Feb 22, 2019

Friday, February 22, 2019, Patti Varol

Title: Does a male deliver your mail?

Today Rich's assistant Patti provides the entertainment with a very consistent homonym puzzle. 5 in the language phrases are repurposed using their sound-alike equivalent with humorous results.  This is my seventh trip as the guide for a PV puzzle, one of more than 30 she has published in the LAT. All five themers are four-letter words ending "AIL" replacing the "ALE."  WHALE is the outlier, as it is five letters. The puzzle does not feel like a Friday, with 78 words which average less than 5 letters each. It has some non-theme glitter like ATHEIST, EGOSURF, FLITTED, MULCHES, PADLOCK, SIDE BET, CAROL KANE, and  KALE CHIPS. There are some challenging words, some unknown directors, and a few that were hidden to me as clued, but lo and behold it is done, so time to discuss.

17A. Totally rad electric guitar performance?: KILLER WAIL (10). After last Saturday's WHALE tribute by HG, we start with a nice guitar solo. BOBBY BARTH.

23A. Emergency bucket on Dior's boat?: CHRISTIAN BAIL (13). Christian Dior has a hole in his boat which he needs to BALE the water and becomes the Welsh actor who has been Batman and Dick Cheney on screen but is HIMSELF accepting his awards.

37A. Jib made of clothing labels?: TAG SAIL (7). When I was a child, my grandmother worked in a tag factory, where they made all the labels used to show at a Tag SALE.

51A. Where to find more beach toys?: BEYOND THE PAIL (13). Beyond the PALE  a rather negative concept changes to evoke an idyllic scene by the ocean.

60A. Impressive New York zoo peacock display?: A BRONX TAIL (10). This is my favorite as the cult classic A BRONX TALE, a dark movie becomes a lively display at the famous Bronx Zoo.


1. Information desk sign: ASK ME. I do not see that often, my favorite is below.

6. Sits in a cellar, say: AGES. Wine, it was Chairman Mao's birthday recently.

10. Chuckleheads: SAPS. I have not heard the phrase chucklehead in years.

14. Yuletide name: CLAUS.

15. Philanthropist Wallace: LILA. Co-founder of the READER'S DIGEST. Do you remember her?

16. Grammy-winning rapper: ICE-T. Tracy Lauren Marrow reappears. HG one.

19. Short copy?: DUPE. Cute.

20. Upper bod muscle: PEC. Bod tells you it is an abbreviation. It also is a word not popular any longer IMO.

21. Poor Richard, really: BEN. I did not know Mr. Franklin well enough to call him Ben, I do like to look at him in my wallet.

22. Brusque: TERSE.

27. Nonbeliever: ATHEIST.

29. Shoreline flood protection: DUNE. According to the Waikato Regional Council, sand dunes protect our shorelines from coastal erosion and provide shelter from the wind and sea spray.

30. Caper film event: HEIST. What is your favorite of all time?

31. Actor Danson: TED. Again a repeat from Husker's Saturday.

32. Dessert chain with Cotton Candy Freeze: TCBYThe Country's Best Yogurt.

36. Travel guide: MAP.

41. SE state: ALAbama.

42. "When all __ fails ... ": ELSE. People say THIS many ways.

44. "Let 'er __!": RIP. Speaking of ripped...

45. Zac of "Baywatch": EFRON.

47. Error: GOOF.

49. Master piece?: PADLOCK. Very cool clue.  This fill has never appeared in the LA Times and referencing the lock company MASTER  was brilliant.

55. Expunge: ERASE.

56. Mahershala of "True Detective": ALI. This is his BIOGRAPHY.

57. IMAX purchase: TKT.

59. X-ray, Yankee, __: ZULU.  Your cheat sheet.

64. Phone button abbr.: OPER.

65. X-ray units: RADS. The rad is a unit of absorbed radiation dose , defined as 1 rad = 0.01 Gy = 0.01 J/kg.

66. Starbucks size: VENTI. We have had this discussion recently.

67. Double __ Oreos: STUF. We have had this discussion recently.

68. "If you don't mind?": MAY I.

69. In other words, in Caesar's words: ID EST. Not Sid, but one of the Emperors speaking Latin.


1. "Crikey!": ACK. I do not see these as synonymous. My SOURCE.

2. Berth place: SLIP. A nice sound alike pun/clue.

3. Healthy snack: KALE CHIPS.  That claim is being DEBATED.

4. Puts a cover on, as a bed: MULCHES.  A bed of flowers, again, cool misdirection. These are probably healthy as well,  just as tasty, but too high in fiber.

5. Jargon suffix: ESE.

6. Astros' MLB division: AL WEST.

7. Really big: GIANT.

8. "The House With a Clock in Its Walls" director Roth: ELI. I have not seen this movie, but would never have known the DIRECTOR even if I had. His work seems promising.

9. "On the Road" narrator: SAL. Sal Paradise was the central character in Jack Kerouac's anthem to the post-World War II freedom of the open road.

10. Secondary wager: SIDE BET. There are various situations where this occurs. Side bets can involve any topic, such as a bet on a sports game occurring at the same time as the poker game or a bet on a piece of trivia that players are arguing over. However, usage is traditionally confined to bets that in some way involve occurrences in the poker game.

11. Integra maker: ACURA.

12. "For every generation" soft drink: PEPSI. Do you like the new Steve Carrell commercial?

13. 1943 penny metal: STEEL. Copper shortage due to WWII.

18. Hitting stat: RBIsRuns Batted In.

22. Paramount Network, once: TNN. The NASHVILLE NETWORK became Spike TV before the recent switch to its current name.

24. "Norma Rae" director: RITT. Another DIRECTOR I do not know. Sally is back after also seeing her in this part in HG's Saturday.

25. Writer's block breakthrough: IDEA.

26. German wheels: AUDI.

27. Words of lament: AH ME. Ask me?

28. Marsh duck: TEAL.

31. Cough syrup meas.: TSP. Abbreviations.

33. Actress who plays Kimmy Schmidt's landlady: CAROL KANE. Her role in TAXI will always be what my memory of her is, I have never watched the new show.

34. Allied group: BLOC. Bloc is also back.

35. Jerk: Next to...

38. "Sunday Night Baseball" analyst, familiarly: A-ROD.

39. One often taking a bow: GIFT. Ah, bow not bow!

40. Helen of Troy's mother: LEDA. The STORY is much more complicated than that clue/fill suggests.

43. Try to find oneself?: EGOSURF. I still do not know this term, but it is in the OED and was introduced to us by Brad Wilber on Saturday, Mar 27, 2010, here at the LAT. I also said then I did not know the concept while commenting on a rare JzB Saturday write-up.

46. Made moth moves: FLITTED. A very cute clue also.

48. Half and half: ONE. Another time a simple clue adds up as something other than for coffee.+

49. House speaker after Ryan: PELOSI. No apolitical way to comment on this.

50. Neat as __: A PIN.

51. Amazon founder: BEZOS. How will his FEUD with the National Enquirer turn out? For 500 million, I might have married him.

52. Blow one's stack: ERUPT.

53. Ivy in Conn.: YALE U. Glue.

54. Resistant to cold, as plants: HARDY. Such a versatile word.

58. Small songbirds: TITS. Snicker, snicker.

60. Parka sleeve: ARM.

61. "Listen, ewe!": BAA. Sheep humor.

62. Income tax Amendment: XVI. "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration." The origin of the income tax on individuals is generally cited as the passage of the 16th Amendment, passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913; however, its history actually goes back even further. During the Civil War Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1861 which included a tax on personal incomes to help pay war expenses.

63. Hammered: LIT. There are endless synonyms for this (maybe I shouldn't mention that after the last week kerfuffle); here are SOME.

Patti is a pro, though puzzle still did not seem like a Friday even with the hard clues and other obstacles, but I had a great time. I hope you did, but either way, thank you for being here. Lemonade out.

Notes from C.C.:

Malcolm told me that Fermet Prime (Lorraine) stays at the Northridge Hospital, but is expected to be released on Saturday. I'll call her later today. Malcolm talked to her yesterday and said  "She’s a bit groggy because of the pain-killers she’s on". Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Feb 21, 2019

Thursday, February 21st 2019 Peter A. Collins

Theme: Drink Up - the four theme entries conceal a juice read from bottom to top - as Peter more succinctly puts it in the reveal:

25D. Supercharge, and a hint to what's literally hiding in the four longest Down answers: JUICE UP

3D. Grand Prix, for one: MOTOR RACE. Carrot. Interestingly, Formula One racing cars don't use superchargers, you'd think they would. They use electrically-assisted turbochargers. Here's the famous Monaco Grand Prix in 2018

5D. Edible elephant, say: ANIMAL CRACKER. Clam. I think the sheep is something of an outlier in the Animal Cracker "family".

19D. Skillet dish with ham and peppers: WESTERN OMELET. Lemon. And Food! Officially, it shouldn't have cheese in it, but who makes the rules?

36D. FAQ spots: HELP PAGES. Apple. FAQ is one of those words that used to be written as an abbreviation, now it's a thing of itself. Frequently Asked Questions was the origin.


1. '90s-'00s Olympic soccer notable: HAMM. The great Mia on the US Women's National Team.

5. Literary captain: AHAB. I bet Starbuck wished he'd thought of opening a coffee shop rather than risk life and limb on a whaling ship.

9. Leaks slowly: SEEPS

14. Burn soother: ALOE

15. Zippo: NADA. If the downtrend in smoking continues, Zippo will eventually sell zippo.

16. Computer text code: ASCII. The American Standard Code for Information Interchange, which is something of a mouthful.

17. They're not loyal: RATS

18. Unyielding: IRON WILLED

20. Golfing group: TWOSOME. There's a course near me that sends out fivesomes at the weekend. I hated playing there, it was grindingly slow.

22. Base for money: TEN. I was tempted by "tin" as the base for a coin. No, the decimal number system. When I was growing up in the UK, the currency system was crazy - one pound was made up of 20 shillings, and there were 12 pennies in a shilling. The smallest coin was a farthing, which was a quarter of a penny. Learning money mathematics was a slog. The UK converted to decimal in 1971, incredibly recently if you think about it.

23. Swallowed: ATE

24. "Harry Potter" reporter __ Skeeter: RITA. Compete guess, but this worked out for me.

25. Not much: JUST A TAD. Or a farthing!

27. Anthem contraction: O'ER

29. Blue, on the Danube: BLAU. Strauss' The Blue Danube used in the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ends a little abruptly here!

31. Noir hero: 'TEC

32. Lose oomph: FLAG

34. Movie SFX: CGI

35. Purim heroine: ESTHER

39. Centers of attention: FOCI

40. What unfixed malfunctions usually do: RECUR

42. Flight-related prefix: AERO-

43. "Burnt" color: SIENNA. Could be "umber", except for here. Not enough letters!

45. Coastal bird: ERN

46. Sound of an angry exit: SLAM

47. LSU conference: SEC

48. Chicago-style pizza chain, informally: UNO'S. Uno Pizzeria and Grill. Creator of the Chicago-style deep dish pizza in 1943, causing arguments with New Yorkers ever since.

50. Education org.: P.T.A.

51. Started, as a conversation: STRUCK UP. You can strike up a conversation or a band.

55. Car dealer's abbr.: M.S.R.P.

57. Acct. that may be rolled over: I..R.A.

58. Half a numbers game: KEN. KenKen. I just tried it for the first time. Fun!

59. Seattle pro: SEAHAWK. NFL player.

62. Going back, in a way: TIME TRAVEL

65. Arch type: OGEE

66. Often harmful bacteria: E.COLI

67. Basmati, for one: RICE. Food! I love basmati, I get it in 10lb sacks from the local Indian market, way cheaper than the supermarket brands. I cooked some just last night to go with tandoori-style chicken and garlic lentils.

68. "What, will these hands __ be clean?": Lady Macbeth: NE'ER. Lady M. bemoaning the fact she can't seem to get Duncan's blood off her hands.

69. Thick: DENSE

70. "Futurama" creator Groening: MATT

71. "Baseball Tonight" channel: ESPN. ESPN started so that some people on the East Coast could watch Hartford Whalers hockey games via satellite. Look how far it's come.


1. Roxie __, "Chicago" role: HART

2. "There oughta be __": A LAW

4. Soccer superstar Lionel: MESSI. Subject of furious debates among fans - who is better, Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar?

6. Fabled also-ran: HARE

7. Hubbub: ADO

8. Xhosa's language group: BANTU

9. French holy women: SAINTES

10. Bilingual subj.: E.S.L.

11. Grand display: ÉCLAT

12. Mary-in-mourning sculpture: PIETÀ. Here's Michelangelo's original in St. Peter's in Rome:

13. Agreed (with): SIDED

21. Wagering shorthand: OTB. Off-Track Betting. There's at least one bookies on every English high street.

26. Take the role of: ACT AS

27. Does in: OFFS

28. Morlock victims: ELOI. The two races in H.G.Wells' novel "The Time Machine". Ties in nicely with 62A.

30. Memorable time: AGE

33. Infomercial brand: GINSU. Knives you can cut soup cans with. Quite why you'd want to subject your knives to that treatment I have no idea.

37. Q.E.D. word: ERAT

38. Type of tomato: ROMA. I chop a couple of 'em into my garlic lentils.

41. Spigoted server: URN. Time for tea.

44. Suit go-with: NECKTIE. Less and less nowadays. I have quite a collection of ties but rarely seem to wear one any more.

49. Fed. benefits agency: S.S.A.

51. Located: SITED

52. Jiffy: TRICE

53. Hispanic penguin in "Happy Feet": RAMON. I only know this from crosswords, but it's ingrained now.

54. Render harmless: UNARM. I prefer "disarm", but I think we've had this conversation before.

56. Lake Geneva river: RHONE. Second European river today. The Rhone valley is a beautiful part of France, and home to some great wineries.

59. Religious offshoot: SECT

60. Bawl: WEEP

61. "Ol' Man River" composer: KERN. "There's an old man called the Mississippi ..." 

63. Raised trains: ELS. I particularly associate the El with Chicago.

64. Through: VIA

Which brings us to ... the grid. See you all next time!


Notes from C.C.:
1) Dave 2 is finally back to his assisted living place today. Hopefully he'll be on the blog soon.

2) Last night I got an email from Malcolm, longtime friend of  Fermet Prime (Lorraine Foster). He told me Lorraine "fell in the night a couple of hours ago in her bathroom, it took her 3 hours before she was able to reach her phone and get the paramedics to come. She’s in a local hospital and is going to have an operation for her broken hip this evening at 9:30 (I’m writing his at 5:10 PM on Wednesday February 20, 2019)."

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I've asked Malcolm for an address to send Lorraine cards. Will let you know.

Feb 20, 2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 George Jasper

Theme: THIS IS REALLY CONFUSING, MAN!  And would be even more so if you didn't get the circles in your grid.  Each quartet of circles - and there are five such - contains letters which, when read properly, spell out a synonym for "some guy."  At first glance, the letters appear to be mixed up; but, as we shall see later, there is a bit more to it than that. The circles occur, two each, in adjacent rows, and all contiguous, so there are ten theme- related entries, plus a unifier.

1 A. Gaping mouths: MAWS.  From the Old English word for stomach.
14 A. Nobelist Wiesel: ELIE.  Holocaust survivor and author of 57 books.
Together they give us the letters of MALE, who, if adult and human, is a man.

5 A. "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" composer: DUKAS. Paul [1865-1935] Composer and music critic who was intensely self-critical and destroyed many of his own works.
15 A. Official mandate: EDICT. A decree issued by someone in political or religious authority.  The Edict of Milan in 313 A.D. proclaimed religious tolerance and stopped the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.
DUDE stems from the late 19th century, indicating a dandy.  Now it seems to be mostly used ironically, or in contempt.

48 A. Large goblet: CHALICE. Typically a wine vessel, used in a Christian ritual.
54 A. Bamboo lover: PANDA. Genetic studies reveal that it is a true bear that differentiated from other ursine stock about 19 million years ago. Bamboo is the major portion of it's diet, but it will eat just about anything.
CHAP refers to any man or boy, not to be confused with the winter-time condition of my chops.  Evidently derived from chapman, a 16th century designation for a peddler.

58 A. Military expert, say: STRATEGIST. one responsible for formulating and implementing an action plan to achieve some goal.  This involves defining the goal, determining an action plan and mobilizing resources.
63A. Language of Pakistan: URDU.  A variant of Hindustani also having official status in Nepal and 6 States of India.
A STUD is a man who is believed to have above average sexual prowess.  This is no doubt derived from animal husbandry, where a STUD is a male domestic animal used for breeding.

62 A. Canadian fliers: GEESE.
65 A. Govt.-backed bond: T-NOTE.  The T stands for the U. S. Treasury, which issues 3 types of securities, all of which can be broadly characterized as bonds. T-Bills have maturities of 4. 13, 26 and 52 weeks. T-NOTES currently have maturities of 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 years. Long bonds mature in 30 years.

And the centrally located, grid-spanning unifier -- 37 A. Typical MLB pitching alignment, and a hint to this puzzle's circles: FIVE MAN ROTATION.  Most professional baseball teams have 5 starting pitchers who routinely appear in a specified order, though this can be disrupted by injuries or other considerations.  And this tightly nails down the theme - there are five different synonyms for a MAN, and each set of four letters is to be read in a clockwise fashion, starting at the upper left - hence the "rotation."

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here.  I'm not overly fond of circled letter themes, but they seem to be firmly entrenched in the crossword world, so here we are.  This one is thematically rich and well executed.  Let's take a spin through the rest of it, and see if George has thrown us any curve balls.


10. States in an outdated atlas: Abbr.: SSRSSoviet Socialist Republics, the once great [or perhaps just pretty good, or maybe not at all] Communist Russian Empire.

16. Analogous (to): AKIN. Related in some way, or of similar character.

17. One way to ride a horse: SIDE SADDLE. This awkward mode of travel was started by Princess Anne of Bohemia in 1382 when she made her way across Europe to marry King Richard II.  After that event, the practice spread, so to speak, and it became vulgar for a lady to ride astride a horse. I have to wonder why she didn't ride in a carriage.  Anyway, according to legend, the ride of Lady Godiva took place at least a century earlier, so depictions of this type might be more or less accurate.

19. Stereotypical pooch: FIDO.  The name is derived from the Latin word meaning "faithful."  The eponym for all subsequent FIDOS was a real dog who lived up to his name in an amazing and extraordinary manner.

20. D.C.'s Pennsylvania, e.g.: AVE.  This route runs for 5.8 miles within Washington D.C.  Notable sites include the White House, the Capitol Building and the John Phillip Sousa Bridge.

21. Named, briefly: IDEDIdentified.

22. Shop talk: LINGO.  The jargon or argot specific to a particular subject or group of people.

23. One in a hundred?: SENATOR.  Somewhere on Pennsylvania AVE. about 1.2 miles from the White House at 1600, we can find the Capitol, where these people are supposed to be working.  It appears that this building has no actual numbered street address - or, at least, none that I can find.

25. Cafeteria worker's cover: HAIR NET.  Worn to prevent contaminating food.  It is also part of formal attire for females in dressage and other varieties of horsing around.  The oldest known evidence of use is from the 3300-year-old grave of a Danish girl.

27. Affleck of "Gone Girl": BEN.  Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt [b 1972] is an American actor and film maker.  He has received two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, two BAFTA Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

28. "Downton __": PBS show: ABBEY.  A period drama set in Yorkshire, England and spanning from 1912 to 1926. It has received numerous nominations and awards.

29. Dramatic opening?: ACT I.

32. Many an emailer: AOLER.  Are there many AOL users these days?  Aren't most of us G-mailers?

34. '50s political monogram: DDEDwight David Eisenhower was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during WWII, and then President of the United States from 1953 to 1961.

41. Train stopping at every sta.: LOC. Local, as opposed to express, which makes few intermediate stops.

42. They turn litmus paper red: ACIDS.  Litmus is a water soluble dye mixture extracted from certain lichens. It exhibits a color change depending on the acidity or alkalinity of a solution to which it is exposed, turning red in the presence of an acid, or blue in the presence of a base.

43. Does impressions of: APES.  Mimics.

44. Grazing groups: HERDS. As of cattle, frex.

46. "Gimme a __": SEC.  A short time increment.

50. "Haven't the foggiest": BEATS ME.  I really have no idea.

55. Alternative to fries: TOTS.  'Tater TOTS.  Grated potatoes that are formed into a shape and deep fried.  They were invented in 1953 to use up the left over slivers of sliced potatoes.  Waste not, want not, I guess.

56. Korean automaker: KIA.

57. Script fraction: LINE. An actors line in a play or movie.

61. Sun Devils' rival: UTES.  Arizona State and Utah University sports teams, respectively.

64. Riverbank residue: SILT. A fine mineral material deposited by running water.

66. "Freeze!": STOP.  Halt!


1. Small plateaus: MESAS.   Table land formations - literally table in Spanish.  These are flat topped hills with steep cliff sides.

2. Still in contention: ALIVE.  Still having a chance.

3. Alleviate traffic on, perhaps: WIDEN.  As a thoroughfare.

4. "Told you": SEE.  Rubbing it in.

5. Exactly right: DEAD ON.  Completely and precisely correct.  I'm not able to trace an origin.

6. Milk source: UDDER.  The mammary gland in cattle, sheep, goats, etc.

7. 10-time NBA All-Star Jason: KIDD. [b 1973] In his 19-year career he played for Dallas [twice], Phoenix, New Jersey and New York.  He has since coached the Nets and Bucks.

10. "On Language" columnist: SAFIRE.  William Lewis SAFIRE  [1929- 2009] American author, columnist, journalist and presidential speech writer.

11. Barely enjoy the pool?: SKINNY DIP.

Look before you leap

12. First Homeland Security secretary: RIDGE. Tomas Joseph RIDGE [b 1945] was a member of the House of Representatives from 1983 to 1995 and governor of Pennsylvania from 1995 to 2001.  He was the Secretary of Homeland Security from Jan. 2003 to Feb. 2005.

13. Condescending one: SNOOT.  I'm guessing because this one looks down her/his nose at others.

18. Place: SITE.  A specific location.

22. First sign of fall: LIBRA.  Zodiac sign, typically from Sept. 32 to Oct. 23.

24. Rose's Broadway beau: ABIEABIE's Irish Rose was a  play that debuted on May 23, 1922 and ran for 2327 performances.  It was made into movies in 1928 and 1946.  The premise involves a young Irish Catholic woman who marries a Jewish man over the objections of their famiies.

25. Saintly glows: HALOS. Generally represented as a circle of light above or behind the head of a sacred peron.

26. Drive the getaway car, say: ABET.  Assist in the commission of a crime.

29. Partner of 30-Down: AFL. American Federation of Labor.

30. Partner of 29-Down: CIO. Congress of Industrial Organizations.  The organizations combined in 1955 after a long estrangement.  Together, they are made up of 55 national and international unions, representing over 12 million active and retired workers.

31. Remote choice: TV CHANNEL. Make your selection from the vast wasteland.

32. Ouzo flavoring: ANISEPimpinella anisum, a flowering plant native to the eastern mediterranean regions with a flavor similar to licorice.

33. MDW : Midway :: __ : O'Hare: ORD.  The 3 letter codes for two Chicago area airports.  Some explanation here.

35. Anonymous Jane: DOE.

36. Peyton Manning's four?: ENS.  He has 4 N's in his name to my mere one.  I detest these self-referential clues.

38. Educator Montessori: MARIA.  Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori [1870-1952] was an Italian physician and educator, and eponym for a specific philosophy of education.

39. Adapter letters: AC/DC.  This is definitely not in my wheelhouse.  You can read about it here.

40. Delicate handling: TACT.  Adroitness and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues.

45. Firstborn: ELDEST.  Of a group of siblings.  My baby sister will be 66 this summer.

46. Parlor piece: SETTEE.  Typically a seating place for two, with slimmer profile than a sofa.

47. Let up: EASE.  Become less intense, serious or severe.

48. Just above average: C PLUS.  The high end of mediocrity.

49. One side of Hispaniola: HAITI.  The other side of the island is the Dominican Republic.

50. Talk oneself up: BOAST.  Talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one's abilities, possessions and accomplishments

51. School uniform part, perhaps: SKIRT. Why are they always plaid?

52. Foul up: MISDO.  Looks odd as a present tense verb form.  Action word for a schlemiel or evil-doer.

53. Thoroughly enjoy: EAT UP.

55. Early smartphone: TREO.  Nineteen different models were released between 2002 and 2008.

58. Rank above cpl.: SGT. Corporal and Sergeant military ranks.

59. Coffee break time: TEN.  In the morning.

60. Mercury astronaut Grissom: GUS.  Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom [1926-1967] was one of the seven original National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Project Mercury astronauts.  He was a veteran of WW II and the Korean War, and an Air Force test pilot who received several awards, including the Congressional medal of Honor.  He died, along with fellow astronauts White and Chaffee, in a command module fire on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral.  There were many lethal hazards and design flaws in the cock pit and in the conduct of the pre-launch test that took their lives.

That's a sad note to end on, but reality can be that way sometimes. The rest of the puzzle was enjoyable.

Cool regards,
JzB signing out.

Feb 19, 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 Paul Coulter


17. *Sore loser's reaction: SOUR GRAPES

58. *Valentine recipient: SWEETHEART

11. *Finale to fight to, with "the": BITTER END.

34. *Hip-hop trio with a condimental name: SALT-N-PEPA

38. Fifth and newest member of the set that includes the starts of the answers to starred clues: UMAMI.


1. Deep opera voices: BASSI.  Learned this word from doing crosswords.   Before that, I only knew of Shirley Bassey.

6. Quaint "you": THOU.

10. "SOS" pop group: ABBA.  Just in case you don't solve and read the write-ups on the Saturday level puzzles, here's the video Husker Gary linked:

14. From square one: AGAIN.   Anew.

15. Pair on a Disney World hat: EARS.  Overheard while walking on Main St. USA, "I want one ! "

16. Little brook: RILL.

19. Live __: party hearty: IT UP.

20. Temporary period: INTERIM.

21. Clytemnestra's son: ORESTES.  It's all Greek to me, but the perps made it evident.

23. Soap-making chemical: LYE.

24. Often: A LOT.  Often, a lot is a ton.

26. Road's end?: STER.  This powerful little two-seater was the first Shelby Cobra.  It sold for $13.75M.

27. Versatile vehicle, for short: UTE.

28. Handel's "Messiah" is one: ORATORIO.  I found this article to be a good read.

32. Vertical billiards stroke: MASSE.  The masse is often not allowed because if it is not executed properly, the cue tip can rip the felt.  

35. Not fresh: STALE.

36. Ambient music pioneer Brian: ENO.

37. Apple computer: IMAC.

39. NYPD rank: INSP.   Inspector

40. Zero, like chances: NIL.

41. "Full court" NBA defense: PRESS.   Pistol Pete's basketball coach father was known as Press.  But not for an obsession of coaching that style of defense.  He got that nickname as a boy selling the Pittsburgh Press newspaper on the streets of Aliquippa, PA.   LSU fans know that Dale Brown succeeded Press as head coach of the Tigers
42. Pat Conroy's "The Prince of __": TIDES.

43. Corporate info-sharing system: INTRANET.   The internet is the information superhighway for the masses.  It is public.   An intranet is a limited access information superhighway used by companies,  corporations and government entities to disseminate information internally.  It is private. 

45. Hawaiian dish: POI.

46. "Chestnuts roasting __ open fire": ON AN. Jack Frost nipping at your nose. Seems like it was only yesterday.

47. Online craft store: ETSY.

49. Rap sheet abbr.: AKA.   Also Known As.

52. Elks, in Canada: WAPITIS.

55. __ Kodak: EASTMAN.  "You press the button. We'll do the rest." 

57. Top poker cards: ACES.

60. Ready for harvesting: RIPE.

61. Half of Mork's sign-off: NANU.

62. Novelist Joyce Carol __: OATES.

63. Smartphone ancestors, briefly: PDAS.  Personal Digital Assistants

64. Cookbook amt.: TBSP.    Cookbooks sometimes abbreviate it as just a capital T, but that would not work as an answer in crossword puzzles.

65. "Elder" Roman scholar: PLINY.


1. Fragrant herb: BASIL.

2. Ecstasy's opposite: AGONY.

3. Fry: SAUTE.

4. "Your Highness": SIRE.

5. Unappreciative one: INGRATE.

6. Pedro's "I love you": TE AMO.

7. WWII General __ Arnold: HAP.  One of only five 5 Star Generals in the US Army.   Also, the only General in the US Air Force to have attained the 5 Star rank.

8. Crumbled sundae-topping cookie: OREO.

9. Cold War power: Abbr.: USSR. СССР (Союз Советских Социалистических Республик) is a Russian abbreviation for the Soviet Union or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

10. Noble Brit: ARISTO.

12. Treatment for gray hair: BLUE RINSE. New to me, but now I know what my friend meant when talking about those blue haired ladies.  I thought it was figurative.

13. Swiss peaks: ALPS.

18. Irritate but good: RILE.

22. 90° from sur: ESTE.

25. How food may be seasoned: TO TASTE.   Altitude can change taste.   The combination of dryness and low pressure reduces the sensitivity of your taste buds to sweet and salty foods by around 30%.

27. Trojans' sch.: USC.  The University of Southern California athletic teams are known as the Trojans.

29. Male sheep: RAMS

30. Thrilla in Manila boxer: ALI.

31. "My bad!": OOPS.

32. Revealing skirt: MINI.

33. Protein building block: AMINO ACID.

35. "Peter Pan" pirate: SMEE.  Captain Hook's bosun.

38. Reception server: URN.  Not a person employed as wait staff at a reception.

39. Three, on a sundial: III

41. Breathe heavily: PANT.

42. Kid's favorite store, often: TOY SHOP.

44. Elevates: RAISES.

45. 10th-grader's exam, for short: PSAT.  Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test. 

48. Start a golf hole: TEE UP.

49. Vintage violin: AMATI.

50. Megan's "Will & Grace" role: KAREN.

51. Anxious: ANTSY.

52. __ speed: "Star Trek" rate: WARP.   "A reaction between deuterium and antideuterium, tempered through a dilithium crystal assembly, allows 24th century Federation vessels to travel at warp speeds."   If interested, you can read more about the technology in this explanation.

53. Fails to be: ISN'T.  The third person singular (he, she, it) present tense of  To Be is IS.  The negative contraction of To Be is isn't,  but it isn't ain't.   Shakespeare (paraphrased) summed it up nicely: "Is or isn't, that is the question."

54. Q-tip: SWAB.

56. Greenish-blue: TEAL.

59. Nav. rank: ENS.   Ensign. A commissioned officer in the Navy.

Feb 18, 2019

Monday February 18, 2018 Kurt Krauss

Theme: Vowel Movement -  A, E, I, O, U between B and N.

17. Extreme-weather restriction, perhaps: TRAVEL BAN.

25. Title bear of '60s TV: GENTLE BEN.

37. Brit's trash can: DUST BIN.

51. Classic French song whose title means "It's so good": C'EST SI BON.

61. Frank holder: HOT DOG BUN.

Boomer here.  

Hello all.  Just got back from an annual trip to Las Vegas. Graybar Electric hosts a retiree reunion at the Orleans. At the banquet on Monday, President Kathy Mazzarella reports on the previous year's successes. I give a little stand up comedy, and first I thank President Kathy for hosting the fine banquet, and then thank her for letting us know that the people they hired to replace us are doing a helluva lot better than we ever did. I did pretty well in the casinos this year. I like to play for low stakes and I found a draw poker machine where you can play 100 hands at the same time for 1 cent per hand. Also played a little low minimum craps on the machines.

Below is a photo C.C. took of me at the flower display at the Wynn on the Strip. The lunar New Year of the Pig is celebrated everywhere in Las Vegas.  C.C. and I were both born in pig years.  (Not the same year of course,)

I may have turned a corner Thursday, After a couple of ordinary games of bowling, I decided to resurrect an old Storm "Virtual Gravity" bowling ball out of the bag and nailed a 235 game with 7 strikes. (two doubles and one turkey !).  Guess what ball I will be using this morning. 

You can see more pictures here. Connie is my sister, who lives in San Francisco.
Boomer and the Pig, Wynn


1. Class-conscious gp.: PTA.  Harper Valley's is most famous.

4. Big name in underwear: SPANX. Never heard about this brand.  Are you sure it is not just BIG underwear?

9. Near-sighted Mr.: MAGOO. Voiced by Jim Backus who became more famous as Thurston Howell on Gilligan's Island

14. __-de-sac: CUL.

15. Conical home: TEPEE. Minnesota was historically the home for many Native Americans.  I often wonder how they survived Minnesota winters like the one we are having this year.  Minus 25 a couple of weeks ago, followed by around two feet of snow.  Brings to mind that famous song, "I'm dreaming of a white Groundhog Day."

16. Do penance: ATONE.

19. Dwindled: WANED.

20. Krispy __ doughnuts: KREME. These guys came to Minnesota about 10 years ago and cars were lined up at the window, but eventually they failed. I don't see any stores around any more. Maybe because the spelling was poor.

21. Chat room chuckle: LOL.  I see this all the time but I never hear "out loud".

23. Japanese computer giant: NEC.

24. 18-wheeler: SEMI. Another interesting connotation. I always see the whole truck,  doesn't SEMI mean "Half"?

28. A flirt may bat one: EYELASH.  Be careful if you are in the on deck circle.

31. Mount McKinley, now: DENALI.

32. '60s "acid": LSD.  LBJ took the IRT in the USA, What did he see?  The youth of America on LSD.  (An old acronym song in my youth).

33. Like baggy pants: LOOSE.

36. Bewilder: ADDLE.

39. Paris' river: SEINE.  When will I again, See you there, on the moonlit banks of the Seine.

43. Boxing's "Iron Mike": TYSON.  I lost interest in boxing when he bit Holyfield's ear.

44. Yahoo! rival: MSN. Add "BC" and get the news.

47. Obtain through intimidation, as money: EXTORT.  It is Tax season.

49. Attached, as hotel rooms: EN SUITE.

54. Unexpected thing to hit: SNAG. Or sometimes a centerfielder will snag a hit away.

55. Cornfield sound: CAW.  Cannot scare a crow without a brain.

56. Suffix with iso- or poly-: MER.

57. Footnote abbr.: OP CIT.

59. Sci-fi author Verne: JULES.  Very deep works. "Twenty thousand leagues under the sea", and "Journey to the center of the earth."

64. Leaning: ATILT. We have all seen or ridden on a Tilt a Whirl.  I used to call on the company that made them, Sellner Manufacturing in Faribault, Minnesota.

65. Battery post: ANODE.

66. Absorbed, as a loss: ATE.

67. Fishing line holders: REELS.  They make really hi tech reels now.  Guaranteed to catch fish.

68. What a rooster rules: ROOST.  When I was young, in my house my Mother ruled the roost.

69. Like seven U.S. flag stripes: RED.


1. Cut for an agt.: PCT.  Not a cut for Matt Kuchar's caddy, but he is trying to atone.

2. Thanksgiving birds: TURKEYS.  This clue is so easy even I can figure it out.

3. Fearful: ALARMED.  Okay, but if you ALARMED your home, you should not be fearful.

4. Flower part: STEM.

5. Brazilian soccer legend: PELE.  Only one name and everyone has heard of him.

6. Msg. for a cop car: APB.  All Points Bulletin

7. "Their Eyes Were Watching God" novelist Zora __ Hurston: NEALE.

8. Arc lamp gas: XENON.

9. Animal's gullet: MAW.  Also Mrs. Kettle.

10. Finished: AT AN END.  If it's at the end of a rope, you are finished.

11. (Having) spoiled: GONE BAD.

12. Like amoebas: ONE CELL.  I think the largest single cell is an Ostrich egg

13. Wordsmith's ref.: OED. Oxford English Dictionary.

18. Wedding wear: VEIL.  "Here comes the Bride"

22. Inc., in Toronto: LTD.  Also a big old Ford

24. French salt: SEL.

25. White-sheet wearer, on Halloween: GHOST.  Dangerous costume, do not trip and watch out for cars.

26. Singer Rimes and soaps actress Hunley: LEANNS.

27. Never, in Neuss: NIE. Do we like foreign words in puzzles? Personally, I don't think it's fair.  Like getting Canadian money in change.  Sorry Ms. Eh

29. Birch family trees: ALDERS. Are Older Alders Elders ?

30. Not worth a __: SOU.

34. Hog's home: STY.  I think pigs live in stys. Hogs live in stylish stys.

35. "Barnaby Jones" star Buddy: EBSEN. Famous as Barnaby, but also as Jed Clampett in the "Beverly Hillbillies". But his bad luck was he was cast as the Tin Man in "Wizard of Oz" but had to withdraw because the metallic face makeup made him sick.

38. + or - particle: ION.

39. "Just a __!": SEC.

40. Carry out, as a task: EXECUTE.

41. "Don't believe that!": IT'S A LIE. You are correct.  Sometimes I cannot believe where my golf ball ends up.

42. Ailing: NOT WELL.

44. Hotel room amenity: MINI BAR.  We did not have one of these at the Orleans.  But I'll bet those who have them pay more for an ounce than I lose at the tables.

45. It's a law: STATUTE.  I wonder if there is a statute of limitations on the number of statutes we can have.

46. Opposite of pos.: NEG.  Yup, we have a pretty negative Post Office in our city.

48. Comic Conway: TIM.  Ensign Parker in McHale's Navy, but also appeared on "Laugh In" quite a bit.

50. Maritime safety gp.: USCG.  Hope they are all paid and back to work.

52. Joy of "The View": BEHAR.

53. Maine college town: ORONO.  We also have an Orono city in Minnesota.  Lots of well-to-do folks have homes there.

57. Sports betting numbers: ODDS.  Here are your craps odds when the point is: 4 or 10 Two for one, 5 or 9 - three for two, and 6 or 8 - six for five.  Once the point number is established, you can place double your pass line bet behind the line (some casinos offer more). It is not marked on the table because casinos rarely show a bet that has no house advantage.   

58. Browning or Burns: POET.  You're a poet and you don't know it, but your feet show it.  They're Longfellows.

59. Pickle container: JAR.

60. Ave. crossers: STS. Okay, but where do lanes go?  In bowling centers  

62. As well: TOO.

63. Beatty of "Deliverance": NED.  I loved "Dueling Banjos"


Feb 17, 2019

Sunday, February 17, 2019, Ed Sessa

Getting Ahead.  The word Beat can be placed "ahead" of the first word of each starred theme answer to give a common phrase.

22-A. *   Online business-building method: CROWD FUNDING.  If you go shopping on August, you can Beat the Crowd for Christmas shopping.

27-A. *   Las Vegas pros: ODDS MAKERS.  You can Beat the Odds of getting that "must have" Christmas item if you shop in August.

48-A. *   Guinness entries: RECORD SETTERS.  Can you Beat the Record for running the mile? 

81-A. *   User's nightmare: SYSTEM FAILURE.  If you try to Beat the System, you might find yourself in jail.

102-A. *   Zapping direction: HEAT ON HIGH.  If you travel to Antarctica, you can Beat the Heat in Summer.

107-A. *   Nine-to-fiver: CLOCK WATCHER.  Did you Beat the Clock in finishing this puzzle?

31-D. *   Overextended: SPREAD THIN.  Did you Beat the Spread in the Super Bowl?

51-D. *   Where one might idle away the time?: TRAFFIC JAM.  If you leave for work at 4:00 a.m., you may Beat the Traffic in the morning.

And the Unifier:
94-Down. Michael Jackson hit ... or what you can do to the start of each answer to a starred clue: BEAT IT.

1. Unstressed, as a syllable: ATONIC.  Not the easiest starts for a puzzle.

7. Painter of melting watches: DALÍ.  As in Salvador Dalí (May 11, 1904 ~ Jan. 23, 1989).
The Meadows Museum at SMU has a fabulous Dalí Collection of work that he did to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the State of Israel.

11. iPhone purchase: APP.

14. A deadly sin: LUST.  My first thought was Envy.  It was the right number of letters!  The other deadly sins are: Pride, Greed, Gluttony, Anger, and Sloth.

18. It's split in a boat: BANANA.

Oh, you wanted this kind of a Banana Split:

19. Command to a junkyard dog: SIC 'EM!

20. Early internet pioneer: AOL.

21. Not fooled by: ON TO.

24. Common Woody Allen character disorders: NEUROSES.

26. Send back, as into custody: REMAND.  Please don't say "remand back."  That is redundant, since the word already means to send back.  One of my pet peeves.

29. Iraq's main port: BASRA.

33. In the past: AGO.  A long, long time Ago ...

34. Comic actor Amsterdam of old TV: MOREY.  Morey Amsterdam (né Moritz Amsterdam; Dec. 14, 1908 ~ Oct. 28, 1996), is best known for his role as Buddy Sorrell on The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran on TV in the 1960s.

35. "Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail" writer: DONNE.  Words from the English poet, John Donne (Jan. 22, 1572 ~ Mar. 31, 1631).  //  And the cross-reference of 12-Down. 35-Across output: POESY.  An archaic word for Poetry.

36. Call into question: OPPUGN.  Yes, this is a real word.  According to Merriam-Webster, the word has been around in the English language since at least the 15th century.  It comes from the Latin verb Oppugnare.  Op- meaning "against", and Pugnare meaning "to fight."  It originally referred to fighting against something or someone, either physically or verbally.  Okay, now, everyone, use this word in a sentence.  Just kidding!  Please do not!!!

40. Less lax: TAUTER.

41. St. Patrick's land: EIRE.  Also known as Ireland.

42. F equivalent: E-SHARP.  A musical reference.

45. Like radon, say: INERT.  The gas may be inert, but it is formed by the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil.  According to the American Cancer Society, there is a link between Radon and Lung Cancer.

47. "Norma __": RAE.  The name of a 1979 movie starring Sally Field (b. Nov. 6, 1946).
The movie was based on the real-life union organizer named Crystal Lee Sutton (Dec. 21, 1940 ~ Sept. 11, 2009).

51. Pre-flight frisking gp.: TSA.  As in the Transportation Security Administration.

54. One may be played with sticks or brushes: SNARE DRUM.

56. Misplay with matches?: ARSON.  Fun clue.

57. Hawkish god: ARES.  It's Greek to me!

58. Composer Milhaud: DARIUS.  Darius Milhaud (Sept. 4, 1892 ~ June 22, 1974), was a French composer.  I am not familiar with his work, but here is his piece entitled A Frenchman in New York.

59. Hard-to-meet condition: BIG IF.  You want me to do what!!!???

61. Apple browser: SAFARI.  I liked how Safari crossed with 62-Down:  Acrobat maker = ADOBE.

63. Former Bears coach: DITKA.  As in Mike Ditka (b. Oct. 18, 1939).  He also coached the New Orleans Saints in the late 1990s.

65. Satan: BEELZEBUB.  Beelzebub is mentioned in this Queen song:

68. Tips, as a hat: DOFFS.
Do you recognize this former United States President?

69. Minerva's Greek counterpart: ATHENA.  You don't even have to leave this country to see Athena.  There is a large statue of Athena in the Parthenon in Nashville.

71. Smith, at times: SHOER.  As in one who shoes horses.

72. End in grand style: TOP OFF.  Meh!

74. Baseball's Speaker: TRIS.  Tris Speaker (né Tristan Edgar Speaker; Apr. 4, 1888 ~ Dec. 8, 1958) was born and died in Texas, but began his major league baseball career with the Boston Red Sox.

75. 1970 Neil Diamond hit: SHILO.  Not a fan of Neil Diamond, so you'll have to find this song yourself.

77. Deactivating: DISABLING.

80. Author Rand: AYN.  Any Rand (née Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum; Feb. 2, 1905 ~ Mar. 6, 1982), is probably best known for her books, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

84. Company VIP: CEO.  As in the Chief Executive Officer.

85. Prom attendees: TEENS.

86. Out of class: ABSENT.

87. Open a bit: AJAR.  When is a door not a door?

88. Muted to the max: SILENT.

91. Bill's attorney general: JANET.  Janet Reno (July 21, 19938 ~ Nov. 7, 2016), served as the 78th United States Attorney General.  She served during the Clinton Administration, from January 1993 until January 2001.

93. Remove by melting, say: ABLATE.  Another word in today's puzzle that I will probably never have need of using.

95. Pungent green: CRESS.  Cress is a green vegetable  in the cabbage family.

96. Indelicate: CRASS.  Nice to have Crass next to Cress, with only a vowel change.

98. Friend of TV's Sheldon: RAJ.  A reference to The Big Bang Theory.  Not a fan of the show.

101. "__ World": "Sesame Street" segment: ELMO'S.  Having no young children, I am not up on all the segments of Sesame Street.  I guess he likes to play a SNARE DRUM, though.

104. Seasonal song words after "gay apparel": FA LA LA.  Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly ...

106. Superhero-themed kids' wear: UNDEROOS.  It would be 97-Down to show kids in underwear!

113. Future viewer: SEER.

114. See 103-Down: ARK.  //  And 103-Down:  114-Across Builder = NOAH.  A Biblical reference to Noah's Ark and the 40 days of rain.

115. Main blood vessel: AORTA.

116. Manly: VIRILE.

117. Nine-digit IDs: SSNs.  As in Social Security Numbers.

118. "Psst!": HEY!

119. Visual okays: NODS.

120. Tinier than tiny: ATOMIC.  Also a song by Blondie.

1. Easy comparative: ABC.  This puzzle was almost as easy as ABC.

2. Paving material: TAR.

3. Strawberry Fields benefactor: ONO.  O, NO!  It's Yoko ONO!

4. Rural turndown: NAW.

5. Like some "La Cage Aux Folles" dancers: IN DRAG.  The original French version was even better than the American re-make.

6. Rick's, in film: CAFÉ.  A reference to Casa Blanca.

7. Followed a Hippocratic dictum: DID NO HARM.  The Hippocratic Oath is historically taken by new physicians and they are directed to Do No Harm in the treatment of their patients.

8. Corrosive stuff: ACID.

9. Novelist Deighton: LEN.  Len Deighton (né Leonard Cyril Deighton; b. Feb. 18, 1929), is best known for his spy novels.  Tomorrow is his 90th Birthday, so be sure to wish him a great day!

10. "No more for me": I'M GOOD!

11. Docudramas airer: A AND E.  Usually seen as A&E.

13. Choice: PLUM.

14. Observation point: LOOKOUT.  Here's a lookout point at Mt. Katadin in Maine.

15. Not yet posted: UNSENT.

16. "Tristram Shandy" author: STERNE.  As in Laurence Sterne (Nov. 24, 1713 ~ Mar. 18, 1768).  I have never read any of his works.  The full title of this work is The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, and is published in 9 volumes.  That would take some time to read through.

17. Salad preparer: TOSSER.  Awkward!  You might want to Toss a little CRESS into your salad.

19. Reel trouble: SNAG.

23. Actress Thurman: UMA.  Uma Thurman (née Uma Karina Thurman; b. Apr. 29, 1970) is probably best know for her Kill Bill movies, and the famous dance scene in Pulp Fiction.

25. Navigation aids: RADARS.  Radar is an acronym for Radio Detection And Ranging.  Also used by police to check on speeders.

28. "Frasier" bros., e.g.: DRs.  Both Frasier and his brother Niles, were doctors; psychiatrists, in fact.

29. Transvaal settlers: BOERS.  Transvaal is a province of South Africa.

30. Like lives in hives: APIAN.  Think of the Bees.

32. Have remorse for: RUE.  Also the French word for Street.

34. Cleaning tools: MOPS.

37. "__ say more?": NEED I.  This puzzle is quite clever.   Need I say more?

39. Chicago airport code: ORD.  The airport is O'Hare.  Originally, however, the airport was known as Orchard Field, hence, the airport code ORD.  In 1949, the name was changed to O'Hare to honor Edward Henry O'Hare (Mar. 13, 1914 ~ Nov. 26, 1943), a World War II flying ace, who was killed in the War.

40. Beach divers: TERNS.

43. Clean with S.O.S: SCRUB.

44. Provides home care services?: HOUSE SITS.

45. "There's no use": IT'S FUTILE!

46. New start?: NEO-.  As in Neoclassic.  The United States Capitol Building is an example of Neoclassic architecture.

48. Played again on TV: RERAN.  Or you can watch a Rerun.

49. Hankering: EAGER.

50. Windy City newspaper, for short: TRIB.  As in the Chicago Tribune.

52. Feudal worker: SERF.

53. Sale stipulation: AS IS.

55. Tools with tines: RAKES.  Forks fit into the spaces, but didn't work well with the perps.

57. CIO partner, familiarly: AF OF L.  As in the American Federation Of Labor.  A bit awkward, I should think.  I am familiar with AFL-CIO, which stands for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.

59. Bud's promise: BLOOM.  Think of flowers.  My roses are already in their first bloom of the season.

60. Suffix often meaning "to make": -IZE.  Here is a CustomIZEd vehicle.  What is it, a car or a motorcycle?

63. Facts and figures: DATA.

64. Modest admission: I TRY.

66. Jennifer of "Zero Dark Thirty": EHLE.  As in Jennifer Ehle (b. Dec. 29, 1969).  She is currently 49.  I never saw Zero Dark Thirty and don't recognize this actress.

67. Deck crew boss: BOSUN.

70. Thus far: AS YET.

73. Medicare component: PART A.

76. QVC sister station: HSN.  QVS stands for Quality, Value, Convenience and HSN is the Home Shopping Network.

77. Draws attention (from): DISTRACTS.

78. "Terrif!": NEAT-O!

79. Injures, as a matador: GORES.  From Sonny Stitt's album, The Matadors Meet the Bull.

81. Motion detector, e.g.: SENSOR.

82. Cheerful group?: FANS.  Because the Fans full up the Cheering Section of the arena.

83. Debater of Stephen in 1858: ABE.  A reference to the famous (Abraham) Lincoln-(Stephen) Douglas Debates.

85. Marketing hirees: TESTERS.  I suppose.  Usually the testers are volunteers recruited by marketeers.

87. Tide competitor: ALL.  Both are brands of laundry detergent.
88. Speedy ski run: SCHUSS.

89. Dunne and Ryan of cinema: IRENEs.  Irene Dunne (née Irene Marie Dunn; Dec. 20, 1898 ~ Sept. 4, 1990) was before my time with respect to her acting career.
Irene Ryan (née Jessie Irene Noblett; Oct. 17, 1902 ~ Apr. 26, 1973) is best known for her role as Granny Moses on The Beverly Hillbillies.

90. Plodding: LEADEN.

91. Sporty wheels, briefly: JAG.

92. Art movement typified by Sloan's "McSorley's Bar": ASHCAN.  The Ashcan School was an American Art movement that focused on the daily life of the working-class.

96. After-school job: CHORE.  Or, in my house, what we do on the weekends.

97. Not without danger: RISKY.  See 106-Across.

99. __-Seltzer: ALKA.

100. Hinged mouth part: JAW.  Moose Jaw is the 4th largest city in Saskatchewan.  The city used to boast the Largest Moose Statue  in the world, but is currently battling with Norway for that title.

104. Shallow crossing: FORD.  Not Gerald, the former United States President.

105. Kilauea flow: LAVA.  This Hawaiian volcano has been erupting almost continuously for over 35 years.

108. Canterbury can: LOO.  British bathrooms.

109. Vel follower: -CRO.   More than you ever wanted to know about VELCRO.
10. "Tell __": Streisand/Dion duet: HIM.  I'll spare your ears on this song, too.

111. Yalie: ELI.  A crossword staple.

112. Remote button: REC.  As in the Record button.

Hope you all had as much fun with this puzzle as I did. Here's the Grid: