May 24, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 Melissa Brown and C.C. Burnikel

Theme: "Don't Look, Tinbeni!" - ICE slipped amidst the starred answers.

58A. Unemotional, and a hint to the hidden word in the answers to starred clues : COLD HEARTED

17A. *Menace to society : PUBLIC ENEMY

40A. *Command to an attack dog : SIC 'EM

27D. *Add zest to : SPICE UP

11D. *Beverage-named Denver arena : PEPSI CENTER

25D. *Many a news story, alas : TRAGIC EVENT

not melissa here. She's over here with C.C. giving us a spiffy pinwheel with the theme dead center. Plus, ICE is centered exactly in the heart of the theme entries.


1. Shoot for the stars : GO BIG or stay at home. Similar to fish or cut bait.

6. Group of musical notes : CHORD

11. Buddy : PAL

14. Get off the couch : ARISE

15. Part of a mechanic's bill : LABOR

16. Green prefix : ECO. Indicating something ecological.

19. Pod veggie : PEA

20. Between Europe and America, say : ASEA. I thought ASIA at first.

21. Permeates : SOAKS IN

23. Three-letter sandwich : BLT. (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato) w/ fresh from the garden tomato, oh my!

26. Belmont Stakes racer : HORSE

28. J or D, for J.D. Salinger : INIT. (initial)

29. Musical sense : EAR

30. w/o delay : ASAP. "as soon as possible"

31. Gator kin : CROC

32. Apple desktops : iMACs

34. Fodder holder : SILO

36. Gael, for one : CELT

39. Wild (over) : GAGA

41. Joint for a dummy : KNEE. Not a crash test dummy but a ventriloquist's dummy.

42. The Emerald Isle : ERIN

43. Rodriguez of the Yankees : ALEX. A-Rod

44. Starter for 007's car? : ASTON - Martin

45. First name in perfume : COCO

47. __ Bator : ULAN

49. Conclusion : END

50. Actor Lugosi : BELA

51. Sudden gush : SPURT

52. Dorm VIPs : RAs. (Resident Assistant)

53. Tropical plain : SAVANNA

55. Spat : TIFF

57. Needle aperture : EYE

63. Came in first : WON

64. Pedro's January : ENERO

65. Brings in at harvest time : REAPs. Time to sow what you hope to reap. (like tomatoes)

66. Pecan or almond : NUT

67. Short-straw picker : LOSER

68. Win an Olympics prize : MEDAL. Verb usage.


1. Opening : GAP

2. Tulsa sch. with a Prayer Tower : ORU. (Oral Roberts University)

3. Highchair user's protector : BIB

4. Cuba, por ejemplo : ISLA. I'm curious; does anyone have plans for a visit?

                           Manzanillo, Cuba

5. Kimono-clad entertainers : GEISHAs. And we all know what sash holds their kimono closed.

6. Maker of Ultra acne treatments : CLEARASIL

7. Sci-fi pilot Solo : HAN. Viral video.

8. Having lots to lose : OBESE

9. Quarterback Tony : ROMO. Dallas Cowboy. I knew ... a name like Tony his last name had to end w/ a vowel. - Anonymous T

10. Low-humidity environment : DRY AIR

12. Crush the midterm : ACE IT

13. Cash advance : LOAN

18. Corp. heads : CEOs. (Chief Executive Officer)

22. Criticizes : KNOCKS

23. Latte-colored : BEIGE

24. Ex-NBA star Odom : LAMAR. He played for several teams.

31. Cousin of org : COM.

33. Corn oil alternative : CANOLA. Good or Bad?

35. Foe in "Batman v Superman" : LEX LUTHOR. Jesse Eisenberg portrayed Lex Luthor.

37. Hotelier Helmsley : LEONA

38. Looks after : TENDS

40. __ Paulo : SAO. Brazil

44. Colony with tunnels : ANT FARM

46. Call off : CANCEL

48. "Acoustic Soul" artist India.__ : ARIE

50. Crawfish habitat : BAYOU

51. After-Christmas specials : SALES

53. Attached using thread : SEWN

54. Texting while driving, e.g. : NO-NO

56. Release : FREE

59. Dr. of hip-hop : DRE. One of the few I remember.

60. Smidgen : TAD

61. Pollution-monitoring org. : EPA. (Environmental Protection Agency)

62. ISP alternative : DSL. An Internet service provider (ISP) is an organization that provides services for accessing and using the Internet. Digital subscriber line (DSL; originally digital subscriber loop) is a family of technologies that are used to transmit digital data over telephone lines.


May 23, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016 Janice Luttrell

Theme: Cone Heads. Words that can be ahead of CONE.

52A. Classic "Saturday Night Live" family, with "the" ... and, literally, what the starts of the answers to starred clues can be : CONEHEADS

38A. *Rhinoplasty : NOSE JOB. Nose Cone

28D. *Freeway congestion : TRAFFIC JAM. Traffic Cone

20A. *Make easier to hear, as bad news : SUGAR COAT. Sugar Cone

11D. *Appliance that makes Eggos unnecessary : WAFFLE IRON. Waffle Cone

Argyle here. Nice pinwheel grid but marred slightly by the two ice cream cones instead of a forth type of cone.


1. Like a store ready for business : OPEN

5. Gadget for KP duty : PEELER

11. Part of www : WEB

14. Champagne Tony of golf : LEMA. His fame was cut short by his death in a plane crash in 1966.

15. Replacing, with "of" : IN LIEU

16. "__ we done here?" : ARE

17. Old pharmacy weight : DRAM. It's complicated.

18. Phonograph inventor : EDISON

19. Quaint "Tsk, tsk!" : "FIE!". "Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard?" ~ Lady Macbeth

22. Not as risky : SAFER

24. Misrepresents, as data : SKEWS

25. Veil of gloom : PALL

26. __ voce: softly : SOTTO. Lowish?

29. Kid gloves? : MITTENS

32. Unadulterated : PURE

33. Promotional bribe : PAYOLA

36. Novelist Fleming : IAN

37. Letter after zeta : ETA

39. Genetic letters : RNA

40. Terrier's welcome : [ARF!]

41. Writing fluid container : INKPOT

42. Laugh good and loud : ROAR

43. Removes impurities from : REFINES

45. Minister's home : MANSE

46. French cruise stops : ILES

47. Manuscript insertion mark : CARET

50. Emmy-winning daytime host Lake : RICKI

56. Modifying wd. : ADJ. (adjective)

57. Martial arts film star Chuck : NORRIS

59. Fingerprint, to a detective : CLUE

60. "Kampgrounds" chain : KOA. (Kampgrounds of America)

61. Most adorable : CUTEST

62. Not just ready and willing : ABLE

63. Big shade tree : ELM

64. Radiator sounds : HISSES. Not a good sound.

65. __ Springs, California : PALM


1. The "O" in REO cars : OLDS. (Ransom E. Olds)

2. Land of Lima and llamas : PERU. A little alliteration to start us off.

3. Kindle read, briefly : E-MAG

4. Word that ends many yoga classes : NAMASTE. Hindu's hello or goodbye accompanied by a suitable gesture.

5. Jigsaw puzzle unit : PIECE

6. Provide with funds : ENDOW

7. Sewing machine inventor Howe : ELIAS

8. "Schindler's __" : LIST

9. Fair-hiring abbr. : EEO. (Equal Employment Opportunity)

10. Gets credit from the bartender : RUNS A TAB

12. One of the Great Lakes : ERIE. What?! There are other Great Lakes?

13. Suds in a mug : BEER

21. "King Kong" studio : RKO. What RKO stands for here.

23. PC key : ALT

25. Show's first episode : PILOT

26. Asparagus unit : SPEAR

27. Very odd : OUTRE

29. Magic charm : MOJO

30. Family babysitters : NANAs

31. Hunter's trap : SNARE

33. Southern loaves : PONES. Sounds good.

34. Poses a poser : ASKS

35. Slangy affirmative : "YEP!"

38. Like the width of many foot-long envelopes : NINE INCH

42. Interest limitation : RATE CAP

44. Sort : ILK

45. "Doesn't thrill me" : "MEH"

47. Apple centers : CORES

48. Sambuca flavoring : ANISE

49. Enjoys a hammock : RESTS

50. Leaf-clearing tool : RAKE. I'd rather enjoy the hammock.

51. Superstar : IDOL

52. Old PC monitors : CRTs. (cathode ray tube)

53. Jessica of the "Fantastic Four" films : ALBA


54. Yawn-inducing : DULL

55. Outwardly appear : SEEM

58. Yves' yes : "OUI"


May 22, 2016

Sunday May 22, 2016 Gail Grabowski

Theme: "Holding Out" - OUT is removed from the starting of one word in each theme entry.
27A. Exertion while getting up? : STANDING EFFORT. Outstanding effort.

41A. Angry reaction to insolent trick-or-treaters? : HALLOWEEN FIT. Halloween outfit.
60A. Pickup shtick that needs refinement? : ROUGH LINE. Rough outline.

70A. Place for perjurers? : LYING AREA. Outlying area.

86A. Ship's secure containers? : BOUND FREIGHT. Outbound freight.

102A. Wing for rugby's Wallabies? : AUSTRALIAN BACK. Australian outback. Wiki said Wallabies is the nickname for Australia's rugby team. Learning moment for me.

37D. Gregarious play group? : SOCIAL CAST. Social outcast.

45D. Blog entry about garden edging? : BORDER POST. Border outpost. Boomer bought this plant from Walmart two weeks ago, but he did not keep the flower tag. Do you know the name?

Though the OUTs in the original OUT* phrase are mostly prefixes, Gail kept the OUTless phrases far away in meaning as possible. The theme looks simple (Gail makes everything look simple), but it's hard to nail it.

Themers are placed Across and Down for the smoothest fill, though often Down themers rob the grid of sparkling long fill.

1. Hyde Park carriage : PRAM

5. One with ropelike tresses : RASTA

10. Enjoys King and Queen : READS. Stephen King. Ellery Queen. We also have 114. King creation : NOVEL

15. Water carrier : DUCT. Not PAIL.

19. Seat of Allen County, Kansas : IOLA. No idea. What's it famous for?

20. __ Bell: Emily Brontë pen name : ELLIS. Learning moment for me also.

21. Run the show : EMCEE

22. Morales of "Jericho" : ESAI

23. Mongolian for "waterless place" : GOBI

24. Half a Yale cheer : BOOLA. Also 53. Member of college music's Whiffenpoofs : ELI

25. Order to attack : SIC 'EM

26. Reason to ban a book : PORN. Once I had PORN and ORGY in one grid. Rich asked me to remove one. Lots of stuff to consider when filling a puzzle: number of abbrs, partials, names, etc. Do not put G-SPOT in LAT, do not put CEE/PEE/ELOAN in WSJ, do not put LGE in NYT.

 30. Crystallized mist : ICE FOG

32. Shows some spunk : DARES

33. Leather piercers : AWLS

34. Aspirant : WANNABE

35. Take under one's wing : ASSIST. Not MENTOR.

38. Tel __ : AVIV

39. Had a row? : OARED. Did not fool me.

40. Many August births : LEOS

45. Short deli order? : BLT

48. Russian retreat : DACHA

50. Pressure source : PEER. Peer pressure.

51. Completed with one stroke : ACED. This refers to hole-in-one, right?

52. Really come down : POUR

54. Long Island airport town : ISLIP. All crosses.

56. Shock source : TASER

58. __ pants : CARGO. Not CAPRI.

59. Bug-loving org. : NSA

62. Attacked without warning : RAIDED

63. Somewhat soft, as a sound : LOWISH. Not a word I use.

65. Ref's call : TKO

66. Capital east of the Black Hills : PIERRE. Pretty city. Boomer took me there in 2001.

68. Spa treatment : FACIAL

72. MD associates : RNs And 85. Ambulance VIP : EMT

75. Three-time Olympics host country : ITALY. China only hosted one.

76. They may be emotional : SCARS, which we all have.

78. Express disdain (at) : SNIFF. Not SNEER.

79. Cioppino cooker : POT.  Never had Cioppino. Looks delicious, Irish Miss/D-Otto.

80. Curious to a fault : NOSY

81. Steinbeck surname : JOAD

82. Some light beers : BUDS. Tiny clue/answer dupe with 84. Not-too-potent potable : NEAR BEER.

83. Cyberjotting : E-NOTE

90. Salinger title teen : ESME

91. Collectors' items? : DEBTS. Lovely clue. Of course I was thinking those eBay items.

92. Go on : LAST

93. Too violent, perhaps : R-RATED

95. Split the tab : GO DUTCH

98. Fourth down play : PUNT

99. Bit of ugly politics : SMEAR

101. Extremely : EVER SO

107. Retina feature : CONE. Another learning moment to me.

108. "Invisible Man" author Ellison : RALPH

110. Chan portrayer : OLAND (Warner). Learned from doing crosswords.

111. Supply-and-demand sci. : ECON

112. Rock band famous for face paint : KISS

113. Often-bricked surface : PATIO

115. Northern terminus of I-79 : ERIE

116. Some Neruda poems : ODES

117. Old will? : SHALT. Thou shalt ...

118. Noisy fliers : GEESE. Not GNATS.

119. Peace Nobelist Cassin : RENE. Never heard of him.


1. Fairy tale trio : PIGS

2. Underlying cause : ROOT

3. Goya's "Duchess of __" : ALBA

4. It often includes sides : MAIN DISH. For years, my lunch was a hot bowl of rice noodle soup. Cantonese noodle soup is similiar to Vietnamese Pho. Tasty slow-cooked broth, a few pieces of meat & green veggie, but no bean sprouts or basil on top. Cilantro is the only herb Chinese use.

5. Second coming : REBIRTH

6. How writers usually work : ALONE. Same as 95% (or more) of the crossword constructors.

7. Plods (through) : SLOGS

8. Scrabble piece : TILE

9. Without obligation : AS A FAVOR

10. Work out : RESOLVE. Some of you were aware that I wanted this soybean paste, but Amazon sent me soy sauce, which I stupidly opened. Amazon asked me to keep the soy sauce, but I had to re-order the paste and they would not offer me free shipping. Sigh! I did not re-order. I bought another container of red miso at the Asian market yesterday, Yellowrocks!

11. Qatari bigwigs : EMIRS

12. Part of IRA: Abbr. : ACCT. Stock market was violent again last week.

13. Wood finish? : DEE. Just the last letter.

14. Like parts of the Great Plains : SEMI-ARID

15. Count (on) : DEPEND

16. D.C. location, familiarly : US OF A

17. Chocolate substitute : CAROB. The chocolate mint plant I bought last time lost its chocolate flavor when seeped in hot water, TTP/Anon-T. Still very minty though.

18. Hint : TINGE

28. Court figs. : DAs

29. Texter's "Just sayin'" : FWIW

31. Site for techies : CNET

34. Nilla product : WAFER

35. Pilgrim John : ALDEN

36. They can make good impressions : SEALS. I had ?EALS in place and thought of MEALS first. They do make good impressions.

38. Hebrew opener : ALEPH. First letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

39. First word of "The Raven" : ONCE

42. Distinctive mark : A PLUS

43. "Gone With the Wind" actress : LEIGH (Vivien). Victim of bipolar.

44. Assuage : EASE

46. Winter Games vehicle : LUGE

47. Walked (on) : TROD

49. United route : AIR WAY

52. Two of a kind : PAIR

55. It covers a lot of ground : SOIL. Nice clue also.

56. Maori carvings : TIKIs

57. Like many an Internet troll: Abbr. : ANON Also 88. Frantic monologue : RANT

58. Wine order : CARAFE

61. Interstellar dist. : LT-YR. Light-year.

62. Navigation hazard : REEF

64. Slick : OILY

66. Cincy-based consumer products giant : P AND G

67. Like Oscar Wilde : IRISH

68. "Whatever floats your boat" : FINE

69. Energy source : ATOM

70. "This Gun for Hire" actor : LADD (Alan)

71. Astronaut's garb : G-SUIT. Watch this clip from Gary if you missed it last time. You won't forget his voice.

73. Innocent words : NOT ME

74. Mount to mount : STEED

76. Word in two state names : SOUTH

77. Soup aisle array : CANS

81. Department of Labor training program : JOB CORPS. Also a learning moment to me.

82. "Hang in there" : BE STRONG
86. Gets in the pool, maybe : BETS

87. Seasonal pharmacy offering : FLU SHOT
89. Potter's pedal : TREADLE

91. Arm-twisting : DURESS

94. Took off : RAN

95. Tropical lizard : GECKO

96. Like jellybeans : OVOID

97. Like urban population : DENSE. We have over 75,000 people here in Brooklyn Park, MN. 15% are Asian.

98. One learning the ropes : PUPIL

99. Toil (away) : SLAVE

100. Bores for ore : MINES

102. Wasatch Mountains resort : ALTA. Got via crosses.

103. Burn remedy : ALOE

104. Spread measurement : ACRE

105. Mint product : COIN

106. Often-skinned spot : KNEE

109. Fan reaction? : AAH. I wanted BOO.


May 21, 2016

Saturday, May 21st, 2016, David Steinberg

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing F,Q,X)

Blocks: 31

 Somehow I sensed that there should have been an extra row or column in this puzzle, as Mr. Steinberg's last two offerings on Saturday were both expanded grids.  I moved through this one with relative ease, but got stumped at two Naticks, which kinda bummed me out.  Oh well.  Unlike those previous two, no spanners in today's construction, but triple 11-letter across and almost triple 9-letter downs in the corners;

17a. Whatchamacallit : THINGAMABOB - D'ya know I actually read the word "gewgaw" in a novel last week - I was so pleasantly surprised to see it because it justified the many times its appeared in crosswords, and I said "that's not a word"....

12d. Buddhism branch : MAHAYANA - I was curious, so I looked; here's the Wiki, and it led to the word "Dharma" which is this guitar player

 Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser

62. Amusing editor, at times : AUTO-CORRECT - some very hilarious results : WARNING~! Adult Contact - Content~!  Damn, auto-correct

36. Team member in "Moneyball" : ATHLETIC - I thought this was a Wall Street movie, but it's this one; I don't know what movie I was thinking about

ONE EARED~! (Damn auto-correct~!)


1. Librarians might use them : HUSHED TONES

12. Lt. col.'s inferior : MAJor - I read this as "literary college's" inferior, so I put in "TAs".  Odd.

15. Sci-fi concept : ANTI-GRAVITY

16. Lovelace whom many consider the first computer programmer : ADA - Natick #1, with a proper name crossing a religious branch; "Ida"~?  "Ada"~?

18. Solo on-screen : HAN - this guy; I just finished reading "the making of Star Wars" and "the making of Empire Strikes Back"

19. Trail, perhaps : HUNT - the verb, not the noun; pondered PATH

20. Milky Way source : MARS - the candy bar

21. Camera product : IMAGE - yep, that's the output

23. Tablet container : ARK - historic tablets, not electronic ones

24. Coral Triangle tourist destination : BALI - Mali or Bali~??  I didn't get much help from the crossing

25. Left rolling in the aisles : SLAYED

26. Down a lot : TOPE - I shoulda known this; drinking to excess....

28. __ other : EACH

30. Robot starter : NANO - eh, more like NANO-bot, than robot

31. Pay dirt : ORE

33. Hassle : NUISANCE

35. First instrument for many : RATTLE - I still play the rattle, but it's made by Ludwig, and comes in several pieces

38. Icy Hot competitor : BENGAY

39. Keep secret : WITHHOLD

41. Sushi bar delicacy : ROE - dah.  Not AHI

42. __ pedal: guitar accessory : ECHO - I have a delay pedal, but not an echo, and I really, really want one.  I also have a chorus, distortion, and Zoom pedal, which has multiple effects built in, and there's a pedal accessory that allows me to create a  "wah-wah" effect with it.  I thought the answer might have been "WA-WA"

43. Slam offering : POEM - didn't get it; perps

45. Org. that monitors plants : OSHA - DID get it, the factory kind of plants

48. Nervous person? : NELLIE - har-har

50. Fail to beat the heat : MELT - the only "ice" found in Florida is that under the skates of the Tampa Bay Lightning, now even in their Stanley Cup series

52. AIDS-fighting drug : AZT

54. Rough stuff : TWEED

55. Low-cost pub : ZINE - publication and magazine

56. "__ bien" : ESTA - dah~!  Not TRES

57. Storage unit? : BIT - computer storage

58. Vaping devices : E-CIGARETTES - the evolution of these things is incredible; very popular with the younger types at UPS

61. "Wheel of Fortune" purchase : AN "I" - fill in "AN", and wait....

63. Mo. for which tanzanite is a birthstone : DECember

64. Comics-derived danger alert : SPIDEY SENSE - well, I wasn't sure how to spell "Spidey", since I didn't read the comic book; I tried SpideE

my kind of spider sense


1. Yoga variety : HATHA - ooops, not ASANA

2. Fine after an accident : UNHURT - ah.  Not TICKET; my experience in one accident was that the other party involved crossed in front of me while I had right-of-way; he was given two tickets - the other for not wearing the seatbelt

3. Well-lit? : STINKO - well, I got it, but the "O" at the end was a bit meh. 

4. "Gimme a __" : HINT

5. Noodle variety : EGG

6. Certain queen's domain : DRAMA

7. Steamed cantina food : TAMALE

8. Like a certain female artery : OVARIAN - I didn't realize there were names for the smaller ones

9. Ink deliverers : NIBS - Dah~!! Not PENS

10. WWII arena : ETO - learned from crosswords

11. Basil's wife on "Fawlty Towers" : SYBIL - a WAG; I thought "sibyl" was the answer to 14D., but it didn't fit

13. Company offering many promotions : AD AGENCY - cute

14. Mystery woman : JANE DOE - Mystery no more~!!  I have found her, and this is what she looks like - I might have solved a LOT of criminal investigations, too~!!

22. Watches over : MANAGES

24. Where an engineer may retire : BERTH - Natick #2, the "E" did me in....I am not sure I get this; does this mean a train engineer and sleeping in a car on the train~?

25. Less forward : SHIER

27. Artery problem : POTHOLE - I got this; I was on a different wavelength from the first artery clue, this one referring to the highways into/from a city

29. Bear fruit? : CUB - oh, so witty

32. Secretly unite : ELOPE

34. Arrogant sort : SNOOT

35. Beverage used in Chinese cuisine : RICE WINE

37. "Eldorado" group : ELO - ah, the song Eldorado; Iron Maiden has a song with the same title

39. Soured : WENT BAD - straight up

40. Part-human mythological creature : DEMI-GOD - CENTAUR fit, too

44. Threat : MENACE

46. Get cracking : HASTEN

47. Ancient cacao bean traders : AZTECS

49. TED talk subjects : IDEAS

51. Encyclopedia Brown's first name : LEROY - perps

53. Discretion : TASTE

55. Italian tubes : ZITI - this helped out a lot in the SE

56. Sera is a form of it : ÊTRE - I pondered "DOSE", as in medical serum; turns out to be the conjugation of the Frawnche, and reminds me of this song

Wax Tailor, with Doris

59. Tea holder : CUP - so simple, I figured it had to be wrong

60. Halting syllables : ers....


May 20, 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016, D.Scott Nichols and C.C. Burnikel

Title: The HEAT is on. LISTEN.

The sixth pairing of our resident Santa, Argyle, with C.C. brings us a single clue puzzle to unravel. HEAT yielded 2 grid-spanners and 2 fourteen letter fill giving us a quick 58 letters in the theme. These single word, single clue ones mean lots of work for me as I really need to solve many perps to get to the theme fill. Lots of nice fill like DE NADA,  WET HEN,  HEE HEE, ERECTS, LESS TAR, SERAPES,  MIGRANT, SPLICES, SARASOTA,  FOOLED ME, D.H. LAWRENCE,  OPEN SECRET. Well if you can't take the heat, get our your eraser.

17A. Heat : INTENSE PRESSURE (15). For example, the heat is on Hilary about her deleted emails.

31A. Heat : QUALIFYING RACE (14). For example, Mark Spitz won his semi-final heat in world record time.

38A. Heat : MIAMI HOOPSTERS (14). Their season is over, but no Whiteside and no Bosh for most of the Toronto series.

59A. Heat : HABANERO FEATURE (15). For example, you can READ all about hot peppers.

Okay, now solve:


1. Light source : BIC. As in:
Recognize Orson Bean's voice?

4. Sea bordering Uzbekistan : ARAL and the ever confusing to me 32D.  1,509-mile border river : URAL. They are both back again to add to our geography miseries.

8. Online money source : E-LOAN. They must be more popular in the midwest.

13. Prepare for a snap : LOAD. I guess this refers to the old fashioned need to put film in a camera.

15. "Sons and Lovers" author : D. H. LAWRENCE. This was one of his earliest works LINK ; his most famous perhaps being his last major novel
19. Tuscan hill city : SIENA. My son's many trips to dig in Italy helped me with my European Geography.

20. "__ does it!" : THAT.

21. Zipped : SPED.

22. Gulf Coast resort city : SARASOTA. A wonderful little city with white sand beaches and it rhymes with Minnesota which is great for limercists.

24. Like sriracha sauce : HOT. LIke the reference to "TODDLERS" in yesterday CHILD theme, I am ambivalent about this being in a HEAT puzzle.

26. Smidgen : DAB. Brylcreem anyone?

27. Colorful cover-ups : SERAPES. Forgive the partial  NUDITY.

35. Alley wanderer : CUR. But not dressed like that.

36. Popular truck brand : RAM.

37. Important time : AGE.

45. Unites, in a way : SPLICES. A thoughtful Friday clue. LINK.

46. PETA concern : FURPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I have always had mixed feeling about how they promote this effort.

47. Turn right : GEE. If you are a horse.

48. "No, really?" : FOOLED ME.

53. Egg on : SPUR. More horse talk?

56. L, vis-à-vis C : HALF. 50 is half of 100.

58. Junkyard material : SCRAP. Sometimes.
62. It's thinly disguised : OPEN SECRET. Nice rarely used fill.

63. Fries, e.g. : SIDE order.

64. Medicare card specification : PART A.

65. Fabulous runner-up : HARE. FABLE leads to fabulous here.
66. Talk trash to : DIS. A simple version of disrespect.


1. Euphoria : BLISS. So many choices  joy, happiness, pleasure, delight, ecstasy, elation, rapture.

2. Region that rebelled against Persia in about 500 B.C. : IONIA. A bit of HISTORY.

3. Work at weddings : CATER.

4. Hulu distractions : ADS.The rerun service.

5. Butler in a classic film : RHETT. My first thought was Arthur Treacher.

6. Greek leader : ALPHA. Cute clue.

7. Logan of "60 Minutes" : LARA. She was made part of a horrible STORY. She did well on Jeopardy Tuesday.

8. EMS destinations : ERS. No bitter vetch? Will Weng where are you?

9. Advertised advantage of some lights : LESS TAR.

10. "Get __": 1967 Esquires hit : ON UP.
11. Amount to plow : ACRE.

12. Cry out for : NEED.

14. "You're welcome," in Havana : DE NADA.

16. Anger simile : WET HEN. Did you KNOW?

18. Like Willie Nelson's voice : NASAL. Well that sounds a bit critical but Willie is an interesting MAN.

23. Kabuki accessory : OBI. My sash a week continues.

25. URL ender : ORG.

27. Easy mark : SIMPelton.

28. Host after Allen : PAAR. I have written often about Jack Paar.

29. Med. tests using leads : ECGS.

30. "Now do you believe me?" : SEE. Mira.

31. Wit's end? : QUIP. The end result of wit.

33. Big dos : FROS.

34. 2011 NBA retiree : YAO. HOF center with bad feet.

35. Divs. on some rulers : CMS. Centimeters which is pronounced??

39. "The Grapes of Wrath" character : MIGRANT. I tried to dredge up a character name until the perps kicked in.

40. Make sure of : ICE. They are out to get Tinman these days.

41. Titter : HEE HEE. I always like TEE HEE.

42. Bay Area travel letters : SFO.

43. Home of the WNBA's Shock : TULSA.  They have moved to Dallas LINK but do post star Skylar Diggins

44. Puts up : ERECTS.

48. Botanist's field : FLORA.

49. Proposal : OFFER.

50. Old Celtic religious leader : DRUID. Never understood this GROUP.

51. Column in un calendrier : MARDI. Tuesday in French.

52. Fencing swords : EPEES.

53. Hunt for bargains : SHOP.

54. Hemingway sobriquet : PAPA. Self imposed? LINK.

55. Cab company competitor : UBER. I recently used one, and it was great.

57. Image on Missouri's state quarter : ARCH. The gateway arch.

60. "Citizenfour" org. : NSA. The movie about Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency.

61. Saison in Provence : ÉTÉ. Summer is coming.

That means the regular tv season is over, lots of characters lying dead on the screen but we soldier on. Great fun, thank you Scott and C.C. and thank you all for the comments I will read soon. Lemonade out.

May 19, 2016

Thursday, May 19th, 2016 Greg Johnson

Theme: Growing Pains - the circles reveal a squad of squabblers.

17A. Overindulged oneself : WENT TO TOWN. Tot. Going to town on tots can result in a Captain Morgan-sized hangover.

22A. Communications feature since the 1870s : QWERTY KEYBOARD. Tyke. Deliberately designed to slow people down to reduce typewriter lever jams. The French have AZERTY, for reasons known only to themselves. Odd folks, that Gallic lot. You know what the French can't do? Type "TYPEWRITER" using only the top row of letter keys. Mwaaahaaahahhaaa. They're SO missing out.

34. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" duettist : KIKI DEE. Kid. I saw her at a free concert in London's Hyde Park in the 70's along with Steve Hillage, supporting Queen. I don't recall a lot about her set though. Here's the production-values-challenged video of the hit with Elton John. Catchy tune,admittedly. Here I am - twenty-thousandth dot from the right middle tree. And it didn't rain! Yay!

44. "Looks pretty good, huh?" : WHAT DO YOU THINK? Youth. Or "yute" per Joe Pesci in "My Cousin Vinnie". The scene where Marisa Tomei is called as an expert witness is one of my all-time movie favorites.

and the reveal:

52. Psychology subject ... and what's contained in this puzzle's circles : INNER CHILD. Something to channel.

Morning! Tongue-in-cheek with my theme name today, I'm sure all the lovable little darlings in this puzzle are quite angelic.

Mostly smooth sailing for me today, a couple of rip currents in the Pacific North West caused me some momentary unease, but the ship came through without undue distress. I thought a pangram was on the cards when QWERTYK showed up, but it wasn't to be - we're missing an F and a Z. Let's see what else we do have:


1. Toddler coddlers : MAMAS

6. Office stock : PENS

10. Port container : CASK. Originally old brandy barrels to help preserve Portuguese wine on the voyage to England.

14. What's made "just in case" : EXTRA. I wanted "PLAN B" here, but as much as I wanted it, I didn't get it.

15. Follow : OBEY, Aye, aye, Captain!

16. Eclipse, to some : OMEN

19. It may sweep you off your feet : WAVE

20. "Me too" : DITTO

21. Sleeper's malady : APNEA. A couple of months ago in San Diego I had a meeting with the company who invented the sleep apnea breathing devices. In their lobby they have an array of disembodied mannequin heads wearing examples of the technology through the years. It looks a little weird.

26. Breakfast choices : JUICES

27. Spot for breakfast : NOOK

28. El __ : PASO

29. They're usually covered by grilles : AIR VENTS

33. __ out a living : EKE

37. WWII battle site, for short : IWO. Iwo To, or Iwo Jima in English. Sulfur Island.

38. Just beginning to develop : GERMINAL

40. Emailed a dupe to : CC'ED. We cc C.C. on blog-related emails.

41. Research ctr. : INST.

42. White of the eye : SCLERA. Not CORNEA then, as I confidently filled in first, in spite of being totally wrong.

49. 1945 meeting site : YALTA. Churchill, Stalin and FDR met to carve up post-WWII Europe. See how well that turned out for everyone.

50. Stern with a bow : ISAAC

51. __ marker : MILE. When you reach the first one in a marathon, you gleefully think "Great! Only 25 more of these, tack on 365 yards at the end and we're done!".

57. Rapper with the debut album "Trouble" : AKON. Who? I'm sure I should know Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam, but I don't.

58. Porch torch type : TIKI

59. Sun: Pref. : HELIO-. Greek root. Helio Castroneves isn't Greek, he's a Brazilian race car driver in the IndyCar series. He looks like he gets a lot of sun though.

60. Common allergen : NUTS

61. Right on an atlas : EAST. Unless you hold it upside down, or get the Australian edition.

62. A bit off : ASKEW


1. Litter attention-getter : MEW

2. Hefted tool : AXE

3. Hood, for one: Abbr. : MTN. Mount Hood in Oregon. I've flown over it a few times on the way to Seattle, it looks like a perfect snow-capped cone.

4. Like Radio City Music Hall : ART DECO

5. "The Daily Show" device : SATIRE

6. Where wee ones go : POTTY

7. Waiting room read : E-BOOK

8. Just out : NEW

9. Case, for instance: Abbr. : SYN. Nice clue! Parse it as "Case" for "Instance", and you'll see one is a synonym of the other.

10. Ranch hand : COWPOKE

11. Its website has a range finder : AMANA. Oh! Cooktops and kitchen equipment. Got it. Clever.

12. Divide into parts : SEVER. I got a new cleaver recently. Two pounds of severe severing steel sharpness. I'd better be careful with this bad boy. Finger (currently still attached) shown for scale.

13. Prep, at a pizza parlor : KNEAD

18. Mel and Ed with World Series rings : OTTS

21. Not subject to, as suspicion : ABOVE

22. Fault product : QUAKE. Plenty of these in my neck of the woods.

23. More learned : WISER

24. Plains "Queen Wheat City" : ENID

25. Days long gone : YORE

26. Photo file format : JPEG. "Joint Photographic Experts Group". It's a "lossy" compression algorithm - "lossy" because when the image is re-opened it has lost some definition. If you keep re-saving a JPEG you'll notice the quality degrading.

29. Feel poorly : AIL

30. Tidy (up), facetiously : NICEN. Not sure I've used this term. Facetiously though?

31. Dance provocatively : TWERK. No, I'm not going to link Miley Cyrus.

32. Pop : SODA

34. Cousin of "-ish" : KINDA

35. __ many words : IN SO

36. Pop's Perry : KATY

39. Things on strings : MITTENS. Hand up for my mother sewing my gloves onto a ribbon and threading them through the sleeves of my coat. Lost glove drama instantly averted. Playground lost cred instantly achieved.

40. Played-out sayings : CLICHES

42. Ratings unit : STAR

43. Ballroom dance : CHA CHA

44. Longtime Rolling Stones bassist Bill : WYMAN. Keith Richards claimed that Bill was only allowed to join the band because he owned an amplifier. Reading Keith's autobiography it's pretty apparent that he didn't think too much of the "walking bass".

45. 17-syllable work : HAIKU

Help me. I am trapped
in a Haiku factory.
Save me, before they 

46. Divvy up : ALLOT

47. Down and dirty noises : OINKS

48. "Can you __ in a sentence?" : USE IT. Not only a spelling bee clarification question, but the litmus test of crossword construction.

52. Relative of "-ian" : -ITE

53. Actress Peeples : NIA. Useful crossword name. I'm not really familiar with the her work.

54. Kind : ILK

55. One of a rat's pack? : LIE

56. Financial measure, with "the" : DOW

And .. here's the grid, circles 'n all.


May 18, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 Jerry Eldstein


Husker Gary on board, blogging Jerry's wonderful Wednesday-level puzzle that combines a famous line from Coleridge's poem of the ill-fated, albatross-slaying sailor and eight, count 'em, eight phrases that can be formed when WATER precedes both words of two word theme fills. WATER, WATER everywhere indeed! Very impressive to this land lubber!

THEME FILL (where I freely admit there are alternate interpretations):

26. Oil conduit : PIPELINE - One of which, runs from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez in Alaska or

WATER PIPE - A conveyance for a buzz


WATER LINE  - What has been receding behind Lake Mead during the SW drought

31. Electricity source : POWER PLANT - What is inside Hoover Dam that uses the waters of Lake Mead or

WATER POWER - a rough idea of what happens inside Hoover Dam

or WATER PLANT - A facility that makes your water potable

42. Reaganomics term : SUPPLY SIDE - Economic system where government gets less money and private enterprise gets to keep more or

WATER SUPPLY - What can be threatened when these run too much in dry years

or WATER SIDE - A great San Antonio location

47. Primary entrance : MAIN GATE - A Disney Park front door or

WATER MAIN - They can be spectacular when they break

or WATERGATE - Enough said!

The fabulous THEME REVEAL:

17. With 59-Across, words from a fictional mariner ... and a hint to both parts of 26-, 31-, 42- and 47-Across : WATER WATER and 59. See 17-Across : EVERYWHERE. 

Now let's sail on to see what else Jerry has cast upon our crossword waters:


1. Pricey : STEEP - Who ever thought water would cost more per gallon than gas?

6. Place for a chicken : COOP

10. Herring prized for its roe : SHAD

14. Use a lectern : ORATE - You'd better have a sandwich, el presidente is gonna be a while!

15. A fan of : INTO

16. Tortilla snack : TACO

19. Any minute now, to a bard : ANON

20. Tampa-to-Jacksonville dir. : NNE - It's 198.4 miles

21. Frosty coat : HOAR - A HOARY engraving from our poem du jour of the crew and that bird

22. Fern-to-be : SPORE

23. Criticize sneakily : SNIPE - Here it is usually to criticize as an ANON

28. Chef's tool : SPATULA

30. Fire, or fire-fighting tool : AXE - Or Gene Simmons' bass

34. Astronaut Grissom : GUS - He almost drowned on the second Mercury mission

37. Incriminate with false evidence : FRAME - Did OJ ever find the real killer?

38. __-Locka, Florida : OPA - Originally Opa-tisha-wocka-locka

39. Emaciated : GAUNT

41. Messy spot : STY

44. __ Kan: Alpo rival : KAL

46. Fit as a fiddle and tough as nails : SIMILES - The one about me ends a rock

52. Exams for would-be attys. : LSATS

53. Shore eagles : ERNES - Our old cwd friend and a surprise prey

54. Object of worship : IDOL

56. Dick's wife, twice : LIZ - Liz Taylor was Mrs. Richard Burton twice

58. __-Seltzer : ALKA

62. Safe document : DEED

63. Left : GONE

64. Conundrum : POSER 

65. They may be split or tight : ENDS - Pretty easy to discern

66. __ buco: veal dish : OSSO

67. Make a mess of : MISDO - Okay


1. Seeded : SOWN - Some consider the SOWER atop Nebraska's capital buliding to be, uh, controversial when its image is transferred to our sesquicentennial license plate

2. Convey : TRANSPORT

3. Completely eroded : EATEN AWAY 

4. Nice season? : ETE - Je n'étais pas dupe! (I was not fooled!)

5. Part of 60-Down : PER - My sister typed over 100 words PER minute 50 yrs ago. I once got half that.

6. "Ta-ta" : CIAO

7. Coming up next : ON TAP

8. Ferrell's "SNL" cheerleading partner : O'TERI

9. __ favor: Pedro's "please" : POR

10. Paper clip alternative : STAPLE 

11. Onetime capital of French Indochina : HANOI

12. Oak nut : ACORN - "Gee! Ahma tree!", exclaimed the mathmatically mature ACORN.

13. Charity, say : DONEE - I would think the DONEE receives the charity

18. Puppy : WHELP - Dura-WHELP makes a box for them

22. Masters and Johnson subject : SEX - Their research revealed sexual intimacy could last well beyond 70. Could, mind you!

24. Agenda line : ITEM

25. Partner of simple : PURE - 70-year-old Dolly has launched her 2016, 60-city PURE And SIMPLE Tour 

27. First lady after Lady Bird : PAT

28. Suntan lotion numbers, briefly : SPFS

29. Baseball's Matty or Felipe : ALOU

32. Droid download : APP

33. Snoozes : NAPS

34. Free from blame : GUILTLESS from  35. Not wanted : UNDESIRED calories?

36. Fr. holy women : STES

39. Places with rings and horses : GYMS - In Lego Land

40. Massive land mass : ASIA

42. Gp. that kidnapped Patty Hearst : SLA

43. Big name in pharmaceuticals : LILLY - And for our kitty (one L please)

44. Works on, as dough : KNEADS

45. Top prosecutors: Abbr. : AGS - Attorneys General

47. Maryland's Fort __ : MEADE - Named for the the Union Commander at Gettysburg

48. "Over the Rainbow" composer Harold : ARLEN - Some MGM execs wanted it cut from the movie because they thought it slowed down the pace

49. Signed in pen : INKED

50. DVR devices : TIVOS

51. Blissful places : EDENS

55. Treat often split : OREO - Found nestled among these most common cwd answers

57. Nothing : ZERO

59. __ trip : EGO

60. Typing meas. : WPM

61. __ polloi : HOI - Ah, ya gotta love the classics!

Wisdom, wisdom everywhere and plenty for us to read. Let those unfiltered comments rip!

The Grid