Showing posts with label Wednesday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wednesday. Show all posts

Jul 17, 2019

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 Kevin Salat

Them: 'FRAID SO [Homophonically speaking.]  A bookend theme: the entries all begin with FR and end in AY, which when united spell the word FRAY, not to be confused with the extended FREY clan of Game of Thrones infamy. But I digress.

17 A. Squander little by little: FRITTER AWAY.  To FRITTER [without away] means to break into small fragments; as a noun, it means fragments or shreds.  So the definition given here is apt.

25 A. Unstructured recreation: FREE PLAY.  Also well defined.  Perhaps a way to achieve the previous theme entry with your available time.

38 A. Inlet in an Otis Redding hit song: FRISCOBAY.  Otis finds another way to achieve the first theme entry in this song, released after his death, entitled [Sittin' On] The Dock of the Bay.  This is getting a bit meta.

54. Ruffles snack company: FRITOLAY.   Maker of Fritos, Doritos, Sun Chips, Cheetos and more.  Can theses smallish items be considered FRITTERS?  You decide.

64. Worn-look fabric style that this puzzle's four other longest answers exhibit?: FRAYED EDGES.  Like this on fabric. Are the edges being FRITTERED AWAY?  And, of course, the split word FRAY bookends the theme entries.  So, there you have it.

Hi, Gang, it JazzBumpa, jumping into the FRAY.  Nicely executed theme - not much more to say about it.  So let us venture forth boldly into this puzzle - unafrayed.


1. Santa __: Sonoma County seat: ROSA.  Many Santas. Needed perps

5. Cordelia, to Regan: SISTER.  Daughters of King Lear, along with the unfortunately named Goneril.

11. Small ammo: BBs.  Spherical pellets shot from a certain kind of air gun.  Per Wikipedia, "The term BB originated from the nomenclature of the size of steel shots used in a shotgun. Size "BB" shots were normally 0.180 in (4.6 mm) . . ."

14. At risk of offending, for short: UN-PC.  Not Politically Correct.

15. "Play more!": ENCORE.  An additional song or musical selection played after the planned program is complete, as requested by the audience.

16. Variety: ILK.  Type

19. Foot the bill: PAY.  End up paying for something, especially if the charge is large or unreasonable.  Sad.

20. Expedia info: FARES.  Expedia is an American based travel company that provides FARES and other information for world-wide travel.

21. "__ Tu": 1974 hit sung in Spanish: ERES.

22. Boozer: SOT.  Alcoholic.

23. Nike rival: ADIDAS.  Sports shoes.

28. Back muscle, familiarly: LAT.  More formally, Latissimus dorsi the muscle connecting the upper extremity to the back bone.  Mine are typically tight, probably from my trombone addiction.

29. Garnet or ruby: RED.  Shades of meaning.

31. Double helix part: STRAND.  Come on, baby, let's do the twist.

32. Approximately: OR SO.  In the general vicinity of - or so it is said.

34. Old __: card game: MAID.

37. Small pies: TARTS. Small filled pastries without a top crust.

41. "Hello" singer: ADELE.

44. Subway fare?: HERO.  A sandwich of meat, cheese and vegetables made on a long roll that can be purchased at, frex, the Subway sandwich shop.  A fee is involved.

45. Pollen pouches: SACS.  The structures in seed plants where pollen is produced.

49. Overhaul: REVAMP.  Improve the form, appearance and structure of something.

51. Inquire: ASK.  Asking minds want to know.

53. Stick in the closet?: MOP.  "Stick" is a noun here, and it has a head.

57. Mogadishu native: SOMALI.  A resident of Somalia, a failed nation on the horn of Africa.

59. Master: ACE.

60. __ Bator: ULAN.  The capital of Mongolia, on the Tuul River.

62. "Beauty and the Beast" role: BELLE.  Per Wikipedia, she "is the non-conforming daughter of an inventor who yearns to abandon her predictable village life in return for adventure."  The rest is herstory.

63. Olive center: PIT.  A hard seed.

66. Ginger __: ALE. A carbonated soft drink made with -- wait for it . . . ginger!

67. 2014 boxing biopic: I AM ALI.

68. "Othello" villain: IAGO.  He is Othello's standard bearer, but he hates Othello and seeks his downfall by trying to make him believe his wife is unfaithful with his lieutenant, Cassio.

69. '60s hallucinogen: LSD.  Lysergic Acid Diethyamide. Have a nice trip.

70. Shiny photo: GLOSSY.  Type of finish surface on the photo paper

71. "You said it!": AMEN.


1. Mark who plays the Hulk: RUFFALO.

2. Tracked by air traffic control: ON RADAR.  What the bleep is that?

3. Bar supply: SPIRITS.  Liquors that have been distilled to increase the alcohol content.

4. Didn't just sit there: ACTED.  Did something.

5. "I __ what you did there": SEE.  Acknowledging someone's cleverness.

6. Memo starter: IN RE.  With regard to --

7. Winter neckwear: SCARF.  A fabric item worn to maintain warmth and ward off the elements.

8. Cell network structure: TOWER.  I was so stuck on biological cells that when this answer emerged I was totally confused.  Of course this refers to the place where antennae are place for cell phone transmissions.  Which prompts the question: does anyone still use their phone to actually call somebody?

9. Clears a whiteboard: ERASES.  Or a blackboard. Works either way.

10. King of Spain: REY.  Literal translation

11. Like many magnets: BIPOLAR.  Having both north and south poles.

12. Glaringly obvious: BLATANT.  In your face.

13. Big __ Country: Montana: SKY.  Don't let them fool you.  The sky is the same size everywhere.  But in Michigan, you often can't see it for the clouds.

18. Ivan the Terrible, e.g.: TSAR.  One of many Russian emperors, prior to 1917.

22. Turns the hose on: SPRAYS.   Fun way to end up single.

24. Rig on the road: SEMI.  Tractor trailer rig.

26. James of jazz: ETTA.

27. Golf course meas.: YDS. Distance from tee to green, in yards.

30. Superspeed boy in "The Incredibles": DASH.

33. Recently: OF LATE.

35. Curling surface: ICE.  This is a game in which large, flat stones are slid along a smooth ICE surface into a target area.

36. Toon explorer: DORA.  Found this on FaceBook recently.

39. San __, Italy: REMO.  A city on the Mediterranean located in the extreme western part of Italy.  San and Santa - near clechoes.

40. Overseer: BOSS.

41. Greeting at a dog park: ARF.

42. Throws off track: DERAILS.

43. Thrown out: EVICTED.

46. Dental filling material: AMALGAM.  Despite containing about 50% elemental mercury, it is considered to be safe.

47. Dartmouth, e.g.: COLLEGE.  An institute of higher learning.

48. Watches through binoculars, maybe: SPIES ON.

50. Like lions and tigers and bears: PLURAL.  Yes they are plurals.  No, I do not like self-referential clues.

52. 18-time NBA All-Star Bryant: KOBE.  According to some, the 12th best player ever.

55. Texas mission: ALAMO.  Famous for the battle of 1836, when Texas was seceding from Mexico.  In a 13 day siege the garrison stationed there was almost completely wiped out.

56. "Get Yer __ Out!": live Stones album: YAYASRead all about it.

58. Mass __: MEDIA.  With tulips in my mind, I guess, I confidently filled in MANIA.  That was a set back.  The correct answer refers to news and communication outlets, like publications, broadcasting and the internet.

61. Guitarist Cline of the band Wilco: NELS.  Was this a Natick for anyone else?

63. Buddy: PAL.  Amigo, BFF.

64. Cookie fruit: FIG.  Classic.

65. Kit letters: DIY.  DIYourself.  A kit is the set of parts, pieces and tools required to build some thing.  Good luck and - yeah - do read the instructions.

OK, kids - we've frittered away enough time with this crossword puzzle.  Let's go take on the rest of the day.

Cool regards!

Note from C.C.:

Here are three beautiful pictures from Kazie (Kay). Her youngest son Dave got married last month

During the ceremony--Dave and Aimee.

Family group with all the children including Aimee's niece and nephew as well as her own two girls and our grands (Dave's nieces)
Our older son's family and their gift to the new couple

Jul 10, 2019

Wednesday July 10, 2019 Alan Olschwang

 Theme:  DEUCES WILD (58. Card game declaration, and a hint to what can be found in the four other longest answers) - Anagram of "Deuce" are hidden in each theme answer.

 18. *Soft material: SUEDE CLOTH.

 23. *Supply support for a claim: PRODUCE EVIDENCE.

 36. *"Coming Home" and "Nebraska" Oscar nominee: BRUCE DERN.

 50. *Like many new job seekers: COLLEGE-EDUCATED.

Boomer again, filling another blogging gap.

Hello everyone. I can relate to this theme because I really like playing the deuces wild version of draw poker machines at the casinos.  You don't win a lot but also you can play a while without losing much. I did hit a royal flush (no wild cards) for $200, on a five nickel bet at Treasure Island. The one in Minnesota, not the one on the Strip in Vegas.

Boomer, Treasure Island, 2013

1. Chopped garden clods: HOED.  Easier than pulling weeds, but careful around the tomatoes .

5. Wash: BATHE.

10. Thailand neighbor: LAOS.

14. Basketball Hall of Famer Donovan: ANNE.  We met Lindsey Whalen once.  She was a star Minnesota Gopher and Minnesota Lynx guard.  She now coaches the Gopher women's basketball program and I expect will be elected to the Hall of Fame. She is from Hutchinson, MN, a city 40 miles west of Minneapolis and was founded by my great, great, great grandfather Asa Hutchinson.  Leader of the Hutchinson Family Singers, but no relation to the governor of Arkansas.  (I asked).  

Anne Donovan (November 1, 1961 – June 13, 2018)

15. Dislike to the max: ABHOR.

16. Foot part: INCH. Toe did not have enough letters and heel didn't work either.

17. Rose and ruby: REDS.  Cincinnati baseball team.  I wish they could have taken a game or two from Cleveland last weekend.

20. "Downton Abbey" actor Stevens: DAN.

21. Ph.D. hurdle: DISS. Dissertation.

22. Quarterback Manning: ELI.  Brother of Peyton.  "Nationwide is on your side." 

29. Absolute: UTTER.

30. Cork's land: Abbr.: IRE.

31. "Mazel __!": TOV. Congratulations and best of luck!!

32. Ancient city on the Nile: THEBES.  The Nile River does not get enough credit.  I believe the source is either the Red Sea or the Mediterranean and winds its way through Egypt.  It forms a few lakes south of Cairo, reminds me of the Mississippi in Missouri.

34. "That scared me!": EEK.  Monday we had EKE, now we are treated to EEK.

35. Many a map dot: ISLE.  Reminds me of Lake of the Isles, featured on the intro of many Mary Tyler Moore episodes.
Mary Tyler Moore House, August 16, 2017
39. West Point team: ARMY.  Hup, Sarge.

42. It's never free of charge: ION.

43. E-tailer: DOT COM.

47. Life story, briefly: BIO.

48. Spike TV, once: TNN.

49. Candle emanation: AROMA. That's odd, I never realize an aroma from a candle.  How about "Outhouse emanation"?

55. Filming site: LOT.  It is said his wife was turned to a pillar of salt.

56. Phnom __, Cambodia: PENH.

57. Ancient times, poetically: ELD.

62. Tire swing support: TREE.  Brings back memories.  I have not seen a tire swing for years.

63. "A Beautiful Mind" mathematician: NASH.  I have not seen one of them for years either,  My Mom drove a 1952 sedan.  (Not a Rambler).  I owned a 1975 Pacer before AMC went under.

64. Numbered market section: AISLE.  Home Depot has numbered aisles, and I swear every store employee knows exactly which number everything is in. 

65. Is in session: SITS.

66. Slow-moving boats: ARKS.

67. Old Renault: LE CAR.  Never owned or drove one of these.  Is Renault still in business?

68. 38-Down, e.g.: PEST. 38D. Orkin target: ROACH.


1. Barely able: HARD PUT.  Add a "T" and you have the Hard putt made on the 18th green by Matt Wolfe at the 3M Open Sunday.

2. The heck: ON EARTH. Peace ON EARTH finally, now that July 4th has passed.

3. Back-of-the-book explanatory comment: END NOTE.

4. Paris' Pont __ Arts: DES

5. Like 101 courses: BASIC.

6. Vituperation: ABUSE.

7. This and this: THESE.  Life Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.

8. Brick carrier: HOD.

9. Prior to, in verse: ERE.

10. De Gaulle's birthplace: LILLE.  Charles De Gaulle was a key ally for the U.S. in World War II and was still President of France when I was in high school in the sixties.

11. Applies holy oil to: ANOINTS. Our sick parishioners receive this monthly in church.

12. U.N. Day month: OCT.  The 27th is my birthday.

13. "Be quiet!": SHH.

19. Relinquish officially: CEDE.  Hairlines must cede twice, because they RECEDE.

21. Engraver Albrecht: DURER.

24. "You Light Up My Life" singer Boone: DEBBY.  I see her on infomercials with Peter Marshall selling old time greats CDs.  Her dad PAT was a legend, now he sells bathtubs.

25. Competed: VIED.

26. Ticked: IRKED. See also 46. Superlatively 26-Down: MADDEST.

27. KFC title: COL.  Good old Colonel Sanders.  We visited the very first KFC in Corbin, KY about 17 years ago on our way to Myrtle Beach, SC.  A great historical stop.

28. Biblical garden denizen: EVE.  Please pass me an apple.

33. Acting litigiously: SUING.

34. Poetic twilight: EEN.  Oh I'm just eightEEN, got a ruptured SplEEN and I always carry a purse, (Draft Dodger Blues.  Chad Mitchell Trio)  

35. IV part: INTRA.

37. Cold Stone Creamery buy: CONE.  Former Mets pitcher David.

39. "The Rookie" network: ABC.  I don't watch ABC too much anymore.  Maybe if they had "Law & Order" reruns.

40. __ Grande: RIO.

41. Oyster or clam: MOLLUSK.

44. Social circle: COTERIE.

45. Brunch buffet station fare: OMELETS.  Great name!  I think it is Latin for three scrambled eggs, grilled flat, then rolled up around ham and cheese.

48. Beret's perch: TETE.

51. Highland waters: LOCHS. Home of the Ness Monster?

52. Protestant denom.: EPISC.

53. Street in a law office: DELLA.  I used to watch Perry Mason all the time.  Now I hardly ever tune in a rerun.

54. Sedated: UNDER.

58. Paternity identifier: DNA.  Had this on Monday.

59. Musical gift: EAR.  I have heard that a person might have a good ear for music.  What do they do with their other ear?

60. "Do the Right Thing" pizzeria owner: SAL.

61. LPGA golfer Michelle: WIE.  She was in Chaska Minnesota at Hazeltine several weeks ago.  However it seems she has injured wrists, and was not able to make the cut.

62. Dose meas.: TSP.


Jul 3, 2019

Wednesday July 3, 2019 Debbie Ellerin

Theme: STIR CRAZY (61. Having cabin fever ... and a hint to this puzzle's circles) - Anagram of STIR is hidden in each theme answer.
16. Mullet or mohawk: HAIRSTYLE.

23. Cartoon boy voiced by Nancy Cartwright: BART SIMPSON.

38. One of many that begin with "Honk": BUMPER STICKER.

50. Where attorneys Darrow and Bryan faced off: SCOPES TRIAL.

Boomer here again, filling in a blogging gap.

The weather forecast is all STIRRED up for the 3M Open PGA golf tournament. At least I do not have to water the garden this week.  Happy and safe holiday to all on the July 4 birthday of the USA!!


1. Calamine target: ITCH.

5. It may be a stretch: LIMO.  Fancy and expensive.  I think most are rented for a special night.

9. "Amscray!": SCAT.

13. Old King or Nat King: COLE. Unforgettable, that's what you are. 

14. Exiled Roman poet: OVID.

15. Quench: SLAKE.  Minnesota has many thousandS LAKEs

18. Like one who errs?: HUMAN.  Shortstop did not fit.

19. Tech gurus: IT PROS.  C.C. is the IT PRO of our house.  I am an IT AM.

20. Overwhelm: SWAMP.  Thoughts run to Beetle Bailey's Camp Swampy.

22. Prefix with "-phyte": NEO

28. Trait transmitter: GENE. These Genes are not made by Levi

30. Actor McGregor: EWAN.

31. The Beatles' "__ Just Seen a Face": I'VE.  "When I was younger, so much younger than today." Help!! 

32. Kenyan tribe: MASAI.

35. Frittered away: WASTED.

41. Make a contribution: DONATE. Church is having a garage sale the end of this month. I have pledged to donate my entire basement, except the TV.

42. Pinto-riding sidekick: TONTO. Jay Silverheels. He was born in Brantford Canada, (not TOroNTO.

43. Donkey: ASS.  I'm a Don Lock and you're a  ___

44. Personal bearing: MIEN

46. Fleeces: ROBS.

55. FDR agency: NRA. Not the national gun lobby, this NRA stood for National Recovery Administration from the Great Depression.

56. Colorful Danish blocks: LEGOS. I've mentioned before, the Mall of America is unique with its huge display of Lego blocks.

57. Seasoning blend from Maryland: OLD BAY.  I have not heard of this.  Sounds like a cologne for senior citizens. 

59. Skin care brand: NIVEA.

64. Improve: AMEND.  Sometimes just say AMEN and it could fix itself. 

65. "__ No Sunshine": Bill Withers hit: AIN'T. Got a barrel of money either.

66. Aha moment remark: I SEE.  Said the blind man, but he really didn't.

67. Eponyms of seven planets: GODS.  I have to admit I did not know what an eponym as so I Googled it.  It has something to do with being named after a person.  Which leads me to wonder, who was Uranus named after?? 

68. Comedian Carvey: DANA.  Really Really a great skit as "The Church Lady"  "Isn't that special'"

69. Desk drawer items: PENS.  Don't forget Post-It notes, batteries, paper clips, Sharpies, and Scotch tape.


1. Chinese book of divination: I CHING.

2. Exactly: TO A TEE.  I always think of golf when I see TEE.

3. Like some earrings: CLIP-ON. Remember when men's ties used to be clip-ons?  I never owned one.  Seemed to be cheating. 

4. Münster mister: HERR.

5. Tons of, casually: LOTSA.  Shots for me on the golf course. But how about Nate Lashley in Detroit? The last guy to be entered in the Rocket Mortgage Event. And the last guy off the green on the 18th on Sunday.  Worth a little over 1.3 Million.  He's entered in the 3M.  Bring your rain jacket, Nate !

6. One of a collegiate octet: IVY.  Yeah, Harvard, Yale and six others.

7. "Cool" sum: MIL.  See Nate Lashley above.

8. Texas or Ukraine city: ODESSA.

9. Batter's rough patch: SLUMP.  Twins have Miguel Sano.  Slump is his middle name.

10. Pitcher's spot?: CAMPSITE.  Pitch a tent, then bring out a pitcher of your favorite beverage.

11. Letters in a BOLO alert: AKA.

12. Midmorning time: TEN.  Time for a nap.

15. Bogus: SHAM.

17. Lament loudly: SOB.  Also an acronym for ... never mind.

21. Best type of situation: WIN WIN.

24. "Cracked __ View": Hootie & the Blowfish debut album: REAR.

25. Party game inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2015: TWISTER.  Not in my book.  I always thought it was a stupid game.

26. "Get __ it!": OVER.

27. Neighbor of 23-Across: NED.  I am not really a Simpsons' fan but I recognize Mr. Flanders.

29. Austen novel that inspired the film "Clueless": EMMA.

33. Apropos: APT.  Makes me think of Apartment,  There are many many multiple living buildings going up all over Minneapolis suburbs.

34. Appear to be: SEEM SO.

36. Make a move: ACT.  I was professor Harold Hill, and River City's going to have a a boys' band.

37. Hershey toffee bar: SKOR.

38. Pear type: BOSC.  Kind of brown and ugly.  I like the yellow ones, but I do not know what they are called.

39. Like some mysteries: UNSOLVED.

40. Novelist Morrison: TONI.

41. Prosecutors: Abbr.: DAS.  The first one on Law & Order was Adam Schiff. Interesting California has a congressman with that name.

45. "How tragic": IT'S SAD.  The story of Angel Pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

47. Hoping to make it home: ON BASE.

48. Shamelessly bold: BRAZEN.  There was a lady in River City who made Brazen Overtures.  I think it may have been Marion the Librarian nut I am older now and cannot remember 1964.

49. Accept a proposal: SAY YES.

51. Hammer heads: PEENS.  I actually think the head is the flat striker and the peen is the ball behind the head.

52. "Jeepers": EGAD.

53. Major artery: AORTA.  I think we just had this Monday.

54. Partners' legal entity: Abbr.: LLC.

58. Coffee brewing choice: DRIP.  When I was a kid we had regular grind for the percolator, and drip grind for the once through the grounds coffeemakers.  I don't see too many percolators any more.

59. Back-seat driver, e.g.: NAG.  

60. "Here's what I think," in texts: IMO.

62. Madre's hermana: TIA.

63. Hampton __: INN.


Jun 26, 2019

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 Dan Schoenholtz

Theme BATTER UP! Not at the ball diamond this time.  Instead, we find ourselves at the kitchen counter with eggs, oil and today's theme.  Let's check it out

17 A. It may be hard to turn down: NICE OFFER.  Not to be confused with an OFFER that you can't refuse.  The circled letters, here shown in red, can be rearranged to spell COFFEE.  Decaf for me, please - no cream or sugar.

26 A. Stockpiled: LOADED UP ON.  Acquired, collected, and kept; amassed. The red letters can be used to spell POUND.  Is this puzzle going to the dogs?  Probably not.

41 A. Sitting in an assigned seat, e.g.: TAKING ONE'S PLACE.  "Everyone take your places," is an in the language phrase.  So, have a seat.  Perhaps your cushion is a cushy SPONGE rubber.

51 A. Corporate annual report focus: FISCAL YEAR.  A 12 month period used for accounting and tax purposes that might not line up with a calendar year.  The red letters can spell LAYER - a ply of something in a built-up construction.  So what are we to make of all this?  Let's consult the reveal.

64 A. Baking conveniences, and a hint to this puzzle's circles: CAKE MIXES.  Aha!  Each of the words is also a type of CAKE, MIXED into the clue fill.  And a CAKE MIX is a store-bought combination of ingredients you can use to make a tasty sweet treat. Are you hungry?  I think CAKE is OK, any time of day or night.  Though, to be honest, I prefer cookies.


1. They may be exchanged in anger: WORDS.  Description of an argument.

6. Jet stream locale?: SPA.  SPA in this case being a whirlpool bath, with jets that stream water onto your aching body.

9. Ziti, e.g.: PASTA.  Per wikipedia, Ziti is an extruded tubular pasta that is smaller than rigatoni, but larger than mezzani.  Pasta is pasta.  Why it comes in so many shapes and sizes is a mystery to me.

14. Scrub, as a launch: ABORT.  From the mission control vocabulary of NASA.  A decision to stop a planned launch after the pre-launch sequence of activities has begun.

15. Short film?: PIC.  An abrv. of [moving] PICTURE

16. Pronouncement platform: ALTAR.  "I now pronounce you man and wife," is one of the kinds of pronouncements that can be issued there.

19. Lumps: GLOBS.  Solid or semi-sold masses of no particular size and shape.

20. Small flightless bird: KIWI.

21. "Oye Como Va" songwriter Puente: TITO.  Hey, how is it going?

23. Barnyard noise: MOO. Cow talk.

24. Low-risk investments: Abbr.: CDsCertificates of Deposit.

29. Stooped (over): HUNCHED.

32. Beer container: CAN.  E pluribus unum.

33. "It matters to me": I CARE.  Back in the 60's we said, "Give a damn!"

34. "The Green Hornet" co-writer/star Rogen: SETH. [b 1982] Canadian-American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and director.

37. Scorch: CHAR.  Burn the surface of something with heat or a direct flame.

44. Editor's retraction: STET.  "Let it stand."  (used as an instruction on a printed proof to indicate that a correction or alteration should be ignored).

45. Picnic pests: ANTS.  Six-legged invaders.

46. Blows off steam: VENTS.  Pssssst.

47. Feverish, say: ILL. Exhibiting symptoms of sickness.

49. Doesn't continue, as an argument: LET'S DIE.  It's hard to know when to let up.  Sometimes continuing is futile.  I was arguing about socialism with some guy on FaceBook.  He wouldn't accept the dictionary definition.  I finally gave up and told him to have a nice day.

56. "Irreverence is easy--what's hard is __": Tom Lehrer: WIT.  Keen mental sharpness and inventiveness.

57. Lime ending: -ADE.  The juice of the lime ends up in a fruity drink.  In my house, it's far more likely to end up in a spicy guacamole.

58. 12-1 MLB victory, e.g.: ROUT.  A lop-sided victory.  Or, from the Tigers' perspective, a lop-sided defeat.

59. Davenport setting: IOWA.  Or my late mom-s living room.  A city and an item of furniture [if you want to couch it in those terms], respectively.

62. Like spinach, say: LEAFY.  As rose bushes are thorny, and trees are barky.

68. Tanning site: SALON.

69. Spy org. called "The Company": CIA.  Central Intelligence Agency.  We learn this vocabulary from a 2003 semi-factual novel by Robert Littell.

70. Hapless: INEPT.  Everybody, get yourself some hap, so you can be EPT.

71. North Sea county: ESSEX.  Located North and East of London, England.

72. __-country music: ALT.  ALTernate.  A loosely defined sub-genre of county/rock music.  Styles can be significantly different in style from mainstream or pop country.

73. "Get it done!": TODAY.  Stat! [Not stet]


1. Lacking color: WAN. Pale and weak looking.

2. Tokyo sash: OBI.

3. Large python: ROCK SNAKE.  A large, non-venemous, but extraordinarily vicious and dangerous snake living in sub-saharan Africa.

4. German trio: DREI.  The number three.

5. Put away: STOW.

6. Sunscreen letters: SPFSun Protection Factor.  Understand it here.

7. Michelangelo masterpiece: PIETA.

8. Sharp: ACRID.  Having an irritatingly strong and unpleasant taste or smell.

9. Taoist temple: PAGODA.

10. Every one of: ALL. Don't leave me out.

11. Defeat soundly: STOMP.  In other words, a ROUT.

12. Off-limits: TABOO.  Forbidden.

13. Fiery crime: ARSON.  The crime of deliberately setting fire to property.

18. Computer menu heading: FILE. You can save and print, among other options.

22. Computer fixers: TECHS.

24. Vouchers: CHITS.  IOUs

25. Old European coin: DUCAT. Any of various gold and silver coins.

27. Eats too much of, as junk food: ODs ONOver-Dose, trivializing the real meaning.

28. Family tree figures: UNCLES.  What I am to my niece and nephew.

30. Blogger, at times: CRITIC. Or, in my case, almost always.

31. Farm clucker: HEN.  And egg layer.

35. Sinusitis-treating doc: ENTEar, Nose and Throat specialist.

36. Edison contemporary: TESLA.  Nikola Tesla [1956-1943] was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system. [Wikipedia]

38. Manually spiffed up at the carwash: HAND WAXED.  Manual labor.

39. When the duel occurs in "Hamilton": ACT II.

40. Start over: RESET.

42. Big name in California viticulture: GALLO.  Brothers Ernst and Julio.

43. Entry-level GI: PVT. Private.

48. Voice box: LARYNX.  the hollow muscular organ forming an air passage to the lungs and holding the vocal cords in humans and other mammals;

50. Scary-sounding lake: ERIE.  Toledo's lake.

51. Like many a rumor: FALSE.  Fake news?

52. Creative output: IDEAS.  Brain storms.

53. Makes airtight: SEALS.  Closes up.

54. Desert plant with sword-shaped leaves: YUCCA.

55. Source of net profits?: ETAIL.  Electronic - i.e. on-line - retail.

60. Exclude: OMIT. Leave out, elide.

61. Sot: WINO.  Alcoholic.

63. Enemy: FOE.  Not a friend

65. Dennings of "2 Broke Girls": KAT.

66. AQI monitor: EPA.  The Air Quality index is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency, established in 1970.

67. Muddy pen: STY. Home for swine.

One more in a long line of Wednesday puzzles, but this one takes the cake.   Hope you were able to slice through it without getting frosted.

Cool regards!

Jun 19, 2019

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 Lewis Rothlein

Theme - WORD LADDER.  This is a word game invented by Lewis Carroll, in which a starting word is transformed into a target word by changing one letter at a time.  The challenge is to accomplish this in the fewest steps.  Here all the ladder words have circled letters, and are stand alone fill.  Let's see how this works.

1. Strong drink, and part 1 of a word ladder: DOUBLE.  A DOUBLE is a drink with 2 ounces of liquor.  It is also our starting word.  Looking ahead, our target word is SHIFT.  So, one can work a DOUBLE SHIFT.  I've never done that, and let's hope we don't have to.  But hold that thought.

20. Tabloid item (part 2): COUPLE.  A COUPLE in a tabloid is often referred to as an item.  Usually they show up because of some scandal, rumor, or bit of personal news involving them.  None of this is anybody's business, of course, but inquiring minds want to know.  The changed letters are highlighted in red.  Hang on a sec - letters!?!  Two of them? Should I call foul on this?  Let's defer that answer for the nonce.

28. Two-door cars (part 3): COUPES.  Cars with fixed roofs, two doors, and sloping rears.  Two letters changed.

36. Brunch order (part 4): CREPES. These are thin pancakes, usually rolled and wrapped around a filling.  My favorite is apricot.  Again, two letters have changed.

42. Underground tombs (part 5): CRYPTS. I can't improve on that definition.  Nor on the consistent changing of two letters.

48. Arts' partner (part 6): CRAFTS.  The skills involved in making things by hand.  Or craftally changing two letters at a time.

56. Wanders (part 7): DRIFTS.  Travels aimlessly.  Or changes by two letters at a time, with a specific aim in mind.  Hmmm  .  .  .

68. Work assignments ... and, preceded by 1-Across, the key to creating the word ladder (and part 8 of it): SHIFTS.  You can work several kinds of SHIFTS - day, night, third, or swing.  But, back to the puzzle, now all becomes clear.  Putting the first and last words together, we get DOUBLE SHIFTS - thus the alteration of two letters at a time.  Tadah!

That's a bit meta, but certainly clever, and I'll give some extra credit for that.

Hi, Gang.  It's JazzBumpa, not feeling at all SHIFTY.  So let's double down and see what the rest of this puzzle has to offer.


7. Kiss: BUSS.  From the Latin basiare, probably via French and late Middle English.

11. Injured, as a knee: BUM.

14. Damage: IMPAIR.  As, for example, a knee.

15. Private tutoring session: ONE ON ONE.

17. Theater walkways: AISLES.  Or in churches.

18. Injured, as an ankle: SPRAINED.  When the ligaments are stretched or torn.  We are having a rather bad leg day.

19. Cancels a dele: STETS.  Editor's marks for delete and let it stand, respectively.

21. The "S" of CSNY: STILLS.  I was stuck on NY as being New York.  That was a complete dead end.  This "S" is Steven Stills of Crosby, STILLS, Nash and Young.  Remember them?

24. "No more sharing," briefly: TMIToo Much Information - not on my need-to-know list.

25. Genetic material: DNA. Deoxyribonuclaic acid.  We all took biochemistry - right?

30. 1975 Tony-winning play about a stableboy: EQUUS.  About which I know nothing.

32. Former Boston commuter org.: MTA. Municipal Transit Authority.

35. Small, chirpy bird: WRENSeveral varieties.

37. "It can't be!": OH NO.  Dang!

39. Unsuccessful Ford: EDSEL.  But now a cult classic.

41. Personal care brand with a bird in its logo: DOVE.

44. Mining hauls: ORES.  Rocks containing useful metals.

46. Circus safety feature: NET.  To catch a falling star.

47. Owl sounds: HOOTS.  Do you give one?

50. Piercing tool: AWL. For puncturing leather, not owls.

51. Japanese assent: HAI. Means yes.

53. Sandal parts: STRAPS.  Keeps them on your feet.

59. Taxpayer's option: E-FILE.  Electronic submission.

61. Neckwear that makes a statement: POWER TIE.  It's all nonsense, in my humble opinion.

63. Older, as bread: STALER.  Not that I've ever made that specific comparison.

64. Like the print version of an e-book, say: DEAD TREE.  Paper pulp source.

65. Abrasion: SCRAPE.  Damage due to friction - more pain. Ouch!

66. Cook in oil: FRY.

67. Insolence: SASS.  Impudence and rudeness.   Thad says, don't do it.


1. Days in Quito: DIAS.  In Ecuador, they speak Spanish, todos los días.

2. Drops: OMITS.  Leaves out or excludes.

3. Hot and bothered: UPSET.  Disturbed, or - if you prefer - excited.

4. Like Estonia and Latvia: BALTIC.   Also Lithuania - refers to countries on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, across from Sweden.

5. Stays out of sight: LIES LOW.  Avoiding attention and detection, generally for the purpose of staying out of trouble.

6. Trauma ctrs.: ERSEmergency Rooms.

7. Pear variety: BOSC.  Unique in shape and color.

8. Removes for transplanting: UNPOTS.  Out of one pot, and into another - or, perhaps, the ground.

9. Antitoxin: SERUM.

10. Having more lather: SOAPIER.

11. Took a refresher course in: BONED UP ON.  You can BONE UP ON it here.

12. Half of deux: UNE.  Two divided by two is one.  This looks suspiciously like French to me.  Numbers in French go hilariously wonky, as you will soon see. My granddaughter Alexa, who has studied French, assures me that every bit of this is true.

13. __ school: MED.  Where one learns to be a doctor.

16. Zero, in soccer: NIL.  Exactly nothing.  Probably the same - or something [that is to say: "nothing"] close to it - in French.  I hope.

22. Angling needs: LURES.  Things that attract the fish.  In another puzzle I worked recently the answer to this clue, in the singular, was LINE.

23. Went like the wind: SPED.  If I do that, I get winded. 

26. Béisbol team complement: NUEVE.  A baseball team has 9 players, in any language.  Spanish numbers, if I recall correctly, make some sort of sense.

27. Desirable trait: ASSET.

29. Belgian painter James: ENSOR. [1860-1949] Read about him here.

31. Logician's "as was proven": QED.  Quod Erat Demonstrandum - loosely, that which was to be demonstrated.

32. Coffee flavor: MOCHA. A coffee-chocolate combination.

33. Host, as a party: THROW.

34. With no discernable pattern: ANY OLD WAY.  Whatever.

36. Chin indentation: CLEFT.

38. Back (out): OPT.  Choose to not participate.

40. Labeled times: ERAS.

43. Warm-weather wear: T SHIRTS.

45. Warm up before a run: STRETCH.

48. Boston and Chicago: CITIES.  Large municipalities.

49. "Green Hills of Africa" journey: SAFARI.  From the Arabic word safara - to travel.

52. Union that merged with SAG in 2012: AFTRA.  Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

54. Rice dish: PILAF.  Cooked in broth with spices and vegetables or meat.

55. Snoozed: SLEPT.

57. See 58-Down: RED.  The color of anger.

58. With 57-Down, loses one's cool: SEES.  To see red is to become suddenly enraged.  From an earlier expression "To see things red," from ca. 1900.  Probably not related to a bull fighter's red cape.

60. Part of a Spanish "to be" conjugation: ERES.  I'll leave this to a Spanish speaker to explain.

61. Adobe doc suffix: PDF. Portable Document File.

62. Atop, poetically: O'ER. As, for example, ramparts.

63. Griddle sound: SSS.  Onomatopoeia, I suppose.

That wraps up another Wednesday.  I'll add this, just because I can - a big trombone [and tuba] choir I participate in once a year.  This year it was on June 9th.

Cool Regards!

Jun 12, 2019

Wednesday, June 12 2019, Tim Schenck

Theme:  BREAK THE BANK. Various words for "money" are strewn through each theme answer.

Ulan Bator residents: MONGOLIANS. MOOLA - sometimes spelled moolah.

20. Electrical unit: KILOVOLT. LOOT - often refers to stolen money or goods.

59. Bayou critter: CRAWFISH. CASH - the only word here for money that isn't slang.

61. Wedding party member: BRIDESMAID. BREAD - since bread was the traditional everyday necessity of life, to earn one's living was to earn one's bread, therefore bread became synonymous with money.

39. Share good fortune, as suggested in four sets of circles: SPREAD THE WEALTH. Sometimes the circles are not needed, but with this one, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have found the dough.


1. WCs: LAVS. Plumbing manufacturers often use the term "water-closet" to differentiate toilets from urinals. American plumbing codes still refer to a toilet as a "Water Closet" or a "WC". The Royal Spanish Academy Dictionary accepts "váter" as a name for a toilet or bathroom, which is derived from the British term "water-closet."

5. Rope fiber plants: HEMPS.

10. Shell game, e.g.: SCAM.

14. Hodgepodge: OLIO.

15. Wedding: UNION.

16. Somewhat, in music: POCO. Also a band from the '70's. Who knew they were still touring?

17. Blockhead: CLOD. Don't hear this word much any more.

22. "Citizen Kane" director: WELLES.

23. Fill with love: ENAMOR.

24. Flower part: SEPAL. A sepal is a part of the flower of angiosperms. Usually green, sepals typically function as protection for the flower in bud, and often as support for the petals when in bloom. 

 26. Philosophy suffix: ISM.

28. Antediluvian: OLD. "Of or belonging to the time before the biblical Flood."

29. Talk, talk, talk: YAK.

32. Drive away: REPEL.

36. With the bow, in music: ARCO. "Arco (which is not an abbreviation) means to return to bowing after pizzicato (abbreviated pizz.) or col legno. Pizzicato means you pluck the strings with your fingers instead of using the bow, col legno using the wooden backside of the bow instead of the hairs."

38. "__ Lisa": MONA.

42. Ore bed: VEIN.

43. Multivitamin ingredient: IRON.

44. Compare: LIKEN.

45. Fielder's strong throw: PEG.

46. Cultural Revolution leader: MAO.

47. Recede: EBB.

49. Does some mending: DARNS.

51. Disaster area thief: LOOTER. Again with LOOT.

56. Gauguin's island retreat: TAHITI. Foul man, fine artist.

63. Inevitable outcome: FATE.

64. What Benjamin Button did backward: AGED.

65. Not windy: TERSE.

66. Side squared, for a square: AREA. Ohhhhh .... math.

67. Like Santa's cheeks: ROSY.

68. Eyelid woes: STYES.

69. Metallica drummer Ulrich: LARS.


1. Age of Enlightenment philosopher: LOCKE.

2. Do-or-die Texas Hold 'em bet: ALL IN. For Gilmore Girls fans, this phrase is not about poker.

3. String quartet instrument: VIOLA.

4. City destroyed in Genesis: SODOM.

5. Caters to: HUMORS.

6. Carbon compound: ENOL.

7. Freebies near the register: MINTS. Never turn down a mint.

8. Faddish '90s disc: POG.

9. Road maintenance vehicle: SNOW PLOW.

10. Mop target: SPILL.

11. Shade of black: COAL.

12. Proactiv+ target: ACNE.

13. What some proverbial stones don't gather: MOSS. I'll be hearing Bob Dylan all day in my head. How does it feel?

19. Detective's need: LEAD. Not clue.

21. "And there you have it!": VOILA and VIOLA (3D) in same puzzle.

25. Epoch in the Cenozoic Era: EOCENE.

27. __ of honor: MATRON.

29. Egg part: YOLK.

30. Get the pot going: ANTE.

31. Madeline of "Blazing Saddles": KAHN. So talented, she passed away in 1999.

32. "Let us know if you're coming" letters: RSVP.

33. Duel tool: EPEE.

34. Uptight type: PRIG. Funny word.

35. Bard's nightfall: E'EN. Contraction for evening.

37. Density symbol, in physics: RHO. Also the 17th letter of the Greek alphabet. Looks like a p - ρ.

38. __ tai: MAI.

40. Nin and Frank: DIARISTS.

41. Macaroni shape: ELBOW.

46. Pal at the barbie: MATE. Not Midge or Ken.

48. Turbine parts: BLADES.

49. One of Sean Combs' stage names: DIDDY. Also Puff Daddy.

50. Hair-raising: SCARY.

52. Butcher shop byproduct: OFFAL. Entrails and internal organs. The Offal-Eater’s Handbook.

53. Sparkly crown: TIARA.

54. Perfume compound: ESTER.

55. Relatives of emus: RHEAS.

56. Lift up the slope: T-BAR.

57. Golden Fleece ship: ARGO.

58. Goes quickly, quaintly: HIES.

60. Ascend: RISE.

62. Bumped into: MET. Okay - but met seems more planned than unexpected.