Showing posts with label Sunday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sunday. Show all posts

Sep 16, 2018

Sunday September 16, 2018 Mark McClain

Theme: "Marked Down" - C is changed into D in each theme entry.

 22. Silo in a rural valley?: DELL TOWER. Cell tower. Tiny dupe with 104. Biological unit: CELL.

27. A+ for a struggling student?: AMAZING GRADE. Amazing Grace.

41. Neat places to get beers?: DANDY BARS. Candy bars.

46. Nightmare?: SOUR DREAM. Sour cream.

62. Terse Supreme Court decision for lions?: THE PRIDE IS RIGHT. The Price is Right.

80. Challenge from an ex-president?: OBAMA DARE. ObamaCare.

83. Southern tavern accents?: PUB DRAWLS. Pub crawl.

100. Wall Street bear?: SHARE DROPPER. Share cropper.

108. Classic audiophile's equipment, and a hint to eight long puzzle answers: CD CHANGER.

Some letter changes happen with the first letter of the first word, some first letter of the last word. Some in the middle, but no odd man out. A nice mix.

Also, Marks allows no straying C's in his theme entry choices. An extra layer of elegance.


1. Archaeologist's find: TOMB. Some of you have been to my hometown Xi'an and said hello to these terracotta warriors.

5. "Fire" crawlers: ANTS.

9. Cartoon explosion word: BLAM. Not WHAM.

13. Trickster: SCAMP.

18. Where the iris is: UVEA.

19. Country dance: REEL.

20. German camera: LEICA. Also 8. Camera initials: SLR. Olympus was the only brand used in my Pinkerton days.

21. Trilateral trade deal: NAFTA.

24. Allegro __: very fast, in scores: ASSAI.

25. Like some statues at night: UP-LIT.

26. Surrounded: ENCLOSED.

29. Opposing teams: FOES.

30. __ chin: CLEFT.

31. Like a sudoku solution: LOGICAL.

32. Allergic reaction: ACHOO.

35. "A Writer's Life" writer: TALESE.

37. What a red handset icon may end: CALL. This is sweet.

38. Ought to: SHOULD.

40. Humongous: VAST.

48. Authenticity on the street: CRED.

49. Pound or stone: UNIT.

50. Bier chiller: EIS. Beer. Ice.

51. Police dept. rank: SGT.

52. Place for an updo: SALON.

54. Ancient temple complex: KARNAK. And 47. 54-Across' land: EGYPT.

56. Grab the tab: TREAT.

59. Alma mater of Clinton and Ford, briefly: YALE LAW.

61. Marina sights: VESSELS.

65. House Speaker before Pelosi: HASTERT. Still in prison, right? Wiki says "Notwithstanding his conviction, Hastert continues to receive his congressional pension, which amounts to about $73,000 a year."

68. Actress O'Hara: MAUREEN.

69. Position paper, e.g.: ESSAY.

73. Many have pins at one end: ALLEYS. Boomer's favorite places.

74. Kunta in "Roots": KINTE.

75. Prefix with warrior: ECO.

77. Animation letters: CGI.

78. In a trice: SOON.

79. Rides the bench: SITS.

86. Texas' __ Duro Canyon: PALO. One of our three T's might be there: Tom (TTP), Tom (D-Otto) and Tony.

88. Grimm girl: GRETEL.

89. Tied: EVEN.

90. Afghans' neighbors: TAJIKS. Scrabbly fill.

92. Inspected prior to a job: CASED.

93. Bellamy's sister on "The 100": OCTAVIA. Unknown to me.

97. Underworld figure: SATAN.

98. Military sch.: ACAD.

102. How Albee's "The Zoo Story" is written: IN ONE ACT.

106. Grammatical separator: COMMA.

107. Senator Hatch: ORRIN. Longest-serving Republican senator.

109. Adrien of cosmetics: ARPEL.

110. Misleading move: FEINT.

111. Greeting from Kermit: HI HO.

112. Marginal mark: DELE.

113. Good __: enjoyable books: READS. Hahtoolah reads and reviews. 

114. Fictional navigator Phileas: FOGG.

115. Negotiation obstacles: EGOS.

116. Note recipient, at times: SELF.


1. Arrogance, in slang: TUDE. Attitude.

2. Range feature: OVEN.

3. Sporty Spice, familiarly: MEL C.

4. Cause of a walk: BALL FOUR. I read this book at a card show ages ago.

5. Came up: AROSE.

6. Most recently made: NEWEST.

7. Aggravated, with "off": TEED.

9. "Take care!": BE SAFE.

10. "Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer: LISZT.

11. Palm tree berry: ACAI. Trade Joe's has acai puree pack. You can make your own acai bowl.

12. Most of Italy, to 14-Down residents: MAINLAND. 14. See 12-Down: CAPRI.

13. Warm and cozy: SNUGGLY.

15. Company with a quacking mascot: AFLAC.

16. Crete peak: Abbr.: MT IDA.

17. Pi __, "Life of Pi" hero: PATEL. Unknow to me also.

20. Least plausible: LAMEST.

23. Ineligible for kiddie rides: TOO OLD.

27. Bass et al.: ALES.

28. Miner's find: GOLD. And 30. Digger's find: CLAM.

32. Strength: ASSET.

33. Group in a loft: CHOIR.

34. Casino, to gamblers: HOUSE.

36. Gamer's game face: AVATAR. Nice "game face".

37. City near Le Havre: CAEN. OK, let's see.

39. MASH staff: DRS.

41. Nod off: DROWSE.

42. Pops, as a bubble: BURSTS.

43. Last Stuart queen: ANNE.

44. Iranian dough: RIAL. The only Iranian dough I know. Never had the real Iranian dough or any Iranian food. This looks delicious.

45. NYSE listings: STKS. Stocks. We also have 72. Investor's concern: YIELD.

48. Missouri senator McCaskill: CLAIRE. What a fast-changing word. Eric Greitens once was so promising. 

52. Most squad cars: SEDANS.

53. Alaskan native: ALEUT.

54. Stout container: KEG.

55. US Open stadium namesake: ASHE.

57. Make it to: ATTEND.

58. Unnamed persons: THEY.

60. Caps: LIMITS.

61. Ground cover plant also called periwinkle: VINCA. Gimme for our Master Gardener Katie (TTP's wife). I did not know this.

63. Hesitant sounds: ERS.

64. Nike rival: REEBOK.

65. Padlock hardware: HASP.

66. Matty with a .307 lifetime batting average: ALOU. Thank you, ALOU, A-ROD and SOSA.

67. Unkempt sort: SLOB.

70. Skedaddles: SCATS.

71. Match: AGREE.

74. Firing device: KILN.

76. Texter's "Holy cow!": OMG. I only learned that the other day that the two T's in Tostitos' logo stand for two people. The dot above the i is a bowl of salsa.

79. Really quit: SWEAR OFF.

80. "Chocolat" co-star: OLIN.

81. Mystical secrets: ARCANA.

82. Lost driver's disappointments: DEAD ENDS.

84. Exposes: REVEALS.

85. Intensely supportive: AVID.

86. Unmistakable: PATENT.

87. Cracked a bit: AJAR.

90. Sealing, as a package: TAPING.

91. Don Quixote's squire __ Panza: SANCHO.

93. Grumpy Muppet: OSCAR.

94. Task list entry: CHORE.

95. Buccaneers' home: TAMPA.

96. Dangerous companion?: ARMED. Armed and dangerous.

97. Thyme bit: SPRIG.

99. Pacific salmon: COHOS.

101. Nabisco bite: OREO.

102. "With ya so far": I DIG.

103. Tommie of the 1969 Miracle Mets: AGEE.

105. Not kosher: TREF. Learned from doing crossword. The Islamic equivalent HARAM, meaning not halal (kosher).

108. Role in "Evita": CHE.

So glad to hear AnonymousPVX and Jinx in Norfolk are safe and sound. Shout-out to Brad Niven, another faithful LAT crossword solver. Brad lives in Winston Salem. Looks like another day of  heavy rain and gusty wind in his area.

Happy Birthday to dear D-Otto, who has generously helped me and this blog over the years. I rely heavily on Tom for puzzle theme/fill feedback. It's always a good idea to discard ideas and entries if they don't fly with him, unless I'm really desper-C.C. I also turn to Tom for rants or life guidance. He has this amazing ability to make complicated things easy for me to understand, from computer program to supplemental policy to comfort height toilet. I can't imagine our little corner without your wicked humor, empathy and patience, Tom, thanks for being you!

D-Otto (Tom)

Sep 9, 2018

Sunday September 9, 2018 Ross Trudeau

Theme: "TV Partners" - Two different TV shows are merged.

23. Show in which the Tanners move to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.?: FULL HOUSE OF CARDS. Full House. House of Cards.

37. Show in which Daenerys questions her suitors?: DATING GAME OF THRONES. Dating Game. Game of Thrones.

53. Show in which Gloria and Lois commiserate about lazy husbands?: MODERN FAMILY GUY. Modern Family. Family Guy.

65. Show in which a Time Lord becomes a live-in domestic worker?: DR WHO'S THE BOSS. Dr Who. Who's the Boss?

76. Show in which zombies invade an 1870s South Dakota town?: WALKING DEADWOOD. Walking Dead. Deadwood.

90. Show in which Richie and the Fonz write a soap?: HAPPY DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Happy Days. Days of Our Lives.

112. Installment of each of the "shows" in six puzzle answers?: CROSSOVER EPISODE.

Great to see Ross back. He just gave us this creative theme last month. This is his first LAT Sunday. 

DOCTOR WHO'S THE BOSS would be better for 65A, as the official name is DOCTOR WHO. Sometimes symmetry would not cooperate. 

Only 7 entries, but they're all fairly long, occupying total 113 theme squares. Quite dense.


1. Thin Mint cousins: SAMOAS.

7. Music-playing Apple: IPOD. Lost my precious free Marc Maron episodes during last factory re-set.

11. Campus residence, maybe: FRAT.

15. "I touched your nose!" sound: BOOP. This is new to me.

19. Luke's mentor: OBIWAN.

20. Choice: VOTE.

21. Casino city near 32-Down: RENO. 32. Western resort: TAHOE.

22. Part of A.D.: ANNO.

26. "All __ are off": BETS.

27. Had: ATE.

28. Usual method: Abbr.: SOP. OK, Standard Operating Procedure.

29. Selena's music style: TEJANO. Named after Texas.

30. Block: STYMIE.

32. "Star Trek" actor: TAKEI (George)

34. Big name in foil: ALCOA.

36. Justice Kagan appointer: OBAMA. He appointed two female justices.

41. "Phooey!": PAH.

42. Doofus: DOLT.

43. Knighted Irish rocker: BONO. So happy he got his voice back.

46. Twin Cities campus, informally: U OF M. University of Minnesota.

49. Old horse: NAG.

50. "The A-Team" actor: MR T.

58. Half a comedy duo: MEARA. Stiller and Meara. 

60. Riviera saison: ETE. Season.

61. One-eighties: UIES.

62. People couple: ITEM. People magazine.

63. Better ventilated: AIRIER. Someone said that Michael Jordan is paid 5 cents for each pair of Air Jordan.

64. Insole material: GEL.

69. '60s war zone: NAM.

70. Panini cheese: ASIAGO.

72. Inlets: RIAS.

73. Lamb pen name: ELIA. Charlies Lamb. We also have 67. Literary pen name: SAKI.

74. Civil War letters: CSA.

75. Lifted: STOLE.

80. Program named for its broadcast day, for short: SNL.

81. Lower, as lights: DIM.

83. Beloved 1981 bride: DIANA.

84. Thor's father: ODIN.

86. Cambodia neighbor: LAOS. Their traditional skirt is called Sinh. 

89. Sgts.' superiors: LTS.

99. Silent and amazed: AGAPE.

100. Anklebone: TALUS.

101. Scourges: BANES.

102. Went up again: RE-ROSE. Also 12. Put new shingles on: RE-ROOF.

104. Chop shop wheels: HOT CAR.

107. Strain: TAX.

108. Show ending?: BIZ. Showbiz.

111. They may be inflated: EGOS. See the clue in 10. Kanye West label: DEF JAM.

116. Like blokes: MALE.

117. "I know! Call on me!": OH OH.

118. Curds in blocks: TOFU. When I lived in Xi'an, we went to the market every day to get fresh Tofu.

119. Hardened (to): INURED.

120. Raced: SPED.

121. Too curious: NOSY.

122. Little branch: TWIG.

123. Way out: EGRESS.


1. One may be L-shaped: SOFA.

2. Be flush with: ABUT.

3. Race distance: MILE.

4. Hogwarts mail carrier: OWL.

5. Expresses awe over: AAHS AT.

6. JWoww's title pal in a "Jersey Shore" spin-off: SNOOKI. This girl. Glad you had a wonderful vacation, Yellowrocks!

7. Hosp. hookups: IVS.

8. Burns, e.g.: POET.

9. Great Plains tribe: OTOE.

11. Italian director Zeffirelli: FRANCO. Unknown figure. Wiki says he's "known for several of the movies he has directed, especially the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. His 1967 version of The Taming of the Shrew with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton remains the best-known film adaptation of that play as well."

13. "Your point being?": AND.

14. Trash: TOSS. Hey, this fill could be easily ROSS.

15. Gen Xer's parent, perhaps: BABY BOOMER. Here is our Baby Boomer.

16. Solo: ONE-MAN.

17. As scheduled: ON TIME.

18. Impersonate: POSE AS.

24. Overturn: UPEND.

25. NASCAR's Yarborough: CALE.

31. Ripped: TORN.

35. Good way to keep an enemy: AT BAY.

37. Unwelcome flower: DANDELION. I like dandelions and yellow rockets in open fields. Always reminds me of the pretty canola flower fields in my childhood.

38. Feeling down: GLUM.

39. Yours, in Tours: A TOI.

40. Swine: HOG.

41. Sits in, say: PROTESTS.

44. Swatch Group products: OMEGAS.

45. Plod: TRUDGE.

47. Enters daintily: FLITS IN. Sure sounds dainty.

48. Folk story: MYTH.

49. Prepared for a filling: NUMBED

51. Slickers: RAINCOATS.

52. Traitorous acts: TREASONS. Did not know this word is plurable, D-Otto! Very observant comment of Thursday puzzle, by the way!

54. Robert De __: NIRO

55. Not many: FEW. Gary, I'm so sorry about your niece Lauren. What a courageous woman!

56. Guru's lodging: ASHRAM.

57. "Golly!": GEE.

58. Have sum trouble: MIS-ADD

59. Fleet: ARMADA.

63. China setting: ASIA. Picard, I've not seen "Crazy Rich Asians". The plot is so far away from my world.

66. Surprisingly, what the "O" in OPEC doesn't stand for: OIL. It stands for Organization.

68. Soccer cheer: OLE.

71. Naysayers?: ALL OPPOSED. Nice clue.

76. Succeed in: WIN AT.

77. __ contendere: court plea: NOLO.

78. 1965 Pulitzer author Shirley Ann __: GRAU.  Unknown name to me. Also German for "gray". Here we have 88. Gray shade: SLATE.

79. Charms: WILES.

81. Accomplished: DID.

85. Easter supplies: DYES.

87. Earth, for one: ORB.

90. Seraglios: HAREMS.

91. Possible barrier to romance: AGE GAP.

92. Way out of jail: PAROLE.

93. Bumpkins: YAHOOS.

94. Like melting snow puddles: SLOSHY.

95. Contract exceptions: OUTS.

96. __ Fitzgerald: F SCOTT. Born here in Minnesota.

97. Where "the birds began to sing": IN A PIE.

98. Annoying: VEXING.

103. Nobel Prize subj.: ECON.

105. Swear: AVOW.

106. Better mtge. deal: RE-FI

108. Real snoozefest: BORE.

109. Dire March time: IDES.

110. London jazz duo?: ZEDS. Just the two letters in jazz.

113. Pi follower: RHO.

114. Shag or throw: RUG.

115. Big __: SUR.

Lemonade just asked if OF A (32. __ sort) in last Friday's puzzle was a partial. Yes, it is. Little multi-word entries with Fill-in-the-Blank clues are called partials. In this puzzle, there are three:

44. "... but maybe I'm wrong": OR NOT.

82. "Are you __ not?": IN OR

33. "Can __ now?": I GO
"Long, long ___" for AGO is not a partial, though it has a Fill-in-the-Blank clue, but "Give it ___" for A GO will be a partial. Just remember "multi-word", normally less than 5-letter long.

Rich allows four partials in a 21*21 grid. Two for a 15*15 grid.


Sep 2, 2018

Sunday, September 2, 2018 C.C. Burnikel

Note from C.C.:

I'm excited to let you know that Susan (Hahtoolah) has agreed to blog for us once a month. Hahtoolah has been with us since 2009. She always comes to the blog with observant crossword comments and great quotes related to some grid entries. Hahtoolah loves reading and traveling. She's been everywhere, including China. She officially retired in January this year.

Division of Labor

Oh, the dreaded circle puzzle! In today's puzzle, though the circles "divide" a particular job, or type of labor.  It's actually quite clever.  The jobs are all 6-letter. How cool is that?  So what jobs are divided here? Read the professions in the circles:

22-A. Picnic side with Parmesan dressing: CAESAR COLESLAW, and 24-A. Seuss' turtle king: YERTLE.  LAWYER.  My profession.

29-A. Monopoly maker: HASBRO, and 32-A. "Bein' Green" singer: KERMIT THE FROG.  BROKER.

57-A. Post production?: RAISIN BRAN, and 59-A. Logo modeled for five-month-old Ann Turner Cook [b. Nov. 20, 1926]: GERBER BABY.   RANGER.
Ann Turner Cook - Then and now:

80-A. Actress' first film: MOVIE DEBUT, and 83-A. Jim Croce title guy: LEROY BROWN.   BUTLER.

105-A. Successor to Canada's Stephen Harper: JUSTIN TRUDEAU, and 109-A. Bike trail hazards: THORNS.   AUTHOR.

115-A. Weather map line: ISOBAR, and 117-A. Tea-flavoring citrus fruit: BERGAMOT ORANGE.    BARBER.

1. Numbers on letters: ZIP CODE.  It stands for Zoning Improvement Plan

8. Pester constantly: BADGER.  I really wanted Bother.

14. Range: SCOPE.

19. Facetious local subject in many articles in "The Onion": AREA MAN.  I have never read The Onion.

20. Classified stat: AD RATE.

21. Got misty-eyed, with "up": TEARED.  What happens to you when you read The Onion, maybe.

25. Place to check for prints: ART SALE.

26. Heart charts, for short: ECGS. As in the ElectroCardioGrams, sometimes called EKGs. It's a diagnostic tool for assessing the electrical and muscular function of the heart.

28. Chick magnet?: HEN.

37. Jewish Community Center component gp.: YMHA. As in the Young Men's Hebrew Association, not the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority.   Not all Jewish Community Centers, however, have a YMHA.

38. "Back in the __": USSR.   The Beatles!

40. Place for a stud: EAR.  I wasn't fooled by this clue. We've seen it in the puzzles before.

41. Lake near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: ERIE.  Hi, Abejo!

42. Symbol of simplicity: PIE. This puzzle was As Easy As Pie.

43. Canonized Mlle.: STE. Today's French lesson, abbreviation for Saint.

44. Tehran-based carrier: IRAN AIR. I took a wild guess that the airline would include the name of the country.

47. ''Finished!'': THERE!

51. Long-necked wader: EGRET. Lots of EGRETS in my neighborhood.  I live near a lake.

53. Samurai lacking a master: RONIN. No idea, but apparently RONIN is also the name of a movie starring Robert DeNiro.

55. Actress Joanne: DRU. Joanne DRU (née Joan Letitia LaCock; Jan. 31, 1922 - Sept. 10, 1996) was the older sister of Peter Marshall, the gameshow host. I had heard of him, but not her.

56. Stratford's river: AVON. Ding-Dong!

62. Thread holder: SPOOL.

63. Bus. school test: GMAT. As in the Graduate Management Admission Test.

65. Brief street sign: SLO.

66. Org. in "Traffic": DEA. As in the Drug Enforcement Administration, a federal law enforcement agency housed within the United States Department of Justice.

67. Tent entrances: FLAPS.

69. It burns in December: YULE LOG.

72. Blew away: WOWED.

74. Oktoberfest drink: ALE.

75. "Ben-Hur" novelist Wallace: LEW. Lew Wallace (Apr. 10, 1827- Feb. 15, 1905) was a Union General in the American Civil War and author.  Ben Hur follows the life of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince who was enslaved by the Romans at the beginning of the first century.  He later became a charioteer and converted to Christianity.

77. Alien-seeking gp.: SETI. As in Search for ExtraTerrestial Intelligence. I learned about SETI from its frequent appearances in the crossword puzzles.

78. First president with a Twitter account: OBAMA. No politics, although Trump is the same number of letters.

88. Get ready: PREP.

89. Berne's river: AAR.

90. Sch. health course: SEX ED. Is one Sexed in Sex Ed?

91. Schoolyard comeback: AM TOO!

92. Place to make waves: SALON. A good misdirection.

94. Like many family-owned companies: NEPOTIC.

96. RNs' workplaces: ERs.  Registered Nurses might work in Emergency Rooms.

98. Med. care provider: HMO. As in a Health Maintenance Organization.

99. Mazar of "Entourage": DEBI. I never saw Entourage, but have seen DEBI Mazar (b. Aug. 13, 1964) in other shows.

101. MLB's steroid __: ERA.  According to ESPN, apparently the Steroid ERA ran from the late 1980s through the 2000s.

102. __-da: pretentious: LA-DI.   Makes me think of Annie Hall.

104. Deck furniture wood: TEAK.

111. "Swell!": FAB.

112. Full of energy: GO GO.  Meh!

113. CVS rival: RITE AID. All the RITE AID stores in my area have been either closed or converted to Walgreens.

124. Lassie, for one: COLLIE.

125. Pass, as time: ELAPSE.

126. Formal address: ORATION.

127. Composer Bruckner: ANTON. I am not familiar with ANTON Bruckner (Sept. 4, 1824 - Oct. 11, 1896). Apparently he was an Austrian composer.  (Thanks, Jason!)

128. Fluctuated wildly: YO-YO'ED.

129. Handle holder: NAME TAG. Cute clue

1. Efron of "Baywatch" (2017): ZAC.  ZAC Efron (b. Oct. 18, 1987) was also the lead in the High School Musical, which I never saw but it certainly had a lot of publicity.

2. Tax-deferred acct.: IRA. As in Individual Retirement Account.

3. __ Wee Reese: PEE. PEE Wee Reese (né Harold Peter Henry Reese, July 23, 1918 - Aug. 14, 1999), was a professional baseball player. He played shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1940 to 1958.

4. Winter melon: CASABA. Yum.

5. Sydney of astrology: OMARR. No idea. Sydney OMARR (né Sidney Kimmelman, Aug. 5, 1926 - Jan. 2, 2003) was, apparently an astrologer to the rich and famous. Since I am neither rich nor famous, I guess that explains why I never heard of him.

6. Dash from hiding: DART OUT.

7. Env. add-ins: ENCS. As Enclosures to letters in Envelopes.

8. One really on her toes: BALLERINA.

9. "Doe, __ ... ": A DEER, a female deer ...

10. "House" figs.: DRs.  House was a television drama about doctors.  The patient always had some life-threatening disease, that only after lots of consultations, only Dr. House could properly diagnose.

11. Hoedown honey: GAL.

12. Uber approx.: ETA. As in Estimated Time of Arrival, I suppose.

13. Drop more Visine in, say: RE-WET. Visine is a brand of eye drops.

14. Deems appropriate: SEES FIT.

15. Jaguar, e.g.: CAR not to be confused with 103-D Jaguar, e.g.: AUTO.  Wait a minute! Both clues refer to motor vehicles.

16. Bug B Gon maker: ORTHO.

17. Pequod co-owner: PELEG. A reference to the book Moby Dick.

18. Home of the first family: EDEN. Cute clue.

21. "Burning bright" poem critter: TYGER. A poem by William Blake (Nov. 28, 1757 - Aug. 12, 1827), the first line of which reads as follows:

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

23. State trees of six U.S. states: OAKs. I really wanted this to be Pine, but more than 6 states have their state tree as a variation of a pine tree.  The Bald Cypress is the state tree of Louisiana.  What is your state tree?

27. Rosy-cheeked angels: CHERUBS.

29. Overly energetic: HYPER.

30. Felipe's female friend: AMIGA. Today's Spanish lesson.

31. Sci-fi author __ S. Tepper: SHERI. Sci-fi is not my genre, so I am not familiar with the works of SHERI S. Tepper (née Shirley Stewart Douglas, July 16, 1929 - Oct. 22, 2016)

33. Vicious: MEAN.

34. Actor McKellen: IAN. That's Sir Ian (b. May 25, 1939) to you!

35. Exchange (a player) with: TRADE TO.

36. P.T. program: RE-HAB. As in Rehabilitation.

39. __-Croatian language: SERBO.

43. Paint with dots: STIPPLE. A learning moment.

45. Curly lock: RINGLET.

46. Discount tag abbr.: IRR. As in Irregular. No wonder this shirt is so cheap - there is only one arm hole.

48. Sidestep: EVADE. I initially tried Avoid.

49. Like trial judges: ROBED. Supreme Court Justices, too.

50. Singer from County Donegal: ENYA. Her given name is Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin (b. May 17, 1961).  No wonder she goes by ENYA.

52. She, in Sicily: ESSA. Today's Italian lesson.

54. Air France hub: ORLY. The Charles DeGaulle is the primary international airport in France, but ORLY is a close second.

58. Word with hard or red: NOSED. As in Hard-Nosed or Rudolph the Red-Nosed.

59. Name on Pisa's airport: GALILEI.  Italy's airport named in honor of Galileo Galilei (Feb. 15, 1564 - Jan. 8, 1642).

60. Hall of Fame Bronco: ELWAY. As in quarterback John Albert Elway, Jr. (b. June 28, 1960).

61. Floor-cleaning robots: ROOMBAS. I was sure these things were called Zoombas, but I knew Gerbez Baby made no sense.

64. Shook hands with, perhaps: MET.

67. Regional plant life: FLORA. The regional animal life is the Fauna.

68. Be straight (with): LEVEL.

70. Power grabber: USURPER.

71. Horror film feature, often: GORE.

73. Friendly: WARM.

74. Concert array: AMPs. As in the Amplifiers.

76. Gradually withdrawing (from): WEANING.

79. Portended: BODED.

81. Devices with earbuds: iPODS. I love my iPod. I listen to all sorts of podcasts.

82. Main squeeze, slangily: BAE. I am not familiar with this term.  I have heard a main squeeze as being referred to a Boo, however.

84. Cried out: EXCLAIMED.

85. Significant person?: OTHER.

86. Many a NOW co-founder: WOMAN.  As in the National Organization for Women.

87. Secluded places: NOOKS.

90. Dutch burg: STAD. Today's Dutch lesson.

93. Margin at the bottom: NET GAIN.

95. Tulsa sch. with a Prayer Tower: ORU. As in Oral Roberts University, a Christian liberal arts school.

97. "R.I.P." singer: RITA ORA. I am not familiar with either the song or the singer.  RITA ORA (née Rita Sahatçiu Ora, b. Nov. 26, 1990).

100. Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser brand: BIORE.

104. Until now: TO DATE.

105. Alexander of "Seinfeld": JASON.  Jason Alexander (né Jay Scott Greenspan, b. Sept. 23, 1959) was great as George in Seinfeld.

106. Letter-shaped fastener: U-BOLT.

107. Actor Maguire: TOBEY.  TOBEY Maguire (né Tobias Vincent Maguire, June 27, 1975) was in The Cider House Rules.

108. Remove all traces of: ERASE.

110. Walker on a bottle: HIRAM. My first thought was Johnnie, but that is too many letters.  Hiram Walker (July 4, 1816 - Jan. 12, 1899) founded Canadian Club whisky.

111. Pay stub abbr.: FICA. As in the Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

114. Eddie Redmayne's alma mater: ETON.  Eddie Redmayne (b. Jan. 6, 1982) and Prince William (b. June 21, 1982) were classmates at ETON.

116. Rain-__ bubble gum: BLO.

118. "Strange Magic" band: ELO. As in the Electric Light Orchestra.

119. Beam of light: RAY.

120. Mailing ctr.: GPO.

121. Minor gripe: NIT.

122. __ long way: GO A.

123. Coll. major: ENG. As in English. Would you like Fries with That?

I hope you enjoyed my initial foray into being a blog WRIT  ER.

I will leave you with today's QOD:  I can’t take a well-tanned person seriously.  ~  Cleveland Amory (Sept. 2, 1917 ~ Oct. 14, 1998)

Aug 26, 2018

Sunday August 26, 2018 Robin Stears

 Theme: AmazeBalls* - Ball can follow both part of each theme entry.

23. *Convenient carrier: HANDBASKET. Handball. Basketball.

25. *Small, flat legume: BUTTER BEAN. Butterball. Beanball.

44. *Octal system: BASE EIGHT. Baseball. Eight ball.

47. *Item found in a parlor: CUE STICK. Cue ball. Stickball.

64. *Pneumatic silo declogger: AIR CANNON. Air ball. Cannonball.

74. *Fund for fun: PIN MONEY. Pinball. Moneyball.

77. *Path for a promising young exec: FAST TRACK. Fastball. Trackball.

99. *It covers the Batmobile: BLACK PAINT. Black ball. Paintball

101. *Brie, e.g.: SOFT CHEESE. Softball. Cheeseball.

No reveal but theme entries are starred, puzzle title is starred also.

This type of both words can follow/precede type is quite hard to pull off. Tricky to find solid in-the- language phrases. 

Robin is very fond of this theme type, as we've seen in the past. The grid is also classic Robin. Very clean.


1. Takes the odds: BETS.

5. Flop's opposite: SMASH. Smash hit.

10. Anchored: MOORED.

16. Braying beast: ASS. Alliteration.

19. Audition piece: ARIA.

20. 1988 Summer Olympics site: KOREA.Widely watched in China. 

21. From C to C: OCTAVE.

22. __ Victor: RCA.

27. Braille bits: DOTS.

28. Poet Pablo Neruda, e.g.: CHILEAN. Boomer's 87-year-old golf buddy Jorge is Chilean.

30. "My treat": ON ME.

31. Distinctive Rolls Royce feature: GRILLE.

34. Many a text writer: SCHOLAR. We also have 96. Old copiers: SCRIBES.

36. Hikes from the center: SNAPS.

37. Wilson of "Pitch Perfect" movies: REBEL. Australian actress. 

38. Heinz Field player: STEELER.

39. Rapid __: TRANSIT.

41. Nickname for young Skywalker: ANI.

42. Ramshackle shelters: LEAN-TOS.

43. One way to get you: RUSE.

51. Like Fran Drescher's voice: NASAL. Never into "The Nanny".

52. Cheerleaders' handfuls: POMPOMS.

56. Your cousin's 81-Across, maybe: MOM. 81. See 56-Across: AUNT.

57. Plague critter: LOCUST.

60. Pudding starch: TAPIOCA. Used in Bubble tea, popular drink in Guangzhou.

61. Carne __: ASADA.

63. Subject of a Dean Martin classic: AMORE.

66. "Your table's ready" gizmo: PAGER.

67. Chekov on "Star Trek": PAVEL.

68. Directed: STEERED.

69. Last to arrive: LATEST.

70. French article: UNE.

71. Proclaims: ASSERTS. Google claims one of our May posts has a link/image/video that breaks their policy. Been a week of 1) Remove the link 2) Send in Request for Review 3) Nope, problem still exists. Repeat. Repeat. Why don't they just tell you which link is bad?!

72. Passionate: FIERY.

82. Fouls up, as plans: DERAILS.

85. "The Crow" actress Ling: BAI. Chinese. Very edgy.

86. "The Star-Spangled Banner" quartet: STANZAS.

89. "Les Misérables" girl: COSETTE. Fantine's daughter.

90. __ Ste. Marie: SAULT.

92. Prefix with centric: HELIO.

93. Barbaric: BRUTISH.

94. Worrisome engine sound: RATTLE.

95. Teatro __ Scala: ALLA.

98. Right on the map: EAST.

107. Ottoman bigwig: BEY.

108. Cooling-off period?: ICE AGE. Nice clue. Tiny clue/answer dupe with 5. Ice __: SKATE.

109. City of NE Italy: UDINE. Unfamiliar to me.

110. Garbage hauler: SCOW.

111. B-day numbers: YRS.

112. "Full House" surname: TANNER.

113. Award for "Mr. Mercedes": EDGAR. Unfamiliar with this Stephen King novel.

114. Lift one's spirits?: TOPE. Good old clue.


1. "Phooey!": BAH.

2. Significant time: ERA.

3. Bronze component: TIN.

4. Tack room item: SADDLE.

6. Shade of green: MOSS. The name of Boomer's doctor at the Orthopedic Urgent Care is Kelli Greene. Alas, the Methylprednisolone she prescribed has not worked its magic yet. And the pain spot has moved from left hip to lower/middle back.

7. What Indiana sought: ARK.

8. "What did I tell you?": SEE.

9. Chopper: HATCHET.

10. Calder pieces: MOBILES.

11. Telescope eyepiece: OCULAR.

12. Weasel relative: OTTER.

13. Pro follower: RATA.

14. 102-Down opposite: EVEN. And 102. 14-Down opposite: ODD.

15. "__ Rosenkavalier": DER.

16. Spots for sports: ARENAS.

17. Trattoria entrée: SCAMPI.

18. Least extreme: SANEST. Lower back/hip pain can drive you insane. Boomer normally has very high pain threshold.

24. Weevil's target: BOLL.

26. Tied-under-the-chin topper: BONNET.

29. Prefix with gram: HOLO.

31. Take the wrong way?: GRAB.

32. Sofer of soaps: RENA.

33. Sacred Nile bird: IBIS.

34. Longtime "60 Minutes" reporter: STAHL. She always wears pretty earrings.

35. Small price to pay: CENT.

36. Backtalk: SASS.

38. Sonic the Hedgehog maker: SEGA.

39. "Mr. Citizen" autobiographer: TRUMAN. Another learning moment.

40. Regrets: RUES.

42. Santa has a famous one: LIST. How I miss our own Santa!

45. Acclimatize: ENURE.

46. Art supporter?: EASEL.

47. Fashion first name: COCO.

48. Pixel pattern: IMAGE.

49. Secret stuff: CODES.

50. Target rival: KMART. I love these Target bath towels. So soft and light. And only $3.99. You can get a new one after a couple months. Little luxury in life.

52. Worrywart, at times: PACER.

53. Eye-fooling genre: OP ART.

54. Extraction sites: MINES.

55. Golden or Walden: POND.

57. Drink from a bowl: LAP UP.

58. Spender of rials: OMANI

59. Group of 13, traditionally: COVEN. Here is our corner blog California Coven.
L to R: JD, Garlic Gal, Chickie & Jill, 2013.
60. Genealogy chart: TREE.

61. Spaced out: APART.

62. Lustful deity: SATYR.

64. Portfolio listings: ASSETS.

65. Wee: ITSY.

69. Rents: LETS.

71. "Frozen" princess: ANNA. We see ELSA often.

72. Conviction: FAITH.

73. "Cast Away" setting: ISLE.

75. Fanatic: MANIAC

76. Anise liqueur: OUZO.

77. Dieter's concern: FATS. Both fats and carbs raise our A1C, correct?
78. Lie next to: ABUT.

79. Birdsong: CALL.

80. Toy with a tail: KITE.

82. Skeptic: DOUBTER.

83. Italian noble family: ESTE.

84. Budget bin record: REISSUE.

86. Ramshackle: SHABBY.

87. One taking a lot of notes: TELLER. Oh, I like this clue.

88. Soothes: ALLAYS. I'm also rubbing this St John's Wort oil on Boomer. So many positive reviews on Amazon. Thanks again for delivering it quickly to us, D-Otto!

89. React to an awkward moment: CRINGE.

90. Military band: SASH.

91. Bear witness: ATTEST.

93. Queen lead guitarist __ May: BRIAN.

94. Track figure: RACER.

96. Animal lovers' org.: SPCA.

97. French city where William the Conqueror is buried: CAEN. Did not know this trivia.

98. Italian smoker: ETNA.

100. Many an IKEA buy: KIT. We've only been to IKEA once. It's close to Mall of America.

103. Newton fruit: FIG. Trader Joe's Organic Turkish Figs are the best.

104. Green prefix: ECO.

105. Sponge (up): SOP.

106. Woolly mama: EWE.

The super cool crossword constructor Brendan Emmett Quigley visited Minnesota last Tuesday. Our local constructor and solvers had another gathering. You can see more pictures here. Brendan publishes two free puzzles at his site every week, Monday and Thursday. And he has been doing that for many years. Just amazing!

First Row: Brendan Emmett Quigley, David Hanson (Rosebud), Tariq Samad and Victor Barocas.

Second Row: C.C., Ron Dahlquist, George Barany, Theresa Horan (Teedmn), Chris Adams, Stew Lelievr and David Liben-Nowell
Marcia Brott was there somewhere inside Barnes & Noble also.