Showing posts with label Michael Wiesenberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Wiesenberg. Show all posts

Jun 1, 2019

Saturday, June 1, 2019, Michael Wiesenberg

Themeless Saturday by Michael Wiesenberg

Today is National Flip A Coin Day. For those of us who work crosswords this can be a decision making aid. For instance - AVER/AVOW, AYE/YEA, DNA/RNA, etc.  This is what crossing answers and erasers are for.

Today's constructor is our former professional poker player from Calgary, Michael Wiesenberg. I suspect that at Michael's skill level, he did not have to resort to many coin flips to decide his strategy on a particular hand.

Michael's great puzzle today has four vertical and horizontal stacks of ten that yields only 28 blocks with 99 open squares

Sit in for a hand as we explore what Michael has dealt us today:


1. Luxurious ease: BED OF ROSES - Did anyone else also think of a Kevin Spacey movie?

11. Slangily admit, with "to": COP - Some will COP to a lesser crime rather than go to trial

14. See 3-Down: YOU WOULDN'T and 3. With 14-Across, "Bro, no!": DUDE - DUDE, YOU WOULDN'T... 

15. What you see hear?: TYPO - "What you see hear (here)" has a TYPO

16. Plays the nice guy?: ENDS UP LAST - Leo's motto and book title
17. Fins: ABES - $5 bill slang

18. Mariner's hdg.: SSE - Mariners on the Edmund Fitzgerald had a SSE heading on its final leg toward Whitefish Point on that fateful day in 1975 when  it sank in a horrible storm

19. Security issue: LEAK.

20. Eponymous diplomat Lord St __, friend of explorer George Vancouver: HELENS - His eponymous mountain blew its top in 1980

22. Peters out: DIES - DIES/EBBS was a "Flip A Coin" moment

23. Treading water, so to speak: NO WORSE - Not getting "aheader or behinder"

24. Quakers in forests?: ASPENS - Cottonwoods on the plains also make that sound

27. Harlequin output: ROMANCES.

28. '90s Rather co-anchor: CHUNG - They lasted three years together 

29. Caribbean native: CUBAN.

30. Univ. mentors: RA'S - Another coin flip with TA'S

31. Chloé fragrance maker: COTY.

32. Angel in Venezuela?: FALLS.

33. Soup made with stock called dashi: MISO Making MISO soup with dashi stock

34. Pollution monitoring gp.: EPA.

35. Blender button: PUREE - One of many verb options on this old Oster

36. Thing that's spread: RUMOR.

37. Dressed for the beach, perhaps: SANDALED - and 36. Least prudent: RASHESTAny port in a word storm

39. Symbols seen in pairs, briefly: PARENS  

40. How condemnation is expressed: SHARPLY - Even when tempered, "I respectfully submit that my friend from across the aisle is lying through his teeth!"

41. __ job: DESK - Technically, teaching is a DESK job but I rarely used mine

42. Set upon: COME AT - Google Mike Tyson

43. Jive: JOSH.

44. Show with a Miami spin-off: CSI - CSI, CSI Miami, CSI New York and CSI Cyber. 792 episodes of this franchise have aired. 

47. Designer Cassini: OLEG.

48. Response to a con: I'VE BEEN HAD - I almost said that in a CraigsList 11. Phishing, e.g.: CYBER CRIME last month. 

51. Morse sounds: DITS - My name in Morse Code is --. .- .-. -.-- or in PARENS - (dah dah DIT, DIT dah, DIT dah DIT, dah DIT dah dah)

52. Choose not to continue: LET IT SLIDE - I know Uncle Bob wants to debate politics but...  

53. Prefix with conscious: ECO.

54. Close talks: TETE A TETES - Furniture so-named for those "head to head" talks


1. Passes at a tournament: BYES - Washington got a BYE because it had a better record 

2. Long, long time: EONS - EONS/AGES coin flip

4. Cries of pain: OWS.

5. It may result in free throws: FOULING - In a past, rougher era, the Detroit Pistons got away with a lot of FOULING

6. Nepalese money: RUPEES - An ad for the KFC in Kathmandu, Nepal with prices in RUPEES

7. Widemouthed stewpots: OLLAS Spanish, from Latin olla, aulla pot; akin to Sanskrit ukhā pot and probably to Goth auhns oven

8. Badlands Natl. Park's state: S DAK - It's about the only interesting thing between Rapid City and Sioux Falls.

9. Navy lt.'s subordinate: ENS - Did you think of ENSIGN Pulver too?

10. Charlotte Amalie's island: ST THOMAS - Charlotte Amalie (named in 1691 for wife of Danish King Christian V) is on ST THOMAS and is the capital of The American Virgin Islands

12. Time to hunt: OPEN SEASON 

13. Owners: POSSESSORS.

15. Hawk's claw: TALON.

21. Obi-Wan portrayer: EWAN - Coin flip - My first fill of ALEC (Guinness) played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars. EWAN McGregor played a younger version of him in the prequels

22. Repudiate: DENY.

23. __ gas: NOBLE - NOBLE/Inert coin flip

24. It'll get you in: ACCESS CODE - We find it very convenient to have one on this doorknob

25. Mall portmanteau: SHOPAHOLIC.

26. Label, as feelings: PUT A NAME TO - It's hard PUT A NAME TO the feeling I have when a former student says something very nice about me (or something bad too)

27. Dominated: RULED.

29. 1990 Best New Artist Grammy winner: CAREY Mariah's IMDB

32. At high speed: FULL TILT - Great running backs get to FULL TILT quickly

33. Gloom: MURK 

35. __ John's Pizza: PAPA - Last year Peyton Manning sold his interest in 31 PAPA John's franchises just days before PAPA John withdrew as the NFL's official pizza

38. Settled matter: DREGS - Part of a lovely, poignant Sinatra lyric that has more meaning as birthdays pile up

39. Former Spanish coin: PESETA - Now on the Euro

41. Guard dog originally bred in Germany, familiarly: DOBIE - DOBERMANS were named for dog breeder Ludwig DOBERMAN in 1890 who was a tax collector and took this dog on his route for protection

43. Singer with The Blackhearts: JETT - My favorite 

44. Gambler's marker: CHIT.
45. Marquis de __: SADE - When the word SADISTIC is derived from your last name... 

46. June 13, e.g.: IDES  In the ancient Roman calendar, the fifteenth day of March, May, July, or October, and the thirteenth day of the other months.

49. Migration flight pattern: VEE.

50. Marlins' MLB div.: NLE - You'll find the National League East Marlins at the bottom of this attendance list

No need to flip a coin, we'd love to hear your comments.

Aug 15, 2015

Saturday, Aug 15th, 2015, Michael Wiesenberg

Theme: None

Words: 66 (missing B,H,J,Q,W,X,Z)

Blocks: 36

I think this might be my fastest Saturday solve, ever.  I have blogged only one puzzle from Michael, and prior to that, his Sat LAT offering was a "no E" grid.  Today's, offering, however, seemed to be a much easier, although visually interesting, construction.  Triple 10's in the Down paired to two 15-letter climbers, with almost triple 10's in the Across, and another pair of 11-letter climbers;

4. One of an orange trio : TENNESSEE AVENUE - brilliant - Monopoly, the board game

10. Source of flashes : ELECTRICAL STORM


8. Didn't compute : MADE NO SENSE

23. Trading principle : RECIPROCITY

En Avant~!


1. Stay __ Marshmallow Man: "Ghostbusters" icon : PUFT - Gotta love starting with a clue about one of my favorite movies - I have dressed as a Ghostbuster for Halloween

5. Mild cheese : EDAM

9. It may be found in sheets : METAL

14. Put __ in: test : A TOE

15. Dancer who appeared in "Golden Boy" after being discovered by Sammy Davis Jr. : LOLA FALANA

17. Stagger : STUN

18. Leads astray : MISDIRECTS

19. Shore bird : TERN - by now, I was wondering if I might have solved the wrong puzzle

20. Modern traveler's purchase : eTICKET

21. Heraldic band : ORLE - oops, not HALO; more here

22. O. Henry, for one : IRONIST

25. Their nos. might appear on shields : RTEs - like this one, found in my neck of the woods - I don't have an I-495 shield, but I do have a RTE 97 sign - not stolen, mind you, but given to me by a state worker

26. Diamond words after two or three : MEN ON - ah, baseball for C.C. - but makes me think of this song

Lyric @2:50

27. Stand : RISE

31. Fine things : ARTS

32. Experts : ACES

33. "__ corny ... ": song lyric : I'M AS - ah.  song from the musical South Pacific - before my time

34. Word for a loser? : LITE - not DIET; 75% correct-ish

35. "Yow!" : YIPES - I had yiKes, and that was close enough

37. Mil. ranks : CPLs - not SGTs

38. Sport for people in suits : ÉPÉE - I put this in, but I thought it was the sword, not the sport

39. Gasp : PANT

40. "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle," for one : ARIA - sounds Frawnche - OMG, people, lighten UP~!  It's a joke~!  I don't give a rat's a** if there's more French, Spanish, Italian or German in a puzzle; in fact, I've been saying "Frawnche" for so long, I couldn't recall that it's from a clip in 30-year old movie

41. Medical supplies : SERA - oops, put an "S" in at the end - Bzzzt~!

42. Pension law acronym : ERISA - Employee Retirement Income Security Act

43. Tax : LEVY

44. Like caps : VISORED

46. Style for jazzman Crothers : SCAT

47. Indictment feature? : SILENT C - indYTEment; learned watching Law & Order

50. Thames museum : TATE

51. Show no hesitation about starting : PLUNGE INTO - speaking of "plunge", see 52d.

55. Lex's henchman in "Superman" films : OTIS - I remember Ned Beatty playing the role in 1978

56. Sell shares : ISSUE STOCK

57. Torn : RENT

58. Spud : TATER

59. Versatile tubers : YAMS

60. Texts: Abbr. : MSGs


1. Bucolic musical pieces : PASTORALES


3. Offensive, perhaps : FOUR-LETTER - like, say, epee and orle  :7))

5. Common street name : ELM

6. "Moi?" : "DO I~?" - and more Franwche

7. Gore and more : ALs

9. Yankee whose #9 was retired in 1984 : MARIS - more baseball for C.C.

11. Sailor's maneuver : TACK

12. Get in the game : ANTE

13. Not flag : LAST - ah, the verb "to flag"

16. Blend : FIT IN

22. "Could happen" : "I MAY"

24. Hold 'em holding : ONE PAIR - Texas style poker.  Just to show how much I love the French, I'm giving you an image of "one pair" of their pantyhose

28. Curses : IMPRECATES - new word for me, from the Latin "to pray"

29. Showing anticipation, in a way : SALIVATING - see 52d.

30. Some finals : ESSAY TESTS

36. Dutch village : STAD

42. Colorado's __ Park : ESTES

45. Actress Stevens : INGER

47. Turner in cooking : SPIT - like Ike or Tina, in music (Turn-er.)

48. To whom Rick said, "The Germans wore gray, you wore blue" : ILSA

49. Relish : LUST - se7en, the movie, was on this week - another one of my favorites

52. Tishby of "The Island" : NOA - how have I never seen this woman~?...hamuna-hamuna

53. Old films channel : TCM

54. Approvals : OKs - 52d gets my approval


Dec 13, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013, Michael Wiesenberg and David Steinberg

Theme: Down is up, lets spawn.

Another visual challenge saved for our Friday delight, and a collaboration between wunderkind David Steinberg, and the very interesting Michael Wiesenberg. Well we have 2 mountains to climb (right Spitzboov), as there are five (5) types of Salmon  (72 across, which I think should refer to both 3 and 41 down) which are presented in the down clues, reading from bottom to top with the reveal the unique pattern of these fish to go against the current to return to where they began to continue the cycle of LIFE. Other than the trickery, this did not feel like a Friday, lots of words, many 3 and 4 letter ones, with some interesting 7s, like CARRERE, CHORIZO, CRIPPLE, INDIANA,  SEE ALSO and TOWERED. I know the Corner has had an intense and very negative response to the use of trickeration in fill, so I am curious how you all react to this one. Let us see where this duo led us.

72A. Creature known for 3-Down : SALMON. (6)The other pink meat. Read all about them. LINK.

3D. With 41-Down, 72-Across phenomenon that's graphically demonstrated five times in this puzzle : SWIMMING.(8) 41D. See 3-Down : UPSTREAM. (8)  SWIMMING UPSTREAM.

9D. Type of 72-Across : EYEKCOS. (7) SOCKEYE. The red salmon of the Pacific Northwest.

18D. Type of 72-Across : OHOC. (4) COHO. Very popular type which is found all over the US and in all of the Great Lakes including Michigan. Silver salmon.

21D. Type of 72-Across : DAEHLEETS. (9) STEELHEAD.  Steelhead salmon are ocean going while steelhead trout are freshwater fish.

45D. Type of 72-Across : KOONIHC. (7) CHINOOK. The King salmon, they are the largest of the Pacific salmon growing up to 100 pounds.

47d. Type of 72-Across : MUHC. (4) CHUM. The dog salmon from the teeth it has during spawning which resemble canines.

whew, that is lot of theme stuff...

1. 1994 movie based on an androgynous "SNL" character : IT'S PAT. Not one of my favorite TRAILER. (1:31).

7. 2013 Culinary Hall of Fame inductee : EMERIL. Yes, I am sure we all sat waiting for this event. Who knew it even existed. LINK.

13. Dwarfed, with "above" : TOWERED. When I was 6 and about 3 feet tall, I went with my father to pick up my mother from her job as a nurse at the hospital, and we ran into an intern who was  6'8" dressed in scrubs. I thought the Jolly Green Giant had come to life.

15. Nonspecific journal opening : DAY ONE.

16. Severely damage : CRIPPLE.

17. Cross-referencing phrase : SEE ALSO. In writing brief and memoranda of law, we use many of these types of references, See e.g., see supra....

19. Tailors' work : HEMS. Trying to work a HAW reference in here somehow.

20. Work with freight : LADE.

22. Kosher deli snack : KNISH. I must dispute this clue, as a pastry filled with meat, or potato or vegetable is a side dish, not a snack.

23. Wet tract : MIRE. We have been swamped with this fill lately. Don't let it bog you down.

25. Smart guy? : ALEC.  Guiness?

27. Prefix with con : NEO.

28. Old ring leader? : ALI. Cute clue for Muhammed.

30. Language that gave us "galore" : ERSE. All perps.

32. Course-prep course : HOME-EC. Nice use of the different meanings of 'course'.

34. Computer operating system with a penguin mascot : LINUX. Surprisingly, the first appearance in an LAT.

36. Name : CHOOSE. Tricky cluing, which is accurate but hardly my first thought.

38. Hanging aids : PEGS.

39. '80s-'90s legal drama : LA LAW.
40. Zap : NUKE.

44. Ice Capades performer : SKATER. Hey CA, wherever you are....

46. One who has class? : PUPIL. Obviously they are students of the pun.

47. Bone tissue : MARROW.

50. Right on el mapa : ESTE. Spanish for east.  el mapa?

52. Friend of Frodo : SAM. Wonderfully portrayed by Sean Astin, Gomez Addams' son.

53. Diminutive suffix : ULE. Like CapsULE. For once not ULEE,

54. Taking care of business : ON IT.

56. Part of Q.E.F. : ERAT. Same middle word, Quod Erat Faciendum.

58. Board : HOP ON. Woo, woo!

60. Common auto engine : V-SIX.

62. Hyde Park vehicle : PRAM.  What a Nanny drives.

65. Tapas bar sausage : CHORIZO. Want to TRY?

67. Tia who voiced Nani in "Lilo & Stitch" : CARRERE. Didn't we just see beautiful Tia, the Wayne's World babe?

69. Quiver carrier : ARCHER.

70. State on Lake Michigan : INDIANA. Plus Illinois, Wisconsin and of course Michigan.

71. __ Sutton, Bond girl in "A View to a Kill" : STACEY. Played by TANYA ROBERTS, (2:19) who also was one of Charlie's Angels briefly and played Sheena, the female Tarzan.


1. Hankering : ITCH. Not scratch but yearn.

2. Ran like the dickens : TORE.

4. Mountain Dew bottler, informally : PEPSI. originally Brad's Drink.

5. Dada pioneer : ARP.

6. Note handler : TELLER. At the bank handling all of those federal reserve notes.

7. 1958 Pacer, e.g. : EDSEL. No idea what the clue means but it filled in quickly.

8. Ginnie __ : MAE. The articulation of GNMA, Government National Mortgage Association established in 1968 to provide a way for banks to sell their loans and then use the money to make new loans, etc. etc to fuel home financing and sale.

10. Reddish mount : ROAN.

11. Queued up : INLINE.

12. One paying a flat fee : LESSEE. The old FLAT =Apartment misdirection.

14. Narc's agcy. : DEA. Drug Enforcement Administration.

24. Morgan of comics : REX. The venerable strip featuring Rex Morgan MD.

26. Self-help website : eHOW.  Never heard of IT.

28. Sight from the Brenner Pass : ALP. Hi Warti.

29. Excuse, sometimes : LIE. The dog ate it.

31. Skedaddle : SCAT.

33. List of options : MENU.

35. BOAC destination in a Beatles hit : USSR.

37. Some crew members : OARS. The ones who do all the work in CREW, the sport.

39. Aeration target : LAWN. HG, don't you hate it when the aerate the greens?

42. Optima or Soul : KIA.

43. Common street name : ELM. Tough to pin down, a slippery clue.

46. __ diem : PER.

48. Island farewells : ALOHAS. Hello Hawaii.

49. News show staple : REPORT.

51. Natives of Paris and Odessa : TEXANS. Yes, we in America have borrowed my many European city names. Paris is one of the most common appearing in 26 states.

55. "It floats" soap : IVORY. When I was little and being bathed, the floating soap was a thing of awe.

57. National Poetry Month : APRIL. Owen, did we know this?

59. Seal hunter : ORCA.

61. "Vous êtes __": Paris map words : ICI. "You are here" en francais. No clecho for me.

63. Italian river : ARNO.

64. Bell curve center : MEAN. Like her friends MEDIAN and MODE. I figure it is feminine since it has curves.

66. Zombie leader? : ZEE. The first letter.

68. Old vitamin bottle no. : RDA. Recommended Daily Allowance.

Well I think you all have reached your RLW, reasonable lemonade write up, so I will head back to the world and wish you all a very happy and safe Friday the 13th. (Yes my name is Jason and the movies are so 'special' to me). Thanks David and Michael and all of you.


Notes from C.C.: 

As we all learned from yesterday's puzzle that crossword will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Dec 21, 2013, I'd like to mention a book I just read: The Centenary of the Crossword by John Halpern, known as "Paul" from The Guardian.

Who knew prisoners in Sing Sing were provided with crosswords in the 1920s? Fascinating snippets of crossword history. I also enjoyed reading the section on crossword setters/constructors and editors, esp LA Times Daily Crossword editor Rich Norris who does not give interviews often. I actually pulled out the Dan Naddor "Word Chain" blog post while reading Rich's words. I've never solved a cryptic puzzle, so I found the "How to Solve Cryptic Crosswords" chapter very informative and educating. 

You'll also find in the book Marti's 5 favorite clues. Also two from today's co-constructor David Steinberg. Please click here  for more information. Great read!

Jun 9, 2012

Saturday, Jun 9th, 2012, Michael Wiesenberg

Theme: None

Words: 70

Blocks: 26

Hi there~! Hope your morning solve was a tough, but enjoyable one - this is my first time analyzing a Mr. Wiesenberg construction in the year I have been here at the blog, and I either knew his answers, or I was completely lost - and no 51D. was going to help. Triple stacks of 11- and 10-letters in a classic pinwheel frame, most of which came easy with a few letters; it was the middle "stairs" that did me in - yes, I cheated today. oh well.... ONWARD with some of the longer strings -

17A. Western Hemisphere group : THE AMERICAS - we'll start with a map - one that everyone should be familiar I went with an "ALT" (q.v. 45A) light pollution version

53A. Skinny : ECTOMORPHIC - I thought this guy was an "Ectomorph", and he ain't skinny

14D. Opalescent gems : MOONSTONES - sounds cool, like they came from the moon, but they're found right here on Earth

25D. Snooze : GRAB SOME Z'S - just great fill here - I got it from the crossing "ZEE"

I already said it, my Orthorunican friends~!!!


1. "See ya!" : I'M OUTTA HERE - nice start, since I was not going anywhere until I was finished; I did have to wait until I had some downs filled first. Reminds me of Dennis Miller's sign off on SNL, 4 rows down here

12. Part of an org. : MEMber

15. Overprotective governments : NANNY STATES

16. Simpson judge : ITO

18. HBO alternative : SHO - Showtime TV - their website is

19. Ruman of Marx Brothers films : SIG

20. Wing: Pref. : PTER - as in Pterodactyl - this fella

21. Good sense : REASON

23. Place for a Valentine's Day gift : VASE - "Aww, you brought that tall man some flowers..." - OK, what movie, huh? huh?

24. Puts (in) conditionally : PENCILS - as in "he pencils in a tentative lunch time"

25. "Brighton Rock" author : GREENE - actually, the whole middle section was Proper names, and I knew none of them

28. Guinevere's lover : LANCELOT - well, OK, I know this one, but had to wait for some perps

29. "Conjuring" author James : RANDI

30. Siesta time : TARDE - OK, total unknown for me - I tried ONE PM, since I thought the clue was asking for a specific moment; I am guessing this means "late"~??? A little help here, with my language barrier (Added late: It's "afternoon".)

31. Trip taker of a kind : EGO

32. "__ boy!" : ATTA

33. Fur sources : MINKS

34. Not backin' : AGIN'

35. Short life story? : BIO

36. "South Pacific" Tony winner : PINZA (Ezio) - Unknown to me

37. Jaded : BLASÉ

38. What Balboa called the Pacific : SOUTH SEA - 36A. Pacific clecho, too

40. Lures : TEMPTS

41. Some entrées : ON-RAMPS - now, I figured this out early, because I am familiar with on-ramps and cloverleafs, but I figured since it was "French" in needed to be "On Rampe", or some "ALT" spelling....

42. Hardly a sign of support : HISS; and 54A. Puff adder's warning : SSS - some snake clecho

43. Lorin __, who succeeded Szell as the Cleveland Orchestra's music director : MAAZEL - well, now, I just linked this guy whose CD I "promoted" last week with "1812" - which by the way, was the year we had a war, 200 years ago

44. Cabinet div. : DEPT

45. Alt's opposite : NEU - completely lost on this clue: at first I was looking for the "ALTernative" to ALTitude, but nothing was coming to me; I call it brain-lock when you hit a "Sticking Point" (that is not a "TINE") and you refuse to give up - I am guessing it's German for Old and New - I found this link to a synagogue

48. Taina of "Les Girls" : ELG - Another unknown for me

49. Longtime separatist Sri Lankan group : TAMIL TIGERS - tried PAPER tigers, but I know what a paper tiger is, and it has nothing to do with Sri Lanka

52. Omega counterpart : ZEE - last letter in two alphabets

55. Having another look at : REASSESSING - Great bottom edge fill, with two "E"s, and four "S"s


1. QBs' stats : INTerceptionS - one stat a QB wants to keep really low....

2. When doubled, a fish : MAHI-mahi

3. NASA acceleration unit : ONE G - a measure of the force of Earth's gravity

4. Actress Merkel : UNA

5. Kettledrums: Var. : TYMPANI

6. Safari threat : TSETSE

7. Up __ : A TREE

8. 2009 Broadway revival : HAIR- other 4-letter plays; CATS, RENT

9. Inclusive abbr. : ETC - Et Cetera, and other things from Latin

10. Hits after a screech, probably : REAR-ENDS

11. Core : ESSENCE

12. Perceived Cold War weapons disparity : MISSILE GAP - the space between dart throws, when playing for beer....

13. One studying animals' behavior in their natural habitats : ETHOLOGIST

22. Poker plus, usually : ACE

23. Hindu sacred text : VEDA

24. Cold wear : PARKA

26. Bases : RATIONALE

27. Followings : ENTOURAGES - love the show, too

28. "The Great Caruso" star : LANZA - the movie, here

30. Sticking points : TINES - nice mis-direction for me - I was looking for "bones", or something that holds up a contract negotiation - nope~! Just these

33. Lose : MISPLACE

34. Charity : ALMS

36. Acidity-measuring device : pH METER - I was fairly certain of the "pH" part, but I tried TESTS, then PAPER - but it crossed my other WAG at PAPER (49A.)

37. Rouses to action : BESTIRS

39. Toon whirlwind from Australia, familiarly : TAZ

40. Sneak : TIPTOE - I had " - - - -OE", and thought nah, that's not going to...oh, wait~!

42. Big wheels at sea : HELMS - DAH~!! I was trying to get LINERS and OILERS here - and we were looking for the actual BIG wheel....

44. De Soto's deity : DIOS

45. Classic fruit-flavored drink : NEHI - Crossword favorite, new(ish) clue

46. Ireland, poetically : ERIN

and three closing initialisms -

47. SOS responder : USCG - The United States Coast Guard

50. Common commuting letters : MTA - e.g., Metro Transit Authority

51. Help for lost drivers, for short : GPS - Global Positioning System - once a piece of expensive military equipment, most cars and smart phones now come with one, and I think it's a good idea - so why do I always end up lagging behind some Cidiot (C.C.: I'm such a City idiot. I had to google to see what Splynter means!) lost on his way out to "Wine Country" at the end of Long Island ~????

Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy Birthday to Annette. Hope all's well.

2) Here is Part Four of Kazie's Spain Travel. Great to see the railway station where she and her husband first met.