Showing posts with label Roland Huget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roland Huget. Show all posts

May 9, 2019

Thursday, May 9th 2019 Roland Huget

Theme: North/South Divide - The theme entries separate the poles, as the reveal succinctly explains:

58A. In complete opposition ... and a feature of the four other longest answers: POLES APART. Or a Warsaw couple when one of them is away on a trip?

And the themers:

17A. *Finds flaws (in): PICKS HOLES, usually as relates to someone's argument. Polemicists are adept at this.

21A. *Casino fixtures where blinds might be used: POKER TABLES. This one might need some explanation. In some poker games, famously Texas Hold 'Em, after a new hand is dealt there are two "forced" bets to get the action started, the "small blind" and the "big blind". Two players must bet, irrespective of what their cards look like. The blinds rotate around the table as each hand is dealt. The amounts of the blinds are posted at each table so you know what you're getting into before you sit down, e.g. "$5/$10".

36A. *They make nuts healthy: POLYUNSATURATES. The "good" fats found in nuts, fish and other foodstuffs.

50A. *Skilled debaters: POLEMICISTS. Word of the week for me. Excellent.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable solve. It took me just over half an hour which is quite a bit longer than I'm used to on a Thursday. I didn't see the theme until the reveal, and that let me go back to 17A and fill in a lot of gaps in the Northwest. And some great words - polyunsaturates, polemicists, some long entries in the downs and I don't recall any clunk in the fill.

Great job from Roland. Let's take the Grand Tour.


1. Award named for a goddess: CLIO. Advertising awards. The muse was "the proclaimer, glorifier and celebrator of history, great deeds and accomplishments".

5. Put down: ABASE

10. First choice: FAVE

14. "You're __ luck": OUTA. I looked askance at this one, I'd always seen "outta" before. I acquiesced in the end.

15. __ shorts: BOXER

16. Truth stretcher: LIAR

19. "Star Wars" sentence inverter: YODA

20. Baseball bat wood: ASH. I thought it was ELM at first, but it's too heavy for modern-day bats.

23. Sign-off word: YOURS

25. River through Tours: LOIRE. Beautiful part of the world, the Loire valley.

26. Shot water?: RAPIDS

28. Rash: HASTY

31. Citation ender, briefly: ET AL. Texts with multiple authors in citations are shortened by citing the first author's name, followed by "et al".

32. Usually multilayered dessert: TORTE

33. Place to unwind: SPA

40. __ card: common phone component: SIM. A Subscriber Identity Module, if you ever wondered.

41. Closes in on: NEARS

42. Half of sechs: DREI. German, natürlich.

43. Alaskan cruise sight: FJORD

44. Iris ring: AREOLA

46. Milan's La __: SCALA

49. The Huskies of the NCAA's Big East: UCONN. The women have won 11 basketball and 5 field hockey national titles.

54. Tank contents: GAS

57. Tip: APEX

60. Wild, all-night party: RAVE

61. Tiny swimmer: AMEBA. I still can't get used to not spelling this AMOEBA.

62. Marine threat: ORCA

63. Kept in one's sights: EYED

64. Fixes: SPAYS

65. Urban bane: SMOG. Much, much better here in LA than it was when I first moved here. The worst smog I've ever experienced was last year in Delhi, when the AQI was 440 (out of possible 500); anything over 300 is categorized as "hazardous". I came down with bronchitis and tore a rib cartilage one night I was coughing so hard.


1. Historic NYC club, with "The": COPA. Crosses filled this in for me, it didn't spring to mind.

2. '60s-'70s All-Star pitcher Tiant: LUIS. Thank you, crosses. Way before my USA time.

3. Sensory omen regarding money: ITCHY PALM. Lovely clue and fill.

4. Wine barrel wood: OAK

5. Can't stand: ABHORS

6. Financial records: BOOKS

7. Roadster rod: AXLE

8. Oracle: SEER

9. Formerly, formerly: ERST. From whence "erstwhile".

10. Airman, slangily: FLYBOY

11. Pungent mayo: AIOLI. Pungent? Odd choice of adjective. Is the aroma of garlic pungent?

12. "Star Wars" heavy breather: VADER. Darth. I like how this crossed YODA. It was world Star Wars Day last Saturday "May the Fourth be with you". Makes me laugh every year.

13. Wipe out: ERASE

18. Source of fries: SPUD. Peeled, chipped and double-fried. Yum! Not OILY at all.

22. Let out, e.g.: ALTER

24. Like some fried food: OILY. Yech. No excuse for this. Usually caused by not having the oil hot enough before you start cooking, and not keeping it up to temp.

26. Gym iterations: REPS

27. French possessive: À TOI. "Yours".

28. Squirrel away: HOARD

29. Fine __: ARTS

30. "The Simpsons" disco guy: STU

32. Old Russian ruler: TSAR. Always need to wait for a T or S to decide between this and CZAR

33. Coerce: STRONG-ARM. Nice fill. A lot of quality in the fill today.

34. Thurman's role in "The Avengers" (1998): PEEL. Diana Rigg played Emma Peel in the original British TV series back in the '60s.

35. Home to K2: ASIA. The world's second tallest mountain, and most demanding and second-most dangerous to climb behind Annapurna.

37. Clear, as a copier: UNJAM. My printer has an annoying habit of reporting a paper jam when there isn't one. I still have to go through the rigmarole of "clearing" the non-jam before it'll start working again.

38. Prefix with natal: NEO-

39. Yemeni port: ADEN

43. Showed off a muscle: FLEXED

44. Fills in for: ACTS AS

45. Soprano Ponselle who debuted at the Met opposite Caruso: ROSA. Thank you, crosses.

46. Slash on a score sheet: SPARE. Bowling. Easy for the bowlers among us, less easy for me.

47. Insured patient's obligation: CO-PAY

48. Advil alternative: ALEVE

49. "Best before" cousin: USE BY

51. Hoppy brews: IPA'S

52. Freebie: COMP

53. Intestinal sections: ILEA

55. Violin music instruction: ARCO. Use the bow, as opposed to pizzicato, pluck the strings.

56. Unaccompanied: STAG. Took me a while to see this. I wanted SOLO first.

59. Bldgs. with many boxes: P.O.'S. I was trying to fit apt, condo, some other multi-dwelling building, then the Post Office penny dropped.

OK, I've run out of runway so time to post the grid and take off.


Apr 18, 2019

Thursday, April 18th 2019 Roland Huget

Theme: Heaps of Shapes - the four theme entries contain scrambles of the word "shape":

18A. Penny pincher: CHEAPSKATE

23A. Knot used to take up slack: SHEEPSHANK. I can tie one of these with my eyes closed, it's a common sailing knot. It shakes out when there's no tension on the rope, super-useful for shortening a mooring line. Wikipedia terms it "unstable", I didn't realize knots had personality issues.

50A. Prankster's weapon: PEASHOOTER. I shot my dad in the eye with a peashooter when I was six. I still remember the feeling of absolute dread of the consequences. He was pretty good about it, he only beat me to within two inches of my life. Actually, after he got over the surprise, he just sat me down for a little chat about safe play.

57A Project wrap-up: FINAL PHASE. The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time. The final 10% takes the other 90%.

... and the reveal giving us a hint of what to look for:

38A. Amorphous sci-fi beings, and a hint to what's hidden in the four other longest answers: SHAPESHIFTERS

For the therianthropiist-followers among us, I recall we had LOUP GAROU a couple of weeks ago, one of the more common shapeshifting tropes.

A straightforward theme, scramble SHAPE and find four theme entries which work. The odd man out is FINAL PHASE, which has two words, the others just one.

A solid effort from Roland, the theme works nicely. The puzzle as a whole felt more like a Tuesday or Wednesday to me, but it sailed along nicely. Let's see what we've got to talk about:


1. Onetime capital of the Mughal Empire: AGRA. Slightly different slant on the cluing for this staple. Nice.

5. Pop star: IDOL

9. Idea, at times: IMAGE. Mental image.

14. Apparently are: SEEM. Not "is", that would be "seems".

15. Bering Sea port: NOME. I'm intimately acquainted with Dutch Harbor, another Alaska port, despite never having been there. I've watched all the "Deadliest Catch" episodes.

16. Center for Auto Safety co-founder: NADER. "Unsafe at any speed".

17. Part of the supreme Hindu trinity: SIVA. The Destroyer. The Creator and Preserver are Brahma and Vishnu respectively.

20. Trooper's outfit?: ISUZU. Nice clue. Car manufacturer.

22. Moan and groan: GRIPE

26. Garden nuisance: WEED. Jeopardy answer "What is a Boston fan?"

30. Prof.'s helpers: T.A.S

31. Overly: TOO

32. Fill with affection: ENAMOR

34. Relax completely: GO LIMP

37. Like lambs and rams: OVINE. I've got by bovines and ovines down now.

41. Pizzeria allure: AROMA. I can smell the aroma of Blue Mountain coffee brewing. I'm in Jamaica.

42. Refreshers: TONICS. Gin in mine, please. Tonic water was developed to mask the taste of the anti-malarial drug quinine in colonial-era India.

43. Snapper?: CAMERA. 

45. Chinese restaurant general: TSO

46. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones music genre: SKA. This will get you up in the morning. I love Ska - the British band "Madness" was another fine purveyor of the genre.

49. One logging on: USER

54. Miniseries based on a Haley novel: ROOTS

56. Sucked (in): LURED

62. Voice quality: TONE

63. Old saw: ADAGE

64. Throw off: EMIT

65. Poetic black: EBON

66. Ins and outs, with "the": ROPES

67. Like yellow bananas: RIPE

68. Slight damage: DENT


1. Give a hand: ASSIST

2. "Memoirs of a __": Arthur Golden novel: GEISHA

3. Musical shows: REVUES

4. Floor: AMAZE

5. Business mag: INC

6. Self-critical cry: DOH! Homer Simpson's favorite expression.

7. Seamaster watchmaker: OMEGA. Wait for at least one letter to decide between OMEGA and ROLEX.

8. Come to know: LEARN

9. Clouseau's rank, briefly: INSP. The bumbling inspector, wonderfully played by Peter Sellers.

10. Rock the boat: MAKE WAVES

11. Periodontist's org.: A.D.A. I saw mine last week. I love getting my teeth cleaned.

12. Come down with: GET

13. Long starter, once: ERE. Ere long, this will be back in common parlance. At least among us crossword folk.

19. Toll road: PIKE. A shortened version of "turnpike". The tallest mountain in England is Scafell Pike, which towers an astonishing - wait for it - 3,209 feet. You can walk up and down it in a couple of hours. The scenery is beautiful, it's in England's Lake District.

21. Passing muster: UP TO PAR

24. Footprint maker: SOLE

25. Raise on a pole: HOIST

27. Many an oil-rich ruler: EMIR. I tried SHAH first, was wrong.

28. Many ages: EONS

29. Death Row Records co-founder, familiarly: DRE. The good Dr. with his business partners Suge Knight and The D.O.C. The label was a sensation in the 90's, but it didn't end well.

33. "You're way over the line": NOT COOL

34. Tantrum while playing Xbox: GAMER RAGE. I like this new fill. I'd never heard the phrase before, but it didn't take long to figure it out.

35. Old conductance unit: MHO. It's the reciprocal of the ohm, hence the spelling. I like inventive plays on words, especially in the sciences.

36. Ice cream buys: PINTS. I rarely buy a pint of ice cream, I'd just eat it all. I buy those little Haagen-Dazs mini-tubs.

38. Mmes., in Madrid: SRAS. Señoras.

39. House-shaped browser button: HOME

40. School group: FISH. Made me smile. The clue has been used before, but I like these plays on words.

41. Puncture prefix: ACU-

44. Each: A POP

46. Disco light: STROBE

47. Passionate about: KEEN ON. I might be more than keen if I was passionate. I read in an article this week that nowadays if you say "I love you" in Japan, it's viewed as something of a joke. You say "I like you ... a lot" instead.

48. Passionate: ARDENT

51. Upper regions of space: ETHER

52. "Likewise": AS AM I

53. Blabbed about, in a way: OUTED

55. World Cup cheers: OLÉS. There were a few of these at the Barcelona - Manchester United game this week. The Messi-led Barca knocked United out of the Champions League 4-0.

57. Go __: succeed: FAR

58. Rite answer?: I DO

59. Short snooze: NAP

60. Bit of a draft?: SIP, Draft beer. Thursday-clue for a simple word.

61. Côte d'Azur saison: ÉTÉ. I've been to the French Riviera a number of times, always in summer. I have an unpaid ticket for parking on the Cannes promenade. I had no idea what I'd done wrong, so I figured I was being targeted for having GB license plates. I couldn't pay it now even if I wanted to, it's in francs.

And with that confession of crimes past, I think I'm done. I'm off to get some salt fish and callalou for breakfast and some of that delicious coffee. Ya Mon, Respect.


Mar 6, 2019

Wednesday, March 5 2019, Roland Huget

Theme: Three Sheets to the Wind

17. It may require a permission slip: SCHOOL EVENT.

27. Nearly one-third of Africa: SAHARA DESERT.

43. Gathering with much networking: SCHMOOZEFEST.

57. Table with columns, and what literally can be found in 17-, 27- and 43-Across: SPREADSHEET.

The word SHEET is S-P-R-E-A-D across each theme answer. Added and impressive bonus that each answer begins with S and ends with T. Constructors must be always thinking of theme ideas. I am in awe of their creativity.

Melissa here. When I flew out to my daughter's last Thursday our power had just been restored following a freak snowstorm, and we had to shovel the driveway to get out. I returned last night and there's still snow everywhere but roads are clear and most everyone has power again. Some were without for a full week. It reminds me how spoiled I am, so accustomed to modern conveniences.


1. Nurse Barton: CLARA. She founded the Red Cross.

6. Work with a libretto: OPERA. Sneaky - noun, not verb.

11. Capture: BAG.

14. Spring for a drink?: OASIS.

15. Piece of info: DATUM.

16. "What __ the odds?": ARE.

19. "Narcos" org.: DEA.

20. First encounter in a romcom: MEET CUTE. I had not heard this term before. Wikipedia: "In film and television, a meet cute is a scene in which the two people who will form a future romantic couple meet for the first time. This type of scene is a staple of romantic comedies." At right is from You've Got Mail. I may be the last person to have seen the newest movie version of A Star is Born, which contains a meet cute that sets the tone for the relationship between Jackson and Ally. I love the stripped down look of Lady Gaga. The encore version with 12 extra minutes is in theaters for only one week, beginning March 1st. So good.

21. Open, as a gate latch: UNBAR. Interesting discussion here regarding castle gates. About halfway down are four pictures of real castle gates, and some points about barred gate doors.

23. Pigs out (on), briefly: ODS. Overdoses.

24. Believer's suffix: IST. Buddhist.

25. General sense: TENOR.

31. Roadside business: MOTEL. Motels differ from hotels in that they have fewer rooms, are typically one or two levels, and guests access their rooms from outside rather than a corridor.

34. Decorating job on "Cake Boss": ICER.

35. Coin-op gas station machine output: AIR. No free air any more.

36. Grand-scale production: EPIC.

37. Extra feature: ADD-ON.

39. "And your point is?": OK, SO?

40. Drumstick: LEG.

41. Guys-only party: STAG. Stag vs. Buck.

42. Let up: EASED.

47. Neutral shade: TAUPE.

48. __Clean: stain remover: OXI.

49. Tarzan raiser: APE. My daughter's baby shower last Saturday included a game to match Disney characters with their parents. I now know that Tarzan's (adoptive) mother was an ape named Kala. They have their own meet cute.

52. Razor sharpener: STROP.

54. Time-out: BREATHER.

56. Seek the affections of: WOO. I like this word.

60. Rock concert need: AMP. Short for amplifier.

61. Angel who directs Satan to Earth in "Paradise Lost": URIEL.

62. Speak formally: ORATE.

63. "__-haw!": YEE.

64. Diver's gem: PEARL.

65. Renoir subjects: NUDES.


1. Pink drink, for short: COSMO.

2. Tied, as sneakers: LACED.

3. Volcanic particles: ASHES.

4. Real hoot: RIOT.

5. Hardly gregarious: ASOCIAL.

6. One-named folk singer: ODETTA.

7. Make car-friendly: PAVE.

8. Saison that starts in juin: ETE. French for Summer. Wiktionary.

9. Diamond score: RUN. Baseball.

10. Radio component: AM TUNER.

11. Instances of rotten luck: BAD BREAKS.

12. Carpet calculation: AREA.

13. PRNDL selection: GEAR. Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, Low.

18. Like rainforests: LUSH.

22. Turndowns: NOS.

25. Tex-Mex snack: TACO. Tex Mex vs. Mexican food.

26. Genesis place: EDEN.

27. Jiffy: SEC.

28. Blue __ Mountains: RIDGE. I heard John Denver's Country Road lyrics in my head. If Only John Denver Had a Map.

29. Prepare to sing an anthem: RISE.

30. Stepped (on): TROD.

31. "Alice" diner: MELS. Interesting facts about the movie and spinoff tv series.

32. Oil org.: OPEC. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

33. Metaphor for a precarious course: TIGHTROPE.

37. Surmounting: ATOP.

38. Bewildered state: DAZE.

39. Granola bar morsel: OAT.

41. Makes more powerful: SOUPS UP. I always thought of this phrase as enhancing the appearance, but most definitions I found lead with increasing power.

42. Co-host of the sports radio show "Boomer and Gio": ESIASON. Was not aware of this show.

44. Chinese chairman: MAO.

45. Last words of the Pledge of Allegiance: FOR ALL. "[...] with liberty and justice for all." An honorable goal - I wish it were really true.

46. Deleted, with "out": EXED.

49. In the future: AHEAD.

50. Golfer Calvin: PEETE.

51. Some Deco collectibles: ERTES. Unmistakable style.

52. Persuade: SWAY.

53. Big volume: TOME.

54. Stein filler: BEER.

55. By way of, briefly: THRU. "Briefly" indicates a shortened spelling. Through vs. Thru.

58. Register opening?: PRE.

59. River inlet: RIA.

Note from C.C.:

As Melissa mentioned earlier, she visited her daughter last week. Here are two gorgeous pictures. They just look like from a fairy tale. Jaelyn's little sister, Harper Rose, is expected sometime around 5/2/19.

This is going to be a beautiful year for Melissa, who's been working hard for years championing Adopt an Inmate.

Feb 12, 2019

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 Roland Huget

Standard Operating Procedure

20. 100-mile-an-hour fastball, often: STRIKE OUT PITCH.

25. Classy neckwear: STRING OF PEARLS.

42. Bike storage bags, e.g.: STRAP ON POUCHES.

47. What a plus sign indicates on a golf match scoreboard: STROKES OVER PAR.

 A reveal hidden in plain sight.  See the answer to 1 Down.   Clever.

I first noticed the STR starts to the answers.  Then saw the O P and thought STROP ? As in a sharpening strop ?   Bzzt. 


1. Enjoys Breckenridge, say: SKIS.  Breckenridge, Colorado in the Rocky Mountains.  Never been there, but I have skied at Seven Springs in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains.  

5. Cries out loud: SOBS.

9. "If I Had a Hammer" singer Lopez: TRINI.  This Pete Seeger song and covers of it by Peter Paul and Mary, Trini Lopez and others got old after the 3 gazillionth play on the radio.  It was inescapable.

"Why didn't he just go to the hardware store and buy a hammer ?"

14. In the past: ONCE.

15. Geometry calculation: AREA.   A surveyor needs to understand geometry.   Calculating Surface Areas Of Irregular Shaped Fields

16. Pay by mail: REMIT.   We probably average a roll a year now, and most of those are at Christmas.

17. Metered work, usually: POEM.

18. Duck that lends its name to a color: TEAL.

19. Word from the wise: ADAGE.   'If you can't take it, don't dish it out."   "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."   OKAY, OKAY, alright already.  I take it back.  If I Had a Hammer is a fine song.

23. Vent opening?: PRE.

24. Stein filler: ALE.

33. Total confusion: CHAOS

34. Made public: AIRED.

35. Summer Games org.: IOC.  International Olympic Committee

36. Admission of fault: OOPS.   Mea culpa. 

37. Less clumsy: ABLER.

38. Back up a step, as in an app: UNDO

39. "__ is me!": WOE.

40. For all to hear: ALOUD.  

41. Good feature: ASSET.

45. Partner of to: FRO.

46. 22.5 deg.: NNE.

55. Pick up gradually: GLEAN.   Over time I gleaned that arguing with a woman is like reading a software license agreement.   In the end you just click "I Agree"

56. Crafted, as a tale: WOVE.

57. Keep for later: SAVE

58. Wonderland cake message: EAT MEAlice's Adventures in Wonderland

59. Morales of "NYPD Blue": ESAI.

60. Express line unit: ITEM.   Grammarians note when the sign reads, "10 items or less"  but it doesn't peeve me.    A full shopping cart in that line might.  

61. Jacket material: TWEED.

62. Bakery product: ROLL.

63. Fiddling emperor: NERO.   An awful man on all accounts.    As despicable as he was, he couldn't have played a fiddle because it wasn't invented yet.  Perhaps a lute ?


1. Soaks (up): SOPS.    

2. Wood imperfection: KNOT.

3. Cake finisher: ICER

4. Part-time players: SEMIPROS.

5. Glossy fabric: SATEEN.

6. Layered Nabisco treat: OREO.

7. Belle's counterpart: BEAU

8. Basic food preservative: SALT.

9. Was behind in the match: TRAILED.  Golf, tennis, chess

10. Herbal brew: RED TEA.

11. Apple since 1998: IMAC.   IMAC is also an IT term for Installs, Moves, Adds and Changes.

12. Soon to happen: NIGH.   As quaint as anon. 

13. Suffix with urban: ITE.

21. Songwriter Kristofferson: KRIS.   He's in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of fame.     The opening lyrics from one of his most famous songs:

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train
When I was feeling nearly faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained
And rode us all the way to New Orleans

22. School research assignment: PAPER.

25. Slap the puck toward the goal: SHOOT.    Patrick Sharp demonstrates.

26. Get to the point?: TAPER.

27. Cameroon neighbor: GABON.  Two of the thirty-seven errors I made on Husker Gary's countries of Africa geography quiz last week. 

28. Prepare for a bodybuilding competition: OIL UP.

29. Middle Corleone brother: FREDO.   Fredo is the younger brother of Sonny, and the older brother of Michael in Mario Puzo's The Godfather, portrayed by John Cazale in the movie.

30. Salon procedure: RINSE.

31. Rich ore deposits: LODES.

32. Many a clan member: SCOT.

33. Farm moms: COWS.  They are heifers until they become moms.

37. "Take __ at this!": A LOOK.  Take a look at this school mural.  That's a real fire extinguisher.

38. Signals the arrival of, as a new era: USHERS IN.

40. Dressed like a chef: APRONED.

41. Embarrassing spots: ACNE.

43. Typical chalet: A-FRAME.

44. Launch, as a new product: UNVEIL.

47. Side with a sandwich: SLAW.

48. Head of Haiti: TETE.    Président Jovenel Moïse since the Nov 2016 elections.    Protestors stoned his house and called for his resignation Saturday.  

49. Vessel with a spout: EWER.

50. Ho-hum: SO SO.

51. Avocado shape: OVAL

52. Canapé spread: PATE.

53. Say with certainty: AVER.

54. San __, Italy: REMO. Zoom in, Zoom out

55. "__ it?": "Comprende?": GET.

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to our sweet LaLaLinda. Linda does not post these days, but she still reads our posts and comments every day.   We miss your presence, Linda!

Jan 23, 2019

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 Roland Huget

Theme: Every Snowflake Is Different!  What I love about this claim is that it is not testable.  In today's puzzle, the claim is that for each multi-word theme entry, every letter is different.  This is testable, so let's get our deerstalker hats and magnifying glasses and have a go at it.

20 A. 2011 Steve Carell romcom: CRAZY STUPID LOVE.  Careful inspection confirms that each letter is, indeed, unique.  I am not a fan of the genre.  The presence of Jennifer Aniston in a movie's cast is enough to make me say, "No, thanks," no matter how cute she is.  But this movie has Julianne Moore supported by an all-star cast.  I'm actually rather fond of this flick.

34 A. Rickety abode: TUMBLE DOWN SHACK.  Not a phrase you're likely to encounter in daily conversation, but the meaning is clear enough. Reminds me of my mom's humble beginning in rural south-east Ohio. Searching through all the rooms - and even the outhouse - I was unable to find even one duplicated letter.  So far, so good,

41 A. "Stop whining!": DON'T BE SUCH A WIMP.  Do WIMPS duplicate letters?  Not here they don't! Not on my watch! Does this phrase foster toxic masculinity? I'll just leave that as food for thought.

53 A. Neither 20-, 34- nor 41-Across has any: REPEATED LETTERS.  Is it my hyper-active sense of irony that notes the repeated Rs, Es and Ts in the unifier?  Well - be that as it may, we do have a clever and unique theme, aptly described, with four grid-spanning entries, and that is only a J and a Q away from being a pangram. Yes, I also love run-on sentences.

Hi, Gang.  Inspector JazzBumpa here looking under cushions and dusting for prints.  Let's see what we can find.


1. Soft ball: NERF.  A toy brand created by Parker Brothers and now owned by Hasbro.  The product line is mostly foam-based items, like balls and weaponry.  Mostly harmless, I suppose.

5. Berkshire Hathaway headquarters city: OMAHA.  A multi-national conglomerate run by Warren Buffet.  Note the repeated A.

10. Greenish-yellow pear: BOSC.  A European cultivar that originated in France, now grown in many locations in Europe and North America.

14. Mine, in MontrÈal: AMOI. They speak French there.  I visited the city once, back in the early 80's.  It was wonderful.

15. Chicano rock band Los __: LOBOS.  It means The Wolves.

16. "Enchanted" girl in a 2004 film: ELLA.  Not your typical RomCom.

17. Hors d'oeuvre cracker: RITZ.  Nabisco product introduced in 1934, the depth of the depression, to offer their customers "a bite of the good life."

18. Lose tautness: DROOP.  Sag, limply hang down.

19. Logician's error, maybe: LEAP.  One step should lead logically to the next.

23. Slangy affirmative: YEH. Unhuh.

24. Light beam: RAY.  Heavy beams are used in construction.

25. Poseidon's realm: SEA.  In Greek mythology, the god of the sea, storms, earthquakes and horses.  Horses?  How did they get in there?  Anyway, He was one of the most ill-tempered, moody and greedy Olympians.

28. Lav, in Bath: LOO.  Comfort station, to be delicate.

30. Zero in: AIM.  Focus attention on something.

31. Federal bldgs. with mailboxes: POSPost Offices.  Though I imagine other Fed bldgs. might also have mailboxes.

38. Diva's time to shine: ARIA.  Solo vocal feature in a longer musical work such as an opera or oratorio.

39. Savings plan inits.: IRAIndividual Retirement Account.

40. Fair-haired sci-fi race: ELOI.  One of two post-human races of the far distant future in The Time Machine, from 1895 by H. G. Wells

46. Chinese menu surname: TSO.  Generally speaking.

47. Put away: EAT.  Consume at the dinner table.

48. Pine-__: cleaning brand: SOL.  A registered trade mark of Clorox.  From its inception in 1929 until 2016 it contained pine oil.  Then the product was cheapened to increase profitability.

49. Old Nintendo game console: Abbr.: NES.  The classic Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1985.

50. UFO pilots, supposedly: ETSExtra-Terrestrials.  I suspect they took one look at us, shook their hairless, crenellated heads, and just kept on going.

51. Nintendo game console: Wii.  The letters don't stand for anything.  Instead, the two lower case is are intended to represent gamers together, reinforcing the "we" pronunciation of the item's name

62. Similar in nature: AKIN.  Derived from the word "kin" meaning related by blood.

63. Online biz: E-TAIL.  Electronicized retail.  Is this a portmanteau?

64. Compete for the America's Cup: SAIL.  This Cup is the prize awarded to the winer of a race between yachts, so named because the original winner in 1851 was the schooner America.  Any qualifying yacht club can challenge the current cup holder, at a place and time determined by mutual agreement.  The winner retains the cup until defeated.

65. Fish catchers: NETS.

66. Art class subjects: NUDES.   Unclothed models.

67. Stubborn sort: MULE.  A sterile beast of burden, bred from a male donkey and a female horse.  By extension, a person who acts as stubborn as one.

68. Aussie greeting: G-DAY.  Short mouth for "good day."

69. Part of LED: DIODE.  An electrical component that only allows current flow in one direction.

70. Marked for deletion: EXED. X marks the spot - and not in a good way.


1. DEA operative: NARC. The Drug Enforcement Agency employs NARCotic agents to enforce the relevant laws.

2. House of Saud bigwig: EMIR.  A title for various rulers of Arabic Muslim countries.

3. Duty roster: ROTA.  Derived from the Latin word for wheel.  I imagine this might indicate that the jobs rotate.  But I'm just guessing.

4. Like soda pop: FIZZY.  Bubbly, due to carbonation.

5. Part of a comfort simile: OLD SHOE.  I found a proverb I wasn't familiar with: "Old shoes are easy, old friends are best."  So, an OLD SHOE is something or someone you are unquestionably at ease with.

6. Mad Magazine cartoonist Drucker: MORT.  He was born in 1929, started with Mad Mag in 1956 and continued with them for 55 years.  I loved Mad when I was a kid, and his satirical drawings of pop culture icons was a part of it.

7. Leigh Hunt's "__ Ben Adhem": ABOU.  A poem with a sweet message, that you can read here.

8. Earring style: HOOP.  A round dangling ornament.

9. "Take two __ and call me ... ": ASPIRIN.  Cliched expression representing being shrugged off by an uninterested doctor.

10. Kind of dancer: BELLY.

A brief how-to video

11. Breakfast spread: OLEO.  An ersatz butter substitute made from vegetable oil, also called margarine.

Also a jazz standard written by Sonny Rollins in 1954, to the same chord progression as the Gershwin classic tune I've Got Rhythm.

12. Balkan native: SLAV.   Members of an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group.  There are three geographic sub-groups, Eastern, Western and Southern.  Balkan natives are in the Southern sub-group.

13. Superman accessory: CAPE.  Dracula, too - but not always a good idea.

21. Holler: YELL.  Produce a loud vocalization.

22. Beaver creations: DAMS.

25. Town, in Germany: STADT.  Literal.

26. Irish banknotes: EUROS.  Unaffected by Brexit, Ireland remains in the E. U.

27. Protein-building acid: AMINO.  An organic compound containing both amine and carboxylic acid functionality. These are active groups that can react with each other, and therefore build long chain molecules.  Due to its alternating vowels and consonants, it is also a frequently useful building block for crosswords.

29. Poet with dedication?: ODIST.  One who writes an ode - a lyric poem, usually in an elevated style, in the form of an address to a particular subject.  I suppose some dedicatio is required to achieve this.

30. Military plane acronym: AWACS. Airborn Warning and Control System - designed to detect various kinds of vehicles at long distances and perform command and control functions in a battle engagement.

31. McCain's running mate: PALIN.  'Nuff said.

32. "__, all ye faithful ... ": O COME.  Opening of a famous Christmas carol.

33. Decides not to attend: SKIPS. As a school class or social event.

35. Baseball club: BAT.  The smooth, tapered wooden club used to strike the ball.  An ambiguous clue, since an organized team is also called a club.

36. Tulsa sch. named for an evangelist: ORUOral Roberts University, an interdenominational Christian university founded in 1963, and named for its founder.

37. Use an axe on: HEW.  Chop.

42. Test version: BETA. A software version with a limited distribution for testing, prior to public release.

43. London area that includes Canary Wharf: EAST END.  You can read about it here.

44. "Is there another way?": HOW ELSE.  Searching for alternatives.

45. Landed: ALIT.  Descended from above.

50. Itty: EENSY.  Teeny tiny.

52. Answer at the door: IT'S ME.  Truthful, no matter who says it.

53. Pealed: RANG.  Loudly, as in a bell in a bell tower.

54. Scratched (out): EKED.  Got by with difficulty.

55. Pocket bread: PITA.  From the Greek word for a pastry.  In this context, a flat, hollow, unleavened bread that can be split open and filled.

56. Small decorative case: ETUI.  From an Old French word meaning: something shut up, as a prison; then by the 17th century, a small container.

57. Carpentry groove: DADO.  A flat, parallel-sided groove cut into a board so that it may be attached to the edge of another board.

58. Wasn't honest: LIED.  Made an intentionally false and misleading statement.

59. French waters: EAUX. Literal.

60. Stir up: RILE.  Early 19th century variant on ROIL, meaning to aggravate, bother, annoy, or make water muddy by disturbing the sediment.

61. Malamute's burden: SLED.  The malamute is a large domestic dog bred for strength and endurance to haul heavy loads, and therefore dog SLEDS.  It is closely related to the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Husky, but not the Canadian Eskimo dog nor the Greenland dog.

That wraps up another Wednesday.  And true to the theme, every answer was unique.

Cool Regards,

Oct 2, 2018

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 Roland Huget

"Let's Play Cards"

 17. Tool for cutting stone and concrete: DIAMOND SAW.  

25. Garden digging, e.g.: SPADEWORK.  

35. Richly upholstered seat: CLUB CHAIR.  

48. Prilosec target: HEARTBURN

Given the pattern of the theme answers, the reveal would be an open form compound word, and it was:

56. Carry on the same way ... and what the ends of 17-, 25-, 35- and 48-Across do: FOLLOW SUIT.

I just happened to notice that each of the theme answers were compound words, and that they alternated from open form to closed form.   Nice to see that the reveal followed suit.

Spitzboov, our resident bridge player, probably plays with a four color deck.   I learned these decks are are called "no-revoke" decks, and are given different colors to make the suits more distinct from each other.


1. Gulf States prince: EMIR.  For instance, Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

5. Macy's competitor: KOHL'S.

10. Eucharist celebration: MASS.

14. See 62-Across: TIME,  50D. See 62-Across: UPON A, and 62. With 50-Down and 14-Across, fairy tale opening: ONCE.  ONCE UPON A TIME.  If still active on the blog, Barry G would have commented about this threesome.  He doesn't care for clues that make you have to read another clue. 

15. Boise's state: IDAHO.  "The City of Boise operates the largest direct-use geothermal system in the entire country."  -   "Idaho is called the "Gem State" because nearly every known type of gemstone has been found in the state of Idaho.  More than 72 different precious and semi-precious gemstones are mined from Idaho" -

16. Israeli airline: EL AL.

19. River of Cairo: NILE.

20. Playing surface surrounded by boards: RINKSports lingo - Ice Hockey Dasher Boards

21. Access charge: USER'S FEE.

23. Chinese menu promise: NO MSGMonosodium glutamate

26. Abandoned building, say: EYESORE.

28. Jules who created the Nautilus: VERNELittle-Known Facts About Jules Verne

29. Form a union: WED.  Betroth.

30. Passé reception aid: AERIAL.

34. Love personified: AMOR.

37. Nobel Peace Prize city: OSLO.   The Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature are awarded in Stockholm.

40. Toxic substance: POISON.

41. Snapshot, briefly: PIC.

44. "SNL" alum Cheri: OTERI.

46. Dancer Duncan: ISADORA.    Didn't know of her.     Needed the I to complete the puzzle.

52. Caught with a lasso: ROPED.

53. Old-fashioned printing machine: LINOTYPE.

54. Champagne brand: MOET.

55. Got on in years: AGED.

60. __ majesty: high treason: LESE.

61. Diarist Nin: ANAIS"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."

63. Newspaper section with many reviews: ARTS.

64. Horizontal graph lines: X-AXES.

65. Enthusiastic: KEEN.


1. Takeoff approx.: ETD.

2. 1002, to Caesar: MII.

3. Gun carrier's warning: I'M ARMED.

4. Careless: REMISS.

5. Garden hose obstruction: KINK.

6. Unmatched: ODD.

7. Welcomes to the treehouse: HAS UP.

8. __ apso: little dog: LHASA.  Video courtesy of Animal Planet

9. Scattered, as seed: SOWED.

10. Department store section: MENSWEAR.

11. Wing-shaped: ALIFORM.

12. Port near Naples: SALERNO.

13. More streamlined: SLEEKER.

18. Like an accurate soccer shot: ON GOAL.

22. Gun, as an engine: REV.

23. Just out: NEW.

24. Santana's "__ Como Va": OYE.     Hey, how is it going ?

25. __-Croatian: Slavic language: SERBO.

27. Do another stint: RE-UP.   Reenlist. 

31. Here, in Haiti: ICI.

32. Twain/Harte play: AH SIN.   Totally unknown to me.   The perps were solid, but still wasn't certain how to parse it.   Took a couple of Google searches to find a reference, and learned along the way that Twain Harte is a census designated place in California.   Anyway,  read Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Pioneer Fiction, and a Play Gone Wrong

33. Vientiane's country: LAOS.  The economic center and capital of Laos.

35. Becomes rusted: CORRODES.

36. Lined up: IN A ROW.

37. "C'est magnifique!": OOH LA LA.

38. "The Pawnbroker" actor Rod: STEIGER.

39. Least fatty, as corned beef: LEANEST.

41. Many a Top 40 song: POP TUNE.

42. Cork's country: Abbr.: IRE.

43. Heel: CAD.

45. Hairy Addams cousin: ITT.

47. Is moderately successful: DOES OK.

49. How some documents are sent: BY FAX.

51. Kick back: RELAX.

54. Forest floor plant: MOSS.

57. Golf ball position: LIE.

58. Cocktail cooler: ICE.

59. Down-for-the-count count: TEN.

Sep 18, 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 Roland Huget

"Mirror Ends"

20. Horse sense: STREET SMARTS.

28. Main attraction: DRAWING CARD.

36. Test proctor's reminder: TIME LIMIT.

49. Hard-boiled genre: NOIR FICTION.

56. Its measurements include liters and grams: METRIC SYSTEM.


1. Publisher Alfred: KNOPFThe person and the company.

6. Spur to action: PROD.

10. Mus. key with three sharps: AMAJ.  A major.

14. Lost cause: GONER.

15. Overconfident racer of fable: HARE.

16. Hawaiian island: OAHU.

17. Hawaii or Alaska: STATE.

18. Oil gp. that includes 57-Down: OPEC. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

19. Take a load off: REST.

23. Pool tool: CUE.

24. Try to win: WOO.

25. Colonel Sanders facial feature: GOATEE.

32. Lab maze navigator: RAT.

33. Letter flourish: SERIF.

34. "... good witch, __ bad witch?": OR A.

35. Angry or achy: SORE.

40. Soap units: BARS.

43. Gold in Granada: ORO.

44. Semiaquatic salamanders: NEWTS.

48. The "A" in "IPA": ALE.

52. Like Easter eggs before the hunt: HIDDEN.

54. Duct opening?: OVI.   "In vertebrates, other than mammals, the passageway from the ovaries to the outside of the body is known as the oviduct. In female mammals this passageway is known as the uterine tube or Fallopian tube."   Wikipedia.

55. Debate side: PRO.  The affirmative side.  An argument in favor of a course of action.

60. Squared up: EVEN

62. Tax-sheltered plans: Abbr.: IRAsIndividual Retirement Accounts

63. More than suggest: ORDER.  Last Tuesday's crossword by Bruce Haight and his daughter Natalie Murphy had many punny "Orders."

65. Partial view?: BIAS.  As in partiality.   Favoritism.

66. Scandinavian language: SAMI. "...the language has given way to the various official national languages."

67. Circular: ROUND.

68. Decrease: BATE.

69. Organic compound: ENOL.  Remember the clue.  Almost always, the crossword answer is enol.

70. Sch. district VIPs: SUPTS.   Superintendents.   The CEO of a school district.


1. 56-Across wts.: KGS.  Kilograms in the metric system.  About 2.2 pounds in the avoirdupois weight system.

2. On the fence: NOT SURE.

3. Winning like crazy: ON A TEAR.  Like the Boston Red Sox this year.  They have a shot at the all time record for wins in a season.   Having already clinched a playoff spot, the Red Sox have a 27 % chance to win the World Series.  The Houston Astros follow next at 24 %.   Then the Dodgers, the Cubs, and the Indians.   

4. Korda of '80s-'90s tennis: PETR.  His two daughters are golfers competing on the LPGA tour, and his son is the third-ranked junior tennis player in the world.

5. Library amenity: FREE WIFI.

6. Camera buff, for short: PHOTOG. Like this guy and gal getting ready for pictures of the eclipse.

7. Shoots the breeze: RAPS.

8. Utah city near Provo: OREM.

9. 10-point star polygon: DECAGRAM

"In geometry, a decagram is a 10-point star polygon. There is one regular decagram, containing the vertices of a regular decagon, but connected by every third point. Its Schläfli symbol is {10/3}. The name decagram combine a numeral prefix, deca-, with the Greek suffix -gram." Wikipedia

10. Main blood vessel: AORTA.

11. Orchestra leader: MAESTRO.   A Top Twenty List

12. Contented sighs: AHS.

13. Stick (out): JUT.

21. Years and years: EON.

22. Word after fuel or fly: ROD.  One may be used for fission; the other may be used for fishin'.

23. LP successors: CDs.

26. Cup handle: EAR.

27. Season after printemps: ETE. Printemps - Première saison de l'année.  Saison située entre l'hiver et l'été, caractérisée par des jours plus longs, une température plus douce, une végétation renaissante.  Ete - Saison de l'année commençant au solstice de juin pour finir à l'équinoxe de septembre. Gén., la période chaude au milieu de l'année.   Give Google Translate a try.

29. Erma Bombeck's "At __ End": WIT'S. “Childhood is a time for pretending and trying on maturity to see if it fits or hangs baggy, tastes good or bitter, smells nice or fills your lungs with smoke that makes you cough. It's sharing licks on the same sucker with your best friend before you discover germs. It's not knowing how much a house cost, and caring less. It's going to bed in the summer with dirty feet on clean sheets. It's thinking anyone over fifteen is 'ancient'. It's absorbing ideas, knowledge, and people like a giant sponge. Childhood is where 'competition' is a baseball game and 'responsibility' is a paper route.” - Erma Bombeck

30. Décor choice: COLOR.

31. MLB's D-backs: ARI. Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamonbacks.  As of this writing, owners of an 8% chance to make the playoffs.  

35. Editorial "let it stand": STET.

37. Event often visible in the evening sky: MOONRISE.

38. "__ tu": Verdi aria: ERI.

39. Cutting teeth: INCISORS.

40. Derisive interjection: BAH.  Humbug !  Ebenezer Scrooge.

41. "Rope-a-dope" boxer: ALI.  Muhammad Ali created and used this strategy to defeat the heavily favored George Foreman in the world championship bout known as The Rumble in the Jungle.

42. Paleo diet protein source: RED MEAT.

45. Took care of, as a spill: WIPED UP.

46. Annoy persistently: TORMENT.

47. __-cone: summer treat: SNO.

49. Safety feature at a trapeze school: NETLearning to Fall

50. La Brea discovery: FOSSIL.

51. Wall-climbing plant: IVY.

53. Slow on the uptake: DENSE.

57. Pakistan neighbor: IRAN.

58. "Duck Dynasty" attire, for short: CAMO.  Camouflage.  Duck Dynasty is a reality television program on A&E.

59. Pants, briefly: TROU.  Trousers

60. Flow back, as a tide: EBB.

61. By way of: VIA.

64. Ave. and st.: RDS.  Roads