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

Nov 16, 2019

Saturday, November 16, 2019, Debbie Ellerin

Themeless Saturday by Debbie Ellerin

Another fun trip with Debbie Ellerin. The southwest corner took some effort. MT FUJI finally dropped with an non-indicated abbreviation and TROCHE came from somewhere although I had to learn how to pronounce it


1. Celebrate Black Friday, say: SHOP - There is no item for which I'm willing to risk life and limb to save $100

5. Data transmission unit: BAUD If you're interested

9. Jets: SPEWS - Here are various SPEW patterns including Jet but not a 21. Windex unit: SPRITZ.

14. TV show set in a theme park: WEST WORLD If you're interested

16. Island along the Au'au Channel: LANAI - There's the channel and the island

17. Scheming: IN CAHOOTS - He may have this all wrong

18. Red Sox slugger David: ORTIZ "Big Papi" in the news this year

19. Spears label: RCA.

20. Epps of "House": OMAR - I wonder if this name was ever clued as "The Tentmakerbefore House

22. Noble title: LORD.

24. Nickname for "The King of Clay": RAFA.

26. Goofy image?: CEL - This Disney CEL recently sold for over $33,000 at auction. Is that goofy? 

27. California wine region: SONOMA - Charred vineyards in Sonoma from the Kincade fire last month

30. Tchotchke holder: ETAGERE - Yeah, sure, I knew this word and needed no perps. 😏 Looks like shelves to me 

33. Beyoncé and Jay-Z, e.g.: POWER COUPLE and 62. Tabloid twosomes: ITEMS 

36. Symbolic gift, often: DIAMOND RING.

38. Corporate espionage target: TRADE SECRET - Roger Easton (right), KFC's CEO, moves the Colonel Sanders' handwritten secret recipe into a newer, more secure safe

40. Swamp gas, essentially: METHANE.

43. Watch closely: PEER AT - Intently watching a colleague fish? PEERING at your PEER on the PIER

45. The "black" in black ice: TAR - A scary driving problem in our part of the country

46. Worshipper's subject: IDOL.

49. "The Open Window" author: SAKI - Pen name for Hector Hugh Munro

50. Coat-like garments: FROCKS 

53. Collars: NABS.

56. It can be risky to work without one: NET - Here's how you train to do that

57. "I surrender!": UNCLE.

58. Place to get some culture?: PETRI DISH - Some faculty lounge refrigerators contain unintended examples of one of these

60. Arabic for "struggle": JIHAD.

61. Repurposed railway, perhaps: BIKE ROUTE - Part of the 195 mile long Cowboy Trail (abandoned Chicago and Northwestern RR line) in northern Nebraska 

63. Lot: SLEW.

64. Bruise-resistant potatoes, say, briefly: GMOS Very interesting reading about Genetically MOdified potatoeS. 


1. Some cake decorations: SWIRLS.

2. House with many layers: HEN COOP - HEN house? Yes! Chicken COOP? - Yes. HEN COOP? and 6. Cheering loudly: AROAR - Constructors hafta to do what constructors hafta do.

3. Character recognition?: OSCAR NOD - There are those who feel John Wayne could have gotten the OSCAR NOD for playing John Stryker, Sean Thornton, Tom Doniphon, et al and not necessarily for playing Rooster Cogburn in 1969  

4. Bk. fair organizer: PTA.

5. Good time: BOOM - My farmer friends all say you'd better put some money away during a BOOM because a bust is sure to follow

7. __ running: more-than-a-marathon race: ULTRA Various definitions of ULTRA Running

8. Driller's deg.: DDS - Last week we had the ROTC drilling and in the past we have had OPEC drilling

9. Farm fare: SLOP.

10. Henry VIII's sixth: PARR

11. Sweet-talk: ENTICE.

12. One needing orders: WAITER - Doing so electronically 

13. Pizzazz: SIZZLE.

15. "Don't know her": WHO

21. Course for H.S. exam takers: SAT PREP - Sample question: (math haters move on). Answer at the bottom *

23. Benefit by: DO WITH - I could DO WITH losing more weight

25. Longstanding disputes: FEUDS - They headed up a famous one

28. Funny Anne: MEARA - Jerry Stiller's wife Anne

29. Fancy suits: ARMANIS.

31. "... a grin without a cat!" thinker: ALICE.

32. Action and adventure: GENRES - Prounced [dZSH]AWN-ruh with the Z, d, and SH all combined into one sound.

34. Produced some Java: CODED - Computer CODE not 54. Produce some java: BREW coffee

35. x/x: ONE - Only we math peeps know/care that x ≠ 0

37. Garden favorite also known as cranesbill: GERANIUM - A very distinctive scent

39. Becomes fond of: TAKES TO - I have really TAKEN TO golf now that I have time to play a lot

40. Peak that last erupted in 1707-'08: MT FUJI - MT FUJI in winter from the International Space Station. The Hoei crater was the site of the last eruption

41. Be deserving: EARN IT - Hmmm...

42. Cough drop: TROCHE - Didn't know the word or its pronunciation 

44. Donates, in a way: TITHES.

47. First African-American major-league coach Buck: O'NEIL - In the sea of Royal Blue seats in Kansas City, a red chair is the Buck O'NEIL legacy chair that honors people who have done outstanding things in the K.C. area. Buck was a star for the KC Monarchs in the old Negro League but his trail-blazing coaching job was with the Cubs

48. Hanukkah dinner staple: LATKE - One potato dish I have never had

51. Chowder morsel: CLAM.

52. Some kicks, so to speak: KEDS - I knew this was slang for shoes but put EEE'S first

55. It may precede and follow yes: SIR - As Emma Stone says here

58. "Finding Your Roots" airer: PBS 

59. __ days: DOG - The DOG Days of summer are long gone here on the prairie 

On a personal note, I want to show you the picture of my wife opening her birthday present last Sunday. It was a painting I had done of her kitty Lily. I finally got something right!

All comments welcome:

*Answer to 21 Down: w + (w + 6) + w + (w + 6) = 4w + 12 (Answer B)

Nov 9, 2019

Saturday, November 9, 2019, Joe Deeney

Themeless Saturday by Joe Deeney

I had a very pleasant exchange with Joe about this puzzle and here is his response:

Hi Gary,

I always enjoy reading the Crossword Corner blog post and the comments when I have a puzzle in the LA Times. Of course I'm familiar with her puzzles (and a fan of them!), but I've never had the pleasure of meeting or talking with C.C..

This photo was taken at the Exploratorium in San Francisco in 2014. I believe the device was intended to swap one's hearing left/right. I don't remember much else about it, but I've always enjoyed the photo. :-)

My notes suggest I originally constructed this puzzle in June of 2018. I submitted it to Rich that November; in January, he requested a revision to the SW corner. I gave him a few options and he accepted this version in February.

I keep a running list of potential seed entries for themeless puzzles - I try to limit myself to entries that I've got clever clues for. The seed for this puzzle was SAGITTARIUS, which I clued as [Fall guy?] - I haven't seen the final version yet so I'm not sure if Rich kept the clue. 

I have a unexplained fascination with grids that have 90 degree rotational symmetry - more than half of the themeless grids I construct have this. I thought this grid arrangement would be a fun challenge. In hindsight, the corners are quite difficult to fill cleanly. FUELOILS, DYSONS, and FREONS are all unfortunate plurals that I probably wouldn't use today.

Thanks for your fun photo and sharing a bit about yourself. I look forward to Saturday's blog post! Let me know if you have any more questions.



1. Jacket whose earliest version was created for pilots: BOMBER - This WWII BOMBER jacket was "featured" on Pawn Stars and eventually sold at auction for $2,650

7. Saw the sites?: SURFED - Sites not sights

13. "The Conduct of Life" essayist: EMERSON All nine of his essays from this 1860 publication

15. Players on the road: TROUPE - Taylor Swift required 82 semis for her TROUPE to set up here in Columbus, Ohio

16. Place to park a whirlybird: HELISTOP - Our local hospital has a HELISTOP where patients are loaded and unloaded. Maintenance is done on the aircraft in a HELIPORT at the local airport.

6. Whirlybird part: ROTOR - Both horizontal and vertical

18. Even though: ALBEIT.

19. More than is prudent: ONE TOO MANY - AA motto: "ONE drink is TOO MANY and a thousand aren't enough"

21. If-then-__: programmer's construct: ELSE - Below you get two chances

22. Factor in club selection: LIE - Use a very lofted club and swing hard!

23. Catches on the range: ROPES - ROPES as a cowboy verb here

24. Drilling org.: ROTC - Yeah right, I was the only one who had to change OPEC

25. First of a box set: DISC I - DISC I is their first studio album Please, Please Me

28. DVR button: REW.

29. Crooked: ATILT - Gate Of Europe in Madrid

30. Privileged group: INNER CIRCLE.

33. Sign of fall: SAGITTARIUS - Joe's cluing of "Fall Guy" didn't make it past Rich

34. Comedy of errors?: BLOOPER REEL - Google at your leisure 

35. "Speak up!": SAY IT - "Just shout 'em right out!"

36. Some smoke detector batteries: AA'S - Why do those AA'S always go dead at 3 am? Beep, beep...

37. Spruce (up): SPIFF Wal Mart's attempt to SPIFF up

41. "Over here!": PSST.

42. Groom carefully: PRIMP.

44. Surly sort: CUR - A CUR can have two or four legs

45. Is in Spain?: ESTA - "Dónde ESTA el baño" is probably a phrase we all have learned to relieve a biological imperative

46. Michigan national park: ISLE ROYALE - Cost to get to ISLE ROYALE from Copper Harbor, MI - $136/person for this boat (round trip),  $7/day National Park user fee and $10/day to park your car at Copper Harbor.

49. Sat on a sill, perhaps: COOLED.

51. Avoided a tag at: SLID INTO - Whit Merrifield SLID INTO and contorted around the tag at second

52. Minolta partner: KONICA.

53. Boards with a jump: LEAPS ON - Or not...

54. Cunning: SNEAKY.

55. V11 vacuums, e.g.: DYSONS Want one?


1. Take in: BEHOLD.

2. 1978 horror sequel: OMEN II - Meh...

3. Free-for-alls: MELEES.

4. Many a theatre attendee: BRIT - Theatre/theater

5. Gulf Canada alternative: ESSO.

7. Halts: STAYS - S T _ _ S Hmmm, what else could it be? 

8. Business card letters: URL.

9. "I Spy" actor: ROBERT CULP - Too soon to mention his co-star?

10. They usually have higher flash points than kerosene: FUEL OILS - Kerosene's flashpoint is around 100°F and it's 150°F for FUEL OILS and so the latter is considered to be safer

11. Dispatch: EPISTLE - St. Paul's EPISTLE to the Corinthians contains my favorite words from the Bible

12. Discover: DETECT.

14. Baby shampoo product line: NO MORE TEARS - An ad campaign that has been around for a long time

17. Auditors' follow them: PAPER TRAILS - Part of the PAPER TRAIL that sent Al Capone on an all-expenses-paid trip to Alcatraz

20. Air freshener option: NEW CAR SMELL.

26. PBS cooking show hosted by Mary Ann Esposito: CIAO ITALIA Here 'ya go

27. Pricey bar: INGOT.

29. Celestial ovine: ARIES - The Ram

31. Pinch: NIP.

32. More than displeasure: IRE.

33. Singer at Woodstock with his "Family": SLY (and the family) STONE - Unlike countless others, SLY has proof he was actually at Woodstock

34. Big wind: BASSOON - First of all, ya gotta love a musical group called The Breaking Winds. Secondly they are a 
BASSOON - playing quartet, here doing Lady Gaga music  complete with costuming and choreography!

35. Iotas: SPECKS.

38. "Just you watch!": I CAN SO.

39. Atlanta's county: FULTON - When Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium was torn down, the outfield fence over which Hank Aaron's 715 sailed was saved in place and a parking lot was built around it

40. Trademarked halocarbon products: FREONS Everything you could possibly want to know

42. March 14, mathematically: PI DAY - Google is full of many clever, delicious variations

43. Asked too much: PRIED.

47. Jazz singer Anita whose stage name is pig latin for a slang word for "money": ODAY - DOUGH in pig latin is ODAY

48. Performance anxiety: YIPS - Usually associated with golf but can happen to hitters, fielders, field goal kickers, 3-pt shooters, ad infinitum 

50. Luther opponent Johann __: ECK The Leipzig Debate