Showing posts with label Ross Trudeau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ross Trudeau. Show all posts

May 21, 2020

Thursday, May 21st 2020 Ross Trudeau

Theme: Mat-chmaking - the cross-refererenced theme entries have both a clue component and a back-reference component to the solution.

17A. What the unalert might 61-Across to take: COLD SHOWER. Great when you expect it, heart-attack-waiting-to-happen when you don't.

30A. What a gracious host might 61-Across to give: WARM WELCOME

37A. What a devout Muslim might 61-Across to perform: AFTERNOON PRAYER

45A. What a tight pair might 61-Across to do: COUPLES YOGA

and the unifier:

61A. Struggle vigorously ... and what four other long answers' ending words can do?: GO TO THE MAT

Nicely done by Ross - in order to properly solve the theme entries you need guidance from the reveal at 61A, then you can complete the theme phrases - shower mat, welcome mat, prayer mat and yoga mat.

This one firmly in the Thursday category for the "toughness" metrics, but once you got past the theme and the reveal, some of the fill seemed a little automatic.

No matter. Entertaining and let's go see what we can find to talk about:


1. Fifth pillar of Islam: HAJJ. There is talk that this year's Hajj may be cancelled due to Covid-19. It's quite the spectacle in a normal year:

5. Air Jordans, e.g.: NIKES

10. Peel: RIND

14. "Arrested Development" actress Shawkat: ALIA, Never seen the show. Thank you, crosses.

15. Between, poetically: 'TWIXT. If you're in the middle of some annoying early adolescents, are you "'Twixt Tweeners"?

16. Grenoble gal pal: AMIE

19. Skier Lindsey with a record 20 World Cup titles: VONN. Lindsey has a career record of 82 World Cup wins. She has 20 Crystal Globes which celebrate the overall champion in a particular discipline each season.

20. __ One vodka: KETEL

21. Title king in a Mozart opera: IDOMENEO. Totally unknown to me, although the solid crosses meant it didn't hold me up too long. I discover that Idomeneo was a King of Crete.

23. Granny: NANA

26. Patronize, as a restaurant: DINE AT. Not at the moment, for many.

27. Amigo: PAL. Friendly puzzle today, Amigo, amie, pal.

33. Climber's asset: GRIP

35. Yours, in Tours: À TOI, Tours is a beautiful city, but then most French cities and towns are, at least to my eye. If the Tour de France doesn't go ahead this year I'll miss the glorious aerial shots from the helicopters.

36. Pole worker: ELF. Nicely done. Elves at the North Pole.

42. Sports doc's pic: M.R.I.

43. "I'm __ hurry": IN NO

44. Sported: WORE

49. Women of Troy's sch.: U.S.C. A certain Woman of Troy cheerleader celebrates Vince Young's winning touchdown for Texas in the 2006 BCS Championship Game at the Rose Bowl. This picture never fails to amuse me.

50. Pick up, in a way: ANSWER

51. Employment: WORK

53. Say when?: SET A DATE. Nice clue/answer combo.

56. Potter's supply: GLAZE

60. Biblical brother: ABEL

64. Enjoy some rays: BASK

65. Broadcasting: ON AIR

66. Rascals: IMPS

67. Music and theater: ARTS

68. "Country Grammar" rapper: NELLY

69. Asking too many questions: NOSY


1. Talentless writer: HACK. Actually, being a hack is something of a talent. It's a perjorative, but writing rushed articles to a short deadline isn't easy. Quality obviously suffers, but when you've got ten minutes to write a hatchet-piece you can't get everything!

2. Natural healer: ALOE

3. Leave high and dry: JILT

4. Smith of "After Earth": JADEN. Will Smith's son. He's got some peculiar views.

5. Last in a series: NTH.

6. Iconic WWII island, briefly: IWO

7. Auckland native: KIWI

8. Struck (out): EX'ED. This is an example of fill that annoys me. You can find "X'ED" in crosswordland a hundred times a year, but you can't just add letters to suit yourself. I know it's a phonetic spelling, but it's like the ARGH/AARGH and the similar variants. EX'ED OUT is not an expression in the language. Try a Google search. The first thing that comes up is "Did you mean X'ED OUT?" I'd X that out of my fill right away.

9. Marched confidently: STRODE

10. Hogwarts house with a corvine name: RAVENCLAW. Potter, Harry.

11. "We all have the same values": I'M ONE OF YOU. Difficult to parse at first, but solid.

12. When 51-Across starts, for many: NINE A.M. I think "for some" might be more appropriate in these strange times.

13. Signify: DENOTE

18. Diner side: SLAW

22. Distance runner: MILER

24. Indian bread: NAAN

25. Stella __: beer: ARTOIS. This has been cropping up a few times recently. "The Star of Artois". Here is the brewery that used to make a special version for the Netherlands. Apparently the Nederlanders were not fans of Belgian brews. The current brewery in Belgium is no oil painting, so I'll skip that.

27. Org. whose fans follow the links: P.G.A. Golf. Is anyone interested in the Woods/Manning and Mickleson/Brady "event" this weekend? I have my views on that, which I'll keep to myself.

28. Lab report?: ARF. Dog bark.

29. Chemistry exam?: LITMUS TEST. Acid or Alkali. We used Universal Indicator Paper at school, which had degrees of acid/alkali color. What do they use nowadays? I'm pretty sure you should be able to point your cellphone at a beaker of something and get the complete chemical breakdown of composition and PH levels.

31. Dreamy: MOONY

32. Separate grain from chaff: WINNOW

34. Controversial pretrial police practices: PERP WALKS

38. Ticked off: RILED

39. Possum pal of Porky Pine: POGO. Never heard of him. The comic strip ceased publication in 1975, so that might have something to do with it. Here's a porcupine panel which is cute.

40. Trauma ctrs.: E.R.'S

41. __ room: REC

45. Winter melon: CASABA

46. Sign of bad service?: ONE BAR. Cellphone coverage, although there's more than one bar I can point you towards where you get terrible service. I do this research in the public interest, of course.

47. Christopher Paolini fantasy best-seller: ERAGON

48. "Gah!": ARGH! How funny - my "take your pick" of ARGH/AARGH crops up right here.

52. Designer Calvin: KLEIN

54. Mood: TONE

55. List-ending abbr.: ET AL.

57. Rifle filler: AMMO. What do you call an expert office assistant who can find the right place for a document quickly? A riffle filer. Ba-dum! I'll be here all week, thank you thank you.

58. Tases: ZAPS

59. DIY site: ETSY. I've never used Etsy but it comes up a lot when I'm searching for hobby stuff on Google.

62. Alaskan resource: OIL

63. Taste: TRY. I'm willing to taste pretty much anything as long as it doesn't look like an insect. Which is totally irrational, because lobster, shrimp, langoustine and crawfish are as insect-like as they come. Except they're not insects. Same concept, but they live underwater. Which makes it OK. I said it was irrational.

With that appetizing thought, here's the grid!

Stay safe, especially any of you are in the "we're open!" states.


Mar 10, 2020

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 Amanda Rafkin and Ross Trudeau

Homophonitically for You and I.  Very strange concept today.  Each theme answer has two words that contain the letters U and I next to each other.  (Homophonitically: Having the same sound; Having or characterized by a single melodic line with accompaniment.)

16-Across. Citrus drink in a sea breeze cocktail: GRAPEFRUIT JUICE.

27-Across. Frivolous legal entanglement: NUISANCE SUIT.

47-Across. French luxury retailer since 1854: LOUIS VUITTON.  Same sound?  You decide.

And the unifier:
59. 2011 Dolly Parton single, and what homophonically happens twice in 16-, 27- and 47-Across: TOGETHER YOU AND I.  Not to be parsed as To Get Her, You And I.  I am not familiar with this song.

1. __-been: washed-up celeb: HAS.  I have a friend who called her ex-husband her Was-been.

4. Shared again, as a story: RETOLD.

10. Samantha Bee's network: TBS.  Samantha Ann Bee (b. Oct. 25, 1969) is a Canadian-born comedian who got her start as a political commentator on The Daily Show with John Stewart.  She now has her own show entitled Full Frontal.

13. Frequently found in poetry?: OFT.

14. One with a hunger: YEARNER.  Awkward!

15. Go bad: ROT.

19. Philosopher Kierkegaard: SØREN.  Søren Kierkegaard (née Søren Aabye Kierkegaard; May 5, 1813 ~ Oct. 11, 1855) was a Danish philosopher and theologian.  He is considered to be the first modern existentialist philosopher.  Sadly, he died at the young age of 42.

20. Dawn goddess: EOS.

21. Bridal veil trim: LACE.  There is a lot of lace on this wedding dress.

22. Packed in a slatted box: CRATED.

25. Like bath mats: NON-SLIP.

29. Prez on a fiver: ABE.

30. "Cream of" concoction: SOUP.

31. Lonely place, so they say: THE TOP.

35. Former: PAST.

37. Part of rpm: PER.  As in Revolutions Per Minute.

39. Actress Russo: RENE.  Rene Russo (née Rene Marie Russo; b. Feb. 17, 1954) makes very frequent guest appearances in the crossword puzzles.

40. Bury: ENTOMB.

43. Frontier lawman Wyatt: EARP.  Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (Mar. 19, 1848 ~ Jan. 13, 1929) also makes frequent guest appearances in the crossword puzzles.

46. HBO rival, briefly: SHO.  Home BoxOffice versus Showtime.

50. Gives a hand: ASSISTS.

53. Celebrity socialite: IT GIRL.  Clara Bow (née Clara Gordon Bow; July 29, 1905 ~ Sept. 27, 1965) was the original "It Girl".

54. One who stirs the pot: CHEF.

55. Former flier: TWA.  Trans World Airlines was founded by Howard Hughes in 1930.  It ceased operations in December 2001.  My first airplane ride, when I was about 5 years old, was on a TWA flight.  That was back in the day when airlines gave out little gifts to children who were flying.  I still have the little red bag that was filled with little toys to keep me amused on the flight.

57. "Live" sign: ON AIR.

63. Night before: EVE.

64. Most authentic: REALEST.  Awkward!

65. Generation __: GAP.

66. "Lust for Life" singer Lana __ Rey: DEL.  I am not familiar with Lana Del Rey (née Elizabeth Woolridge Grand; b. June 21, 1985).

67. How theater seating is arranged: IN ROWS.

68. Hurricane center: EYE.

1. Keeps to oneself: HOGS.
2. Early form of Latin jazz: AFRO-CUBAN.

3. Like the most twinkly sky: STARRIEST.

4. Boxing official: REF.  As in the Referee.

5. Musician's asset: EAR.

6. "Can't deny that": TRUE.

7. They might bring you to tears: ONIONS.  Why Onions make you cry.

8. Releases from a cage: LETS OUT.

9. Basketball's Erving, familiarly: DR. J.  Julius Erving (né Julius Winfield Erving, II; b. Feb. 22, 1950) had a long career in the NBA.

10. Dry run: TRIAL.

11. Italian lawn bowling game: BOCCI.  Usually spelled with an "e".

12. Pricey: STEEP.

14. Gossipy sorts: YENTAS.

17. Podded plants: PEAS.

18. Coat named for an Irish province: ULSTER.

23. "Music for Airports" producer Brian: ENO.  Our old friend Brian Eno (né Brian Peter George Eno; b. May 15, 1948) is also making a guest appearance in today's puzzle.

24. Bra spec: D-CUP.

26. Med. research agency: NIH.  As in the National Institutes of Health.  You can get information about Covid-19 at their website.

27. Tough spot to self-trim hair: NAPE.

28. Olympic swords: ÉPÉES.  These fencing swords are often found it the crossword puzzles, too.

32. Simulated launch site: TEST RANGE.

33. Taking a vacation, Brit-style: ON HOLIDAY.

34. Lowly worker: PEON.

36. English "L'chaim!": TO LIFE.

38. Sitar master Shankar: RAVI.  Ravi Shankar (Apr.  7, 1920 ~ Dec. 11, 2012) is the father of musician Norah Jones.

41. Jan. and Feb.: MOs.  January and February are the first 2 Months of the Gregorian calendar..

42. Words introducing a plot twist: BUT, THEN ...  Not to be parsed as Butt Hen.

44. Road groove: RUT.

45. Hit the buffet in a major way, say: PIG OUT.
48. "Scout's honor!": I SWEAR.

49. Singer Turner: TINA.  Tina Turner (née Anna Mae Bullock; b. Nov. 26, 1939) turned 80 on her last birthday.   I should be so lucky when (if) I turn 80.

50. Played a part: ACTED.

51. Push roughly: SHOVE.

52. Jason of "How I Met Your Mother": SEGEL.

Jason Jordan Segel (b. Jan. 18, 1980)

56. Guthrie of folk: ARLO.  Arlo Guthrie (né Arlo Davy Guthrie; b. July 10, 1947) is the son of Woody Guthrie, but you knew that.

58. Like avocados ready for guacamole: RIPE.  Yummers!

60. Bi- plus one: TRI-.

61. Tree with elastic wood: YEW.  This evergreen tree has red berries and is used for to make archery bows.  We have seen the YEW several times in the past few weeks.

62. WWII spy gp.: OSS.  As in the Office of Strategic Services.  Before becoming a cooking guru, Julia Child was in the OSS.

And Here's the Grid:

QOD:  Courage is the ladder upon which all other virtues mount.  ~  Clare Boothe Luce (née Ann Clare Booth; Mar. 10, 1903 ~ Oct. 9, 1987), American journalist and diplomat

May 30, 2019

Thursday, May 30th 2019 Ross Trudeau

Theme: Anagrams - the reveal explains what we're looking for - three "diapers" anagrams in the theme entries:

52A. New father's task, maybe ... and what the three other longest puzzle answers have in common?: CHANGING DIAPERS

And so we find:

17A. Dreamed of a career in politics: ASPIRED TO OFFICE. The alternative spelling of the past tense of "dream" is "dreamt", which occupies a singular place in the English language. Anyone know what's unique about the word?

26A. Took part in a revival: PRAISED THE LORD. And passed the ammunition, if you were Chaplain Forgy on the U.S.S New Orleans during the Pearl Harbor attacks in 1942.

42A. "We can't win!" and "It's useless!": CRIES OF DESPAIR. Accompanied by wailing and gnashing of teeth. Which brings me to the question of the day - what does a teeth-gnashing look like? The expression is so familiar that I never stopped to think about it before.

Fun puzzle from Ross today, it was a pretty straightforward solve even though there were quite a few unknowns for me, the crosses were all solid. By the time I'd worked my way down to the reveal, the theme entries were all complete, so it was just a case of admiring the elegant anagrams.

None of the theme entries have appeared in the major puzzles before, which is neat. There's one other "unique" word in the puzzle, we'll get to that later. Let's see what's what in the fill:


1. Hairy swinger: APE

4. Blue semiprecious stone: AZURITE. New to me. Pretty color:

11. Vainglory: EGO

14. "Blue Bloods" actor Selleck: TOM

15. Joint Chiefs member: GENERAL. There are six generals and an admiral on the current Joint Chiefs of Staff.

16. Bubbly title: DOM. Dom Pérignon, produced by the champagne house Moët & Chandon and named for a Benedictine monk who introduced a number of wine-making techniques and methods in the 1600's.

20. Mythical hunter: DIANA

21. Considerable stretches: EONS

22. Thames academy: ETON. Posh school across the river from Windsor Castle. You'd think the Queen would have sent her boys there as it's about five minutes walk from the castle, but she and Phil the Greek packed them off to a school in the north of Scotland.

23. Old Opry network: TNN. The Nashville Network, later The National Network.

24. Nice picnic spot?: PARC. The city of Nice, France.

25. Burn soothers: ALOES

29. Hit one out, in baseball parlance: GO DEEP

30. Atomic number of nitrogen: SEVEN

31. TV commentator Navarro: ANA

32. Fort Collins sch.: C.S.U. Colorado State U.

34. Cone producer: FIR

35. "Amscray!": GIT!

38. Singer Lopez: TRINI. I thought this person had passed me by thus far, but when I went look her up, I discovered firstly it's a man, and secondly he recorded "If I Had a Hammer" which I know from when I was a kid.

40. Name on a "Little Women" book jacket: LOUISA. M. Alcott.

45. "Something to Talk About" singer: RAITT. Quite a few proper names in the puzzle today.

46. Low-quality: POOR

47. Mining supply: TNT

48. Subject of the documentary "Blackfish": ORCA. The film deals critically with the treatment of orcas at SeaWorld.

49. __-g: ZERO. Took a while for the penny to drop on this one.

50. Terra __: COTTA. Resisted the temptation to fill in "FIRMA".

55. Luv: HON

56. Candy bowl holder's rule on Halloween: ONE EACH

57. __ generis: SUI

58. Short albums, for short: EP'S. Extended play 45's. Usually two songs on each side. Officially, an EP has a running time of less than 25 minutes and no more than four tracks.

59. "Afterwards ... ": AND THEN

60. Word before cow, dog or lion: SEA


1. Somewhat: A TAD

2. Physics particle: POSITRON. An electron and a positron go into a bar. The positron says "It's your round". The electron asks "Are you sure"? "I'm positive" comes the reply.

3. Spanish stuffed pastry: EMPANADA. Yum!

4. Taj Mahal city: AGRA

5. Zombiepocalypse start?: ZEE. What a great word!

6. Like a zombie: UNDEAD

7. Snappy comebacks: RETORTS

8. Japanese show set in a kitchen: IRON CHEF. I loved the show. It thought it was funny when the English voice-over translator would include the "mmmm" sounds the judges were making and add the laughs "ha ha ha" too.

9. New Mexico resort: TAOS

10. Pixie: ELF

11. Publishing house hiree: EDITOR

12. Start admitting both men and women: GO CO-ED

13. Fodder for soothsayers: OMENS

18. Navel variety: INNIE. Wait for the crosses.

19. Pen denizen: FELON

24. Soft drink choices: PEPSIS

25. Last Olds models: ALEROS

26. Dustin Johnson's org.: P.G.A. Need to be careful here - DJ belongs to the PGA TOUR. The Professional Golfer's Association of America is for club professionals.

27. Confidential: SECRET

28. More wicked: EVILER

33. Still wrapped: UNOPENED

35. Garganta of "Femforce" comics, e.g.: GIANTESS. Crosses all the way.

36. "No kidding?": IS IT TRUE?

37. Road gunk: TAR

38. Saturn's largest moon: TITAN

39. "It's not coming to me": I FORGET

41. "High five!": UP TOP!

42. Drive-in server: CAR HOP. My local Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake still features car hops on weekend nights. The Friday night has a classic and custom car show in the parking lot; Jay Leno often turns up with one of his prized collection.

43. Puerto __: San Juan natives: RICANS

44. "Camptown Races" refrain syllables: DOO-DAH

45. Valium maker: ROCHE

49. "A People's History of the United States" writer Howard: ZINN. This is the other unique word in the puzzle, which I find surprising. I'd not heard of the author before, so thank you, crosses.

50. "High Hopes" lyricist: CAHN

51. China setting: ASIA

53. Small Indian state: GOA

54. Puck's place: ICE. Topical as the Stanley Cup Finals are underway.

If you're still wondering about "dreamt", it's the only word in the English language which ends "amt".

That should do it for me. Here's the grid!


May 19, 2019

Sunday May 19, 2019 Ross Trudeau

Theme:  "Elimination"- EL is removed from each theme entry.

22A Cracked river barriers?: DAMS IN DISTRESS. Damsels in distress.

40A. What a generous mechanic might do after a wreck?: THROW IN THE TOW. Throw in the towel.

50A. David or Saul?: JEW IN THE CROWN. Jewel in the crown.

68A. Request to the local marriage oath writer?: CAN I BUY A VOW. Can I buy a vowel?

89A. Variety headline for director Lee's U.S. debut?: ANG'S IN AMERICA. Angels in America.

97A. Magician's tote?: EVERYTHING BAG. Everything bagel. Should have avoided BAGEL CHIP (63D. Crunchy snack)

118A. Talks about woks?: PAN DISCUSSIONS. Panel discussions.

I wonder if Ross's original title was "Noel", which describes the gimmick better.

EL is removed from the end of each key word, so very consistent. Ross is also known for his long sparkling fill. Today's grid is a great example. Lots of nice Downs, including a few never-been-seen debut entries.


1. __ vu: DEJA.

5. Command from Kirk: BEAM ME UP.

13. Drink word for "strained": COLADA. "Pina colada" means "strained pineapple".

19. [Sigh]: ALAS.

20. Unsuccessful competitors: ALSO-RANS.

21. One-footed creature: UNIPED. Like what?

25. Spiced up: ZESTED.

26. Sign of contempt: SNEER.

27. In a lab, it's often white: RAT.

28. "Yesterday!": STAT.

30. Cart count: ITEMS. Do you prefer Walmart or Target?

31. Pop by: STOP IN.

33. Org. with quarantine authority: CDC.

35. Western alliances: POSSES. I was thinking of NATO-style alliances.

37. How the satisfied stand: PAT.

39. "Psych!": NOT.

44. Indistinct mass: BLOB.

46. Deck-enclosing option: SCREEN.

48. Brainchild: IDEA.

49. Mani-pedi locale: SPA.

53. "Sunday Morning" channel: CBS.

55. __-de-sac: CUL.

56. Felt: SENSED.

57. Greek X: CHI.

58. Jolly syllables: HO HO. Dear Spitzboov and Santa, who loved the blooming onion. So glad they met.

60. Words of defeat: I LOST.

62. Chipotle alternative: QDOBA.

64. Kind of artery: RENAL.

65. DNC chair Tom: PEREZ. He beat the then Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison for the position. Ellison (right) is now our Attorney General.

66. Pittance: SOU.

72. Some dishwashers: GES. Ours is Samsung. We do have have a GE stove. The "Burner On" glitch is annoying.

73. Gap rival: J CREW.

75. Memoir, for one: GENRE.

76. Odist's inspiration: ERATO.

78. Rib: TEASE.

79. Best Female Athlete, e.g.: ESPY.

80. Eur. country in the Olympics since 1992: CRO. Croatia.

82. Dulles alternative: REAGAN.

86. Place to stay: INN.

87. Business card no.: TEL.

92. Calf spot: LEG.

93. With 66-Down, when Lady Macbeth says, "Leave all the rest to me": ACT I. 66. See 93-Across: SCENE V

95. Nonprofit reporting app: AP NEWS.

96. Coal carrier: TRAM.

101. Clancy's "The __ of All Fears": SUM.

103. More-than-stretchy statement: LIE.

104. "The Yodeling Cowgirl" in "Toy Story" films: JESSIE.

105. Novelist Rand: AYN.

106. Rodeo contestants, at times: ROPERS.

108. Quiet order: SHUSH.

110. Run smoothly: PURR.

112. It's dropped for emphasis: MIC.

113. Implied: TACIT.

116. Pioneer 35mm cameras: LEICAS.

122. Shmoo creator: AL CAPP. Nice to have his full name. We see CAPP often.

123. Tapered cigar: PERFECTO.

124. __ Brasi, "The Godfather" enforcer: LUCA.

125. Frank: WIENER.

126. Regular guys?: STEADIES. Nice clue.

127. Headliner: STAR.


1. Some diaper changers: DADS.

2. Panache: ELAN.

3. 1607 settlement: JAMESTOWN.

4. Selling point: ASSET.

5. Abolish: BAN.

6. Spooky: ELDRITCH. Never heard of word. Looks like Tiger's real name.

7. Like about 25% of Russia's population: ASIAN.

8. Part of MVP: MOST.

9. "The A-Team" muscle: MR T.

10. Singer's skill: EAR.

11. World Heritage Site org.: UNESCO. Italy is the leader with 54 sites. China has 53, one of them is in my hometown.

12. Subtle "Over here!": PSST.

13. Member of the fam: CUZ.

14. Flexible lunch hour: ONEISH.

15. Directory name: LISTEE.

16. College Bd. result using a 1-to-5 scale: AP TEST SCORE. Also 61. Creations with colorful blocks: LEGO ART.91. "Oh, that's adorable!": AW SO CUTE. All debut entries. Lovely.

17. Consider: DEEM.

18. Throws in: ADDS.

23. Golfer's wedge, e.g.: IRON. Most of Boomer's clubs are hybrids.

24. Delicious: SAPID.

29. Musical timbre: TONE COLOR.

32. Ph.D.'s next hurdle: POSTDOC

33. French sweetie: CHERI.

34. Crab Key villain: DR NO. Google shows that "Crab Key is a fictional island off the coast of Jamaica that served as the stronghold of Dr. Julius No."

36. Wild attempt: STAB.

37. Lunchbox staples, initially: PBJS. Standard Chinese lunch box. Lots of plain rice. Paleo diets won't work for me.

38. Protected while sailing: ALEE.

40. Silicon Valley field: TECH.

41. Ryder of "Stranger Things": WINONA.

42. Works: OPUSES.

43. Chopin work: WALTZ.

45. Creamy soups: BISQUES. This looks delicious.

47. Mends, as a rattan chair: RE-CANES.

51. Stark in "Game of Thrones": NED.

52. Muffet fare: WHEY.

54. Nurse: SIP.

59. "Try it": HAVE ONE.

64. Regret: RUE.

67. Breakfast staple: ORANGE JUICE. 11-letter non-theme entry!

69. Hurting: IN PAIN.

70. __ Mawr College: BRYN.

71. Gets ready to play: WARMS UP.

73. Scrabble 8-pointer: J TILE. What's the score of your name? Try here. I (Zhouqin Burnikel) probably beat most of the regulars on our blog.

74. Rainy: WET.

77. Driving aid: TEE.

80. It covers the House: C SPAN.

81. Encircle: RING.

83. Thin Mints seller: GIRL SCOUT. This cookie selling is very American.

84. Trendy berry: ACAI.

85. Finger: NAME.

88. Has: EATS.

90. "Girls" Emmy nominee Hoffmann: GABY. Unknown to me.

94. Make a mess of, as traffic: TIE UP.

98. Swipe again?: RE-SCAN.

99. Slingshot feature: Y SHAPE.

100. January birthstone: GARNET.

102. Queens squad: METS.

106. 2014 Lizzie Borden portrayer Christina: RICCI.

107. Flight safety equipment?: RAILS. What a great mislead.

108. Crunchy side: SLAW.

109. Port opener: HELI.

111. See 119-Down: RAPS. 119. Dr. who 111-Down: DRE.

112. Advanced teaching deg.: MSED.

114. Machu Picchu denizen: INCA. Hahtoolah was there. She and Kazie are globe-trotters. JD too.

115. Peter the Great, e.g.: TSAR.

117. Mar. arrival, in theory: SPR.

120. "__ tree falls ... ": IF A.

121. USCG reception: SOS.

I heard from Dudley a few days ago. He said he gave up doing the puzzle in March when Cruciverb had a prolonged glitch and he had not returned since. Dudley told me "I'm actually kind of surprised that, after 20 years of the LAT and about 10 years at the Corner, I don’t miss puzzle solving."

I'm glad his absence is not health-related. I do hope he continues to solve the puzzles and visits us from time to time.