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

Mar 20, 2019

Wednesday, March 20 2019, Mark McClain

Theme: Homonyms.
Each theme answer contains a word or syllable, each with a different spelling, pronounced the same: "PEEK." The above image is of Pikachu - a species of Pokémon. His cheeks store electricity.

18. Breed also known as a Lion Dog: PEKINGESE. Tricky spelling. From "A compact toy companion of regal bearing and a distinctive rolling gait, is one of several breeds created for the ruling classes of ancient China."

26. Angry display: FIT OF PIQUE.

49. When the volume is the highest: PEAK SEASON.

62. Survey surreptitiously: TAKE A PEEK.

Melissa here. There were some clever and sneaky clues in this one. Theme was easy to spot as soon as two theme answers were filled in.

1. About, in dates: CIRCA.

6. Words With Friends and such: APPS. I bet there are lots of cornerites who play that one. I prefer Draw Something. As much as I enjoy crosswords, Scrabble is too slow for me. It is quite popular in prison visiting rooms, as is dominoes.

10. They form a "cage": RIBS. Nice.

14. Bee-related: APIAN. Hee.

15. Cry while pointing a finger: LOOK. The "cry" tripped me up.

16. Rebecca's firstborn: ESAU.

17. General opening?: SOFT G. I still get tricked by this.

20. High regard: ESTEEM.

22. Nasty types: MEANIES.

23. Warm feeling: GLOW.

25. Gridiron official: REF. I wasn't aware that Gridiron Football was the term for American football.

31. Skill useful in delicate situations: TACT.

35. Big name in gaming: ATARI.

36. Like the Javanese calendar: LUNAR. Java is an island of Indonesia. Something tells me there may be a regular who has some pictures to share. See it at the bottom left? Things to see in Java.

38. Swear: VOW. I do.

39. Catholic univ. in San Antonio: MARYS.

40. Facebook titter: LOL.

41. Kagan on the bench: ELENA.

43. Symphonic rock gp.: ELO.

44. Port-au-Prince locale: HAITI.

46. "Otello" composer: VERDI.

47. Towns on some maps: DOTS.

51. Guffaw syllable: HAR.

53. Prominent fox features: EARS.

54. Alters to fit: TAILORS.

58. Souvenir with a slogan: T-SHIRT. Vote for Pedro.

64. Sanction: ALLOW.

65. Graph line: AXIS.

66. Westin competitor: OMNI. Hotels.

67. Rope often coiled: LASSO. Not noose.

68. Beer order: PINT.

69. Pop: SODA.

70. Moves rhythmically: SWAYS.


1. Detective's job: CASE.

2. Nasdaq debuts: IPOS.

3. Breach: RIFT.

4. Hurricane strength term: CATEGORY.

5. Colorful reef denizen: ANGEL FISH. So many different kinds.

6. The Eiger, for one: ALP. Impressive. Famous for cheese-making.

7. Work often recited: POEM.

8. Sack holding a pig, in an old idiom: POKE.

9. Winter sports mecca: SKI AREA.

10. Pass along, with dubious etiquette: RE-GIFT.

11. "It's clear now!": I SEE.

12. Barbershop member: BASS.

13. "X" author Grafton: SUE.

19. Austin-to-Dallas dir.: NNE.

21. Do some floor work: MOP. My mind went to dancing.

24. Singer Nelson: WILLIE.

26. Well-known: FAMED.

27. Writer Calvino: ITALO.

28. Seer's deck: TAROT.

29. Prescribed goal: QUOTA.

30. "A tradition __ any other": trademarked catchphrase for The Masters: UNLIKE.

32. Declares: AVERS.

33. Housing choice: CONDO.

34. Huck Finn creator: TWAIN.

37. Setbacks: REVERSALS.

42. Pet control ordinance: LEASH LAW.

45. Fitting: APROPOS.

48. Least forward: SHIEST. Superlative of shy. Have never seen that spelling. Collins dictionary says it is British spelling.

50. Didn't play: SAT.

52. In the manner of: ALA.

54. Bus alternative: TAXI.

55. Similar (to): AKIN.

56. San __: Riviera resort: REMO. Wikipedia has it as one word.

57. Transmit: SEND.

59. Ingrid's "Casablanca" role: ILSA.

60. Optimistic: ROSY.

61. There are five in ten: TWOS.

62. Word with dance or root: TAP.

63. Sedona, for one: KIA. Car model, not city.

Notes from C.C.:

1) Happy 81st birthday to Commander Al (Spitzboov), who has generously helped me with many problems over the years. Al served in the Navy Reserve for over 20 years and continues to be involved in various navy activities. Because of Spitzboov, Boomer and I have the best flag in the neighborhood. 
Argyle and Spitzboov
(August 23, 2014, Washington County Fair)

3) Happy 83rd Birthday to John28man! So happy that all your medical problems are under control and you continue to enjoy an active life, John!

Mar 13, 2019

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Ed Sessa

Theme: Well, there was this guy  .  .  . and this other guy  .  .  .   Or - What's in a name? Famous men's names are linked across and within theme entries, from the generic to the specific.

First the generic:

18 D. Generic guy: TOM.
34 D. Generic guy: DICK.
50 D.  Generic guy: HARRY.
These are generally considered as a collective, referring to any guy you're likely to run into.  So to encounter every TOM, DICK and HARRY separately here made it a little hard to suss.  Of course, these given names could have been clued in a variety of other ways.  But with this theme, it's important to clue them this way, leaving them, in a sense, open ended.

67 A. 18-, 34- __ 50-Down: AND.  To bring them all together

As an aside, the most common names for boys born in 2018 were Jackson,  Liam, Noah, Aiden, Caden, Grayson, Lucas, Mason, Oliver and Elijah.  The old expression might need to be reconsidered, because nowadays, every Tom Dick and Harry is named Jackson, Liam or Noah.

Then the specific:

20 A. After 18-Down, actor/golfer combo: ARNOLD PALMER.  So we get the actor TOM ARNOLD [b 1959] and the golfer ARNOLD PALMER [1929-2016].  Tom's first wife was the now increasingly unhinged Roseanne Barr.  He is currently getting divorced from his fourth wife.  At some point you might just as well quit.  ARNOLD PALMER was, and remains, an icon in the world of golf.  Once, at his Bay Hill golf club, I had lunch with him.  Granted, we were at different tables, at opposite ends of the room, but we were eating together.  Or at least at the same time. His name could also have been clued as a soft drink made by mixing lemonade and iced tea.

37 A. After 34-Down, crime writer/poet combo: FRANCIS SCOTT KEY.  Here we have DICK FRANCIS [1920-2010], a former steeplechase jockey whose novels focus on crime in the world of British horse racing, along with FRANCIS SCOTT KEY [1779-1843] who composed the poem Defense of Fort M'Henry in September, 1814, after witnessing the battle there.  It was soon set to music, and became our unofficial national anthem.  This was made official by an executive order from President Wilson in 1916. There are good reasons why the third verse is never sung.

55. After 50-Down, president/novelist combo: TRUMAN CAPOTE.  This gives us the 33rd President [1945-1933] of the U. S., HARRY TRUMAN [1884-1972] and author TRUMAN CAPOTE [1924-1984.] President Truman implemented the Marshall Plan, benefiting Western Europe after WW II and was involved in establishing NATO.  TRUMAN CAPOTE was a novelist, playwright and actor.  At least 20 of his works have been made into movies.  The best known are probably Breakfast a Tiffany's and the non-fiction murder story In Cold Blood.

Hi Gang.  JazzBumpa here.  As you can probably tell, I had a hard time figuring out how to characterize and deal with this clever and unusual theme.  Proper names, in general, are not top notch fill.  But when they become the theme, it's a whole new ball game.  And Ed has given the idea - quite literally - a new dimension.  So - kudos for that.  Let's see what else we have.


1. Cascades peak: SHASTA.  A currently inactive [but who knows?] volcano at the southern end of the Cascade Range in Northern CA,  with a max. elevation of 14, 179 ft.

7. Cap'n's aide: BOS'N.   A contraction of boatswain, also known as the chief petty officer.

11. Classic British sports cars: MGs.  The Initials of Morris Garages.  MG is the marque for vehicles marketed as such by its parent company, Shanghai based SAIC Motors.

14. Character builder?: AUTHOR. A writer, in this case of fiction stories, where each character ought to be built of relatable human characteristics. Unless that character is Ramsey Bolton.

15. __ Domini: ANNO.  Latin for "in the year of our Lord," designating the most recent 2019 years of human history.  This idea has its own complicated history which the interested reader may perhaps pursue at one's leisure.

16. Vein contents: ORE.  Mining for minerals

17. Not yet proven: THEORETICAL.  Sometimes the theoretical can yet be proven.  All it takes are extraordinary capability and decades of single-minded devotion.

19. __ drop: MIC.  I have a mental block about pronouncing mic as Mike.  Anyway, the expression refers to a literal or figurative gesture at the end of a speech or performance indicating triumph.

22. Wrestling duo: TAG TEAM.  A two person wrestling team, only one of which is in the ring at any given time.  A replacement can only be made if the one in the ring can physically touch, or TAG, his partner.

25. Innocent: NAIVE.  Due to lack of experience with all the pitfalls, travails and villains one encounters in the real world.

26. Charlottesville sch.: UVA. University of Virginia.

27. Like a cool cat: HEP.  From Wikipedia: Hipster or hepcat, as used in the 1940s, referred to aficionados of jazz, in particular bebop, which became popular in the early 1940s. The hipster adopted the lifestyle of the jazz musician, including some or all of the following: dress, slang, use of cannabis and other drugs, relaxed attitude, sarcastic humor, self-imposed poverty, and relaxed sexual codes.

30. Edible root: BEET.  When it comes to borscht, you can't beet soup!

31. Depended (on): RELIED.

35. Sunlit lobbies: ATRIA.  Entrance areas or central courts of buildings or complexes that are either open roofed or glass covered.  I once had the opportunity to crawl around on one with a glass roof.  And, yes, I am acrophobic.  Good times.

42. Worthy of a standing O: SOCKO.  Stunningly effective or successful.

43. Pay for one's crime: DO TIME.  Go to prison.

44. Suisse peak: ALPE.  Une montagne en Français.

47. Sisters, say: KIN.  It's all relative.

48. Spam holder: TIN.  A metal can containing [presumably] food stuffs.

49. "American Horror Story" actress Paulson: SARAH. Never watched it.

51. Contents of a teacher's key: ANSWERS.

59. TV buying channel: HSNHome Shopping Network

60. Host of a Friars Club event: ROASTMASTER.  Portmanteau of ROAST and MASTER, modeled after "toastmaster, " to designate an MC at a comedy roast, in which a person is honored by being the butt of pointed jokes.

64. One of a comic trio: MOE.  Along with Larry, Curly, and Shemp.  I know - that makes 4.  Sometimes life ain't easy.

65. Invite feedback?: RSVP.  Formal request to respond to an invitation.

66. Nissan sedan: ALTIMA.  A mid-size sedan.

68. Votes for: YEAS.  All opposed say Nay.

69. Oppressive ruler: DESPOT.  A ruler with absolute power.  Power corrupts.


1. Minded the kids: SAT.  As in baby sat.

2. "What the?!": HUH.  Eh?

3. Pigged out, say: ATE.  Too much.

4. Little pig: SHOAT.  Especially one who was newly weaned.

5. Yankee manager before Girardi: TORRE.  Joe [b 1940] ranks 5th in MLB history with 2326 wins as a manger.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.

6. __ rock: Queen genre: ARENA.  I did not know this was actually considered a genre of pop music.  Music designed to be played in large spaces before large audiences.

7. Attend to a leaking boat: BAIL.  Scoop water out of the boat with buckets.  Might be a losing battle.

8. How some data is stored: ON CD.  Increasingly less likely these days.

9. Sound made using two fingers: SNAP.  There's more than one way to do it.

10. "The Dark Knight Trilogy" director Christopher: NOLAN. [b 1970]  An English film director, screen writer and producer who holds duel British and American citizenship.

11. Family nickname: MOMMIE.

12. Mourn: GRIEVE.  Emotional distress.

13. It's not for everyone: SECRET.  Keep it under your hat.

21. Canadian brewery: LABATT.  Founded in 1847 by John Kinder Labatt in London, Ont.  Now part of international conglomerate Inbev.

22. Steak metaphor seen on menus: TURF.  Along with SURF.  What wine goes with that?

23. State with conviction: AVER.  Or AVOW.  Always need perps.

24. Charity event: GALA.  A social event with entrtainmnet.

27. Wears: HAS ON.  Is clothed with.

28. "There's more" letters: ETC.  List shortener.

29. Jab to keep them dogies rollin': PROD.  For cattle.

32. Slacks measure: INSEAM.  The seam from the crotch to the bottom of a pant leg, or its length.

33. Prefix with car: ECO.  ECoCAR is a competitive event in which engineering students design and build advanced vehicles with leading edge technologies.

36. "How was __ know?": I TO.  Somebody tell me.

38. Maneuver through moguls: SKI.  This short video shows how to do it.

39. Flier on a string: KITE.

40. Mideast mogul: EMIR. A clecho, and a different sense of the word mogul, here meaning an important or powerful person.

41. Strong desires: YENS.  Urges.  I thought about going to Japan, but didn't have he YEN to travel.

44. Bronchial disorder: ASTHMA. A chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways.

45. "The Far Side" cartoonist Gary: LARSON.  [b.1950]  Seeking to avoid what he termed "the graveyard of mediocre cartoons, he retired at the beginning of 1995 at age 44.

46. Tended to topiary: PRUNED.  Selected trimming away of branches from trees or shrubs.

51. Germane: APT. Appropriate or suitable to the situation.

52. Desert wanderer: NOMAD.  One with no permanent home, traveling from place to place to find fresh areas for livestock grazing.

53. Like many bad jokes: STALE.  Old and used up.

54. Bridge positions: WESTS.  Positions at the bridge table are named for the four main cardinal directions.

56. Bridge position: NOSE.  Another clecho, and another sense of the word bridge.

57. Vena __: major blood line: CAVA.  Either of two veins returning deoxygenated blood to the heart.

58. Sacred symbols on pyramid walls: ASPS.  The depiction of an Egyptian cobra.

61. Reward for waiting: TIP.  Not for Godot, unless he has arrived and is at the table where you are serving.

62. Confessional music genre: EMO.  Similar to punk, but having more complex arrangements, typically dealing with angst and other deep emotions.

63. Maze scurrier: RAT.  In a laboratory.

That wraps it up for another Wednesday. Good puzzle.  I didn't have any nits.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Cool regards!

Mar 6, 2019

Wednesday, March 5 2019, Roland Huget

Theme: Three Sheets to the Wind

17. It may require a permission slip: SCHOOL EVENT.

27. Nearly one-third of Africa: SAHARA DESERT.

43. Gathering with much networking: SCHMOOZEFEST.

57. Table with columns, and what literally can be found in 17-, 27- and 43-Across: SPREADSHEET.

The word SHEET is S-P-R-E-A-D across each theme answer. Added and impressive bonus that each answer begins with S and ends with T. Constructors must be always thinking of theme ideas. I am in awe of their creativity.

Melissa here. When I flew out to my daughter's last Thursday our power had just been restored following a freak snowstorm, and we had to shovel the driveway to get out. I returned last night and there's still snow everywhere but roads are clear and most everyone has power again. Some were without for a full week. It reminds me how spoiled I am, so accustomed to modern conveniences.


1. Nurse Barton: CLARA. She founded the Red Cross.

6. Work with a libretto: OPERA. Sneaky - noun, not verb.

11. Capture: BAG.

14. Spring for a drink?: OASIS.

15. Piece of info: DATUM.

16. "What __ the odds?": ARE.

19. "Narcos" org.: DEA.

20. First encounter in a romcom: MEET CUTE. I had not heard this term before. Wikipedia: "In film and television, a meet cute is a scene in which the two people who will form a future romantic couple meet for the first time. This type of scene is a staple of romantic comedies." At right is from You've Got Mail. I may be the last person to have seen the newest movie version of A Star is Born, which contains a meet cute that sets the tone for the relationship between Jackson and Ally. I love the stripped down look of Lady Gaga. The encore version with 12 extra minutes is in theaters for only one week, beginning March 1st. So good.

21. Open, as a gate latch: UNBAR. Interesting discussion here regarding castle gates. About halfway down are four pictures of real castle gates, and some points about barred gate doors.

23. Pigs out (on), briefly: ODS. Overdoses.

24. Believer's suffix: IST. Buddhist.

25. General sense: TENOR.

31. Roadside business: MOTEL. Motels differ from hotels in that they have fewer rooms, are typically one or two levels, and guests access their rooms from outside rather than a corridor.

34. Decorating job on "Cake Boss": ICER.

35. Coin-op gas station machine output: AIR. No free air any more.

36. Grand-scale production: EPIC.

37. Extra feature: ADD-ON.

39. "And your point is?": OK, SO?

40. Drumstick: LEG.

41. Guys-only party: STAG. Stag vs. Buck.

42. Let up: EASED.

47. Neutral shade: TAUPE.

48. __Clean: stain remover: OXI.

49. Tarzan raiser: APE. My daughter's baby shower last Saturday included a game to match Disney characters with their parents. I now know that Tarzan's (adoptive) mother was an ape named Kala. They have their own meet cute.

52. Razor sharpener: STROP.

54. Time-out: BREATHER.

56. Seek the affections of: WOO. I like this word.

60. Rock concert need: AMP. Short for amplifier.

61. Angel who directs Satan to Earth in "Paradise Lost": URIEL.

62. Speak formally: ORATE.

63. "__-haw!": YEE.

64. Diver's gem: PEARL.

65. Renoir subjects: NUDES.


1. Pink drink, for short: COSMO.

2. Tied, as sneakers: LACED.

3. Volcanic particles: ASHES.

4. Real hoot: RIOT.

5. Hardly gregarious: ASOCIAL.

6. One-named folk singer: ODETTA.

7. Make car-friendly: PAVE.

8. Saison that starts in juin: ETE. French for Summer. Wiktionary.

9. Diamond score: RUN. Baseball.

10. Radio component: AM TUNER.

11. Instances of rotten luck: BAD BREAKS.

12. Carpet calculation: AREA.

13. PRNDL selection: GEAR. Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, Low.

18. Like rainforests: LUSH.

22. Turndowns: NOS.

25. Tex-Mex snack: TACO. Tex Mex vs. Mexican food.

26. Genesis place: EDEN.

27. Jiffy: SEC.

28. Blue __ Mountains: RIDGE. I heard John Denver's Country Road lyrics in my head. If Only John Denver Had a Map.

29. Prepare to sing an anthem: RISE.

30. Stepped (on): TROD.

31. "Alice" diner: MELS. Interesting facts about the movie and spinoff tv series.

32. Oil org.: OPEC. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

33. Metaphor for a precarious course: TIGHTROPE.

37. Surmounting: ATOP.

38. Bewildered state: DAZE.

39. Granola bar morsel: OAT.

41. Makes more powerful: SOUPS UP. I always thought of this phrase as enhancing the appearance, but most definitions I found lead with increasing power.

42. Co-host of the sports radio show "Boomer and Gio": ESIASON. Was not aware of this show.

44. Chinese chairman: MAO.

45. Last words of the Pledge of Allegiance: FOR ALL. "[...] with liberty and justice for all." An honorable goal - I wish it were really true.

46. Deleted, with "out": EXED.

49. In the future: AHEAD.

50. Golfer Calvin: PEETE.

51. Some Deco collectibles: ERTES. Unmistakable style.

52. Persuade: SWAY.

53. Big volume: TOME.

54. Stein filler: BEER.

55. By way of, briefly: THRU. "Briefly" indicates a shortened spelling. Through vs. Thru.

58. Register opening?: PRE.

59. River inlet: RIA.

Note from C.C.:

As Melissa mentioned earlier, she visited her daughter last week. Here are two gorgeous pictures. They just look like from a fairy tale. Jaelyn's little sister, Harper Rose, is expected sometime around 5/2/19.

This is going to be a beautiful year for Melissa, who's been working hard for years championing Adopt an Inmate.

Feb 27, 2019

Wednesday Febraury 27, 2019 Bryant Shain

Theme: SHUFFLEBOARD (54. Game played on a floor or table, and a hint to this puzzle's circled letters- Three types of boards are scrambled inside each theme answer.

20. Particular: HARD TO PLEASE. Dartboard.

28. Hospital bigwig: CHIEF SURGEON. Surfboard.

44. Formally accuse of wrongdoing: PRESS CHARGES. Chessboard.

Boomer here. 

Melissa lost her internet connection due to the bad weather, so Manager C.C. called me off the bench to pinch hit. Of course, Spring training baseball is in session but I looked out of the dugout and I did not see spring yet here in Minnesota. Continued snow and cold as March comes in like a lion but hopefully will go out like a lamb.  

One more note to follow up on Monday - I am not a big NBA fan however Timberwolves All-Star, Karl Anthony Towns survived a car accident when the car in which he was a passenger was hit from behind by a semi truck. Karl passed  concussion protocol and returned to the court Monday vs. Sacramento and scored 34 points with 21 rebounds, so it seems he is okay.  My bowling is getting better, but nothing over 600 yet.


1. Old Russian ruler: TSAR.  I think this a Bulgarian word for king.

5. Landlocked African nation: MALI.

9. Wedding registry category: CHINA.  C.C.'s native country. The wedding registry is DISHES.

14. Famous final question: ET TU.  How many eggs did you have for breakfast Caesar ?

15. "Ducky" Mallard's alma mater, on "NCIS": ETON.

16. Support people: AIDES.

17. Prefix in juice names: CRAN. "Raspberries, Strawberries, the good wine we brew." The Kingston Trio did not mention cranberries. Not close enough to Thanksgiving,

18. Tends to the lawn: MOWS.  I have heard of this, but we are shoveling the lawn here these days.

19. '50s four-wheeled failure: EDSEL. Strange name.  Edsel Ford was Henry Ford's son and Henry Ford II's father.  I believe the model came out in 1958, when I was a kid and everyone visited car dealerships to view the new models.  I remember some dealerships had canvas tarps over their new models until THE day! The Ford Edsel had a nose on the grill and did not seem to entice acceptance by the public. 

23. Kitchen counter?: TIMER.  I use mine frequently.

24. "__ thought": IT'S A.  __ bird, __ plane, it's Superman !

25. Place to unwind: SPA.

31. Gig gear: AMP.  Okay, but when I see this word, I think of electric current.

34. Lessen: EASE.

35. Tweak, as text: EDIT.

36. Some trucks: DIESELS. Actually auto makers tried to make cars run on diesel but it did not seem to catch on. 

38. The North Pole, for Santa: ADDRESS.  Every time we see Santa in a clue, we think of Argyle.  Interesting, the pastor of my church is father Tom Santa.  In a previous sermon he read some interesting mail that he received around Christmastime.

41. Opposite of endo-: ECTO.

42. Flat-bottomed vessel: SCOW.  I spell this BOAT.

43. Daisy Ridley's "The Last Jedi" role: REY.

49. Blue Jays' home: Abbr.: TOR.  My only touch in Toronto was a plane change on the way to New Hampshire.

50. Mimicked: APED.

51. Small lizard: GECKO. Not a car insurance ad.

57. Fluffy-eared "bear": KOALA. Not a soft drink.

60. Hair-removal brand: NAIR.

61. Vintage ski lift: T BAR.  I wish they had these on some of the golf courses that I have played.

62. Arouse, as wrath: INCUR.

63. Basic French verb: ETRE.  Still do not like foreign words in puzzles.

64. Theta follower: IOTA.  I am not sure if Greek letters are foreign words.  This one means a little bit.

65. Tank fish: TETRA.  You won't catch these fish in Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. I think this is another Greek prefix meaning four or five.  I think a TETRA blast would mean 5 strikes in a row, without leaving a TETRA pin.

66. "Keep it __": REAL.  This is a confusing word.  I see it in front of "Real Estate".  Is there a "Fake Estate"?

67. Provide job support for?: ABET.  Five dollars on the Pass Line please.


1. __ support: TECH.  Someone just called trying to sell me tech support.  I lied and said I don't have a computer.  That always makes them go away.

2. Classic Fender guitar, for short: STRAT.  Earlier this month we remembered the death of Buddy Holly 60 years ago on February 3, in Iowa.  Buddy made his Fender Stratocaster famous, Oh Boy!

3. Arcade pioneer: ATARI. Yup, I had a bunch of these old video game cartridges.

4. "Walk This Way" rap trio: RUN DMC.

5. Many a D.C. landmark: MEMORIAL. I have never visited D.C.  I bet it would be very interesting.

6. Perched on: ATOP. Old Smokie ?

7. Good-for-nothing: LOWLIFE.

8. Mini-maps: INSETS.  Sometimes on line, you can enlarge them.

9. 14-Across speaker: CAESAR.  He's the one who ET TU eggs.

10. Go underground: HIDE.

11. Cards checked at the door: IDS.  Saw this in a previous puzzle.  I've told you about the IDS tower - the tallest building in Minneapolis.

12. French word in bios: NEE. I think it means "Ma'am, what was your surname before you got hitched."

13. Syst. for the hearing-impaired: ASL.

21. Giggle: TE HEE.

22. Sun Devils' sch.: ASU.  I heard that it snowed this year in the state of Arizona.

25. Passover feast: SEDER.

26. Self-assurance: POISE.  There seems to be a lot of self-assured POISE going on in the MLB millionaires baseball camps this spring.  We shall see.

27. On pins and needles: ANTSY.

29. Curvy letter: ESS.

30. Berlin's home: Abbr.: GER.  How can GER be an abbreviation for Deutschland ?

31. Showing mastery: ADEPT.

32. Prefix with brewery: MICRO. If you like a craft beer. My keyboard says it can also be a prefix for soft.

33. Rocker Frampton: PETER. Pumpkin eater.

37. Scrubbing brand: SOS.  These are made from steel wool. Be careful.

38. Unlike this ans.: ACR (Across)

39. Technically flawed comic poetry: DOGGEREL.

40. Nerdy sort: DWEEB.

42. Tragic end: SAD FATE.  See the Buddy Holly story above.

45. Much of North Africa: SAHARA.  Formerly a casino in Las Vegas.  The Sahara Avenue is still there but the casino is gone.

46. PC brain: CPU.

47. Noted bunny lover: HEFNER.  The last of the Playboy mansions has closed and Hugh left us in 2017.  Quite a story.

48. Nova __: SCOTIA.

52. Skewered meat: KABOB. Shish ?

53. Give a political speech: ORATE. Did not care much for the orations at the Oscars. Nobody thanked me.

54. Put-down: SLUR.

55. Turkey bacon?: LIRA.  Old Italian bacon as well.

56. "Well, shoot": DRAT.

57. Modeling convenience: KIT.  I loved these things when I was a kid. Glued together a lot of planes and cars.

58. Tip jar bill: ONE.  This is an expensive task for our government to print these bills. They have tried Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea, and President golden dollars, but nothing catches on.  People stubbornly continue to fill their wallets with dollar bills that last about two years, and scorn the coins which will last a lifetime.

59. Perform: ACT.


Notes from C.C.:

The 42nd American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (March 22 to March 24) will be held at the Stamford Marriott in Stamford, Connecticut. For those who attend, don't miss the Cru Dinner organized by the great Mike Alpern, who welcomed his first grandson a few months ago.

The Cru Dinner (6 pm to 8 pm, Friday, March 22)  officially kicks off the tournament and is a great opportunity to meet with constructors and fellow solvers. The space is limited, esp this year, so be sure to contact with Mike as soon as possible.