Feb 23, 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: AS if!

 JW is back again with one of his specialties, the "add letters to known phrases" gimmick.  This time "AS" is added with a nice simple reveal. I am curious if you all are becoming so familiar with Jeffrey's style, that his Fridays do not seem as difficult as they once did.

 As with all of his puzzles, there are tricky clues, sparkly fill like: BRITON, BY AREA,  CITY JAIL, FROTHING,  GUTTURAL and OUTSTRIP. There also some very funny fill like JUMPING JACKASS and ALL BEASTS ARE OFF. The marvel of JW is that as he beats you up making the puzzle a challenge, his cluing and fill make you smile.

No more delay

17A. *Dog that really needs a bath? : GREASY HOUND (11). The base is GREYHOUND which is the outlier. It is only one word, and the basic meaning of hound stays the same.

22A. *Donkey that has mastered the hurdles? : JUMPING JACKASS (14). JUMPING JACKS were such an important part of the early exercise in my life.

32A. *Holiday employment schedule in "Animal Farm"? : ALL BEASTS ARE OFF (15). ALL BETS ARE OFF is a nice phrase similar to:

47A. *Offer to acquire a rising agent? : I'LL GET YOU YEAS(14). I'LL GET YOU YET.

55A. When required ... or a terse hint to solving the starred clues: AS NECESSARY (11). Literally "AS" is necessary to get the fill.


1. Med. recording: ECG. I fell for EKG first.

4. Type sizes: PICAS. When I began working, I knew pica and elite - that was all.

9. "__, then ... ": IF SO.

13. __ Post: Nassau County, N.Y. school: LIU. This the current incarnation of CW POST COLLEGE, named for the founder of Post Cereals, Postum coffee substitute and eventually General Foods. The family history is interesting and timely as his daughter, Marjorie Merryweather Post had Mar-a-Lago built.

14. Spectacle: ECLAT. Interesting to see in a puzzle along with 1D. Joie de vivre: ELAN.

15. Haunted house sound: WAIL.

16. Letters on a communications corp. logo: ATTAmerican Telephone and Telegraph.

19. The Gray Lady of the press: Abbr. : NYT. Our friend the New York Times.

20. Exile of 1979: AMIN. The last king of Scotland? He only ruled for 8 years.

21. Els on greens: ERNIE.

26. AB negative, among blood types: RAREST.

27. Cockpit no. : ALT. An abbreviation for Altimeter, or Altitude on a plane, but also for; Altbier, German beer; Alternate character, in online gaming; Alternate route, type of highway designation; Alternating group, mathematical concept; Alternative lifestyle; Alternative rock.

28. Prepared: SET.

29. Big Ben feature: DIAL.

30. Odysseus' faithful dog: ARGOS.  Sad tale; the dog waited 20 years for his master to come home and died when Odysseus returned.

39. Friend of d'Artagnan: ATHOS. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

40. Unsullied: PURE. They can attack.

41. One-fifth of MD: CCC. Roman math- 1500/5= 300.

44. Swindle: CON.

45. Any Beatle, say: BRITON. The name meaning a citizen or native of Great Britain was borrowed from the historic CELTIC BRITONS.

51. Give one final flicker: GO OUT.

52. Greatly reduced sea: ARAL. And its similar sounding: 50D. Range with one end in Kazakhstan: URALS.

53. Old possessive: THY.

58. Where Simone Biles won four golds: RIO.

59. Welsh actor Roger: REES. I knew this ACTOR first from Cheers.

60. Subway entrance: STILE.

61. Lake Mich. state: INDiana.

62. Criteria: Abbr. : STDS. Standards.

63. Thompson of "Creed": TESSA. She has been busy and they are filming CREED II

64. Org. with a tee in its logo: PGA. Not to be confused with the logo og the PGA Tour.


2. Lockup: CITY JAIL. In Florida, the Jails are mostly run by the County.

3. Throaty: GUTTURAL. What a fun word that came after I saw the G.

4. Hunter's need: PERMIT.

5. Trap during winter: ICE IN. This seemed like a stretch as a clue but variations have been used often. Newsday - Feb. 5, 2018; New York Times - Jan. 13, 2018; LA Times - Nov. 16, 2017; New York Times - July 29, 2017; USA Today - April 20, 2017; WSJ Daily - March 18, 2017; USA Today - March 11, 2017; Newsday - Feb. 12, 2017

6. Sound on some San Francisco streets: CLANG. The wonderful streetcars.

7. Small batteries: AAS. Instinctively put in AAA, but the perps changed my mind.

8. Muddy abode: STY.

9. "__ very hard, and ... play very hard": Maya Angelou: I WORK. She said, "I work very hard, and I play very hard. I'm grateful for life. And I live it - I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it."

10. Regional animal groups : FAUNAS. Flora and fauna.

11. "Forrest Gump" actor : SINISE. Lieutenant Dan.

12. Most stale: OLDEST. News, not just bread.

17. Voids: GAPS.

18. Bully: HECTOR. verb (used with object); definition 4.(lowercase) to treat with insolence; bully; torment: The teacher hectored his students incessantly.

23. __ toast: MELBA. Melba toast is a dry, crisp and thinly sliced toast often served with soup and salad or topped with either melted cheese or pâté. It is named after Dame Nellie Melba, the stage name of Australian opera singer Helen Porter Mitchell. The toast was created for her by chef and fan Auguste Escoffier, who also created the Peach Melba dessert for her. The hotel proprietor César Ritz supposedly named it in a conversation with Escoffier

24. Baby food array: JARS.

25. Bit of aquatic life: ALGA. A bit is accurate.

26. Nutritional fig. : RDARecommended Daily Allowance.

30. Cadillac compact: ATS.

31. Hue of many Renaissance drawings: SEPIA. Sepia is a reddish-brown color, named after the rich brown pigment derived from the ink sac of the common cuttlefish Sepia.The word sepia is the Latinized form of the Greek σηπία, sēpía, cuttlefish (wiki).

33. Long list substitute, briefly: ETC ETC. This was tricky as Et cetera did not fit.

34. "Cat on __ Tin Roof": A HOT. Tennessee Williams.

35. Xperia maker: SONY. My step-son who works selling cell phones has this one.

36. Best: OUTSTRIP. Definition synonyms: go faster than, outrun, outdistance, outpace, leave behind, get (further) ahead of, lose.

37. Causing to foam: FROTHING;

38. Marshy expanse: FEN. Very popular in Great Britain and British mysteries.

41. Pleasures shared by Churchill and Castro: CIGARS.

42. It might be stuffed at home: CLOSET.

43. Like one who is beside oneself? : CLONED. A very fun Friday misdirection clue.

45. How land prices are often calculated: BY AREA.

46. Lean (on): RELY.

48. Stab: GUESS. This was my method.

49. Refreshing spot: OASIS.

54. Small figure wielding much force? : YODA.

56. Del. winter hrs. : EST. Hey Bluehen.

57. Jeanne d'Arc, e.g.: Abbr. : STE. French for a female saint.

Another Friday done and done. Thank you, JW. Next time, we will be in March. Thank you all.

The above is the picture I was try to link from google albums, yesterday.
Note from C.C.:

Happy 79th Birthday to Keith Fowler (Ol' Man Keith), who's been with our blog since 2009. Dear Keith is the longest-living Fowler on record.

  This picture is more recent.

Feb 22, 2018

Thursday February 22 2018 Mark McClain

Theme: Timber Trickery - as neatly explained by the reveal, but can you see the wood for the trees?

63A. Primitive area, and what's literally found in this puzzle's circles : BACKWOODS

The circled letters, reading backwards, contain the timber:

17A. Longtime PBS news anchor : JIM LEHRER. Elm. Most of the elm trees in the UK were wiped out by an outbreak of Dutch Elm disease brought into the country by a shipment of logs from Canada. It literally changed the face of the country.

23A. Site for a railroad signal : GRADE CROSSING. Cedar. Moths hate cedar, hence the cedar planks in your sock drawer to stop the buggers from chewing holes in them. The term "grade crossing" was new to me when I moved to the US. I knew them as "level crossings".

39A. Statistic including farmers and their neighbors : RURAL POPULATION. Poplar. Here's a fine stand of them on a roadside in France:

51A. Kielbasa : POLISH SAUSAGE. Ash. Most baseball bats are made of ash, although MLB also sanctions maple, hickory and bamboo.

Nice theme and nice crunchy theme entries concealing the wood. This was quite a challenge for me for some reason, I had to stare down the north-west corner for some time before I started to unravel the mystery up there. Let's see what else we've got:


1. Word with rose or road : BED

4. AMA part: Abbr. : ASSOC. American Medical Association.

9. __ Bornes: card game : MILLE. I finally remembered this from a prior crossword. The NE corner gave me a lot of trouble today. It translates from the French as "Thousand Milestones" according to my French colleague, but the French name is used for the English version.

14. Caen comrade : AMI

15. Thick-skinned herbivore : RHINO. Is the "-ceros" redundant now?

16. Big Apple stage honors : OBIES. I simply could not remember this. Off-Broadway awards, hence the name. The Tony awards are for Broadway theater.

19. Open, in a way : UNZIP.

20. Delon of cinéma : ALAIN. Came easily, but I'm not sure I've seen any of his movies.

21. Exactas, e.g. : BETS. Pick the horses to win and place, in exact order (hence exacta). An "exacta box" bet allows the horses to come in any order, which rather blows the "exacta" definition.

30. Part of __ : A SET

31. Hawk or eagle : RAPTOR

32. Tic-toe link : TAC

35. "That was close!" : PHEW!

38. Buckwheat dish : KASHA. Food! Putting "PASTA" here didn't exactly help matters in this section of the puzzle. Kasha can refer to the grain itself, or the porridge-like dish made from it.

43. "25" album maker : ADELE. Very talented artist. She won the "Album of the Year" Grammy for this one.

44. Wedding invitation encl. : SASE.
45. Yellowknife is its cap. : NWT. Canada's Northwest Territories.

46. Mournful artwork : PIETAS. Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus in Christian art. The most famous is the Michelangelo sculpture in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

48. Abhor : HATE

55. Anorak part : HOOD.

56. Really cool place to live? : IGLOO. Nice clue.

59. Grouchy look : SCOWL

66. Ventricular outlet : AORTA

67. Thar Desert country : INDIA. Never heard of it, so thank you, crosses. It forms part of the natural border between India and Pakistan.

68. JFK Library architect : PEI. Nailed it! Thank you, crosswords past.

69. 180-degree river bend : OXBOW. When a meander breaks through from one side of the loop to the other, the remains is an oxbow lake.

70. __ Heights: Mideast region : GOLAN

71. Serpentine letter : ESS


1. Mexicali's locale : BAJA. Baja California. The town on the other side of the US/Mexico border is Calexico, fittingly.

2. Oscar winner Jannings : EMIL. More crosses to the rescue.

3. Joltin' Joe : DIMAG. I was all down the caffeine route with this one, and couldn't find anything to fit. It didn't help that I'd never heard the "DiMag" moniker before. Writing this up, I just went to do a Google search, and DiMaggio doesn't show up until half-way down the second page. I think that might be a little obscure for non-Yankees fans.

4. Bull-riding venues : ARENAS

5. Warning to a chatty theatergoer : SHH!

6. Chivalrous title : SIR

7. Year not designated as such until centuries later : ONE BC. ONE and wait for the crosses. It could quite easily be ONE AD.

8. Kitchen gizmo : CORER. I've got a lot of kitchen gizmos, but I don't own one of these things. I'm amused that the soundalike Iron Chef Cat Cora is sitting next to moussaka, one of her go-to dish styles. She has a Greek background.

9. Greek menu staple : MOUSSAKA. Food! Eggplant-layered ground lamb dish.

10. Hebrew : Ben :: Arabic : __ : IBN. I tried BIN first which again messed me up in the North-east.

11. Lemon on "30 Rock" : LIZ. Crosses all the way. I was at a meeting at 30 Rock last week - here's the rather gloomy view out of the window of the conference room.

12. Floral neckwear : LEI

13. Clairvoyant's gift : ESP. Extra-sensory perception.

18. Turkish dough : LIRA. I can never remember LIRA or LIRE. I wait for the cross.

22. Only Canadian MLB team : TOR. The Toronto Blue Jays.

24. "Murder on the Orient Express" (2017) actor : DEPP. I didn't see the movie, so solid crosses necessary.

25. Value system : ETHOS

26. Irritated words : SPAT

27. "__ the bag" : IT'S IN

28. "Not gonna happen" : NO HOW. Tried NO WAY, was wrong.

29. Researcher's request : GRANT

32. "The Sound of Music" name : TRAPP. Strictly, the name is actually Von Trapp, but it's pretty obvious what is being asked for here.

33. Sound : AUDIO

34. Fish basket : CREEL. One of these things:

36. #TestforRadon org. : E.P.A. Not heard the hashtag before, but it didn't take a lot of figuring out.

37. Chinese martial arts : WUSHU. Learning moment for me. Looks pretty dangerous!

40. Meter opening? : ALTI-

41. Rule governing intentional walks? : LEASH LAW. Nice one. I enjoyed the punning here.

42. Open fields : LEAS

47. "Ray Donovan" network, briefly : SHO. I had the "O" and was tempted by HBO, but I refrained from jumping in with both feet.

49. Ang Lee's birthplace : TAIWAN

50. Its main product was originally given the portmanteau name "Froffles" : EGGO. French toast and waffles. Who knew?

52. Ferber novel : SO BIG

53. Hersey's "A Bell for __" : ADANO. A crossword staple. Has anyone actually read this book?

54. Skip church? : ELOPE. Nice one. Skip the church wedding.

57. Pindaric verses : ODES. Pindaric: "Relating to or characteristic of the Greek lyric poet Pindar or his works".

"I will not steep my speech 
in lies; the test of any man lies in action."

58. Malady suffix : -OSIS

59. __ Paulo : SÃO

60. Regatta chief : COX. The smallest and lightest person you can find to steer the boat, and, optionally, depending on experience, call the stroke rate.

61. Marble, e.g. : ORB

62. Geneva-based commerce gp. : W.T.O. World Trade Organization.

64. XLV x X : CDL. Simple Roman math. For some reason it always takes me a minute to dig the letter for "500" out of my head.

65. Sedona, for one : KIA. Took me a while to cotton on to this one. Nice misdirection.

That about wraps it up for this week. I've been on terra firma this week which makes a nice change. Back in the air next week though!

And  ... here's the grid ....!


Feb 21, 2018

Wednesday, February 21 2018, Amy Johnson


17. Like a cowboy in denial? : WEARING BLINDERS

26. Like an eager cowboy? : CHAFING AT THE BIT

44. Like a cowboy out of retirement? : BACK IN THE SADDLE

59. Like a cowboy in charge? : HOLDING THE REINS 

Howdy Pardners! Melissa here. Four grid-spanning theme answers. High-falutin' impressive, ain't it? I reckon let's giddy up! 🤠


1. Your business is her business : YENTA. Fun clue.

6. Tiny cut : SNIP. Not SLIT.

10. Jeans line : SEAM

15. Comes to the rescue of : AIDS

16. "The Time Machine" race : ELOI. From Wiki:
In H. G. Wells's The Time Machine. By the year AD 802,701, humanity has evolved into two separate species: the Eloi and the Morlocks, whereof the Eloi live a banal life of ease on the surface of the earth, while the Morlocks live underground, tending machinery and providing food, clothing, and inventory for the Eloi.

20. Emotional wound : SCAR

21. "At __, soldier!" : EASE

22. Quartet in "Whose woods these are I think I know" : IAMBS

23. Fodder for Forbes, initially : IPO

25. Play a part : ACT

35. Riveting icon : ROSIE. Great clue.

36. Overplay a part : EMOTE

37. Mission lead-in : ON A

38. Potentially offensive, for short : UNPC

39. Tends to the sauce : STIRS

40. Nerve : GUTS

41. Early 16th-century date : MDI

42. Earthquake : SEISM

43. "Impression, Sunrise" painter : MONET 

47. Ky. neighbor : IND

48. Show stoppers : ADS. Love this clue.

49. Limoges product : CHINA. For them there city slickers.

52. Entertainment show VIP : HOST

55. Builder's map : PLAT

62. Area behind an altar : APSE

63. Wonder Woman's friend __ Candy : ETTA 

64. Temporary tattoo dye : HENNA 

65. Get weepy, with "up" : TEAR

66. State openly : AVOW

67. More curious : ODDER


1. Trees that sound like sheep : YEWS. Nice clue.

2. Corporate VIP : EXEC

3. Final Four letters : NCAA

4. Marvelous : TERRIFIC

5. "Hidden Figures" actor Mahershala __ : ALI.
He plays Taraji P. Henson's love interest.

6. Epic tale : SAGA

7. They may be fine points : NIBS

8. Sit in traffic : IDLE

9. Tire gauge no. : PSI. Pounds per square inch.

10. Tranquil : SEDATE

11. Periodic table listing: Abbr. : ELEM(ent).

12. Limited choice : A OR B

13. Fail to see : MISS

18. Vegas illuminator : NEON

19. Nook or cranny : NICHE

24. Peach dessert : PIE

25. Many "Suits" characters: Abbr. : ATTS. Attorneys. Suits is a TV legal drama on USA Network, about a law firm in Manhattan.

26. Busser's target : CRUMB

27. Maker of Clarity alternative fuel cars : HONDA

28. Jelly made from meat stock : ASPIC

29. "Capisce?" : GET IT

30. Anabaptist descendants : AMISH. Meet the Amish.
31. Velvet-voiced Mel : TORME

32. Like most books : BOUND

33. Recon goal : INTEL

34. Palate : TASTE

39. FedEx, say : SEND. Verb, not noun. Sneaky.

40. "Safe travels!" : GODSPEED.
Happy Trails!

42. Egyptian peninsula : SINAI

43. Satiric magazine since 1952 : MAD

45. Less harsh : KINDER

46. Fill and then some : SATE

49. Converse : CHAT

50. Partner of pray : HOPE

51. Ingrid's "Casablanca" role : ILSA

52. "Tiny House Hunters" cable channel : HGTV

53. Bart and Lisa's bus driver : OTTO

54. Professor Higgins' creator : SHAW 

56. Swedish soprano Jenny : LIND. Wikipedia.

57. Hathaway of "The Intern" (2015) : ANNE

58. Winter Palace resident : TSAR

60. Org. for teachers : NEA. National Education Association.

61. 17th Greek letter : RHO 

That's it y'all - time to skedaddle.

Feb 20, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 ~ John Lampkin

Theme: ?, ?, ?, ?, and ? - The five things a reporter should report.

17A. *"Never!": "WHEN PIGS FLY!"

37A. *"Not another problem!": "WHAT NOW?!"

58A. *"I don't need a second opinion!": "WHO ASKED YOU?!"

11D. *"Happenin' scene, man!": "WHERE IT'S AT!"

28D. *"Cool your heels!": "WHY THE RUSH?!"

46D. Journalism's traditional set of questions, obliquely addressed by the answers to starred clues: FIVE "W"s

Who? Argyle. When? Tuesday. What? A nifty puzzle. Where? On the Corner. Why? Because YellowRocks wanted a John Lampkin puzzle yesterday.


1. Hebrew scholar: RABBI. A teacher, sometimes; a scholar, always.

6. Borden spokescow: ELSIE

11. With 25-Across, "Scream" director: WES. 25-Across. See 11-Across: CRAVEN

14. Watery expanse: OCEAN

15. Double-check, as totals: RE ADD

16. Shakespearean prince or Broadway producer Prince: HAL. Prince Hal, later to be King Henry, in Henry IV, Part 1, is portrayed as an irresponsible, fun-loving youth, Prince of Wales. or, Harold Prince, his IMBd.

19. Incoming flight info: ETA

20. Flower parts: SEPALS. Ah! The petals trap.

21. Visit: SEE

22. Fedora feature: BRIM

23. Valley with wine cellars and sellers: NAPA

27. Rock gently: SWAY

29. "Is this a good move for me?": "SHOULD I?"

31. Folk singer Phil: OCHS

32. Steeped beverage: TEA

33. Become a pro at: MASTER

36. After "no," "Not possible!": WAY. (No way!)

39. State: SAY

40. Appetizer follower: ENTRÉE

42. That woman: HER

43. Tortoise racer: HARE

44. Carpenter's cordless cutter: HAND SAW

46. Temper tantrums: FITS

47. Tank type: SEPTIC. If you're a home owner, this might be the first tank you'd think of.

48. Mix: STIR

50. Jelly holders: JARS

51. Turf roll: SOD

53. Olympic segments: EVENTS. Timely.

57. Outback bird: EMU

60. Sit-up targets: ABs. Me? 63A. "Nope": "NAH"

61. Sporty Chevy: VETTE

62. Angler's danglers: WORMS

64. Portfolio part: ASSET

65. Snooty sorts: SNOBS


1. Lettered theater locations: ROWS

2. Post-workout soreness: ACHE. Me? 63A. "Nope": "NAH"

3. Warning toot: [BEEP!]

4. Fruit that grows in bunches: BANANAs

5. Like catchable foul balls: IN PLAY. Soon.

6. Physicist's work unit: ERG

7. Not so pricey: LESS

8. Seattle's __ Field: SAFECO. Since the Inaugural Game on July 15, 1999, Safeco Field has been the home of the Seattle Mariners.

9. Unsubstantiated bit of gossip: IDLE RUMOR

10. Ice cream maker Joseph: EDY

12. Enjoy home cooking: EAT IN. 32-Down. Things to "do" after you 12-Down: THE DISHES. Me? 63A. "Nope": "NAH"

13. Shut angrily: SLAM

18. Web access co.: ISP. (Internet Service Provider)

22. Brief briefs?: BVDs. Founded in 1876. Wikipedia

24. On the water: ASEA

26. "There oughta be __!": A LAW

27. Read quickly: SCAN

30. Yoga system: HATHA. Moi? 63A. "Nope": "NAH"

31. Be in debt: OWE

34. Glasses holders: EARS

35. Pumpernickel grain: RYE

37. Took one's turn: WENT

38. Latest buzz: NEWS

41. Knocks quickly: RAPS

43. Joined the staff: HIRED ON

45. Skedaddles: SCOOTS

47. Brazilian dance: SAMBA. Not a boot scootin' boogie(3:20)

49. "__War": Shatner novel: TEK

50. Novelist Auel: JEAN

52. Time stamp component: DATE

54. "Stoned Soul Picnic" songwriter Laura: NYRO

55. Archaeological site: TOMB

56. Figure (out): SUSS

58. Harpers Ferry st.: WVA. (West Virginia)

59. Jazz gig unit: SET

Time to scurry and scoot outta here.


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear Santa Argyle, who turned 73 today. If I recall correctly, Santa's first comment on our blog is "Ahem...."

Santa just wrote his 836 blog post for us this morning. He was a Marine, and he continues to protect us and this blog like a Marine. He never complained, even when he broke his ankle last summer. It was hard for him to walk from his bedroom to the computer desk to check on our blog.
Hard to believe that I've been talking with him nearly every day for nearly 10 years. Thanks for being here for me, Santa!


  Santa was a fifteen year old and a Freshman (1960)

Feb 19, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018 ~ Gail Grabowski & Bruce Venzke

Theme: Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime? - Synonyms for living the dream.

20A. Inquiry meant to entrap: LOADED QUESTION

35A. Nonfluctuating method of doing things: SET FORMULA

40A. Impressionist once labeled "The Man of a Thousand Voices": RICH LITTLE

52A. Wealthy, and a hint to the first word of 20-, 35- and 40-Across: ROLLING IN DOUGH

Argyle here. The Monday mavens have struck again.


1. Android downloads: APPs

5. Array around a surge protector: WIRES. I would have said plugs.

10. Words after deal or count: ME IN. Or, as one word, my take-out order.

14. Bridges of Hollywood: BEAU

(left to right) Jeff, Beau and Lloyd Bridges.

15. Part of a sports complex: ARENA

16. Enveloping glow: AURA

17. "NBA Friday" channel: ESPN. (originally an initialism for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network)

18. Peachy: DANDY

19. Dental exam image: X-RAY

23. Right-angled shape: ELL

24. Per __: daily: DIEM

25. Freebies with a bowl of soup: CRACKERS

30. Mud __: type of wasp: DAUBER. Learn more here.

34. Sharp-eyed flier: HAWK

37. Org. supporting flossing: ADA. (American Dental Association)

38. Freelancer's encl.: SAE. (stamped addressed envelope or self-addressed envelope:)

39. QB scores: TD's. Touchdowns.

45. Pedometer unit: STEP

46. "Already?": "SO SOON?"

47. First-stringers: STARTERS

49. Honorary legal degs.: LLDs. Legum Doctor is a doctorate-level academic degree in law, or an honorary doctorate, depending on the jurisdiction. Wikipedia

51. Ipanema's city: RIO. Ipanema is a neighborhood located in the South Zone of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

59. Pop music's "hottest spot north of Havana": COPA. While your already dancing ....

60. Shut down: CEASE. What the heck; let's make it drei.

61. Three, in Germany: DREI

62. Baking chamber: OVEN

63. Makes docile: TAMES

64. Folklore brute: OGRE

65. Remain up in the air: PEND

66. Sport with clay disks: SKEET

67. Can't live without: NEED. Crosswords.


1. Brother of Cain: ABEL

2. Cuban currency: PESO

3. Respected Smurf: PAPA

4. Basking locale on a cruise ship: SUNDECK. On your way to Rio.

5. Walks like a duck: WADDLES. "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck." Add, "Walks like a duck."

6. Baghdad's country: IRAQ

7. Eye care solution brand: RENU

8. Pulled the plug on: ENDED

9. Ties the knot: SAYS, "I DO"

10. Largest amount: MAXIMUM

11. Money in Malta: EURO

12. Mideast nation in a 2015 nuclear deal: IRAN

13. Vote against: NAY

21. Lodge logo animal: ELK. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

22. Hazmat suit hazard: TEAR. Hazmat is an abbreviation for “hazardous materials”.

25. Seals in the juices of: CHARS

26. Traffic report source: RADIO

27. Spy plane acronym: AWACS. (airborne warning and control system)

28. Sit for a bit: REST

29. ERA and RBI, e.g.: STATS. Statistics for earned run average and run batted in.

31. Montana city: BUTTE

32. Tribal leader: ELDER

33. Talks hoarsely: RASPS

36. Stetson hat material: FELT

41. The Netherlands, informally: HOLLAND

42. Lounge around: LOLL

43. Formally accuses of, with "for": INDICTS

44. Heart-to-heart: EARNEST

45. Used to change a ceiling light bulb, as a chair: STOOD ON. Not a good idea.

48. Relieved (of): RID

50. Move on tiptoe, say: SNEAK

52. Wander: ROVE

53. Take the lid off: OPEN

54. It usually has a set of rules: GAME

55. "That makes sense": "I SEE"

56. Hard-to-resist feeling: URGE

57. Actor Richard: GERE

58. Moved quickly, old-style: HIED

59. Squad car driver: COP. Car 54, where are you?

I shall stand not upon the order of my going, but go at once. I won't stand on a chair either.


Feb 18, 2018

Sunday Feb 18, 2018 Alan Arbesfeld

Theme: "Political Insiders" - Presidential monogram spans across each theme entry.
23A. Kiddie lit hero created by Hans and Margret Rey (#18) : CURIOUS GEORGE. Ulysses S. Grant.

33A. It usually begins "How many (whatever) does it take ... " (#36) : LIGHTBULB JOKE. Lyndon B. Johnson.

51A. Film based on the novel "Shoeless Joe" (#32) : FIELD OF DREAMS. Franklin D. Roosevelt.
82A. Arizona tourist attraction (#34) : PAINTED DESERT. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

101A. Athletic retiree? (#37) : UNIFORM NUMBER. Richard Milhous Nixon.

114A. Religious high point? (#33) : CHURCH STEEPLE. Harry S. Truman.

69A. What's hidden in answers with an apt "#" in their clues : PRESIDENTIAL MONOGRAMS

With "apt" in the reveal clue, I thought there's a further layer to the theme. Nope.

We don't see Alan Arbesfeld's byline often here at LAT. He is a very accomplished constructor, with many puzzles published by the NYT and other major venues.

Don't think I've seen a LAT Sunday with only 134 words. 

1. Truckers' competition : ROADEO. Portmanteau of Rodeo and Road.

7. Finish behind : LOSE TO

13. Adenauer sobriquet meaning "the old man" : DER ALTE. We see ALTE more often often.

20. Turns inside out : EVERTS. Not a word I use.

21. Available : ON HAND

22. Dressing choice : ITALIAN. What's your favorite dressing?

25. Sways on a curve : CAREENS

26. Space cadet? : ALIEN. Got via crosses.

27. Suspense novelist Tami : HOAG

28. Fields of comedy : TOTIE

30. '70s-'80s batting instructor Charlie : LAU. Learned from doing crosswords.

31. Must : NEEDS TO

37. "Mi casa __ casa" : ES SU

38. Bk. after Proverbs : ECCL

40. Raise : REAR

41. Winnebago descendants : IOWAS

42. Winter wear : PARKA. Been looking for a light, short and warm jacket in red.

44. Dining __ : CAR

45. "__ to eat and run ... " : I HATE

48. Gain a lap : SIT

54. __ Gimignano: walled Tuscany town : SAN

57. "It's __ wind ... " : AN ILL

59. KOA visitor : RVER

60. Menu option : UNDO

61. Website page : HOME

62. Rhythm rattler : MARACA

64. Longtime rock 'n' roll disc jockey Dan : INGRAM. D-Otto might know him. Not me.

67. "It's suddenly clear" : I SEE NOW

72. 1991 Steve Martin film set in Calif. : L.A. STORY

73. Front line? : ISOBAR

74. Spiced up : ZESTED

75. Big ones are found on Wall Street : EGOS. Why Wall Street?

76. Altar agreements : I DOs

78. Austrian expressionist Schiele : EGON. Another stranger. Here is his self-portrait.

80. Former "60 Minutes" debater __ Alexander : SHANA
81. Judge of hoops : REF

86. Dorm room, perhaps : STY

87. Cartoon strip : PANEL

88. Small team : DUO

89. Put a stop to : CEASE

91. Mtge.-offering business : S AND L

94. Mosque leader : IMAM

96. Wine characteristic : BODY

97. Revelations : AHAs

105. Mr. Clean competitor : LESTOIL. Never tried this brand.

107. "M*A*S*H" extra : ROK. Solider of Republic of Korea.

108. Knight clubs : MACES

109. River to the Rhein : AARE

111. "__ woods these are I think I know": Frost : WHOSE

112. Letting it all hang out, theatrically : EMOTING

118. What love and hate share? : SILENT E. Just the last letter of love and hate.

119. "It's My Party" singer Gore : LESLEY

120. Shakespearean attendant : VARLET. I only know VALET.

121. Hybrid with thorns : TEA ROSE. I can smell it. Lovely.

122. Overage : EXCESS

123. Main squeeze : STEADY
1. Fix, as a rattan chair : RE-CANE. I'd buy a new chair.

2. Small eggs : OVULES

3. Cliff dwellings : AERIES

4. Ran out, as a supply : DRIED UP

5. Preppy jackets : ETONs

6. The Beavers of the Pac-12 : OSU. Ohio State. Oregon State University. Thanks, Dave.

7. Macy's red star, e.g. : LOGO

8. Low tie : ONE ALL

9. Japanese chess : SHOGI. Sho = General. Gi = Game. So, "General's Game".

10. Hammer site : EAR

11. "Star Trek" spin-off, briefly : TNG. The Next Generation.

12. One-named folk singer : ODETTA

13. Mirabile __: wonderful to say : DICTU. New to me.

14. Amazon business : E-TAIL

15. Cheesy "Welsh" dishes : RAREBITS

16. Brown __ : ALE

17. Stay under the radar : LIE LOW

18. Yankees' pitcher Masahiro : TANAKA. Must be Rich's clue. He's avid Yankees' fan.

19. Happens as a result : ENSUES

24. Stunning surprise : SHOCKER. Caesars Palace now charges a $10 parking fee. Sigh! Used to be fun window-shopping at the Forum.

29. Conan of "Conan" : OBRIEN

32. Garr of "Tootsie" : TERI

34. Tennis great Steffi : GRAF. Great match for Agassi.

35. Group in a drive : HERD

36. Veep between Dick and Mike : JOE (Biden)

39. Friend of Hobbes : CALVIN

43. Gp. created by a 1955 merger : AFL-CIO

44. Welsh herding dogs : CORGIS. Favorite dogs for Queen Elizabeth.

46. Invited to one's place : HAD IN

47. Israeli author who wrote "A Tale of Love and Darkness" : AMOS OZ

48. Array of chocolates, say : SAMPLER

49. Seething : IN A RAGE
50. Loses interest in : TIRES OF

52. X-ray examiner, perhaps : DENTIST. Going to see mine next week.

53. Odds and ends : RUMMAGE

54. Many Beethoven pieces : SONATAS

55. "One sec" : A MOMENT

56. Long Island paper : NEWSDAY. They also have crosswords, but not to open submissions, I don't think. Gail is one of the constructors there.

58. Has legs : LASTS

61. Pulitzer journalist Seymour : HERSH. He sure has lots of anonymous sources.

63. "Rocky" role : ADRIAN

65. '90s Indian prime minister : RAO. Nailed it.

66. Planetary reflected-light ratio : ALBEDO. New word to me.

68. Discharges : EGESTS

70. Singer Gorme : EYDIE

71. Pitcher Jesse with a record 1,252 regular-season appearances : OROSCO. He was a Twin.

77. Surfing indoors, say : ONLINE

79. Pine forest floor covering : NEEDLES

82. Trigger was one : PALOMINO. Great fill.

83. Dutch export : EDAM

84. Oversimplify, with "down" : DUMB

85. Funny Martha : RAYE

87. Common attached file : PDF

90. Diner come-on : EAT HERE. Santa loves lo mein and string beans.

91. Most confident : SUREST

92. Breakdown of social norms : ANOMIE

93. Inventor Tesla : NIKOLA

95. Physical strength : MUSCLE

96. Prepares (oneself) for impact : BRACES
98. Fanfare : HOOPLA

99. Like supermarkets and stadiums : AISLED. Never used this word form.

100. Cold and wet, maybe : SLEETY

102. Goes on a tirade : RANTS

103. Bobby in a 1971 #1 hit : MCGEE. "Me and Bobby McGee".

104. Country rocker Steve : EARLE

106. Exercise beads? : SWEAT

110. Matthew of "The Americans" : RHYS. Looks who he's dating? Felicity!

113. Thrice, in Rx's : TER. Gluey fill.

115. Bad spell : HEX

116. 2017 Pac-12 champs : USC

117. Sharp products : TVs.. Great clue.

Oh, I need to show you this sweet picture again! You'll know who that lucky guy is.