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

Dec 5, 2018

Wednesday, December 5, 2018, Mark McClain

There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight!

One word in each of the theme answers is Hot! Hot! Hot!

17-Across. Get increasingly steamed: DO A SLOW BURN.

26-Across. Provocative social media tactic: FLAME TROLLING.  I am not familiar with this expression, but it makes sense.  Fortunately, we don't get much this on this blog.

44-Across. Battlefield order: FIRE WHEN READY!

59-Across. Striking white stripe between a horse's eyes: FACIAL BLAZE.


1. Insurance submission: CLAIM.  I had to file a claim when my 150+ year-old live oak tree decided it didn't want to be a live oak tree anymore.  The tree fell on my carport, which, fortunately, was strong enough so that my cars weren't crushed.

6. Spars on the briny: MASTS.
11. Spanish I verb: AMO.  Today's Spanish grammar lesson.

14. Vital body vessel: AORTA.

15. Choristers who are usually women: ALTOS.

16. Young bloke: LAD.
19. "Diary of a Wimpy __": Jeff Kinney book series: KID.  The book was first published in 2007, so it was too late for my childhood reading.

20. Home of the NHL's Blues: ST. L.  St. Louis is the home of the Blues hockey team.
21. Scrape off: ABRADE.

22. Radio hobbyists: HAMS.

23. Rickie Fowler's org.: PGA.  Apparently Rick Fowler (b. Dec. 13, 1988) is a golfer.

24. One way to travel: RAIL.  Because Train wouldn't fit in the spaces provided.

32. Old Italian bread?: LIRE.  Currency of Italy before the Euro.

34. Jai __: ALAI.  A crossword staple.

35. Forearm-related: ULNAR.

36. Wee hr.: ONE A.M.  Also the name of a 1916 Charlie Chaplin film.

38. Approves: OKs.

39. Disciple's query: IS IT I?  One of the disciple's asked Jesus this question.

40. "Am not!" retort: ARE SO!  Am too! also fits, but the word "am" is already used in the clue.

41. Spa treatment: PEEL.  I wanted a Pedi(cure).

43. Bullet __: list highlight: ITEM.

47. __ Mode, designer voiced by Brad Bird in "Incredibles 2": EDNA.  I never saw this movie.  I had seem this image, however.

48. Strive: VIE.  Could also be clued as Fights (for), which we saw in yesterday's puzzle.

49. Skinny: INFO.  I initially tried Thin.

51. Sleeping bag closer: ZIPPER.  Camping is not my thing.  We did a lot of camping in my childhood, however.

55. Getting stuff done, initially: TCB.  As in the phrase: Taking Care of Business.

58. "Who, me?": MOI?  Today's French lesson.

61. From A to Z: ALL.

62. Venue with skyboxes: ARENA.

63. Expected: USUAL.

64. Animation frame: CEL.

65. Venomous snake: ADDER.  Also known as a viper.

66. Hindu spiritual writing: SUTRA.


1. Despicable dudes: CADS.

2. Ransack: LOOT.

3. Depleted sea: ARAL.  The ARAL Sea is becoming a crossword staple.  It is considered an endorheic lake, meaning that it has no outlet to the oceans.  It also used to be the 4th largest lake in the world.

4. "__ Quiet Uptown": "Hamilton" song: IT'S.  I have tickets to see Hamilton in March 2019.

5. Spanish dessert wine: MALAGA.

6. Bryn __ College: MAWR. This college is still an all-female institution of higher education.

7. Goya's "Duchess of __": ALBA.
The last Duchess of Alba was quite a character.  She held over 40 hereditary titles and was very wealthy.  She was widowed twice.  Her third husband t'was 24 years her junior.  She died in 2014 at age 88. Goya's Duchess of Alba was probably a character, too.
Oh, you wanted these more famous Goya portraits of the Duchess:

8. It may be ear-piercing: STUD.  Think of an earring.

9. Bullfight figure: TORERO.  More of today's Spanish lesson.  The Torero is on the left.

10. ID gradually being omitted from Medicare cards: SSN.  As in the Social Security Number.

11. Water's capability to neutralize acid: ALKALINITY.

12. Injure badly: MAIM.

13. Track ratios: ODDS.

18. President who appointed two women to the Supreme Court: OBAMA.  President Obama (b. 1961) nominated Sonia Sotomayor (b. 1954) to replace Associate Justice David Souter (b. 1939); and and Elena Kagan (b. 1960) to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens (b. 1920).

22. Sledding spot: HILLSIDE.

23. "Yes, fine by me": PLEASE DO!

25. Pierre's "his": A LUI.  More of today's French lesson

26. Second cup at a diner, e.g.: FREE REFILL.

27. Unite on the sly: ELOPE.  Fresh new clue for tying the knot without all the fanfare.

28. Spoken for: TAKEN.

29. Stairway element: RISER.

30. Statistician Silver: NATE.  Nathaniel Read Silver (b. 1978) is the founder of the FiveThirtyEight blog, which gives statistics on a number of subjects including politics and sports.

31. Dire: GRIM.

32. Bakery unit: LOAF.

33. Cross inscription: INRI.  Today's Latin lesson.  This is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase: Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum, which is translated as Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.

37. Like harvested hay: MOWN.  I wanted something that would evoke the smell of freshly harvested hay.

42. Video game stage: LEVEL.

45. Black ice, e.g.: HAZARD.  It can, indeed, be very dangerous.

46. Boeing rival: AIRBUS.  Apparently the two companies have a rivalry going on.

49. All-in-one Apple: iMAC.

50. Florida State player, familiarly: 'NOLE.  As in the Florida State Seminoles.

52. Secured, as a win: ICED.  Sorry, Tin!

53. Source of cones: PINE.

54. Early late-night TV host: PAAR.  As in Jack Harold Paar (May 1, 1918 ~ Jan. 27, 2004).

55. Lacking slack: TAUT.

56. Business magnate: CZAR.

57. Olympics coach Karolyi: BÉLA.  Béla Károlyi (b. 1942) is best known for being the coach to gymnast Nadia Comăneci (b. 1961) and Mary Lou Retton (b. 1968).

59. Tower authority: Abbr.: FAA.  As in the Federal Aviation Administration, which has jurisdiction over the airport towers.

60. The SEC's Tigers: LSU.  As in Louisiana State University.  Whenever LSU plays Auburn, another SEC team, the Tigers are guaranteed to win.*  LSU is the only collage university in the United States to have a live tiger living on campus.  You may be able observe Mike the Tiger on the University's TigerCam.  The cam isn't always functioning, though.

I hope none of you got "burned" on this puzzle!

 * Both LSU and Auburn have Tigers as their mascot.

Nov 28, 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018, Gary Cee

Theme: A Breed Apart. 

17. High-tech classroom: COMPUTER LAB. The Labrador is the most popular dog breed by registrations (191,988) worldwide. (Wikipedia.)

23. Fighter at the Olympics: AMATEUR BOXER.

51. Court long shot: THREE POINTER.

61. Astute attorney: LEGAL BEAGLE.

38. Military IDs ... or what 17-, 23-, 51- and 61-Across have: DOG TAGS. Clever - each answer is 'tagged' with a breed of dog. I guess you could call it Collar-ID. Snort.

Melissa here. Several clues related to New York made me wonder if our constructor is from there. Yes.


1. Mary Oliver, e.g.: POET.

5. Tweak: ADJUST.

11. Obliterate in a flash: ZAP. Good description for microwaving food.

14. Prefix with sphere: ATMO. Greek, combining form meaning “air,” used in the formation of compound words.

15. Self-moving vacuum: ROOMBA. Tried to put an H in there somewhere.

16. "I __ you one": OWE.

19. Starchy grain: OAT.

20. Bygone Persian rulers: SHAHS.

21. Long-jawed fish: GAR. Gar species of New York, below:

22. Present: HERE.

27. Man-horse hybrid: CENTAUR.

30. Synagogue reading: TORAH.

31. Country between Vietnam and Thailand: LAOS.

32. Quaint contraction: TIS.

34. Type of coffee or whiskey: IRISH.

37. Congressional statute: ACT.

41. Life highlights, briefly: BIO.

42. Moby-Dick, e.g.: WHALE.

44. Hula strings: UKE.

45. Pungent quality: BITE.

46. Rice dish: PILAF. defines Pilaf as: a Middle Eastern or Indian dish of rice (or sometimes wheat) cooked in stock with spices, typically having added meat or vegetables. A quick google search turns up recipes for Moroccan, Japanese, Armenian, Asian, Indian, Persian, Lebanese, Russian, Turkish, Italian, and Greek versions.

49. "The Shawshank Redemption" extras: INMATES.

54. __ hog: ROAD.

55. Org. whose returns were never sales: IRS.

56. Get to: REACH.

60. Trellis climber: IVY.

64. Golf peg, or where it's used: TEE. Not being a golfer, C.C.'s explanation in Sunday's write up (87D) of TEE colors in MN was interesting - are the colors not standard?

65. Long cold spell: ICE AGE. Opposite of a cold snap.

66. Image in a botanical print: LEAF.

67. Make a typo, say: ERR.

68. Litter box visitor: PET CAT.

69. Pre-Easter season: LENT.


1. D.C. influence gps.: PACS. Political Action Committees.

2. "However," in tweets: OTOH. On The Other Hand.

3. "Handsome, clever, and rich" Jane Austen character: EMMA.

4. Headwear with tails: TOP HATS.

5. Works on walls: ART. Sneaky. Works used as noun, not verb.

6. Stag's mate: DOE.

7. Longtime Univision news anchor Ramos: JORGE.

8. Two dots above a vowel: UMLAUT.

9. Pizza chain in many food courts: SBARRO.

10. Bar bill: TAB.

11. Madagascar!, in the Bronx: ZOO EXHIBIT. Anyone seen it?

12. In the know: AWARE.

13. Pan in Neverland: PETER.

18. Inst. with the fight song "On, Brave Old Army Team": USMA.

22. Frost: HOAR.

24. Jay-Z's "D.O.A. (Death of __-Tune)": AUTO.

25. H.S. subject that covers all the angles?: TRIG. Nice clue.

26. Jewish ritual: BRIS.

27. Jaguar's weapon: CLAW.

28. Individually: EACH.

29. "Fat chance!": NOT A PRAYER.

33. "The Simpsons" disco devotee: STU.

35. Locale: SITE.

36. Soil-clearing tools: HOES.

38. Mark for omission: DELE.

39. Related: AKIN.

40. Well-mannered man: GENT.

43. Made up things: LIED. Could also be LIES as a noun - needed 54A ROAD to be sure.

45. Reveal everything: BARE ALL.

47. Individually: APIECE.

48. Draw a blank: FORGET.

50. Nothing but: MERE.

51. Done to death: TRITE.

52. Float in the air: HOVER.

53. Actor Oscar __ of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi": ISAAC. I've only seen him in Inside Llewyn Davis. Did not know that he was born in Guatemala. His family settled in the US when he was five months old.

57. Pulitzer-winning author James: AGEE.

58. Close-knit group: CLAN.

59. Test by lifting: HEFT.

61. Backtalk: LIP.

62. Alternative to JFK or EWR: LGA. NYC's three major airports: JFK = John F. Kennedy International, EWR = Newark Liberty International, LGA = LaGuardia.

63. Perfecta or trifecta: BET.

Nov 21, 2018

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: A CAPITAL IDEA, i.e. a sterling concept, taking advantage of the word CAPITAL having two distinctly different meanings, as we shall soon see; one relating to finance and the other to being something central and important.

18. Church official: PARISH CLERK.  A church official charged with carrying out specific duties.  This term was in much more common use in the 19th century.

24. Vermont senator since 2007: BERNIE SANDERS. From 1990 to 2006 he represented Vermont in the House of Representatives.  He also served as mayor of Burlington from 1980 to 1999. If you ever think your vote doesn't matter, remember he won his first election by 10 votes. Deeper than that into politics we shall not venture.

48. "Thus with a kiss I die" speaker: ROMEO MONTAGUE.  Tragic young hero and one of the eponyms of a Shakespearian tragedy.  The musical followed a few centuries later.

58. Baked pasta dish: RIGATONI PIE.  You be the judge.

And then the centrally located two-part unifier.  37. With 39-Across, seed money ... or what 18-, 24-, 48- and 58-Across each has: STARTUP.

39. See 37-Across: CAPITAL.  Together, they indicate the initial investment needed to get a business going; and also, via word play, the CAPITAL city of a European country at the START of each theme entry.

The cities are --
PARIS, France;
BERN. Switzerland;
ROME, Italy; and
RIGA, Latvia.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here as your tour guide on a journey provided by our most gracious host. Sit back and enjoy the ride.


1. Plane engine housing: POD.  For wing mounted engines.

4. Hindu philosophy: TANTRA.  Adherence to the doctrines or principles of the tantras, involving mantras, meditation, yoga, and ritual.

10. "Don't leave": STAY.  Dog command?

14. Previously: AGO. Once upon a time

15. Signals for firefighters: ALARMS.

16. Only state with a non-rectangular flag: OHIO.   I knew this, since I am from there. Also - what's round at both ends and hi in the middle?  Now - on to stuff I did not know.

Ohio's state flag was adopted in 1902. The Ohio burgee, as the swallowtail design is properly called, was designed by John Eisemann. The large blue triangle represents Ohio's hills and valleys, and the stripes represent roads and waterways. The 13 stars grouped about the circle represent the original states of the union; the 4 stars added to the peak of the triangle symbolize that Ohio was the 17th state admitted to the union. The white circle with its red center not only represents the "O" in Ohio, but also suggests Ohio's famous nickname, "The Buckeye State."

17. Big beverage server: URN.  Generally with a tap, and usually used for coffee, tea or hot water.

20. "I'm game!": LET'S.  And away we go!

22. Business abbr.: INCorporated.

23. Singer Mann: AIMEE.  New one for me.

28. Gambling city on the Truckee: RENO. Nevada.  The Truckee is the only outlet from Lake Tahoe, and it empties into Pyramid Lake in the great basin.

29. Golden Delicious, e.g.: APPLE.  My absolute least favorite variety.

30. Hosp. recovery area: POST-OP.  After surgery location.

32. Prepared: SET.  Ready to go.

33. Add to the staff: HIRE.  Bring on a new employee.

41. Jedi master with pointy ears: YODA.

42. Twaddle: ROT. Nonsense.

44. Business losses, figuratively: RED INK.  Debits are noted in red, so, if they exceed credits, the red dominates.

45. Biting desert lizards: GILAS.  Large, slow moving, venomous lizards, native to the North American southwest

47. Buddhist temple bell: GONG.

53. Amazon Echo's voice assistant: ALEXA.  We have a granddaughter with that name. Here we are a few years ago.  She's in college now.

Note the family hair

54. Youthful fellow: LAD.

55. Difficult journey: TREK.

62. "__ you alone?": ARE.  Can I come over?

63. Flood-anticipation precaution, briefly: EVACuation.  Also for wild fires.

64. Was nearly empty: RAN LOW.  In short supply.

65. Fabric flaw: RIP. Tear.

66. Dollars for quarters: RENT.  Living quarters.  Clever!

67. Word from a poser: CHEESE.  Induces a quasi-smile in a photographic subject.

68. Thus far: YET.  Up to now.


1. Folklore lumberjack Bunyan: PAUL.  Companion of Babe the Blue Ox.

2. Fantasy meanie: OGRE.

3. "Chin up!": DON'T BE SAD.  Things could be worse.

4. Touch lightly: TAP.  Or PAT.  Needed perp help.

5. Harlem Renaissance writer Locke: ALAIN.   Alain Leroy Locke [1885-1954] was an American writer, philosopher, educator, and patron of the arts. Distinguished as the first African-American Rhodes Scholar in 1907.

6. C.S. Lewis' fantasy world: NARNIA.  Setting for a series of novels.

7. Bench press beneficiary: TRICEPS.  Muscles in the backs of the upper ams.

8. White House's 132: Abbr.: RMS.  Rooms.

9. Firepit detritus: ASH.  Burnt wood residue.

10. Three-dimensional: SOLID.  Having length, width and height.

11. __ park: THEME.  An amusement park designed around a central or unifying concept - Disney World, for example.

12. Broadcaster: AIRER.  Presenter of radio or TV programming.

13. Oxen connectors: YOKES. A YOKE is a crosspiece connecting the necks or shoulders of animals, so they can pull a load together.

19. Stick for a walk: CANE.

21. Nissan sedan: SENTRA.

25. Ginger or ginseng: ROOT.

26. Builder's guideline, briefly: SPEC.  Specification - detailed instruction for the project.

27. Ring exchange place: ALTAR.  Wedding rings.

28. __-Rooter: ROTO.  Drain pipe and sewer cleaning device, and service company of the same name.

30. "Gangnam Style" musician: PSY.  Erm.  Here, if you're interested.

31. Festival in the month of Adar: PURIM.  A Spring festival held on the 14th or 15th of the month to  commemorate the defeat of Haman's plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther.  Deeper than that into religion we shall not venture.

33. Holed up: HID OUT.  Typically, as a way of avoiding law enforcement.

34. Travel plan: ITINERARY.  A planned route, including stops, if any.

35. Hit the bell: RANG.  Bonged the GONG

36. Caribou cousin: ELK. Cervus canadensis, one of the largest members of the deer family; but not as large as the moose.  To muddy the waters, in British English, the moose is called the ELK.  Go figure.

38. Sport for equestrians: POLO.  A game similar to field hockey, played on horse back, using long-handled mallets.

40. Simon who co-wrote and co-starred in "Shaun of the Dead": PEGG. [b 1970] British actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer.  Would he confuse ELK with moose?

43. Sun worshiper's mark: TAN LINE.

45. Nanny __: GOAT.  A female of this animal variety.  The male is called Billy.  I don't know why.

46. Bread or butter: STAPLE.  An important item in something, such as a diet.  When the sword swallower lost his job with the circus, he fell on hard times and couldn't even provide STAPLES for his family.

48. Not so well-done: RARER.  Meat cooking terms.

49. Salade niçoise morsel: OLIVE.  From the city of Nice, in France, this salad also contains a variety of other ingredients, including tomatoes, hard boiled eggs and anchovies in an olive oil dressing.

50. Fox of "Transformers": MEGAN.

51. Precise: EXACT.  On the mark.

52. "Until next time": ADIOS.  Buh-bye.

56. Cleveland's lake: ERIE.  Where I come from, it's Toledo's Lake!

57. Held on to: KEPT. As, frex, the faith.

59. Tolkien monster: ORC.  Evil cave dwelling creature that cannot abide the sun.

60. "Don't think so": NAH.  Nope.

61. Little lamb's mom: EWE.  A sheep in sheep's clothing.

And with that wool blanket we'll wrap up our tour.  Hope you enjoyed the ride.

Cool regards!

Nov 14, 2018

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, Ed Sessa

Piece of Cake!

You can find 10 different types of cake in the circles found in this puzzle.  (Yes, this is a dreaded circle puzzle.)  The cakes are placed in pairs with one of the cakes "layered" upon the other cake in the pair.  I don't see a connection between the pairs, other than the fact that they all contain the same number of letters.  Despite the circles, the cakes makes for a sweet theme.

6-Across. Tinker Bell's friend: PAN.  //  Layered upon 15-Across.  Garden tool: HOE.

Tinker Bell's pal is Peter Pan.  Do you think they eats PANCAKES?

Despite living in the South, I had never heard of a HOE Cake.  Apparently, it is made with cornmeal and may also be called a Johnny Cake.  Here's Recipe.

14-Across. Low on funds: SHORT.  //  Layered upon 17-Across:  Manx currency:  POUND.

Here's a recipe for Strawberry SHORTcake.

The Pound is the currency used on the Isle of Man.  Here's a Recipe for POUND Cake.

33-Across. Amaretto flavor: ALMOND.  //  Layered upon 36-Across.  Reef creature:  SPONGE.

ALMOND Cake is not a common type of cake, but it looks good.  Here's a Recipe.

Nothing is better than a good SPONGE Cake.  Here's a Recipe.

41-Across. Word that always brings a smile?: CHEESE.  //  Layered upon V8 veggie:  CARROT.

CHEESEcake is a very different type of cake.  Here's a Recipe

Our wedding cake was a CARROT Cake.  The food editor of our local newspaper was a friend and she made it for us.  Here's a Recipe

66-Across. Coke go-with: RUM.  //  Layered upon 69-Across.  English cuppa: TEA.

RUM Cake remind me of the Christmas Holidays.  Here's a Recipe.

Just go buy a box of TEA Cake!  I'm tired of cooking!  I thought Tea Cakes would be more exciting.  Steve, can you enlighten us on the appeal of these Tea Cakes?

And the "icing" that unifies the theme:

64-Across. With 67-Across, what five pairs of answers in the circles represent: LAYER.

67-Across. See 64-Across: CAKES.

Together these to two clues give us LAYER CAKES.

Let's see what tasty treats are in store for us.

1. Hee-hawers: ASSES.

9. Part of WTO: TRADE.  As in the World Trade Organization.  The word World also fits into the spaces provided.

16. Four-bagger: HOMER.  Think of baseball.  The bases are loaded and the batter hits a Home run.  Bases don't have to be loaded, but it's fun when they are.

18. Seriously funny shows?: DRAMEDIES.  Portmanteau of Drama and Comedy.

20. Organ near the stomach: SPLEEN.  I'm pretty sure you can live without one.

22. Doldrums: BLAHS.

23. "Boyz n the Hood" actress Long: NIA.  Boyz n the Hood was a 1991 movie.  I never saw the movie, but apparently NIA Long (b. Oct. 30, 1970) was in the cast.

25. __ shadow: EYE.

26. Hive builder: BEE.

29. Entrance: BEWITCH.  Not the door type of entrance.

35. Trivial matter: NON-ISSUE.

37. Foes of the evil Saruman: ENTs.  Think of The Lord of the Rings.  Actually, I try not to think of those creatures.

38. Logical beginning?: ECO-.  As in ECOlogical.

40. Appear: SEEM.

44. Winding Alaskan river with a Hawaiian name: HULA HULA.  A learning moment.  I had never heard of this river.  It is way north!

48. Upper arm muscle: TRICEPS.

49. Yoga chants: OMs.  I take a yoga class twice a week.  We always chant OM at the beginning and ending of the class.

50. Wrigley Field abbr.: CHI.  As in the Chicago Cubs.

52. Roll in the grass: SOD.  Cute clue.

53. Political spin, say: SLANT.

55. Cocoa company: NESTLÉ.  Because Hershey wouldn't fit.

60. Anno Domini alternative: COMMON ERA.  Anno Domini is a Latin term meaning "In the Year of Our Lord."  It presupposes a belief in Christianity, as this calendar begins with the birth of Christ.  Other faith traditions use different calendars.  We are currently in the year 5779 in the Hebrew Calendar, for example.  For consistency with dates, however, the Christian calendar is used throughout most of the world.  Non-Christian, however, prefer the term Common Era.

65. Hippie's wheels: VW BUS.  I initially tried a VW Bug.

68. Roofing stone: SLATE.

70. More than a little heavy: OBESE.

1. Pharaoh's sacred snakes: ASPS.  These snakes make frequent guest appearances in the puzzles.

2. Look for bargains: SHOP.

3. Heart's companion: SOUL.  As in the phrase Heart and Soul.

4. Sea eagle: ERNE.

5. Martyred bishop of Paris: ST. DENIS.  St. Denis was a 3rd century Bishop of Paris, France.  He was beheaded, and, according to legend, picked up his head and carried it to the location where he wanted to be buried.

6. Advanced deg.: Ph. D.  As in the Doctor of Philosophy degree.  I think I had this answer the last time I did the blog.

7. "You have two choices": A OR B.

8. Writer Zora ___ Hurston: NEALE.  Zora NEALE Hurston (Jan. 7, 1891 ~ Jan. 28, 1960) was an African-American author.  She is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.  I have never read this novel.

9. Oscar-nominated film starring Viola Davis: THE HELP.  Viola Davis (b. Aug. 11, 1965) also stars in the television show, How to Get Away with Murder.

10. Towel holders: RODS.  Because Racks was one letter to many for the spaces provided.

11. Mate, across the Channel: AMI.  Today's French lesson.  The Channel in question is the  English Channel that separates England from France.

12. Ruby of "A Raisin in the Sun": DEE.  Ruby Dee (Oct. 27, 1933 ~ June 11, 2014) was married to actor Ossie Davis.

13. Critical-care ctrs.: ERs.  As in Emergency Rooms.  My first thought was ICU, but the clue indicated the plural.

19. Mesoamerican pyramid builders: MAYAS.  I would probably say Mayan, but ...  Here is the famous pyramid at Chichen Itza.  In 2004, we took my parents to visit this pyramid.  We were able to climb to the top then.  It may be off limits now.

21. Petty peeves: NITS.

24. Take __ from: emulate: A CUE.

26. Study hard: BONE UP.

27. Marx collaborator: ENGELS.  As in Friedrich Engels (Nov. 28, 1820 ~ Aug. 5, 1895) who collaborated with Karl Marx (May 5, 1818 ~ Mar. 14, 1883).  No relation to the Marx Brothers.

28. Buildup of fluid: EDEMA.

29. Actress Helena __ Carter: BONHAM.  Helena BONHAM Carter (b. May 26, 1966) has stared in many films directed by Tim Burton (b. Aug. 25, 1958).

30. Passes the threshold: ENTERS.

31. More like the Magi: WISER.  As in the three WISEmen.

32. "Notorious" screenwriter Ben: HECHT.  I am not familiar with Ben HECHT (Feb. 28, 1894 ~ Apr. 18, 1964).  I think he has made guest appearances in the puzzles, though.

34. Israeli leader Dayan: MOSHE.  MOSHE Dayan (May 20, 1915 ~ Oct. 16, 1981) was my childhood hero.

35. Maker of sweet wafers: NECCO.  I still love NECCO Wafers.  They are called such because they are made by the New England Confectionery Company.  My favorites are the chocolate.

39. Collective possessive: OURS.

42. "Missed it by that much": SO CLOSE.

43. Musical wunderkind Bortnick: ETHAN.  Ethan Jordan Bortnick (b. Dec. 24, 2000) began playing the piano at age 3!

45. Columbia University athlete: LION.

46. Auto parts supplier: ACDELCO.  Thank you perps for giving me the name of this company ~ ACDelco.

51. Like some gases: INERT.  Also known as the Nobel Gases.  The ones that occur naturally are Helium (He), Neon (Ne), Argon (Ar), Krypton (Kr), Xenon (Xe), and Radon (Rn).

53. X-rated stuff: SMUT.

54. Get straight?: TRUE.

56. Automaker founded in Sweden: SAAB.  The company went into bankruptcy in 2011.

57. Tot: TYKE.

58. Jeans choice: LEEs.  Levi would also fit into the spaces provided.

59. Scots Gaelic: ERSE.

60. Rite Aid rival: CVS.  CVS stands for Consumer Value Stores.

61. Midnight mouser: OWL.  Cute clue; cute owl.

62. Degree for a CFO: MBA.  A Chief Financial Officer would likely hold a Master of Business Administration degree.

63. Reddit Q&A session: AMA.  AMA stands for Ask MAnything.

I hope you enjoyed this Dessert for Breakfast!