Showing posts with label Paul Coulter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Coulter. Show all posts

May 1, 2019

Wednesday May 1, 2019 Paul Coulter

It’s May, ribbit, ribbit!

“Tra la, it's May, the lusty month of May
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray
Tra la, it's here, that shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear

It's May, it's May, that gorgeous holiday
When every maiden prays that her lad will be a cad
It's mad, it's gay, a libelous display
Those dreary vows that everyone takes, everyone breaks
Everyone makes divine mistakes, the lusty month of May”

Recognize those lines? I’ll confirm or inform later on.

On to the puzzle with musical interlude #1. Today's cw is by our quasi-resident wordsmith, Paul Coulter.  For this mid-week effort, Paul placed all of the theme answers in the verticals, because.....well, because the theme demanded it.  The bottom word of each theme answer is a type of bell.
As a lowly enlisted swabbie, I can relate to the naval connotation of the Bell Bottom uniform. Those pant-legs were actually more stove-pipe than bell-bottom. The trousers were stocked extra long by waist measurement, and were then shortened to fit the individual sailor. The 13 buttons may be traditional (they represent the 13 colonies), but they’re a real bother to deal with. I’d vote for a zipper fly any day.

The Reveal:

28D. Retro pants, and a hint to the answers to starred clues:  BELL BOTTOMS  The bottom word of each theme answer is a type of bell.

3D. *Many Northeast tourists look up to her: LADY LIBERTY. Lady Liberty isn’t nearly so welcoming today as in years past. But here we’re talking about the Liberty Bell. When did it get it’s famous crack?

9D. *Bring-a-dish event: POTLUCK DINNER. The triangular dinner bell became popular in the early 1800s to call the family and workers in from the fields at mealtime.

18D. *Controversial educational institution: CHARTER SCHOOL. Your school bell might have been a hand-held model wielded by a bookish schoolmarm, but more likely it was an electric bell that signaled the beginning and end of class periods. I thought “saved by the bell” probably had a school connection. Nope, it originates in the boxing ring.

26D. *Real moneymaker: CASH COW. Cow bell. The company I worked for served as a Cash Cow for the parent corporate holding company. After the long recession in the “awl patch,” I wonder if that’s still the case.
1. Indonesian resort island: BALI. Just east of Java.

5. Champagne flute part: STEM.

9. Provide with lodging: PUT UP. Tried HOUSE first.

14. Australian export: OPAL. Wool would also fit...but it would be wrong.

15. Hilo feast: LUAU.

16. "SNL" alum Cheri: OTERI. Vowel-rich, but c’mon guys, she left SNL way back in 2000.

17. Lack of propriety: INDECORUM. I’ve been known to resemble that remark.

19. Link: TIE IN.

20. Marshal at Waterloo: NEY. Why did I think it was Dey? Oh, wait, that was L. A. Law.

21. Solo played by Harrison Ford and Alden Ehrenreich: HAN. Han Solo, Star Wars.

22. Fly off the shelves: SELL.

24. Producing a direct electric current: GALVANIC. Back in the late 1700s Luigi Galvani discovered that muscle tissues would contract when electricity was passed through them. He experimented with frog legs, because he was prone to playing with his food.

27. Colorado town that means "town" in Spanish: PUEBLO. The USS Pueblo was captured by North Korea in January, 1968. The ship was about 16 miles off the coast at the time. Here’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about the incident.

31. Tel Aviv's land: Abbr.: ISR. Israel.

32. Pre-exam feeling, if you didn't study: PANIC. I wanted ANGST.

34. Brain scan letters: EEG. I wanted MRI. I had a brain MRI last year. Contrary to popular belief, they found one.

35. Clog kin: SABOT. This was actually my first thought for this answer. Yay, me.

37. Down with something: SICK.

38. Short, for short: LIL. I really, really wanted IOU for this one. You may have noticed that I didn’t get a lot of the things I wanted in this puzzle.

39. Brunch serving: CREPE. Because Mimosa and Omelet were too long.

40. "Huh?": WHA. With the W in place, I immediately inked in the TF.  Nope, not to be.

41. Sweetly, to Solti: DOLCE. What do you suppose is the musical meaning of Dolce Vita?

43. Part of HRH: HER. Put in the H and wait for the ER or IS to show up.

44. Campus mil. group: ROTC. ROTC (Reserve Officer’s Training Corps). Back in the day, orientation lectures were required of all male freshmen. Those military instructors could stand the loud stamping of feet for just so long. They usually kicked us out after 10-15 minutes.

46. Out of favor: IN BAD. Also a sailor, missing his first letter.

47. "Dig in!": EAT.

48. In one fell __: SWOOP. I always say it as one “swell foop.” “If the shoe fits” gets similar treatment.

50. Paleo- opposite: NEO. Also the hero of the Matrix movies.

51. Source of theatrical fog: DRY ICE. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. It “sublimes” (goes directly from solid to gaseous state) when warmed. See, I didn’t sleep through every chemistry class, just most of ‘em.

53. "I'm qualified, too!": WHY NOT ME. Musical interlude #2 from this mother/daughter team.

57. "Gotcha": AH SO. Apparently “facetiously” is no longer required in the clue.

59. Bonanza find: Ore. Ben would’ve fit, but Hoss, Adam, and Little Joe were too long.

60. 1960s chess champ Mikhail: TAL. If you say so.

61. Historic Texas landmark: ALAMO. Easy for this pseudo-Texan to remember.

64. Book's epilogue: AFTERWORD.

67. "The Hobbit" hero: BILBO. Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo’s cousin, Frodo Baggins, was the hero of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

68. Hoops shot: HOOK. Basketball.

69. French friend: AMIE. Glue.

70. Creeping critter: SNAIL.

71. __ Major: URSA. The big bear in the sky.

72. Old autocrat: TSAR. “Old” tipped me off that it’d be TSAR and not CZAR.

1. Spring sound: BOING. I really liked this c/a. My first thought was CHIRP.

2. Sleep clinic study: APNEA. Is it really all that bad? I’ve never heard of death by snoring.

4. Paris's __ de la Cité: ILE. The had a fire there recently. You may have read about it.

5. "McSorley's Bar" painter: SLOAN. The oldest “Irish” tavern in NYC is actually known as McSorley’s Old Ale House.

6. Root vegetable: TURNIP. I don’t believe I’ve ever had one. How do you fix ‘em? Are they good? Do they get damaged when they fall off the truck?

7. __ Claire, Wisconsin: EAU. If it were in Florida, they’d call it Clearwater.

8. Rose Parade flowers: MUMS. Aren’t all flower types acceptable as float decoration?

10. Serving a purpose: UTILE. I’ve never spoken that word in my whole life as a person.

11. Links supporter?: TEE.

12. Ocean State sch.: URI. University of Rhode Island.

13. Debit card code: PIN. You also need a Pin from the IRS if you’ve been a victim of identify theft when somebody filed for your tax refund. (I think it’s safe to assume that nobody would steal your identity for the purpose of paying your taxes.)

23. Awesome: EPIC. Two of the most over-used words in the English language.

25. Brandy bottle abbr.: VSOP. “Very Superior Old Pale.” To bear that moniker, the youngest brandy in the blend must be at least four years old. In Wisconsin and Mini-Soda the brandy Manhattan is a popular cocktail...and only there, so far as I know.

29. German camera: LEICA. They’ve been at it since 1914.

30. Eyed inappropriately: OGLED. When is it an ogle, and when is it a leer? Discuss.

33. Long of "Empire": NIA. Recognize her name, but draw a blank at Empire.

35. Timetable: Abbr.: SCHED.

36. Backward, shipwise: AREAR. Gluey. Not to be confused with arrear or arrears – dead horses which were severely beaten in recent days.

40. Geneva-based commerce gp.: WTO. World Trade Organization.

42. Basie's "__'Clock Jump": ONE O. Musical interlude #3:

45. Has to pay: OWES.

49. Snaps: PHOTOS. Not ginger cookies.

52. Frost-y feet?: IAMBI. Robert Frost-y poetic feet.

54. California town wrongly thought to be named from a backwards "bakery" sign: YREKA. It’s the county seat of Siskiyou County, but you knew that. wy-REE-kə

55. "The Sound of Music" matriarch: MARIA. Von Trapp – that flibbertigibbet, will-o-the-wisp, and clown. In case you need a hint, the actress who played her in the movie also sang the words at the top of this post.

56. Church leader: ELDER. Also a tribal leader. I don’t remember any elders in the church I attended.

58. Maui neighbor: OAHU. Neighbor, if you ignore Molokai and Lanai…

61. Muscles seen at Muscle Beach: ABS. Does your muscle car have ABS?

62. Architect Maya __: LIN. Anybody else read this as “Ancient Mayan?” No, just me.

63. Montgomery's st.: ALA. Capital of Alabama.

65. In favor of: FOR. As opposed to agin.

66. Angkor __: Cambodian temple: WAT.

Quiz answer: Those lines were sung by Julie Andrews on Broadway as Queen Guinevere in Camelot.

I hope Melissa Bee is enjoying her time off. Desper-otto out. (With luck, C.C. will find a visual of the grid to stick here.)

Apr 15, 2019

Monday April 15, 2019 Paul Coulter

Theme: INNER PEACE (60. Meditation goal hinted at by this puzzle's circles) - Three peace words span across each theme entry.

 17. Ancient mariner's fear: SEA SERPENT.

 25. Chain reaction requirement: CRITICAL MASS.

 46. Nation that promotes its people's economic and social prosperity: WELFARE STATE.

Boomer here.

Tough to be calm here in Minnesota where we were blessed with about 10 inches of snow last week.  It is melting and does not affect the bowling season however golf is on hold for two or three weeks.  The Twins cleared Target Field and after one postponement they played in 40 degree weather.


1. Cuts off: LOPS.

5. Member of a strict Jewish sect: HASID.

10. Artistic Chinese dynasty: MING.  The Chinese are very good at that game - Ming Pong.

14. Ohio's Great Lake: ERIE.  Of the five great lakes, (Not counting Utah Salt) This one appears in crosswords more than any other.

15. Justice Kagan: ELENA.  Appears more often than other justices. Three vowels.

16. Egg-shaped: OVAL.

19. Flexible mineral sheet: MICA.

20. Persuade with flattery: SOFT SOAP.

21. Fossil resins: AMBERS.

23. "Beowulf," poem-wise: EPIC.

24. Rubs the wrong way?: ABRADES.  There once was a girl whose mom tied her braids so tight that when she cried, the tears ran down her back.  Her name was Bacteria.

29. Stagecoach puller: HORSE.  A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse of course, unless of course the name of the horse is the famous Mr. Ed.

30. Allied gp. since 1948: OAS. Organization of American States.

31. Dangerous snakes: ASPS. So for all of her glamour and her whoop-tee-doo
And her house in the best neighborhood
Would you take that lousy life if it was offered to you
You can bet Cleopatra's asp, you would! (What kind of life is that - Chad Mitchell Trio)

35. Antipollution org.: EPA.

36. Hit, as a fly: SWATTED.  There were a few flies swatted at Target Field this past weekend.

40. Alphabetically first of two Hawaiian maunas: KEA. The other is LOA. Reminds me of a Korean SUV  Kia Sorento.

41. Like some coll. courses: REQ'D

43. Gp. getting many returns in April: IRS.  Supposed to be postmarked by midnight tonight, however some nice post offices will backdate it for you on Tuesday.
44. Regular's bar order, with "the": USUAL.  Mine used to be a VO Manhattan with cherry juice.  Now it is diet Pepsi.  Don't get me wrong, I was never a heavy drinker, but now the doctors told me no more alcohol with the pills I am taking.  So I donated two full bottles of gin and vodka from my booze closet to my Monday bowling banquet for door prizes, and was rewarded with a door prize of two rounds of golf on a cart at a local course, which of course I will share with my teammate and league secretary.
50. Malicious rumors: CANARDS.

53. "Do __ others ... ": UNTO. "As you would have others do unto you."

54. Judge, e.g.: HEARER. What ??

55. Like faces at a fireworks display: UPTURNED.  I never liked fireworks too much.  I was always afraid something would go wrong and I would get burned.  I am sure C.C. has stories. Although cities and groups spend a lot of money to the Chinese economy with the purchase of fireworks, many accidents happen in the factories that create them.

59. "Dream on!": AS IF.  AS IF you thought Tiger would win the Masters.  Yup, Surprised me too !

62. Wander: ROVE.  Mr. Karl Rove worked in the Whitehouse on George W 's staff.

63. Close-knit group: CADRE. This is what they called the G.I.'s who had permanent training positions at Fort Campbell. KY.

64. Fairway club: IRON.  I guess so.  I will normally take a five wood to hit a shot from 150 to 170 yards.  I notice the pros use a 7 Iron from 190.  All these years I have been using the wrong club!!

65. Didn't dillydally: SPED.

66. Act with excessive passion: EMOTE.

67. The Big Apple, in addresses: NY NY.  I usually spell it New York, NY.  It looks better.


1. Make-do amount?: LESS.  WKRP -- More music and Less Nessman

2. Two-tone cookie: OREO.  Congratulations to Nabisco!  This is the 12,365th time the cookie has appeared in a crossword.  A new world record!! ( It passed lake ERIE).

3. Chanteuse Edith: PIAF.

4. Six-line stanzas: SESTETS.

5. Brave: HEROIC.

6. Llama relative: ALPACA.  I wonder if they use these photos when they join eharmony.

7. Ooze: SEEP.

8. Quaint stopover: INN.  Just say Bodda Book, Bodda Boom!  ( I cannot stand that commercial).

9. Sortable information source: DATABASE. I wonder where people kept their notes before computers.

10. Kenya's major port: MOMBASA.

11. Like Wrigley Field's walls: IVIED.  Yup, I have been there.  Saw the Cubs take the Dodgers.  It was before the lights, about 28 years ago.  I remember there was "already been chewed" wads of Wrigley's gum stuck under my seat.  I paid a local $10.00 to park on his lawn.  I wonder what they get now.  Maybe TTP knows.  

12. Mother-of-pearl: NACRE.

13. Water or wine vessel: GLASS.  It can also hold a VO Manhattan on the rocks with cherry juice.

18. Catches sight of: ESPIES.

22. Dash in a spice rack?: MRS.  A name brand seasoning.  Maybe they should change the name to Heinz now.  There must be about 57 different kinds.

24. Amo, amas, __: AMAT.  I love, You love, she loves this clue.

25. "Moonstruck" star: CHER.  "I got you babe"

26. Weapon in Clue: ROPE.  I think it was done by Professor Plum in the Ballroom.

27. Baghdad's land: IRAQ.

28. Gobs of: LOTSA.  There's an expensive frozen pizza called Lotzza Mozza.  I save by buying Jack's and adding more mozzarella before I slide it in the oven.

32. Arctic seabird: SKUA.

33. __ moss: PEAT.  Randy had too many letters

34. Markdown event: SALE.  Pitcher Chris of the Red Sox.

37. Whole-grain food: WILD RICE.  This is a notable Minnesota crop, mostly harvested by Native Americans.  (Where did you think they got the money to build those casinos ?) It generally takes an hour or more to prepare it, but it is delicious with walleye!

38. Pound sounds: ARFS.

39. Quarrel: DUST UP.

42. Towered over: DWARFED.

45. Preserve using barrels, as wine: STORE IN.

47. Bard's "before": ERE.  "And I heard him exclaim ere he rode out of sight, 'Next year wash your socks before you hang them up !'" 

48. Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "Watcher" __ Giles: RUPERT.  Notable Quotable.

49. Main course: ENTREE. That would be the walleye.

50. Burns a bit: CHARS.

51. Legendary fabulist: AESOP.  I have never met anyone named Aesop.  I think most people think his last name was Fables.

52. Easily deceived: NAIVE.

55. "Go back" PC command: UNDO.  I checked the entire keyboard and I do not have an "undo" or a "go back" key.  (I do have a funny looking left arrow on F2).

56. __ a one: none: NARY.  Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

57. Supply-and-demand subj.: ECON.

58. Reject as false: DENY.

61. "The Deer Hunter" war zone, for short: NAM.

No more Monday bowling until September.  Several more weeks on Thursday - Then defend my title in the 700 club tournament in May.  Yeah, I was healthier a year ago but you never know.  I am in the Geezer division.  (Over 70).


Apr 7, 2019

Sunday April 7, 2019 Paul Coulter

Theme: "Just Desserts" - One word in each common phrase is replaced by a soundalike dessert.

22A. Sure sign that Spot got into today's dessert?: PUDDING ON THE DOG. Putting on the dog.

35A. Krispy Kreme rep's agenda?: DOUGHNUT CALL LIST. Do Not Call list.

52A. Ice cream order toppings?: SUNDAE SUPPLEMENTS. Sunday supplements. I call it "Sunday magazines".

77A. Final roadside stop for an eggy treat?: CUSTARDS' LAST STAND. Custer's Last Stand.

92A. "You've made the Heath bar perfectly!"?: THAT'S A REAL TOFFEE.

113A. "Nice apple tart, Christopher"?: GOOD PIE, COLUMBUS. Goodbye, Columbus.

Is the original phrase for 92A "That's a real doozy"?
Paul is a very creative constructor who loves food and find inspirations in his food. Remember this "Top This" puzzle? See how he approaches his food themes so differently.

Paul Coulter/Matt G Contest


1. "Beat it!": SCAT.

5. Rubberneck: GAWK.

9. Preserve, in a way: SALT. You all know I love pickled veggies. Herrings too.

13. Grammar topic: USAGE.

18. "East of Eden" director Kazan: ELIA.

19. Only part of Egypt in Asia: SINAI.

20. Brio: ELAN.

21. Bedouin, e.g.: NOMAD.

25. Doubtful story: FABLE.

26. Cause of a stir?: TEASPOON. Nice clue.

27. Nutritious beans: SOYAS. Countable?

28. Metaphorical fate of a hatchet?: BURIAL. Bury the hatchet.

29. HuffPost owner: AOL.

30. Prefix with phobia: ACRO.

31. Damage: MAR.

32. APO mail recipients: GIS.

43. Medicinal plants: SENNAS. Laxative.

45. Beams: RAYS.

46. Give birth to: HAVE.

47. Boris Godunov, for one: TSAR.

48. Broadcast sign: ON AIR.

49. NFL six-pointers: TDS.

50. Kopf, across the border: TETE. German/French for "head".

51. Agitate: RILE.

58. Prof's aides: TAS.

59. Appear that way: SEEM SO.

60. Record holder: LINER.

61. Rose garden pests: APHIDS.

63. Run out, as a subscription: LAPSE. We need our local Star Tribune. Important part of our morning routine.

65. NYSE debut: IPO.

66. Request before a shot: SMILE.

68. Remain at home: STAY IN.

71. Coil of yarn: SKEIN.

73. Passes: ENACTS.

76. Campaign trail pro: POL.

82. Ness, for example: LOCH.

84. Soviet news acronym: TASS. Xinhua for China. Literally "new China". Largest news agency in the world.

85. Double curve: ESS.

86. One washing off the driveway: HOSER.

87. Langston Hughes poem: I TOO.

88. Light-seeking flier: MOTH.

89. Slew: SCAD.

91. __ Beach: South Carolina resort: MYRTLE. Boomer and I went there for a golf trip hundreds of years ago.

96. One of two in seven: Abbr.: SYL. Syllable.

97. Exist: ARE.

98. Blows it: ERRS.

99. Bygone Ford: LTD.

101. Tropical lizard: IGUANA.

105. "The __ Witch Project": BLAIR.

107. Italian almond biscuits: AMARETTI. Never had it.

112. Boy with a bow: CUPID.

115. Chip away at: ERODE.

116. It's sometimes enough: ONCE.

117. They're not idlers: DOERS.

118. "Buddenbrooks" author: MANN.

119. One tweaking pitches: TUNER.

120. Style: VEIN.

121. "As I Lay Dying" father: ANSE. Regular in our old Tribune Media days.

122. Q.E.D. part: ERAT.


1. Half of quatorze: SEPT. 14/7 in French.

2. Whodunit game: CLUE.

3. "O patria mia" singer: AIDA.

4. Young boys: TADS.

5. Paid male escort: GIGOLO. I learned this word from the Richard Gere movie.

6. Like some quotes: Abbr.: ANON.

7. Pale: WAN.

8. Like plastic pink flamingos: KITSCHY.

9. "Later": SEE YOU.

10. "The West Wing" actor: ALDA.

11. Golden Triangle country: LAOS. They eat long-grain sticky rice every day. In China, we mostly use sticky rice (short grain) in desserts.

12. Sci-fi spin-off before "DS9": TNG. The Next Generation.

13. Roll out: UNFURL.

14. Enjoy a view from on high: SOAR.

15. Both: Pref.: AMBI.

16. Big party: GALA.

17. Henry James biographer Leon: EDEL. Another old regular.

19. Hair holders: SNOODS.

23. Draft pick: IPA.

24. They're heard in jams: HORNS. Traffic jams.

28. Barn bundle: BALE.  Spitzboov grew up on a farm.

30. Dumbfounded: AGASP.

31. Expert: MAVEN.

32. Classification between family and species: GENUS.

33. Absurd: INANE.

34. Dudley's toon foe: SNIDELY. Where's our Dudley?

36. Hindustani language: URDU.

37. English assignment: THEME.

38. Does a reception job: CATERS.

39. Env. enclosure: LTR.

40. Query in Matthew: IS IT I.

41. Food at a bar: SALAD. Have any of you tried lotus root salad? Delicious! Lotus roots are hard to harvest and are very expensive here in our Asian stores.

Harvesting Lotus Roots
42. Head lock: TRESS.

43. "Help!": SOS.

44. Biblical language: ARAMAIC.

49. Chinese menu possessive: TSO'S.

50. Mortise inserts: TENONS.

53. "College Football Live" channel: ESPNU.

54. Grasping tool: PLIERS.

55. Fat, e.g.: LIPID.

56. Corrupt: TAINT.

57. Ostentatious: SPLASHY.

62. Bullies: HECTORS.

64. Focus of an heir war?: ESTATE. Air war.

67. Clutter: MESS.

68. Small Champagne bottle: SPLIT. Learning moment for me.

69. Zipper part: TOOTH.

70. Big name in kitchen foil: ALCOA.

72. Buckwheat porridge: KASHA. I need to try this some day.

74. "Yum!": TASTY.

75. Fishhook fastener: SNELL.

78. Supply: STORE.

79. Flips (through): LEAFS.

80. Typist's left hand home keys: ASDF. Sunday grids need a few gluey entries.

81. "__ Day": 1993 rap hit: DRE.

83. All the rage: HOT.

88. Kate of "The Martian": MARA.

89. Bacon portion: STRIP.

90. Contest with picadors: CORRIDA.

91. Iron and zinc: METALS.

93. Carpenter's need: SANDER.

94. Dull gray, as winter skies: LEADEN.

95. "Get Shorty" novelist __ Leonard: ELMORE. Terry Gross had a terrific interview with him.

100. R&B group __ Hill: DRU.

101. "Rhyme Pays" rapper: ICE-T.

102. Expert: GURU.

103. Informed about: UPON.

104. Right hand: AIDE.

105. Cram, with "up": BONE.

106. Centers of activity: LOCI.

107. First-rate: ACES.

108. Plus-size supermodel: EMME.

109. Alpine transport: T BAR.

110. Toon Charlie, memorably: TUNA.

111. "This __ working": ISN'T.

113. Statehouse VIP: GOV.

114. Long, long time: EON.


Feb 19, 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 Paul Coulter


17. *Sore loser's reaction: SOUR GRAPES

58. *Valentine recipient: SWEETHEART

11. *Finale to fight to, with "the": BITTER END.

34. *Hip-hop trio with a condimental name: SALT-N-PEPA

38. Fifth and newest member of the set that includes the starts of the answers to starred clues: UMAMI.


1. Deep opera voices: BASSI.  Learned this word from doing crosswords.   Before that, I only knew of Shirley Bassey.

6. Quaint "you": THOU.

10. "SOS" pop group: ABBA.  Just in case you don't solve and read the write-ups on the Saturday level puzzles, here's the video Husker Gary linked:

14. From square one: AGAIN.   Anew.

15. Pair on a Disney World hat: EARS.  Overheard while walking on Main St. USA, "I want one ! "

16. Little brook: RILL.

19. Live __: party hearty: IT UP.

20. Temporary period: INTERIM.

21. Clytemnestra's son: ORESTES.  It's all Greek to me, but the perps made it evident.

23. Soap-making chemical: LYE.

24. Often: A LOT.  Often, a lot is a ton.

26. Road's end?: STER.  This powerful little two-seater was the first Shelby Cobra.  It sold for $13.75M.

27. Versatile vehicle, for short: UTE.

28. Handel's "Messiah" is one: ORATORIO.  I found this article to be a good read.

32. Vertical billiards stroke: MASSE.  The masse is often not allowed because if it is not executed properly, the cue tip can rip the felt.  

35. Not fresh: STALE.

36. Ambient music pioneer Brian: ENO.

37. Apple computer: IMAC.

39. NYPD rank: INSP.   Inspector

40. Zero, like chances: NIL.

41. "Full court" NBA defense: PRESS.   Pistol Pete's basketball coach father was known as Press.  But not for an obsession of coaching that style of defense.  He got that nickname as a boy selling the Pittsburgh Press newspaper on the streets of Aliquippa, PA.   LSU fans know that Dale Brown succeeded Press as head coach of the Tigers
42. Pat Conroy's "The Prince of __": TIDES.

43. Corporate info-sharing system: INTRANET.   The internet is the information superhighway for the masses.  It is public.   An intranet is a limited access information superhighway used by companies,  corporations and government entities to disseminate information internally.  It is private. 

45. Hawaiian dish: POI.

46. "Chestnuts roasting __ open fire": ON AN. Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Seems like it was only yesterday.

47. Online craft store: ETSY.

49. Rap sheet abbr.: AKA.   Also Known As.

52. Elks, in Canada: WAPITIS.

55. __ Kodak: EASTMAN.  "You press the button. We'll do the rest." 

57. Top poker cards: ACES.

60. Ready for harvesting: RIPE.

61. Half of Mork's sign-off: NANU.

62. Novelist Joyce Carol __: OATES.

63. Smartphone ancestors, briefly: PDAS.  Personal Digital Assistants

64. Cookbook amt.: TBSP.    Cookbooks sometimes abbreviate it as just a capital T, but that would not work as an answer in crossword puzzles.

65. "Elder" Roman scholar: PLINY.


1. Fragrant herb: BASIL.

2. Ecstasy's opposite: AGONY.

3. Fry: SAUTE.

4. "Your Highness": SIRE.

5. Unappreciative one: INGRATE.

6. Pedro's "I love you": TE AMO.

7. WWII General __ Arnold: HAP.  One of only five 5 Star Generals in the US Army.   Also, the only General in the US Air Force to have attained the 5 Star rank.

8. Crumbled sundae-topping cookie: OREO.

9. Cold War power: Abbr.: USSR. СССР (Союз Советских Социалистических Республик) is a Russian abbreviation for the Soviet Union or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

10. Noble Brit: ARISTO.

12. Treatment for gray hair: BLUE RINSE. New to me, but now I know what my friend meant when talking about those blue haired ladies.  I thought it was figurative.

13. Swiss peaks: ALPS.

18. Irritate but good: RILE.

22. 90° from sur: ESTE.

25. How food may be seasoned: TO TASTE.   Altitude can change taste.   The combination of dryness and low pressure reduces the sensitivity of your taste buds to sweet and salty foods by around 30%.

27. Trojans' sch.: USC.  The University of Southern California athletic teams are known as the Trojans.

29. Male sheep: RAMS

30. Thrilla in Manila boxer: ALI.

31. "My bad!": OOPS.

32. Revealing skirt: MINI.

33. Protein building block: AMINO ACID.

35. "Peter Pan" pirate: SMEE.  Captain Hook's bosun.

38. Reception server: URN.  Not a person employed as wait staff at a reception.

39. Three, on a sundial: III

41. Breathe heavily: PANT.

42. Kid's favorite store, often: TOY SHOP.

44. Elevates: RAISES.

45. 10th-grader's exam, for short: PSAT.  Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test. 

48. Start a golf hole: TEE UP.

49. Vintage violin: AMATI.

50. Megan's "Will & Grace" role: KAREN.

51. Anxious: ANTSY.

52. __ speed: "Star Trek" rate: WARP.   "A reaction between deuterium and antideuterium, tempered through a dilithium crystal assembly, allows 24th century Federation vessels to travel at warp speeds."   If interested, you can read more about the technology in this explanation.

53. Fails to be: ISN'T.  The third person singular (he, she, it) present tense of  To Be is IS.  The negative contraction of To Be is isn't,  but it isn't ain't.   Shakespeare (paraphrased) summed it up nicely: "Is or isn't, that is the question."

54. Q-tip: SWAB.

56. Greenish-blue: TEAL.

59. Nav. rank: ENS.   Ensign. A commissioned officer in the Navy.