Jul 28, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017, Mike Buckley

Title: V is for Victory

Mr. Buckley gives us a themeless puzzle with a theme that exists visually with a one clue reveal. This is Mike's first Friday puzzle this year and a great departure from the July 2016 puzzle which had 12 short theme fill. V is also for variety. The placement of the Vs, and the avoiding any other Vs in the grid was masterful. With an open grid there are oodles of long fill. Pick your favorite. SERAPHS,  SIGNAGE,  YES DEAR, AS I SEE IT, DR. MOREAU,  GIUSEPPE, KNEE DEEP, OUTLIVED,  SAUTERNE,  SNOBBERY,  TRIP OVER, ETHIOPIAN, PENTAGRAM, LOVE POTION and TERMINATOR. Let me know what you think;  I love visuals.

7D. What can be drawn using the only V's, representing vertices, in this puzzle's grid : FIVE POINTED STAR (15).

Bonus theme related fill:

19D. See 7-Down : PENTAGRAM. Often thought of in connection with the occult.

25D. Like a flag featuring a 19-Down : ETHIOPIAN.  I wish I had learned all this on Fun with Flags. LINK.

We have music and Latin and some wit, so....


1. Render inconceivable? : SPAY. Great clue/fill.

5. Carl who composed "Carmina Burana" : ORFF.  A repeat fill made easy.

9. Itching for action : ANTSY.

14. Hamlet's first choice : TO BE. Better than or not to be.

15. Sound from a fan : WHIR. Onomatopoeia.

16. River of Champagne : MARNE. Cute.

17. U.N. reps : AMBS. Ambassador.

18. Purported passion promoter : LOVE POTION.  Number 9? Made more famous by the Searchers.

20. One-named singer with the #1 hit "Royals" : LORDE. I know the SONG but did not know the singer.

22. Prevent : DETER.

23. "Frontline" airer : PBS.

24. Seriously mired : KNEE DEEP. Often in BS.

26. Big wheel : NABOB. Often nattering.

28. Scholar : SAVANT. From the Latin.

29. Lasted longer than : OUTLIVED. Usefulness?

32. Sound from a fan : RAH. One little rah?

33. Draft letters : IPA. Beer is back.

34. Despot who raced in the 67 Olympics : NERO.  HISTORY. Sadly all footage of the 67 Olympics was destroyed when Rome burned.

35. __ station : GAS.

38. Highway reading : SIGNAGE.

41. Bread or liquor : RYE.

42. PDQ : ASAP.

44. Word with cake or flake : OAT.

45. Prescribed meds : RXS.

47. "Rigoletto" composer Verdi : GIUSEPPE. More MUSIC. Everyone knows this tune, right?

49. 86 and 99 : AGENTS. Maxwell Smart and the future Mrs. Max.

53. Turntable needles : STYLI. Latin plural of -us.

54. Wells islander played by Brando : DR. MOREAU. H.G. and Marlon.

56. Creator of Finch and Radley : LEE. Atticus  and Boo, created by Harper.

57. France dance : VALSE. Sounds like waltz.

59. Medal-worthy quality : VALOR.

60. Boundary between the illuminated and darkened part of the moon, in astronomy : TERMINATOR. There is so much I do not know. So I read this LINK.

63. Ballet move : PLIE.

64. T. rex et al. : DINOS. My oldest loved reading about dinosaurs and then came Jurassic Park; saw it 14 times - in the movie theater.

65. Wrapped garment : SARI.

66. Villain's welcome : HISS.

67. __ Curry, first unanimous NBA MVP : STEPH.

68. "By that reasoning ... " : ERGO. Therefore in Latin.

69. Rectangular paving stone : SETT. learned from puzzles.


1. Cornfield array : STALKS.

2. Cal Poly city : POMONA.

3. Shortened, shortened : ABBREViation. Silly.

4. Affectionate assent : YES DEAR. Affectionate? Not always...

5. Hogwarts mail carrier : OWL.

6. __ Island : RHODE. because Long was too Short.

8. Worry : FRET.

9. Not bothered by conscience : A-MORAL. More Latin e.g. asexual, amoral, anarchy, anhydrous, Anabaptist, anachronism; also uses a and an.

10. "Unforgettable" Cole : NAT.

11. Stumble on : TRIP OVER.

12. Condescension : SNOBBERY. I loved watching HYACINTH BUCKET (pronounced Boo-kay).

13. Pines : YENS.
21. Ferber and a Dame : EDNAS. I let you look up the great Ms. Ferber, but here is a touch of the DAME.

27. Arabic "son of" : BIN. Hebrew Ben.

30. Kick __ fuss : UP A.

31. Unknown John : DOE.

35. Order of silence : GAG.

36. "In my view ... " : AS I SEE IT.

37. Semisweet American white wine : SAUTERNE. Ah, where is Chairman Mao when we need him.

39. Alibi problem : GAP.

40. Sarah Palin, e.g., briefly : EX-GOV.

43. Humanities subj. : PSYchology.

46. Six-winged angels, in Isaiah : SERAPHS. Yes, and so much MORE.

48. Tolkien language : ELVISH.

50. Nervous one? : NELLIE.

51. I Ching adherent, perhaps : TAOIST. Perhaps. This LINK discusses the connection. My eldest brother also studied Book of Changes.

52. Least tentative : SUREST.

55. Corp. shuffle : REORGanization. Well how many are too many?

56. Classic Fords : LTDS.

58. Emit coherent light : LASE.  "In lasers, waves are identical and in phase, which produces a beam of coherent light." There are incoherent lights, as well as incoherent bloggers.

61. Messy locks : MOP. Very popular when Beatles came to the US, e.g. mop tops.

62. Carnival site : RIO.

We already have seen the grid and I will await your comments on this creative effort from Mr. Buckley. It would be nice to hear from him on the genesis of this puzzle. Meanwhile, see you in August. Lemonade out.

Jul 27, 2017

Thursday July 27th 2017 Pancho Harrison

Theme: Beau Knows (and so do Jeff, Dorothy and Lloyd)

14A. *Billboard entry : POP SONG. Sometimes known as the middle eight, the bridge usually follows the second chorus in a pop song and forms a stylistic break. Many great examples could be referenced, but let's go with "Born To Run" from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The bridge follows the great Clarence Clemons and his sax solo at around the 2:10 mark

20A. *Upright instrument in a bluegrass band : BASS FIDDLE. There's the bridge in the middle with the strings crossing it:

36A. *Place to land when there's no land in sight : AIRCRAFT CARRIER

On a traditional vessel, the bridge spans the superstructure from port to starboard. Due to the fact that you can't put a bridge on the flight deck, the bridge is off to one side.

49A. *LensCrafters products : EYE GLASSES. The bit in the middle that kids break and repair with a band-aid for maximum nerdiness.

and the reveal:

61A. Hollywood family name ... and what the answers to starred clues have in common : BRIDGES. Brothers Beau and Jeff and parents Lloyd and Dorothy.

Nice theme here and some tricky Thursday-level cluing to keep us on our toes. I made couple of missteps in the northwest that slowed me up, but once I gave them a second thought it all fell into place up there. Let's see what jumps out.


1. "Dawn of the Dead" (1978) director : ROMERO. Thank you, crosses.

7. Street, in Stuttgart : STRASSE

16. "S'pose so" : I RECKON

17. First of a film series about Damien Thorn : THE OMEN. Scared the living daylights out of me, as did the Exorcist. No more horror movies for me after that. I don't do scary.

18. Cultural environments : MILIEUS

19. Marines NCO : S/SGT Staff Sergeant.

22. Head of Hollywood : EDITH. Lots of Hollywood and movie references today.

24. Switchback feature : ESS. Bends.

25. Bordeaux wine : CLARET. The English name for the classic Bordeaux blends; pick two or more varietals from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec and mix. Winemakers in the US produce a similar blend known as Meritage, usually mispronounced with a long "a" at the end. It is "merit-idge" not "merit-arge"

28. Hankering : ITCH

30. Mauna __ : LOA. Could be KOA. Wait for the cross.

33. 19-Across boss : LOOIE. Slang for lieutenant. Pronounced left-tenant in the UK for no good reason I can see.

34. Conniption : FIT

35. "Oh, crud!" : DANG!

40. Span. miss : SRTA. Senorita.

41. "U R 2 funny!" : LOL' Laugh Out Loud in text-speak.

42. Goosebump-inducing : EERIE. See The Omen, above.

43. Neptune's realm : SEA

44. Hot state : RAGE

45. Irritating inconvenience : HASSLE

46. Post-Manhattan Project org. : A.E.C. Nice logo:

47. Selling points? : SHOPS. Nice clue.

53. Grouch : CRAB

57. "Let's talk in my office" : NOT HERE

58. Word in many hymns : REJOICE

60. "Inka Dinka Doo" singer : DURANTE. More crosses, thank you.

62. Son of Clytemnestra : ORESTES. Complicated family. His mother killed his father, then Orestes killed his mother to avenge the deed. All kinds of complications ensued.

63. Campaign ugliness : SMEARS


1. Official accts. : RPTS. Reports. Not a fan of this one.

2. Sounds of amazement : OOHS. Tried WOWS, didn't work.

3. Compressed video file format : MPEG. Moving Picture Experts Group? Really? Who knew?

4. Abstruse knowledge : ESOTERICA

5. Com can follow it : ROM. Once I took out my first try DOT here and thought twice about WOWS things started to come together in this area. It was my last section to finish.

6. At all : ONE BIT

7. "The Urbz: __ in the City": video game : SIMS. Guesswork. I knew the game Sim City, I didn't know this title.

8. Long-odds bet : TRIFECTA. One-two-three in the race. I won a quite sizable sum of money at Santa Anita when I hit a trifecta. It was a complete fluke, I was looking at the next race in the Racing Form when I picked my numbers.

9. It's often put on a dog : RELISH. Nice clue again. Relish, mustard. No ketchup, ever.

10. Litmus reddeners : ACIDS. Alkalis turn litmus paper blue, if chemistry lesson memory serves me correct. Or was that Universal Indicator Paper? It's been a while since science class.

11. Short itinerary? : SKED.

12. Motown music : SOUL

13. First word of Massachusetts' motto : ENSE. Quite a mouthful, this motto:

"Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" Usually translated as "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty".

15. Pest in a swarm : GNAT

21. Lazy : SHIFTLESS

23. Stag, for one : DEER

25. Elegance : CLASS

26. French wine valley : LOIRE. France has some beautiful countryside, including the quite stunning Loire Valley. Did you see the Tour de France this last three weeks? Plenty of aerial shots of the French countryside. Beautiful.

27. Main artery : AORTA. Not the 405 or the 101 in this neck of the woods.

29. It may be nervous : TIC

30. Hibernation spots : LAIRS

31. NBC newsman Roger : O'NEIL. Nailed it. Finally got this name set in my head.

32. Come to terms : AGREE

35. Specification regarding threads : DRESS CODE. Great clue.

37. Like many steakhouse menus : A LA CARTE. Just steakhouses?

38. London bank? : FOG. The legendary and notorious London fogs are a thing of the past since the introduction of the Clean Air Act and the phasing out of coal fires for heating homes. The air is still pretty bad, mainly from emissions from diesel engines (taxis and buses).

39. Harvest : REAP

44. Give in : RELENT

45. Unmannerly sorts, in Canadian slang : HOSERS. We had a discussion about this a couple of months ago when it appeared in another Thursday puzzle.

46. Turkish honorifics : AGHAS. That middle "H" seem to make me stumble.

48. Window box plant : HERB. I've got basil in mine.

49. Opposite of exo- : ENDO-

50. Part of FYI : YOUR. For Your Information.

51. Raison d'__ : ETRE. Reason for being, literally.

52. Witnesses : SEES

54. Latvian capital : RIGA

55. Taiwan-based computer giant : ACER. I thought until recently this company had gone out of business, but no.

56. Gershwin heroine : BESS

59. Parsons of "Hidden Figures" : JIM

Wow, that went quickly. So here's the grid, and I'm done!


Jul 26, 2017

Wednesday July 26th, 2017 Ed Sessa

Theme: Garbage Collection - The last words are all synonyms of "garbage"

18A. "Too bad we have to throw out this uneaten food" : WHAT A WASTE

60A. Hurls competitive insults : TALKS TRASH

4D. Pet product also used for tire traction : KITTY LITTER

27D. Taiwan Strait vessel : CHINESE JUNK


40A. Muppet who loves this puzzle's four longest answers? : OSCAR

Boomer here.  This famous intro was borrowed by me from Alan Seuss when he appeared on Rowan and Martin's "Laugh In".  I used to enjoy slapstick, however now I admit to CNN.  However - the only fake news I hear is when the commentator says "We'll be back after a 'Quick Break' ". 

Averaged 212 in an 8 game tournament Sunday and cashed for my entry fee back.  So I bowled 8 games free, not counting the 8 bucks worth of gas to get to the bowling center. Our Twins are playing the Dodgers this week - I wonder if any of them solved this puzzle.  They sure can't solve the Dodgers.


1. Understand, in slang : GROK - I am G rok, I am G island!

5. Greek liqueur : OUZO - I never drank in a Greek bar.  I will take the constructor's word for this.

9. Time-traveling TV character : DR WHO

14. Strauss of denim : LEVI - I think his wife's name was Jean

15. Hair salon sound : SNIP

16. Setting for much of "Moana" : OCEAN - Or Danny's last name (George Clooney)

17. Final bio : OBIT

20. Asian noodle dish : PAD THAI - Could this be an LPGA golfer ??

22. Bro kin : SIS - Too easy of a clue when even I get it.

23. Earl Grey, e.g. : TEA

24. Shrill barks : YELPS - So sad to hear when someone steps on a dog's paw.

26. Word with room or center : REC - Short for recreation which does not mean to create something again.

28. Storied : FABLED

31. They may need breaking in : NEW SHOES - Absolutely !  Has anyone tried the jelly filled inserts?

36. Bitter-tasting : ACRID- Sounds like a city in Ohio.

37. Sioux City state : IOWA - Great State!  I have many shirttail relations in Cresco.  However Minnesotans created Iowa jokes when the Polish people had had enough.

38. Doing nothing : IDLE - Except when the engine is running in your car it is not doing nothing, it is wasting gas - (or getting warmed up in January in MN.)

39. Small IOU : CHIT
41. Astronaut Armstrong : NEIL - July 1969.  I was serving in the US Army when he said "One small step for man, one giant step for mankind".

42. With perfection : TO A T - This is hard to parse. 

43. Blueprint : PLAN

44. Chevy muscle car : VETTE - If you own one, I guarantee the insurance company will muscle you out of a month's pay.  Once years ago, Rod Carew bowled in a league that I was in.  He was not as good of a bowler as he was a hitter, but he had the only Vette in the parking lot on those nights.

45. Condition caused by 31-Across, at times : SORE FEET - Not if you get those jelly filled things to put in the shoe.  I learned that during the fake news quick break.

47. Snake warnings : HISSES - Oh a warning?  I thought it was when two snakes put their lips together.

48. Darling of baseball : RON - He was pretty good.  I think he is a play by play guy now for one of the New York teams.

49. Holey kitchen gadget : SIEVE - Colander nor strainer did not fit.

51. Rooter for the Bulldogs : ELI 

54. Bro or sis : SIB

56. Bennie's band, in an Elton John hit : THE JETS - Okay but I think there could be a Broadway Joe Namath clue in there somewhere.

63. D-Day beach : UTAH - Not too many men who hit the beach that day are still around.  I respect them all.

64. "I swear!" : NO LIE - There's a comment available, but I cannot print it here.

65. Lotion additive : ALOE - Has there ever been a puzzle without a four letter word containing three vowels?

66. One of Emeril's New Orleans eateries : NOLA - Acronym for New Orleans, LA, home of Mardi Gras.

67. Test one's metal : ASSAY

68. Many a Punjabi : SIKH

69. Was positive : KNEW
1. Yucky guck : GLOP - Oh I don't know, I might put a glop of syrup on the pancakes.

2. First name in country music : REBA - She also had her own sitcom.

3. Roman poet exiled by Augustus : OVID - I thought Augustus exiled him because of too many poetry leaks.

5. Disney's Lucky Rabbit : OSWALD - I never heard of Disney's rabbit, but I have bristled at this name ever since November 22, 1963.

6. Behind the times : UNHIP - "For a long time now, I've been aware- that I'm so hip the rest of the world is square.  But I tell you baby, and just take my tip. It doesn't pay to be too hip." (Words to live by from "The Hip Song" by the Chad Mitchell Trio.)

7. New Mexico tribe with a Sun symbol : ZIA

8. Goes (for) : OPTS - Normally on the puzzle page of the paper, I OPT for the Soduko.  Sorry.

9. Searches for water : DOWSES - Search?  I thought dowsing was dumping a bucket full on someone or something.

10. Color TV pioneer : RCA - Do you remember the picture of the dog by the horn o' plenty shaped speaker on the phonograph listening for his master's voice.??

11. Way to go, per Horace Greeley : WEST - Yeah, but only if you were a young man.  I have reached the age where you only go west if that's where the bathroom toilet is.

12. More than dislike : HATE

13. Draft category : ONE A - I don't think they have a draft anymore, but I remember being ONE A.  I did my time and now I am a 9C - Going to the VA Clinic today.  Thank you Uncle Sam.

19. Conflict with planes : AIR WAR

21. Listen to : HEED

25. Ski resort vehicles : SNO-CATS - I believe these were made by Arctic in Minnesota.  They were big and ugly, not like the sleek snowmobiles of today.

 28. Trivia quiz fodder : FACTS - So if you are a little older, you may remember when these were sought by Sergeant Joe Friday.

29. Blessing preceder : ACHOO - These always seem to come in threes.  So if you sneeze for a fourth time is that a mistake or just the start of the next threesome.

30. Prickly shrub : BRIAR - "Song of the South" - Please Please Pleeeease don't throw me into the Briar patch.

32. McGregor of TV's "Fargo" : EWAN

33. "Golden Boy" playwright : ODETS - First name Clifford.  Before my time.  (ha ha, and you thought nothing was before my time.)

34. A-listers : ELITE

35. Tennis great Monica : SELES - Very famous.  She was World #1 tennis player  about 20 year ago when she was stabbed during a match in Germany.  She was never the same after that.

37. Iona, for one : ISLE - Isle is a city in Minnesota on the south shore of Mille Lacs lake.  Home of Fiddlestix golf course.  (I played there once).

40. Christmas encouragement : OPEN IT

44. "__ la France!" : VIVE - This must be the Francais spelling.  I always spelled it VIVA.

46. "Woman in the Mists" subject Dian : FOSSEY

47. [Snicker] : HEH HEH - Sort of makes you hungry for a candy bar.

50. "There, there" : IT'S OK

51. Sicilian World Heritage Site : ETNA - Wow, a four letter word with only two vowel!

52. Mekong River land : LAOS - Ditto

53. Misfortunes : ILLS - Put a "B" in front of that and you have a real misfortune.

55. Bikini tops : BRAS

57. Kind of collar or jacket : ETON

58. Story : TALE

59. "Pygmalion" playwright : SHAW - George Bernhard - Died in 1950 at the age of 94,  a longevity that was unheard of in those days.

61. Bicycle maker turned automotive giant : KIA - Born in South Korea.  Not too impressed with the Sportage, but they do make a nice looking van. 

62. __ Baba : ALI - "The Greatest"


Jul 25, 2017

Tuesday, July 25 2017, Joe Kidd


17. *Royal passing rubber checks? : KITING KING

25. *English Einstein? : BRITAIN BRAIN

47. *Pack animal carrying a Mexican treat? : BURRITO BURRO

62. *Gdansk gentleman? : POLITE POLE

40. "That'll be enough of that subject" ... and a hint to solving the answers to starred clues : DROP IT

Two-word phrases in which IT is dropped from the second word, to create a new word. 

Melissa here. With lots of learning moments, this felt a tad above Tuesday level to me - relied heavily on perps. Got the theme with the first theme answer - which helped fill in the others pretty quickly. I remember using that "Drop It Like it's Hot" gif for the theme of a fairly recent blog post - but my (admittedly halfhearted) attempt to find it turned up nothing. Anyone else remember a recent "Drop It" theme?

Appears to be a debut for constructor Joe Kidd here at the corner. Pseudonym?


1. Physicist Newton : ISAAC
6. Maker of TimeCutter riding mowers : TORO
10. Crimson Tide, to fans : BAMA
14. "Ask someone else" : NOT ME
15. Fail to enunciate : SLUR
16. "Don't have __!": "Calm down!" : A COW

19. Ding-__ : DONG
20. Mailing label phrase : SEND TO
21. Shopping to beat the band : ON A SPREE. "To beat the band" is an idiom meaning "to the greatest possible degree." Not something I hear often.
23. Sign of a Broadway hit : SRO. Standing Room Only.
24. International accord : ENTENTE. Is this Tuesday?
30. Feel sick : AIL
31. Suggestive sideways look : LEER
32. Ten sawbucks : C-NOTE
36. Just okay : SO-SO
38. Calculate again : RE-ADD
41. The "Y" of YSL : YVES
42. Lesley of "60 Minutes" : STAHL. She recently wrote a book about becoming a grandparent.

44. Blood fluids : SERA
46. "All you can __": buffet sign : EAT
51. Shout of jubilation : WHOOPEE
54. Butter square : PAT
55. Stop fretting : REST EASY
57. Weather map line : ISOBAR. A line on a map connecting points having the same atmospheric pressure at a given time or on average over a given period.

61. "In the Valley of __": 2007 Tommy Lee Jones film : ELAH. 2007 Release.
64. Brand with a Swoosh logo : NIKE. Didn't know all this.

65. Utility abbr. : ELEC
66. Worked (up) : RILED
67. Fly high : SOAR
68. __ Martin Cognac : REMY
69. Fills fully : SATES
1. Signs, as a document : INKS
2. French silk : SOIE. Is this Tuesday?
3. Mailing label abbr. : ATTN
4. Surrounded by : AMIDST
5. Chicago's time zone : CENTRAL
6. "What a shame!" : TSK
7. Hodgepodge : OLIO
8. Miler or sprinter : RUNNER
9. Princess Leia's last name : ORGANA. I had no idea of this - is it common knowledge for most Star Wars fans?
10. Metaphorical coin that keeps turning up : BAD PENNY
11. Oak-to-be : ACORN
12. Painter Claude : MONET
13. "Well, gosh" : AW GEE
18. Stickier : GOOIER
22. Bic Clic __ pen : STIC
 25. Low singing voice : BASS
26. More than a melee : RIOT
27. "Casablanca" heroine : ILSA
28. Word before maiden names : NEE 

29. "The Godfather" enforcer Luca : BRASI
33. Finished : OVER
34. Saline sign of sadness : TEAR
35. Spanish "this" : ESTO
37. Pooh Bear's lament : OH, BOTHER

39. Police rank: Abbr. : DET

43. "Superstar" rapper __ Fiasco : LUPE. No idea.
45. Ones inflicting humiliation : ABASERS
48. Farm machine : REAPER
49. Fix, as a shoe : RESOLE. Seems this should be simply "Fix a shoe." What else would be fixed by resoling?

50. Thomas More's perfect world : UTOPIA
51. Chirpy birds : WRENS
52. Sun: Pref. : HELIO. All I had to go on at first was the O, which did not help. Is this Tuesday?
53. Honshu port : OSAKA
56. Theoretical matter involved in the Big Bang : YLEM. From Wikipedia: "Ylem is a term that was used by George Gamow, his student Ralph Alpher, and their associates in the late 1940s for a hypothetical original substance or condensed state of matter, which became subatomic particles and elements as we understand them today." Hello! It's Tuesday!

58. Lightning streak : BOLT
59. On the quiet side, at sea : ALEE
60. Cincinnati team : REDS
63. Slippery, as a road : ICY

Jul 24, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017 Robert E. Lee Morris

Theme: Two Letters - S & A (essay)

35A. Anthology of personal writings ... and a phonetic hint to what is literally comprised by the answers of 17-, 23-, 46- and 56-Across: ESSAY COLLECTION. Words starting with S and A.

17A. Wise guy: SMART ALECK

23A. Original "Tonight Show" host: STEVE ALLEN

46A. Home safety feature: SMOKE ALARM

56A. Home of the NBA's Spurs: SAN ANTONIO

Argyle here. Easy-peasey Monday.


1. Part of a flower: PETAL

6. Not working: IDLE

10. Final notice?: OBIT

14. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" playwright Edward: ALBEE

15. "Hud" actress Patricia: NEAL

16. Foreshadow: BODE

19. Highway off-ramp: EXIT

20. Major Can. city: TOR. (Toronto)

21. Composer Stravinsky: IGOR

22. Reverse of a hit 45: B SIDE

26. Computer antivirus brand: McAFEE

28. Dugout rack lumber: BAT

29. Neon or Freon: GAS

32. Oyster gem: PEARL

33. Tasseled topper: FEZ

34. "City of New Orleans" singer Guthrie: ARLO

39. Madeline of "Paper Moon": KAHN. Trixie Delight(1973)

40. Lennon's lady: ONO

41. "Grey's Anatomy" patient who proposed to Izzie: DENNY. I'm sure some Cornerite can fill us in on this.

42. Suffix with legal: ESE. (legalese)

43. __ de plume: NOM. Pen name.

44. Yanni's genre: NEW AGE. Music.

49. Helped with the dishes: DRIED

51. Spice Girl Halliwell: GERI. Ginger Spice.

52. "Sorta" suffix: ISH

55. Charged particles: IONS

59. "Famous" cookie guy: AMOS

60. Saint Laurent of fashion: YVES

61. Surplus: EXTRA

62. Madcap: ZANY

63. Small salamander: NEWT

64. Status symbol watch: ROLEX


1. Over and done with: PAST

2. Red Muppet: ELMO

3. Ski lift: T-BAR

4. __ Lingus: AER

5. Shoot the ball, in hoops lingo: LET IT FLY

6. Totally smitten: IN LOVE

7. Big name in field equipment: DEERE

8. Fond du __, Wisconsin: LAC

9. Antlered animal: ELK

10. More than a little heavy: OBESE

11. Where Ali did his rope-a-dope: BOXING RING

12. Confession to "Who broke this?": "I DID"

13. Noggin in Nice: TÊTE. Nice, France.

18. Tommie Ageeof the Amazin' Mets: AGEE. Tommie Agee, the center fielder who made two of the most spectacular catches in World Series history, died in 2001 in Manhattan. He was 58.

22. Sandwich initials: BLT. (Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato)

23. Transparent wrap: SARAN

24. Brother of Cain: ABEL

25. Lounge (about): LAZE

26. Flat-topped formations: MESAs

27. Profits from: CASHES IN ON

30. Unaccompanied: ALONE

31. Walkman maker: SONY

32. Chinese lap dog, for short: PEKE. Pekingese

33. Progressive insurance spokeswoman: FLO

34. Elite group: A TEAM

36. Man the grill: COOK

37. Treater's words: ON ME

38. PC device also called a burner: CD WRITER

43. Wordless acknowledgment: NOD

44. Washington Nats' div.: NL EAST

45. Make, as money: EARN

47. In disarray: MESSY

48. Nixon's first veep: AGNEW. (Spiro Agnew)

49. Actress Cameron __: DIAZ

50. Tomato type: ROMA. Not the type for a BLT though.

52. Part of IOC: Abbr.: INTL. (International Olympic Committee)

53. Stable father: SIRE

54. Fraud: HOAX

56. Thesaurus abbr.: SYN. (synonym)

57. Fifth in NYC, e.g.: AVE. (Fifth Avenue)

58. Kitchenware brand: OXO


Jul 23, 2017

Sunday July 23, 2017 Mark McClain

Theme: "It's Just Not the Same" - The first words are all synonyms of "Different".

23A. Phrase of individuality : DIFFERENT STROKES.  Many people, including our own Jayce, can't stand Stinky Tofu. I love it.

38A. American flag component, e.g. : CONTRASTING COLORS

58A. Plot device in TV's "Fringe" : ALTERNATE UNIVERSE. Any "Fringe" fans on our blog?
87A. Brainstorming process : DIVERGENT THINKING. So all our constructors are divergent thinkers.

103A. Fallback plans : OTHER ARRANGEMENTS

123A. They often follow "also" in dictionaries : VARIANT SPELLINGS. Var. as a hint in crossword clues.

Sunday puzzles often have at least seven theme entries. This one has six. But all of them are long, three 16's and three 17's, totally 99 theme squares. Rich's minimum is 84.

Mark also chose a conservative grid design. I noticed that he seldom goes after low-word/black square count. Clean fill is always his top priority.

1. Fern seed : SPORE

6. Posh hotel amenity : ROBE.  We also have 115. Upscale : DELUXE

10. Cook, in a way : STEAM. Also 37. Cooks in a pan : SAUTES. Also 112. Cooks with fat : LARDS. Wonder what Steve cooks this weekend. His Facebook sushi pictures are always mouth-watering.

15. Sneaky stratagem : TRAP. Clue echo: 22. Sneaky stratagem : RUSE

19. Secret rival : ARRID. This "Secret" can't fool veteran solvers.

20. "Bingo!" : I WIN

21. Tom Sawyer's aunt : POLLY
26. "__ the Woods" : INTO

27. Skill : DEFTNESS

28. Hawaii County seat : HILO. Did not know Hawaii has a Hawaii County.

29. Holes a very short putt : TAPS IN

31. Math function : SINE

32. Sizable piece : CHUNK

34. Adored object : IDOL

35. Blog feed format letters : RSS. RSS feed.

44. Sorority letters : ETAs

46. 65-Across, in Japanese : HAI. Cantonese "Yes" also.  65. 46-Across in English : YES

47. Suffix meaning "country" : STAN

48. Notes from a loser, maybe : IOUs

49. Brownish grays : TAUPES. Did not know it's plurable.

52. "My Way" lyricist : ANKA

54. GPS displays : MAPS. Thought of RTES first.

57. Captain Hansen of "Deadliest Catch" : SIG. Unknown to me.

62. Tolkien tree creature : ENT

63. Promised : PLEDGED

64. Pound sound : YOWL
67. "Mi casa __ casa" : ES SU. My house is your house.

68. Creating compelling characters, for a writer : ASSET. Got via crosses.

72. Timberlake's old group : NSYNC

74. Small amt. of time : MSEC. Millisecond

78. Dental brand suffix : PIK

80. Title character inspired by Hearst : KANE. A few other names in the following few rows: Across: 92. "Respect for Acting" author Hagen : UTA.  94. Pasternak heroine : LARA. "Doctor Zhivago", 98. Gateway Arch designer Saarinen : EERO. 101. Kipling title orphan : KIM 102. Artist Magritte : RENE

82. "Heavens to Betsy!" : OH GOLLY

84. __-12 Conference : PAC
93. One way to start : ANEW
95. Brought up to speed : CUED IN

96. Comic strip about a high schooler : ZITS

110. Nonsense : ROT

111. Lyrical works : ODES
113. Is obligated to : OWES
117. Father or son actor : ALDA

118. "The Chronicles of Barsetshire" author : TROLLOPE (Anthony). Stranger to me.

122. Clapton on guitar : ERIC

127. Courteous : NICE. Dear Agnes lost her nephew to heart attack earlier this week. She's devastated. Agnes did not have kids and she was very close this nephew. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts.

128. Strongly longing : EAGER

129. Beech family trees : OAKS

130. Looks after : TENDS

131. Durbeyfield daughter : TESS. How I wish the story ended differently.

132. __ Island Red: chicken : RHODE

133. Duma denial : NYET

134. University town near Bangor : ORONO
1. Anti-DWI org. : SADD

2. __-dieu : PRIE

3. German composer Carl : ORFF. Also 6. German candy brand : RIESEN

4. Starts of feuds : RIFTS

5. Pristine : EDENIC
7. Possesses : OWNS

8. Drill insert : BIT

9. Funny couple? : ENS

10. Some Olympic trials : SPRINTS

11. Set for repairs : TOOL KIT. Boomer lost his neat set of tools to the TSA in March. He did not want to go back to put it in the checked luggage.

12. Northeast Nevada city : ELKO. Also 24. Western Nevada city : RENO

13. Red or brown brew : ALE

14. Connecticut coastal tourist town : MYSTIC. Also 55. Know-it-all? : PSYCHIC. Consonants-rich.
15. "Marines' Hymn" city : TRIPOLI

16. Has no restraints : RUNS LOOSE. Great fill. The only 9-letter fill is 86. Mass group : CATHOLICS

17. Piedmont wine area : ASTI

18. Lowly laborer : PEON
25. In said fashion : THUS

30. Flap : ADO

32. Long-necked bird : CRANE

33. Specifically designed poem : HAIKU. So in awe of Owen's talents. Genius!

35. Seal after peeking, say : RE-TAPE

36. Barn units : STALLS

39. "__ won't work" : THAT

40. To wit : NAMELY

41. Growl : GNAR. Strange word.

42. Render useless : RUIN

43. U.S. Army E-6 : SSGT. I read somewhere that all vets can shop tax-free at the Army Exchange later this year.  

45. Floored it, say : SPED UP

50. Fraction of a joule : ERG

51. Enter stealthily : SNEAK IN

53. Word often used before "old" : ANY. Not DAY.

56. Observe : SEE

59. Sunday paper pile : ADs

60. Former Saturn model : ION

61. Bugs that roll : VWS. Got me.

66. Backyard chef's equipment : SMOKER.  Followed by 69. Backyard chef's stick : SKEWER. You can find these lamb skewers in the night markets in my hometown. Lots of cumin and hot red pepper. 

70. Sensory organ : EAR

71. Series with Capt. Picard, to fans : TNG. The Next Generation.

73. Kabuki kin : NOH. Literally "ability". Rooted in Chinese "Neng". 

75. Curveball relative : SLIDER

76. Climate-disrupting current : EL NINO

77. Baby swan : CYGNET

79. Director Lupino : IDA
81. Slender swimmer : EEL. Man, I could eat this every day.

83. African bovine : GNU

84. "The Godfather" novelist : PUZO. My favorite movie. I also read "The Sicilian".

85. Working on the task : AT IT
88. Change course suddenly : VEER

89. Like a jaybird? : NAKED Also 97. Leads astray : SEDUCES

90. Cuts a little : TRIMS

91. Get under control : TAME
99. Assembled for a cause : RALLIED

100. How some stunts are done : ON A DARE

104. Wonder Dog of comics : REX

105. Letter closing : AS EVER

106. Gramps' mate : GRAN

107. Gripe from the weary : NO REST

108. "The __ llama, / He's a beast": Nash : TWO- L

109. Have as a client : SELL TO

114. Less trustworthy : SLIER

115. Small body-shop job : DENT. Our Melissa just had a car accident in California last week. She's safe thankfully. She'll be blogging next Tuesday.

116. __ Lackawanna Railway : ERIE

117. 2012 Best Picture : ARGO. Wow, been 5 years.

118. Rd. often named for a state : TPKE

119. __ account: never : ON NO

120. PC scrolling key : PGDN

121. Petrol station sign : ESSO

124. Hot tub reaction : AAH

125. 20 hundredweight : TON

126. Articulate : SAY