Showing posts with label Robert E. Lee Morris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Robert E. Lee Morris. Show all posts

May 20, 2019

Monday May 20, 2019 Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: OBIE (56. Theater award ... and a phonetic hint to the answers to starred clues) - Each theme entry is in the patter of O* B*.
17A. *Bread with a schmear: ONION BAGEL.

61A. *Annual Florida football game: ORANGE BOWL.
11D. *Coastal North Carolina resort area: OUTER BANKS.

24D. *Source of free drinks: OPEN BAR.

29D. *Séance prop: OUIJA BOARD.

Boomer here.

Bad weather here again.  I had to go Out Back to make sure rain had not damaged our garden.  Also on Thursday I went Out Bowling to defend my title in the Minneapolis 700 club 4 game tournament.  I started with 193-197-215 -- 605.  It was my first 600 set since the Big C damaged my back.  However my 4th game was only 157 and I placed 7th out of about 30 entries.


1. Like some private communities: GATED.  We have one of these in the metro area out by the famous Hazeltine Golf Club.  I am pretty sure that everyone living there is a multi-millionaire so we are not planning to move there. 

6. Really dull: DRAB.  I think that was the color of a '53 Dodge I once owned.

10. Second-year student: SOPH.  Since this is an abbreviation, shouldn't there be an abbreviated clue??

14. Ex-Yankee manager Joe: TORRE. Lots of career catchers seem to make the best managers.  I think it's because they can tell when a pitching change is necessary.

15. Goldberg who drew complex "machines": RUBE.

16. Make healthy: CURE.  Hormel Company of Austin Minnesota makes a Cure 81 Ham.  It is pretty good.  Much better than another Hormel product Spam.  Yuk.

19. __ Ant: tiny toon superhero: ATOM.  a cartoon by Hanna Barbera a long time ago.  Never gained the fame of Fred and Wilma. 

20. Therapy visit: SESSION. Add another "S" and you have a former Attorney General.

21. "Honor Thy Father" author Gay: TALESE.

23. Parody: SPOOF.

26. Fire engine signal: SIREN. A famous city in Western Wisconsin. My dad was born there, and my great uncle lived on a road, which is now named Burnikel Road.

27. "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" singer Jim: CROCE.  Lot's of hits.  He had to say "I love you" in a song.

31. Can opener: POP TAB.  Wow. I am sooo old I remember when they first came out.  The tab came totally separated from the can.  Fishermen would open their beer and toss the tab into the lake where fish would eat them and die.  Finally a government agency in charge of fish killing litter told soda and beer makers to clean up their act.

33. Chief Greek god: ZEUS.

34. Mono successor: STEREO.  Yeah, I am old enough to remember the early ones.

36. __ Lingus: AER.

39. Somewhat: A BIT.

40. Hint of color: TINGE.

41. Escape key function: UNDO.  Also a function of a pull top on a can.

42. Friend of TV's Sheldon and Leonard: RAJ.

43. "For my next __ ... ": singer's intro: NUMBER.  And now, we have a group whose biting satire has gained popularity …. (Chad Mitchell at the Bitter End).

44. Pass over: SKIP. to my Lou

45. "Lawrence of __": ARABIA. A star studded cast including Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Alec Guiness, and Anthony Quinn.  The movie lasted almost 4 HOURS !!  Yup I am old enough to remember that one too.

47. "Beau __": GESTE.

48. Scheming group: CABAL.

50. Serious play: DRAMA.

53. Roberto or Sandy of baseball: ALOMAR.  They were brothers. Sandy Jr. was a catcher for a number of teams, (Not all at the same time.)  Robbie played second base mostly in Toronto and was voted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Roberto Alomar and Sandy Alomar Jr.

55. Deep regret: REMORSE.  I had a bit of deep regret that I decided to play golf last week.

60. Line through the middle of a circle: Abbr.: DIAM.

64. To be, to Balzac: ETRE.

65. Mexican's zilch: NADA.  Okay but I have heard many Americans use this word also.

66. Primary foe: RIVAL.  I watched Brooks make his rival Tiger look pretty bad last week.

67. Lincoln in-law: TODD.

68. From __: all-inclusive: A TO Z.

69. Take care of: SEE TO.


1. Classic Pontiac muscle cars: GTOS.  I never had one, but they made my Mustang look silly.  Sorry, no more Pontiacs from GM.

2. Top-notch: A-ONE.  I have never had A One on my golf scorecard.  (Except when it precedes two other numbers in the total column.)

3. "Divergent" films heroine: TRIS.  Also Hall of Famer Mr. Speaker. NO I am not old enough to remember him.  I have only heard about him.

4. Greek god of love: EROS.

5. Actress Richards: DENISE.

6. Clog-busting brand: DRANO. I have heard it contains dangerous lye.  We use Liquid-Plumr.

7. "Area" floor covering: RUG.  We have several throw rugs in our home.  I think the big ones are called carpet.

8. Prez on a fiver: ABE. No I am not old enough to remember Abe, and neither are you.  But I have a lot of respect for his contribution to our country.  (Even though Mary Todd is known to throw potatoes at him).  Abe also replaced a Native American on the copper penny designed by Victor D. Brenner in 1909.

9. Pants holder-upper: BELT.  I took off a few pounds this past year so I might need a new one or two.  Sizes are confusing.  I ordered a couple from Dr. Leonard's and they were NOT the size that the catalog said.  I am not ordering blind through the mail any more, (except maybe baseball cards.)

10. Justice replaced by Gorsuch: SCALIA.  With all due respect to Neil, I think it should have been Judge Merrick Garland.

12. It's not poetry: PROSE.

13. Macho guys: HE MEN.

18. Jazz genre: BOP.  Reminds me of the restaurant in "Happy Days".

22. Regarding: AS TO. Two short words.

25. Valley __, Pa.: FORGE.  History was never my best subject, but this city is in the historical hall of fame.  A year or so after the Declaration of Independence, and after George III had time to digest it, George Washington led a large unit of brave men at Valley Forge and defeated a large number of men of the British Army. Now - the city is loaded with historical memories and a national park.   (NO I am not old enough to have been there.  I think I read about it in National Geographic.) 

27. Business magnate: CZAR.

28. Country star McEntire: REBA.  Mostly country music, I believe she has appeared at the Minnesota State Fair more than once.

30. Ill. winter hours: CST.  Minnesota is also on Central time.  I hate when the Twins are on the West Coast and games start around 9:00 PM - CST.

32. Equal: PEER.  If you PEER into the past you may see a Norwegian, PEER Gynt.

34. Ticket remnant: STUB.  Some stubs may fetch a few bucks.  I have 5 of the 1987 World Series stubs of the games I attended.  (Four at the Metrodome and one at Busch Stadium, St. Louis).

Boomer's World Series Stubs

35. Shy: TIMID.

37. Polish a manuscript: EDIT.

38. Dogie catcher: ROPE.

41. Take advantage of: USE.

43. Simba's mate: NALA.  "The Lion King's lady"

46. Smashed into: RAMMED.  I wonder why Dodge Trucks are called "RAM",  Have they been smashed into, or did they do the smashing.  Or maybe it is what happened to the Vikings last year when they visited Los Angeles.

47. Online players: GAMERS.  About the only thing I game on line is FreeCell Solitaire.

48. Military academy student: CADET.

49. Samuel of the Supreme Court: ALITO.  I respect our Supreme Court, but why does it take so long for them to make up their mind and why are decisions seldom unanimous?

51. Desi of "I Love Lucy": ARNAZ.  Yes, "I Love Lucy" was a great sitcom in the 50's and I am old enough to remember watching it on our 19 inch black and white console TV.  But then in the sixties, Desi did not love Lucy any more.

52. Bit of computer RAM: MEG.  No Dodge Truck there also.

54. Gossip columnist Barrett: RONA.  I am just not interested in Gossip.

57. Roam: ROVE.

58. Smack, as a fly: SWAT.  Special Weapons and Tactics.  I use them when I bowl.

59. Cockney greeting: ELLO.  Where the "H" is the "H"??

62. Stool pigeon: RAT.  James Cagney's favorite word.

63. Big fuss: ADO.  Adieu, Adieu my friends Adieu, yes Adieu.  I can no longer stay with you, Stay with you.  I'll hang my harp on the weeping willow tree, and may the world go well with thee.


Apr 8, 2019

Monday April 8, 2019 Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: REAR WINDOW (63. Hitchcock classic, and a hint to 17-, 25-, 38- and 51-Across) -The last word can precede "window".

 17. Broad decision-making perspective: BIG PICTURE. Picture window.

 25. Social media barrage: TWEET STORM. Storm window.

 38. Home of many a blue crab: CHESAPEAKE BAY. Bay window.

51. Announcer's voice, metaphorically: MEAL TICKET. Ticket window.
Boomer here.  
Wow!!  I may have mentioned before that C.C. and I visited US Bank Stadium several years ago.  It was not for a football game, but a Graybar Electric trade show.  It is impressive how they have dressed it up for the Final Four. Of course they brought in a basketball court, (duh) but also they have added many thousands of courtside bleachers.  The seats look fairly uncomfortable, but I bet tickets sold for more than $5.00 each.

Boomer, 10/6/2016


1. Separated from each other: APART.  Once I had a part in a high school play.  It was Noye's Fludde by Benjamin Britten.  I was Noah, a guy from De LaSalle was God. And the entire balance of the cast were girls from Regina High School in South Minneapolis.  Most of the Catholic schools in Minnesota have merged to become coed.  I now coach bowling at Benilde/St. Margaret's.

6. Composer Stravinsky: IGOR.  Oh boy Igor Stravinsky, Oh Boy Bo Belinsky - Allan Sherman.

10. Ashen: PALE.

14. Reclusive sort: LONER.

15. Nickname for grandma: NANA. NANA - Hay ay ay, Good by

16. Baseball Hall of Famer Slaughter: ENOS.  Famous "Country" for the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifties, but then he spent a few years in the American League.

19. New Haven school: YALE.  Also a famous lock

20. Silent communication syst.: ASL.

21. Intoxicated: BOOZY. I am not sure if Boozy is a word.  I'll bet most of you tried "DRUNK" first.

22. Org. with a five-ring logo: IOC. The Olympics will be back around June, 2020.  A bunch of sissy sports, nothing about bowling.
23. Christmas song: NOEL.  This will be around in only 7 months

29. Slammin' Sammy of golf: SNEAD.  Now that's a guy who could have won a gold medal if Olympics had golf earlier.

31. "Let me in!": OPEN UP.  Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin.

32. Figure it out: CATCH ON.

37. Cavity filler's deg.: DDS.  Don't need one anymore. But I can say that I used to think Fixodent was an auto body repair shop.

42. Trivial amount: SOU.  Is this smaller than an "IOU"

43. Daily grind: RAT RACE.  I have been a runner in this for a long time.

44. Except if: UNLESS.

47. Desert retreats: OASES.  This is plural, but I remember an "Oasis" brand of cigarettes.  I think they were menthol. I wonder if they are still around.  I don't think I ever smoked one.

56. All-thumbs message, often: TEXT.  We do have a cell phone, but I am old school. I never figured out how to text with it, and never will.

57. Barn bundle: HAY.  Make it while the sun shines.

58. Peter of "The Maltese Falcon": LORRE.

60. Mimic: APE.  Harry was a hairy one.

61. Waffle House alternative: IHOP.  Seen this before.  The acronym is "International House of Pancakes", and they are pretty good.  I cannot have syrup on mine though.  Have to use fake sugar.

65. "Famous" cookie guy: AMOS.

66. Angelic aura: HALO.  A very famous brand of lighting fixtures.  We have about six feet of track lighting in the hallway.  I have a terrible ego - I use the light fixtures to shine on my 300 game and 800 series plaques hanging on the wall.

67. Calf-roping loop: NOOSE.  Reminds me of Clint Eastwood in "Hang 'Em High".

68. "Ain't gonna happen": NOPE.

69. Taken by mouth, as meds: ORAL.  Not to complain - but I am taking an oral chemo med every day.  Four large pills on an empty stomach.  I am NOT complaining.  They seem to be keeping things under control, AND I had a 227 last week.  Not bragging though.  My other games were garbage.

70. Defeated narrowly: EDGED.  OR if you purchase a Ford small SUV.


1. Saint __: English cathedral city: ALBANS.  Also a town in Vermont

2. Arsenic, e.g.: POISON.

3. "Life of Pi" director: ANG LEE.  From Taiwan.  He won an academy award for "Life of Pi"

4. Exercise unit: REP.  Exercise??  I thought this was the person we elected to Congress.

5. Chicago paper, for short: TRIB.  Minneapolis used to have a "Tribune" in the morning and a "Star" in the afternoon.  Now we just have a "StarTrib" on the front step in the morning.  It has two crossword puzzles, a New York Times and a Universal Syndicate.  I can never finish either of these.  Especially the hard ones by Zhouqin Burnikel.  But I can do the Sudoku.

6. Hitched to the back of the truck: IN TOW.

7. First-aid kit item: GAUZE.

8. How corned beef is often served: ON RYE. and with Swiss cheese and Sauerkraut.

9. Actress Charlotte: RAE.  Of course I am old and remember Martha Raye.

10. Desert hallucinogen: PEYOTE.  I was thinking more of a Dessert hallucinogen.  Visions of sugar plums dancing.  Or a big dish of ice cream.

11. Amazon crusher: ANACONDA.  Always hated snakes.  We do not have any killers in Minnesota, I don't think.

12. Facebook chuckle: LOL.

13. Opposite of WNW: ESE.

18. Simple bed: COT.

22. AOL, for one: ISP.   They were one of the first.

24. Lingerie material: LACE.  "Arsenic and old Lace"  For you Cary Grant fans.  It was a little before my time.

26. Big name in little trucks: TONKA.  I used to drive by the plant frequently.  It was in Mound, Minnesota, (Home of pro wrestler, Vern Gagne) located near Lake Minnetonka.  Very famous toys, but the plant is gone.  I believe Tonka Toys is now headquartered in St. Louis Park, MN.  (About twenty miles from Lake Minnetonka.)

27. Former NYC mayor Giuliani: RUDY.  Famous Minnesota Senator Rudy Boschwitz.

28. Base cops, briefly: MPS.  Military Police. I liked the ones in "Stripes" with Bill Murray.  Did you see him at Pebble Beach?  He has not aged well.

30. Prosecutors: Abbr.: DAS.  District Attorney Adam Schiff on "Law and Order"  Coincidentally a chairman of the same name on the Judiciary committee.

33. Foot bones: TARSI.

34. Tax pro: CPA.  Did you visit one of them this year?  I did our own - waiting for the refund.  No one has asked to see any of my returns.

35. All __ up: excited: HET.

36. Dinghy mover: OAR.  Row, row, row, your dinghy, Gently down the stream.

38. Baskin-Robbins treat: CONE.  31 flavors!!  I'll have vanilla.

39. Classic Wham-O toy: HULA HOOP. A HUGE seller in 1958.  Somebody made a fortune.  We had several in my family growing up. (And so did you if you're over 60).

40. Prefix with logical: ECO.

41. Rhythm: BEAT.  Ed Sullivan had a unique way of introducing the BEATles.

42. 4, in 2 + 2 = 4: SUM.  "What did you learn in school today, dear little boys of mine"  Tom Paxton.

45. Pass, as time: ELAPSE.  "You must remember this, A kiss is still a kiss, A sigh is just a sigh"
As Time Goes by

46. Barnyard enclosure: STY.  I think the three little pigs built their sty with bricks

48. Old salt: SEA DOG.

49. Revealing news story: EXPOSE.  The New York Times and Washington Post seem to compete. Never never the National Inquirer.  I wonder why people even buy it.  It does not have a crossword puzzle!!

50. Slow-boiled: STEWED.  Just made beef stew on Saturday.  Works great in a slow cooker.

52. Blue-skies forecast word: CLEAR.  Sorry but this always reminds me of Clear Lake, Iowa and the Surf Ballroom.  I visited there once, just to pay respects to Buddy Holly and the Crickets.  Buddy's home was Lubbock, Texas.  Also the home of Final two team Texas Tech Red Raiders.

53. Cute Down Under critter: KOALA.

54. Swashbuckling Flynn: ERROL. A swashbuckling heartthrob of the ladies. 

55. Experian, formerly: TRW.

59. Mozart's "__ kleine Nachtmusik": EINE.  This is "ONE".  I think the rest is a little bit of nighttime music.

61. Author Fleming: IAN.  I think I saw every James Bond movies in the 60s.  But when Sean Connery split, so did I.

62. Medical ins. plan: HMO.

63. Letter after pi: RHO.  That's Greek to me.

64. Head-bobbing acknowledgment: NOD.

Okay, the stage is set for tonight.  Virginia against Texas Tech.  Saturday's games were very competitive so it's difficult to pick a winner.  I did not fill out a bracket contest so I guess I do not care who wins.  So for a prediction, I flipped a coin. It came up heads.

Mar 1, 2019

Friday, March 1, 2019, Robert E. Lee Morris

I think it is too late to vote, but here is a LINK to watch my baby boy mix his competition cocktail.

Title: X marks the spot.  White rabbit, white rabbit. my second first of the month in a row.

RELM is back for his 21st publication since the switch when the Corner began blogging the LAT. This is, however, my first time to write-up Mr. Morris. I tried to read about him and did not find much except he had 13 LATs prior to the switch, beginning in 2004, and 3 NY Sun puzzles. Today is a simple theme - add an "X" to the end of the second word of a two word 'in the language' phrase. With only 45 theme letters, there is lots of room for some lively 7 and 8 letter fill. LARAMIE, LYNETTE, REFUELS, UPSTART, FLAT TIRE, FOXY LADY, TEAR INTO and WINE LIST are the group. Showing off his 15 years of experience, we are presented with a pangram. I imagine if you are using an "X" as the centerpiece of a puzzle, you might as well get the rest of the letters in the grid.
Meanwhile, I just lost a significant part of my write up, so here I go again.

17A. Addition at the palace?: QUEEN ANNEX (10). A logical building going from QUEEN ANNE Furniture.

58A. Mole in the cat food factory?: INSIDE MANX (10). My mental picture of this CAT working as a spy in a cat food factory makes this my favorite.

11D. Missing watch?: LOST TIMEX (9). It was also nice to be reminded of the TIMEX watches which were the symbol of practicality and value in the 60s.

34D. Change in China?: ASIAN FLUX (9). At this time of year, with children in this country dying, I am not sure I want to be reminded of the INFLUENZA.
And the reveal

25D. Intangible quality responsible for four puzzle answers: X-FACTOR (7). If I were pretentious, I would say this is the je ne sais quoi for a person or event that has the most significant impact on the outcome. Instead, I will link a COMIC BOOK and a TV SHOW.

Okay then.


1. College Park Big Ten athlete: TERP. College Park, Maryland is the home of the State University. They are called the Terrapins, shortened to Terps.

5. Smarten (up): SPIFF. This was a bit if a struggle, especially after I entered the semi-verboten 5D. Brainpower: SMARTS.

10. Cutlass, e.g.: OLDS. Not a sword.

14. Big name in the cookie aisle: OREO.

15. "Rebel Without a Cause" actor: MINEO. The reverse of the earlier clue that gave us Sal. James Dean was the star, but Sal was a pretty boy.
16. Castle: ROOK. Chess piece.

19. Dot on a globe, perhaps: ISLE. This took a bit as well.

20. Surprising and sometimes annoying success: UPSTART. I needed this one to get going in the NW.

21. Felicity's "Desperate Housewives" role: LYNETTE. I never watched even though I am a Teri Hatcher fan. MS. HUFFMAN.

23. Somme summer: ETÉ. Our first of three accents from French.

24. Pringles alternative: STAX.

26. Trap fluff: LINT. I have told the story before, but my mother was a nurse working 12-hour shifts and never had owned a dryer. Our clothes were put outside on the line, or in the winter, my father dropped the clothes off to be washed an dried. Finally, as she became the boss in her work as the head nurse in the hospital, my father bought her a new washer and dryer. I was starting college and came home one day when she asked me to help because she could not understand how to deal with the flannel in the dryer. She was having trouble forcing it in to close the door. It was the lint, which kept growing.

27. "__ about time!": ITS.

28. Reason for road service: FLAT TIRE. How many have had to change one on a major highway?

32. Disreputable: SHADY.

35. "All in the Family" spinoff: MAUDE. The late great Bea Arthur.

36. Dallas NBAer: MAVerick.

37. Church service: MASS.

38. Zany: WACKY.

39. Ballet move: JETÉ. This is a jump in which a dancer springs from one foot to land on the other with one leg extended outward from the body while in the air. See also grand jeté, petit jeté.

40. Weapon in some action flicks: UZI.

41. Potsdam "please": BITTE. Our German lesson reminder.

42. Social gathering: MIXER.

43. Rip verbally: TEAR INTO.  I mean, mean.

45. Fall back: LAG.

46. Acknowledge: NOTE.

47. Woodwind musician's piece: REED.

49. CPR pro: EMT.

52. Gasses up: REFUELS.

55. University of Wyoming city: LARAMIE.

57. PC addresses: URLSUniform Resource Locators, colloquially termed as web addresses, is a reference to a web resource that specifies its location on a computer network and a mechanism for retrieving it. Wiki,

60. Down: BLUE. Referencing one's mood.

61. Egbert __, aptly named W.C. Fields character: SOUSÉ. Classic humor.

62. Countertop material: MICA.

63. Alluring: SEXY.

64. Youngster of an awkward age: TWEEN. A portmanteau.

65. Bullring bravos: OLES.


1. Kitchen topper: TOQUE. The hat is back.

2. Release violently: ERUPT.

3. Shortstop alongside Robinson: REESE. The great Pee Wee Reese

4. Keats or Yeats: POET. Yes, but they were not as prolific as our own Owen KL.

6. 1492 sailer: PINTA. If you pay attention you will notice it is not a sailor but sailer. Great clue.

7. Lodging provider: INN.

8. Sense: FEEL. One of many normally called touch.

9. Jimi Hendrix classic: FOXY LADY. An amazing talent. He was the headliner at Woodstock.

10. Point in the right direction: ORIENT. I am proud I got this instantly.

12. Nimrod: DOLT. Mean words from my youth.

13. Arcade trademark word: SKEE. Skee ball.

18. Vile: NASTY.

22. Nick at __: NITE.

27. Passports, e.g.: IDS.

29. "Star Wars" hero: LUKE. Skywalker. One of Anakin's twin children.

30. Velocity, e.g.: RATE.

31. At any time: EVER.

32. "Give me __ and nothing but": Tom Lehrer lyric: SMUT. Classic humor.

33. Sunset obscurer: HAZE.

35. Actor LeBlanc: MATT. He has worked steadily but without any great success since Friends.

38. It includes reds: WINE LIST. Red. Rose. White.

39. Lively dance: JIG. Would you like to know HOW TO?

41. Small meal: BITE.

42. Sierra __: MADRE.

44. Mixed martial artist Ronda: ROUSEY. She was undefeated and then she wasn't. LINK.

45. Heavy: LEADEN.

48. Beethoven dedicatee: ELISE. Für sure.

49. Inbox message: EMAIL.

50. Prepare, as garlic: MINCE.

51. __ Pete: hot sauce brand: TEXAS. This SAUCE.

52. Massages: RUBS.

53. Creator of Perry and Della: ERLE. I am about half way through my reading all of the books.

54. Winter coat: SNOW.

56. Magazine contents: AMMO. A magazine is a part of a firearm that is used to store ammo in until the weapon uses it

59. Go after, in a way: SUE.

Another Friday in the record book as we march (pun intended) to spring. My first RELM and another Friday are done. Lemonade out.

Dec 24, 2018

Monday December 24, 2018 Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: SUGAR SUBSTITUTE (38. Artificial sweetener ... and what the end of 17-, 26-, 48- and 58-Across is, literally) - The first word of each theme entry is a type of sugar.

17. Pieman meeter of rhyme: SIMPLE SIMON. Simple sugar.

26. Toronto NHL team: MAPLE LEAFS. Maple sugar.
48. Iconic hat-shaped L.A. restaurant: BROWN DERBY. Brown sugar.

58. George Washington hairpiece: POWDERED WIG. Powdered sugar.

Boomer here.  
"Beat the drum, and hold the phone, the sun came out today." (John Fogarty, "Centerfield")  Left out Beet sugar, but that is spelled differently. I would get kicked off this blog. 

I am back bowling again!! Good news and bad news. Monday I shot a three game set of 599.  Thursday I ran into a dry condition on the lanes, left a lot of splits, and only managed 424 (I used to get that in two games). But I am not discouraged, but extremely happy to be back participating in the sport I love.  Plus my Thursday teammates cut me some slack.  They are happy to have me back, and "I'm happy to be here … I just want to help the ball club".  (Crash Davis to Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham).

And at this joyful time of year it is my pleasure to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas from C.C. and me.  Fa la la la la , la la la la. 


1. Pumpkin-growing place: PATCH.  "Down by the river that flows by the graveyard"  Dickie Lee said Patches lived there.

6. Bitter: ACRID.

11. Heat in the microwave: ZAP.  Have you ever seen those cages with a goofy light in them?  You hang it outside on the deck and it zaps mosquitoes.

14. How a timely stage entrance is made: ON CUE.

15. Letter after eta: THETA.  I had to think.  This was Greek to me.

16. "Strange Magic" band: ELO.

19. Jack of "Barney Miller": SOO.  Nick Yemana was a favorite of mine on a great show.  Sadly he passed away in 1979. 

20. Persian Gulf ship: OILER.  I believe this is an NFL Houston player, or a skater for Edmonton eh.

21. Croc's cousin: GATOR. University of Florida teammate.

23. Bovine baby: CALF.

29. Upper crust groups: ELITES.  No team name that I can think of, however the New York Yankees were fairly elite in my lifetime.

31. Corp. kingpin: EXEC.  Kingpin is an all time favorite for me.  I loved Woody Harrelson, and hated Bill Murray.

32. Baseball's Doubleday: ABNER.  Absolutely!  And he was not 'Lil.

33. Pad __: Asian noodles dish: THAI.

35. Bank acct. addition: DEP. I think the clue should tell us if it is an abbreviation. Or should I read "acct." into it ?

42. Moody music genre: EMO.

43. Scheme: PLOT.  If you scheme a mobster you may need a plot.

44. Capital of Morocco: RABAT.

45. Motown music genre: SOUL.  I used to enjoy the Platters, Temptations, and other Motowners.  Sorry, I do not like the Rap of today.

47. Highly adorned: ORNATE.  Has everyone "Ornated" their Christmas tree?

53. Hershey's nibble: KISS. I am not a big fan of commercials, especially insurance and drugs.  But I am overjoyed by the ten Hershey's Kisses playing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas".

54. Goldbricks: LOAFS.

55. "Fame" singer Cara: IRENE.  Good night.

57. Six-pack muscles: ABS.

64. Tiny source of teen angst: ZIT.

65. __ Lauder: ESTEE. I'm sure their sales are good this time of year.

66. Debonair: SUAVE.

67. USN rank: ENS. "He joined the Navy to see the world.  But what did he see, he saw the sea."

68. Light beer brand: COORS.  I never acquired a taste for beer.  I cannot tell the difference between Coors and Miller...Unless we're talking ball parks.

69. Binge: SPREE.


1. Stamp sellers: Abbr.: POS. Post Offices.

2. Singer DiFranco: ANI. Monday word?

3. Film buffs' channel: TCM.  Turner Classic Movies .

4. Brit's hot "spot": CUP OF TEA.  I had one with my meal tonight.  (It makes C.C. happy).  Mine was called green tea, but it looked brown to me.

5. Prefix with port: HELI.  Where choppers park.

6. Totally lost: AT SEA.  See 67 Across.

7. Nest tweet: CHIRP.  Do birds tweet on their cell phones?

8. Sleep stage: REM.

9. Simpson trial judge Lance __: ITO.  I don't know how many cases this magistrate heard, but this one made him forever famous.

10. Hang down: DANGLE. "Your head Tom Dooley, Hang down your head and cry."  Kingston Trio.

11. Keebler cracker: ZESTA.  I still like Ritz better.

12. Socially chilly: ALOOF. Christmas turkey stuffing.  Don't forget ALOOF of bread.

13. Standard & __: POORS.  The performance recently is making some folks Poorer.

18. Shade trees: ELMS.  I remember there was a nightmare on this street.

22. Former nuclear agcy.: AEC. Atomic Energy Commission.

23. Stop: CEASE.

24. LP record: ALBUM.

25. Jargon: LINGO.  I have heard that this is a slang term for a Brit who voted for Brexit.

27. Fewest: LEAST.

28. Way off the highway: EXIT.  Also a way out of the European Union.

30. Miscalculate: ERR.  To do this human, to forgive - divine.

33. Bridal gown netting: TULLE. I have never worn a bridal gown.  How an I supposed to know this?

34. "The Deuce" network: HBO.  Old time acronym for Home Box Office.  And you will pay to watch it!

35. Persian Gulf emirate: DUBAI.  Dubai is friendly to the U.S.  Tiger Woods plays golf there.

36. French states: ETATS.  Imagine if France spelled all English words backwards.

37. "For __ sake!": PETE'S. I have heard this.  I wonder who Pete is!

39. Tater: SPUD. "When you say BUD, you've said a lot of things that Spuds cannot say"

40. Like damaged mdse. on sale: IRR.

41. Really drunk: TANKED UP.  Don't look at me - I am on the wagon.

45. Personal ad woman: Abbr.: SWF.

46. Unsolicited, as a manuscript: ON SPEC.

47. __ and terminer: criminal court: OYER.

48. Burn brightly: BLAZE.  There's a place called "Blaze Pizza" in Minneapolis.  Funny name for a Pizza restaurant,  I have never tried it.

49. Batman's sidekick: ROBIN.  To the Bat Cave, to get the Batmobile, and drive someone Batty.

50. Brewers' kilns: OASTS. It could be in the dugout at Miller Park on a cold Milwaukee Spring day.

51. Successful hitchhiker: RIDER. Chuck Willis hit named after C.C.

52. Saints quarterback Drew: BREES.  When He goes Marchin' in, There's trouble.

56. Storied loch: NESS.  FBI famous detective Eliot

59. Baja bear: OSO.

60. Intl. commerce group: WTO.  ITOA - I'm Tired of Acronyms.

61. Basic card game: WAR.  Played this easy game for hours, then I turned 11 and discovered Cribbage.

62. "__ been thinking ... ": I'VE. been workin' on the railroad

63. "Golly!": GEE.

Nov 8, 2018

Thursday, November 8th 2018 Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: Acting out - or as the reveal nicely explains:

55. Therapy technique ... and a hint to what's hidden in 17-, 24-, 34- and 45-Across?: ROLE-PLAYING

Scramble ROLE and you’re off to the races:

17A. Cara cara or Washington fruit: NAVEL ORANGE. Originated at Hacienda de Cara Cara and believed to be a hybrid from the Washington navel and the Brazilian Bahia navel. Now we know.

24A. Where I-30 and I-40 meet: LITTLE ROCK. Interstate geography lesson.

34A. Traveler's rest: MOTEL ROOM. There's probably a couple in Little Rock.

45A. Actor who appeared in nine films with Sydney Greenstreet: PETER LORRE. What better way to namecheck the actor than remember this great 70's track from Al Stewart, played live on the BBC's "Old Grey Whistle Test" music showcase.

Straightforward enough theme, one that you need to go back and look for when you see the reveal. Nicely consistent with the even two-letter split across the two words of each theme entry.

I found the top-center section a little tricky and had to go back to finish up at the end. I actually didn't finish this one correctly - I had a personal Natick with LILA and ALL, both unknown to me. I guessed "Y" instead of "A" for no good reason.

Let's see what else we've got to talk about:


1. Spinal segment: DISC

5. One without a permanent address: NOMAD

10. What sit-ups strengthen: ABS

13. College World Series home: OMAHA. NCAA Baseball. I never watch it, but I knew the location. Funny how that works.

15. Offer one's two cents: OPINE

16. Burst: POP

19. Poirot's street: RUE. Agatha Christie's character Hercule Poirot is Belgian, and some detective work suggests he was born and grew up in Spa, which in the French-speaking part of Belgium, and therefore his street would be a "rue", rather than a "straat".

20. "Open: An Autobiography" subject: AGASSI. Tennis star André.

21. Blintz topping: ROE

22. Actress Meyer of "Saw" films: DINA. Never saw them. Thank you, crossses.

23. Hue: TINT

27. Tonsillitis-treating doc: E.N.T.

28. IV units: CC'S

29. Roman goddess of agriculture: CERES

30. __ Moines: DES

31. "Down Came a Blackbird" country singer McCann: LILA. As aforementioned, she's not familiar to me. Handy crossword name though, I'll endeavor to remember.

33. Committee leader: CHAIR

36. Boat filler: GRAVY. I think my favorite clue/answer of the day.

38. Passed-down tales: LORE. Passed-down tales of an actor in this puzzle? Lorre lore.

39. Convened: SAT

42. Pool table slab: SLATE

43. Part of Q&A: AND. Question-and-answer session

44. Pub potable: ALE

49. Pierce player: ALDA. "Hawkeye" portrayer Alan in "M*A*S*H"

50. Crew pair: OARS

51. Poet's preposition: ERE

52. Cubs pitcher Jon: LESTER. I didn't even notice this one until now, it filled itself in. I wouldn't have had a clue either.

54. "Suits" TV network: USA

57. Liberal arts maj.: SOCiology

58. Battery terminal: ANODE

59. Car opening?: RENTA

60. Compass pt.: E.N.E.

61. Parsonage: MANSE. Usually for Baptist. Methodist or Presbyterian ministers.

62. Light shirts: TEES


1. Gave: DONATED

2. Picture: IMAGINE

3. Learned ones: SAVANTS

4. Trunk: CHEST

5. Country partly in the Arctic Circle: Abbr.: NOR.

6. Tricky genre: OP ART Here's one that doesn't make your head spin too much at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt:

7. Annual North Dakota State Fair site: MINOT. I quite confidently filled in "FARGO" with no crosses to confirm any of the letters, and spent some time trying to convince myself it had to be right. They two places are more than 280 miles apart, so not even close!

8. Mike Trout, notably: ANGEL. What happens next year if he gets traded?

9. See 56-Down: DEE. 

10. Like some knowledge: A PRIORI

11. Bar employee: BOUNCER

12. Represents, with "for": SPEAKS

14. Gore and Michaels: ALS

18. Original Pennsylvania headquarters of Quaker State: OIL CITY

22. Journal subject: DREAM

25. "__ of Dogs": 2018 animated film: ISLE

26. Reverberated: ECHOED

28. Well-off, after "in": CLOVER

32. Free Clear detergent maker: ALL. No clue, as previously mentioned.

33. Ithaca campus: CORNELL. Now I know where Cornell is. Learning moment.

34. Partners: MATES

35. Laugh good and loud: ROAR

36. "The Hustler" actor (1961): GLEASON

37. Grind: RAT RACE

39. Soup cracker: SALTINE

40. Ristorante request: AL DENTE. I'm not sure you request pasta "al dente", that's how it comes. If it's not, you send it back.

41. Riot squad's supply: TEAR GAS

42. Partner, perhaps: SPOUSE

46. Hotelier Helmsley: LEONA. Quite a figure. "The Queen of Mean" was jailed for tax evasion, allegedly saying "We don't pay taxes; only little people pay taxes".

47. Sweater fabric: ORLON

48. Clarinetist's supply: REEDS

49. So far: AS YET

53. Sound catcher: EAR

55. More than bump into: RAM

56. With 9-Down, river of the Carolinas: PEE. Unknown to me, I'll try to remember the Pee Dee for the next time it crops up.

And with the grid, that about seals it for this outing:


Jun 13, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: Pretty as a picture.   Let's start with the unifier, all will then be in focus.

56 A. End of a close race ... and what the last part of the answers to starred clues can literally be: PHOTO FINISH.  This is a race that is so close that a picture is taken along the finish line to see who gets a nose across it first.  In this puzzle, the last part part of each theme entry can be paired with the word PHOTO to get a specific meaning.  Of course, a PHOTO FINISH can also be matte or glossy, but that's not what we are talking about.

17 A. *Sports bookie's figure: POINT SPREAD.   The expected margin of victory - you can place a wager that a given team will win or lose a game by more than that amount.  A PHOTO SPREAD is a group of pictures on a topic that are printed together in a magazine.

37 A. *R&D setting: TEST LAB.  This is where the detail work is done to provide analytical data on the quality and performance properties of a product or its associated precesses.  A PHOTO LAB is, or was, a place where traditional photographic negatives were developed to make the real image.  Almost all photography is digital now, so I'm not sure how many PHOTO LABS exist these days.

11  D. *Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde," e.g.: DOUBLE ALBUM. This is group of two LP or CD musical recordings packaged as a unit.  Digital streaming is phasing these things out as well.  A PHOTO ALBUM is a book in which one can place cherished pictures for posterity.

25 D. *Marksmanship match: TURKEY SHOOT.  A SHOOTING proficiency contest using moving targets, with a TURKEY as the winner's prize.   A PHOTO SHOOT is an appointment with a photographer in a studio or on location to take a series of photographs.

Hi Gang - not particularly photogenic JazzBumpa here to zoom in on the fine [focal] points of this puzzle.  Full disclosure:  I am NOT a camera.

Nevertheless, here I am at the far right of a big trombone and tuba extravaganza at First Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, MI this past Sunday.  Should have vids in a week or so.

Photo credit: my Lovely Wife


1. Keebler cracker: ZESTA.  Wheat based saltines.

6. Shoots the breeze: CHATS.  Has a casual conversation.

11. E, in Morse code: DOT.  Letters are represented by sequences of dots and/or dashes.  Here, the sequence is one.

14. Parts of plots: ACRES.  Land, not story features.

15. Kama __: SUTRA.  More than just a sex manual, this ancient Hindu text is a guide to virtuous and gracious living, regarding love, family life and other pleasurable aspects of human existence.

16. Bruin great Bobby: ORR.  A famous moment.

19. Action film gun: UZI.  The Uzi is a family of Israeli open-bolt, blowback-operated submachine guns.  [Wikipedia.]

20. Caspian Sea feeder: URAL. This river originates in the Ural Mountains and flows through Russia and Kazahkstan in Eurasia.

21. Where work may pile up: IN BOX.  Mine was a compost heap.

23. Criticized unfairly, in slang: HATED ON.

27. Stand in a studio: EASEL.  Support for a picture.

29. Get away from: ELUDE.   Or evade.

30. Inoffensive: HARMLESS.

33. "Tell It Like It Is" crooner __ Neville: AARON.

34. Suffix with billion: AIRE.  A person with more money than she needs.

35. Fashionable way to arrive?: LATE.  I guess appearing on time is gauche.

36. "What a pity": TSK.  Tongue clucking.

40. Meadow: LEA.  An open area of grassy or arable land.

41. Four-stringed instruments, typically: UKES.

43. Weighty volume: TOME.  A large, scholarly book.

44. Buck the system: REBEL.  Go your own way.

46. PassÈ street corner convenience: PAY PHONE.  Among other passe things in this puzzle.

48. As __: generally: A RULE.  Most of the time.

49. Location: SCENE.  A particular place

50. Online player, briefly: P C GAMER.  Played mostly on phones, these days, I imagine.

52. Taj __: MAHALA marble mausoleum built in 1642 by the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal.  When I was young, I thought it was the Tajma Hall.  Made sense to me at the time.

54. Foundry waste: SLAG.   Stony by-product material from the smelting of ore.

55. Good Grips gadget brand: OXO.   Ergonomically designed kitchen utensils.

63. "Don't Bring Me Down" rock gp.: ELO.

64. Singer Cyrus: MILEY.  Not a fan.

65. Finnish tech giant: NOKIA.  Telecommunications, information technology and consumer electronics company.

66. Hanoi holiday: TET.  Vietnamese New Year - the most important celebration in their culture.

67. Green vehicles, for short: E-CARS.   E, for eco-friendly.

68. Belgian treaty city: GHENT.   This peace treaty formalized the end of the War of 1812.  Ghent is the largest city in the East Flanders province of Belgium.


1. Cook quickly: ZAP.  Heat in a microwave oven.

2. Prefix with logical: ECO-.  Concerning the interactions of living organisms among each other and with their surroundings.

3. __ Lanka: SRI. An island nation south-east of india.

4. Top songs set: TEN.  The 10 most popular songs in the country at any given time, based on downloaded and streamed songs from music retailers.

5. Stellar scholar: A STUDENT.  Student who gets all A's on a report card.

6. D.C. network: C-SPANCable Satellite Public Affairs Network, created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service.

7. Sling: HURL.  Throw forcefully.

8. Gobbled up: ATE.  Devoured.

9. Carol syllable: TRA.

10. Extreme cruelty: SADISM.  More than that - it is deriving pleasure from inflicting pain and suffering on someone.

12. Rice-shaped pasta: ORZO.

13. Froot Loops shelfmate: TRIX.  Sugary cereals marketed at children.

18. B'way sellout sign: SRO.  Standing Room Only.

22. Jodie Foster title role: NELL.  Movie about a girl raised in a mountain cabin who has no contact with the outside world, and devised her own language.

23. Intensify: HEAT UP.

24. "Seward's Folly" purchase: ALASKA.  On March 30, 1867, U. S. Secretary of State William Seward signed a treaty with czarist Russia for the purpose of purchasing Alaska for 2 cents per acre.  There was little enthusiasm in the U. S. Senate, where the treaty was ratified on April 9, by a single vote.  Settlement in the territory was sparse until gold was discovered in 1898.

26. Tokyo, long ago: EDO.

27. "Copperhead Road" singer Steve: EARLE.

28. Nevada's __ 51: AREA. A highly classified remote area located 83 miles north-northwest of Las Vegas, and the subject of popular conspiracy theories.

30. Blackjack request: HIT ME.  Request for another card.

31. Remington played by Brosnan: STEELE.  Another TV series I never watched.  You can read about it here.

32. Driveway coating: SEALER.  Petroleum based material intended to protect a black-top surface.

34. In unison: AS ONE.   Though many, we are single-minded.

38. English school since 1440: ETON.  An English independent boarding school for boys, which pops up frequently in cross words.  If the clue asks for an English School and the space provided holds four letters, fill in ETON and move on.

39. Big talk: BRAGGING.  To speak in a pompous or self-aggrandizing way about one's own accomplishments.

42. Animal welfare gp.: SPCA.   Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

45. Pitching stat: ERAEarned Run Average, the mean of the number of earned runs per nine innings thrown by a given pitcher or pitching staff.  An Earned Run is one fully resulting from the efforts and accomplishments of the offensive team; that is, one that does not result from any kind of error or mistake on the part of the defense.  WHIP [walks and hits per inning pitched] is a more modern stat that is considered to be more meaningful.

47. "I need a hand": HELP ME.  Request for assistance.

50. Tricks: PLOYS.  Devious maneuvers.

51. Half-__: coffee compromise: CAF.  Coffee with half the caffeine content.  I used to drink that before I went full decaf.

52. Bubbly brand: MOET.  Producer and distributor of champagnes.

53. Wheel connector: AXLE.  A rod or spindle passing through the center of a wheel.

54. Ending for young and old alike?: STER.  Suffix denoting a person engaged n or associated with a particular activity or thing, frex.: gangster.

57. Hyphenated Minute Maid brand: HI-C.  Marketed since 1948.  The original flavor was orange. The name reflects the high content of vitamin C.  No idea if that is still accurate 70 years later.

58. Schnozz extension?: -OLA.  A suffix of no specific meaning.  in this case the effect is mildly humerous.

59. Japanese drama: NOH.  A highly stylized form of classical theater involving, masks, costumes and various props.

60. '50s prez: IKE.  Dwight David Eisenhower.

61. Sermon subject: SIN.  An immoral act breaking divine law.

62. Boater or bowler: HAT.  Fitting, I think, that we top this off with a couple pretty pictures.  So here I will put a lid on it.

Cool regards!