Oct 21, 2017

Saturday Oct 21, 2017 Ed Sessa

Theme: None

Words: 72 (missing F,Q,X)

Blocks: 29

Wow - I find it hard to believe that we have not had a Saturday Ed Sessa puzzle in over a year - I went looking for his last Saturday construction in 2017, and didn't find one.  Huh.  Anyway, today's contribution was an easy one, for me, with only one small area that had triple crossing proper names which slowed me down - WAG to the rescue~!  A triple axis symmetrical grid, with 7x7 corners and nothing longer than 7 letters;

17. Dryer component : AIR VENT - TUMBLER fit, too.  As a Home Inspector, I strongly suggest cleaning out your dryer hose and vent....

Which can lead to this 

12. Rodents on wheels, perhaps : PET MICE - it was hamsters for me when I was a "ute".  Pet mice became the feed for the ball python snake that we had later on....I have already been called a "ghoul" for sharing this info in previous blogs

38. Brought down a Giant, say : TACKLED - the capital "G" made me think this was a SF baseball "strike out" reference, but no~! -  it's football, and right in my neighborhood - the NY Giants

how it feels to know the Jets have a better record

66. Hooks or lures : TEASERS - ah, this kind of lure....

what lies....


1. Get lovey-dovey : SNUGGLE - makes me think of the George Thorogood song and his land lady

@1:05 & 2:45

8. Ramble : TRAIPSE - I like using the word traipse

15. Fertilizes, in a way : MANURES - as a verb~?  Meh. Just go with fertilizeRs....

16. Spousal consent : YES, DEAR

18. Creamy rice dish : RISOTTO

19. Tiruchirappalli title : SRI

20. California region named for a literary hero : TARZANA - part of the three-crossing proper name section that had me stumped at the very end; great WAG going with a "Z" on my part

22. It can lead into day or night : MID - mid-day, midnight

23. Shade-loving plant : HOSTA - my first thought, but I waited

25. Big chunk of time : EON

26. State probably named for a French province : MAINE - could only be this, IDAHO or TEXAS - and I am pretty sure that last one is not Frawnche

28. Mobile app? : UBER - part of last week's Sat blog, too

29. Relay settings : MEETS

31. Object of veneration : ICON - dah~! Not iDoL

32. Edible conifer seed : PINE NUT - got it

34. Part : SEGMENT - pondered SECTION

36. Many an IKEA buy : KIT - isn't all their furniture "ready to assemble"~?  I have not been there in a decade

37. Slangy refusal : NAH

42. Arrivals : COMINGS

46. Kyrgyzstan range : ALAI - oops, not aRaL

47. Interior design : DECOR - one of my responsibilities at the new job is maintaining the owner's house, which is this spread right down the road from the warehouse nestled among the vines - but the original owner's decor choices are, um, shocking; I'll see about getting a pic

49. Glitzy affair : GALA

50. Informed, with "in" : CLUED

52. Sound heard going up a mountain, maybe : POP - think inner ear

53. Film in which the title character says, "I don't permit the suffering. You do" : OH, GOD! - this movie; IMDb

54. Yoga class syllables : OMs

55. "Please, please ... " : "I BEG YOU..."

58. Half-hearted : WAN - that's half-Ben, too - OBI Kenobi, that is

59. Asphalt : BITUMEN - nope, not MACADAM

61. Prevailing conditions : CLIMATE - oooh~!  Good guess for me

63. Absinthe flavoring : ANISEED - I thought it was ANISE, but the "SEED" part didn't come to mind right off

64. Solemnly commands : ADJURES

65. Gets new players for : RECASTS - I was thinking DRAFTS, but this is stage, not sport


1. Road wreck : SMASH UP

2. Capital south of Addis Ababa : NAIROBI - I had the ---BI part, so this is what I figured it had to be

3. Not yet up : UNRISEN - I still get up at "UPS time", but now I use that 2-3 hours for my own enjoyment

4. Bloke's address : GUV - British slang, which I was familiar with from watching BBC shows growing up

5. Actress Scacchi : GRETA - I knew the actress' name, but couldn't recall anything that she starred in - until I looked at her film credits; the one movie I saw that was a real thriller was "Shattered"

6. Siberian river to the Arctic Ocean : LENA - one of the three proper name crossings; the "LEN-" part filled via perps, but the last letter was going to have to be a WAG

7. Where the Boss' band once rehearsed : E STREET

8. Hard heads : TYRANTS

9. Buttermilk holder? : REIN - I had no idea what this was getting at, until I had the "REI-" filled in, and then I figured Buttermilk must have been a popular horse - can you tell how young I am~?  I had to look up who made Buttermilk 'famous'....the Wiki

10. Indian tea region : ASSAM - I just had to fill in the "A"s

11. Bachelor's last words? : "I DO."

13. Attended informally : SAT IN ON

14. Like the wind : ERODENT - a force which erodes, not an online PET MOUSE (e-rodent~? C'mon, that's funny)

21. Muppet friend of Elmo : ZOE - third proper name crossing, no clue.

24. Any one of the male "Big Bang Theory" main characters : TREKKIE - I cannot stand the show - not even the commercials featuring the characters - but I did tune into "The Orville" on demand, and I like it - total Star Trek TNG rip-off, but with that Seth McFarlane twist.

27. Shoot for the moon : AIM HIGH

29. Softened : MUTED - like colors

30. Man of La Mancha : SEÑOR

33. Nada : NIL

35. Whale group : GAM - I had the "A", and thought the answer was "POD", but no - here's a list of animal group names. When I punched in "whale gam", I got "game" instead - and this was interesting to read....

38. Buffet featuring tortillas and fixings : TACO BAR

39. Hog's call? : "ALL MINE~!" - at the taco bar~?

40. Biting : CAUSTIC

41. Conditioned response? : "DEPENDS."

42. Repro man? : COPYCAT - har-har

43. Source of some annoying online messages : NAGWARE - I tried MaLware

44. Crowing type : GLOATER

45. The blues : SADNESS

48. Gear tooth : COG - I thought this was synonymous with "gear", but it is actually the tooth OF a gear

51. Mercury money : DIMES - I did not understand the clue, so I went to Google after the fact and found out that we had a different coin prior to 1945 - which makes sense, now; the Wiki

53. Medium board : OUIJA - ah.  The carpenter in me wondered what size lumber is a "medium" board....duh.  Oh, that medium

56. Source of folic acid : BEET

57. Quaint retail adjective : OLDE - Ye Olde Croffwerde Blogge

60. Letters on some tee tags : USA

62. Ancient Greek statuary site: Abbr. : MUSeum


Oct 20, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: Okay, please vote:  [   ] Six degrees of HAM; or  [   ] a HAM handed puzzle.

JW features one of his favorite and difficult "add a three or four letter word" themes. He makes it especially Friday hard by including two very hard fill to parse. Then he generously gives us a reveal if we get lost. You need a wide variety of knowledge to get through this one. The First 2 themers add HAM to the first word in a phrase. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. The next 2? Well despite commentary to the contrary - that is what makes it a puzzle.

As always Jeffrey gives us some fun fill - IN TEARS, ONE PUTT, OVERUSE, RAT-A-TAT, STOOLIE, STRAP ON and TRUSSES, but mostly it is the theme that drives this wagon.

So with further ado....

16A. Early sustenance for Bruce Wayne? : GOTHAM MILK (10). GOT MILK is modified by the fictional name of Batman's New York City.

22A. Handing a St. Louis team an embarrassing loss? : SHAMING THE BLUES (15). SING THE BLUES (not the Cards) works as well.

33A. Tribal VIP's family? : SHAMAN KIN (10). SAN KIN? Huh? Of course, SANK IN.

49A. Easy out in rodent baseball? : POPUP TO A HAMSTER (15). And my favorite - POPUP TOASTER.

57A. Went all out on stage ... or a hint to the four other longest puzzle answers : HAMMED IT UP (10). That is it.


1. Kind of rain or rock: ACID.

5. Affect profoundly: AWE. Aww.

8. Often-converted residence: LOFT.

12. Like the "funny bone" nerve: ULNAR. Ulna and Radius.

14. Poet Silverstein: SHEL. I met Shel's work reading Playboy in the 60s. LINK. Hef outlived him by 18 years.

15. Declare firmly: AVER.

18. Country where Quechua is spoken: PERU. It is now an official language in three countries.  In 1975 Peru became the first country to recognize Quechua as one of its official languages. Ecuador conferred official status on the language in its 2006 constitution, and in 2009, Bolivia adopted a new constitution that recognized Quechua and several other indigenous languages as official languages of the country. Wiki.

19. Great Plains native: UTE.

20. Pluto quintet: MOONS.                   LINK

21. Gets on the wrong train, say: ERRS.

26. Mother with a Nobel prize: TERESA. She shares her date of birth with Lyndon Johnson and Hannibal Hamlin, among others.

27. Fight in the backwoods: RASSLE.

28. Vacation fill-in: Abbr. : ASST. Temp? WTH?

29. Message often included in its response: EMAIL. Have any of you turned off the automatic inclusion?

32. Central Dallas? : ELS.

37. Elastic wood: ASH. I am sure you want to know more about this WOOD.

40. Sister magazine of Jet: EBONY.

41. God with a quiver: EROS. And a bow made out of ash?

45. Where the groom may walk down the aisle: STABLE. Really inventive and cute clue/fill. JW at his best.

47. Soi-__: self-styled: DISANT. JW, really? This is a very obscure term. DEFINE.

53. Components of 56-Across : HOPS. Not necessarily, ...strictly speaking ale can be made from simply malt, water and yeast. It is extremely unusual not to use hops. Home-brew handbook. 56A. Malt creations : ALES.

54. Quartet member : VIOLA. The four instruments in a string quartet are almost always 2 violins, 1 viola and 1 cello. Various.

55. Org. with Jungians : APAAmerican Psychological Association. Many of them are old.

59. Ticket booth sight : LINE.

60. Protected, in a way : ALEE.

61. Sister of Thalia : ERATO. The Nine Muses in Greek mythology have been an inspiration to artists since antiquity. They are (in alphabetical order): Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania. (Owlcation- do not go to this website, you may never escape).

62. Hardy heroine : TESS. I just had her in a puzzle recently.

63. Perception-changing drug : LSD. I just had some in a puzzle.

64. Letter heading abbr. : ATTN.


1. Masters course : AUGUSTA. Bobby Jones and the dream course. Take a TOUR

2. Fabled emperor's lack: CLOTHES.  Did you know the STORY was written by Hans Christian Andersen? Andersen's fairy tales (of which there are no less than 3381 works !) have been translated into more than 125 languages... his most famous fairy tales include "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Little Mermaid", "The Nightingale", "The Snow Queen", "The Ugly Duckling", "Thumbelina", and many others. Various.

3. Emotionally overwhelmed : IN TEARS.

4. Morse "T": DAH.

5. "Can't you take __?" : A HINT.

6. Like Roald Dahl, by birth: WELSH. The wonderful author - LINK.

7. Yellowstone grazer: ELK.

8. Settings for small American flags: LAPELS.

9. Do to death: OVERUSE.

10. Voice of President Business in "The Lego Movie": FERRELL. SNL grad Will.

11. Bridge supports: TRUSSES.

13. "Ghostbusters" actor : RAMIS. He died this year.

14. Air quality issue: SMOG. I believe this was my first known portmanteau (Smoke-Fog)

17. Lisa's title: MONA.  Mona in Italian is a polite form of address originating as "ma donna" – similar to "Ma’am", "Madam." Wiki and others.

23. Team whose mascot's head is a baseball: METS. He got fired for giving the one finger
salute to a brewers fan. With only three to work with, which one is the bad one?

24. Viking history VIP: ERIK. No Minnesota players named Erik?

25. Island near Java: BALI.

29. Confessional music genre: EMO.

30. Anthropologist's subject: MAN.

31. Whichever: ANY.

34. Give a hand : HELP.

35. Assist badly? : ABET. Why not, "Give a hand, badly?"

36. Storied loch: NESS.

37. It might be on the road for years: ASPHALT.

38. Cop's info source: STOOLIE. Derived from stool pigeons - carvings used to trap hawks.

39. Stumbles (upon): HAPPENS.

42. Snare drum sound: RAT-A-TAT.

43. Feature of many a birdie: ONE PUTT. Bubba Watson had 11(18) ONE PUTT greens when he won his second masters title.

44. Secure, as a knapsack: STRAP ON. This is the second clue fill of the puzzle I have had to muzzle myself while writing.

46. Smooches: BUSSES.

47. Glen relative: DALE. Who is Dale Campbell?  Oh, is that Chip's real name?

48. "__ these wars for Egypt": Antony: I MADE. A fun Friday Will Shakespeare quote.
"I made these wars for Egypt, and the Queen,
Whose heart I thought I had, for she had mine—
Which whilst it was mine had annexed unto ’t
A million more, now lost—she, Eros, has
Packed cards with Caesar and false-played my glory
Unto an enemy’s triumph."

50. Shapes formed by angled spotlights: OVALS.

51. Zeroed in: AIMED.

52. Telecommuter's workplace: HOME. Yeah me and the once mighty Barry G. You are missed.

57. Clarke computer: HAL.

58. Nest egg acronym: IRAIndividual Retirement Account.

Wowzer, here we are in middle of fall with shorter days and longer nights and so many birthdays - those cold January nights - but nothing slows JW (or C.C. and her minions) down. I had fun, enjoy the weekend. Lemonade out.

Oct 19, 2017

Thursday October 19 2017 Bruce Haight

Theme: Aural Plurals - repeat the last letter of each theme answer and listen to the result:

17A. Southern dish, so we hear : BLACK-EYED PP (Peas). Food! I'm happy already.

25A. World's navigable waters, so we hear : SEVEN CC (Seas) I wanted to link the OMD song from the 80's for this, but I went back to listen to it on YouTube, and, actually, it really wasn't very good. I thought that I remembered that the drum riff intro was awesome, but, in hindsight, it was - pants What happened to the bass?I must have imagined it. See  what you think? Maybe I had "drink taken", as my Irish family would say. I was young. Moving on.

36A. Welcome relief, so we hear : A SIGHT FOR SORE II (Eyes)

48A. Suggestive dance, so we hear : STRIP TT (Tease)


57A. Warning hint, so we hear : WORD TO THE YY (Wise)

Another cracking puzzle from Bruce. I tumbled to the theme right off the bat, but that didn't spoil my amusement one bit. The fill is great, the theme entries all very much fun, and those 6's, 8's and 10's in the downs just speak to the quality of the construction.

There are a couple or more candidate theme phrases out there that spring to mind such as THE BIRDS AND THE BB, Yellow Submarine's A LIFE OF EE, TORONTO BLUE JJ, POOL QQ but probably not enough to expand this to a Sunday-size. Shame, because I'm sure Bruce could to a sterling job with a 21x21.

Anyway, great stuff, Bruce! Let's see what else jumps out - BOO! - it is Hallowe'en season after all.


1. Wing it : AD LIB

6. Doing battle : AT WAR

11. Quarterback Brady : TOM. Just this week, the New York Giant's GM at the time, Ernie Accorsi, revealed that he ignored pleas from one of his staff to draft Brady in the 6th round and regretted it ever since. Brady fell to the Patriots and look how that turned out, but Ernie shouldn't be so tough on himself. No-one else saw that coming.

14. "Fun With Dick and Jane" (2005) actress : LEONI

15. Hourglass, e.g. : SHAPE. TIMER sprung to mind first.

16. Political commentator Navarro : ANA

19. Tap site : KEG. Tried BAR first. Then I got to 33A and out it came.

20. Justice Dept. branch : A.T.F.  Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Sounds like a "Bring Your Own" party invitation somewhere out in West Texas.

21. Fair : EVEN

22. What "A" is for, in Sue Grafton's mystery series : ALIBI

24. Hot rod? : SPIT. Food! reference. Think rotisserie.

27. __ Friday : CASUAL. I had CA**AL and was wondering why I'd never heard of CARNAL FRIDAY nor been invited to an event.

30. Savory Chinese snack : TEA EGG Food! A boiled egg is cracked, then boiled again in tea and five-spice powder before being shelled.

31. Manufacturing facility : PLANT

32. Manhattan developer? : BAR. Manhattan as in the cocktail, not the island borough, more of which we see below.

33. #1 texting pal : BFF

41. Sevilla sun : SOL

42. Nice way to say no? : NON. Nice, en France. Sur la mer Méditerranée. I have an unpaid parking ticket from a summer trip to Nice about mumble years ago. Did they seriously expect me to pay? Je dit NON!

So,if you're now driving a 1992 red UK-registered Acura Integra, license plate F488 OLC, and reading this, contemplating a trip to Nice, be warned. You're on the hook for about 500 Francs, converted to Euros now, plus penalties, let's say about twelve billion with accrued interest. Be careful.

43. __ signs : VITAL

44. "I bet!" : OH SURE!

47. Composes, as music for a poem : SETS TO. I've been looking this one up and down for a little while. I'm OK with it, I think.

50. Put on : WORE

51. Hindu class : CASTE. We are heading into Diwali, the great Hindu "festival of light" which runs for five days, this year starting today on the 19th. I was lucky enough to be in Mumbai for Diwali one year, it was quite beautiful.

52. Works on walls : OILS. Not MURALS then? Nope, can't force six letters into four squares.

53. Nursery complaint : WAH!

56. __ Dhabi : ABU

61. "Little ol' me?" : MOI?

62. "Middlemarch" novelist : ELIOT. George Eliot, a pen-name for Mary Ann Evans. She used the nom de plume as she thought she'd have a better chance of publishers accepting her work if they thought she was a guy. Looks like it worked out for her.

63. Flowed back : EBBED

64. Soup cooker : POT

65. Criticize sharply : DECRY. I think sharply and loudly. I'm not sure you can quietly decry.

66. Butch and Sundance chasers : POSSE


1. Goya's "Duchess of __" : ALBA. He painted her a bunch of times, including the famous reclining studies of her dressed and undressed. This one is a little less risqué:

2. Muscle used to raise your hand in school, for short : DELToid. Fun clue.

3. Lollygag : LOAF

4. "Monsters, __" : INC

5. Spokesperson's route? : BIKE PATH. Very nice.

6. Till now : AS YET

7. In those days : THEN

8. Gum ball : WAD

9. Galaxy download : APP. The Galaxy smartphone.

10. Maintain, as roads : RE-PAVE

11. Bookie's work : TAKING BETS

12. Last non-AD yr. : ONE B.C. Apparently we should use BCE/CE now to avoid upsetting sensitive folk.

13. Tricks : MAGIC

18. Wicked : EVIL

23. Cut of lamb : LEG! More Food! I love leg of lamb. I either roast it bone-in for a British-style Sunday lunch, or bone it, butterfly it and grill it for a more Mediterranean-style treatment.

24. Belted out : SUNG, lustily.

25. Burn slightly : SEAR

26. They may ring or have rings : EARS

27. Calculating pros : CPA'S

28. Plus : ALSO

29. Outfit with bell-bottom trousers : SAILOR SUIT. Here's a great clip from the Broadway musical "On The Town" filmed on the streets of the city.

30. Steak named for its shape : T-BONE. Food! Flatiron (another New York landmark!) didn't fit. Tri-tip would work too, it's triangular, hence the name. Someone tried to tell me once that the New York Strip is so-called because it's the same shape as Manhattan. Not buying that one.

34. Bravo automaker : FIAT

35. Dough used in baklava : FILO

37. Letter-shaped fastener : T-NUT. I thought these were the same as wing nuts, but no.

38. One might be made of sheets and pillows : FORT

39. Exceed, as a boundary : OVERSTEP

40. Bris, e.g. : RITE. Crosses filled this in for me, I didn't see it until I came to the write up.

45. Flop's opposite : HIT

46. Gushed : SPEWED

47. Go it alone : SOLO

48. Rapscallion : SCAMP

49. Just not done : TABOO

50. Quick with comebacks : WITTY

52. Funk : ODOR

53. Halloween decor : WEBS

54. All in favor : AYES

55. Literary alter ego : HYDE. Dr. Jekyll's alter, and more unpleasant, ego.

58. Stadium cry : OLÉ!

59. Wrestler Flair nicknamed "The Nature Boy" : RIC. Thank you, crosses. Ric Ocasek from "The Cars" is the only Ric on my radar.

60. "Entourage" channel : HBO "Home Box Office", originally. No longer abbreviated! They make some great original programming. So great that I cancelled my subscription last year. Still trying to figure out the rationale behind that one.

Grid? Here it is! Hasta luego!

Actually, this has nothing whatever to do with the puzzle today, but I came across a recording of "La Bamba" this week (while I was doing my Spanish language homework) that I want to share. Click this link, put your screen into full size, crank up your volume and enjoy three minutes of really joyful music.The producers put together a virtual band from all around the world and recorded the result. Baby-Black-Dombe is only slightly cheating by not singing in Spanish, but the whole thing is fantastic!

Yo no soy marinero, soy capitan, soy capitan!


Oct 18, 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Robin Stears

Theme GUARDS! GUARDS! As we shall soon see, each theme entry is a [more or less] in-the -language two-word phrase that contains two quite different kinds of GUARDS. In all cases, each theme word can be followed by the word GUARD to yield a different in-the-language phrase.

17 A. Eastern seaboard, facetiously : RIGHT COAST.  I can't recall hearing it addressed as such, but it makes sense if you look at a map.  But why facetiously?  RIGHT GUARD is a lineman position on an American football team, and the deodorant brand he might chose after a shower. The COAST GUARD is a branch of the U.S. military that protects life, property and territory along the country's shore lines.

25 A. Unlikely to run : COLOR SAFE.  These colors don't run.  Hence the term.  Also a palette of 256 colors that is consistent on any computer monitor.   A COLOR GUARD is a uniformed group who present or parade an institutional or national flag on formal occasions.   To SAFE GUARD is to take active measures to protect against some undesirable event.

46 A. Secret overseas cash stash site : SWISS BANK.  I think the Cayman Islands and Cyprus give them some competition these days.  The SWISS GUARD is a small force stationed in the Vatican, responsible for the safety of the Pope.  They are famous for their colorful uniforms.

A BANK GUARD protects your deposited savings.

58 A. What Aladdin craved and Jasmine wanted to escape, in the Disney film : PALACE LIFE.  Aladdin is a street urchin who longs for wealth and luxury.  Jasmine has it all and finds it profoundly unsatisfying.  So - a match made in heaven, right?  The PALACE GUARD is responsible for keeping the PALACE and its occupants safe from street urchins and other miscreants.   A LIFE GUARD is a certified swimmer and CPR expert whose job is to keep us from drowning at the beach or pool. 

And, at last, the unifier.  37 A. Increase security twofold ... and what 17-, 25-, 46- and 58-Across literally do : DOUBLE THE GUARDS.   Twice as many guards should keep out twice as many urchins. And this is the apt description for the other theme entries, each having two kinds of GUARDS.

 Hi Gang, JazzBumpa on duty to GUARD your way through today's puzzling adventure.  Robin Stears has given us a good one with four clever theme entries and a grid-spanning unifier.  


1. Back (out) : OPT.  Well, you can OTP out before you ever OPT in, but OK.

4. Go by : ELAPSE.  As time.

10. Peak in Thessaly : OSSA.  Greek mountain

14. Can. neighbor : USA.  Here we are.

15. City on the Liffey : DUBLIN.  It flows through the center of town.

I've seen Dublin twice,

Thrace thrice; made repeated trips
To WallaWalla.

16. Performs like Kanye : RAPS.  

19. Frantically : AMOK.  On a rampage.

20. Out in the open : OVERT.  With no attempt to conceal.

21. Open in the garden : BLOOM.  Look at all them BLOOMIN' flars.

22. Narrow opening : SLIT. Or cut.

28. Insinuate : HINT AT, To suggest indirectly or unpleasantly about something bad.  I could in-sin -you-ate about Mrs. Sprat's gluttony. 

31. Kitchen gadgets brand : OXO.

32. Sneak attack : AMBUSH.  Not OVERT, at least not at first.

33. Dryly amusing : WRY. As humor.

34. "More info later": Abbr. : TBA. To Be Announced.

41. Radical '60s gp. : SDS. Students for a Democratic Society.

42. Besides : TOO.  Also.

43. Scramble, as a secret message : ENCODE.  Convert into a decipherable form.

44. Tile container in Scrabble : BAG.  

45. Write, as music : NOTATE.  The act of writing out the score, not the act of composition.

52. Japanese noodle : UDON.

53. Leg bone : TIBIA.

54. Midwestern city associated with steaks : OMAHA.

57. Additionally : ELSE. Or alternatively

63. Abbr. on a city limits sign : ELEVation.

64. What's for dinner : ENTREE.  The main course.

65. Speed (up) : REV.  Hit the accelerator.

66. Piece of glass : PANE.  In the industry, this was commonly called a "light," or even worse, a "lite." Drove me nuts.

67. Radical in aspirin and vinegar : ACETYL.  This refers to a portion of a molecule that is common to vinegar [acetic acid] where the rest of the molecule is an -OH group; and to aspirin [acetylsalicylic acid] where it combines with a pendant -OH group on a larger molecule [salicylic acid] to form an ester.  In this form, it much less aggressive than uncombined salicylic acid, which is too harsh on the digestive system to be taken internally.   Externally, salicylic acid is used to remove warts and treat other skin conditions.

68. Spot on a peacock's tail : EYE.


1. Taylor Swift's "__ Song" : OUR.

2. Trident-shaped letter : PSI (uppercase Ψ, lowercase ψ; Greek: ψι psi) is the 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet.

3. "You're it!" game : TAG.  Touch me if you can.

4. 1999 Ron Howard satire : ED TV.

5. Journalist Clare Boothe __ : LUCE.   U.S. Ambassador to Italy [1953-60,] congressional representative from Connecticut [1943-47,] author, journalist and playwright.   Her husband Henry published Time, Look, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated magazines.

6. Multiple choice choices : A B OR C.

7. "Republic" philosopher : PLATO.    Cave man.

8. Family gal : SISter

9. MD treating canals : ENTEar, Nose and Throat specialist.

10. Postgrad tests : ORALS.  Question and answer ordeals.

11. South Pacific island nation : SAMOA.  My friend married a Polynesian woman.  Every time he kissed her, he wanted SAMOA.

12. "Blazing Saddles," for one : SPOOF. An exaggerated, humorous imitation or parody.

13. "Shoot!" : ASK ME.

18. Après-ski amenities : HOT TUBS.

21. Dude : BRO.  Buddy, pal - you know - moron.

22. Herring prized for its roe : SHAD.  I'll try anything [within reason] once, and that was enough.  This is on the short list of things I will never eat again.

23. Long rides? : LIMOS.  Usually a stretched vehicle.

24. Preparing to flower : IN BUD.

26. Handed-down tales : LORE.

27. Gas in a tank : OXYGEN.   For people with breathing difficulties.

29. Syst. with hand signals : American Sign Language.

30. What a treater picks up : THE TAB.  At the tavern, not on Halloween.

33. "Says __?" : WHO.  Expression of skepticism.

34. Touch-related : TACTUAL.  A word you are unlikely to encounter ever again.

35. In __ daylight : BROAD.  Narrow daylight is not so OVERT.

36. Supplement : ADD TO.  Here, supplement is a verb, not a vitamine capsule.

38. Garment worn in HBO's "Rome" : TOGA.  Or "Animal House."

39. 108-card game : UNO.

40. Not hidden : SEEN.  OVERT.

44. Merit badge org. : Boy Scouts of America.

46. Expensive : STEEP.   The price is high.

47. "My Ántonia" novelist Cather : WILLA.  American [1873-1947,]

48. "Hedda Gabler" playwright : IBSEN. Henrick, Norwegian [1828-1906.]

49. It won't hold water : SIEVE.  If you try, you might strain yourself.

50. Nick of "Hotel Rwanda" : NOLTE.  American actor [b 1941]

51. Chain with a Smart Sense store brand : K-MART.  Rapidly shrinking chain.

55. __-deucey : ACEY.  Card game

56. Scoundrel : HEEL.  Cad.

58. Stew vegetable : PEA.  Or porridge - hot or cold.

59. Mandela's org. : ANC.   African National Congress.

60. 15-Across locale: Abbr. : IRE.   The Auld Sod, the Emerald Isle.

61. 2000s "SNL" notable Tina : FEY.  American actor, comedian, writer and producer [b 1970.]

62. Wrapping time : EVE.  Not at our house.  Christmas EVE is when we have our big clan gathering.  The various sub-groups spend Christmas day with the other branches of their respective families.

That wraps up another Thursday EVE at the Corner.  Hope y'all had a fine time.

Cool Regards!

Oct 17, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Agnes Davidson & C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Play Fair

17A. Leg-strengthening exercise : CALF RAISE

35A. Aviator's military branch : AIR FORCE

42A. Altercation broken up by bouncers : BAR FIGHT. Not BAR BRAWL

11D. Big eater's fast-food request, maybe : EXTRA FRIES. One letter short of SUPERSIZE ME.

27D. Get the wood-burning stove going : START A FIRE

63A. Equitable treatment ... and what's literally found in each set of circles : FAIR SHAKE. The word SHAKE indicates an anagram.  Another joint effort by two of our own - congratulations!

1. Theater accessory : PROP

5. Home of the Pac-12's Bruins : UCLA

9. Ejects, as lava : SPEWS

14. Deflect, with "off" : FEND

15. Chunk of bacon : SLAB. Anyone else feeling hungry?

16. Like most income : TAXED

19. Prefix with violet : ULTRA

20. "Austin Powers" genre : SPYFI

21. Bath rug : MAT

22. Retired Yankee Jeter : DEREK

23. Suitcase tie-on : ID TAG

25. Supermodel Banks : TYRA

26. Silent speech syst. : ASL. American Sign Language

28. Pig Latin rejection : IX-NAY

30. Advanced lit. degrees : MFAS

33. Something to blow off or let off : STEAM

37. Actress Peeples : NIA

38. Spearheaded : LED

40. Pat softly : DAB

41. Party host's bucketful : ICE. First thought was apples.

45. More likely to be on Santa's good list : NICER

47. Penny-__: trivial : ANTE

48. In flight : ALOFT

50. Madrid mama bear : OSA

51. Swim __: do one full pool circuit : ALAP

53. Penne or ziti : PASTA. Know your pasta shapes.

55. Rapids runners : RAFTS

57. Nervous mannerism : TIC

58. Golden Arches pork sandwich : McRIB. No thanks. I'll stick with the bacon and what's coming up in 7D.

62. Self-storage rentals : UNITS

65. Creepy : EERIE

66. Like __ of sunshine : A RAY

67. All square : EVEN

68. Cleaned with a broom : SWEPT

69. Country's Lovett : LYLE

70. Pants rear : SEAT


1. USMC one-stripers : PFCS. Private First Class.

2. "As ye sow, so shall ye __" : REAP

3. Sole : ONLY. Not LONE.

4. Email attachment format : PDF FILE

5. Country with an eagle on its Great Seal: Abbr. : USA

6. Story's high point : CLIMAX

7. Layered noodle dish : LASAGNA. More noodles. Should have waited for the perp - entered an E at the end first.

8. Distract the security guards for, say : ABET

9. Book-lined room : STUDY

10. Sicily's capital : PALERMO

12. Used to be : WERE

13. Mt. Rushmore's state : SDAK

18. Free (of) : RID

24. Interval : TIME GAP

25. Ruthless rulers : TYRANTS

26. From Laos, e.g. : ASIAN

29. Help out : AID

31. Capital of Ghana : ACCRA. Good crossword fill.

32. Observe : SEE

34. Woodcutter Baba : ALI

36. J. Edgar Hoover Building org. : FBI

37. Pro hoops gp. : NBA

39. Global shipping company : DHL

43. Sharpie feature : FELT TIP

44. Horticultural art : TOPIARY

46. Athletic instructors : COACHES

49. Spa beauty treatment : FACIAL

52. Valuable holding : ASSET

54. Many corp. logos : TMS. Trademarks.

55. Regrets : RUES

56. Once again : ANEW

57. Giant in nonstick pans : T-FAL

59. "Don't miss it" review : RAVE

60. Swedish furniture maker : IKEA

61. Like knees when squatting : BENT

64. Manhattan whiskey : RYE


Oct 16, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017 ~ Frank Virzi

Theme: Splitter - Start the answer with the first part of the target word and end the answer with the last part.

17. Source of valuable metal: GOLD MINE

25. Early record player: GRAMOPHONE

37. Beatles song used as wake-up music on the last Space Shuttle mission: GOOD DAY SUNSHINE. Paul McCartney - Good Day Sunshine(2:05) The Beatles version unavailable.

45. Revolving blade sharpener: GRIND STONE

58. Extinct since way back when ... and, in a way, what each set of circles represents: LONG GONE

Argumentative style here. And for the sake of argument, this seems like a C.C. puzzle. The split is GO-NE or G-ONE, alternating. The circles seem superfluous.


1. Baseball putout, often: TAG

4. Digital readouts, for short: LCDs. (liquid crystal display)

8. No more than: AT MOST

14. 401(k) kin: Abbr.: IRA. (individual retirement account)

15. Settled on a rail: ALIT. Hope it's a fence rail and not a train rail.

16. Abs exercise: CRUNCH

19. Holy __: brat: TERROR

20. Isaac's eldest: ESAU

21. Golden State wine region: NAPA. Devastated.

23. One World Trade Center topper: SPIRE

24. Sales team: REPS

27. Give it __: make an effort: A TRY

29. Work's opposite: PLAY

30. Fibber or Molly of old radio: MCGEE

32. Rationale: BASIS

34. Repair: FIX

40. Mariner's "Help!": SOS

41. Tear to pieces: RIPUP

42. Makes, as money: EARNS

43. "Buona __": Gino's "Good evening": SERA

44. Former trans-Atl. fliers: SSTs. (supersonic transport)

50. Thing to scratch: ITCH

53. Cut again, as grass: REMOW

54. Bring into the firm: HIRE

55. About 66.5 degrees, for the Arctic Circle: N LAT. (north latitude)

56. Musician Keys: ALICIA

60. Poland Spring competitor: DASANI. H²O

61. Words to Brutus: "ET TU?"

62. Dist. you can see: VIS. DISTance/VISibility, usually in miles. Important for pilots.

63. The "S" in GPS: SYSTEM. (Global Positioning System)

64. Pest-control brand: d-CON

65. Md. summer hrs.: EDT. (Eastern Daylight Time)


1. Striped big cat: TIGER

2. Got up: AROSE

3. Islands visited by Darwin: GALÁPAGOS

4. On the __: at large: LAM

5. Like Saran wrap: CLINGY

6. Bahraini money: DINAR

7. Assembly instructions start: STEP A

8. Put-on: ACT

9. Violates a "private property" sign: TRESPASSES

10. Brown played by Candice Bergen: MURPHY. (TV Series 1988–1998)

11. "Blame It __": 1984 film set in Brazil: ON RIO

12. Disdain: SCORN

13. Little pigs number: THREE

18. Looked for prints: DUSTED

22. Intensifies: AMPS UP. 11

26. Actress Lena: OLIN

28. 1967 Neil Diamond song title line preceding "Go to my head": "RED, RED, WINE"

30. British sports cars: MGs

31. Pigeon sound: COO

32. Less-traveled way: BYPATH

33. Sch. with a Phoenix campus: ASU. (Arizona State University) Most students are on the Tempe campus.

34. Grade school crush, often: FIRST LOVE

35. Quaint quarters: INN

36. Kisses, in romantic letters: X'es

38. Hoity-toity manners: AIRS

39. Detesting: HATING

43. Polar expedition vehicle: SNO-CAT

44. Taken care of: SEEN TO

45. Mortarboard tossers: GRADS

46. Race with batons: RELAY

47. "What'd __?": returning traveler's query: I MISS

48. Lubricated: OILED

49. Campus midshipmen's prog.: NROTC. (Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps)

51. Dog or coyote: CANID

52. Nuclear trial, briefly: H-TEST

57. "Ready, __, fire!": AIM

59. Staple or nail driver: GUN


Notes from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to dear CrossEyedDave & Blue Hen! Thank you for the endless joy you've brought to our life, Dave! Thank you for the tasty food hacks you've brought to our blog as well, Blue Hen!