Feb 25, 2021

Thursday, February 25, 2021, Susan Gelfand


Good morning, cruciverbalists.  Long time no sea.  Just squidding.  Malodorous Manatee here hoping that things are going swimmingly for all of you.

You can tell from the reactions of my friends, above, that today's puzzle from Susan Gelfand provided them with some serious guffaws.  Although some solvers might believe that Ms. Gelfand should be made to walk the plankton for her groan-worthy homonyms, I suspect that most of us got through it without having to be brain sturgeons.


At four spots within the grid, Susan Gelfand has paired an everyday item, expression, or name with an adjective and turned it into a mirthful homonym.  A PERCH, a SOLE, a RAY and a SKATE are each a type of fish.  But not here.  Not today.

17 Across.  Noble fish?:  LOFTY PERCH.  LOFTY PERCH has several meanings in everyday use.   Things  fish-related are not among them.

58 Across.  Elastic fish?:  RUBBER SOLE  RUBBER SOUL is an album released by the Beatles in 1965.  The Beetles likely would have enjoyed the pun. 

Rub Her Sole

11 Down.   Massive fish?:  COSMIC RAYS  It was a bit, but not too much, of a stretch to get from Massive to COSMIC.  Some Rays very much enjoy word play.

You Can Call Me Ray or You Can Call Me . . .

30 Down.  Stingy fish?: CHEAP SKATE

Jack Benny - World Renown Cheapskate

That wraps up the fish jokes - at least the ones furnished by the constructor.  At the end of the recap I have "thoughtfully" supplied a link to a song in which other fish jokes, homonyms, and puns are presented.  There are also quite a few (non-fish) homonyms and homophones that Susan (intentionally?) seems to have teed up in the clues/answers along the way and, with your kind indulgence, we might have some fun with those - even if it is, with apologies to my friends, like shooting fish in a barrel.  

Let minnow if you have any suggestions.  Make up your own fish puns.  Don't leave it to salmon else . . . there is no need to be koi about it.

And now . . . .

. . . on to the rest of the puzzle:


1. Distressed cry: YOWL.   Not to be confused with Howl which, by definition, is a different sound . . . and a poem by Allen Ginsberg.

5. Capture, in Westerns: LASSO.

Wonder Woman With Her Lasso of Truth

10. Pond film: SCUM.

14. Singer Brickell: EDIE.

Bob Dole, E.D. Spokesperson

15. Rap sheet entry: ALIAS.  Fat Albert's super villain ALIAS is Fatal Bert.

16. __ Linda, Calif.: LOMA.  Famous for its medical center.

19. Arthur Ashe Courage Award, e.g.: ESPY.

I Know.  I See It, Too. 

20. Radio tuning shortcut: PRESET.  A good way to remember your plaice.

21. Longtime "American Top 40" host: KASEM.  The children of Casey KASEM, from a previous marriage, charged in a lawsuit that his widow had mistreated, neglected and abused him.  More lawsuits followed from both sides.  All were eventually settled.

23. They're sold in bars: SOAPS.  Not, in this case, shots.

They're Sold In Bars

26. Force out: EVICT.  What do you call a snail who has been EVICTed?  A slug.

29. Goes along with: ACCEPTS.

32. Come again?: REECHO.

33. Oldest Musketeer: ATHOS.  Neither Porthos nor Aramis nor D'Artagnan would fit.

Actually, Larry Larsen Was The Oldest

34. Keyboard goofs: TYPOS.

36. Campaigned: RAN.

37. Flute feature: STEM.  As clued, a champagne glass reference.

38. Management opening: MICRO.

Your Crow?

39. Protest, in a way: FAST.  FAST has so many different meanings it is difficult to even begin to play with the word.  Here it is used as a verb.  If you are curious, the link, below, will take you to Merriam Webster:

40. Argentine aunt: TIA.  Today's Spanish lesson.

41. Caffè __: chocolate-flavored drink: MOCHA.

42. Reach via jet: FLY TO.

One Fly Too Many

43. Oliver Twist, for one: ORPHAN.  Did he get a hit . . .

. . . Or Fan?

45. Not farmed out: IN HOUSE.

Out House

47. Spruce up the lawn: RE SOD.  I RESOD in Southern California.  Where do you resod?

48. Jim of "Wide World of Sports": MCKAY.

The Classic Opening

49. Buddy: KIDDO.

51. Much more than a mere fan: ZEALOT.

56. Word of lament: ALAS.  There once was A LASs from Kilglass who had a magnificent ass.  Not rounded and pink, as you probably think, but was grey, had long ears and ate grass.

61. Singer with The Blackhearts: JETT.

Not Joan's

62. Typical: USUAL.

63. Caffeine-rich seed: KOLA.

A Koala

64. Graph lines: AXES.


65. Chaps: GENTS.  I hear that it is relatively easy to get ladies to refrain from eating Tide Pods but not so easy to deter GENTS.

66. Kind of folder: SPAM.

Monty Python


1. Online site whose reviews are reviewed: YELP.


2. Fragrance: ODOR.  If a polite but unclean man was heavily into wordplay would he have a pun-gent odor?

3. Certain partner: WIFE.  What did the string theorist say when his WIFE caught him with another woman?  "Wait, I can explain everything!" 

4. Frees, with "out": LETS.

5. Common carry-on item: LAPTOP.  What do you call a LAPTOP that can sing?  A Dell.

6. Pub order: ALE.

7. What Marcie calls Peppermint Patty: SIR.

8. Fires: SACKS.

9. Fed. workplace monitor: OSHA.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

10. Short item on many a tee: SLEEVE.

12. Diamond authority: UMP.  A baseball reference.

13. Possibly will: MAY.  Possibly, Elaine.

Elaine May What?

18. Many RSVP responses, hopefully: YESES.

22. Notices: SEES.

Sees Candy

24. Top story: ATTIC.

A Tick

25. Medium: PSYCHIC.  What shall we do today?

Pinky - A Famous Sidekick

27. Pure: CHASTE.

28. Scout rider: TONTO.  Scout, in the case of this clue, is the name of a horse.

Scout and Silver

29. What you have on: ATTIRE.

A Tire

31. Dot follower, at times: COM.

32. Piglet's pal: ROO.


33. Tycoon who is an Oregon city namesake: ASTOR.


35. Play a joke on: PRANK.  Usually seen as a noun.  Here used as a transitive verb.

(With Apologies to The Craw)

38. Day named for a satellite: Abbr.: MON.

Show Me The Moonday

39. Winter bug: FLU.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

41. Anti-DUI org.: MADD.

42. Entrance area: FOYER.  I was in the lobby of a hotel many years ago when I overheard Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky bragging about their prior victories.  They were chess nuts boasting in an open FOYER.

44. Raises: HOISTS.

46. Variable eye colors: HAZELS.

MM Granddaughter - Hazel's Lunch

48. Touchpad alternative: MOUSE.

50. Pharmacy item: DRUG.

52. Sets as a price: ASKS.

53. Circuit: LOOP.

Lupe Lu (Shindig Pilot Episode - 1964)

54. Earthenware pot: OLLA.  A crossword staple.  Ever wonder what one actually looks like?  There are several styles.  Here is one type:

Olla de Hierro

55. Bears or Lions: TEAM.  What, no Tigers?

56. 1977 Steely Dan album: AJA.

57. Latin law: LEX.

Lex Luthor

59. Dog holder: BUN.  One of the wurst references that we have seen here.

60. Diamond tool: BAT.  A flying mammal as we saw yesterday.  An eyelash movement.  A piece of insulation.  A caped crusader.  In this case, another baseball reference.

For those who have, by this point, had more than their fill of homonyms and terrible puns (fishy, and otherwise) you may go now and enjoy the rest of your day.  For those who might prefer to dive a bit deeper into the subject, this marine mammal humbly offers the following ditty first heard on the Doctor Demento Show:

Kip Addotta - Wet Dream




MM Out !
Carp-e diem!