Apr 26, 2018

Thursday April 26 2018 Paul Coulter

Theme: Hats Off! I mean Hats On! As the reveal helps to explain:

54A. "Shut your trap!" ... and, graphically, what the circled letters do: PUT A LID ON IT!

Three kinds of headgear in the circles: HAT, CAP and TAM, each sitting atop IT in the entry beneath.

This is one of those puzzles where the theme is more incidental than central. You solve as a themeless, then go back and look to see what you missed, which, honestly to my mind, is "not much". Three three-letter circled letters atop of three "IT" two-letter pairs.

The content is pleasing, two grid-spanners, two 11's and two long 10's in the downs, but the theme fell flat for me.

That out of the way, let's see what jumps out:


1. Distribute, with "out": METE

5. Jets and Nets: TEAMS

10. Kenan's comedy cohort: KEL

13. Like crazy: A LOT

14. Street thief: MUGGER

15. Bullring "Bravo!": OLÉ

16. Tennessee River city: CHATTANOOGA. "Pardon me, boy - is that the ..."

18. Luxury hotel facility: SPA

19. Places: SITUATES. Nice word. Just missing an "O" for the vowel grand slam.

20. Migratory herring: SHAD. High in Omega-3. Whatever that means.

21. Uni- + bi-: TRI-. 

22. H.S. exam for college credit: A.P. TEST. Advanced Placement, I believe.

24. Longtime Bob Keeshan kids' character: CAPTAIN KANGAROO. Giving children frightening fashion advice since 1955.

30. Anatomical canals: ITERS. Not only is this a plural, but it also in the singular does not appear in a Google search at all - I gave up reading about nuclear reactors after at least six pages of hits. The word should not be in the puzzle in this form.

31. On the ship: ABOARD

32. Mediterranean peak: ETNA

33. Parts: ROLES

35. Actress Headey of "Game of Thrones": LENA

38. Home of college sports' Green Wave: TULANE. New Orleans school.

40. Certain tanker: OILER

41. Philatelist's pride: STAMP COLLECTION

45. Mass communication?: LITANY

46. Final: Abbr.: ULT. Ultimate? I suppose so.

47. Sounds of disgust: UGHS

48. Calming agents: ALLAYERS

53. "The Producers" screenwriter Brooks: MEL

57. Old __: PRO

58. Becomes used (to): INURES

59. Sinewy: ROPY

60. Common ID: SSN

61. Enclosed for security, in a way: GATED. Communities.

62. Choice word: ELSE. If - Or - Else.


1. Computers that may run Virtual PC: MACS. Not any more, unless you have a very old one. The Mac motherboard has an Intel chip which runs both the Mac OS and Windows. Your choice.

2. K-12: EL-HI

3. Precisely: TO A "T"

4. Famous final question: ET TU?

5. Pay attention: TUNE IN

6. Film directors' challenges: EGOS

7. Earlier: AGO

8. "A Wrinkle in Time" girl: MEG. Apparently a character in a series of novels first published in 1962. No clue. This might be a tad obscure.

9. Mme., in Madrid: SRA

10. Where to get gefilte fish: KOSHER DELI

11. Sun Bowl city: EL PASO. College Football post-season game.

12. Bring about: LEAD TO

14. Motherly start: MATRI- I've got "-archal" and "-cide". Any other offers?

17. Cheerios: TA-TAS

20. Twinkly, skywise: STARLIT

22. Muchos meses: ANOS. Many months equate to years. as long as there are at least 13 of them.

23. Links letters: PGA. Professional Golfer's Association

24. Fr. company: CIE. 

25. Court fig.: ATT. Ball boy? Umpire? Baller? No, attorney.

26. Modern Olympic event one shoots for?: PENTATHLON. You also fence, ride, run and swim. No small feat. It was originally defined as the five disciplines that a cavalry officer must be more than proficient in to be considered one of the elite.

27. Emotional wounds: TRAUMAS

28. Krypton escapee: KAL-EL. AKA "Superman", he who wears his underwear outside of his tights. Truly from another world.

29. Presidential nickname: ABE

33. Somewhat blue: RACY

34. Artist whose apartment overlooks Strawberry Fields: ONO. The real Strawberry Field is in Liverpool, England, it was the garden of a children's home near to where John Lennon grew up.

36. Prefix for movement revivals: NEO-

37. Prince Valiant's son: ARN

39. ICU staffer: LPN. 

40. Group of eight: OCTAD

41. Competitive dry spells: SLUMPS

42. Auburn or Princeton athletes: TIGERS

43. Soothed: LULLED

44. New York Harbor's __ Island: ELLIS. The Oracle head Larry Ellison's family name comes from the-then immigrants' journey through Ellis Island.

48. Bern's river: AARE

49. Auld lang syne: YORE. What? When does "Old time's sake" translate to "Past"? We should be told.

50. Carbon compound: ENOL

51. Tears: RIPS

52. Eye malady: STYE

54. Boar, e.g. PIG

55. Spanish article: UNA

56. Tsk relative: TUT

Quick in and out today - here's the grid!