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

Jun 20, 2018

Wednesday, June 20 2018, Roger & Kathy Wienberg


17. Fidgety: ILL AT EASE.

25. "Is that it?": WHAT ELSE.

35. T.S. Eliot poem, with "The": WASTE LAND.

52. Behold in amazement: MARVEL AT.

61. Employee hours suggested by this puzzle's circles: LATE SHIFT.

Melissa here. SHIFT clues us in that LATE will be scrambled - four ways. Not just scrambly, but Scrabble-y, with K, V, X, Y and Z - but alas no J or Q. (Googling for scrambled things, I came across this funny.)


1. Not quite round: OVAL.

5. Gumbo vegetable: OKRA.

9. Ply: LAYER.

14. Like every U.S. president: MALE. So far.

15. "Coulda been a lot worse!": PHEW.

16. Romantic text: ILUVU. Romantic, if you're 12.

19. Gymnast Simone who won four golds in Rio: BILES.

20. Carefree: GAY.

21. The "I" of "The King and I": ANNA. Anna Leonowens.

22. Masters: MAVENS.

23. Characteristic of the villain in "The Fugitive": ONE ARM.

27. All-in-one printer feature: SCANNER.

29. Actor Wallach: ELI.

30. Unconscious: OUT.

31. "__ goes nothing!": HERE.

32. Muse of poetry: ERATO.

34. Navig. technology: GPS.

39. Sprite: ELF.

42. Admonish: CHIDE.

43. They're on the phone: APPS. Fun clue.

47. Classical lead-in: NEO.

48. Recycle bin item: CAN.

49. Work on, as a vintage auto: RESTORE.

55. Pluto's largest moon: CHARON.

56. Trip up: ASCENT. Love the clue!

57. Use a wrecking ball on: RAZE.

59. Ode title words: TO A.

60. Metaphor in a gambling debacle: SHIRT. Not SHORTs.

63. Smell or taste: SENSE.

64. Ancient Dead Sea region: EDOM. Descendants of Esau. Cave dwellers.

65. Slurpee, basically: ICEE.

66. Tidied, as a lawn: EDGED. What else besides a lawn?

67. TV warrior princess: XENA.

68. Sci-fi escape ships: PODS.


1. "Heavens!": OMIGOSH.

2. Window topper: VALANCE.

3. Twelve-month: ALL YEAR.

 4. Thompson of "Switched at Birth": LEA.

5. Gift box direction: OPEN ME.

6. Genghis __: KHAN.

7. Watched again: RESAW.

8. Astound: AWE.

9. Liquid poured in honor of a deity: LIBATION.

10. Animated: ALIVE.

11. Holiday fireplace item: YULE LOG.

12. Ties, as a score: EVENS UP.

13. Potatoes often used for fries: RUSSETS. Michael Pollan describes the Russet Burbank.

18. Alpine lake: TARN. Beautiful.

22. Island near Sicily: MALTA.

24. Yet again: ANEW.

26. Physician, hopefully: HEALER.

28. Light-sensitive eye part: RETINA.

33. Great American Ball Park player: RED. This Red?

36. Like some French vowels: ACCENTED.

37. Commandment verb: SHALT.

38. Spreadsheet input: DATA.

39. As a group: EN MASSE.

40. On a tether: LEASHED.

41. Compelling: FORCING.

44. Colonnaded entryway: PORTICO.

45. Reviewed for typos: PROOFED.

46. State assemblies: SENATES.

50. Skin malady: ECZEMA.

51. "__ So Unusual": Cyndi Lauper's debut studio album: SHE'S.

53. Poet's creation: VERSE.

54. Word with secret or school: TRADE.

58. Scads: A TON.

61. Supervillain Luthor: LEX.

62. In the know: HIP.

Jun 13, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: Pretty as a picture.   Let's start with the unifier, all will then be in focus.

56 A. End of a close race ... and what the last part of the answers to starred clues can literally be: PHOTO FINISH.  This is a race that is so close that a picture is taken along the finish line to see who gets a nose across it first.  In this puzzle, the last part part of each theme entry can be paired with the word PHOTO to get a specific meaning.  Of course, a PHOTO FINISH can also be matte or glossy, but that's not what we are talking about.

17 A. *Sports bookie's figure: POINT SPREAD.   The expected margin of victory - you can place a wager that a given team will win or lose a game by more than that amount.  A PHOTO SPREAD is a group of pictures on a topic that are printed together in a magazine.

37 A. *R&D setting: TEST LAB.  This is where the detail work is done to provide analytical data on the quality and performance properties of a product or its associated precesses.  A PHOTO LAB is, or was, a place where traditional photographic negatives were developed to make the real image.  Almost all photography is digital now, so I'm not sure how many PHOTO LABS exist these days.

11  D. *Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde," e.g.: DOUBLE ALBUM. This is group of two LP or CD musical recordings packaged as a unit.  Digital streaming is phasing these things out as well.  A PHOTO ALBUM is a book in which one can place cherished pictures for posterity.

25 D. *Marksmanship match: TURKEY SHOOT.  A SHOOTING proficiency contest using moving targets, with a TURKEY as the winner's prize.   A PHOTO SHOOT is an appointment with a photographer in a studio or on location to take a series of photographs.

Hi Gang - not particularly photogenic JazzBumpa here to zoom in on the fine [focal] points of this puzzle.  Full disclosure:  I am NOT a camera.

Nevertheless, here I am at the far right of a big trombone and tuba extravaganza at First Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, MI this past Sunday.  Should have vids in a week or so.

Photo credit: my Lovely Wife


1. Keebler cracker: ZESTA.  Wheat based saltines.

6. Shoots the breeze: CHATS.  Has a casual conversation.

11. E, in Morse code: DOT.  Letters are represented by sequences of dots and/or dashes.  Here, the sequence is one.

14. Parts of plots: ACRES.  Land, not story features.

15. Kama __: SUTRA.  More than just a sex manual, this ancient Hindu text is a guide to virtuous and gracious living, regarding love, family life and other pleasurable aspects of human existence.

16. Bruin great Bobby: ORR.  A famous moment.

19. Action film gun: UZI.  The Uzi is a family of Israeli open-bolt, blowback-operated submachine guns.  [Wikipedia.]

20. Caspian Sea feeder: URAL. This river originates in the Ural Mountains and flows through Russia and Kazahkstan in Eurasia.

21. Where work may pile up: IN BOX.  Mine was a compost heap.

23. Criticized unfairly, in slang: HATED ON.

27. Stand in a studio: EASEL.  Support for a picture.

29. Get away from: ELUDE.   Or evade.

30. Inoffensive: HARMLESS.

33. "Tell It Like It Is" crooner __ Neville: AARON.

34. Suffix with billion: AIRE.  A person with more money than she needs.

35. Fashionable way to arrive?: LATE.  I guess appearing on time is gauche.

36. "What a pity": TSK.  Tongue clucking.

40. Meadow: LEA.  An open area of grassy or arable land.

41. Four-stringed instruments, typically: UKES.

43. Weighty volume: TOME.  A large, scholarly book.

44. Buck the system: REBEL.  Go your own way.

46. PassÈ street corner convenience: PAY PHONE.  Among other passe things in this puzzle.

48. As __: generally: A RULE.  Most of the time.

49. Location: SCENE.  A particular place

50. Online player, briefly: P C GAMER.  Played mostly on phones, these days, I imagine.

52. Taj __: MAHALA marble mausoleum built in 1642 by the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal.  When I was young, I thought it was the Tajma Hall.  Made sense to me at the time.

54. Foundry waste: SLAG.   Stony by-product material from the smelting of ore.

55. Good Grips gadget brand: OXO.   Ergonomically designed kitchen utensils.

63. "Don't Bring Me Down" rock gp.: ELO.

64. Singer Cyrus: MILEY.  Not a fan.

65. Finnish tech giant: NOKIA.  Telecommunications, information technology and consumer electronics company.

66. Hanoi holiday: TET.  Vietnamese New Year - the most important celebration in their culture.

67. Green vehicles, for short: E-CARS.   E, for eco-friendly.

68. Belgian treaty city: GHENT.   This peace treaty formalized the end of the War of 1812.  Ghent is the largest city in the East Flanders province of Belgium.


1. Cook quickly: ZAP.  Heat in a microwave oven.

2. Prefix with logical: ECO-.  Concerning the interactions of living organisms among each other and with their surroundings.

3. __ Lanka: SRI. An island nation south-east of india.

4. Top songs set: TEN.  The 10 most popular songs in the country at any given time, based on downloaded and streamed songs from music retailers.

5. Stellar scholar: A STUDENT.  Student who gets all A's on a report card.

6. D.C. network: C-SPANCable Satellite Public Affairs Network, created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service.

7. Sling: HURL.  Throw forcefully.

8. Gobbled up: ATE.  Devoured.

9. Carol syllable: TRA.

10. Extreme cruelty: SADISM.  More than that - it is deriving pleasure from inflicting pain and suffering on someone.

12. Rice-shaped pasta: ORZO.

13. Froot Loops shelfmate: TRIX.  Sugary cereals marketed at children.

18. B'way sellout sign: SRO.  Standing Room Only.

22. Jodie Foster title role: NELL.  Movie about a girl raised in a mountain cabin who has no contact with the outside world, and devised her own language.

23. Intensify: HEAT UP.

24. "Seward's Folly" purchase: ALASKA.  On March 30, 1867, U. S. Secretary of State William Seward signed a treaty with czarist Russia for the purpose of purchasing Alaska for 2 cents per acre.  There was little enthusiasm in the U. S. Senate, where the treaty was ratified on April 9, by a single vote.  Settlement in the territory was sparse until gold was discovered in 1898.

26. Tokyo, long ago: EDO.

27. "Copperhead Road" singer Steve: EARLE.

28. Nevada's __ 51: AREA. A highly classified remote area located 83 miles north-northwest of Las Vegas, and the subject of popular conspiracy theories.

30. Blackjack request: HIT ME.  Request for another card.

31. Remington played by Brosnan: STEELE.  Another TV series I never watched.  You can read about it here.

32. Driveway coating: SEALER.  Petroleum based material intended to protect a black-top surface.

34. In unison: AS ONE.   Though many, we are single-minded.

38. English school since 1440: ETON.  An English independent boarding school for boys, which pops up frequently in cross words.  If the clue asks for an English School and the space provided holds four letters, fill in ETON and move on.

39. Big talk: BRAGGING.  To speak in a pompous or self-aggrandizing way about one's own accomplishments.

42. Animal welfare gp.: SPCA.   Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

45. Pitching stat: ERAEarned Run Average, the mean of the number of earned runs per nine innings thrown by a given pitcher or pitching staff.  An Earned Run is one fully resulting from the efforts and accomplishments of the offensive team; that is, one that does not result from any kind of error or mistake on the part of the defense.  WHIP [walks and hits per inning pitched] is a more modern stat that is considered to be more meaningful.

47. "I need a hand": HELP ME.  Request for assistance.

50. Tricks: PLOYS.  Devious maneuvers.

51. Half-__: coffee compromise: CAF.  Coffee with half the caffeine content.  I used to drink that before I went full decaf.

52. Bubbly brand: MOET.  Producer and distributor of champagnes.

53. Wheel connector: AXLE.  A rod or spindle passing through the center of a wheel.

54. Ending for young and old alike?: STER.  Suffix denoting a person engaged n or associated with a particular activity or thing, frex.: gangster.

57. Hyphenated Minute Maid brand: HI-C.  Marketed since 1948.  The original flavor was orange. The name reflects the high content of vitamin C.  No idea if that is still accurate 70 years later.

58. Schnozz extension?: -OLA.  A suffix of no specific meaning.  in this case the effect is mildly humerous.

59. Japanese drama: NOH.  A highly stylized form of classical theater involving, masks, costumes and various props.

60. '50s prez: IKE.  Dwight David Eisenhower.

61. Sermon subject: SIN.  An immoral act breaking divine law.

62. Boater or bowler: HAT.  Fitting, I think, that we top this off with a couple pretty pictures.  So here I will put a lid on it.

Cool regards!

Jun 6, 2018

Wednesday, June 6 2018, C.C. Burnikel


17. Good thing to bring to the table: HEALTHY APPETITE. Tutti a tavola a mangiare!

23. Tailless Atlas Mountains monkey: BARBARY APE. This one looks like he's 65D HAHing.

52. Sugary snack on a stick: CANDY APPLE.

63. 1995 Woody Allen film: MIGHTY APHRODITE.

And the reveal ...

40. Past due salary ... and what's literally hidden in 17-, 23-, 52- and 63-Across: BACKPAY.

Melissa here. Yet another stellar offering from our prolific C.C. All four theme clues, two of which are grid-spanners, are two words, the first ending with Y, and the second beginning with AP - perfectly consistent, spelling PAY backwards. Also consistent with C.C. puzzles, it is sprinkled with sporting clues.


1. Feature of distressed jeans: RIP. Kate Beckinsale, sporting this fashion, below. Remember when we used to patch them?

4. Condé __: Vanity Fair publisher: NAST.

8. It may be set on a smartphone: ALARM.

13. Qualified: ABLE.

15. Dead set against: ANTI.

16. Show with skits: REVUE.

20. Strunk and White topic: STYLE.

21. Colour suffix: ISE. The U in colour indicates the UK spelling, so ISE follows, as opposed to the U.S. spelling colorize.

22. False front: MASK.

27. Hog heaven: STY. Snort.

29. Close friend: PAL.

30. Hang around: LOITER.

34. Hockey trophy: CUP.

35. Arizona's third-largest city: MESA.

38. Sound from one with 37-Down, perhaps: SNORE.

39. SunTrust Park MLB team: ATL.

42. Big Band __: ERA.

43. Apartment agreement: LEASE.

45. Deadly septet: SINS. Inspired a decent bottle of wine, among other things ...

46. Polo or tee: TOP.

47. Mescaline-yielding cactus: PEYOTE.

49. Evian water: EAU.

51. Day divs.: HRS.

56. "No harm done": I'M OK.

59. Livy's lucky number?: VII. This is a cute clue, but I'm not sure of the reference. Could it be Elizabeth of York who married Henry VII, and gave birth to seven children, including Henry VIII? Anyone?

60. Sub shops: DELIS.

67. Hospital prep area: PRE-OP.

68. Orderly: NEAT.

69. From square one: ANEW.

70. Trickles (through): SEEPS.

71. Namesake of the sports-oriented Courage Award: ASHE. Arthur.

72. Ambulance letters: EMS. Emergency Medical Services.


1. Shouts from the stands: RAHS. Noun, not verb.

2. "Fat chance!": I BET.

3. Detailed sports commentary: PLAY BY PLAY.

4. "No can do": NAH.

5. At all: ANY.

6. Part of an angled case: STAIR. Nice clue.

7. Buzzed: TIPSY.

8. "Odds __ ... ": ARE. Most know Johnny Mathis's Chances Are, not as many know Bob Marley's tune by the same name.

9. Admission demand: LET ME IN.

10. Nike competitor: AVIA.

11. Dirt road features: RUTS.

12. Timid: MEEK.

14. "Enchanted" fantasy film girl: ELLA.

18. U. of Maryland athlete: TERP. From Wikipedia: The Maryland Terrapins, commonly referred to as the Terps, consist of 19 men's and women's athletic teams that represent the University of Maryland, College Park in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I competition. The school's football coach and later the school's president, Harry C. "Curley" Byrd, thought "Terrapins" was a good nickname choice because of the diamondback terrapins endemic to the Chesapeake Bay region.

19. Big ring: PEAL.

24. "Roll Tide" school: BAMA. The rallying cry for the Alabama Crimson Tide athletic teams.

25. Smart ones?: ALECS.

26. Bride's throwaway: POSY.

27. Massage target: SCALP.

28. Daniel LaRusso, to Mr. Miyagi: TUTEE.

31. Follow orders: TOE THE LINE.

32. Muffed grounder, e.g.: ERROR.

33. Harvests: REAPS.

36. Take part in a biathlon: SKI. Winter sport that combines cross country-skiing and rifle shooting.

37. Sleep clinic focus: APNEA.

40. __ carotene: BETA.

41. Often-barked letters: ASAP.

44. Dance in a gym: SOCK HOP.

48. Reason to go green?: ENVY. Nice.

50. Bun, e.g.: UPDO.

53. __ Prince, Wonder Woman's alias: DIANA.

54. "Holy cow!": YIPES. Not yikes.

55. Helen of Troy's mother: LEDA.

56. Little tricksters: IMPS.

57. Boggy area: MIRE.

58. Double-curved arch: OGEE.

61. Tabloid twosome: ITEM.

62. Tends to tears: SEWS. Tricky clue.

64. Pulls a Charmin shenanigan, briefly: TPS. Wouldn't want to clean that up.

65. "That's a laugh!": HAH.

66. GPS output: RTE.

May 30, 2018

Wednesday, May 30, 2018, C. C. Burnikel

Theme: SHORT WEIGHT LIST.  Three entries have circled letters at their beginnings and endings that spell out units of weight measurement.  Might be tough to spot if you didn't get the circles.

16 A. Latter Day Saints' sacred text : THE BOOK OF MORMON.   Also an irreverent Broadway musical that mocks Mormon beliefs and practices.

26 A. Occupy oneself with trivial tasks : PUTTER AROUND.   The story of my retirement.

45 A. Like a budget with more expenses than income : OUT OF BALANCE.  Deficit spending.  

And the unifier -- 59 A. Radical solutions ... and what this puzzle's circles literally represent : EXTREME MEASURES.   Exceeding what is usual or reasonable to achieve some end. Here, the names of English System weights are divided and the chunks placed at the extremes, so to speak, of the theme entries, presented in descending order.

Hi Gang, Jazzbumpa here, sadly having hit a several-month-long plateau in the personal weight loss program.  Maybe this theme, with a couple of grid-spanners, will inspire me to greater effort.  Meanwhile, let's see if this puzzle, presented by a Lady we all know, is heavy or light weight.


1. Young chaps : LADS.  This word, going back to Middle English is of unknown origin.

5. Stitchless? : NUDE.  Absence of threads.  I get it, but it's kind of a stretch.  So, possibly double-knit?

9. Right-leaning print: Abbr. : ITAL. Italics.  Are they prim and proper? No politics!

13. Tan shade : ECRU.  From French "écru," meaning "unbleached," describing the light tan color of unbleached linen. 

14. One picking a rock : MINER.   You can select the rock to have at with your pick.

15. It may fly by : TIME.  If you're having fun.

19. Pirate's milieu : SEA.  The setting, background or environment for a pirate is on the briney.

20. Mop & __: floor cleaner : GLO.  Multi-purpose cleaner that also helps shine and protect vinyl flooring.

21. The bubbles in bubble tea, usually : TAPIOCALearning moment.

22. Youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate __ Yousafzai : MALALA.

25. Architect Saarinen : EERO.  [1910-1961] Finnish-American architect and industrial designer.  One of his most notable creations is the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Mo.

30. Butter substitute : OLEO.  Aka Margarine.  But not in this tasty Sonny Rollins tune.

31. How, to José : COMO.   Spanish translation.

32. Retirement place : BED.  When I retire for the night.  Not to be confused with my other retirement from the daily rat race.

35. Beverage with a "Real Facts" Web page : SNAPPLE.  A brand of tea and fruit drinks.

39. Curious box opener : PANDORA.  From Greek mythology.  She was the first woman created by the gods. She opened a jar that released all the evils of humanity.  Echoes of mother Eve.

41. Meat in a typical Denver omelet : HAM.  Diced small.

42. Succotash bean : LIMA.  Mixed with corn.  The name is derived from a Narragansett word meaning "broken corn kernels."  The combination of corn with a legume provides complete protein.  it was poplar during the great depression because the ingredients were readily available and relatively inexpensive.

44. Sportscaster Andrews : ERIN. [b. 1978]

49. Jockey strap : REIN. A narrow strap attached to each end of a hoerse's bit, used to guide the horse while riding.

51. Bright blue shade : COBALT.  Made from a pigment containing the element COBALT.  Think of the color of Phillip's Milk of Magnesia bottles.  Or this.

52. Bygone heating fuel : COAL GAS.  A gas mixture containing hydrogen, methane and carbon monoxide, made from the desturctive distillation of coal.

55. Wall St. maneuver : LBOLeveraged Buy Out.   An acquisition method in which the assets of the purchased company are used as collateral for a large loan, so the transaction can be completed with minimal capital expenditure.

56. Select, with "for" : OPT.  Make a choice, via French from the Latin optare, chose.

62. "In __ of flowers ... " : LIEU.  Instead of.  From Middle English, via French again, back to the Latin, locus, place.

63. Mideast dignitaries : EMIRS. Indicating various high positions, such as military commender, local chieftain, or head of state.

64. Disk slapped by Ducks : PUCK.  The Anaheim Ducks are a team in the National Hockey League.  This year they finished 2nd in the Pacific Division and got swept out in the first round of the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks.

65. Croat neighbor : SERB. Citizens of Eastern European countries Serbia and Croatia.

66. Boy, in Bilbao : NINO. LAD, in Spanish.

67. Tattoo parlor supplies : INKS.  For body decoration.


1. "Why don't we?!" : LET'S.  As one vegetarian said to another, "Let us eat lettuce.

2. Tylenol target : ACHE.  Pain killer.

3. Superstar lineup : DREAM TEAM.  A collection of the best athletes.

4. Pinch hitter, say : SUB. One who substitutes for another.

5. Electricity pioneer Tesla : NIKOLA. [1856-1943] Serbian-American Engineer and inventor who made contributions to the design of electricity delivery systems

6. Kid-friendly card game : UNO.  And frequent X-word entry.

7. Nimble : DEFT.  Agile.

8. "At Wit's End" columnist Bombeck : ERMA. [1927 - 1996]   Wrote humorously about daily life.

9. "Did my best" : I TRIED.  But probably didn't succeed.

10. Divided island north of Australia : TIMOR.  East Timor is a sovereign nation.  The western part of the island belongs to Indonesia.

11. BP merger partner : AMOCO.  Big oil gets bigger.

12. Actress Olin : LENA.  In THE NINTH GATE

14. Canine neighbor : MOLAR.  Teeth, not pets.

17. Eye wolfishly : OGLE.   

18. Premiere, datewise : OPEN ON.   This seems kind of clumsy, but it works.

23. At the pinnacle of : ATOP.  

24. Semicircle, e.g. : ARC.    Any portion of a circle.

26. Like five-star hotels : POSH.   High class and expensive.

27. Radius neighbor : ULNA.   Bones of the forearm.

28. "Alley __" : OOP.   Erstwhile cartoon caveman.

29. Thurman of "Kill Bill" : UMA.

32. Springsteen's first Top 40 hit : BORN TO RUN.

33. Red explorer? : ERIC.  Eiríkr Þorvaldsson; [950 – c. 1003]  Following the family tradition, Eric was exiled for killing a man.  His explorations then took him to Greenland, but he was probably not the first European to land there.  [Wikipedia]

34. Victor Borge, by birth : DANE.   Pianist and comic.

36. Fall precipitously : PLUNGE. Plummet.

37. Short stories? : LIT.  Literature, abbreviated.

38. Broody rock genre : EMO.  Emotional punk rock, for emotional punks.

40. "Sold!" : DEAL.  Artful agreement.

43. Pro Bowl team, briefly : AFC.   America Football Conference.

45. Massage option : OIL RUB.  All of my massage therapists have used essential oils.

46. Ravel classic used in the film "10" : BOLERO.

47. Palestinian leader Mahmoud : ABBAS. [b 1935]  Palesinian president since 2005.

48. Thailand neighbor : LAOS. East of Thailand, West of Viet Nam.

49. "Chicago" showgirl : ROXIE.

50. Diner patron : EATER.  Literal consumer.

52. Roger Rabbit frames : CELSPick one.

53. "I totally agree!" : AMEN.  "So be it."

54. Rig on the road : SEMI. A tractor-trailer rig.

57. Quick kiss : PECK.  Usually on the cheek.

58. Disapproving sounds : TSKS.  Tongue clucks.

60. 60 secs. : MIN.  One minute

61. AP competitor : UPIUnited Press International

That wraps it up.  C. C. took us around the world and provided a lot of musical options, with no major nits.   Pretty good Wednesday, IMHO.

Cool regards!


May 23, 2018

Wednesday May 23, 2018 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme:  LIGHT-HEADED (60. Feeling woozy ... and a hint to the first words of the answers to starred clues)- Synonym theme. 

17A. *Precarious position: SHAKY GROUND.

38A. *1979 boxing sequel: ROCKY II.
11D. *Hall of Fame pitcher with the 1930s Cardinals: DIZZY DEAN.

31D. *Very small chance: FAINT HOPE.

C.C. here, filling in a Wednesday blogging gap.

From the byline, we can see that this puzzle's idea was Gail's. Constructor who dreams up the theme normally has her/his name come up first in byline order. So, this is a GAB puzzle (Gail and Bruce). If Bruce's name comes up first, then we'll have BAG (Bruce and Gail) puzzle. That's their code.

Some of you know I have low blood pressure. When the numbers get too low, I feel DIZZY. I don't use ROCKY to describe light-headedness though. I'm a happy person if I can make 92/65. Tough job! Very odd problem for someone who loves all kinds of pickled stuff. 


1. Italian fashion label: PRADA. Two more five-letter candidates: FENDI & GUCCI.

6. Invasive Asian vine: KUDZU.

11. CSI lab sample: DNA.

14. "Cosmos" host: SAGAN (Carl).

15. Symphonic winds: OBOES.

16. + or - particle: ION.

19. Zoo opening in Britain: ZED. Just the opening letter: Zoo

20. Long-lasting needlework?: TATTOO. Cute clue.

21. Hero of Uris' "Exodus": ARI.

22. Business magnate: CZAR.

23. Lowest in fat: LEANEST. We also have 28. Most coquettish: COYEST Also .46. Not as clear: HAZIER.

25. "And __ off!": THEY'RE.

27. Take it easy: REST. So glad you're now "clean as a whistle", dear Spitzboov!

Spitzboov, Betty & Argyle 
28. Grade-schooler: CHILD.

29. Fido's poodle amie: FIFI.

32. Classification prefix meaning "arrangement": TAXO. Learning moment for me.

34. What candidates "press" a lot of: FLESH.

37. Time division: ERA. FYI, Dave 2, "Lucy Baines" is a song by Chad Mitchell Trio. D-Otto burned a special CD for Boomer, who's been blasting those songs.

40. Wanted poster letters: AKA.

41. Do an airport maintenance job: DE-ICE.

43. Eager about, with "on": KEEN.

44. Foul mood: SNIT.

45. __ Ark: NOAH'S.

47. "Get outta there!": SCAT.

49. Bronchial woe: ASTHMA.

51. Totally puzzled: AT A LOSS. For words.

54. Journalist Paula: ZAHN. Have not watched anything by her after her CNN days.

55. It has a dozen signs: Abbr.: ZOD. OK. Zodiac.

57. Low clouds: STRATI.

59. "Evil Woman" band, briefly: ELO.

62. Knock: RAP.

63. Former Houston hockey team: AEROS. Houston Aeros (1994–2013). Wiki said they were the "AHL affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild. The team is now the Iowa Wild." I forgot. I don't follow the Wild.

64. Tequila plant: AGAVE.

65. Citrus suffix: ADE.

66. __-Roman wrestling: GRECO.

67. Doled (out): METED. 


1. Subtle summons: PSST.

2. 1986 Indy 500 champ Bobby: RAHAL. Not UNSER.

3. Colorful quartz: AGATE.

4. '60s TV show whose title means "doctor" in Swahili: DAKTARI. Unknown to me.

5. "Do I have a volunteer?": ANYONE? Anyone?

6. "MASH" setting: Abbr.: KOR. Korea.

7. WWII sub: U BOAT. Sometimes it's E-BOAT.

8. Gloomy: DOUR.

9. Apex: ZENITH.

10. Amer. money: USD.

12. Lack of musical skill: NO EAR.

13. Agassi of tennis: ANDRE.

18. Heads for: GOES TO.

22. Honeycomb unit: CELL. I'm loving Aldi's raw honey lately.

24. Puts into piles: STACKS.

26. LP player: HI FI.

29. Gave grub to: FED. Here is a typical kitchen in Guangzhou. My friend Carmen's home. One light soy sauce, one dark soy sauce, olive oil, peanut oil, white pepper, salt and sugar. Oh, Jayce, I just learned yesterday that 胡椒粉 and 花椒粉 are different. Carmen, you and Boomer use 胡椒粉. But my brother uses 花椒粉  (Sichuan peppercorns powder).
30. Anger: IRE.

33. Jaguar model: XKE.

35. Hit the slopes: SKI.

36. Fez, e.g.: HAT. Hi, Abejo!

38. Scold, with "out": REAM.

39. One way to pay: IN CASH.

42. "Walking in Memphis" singer Marc: COHN.

44. Attic function: STORAGE. Gotta 50's baseball cards there?

48. Chi. White Sox or Bos. Red Sox: AL TEAM.

49. Hyundai sedan: AZERA.

50. Tossed __: SALAD.

51. For a special purpose: AD HOC.

52. '70s-'80s Egyptian president: SADAT.

53. Actor Carell: STEVE. Or [L.A. Times Crossword Corner blogger Marron]. Such a cool picture!

56. Folklore brute: OGRE.

58. Carded at a club, briefly: ID'ED.

60. Fall behind: LAG.

61. Chinese menu surname: TSO.