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

Nov 4, 2019

Monday November 4, 2019 Matt Skoczen

Theme: KEWPIE (48D. Collectible doll, and a phonetic hint to four long puzzle answers) - Each theme entry is in the pattern of Q* P*:

17A. Market report detail: QUOTED PRICE.

58A. 2:15 p.m., e.g.: QUARTER PAST.

11D. "Shh!": QUIET PLEASE.

25D. "The $64,000 Question," e.g.: QUIZ PROGRAM.

Boomer here. I suggest you use a Quality Pencil rather than a Quill Pen. How about them Nationals? I cannot believe we witnessed the first 7 game World Series where all games were won by the visiting team. And ... The last time a Washington team won a World Series, Calvin Coolidge was president. 


1. Meh: SO SO.

5. Rubs out a mistake: ERASES.  I wish a ten pin could be rubbed out.

11. Four times daily, in an Rx: QID.  This stands for quater in die.  Latin always invades pharmacy.

14. Isaac's eldest son: ESAU. Sorry but the history of these twins, Jacob and Esau is like a soap opera "Days of our Lives".

15. "Scooby-Doo" friend of Velma, Fred and Shaggy: DAPHNE.

16. Former Egypt-Syria confed.: UAR. United Arab Republic.

19. Texter's "I think": IMO.  In my opinion, this is not a word. More like something the emu says in the Liberty Mutual commercials.

20. Genetic messengers: RNAS.  Quite a few acronyms in this puzz.

21. Give, as a citation: ISSUE TO.  My last one was for speeding in 1992.  I hate fines.

23. Southwestern native that rhymes with 53-Down: YAQUI. 53D. Here, in Spanish: AQUI.

26. Breakfast grain: OAT. Cheerios entered the world as "Cheerioats" in 1941. The name was changed to Cheerios after the big war.  No I was not around then, but we live 10 miles north of General Mills Headquarters, and I bowl with a General Mills retiree.

28. Word on an octagonal sign: STOP.  I think they are all red now, but I remember when they were yellow.  Do You?

29. Plentiful amount: ABUNDANCE.

31. Bank takebacks, briefly: REPOS.  Sad, but you really have to make your payments.

32. Home run stat: RBI.  An acronym that everyone knows.

33. "That's gross!": UGH.

34. 12th Jewish month: ELUL.

35. Wows: DAZZLES.  Reminds me of Bill Murray's "Razzle Dazzle" in "Stripes".

38. Examine for flaws: INSPECT. I cannot remember the General who was inspecting Winger's  platoon.

41. Scissors unit: PAIR.  Here we go again to start another argument.  How come scissors and pliers are called "pairs" when there is only one of them ?

42. Single: ONE.  Our Rod Carew was famous for singles.

43. French friend: AMI.

44. Harsh-smelling: ACRID.

46. Babe __ Zaharias, multi-sport athlete with two Olympic golds (1932) and 10 LPGA major championships: DIDRIKSON.  This lady was the Annika of the thirties.

49. Not good at all: POOR.  "Blessed are the POOR in spirit, for they shall inherit the earth."  I'm not sure they would want it.

50. Yale student: ELI.  No kidding, I thought he was a Manning brother.

51. Davis of "A League of Their Own": GEENA.  This movie was great.  Kind of the "Bull Durham" of female baseball.

52. Beauty contest: PAGEANT.

55. Cornfield bird: CROW.

57. Say "Oopsie," say: ERR.  So when I miss a ten pin, should I say "Oopsie" ?

63. __ rule: usually: AS A.  ASA Hutchinson is governor of Arkansas.  Not related to my Great Great Grandfather, Asa Hutchinson of the Hutchinson Family singers who founded Hutchinson, Minnesota about 150 years ago.

64. Part of 16-Across: UNITED.  Pardon the pun, but United is "up in the air" about replacing their fleet of 757s with the newer 737 MAX which are currently on the ground.

65. "All good here": I'M OK.

66. Sleep acronym: REM.

67. Requiring help: IN NEED.  A Friend IN NEED is a friend indeed.

68. Canadian gas: ESSO.  Fill er up eh


1. Follow-up film: Abbr.: SEQ.  "Stripes" and "Bull Durham" were sooo good that they did not need a sequel.

2. Sch. in Columbus: OSU.  Ohio State has been a Big Ten powerhouse. Gophers are challenging but chances are slim. 

3. __ Paulo: SAO.

4. Beat in a meet: OUTRUN.  Gophers need to OUTRUN Penn State this Saturday to have a chance.

5. Icelandic literary work: EDDA.

6. Drake musical numbers: RAP SONGS.  Not me.  I like Folk and Country.

7. Mo. with showers: APR. Brings May flowers.  Except in 2018, Minnesota's "April Showers" were 20 inches of snow. 

8. Certain Muslim: SHIITE.  Careful how you pronounce this.

9. SASEs, e.g.: ENCS.

10. Observes: SEES.  I remember a teacher in 4th grade used to ask the class "How many sees?"

12. "Me, also": I AM TOO.  A young child may say this after their second birthday. They haven't picked up spelling yet.

13. Hangs limply: DROOPS.

18. City west of Tulsa: ENID.  "OOHHHKLAHOMA where the wind comes sweeping down the plains."

22. Exhaust: USE UP.  If you USE UP the toilet paper please set up a new roll.

23. Three feet: YARD.  Our YARD is finally fairly free of leaves.

24. Swedish pop band: ABBA.

27. German gripe: ACH.  This is an acronym for automated clearing house.  I use it to automatically pay monthly bills.  No wonder the German's gripe about it. 

30. Heifetz's teacher: AUER.

31. Mr. Hyde creator's monogram: RLS.  Forgot to mention Jekyll.

34. Fed. power dept.: ENER.  We get decent service from XCEL energy.  However I recently learned that our electric bill may increase by $10.00 monthly while they develop wind power and various other forms of eco-friendly power. I expect that will result in business for Graybar so I'll pay the $awbuck and wait for a dividend.

36. The Congo, formerly: ZAIRE.

37. Thing on top of things: LID.

38. One charged with a crime: INDICTEE.

39. "Follow me!": C'MON.  I know I've mentioned it, but I still remember a nice stay at the C'mon Inn in Billings, MT.

40. Funny Fey: TINA. She did the best Sarah Palin I ever saw on SNL.

42. Frying liquid: OIL.  I try not to use much.  Makes the food heavy.

44. Materialize: APPEAR.  "I am the great and powerful Wizard of Oz"

45. Needing smoothing: COARSE.  Not to be confused with a golf COURSE which could also need smoothing, especially on the greens.

46. Keep in custody: DETAIN.

47. "Young Frankenstein" helper: IGOR.  I did not see any trick-or- treaters in IGOR costumes last week.

54. Ex-Georgia senator Sam: NUNN.  Served 6 terms (24 years).  Retired in 1996.  A Democrat from Georgia and still living.  Probably glad to be out of the Senate rat race.

56. Comedian Foxx: REDD. Fred Sanford on TV. But on a recording - His horse race bit was hilarious but I cannot repeat most of it here. "There goes bubble gum sticking to the rail"  That's all I can repeat.

59. 66, notably: Abbr.: RTE.  My older sister loved "Route 66" on TV.  I think she had a crush on Martin Milner.

60. Morning hrs.: AMS.  Did all of you turn your clocks back an hour yesterday at two AM ??

61. "Help!" at sea: SOS.  ... --- ...

62. Boxing ref's decision: TKO.  At last - The final acronym. 


Jan 28, 2018

Sunday January 28, 2018 Matt Skoczen

Theme: "On the Road"- Six different anagrams of GEARS span across each theme entry.

23A. One of three presidents who served in 1881 : JAMES GARFIELD. ESGAR.

35A. It's just outside the Oval Office : ROSE GARDEN. SEGAR.

44A. Kitchen gadget : CHEESE GRATER. SEGRA.

74A. Private company paperwork : STOCKHOLDERS' AGREEMENT. SAGRE,

103. Certain sci-fi superfan : STAR WARS GEEK. ARSGE.

111. "Awesome!" : THAT'S GREAT! SGREA.
130A. Unexpectedly changing one's attitude ... and what's literally hidden in six long puzzle answers : SHIFTING GEARS

We often see four-letter anagrams. Five-letter is a little trickier, fortunately the letters here are all relatively common.

Chunky upper right/lower left corners. Those 7*7 are not easy to fill cleanly. Love the lower left corner.

1. Distinguished : ENNOBLED

9. One in on the deal? : CARD. Nice clue.

13. 1984 Martin/Tomlin film : ALL OF ME. Never saw it.

20. Wetsuit substance : NEOPRENE

21. Feng __ : SHUI. Literally "water". Feng = "wind".

22. Causes of tots' tears : BOO BOOs

25. Dignitaries working abroad : CONSULS. You can find US Consulates in five major cities in China.

26. Wife of Wang Lung in "The Good Earth" : O-LAN. Great book about the old village life in China.

27. Joke closing? : STER. Jokester.

28. A fancy one may not include prices : MENU. Tiny dupe with 63. Asian menu assurance : NO MSG. I finally figured out why the Vietnamese carrot and daikon pickles in our local Asian grocery store is so much better than my own, Anon T. They put MSG in theirs.

30. Surprise from a lamp : GENIE

31. 1983 Streisand film : YENTL

33. Scratches (out) : EKES

38. Caveman Alley : OOP

40. Mich. NBA team : DET. Detroit Pistons. Can't be clued as short for detective due to 41. Sam Spade type : TEC

42. Word on a fast food sign : THRU

43. "Billy Budd" captain : VERE. Unknown to me.

50. Subj. for some newcomers : ESL

51. "__ to you, matey!" : 'ERE'S. Gluey.

52. Thumbs-up cry : A-OK. And 84. Thumbs-up cry : YES

53. Biblical name meaning "hairy" : ESAU

54. Cone filler : ICE CREAM. Boomer (diabetic) is happy with the sugar-free ice cream at Walmart.

57. Discipline with poses : YOGA

59. Sagan's sci. : ASTR. Also 114. Suffix from the Greek for "world" : COSM

61. 21st of 24 : PHI

62. Fired up : GUNG-HO. From Chinese "Gong He", literally "working together".

67. It measures rpm : TACH

69. Pennsylvania railroad town : ALTOONA

73. More achy : SORER

79. Some bar food : SUSHI. And 110. 79-Across fish : EEL. Love eel rolls.

80. USA Today owner : GANNETT. I think they once owned our Star Tribune also.

81. Somme spouses: Abbr. : MMEs

82. Move, as artwork : RE-HANG
85. "Ozark" actor Morales : ESAI

87. Cartagena cat : GATO

91. Stop one's horse, in England : DRAW REIN. New expression to me.

95. Envelope-pushing : EDGY

97. Half a dance : CHA

98. Passion-ate composer? : BACH. See here. I drew a blank.

102. __ trip : EGO

106. Dos cubed : OCHO. 2/8. Also 71. Uno e due : TRE

107. Pinup's asset : GAMs. We also have 6. Staying power : LEGS

109. Sold-out letters : SRO. Standing Room Only.

117. Role for Dustin : RATSO. "Hey, I'm walking here!"

121. King or queen : TITLE. 11. King or queen : RULER

122. Taunting word usually repeated : NYAH

124. Persian for "king" : SHAH

126. Ostrich cousin : RHEA

127. The Beatles' last studio album : LET IT BE

133. 50-50 shot : EVEN BET

134. Hendryx who was part of the "Lady Marmalade" trio Labelle : NONA

135. Alienate : ESTRANGE

136. Allergy symptom : RED EYES

137. Big refs. : OEDs. Oxford English Dictionary.

138. Aficionados : DEVOTEES


1. Fancy : ENJOY. Been enjoying this Shea body butter Jim (JimmyB) sent to me. So rich and healing.

2. Author Zora __ Hurston : NEALE

3. "__ is an island": Donne : NO MAN

4. Sandal feature : OPEN TOE

5. Abbr. in home sale ads : BRs
7. Related on mom's side : ENATE. Have not seen this fill for a long time.

8. Literature Nobelist Walcott : DEREK. Wiki says he's an "Saint Lucian poet and playwright".

9. "__: Cyber": 2015 spin-off : CSI

10. "May I speak?" : AHEM
12. Quick denial : DID NOT

13. Pie equivalent, in a simile : ABC

14. Canterbury commode : LOO

15. Half a strait-laced pair? : LONG A. Oh, two long A sounds in strait-laced.

16. Witness : OBSERVE

17. Stumble, as a horse : FOUNDER. Learning moment for me.

18. "L'ecole des femmes" playwright : MOLIERE

19. Reputed Dead Sea Scrolls transcribers : ESSENES. This has become a gimme.

24. "Band of Gold" singer Payne : FREDA. Never heard of her.

29. Theater work : USHERING

32. Be outscored : LOSE

34. Alien-seeking gp. : SETI

36. Highland tongue : ERSE

37. Solzhenitsyn subject : GULAG

39. Passover : PESACH. Also a new word to me.
44. Great Barrier Reef feature : CAY

45. Boo mate? : HOO. Boo hoo.

46. Heart doc's readout : EKG

47. Guzzler on the road : GAS HOG. Great 6-letter fill.

48. Hard thing to get out of : RUT

49. Share on Facebook, as a picture : RE-POST

55. Complete, in law : CHOATE. Lemonade/Hahtoola might know it. Not me.

56. Paris's __ Rodin : MUSEE

58. "Right back __" : AT CHA

60. Curtin castmate : RADNER

64. Masters prog. entrance criterion : GRE

65. Female lobster : HEN

66. Uneaten bit : ORT

68. "There's __ of Hush": Herman's Hermits hit : A KIND

70. They can make things clearer : LENSES
72. Philip II's fleet : ARMADA

74. Bygone cartography initials : SSR

75. Third col., usually : TUE. Column.

76. __Kosh B'gosh : OSH

77. Female nonclericals : LAYWOMEN

78. Asylum seeker : EMIGRE

83. Shorthand pioneer : GREGG

86. Stitch : SEW

88. One may be high or low : ACE

89. With 104-Down, what bosses rule : THE. And 104. See 89-Down : ROOST

90. Wood used to age spirits : OAK

92. Preserves thickener : AGAR. Widely used in Asian desserts. Vegetarian gelatin.

93. "__ a date!" : IT'S

94. Buster? : NARC. Bust-er.

96. 1914 battle river : YSER

98. Soft drink manufacturer, e.g. : BOTTLER. We sent to a Pepsi bottler once. Very complicated procedure.

99. Get by effort : ACHIEVE

100. Exchanged texts, say : CHATTED. Such a luxury not to own a smart phone. Or on social media.

101. Emergency phone link : HOTLINE
105. Quietly show anger toward : GLARE AT

108. Disagrees : SAYS NO

112. Put on ice : SET BY

113. Sierra Nevada resort : TAHOE

115. Backed (away) : SHIED

116. Parson's place : MANSE

118. __ of Glamis: Macbeth : THANE

119. Worsted variety : SERGE

120. Resting places : OASES

123. Rear : HIND

125. Cable channel for remodelers : HGTV

128. Queen's subject : BEE

129. French connections? : ETs. Just French for "and". Toi et moi.

131. Fourth notes : FAs

132. Miracle-__ : GRO

If you're struggling with cough from the flu, try Robitussin. It finally brought me peace last Wednesday. The Formula 44 did not work at all. Thank God I don't need codeine, Picard/Big Easy!


Nov 1, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Matt Skoczen

Theme: Yes, Sir! Anagram.

17. Restaurant review pricing symbol : DOLLAR SIGN

25. Grad's memento : CLASS RING

40. British Columbia's capital is on it : VANCOUVER ISLAND

46. Equal chance : FAIR SHAKE

61. "Baby Got Back" rapper, and a hint to this puzzle's circles : SIR MIX-A-LOT

Would have been difficult to see those MIXed up letters without the circles. 


1. Olympic swimmer Buster who played Buck Rogers : CRABBE
7. Naughty : BAD
10. Queequeg's captain : AHAB. Moby Dick.
14. "Yowzah!" : OO-LA-LA
15. 365 días : ANO
16. Place for a long winter's nap : LAIR

19. __ bar : TIKI

20. Physicians' gp. : AMA
21. Cheese couleur : BLEU
22. Like some bread : OATEN
23. Out of __: not together : SYNC

28. Wagering parlors: Abbr. : OTB'S.
Off Track Betting - sanctioned gambling on horse racing outside a race track.
31. Printer problem : JAM
32. Key with no sharps or flats : A MINOR
35. Slatted window : JALOUSIE

42. Where a tennis server's doubles partner is usually positioned : AT THE NET
43. Most cordial : NICEST
44. Like this ans. : ACR
45. Diamond bag : BASE
51. Slide __ : RULE
55. Slangy negative : IX-NAY
56. School whose a cappella group is the Whiffenpoofs : YALE. Sounds like a creature from Dr. Suess.

59. Albany is its cap. : NYS
60. Nabisco cracker : RITZ
64. Extra : MORE
65. Boxing legend : ALI
66. Catty? : FELINE. Cute.
67. Cookie monster? : AMOS
68. Center of Austria? : TEE
69. Fly to flee : TSETSE

1. Musical endings : CODAS
2. Unlike most airline seating : ROOMY
3. Poe's middle name : ALLAN
4. Statement amt. : BAL
5. Spoil the surprise : BLAB
6. English nobleman : EARL
7. Olympic skater Oksana : BAIUL
8. Country in SW Afr. : ANG. Angola.

9. Put on : DON
10. Place to say "I do" : ALTAR. Nine and a wake up.

11. Port-au-Prince's country : HAITI
12. Singer whose fans are called Claymates : AIKEN
13. __ to light: reveal : BRING
18. "Just a few __" : SECS
22. Gradual absorption : OSMOSIS
24. Marine snail : CONCH

26. Open a bit : AJAR
27. City in central Kansas : SALINA
29. Not the least bit challenging : TOO EASY
30. Mimosa time : BRUNCH
32. Glamorous Gardner : AVA

                                                                     Sophia Loren
33. Yoga class need : MAT
34. Statement amt. : INT
35. Hot tub water agitator : JET
36. Stomach problem : ULCER
37. RSVP convenience : SAE. Self Addressed Envelope.
38. Officeholders : INS
39. July hrs. in Georgia : EDT
41. "Bates Motel" actress Farmiga : VERA
45. Shine : BEAM
46. Terra __ : FIRMA. Not Cotta.
47. Self-evident principle : AXIOM
48. Opening words : INTRO
49. Reduces to rubble : RAZES

50. Four-time NBA All-Star __ Irving : KYRIE
52. Not illuminated : UNLIT
53. Rhone cathedral city : LYONS
54. Lauder of cosmetics : ESTEE
57. Emotional boost : LIFT
58. Former union members? : EXES
61. Posed (for) : SAT
62. __-de-France : ILE
63. Oktoberfest quaff : ALE

Apr 13, 2017

Thursday, April 13 2017 Matt Skoczen

Theme: Blue Clues! Here's my friend who sniffed out the theme:

64A. Hint in a specialty crossword, and, literally, what's found in 17-, 20-, 38- and 59-Across : CRYPTIC CLUE

17A. Infomercial promise : MIRACLE CURE

20A. Powerful 1970s Pittsburgh defensive line, familiarly : STEEL CURTAIN. Tough crowd. Very tough.

38A. "The Card Players" artist : PAUL CEZANNE. These guys.

59A. Sticker on store fruit : PRODUCE LABEL. The process by which Chiquita gets a label on each banana was a closely-guarded secret when it was introduced in 1963.

So, we've got four scrambles of the word CLUE in the theme entries, and the reveal describes this as cryptic. I've got a little problem with this - cryptic crosswords have many devices and traditions, and a scramble is one small and rarely-used convention. Anagrams, yes. Also, the adjacent extra "C" and "E" in MIRACLE CURE and STEEL CURTAIN respectively bothered me a tad. However, easy to be a critic, hard to be the originator.


1. Jackson with a 1972 Lifetime Achievement Grammy : MAHALIA. "The Queen of Gospel."

8. Rx watchdog : FDA. I just switched my Rx's from one pharmacy chain to another. You'd have thought it would have been a straightforward process. Not so much.

11. Wing : ELL. Wing of a house. Took me a while to see this.

14. Most sober : GRAVEST

15. Curved part : ARC

16. Md. neighbor : DELaware. Maryland neighbor.

19. Md. neighbor : WVA. I had the "W" and was struggling to see how Washington, DC could be abbreviated "in the language," then West Virginia popped into my head.

22. Didst whack : SMOTE. Best clue/answer of the day. Love this one.

25. Spot checker? : VET. My Dog, Spot. When I worked at Warner Bros. one of the theatrical executives was fired for joking in a keynote that the movie was re-titled "My Lunch, Spot" for release in the Philippines.

26. One-named Deco master : ERTE

27. Swiss river : AAR

28. Loot : ROB

31. Storm warning : THUNDER

33. Pair : DYAD. Our educators would describe students working together in pairs as "dyad pedagogy."

35. Algonquin Round Table member, e.g. : WIT

37. Role for Dustin : RATSO. Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy. What a great performance.

42. Amu __: Asian river : DARYA. Thank you, crosses. It's a big bugger at 1,491 miles. I'd have thought I'd have heard about it before now.

44. Verizon subsidiary : AOL

45. Undertaking : TASK

48. Anka song with the phrase "Kiss me mucho" : ESO BESO. Muchos gracias, cruces.

51. Soccer chant : OLÉ. Let's revisit the World Cup in 2014 in Rio.

53. Loving murmur : COO

54. A giraffe has a long one : MANE. Hand up for NECK first. Then TAIL. Finally got there.

55. Org. concerned with briefs : ABA. American Bar Association.

57. "Swing Shift" Oscar nominee : LAHTI. Tried LATTI. was wrong.

63. Fill in (for) : SUB

68. Actor Wallach : ELI

69. Jeans name : LEE

70. Like some lunch orders : ON TOAST. Lunch? I'd more associate this with breakfast. My favorite breakfast in the UK - black pudding (blood sausage) and scrambled eggs on toast.

71. "Amen!" : YES!

72. Inject : ADD

73. "Seems that way to me" : I'D SAY SO


1. "Mrs. Miniver" studio : MGM. Waited for crosses. Could have been RKO.

2. 2001 W.S. champs : ARIzona Diamondbacks.

3. Guffaw sound : HAR

4. Stop at sea : AVAST. Usually followed by "Me Hearties". Heave-to didn't fit.

5. Hopkins role : LECTER. The gourmand Hannibal. I never asked for any of his recipes.

6. Scotland's Arran, e.g. : ISLE

7. Perfectly, with "to" : A TEE

8. Leak source : FAUCET

9. Diminutive celeb sexologist : DR RUTH

10. Taiwanese PC maker : ACER

11. Pirate on the Queen Anne's Revenge : EDWARD TEACH. Fondly known as Blackbeard. Learning moment, but solid crosses did most of the work. I was almost Natick'ed at LAHTI though.

12. Descendants of a son of Jacob and Leah : LEVITES. This area caused me the most trouble. Tried SEMITES first.

13. Venezuelan cowboy : LLANERO. Learning moment which contributed to my puzzlement in the north-east.

18. MDL ÷ X : CLV

21. Studio occupant : TENANT

22. Glum : SAD

23. Kentucky Derby time : MAY. Coming up soon, the self-proclaimed "most exciting two minutes in sports."

24. Latin "pray for us" : ORA PRO NOBIS. I dragged this one kicking and screaming out of the deep recesses of my brain - as a kid I was hauled by my ear to Mass in Latin every Sunday. Is this a fair entry though?

29. Barn __ : OWL

30. Light source : BIC. Hold up your lighter and rock on! Heineken claimed, tongue in cheek, they were responsible for the phenomenon. You can hold up an iPhone app now instead of a Bic.

32. Banquet dispenser : URN

34. Futon kin : DAY BED

36. Sweet __ : TEA

39. OPEC member : UAE. United Arab Emirates, member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

40. Madhouse : ZOO

41. The lot : ALL

42. Portrayer of "McDreamy" on "Grey's Anatomy" : DEMPSEY. No clue. Thank you, crosses.

43. Typically : AS A RULE

46. Boozer : SOT

47. Colorful carp : KOI

49. Revered : SACRED

50. Was loyal to : OBEYED

52. Picks : ELECTS

56. High point of a European trip? : ALP

58. Foil giant : ALCOA

60. Golden St. campus : UCLA

61. Yours, to Yves : A TOI. Very glad I learned French in High School and I've been to the country enough times to have a very basic but working knowledge.

62. Tie up : BIND

65. Not of the cloth : LAY. The non-clerical hoi-polloi. This one bothered the purist in me a little - "a man of the cloth" might be described as mild slang for the clergy, but a layperson is not at all a slang term.

66. __ Nimitz : USS. I thought this carrier was retired, but it is now the oldest-serving carrier in the US fleet, operating out of Kitsap naval base in Washington State.

67. DDE's command : ETO. Dwight D. Eisenhower in command of the European Theater of Operations in World War Two. Question - since the location was Europe, should it be "Theatre?" Answers on a postcard please.

Dec 24, 2016

Saturday, Dec 24th, 2016, Matt Skoczen

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing J,Q,Z)

Blocks: 29

Phew~!!!  I thought I was going snowblind on the first two passes through this grueling grid.  Mr. Skoczen is back for the fourth time in three months, with lots of vague clues, a few proper names that I knew but not through the reference in the clues, and one or two "meh" answers.  Yet I prevailed, with only one (and a half) cheats; had to look up one word in the dictionary that has never appeared in any reading I have done, and then I did a red-letter check to see if I gaffed something - and I did.  Oh well.  Still, came in under my personal allotted time, and I would say I "broke even".  Four 7-letter corners and 9-letter fills crossing paired 10's and 11's;

4d. Opera originally titled "Violetta" : La TRAVIATA - by "Joe Green" (Victor Borge humor)

the aria from "Rigor Mortis"

24. Phone accessory banned at Disney parks : SELFIE STICK


1. It's commonly read by waiters : TABLOID - Wait-ers, on the supermarket line

8. Place to meet : HALF WAY

15. 1992 Mamet play : OLEANNA - perps

16. Cork holder : IRELAND - #$%^&*~!  My first thought was the city/county of the country, but I was expecting a "?" in the clue

17. Enterprise enterprise : RENTING - dah~!  I put in rentALS, and that screwed me up

18. They're usually kept : GIGOLOS - I went with MEMOIRS; bzzzt.  I did not get this reference until I looked up gigolo on Wiki - but I do know the David Lee Roth remake

19. 1976 Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year awardee : EVERT

20. E major scale note : G SHARP - I knew enough to put "-SHARP" in, and then waited

22. Hawthorne cover image : RED A - The Scarlet Letter

23. Quiet : SETTLE - ah, the verb, not the noun

24. Ben, to Jerry : SON - the comedians, not the Ice Cream guys

27. Truce emblem source : OLIVE TREE - the "branch" comes from the tree

29. John Paul's successor : ELENA - dah~!  I tried PIUS I, figured we were talking Popes; nope - the US Supreme Court; it's OK, my knowledge of both groups is "A-Paul-ing"....

31. Movie : CINÉ - the dictionary says cin-ee is "extracted" from cinema

32. Pollutant banned by Cong. in 1979 : PCB

34. Sights from la mer : ILES - Le Frawnche

35. Subjects of family disputes : ESTATES

38. Erupted : HAD A FIT

40. Call to a line : "NEXT~!"

41. __-Man : PAC

43. Singer Lovato : DEMI - hah~! I knew this one

44. Renée Fleming et al. : DIVAs

46. Great extent : LARGENESS - OK, use this in a sentence which doesn't sound contrived....

50. Fed. assistance program : SSI - Supplemental Security Income - never heard of it

51. Conniving, with "in" : LEAGUE - reminds me of a line from a Robert Plant song

my love is....

53. Durango demonstrative : ESTA

54. __ camera : HIDDEN - not CANDID

55. Shares, with "out" : METES - not DOLES

56. Where to hear a lot of talk : AM RADIO

59. Rayed flowers : DAISIES

61. Bond choice : MARTINI - D'oh~!  JAMES Bond

62. Charlie McCarthy feature : MONOCLE - I know this "character", but not the answer until perps

63. Significant supply : ARSENAL - I tried "---FUL" at the end, and it was not working

64. Sounded like a flute duet? : CLINKED - clever.  Flutes, the glasses


1. One facing charges? : TORERO - thought this was the answer, but I had some bad crossings to start

2. Two-part British academic exam : A LEVEL

3. Noted 2013 resignee : BENEDICT XVI - oh NOW we get the Pope clue....

5. "Doing that right now!" : ON IT - dah~!  I read this as "DO that right now", so I had ASAP, then STAT

6. Where there may be no room : INN - timely

7. Typographical symbol : DAGGER - did not know that this symbol, tho I have seen it, is called a 'dagger'

8. Modern, in a way : HIGH TECH

9. Font choice : ARIAL - had it in, took it out, because of  MEMOIRS

10. 1852 literary villain : LEGREE - I did not know him; filled via perps, and then I looked him up - Wiki

11. Turn preceder, in Texas Hold 'em : FLOP - followed by the River; last weekend I went in with a full house, 10s over 9s, lost to 10s over Queens - those are the hands that really hurt

12. Popular store opening? : WAL-mart, har-har.

13. Periodo de tiempo : ANO

14. NFL stats : YDs

21. Small distance : STEP

23. Higher than you might have hoped : STEEP

25. "That's __ haven't heard" : ONE I

26. Cartoon award eponym : NAST - mostly perps, N-ST, and then it hit me

28. Sinusitis-treating MD : ENT

30. 1993 "Ethan Frome" star : LIAM NEESON

33. It can get you in : BADGE

35. Extreme pair : ENDS - oops, not ACES; too much poker playing these days, I guess

36. Paquete de __: cerveza purchase : SEIS - a six-pack of beer down Mexico way

37. Iceberg topper : SALAD OIL - my first thought, but it was dressing, not OIL

39. One of Donald's pair : DEE - DonalD

42. Pen : CAGE - ah, the animal confines, not the writing implement

45. Tried to make it home : SLID IN - meh.  Don't like the 'two word' association to baseball

47. Hip-hop group at Live Aid's 1985 Philadelphia concert : RUN-DMC

48. Holt's detective partner in '80s TV : STEELE - the 'other' James Bond - Pierce Brosnan, that is - in his TV role

49. Mouthed off at : SASSED

52. Minneapolis suburb : EDINA - I'm sure C.C. knew this one

54. Execrate : HATE - OK, the word I looked up.  From the Latin "sacrare", as in consecrate

55. Revealing garb : MINI - yep.

56. Chicago-based professional org. : AMA - Saturday cluing

57. Warp, e.g. : MAR - ugh.  I was thinking "speed" as in Star Trek, and "defect", as in wood boards

58. Board game spots with nine sqs. between them : RRs - Monopoly board

60. Moviefone owner : AOL


Dec 7, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016, Matt Skoczen

A very nice diversion on the 75th anniversary of this momentous event in our history - LEST WE FORGET


Matt has built this offering around one of the most annoying occurrences in the digital age: POP UP ADS. As you can see in the grid below he has the word ADS popping UP in four areas.

Here is his reveal:

39. Web irritants ... and what appears in each set of puzzle circles? : POP UP ADS - Here is one that visits my MacBook Pro too often!

Husker Gary here, blogging for the very busy Jazzbumpa for December. Here are Matt's theme entries where ADS pops up in the puzzle, (okay, horizontally here, but still...)

3. "Pillow Talk" actress : DORIS DA- The most famous scene from that movie

9. Museum pieces : OBJETS D'ART - Straight from Amazon

26. Brand of blended seasonings : MRS DASH - Those seasonings are onion, spices (black pepper, parsley, celery seed, basil, bay marjoram, oregano, savory, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin mustard, rosemary) garlic, carrot, orange peel, tomato, lemon juice powder, citric acid, oil of lemon

31. Population information : CENSUS DATA - States sized by population. Can you find yours?

Let's see what else POPS UP in Matt's puzzle on this day:


1. Kind of basin : TIDAL

6. State secrets? : RAT - State is a verb here

9. Intense dislike : ODIUM - Coincidence?

14. Act poorly? : EMOTE, usually in 61. Stage performances : PLAYS

15. Run a tab, say : OWE

16. Words between two "thanks" : BUT NO

17. Chef protector : APRON

8. With 18-Across, Southwestern cuisine : TEX 18. See 8-Down : MEX - Muy sabrosa (very tasty)

19. Floorboard support : JOIST - Pre-made floor JOISTS

20. Many a Sundance film : INDIE

22. Rent payer : LESSEE

23. Registered names: Abbr. : TMS - Trademarks - as in

25. Action at the front : COMBAT

28. H.S. hurdle : SAT

29. Adorn : BEDECK - Tis the Season!

32. Comical punctuation marks from the drummer : RIM SHOTS

34. Marshy lowland : SWALE - SWAMPS and SWALES are now Wetlands

35. Chihuahua, por ejemplo : ESTADO - Just south of the Estados Unidos

36. "__ Eyes": Eagles hit : LYIN - Groucho in Duck Soup - "Who are ya gonna believe, Me or your LYIN' eyes"

37. '60s campus gp. : SDS

38. Hieroglyphics reptiles : ASPS

41. "Do __, not ... " : AS I SAY - " I do" - Standard parental advice

43. Work on, as a stubborn squeak : REOIL - Yikes! I thought I saw ENOIL coming...

45. Tablets' kin : CAPSULES

48. Swingline insert : STAPLE - Then insert it in Jello

49. 2,170-mi. trail terminus : ORE - Lewis and Clark went 3,700 mi. to get to OREGON

50. Walk with style : SASHAY

52. Luau music provider : UKE where you'll probably see a 59. Aromatic necklace : LEI

53. Wanting too much : GREEDY

55. Pry : SNOOP

58. Cookie named for its flavor : 'NILLA

64. Words after miss or skip : A BEAT

65. Resting place : BED

66. Down source : EIDER

67. Singer Bruni married to Nicolas Sarkozy : CARLA - Former model married to former French president

68. Morning cuppa : JOE - I miss our blog's Avg. JOE

69. Amounts to : COSTS


1. Leaves in a bag : TEA - Conniseurs here like C.C., Steve, et al would only use loose leaf tea as seen in this double-walled modern Chinese vessel called a gaiwan

2. Prankster : IMP

4. Lots : A TON

5. Provide with for a time : LEND

6. Montague lad : ROMEO

7. Blow away : AWE

10. Lucy and Ethel and Thelma and Louise : DUOS

11. "Indeed!" : IT IS SO - Picard's command for this

12. Oust, in a way : UNSEAT - It is rare when a member of the Senate is UNSEATED

13. Church choral works : MOTETS

21. "Eww!" : ICK

22. Tibetan title : LAMA

23. "Angie Tribeca" channel : TBS

24. Weak cry : MEWL

27. Itsy-__ : BITSY - Nah, I'm not gonna link "that song"

30. Inventor Howe : ELIAS - An interesting look at this process

33. Book after Daniel : HOSEA  - The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah, and during the reign Jeroboam son jehoash King of Israel. Oh, THAT HOSEA!

35. Ulysses threesome? : ESSES - How would Daffy Duck pronounce those 3 S's

40. __-screen printing : SILK 

42. Faulkner's "As __ Dying" : I LAY - Title from Agamemnon's speech to Odysseus. Yeah, I knew that. :-)

44. Actor Marvin of "Cat Ballou" : LEE - "Mr Shileen, Mr. Shileen, your eyes are all bloodshot!"
"You ought see 'em from my side!"

45. Courvoisier, e.g. : COGNAC

46. Speedy Gonzales cry : ARRIBA - Spanish for "UP". "ARRIBA, ARRIBA, Andale, Andale" means "Get up let's go!"

47. Kitchen gadget : PEELER

48. OED entry : SYN - Poecilonym is a SYNONYM for, uh, SYNONYM

51. Words for the audience : ASIDE

54. Hebrew for "skyward" : ELAL

56. Oil bloc : OPEC

57. Hodgepodge : OLIO

59. Pres. sworn in on Air Force One : LBJ

60. Job listing ltrs. : EEO

62. "Is it soup __?" : YET

63. Fourth-yr. students : SRS

I'm sure your comments that will POP UP now will be anything but irritating.

Husker Gary

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Windhover, who joined this blog earlier on. How are things with you, Windhover?

Windhover & Lucina, July 24, 2015