARST.  See 65-Across.

William Randolph Hearst (Apr. 23, 1863 ~ Aug. 14, 1951)

4. Teri of "Young Frankenstein": GARR.  Teri Ann Garr (b. Dec. 11, 1944) was so funny in Young Frankenstein.

5. Gardner of the silver screen: AVA.  Ava Gardner (née Dec. 24, 1922 ~ Jan. 25, 1990) was one of Frank Sinatra's wives.  Her first marriage was to Mickey Rooney, then she married Artie Shaw.

6. Badminton divider: NET.

7. Beef: GRIPE.

8. Strong ales: STOUTS.

9. Not dis?: DAT.

10. CNN journalist Hill: ERICA.  Erica Ruth Hill (b. July 20, 1976) was the co-anchor of Weekend Today for several years.

11. Mariachi's hat: SOMBRERO.

12. One-celled swimmers: AMOEBAE.  Anatomy of an amoeba.  For a 1-celled critter, it sure has a lot of parts.

13. Orange veggies: CARROTS.  Anyone remember Captain Kangaroo and Bunny Rabbit?

18. Hogwash: ROT.

22. Keep out: BAN.

25. Fish organ: GILL.

26. Move, in realty ads: RE-LO.

27. Shone with a nearly blinding light: GLARED.

29. Pampering place: DAY SPA.  A nice place to be pampered.  Many day spas, however, can be very pricy.

32. Simple shelter: HUT.

33. Ambulance letters: EMS.  I initially tried EMT, for Emergency Medical Technician.  Unfortunately, that gave me Tores for Skin Irratations (41-Across).

35. S&L offerings: CDs.  As in Certificate of Deposits.

36. Looked through a home remodeling magazine, perhaps: GOT IDEAS.

37. Transvaal settler: BOER.  Transvaal is a province of South Africa.  The word Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans noun for farmer, and refers to the Dutch and Huguenot population that settled in South Africa in the late 17th century.

38. Florence's river: ARNO.

The Ponte Vecchio over the Arno in Florence, Italy.

39. Arizona cactus: SAGUARO.

40. Tool that unclogs using suction: PLUNGER.

44. Chair part for elbow resting: ARM.

45. Feudal Japanese military ruler: SHŌGUN.  It's also the title of a novel by James Clavell.

47. "Seinfeld" regular: ELAINE.  The character of Elaine was played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus (b. Jan. 13, 1961).  She wasn't a very good dancer.

48. Former Justice __ Day O'Connor: SANDRA.  Sandra Day O'Connor (b. Mar.. 26, 1930) was the first female United States Supreme Court Justice.  She was nominated to the High Court by President Ronald Reagan.  She replaced Potter Stewart on the Court.  When she retired in 2006, after having served no the Court for nearly 25 years, Samuel Alito replaced her.

49. Make beloved: ENDEAR.

51. Lone Ranger's pal: TONTO.  The Lone Ranger ran on television from 1949 to 1957.

52. Affordable, in brand names: ECONO.  As in the Econo-Lodge.

53. Sci-fi beings: ETs.  As in ExtraTerrestials.

56. British firearm acronym: STEN.  I didn't realize that the STEN gun was an acronym.  It is named after its designers: Major Reginald V. Shepherd and Harold Turpin, and EN for Enfield, the government's rifle and arms factory in London's Borough of Enfield.

58. Color like khaki: TAN.

60. Black gold: OIL.

61. Hagen of Broadway: UTA.  Uta Thura Hagen (June 12, 1919 ~ Jan. 14, 2004) makes frequent guest appearances in the crossword puzzles.

Here's the Grid:
QOD:  We know we cannot plant seeds with closed fists.  To sow, we must open our hands.  ~  Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (b. Nov. 26, 1931), Argentine recipient of the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize