Showing posts with label Lemonade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lemonade. Show all posts

Oct 27, 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017, Andy Kravis and Erik Agard

Title: It all fits, but where is the Z?

What a nice treat as we get a collaboration between two of the millennial constructors, both of whom had their debuts here at the LAT. They along with many others have changed the landscape of puzzle publication by publishing their own work. Meet them LINK Andy; LINK Eric.

Back to this effort which, like last week, uses 'insert three letters' to make a new phrase. A very fair puzzle which may have a couple of curve balls, but it is Friday. They also introduce us to some new fill -AIDS WALK, MOON GODS, CORE ASSETS and WHAT CAN I DO. It is the aforementioned Z away from being a pangram. Guys, really?

19A. Watch a music-streaming app? : SEE SPOTIFY RUN (13). If you do not know Spotify you were born before 1970. You still might remember learning from seeing Spot run.

26A. Organize circus performers? : CLASSIFY CLOWNS (13). I wonder if either of these young men were class clowns?

46A. Rationalize one's need for duel assistance? : JUSTIFY A SECOND (14). Sly, the duelists need a second, why may take longer than just a second.

53A. Worship at the altar of buttercream? : DEIFY FROSTING (13). The outlier - Defrosting is one word, Also, Buttercream is not worth worship


1. Apples on a desk: iMacs. One office where I work uses lots of the 27" model.

6. Unattached: STAG.

10. Ruler meas. : CMS. Centimeters.

13. Two-sport Sanders: DEION. Neon Deion, Primetime is a Florida born product of FSU. During his most productive year in the majors, the 1992 season, he hit .304 for the team, stole 26 bases, and led the NL with 14 triples in 97 games. During the 1989 season, he hit a major league home run and scored a touchdown in the NFL in the same week, the only player ever to do so. Sanders is also the only man to play in both a Super Bowl and a World Series.

14. Texas city: WACO. Home to Chip and Joanna Gaines.

15. Leave work: QUIT.

16. Braugher of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine": ANDRE. From serious police procedural TV - Homicide: Life on the Street - to deadpan comic, but still in the SQUAD ROOM.

17. Maker of Swift laptops: ACER.

18. Waiter at a stand: TAXI. Nice deception.

22. Garden State city: NEWARK. Ironic isn't it.

24. "__ be the judge of that": I'LL.

25. Make the call: OPT. In or out.

30. Afflicts: AILS.

31. Where Spike Lee earned his MFA: NYU.

32. Louisville Slugger wood: ASH. Ash is back for the second week in a row. Louisville sluggers were all we had playing baseball as kids.

33. Answered counterpart: ASKED. AAA.

35. Little devil: IMP. Tyrion started out as the Imp.

37. Brazilian music genre: SAMBA.

41. Up to, for short: TIL.

43. Blanc with "That's all folks" on his gravestone: MEL.

45. Punch or file: TOOL. Meh.

50. Actress Aniston, in tabloids: JEN. Have not had a gratuitous female form in a while.

51. Afternoon social: TEA.

52. "Mean Girls" actress Seyfried: AMANDA. Buy the magazine.

57. Declare openly: AVOW. Aver, avow, aver.

58. Streaming on Facebook: LIVE. We have friends who actually do this.

59. Tantalus' daughter: NIOBE. Moral: do not try and show up gods. LINK.

62. Manage: TEND.

63. Over: ANEW. Got me, anyone?

64. Further out there: ODDER.

65. Start of something? : ESS.

66. Gets some sun: TANS.

67. Sparkling wine choices: ROSES. The magic ending ess.


1. Mont. neighbor: IDA. Hey girl, weather better?

2. "White __ Can't Jump": MEN.

3. Charity fundraiser since 1985: AIDS WALK.  Florida VERSION.

4. Vital business holdings: CORE ASSETS.

5. Villainous visages: SNEERS. I do love alliteration.

6. Exchange: SWAP.

7. Folded Mexican fare: TACO.

8. Vinegary, as acid: ACETIC. Didn't Moe explain about wine and acid?

9. Brute: GORILLA.

10. Oscar-winning "Gravity" director Alfonso: CUARON. LINK.

11. Mistakes: MIXUPS.

12. Stretch on the job: STINT.

15. Invoice abbr. : QTY.

20. Parchment source: SKIN. Not necessarily human.

21. Dental visit freebie: FLOSS.

22. Org. that fills bowls? : NCAA. More wit.

23. Bulldog fans: ELIS.

27. "Just an update" letters: FYI. Another version of the IFY inserted.

28. Delish: YUMMY.

29. "Need my help?" : WHAT CAN I DO.

34. Catchy tune: DITTY.

36. Edible orb: PEA.

38. Selene and Luna: MOON GODS. Greek and Roman - the same goddess. LINK.

39. No foe: BOND. Dr. No, nice clue.

40. Only actor to appear in every episode of "M*A*S*H": ALDA. I really enjoyed him in Blacklist.

42. Become prostrate: LIE FLAT.

44. Future atty.'s exam: LSAT.

46. Valet in Wodehouse stories: JEEVES.

47. Labor parties? : UNIONS.

48. Oatmeal alternative: FARINA.

49. Key of Dvorák's New World Symphony: E MINOR.

50. Singles network logo with a partly outlined Star of David: JDATE. Do they still use this?

54. Chain email abbr. : FWD.

55. It may be self-cleaning: OVEN.

56. Works with threads: SEWS.

60. Pollen carrier: BEE.

61. Hectic hosp. zones: ERS.

Thanks for the help all see later. Thank you gentleman for a fun puzzle. Lemonade out.

Oct 20, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: Okay, please vote:  [   ] Six degrees of HAM; or  [   ] a HAM handed puzzle.

JW features one of his favorite and difficult "add a three or four letter word" themes. He makes it especially Friday hard by including two very hard fill to parse. Then he generously gives us a reveal if we get lost. You need a wide variety of knowledge to get through this one. The First 2 themers add HAM to the first word in a phrase. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. The next 2? Well despite commentary to the contrary - that is what makes it a puzzle.

As always Jeffrey gives us some fun fill - IN TEARS, ONE PUTT, OVERUSE, RAT-A-TAT, STOOLIE, STRAP ON and TRUSSES, but mostly it is the theme that drives this wagon.

So with further ado....

16A. Early sustenance for Bruce Wayne? : GOTHAM MILK (10). GOT MILK is modified by the fictional name of Batman's New York City.

22A. Handing a St. Louis team an embarrassing loss? : SHAMING THE BLUES (15). SING THE BLUES (not the Cards) works as well.

33A. Tribal VIP's family? : SHAMAN KIN (10). SAN KIN? Huh? Of course, SANK IN.

49A. Easy out in rodent baseball? : POPUP TO A HAMSTER (15). And my favorite - POPUP TOASTER.

57A. Went all out on stage ... or a hint to the four other longest puzzle answers : HAMMED IT UP (10). That is it.


1. Kind of rain or rock: ACID.

5. Affect profoundly: AWE. Aww.

8. Often-converted residence: LOFT.

12. Like the "funny bone" nerve: ULNAR. Ulna and Radius.

14. Poet Silverstein: SHEL. I met Shel's work reading Playboy in the 60s. LINK. Hef outlived him by 18 years.

15. Declare firmly: AVER.

18. Country where Quechua is spoken: PERU. It is now an official language in three countries.  In 1975 Peru became the first country to recognize Quechua as one of its official languages. Ecuador conferred official status on the language in its 2006 constitution, and in 2009, Bolivia adopted a new constitution that recognized Quechua and several other indigenous languages as official languages of the country. Wiki.

19. Great Plains native: UTE.

20. Pluto quintet: MOONS.                   LINK

21. Gets on the wrong train, say: ERRS.

26. Mother with a Nobel prize: TERESA. She shares her date of birth with Lyndon Johnson and Hannibal Hamlin, among others.

27. Fight in the backwoods: RASSLE.

28. Vacation fill-in: Abbr. : ASST. Temp? WTH?

29. Message often included in its response: EMAIL. Have any of you turned off the automatic inclusion?

32. Central Dallas? : ELS.

37. Elastic wood: ASH. I am sure you want to know more about this WOOD.

40. Sister magazine of Jet: EBONY.

41. God with a quiver: EROS. And a bow made out of ash?

45. Where the groom may walk down the aisle: STABLE. Really inventive and cute clue/fill. JW at his best.

47. Soi-__: self-styled: DISANT. JW, really? This is a very obscure term. DEFINE.

53. Components of 56-Across : HOPS. Not necessarily, ...strictly speaking ale can be made from simply malt, water and yeast. It is extremely unusual not to use hops. Home-brew handbook. 56A. Malt creations : ALES.

54. Quartet member : VIOLA. The four instruments in a string quartet are almost always 2 violins, 1 viola and 1 cello. Various.

55. Org. with Jungians : APAAmerican Psychological Association. Many of them are old.

59. Ticket booth sight : LINE.

60. Protected, in a way : ALEE.

61. Sister of Thalia : ERATO. The Nine Muses in Greek mythology have been an inspiration to artists since antiquity. They are (in alphabetical order): Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania. (Owlcation- do not go to this website, you may never escape).

62. Hardy heroine : TESS. I just had her in a puzzle recently.

63. Perception-changing drug : LSD. I just had some in a puzzle.

64. Letter heading abbr. : ATTN.


1. Masters course : AUGUSTA. Bobby Jones and the dream course. Take a TOUR

2. Fabled emperor's lack: CLOTHES.  Did you know the STORY was written by Hans Christian Andersen? Andersen's fairy tales (of which there are no less than 3381 works !) have been translated into more than 125 languages... his most famous fairy tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Little Mermaid", "The Nightingale", "The Snow Queen", "The Ugly Duckling", "Thumbelina", and many others. Various.

3. Emotionally overwhelmed : IN TEARS.

4. Morse "T": DAH.

5. "Can't you take __?" : A HINT.

6. Like Roald Dahl, by birth: WELSH. The wonderful author - LINK.

7. Yellowstone grazer: ELK.

8. Settings for small American flags: LAPELS.

9. Do to death: OVERUSE.

10. Voice of President Business in "The Lego Movie": FERRELL. SNL grad Will.

11. Bridge supports: TRUSSES.

13. "Ghostbusters" actor : RAMIS. He died this year.

14. Air quality issue: SMOG. I believe this was my first known portmanteau (Smoke-Fog)

17. Lisa's title: MONA.  Mona in Italian is a polite form of address originating as "ma donna" – similar to "Ma’am", "Madam." Wiki and others.

23. Team whose mascot's head is a baseball: METS. He got fired for giving the one finger
salute to a brewers fan. With only three to work with, which one is the bad one?

24. Viking history VIP: ERIK. No Minnesota players named Erik?

25. Island near Java: BALI.

29. Confessional music genre: EMO.

30. Anthropologist's subject: MAN.

31. Whichever: ANY.

34. Give a hand : HELP.

35. Assist badly? : ABET. Why not, "Give a hand, badly?"

36. Storied loch: NESS.

37. It might be on the road for years: ASPHALT.

38. Cop's info source: STOOLIE. Derived from stool pigeons - carvings used to trap hawks.

39. Stumbles (upon): HAPPENS.

42. Snare drum sound: RAT-A-TAT.

43. Feature of many a birdie: ONE PUTT. Bubba Watson had 11(18) ONE PUTT greens when he won his second masters title.

44. Secure, as a knapsack: STRAP ON. This is the second clue fill of the puzzle I have had to muzzle myself while writing.

46. Smooches: BUSSES.

47. Glen relative: DALE. Who is Dale Campbell?  Oh, is that Chip's real name?

48. "__ these wars for Egypt": Antony: I MADE. A fun Friday Will Shakespeare quote.
"I made these wars for Egypt, and the Queen,
Whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine—
Which whilst it was mine had annexed unto ’t
A million more, now lost—she, Eros, has
Packed cards with Caesar and false-played my glory
Unto an enemy’s triumph."

50. Shapes formed by angled spotlights: OVALS.

51. Zeroed in: AIMED.

52. Telecommuter's workplace: HOME. Yeah me and the once mighty Barry G. You are missed.

57. Clarke computer: HAL.

58. Nest egg acronym: IRAIndividual Retirement Account.

Wowzer, here we are in middle of fall with shorter days and longer nights and so many birthdays - those cold January nights - but nothing slows JW (or C.C. and her minions) down. I had fun, enjoy the weekend. Lemonade out.

Oct 13, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017, Morton J. Mendelson

Title: Text speak meets grid spanner = WTF _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

How interesting that after last week where Jeffrey inserted an acronym (IOUS) to create new fill, MJM uses initialisms as the introduction to a 15 letter in the language phrase. As someone who has used initialisms my entire life (e.g. DKDC), this was easier than it might have been, as getting a word from the perps got me started. When texting first was available, a friend and I would send each other
letter strings and try to solve them. The insane responses were usually better than the intended comment. Anyway, many fun words with interesting etymology. Off we go.

The themers:

17A. TW ... : DO NOT MAKE A RIGHT (15). Two Wrongs...

25A. DCYC ... : BEFORE THEY HATCH (15). Don't Count Your Chickens...

44A. CI ... : NEXT TO GODLINESS (15). Cleanliness Is...

58A. AGT ... : MUST COME TO AN END (15). All Good Things...

The rest:


1. Yanks' foes: JAYS. No, they are playing Houston in the ALCS.

5. Operation designed to hurt: STING. Hurt? To me, they either defraud someone (the oldest was by the Praetorian guard who sold the Roman Empire to Julianus in 193 C.E.) or to arrest someone. LINK.

10. Shipboard resident: SWAB. I think of swabbie/y, but the Urban dictionary says: "This term, frequently used by non-sailors to refer to sailors, is most likely a contraction of the term "swabbie" or "swabby", presumably derived from the notion of sailors "swabbing the deck". "Swabbie/y" is currently in use only among the elderly; 'swab' is the more common term among young people." Proving once again, I am elderly.

14. CFO, e.g. : EXEC.

15. Not as likely to mess up: ABLER.

16. Walk without getting anywhere? : PACE. I like this definition.

20. Shoelace site: INSTEP. Did you ever think about the origin of this word? Sounds like it is backwards - it is where you step in the shoe. But, the dictionary says: "late Middle English: of unknown origin; compare with West Frisian ynstap ‘opening in a shoe for insertion of the foot.’"

21. Shipboard chums: MATEYS. Mini-clecho with 10A.

22. Tenn. neighbor: ALA. Abbr. - abbr.

24. Apartment listing abbr. : RMS.

34. Nice with? : AVEC. The Nice, France trick.

35. Gobs and gobs: SLEWS. More dictionary- from the Irish Slaugh.

36. Cart for heavy loads: DRAY. "for delivering beer barrels or other heavy loads, especially a low one without sides."

37. Filly's brother: COLT.

38. Fighter eulogized by Bill Clinton, among others: ALI.

39. Old-time teacher: MARM. Based on a variant pronunciation of ma'am.

40. "The Grapes of Wrath" figure: OKIE.

41. Beams: GRINS.

43. Prime real estate? : EDEN. I like this clue.

47. Downed a sub, say: ATE.

48. In-law's wife, possibly: SIS.

49. Refrigerates: CHILLS.

53. One of a biblical ten: PLAGUE. Commandments clearly did not fit.

62. Like quality beef: AGED.

63. One "sitting lonely on the placid bust," in a classic poem: RAVEN.
“But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow, he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.’
Then the bird said, 'Nevermore.”

64. Course with relevant tangents: TRIG.

65. Regular guys: JOES.

66. Finals, e.g.: EXAMS.

67. Spot: SITE. Mira, there she goes!


1. "Star Wars" warrior: JEDI. How many have seen THE Trailer?

2. Nerve cell part: AXON.

3. Cravings: YENS.

4. Ewan McGregor, for one: SCOT. More Star Wars.

5. They're often free: SAMPLES.

6. Sched. question mark: TBA.

7. Kind: ILK. A repeat.

8. Once called: NEE. Not FKA.

9. Sir Georg Solti's record 31: GRAMMYS.  Did you know? LINK.

10. Rotating rod: SPIT.

11. Conduct: WAGE. Like war.

12. Hurting: ACHY. I almost linked "Achy Breaky Heart" which was triple platinum in Australia, and number 2 on Blender magazine's 50 Worst Songs Ever.

13. Puts money (on): BETS.

18. Dash: TEAR. Tear down the stairs.

19. Not at all reflective:: RASH. Impulsive.

23. On the lam: AT LARGE.

24. Backs up a videotape: REWINDS. Backs up? Made me think of re-recording.

25. Cobb salad ingredient: BACON.

26. Bring to mind: EVOKE.

27. Composer Mendelssohn: FELIX. He looks like a young Gene Wilder. Almost a CSO; I wonder if Morton's family removed the extra "S" and the "H." Then lent them to the green stamp people.

28. Good-sized wedding band: OCTET.

29. Prefix for "sun" : HELIO. I know only this one. Hélio Castroneves.

30. Madison Ave. Pitchers: ADMEN.

31. Carpentry, e.g.: TRADE. CSO.

32. Worries: CARES.

33. Church numbers: HYMNS.

41. Reacted to an arduous workout: GOT SORE.

42. Shoes without laces: SLIP ONS. Aha! More shoe references.

45. Gymnast's powder: TALC.

46. Ibiza, por ejemplo: ISLA. Spanish.

49. Key of the finale of Brahms' Symphony No. 1: CMAJ. Lots of classical music.

50. "Les Misérables" author: HUGO.

51. "Now it's clear": I SEE.

52. Old Fords: LTDS.

54. Hard-working colonizers: ANTS.

55. Spice Girl Halliwell: GERI. Still recording.

56. Second, e.g.: UNIT.

57. Sharp side: EDGE.

59. Reach capacity, with "out": MAX.

60. Actress Mendes: EVA. Many pretty pictures.  For Splynter.

61. President pro __ : TEM. Pres·i·dent pro tem·po·re.  Latin.

Well, MJM and I have finished our work here, so it is time to bid you all adieu and hope you enjoyed the puzzle, exposition and enjoy the upcoming weekend.  It is not often I get to reference a West Frisian word. Thank you Morton - I had an Uncle Morton - and all readers - be you a lurker, a regular or unpredictable member. Lemonade out.

Oct 6, 2017

Friday, October 6, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: Now where did I put those IOUs?

In a variation of the add a letter or letters theme, JW hid them at the end of the first word of a known two-word phrase or name. As I remarked last week about recognizing a theme because a word or phrase is repeated, seeing -ious (suffix, ious is defined as having or being like the word it follows) opened my eyes. Of course, the light bulb goes on when you parse it as an acronym. Lovely misdirection. At first, I could not understand what the theme answers had in common. The "red" reference in the reveal (debts are ledgered in red) led me to present the theme as below:

20A. Agricultural college facility? : STUDIOUS FARM (12).  Stud Farm. The Aggies study hard.

32A. One who got in before a crash? : FURIOUS TRADER (13). Fur Trader. The stock trader is very angry that his timing was bad.

40A. Lancelot bragging about his exploits? : TEDIOUS KNIGHT (13). The late great Ted Knight.
LINK. It makes sense to use a proper name in both clue and fill.

53A. What theater districts offer? : COPIOUS SHOWS (12). Cop Shows. I watched some Police Woman on COZI tv this weekend. It rained here.
The reveal:
67A. They traditionally appear in red ... and in another form in 20-, 32-, 40- and 53-Across: DEBTS (5).

JW also fitted in ONE STEP, SF GIANT, TROOPER, US ASSET, ANALYSTS, GONE AWRY, LOW AVERAGES and TURN THE PAGE as long sparkly fill. Let's do this!


1. Best-selling book generally not on best-seller lists: BIBLE. They don't know where to send the royalty checks.

6. Benchmark: Abbr. : STD. Standard.

9. Early automaker: OLDS. Old('s) Ransom has been popular again.

13. Won't go near: AVOIDS.

15. Back again: FRO. To and fro. 

16. Heist haul: LOOT.

17. Magoo's malady: MYOPIA. Nearsightedness. 

18. Ended up off the mark: GONE AWRY. A fun underused phrase.

22. Polling abbr. : PCT.

25. Arrive at hastily, as a conclusion: LEAP TO. Look before you....

26. Sundial marking: VII. A return of the Roman Numeral.

27. Content of little substance: FLUFF. Newspapers had people who wrote their puff pieces.

30. Madrid-to-Paris dir. : NNE.

31. Rose in a field: PETE. Baseball player.  HE is now 76.

36. Achilles __: TENDON.

37. Take turns: ROTATE. I love clues/fill such as this.

44. "The BFG" author: DAHL.  The Big Friendly Giant, by Roald Dahl also was made into a movie.

46. Intelligence org. : NSANational Security Agency.

47. Dutch genre painter: STEEN. See his WORK.

48. Juillet's season: ETE. July/Summer  French.

49. KFC option: BREAST.

52. Red __: SEA.

57. Financial workers: ANALYSTS.

58. Like merciless opponents: FEARED.

62. Gospel travelers: MAGI.

63. Get: SEE.

64. Not nice at all: UNKIND.

65. Urgent request: PLEA.

66. Decline, with "out": OPT.


1. Loud sound: BAM.

2. Columbia, e.g.: IVY. No league? 

3. "That's lousy!" : BOO.

4. Enlarged Revlon ad image: LIPS.

5. Reduce a sentence, say: EDIT. Not commute, but rewrite. 

6. MLBer at AT & T Park: SF GIANT.

7. Highway pursuer: TROOPERSUPER TROOPER 2 coming in 2018.

8. Bakery item with some shortening? : DONUT. A lovely and clean double entendre - making the word doughnut shorter, as well as the shortening used in baking. A classic JW clue/fill.

9. "Frozen" snowman: OLAF. Disney's movies all seem to have had a comic relief character.

10. What most pitchers have, as batters: LOW AVERAGES.

11. "Little" Dickens title character: DORRIT

12. Obstruct: STYMIE. My MEMORY.

14. Author Bellow: SAUL. I enjoyed his work when I was young. FIVE.

19. What that is in Spain: ESO.

21. Scout groups: DENS.

22. [It just vanished!]: PFFT.

23. Answer guide? : CLUE. Cute, a guide to the answer.

24. Get on with one's life: TURN THE PAGE. One of the Millenials contributions to the language. 

28. Revolutionary first name: FIDEL.

29. Child subject: FOOD. Julia, may she rest in peace, all 6'2" of her.

31. It's not big in France: PETIT. Funny. From French Chef to French pun.

33. Verse lead-in: UNIverse.

34. Prize for Indy: ARK. Indiana Jones, that is.

35. Oxford figures: DONS.

38. Fare-well link: THEE.

39. Italian peak: ETNA.

41. Like the simplest process: ONE STEP.

42. Toyota's Ky. plant, e.g.: US ASSET. Good thing there were perps as this was tough.

43. Old-school diplomatic accessory: SASH.

44. Pack up the tents and supplies: DECAMP.

45. Like some Alban Berg works: ATONAL. I am not a big fan of Schoenberg or other atonal composers. LINK. Unrelated to comedian Sam Berg.

49. Tiny Tim, for one: BOY.

50. Rene of "Thor": RUSSO.  Her brief INTERVIEW.

51. Vegan staple: TOFU.

54. Hipbones: ILIA.

55. Direct (one's way): WEND. Another word packed with meaning in four letters; "verb:
go in a specified direction, typically slowly or by an indirect route."

56. Ginza quaff: SAKE. Rice wine.

59. Barbecue morsel: RIB. Morsel defined: a small piece or amount of food; a mouthful. Rib?

60. Sinus doc : ENTEar Nose and Throat. 

61. Driller's deg. : DDS. Dentist. har, har.

Well, there it is, another Friday, another Jeffrey Wechsler, and a fun ride. It is the quiet time for South Florida as the summer tourists are gone and the snowbirds have not returned. There are more breezes and I hope you enjoy the time. Thank you, Jeffrey and all who read. Lemonade out.

Sep 29, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017, John Lampkin

Title: Roman Numeral switcheroo.

Another happy Friday with another of the good friends of the blog. John is such an accomplished and warm human being, it is hard not to like all of his work  I assume all "got" this theme as soon as the word "Roman" appeared so often. While there are countless words which include the letters which are also the Roman numerals, John limited his selection to the V and the X, with the perfect reveal. My first thought when I saw 1 Across was that all three letters were  Roman numerals. You don't see three letter theme fill often but this all worked for me, with no words longer than 8 letters. Your thoughts on this work are appreciated. Off we go....                                                                                                                                                                     
1A. Roman jet? : DC X. (3) The DC 10 was introduced into service in 1970. This one confused me because D and C are also Roman Numerals.

23A. Roman's advice to prevent an explosion? : COUNT TO X (8). Counting to 10 was a shortcut to meditation.

39A. Roman variety store? (and a hint to 10 other puzzle answers) : V AND X (5). The 5 and 10 was
an American institution, with WOOLWORTH being the epitome.

51A. Roman Shakespearean drama? : V ACT PLAY (8). Shakespeare was dedicated to this STRUCTURE.

70A. Roman graveyard shift hour? : AM. (3). When I used to work doubles at the rubber factory (2 PM to 6 AM) it was the last hour that was the hardest.

3D. Roman bowler's target? : X PIN (4). A CSO for Boomer!

4D. Roman musical family? : JACKSON V (8). Can you name all five?

26D. Roman bike? : X SPEED (6). Bicycles have become too complex for me.  They sell some for thousands of dollars.

27D. Roman "high" request? : GIMME V (6). These days this is one of the first things parents teach their children.

40D. Roman Scrabble Q-tile, e.g.? : POINTER (8). Ten points, and all those words that don't need a U.

57D. Roman's long golf hole? : PAR V (4). Another CSO to our golfing contingent, HG, BE, Moe and all of those I left out by accident.

Well, I am worn out just listing the 11 theme fill. So let's explore the rest.


4. Start of a rhyming Basque game: JAI. Alai. Long the fastest moving ball in SPORTS.

7. Reason to use an inhaler: ASTHMA.

13. Knock: RAP. Oh, I guess I can call it "knock" music.

14. Cry buckets: BAWL. The word had a different meaning in my youth.

15. Unexpected twist: SPRAIN. Amusing.

16. The record longest continuous ride on one is 105.57 miles: UNICYCLE. Who knew? This makes it a TRIBUTE puzzle.

18. Unlikely to ride a 16-Across well: KLUTZY. Too true.

19. Hunted Carroll critter: SNARK. More of his IMAGINATION, beyond Alice.

20. Balm-maker's plants: ALOES.

22. A.L. East team: BOSton.

27. '80s jeans: GITANOS. Still for SALE.

31. SOP part: Abbr. : STD. Standard.

32. "48 __": HRS.  The TV Show.

33. Assistant who didn't exist in Mary Shelley's novel: IGOR. Eegore, or Eyegor?

34. Whiskey order: NEAT. A clear CSO to Tinbeni.

36. "... beneath __ blue sky": Don Henley lyric: A DEEP. Not a sea but sky. LISTEN.

38. Stubborn equine: MULE.

41. Perry's creator: ERLE.

42. Dull finish: MATTE. JL is an avid and successful photographer as well a musician, ornithologist, entomologist and cruciverbalist - the modern Renaissance man.

44. F-__: STOP. Blushing?

45. A hothead has a short one: FUSE.

46. 67.5 deg.: ENE.

47. Item before a door: MAT.

49. Sack out: GO TO BED.

54. Bargain bin abbr.: IRRegular.

55. Bete __: NOIRE.

56. Immature dragonfly: NYMPH. I think of this when I see NYMPH, not THIS. What do you call a woman who is obsessed with immature dragonflies? Answer below....

59. Stereotypically stylish: UPTOWN. Saturday night.

62. Leaves port: SETS SAIL. Even when the ships do not have sails.

65. Facial feature named after an animal: GOATEE.

66. Muscovite's denial: NYET.

67. Whiskey option: RYE. Any Manhattan drinkers in our crowd?

68. They usually leave the park: HOMERS.

69. Key contraction: O'ER. Francis Scott - ramparts.


1. R and B's __ Hill: DRU. Not in my WHEELHOUSE.

2. Soup aisle array: CANS.

5. Hole-making tool: AWL.

6. Intestinal: ILEAC.

7. Invite on a date: ASK OUT.

8. NutraSweet competitor: SPLENDA. Both sweetener brand names - blue/yellow.

9. Have faith in: TRUST.

10. Noodle topper? : HAT. Noodle as head, not a form of pasta.

11. "Les __" : MIZ. Broadway.

12. At least one: ANY.

14. "... truth is always strange; / Stranger than fiction" poet: BYRON. From his poem, Don Juan.
"' Tis strange - but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction; if it could be told,
How much would novels gain by the exchange!
How differently the world would men behold!"

17. "Willkommen" musical: CABARET.

21. Words on a reward poster: LOST DOG.

24. "... there's __!": Hamlet: THE RUB. Our Friday Shakespeare, but not all 5 acts.

25. Intimidating words: OR ELSE.

28. Exotic pet: IGUANA. These are neither exotic nor pets here; they roam freely unless and until a freeze. The past two winters were warm and their population has grown. They are 'affectionately' called "dem sumbitches" by an elderly neighbor woman.

29. Pre-Aztec Mexican: TOLTEC. I do not know much about this CIVILIZATION.

30. Multi-armed ocean critter: SEASTAR. We also discussed this before.  LINK.

35. Bad picnic omen: ANT. Below a JL original, in his words. "This ant is on the head of an Ambush Bug who had just killed and eaten a bee. The ant is enjoying the leftovers while grooming the bug. I actually photographed the whole sequence."

37. Gets bent out of shape: DEFORMS. A pun here if you like the word.

43. Authorize: EMPOWER.

48. Dior designs: A-LINES.

50. Secret hot date: TRYST.

52. Fed. bill: T-NOTE.

53. Simple question type: YES/NO.

58. Casual greeting: HI-YA.

59. "That stinks!" : UGH.

60. Nanki-__: POO. The Mikado.

61. Bagpiper's hat: TAM. I understand the geographic connection, but I see more like...

63. Anatomical orb: EYE.

64. Apollo lander, briefly: LEM. How cool that dear JL ends with a CSO to yours truly.

Yesterday, Harper turned two and today my baby is celebrating his 29th birthday. Tonight we start the fasting for Yom Kippur, which lasts until an hour past sundown Saturday. Party time. Thank you, John and all who read. Gamar Tov. Lemonade out.

Answer: An entomologist!           

Sep 22, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: The LA Times has gone to the dogs.

JW is back with one of his whimsical puzzles. There is no conventional theme, but a common denominator. The clues all reference noisy dogs. Each in the language phrase has one word changed. The changes are simple and the results fun. If you do not see the humor you will not enjoy the puzzle. Some of the clues are not easily sussed, but this is a Friday puzzle. Also, before excoriating the constructor, bear in mind that a large percentage of clues are changed by the editors. Meanwhile Jeffrey did include the very sparkly fill -BELLY RUB, QUICK SET, RAN AFTER, TOM JONES, I'M NOT READY.  The theme:

21A. Hogwarts chronicler imitating noisy dogs? : J.K. GROWLING (10). Gee, this is the simplest one to grok.

26A. Devices that record data on noisy dogs? : BARKING METERS (13). My favorite change - parking meters - where doggies mark their territory.

47A. Photographer of noisy dogs? : YIPPER SNAPPER (13). I heard the term whipper snapper often as a child.

52A. Paintings depicting noisy dogs? : WORKS OF ARF (10). The ART of the woof woof.


1. Hubbub : STIR.

5. Thompson of "Westworld" : TESSA. Not a great start for me as I never have watched that series. She has had a busy CAREER and is pretty.

10. One way to lean : BACK. Not a political comment. Hmm, 19A. Reclined : LAIN.

14. Stephen Hawking subject : TIME. He has persevered in life despite the effects of ALS. READ.

15. Tough tests of knowledge : ORALS.

16. Offer the same opinion as : ECHO. I think they must now pay a royalty to Amazon.

17. Princess Royal of Britain : ANNE.This is a formal title which she received in 1987. LINK.

18. -, at times : MINUS.

20. Setup provider's abbr. : BYOBBring Your Own Bottle.

23. Like many deli orders : TO GO.

25. Western peer of Tex and Gene : ROY. Rogers.

32. Part of XL: Abbr. : LGE.

33. Toon cat since the silent era : FELIX. The first animated STAR  with an amazing history.

34. Reacts to bad news, perhaps : SULKS.

37. War-torn land : IRAQ. There are many such lands, sadly.

39. More rational : SANER.

41. All in : BEAT. Not an easy meaning to suss, the poker implications kept invading my thought.

42. St. Anthony's home : PADUA. You can read about this MAN. The first Catholic school in Fort Lauderdale is St. Anthony's.

44. It's not exactly a pick-me-up : DECAF.

46. Airport approx. : ETA.

50. Disney Store collectible : CEL.

51. Semi bar : AXLE. Semi truck.

58. First name in folk : ARLO. Hasn't he faded into oblivion yet?

61. Choppers : AXES.

62. Stop by : VISIT.

63. Printer function : SCAN. Copy, scan, fax and print - an all in one work station.

64. News article intro : LEDE. A total learning moment.  LINK.

65. Gradually weaken : ERODE. Another correct answer but difficult to suss.

66. It can be hard to get out of : MAZE. I like the combination with the clecho....

67. It can be hard to get out : KNOT.

68. Call attention (to) : REFER.

69. Bellicose god : ARES.


1. Attempt : STAB. C'mon take a chance.

2. Like a mite : TINY.

3. "Give me a few minutes" : I'M NOT READY. How many couples argue over the time it takes to get ready?

4. Adidas subsidiary : REEBOK. I linked the purchase of Reebok before.

5. He beat out Sonny and Cher and Herman's Hermits, among others, for the Best New Artist Grammy : TOM JONES. An interesting LIST. We watched Peter Noone in concert last year and he was great.

6. Christine's phantom admirer : ERIK. The popularity of the play and musical has inspired people to write their own ENDING.

7. Emulated 5-Down : SANG.

8. Nasty comment : SLUR. Comes, I believe, from the slurry left over from coal etc.

9. Categorize : ASSORT. In 2017 we mostly sort, but we still buy assorted cookies etc.

10. Source of much canine delight : BELLY RUB. A bonus doggy fill. And a classic example of a gif. See 24D.

11. Nutritious berry : ACAI.

12. Gym exercise : CHIN. verb 1. draw one's body up so as to bring one's chin level with or above (a horizontal bar) with one's feet off the ground, as an exercise. I always add the "UP."

13. Giant film primate : KONG. The King.

22. Burdens : WOES.

24. Desktop animation image suffix : GIF. HG introduced this handy link style to our blog.

26. Control tower signal : BLIP. On the radar screen.

27. Indian shrine site : AGRA. Taj Mahal anyone? LINK.

28. Forest clearing : GLADE.

29. Member of the underground economy? : MINER. This clue/fill sounds like JW's wit. My favorite in this puzzle.

30. CFOs, e.g. : EXECS.

31. Orient Express feature : SLEEPER CAR. As I mentioned, another movie based on Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. I do not know why because you cannot beat David Suchet.

35. Shakespeare's shrew : KATE. Very un-pc to talk of taming one's wife now.

36. Vega, for one : STAR. Or a Chevrolet.

38. Cement type for home repairs : QUICK SET. My Uncle Harold was a mason, and taught masonry at the local trade school. He showed me how to use this product on the small jobs, as well as the difference between cement and concrete..

40. Pursued vigorously : RAN AFTER.

43. Homo sapiens relatives : APES. Do you like the re-imagination of the Planet of the Apes movies?

45. 63-Across alternative : FAX.

(space left intentionally blank)

48. Small wading bird : PLOVER.

49. State of matter : PLASMA.

52. Constitutional : WALK.                                                              

53. Strong farm team : OXEN.

54. Overhaul : REDO.

55. Gift from Prometheus : FIRE. Prometheus (/prəˈmiːθiəs/ prə-MEE-thee-əs; Greek: Προμηθεύς [promɛːtʰeús], meaning "forethought") is a Titan in Greek mythology, best known as the deity in Greek mythology who was the creator of mankind and its greatest benefactor, who stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to mankind. wiki.

56. Beginning : AS OF.

57. Play polo, say : RIDE.

59. Relax : LAZE.

60. Word that can replace "your" : ONES. I hear that use with "opinions."

 A different offering, with lots of JW's wit on display.  I am curious how those who don't like themes which are hard to grasp will react to this effort. I had fun, hope you all did. I think of crosswords as entertainment. L'shanah tovah -Happy New Year to those who celebrate the coming of year 5778. Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Here is the latest picture of Lemonade's cute grand-kids at the grocery store:

 Harper, Owen and Charlotte

Sep 15, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017, Mark McClain

Title: Am I coming or going?

After more than 7 years of blogging puzzles, I do not often need the reveal to understand the theme. Mark got me, even though I knew the likely theme fill made no sense, I did not get what they had in common until the reveal. Telling us to break 58A into three words gave me DRAW TO WARD, and after a slow brain moment the light bulb went on - DRAW backwards is WARD. GAB becomes BAG and the rest fell into place. To maintain consistency, Mark has the second word reverse in the first two themers and and the first word reverses in the next two. The grid with many three and four letter fill makes this a fair test for Friday even before you deduce the reversal. Also it features many witty clue/fill combinations. Ringing organ? : EAR; Taking something badly? : THEFT - come to mind. That did not leave much room for other sparkle, but Mark did include SAPPORO, SATISFY, DYSTOPIAN and RAISE CAIN.

18A. Chat at the supermarket checkout? : GROCERY GAB (10). Grocery Bag jumped out at me as soon as I had the reveal.
24A. Marsh bird with uncontrollable urges? : COMPULSIVE RAIL (14). Compulsive is a word most often seen with Liar and Gambler.

38A. Way into Wayne Manor? : BAT KEYS (7). Tab Keys are very important when typing. The shortest fill, BAT to TAB.

51A. Work of a major opera house villain? : EVIL FROM THE MET (14). I watched this SHOW when it aired Live starting in 1977 trying to appreciate opera.

58A. Attract ... or, as three words, sequence change with a hint about 18-, 24-, 38- and 51-Across : DRAW TOWARD (10). If you suss this as DRAW to WARD, you see that this is a word reversal puzzle.

The rest...


1. Alan of "Tower Heist" : ALDA. It is amazing how well he has played smarmy bad people in this and other projects. A Stiller connection.

5. Partridge family tree? : PEAR. Not sure which family this refers to, the TV series or the Christmas chant.

9. Eliot's Bede : ADAM. This was the first novel published by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans). Silas Marner and Middlemarch were her best.

13. He shared the AP Driver of the Century award with Andretti : FOYT. A. J. was a major STAR. when I was growing up.

14. Consumed : EATEN.

16. Con __: tempo marking : MOTO. The word has the same stem as motion but what does it mean in MUSIC?

17. Museum figure : BUST. Tempting...

20. Bigelow offering : TEA.

22. "Utopia" author : MORE. Is this the first fantasy novel? Was his Utopia appealing?  What about 3 Down?

23. Request on "ER" : MRI.

28. Oldest Japanese beer brand : SAPPORO.

29. Discounted by : LESS.

30. Cut out : OMIT.

31. Trivial amount : SOU. Although the French sou as a coin disappeared more than two centuries ago, it is still used to mean of little value. (various).

33. __ science : EARTH. Needed perps.

37. Paella veggie : PEA. Not a dish I cook, but here is a RECIPE.

41. "Eureka!" : AHA. Another made up word, but I guess they all are.

42. Legendary first name in skating : SONJA.  The second name was HENIE. A reminder to some of us of Clear Ayes. 48D. 42-Across' homeland : NORWAY.

44. Northwest Passage explorer : RAE. A true PIONEER.

45. Cinco times dos : DIEZ. Purists would prefer "cinco veces dos."

46. Noodle bar order : UDON.

49. Fulfill : SATISFY.

55. Animal house : DEN.

56. Pertaining to : IN RE.

57. SHO-owned cinematic channel : TMC. The Movie Channel, not TCM or AMC.

62. Not at all tough : EASY.

65. Skye, for one : ISLE.

66. Card worth a fortune? : TAROT.

67. Stir up : RILE.

68. Slender swimmers : EELS.

69. Sweet tubers : YAMS.  Can you pass the QUIZ?

70. Winter coat : SNOW. Another nice one.


1. Laughlin in Tex., e.g. : AFBAir Force Base.

2. He often batted after Babe : LOU. Gehrig.

3. Like "The Hunger Games" society : DYSTOPIAN. Should this be included when you have 22A?

4. Tackle : ATTEMPT.

5. Wood fastener : PEG.

6. Ringing organ? : EAR. I like this clue, not the phenomenon.

7. Physics class topic : ATOMS.

8. Cringe : RECOIL.

9. Youngest of the "Little Women" : AMY. Meg. Margaret is the oldest of the March sisters, Jo. Josephine is the second oldest March sister, Beth. Elizabeth is the third eldest sister, Amy. The youngest, Amy is the pet of the family.

10. Article of faith : DOGMA. I liked the movie.

11. Arcade giant : ATARI.

12. Exxon follower? : MOBIL.

15. Guts : NERVE.

19. Giant in little candy : REESES.  Pieces. Phone home.

21. GI's address : APO.

24. Typical Hitchcock role : CAMEO. Stan Lee has taken over as king of the Cameos.

25. Celestial bear : URSA.

26. Take from a job : LOOT. Oh, that kind of job.

27. Johannesburg's land: Abbr. : RSARepublic of South Africa, home to constructor and blogger Gareth Bain.

28. Finishes (up) the gravy : SOPS.

32. Former SSR : UKRaine.

34. Go ballistic : RAISE CAIN. A THEORY.

35. Taking something badly? : THEFT. Not new but still witty.

36. Unclear : HAZY.

38. Mismatch : BAD FIT.

39. __ Coast : EAST. WEST?

40. Repeated word in the Beatles' "She Loves You" : YEAH. yeah, yeah.

43. National Ice Cream mo. : JULy. Y abbreviate?

45. Aids for romantic evenings : DIMMERS.

47. Hedger's last words : OR NOT. This fill is absolutely correct, or not.

50. Vietnamese holiday : TET.

51. __ Bauer : EDDIE. The STORY.

52. Part of a song : VERSE.

53. Collectively : IN ALL.

54. Anne of comedy : MEARA. Wife of Jerry, mother of Ben; sadly she died in 2015.

59. Director Craven : WES. Unlike  Hitchcock and Stan Lee, Craven (who also died in 2015) often played himself in movies.

60. Danube Delta country: Abbr. : ROMania.

61. Drying-out hurdle : DTSDelirium Tremens. I had a math teacher, first period, my junior year in high school who brought his coffee to class in a cup and saucer and the sound of his shaking was unnerving before 8 AM.

63. __-mo replay : SLO.

64. Taxus shrub : YEW. They look like junipers but the yew berry has a poisonous seed instead of the base for gin.

I am always curious when we have a theme like this one, as some of our crowd wants only clues and fill and no theme, while others love creativity. Thank you Mark; hope all are well. Lemonade out.

 Note from C.C.: 

Lemonade is safe and sound. His power was finally back last night. He also has a new grandson, who was born on Wednesday Sept 13, 2017. So sweet! You can click here to see more pictures of his beautiful grandkids.

Sep 1, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: B and O, Reading, Pennsylvania and Short Line. LINK. White rabbit, white rabbit.

In this edition of  'Jeffrey stumps the crowd', we have the double letter RR added to known phrases - that simple. Of course rooting out that SOY SAUCE, BUS TICKETS, BAY LEAVES and SQUARE FEET might have a common denominator is where the thought comes in. The reference to Aaron Burr opened the door for me. Unlike many JW creations, we have a reveal - not completely helpful - but it is Friday. 55 theme spaces leaves some room and we get AERATES, ALIGHTS (not yesterday's ALIT?) , NEAREST, YOGA MAT, BARBARIAN and SETS A TASK. The theme:

17A. Really bad béchamel? : SORRY SAUCE (10). Béchamel (a white sauce) and soy sauce could not be any further apart, but I guess if you burn Béchamel it might look like soy sauce.

20A. Unpaid stack for scofflaw Aaron? : BURR'S TICKETS (12). I find Burr to be a very interesting character, especially as portrayed in Gore Vidal's NOVEL.

35A. What happens at the end of a Manilow concert? : BARRY LEAVES (11). This was the hardest because while I got the Barry part - which made me secure in my thinking the RR connection - the concept was too simple for my aging brain.

51A. Furry creature that isn't cool? : SQUARE FERRET (12).  I cannot find any reasonable link for this mental picture.
and the reveal:
56A. Convicted hastily and unfairly ... or, in a way, like the four other longest puzzle answers? : RAILROADED (10). Like the confusing semi-detached house....

On with the show.


1. Branch : LIMB. First thought was military - I don't know why.

5. Advisory group : BOARD.

10. Big name in luxury retailing : SAKS. Not so big anymore.

14. About 30% of Earth's land area : ASIA. I did not know this.

15. More fitting : APTER.

16. Thing with rings : TREE. Somewhat obscure but witty.

19. Letters facilitating sorting : ATTN.

22. Something to stretch out on : YOGA MAT. This was hard suss.

25. Comedian dubbed "Mr. Television" : BERLE. So easy for those of us over 65.

26. Mitchell protagonist : O'HARA. Frankly Jeffrey, when it comes to Scarlett, I don't give a damn.

27. Bone holders : PAWS. Cute.

30. With 61-Across, "Yer darn tootin'!" : YES. 61A. See 30-Across : SIREE.

31. Seaweed for sushi : NORI.

32. Puts down : ALIGHTS.

38. Most closely related : NEAREST.

39. Educational period : TERM.

42. Letters with Arizona or Maine : USS.

45. Made tracks : FLED.

46. One of composer John Williams' five : OSCAR.

47. Harlem Renaissance writer Zora __ Hurston : NEALE. Thank you high school English for having my sons read her work.

49. Does some lawn maintenance : AERATES. I hate it when I get to the first green...

55. Bee in Mayberry, e.g. : AUNT. Draw your own conclusions.
Internet hoax; the pin-up is Gloria DeHaven. Thanks to Fact Checker.
But we have this: 

I do not fact check images, especially those which have multiple references....I guess I will now.

60. It requires some effort : FEAT.

62. Confucius, by reputation : SAGE. Parsley only to his close friends.

63. See 29-Down : ELSE.  29D. With 63-Across, "Is there more?" : WHAT.

64. Fashionista's concern : TREND.

65. __-how : KNOW.


1. __ Cruces : LAS. We have been here before.

2. Prefix with metric : ISOmetric.

3. Defunct space station : MIR. Interesting LINK.

4. Conan, for one : BARBARIAN. Arnold...

5. Iraqi port : BASRA. Did you KNOW.

6. Dazzling style : OP ART.

7. Vince Gill's "Look __" : AT US.

8. Certain quadrilateral: Abbr. : RECTangle.

9. Half of sechs : DREI. Six/three - German.

10. Simple sign holder : STAKE. Another witty/tricky.

11. Major thoroughfare : ARTERY. The  traffic arteries...

12. Mother's whistler? : KETTLE. Who else but JW gives us a Whistler's Mother clue.

13. Familiar fivesome : SENSES.

18. City about 150 miles east of San Diego : YUMA. 171 miles.

21. "NCIS" airer : CBS TV.

22. It's other than hither : YON.

23. "So that's your game!" : OHO.

24. Apparel : GARB.

27. Accumulated, with "up" : PILED.

28. Many years : AGES.

32. Decimated sea : ARAL.

33. Erato's instrument : LYRE.

34. Assigns work (for), as students : SETS A TASK. So teachers, what do you think.

36. Cite, with "to" : REFER.

37. Religious subgroup : SECT.

40. "Norma __" : RAE.

41. Union title? : MRS. Funny three letter clue/fill.

42. Risky : UNSAFE.

43. "The Bourne Supremacy," e.g. : SEQUEL.
44. Hot spots : SAUNAS.

46. Dunked snack : OREO. Dunkin' Donuts? No, Starbucks.

48. Barista's offering : LATTE.

49. "Over the Rainbow" composer : ARLEN. The whole HISTORY.

50. Misspoke, say : ERRED. ? EED? Misspoke again.

52. While lead-in : ERSTwhile.

53. Cloudless : FAIR.

54. The Auld Sod : EIRE. Ireland.

57. "SNL" castmate of Gilda and Chevy : DAN. Ackroyd.

58. Swellhead's problem : EGO.

59. Wet blanket : DEW. A strong finish, as the dawn shows us the cover on the morning.

I had a bunch of fun - a bushel and a peck! There are so many devious but gettable clue/fill combinations, it was like looking for Easter eggs. Thank you JW, and each and everyone of you. Lemonade out.

Aug 18, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: X marks the spot.

JW is back with another of his intricate visual puzzles, this time presenting 5 different iterations of the word FILES set out in an X pattern indicated by circles. The only strictly theme fill is the reveal:
39A. '90s-'00s sci-fi hit ... or what this puzzle's circles graphically depict : THE X-FILES (9).
The genius comes in when you place the five Xs in the grid so that together they create super X. This is the result of connecting the Xs from NW to SE and SW to NE. But wait - there's more! If the circles in each set are seen as a series, going from left-to-right and top-to-bottom as follows:

                     1        2
                     4        5

you will notice that the letters in FILES rotate in strict sequence from one set to the next.  That is, in the NW set, F is at position number 1, with the other letters following.  In the NE set, the F has shifted to position 2, and the other letters follow.  In the central set, the F is at position 3, and so on. Thus, the positioning of the letters in FILES is not a random scrambling, but a precise progression. The Z pattern he employed to present his pattern eluded me for a very long time.
Another technical marvel of construction.

We also have some fun fill, like ACCOSTS,  ACETONE,  AT A RACE,  BAD SPOT, DOLEFUL, EATS OUT, PROPMAN, PUFFERS,  UPLIFTS, GRAIN SILO, LEXINGTON but it pales in comparison to the architectural masterpiece.  Another YMMV, I guess, but let's see.


1. Sound check item : AMP. Amplifiers have been known as amps for some time!

4. Went down : SANK.  Simple, but so many SYNONYMS.

8. Euripides tragedy : MEDEA. Wife of Jason.

13. __ cross : TAU.  LINK.

14. Skewer relative : PRONG. A skewer is single. The better QUESTION.

16. Hipbone-related : ILIAC.  No more please.
17. Woofer's output? : ARF. Not the tweeter.

18. Even less given to emotion : ICIER.

19. Quantum of solace? : SOFT C. This had me almost as confused as the title of the BOND movie. Here it just means the "C" in the word solace.

20. Leave in disarray, probably : RIFLE.

22. Copier room quantity : REAM. 500 sheets.

24. "Taking that as a given ... " : IF SO. Logic terminology.

25. Comfortable (with) : AT EASE.

27. Indisposed : ILL.

29. Dawn goddess : EOS. I had her many times a few years ago - in my puzzles anyway.

30. Bread component : CARB.

31. Toy used on flights : SLINKY. Not airplanes, stairs.

34. Rural road track : RUT.

35. Disney character who sings, "The cold never bothered me anyway" : ELSA.

36. Go Fish request : TENS. Random, could be ace, two, six or ten.

37. Turns red, maybe : RUSTS. Reddish, actually I believe we call it rust color.

42. 2006 demotion : PLUTO. Yes Mickey was mad at him. Oh, the planet!

45. Heracles' beloved : IOLE. The STORY is more complicated. I do like seeing the Greek name for Hercules in keeping with Friday. .

46. Very little : A DAB. A little one will do you.

50. Agent : REP. Another word that is now acceptable as a word not just an abbreviation.

51. 1962 "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" singer : MONROE. There is a longer version on You Tube.

53. Fla. resort : BOCA. This is a bit misleading as Boca is now a city of almost 100,000 permanent residents. LINK.

54. Natural resource : OIL.

55. Physics unit : ERG.

56. Shut off completely, as lights : KILLED.

58. Trident-shaped letters : PSIS. More Greek.

60. Order to Spot : STAY.

63. Sugar source : BEETS.

64. Civilian garb : MUFTI.

66. Pair in the score for Beethoven's Fifth : OBOES. This is not an additional reference to Marilyn.

68. Dandy : FOP. Similar to last week's TOFF.

69. Partner of ciencias : ARTES. Arts and Sciences...pretty inferrable.

70. Forward attitude : NERVE.

71. Pizzeria chain : UNO. They opened three franchises of this Chicago Pizzeria here in late 70s; they are all gone.

72. Stick dwellings : NESTS. I like this simple clue/fill.

73. Holden Caulfield, for one : TEEN. Catcher in the Rye.

74. Court call : LET. Tennis


1. Visiting Pimlico : AT A RACE. The Preakness.

2. __ counseling : MARITAL.

3. Blowfish : PUFFERS.

4. Furtive sorts : SPIES.

5. Golf chip path : ARC.

6. "The Big Sleep" genre : NOIR.

7. Walk-in joint? : KNEE. I am left with my creaky knees and sore hips.

8. Inaccurate introduction? : MIS. Do?

9. Wells race : ELOI. I thought Yvette Mimieux was beautiful, but enough is enough.

10. Suggests an alternative : DIFFERS.

11. Enjoys a buffet, usually : EATS OUT.

12. Engages with boldness : ACCOSTS.

15. Farm structure : GRAIN SILO.

21. Company that survived Canada's Prohibition : LABATT. Labatt survives Canadian Prohibition by producing full-strength beer for export south of the border and by introducing two "temperance ales" (brews with less than two percent alcohol) for sale in Ontario. When Prohibition was finally repealed in 1927, Labatt was one of the 15 remaining breweries — giving them a strong, fresh start. (Labatt material)

23. Jan. honoree : MLK.

26. Tequila sunrise direction : ESTE. Two days in a row.

28. Old plucked strings : LYRE.

32. Minuteman Statue city : LEXINGTON. There is this ONE. Or this OTHER. You can tell JW is not from New England.

33. About to receive : IN FOR.

38. Not to be wasted : USABLE.

40. Diamond plate : HOME.

41. Garlic relative : LEEK. All you need to know; marry a cook. LINK.

42. Stage employee : PROPMAN.

43. Down time : LEISURE.

44. Makes joyous : UPLIFTS.

47. Joyless : DOLEFUL.

48. Paint thinner solvent : ACETONE.

49. Dicey situation : BAD SPOT.

52. Hosp. areas : ORS.

57. "An Enemy of the People" playwright : IBSEN. If you want to study. LINK.

59. Editor's afterthought : STET.

61. Act as lookout, say : ABET.

62. Time long past : YORE.

65. Orbiting research facility: Abbr. : ISS. International Space Station.

67. "Fairest of creation," in a Milton classic : EVE. Paradise Lost  No Will, either play or poem, but one of my favorites, John Milton.

“O fairest of all creation, last and best
Of all God's works, creature in whom excelled
Whatever can to sight or thought be formed, an enemy of the people
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,
Defaced, deflow'red, and now to death devote?”

Another interesting Friday with most of the cluing fair, but the layers used to create the visual difficult to recognize. I struggled with the pattern. For those who do not like complicated themes, this was intricate but the grid could be filled without circles and without understanding or appreciating the skill needed to build this one. Thank you JW, and thank you all for stopping by. Lemonade out.