Sep 21, 2017

Thursday, September 21st 2017 C.C.Burnikel

Theme: "King of Horror" - to celebrate Stephen King's 70th birthday, four of his very extensive fiction catalog begin the four theme entries:

17A. Measurement based on inflation and unemployment rates : MISERY INDEX. For 2016 Venezuela was ranked most miserable and Japan least miserable.The US was ranked towards the least miserable end of the scale.

24A. "Postcards From the Edge" author : CARRIE FISHER. Sadly, recently passed.

38A. Smart comment? : IT HURTS. Nice! Smart in the lemon-juice-in-the-nick-in-your-finger sense.

52A. Semipermeable biological barrier : CELL MEMBRANE. Osmosis: "a process by which molecules of a solvent tend to pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one, thus equalizing the concentrations on each side of the membrane.". Phew.

and the reveal:

62A. Author born 9/21/1947 who penned the starts of 17-, 24-, 38- and 52-Across : STEPHEN KING

C.C.'s tribute to Stephen King on his birthday. The reveal did nothing to help me, as I've mentioned before, I don't do horror books nor movies, they scare me to death and make me cry. I saw "The Exorcist", "The Omen" and "Carrie" in short order in my youth. I slept with the lights on for about a year, and even now I can't listen to Side 2 of "Tubular Bells".

Fun puzzle, crunchy Thursday cluing and a couple of trademark long downs - and A-ROD making an appearance on C.C.'s watch.

Let's see what else we've got to talk about:


1. Hopped out of bed : AROSE. Oh, the energy of youth. I stagger out of bed nowadays, stumble on a good day on the way to go hike.

6. Challenge for Santa's dry-cleaner : SOOT. I remember as a small boy asking my mother if we were getting our chimneys swept in time for Christmas. Then we got central heat installed, and I could not figure out how Santa was going to get into the house.

10. Medicine __, Alberta : HAT. Nailed it!

13. OPEC, for one : CARTEL

15. Radius neighbor : ULNA. Arm-bone pairing.

16. Sworn statement : I DO. "... the truth, the whole truth and nothing but .."

19. X, at times : TEN

20. Tesla Motors co-founder Musk : ELON. Space-X bloke too. He seems to know his tech. Did you see that Tesla came in for a lot of flak when they remotely "turned on" the extra mileage range capability of the cheaper models for drivers evacuating Florida in advance of Hurricane Irma?

21. "Inside Politics" channel : CNN

22. Poet laureate, e.g. : TITLE. My favorite UK Poet Laureate was Ted Hughes, a surprising choice as his poetry was often about subjects such as dead carrion and lines such as:

"... Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head."

Not exactly the stuff of "Happy Birthday to the Queen" poems, a requirement of the Laureate.

My friend Linda, a student of American poetry, tells me that the US Poet Laureate is appointed on the basis of influence, rather than talent. I think the late, lamented Ted may have had something to say about that.

28. Where Moses received the Ten Commandments, for short : MT. SINAI

31. Colorful fall tree : MAPLE

32. Put together : BUILT

33. Instagram upload, briefly : PIC. Apparently I have an Instagram account, which comes as something of a surprise considering I've never used it.

34. Three-time A.L. MVP : A-ROD. The first with the Texas Rangers, the subsequent two with the Yankees.

37. "Is there more?" : AND?

42. Baja she-bear : OSA. OSO is he-bear. A bunch of bears of mixed sexes are OSOS, the plural takes the male form. Can you tell I've been paying attention in Spanish class?

43. Understands : SEES

45. Solar wind particle : ION

46. Song of worship : PSALM

48. Off-white color : PEARL. I tried PEACH first, mentally justifying this highly curious solution to the fact that there are white peaches. I question my decision-making sometimes.

50. It may be reckless : ABANDON

55. Big glitch : SNAFU. I think it was last week we had the conversation about the meaning of the "F".

56. Inhospitable : ICY

57. 2000s Chevy : AVEO. Thank you crosses, never paid attention to one.

61. Signature piece? : PEN and ink. My signature is now a couple of wiggles and a line tailing off

66. Biblical craft : ARK

67. Roof edge : EAVE

68. "Mad About You" co-star : REISER. Thank you, crosses.

69. "But, mom!" evokers : "NO"S

70. Zoomed : SPED

71. Drumroll drum : SNARE


1. Top : ACME

2. Scenic overlook safety feature : RAIL. There's a lot of these on Mulholland Drive a the top of Hollywood Hills near me. It still doesn't stop cars plunging off the road, there's generally an incident every couple of years.

3. Driving directions qualifier : OR SO. "Make a right, then go half a mile or so and it's on the left. Oh wait, no. Make a LEFT, then go a quarter mile or so, then it's on the RIGHT. No, wait ...". Thank goodness Google Maps is more precise.

4. Sign maker's aid : STENCIL

5. Always, in sonnets : E'ER

6. Denomination of most Iraqi Kurds : SUNNI

7. Unlike spring chickens : OLD. Hand up. See 1A for bed-staggering.

8. Person : ONE

9. Advice for an e-filer : TAX TIP

10. Get going : HIT THE ROAD. Cue Ray Charles

11. One-named "All I Ask" singer : ADELE. Sorry, Ms. Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, Ray just snuck in with my music link for the day.

12. Skin care product : TONER

14. Sports bra fabric : LYCRA

18. Cross characters : INRI. Christian imagery.

23. Land surrounded by agua : ISLA. Yay! More Spanish!

25. Not pro : ANTI

26. Bahrain bigwig : EMIR

27. One of John Adams' "stubborn things" : FACT. "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." Smart chap, that Adams fella.

28. Corp. execs' degrees : MBAS

29. Use a fork, perhaps : TUNE. I have a tuning fork in E to tune my guitars to concert pitch. I never use it, the electronic ones are quicker.

30. Exercises that strengthen obliques : SIDE PLANKS. I came across the most bizarre leotard design ever when I went to look for an example of the side plank. I can't not use it.

33. "Sign language is pretty handy," e.g. : PUN

35. Nobel Prize city : OSLO

36. Butler's last word : DAMN. That's when he dropped the teapot in her Ladyship's lap. It was his last word before he was fired. Or, it might have been "Gone with the Wind". Perhaps.

39. Flag : TIRE

40. "Chariots of Fire" Oscar nominee Ian : HOLM. He played the legendary athletics coach Sam Mussabini.

41. Time period : SPAN

44. __-service : SELF

47. Enter surreptitiously :  SNEAK IN

49. Makes giggle : AMUSES

50. Cat's back shape, at times : ARCH. Accompanied by hissing, if said cat is riled about something.

51. Tylenol rival : BAYER

52. Political channel : C-SPAN

53. Calendario month : ENERO. Nailed it! I can confidently recite them all now.

54. Two-footer : BIPED

58. Authorization to enter a country : VISA. I first came here on an H1B visa which allowed me to work, but only for the company who sponsored me. Mutterings of "Indentured Servitude" accompanied bad days at work.

59. Fed. power dept. : ENER.

60. Barbarian : OGRE

63. __ water : TAP

64. Holiday threshold : EVE

65. Nintendo's Super __ console : NES. All together everyone: "Nintendo Entertainment System".

Cue the grid!


Sep 20, 2017

Wednesday, September, 20, 2017, Roger and Kathy Wienberg

TITLE: If I had a dime for every time I got distracted, I wish I had a puppy!

Roger and Kathy have given us assembled masses a lovely entry in the Wednesday sweepstakes. Their puzzle celebrates SCATTERBRAINS among us and who better to represent this stereotype than this lovable character who was a truly savvy business person but played her wacky alter ego to perfection.

How the Wienberg's physically did this is shown below as B  R  A  I  N is scattered among the long entries in the grid. I include the grid in the event your medium did not carry the circles.

The reveal shows the gimmick clearly:

53. Forgetful person literally indicated by this puzzle's circles : SCATTER BRAIN

Theme Entries:

19. Bulb that's more sweet than pungent : BERMUDA ONION - What a great home for one!

31. Basic two-element computation : BINARY OPERATION This $1.50 calculator has the four basic BINARY OPERATION keys neatly nested on the right. Those of us that had to use a slide rule rue the fact we never had one of these.

39. Concern for a marketing department : PUBLIC RELATIONS - Their job:

Now for the balance of Roger and Kathy's very focused humpday offering:


1. Helps illegally : ABETS

6. "London Fields" writer Martin : AMIS - Friends in Paris too easy for Wednesday?

10. Serengeti grazer : GNU

13. French name meaning "born again" : RENEE

14. Goal-oriented suburban parent? : SOCCER MOM - Jennifer Lawrence's life before movies intervened

17. Mexican pyramid builder : AZTEC - I have difficulty even pronouncing Tenochtitlan

18. Late with one's payments : IN ARREARS

21. Scheming : SLY

22. Quarterback Dawson : LEN

23. Renewable fuel made from organic matter : BIOGAS - Collecting BIOGAS from a well drilled into a landfill

27. Crow's cry : CAW

28. Building guideline : SPEC

30. Tokyo, long ago : EDO

36. "Want the light __ not?" : ON OR

37. "Golly!" : GEE

38. Good-sized backyard : ACRE - One ACRE lots in Clinton, Utah

44. One of the Galápagos, e.g.: Abbr. : ISL. - Where Darwin changed the world

45. Fed a line to : CUED - ...or not to be! ...or not to be!

46. Cartoon frame : CEL

47. Balance precariously : TEETER

49. Justice Dept. division : DEA

50. Car stat with city and hwy. components : MPG - 8 MPG for a 1959 Caddy was no big deal with $.25/gal gas

57. Fundraising portmanteau : WALK-A-THON - I got swamped with requests at school

60. "You Don't Join Us, We Join You" insurance company : AETNA

61. "Monday Night Football" airer before ESPN : ABC SPORTS - When football morphed into show biz

62. Lingering looks : GAZES

63. Deleted, with "out" : XED - MLK advisor Wyatt King advised him to X OUT the "Dream" part of speech since it was so trite and cliche

64. Scheme : RUSE

65. Wade noisily : SLOSH


1. Many Mideast natives : ARABS

2. Chisel's cutting edge : BEZEL

3. Contest submission : ENTRY

4. Abound (with) : TEEM - These signs are a hot property these days

5. Not connected to the church : SECULAR

6. From Thailand, say : ASIAN

7. Like old records : MONO

8. "__ See for Miles": The Who : I CAN 

9. Metal-marking tool : SCRIBER

10. "Today" rival, familiarly : GMA

11. Fish-fowl link : NOR

12. Hesitation sounds : UMS - Don't use it here!

15. Beethoven's Third : EROICA - Italian for hero

16. Nevada city near Tahoe : RENO - Lots of wedding rings got thrown in the Truckee River there 

20. Like morning grass : DEWY

24. Company with "save you 15%" ads : GEICO

25. Beautify : ADORN

26. Loudness units : SONES

27. Astronomer Sagan : CARL

28. Ignore the limit : SPEED 

29. Spa treatment : PEEL - Sounds painful

31. Hasbro game requiring quick reflexes : BOP IT

32. Unavailable : IN USE - Talk about yer IN USE!

33. Duke or duchess : NOBLE - Royal blood doesn't cut much for me

34. Fairy tale brute : OGRE

35. Elongated comet part : TAIL  - An astronomy prof once told me that the tail of a comet is as close to being nothing and still being something as there is

40. Arctic covering : ICE CAP

41. Museum manager : CURATOR

42. Big name in PCs : ACER 

43. Lipton pouches : TEA BAGS - Some on this site would never consider one of these methods

48. Disdainful clicks : TSKS

49. Like thick fog : DENSE

50. Passover cracker : MATZO

51. Needle bearers : PINES - Pine Wilt has killed millions of trees around here

52. Grind, as teeth : GNASH -The phrase "(there shall be) weeping and gnashing of teeth" (in the original Greek ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων) appears seven times in the New Testament as a description of the torments of the damned in Hell.

54. Drive-__ window : THRU

55. Youngsters : TOTS

56. Legitimate : REAL

57. Car wash extra : WAX

58. Prez in a stovepipe hat : ABE - Abe's stovepipe hat he wore to Ford's Theater on April, 14, 1865 with the black mourning ban for his dead son Willie. This hat was not put on display until 1893 at the Smithsonian 

59. Type of TV display : LCD

SCATTERBRAINS and regular ones are now welcome to opine:

Sep 19, 2017

Tuesday, September 19 2017, Matthew Sewell

Theme: Fun Fourplay Featuring F.
Each theme answer contains four f's.

17. Extemporaneous, as a speech : OFF THE CUFF

27. Appointed White House overseer : CHIEF OF STAFF. This office was created in 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and is responsible for a variety of critical functions in support of the president's work and agenda. From Wikipedia: Chris Whipple, author of The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, loosely describes the role of a White House chief of staff through his interview with former President Barack Obama: "During the last days of his presidency, Barack Obama observed: 'One of the things I've learned is that the big breakthroughs are typically the result of a lot of grunt work—just a whole lot of blocking and tackling.' Grunt work is what chiefs of staff do."

49. Laundry service option : FLUFF AND FOLD

64. Beanstalk giant's chant : FEE FI FO FUM

40. Not suitable for military service ... or an apt description of 17-, 27-, 49- and 64-Across : FOUR F 


1. "More or less" suffix : ISH

4. Rose and fell on the waves : BOBBED

10. Tax pros : CPA'S. Certified Public Accountant's.

14. Cohort of Larry and Curly : MOE

15. Not widely understood : ARCANE

16. Boffo review : RAVE. Wasn't sure if Boffo was good or bad, had to wait for the V to fill in. "Boffo:
(of a theatrical production or movie, or a review of one) very successful or wholeheartedly commendatory.

19. Theater honor : OBIE

20. "Firework" singer Perry : KATY

21. Near-perfect bridge feat : SMALL SLAM. Cards. Not being a bridge player this was lost on me.

23. Amigo : PAL

26. Liam of "Michael Collins" : NEESON

32. __ Vegas : LAS

33. Peaceful : CALM

38. Planets, in poems : ORBS

43. Thick book : TOME

44. Salami type : GENOA

46. Nevada senator Harry : REID

48. Red wine choice, for short : ZIN

53. '60s dance craze : WATUSI

55. Opus __: "The Da Vinci Code" sect : DEI

56. DJ known for playing novelty tunes : DR DEMENTO

59. Surrealist Salvador : DALI. Scene from Midnight in Paris, with Adrian Brody as Salvador Dali. 

63. Geological age : AEON

67. Unclothed : BARE

68. Like bears : URSINE

69. Alias, on police blotters : AKA

70. List of appts. : SKED. Shortened version of the word "schedule."

71. English writer Edward Bulwer-__ : LYTTON. New to me. A bit obscure for a Tuesday. Born in 1858.

72. "Oedipus __" : REX

1. "Didn't hurt a bit!" : I'M OK

2. Living room seat : SOFA

3. Lift with effort : HEFT

4. Scoff from Scrooge : BAH

5. Calif. neighbor : ORE

6. Covertly sends an email dupe to : BCC'S. Blind Carbon Copy.

7. "The Wizard of Oz" author : BAUM

8. __ terrible: difficult child, in French : ENFANT

9. Rid of parasites, as a dog : DE-FLEA

10. Multi-discipline strength-training program : CROSSFIT. So popular.

11. Painter Picasso : PABLO. More Midnight in Paris.

12. Like many nest-builders : AVIAN

13. Look (like) : SEEM

18. Tap out a text, say : TYPE

22. Departed : LEFT

24. N.Y. Jets' org. : AFC

25. Bread shape : LOAF. Never thought of loaf as a shape, but it makes sense.

27. Bathtub blockage : CLOG

28. Cocksure Aesopian racer : HARE. Like this clue.

29. Library ID : ISBN

30. Mel's Diner waitress : FLO

31. Blue toon : SMURF

35. Memorable clown : BOZO

36. Disney's "__ and the Detectives" : EMIL

37. See to : TEND

39. Began to melt : SOFTENED

41. Stephen of "Michael Collins" : REA

42. Locate : FIND

45. Grad : ALUM

47. Pres. before JFK : DDE

50. Beneficial : USEFUL

51. Fancy duds : FINERY. "All the lovely ladies in their finery tonight ..."

"... to every man who answers to the letter of the law, and all the rest in prison by mistake ..."

52. Pal of Rover : FIDO

53. Perpetrate, as havoc : WREAK

54. Love to pieces : ADORE

56. Pats gently : DABS

57. Exam : TEST

58. "Think nothing __" : OF IT

60. Many miles off : AFAR

61. "Use the Force, __" : LUKE

62. Big-screen format : IMAX

65. Masculine Italian suffix with bamb- : INO

66. Marshland : FEN

Note from C.C.:

Melissa's beautiful granddaughter Jaelyn turned one-year-old on August 18, 2017. Here are a few pictures.

Sep 18, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017 ~ Brock Wilson

Theme: Double, Double - but not Toil and Trouble. Two-word phrases; each word starts with the same two letters.

20A. Earnings before the government's cut: PRETAX PROFITS

38A. Words on a "No Trespassing" sign: PRIVATE PROPERTY

54A. Invention that revolutionized book production: PRINTING PRESS

53D. Ad agency guys responsible for 20-, 38- and 54-Across?: PR MEN. Men, because there are two PR's per entry.

Argyle here. Nice spanner. Didn't really need a reveal but it's a cute reveal so ok. Brock has become quite the Monday specialist.


1. British bloke: CHAP

5. Title for a fictional fox: BR'ER

9. Pancake syrup tree: MAPLE

14. Prefix for "six": HEXA

15. Coleridge's "The __ of the Ancient Mariner": RIME

16. Partners of pains: ACHEs

17. Many Manet works: OILS

18. Like a grand-scale fail: EPIC

19. __ Islander: small-state resident: RHODE

23. End in __: come out even: A TIE

24. French street: RUE, as in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue". The Rue Morgue is a fictional street in Paris.

25. Cops' orgs.: PDs. Police Departments

28. Fave pal, in 67-Across: BFF. (Best Friends Forever). 67-Across. Cellphone messages: TEXTS

31. German pastry: STRUDEL. Braided Apple Walnut Strudel

33. Question as to technique: HOW

34. New Haven collegian: YALIE

36. Cribbage piece: PEG

37. Gossip columnist Barrett: RONA

42. Rockers' sound machines: AMPs

43. Speck in la mer: ÎLE

44. Coloring cosmetic: ROUGE

45. Chessmen and board, e.g.: SET

46. Squeaky clean, as hospital supplies: STERILE

49. Alternative to grass seed: SOD

50. "No seats" initials: SRO. (Standing-room only)

51. Big __: trademark burger: MAC

52. Gunk: GOOP

60. First appearance: DEBUT

62. Promises at the altar: I DO's

63. __ Hari: MATA

64. Smidge: SKOSH

65. "Me neither": "NOR I"

66. Getting people out of harm's way, for short: EVAC. (Evacuation) Who's next?

68. Secluded valley: GLEN

69. __ of the woods: NECK. Area.


1. Lamb serving: CHOP

2. Will beneficiary: HEIR

3. Rod on which wheels turn: AXLE

4. Rotini or rigatoni: PASTA

5. Secession approved in a 2016 U.K. referendum: BREXIT. (portmanteau of "British" and "exit")

6. Jack the __: RIPPER

7. Arab leader: EMIR

8. Piccolo relative: RECORDER. Grace Slick on the recorder, gives the song a haunted sound.

9. Actress Hemingway: MARIEL. Don't look to close.

10. German eight: ACHT. More German.

11. Element in matches: PHOSPHORUSWiki article White phosphorus hasn't been used for regular matches for some time but you can still get "strike-anywhere" matches.

12. Conducted: LED

13. Language suffix: ESE

21. On the Caribbean: AT SEA

22. En __: on a hot streak, slangily: FUEGO. Spanish, 'on fire'. (Don't play with matches!)

26. "Stick around": "DON'T GO"

27. Influenced: SWAYED

28. Road that avoids the city center: BYPASS

29. Crop raiser: FARMER

30. Container with an attached cover: FLIPTOP BOX

32. Michigan's __ Peninsula: UPPER

35. Drips in a hosp.: IVs

37. Classic roadster: REO. Ransom Eli Olds

39. Giant: TITAN

40. Putting in office: ELECTING

41. Surg. holding area: PRE-OP

46. Workers with anvils: SMITHS.

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands ...

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought.

47. Pay no mind: IGNORE

48. Begins a computer session: LOGS IN

55. Oxidation damage: RUST

56. Beloved star: IDOL

57. Roof gutter locale: EAVE

58. Like short, clipped notes, in mus.: STAC. (staccato)

59. Burlap container: SACK

60. Va. summer hours: DST. [Eastern](Daylight Saving Time)

61. __ out a living: EKE. Eek! Time to put this to bed.


Sep 17, 2017

Sunday September 17, 2017 Kurt Krauss

 Theme:  "Brrr!" - "Cold" can precede the first word in each theme entry.

23A. *Filled pastry : CREAM PUFF. Cold cream.

29A. *Protective sports gear : SHOULDER PADS. Cold shoulder.

41A. *Prop in an iconic "Psycho" scene : SHOWER CURTAIN. Cold shower.

66A. *Ragtime dance : TURKEY TROT. Cold turkey.

68A. *Flower named for a legendary beast : SNAPDRAGON. Cold snap.

89A. *Contents of an abandoned one may be sold at auction : STORAGE LOCKER. Cold storage. 

104A. *What will fix misteaks? : SPELL CHECKER. Cold spell.
15D. *2017 Broadway musical based on the rivalry between Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein : WARPAINT. Cold war.  Two of the Down 8's intersect two other Across entries. Those stacks of 8s in the upper and lower left are tough to pull off.

81D. *Lawyer's backlog : CASELOAD. Cold case.


111. It ushers in lower temperatures ... and what the answers to starred clues can have : COLD FRONT

Rich normally keeps this type of words-that-can-precede/follow for weekdays, unless the reveal entry really catches his interest.

This theme works the best when the key word change meanings. In this set, SHOWER, STORAGE and CASE remain the same.


1. Grand-scale poetry : EPOS. Also 38. Pope output : POEM. Alexander Pope.

5. Corrosive stuff : ACID. Also 6. Corrosive substances : CAUSTICS
9. Mariner org. : NASA. Unaware of the Mariner program.

13. Like an eddy : ASWIRL

19. An 80-footer is a long one : PUTT.  I made a long one when I played my very first round. So excited.

20. Square to look through : PANE

21. Got on in years : AGED

22. Old propeller site : BEANIE. Never heard of propeller beanie.

25. Commend : CITE

26. "And God Created Woman" (1956) star : BARDOT

27. Done, for Donne : O'ER

28. Afterthought preceder : ALSO. BunnyM, I also love your posts. Always thoughtful and caring.

31. Had a sample : TRIED IT

33. Wickiup, e.g. : HUT. Wickiup is new to me. Primitive hut.

34. Name of 12 popes : PIUS. Also 57. Four Holy Roman emperors : OTTOs. Ours is a quiet saint.
35. Most common draw in Scrabble : AN E. Odd to have an article in front.

36. Hanukkah toy : DREIDEL
39. Intolerant type : BIGOT

45. Janvier, across the Pyrenees : ENERO

46. Old TV knob : HOR

47. Gather in bundles : SHEAVE

48. Quick-getaway auditorium seat site : LAST ROW

50. Bygone : OLDEN

53. Actor Cage, in tabloids : NIC

54. CBS golf analyst Baker-Finch : IAN. He's from Australia.

55. Recited confidently : REELED OFF

60. Earthquake prefix : SEISMO. Hi there Jayce! Why can't you have venison burgers?

62. Wise guy : SAGE

70. __ facto : IPSO

71. Military camps : ETAPES

73. Farthest from the action, as arena seats : NOSEBLEED

74. Hogwash : ROT

75. Photog's item : NEG

77. Henri's health : SANTE. "A votre sante!"

78. Dentist's find : ABSCESS. Got via crosses.

83. Fusion, for one : ECO-CAR

87. Rap music article : THA

88. Westernmost African capital : DAKAR. Senegal's capital. Have any of you tried West African-style peanut butter chicken?

93. Ukrainian port, to locals : ODESA

94. Bowser's brand : IAMS

96. Flash : INSTANT

97. Astound : AWE. Inanehiker (Nina) on our blog is a doctor, who quieted my unease with her read of my recent blood test.

98. Hammett hound : ASTA

99. Soaked : WET

100. DNA component : ADENINE

107. Cry to Silver : HI YO

108. Crime boss : DON

109. Commotion : UPROAR

110. Comparable : AKIN

113. Split : CLEAVE

114. Dispatch : SEND. Average person checks his/her email 15 times a day.

115. Bailiwick : AREA

116. Ray, for one : ALer. Gluey fill. Tampa Bay Rays.

117. Hopper and Gabler : HEDDAS. Gluey fill.

118. Nervous : EDGY

119. Not : NARY

120. Italian noble family : ESTE

1. Spaceship Earth site : EPCOT

2. More refined : PURER

3. Ferrell's "SNL" cheerleading partner : OTERI

4. Penn, e.g.: Abbr. : STA

5. User : APPLIER. Odd *ER word.

7. Dope : INFO

8. Hi-__ : DEF

9. Morgen's opposite : NACHT. Night.

10. Currency exchange fee : AGIO. Learned from doing crossword.

11. Attack : SET UPON

12. Ross Sea penguin : ADELIE. Happy feet.

13. French clerics : ABBES

14. Scorch : SEAR

16. At risk : IN DANGER

17. Former Spanish Sahara territory that is neither a river nor has any gold : RIO DE ORO. Helpful clue. Like our grape nuts.

18. Tennis calls : LETS

24. Sierra __ : MADRE. Not LEONE.

29. Ottoman bigwig : SULTAN

30. Doo-wop syllable : DUM. No idea.

32. Uncle of Prince Wm. : EDW. Both Wm and EDW look odd.

33. "Take it" : HERE

37. "Well, that's obvious" : DUH

38. Game equipment : PIECES. We saw a Kirby Puckett game-used jersey at a store for $10K. Crazy.

39. Wanna-__: poseurs : BEs

40. Pull : TOW

41. Hip sound? : SHORT I. The i in Hip.

42. Stay out of sight : HOLE UP

43. Waiters take them : ORDERS

44. "We Try Harder" company : AVIS. Which is your favorite rental car company? We're going back to Payless. Bad experience with Dollar.

48. Reading lights : LAMPS

49. Battery pole : ANODE

51. Nevada city on I-80 : ELKO

52. Born : NEE

54. Golfer Aoki : ISAO. He should come to 3M. Both Jack Nicklaus & Gary Player were here this year.

56. Salon specialists : DYERS

58. Campus house, maybe : FRAT

59. Clotheshorse : FOP

61. Quaint lodging : INN

62. Casa room : SALA

63. Tommy Lee Jones' "Men in Black" role : AGENT K

64. "Faust" author : GOETHE

65. Win the love of : ENDEAR

67. Beliefs : TENETS

69. NFL ball carriers : RBs. Running backs.

72. Spanish wine descriptor : SECO. Dry.

76. More unpleasant, as details : GORIER

78. Stink : ADO

79. Troublemaker : BAD APPLE. Great fill.

80. Like kebabs : SKEWERED. Xi'an style. Lots of red pepper.

82. Stat for Aroldis Chapman : ERA. Rich is a Yankee fan. Patti is a Met fan.

84. Tilt : CANT

85. Govt. prosecutors : AGs. Attorney Generals.

86. Mall tenant : RETAILER

89. Walloped : SMACKED

90. Singer Billie Holiday's nickname : LADY DAY. Unknown to me.

91. __ a kind : ONE OF

92. Moving supply: Abbr. : CTN (Carton)

94. Book end? : ISH. Bookish.

95. Military command : AT EASE

98. Plot makeup : ACRES

99. Playwright Wasserstein : WENDY. Also new to me.

101. Stars watched by many : IDOLS

102. Good-sized chamber group : NONET. Group of nine.

103. Between, in Brest : ENTRE. Alliteration.

104. Quite : SUCH

105. Spewed magma : LAVA

106. Double-decker game piece : KING. Googled afterwards. Never played Pinochle. (Checkers. Thanks, WikWak.)

107. Bar mitzvah dance : HORA

111. Fire : CAN

112. Actress Charlotte : RAE