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

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!

Feb 26, 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018 ~ Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: No Politics - Theme word can be to the right of the target word(center).

17A. School group excursion: FIELD TRIP. Center Field.(baseball)

31A. First single by a rapper to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: "ICE ICE BABY". Center Ice.(hockey)

36A. Somewhat conservative, politically ... and where the first word of 17-, 31-, 43- and 60-Across can literally be found: RIGHT OF CENTER

43A. Economize: CUT CORNERS. Center cut.(meat)

60A. Actor's pseudonym: STAGE NAME. Center Stage(theater)

Argyle here in the middle which happens to be where the reveal is.


1. Perp chaser: COP

4. "E pluribus unum" language: LATIN

9. Agreement to stop fighting: TRUCE

14. Tycoon Onassis, familiarly: ARI. Aristotle Onassis, second husband of "Jackie" Kennedy.

15. Enticing smell: AROMA

16. Steam, e.g.: VAPOR

19. Santa __ racetrack: ANITA

20. Absolute: TOTAL

21. Ad infinitum: NO END

23. Oakland's county: ALAMEDA

26. WWII craft: LST. (Landing Ship, Tank)

27. Prime rib au __: JUS. Prime rib with its own natural juices from cooking.

30. Costner's "The Untouchables" role: NESS. Kevin Costner/Eliot Ness.

34. Feudal drudge: SERF

35. In the altogether: NAKED

41. Pink cocktail, for short: COSMO


42. Greek "i": IOTA

46. __ Linda, Calif.: LOMA. (Spanish for "beautiful hill")

50. Vintage auto: REO

51. Earl Grey, for one: TEA

52. Optometrist's test: EYE EXAM

54. Infant in a crèche: JESUS

56. Railroad in Monopoly: B AND O

57. Continuous humming sound: THRUM

63. Reeves of "Bill & Ted" films: KEANU

Wyld Stallyns 

64. More than ready: EAGER

65. Civil War soldier: REB. A subtle SO to our constructor?

66. Winning: ON TOP

67. Operative: AGENT

68. Evidence on "CSI": DNA. (Crime Scene Investigation/DeoxyriboNucleic Acid)


1. Lounging robe: CAFTAN

2. Baltimore bird: ORIOLE. The Baltimore Orioles are in the same division as 6-Down. Canadian A.L. East team: TOR. The Toronto Blue Jays.

3. Michelangelo sculptures: PIETÀs. He was working on this Pietà when he died.

4. Soup scoop: LADLE

5. Singer Garfunkel: ART. Did You Know: Despite being a native New Yorker, Garfunkel is a lifelong Philadelphia Phillies fan.

7. "You can count on me!": "I'M IN!"

8. Seaport in Italia: NAPOLI. (Naples)

9. "Rabbit ears" on an RCA cabinet, back in the day: TV ANTENNA

10. Mapmaker __ McNally: RAND

11. News org. since 1958: UPI. (United Press International)

12. Camper's snoozing spot: COT

13. Pitcher's stat: ERA. (Earned Run Average)

18. Hightails it: LAMS

22. Upper-left PC key: ESC. (escape)

24. Lose weight: DIET

25. Prefix for phobia meaning "height": ACRO. Acrophobia.

27. One of the Blues Brothers: JAKE. John Belushi was "Joliet" Jake Blues. Dan Aykroyd was Elwood Blues.

28. Ride for hire: UBER

29. Pink Floyd guitarist Barrett: SYD. Song originally written by Syd as a teen during the height of Bob Dylan mania in Europe (pre-Pink Floyd).

32. Jennifer Hudson's "Dreamgirls" role: EFFIE

33. Slugger's club: BAT

34. Typical Western: SHOOT 'EM UP

36. Don Juan: ROUE

37. Analogy words: IS TO

38. Yukon automaker: GMC. ((General Motors Truck Company))

39. Apple throwaway: CORE

40. Craftsy website: ETSYLink

41. "Lookin' Out My Back Door" band, initially: CCR. (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

44. High-__ graphics: RES. High Resolution.

45. Queasy feeling: NAUSEA

46. Like unfatty meat: LEAN

47. Ventura County's largest city: OXNARD. Henry Oxnard ... intended to name the settlement after the Greek word for "sugar", zachari, but frustrated by bureaucracy, named it after himself.(1897) History

48. Lunatics: MAD MEN

49. Single-celled organism: AMOEBA

53. Film critic Roger: EBERT

54. Jupiter's wife: JUNO. Roman deities.

55. Guys-only: STAG

57. Boxing outcome, for short: TKO. (Technical KnockOut)

58. Farm clucker: HEN

59. Stool pigeon: RAT

61. Cake candle count: AGE

62. Mil. bigwig: GEN. (general)

Did it seem like a baseball sub-theme to you? Think I'll sit and look out my back door.


Dec 31, 2017

Sunday, Dec 31, 2017 Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: "Alien Nation" - Last word in each theme entry is an anagram of a country.

23A. *Menace to society : PUBLIC ENEMY. Yemen.

25A. *Old-school letters : SNAIL MAIL. Mali.
49A. *Tropical cocktail : MANGO TANGO. Tonga.

68A. *Neckwear for which Mr. T was once famous (but no longer wears) : GOLD CHAIN. China.

89A. *Hobby shop purchase : MODEL PLANE. Nepal.

109A. *Deluge : HEAVY RAIN. Iran.

33D. *Soap, often : DAYTIME SERIAL. Israel.

39D. *Flu symptoms : ACHES AND PAINS. Spain.

113A. Remote region ... and what literally ends each answer to a starred clue : WILD COUNTRY

C.C. here. Down with a flu. A repeat of that awful episode in 2015. Relentless coughing.

Skeletal write-up today. If you have any question, please ask in the Comments section.

1. Turn in the box : AT BAT

6. Pour out forcefully : SPEW

10. Sailing : ASEA

14. Dip providing potassium, for short : GUAC. Guacamole.

18. Drink with an umbrella : MAI TAI

20. Scat legend, familiarly : ELLA

21. Diamond slip-up : BALK

22. Austen classic : EMMA

27. A or Angel : ALER. American Leaguer.

28. "Immediately, if not sooner!" : ASAP

30. Jeweler's assortment : RINGS

31. Doc's orders : MEDs. Do you guys all get the flu shot? I never had one.

34. Ryan in a 1998 film, e.g.: Abbr. : PVT. Saving Private Ryan.

36. Macho guys : HE-MEN

38. Party animals? : STAGS

42. BWI posting : ETA

43. Word on a wanted poster : ALIAS

45. Canine protection : ENAMEL

47. Prefix with polis : ACRO

48. Kind of milk or sauce : SOY.  I only want cold water and hot jasmine tea.

51. Pledged, in a way : TITHED

53. Common FM radio fare : HIT SONG

55. Hands over : CEDES

56. Sign off on : AGREE TO

57. Bring out : ELICIT

58. "Can I have a __ of your drink?" : SIP

59. "That was close!" : PHEW

60. Coll. term : SEM (Semester)

61. Trial version : DEMO

62. Look forward to : AWAIT

64. Coolly dispassionate : CLINICAL

66. MLB stat : ERA

70. Issue opener? : NON. Non-issue.

71. They're sold as is : USED CARS

73. Choral composition : MOTET

74. Former Laker star Lamar : ODOM. Probably more famous for his marriage to Khloe Kardashian once.

77. Manhattan suffix : ITE

78. Partner : MATE

79. Pine __ : TAR

80. Spot on a horse : DAPPLE

82. Not insist on payment of, as a debt : FORGIVE

84. Weasel-like animal also called a honey badger : RATEL

87. Pirate's ship : CORSAIR

88. Hydrocodone, e.g. : OPIATE

91. "__ Got a Secret": old game show : I'VE

92. Hemsworth of "The Hunger Games" : LIAM. Boyfriend of Miley Cyrus.

93. Justice replaced by Gorsuch : SCALIA

95. Major artery : AORTA

96. Zilch : NIL

97. Broad valleys : DALES

99. Divvy up : ALLOT

100. Part of Q and A: Abbr. : ANS (Answers)

101. "By Jove!" : I SAY

102. "Gone With the Wind" family name : O'HARA

104. Nothing to write home about : SO SO

107. Loads : A TON

118. Wheel connector : AXLE. Also 37. Fancy wheels : MAGS

119. "In that case ... " : IF SO

120. Leg up : EDGE

121. Body shop application : PRIMER

122. Close by : NEAR

123. Legal document : DEED

124. What Jack Sprat's wife couldn't eat : LEAN
125. Factions : SECTS
1. Power-increasing gadget : AMP

2. 19th Greek letter : TAU

3. Lobster eater's accessory : BIB

4. Aid in planning a trip : ATLAS

5. Follow : TAIL

6. One percent of a D.C. group--or the group itself : SEN. Senator or Senate.

7. Earnest request : PLEA

8. O'Neill's "Desire Under the __" : ELMS

9. Winning by a mile : WAY AHEAD

10. Six-pack set : ABs

11. Italian Riviera resort : SAN REMO

12. Friend of Jerry, George and Cosmo : ELAINE. "Seinfeld".

13. Comparable : AKIN

14. Idaho nickname : GEM STATE

15. Actress Thurman : UMA

16. Brest friend : AMI

17. Silent __: White House nickname : CAL
19. Factory with frozen assets : ICE PLANT

24. "Dr." with MVP awards : ERVING. Dr. J.

26. Some smartphones : LGs

29. Rigatoni alternative : PENNE

31. Fit together : MESHED
32. French star : ETOILE
35. Playground game : TAG
40. Storybook sister : GRETEL

41. Doomed biblical city : SODOM

43. Mine, in Metz : A MOI

44. Church gatherings : SOCIALS
46. Three-star mil. officer : LT GEN

50. Hardly gung-ho : TEPID

52. "Crocodile Hunter" Steve __ : IRWIN
54. Brahms creation : SCORE

56. "Ooh! I know this! Gimme __" : A HINT

58. Promised : SWORE

59. Tradesperson : PLIER

 62. Type type : AGATE

63. Channel for film buffs : TCM

64. Tree with long beanlike pods : CATALPA

65. Houses with layers : COOPS. Lay-ers. Hens.
67. Fess up : ADMIT

69. Monopoly piece : HOTEL

71. Word from the Greek for "not a place" : UTOPIA

72. Succumbs to pressure : CAVES

75. Singer Newton-John : OLIVIA

76. Just : MERELY

77. Music to a bluffer's ears : I FOLD

80. "Keep going!" : DON'T STOP

81. Square measurement : AREA

83. Words a pinball wizard hates to see : GAME OVER
84. Hot streak : ROLL

85. "So long, José" : ADIOS

 86. Kitchen cloth : TEA TOWEL

87. "The Tonight Show" character with a turban : CARNAC

89. Vague unease : MALAISE

90. Mauna __ : LOA

94. Wine choice : CARAFE
98. Short : SHY

101. Navel type : INNIE

103. Extremely dry : ARID

105. Debate team, for example : SIDE

 106. Gymnast Korbut : OLGA

108. Yours and mine : OURS
109. Solo in "Star Wars" : HAN

110. PC file suffix : EXE

111. SEC powerhouse : ALA

 112. Drop off : NOD

114. Man cave setting : DEN

115. HBO competitor : TMC

116. Collecting Soc. Sec. : RET

117. What birthday candles represent: Abbr. : YRS