Dec 5, 2018

Wednesday, December 5, 2018, Mark McClain

There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight!

One word in each of the theme answers is Hot! Hot! Hot!

17-Across. Get increasingly steamed: DO A SLOW BURN.

26-Across. Provocative social media tactic: FLAME TROLLING.  I am not familiar with this expression, but it makes sense.  Fortunately, we don't get much this on this blog.

44-Across. Battlefield order: FIRE WHEN READY!

59-Across. Striking white stripe between a horse's eyes: FACIAL BLAZE.


1. Insurance submission: CLAIM.  I had to file a claim when my 150+ year-old live oak tree decided it didn't want to be a live oak tree anymore.  The tree fell on my carport, which, fortunately, was strong enough so that my cars weren't crushed.

6. Spars on the briny: MASTS.
11. Spanish I verb: AMO.  Today's Spanish grammar lesson.

14. Vital body vessel: AORTA.

15. Choristers who are usually women: ALTOS.

16. Young bloke: LAD.
19. "Diary of a Wimpy __": Jeff Kinney book series: KID.  The book was first published in 2007, so it was too late for my childhood reading.

20. Home of the NHL's Blues: ST. L.  St. Louis is the home of the Blues hockey team.
21. Scrape off: ABRADE.

22. Radio hobbyists: HAMS.

23. Rickie Fowler's org.: PGA.  Apparently Rick Fowler (b. Dec. 13, 1988) is a golfer.

24. One way to travel: RAIL.  Because Train wouldn't fit in the spaces provided.

32. Old Italian bread?: LIRE.  Currency of Italy before the Euro.

34. Jai __: ALAI.  A crossword staple.

35. Forearm-related: ULNAR.

36. Wee hr.: ONE A.M.  Also the name of a 1916 Charlie Chaplin film.

38. Approves: OKs.

39. Disciple's query: IS IT I?  One of the disciple's asked Jesus this question.

40. "Am not!" retort: ARE SO!  Am too! also fits, but the word "am" is already used in the clue.

41. Spa treatment: PEEL.  I wanted a Pedi(cure).

43. Bullet __: list highlight: ITEM.

47. __ Mode, designer voiced by Brad Bird in "Incredibles 2": EDNA.  I never saw this movie.  I had seem this image, however.

48. Strive: VIE.  Could also be clued as Fights (for), which we saw in yesterday's puzzle.

49. Skinny: INFO.  I initially tried Thin.

51. Sleeping bag closer: ZIPPER.  Camping is not my thing.  We did a lot of camping in my childhood, however.

55. Getting stuff done, initially: TCB.  As in the phrase: Taking Care of Business.

58. "Who, me?": MOI?  Today's French lesson.

61. From A to Z: ALL.

62. Venue with skyboxes: ARENA.

63. Expected: USUAL.

64. Animation frame: CEL.

65. Venomous snake: ADDER.  Also known as a viper.

66. Hindu spiritual writing: SUTRA.


1. Despicable dudes: CADS.

2. Ransack: LOOT.

3. Depleted sea: ARAL.  The ARAL Sea is becoming a crossword staple.  It is considered an endorheic lake, meaning that it has no outlet to the oceans.  It also used to be the 4th largest lake in the world.

4. "__ Quiet Uptown": "Hamilton" song: IT'S.  I have tickets to see Hamilton in March 2019.

5. Spanish dessert wine: MALAGA.

6. Bryn __ College: MAWR. This college is still an all-female institution of higher education.

7. Goya's "Duchess of __": ALBA.
The last Duchess of Alba was quite a character.  She held over 40 hereditary titles and was very wealthy.  She was widowed twice.  Her third husband t'was 24 years her junior.  She died in 2014 at age 88. Goya's Duchess of Alba was probably a character, too.
Oh, you wanted these more famous Goya portraits of the Duchess:

8. It may be ear-piercing: STUD.  Think of an earring.

9. Bullfight figure: TORERO.  More of today's Spanish lesson.  The Torero is on the left.

10. ID gradually being omitted from Medicare cards: SSN.  As in the Social Security Number.

11. Water's capability to neutralize acid: ALKALINITY.

12. Injure badly: MAIM.

13. Track ratios: ODDS.

18. President who appointed two women to the Supreme Court: OBAMA.  President Obama (b. 1961) nominated Sonia Sotomayor (b. 1954) to replace Associate Justice David Souter (b. 1939); and and Elena Kagan (b. 1960) to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens (b. 1920).

22. Sledding spot: HILLSIDE.

23. "Yes, fine by me": PLEASE DO!

25. Pierre's "his": A LUI.  More of today's French lesson

26. Second cup at a diner, e.g.: FREE REFILL.

27. Unite on the sly: ELOPE.  Fresh new clue for tying the knot without all the fanfare.

28. Spoken for: TAKEN.

29. Stairway element: RISER.

30. Statistician Silver: NATE.  Nathaniel Read Silver (b. 1978) is the founder of the FiveThirtyEight blog, which gives statistics on a number of subjects including politics and sports.

31. Dire: GRIM.

32. Bakery unit: LOAF.

33. Cross inscription: INRI.  Today's Latin lesson.  This is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase: Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum, which is translated as Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.

37. Like harvested hay: MOWN.  I wanted something that would evoke the smell of freshly harvested hay.

42. Video game stage: LEVEL.

45. Black ice, e.g.: HAZARD.  It can, indeed, be very dangerous.

46. Boeing rival: AIRBUS.  Apparently the two companies have a rivalry going on.

49. All-in-one Apple: iMAC.

50. Florida State player, familiarly: 'NOLE.  As in the Florida State Seminoles.

52. Secured, as a win: ICED.  Sorry, Tin!

53. Source of cones: PINE.

54. Early late-night TV host: PAAR.  As in Jack Harold Paar (May 1, 1918 ~ Jan. 27, 2004).

55. Lacking slack: TAUT.

56. Business magnate: CZAR.

57. Olympics coach Karolyi: BÉLA.  Béla Károlyi (b. 1942) is best known for being the coach to gymnast Nadia Comăneci (b. 1961) and Mary Lou Retton (b. 1968).

59. Tower authority: Abbr.: FAA.  As in the Federal Aviation Administration, which has jurisdiction over the airport towers.

60. The SEC's Tigers: LSU.  As in Louisiana State University.  Whenever LSU plays Auburn, another SEC team, the Tigers are guaranteed to win.*  LSU is the only collage university in the United States to have a live tiger living on campus.  You may be able observe Mike the Tiger on the University's TigerCam.  The cam isn't always functioning, though.

I hope none of you got "burned" on this puzzle!

 * Both LSU and Auburn have Tigers as their mascot.