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

Sep 19, 2018

Wednesday, September 19 2018, Kurt Mengel and Jan-Michele Gianette

17. Ladled party drink: FRUIT PUNCH.

25. Cigarette brand featured on "Mad Men": LUCKY STRIKE.

37. Martial arts level: BLACK BELT.

51. Manhattan stage attraction: BROADWAY HIT.

62. Slimy pest in a flower bed: GARDEN SLUG.

Melissa here. No reveal in today's puzzle, but it wasn't needed with these five theme answers - such POW-erful second words made it obvious. A fair amount of sporting references, all gettable even for those of us who don't follow sports.


1. Most populous città in Italia: ROMA.

5. Vintage photo tone: SEPIA. a reddish-brown color associated particularly with monochrome photographs of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Interesting origin - via Latin from Greek sēpia ‘cuttlefish:’ a blackish fluid secreted by a cuttlefish as a defensive screen. It is bottled and sold both as an ink for fountain pens, and in gourmet food shops to flavor and color food. In Spain and Italy,  inky black dishes are marked as Nero or Seppia. Cuttlefish vs. cuttlefish.

10. Scheming: UP TO.

14. "Are you __ out?": IN OR.

15. Tidies text: EDITS.

16. Scattered, as seeds: SOWN.

19. Vast landmass: ASIA.

20. Island near Maui: LANAI.

21. "__ a Lady": Tom Jones hit: SHE'S.

23. It blows things up: TNT. The three letter answer should have made this obvious but I immediately thought along the lines of enlarging a photo.

24. CPR pro: EMT.

29. Ingredient in a Florentine dish: SPINACH.

31. Ancient Aegean region: IONIA.

32. Notice: SEE.

33. Crossword-solving Simpson: LISA.

36. WWI pistol: LUGER.

40. Happen next: ENSUE.

43. Korean imports: KIAS. Automobiles.

44. "Hostel" director Roth: ELI.

47. __ Bornes: card game: MILLE. Nostalgic for me, my family and I played this. According to Wikipedia: French for a thousand milestones, referring to the distance markers on many French roads) is a French card game. Mille Bornes is listed in the GAMES Magazine Hall of Fame.

48. Being disrespectful to: SASSING.

55. Cal. column: THU.

56. Oft-numbered rd.: AVE.

57. Saltimbocca herb: SAGE. Saltimbocca is a meat dish - traditionally veal, but also made with chicken or pork - cooked with prosciutto and sage.

58. Stationery brand: EATON. Letter writing with pen and paper is mostly a lost art.

60. Indian music: RAGA.

65. Heal, in a way: KNIT. Comfrey leaf and root is also known as boneset, or knitbone, because of it's ability to heal both soft tissue and broken bones. We have many plants growing in our yard.

66. Fire remnant: EMBER.

67. New Age composer John: TESH.

68. Not mad: SANE.

69. Fixes the leaks in: SEALS.

70. Two-toned cookie: OREO. Not to be confused with the black and white.


1. Rummages (through): RIFLES.

2. Parkway entrances: ON-RAMPS.

3. Canadian force member: MOUNTIE.

4. Met melody: ARIA. Opera. If this were a C.C. puzzle, I would think of this:

5. Fall mo.: SEP. Perfect timing.

6. Part of a college URL: EDU.

7. Belarus city: PINSK. Belarus is to the east of Poland. Minsk is the Capital. Pinsk is near the southern border, and looks like a beautiful place to visit.

8. In need of calamine lotion: ITCHY.

9. Fire pit residue: ASHES.

10. N. American land: USA.

11. Bulletin board item: POSTING.

12. Hostess sponge cake: TWINKIE. There are 40 ingredients in a TWINKIE. Michael Pollan on Twinkie vs. carrot, below.

13. Painting the town red: ON A TEAR.

18. Chef Jet __, frequent "Cutthroat Kitchen" judge: TILA. Speaking of lost arts and Michael Pollan, he declared that cooking has become a spectator sport.

22. "All the same ... ": STILL.

26. Western sch. with NCAA Division I team championships in 20 sports: UCLA.

27. Hen-to-be: CHICK.

28. Post office assignments: ROUTES.

30. Sci-fi/fantasy award: NEBULA.

34. Slalom slider: SKI.

35. Embarrass: ABASH.

38. West Yorkshire city: LEEDS.

39. Morales of "The Brink": ESAI.

40. Boards at the dock: EMBARKS. Verb not noun.

41. Kurt Cobain's group: NIRVANA.

42. Alabama Slammer ingredient: SLOE GIN.

45. More diminutive: LITTLER.

46. Not outsourced: IN-HOUSE.

49. WWII weapon: STEN.

50. Enthusiastic: GUNG HO.

52. Pay: WAGES. Answer could be singular or plural.

53. "Only __": NPR sports program: A GAME.

54. __ mate: tealike beverage: YERBA. South American hot infused drink, traditionally served in a gourd with a metal straw. Seems odd to drink hot liquid from a metal straw ...

59. About: AS TO.

61. Dined: ATE.

63. St. with a former "Small Wonder" slogan: DEL.

64. Stammering sounds: ERS.

Sep 12, 2018

Wednesday, September 12 2018, C.C. Burnikel

Theme: RAWR!

19. 1989 Al Pacino thriller: SEA OF LOVE. SEA MONSTER. What?

22. Website's list of browser data rules: COOKIE POLICY. COOKIE MONSTER. Who?

24. Magic ring-wielding superhero: GREEN LANTERN. GREEN MONSTER. Why?

49. 2001 Pixar hit, and a hint to the start of 19-, 22- and 24-Down: MONSTERS INC.

Unusual grid design - from C.C.: "I used a left/right symmetry grid due to limited theme entry choices. And I got lucky that I could intersect all of the those themers with the reveal."



1. Los Angeles player: RAM.

4. Dancer Charisse: CYD.

7. 1938 "The War of the Worlds" radio broadcaster: CBS.

10. Chewed-over material: CUD.

13. The Obama years, e.g.: ERA.

14. Cube that rolls: DIE.

15. "The Murders in the __ Morgue": RUE.

16. Harlem Globetrotters promoter Saperstein: ABE. Who knew?

17. Feel out of sorts: AIL.

18. Official reproach: CENSURE.

20. Diamond, for one: GEM.

21. Not of the clergy: LAIC.

23. Peaceful '60s protest: LIE IN.

24. Sandwich with tzatziki sauce: GYRO.

25. Vermeer, notably: OLD MASTER. Johannes Vermeer - Dutch artist who painted "The Girl With The Pearl Earring," among other masterpieces.

28. Cold response?: ACHOO. Nice clue.

31. Actor Pesci: JOE.

32. __ Free: caffeine-free soda: PEPSI.

36. They're bound to sell: BOOKS. Another great clue.

37. CIO partner: AFL.

38. Hides from animals: PELTS. On a roll! Love this clue, too.

39. Remove, as a knot: UNTIE.

40. 10% of MDX: CLI. Roman numerals.

41. Poky one: SNAIL.

42. London gallery: TATE. Houses four separate galleries - anyone been?

43. Unisex fragrance: CK ONE. Marketed to both men and women.

45. Strings for Orpheus: LYRE.

46. "Just like that!" sound: SNAP.

47. High temperature: FEVER.

48. Abbr. in job titles: ASST.

52. Spanish surrealist: DALI.

53. Poker variety: STUD.

55. Formally ask for: SOLICIT.

58. Ignore the alarm clock: SLEEP IN. I know a few people who naturally get up at the crack of noon.

61. Come before: PRECEDE.

62. Ceramic casserole dish: TERRINE.

63. Ancient land in the Fertile Crescent: ASSYRIA. Often called the "Cradle of Civilization," the region in the Middle East which curves, like a quarter-moon shape, from the Persian Gulf, through modern-day southern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and northern Egypt.

64. Still going on: UNENDED. Makes me feel weary.


1. Authentic: REAL.

2. Diva's moment: ARIA.

3. West African country: MALI.

4. Atlanta-based health agcy.: CDC.

5. Traffic directive: YIELD.

6. Guess apparel: DENIM JACKET.

7. Luxury voyage vessel: CRUISE LINER.

8. Seriously overcooked: BURNT. Some people like that taste.

9. "Capisce?": SEE. As in, understand.

10. Shrewd: CAGY.

11. Car service app: UBER.

12. Floor sample: DEMO.

26. Get beaten: LOSE.

27. "House" actor Omar: EPPS.

28. Borders on: ABUTS.

29. Sir Arthur __ Doyle: CONAN. Sherlock Holmes author.

30. Spicy Mexican wraps: HOT TAMALES.

33. Serves as matchmaker: PLAYS CUPID.

34. Uses a swizzle stick: STIRS.

35. Daysail destination: ISLET.

43. Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle, by pos.: CFS. Centerfielders.

44. Hectic hosp. areas: ERS. Emergency Rooms.

50. More pleasant: NICER.

51. Grenoble's river: ISERE.

52. British bombshell Diana: DORS. Va Va Voom! She looks like Jayne Mansfield.

54. Use the good china, say: DINE.

55. Healthful getaway: SPA.

56. Despot portrayed by Forest: IDI. Forest Whitaker played Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. I loved him in Phenomenon, too.

57. Drink from a kettle: TEA. Noun not verb.

58. "The Simpsons" disco guy: STU.

59. Cariou of "Blue Bloods": LEN. Unknown to me. He plays Henry Reagan, (retired) NYPD Police Commissioner.

60. Actor Beatty: NED.

Note from C.C.:

Today we celebrate the 59th birthday of Steve, our cool Thursday Sherpa. Steve is always on the cutting edge of food scene. He introduced us to sous-vide and Microplane long before they became popular. Thanks for the humor, fun and knowledge you bring to us every week, Steve!

Steve and his big brother rocking their T-straps

Steve and the Grumpy Cat

Sep 5, 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Gary Schlapfer and C. C. Burnikel

Theme: ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?  The NFL season kicks off [so to speak] tomorrow night with the defending Superbowl Champ Philly Eagles traveling to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. Do you have a raptor preference?

This is one of those rare puzzles where the theme is in the clues - not the fills, which are unrelated two-word common language phrases; brought to us by our own dear hostess, C. C. and Corner denizen Husker Gary.  C. C. and I worked a similar idea in a Sunday puzzle a couple years ago.  And by some weird cosmic coincidence, Gary blogged the puzzle that day, in quite spectacular fashion.

Today our theme clues are words familiar to football fans - and I'm pretty sure Gary is one.  C. C. is more into baseball.  Let's we what we have here.

18 A. BLOCK: CITY SQUARE.  Most cities have streets laid out in a rectilinear pattern.  A BLOCK is the area defined by four streets.  More specifically, a CITY [or town] SQUARE is an open public space near the heart of the town, used for community gatherings.  Here's a trombone's eye view from the bandstand at Kellogg Park, the town square in Plymouth, MI.

My peeps are out there somewhere

To BLOCK in football is to move a defensive player aside so a ball carrier can advance down the field.

23 A. CATCH: HIDDEN SNAG.  I'm imagining an underwater obstruction that a small boat could get hung up on.  Figuratively, it could be any unanticipated difficulty, perhaps as a result of poor planning.  In football, a CATCH is a reception of a PASS [vide infra], viz. a ball thrown to an eligible receiver to advance the team's position on the playing field.

37 A. KICK: CHAMPAGNE EFFECT.  Well, that depends on who you ask.

In football, there are three kinds of KICKS.  The KICK OFF happens at the beginning of each half, and after one team scores, to deliver the ball to their foe. The extra point is a KICK after a touch down is scored.  Success, attained by sending the ball through the uprights, is called a conversion, good for one point. The field goal is a similar kind of KICK, attempted when the offense stalls somewhere on the field.  If successful it nets 3 points.

49 A. PASS: FREE TICKET.  A no-charge permit that authorizes entry and access to a venue or event.  In football, a PASS is ball launched by hand to an intended receiver [vide supra.]

58A. RUN: HOSE MISHAP.  A tear or hole in sheer silk or nylon stockings.  A disaster.

In football, a RUN is an attempt to advance the ball by carrying it around or through the defenders.  Of course, a RUN is a score in baseball, as well.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to coach this game.  The theme cluing is pretty straight-forward, and the fills are sparkly in this thematically rich puzzle. And we have some extra bits of elegance.  Each theme clue can be functionally either an action verb, or the name of the action that is so indicated.  And there is a nice element of symmetry.  The first and last Theme entries are a complimentary pair, as are the second and fourth.  That must have taken some extra effort.  And the central theme entry is a grid spanner. So from my view on the side-line, this is a win.  Yay, team!


1. Tot's drink, to the tot: WAWA.  Water, when you are just figuring out how to form syllables.  Fun times.  Also a chain of convenience stores and gas stations located in the eastern U.S.  None in our area, but we always fill the tank and grab coffee and donuts when we leave step-son Tom's for the long drive home.

5. Side-by-side truck tires: DUALS.  They provide more even weight distribution, and thus greater safety and stability

10. Fifth Avenue landmark: SAKS.  An American luxury department store owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, the oldest commercial corporation in North America.

14. Help with a heist: ABET.  Provide assistance to a crime or other offense.

15. Play direction: ENTER.  Tells the actor to go onto the stage.

16. Lint collector: TRAP.  Belly button doesn't fit.

17. Sci-fi princess with a twin brother: LEIA.  Stars Wars, of course.  The brother is Luke Skywalker.

20. Abs exercise: LEG RAISE.  Get a leg up with proper form.

22. Take out of the packaging: UNBOX.  Open it up.

26. Picnic crasher: ANT.  Six-legged interloper.

28. Harrison of "My Fair Lady": REX.

29. Help: AID.  Assistance.

30. Tiny Lab, e.g.: PUP.  Young dog.

33. "But seriously folks ... " is one: SEGUE.   In music, a move from one song to the next without interruption.  Here, a little more loosely, a transition in a monologue.

35. Forest ranger?: ELK.  Per Wikipedia, these large members of the deer family "range in forest and forest-edge habitat, feeding on grasses, plants, leaves, and bark."  So - yep.

36. Selfish shout: MINE.  I get to use this again.

41. "What __!": "I've been had!": A RIP.  As in RIP off - a fraud or swindle, often based on something being over-priced

42. Little chap: LAD.  A boy.  From Middle English, of unknown origin.  The word was much more popular a century ago, but has had a recent resurgence.

43. Big dipper: LADLE.  Kitchen utensil, not something written in the stars.

44. Many a dad joke: PUN.  Strained puns that are anodyne and therefore OK to tell in mixed, but non-critical company.

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.
What do you call a fake noodle? An Impasta.
Want to hear a joke about paper? Nevermind it's tearable.
I just watched a program about beavers. It was the best dam program I've ever seen.
Why did the coffee file a police report? It got mugged.
How does a penguin build it's house? Igloos it together.

You get the picture.

45. Transparent art surface: CEL.  Speaking of pictures, CEL is short for celluloid, a transparent sheet where objects are drawn for traditional cartoon animation.  It is an artifact of obsolete animation technology.  Now, some cels are special editions of animation artwork, not intended for production.  Mine is from Mickey's Philharmagic at Walt Disney World.

46. MADD message, e.g.: PSA. A Public Service Announcement from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

48. __ Lingus: AER.  The flag carrier air line of Ireland, now owned by IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia.

52. Legend automaker: ACURA.  The luxury vehicle arm of Honda.

55. Alternative medicine staple: ALOE VERA.  Extract from the eponymous evergreen perennial succulent.

61. Its oxide makes Mars red: IRON.  Rust, an IRON-oxygen compound.

62. Retired tennis pro Kournikova: ANNA.  She was born in 1981 and retired from competitive play at age 21 due to spinal problems.

63. Bartlett entry: QUOTE.  An American reference book, first published in 1855, now in its 18th edition.

64. Gunk: CRUD.  An unpleasantly dirty and messy substance.

65. Woodpecker's tool: BEAK. Used for digging under the bark of trees to get insects, and for communication by drumming on hard surfaces.

66. Go over the limit: SPEED.  Driving in excess of the posted limit, which nobody does, ever.

67. Ball elevators: TEES.  In golf, the first stroke on any hole is hit with the ball slightly elevated from the ground on a wooden peg, called a TEE.  After that, one must play it where it lies.


1. Outlet site: WALL.  A srtucture designed to keep a door upright.

2. Busy as __: A BEE.  Oh, honey  .  .  .

3. Reason to purchase a new belt: WEIGHT GAIN.  I don't want to talk about it.

4. Pong maker: ATARI.  Speaking of back in the day.  You can tell your grandchildren that this was once a ground-breaking new video game.

5. Get off the fence: DECIDE.  Well  .  .  . ? [fingers drumming]

6. Like the name Pat: UNISEX.  Non-gender-specific.  My sister's full name is Patricia, which removes all doubt.  But her initials spelt the short form of her name.

7. When some local news airs: AT TEN.  In the evening.

8. Emmy-winning ESPN reporter Bob: LEY.  The network's longest tenured on-air employee.

9. Soon-to-be alumni: Abbr.: SRS.  Senior class members, hoping to graduate.

10. Smarted: STUNG.  If it hurt, how smart could it be?

11. Riyadh resident: ARAB.  Riyadh is the capital and most populous city of Saudi Arabia.

12. Pecan pie syrup: KARO.  A sweetener made from corn starch, containing varying amounts of maltose and higher oligosaccharides [sugar polymers of 3 to 10 units.]  High fructose corn syrup is made by further processing that converts much of its glucose into fructose, which tastes sweeter.

13. Glasses, informally: SPEX.  Or SPECS, short for spectacles.  Speaking of dad jokes - did you hear about the optometrist who fell into the lens grinding machine?  He made a spectacle of himself.

19. College courtyard: QUAD.  A square or rectangular space, mainly, or partly enclosed on all four sides by buildings.  Like a CITY SQUARE, but different.

21. Campaign pro?: AD REP.  A person responsible for an advertising effort intended to sell a product or service, not one involved in a political or military campaign.

24. Counter offer?: SALE.  Things are offered for SALE on or behind the counter of a store.  Clever mis-direction.

25. Goddess of victory: NIKE.  Her Roman equivalent is Victoria.

26. Music rights gp.: ASCAP. American Society of Composers, Authors and Plagiarists  Publishers.

27. '60s jacket style: NEHRU. A hip length tailored coat with mandarine collar.

30. Apartment used for overnight trips to the city: PIED A TERRE.  Literally, foot to the ground, going back to 18th century France, used to indicate any temporary lodging.  Now meaning a secondary residence [but not a vacation home] that is used occasionally during part of the year or part of the work week.

31. "I give up!": UNCLE.  North American usage, origin unknown.

32. Saint at a gate: PETER. An image in popular culture indicating St. Peter as the gate keeper of heaven.

34. Official behind a catcher: UMP.  Baseball umpire.

35. Word with tight or split: END.  Another football term, relating to the placement of a potential pass receiver.  Split ends could also be part of a bad hair day.

36. Juilliard deg.: MFAMaster of Fine Arts.

38. Away from the wind: ALEE. Nautical term, gong back to Middle English.

39. Beaufort scale word: GALE. A measure of wind speed.

40. Cereal bit: FLAKE.   Grains are crushed, ground, and then cooked for several hours, possibly with added vitamins and flavorings.  The resulting slurry is then pressed between rollers that flatten the grains.  They are then transferred to a heated drum for drying.  Additional additives may be sprayed on at this point.

45. Study a lot in a short time: CRAM.  To stuff something full - as one's brain with subject matter.

46. Pontius __: PILATE. The 5th prelate of the Roman provence of Judea, serving from A.D 26 to 37.

47. Checked (out): SCOPED.  Visually examined.

49. Come unglued, with "out": FREAK.  Lose it, go berserk, go ballistic.

50. Lake near California's Squaw Valley: TAHOE.  A large lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains, straddling the California - Nevada border, famous for its beaches and near-by ski resorts.

51. Throw out: EVICT.  A legal process to remove a tenant.

52. Queequeg's captain: AHAB. From Moby Dick.

53. Scoop perch: CONE.  Ice cream holder.

54. Military sch. whose mascot is Bill the Goat: USNAUnited States Naval Academy, located in Annapolis, MD.

56. Casanova: ROUE.  French term for one broken on a wheel, indicating the tortuous punishment such a debauchee allegedly deserves.

57. Common conjunctions: ANDS.  Sometimes associated with IFS and BUTS.

59. Brightness figs. not measured in watts: IQSIntelligence Quotient, indicating mental brightness.

60. "What's goin' on?": 'SUP.  Que pasa? 

That all, folks. C. C. and Gary gave us a sporting chance.

Cool regards!

Aug 29, 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 Craig Stowe

Theme: SHORT CUTS.  The word SHORT is cut up and shuffled into the theme answers. They locations of these letters are - or should be - indicated with circles.

17. Follow-up vaccination: BOOSTER SHOT.  Re-exposure to an immunizing antigen to increase or restore immunity.  I thought it was a snort of alcohol for a devotee of college athletics.

26. Bit of equine trickery: GIFT HORSE.  Unhappy memory for Trojans, but, somehow otherwise, not to be looked in the mouth.

36. Tall tale: FISH STORY.  An improbable, boastful tail.

52. Part of Ursa Minor: NORTH STAR.  Polaris, a trinary star system with a yellow super-giant and two small companions.

61. Cheat at checkout ... and a hint to the circled letters: SHORT CHANGE.  Literally, not give back sufficient CHANGE for a large bill.  Figuratively, to treat unfairly by withholding something of value.  In the theme fill, the word SHORT is CHANGED by re-ordering its letters.  This would be tough to spot if you didn't get the circles

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here to check out this puzzle and see to it we don't get cheated out of anything. Let's start at aisle 1.


1. Script deviations: AD LIBS. Spontaneous, not formally prepared speech.

7. Shallot, e.g.: BULB.  A type of onion, with a milder flavor.

11. "Wicked!": RAD.  Slang words for "good."

14. Knitted shoe: BOOTEE.  Infant's foor wear.

15. "The African Queen" screenwriter James: AGEE.

16. Bird on Australian coins: EMU.  A large flightless bird that is one of the cultural icons of Australia.  Here it is on a postage stamp.  Inexplicably, this is not the mascot of Eastern Michigan University.

19. Cul-de-__: SAC. Literally, the bottom of a sack, but generally used to indicate a dead-end street.

20. Birth announcement abbr.: OZS.  Along with Lbs.

21. MontrÈal mates: AMIS.  French speaking friends from our neighbor to the north..

22. Defeat soundly: CRUSH.  Stomp, bash, trounce.

24. Clip-on accessories, perhaps: TIES.

29. Fax forerunners: TELEXES.  Per Wikipedia, they comprised a public switched network of teleprinters similar to a telephone network, for the purposes of sending text-based messages.

32. Florida produce: ORANGES.  Citrus fruit.

33. Turkey neighbor: SYRIA.  South of Turkey, north-west of Iraq.

34. "__ news?": ANY.  Update, anyone?

35. Supreme leader?: ESS.  First letter of the word.  The type of self-referential clue that diminishes the quality of a puzzle.

40. Airline to Oslo: SAS.  Scandinavian Airlines.

43. Shoot the breeze: YAK.  Chew the fat.

44. Watts of "Twin Peaks" (2017): NAOMI.

47. Kind of illusion: OPTICAL.  See some here.

50. Drive back, as attackers: FEND OFF.  Repel hostile adversaries.

54. Mine, in MontrÈal: AMOI.

55. Justice Samuel: ALITO.  Appointed by George W. Bush and on the bench since January, 2006.

56. Organic fuel: PEAT.  Boggy ground consisting of partly decomposed vegetable matter.  Not the only organic fuel.

59. Directional suffix: -ERN.   All's quiet on the -ERN front.

60. Tank or tee: TOP.  Article of informal clothing worn on the torso.

65. Birthday card number: AGE.  These numbers keep increasing.

66. Currency for 19 countries: EURO.  It was introduced on January 1, 1999.

67. Apartment dweller, typically: RENTER.

68. Barrett of Pink Floyd: SYD.

69. Gas in a sign: NEON.  A noble gas [chemically inert] with atomic number 10 and atomic weight of 20.1797, having a density about .9 * that of air.

70. Like the smell of a brewery: YEASTY.  Brewers' yeast transforms carbohydrates to alcohol under low oxygen conditions.


1. Costello's cohort: ABBOTT.  Comedy partners

2. Humdingers: DOOZIES.  Things that are remarkable or outstanding.  "Humdinger" is a word of uncertain origin that arose in the U. S. in the late 19th century.  It might simply be a mash-up of hummer and dinger, older words of similar meaning.  DOOZIE is of unknown origin.  It is definitely not derived from the name of the Duesenberg motor car, as is sometimes suggested.  The use of the word predates the 1920 introduction of the automobile by more than 20 years.

3. How some scripts are adapted from novels: LOOSELY.  ASoIaF mavens take note.

4. "__ go time!": IT'S.  A challenge to fight some one; or a realization that the moment for decisive action has arrived.  Also, this year's advertising slogan for the Detroit Visitor's Bureau.

5. Software prototype: BETA. A test version of the package, prior to its commercial release.

6. Appear to be: SEEM. Give the impression or sensation of having a particualar quality.

7. Operatic voices: BASSI.  Italian plural of BASSO.

8. "Gross!": UGH.  Eeew!

9. Zodiac sign: LEO.  July 23 to August 22.  We are now in Virgo.

10. "You __!": "Bingo!": BETCHA.  Of course.

11. Make a comeback: RESURGE.  To regain popularity or strength after a decline.

12. Stockpiles: AMASSES.  Accumulates.

13. New title for Meghan Markle: DUCHESS. Of Sussex, having married Prince Harry on May 19th of this year.

18. Semis: RIGS.  North American term for large trucks.  More generally, a RIG is an apparatus or device designed for a specific purpose.

23. "This Is Us" Emmy nominee __ Cephas Jones: RON.  No idea.

25. Feudal laborer: SERF.  Laborers who were bound to a particular piece of property.

27. Word processing choice: FONTLetter character style.

28. "Have a sample": TRY ONE.  A tiny morsel.

30. A dozen ova?: XII.  OK.  Ova is latin for eggs; eggs are generally sold by the dozen; and XII is the Roman numeral for 12.  Still  .  .  .

31. Helpful courses for underachievers: EASY As.  A class where a high grade can be achieved with minimal effort.

34. Inquire: ASK.

37. "Don't move!": HALT.  Stay put.

38. Campaigned: RAN.  As for public office.

39. Diminutive Jedi master: YODA.

40. Mozart works: SONATAS.  Musical selections for solo instruments.  Here is a well known example.

41. Expression of regret: APOLOGY.  I'm sorry!

42. Like Ronald McDonald's sleeves: STRIPED.  Advertising mascot in a clown outfit.

45. They may be precious: MOMENTS.  Sweet memories, or overly cutsie ceramic miniatures, if you're in to that sort of kitsch..

46. "My memory fails me": I FORGET.  What was i saying  .  .  .  ?

48. Cousin of Gomez Addams: ITT.  From the Addams Family TV show.

49. Selected: CHOSEN.

50. Lose sleep (over): FRET.  Worry.

51. Sunday best: FINERY.  One's best clothing.

53. It may say "World's Okayest Cook": APRON.  A protective and/or decorative garment worn over the front of one's clothing, and tied in the back.

57. __ for help: A CRY.  S.O.S. perhaps.

58. Quaker pronoun: THEE.  Obsolete singular objective case version of "you."  A relic of the English language's Germanic roots.

62. Shade: HUE.  An attribute of color determined by its wavelength distribution, independent of brightness or intensity,

63. Conquistador's treasure: ORO.  Spanish gold.

64. Actress Ortiz of "Ugly Betty": ANA.

Betty's more fashionable sister

Well, that wraps up another Wednesday. Make sure you have all your nickels and dimes - and marbles, too, just to be on the safe side.
Cool regards!

Aug 22, 2018

Wednesday, August 22 2018, C.C. Burnikel


20. "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" subject: CORPORATE GREED.

32. Occupant-owned apartment overseeing group: COOP BOARD.

40. Many a comics supervillain: CRIME LORD. Not Crime Boss.

51. Eschewing big cable, and a hint to 20-, 32- and 40-Across: CUTTING THE CORD.

Melissa here. Another beauty from our prolific C.C. I imagine she is always thinking of how to turn (or cut) phrases into a clever theme, like this one.


1. Sources of fast cash: ATMS.

5. Paper holder: CLIP.

9. Underworld society: MAFIA. It doesn't really fit, but I was thinking more along these lines.

14. Secular: LAIC. As a layperson.

15. Gambling city that rhymes with "casino": RENO.

16. Chatting on WhatsApp, e.g.: IMING. Instant messaging.

17. "Frozen" queen: ELSA.

18. Serpentine swimmers: EELS.

19. Gall: NERVE.

23. Hotmail alternative: AOL.

24. Fashion monogram: YSL. Gimme.

25. Suffix with real or ideal: IST.

26. Functional: USABLE. Not useful.

29. "Well, golly!": OH GEE.

31. Subway stops: Abbr.: STNS.

36. Comfy shoe: MOC.

37. Adopt a caveman diet: GO PALEO. PALEO was in last Sunday's puzzle.

39. Utter: SAY.

42. Shower affection (on): DOTE.

43. Three squares, so to speak: MEALS.

44. Apple music manager: ITUNES.

46. Longtime NBC hit: SNL.

47. Canon SLR: EOS. Electro-Optical System. Wikipedia.

50. Band's stint: GIG.

56. Think tank member: BRAIN.

57. Beet, e.g.: ROOT.

58. "I don't like the sound of that": UH OH.

60. "Snowy" wader: EGRET.

61. "The Time Machine" race: ELOI.

62. Actress Hatcher: TERI.

63. In vogue again: RETRO. I think of it as meaning from the recent past, although retro is often in vogue.

64. Put through a screen: SIFT.

65. Fifth Avenue store since 1924: SAKS. History of Saks.


1. Tavern pour: ALE.

2. Salon powder: TALC.

3. Soup with tofu and seaweed: MISO. MISO was also in last Sunday's puzzle.

4. Sacred beetles: SCARABS. Both an insect, and an artifact.

5. Étouffée cuisine: CREOLE.

6. Lusty look: LEER.

7. Woodwork embellishment: INLAY.

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California contains some beautiful hand-inlaid parquet floors and trim.

8. Blog write-ups: POSTS. People often refer to a post as a blog. Not the same thing.

9. Dynasty known for its vases: MING.

10. Explorer Vespucci: AMERIGO.

11. Drought-affected annual period: FIRE SEASON. Wildfire season in the American West is now more than 4 months longer than it was just 40 years ago.

12. Dyed-in-the-wool: INVETERATE.

13. Like fine Scotch: AGED.

21. D.C. insider: POL.

22. Marry in a hurry: ELOPE.

26. "Oorah!" org.: USMC. Marines.

27. Coastal hurricane threat: STORM SURGE.

28. Cave painting, e.g.: ANCIENT ART.

30. "Silicon Valley" channel: HBO.

32. Nav. noncom: CPO.

33. Wake maker: OAR.

34. Not at all fresh: OLD.

35. Batik supplies: DYES.

37. Toothpaste choice: GEL.

38. Jimmy of the Daily Planet: OLSEN.

41. More grainy, as lager: MALTIER.

42. Where bats hang out?: DUGOUTS. Nice.

44. "That makes sense": I GET IT.

45. Nervous twitch: TIC.

48. Scary beasts: OGRES.

49. Absolut rival, familiarly: STOLI.

51. Trucker with a handle: CBER.

52. Really digging: INTO.

53. Filly's foot: HOOF.

54. Ostrich relative: RHEA.

55. Socially awkward type: DORK.

59. Friendly exchanges: HIS.

Notes from C.C.:

1) Melissa's granddaughter Jaelyn turned two on Saturday. Here is a cute picture of the birthday girl. So sweet!

2) Click here to solve the the Puzzle Society Crossword, edited by the talented David Steinberg. It's the debut of Jim Bordoni, JimmyB on our blog. Jim used to comment on our blog regularly. He still reads our comments these days. Click here to see the answer grid and the constructors' note. Congratulations, Jim!
Dianne (Jim's wife), Jim and C.C., Sept 25, 2016

Aug 15, 2018

Wednesday, August 15, 2016 Roger and Kathy Wienburg

Theme: SPINNING YOUR WHEELS.  The letters of the word TIRE are embedded within the theme answers in rotating order.  THUS: IRET, RETI, ETIR, then TIRE in the unifier.

20 A. Way to move funds: WIRE TRANSFER.  An electronic TRANSFER of funds between entities via a network maintained by hundreds of banks around the world.

28 A. Good manners: PROPER ETIQUETTE.  Conducting one's self according to the most appropriate social norms.   Check here is you're uncertain.

47 A. Artist ErtÈ's real name: ROMAIN DE TIRTOFF.  He [1882-1990] was a Russian-born French artist and designer of the Art DEco period,  known by the pseudonym Erté, from the French pronunciation of his initials, R T.

55. Regular vehicle maintenance suggested by this puzzle's circles: TIRE ROTATION. Moving the wheels and tires from one position on the vehicle to another, in order to achieve even wear and extend the useful life of the TIREs.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here to make sure this puzzle does not wear you down.  The elegant aspect of this theme is the presentation of the hidden word in a strict rotation of the first letter presented, with the remaining letters following in the order of the proper spelling of the word.  Let's see what other fun letters we can find.  We may have to tread lightly.


1. Beats Electronics co-founder, familiarly: DRE.  This is a division of Apple, Inc. that produces audio products.  It was founded by rapper Dr. DRE [Andre Romelle Young, b. 1965] and Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine.

4. Birdbrain, or an extinct bird: DODORead all about it.

8. Scrap: TAG END. The last remaining part of something.  Scrap?  Not so sure about that.

14. The guy for ewe: RAM.  They are a wooly couple, sometimes feeling sheepish.

15. "Right you are!": AMEN.  Emphatic agreement.

16. Vanderbilt of fashion: GLORIA. Ms GLORIA Laura Vanderbilt [b 1924 and still going] is an American artist, author, actress, fashion designer, heiress, and socialite.  In 1925 her father died, leaving her with a large trust fund.  A legal battle ensued between her mother, GLORIA Morgan Vanderbilt and her paternal aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt, over custody of the child and control of the trust fund.  The aunt won.  I would have clued this as JzB's L.W.

17. PD alert: APBAll Points Bulletin, a radio message sent to every officer in a police force giving details of a suspected criminal or stolen vehicle.

18. In fun: FACETIOUSLY.  Don't take this seriously.

22. Slangy turnarounds: UEYS. U-turns. A sharp turn of a vehicle along a U-shaped path in order to proceed in the opposite direction.  Figuratively, a reversal of some plan or policy.

23. "Silly me!": D'OH.

24. Mardi Gras wear: MASK.

33. "Dear Yoko" dedicatee: ONO.  Yoko ONO [b 1933] a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, song writer and peace activist, also known for performance art and film making.  She married her third husband, Beatle John Lennon, on March 20, 1969.

34. Volcanic event: ERUPTION.  A sudden, violent outpouring - in this case of steam and lava [hot, molten or semifluid rock.]

35. Org. with lanes: PBA. Professional Bowling Association. Members are advised to stay out of the gutters.

38. Sch. with a Shreveport campus: LSULouisiana State University.

40. Activate, as a mobile app: TAP.  Lightly touch the app's icon on the device screen to launch it.

41. Wee hour: TWO.  In the morning.  ONE also fits.  The hours after midnight until some uncertain later time before sun rise, indicated on the clock by small numbers.

42. Medium for van Gogh: OIL PAINT.  He is best known for these, but also produced over 150 watercolor paintings.

45. Understand: SEE.  I get it.

52. Winter Palace resident: TSAR.  Russian autocrat, prior to 1917.

53. Mexican gold: ORO.  Spanish, of course.

54. Limo bar: AXLE.  The rod or spindle of any vehicle upon which the TIRES  ROTATE, but not in the same sense as indicated by the theme.

60. Spring cleaning may lead to them: GARAGE SALES.  An event held to raise cash by disposing of unwanted household items, usually in a GARAGE or driveway.

63. Firecracker that doesn't crack: DUD.  Fizzler.

64. Brought to mind: EVOKED. Reminded, awakened, aroused.

65. Small change: CENT.  A penny.

66. Afore: ERE.  Earlier than.

67. They're fed at curbside: METERS.  Parking Meters are "fed" coins larger than pennies to pay for the privilege of leaving one's vehicle there.

68. Icelandic literary work: EDDA.  Old Norse poetic and literary works.

69. "Danny and the Dinosaur" author Hoff: SYD. [1912-2004] American cartoonist and children's book author, along with his most famous work.


1. Prepare, as plans: DRAW UP.  Put together the initial version.

2. Thin sword: RAPIER. A weapon better suited for thrusting than for slashing or cutting.

3. Early stage of life: EMBRYO.  An unborn or unhatched offspring in an earlier stage of development than the fetus.

4. Birdbrained: DAFT.  Lacking intelligence - DODO-like, perhaps.

5. Actor Sharif: OMAR. Michel Dimitri Chalhoub [1083 1932-2015] was an Egyptian actor of Syrian ancestry, best known for the role of Dr. Zhivago.  He was also a horse racing enthusiast and one of the world's best bridge players

6. The aughts, for one: DECADE. Ten year periods starting with years ending in zeros.

7. Musically monotonous: ONE NOTE.  You decide.

8. "Bring on the weekend!": TGIF. Thank God It's Friday.

9. Natural emollient: ALOE.  Specifically ALOE VERA, since the genus ALOE contains over 500 species of succulent plants.  Extracts of the plant have various medicinal uses.

10. Foodie: GOURMET.  Culinary connoisseur.

11. Hosp. areas: ERS. Emergency Rooms, where situations needing immediate care are treated.

12. Zero: NIL.  Nothing here.

13. __ trader: DAY.  One who buys and sells financial instruments within the span of the same day.

19. Summer top: T-SHIRT. A pull-over shirt, generally with a crew neck and short sleeves, and so named because the bod and sleeves approximate a T shape.

21. Bruins star Phil, to fans: ESPO.  He played 18 seasons in the NHL, the first 3 with the Chicago Blackhawks, 8 with the Boston Bruins, and 7 with the N. Y. Rangers.

25. Working hard: AT IT. Or arguing.

26. Put in the overhead bin: STOW.  Pack an object into a particular place.

27. Vegas game: KENO.  A lottery-like game of chance.  Players chose numbers, then winning numbers are selected in some random manner.

29. Baritone Chou in the opera "Nixon in China": ENLAI.   [1898-1976] the first Premier of the people's Republic of China, serving from 1949 until his death.

30. Violinist's supply: ROSIN.  It increases friction so that the bow can grip the strings more firmly to get a clear, strong vibration.

31. Kinda-sorta: QUASI-. Partly, almost, seemingly - but not really.

32. Bunk with a ladder: UPPER.  So you don't have to make a high jump.

35. Left on board?: PORT.  Right is starboard on a ship.

36. "About the author" pieces: BIOS.  Biographies.

37. Michigan city or college: ALMA.  The city is located in the central lower peninsula, 50 miles west of Saginaw and 18 miles south of Mount Pleasant, home of Central Michigan University, where I will have two granddaughters as honors students in just a few days.  Alma College is a private liberal arts college associated with the Presbyterian Church.

39. Annuls: UNDOES.  Negates.

43. Share (in): PARTAKE.  engage in an activity.

44. Upscale apartment feature: TERRACE. A level paved area adjacent to a building.

46. Coup d'__: ETAT.  A violent seizure of power from a government.

48. Rode (around): TOOLED.  Drive a vehicle with no particular destination.

49. Rust and lime: OXIDES. of iron and calcium, respectively.

50. Like a baker's hands: FLOURY.  Covered with flour.

51. Shifted (for oneself): FENDED.  To take care of one's self without assistance.

56. Disney head Robert: IGER. [b. 1951]  Named COO in 2000, and succeeded Michael Eisner as CEO in 2005.

57. Wine list heading: REDS. Opposite the Whites.  Can be dry or sweet.

58. Take care of: TEND. Bar tenders take care of taverns, chicken tenders have a fowl purpose.

59. Hammett dog: ASTA.  Pet of Nick and Nora Charles from Dashiell Hammet's 1932 novel The Thin Man, a seminal text in the hard-boiled mystery genre, but also as much a comedy of manners as a mystery.  A highly successful series of movies followed from 1934 to '47.  Later adaptations ensued on radio, television, as a Broadway musical and a stage play.

60. Real peach: GEM.  An exemplar of some sort.

61. Monopoly deed abbr.: AVEnue. 

62. Go bad: ROT.  Spoil.

Hope you found some traction and made it through without too many skids.

Cool regards!
Jazie Bee [The Other Erté]

Aug 8, 2018

Wednesday, August 8 2018, Bruce Venzke & Gail Grabowski

Theme: GAG ORDER. Ipecac, anyone?

19. Kontinental Hockey League trophy named for an astronaut: GAGARIN CUP. The KHL was created to further the development of hockey throughout Russia and other nations across Europe and Asia. Gagarin Cup.

26. Airport area with carousels: BAGGAGE CLAIM.

38. Planning to wed: ENGAGED. This GAG is perfectly centered in the grid.

46. One arranging gigs: BOOKING AGENT.

54. Joke used repeatedly ... and aptly found in 19-, 26-, 38-, 46- and 54-Across: RUNNING GAG. Running gags in Seinfeld.

Great progressive, or "running" placement of this clever GAG, see?


1. Game fish: BASS. First thought of the card game, Go Fish.

5. Body wrap spot: SPA. First thought was an injury. Nope.

8. Clams up, with "down": PIPES.

13. Jaunty tune: LILT. Merriam Webster defines it exactly so: "a spirited and usually cheerful song or tune," but I usually think of google dictionary's definition "a characteristic rising and falling of the voice when speaking."

14. Like a dotted note, in mus.: STAC. “Staccato” is an Italian word that means “sharply detached or separated from the other notes.” The symbol to indicate that a note or chord is to be played with a staccato articulation is a dot above or below the note (or chord).

15. Overflowing (with): AWASH.

16. Sign of spoilage: ODOR.

17. Ending with Wal: MART.

18. High-calorie cake: TORTE. Not SHORT. Could be almost anything - not many low-calorie cakes, are there?

22. Wrangler maker: JEEP.

23. Homer's neighbor: NED. The Simpson's - Ned Flanders.

24. Have grand plans: ASPIRE.

31. Pulitzer-winning author James: AGEE. For A Death in the Family. “God doesn't believe in the easy way.”

32. One of a clashing pair, perhaps: EGO. Cute.

33. Gobbled up: EATEN.

37. Moral misstep: SIN.

41. Glorifying homage: ODE.

42. Do a bakery job: KNEAD.

44. Part of pewter: TIN. Pewter contained lead as a hardener until it became widely known that lead can be toxic. It is now typically made of tin, copper, antimony, and bismuth.

45. Olympian warmonger: ARES.

50. 1965 Yardbirds hit: I'M A MAN. Not to be confused with Chicago's tune with the same name.

52. Corrosive substance: LYE.

53. Fruity beverages: ADES.

60. "The Kiss" sculptor: RODIN.

62. Old Royale 8's: REOS.

63. Jessica of "Dark Angel": ALBA.

64. "Ready Player One" novelist Ernest: CLINE.

65. Eye protector: LASH.

66. Clout: PULL.

67. Missouri River tributary: OSAGE.

68. Seeker of intel: SPY.

69. Eye woe: STYE.


1. Paperless journal: BLOG.

2. "Radames' Letter" musical: AIDA.

3. Trudge (through): SLOG.

4. Off-the-wall: STRANGE.

5. Getz of jazz: STAN. One of the greatest saxophonists of all time. Soul Eyes.

6. Pique-nique place: PARC. Not sure why google translate didn't translate parc to park on the English side.

7. Bona fide: ACTUAL. Latin = in good faith.

8. One way to stand: PAT. Interesting.

9. WWII flag-raising island: IWO JIMA.

10. Peeling gadget: PARER.

11. Big name in makeup: ESTEE.

12. Smith of Fox News: SHEP.

14. Wee bit: SMIDGEN.

20. Stephen of "Counterpart": REA. Spy thriller, on Starz.

21. "Don't text and drive" ad, e.g.: PSA. Public Service Announcement.

25. Mottled: PIED. In the case of the Pied Piper, he wore multi-colored clothing.

26. Enjoy the sun: BASK.

27. Feudin' with: AGIN. Hillbilly glossary.

28. Heredity unit: GENE.

29. Albumen container: EGG.

30. Tropical raccoon relative: COATI.

34. Zoomed: TORE.

35. Garden in a Sistine Chapel mural: EDEN.

36. Source of some tweets: NEST.

38. Genesis kingdom: EDOM.

39. Gimlet liquor: GIN. Gin, lime, and soda.

40. World's third-most spoken language: ENGLISH.

43. Belittling: ABASING.

45. Inevitable generational differences: AGE GAPS.

47. Dinghy implement: OAR.

48. Small knobs: KNURLS.

49. "We the Living" writer Rand: AYN.

50. Megastars: IDOLS.

51. __ blitz: MEDIA.

53. West Coast gas brand: ARCO.

55. Twice-monthly tide: NEAP.

56. Prone to prying: NOSY.

57. Market surplus: GLUT.

58. With skill: ABLY.

59. Powerful wind: GALE.

61. Name change indicator: NEE.

Aug 1, 2018

Wednesday, August 1st 2018 by Victor Barocas

Theme: It's Obvious

Today's offering is from a another prominent member of the Minnesota crossword contingent, making his second LAT appearance this week.  (I thought only C.C. did that.) Did you notice the WHITE RABBIT? Do you suppose Victor knew this one was destined to appear on the first of the month, or was that just serendipity? I like it, in either case.

The theme on this one was so obvious it jumped off the page. Impossible to miss. So I sent up an S-O-S to C.C. to let her know that I didn't get the theme, even with the reveal. Tabloid pairs make up another of the many black holes in my universe of useless information. Turns out I didn't need to know about Brangelina, TomKat or Kimye. I was over-thinking things. "IT" appears twice in every theme answer. As I said, so simple that IT's impossible to miss. D'oh!
17A. Liveliness: VITALITY.

23A. Jefferson Airplane song with the words "Go ask Alice": WHITE RABBIT. Pretty slick, Grace.

36A. "To boldly go," e.g.: SPLIT INFINITIVE. Star Trek's gift to the English language.

49A. Cat owner's purchase: KITTY LITTER. There's something wrong with buying kitty litter from a company named

and the reveal:

59A. Tabloid pair found in 17-, 23-, 36- and 49-Across: IT COUPLE.

I am chagrined, but at least I was VICTORious in my solving efforts.


1. Light-ly armed fighter?: JEDI. That hyphen made it a dead giveaway.

5. "Better Call Saul" network: AMC.

8. Takes by force: SEIZES. WRESTS would also have worked. Wite-Out, please.

14. Nerve impulse carrier: AXON.

15. Bit of texting mirth: LOL. Laughing Out Loud, like Bernadette.

16. ThinkPad maker: LENOVO. It was the IBM ThinkPad until 2005.

19. "Grumpy" film guys: OLD MEN. Matthau and Lemmon, not dwarfs.

20. Really enjoyed, with "up": ATE.

21. Got 100 on: ACED.

22. Iberian river: EBRO. Fortunately, in cws it's always the same river.

27. To the degree that: AS FAR AS. Tried SO FAR AS, Wite-Out.

30. "It's __!": A DATE. It wasn't A WRAP. More W-O for d-o.

31. Like the Piper: PIED. Because of his multi-colored clothing, not his dessert preference. Could the legend be based on fact?

32. Wrapped up: OVER. Guarantees that 30a wasn't A WRAP.

33. Piece of land: LOT. Why do you suppose it's called a lot rather than a little?

41. Boston winter hrs.: EST.

42. Words before a start date: AS OF.

43. Swedish retail giant: IKEA. I'd never heard of 'em until they opened a store in Houston. King of the flat pack retailers.

44. Color from the French for "mole": TAUPE. We had this recently.

46. Multiplex theater count: SCREENS.

51. Deeply engrossed: RAPT.

52. Nest-building flier: WASP. Practically all flying creatures build nests. Used to be a label for a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Probably un-PC today.

53. Wordsmith's ref.: O.E.D.. Oxford English Dictionary

56. Verdict challenge: APPEAL.

61. Throwing money around, in slang: SPENDY. I've seen it, but don't believe I've ever heard it.

62. __ urchin: SEA. SEA, because STREET was too long. I was a street urchin in my ute.

63. Central: MAIN.

64. Chinese bamboo eaters: PANDAS.

65. TV shopper's option: HSN. Home Shopping Network.

66. Tom Stoppard creation: PLAY. Krigo probably recognizes the name. I had to look him up. He co-wrote Shakespeare In Love.


1. Indonesian island: JAVA. The J was already there. Otherwise I'm sure I would've inked in BALI.

2. __ interview: EXIT. I've mentioned my exit interview from the Navy: 

You don't want to ship-over, do you? 


All right, then. [Navy heaves huge sigh of relief.]

3. Spoil, with "on": DOTE.

4. Ship __ bottle: IN A. Gluey.

5. Keys of music: ALICIA. Didn't fool me. I immediately inked in ALISHA. Wite-out.

6. Church songs: MOTETS. Learning moment. I'd have guessed they were small motels. Here's a sample. I'd rank it right up there with opera.

7. Half a notorious crime duo: CLYDE. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. This is archival footage taken just 5 minutes after the famous 1934 ambush in Louisiana. Their driver, of course, was Clyde's brother Wheel Barrow.

8. __-mo replay: SLO. I call our black cat whose name is Moe, SLO-MO. DW doesn't like it. I also call our one-eyed cat, One-Eye. DW doesn't like that, either. There's a plethora of things DW doesn't like.

9. Slender aquarium swimmer: EEL. Do folks really keep eels in their aquaria? Do they name 'em Morey?

10. Like many a college graduate: IN DEBT. College was so much cheaper back in the day.

11. Resembling the walking dead: ZOMBIE-LIKE. Imhotep!

12. Tennis legend Chris: EVERT. She's 63 now, retired almost 30 years ago.

13. Prefix with gram: SONO. Don't WAG at this type of clue. It could be aerogram akhagram ambigram antigram aptagram ashigram attogram autogram babygram barogram bishgram bologram calogram cenogram datagram debagram decagram decigram dekagram dygogram echogram ectogram ergogram ethogram fluigram fourgram genogram gigagram goalgram hemogram hexagram hologram ideogram idiogram ionogram jhargram kaligram kanagram ketugram khargram kilogram kinegram kotigram kurigram kymogram lauegram lexigram lipogram logogram mailgram majigram mamogram marigram masagram megagram messgram metagram miligram mixogram monogram nabagram nanogram nayagram nitigram nomogram nonogram octagram ondogram optogram paragram petagram phrogram picogram piragram polygram renogram saligram sciagram semagram sevagram sewagram shalgram shongram sinogram skiagram skiogram sonagram sonogram specgram taligram taxogram tazagram telegram teragram tinygram tomogram tonogram trangram ursigram vasogram venogram wolfgram xerogram zymogram. Best to wait for a perp or two. I should have learned this back at 30a.

18. Cowardly Lion portrayer: LAHR. Bert.

23. Desert riverbed: WADI. Usually dry.

24. Sitar master Shankar: RAVI. He introduced the Beatles to the sitar. Norah Jones is his daughter.

25. Yemen's main port: ADEN. Hello, old cw friend.

26. City on the Adriatic: BARI. Not sure why I knew this one. It's the ninth largest city in Italy with a tad over 325,000 residents.

27. Semicircular church area: APSE. This knave only knows this word from cws.

28. Doesn't guzzle: SIPS. Name the song with these lines: "I can drink my liquor faster than a flicker. I can do it quicker and get even sicker."

29. Sharpie, e.g.: FELT TIP PEN. I keep one next to my year-at-a-glance wall calendar.

32. On vacation: OFF. Could'a been OUT. Wite-out.

34. "Cupcake Wars" appliance: OVEN.

35. Drinks with scones: TEAS. Seldom drink tea, have never had a scone.

37. Opposite of slack: TAUT. Sometimes confused with TAUNT, right Owen?

38. Game played with one's "little eye": I SPY. Also an old-timey TV show starring Robert Culp and he-who-shall-not-be-named.

39. Dramatist Coward: NOEL. I would've clued it as "First name of Paul of Peter, Paul and Mary"

40. Level: TIER.

45. Go to: ATTEND.

46. Declares: STATES. For a change it's not AVERS, he opined.

47. Diagnostic pic: CT SCAN. I won't say CAT SCAN, the Anon's brain might explode.

48. Loan default risk: REPO.

49. Iota follower: KAPPA. I finally put the Greek alphabet under the glass at my computer table. Makes it lots easier to "remember."

50. "If only": I WISH.

51. Rough file: RASP. Anybody think of this guy?

53. Iridescent gem: OPAL. A synonym for "iridescent" is "opalescent." Go figure.

54. "East of Eden" director Kazan: ELIA. Those three vowels are just irresistible to crossword constructors.

55. Say no to: DENY.

57. initials: ADA. American Dental Association.

58. Lille lily: LYS. Now we can revive that fleur-de-lis/lys discussion.

60. Diamond authority: UMP. Gratuitous baseball clue/answer.

With C.C.'s gracious help, here's the grid. Now it's your turn. Desper-otto over and out.