Showing posts with label Matt McKinley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Matt McKinley. Show all posts

Jun 16, 2019

Sunday, June 16, 2019 Matt McKinley

Theme: "Low-Tech Glossary"- Punnily rephrasing some computer software terms.
23A. Part of a parallel parking lesson?: BACKUP PROCEDURE.

46A. Cookie recipe?: BATCH FILE.

65A. Déjà vu?: VIRTUAL MEMORY.

87A. Spider-Man?: WEB MASTER.

112. What a jittery camera operator may be having?: TROUBLE SHOOTING.

32D. "I'll skip it, thanks"?: PASS WORDS.

35D. Poirot's note-to-self about locating the Orient Express murder weapon?: SEARCH ENGINE.

39D. Meteorologist's rainfall prediction measure?: CLOUD STORAGE.
57D. Tide table?: FLOWCHART.

I think there's no extra layer. Just software terms, right? TTP will explain the theme better than I do.

I like how the middle entry crosses two Downs. Often the ease up filling. Sometimes it creates expected knotty spots.


1. Next to nothing?: CENT. It's indeed next to nothing: 0.99

5. New newts: EFTS.

9. Trying to break a tie, briefly: IN OT.

13. Battle zone journalist: EMBED. Sebastian Junger stopped reporting on war after his partner died. Sebastian also wrote "The Perfect Storm" and "Tribe".

18. Courier alternative: ARIAL. Font.

20. Area below Greenwich Village: SOHO.

21. Equivalent of neener: NYAH. When repeated.

22. Weeper of myth: NIOBE. You can see her face at here at Turkey's Weeping Rock.

26. "I might": MAYBE.

27. Redundant modifier of "bit": TEENY.

28. Sealskin boot: MUKLUK.They don't look comfortable.

29. Castle defense: MOAT.

31. City west of Boise: NAMPA. Third-most populous city in Idaho.

33. "__ for Alibi": Grafton novel: A IS.

34. Sch. in Manhattan: KANSAS ST. Manhattan, Kansas.

38. One of Mary Stuart's people: SCOT.

40. When one might have a late lunch: AT TWO. We have lunch around 11:00am. How about you?

42. Pet store array: CAGES.

43. Lead-in for worm: EAR.

44. Hesitates: FALTERS.

48. 1977 Steely Dan album: AJA.

49. Pleasing application: ALOE. The fresh aloe juice stings.

50. Nonfiction piece: ESSAY.

52. Mayall of "Drop Dead Fred": RIK. Unknown to me.

53. Go right to the top?: PRAY. Ha.

54. Monetary promises: IOUs.

55. Pretty pitcher: EWER. Here is a Chinese ewer.

56. Starbucks order: DECAF.

58. Stats for NFL defensive linemen: SACKS.

59. Fishing __: ROD. And 45. Land with a 59-Across: REEL IN.

60. Tar Heel State campus: ELON. Our standard pre-Musk clue.

61. Corporate agreement finalizer: SEAL.

62. Basic security feature: LATCH.

64. USN rank: ENS.

68. Shore bird: ERN.

71. Graph's depiction: TREND.

73. Schulz's "psychiatric help" dispenser: LUCY.

74. Tot's scrape: OWIE.

75. New beginning: NEO.

76. Devious intentions: PLOTS.

78. Scrap: SET-TO.

80. Soft shoes: MOCS.

81. PC scrolling key: PGDN. Page Down.

82. Not often seen: RARE.

83. "What __ the odds?!": ARE.

84. Get clean: BATHE.

85. Board game with a lawsuit card: LIFE.

86. Org. with a two-leaved flower logo: EPA.

91. Best way to play, teamwise: AS A UNIT.

93. Wrinkly-faced dog: PUG.

94. Bars on the road: AXLES. Great clue. We have two more bars: 104. Springfield bar: MOE'S. "The Simpsons". Also 111. Bar order: BUD.

95. Actress Samantha: EGGAR.

97. Tax-evasion agts.: T-MEN. And 101. Not quite first-stringers: B TEAM. And 41. Skier's aid: T BAR. A few letter openers.

98. Deceptively convincing: SPECIOUS.

100. Bearded bovine: GNU.

103. Fords whose initials didn't actually stand for anything: LTDS.

104. West Coast surfing mecca: MALIBU.

106. Musical symbols: CLEFS.

109. Just not done: TABOO. In China, we never share a pear, homophone of "separation".

116. Candy heart words: I LUV U.

117. Barely made it, with "by": EKED.

118. Where Zeno taught: ELEA.

119. Cellphone group pic, in slang: WEFIE. Most still call selfie.

120. Military rookie: CADET.

121. Upbeat: ROSY.

122. Snippy return: SASS.

123. Macy's div., e.g.: DEPT.


1. Locomotive compartment: CAB.

2. Q.E.D. word: ERAT.

3. "Impressive!": NICE.

4. What most do in class: TAKE NOTES. Do kids still take notes by hand these days?

5. Medium power?: ESP.

6. Configuration: FORMAT.

7. Bank heist unit: THOU. Thousand.

8. Save, as money: SOCK AWAY.

9. Pakistan's longest river: INDUS. Originating in Tibet.

10. Stooge laugh: NYUK.

11. Row: OAR.

12. Travelers celebrated annually: THE MAGI.

13. How tour groups move: EN MASSE.

14. Mazda two-seater: MIATA.

15. Youngster: BOY.

16. Go out on the beach?: EBB. New clue angle.

17. Bad mark: DEE.

19. Crescent-shaped: LUNATE. Spell check does not like this word.

24. Poe title stowaway: PYM. Refers to "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket".

25. Jennyanydots' creator: ELIOT. Cats.

30. Turow memoir: ONE-L.

34. "The Trial" author: KAFKA.

36. "Solve or spin?" host: SAJAK.

37. Cafeteria staples: TRAYS.

38. Swinging-doors site: SALOON.

42. Gum source: CHICLE. Wiki says "The word chicle comes from the Nahuatl word for the gum, tziktli , which can be translated as "sticky stuff".

44. Renaissance __: FAIRE.

47. Like many shakes: CREAMY.

51. On its way: SENT.

53. Ms. __-Man: PAC.

56. Car battery pioneer: DELCO.

58. Apt rhyme for "eye": STYE.

60. Times to prepare: EVES.

61. Cooks in oil: SAUTES.

63. Happens: ARISES.

66. Michelob diet beers: ULTRAS.

67. Like arguments no longer worth having: MOOT.

69. European perch: REDFIN. With red fins.

70. A chamber work by Louis Spohr was the first to bear this title: NONET. No idea. Wiki says
"Spohr was a noted violinist, and invented the violin chinrest, about 1820."

72. W. Coast's 101, e.g.: RTE.

76. Jobs before the main job: PREPS.

77. Really enjoy: LAP UP.

79. Eponymous chair maker: EAMES. So low. Boomer won't be able to get up.

80. "CSI" actress Helgenberger: MARG.

81. Crashed: PLUMMETED.

84. Enchants: BEGUILES.

87. Bide one's time during, as a storm: WAIT OUT.

88. Bk. after Genesis: EXOD. Exoducs.

89. Much ado about nothing: BLUSTER.

90. Workout wt.: TEN LB.

92. As far down as it's been: AT A LOW.

96. Rule violations: ABUSES.

99. Garlic unit: CLOVE. Steve probably has tried black garlic.

100. Overly showy: GAUDY.

102. Prefix with tourist: ECO.

105. Composer Bartók: BELA.

107. Wind similar to a piccolo: FIFE.

108. Small cut: SNIP.

109. Involuntary habit: TIC.

110. Phrase on a menu: A LA.

113. "Top Hat" studio: RKO.

114. Already acquired: HAS.

115. Acquire: GET.

Here is the Pisa guy I was looking for last week. Once you meet Gary and hear his voice, you'll never forget him.

Husker Gary
Here is a picture of dear Bill G and his wife Barbara "at our favorite restaurant, Il Fornaio, celebrating our 54-year anniversary". Congratulations, Bill!

Barbara and Bill G


Apr 29, 2019

Monday April 29, 2019 Matt McKinley

Theme: MLB (66. Org. in which the start of five answers is a "central" player) - Each starting word is a AL or NL Central player.
16A. Advice columnists Ann and Abby, e.g. (AL Central): TWIN SISTERS.

37A. Monarch's self-referential plural pronoun (AL Central): ROYAL WE.

59A. Pride or greed, e.g. (NL Central): CARDINAL SIN.
9D. Preteens in a pack (NL Central): CUB SCOUTS.

32D. Warnings of serious danger (NL Central): RED ALERTS.

Boomer here.

A bit of a tough time last week. Our homeowners association hired a contractor to replace our roof shingles. Not only was the noise unbearable, but they also moved my Direct TV satellite dish off line and I had NO TV for three days!

C.C. and I spent several days out of the house, donating a little money to Mystic Lake casino, (a small gambling loss and feasting at their buffet for lunch two days.) We also made a stop at the famous Mall of America, however we did not buy much, MOA has tourist trap pricing in most stores. 


1. Britannica ref.: ENC

4. Singer LuPone: PATTI.  Not familiar with her, but I have heard of Patti Page.

9. Baseball hat: CAP.  I have quite a few.  Some are TC, Some are Vikings, and a lot are Golf.

12. Classic grape soda: NEHI.  I believe this was a favorite of Radar O'Reilly.

14. Sarge's command: TEN HUT.  Sarge's command for Attention.  Ten Huts is where we lived.

15. Put into play: USE.

18. "If I may digress ...," in texts: BTW.

19. Sprinted: RAN FAST.  When I was a kid, women wore nylon stockings that ran fast.

20. Jackie's Ari: ONASSIS.  Jackie could have written the book "How to Marry a Millionaire",

22. __ one's time: didn't rush: TOOK.

23. Sharp-tasting: ACIDIC.

24. King's tenure: REIGN.  "Uh Ha, Oh no, don't let the reign come down."  

27. Tiered Asian temple: PAGODA.

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an, China

30. Apt.'s sleeping area: BDRM.  Still not fond of abbreviations.

33. "Bro!": DUDE.  "Hey Dude, Don't make it bad, Take a sad song, and make it better."

35. Hitch, as a ride: THUMB.  Wow, I did this so many times before I had a car.  My high school was 5 miles from my home, and if I needed to stay after school there was no activity bus.  Once I hitchhiked home from Sacramento to Minneapolis.

36. Commit perjury: LIE.

39. Shop __ you drop: TIL.  You can really get exhausted at good old Mall of America.

40. "The Giant" of wrestling: ANDRE.  He spent some time in Vern Gagne's AWA.  I remember his battle with Hulk Hogan in WrestleMania, however I do not think he ever fought (Governor) Jesse, "The Body" Ventura.  Andre was one year older than I but he passed in 1993.  Those seven foot 520 pounders don't seem to last as long as six foot two - 180 lbs. (But they make more $$$)

42. Food for hogs: SLOP.  Aw, don't call my dinner slop.

43. "Ohio" quartet, initially: CSNY. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

44. St. Peter's domain: HEAVEN.  I checked with Warren Beatty and "Heaven Can Wait" 

46. "The Lion King" hero: SIMBA.  I know lions are kings of the jungle, but I never saw one wearing a crown.

48. Chinese PC giant whose name is partly derived from the Latin for "new": LENOVO.  I am preparing these comments on our Lenovo, which has been very dependable over several years. 

50. Hertz rival: AVIS.  We always answer this clue with Avis. We don't often  see National, Budget, Dollar, Payless, Enterprise, Alamo, Advantage, or Thrifty.  Maybe Avis is the only four letter rental company. 

53. Faddish pursuit, after "all": THE RAGE.  Isn't this where kids go to smoke pot and listen to bands?  "Or is that only on Law & Order"?

55. Carefree antics: HIJINKS.  My Mother used to bowl on a team with a lady whose nickname was Jinks.  So when I saw her I said ---

58. "The Fault in __ Stars": 2014 film: OUR.
61. Obtain: GET.  That's why they say Go-getter, and not Go-obtainer.

62. Neatened (up): TIDIED.  Or clean up your wash.

63. Chekov bridgemate, in "Star Trek": SULU.

64. GEICO specialties?: ADS.  Not only GEICO.  I get a kick out of all those companies try to "Out funny" each other. I do laugh at their lies about how much money they can save us though. 

65. Little cuts: SNIPS


1. __'acte: intermission: ENTR.

2. A novice in: NEW AT.

3. Trouser material: CHINO.  Never had a pair and Santa, do NOT bring me one

4. Kid brother, at times: PEST.  I never had a brother and my sisters were not pests.  But here in Minnesota, we have plenty of mosquitoes.

5. Colony crawler: ANT. And ANTS

6. 2000s teen drama set in California: THE OC.  I have heard of this, it is something about Orange County.  But I think it's a stretch for a Monday puzzle.

7. Rutabaga, e.g.: TURNIP.

8. Tryst-confirming words: IT'S A DATE.  I try to avoid politics but I cannot resist.  An MSNBC guest the other day said that Cory Booker is trying so hard to be the next Obama, he was waiting for him to ask Michelle for a date.

10. Italian wine hub: ASTI.  I never liked wine.  Is Italian better than French.  I remember Christmas Eve my uncle would bring a quart of Mogen David to Grandma's and we would all have a sip.

11. Chapel seats: PEWS.  Correct, and they don't smell.

13. Bring up to speed: INFORM.  Step on the gas ??

14. "__ the season ... ": TIS.  To be Jolly Fa la la.  A little early, or late for this clue.

17. Sushi bar drink: SAKE.  Does this taste like Mogen David ??

21. [Ah, me!]: SIGH.  Once there was a silly old ram, thought he'd bust a hole in the fam.  But he had SIGH hopes.

23. "Furthermore ... ": AND ALSO.  I expect we will hear these words in many speeches next year.

25. Altar promise: I DO.

26. Five __: burger chain: GUYS.  I think I have heard of this.  Is one of the guys named McDonald ??

28. Key with one flat: Abbr.: D MIN.  Also on my Report Card.

29. With dexterity: ABLY.  Hope I can ABLY hit a golf ball if the weather warms up.  I think it was 40 on Saturday, but there was a prediction of snow and thankfully it did not show up.

30. "How dull": BLAH.  "Save the Life of my Child"  Simon and Garfunkel "Bookends"

Said officer MacDougal in dismay:
"The force can't do a decent job
'Cause the kids got no respect
For the law today (and blah blah blah)."

31. Enjoy fine food: DINE.  Okay, and what kind of wine??

34. Wells sci-fi race: ELOI.  "The Time Machine".

37. Performs in costume, as a Civil War battle: RE-ENACTS.  I think the Civil War was a terrible era of U.S. history and I am not a fan of any re-enactment or movie.

38. Typist's meas.: WPM.  Believe it or not, First Sergeant Chapman liked me and the Army taught me how to type and I became a Company Clerk along with Mail Clerk so everyone liked me.  I was the Radar O'Reilly of the 606th Medical Ambulance Company of Fort Campbell, Ky. 42223

41. KOA patron: RVER.  Never owned one.  There is a company in Iowa that makes Winnebago RVs.  They are expensive and huge. Many people spend a lot of money on vehicles and fuel, just so they don't have to stay in a hotel.   

43. Nitpicks: CAVILS.

45. Consequence of an absence of pain, in an exercise mantra: NO GAIN.  I have some exercises to try, hopefully to improve my balance. Thank you, Dr. Nina.

47. Mexicali's peninsula: BAJA.  This is an interesting peninsula.  It's a Mexican State which does not seem to be connected to Mexico.  Northern border is California with maybe just a touch of border with Mexico across the Colorado River.  I visited Tijuana once many years ago.  The entire city was a flea market.  Is it still that way?? 

49. "Rigoletto" composer: VERDI.

51. "To wrap up ... ": IN SUM.

52. Proficiency: SKILL.  Hope those of you with SKILL at crosswords got this far without using any cross words.

53. Frat party garb: TOGA.  Cannot help but thinking of John Belushi in "Animal House".

54. Tinted: HUED.

55. Makes haste, old-style: HIES.

56. Swing voter: Abbr.: IND.

57. Cold shoulder: SNUB.  Go a little lower and you'll get to BUNS

60. Quick swim: DIP.  Yup but this can also be an adjective.

Final season bowling report. My Thursday night league had an 8 team roll off which my team was not included.  So I competed with other outcasts in a three game no tap tournament.  No Tap is a form of bowling that when you knock any nine pins down on your first ball, it counts as a strike. The huge advantage is consecutive strikes will add to your score, plus you do not have to worry about missing the ten pin if you leave it.  I did encounter a pocket 7-10 which screws thing up, but my final was 224-189- and 258=671.  With my handicap I think I finished 3rd out of about 32 entries.  It's not a big money event, but I expect to receive maybe $20-$25 which of course I will split with my wonderful wife, C.C. so she can buy some Tofu.

Note from C.C.:

Wendybird emailed me this question yesterday.

"For some reason, when I type my comment in the box and hit “publish”, it never appears. I thought I had indicated my “name” as Wendybird, but that doesn’t show up either.  I thought maybe I was supposed to hit “preview” first, so I did, but my comment just vanished."

I remember SwampCat or CanadianEh! experienced the same glitch a while ago with their iPhone or iPad. How did you guys solve the problem?

Mar 17, 2019

Sunday March 17, 2019 Matt McKinley

Theme: "Going Green" - Each theme entry is a different definition of "green"





113A. Green: COLOR FOR ST PATRICK'S DAY. Apt for today.

36D. Green: NEW ON THE JOB.


This type of theme is called Definition. You definite various meanings of a certain word or phrase.

The theme entries in this category are often made-up. In today's set, only 42D is a solid in the language phrase. 

1. Boxer who defeated Holyfield twice: BOWE. Riddick.

5. Contentious shoulder piece?: CHIPChip on one's shoulder.

9. Equal-split offer: HALF. Half and half.

13. Rugby tussles: SCRUMS. Like this.

19. Lang. of Livorno: ITAL.

20. Border Patrol city of the Southwest: YUMA. Also 46. Southwest formation: MESA.

21. Three Rivers river: OHIO.

22. "That's enough!": QUIT IT.

27. Samson's betrayer: DELILAH. My luggage bag is Samsonite. Still sturdy. Been with me since 1995.

28. Pub bud: LAD.

29. Apostle also called Levi: MATTHEW.

30. Habit wearer: NUN.

31. Happy eating word: NOM.

33. Kewpie and kachina: DOLLS.

34. Kings, e.g.: MEN.

42. Not a Crimson fan: ELI. Harvard Crimson.

45. Break-in sound?: AHEM. Guttural break-in.

47. Hawaiian goose: NENE.

48. Prepare to take off, perhaps: UNTIE.

49. Printer function: SCAN.

50. Premier League soccer anchor Rebecca: LOWE. Learning moment for me.

51. Nissan model: SENTRA.

53. Ownership proof: DEED.

54. Suffragist Julia Ward __: HOWE. No idea.

55. Terrible year?: TWOS.

56. Metal containers: TINS.

57. Heart and soul, e.g.: NOUNS. Nice clue.

59. Slapped-on restraints: CUFFS.

60. Cremona Christmas: NATALE. Alliteration.

62. AEC successor: NRC.

63. Beast in a Beatles' title: WALRUS. "I am the Walrus."

64. Iowa summer hrs.: CDT.

71. Land in the Seine: ILE.

72. Try again: RE-HEAR. Try a case.

74. Really irritate: VEX.

75. Bully's words: OR ELSE.

77. Come to __: AN END.

78. Tenth of a grand: C NOTE.

80. Part of a cook's job: PREP. My friend Carmen had to prep a special meal last Thursday. Her step-daughter Xiao Pan got married the next day. Here is Xiao Pan observing some Cantonese ritual: burning incense, offering food to your departed ones, asking for their blessings, etc. Then you can eat the food.

Xiao Pan, 3/14/2019
Xiao Pan and her dad Lao Pan, 3/15/2019

81. Recognized: KNEW.

84. Pacific island nation: FIJI.

85. Winter truck attachment: PLOW.

86. Zoomed past: SPED BY.

88. Unproductive: IDLE.

89. Walked: TROD.

90. "Mean Girls" actress: LOHAN (Lindsay). Used to be a tabloid favorite.

92. Jim Davis canine: ODIE.

93. "The Nutcracker" dip: PLIE.

94. Sad sound: SOB.

99. Himalayan beast: YAK.

100. Until now: AS YET.

101. One of the 91-Down: MET. 91. Citi Field team, on scoreboards: NYM. Tiny dupe.

102. Moving wheels: VAN.

104. Needing bailing out, maybe: IN A SPOT.

107. 60 secs.: MIN.

109. Museum works: FINE ART.

118. Allowing for the possibility that: EVEN IF.

119. With 109-Down, obsession: IDEE. And 109. See 119-Across: FIXE.

120. Hot message: SEXT.

121. Against-the-wind sailing maneuver: TACK.

122. Handy reference: ROGET'S.

123. Springlike, as weather: MILD. Look forward to the spring. Such a long winter.

124. Skip-a-round privileges: BYES.

125. Barrie's bosun: SMEE.


1. Texas city nickname: BIG D. Dallas.

2. Siouan tribe: OTOE.

3. Interactive Facebook feature: WALL.

4. Diminutive: ELFIN.

5. Roxane's lover: CYRANO. Cyrano de Bergerac.

6. One may come over a crowd: HUSH.

7. Prankster: IMP. Dear Spitzboov!

8. Name of six popes: PAUL.

9. Ballpark staple: HOTDOG.

10. Yellowfin tuna: AHI. Our local Aldi carries Ahi tuna.

11. Three-time Tony winner __-Manuel Miranda: LIN.

12. Daze: FOG.

13. Blew big-time: SQUALLED.

14. In a snippy manner: CURTLY.

15. Falling-outs: RIFTS.

16. Bryce Canyon locale: UTAH.

17. Clock-climbing trio: MICE. Does the clue refer to this nursery rhyme? Never heard of it.

18. Slow cooker dish: STEW.

24. Jewish month after Av: ELUL. Final month of the Jewish calendar. Also 49. Synagogue: SHUL.

25. Hide seeker: TANNER.

26. Appalachian range: SMOKIES.

32. The NCAA's Spartans: MSU.

33. 1971 American Airlines debut: DC-TEN.

34. Ice cream treat: MALT.

35. Self-help website: EHOW.

38. 1936 Literature Nobelist: O'NEILL. Eugene.

39. Vacation home for dogs?: KENNEL. Great clue as well.

40. QBs' concerns: INTS.

41. Bring about: INDUCE.

43. Allowed: LAWFUL.

44. Actually existing: IN ESSE.

51. Word with way or case: STAIR.

52. Wings: ANNEXES.

58. Frodo pursuer: ORC.

59. Psychiatrist Jung: CARL.

61. Spot during a program: TV AD.

63. Reacting to a tearjerker: WEEPY.

64. Skillfully makes: CRAFTS.

65. 2003 AFI Life Achievement Award recipient: DE NIRO.

67. Promise: AVOWAL.

68. Acquire: GET.

69. Kind of skiing: NORDIC.

70. He has the answers: TREBEK. You can beat the odds.

73. Geraint's beloved: ENID.

76. Decide not to attend: SKIP.

78. Intimate with: CLOSE TO. I was very close to Carmen when I worked in Guangzhou. I often went to their home for dinners. Xiao Pan was a shy little girl then. Hope I can see them again someday.

Carmen, Lao Pan, Xiao Pan and Xiao Pan's new husband, 3/15/2019

79. Like seven Nolan Ryan games: NO HIT.

80. Mani mate: PEDI.

82. Lamb pen name: ELIA. Charles Lamb.

83. Common pay period: WEEK.

85. End-of-season games: PLAYOFFS.

87. Shylock's adversary: PORTIA.  "The Merchant of Venice".

95. __ de corps: ESPRIT. Also a big brand in Asia.

96. Filled in: TEMPED.

97. Throws out: EVICTS.

98. Like many basements: DANK.

100. Together: AS ONE.

103. Homes in the woods: NESTS. Birds' needs are so little.

104. Bakery specialist: ICER.

105. Porto-__: Benin's capital: NOVO.

106. Shake __: hurry: A LEG.

108. Accident investigation agcy.: NTSB.

110. Eliot's "__ Bede": ADAM.

111. Track event: RACE.

112. Youngster: TYKE.

114. Edge of a canyon: RIM.

115. Star Wars initials: SDI. Strategic Defense Initiative. Reagan's Star Wars.

116. Smartphone no.: TEL.

117. Ferdinand II of Aragón, por ejemplo: REY.


Nov 12, 2018

Monday November 12, 2018 Matt McKinley

Theme: : INSIDE STORY (54. Facts known to a select few ... and a hint to each set of circled letters) - Three type of stories span across each theme entry.
17. Forgetful moment: MENTAL LAPSE. Tall story.
26. One arguing for the unpopular side: DEVILS ADVOCATE. Sad story.

41. Education division governed by a board: SCHOOL DISTRICT. Old story.

Boomer here.  

I would like to thank all of the veterans out there for their service to our country. I was also part of the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970. I did not serve in Vietnam, however I worked in the US Army Hospital in Fort Campbell, KY and then was sent overseas to a Nike Missile battalion in Hardheim Germany. I never was a big fan of beer, and certainly did not care at all for the German version, but many of my friends loved it. 

I also would like to remember the Armistice day blizzard of 1940.  My mother would mention it every year about this time. The day started warmly but then temperatures dropped around 50 degrees F and nearly two feet of snow fell in Minnesota. I believe around 50 people lost their lives that day. Armistice Day was created to honor the end of WWI (Century being honored this week in Paris).  After WWII, Dwight Eisenhower changed it to Veterans Day in 1954. 


1. Tempo similar to lento: LARGO.  A key in Florida

6. Quacked insurance name: AFLAC.  Known for clever commercials on TV.  Much better than Medicare supplement ads.

11. Film watcher's channel: TMC. There are so many movie channels on cable now, I can't keep up with all of them.

14. Plane, to Pierre: AVION.

15. "Fighting" Notre Dame team: IRISH.  What though the odds be great or small, Old Notre Dame will win over all. Knute is a great Norwegian name.

16. Listening organ: EAR.  I do not consider an ear an organ.  You cannot play church music on it.

19. Falsehood: LIE.

20. Request: ASK.  And you shall receive.  Wear an 80s jersey and you may also receive.

21. Great enthusiasm: GUSTO. Go for Schlitz beer.

22. Revise, as text: EMEND.

24. Indian lentil stew: DAL.  "How 'bout them Cowboys !"

25. Sporty sunroofs: T-TOPS.  Popular in the 70s.  I don't see them much any more. I suppose folks did not want to spend the money on them.

32. Absorb the lesson: LEARN.  PBA Senior member Bob Jr.

33. Applauds: CLAPS.  Roll a 7 against the point and it's CRAPS.

34. Effort: TRY.

35. Rowing tools: OARS.  Gently down the stream.

36. "Cha-__!": register sound: CHING.  That's the way you spell it, but it never makes that sound.

37. Delighted shout from the roller coaster: WHEE.

38. Summer hrs. in Oregon: PDT.  We turned our clocks back last week. 

39. William __, early bathysphere user: BEEBE. Monday word???

40. Exclaimed: CRIED.

44. Peer: EQUAL.

45. Humble dwelling: HUT. I think this is where the first little pig lived.

46. Aleut relative: INUIT.

47. Louvre Pyramid architect: I M PEI. A Frank Lloyd Wright competitor, I think.

50. Govt. agent: FED.

53. Windy City rail initials: CTA.  Not to be confused with the MTA of Boston.  (Poor old Charlie)

57. Funhouse reaction: EEK.  No funhouse ever scared me.  I only eek at snakes.

58. Wafer named for its flavor: NILLA.

59. Like a funhouse: EERIE.  More like the Twilight Zone.  Do do do do

60. Dr. of rap: DRE.

61. Best Buy "squad" members: GEEKS.  We have used the Geek Squad several times. Amazing how they can fix computers.

62. Faked, in hockey: DEKED.  Then, "He shoots, he scooorrres !"


1. Dalai __: LAMA.

2. NYC's Madison and Lexington: AVES.  Duh … I would think we have Aves in every city.

3. Hockey enclosure: RINK. Most have boards now, but when I was a kid we played hockey on wide open rinks

4. Received: GOT.

5. Rescheduled after being canceled, as a meeting: ON AGAIN. The stock market has been on a gain fairly recently.

6. Afflicts: AILS.

7. House with brothers: FRAT.  In a Fraternity, if you F a class you are a RAT.

8. Slimming surgery, for short: LIPO.  Better to just eat less don'tcha think.

9. Braying beast: ASS.  No comment

10. Frito-Lay corn snacks: CHEETOS.  Delicious, but they might turn your fingers orange.

11. Blessed with ESP: TELEPATHIC.

12. Primary thoroughfare in many towns: MAIN STREET. This was a book by Sinclair Lewis, reflecting on his life in a small town, Sauk Centre MN.

13. Believability, for short: CRED.  I SEE RED when I see half a word.

18. Break in the action: LULL.  Wishing for a lull in the California fires.

23. Soft shoe: MOC.  Another half a word

24. TiVo products: DVRS.  Wanna buy a vowel ??

25. Freq. sitcom rating: TV PG.  See above.

26. Right smack in the middle: DEAD CENTER.

27. Threat from a fault: EARTHQUAKE. Another California dread. My sisters have lived through several.

28. NFL list of games, e.g.: SCHED.  Nothing for my Vikings this week.  The NFL added bye weeks to the schedules a few years ago.

29. Crook's cover: ALIBI.

30. Claire of "Homeland": DANES.

31. Observed closely: EYED.

32. Cuts (off): LOPS.

36. Phone in a purse: CELL. These things are incredible now. I see people reading their email on their phone.

37. Legal document: WRIT.

39. Enjoying the ocean: BOATING.  We have 10,000 lakes to enjoy.  Don't need an ocean.

40. Enjoyed the ocean: CRUISED. ditto

42. Yves' yes: OUI.  One of the three French words I know.  (The others are FRIES and TOAST)

43. Biblical pronoun: THEE.

46. Cooled with cubes: ICED.  That's why it's called ICED Tea, not Ice Tea.

47. Ocean map dot: ISLE.

48. Cereal go-with: MILK.  Every morning.

49. Smooching in a crowded park and such, briefly: PDAS.  Public displays of Affection, but also a personal data something or other, like a cell phone.

50. Road divide: FORK.  As Yogi once said, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it".  Speaking of pretty good all time catchers,  Joe Mauer announced his retirement a couple of days ago.

51. Lake that's a homophone of 59-Across: ERIE. The most common crossword Great Lake by far!

52. Lightened, as hair: DYED.  I think if you lightened it, it's bleached.  Darken it would be dyed.

55. Nietzsche's "never": NIE.

56. Casual shirt: TEE.  I have some of these.  But I also have a few in my golf bag.


Notes from C.C.:

Happy birthday to Rich Norris, editor of LA Times Daily Crossword. Often half or more of clues in our daily puzzles are Rich's creations. And he always helps constructors to make the theme tighter and fill cleaner. He's just a quiet and generous soul.

Rich and his wife Kim

Sep 10, 2018

Monday September 10, 2018 Matt McKinley

Theme: STRING TRIO (62. Composition for violin, viola and cello ... and what the starts of 17-, 29- and 47-Across comprise) - The first words are all synonyms of string.
17. Job: LINE OF WORK.

29. Switching from cable TV to streaming, say: CORD CUTTING.

47. Bedsheet buyer's concern: THREAD COUNT.

Boomer here. I am not stringing you along. I may have mentioned that I play a little golf in the summer, and I also watch the PGA on TV.  I have noticed two differences between the Pros short iron approach shots and my own:

1) No one shouts "Go in the hole" when I hit my shot.

2) When the pro hits his shot, the divot flies farther in the air than my golf ball.  

Tomorrow, I hope you will join me in pausing to reflect on the tragedy on this date in 2001.  Like most folks, I remember where I was and what I was thinking nearly every minute.


1. "We Create Music" org.: ASCAP.

6. "You're a riot": HA HA.  I think we had this last week.  (It wasn't funny then either.)

10. Sportscaster Albert: MARV.  Mostly basketball.

14. Diner counter alternative: BOOTH. It's been awhile since I have seen a counter in a diner.  Usually it's a choice of a table or booth.

15. Hasn't paid yet: OWES.  I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.  7 Dwarfs??

16. Jai __: ALAI.

19. Govt. crash investigator: NTSB. National Transportation Safety Board.

20. Weather-affecting current: EL NINO.  The claim is that the climate change can cause milder, warmer winters.  Stop kidding me, I live in Minnesota.  However Storm products named one of their bowling balls El Nino.  (I have one).

 21. Give up all expectations: LOSE HOPE.

23. __ Strauss, female touring guitarist for Alice Cooper: NITA.

25. Greek "i": IOTA.  Certainly have to love these four letter words with three vowels.

26. BB-shaped legume: PEA.  When I was a kid, I remember having a pea shooter.  But we did not shoot real peas unless they were those dried up hard things from the dime store.

34. Relaxing time in the chalet: APRES-SKI.  As opposed to Alps Ski, which cannot be relaxing.

36. Skin ink: TATTOO.  "Ze plane Ze plane"  Remember "Fantasy Island"?  I think Tattoo's real name was Herve. 

37. Four-time '60s-'70s A.L. All-Star __ Powell: BOOG.  At one time, Boog was the only player to play in the Little League World Series and the Major League World Series.  His real name is John.  Booger was in "Animal House"

38. 42-yr.-old skit show: SNL.  Loved it when Tina Fey did Sarah Palin.  I don't stay up that late anymore.

40. Regarding: AS TO.

41. Not at all abundant: SCARCE.

44. Totally loses it: GOES NUTS. Tyrrell Hatton is gaining this reputation when he misses a short putt.

49. Observe: SEE.  He joined the navy, to see the world, but what did he see, he saw the sea.

50. Pop's Lady __: GAGA.  Many have gone GAGA over this lady.  Not me.

51. 1982 Disney sci-fi film: TRON.  Huge Disney success

53. Most ordinary: PLAINEST. Tattoo - "Ze plainest, Ze plainest !"

57. Hydrocodone, e.g.: OPIATE.  I don't like this word.  It stands for a product that has caused so much heartache in our country.

61. Like un maníaco: LOCO.

64. Color of raw silk: ECRU.  Is raw silk, silk that has not been cooked?

65. Sights from la mer: ILES.

66. Longtime senator Specter: ARLEN.  From Pennsylvania. Could not decide if he was a Republican or a Democrat.

67. Vintage Jags: XKES.  The last thing I remember Doc, is that XKE did not come back from Dead Man's Curve.

68. Not e'en once: NEER.  Clever clue for never.

69. Wall Street's Standard & __: POORS.  Interesting name for an investment company.  Do you want to be Standard, or Poor ?


1. Having the skills: ABLE.

2. Window box dirt: SOIL.

3. Hartford's st.: CONN.  Great College Women's Basketball State,

4. Had food delivered: ATE IN.

5. "Hooked on" language teaching method: PHONICS.  Wow, do they still have this.  I remember having Phonics in first grade.

6. In what way: HOW.  "Hello" Clayton Moore from Jay Silverheels

7. GI on the run: AWOL.  Absent Without Leave.  Saw a bit of that in the States.  No so much in Germany - nowhere to run except a beer joint.

8. Valiant: HEROIC.

9. Invites to the prom, say: ASKS OUT.

10. Borough across the Harlem River from the Bronx: MANHATTAN.  Home of "Law and Order".

11. Voice above tenor: ALTO.  I disagree.  Tenor is a male voice, Alto is female,  I would clue voice below soprano.

12. Abrasive tool: RASP.

13. Hard-to-explain feeling: VIBE.  Pontiac SUV 10 years ago.  No more Pontiacs these days.

18. Pics: FOTOS.  Spelling ???

22. Bluesy James: ETTA.  Ms. Kett was a manners expert.

24. Boats like Noah's: ARKS.  I heard they are 300 cubits.  What's a cubit?

26. Brew brand with a blue-ribbon logo: PABST.  What'll you have ?

27. Pleistocene period: EPOCH.

28. Cheering and yelling, as a crowd: AROAR.  I watched a bit of football at Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday TV.  What a display of nearly 80,000 fans in red shirts cheering for the Badgers.  Then on Saturday night, I tuned in to the Gopher game vs. Fresno State.  Maroon and gold tee shirts and jerseys.  About 60,000 of them.  Amazing the drawing power of college football.

30. Down Under dog: DINGO.  Maybe your Dingo ate it.

31. "Who's there?" response from a couple: IT'S US.

32. Naples night: NOTTE.

33. Golden-egg layer: GOOSE.  Mr. Goslin - Hall of Famer for the C. Griffith Washington Senators, Also Mr. Gossage - Relief pitcher, mostly for the Yankees.

35. Flagrant: EGREGIOUS.

39. Rude dude: LOUT.  If he gets too loud, kick him out.

42. Actor Scott or his dad James: CAAN.  I really liked James in the TV Series "Las Vegas".

43. Enters sneakily: EDGES IN.

45. 2001 scandal company: ENRON. I still have some Enron Golf balls I bought on ebay a few years ago

46. Temporary solution: STOPGAP.

48. Structure protected by a moat: CASTLE.  Europe still has lots of these.  They are built like a ton of bricks with a ton of bricks. 

52. The "N" in "TNT": NITRO.  Also "Network" on Cable TV.  245 on Direct TV.

53. Theater suffix: PLEX.

54. What a key opens: LOCK.

55. Farmland measure: ACRE.   What a dentist fixes.

56. One in a forest: TREE.  If it falls in the forest and no one is around, you cannot hear it.

58. Woody Guthrie's son: ARLO.  You can get any thing you want, at "Alice's Restaurant".  I'll bet they had a counter there. 

59. Stadium section: TIER. A little bitty tier let me down

60. Many millennia: EONS.

63. Dead Sea country: Abbr.: ISR.


Jul 30, 2018

Monday July 30, 2018 Matt McKinley

Theme: HAIR SALON (60. Permanent place ... and where to find the starts of the answers to starred clues)

17A. *ATM user's code: PIN NUMBER.

38A. *Contact sport on skates: ROLLER DERBY.

9D. *Forest threat: BRUSH FIRE.

35D. *Business known for overcharging, in slang: CLIP JOINT.

Boomer here.  OR I could ROLLER the ball and BRUSH by the 6 PIN and CLIP the ten.

Good Morning!  I was never too fond of Mondays in the old days, but since I retired they are not too bad.  C.C. and I are looking forward to later in the week to attend the 3M PGA Champions tour (over 50) in Blaine, Minnesota. I do not get to play, even though my 9 hole scores have been over 50 for a few years. But of course the pros must be over 50 years of age. What a great format! We drive to a small airport about a mile from the course and park (no charge). A shuttle bus takes us to the golf course entry and we walk in. (no charge). 3M has a tent set up and we walk in and some 3M volunteers hand us a bag full of 3M products. (no charge).  There is an area where you might purchase souvenirs, but there are also various businesses set up in the tent.  Last year we received free samples of Osteo Biflex ease and Nature Valley munchies.  Next year 3M is sponsoring a regular tour event at the TPC in Blaine, however the "free of charge" will be history.

1. "__ la Douce": IRMA.

5. Beat decisively: DRUB.  Looks like D Rub.  A muscle pain relaxer.

9. High-80s grade: B PLUS. My high school gave number grades, 70 was passing, I think B+ was about 88-90.

14. Not nice at all: MEAN.  Whaddya MEAN, not nice ?

15. In __: as placed: SITU. I think I saw this word in a previous crossword.  I did not know what it meant then, and I still don't.

16. "Spider-Man" trilogy director Sam: RAIMI.

19. It usually shows AK and HI as insets: US MAP.  I think I was about 12 when Alaska and Hawaii were added states to the U.S.  Welcome.

20. Subordinate to: UNDER.

21. Newspapers, collectively: PRESS.  Minneapolis has only one local paper, but you can also receive USA Today or a Wall Street Journal.  New York has a ton of press, I would not be able to keep up.

23. Lightning-to-thunder interval, e.g.: TIME LAG.  Lightning is quite a phenomena.  Who would think that a couple of harmless clouds would rub together and produce a million volts?

26. Play with Iago: OTHELLO.  No this was not Alexander Graham Bell's suggestion to answer a phone.  He suggested Ahoy - Hoy.

30. Naval rank: Abbr.: ENS.  I think I covered Ensign last week.

31. Crosses (out): X'ES.  Most people use "Wite out" now.

33. Fearful: AFRAID.  Three strings went into a bar.  Two of them were refused service because they were strings. The third went into the bathroom, mussed up one end and tied himself.  He returned to the bar and ordered but the bartender said, "Wait a minute, are you a string?"  No was the reply. "I'm a frayed knot"

34. Start of Act II, say: SCENE I.  I never saw a purple cow.  Have you SEEN ONE?

37. Needs to be submitted by, as a term paper: IS DUE.

40. Garlicky sauce: AIOLI.  There's that five letter word with four vowels again.

42. "Fringe on top" carriage of song: SURREY. Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry.

43. LIKE THIS CLUE: IN CAPS.  Like a baseball team too.

45. GI's internet suffix: MIL.

46. Director Lee: ANG.

49. Exec's aircraft: LEAR JET.

51. Elizabeth Warren or Lisa Murkowski, e.g.: SENATOR.  Minnesota is one of only 6 states that are represented by two women in the U.S. Senate.

54. Elizabeth Warren or Lisa Murkowski, e.g.: WOMAN. Hear me roar.

56. Bush 43 successor: OBAMA.

57. Diameter halves: RADII.  Interesting plural - not radiuses.

63. Sch. east of Hartford: UCONN.  Great women's basketball power.

64. Grand Ole __: OPRY.  In the service, I was 40 miles north of Nashville. You would not believe the impact the OPRY had on the population there.

65. Civil wrong: TORT.  Silly me.  I thought tort was something you can eat.

66. Cake pan trademark: BUNDT.

67. Make less difficult: EASE.  Not sure why the medication was called Osteo Byflex EASE.  Odd name but it did not do much for me.

68. Lambs' moms: EWES.


1. Ascribe (to): IMPUTE.

2. Get control of: REIN IN.  Let the sunshine, don't let the rain in.

3. Classic colorful candies: M AND M'S.  Famous and absolutely great candy.  Not for me anymore though.  Blood sugar too high.

4. Year in France: ANNEE.  NFL players are no longer allowed to take A KNEE during the Anthem.

5. U.S. Army award: DSM.  High award for distinguished service.

6. Barbecued piece: RIB.  Don't forget the Sauce!

7. Sch. near the Rio Grande: UTEP. El Paso, right on the U.S. border with Mexico.

8. Grand Canyon critter: BURRO.  In Minnesota, it's something we say when it is COLDO

10. Ones who may stop to help: PASSERSBY.

11. Peru airport abbr.: LIM.  This is the International Airport in Lima.  But Peru has about 8 more.

12. Thurman of movies: UMA.  So many three letter words. They might all be airports.

13. Taste of a drink: SIP.

18. Internet address: URL.

22. Incoming flight info: ETA. When will we get there or WWWGT.

24. Ice skater's jump: AXEL.  When I was a kid, there was a TV show featuring "Axel and his Dog".  He would close his show every night with a "Birdie".  Like this - "Birdie with his yellow bill, hopped upon my window sill.  Cocked a shining eye and said "Hey, What did you do when your wife dropped the cake?  Batter ?"

25. Heredity units: GENES.  If you have bad Genes, try Levi's

27. Title for Godiva: LADY.  Could be a Kenny Rogers song

28. Actress Lucy: LIU.  One of Charlie's Angels.  Only in the movie though.

29. "__ to Billie Joe": ODE.  It was the third of June another sleepy, dusty, delta day

32. Hospital supply: SERUM.

34. Sun emanation responsible for the northern lights: SOLAR WIND.  Solar means Sun.  I know what wind is.  I wonder how windy it is up there.

36. Elba of "The Wire": IDRIS.

38. Almond __: candy: ROCA.

39. Mystery writer Gardner: ERLE.  Many Perry Mason tales.  One of my favorites.

40. Feel sick: AIL.

41. Suffix with hero: INE.

44. Coll. term: SEM.

46. Hitting bottom, spirits-wise: AT A LOW.  Ran out of Vodka??

47. "That'll be enough": NO MORE.  Ain't a gonna rain _____

48. Research funding sources: GRANTS.  Coach of the Minnesota Vikings, Bud, and his son Michael who we lost last week.

50. Lake near Reno: TAHOE.  I have bowled in Reno and occasionally took the ride down to Tahoe.  I am from the land of lakes, but Tahoe is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

52. Refusals: NOS.

53. Taper off: ABATE.

55. Golden State wine region: NAPA.  We have been there too.  Drove through the wine region north of San Francisco.

57. Coax (out), as a genie: RUB. A dub dub, three men in a tub.

58. Puncture prefix: ACU.

59. Shock jock Imus: DON. I have never listened to him.  I think he belongs in a tub of something.

61. Tax form org.: IRS. Careful.  Crooks are calling on the phone, claiming you owe money to the IRS. The IRS will never contact you by phone. They use our great postal service if there is a question or problem with your return.

62. Deli bread: RYE.  I like pumpernickel best.