Showing posts with label Saturday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saturday. Show all posts

Oct 21, 2017

Saturday Oct 21, 2017 Ed Sessa

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing F,Q,X)

Blocks: 29

Wow - I find it hard to believe that we have not had a Saturday Ed Sessa puzzle in over a year - I went looking for his last Saturday construction in 2017, and didn't find one.  Huh.  Anyway, today's contribution was an easy one, for me, with only one small area that had triple crossing proper names which slowed me down - WAG to the rescue~!  A triple axis symmetrical grid, with 7x7 corners and nothing longer than 7 letters;

17. Dryer component : AIR VENT - TUMBLER fit, too.  As a Home Inspector, I strongly suggest cleaning out your dryer hose and vent....

Which can lead to this 

12. Rodents on wheels, perhaps : PET MICE - it was hamsters for me when I was a "ute".  Pet mice became the feed for the ball python snake that we had later on....I have already been called a "ghoul" for sharing this info in previous blogs

38. Brought down a Giant, say : TACKLED - the capital "G" made me think this was a SF baseball "strike out" reference, but no~! -  it's football, and right in my neighborhood - the NY Giants

how it feels to know the Jets have a better record

66. Hooks or lures : TEASERS - ah, this kind of lure....

what lies....


1. Get lovey-dovey : SNUGGLE - makes me think of the George Thorogood song and his land lady

@1:05 & 2:45

8. Ramble : TRAIPSE - I like using the word traipse

15. Fertilizes, in a way : MANURES - as a verb~?  Meh. Just go with fertilizeRs....

16. Spousal consent : YES, DEAR

18. Creamy rice dish : RISOTTO

19. Tiruchirappalli title : SRI

20. California region named for a literary hero : TARZANA - part of the three-crossing proper name section that had me stumped at the very end; great WAG going with a "Z" on my part

22. It can lead into day or night : MID - mid-day, midnight

23. Shade-loving plant : HOSTA - my first thought, but I waited

25. Big chunk of time : EON

26. State probably named for a French province : MAINE - could only be this, IDAHO or TEXAS - and I am pretty sure that last one is not Frawnche

28. Mobile app? : UBER - part of last week's Sat blog, too

29. Relay settings : MEETS

31. Object of veneration : ICON - dah~! Not iDoL

32. Edible conifer seed : PINE NUT - got it

34. Part : SEGMENT - pondered SECTION

36. Many an IKEA buy : KIT - isn't all their furniture "ready to assemble"~?  I have not been there in a decade

37. Slangy refusal : NAH

42. Arrivals : COMINGS

46. Kyrgyzstan range : ALAI - oops, not aRaL

47. Interior design : DECOR - one of my responsibilities at the new job is maintaining the owner's house, which is this spread right down the road from the warehouse nestled among the vines - but the original owner's decor choices are, um, shocking; I'll see about getting a pic

49. Glitzy affair : GALA

50. Informed, with "in" : CLUED

52. Sound heard going up a mountain, maybe : POP - think inner ear

53. Film in which the title character says, "I don't permit the suffering. You do" : OH, GOD! - this movie; IMDb

54. Yoga class syllables : OMs

55. "Please, please ... " : "I BEG YOU..."

58. Half-hearted : WAN - that's half-Ben, too - OBI Kenobi, that is

59. Asphalt : BITUMEN - nope, not MACADAM

61. Prevailing conditions : CLIMATE - oooh~!  Good guess for me

63. Absinthe flavoring : ANISEED - I thought it was ANISE, but the "SEED" part didn't come to mind right off

64. Solemnly commands : ADJURES

65. Gets new players for : RECASTS - I was thinking DRAFTS, but this is stage, not sport


1. Road wreck : SMASH UP

2. Capital south of Addis Ababa : NAIROBI - I had the ---BI part, so this is what I figured it had to be

3. Not yet up : UNRISEN - I still get up at "UPS time", but now I use that 2-3 hours for my own enjoyment

4. Bloke's address : GUV - British slang, which I was familiar with from watching BBC shows growing up

5. Actress Scacchi : GRETA - I knew the actress' name, but couldn't recall anything that she starred in - until I looked at her film credits; the one movie I saw that was a real thriller was "Shattered"

6. Siberian river to the Arctic Ocean : LENA - one of the three proper name crossings; the "LEN-" part filled via perps, but the last letter was going to have to be a WAG

7. Where the Boss' band once rehearsed : E STREET

8. Hard heads : TYRANTS

9. Buttermilk holder? : REIN - I had no idea what this was getting at, until I had the "REI-" filled in, and then I figured Buttermilk must have been a popular horse - can you tell how young I am~?  I had to look up who made Buttermilk 'famous'....the Wiki

10. Indian tea region : ASSAM - I just had to fill in the "A"s

11. Bachelor's last words? : "I DO."

13. Attended informally : SAT IN ON

14. Like the wind : ERODENT - a force which erodes, not an online PET MOUSE (e-rodent~? C'mon, that's funny)

21. Muppet friend of Elmo : ZOE - third proper name crossing, no clue.

24. Any one of the male "Big Bang Theory" main characters : TREKKIE - I cannot stand the show - not even the commercials featuring the characters - but I did tune into "The Orville" on demand, and I like it - total Star Trek TNG rip-off, but with that Seth McFarlane twist.

27. Shoot for the moon : AIM HIGH

29. Softened : MUTED - like colors

30. Man of La Mancha : SEÑOR

33. Nada : NIL

35. Whale group : GAM - I had the "A", and thought the answer was "POD", but no - here's a list of animal group names. When I punched in "whale gam", I got "game" instead - and this was interesting to read....

38. Buffet featuring tortillas and fixings : TACO BAR

39. Hog's call? : "ALL MINE~!" - at the taco bar~?

40. Biting : CAUSTIC

41. Conditioned response? : "DEPENDS."

42. Repro man? : COPYCAT - har-har

43. Source of some annoying online messages : NAGWARE - I tried MaLware

44. Crowing type : GLOATER

45. The blues : SADNESS

48. Gear tooth : COG - I thought this was synonymous with "gear", but it is actually the tooth OF a gear

51. Mercury money : DIMES - I did not understand the clue, so I went to Google after the fact and found out that we had a different coin prior to 1945 - which makes sense, now; the Wiki

53. Medium board : OUIJA - ah.  The carpenter in me wondered what size lumber is a "medium" board....duh.  Oh, that medium

56. Source of folic acid : BEET

57. Quaint retail adjective : OLDE - Ye Olde Croffwerde Blogge

60. Letters on some tee tags : USA

62. Ancient Greek statuary site: Abbr. : MUSeum


Oct 14, 2017

Saturday, Oct 14th, 2017, Jim Quinlan

Theme: None

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,X)

Blocks: 34

Another new constructor for our Saturday - Jim Quinlan has 2 other LA Times puzzles under his belt, a Friday and a Sunday.  A very satisfying puzzle, I must say - no Google, no red-letters, and when I didn't get my ta-DA~!, I had the patience to go through the grid to find my error.  A spiral grid with a lot of three-letter words, triple 10-letter corners in the across, 8-, 9-,10-letter stacks in the down, and a group of three answers with a central 15- letter spanner;

34. Samoa or Caramel deLite : GIRL SCOUT COOKIE

15. Offer a libation (for) : POUR ONE OUT - The winery/vineyard I now work for offers bottles, of course, but also boxes, and recently kegs - next year, they introduce wine in a can; my thought was that it sounds like this 'cheapens' the whole wine thing.  We'll see.

12. Pot without speed : SLOW COOKER - oh, that kind of pot.  Somehow, I managed to think of a joint not laced with speed....

26. Sometime substitute for bread crumbs : CORNFLAKES

57. Experience for Marty McFly : TIME TRAVEL - right up my alley
The flux capacitor is...fluxing



1. Floors : ASTONISHES - ah, then verb, not the noun

11. Beliefs : ISMS - Crosswordese

16. Polar explorer's concern : FLOE - I figured SNOW was too easy

17. President leaving office, perhaps : END OF AN ERA

18. Commercial name abbr. : CORPoration

19. Redden, say : DYE - I pondered "IRK" here, but waited; then it appeared at 53d.

20. William Tell Monument city : ALTDORF - I know of the "apple on the head" shot, but didn't know the whole story - here's the Wiki on it

22. Venus is in it: Abbr. : WTA - I went with ATP, the Association of Tennis Professionals, but that's a "men's club"; we're looking for the Women's Tennis Association

23. "S" on an invitation : S'IL - Frawnche; réspondez s'il vous plait, or RSVP

24. Vehicle-sharing company : ZIPCAR - I know about Uber, but never heard of this; their website er, explains it all

26. "Born on the Bayou" band, briefly : CCR

27. __ bar : WET - there's a Tasting Room at the front of the vineyard office/warehouse, but really it's a wine bar - it's like upscale happy hour

30. It's tuned an octave higher than a cello : VIOLA

31. 1988 noir remake : DOA

32. Unconcealed enmity : NO LOVE LOST

36. Certain baron : LANDHOLDER

37. King's value, at times : TEN - as in cards

38. Gather : INFER - D'oh~!  Not AMASS

39. Sch. period : SEMester

40. Backwoods preposition : FER

41. Combined : MELDED

43. King or queen : BED - ah, good clue, since the previous 'regal' clue (37a.) had me thinking along the lines of "REX"

44. Chinese military gp. : PLA - filled via perps

45. Grew : WIDENED - my only bad cel; I had WIDE FED

49. Pipe in a song : COB - corn cob, Frosty the Snowman

52. Pen name that sounds like a drink : SAKI - technically, Sake IS a drink

54. Cry at the craps table : COME TO PAPA

56. U.S. dept. with a bolt on its seal : ENERgy - nailed it

58. Classroom fixture : DESK

59. Unable to continue : AT A DEAD END


1. Did : APED

2. Pioneer in portable music : SONY - and the company who gave us Betamax; see 33d.

3. Arrogant manner, slangily : TUDE

4. Top medalla : ORO

5. "You peeked!" : "NO FAIR~!"

6. Totally : IN ALL

7. Heaven-__ : SENT - I'll let you know if this one ever stops in for a glass....

8. Helped make a bed : HOED - a garden bed

9. Mark's replacement : EURO

10. Premium movie channel that dropped its "!" in 2005 : STARZ

11. "Portlandia" airer : IFC

13. Serious transgression, in Catholicism : MORTAL SIN

14. Split : SEPARATE

21. Coppers : FIVE-O - one of my top TV show themes; I'm glad the re-make of the show didn't go with something different

23. Burned with steam : SCALDED

25. Led : PILOTED

27. Some sweaters : WOOLS - I tried KNITS

28. Get by : ELUDE

29. Venerated symbol : TOTEM

31. Martha Kent portrayer in recent Superman films : DIANE LANE - I had no idea, tried a total WAG, and it worked

32. Barracks VIP : NCO

33. Betamax player : VCR - at first I thought this was a huge gaffe, but then I realized the fierce (according to Wiki) format war was between VHS and Betmax; both tape formats played on a "Video Cassette Recorder"

34. Barely caught : GLIMPSED

35. Mole-like mammal : SHREW

40. Hat for Indiana Jones : FEDORA - Raiders of the Lost Ark might be my favoritest movie of all time

42. Decrees : DICTA - argh~!  I threw "S" in there for plural, and tried WRITS

43. 2017 Dolly portrayer on Broadway : BETTE

46. "Finish the job!" : "DO IT~!"

47. "Handsome, clever, and rich" Austen character : EMMA

48. Food or water : NEED - I had fEED, which made sense to me if you "feed" a plant with water....

49. Finally give : CAVE

50. Tournament format : OPEN

51. Likely to skid : BALD - I need to get tires before the end of the month in order to pass inspection; however, I'd like to get white letter tires, and the only way to do that on my vehicle is to buy larger rims for that particular size tire - I'm willing to go sporty on the minivan~!

53. Get to : IRK

55. Enhance, as a résumé : PAD - no need to pad my résumé, there was barely space to list my qualifications for the new job - but I listed enough

Thanks for all the positive support - I especially appreciate those who know me and are 'concerned' about the "vocation" of my new employer~!


Oct 7, 2017

Saturday, Oct 7th, 2017, Alex Bajcz

Theme: "We don't need no stinkin' Bajcz"

Words: 68 (G,X,Z)

Blocks: 31

I did not recognize the author, so I reviewed his constructions based on the blog - discovered his name is pronounced "badges" - and found out Alex has had three puzzles for the LA Times; a Sunday last year, plus a Thursday, and a Friday from 2013 - ironic that the 'theme' that Friday was "No "G"", and today we have no "G" again.  Struggled through this one, had just enough to take some WAGs in places, and ultimately stayed away from Google - though there were plenty of obscure clues today.  I did have to turn on red-letters - I filled in the whole grid, but got no 'ta-DA~!'; and a strange grid we had, to boot; sort of a fourteen-letter pinwheel design.  The longer answers;

22. Classic : QUINTESSENTIAL - I looked at what Google thinks of as the "quintessential" rock song and rock group, and I had to disagree - but then again, I also noticed that Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser of  Blue Öyster Cult did not make Rolling Stone magazine's top 100 guitarists list....and he's been playing live for 40+ years.  What's your opinion of rock's quintessential~?

45. Pass for now : TAKE A RAIN CHECK

5. Break down : BURST INTO TEARS

16. Stereotypical doo-wop garb : LEATHER JACKETS - this is what comes to mind for me, having grown up in the 80's - WARNING~!  I never realized the language in this ditty

Greased Lightnin'
Four ON the floor WARD~!


1. Chimpanzee relative : BONOBO - there was no way that MONKEY was going to be correct, but the -ON--- was enough the get started in the NW

7. "Teen Wolf" airer : MTV - oops; one red-letter oversight - I had "S"TV because my presidents appeared on STreetS

10. One on a sting operation? : WASP - wasn't fooled on this one

14. You'll need a lift to use one : SKI RUN - couldn't get it to jibe with my early DOWN fills, so I ended up changing them

15. "Madam Secretary" star : TEA LEONI - one of the few proper names I knew

17. Have grand ambitions : ASPIRE - I aspire to be the best Property Manager at the winery that officially hired me on Thursday - which coincided with my last day at UPS....and I walked out of there with not a word said to me by anyone, after 7 years with the company.  Not even a lousy donut.  The only person to shake my hand was one of my four drivers, and he still thinks I'm coming back

18. Deal maker : SALES REP

19. Pronoun for Catherine de' Medici : ESSA - I tried SRTA first

21. Mariner's home : SEATTLE - baseball for C.C. - and hockey is here for me~!

26. Peels off, perhaps : UNSTICKS - oops.  My DOWN crossing left me with unstiNks, and around here, sometimes if you "peel one off", it leaves a "stink"

27. Revolutionary icon : CHE

28. Mideast capital once called Philadelphia : AMMAN - I tried ASSAD, who happens to be the president of Syria, not the place in Jordan; the Wiki

29. Prima __ : FACIE - learned from watching Law & Order; the 'evidence' is true unless proven otherwise

31. They might be set in windows: Abbr. : ACs - Air Conditioners

34. Included in the game : DEALT TO - as in cards; I have lost every week for about six months now; there's almost no point in going to play

36. Canal treatment fluid : EAR DROP - that kind of canal

38. Not irreg. : STD

39. Made waves, in a way : OARED

41. House Lannister member on "Game of Thrones" : JAIME - so many people tell me I would love this show, but I have only seen one episode

42. Basses' sect. : STRings

43. First period of the Mesozoic Era : TRIASSIC - filled via perps

48. Script used by ancient Minoans : LINEAR A - learned from doing crosswords; in fact, I believe back then I screwed it up by leaving it as "lineara", and not breaking it down; the Wiki

49. Oft-layered item : CAKE

50. Share of ownership : INTEREST

52. Renew one's strength : REST UP - I get to rest up for three days before the new job starts

56. Trial area : TEST SITE - think bombs

57. Automaker Bugatti : ETTORE - filled via perps

1910 - I have the hot Wheels version

58. Freezer brand : EDY'S - something IN the freezer, not the unit's manufacturer

59. Stereotypical corny joke teller : DAD - ah, not "HAM"

60. Tin ear, to a pathologist : ASONIA - I really thought it would be a-Tonia, but the DOWN had to be correct; tone deaf, from the Latin "a-" and "sonorus", 'sound'


1. Jamboree-on-the-Air org. : BSA - my buddy Ed was a Boy Scouts of  America troop leader

2. Accepts : OKs

3. Something in the air : NIP

4. With a hotel, avenue whose rent is $550 : ORIENTAL - man, I racked my brain to come up with this one without Google, trying to mentally picture the Monopoly board; this is the 'second' group, the light blue squares which also includes Vermont and Connecticut

6. Request for a small delay : ONE SEC - I had "---TEN", which made sense, except there's no word to put in front of TEN to make any sense

7. Some are named for presidents: Abbr. : MTs - ah, mountains, not streets

8. Flirt : TEASE

9. Spanish autonomous community or its capital : VALENCIA

10. Little white breed, affectionately : WESTIE - one of those "awww" inspiring breeds

West Highland Terrier

11. Vital circulation aid : AORTA

12. Fisherman's knot : SNELL

13. Lead Clue weapon : PIPE - and five other original weapons; the rope, the gun, the knife, the candlestick, and the wrench - with three out of six, I guess blunt force trauma was the choice for murder back then

Miss Scarlet in the conservatory~?

20. Put on one's wish list : ASK FOR

22. Outdoor lecture sites : QUADS - college grounds, not muscle groups....

23. Like some unreasonable requests : UNMET

24. "Your noble son __": Polonius : IS MAD - Hamlet

25. Issuer of three-part nos. : SSA - the administration that deals in social security #s

30. Comedian __ the Entertainer : CEDRIC - OK, I knew this one, as well

31. Surface : ARISE

32. Lewis Black, e.g. : COMIC - um, and this one, too

33. Barely a blip : SPECK

35. "American Pie" actress : TARA REID - OK, I forgot this one

37. Makes a break for : DASHES TO

40. Zeta-theta go-between : ETA

42. '50s-'60s country singer McDonald : SKEETS - now this guy I'd never heard of - the Wiki

44. How land is measured : IN AREA

45. Like rakes : TINED - I first read this as "little" for some reason

46. Pacing, maybe : ANTSY - good guess based on the "Y" being there from EDY'S

47. Many a reggae artist : RASTA

48. Beer case word : LITE

51. Mosby on "How I Met Your Mother" : TED

53. Homework amount? : TON - "man, I got a ton of homework to do~!"

54. Ocean State sch. : URI - been a popular crossword school lately

55. Princess' bane : PEA - still trying to get my mom to understand "Peapod", the online home delivery service from Stop N' Shop supermarkets


Sep 30, 2017

Saturday, Sep 30th, 2017, Pawel Fludzinski

Theme: None

Words: 66 (missing J,K,Q,X,Z)

Blocks: 34

Last puzzle of the month, and I expected it to be a rough one, and Mr Fludzinski did not disappoint.  Virtually blank on the first pass, both across and down, but I was able to break open the SE corner before I caved in to red-letters, and then Googled for one answer.  I refrained from STOG, but I needed some help in the NW - just too many proper names today.  Oh well.  Two 13-letter spanners and one 15-letter climber in a sort of pretzel-like grid;

30a. Wikipedia is an example of it : CROWDSOURCING

33a. Kind of response to mortal danger : FIGHT OR FLIGHT

7d. Reunion discovery : LONG LOST FRIENDS - or sometimes this old farm....

lyric @ 1:30


1. MTV toon teen : BEAVIS - argh~! So ashamed I didn't recall this right away

7. Sings the blues : LAMENTS

14. Planned city in California's Orange County : IRVINE - I'm East coast - I hear "planned", and I think Levittown and Hicksville here on Long Island

15. Conquered : OVERCAME - I tried overTOOK, but this is like a more personal conquering; I overcame my anxiety this week when I interviewed well on Monday, then had to wait until yesterday to find out I got the job.  So I am "retiring" from UPS as of the end of next week.  Seven years.  That's a good run for me.

17. General courses : TRENDS

18. "Could be worse" : "NOT SO BAD."

19. __ talks : MONEY - I pondered PEACE first

20. Ones in a mess, briefly : GIs

21. Celestial body : ORB - crossword staple, poetic "planet"

22. Chug-__ : A-LUG

23. Persuaded : SOLD

25. Instrument dating to the Paleolithic age : FLUTE - ah, an actual instrument; I was thinking along the lines of knife/axe/spade "tool" kind of instrument

27. "Go ahead" : "PLEASE DO."

29. One determining 17-Across : POLLER

32. Like most capital costs : ONE-TIME

39. Brody who was the youngest Best Actor Oscar winner : ADRIEN - I spelled it with two "A"s first

40. Contingency plan : RECOURSE

43. Double-check : RE-ADD

44. Old Italian capital : LIRE - and again, spelled it with an "A"

45. "__ oui!" : MAIS - Frawnche - but I have to let on, I have had a new handyman client who is French, and he's pretty cool - a little hard to understand at times, but....

46. Provoke : FAN - as in fanning the flames

47. San Francisco's __ Valley : NOE - perps; more West coast geography

48. Presages : BODES

49. Symbolic attitude? : EMOTICON - 😀

52. Star close to Venus? : SERENA - the tennis stars, that is - didn't fool me, got me a start in this corner

53. Field of dreams? : LA-LA LAND

54. Pucker-inducing : LEMONY

55. Denies : NAYSAYS

56. Parks with games : ARENAS


1. Digital image format : BITMAP

2. Jazz virtuoso Garner : ERROLL - my Google for the day; his Wiki

3. Street in Manhattan's Alphabet City : AVENUE C - in hindsight, filling in "AVENUE" and then waiting seemed like a good idea for getting a toe-hold

4. Salad bar item : VINEGAR

5. __ 500 : INDY

6. His, to Henri : SES - oui

8. Bypass : AVOID - there was no avoiding traffic last weekend out here - a holiday weekend that had all three routes to the North Fork jammed up - I got in and got out before the chaos ensued.  Apple pickers.  >:-P 😝

9. Last team to play in the Polo Grounds : METS - and back to the East coast; more here

10. Sounds from the stumped : Ers....

11. Base fig. : NCO - dah~!  Army base; I was thinking EST, NTH, etc.

12. Bulgur salad : TABOULI - no clue, filled via perps - the Wiki

13. Spruce (up) : SMARTEN

16. Swedish tennis great : EDBERG - seeing how I screwed up SAM BERG a few weeks ago, I looked this up just to be sure it was not "ED BERG"

23. Like some patches : SEWN-ON - I had this one on the back of my denim jacket in high school

ah, the youth of 1985

24. Harder to explain : ODDER

25. Precede : FOREGO

26. Inc. kin : LLC - oops, not LTD

28. Blackened from combustion : SOOTED - meh.  I went with SEARED

29. Exfoliation material : PUMICE

31. NFL Titan, once : OILER - from Houston

33. Pasta pellets in Jewish cuisine : FARFEL

34. Thoughtful guy? : IDEA MAN

35. Breakfast bar : GRANOLA

36. Sought anonymity : HID

37. "Just play along, okay?" : "HUMOR ME."

38. Exploit : TRADE ON

41. "Burnt" crayon color : SIENNA

42. Prose pieces : ESSAYS

44. More than a little foolish : LOONY

47. BCS org. : NCAA - Bowl Championship Series of the National Collegiate Athletic Assoc.

48. It's often tapped out : BEER

50. North Sea feeder : TAY - the longest river up in Scotland

51. They, in Tours : ILS - oui oui~!

52. Radical '70s org. : SLA


Notes from C.C.:

1) Congrats on the new job, Splynter!

2) Happy Birthday to dear Pat and her husband! They were born in the same day & same year. Pat was born in the morning, her husband in the afternoon. Pat loves dogs and has been volunteering in a animal shelter for many years.   

Sep 23, 2017

Saturday, Sep 23rd, 2017, Mark Diehl

Theme: None

Words: 68 (pangram~!)

Blocks: 27

  This one looked like it was going to be brutal, but I must have been on the Mr. Diehl's wavelength, because I ended up sailing through after the first DOWN run.  A lot of my success had to do with being open-minded about two-word answers, and there were a lot of those this week(*).  Several answers were squarely in my wheelhouse, too - like 50a.  A crushing amount of 6-, 7-, and 8-letter answers - nothing longer - and a mere four 3-letter answers.  Here's some corner connector answers;

19. Former Haitian president : ARISTIDE - Unknown, filled via perps; his Wiki

47. Immortal Kiev-born pianist : HOROWITZ - LIBERACE fit, but Bzzzt

10*. D, P or S, on quarters : MINT MARK - I put in MINT CITY, which in retrospect seems odd, if not correct

 31*. Fleming work : SPY NOVEL - gratuitous Daniel Craig as James Bond image for C.C.


1. The punch in Planter's Punch : ETHANOL - I guess I must be getting sober-er, because ALCOHOL never crossed my mind, even if it was the wrong answer

8*. Set overly easy goals : AIM LOW

14. Disk problem : SCIATICA - my first thought was SCRATCH, like a Compact Disc, but it didn't fit, and so I switched mental gears and figured it referred to one's back

15. Curly-haired "Peanuts" character : FRIEDA - not a big fan of the strip, this filled via perps and a WAG

16. Foreshadows : PORTENDS

17. Like rattlers : FANGED - ah, the snake, not the baby toy

18*. Drawn : IN A TIE - ah, not sketched or saddened

21*. Policy at certain clubs : NO MEN

22. Display some guns : FLEX - the "20-inch biceps" kind of guns; curiosity got the better of me, so I measured my own - a little over 12 inches.  Now you try doing it with a standard metal tape measure....

23. "Wuthering Heights" setting : MOOR

24. Gulf States leader : EMIR

25. Taylor of "American Crime" : LILI

26. Wedding announcement : BANNS - I knew this from doing crosswords, and yet I was unsure of the origin, so I went looking for an answer - here - ironic that one outcome could be that the marriage is "BANNed"

27. It's in many poems : 'TIS

28. Sachet filler : LAVENDER - FRAGRANCE was too long

30*. Informal passing remark? : 'SCUSE ME

32*. Repository for spare or unused parts : JUNK BOX - more likely to be a junk DRAWER around here

36*. Cheerleading outfit? : PEP SQUAD - nailed it (and that helped a lot because I am familiar with 37d.)

38. Lummox : APE - oops, not OAF

39. Covered carriages : SHAYS

42. Reverse of a knit : PURL - the 'mechanics' of knitting, if you will

43. Selfish sort : USER

44. Be the first to say : COIN - I "coined"  STOG two weeks ago, and Dennis gave us "clecho" long before I got here

45. Pâté base : FOIE

46. Month after diciembre : ENERO - good guess on my part

49. Company whose name appears in an odometer in its logo : CARFAX

50. Commonly seen brown vehicle : UPS VAN - my UPS days are numbered, one way or another - I have come to the conclusion that the benefits are not worth the aggravation, and the pay is pitiful; I've already got an interview set up on Monday - it's at 9:30am, so I guess I'll have to take the day from UPS....

51. Gross out : NAUSEATE

53. It may be rolled up on a farm : SLEEVE

54. Like the praying mantis : ONE-EARED

55. In Tupperware, say : SEALED - clever; I got it

56. Ready to ride : SADDLED - I just got "saddled" with a $60 "use tax" on my work van's registration; what, I need to pay more to USE my registration~?


1. Cost-effective : ECONOMIC

2. Dessert with a kick : TIRAMISU

3. Mad __ : HATTER

4*. Took courses at home : ATE IN - meals, not school courses

5. West Coast ZIP starter : NINE - the show "90210" (CA) helped here; goes all the way to Bellingham WA, 98229 and beyond

6. Neatnik's possible condition, briefly : OCD - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

7. Mississippi explorer : LaSALLE - perps

8. Tack on : AFFIX - I had ANNEX; 100% 40% correct

9. Line 32 items on 1040 forms : IRAs

11. Vast multitude : LEGION

12*. Had way too much of : ODed ON - life itself

Blue Öyster Cult

13. Angler's gear : WADERS

14. Grand children? : SPINETS - piano offspring~?

20. Pull over, say? : RE-INJURE - think 'pull a muscle', again

22*. Fin : FIVE SPOT - cash, moola, money

25. Lighter : LAMP - I don't associate light-er with lamp, but I guess I'll just have to.... 
26. Give a little : BEND

28. Wranglers alternative : LEES - jeans

29. Part of DINK : DUAL - Income, No Kids

33. Ride cost before taxes and such : BASE FARE

34. Ran : OPERATED

35. Ran off : XEROXED - Scrabbly

37. Subway alternative : QUIZNO'S - hero sandwich shops

39. Speed down a slope : SCHUSS

40. Rockers Mott the __ : HOOPLE

41*. Like some offshore rescues : AIR/SEA

43. "Are you kidding me?!" : UNREAL

45. Punished in court, in a way : FINED

46. Let up : EASED

48. Parade greeting : WAVE - my parents were born and raised in England, so....

Aye up, me duck~!
49. Helped on stage : CUED

52. Literary assortment : ANA - learned from doing crosswords


Sep 16, 2017

Saturday, Sep 16th, 2017, Erik Agard

Theme: None

Words: 68 (missing J,X)

Blocks: 38

 OK, that's better - after two rough weeks, this puzzle was almost a breeze to finish - in about half my personal allotted time.  Mr. Agard was on a three-month roll, missed August, but he's back for September.  Hourglass grid with a triple 11-letter staggered stack in the center and a 15-letter climber;

31a. Event with a caller : SQUARE DANCE - oops; I put in "-AUCTION" at the end; Bzzzt

34a. Fruit on a veggie pizza : BLACK OLIVES - ah.  I buy the 'supreme' frozen pizzas, and always pull off the black olives, but sprinkle on some bacon bits.  I got me a Pizzazz pizza wheel which fits nicely in my kitchenette

35a. Justin case? : BIEBER FEVER - har-har

7d. Standard procedure : A MATTER OF COURSE



1. Directions home : MAP

4. Slow : DELAY

9. Key of Elgar's "Symphony No. 1" : A FLAT - filled in the "FLAT" part and waited

14. San Antonio Spurs' 1993-2002 home : ALAMO DOME

16. Employer of a lizard and a pig : GEICO - the gecko, and the hog who goes "wee~!"

17. Author of the 2011 memoir "My Father at 100" : RON REAGAN

18. Greek leader? : ALPHA - beta, gamma, etc.

19. "I __ it!" : KNEW - I tried WANT first

20. National League athlete : MET - from the NY Met(ropolitan)s, to be precise - the irony here is that this was one of my clues nixed by the editors for being too difficult for a Wed. puzzle

21. Equilibrium : STASIS

22. Dale relative : GLEN - not CHIP - we had CHIP N' DALE last week - this is the the valley definition

24. Weapon in some supernatural movies : STAKE - Vampires~!

26. Thus far : YET

27. Ship mover : SAIL

29. Joseph of ice cream fame : EDY

30. One of the deadly sins : ENVY - LUST would have fit as well

36. Undesirable descriptor for makeup : CAKY

37. ___-A-Fella Records : ROC - cute.  I thought it might be roK

38. Thus : ERGO

40. "Correct, cap'n" : "AYE."

41. Currently airing : ON NOW - I would recommend watching "Garage Rehab" because my good friend Russell is "the muscle" on the show

The "other" guy is Richard from Gas Monkey Garage 

43. Hamilton notes : TENS - dollar bills

45. Fight like sticks figures? : RASSLE - Wrestle in the boondocks, the "sticks"

47. Sch. with a Providence campus : URI - dah~!  I put in RIU to start

49. __ Vogue : TEEN

51. Thins, e.g. : OREOs

52. Three-book Newton work : PRINCIPIA - the Wiki

54. Paper for a letter? : LEASE - think let-ter, one who 'lets'

55. Shun : OSTRACIZE

56. Tried to contain : SAT ON

57. Zero out : RESET

58. 1980s gaming release : NES - Nintendo Entertainment System


1. Annotate : MARK

2. Onward : ALONG - a shout-out~!!

3. Symposium groups : PANELS

4. Big name in anonymity : DOE - John or Jane, not the local trolls

5. Cheese town : EDAM

6. Upscale tiers : LOGES

8. Japanese cabbage? : YEN

9. Quartz type : AGATE

10. Afrobeat star __ Kuti : FELA - filled via perps - never heard of him - his Wiki

11. Mouths : LIP SYNCS

12. Realize : ACHIEVE

13. Pleasantly warm : TOASTY

15. "Harry Potter" father figure : Mr. WEASLEY - the Harry Potter Wiki
With daughter Ginny, the future Mrs. Potter

21. Parachute : SKYDIVE

23. Arabian Peninsula veil : NIQAB

25. "Hello" singer : ADELE

28. City in central Switzerland : LUCERNE

30. Alive : ENERGETIC

32. LeBron's birth city : AKRON - basketball is not my thing.  His Wiki; interesting how his first playoff run ended in a loss to the team at 14a.

33. Turn away : AVERT

34. Schwinn component : BIKE SEAT

35. Redwood City locale : BAY AREA

36. Door-to-door offerings : CAROLS - VACUUMS didn't fit

39. First to fall in most strikes : ONE PIN - nobody leaves the FIVE pin

41. Elizabeth who plays the Scarlet Witch in Marvel movies : OLSEN - filled via perps

42. Legal orders : WRITS

44. Wrest : SEIZE

46. "Meh" : SO SO - crosswordese

48. Concerning : IN RE

50. Turndowns from the tartan-clad : NAEs

52. Iberian land, to the IOC : PORtugal, according to the International Olympic Committee

53. Batter of balls? : CAT - sorry, C.C., no baseball here....


Sep 9, 2017

Saturday, Sep 9th, 2017, C.C. Burnikel

Theme: C.C.C.W~!

Words: 70 (missing J,Q,X,Z)

Blocks: 31

Does it seem like the puzzles get harder as the year moves along the same as the week goes~?  This was the second Saturday puzzle in a row that beat me up, and this one feels a little harsher, like being attacked by friendly fire, coming from our hostess C.C.  In fact, I've gone so far as to coin a new term; STOG.  That is, I went Straight TO Google for several answers, as the cluing today was, at least for me, rather vague.   Oh well.  Red-letters, too.  C.C.'s last LA Times Saturday construction, back in June, was doable, at least.  Nothing intimidating about the grid, with two 11-letter spanners and two 15-letter climbers;

7. "Way to go!" : "NOW YOU'RE COOKING~!" - Quite a few "quote"(*) clues in today's grid, too

8. Dancers seen in strips? : THE CHIPPENDALES - har-har~!

for the ladies


1. End with force : STAMP ON - RAID kills bugs dead, too

8. Percussion instrument : TIMPANI - instrument heard here in a John Bonham drum solo from Led Zeppelin's CODA album; the pedal timpani is a tune-able drum

starts @ 0:42

15. Contemporary of Plácido : LUCIANO - Domingo, and Pavarotti, two-thirds of The Three Tenors; I can never remember the third guy....him

16. Went deep : HOMERED - no C.C. crossword is complete without a baseball reference

17. Agitated : IN A STEW - my NW was blank, so I tried "-ED" at the end.  Bzzzt.

18. Like the flame at Graceland : ETERNAL

19. Singing voice, informally : PIPES - I exercised my pipes at karaoke two weeks ago

20. Workout spot : YMCA - gritted teeth.  I really hoped this was not going to be "YOGA", as I had the Y--A, but when it filled I thought we needed an abbr. somewhere for Y.M.C.A

22. Ax : FIRE

23. Quick-footed : SPRY

24*. "I'm amazed!" : "OOH~!" - not "WOW~!"

25. Springfield bar : MOE'S - 'Simpsons' clue. 

26. Traditional March 14 servings : PIES - totally stumped me at first; it's not the Ides - the 15th, and not St. Pat's - the 17th.  It was only when I mentally pictured the date as 3.14 that "Pi" hit me like the V-8 can

27. Venus, when appearing as the morning star : LUCIFER - learning moment.  I did not know this was a translation of a Biblical reference, here
Venus is part of a planetary alignment 23 sep 2017

29. Paradise in "On the Road" : SAL - Jack Kerouac

30. Minor employment needs, in some places : WORK PERMITS - I had to get a work card at 16yrs old to go to work at the now defunct Grossman's lumber company

34. Longtime NBC hit : SNL - I'd like to thank everyone who enjoyed picking up on my mistake regarding last week's "SNL" clue

35. Blow away : AWE

36. Pittsburgh's __ Park : PNC

37. Thanksgiving, e.g.: Abbr. : THUrsday - yup.  I figured HOLiday was not good enough today

38. Helpful program for frequent fliers : TSA PRE-CHECK

41. Give under pressure : SAG - I pondered BOW

42. Joan of Arc, for one : HEROINE - I filled in HERETIC for some reason

43. Fill up : SATE

44. Close buds : BROS - not PALS

46. Hardly fresh : OLD

47. Father's ceremony : MASS - that kind of father

48. The first "A" in A.A. Milne : ALAN - Alexander is the second "A"

49. Great Plains st. : OKLAhoma

50. Maestro Doráti : ANTAL - first totally STOG clue

52. Trattoria staple : RAVIOLI

54. Theater originally lit with oil lamps : La SCALA

56. Enter covertly : CREEP IN - I had SNEAK to start

57. Self-gratifying pursuit : EGO TRIP - had EGOTISM to start - that's 5/7ths 4/7ths correct....phew

58. Picking up : SENSING - I'm sensing it's time for a pic for the guys

59. Law groups : SENATES


1. Space for a ship : SLIP - I could not get BERTH out of my head; PIER and DOCK seemed off

2. They started the Arab Spring : TUNISIANS - More recent than I realized

3. Like Pentatonix performances : A CAPPELLA - totally STOG.  I know what pentatoniC means, but I had to look up this group

4. Unlikely GoFundMe supporters : MISERS

5. One taking a fall : PATSY

6. Table for __ : ONE - I of course, went with TWO.  God help me, the blue-eyed girl has come back into my life, once again....WC might understand my dilemma

9. Little bit : IOTA

10. Fr. title : MME

11. Put on : PERFORM

12. Jack's links rival : ARNIE - golfers.  I have not gotten out since the one time I played on vacation in three weeks - and it showed

13. Almost reaches : NEARS

14. Like some chatter : IDLE

21. Ridicule : MOCK

25. Pharmaceutical giant : MERCK

26*. Whisper from a cheater, maybe : "PSST~!"

27. Decrease : LOWER

28. Place for the undecided? : FENCE - clever.  I went with LIMBO.  Really.

30. Hawked stuff : WARES

31*. "Good first step" : "IT'S A START."

32*. "Not true!" : "THAT'S A LIE~!"

33. Knight who co-founded Death Row Records : SUGE - totally STOG, but it filled via perps

39. Impostors : PHONIES

40. Barrier for Sisyphus : HILL - the name to me always implies a female, though I know the -US ending in Latin is masculine.  Ergo, I did not recall this classic myth

43. Safe havens : SANCTA - dah~! Another ending that was not the typical plural "S", which fooled me

44. Play loudly : BLARE

45. "Ungainly fowl" of poetry : RAVEN

47. __ jar : MASON - dah~!  Not SWEAR, not JELLY

48. Lob paths : ARCS - made me change my SNEAK IN at 56a.

49. Lena of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" : OLIN

51. Napkin holders? : LAPS - cute

53. Coty subsidiary that makes nail polish : OPI - never heard of this; another STOG had it not filled via perps

55. Brandy statistic : AGE