Apr 30, 2017

Sunday April 30, 2019 Pam Amick Klawitter

Theme: "Haiku" - LINE can follow each word of the three-part phrase.

23A. *What it often is on a summer day : HOT OUTSIDE. Hotline. outline. Sideline.

36A. *One-to-one conversation : PRIVATE PHONE CHAT. Private line. Phone line. Chat line.

59A. *Scuba divers' bash : UNDERWATER PARTY. Underline. Waterline. Party line.

83A. *Highly sought-after charter captain : TOP FISHING GUIDE. Top line. Fishing line. Guideline.

99A. *Iconic suburban symbol : WHITE PICKET FENCE. White line. Picket line. Fence line.

15D. *Awkward TV silence : DEAD AIR TIME. Deadline. Airline. Timeline.

68D. *Sale indicator : RED PRICE TAG. Red line. Priceline. Tagline.

Reveal:

119A. Feature of haiku, and of the answers to starred clues : THREE LINES

I think this is the first time we see such a three-part theme in LAT. Some of theme entries are not quite solid in-the-language. Just nature of the game.

We've seen a few both words that can precede/follow gimmick, which is already very hard to make. Three part is just incredible.

Across:     

1. Word heard in Bedrock : YABBA. "Yabba Dabba Doo!". From "The Flintstones". I drew a blank.

6. West Point letters : USMA. We also have 10. Military setting : BASE

10. Dark horses : BAYS

14. Sam seen in bars : ADAMS. This Sam.


19. Scott who wrote "Island of the Blue Dolphins" : O'DELL. Any of you read the book?


20. A golf green may be shaped like one : PEAR. Like this. I thought of OVAL.


21. Face cream additive : ALOE

22. Paganini's birthplace : GENOA

25. Rodeo goad : SPUR

26. Bother a lot : EAT AT. Not NAG AT

27. WWII spy gp. : OSS. Office of Strategic Services

28. Big mouths : MAWS. Not YAPS.

29. Tampico trio : TRES. We also have 7. José's half-dozen : SEIS

31. Mask wearers : BANDITS. Wanted GOALIES.

33. Salem-to-Portland dir. : NNE

34. Chihuahua or Maltese, in dog shows : TOY

35. Slangy sib : SISTA

43. Texter's "Just a thought ... " : IMHO

47. Candy aisle choice : ROLO. Not SKOR.

48. Kid in a '60s sitcom : OPIE. And 37. 48-Across player : RONNY

49. K-12, in brief : ELHI. El(ementary) + Hi(gh school). Often draws objections from our retired teacher crowd.

50. Its flag features a six-pointed star : ISRAEL

52. Scale starting words : ONE TO

54. 911 responder : EMT

56. Barbecue supply : BUNS. Not RUBS.

58. Functional : UTILE

63. "Wayward __": Shyamalan TV series : PINES. New to me.


64. Salon supply : DYE. Not GEL today.

65. Ancient region of Asia Minor : GALATIA. This clue often calls for IONIA.

66. Longship crew : NORSEMEN

68. Half a track? : RAIL. Two rails on a track.

69. London's "Ye Olde Mitre," e.g. : PUB. Steve might have been here many times.


71. "The Way __": 2007 Timbaland hit : I ARE. I thought it might be I WAS.

72. Loud speakers : STENTORS. Ha ha, I actually know this word. 

76. Travelocity enticement : LOW FARE

79. Pooh, to Roo : PAL

82. Broadway restaurant founder : SARDI. Sardi's.

86. Office holders? : CLIPS. Great clue.

87. Gilbert who created TV's "The Talk" : SARA

88. The Silver St. : NEV

89. Graphic start : ORTHO. No "Garden products brand" today. By the way, Anon-T, we planted both seeds and flowers. The flowers survived the cold weather, thankfully.

90. Warns : ALERTS

92. Frees : RIDS

94. They catch a lot of shrimp : NETS

97. Continue : GO ON

98. Sitcom pioneer, familiarly : DESI

103. Word with link or letter : CHAIN. Lovely clue as well.

105. French article : UNE

106. Damage : MAR

107. Haunted house sounds : SCREAMS

110. Lacking : SANS

112. Eye opener? : OPTI. I thought the clue was asking for DEAD/EVIL/SHUT.

113. Improve, in some cases : AGE. This qualifier makes me smile.

116. Cutie : TOOTS

117. Chop __ : SUEY

 122. Charged : RAN AT

123. Sport with double touches : EPEE. New clue angle.

124. Slices of history : ERAs

125. Minnesota's "10,000" : LAKES. Wisconsin says it has  more lakes than Minnesota. They count big puddles.

126. Play area : STAGE

127. Cold War initials : SSRS

128. Hide from an animal : PELT. Another nice clue.

129. Treacherous type : SNAKE. Girls who were born in Year of the Pig should not date guys who were born in Year of the Snake.

Down:

1. Pirate's syllables : YO HO. Partial.

2. They're often about nothing : ADOs

3. Adds to the pool : BETS

4. Rain-__ bubble gum : BLO

5. Smith grad : ALUMNA

6. High hairdo : UPSWEEP


8. Satiric magazine founded in 1952 : MAD

9. Kid-to-kid retort : ARE TOO
 
11. Hurdle for Hannibal : ALPS

12. Mirror image? : YOU. Not MOI.

13. Homeland of tennis star Novak Djokovic : SERBIA

14. "The X-Files" extra : AGENT. Normally a clue for ETS.

16. Protester : ANTI

17. Defensive ditch : MOAT

18. H.S. hurdles : SATs

24. Ma non __: not too much, in music : TANTO. No idea. I can't read sheet music.

30. Cub great Sandberg : RYNE

32. Bubbly source : ASTI

34. Lincoln Center attraction, familiarly : THE MET

35. Eastern faith : SHINTO. Shin - God. To has the same meaning as Chinese TAO (way).

36. Word in a Marines slogan : PROUD

 38. __-France : ILE DE. Very limited way to clue this partial.

39. Register a preference : VOTE

40. St. Peter's Basilica sight : PIETA

41. Exile isle : ELBA

42. Make, as butter : CHURN

44. Katahdin is its highest peak : MAINE. Never hard of Mount Katahdin.


45. Beatrix Potter's real first name : HELEN. Also a new trivia to me.

46. Cries after fútbol goals : OLEs

51. Freudian conscience : SUPEREGO

53. Player in a loft : ORGANIST

55. Vacation choice : TRIP

57. Aleppo native : SYRIAN

60. Reservations can help avoid one : WAIT. You have to have a reservation at our neighborhood Fantastic Sams. Otherwise, 30 minutes wait, at least.

61. Apportions : ALLOTS

62. Eighth-century pope : PAUL I. Not PIUS I.

67. Puppeteer Tony : SARG

 70. Cap'n's aide : BOSN

72. Room at the Louvre : SALLE

73. Doesn't give up : TRIES

74. Enter noisily : ROAR IN. Not a phrase I use.

75. Nautical pole : SPRIT. Forgot. We had this before. Spell checker flashes it.

77. Word of origin : WHENCE

78. Marathon practice run : FIVE-K

79. Spike for Hillary : PITON. Edmund Hillary.

80. Like some focus groups : AD HOC. We often have "committee" in the clue for a fat gimme.

81. Freetown currency : LEONE

82. Slew : SCAD. Normally plural, right?

84. Grow pale : FADE

85. Push : URGE

91. Did a few laps : SWAM

93. Made on a wheel : SPUN

95. Play set on an island, with "The" : TEMPEST. Got via crosses as well.

96. Cabinet department : STATE

100. Greets the villain : HISSES

101. Conforming : IN STEP (with)

102. Elegant trimmings : FRILLS

104. Speed : HASTE

107. Orch. section : STRS. Strings. Gluey fill constructors dread to use.

108. Primer layer : COAT

109. Novelist Jaffe : RONA

110. Psychic : SEER

111. Motion carriers : AYES. I like this clue also. Lots of S's in this little section.

112. Tough test : ORAL

113. Self-titled 1974 pop album : ANKA

114. Many a techie : GEEK

115. Latin being : ESSE

118. FedEx rival : UPS

120. Otto I's realm: Abbr. : HRE

121. Knighted McKellen : IAN. He was on Fresh Air a while ago. Funny guy.


Thanks for letting me know the puzzles in your local paper. I fear I'm the lone voice here asking our local Star Tribune to change the puzzles. So sad. Why their syndicate does not publish LAT crosswords is beyond me. I start to doubt if the Trib Variety Editor even solves crosswords.

C.C.

Apr 29, 2017

Saturday, Apr 29th, 2017, Gail Grabowski

Theme: GG double double spanners

Words: 68 (missing J,K,Q,V,Z)

Blocks: 25 

 This one from Gail was a bear - and I am better off for the challenge. While I did find some of the clues to be a bit of a s-t-r-e-t-c-h, all in all, it was a healthy brain buster that took me over my personal allotted time and into red-letter cheating, but I did manage to stay away from Google.  Lowest block count I have ever seen, 26 being the previous low, and the structure of the puzzle lent itself to that most cruel feature of all crosswords, the "I can't get there from here" dilemma; I could not get into the mid-east section from "-FRIEND" to "REPOT" without some real Wild-Ass Guesses.  Two double-stack spanners;

15. Classic dessert : COCONUT CREAM PIE - I was looking to get ICE cream in there and then chocolate, since I am not a fan of coconut (don't like the texture) - but this is what fit


17. Childhood playmate, perhaps : IMAGINARY FRIEND - my first guess, but I can't say why I didn't fill it in


46. Find another way : ALTER ONE'S COURSE - I had LEAVE - -, which screwed that corner up until I went red-letter, and the SW lit up like we were on high alert

50. Least accessible areas : DEEPEST RECESSES - I had DARKEST - that's 4/7ths correct








Get it~?

ACROSS:

1. Chaotic : IN A MESS - tough way to start the puzzle, with a phrase, and one that just didn't quite 'click' for me with the clue

8. Wunderkinds : PHENOMS

18. Gave up : CEDED

19. Carnival follower : LENT - Mardi Gras and the religious period after - I did not know the celebration was referred to as a "carnival"

20. Long of "In Too Deep" : NIA - perps

21. Rested : LAIN - I had laiD

22. First AFL-CIO president : MEANY - had MEA--, tried MEADE

23. Beat : BEST

24. Projection in the sky, briefly : ETA - dah~! Not etS, as in aliens - I can't wait to see the new Alien movie, "Covenant", even though I think it's going to be nothing more than a "remake" of the 1979 classic


25. Contractual arrangement : LEASE

26. One of the Visayan Islands : LEYTE - filled via perps; the "Y" was my last fill

27. Fields with multiple "Ed Sullivan Show" appearances : TOTIE - figured it was not "SALLY", and the crossings took care of most of it; her Wiki

28. Sushi fish : SEA EEL - total WAG, and a total cringe moment

29. Household current : AC POWER - meh.  Never "called" it that.

32. Becomes unproductive : RUNS DRY

33. Body shop convenience : LOANER

34. Provide room for growth, in a way : REPOT - if you have to send another message over the telegraph, is that remorse~?

35. Vaulted alcoves : APSES - NOOKS~? bzzt.  NAVES~? bzzt.  Eventually....

36. Its site has tracking tools : FedEx - the "other" guys.  Self-promoting advertisement

In my case, UPS is usually the 'down' side....

37. "So there!" : HAH - DAH~!!  Not A-HA; is that 100% zero correct~?  I had the right letters....

40. Cons : NAYS - ah, the votes, not the artists

41. Families : CLANS

42. It was founded to build engines for The Bull Tractor Company : TORO - learning moment.  And then when I read it again, "duh."  Toro = bull....

43. Garage sale buys : LPs

44. Adriatic resort : LIDO

45. Express __ : TRAIN - too easy, I left it out the first few passes

51. Suit goal : DAMAGES

52. Minority legal filing : DISSENT 

DOWN:
    
1. Frozen formation : ICICLE - ugh, I put in ice CAP

2. Dietary restriction : NO MEAT

3. National park SE of Bangor : ACADIA

4. Jewish star : MOGEN - I knew it as the Star of David; more from Wiki

5. City near Vance Air Force Base : ENID - a WAG

6. Word with block or screen : SUN - sunblock, sunscreen

7. Result of poor ventilation : STALE AIR

8. Hawthorne heroine : PRYNNE - dammit - I went with HESTER, and was right, but totally wrong

9. Substantial : HEFTY

10. Stirrup site : EAR - the little bones....

11. Feature of a two-ltr. monogram : NMI - No Middle Initial

12. Alert : OPEN-EYED - ah.  Not sure if it was the noun, or the verb - turned out to be the adjective

13. Service provider : MINISTER - ah.  That kind of service

14. With equanimity : SEDATELY

16. Pleat feature : CREASE


22. Monthly reading : METER

23. Brute : BEAST

25. The Home Depot rival : LOWES - I avoid shopping there at all costs - I'm a Home Depot guy

26. Service provider? : LENOX - got me.  That kind of service


27. Shades : TONES

28. Some caretakers, for short : SUPES - like building superintendents

29. "Two Years Before the Mast" star : ALAN LADD - oh man....I tried ALAN ALDA, and was again so right, with all the letters in the wrong places....

30. Get off easy, perhaps : COP A PLEA

31. Message medium : P.A. SYSTEM - I so could not parse this in the down - I had PA-T ST--, and could not make anything out of it

32. Descriptor akin to shiny, in song : RED-NOSED - that reindeer with the shiny nose

34. One involved in a plot? : READER - my latest book is 'Prague Fatale' from Philip Kerr; I found him through a book called "The Grid", which had a totally different writing style and feel

36. Spark producers : FLINTS

37. Husky : HOARSE

38. Off one's rocker? : ARISEN - har-har

39. Frank : HONEST

41. Confined, as quarters : CLOSE

42. Bind : TRUSS

45. Ring sites : TOES

47. Org. concerned with climate change : EPA

48. Short rule? : REGency - I learned more here

49. LXVII x III : CCI - Roman 67 x 3 = 201

Splynter

Apr 28, 2017

Friday April 28, 2017 Alan DeLoriea

Theme: H-BOMB (29. Its testing awakened Godzilla ... and what's dropped, facetiously, into five puzzle answers) - B is added to the start of each common phrase. (I meant H. Thanks, CanadianEh!.)

17A. Cool site? : HIP ADDRESS. IP address. Every computer has one. You can google "What's my IP address" to find out yours.

38A. Android greeting? : HI ROBOT. I Robot. Crossing the reveal H-BOMB. Very nice.

62A. Congress taking some R and R? : HILL AT EASE. Ill at ease.
 
11D. When the punch line hits? : HAHA MOMENT. Aha moment.

27D. Lonely banquet reservation? : HALL FOR ONE. All for one.

C.C. here. Some of you are aware that Lemonade had a scare following his sciatica surgery. He was hospitalized for six long days to deal with a few terrifying health issues. He's now at home recovering. Hopefully he'll be back guiding us next Friday.

Today we have a classic Friday letter addition/deletion/replacement theme with a pinwheel design, which is frequently used when there is a reveal entry. Pinwheel often allows smoother fill, but it also limits long fill (8+ letter answers). In today's case, we only have two: LAST GASP (20. Like a Hail Mary pass) and  ALCATRAZ (57. "The Rock" (1996) setting). Both sparkling.

Across:     

1. Smears : DAUBS

6. Warthog weapon : TUSK. What do you call the pair above his tusks?


10. Leave behind : SHED. As in fur. I was thinking of LOSE.

14. __ de l'air: French Air Force : ARMEE. Helpful clue

15. Bart Simpson's bus driver : OTTO. D-Otto's surname is Uttormark. I forgot what it means. Burnikel means "Don't kill the child".

16. Vendor offering : WARE. Was picturing food.

19. Melville's "grand, ungodly, god-like man" : AHAB

21. "Animal House" rivals : FRATS. Got via crosses.

22. "Suicide Squad" actor Jared : LETO

23. TV fantasy drama inspired by iconic brothers : GRIMM. Helpful clue.

25. Post-run feeling : ACHE

28. Younger Simpson sister : ASHLEE. Jessica's sister. Not LISA or MAGGIE.


30. Mining target : ORE. Also 18. Mining target : DATA

33. Clutch : GRASP

35. DealDash offers : BIDS. Never used DealDash. You?

36. Do a DJ's job : MIX

37. Press output : OIL. Not "The Press" press.

41. N.C. winter hours : EST

42. Seminary subj. : REL

43. Former L.A. Laker Lamar __ : ODOM. Troubled life.

44. Capp chap : ABNER

46. "Speak" follower : ARF

47. Liable to spill the beans : BLABBY. Never used this word.

50. Mediterranean hot spot : ETNA

51. Willow twig : OSIER. Learned from doing crosswords. This tree is very Osier-y.

53. CPR pros : EMTS

55. Show tune that begins, "The most beautiful sound I ever heard" : MARIA

61. Conductive nerve part : AXON

64. Wilder acting : GENE. I know "Acting Wilder" will lose the  "capital W" trick, but it sounds better grammatically.

65. Digging : INTO. So what was your sciatica surgery procedure called, Dave? You're so lucky that it's totally gone.

66. Up : ASTIR

67. Whole mess : SLEW

68. "The Hunger Games" president : SNOW. Stranger to me.


69. __ pad : STENO. Not LEGAL/MOUSE.

Down:

1. Oompa-Loompa creator : DAHL

2. Song from Strauss : ARIA

3. Frequent callers? : UMPS. Great clue.

4. Apple Records founders : BEATLES

5. Swamp growth : SEDGE

6. Trunks : TORSOS

7. Sch. that calls the Sun Bowl its home : UTEP. University of Texas at El Paso.

8. New Eng. sextet : STs (States)

9. Mayweather stat : KO'S

10. Be like bees : SWARM. Not STING.
 
12. Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT

13. Society newbies : DEBS

21. Gala gathering : FIESTA

23. Slick-talking : GLIB

24. Second shot : RE-DO

25. Prefix with 34-Down : AGORA. And 34. Irrational aversion : PHOBIA. Agoraphobia = Fear of public spaces

26. Town __ : CRIER

31. Up : RISEN

32. More than expected : EXTRA

39. "Spamalot" lyricist : IDLE (Eric)

40. Loud cry : ROAR. And  48. Loud cry : BELLOW

45. Childish descriptor of a childhood friend : BESTEST. Are you still in contact with your childhood bestest friend?

49. Where "It's fun to stay," in a disco hit : YMCA

52. Tendon : SINEW

54. Exit lines : TA TAs

55. Money and Fortune, briefly : MAGS
 
56. Winter Olympics leap : AXEL

57. Adele, vocally : ALTO

58. Use a Yelp account, say : RATE

59. Words used for a spell? : AS IN. Spelling.

60. Cold temperature : ZERO. It was so warm last weekend that Boomer and I started our garden. Then we had a  few cold days. Snow on our deck yesterday morning. 

62. Half a matching set : HIS

63. Place to stay : INN

Some of you probably still remember Wayne R. Williams, who used to edit our old Tribune Media Daily crosswords. He passed away on Tuesday morning.

Our local Star Tribune now carries Timothy Parker's crosswords and the 6-week-behind New York Times crosswords. Does your paper have two puzzles or only one puzzle? Do they give bylines? Let me know in the Comments section.


C.C.


Apr 27, 2017

Thursday April 27th 2017 Neville Fogarty

Theme: Hash-Slinging - as the reveal tells us, the theme entries have the word ORDER reading upwards:

40D. Diner call ... and what the answer to each starred clue literally contains : ORDER UP!

2D. *One of a romantic dozen : RED ROSE

8D. *Neighborhood TV host? : FRED ROGERS. Here he is with a model of his bailiwick:


17D. *Computer network component : WIRED ROUTER. Routers were just plain routers until wireless routers came along.

26D. *Many a dorm accommodation : SHARED ROOM

This is a neat theme from Neville with the four "ORDER"s breaking at the same place in each two-word answer. The theme answers are all downs, as obviously you need to have the word reading upwards. The central 11 creates the blocky feeling with the two black squares top and bottom which are required. The grid must have been a little tricky to fill because there are six more helper squares in addition to those four. However, there's a lot of fresh fill here, nice work.

There were quite a few unknowns in here for me, but solid crosses made everything fall into place. Let's see what jumps out:

Across:

1. Letter from school : GRADE. Nice clue!

6. Tabloid fodder : AFFAIR

12. Pop singer Spektor : REGINA. Russian-born American singer-songwriter.



14. Safari guide's weapon : DART GUN

16. Saws with wisdom : ADAGES

17. Auburn University's avian battle cry : WAR EAGLE! Who knew? (Well, apart from Auburn alums). The mascot is a tiger.

18. Jewish ceremony for a newborn son : BRIS. Yikes.

19. Photographer's buy : TRIPOD

21. Elastic wood : YEW

22. __ fide : BONA

23. Four-time discus gold medalist : OERTER.  Al took the gold in four consecutive Olympic Games (from 1956 to 1968), the first track and field athlete to do so.

24. "The Gold-Bug" author : POE. This came courtesy of crosses, but I read the fascinating synopsis of the book here on Wiki. Now added to my reading list.

25. Admin. aides : ASSTS.

27. Bentley of "Ghost Rider" : WES. Nice looking chap. He had a bad heroin problem for a while but appears to have got that particular demon out of his system.


28. 1930s N.Y. Giants star Lefty : O'DOUL

30. Earn : GET

31. Pay attention to : HEED

33. Land mentioned in the spiritual "Go Down, Moses" : EGYPT


Go down, Moses,
Way down in Egypt's land
Tell old Pharaoh
Let my people go

34. 1959 Gidget player : SANDRA DEE.

36. Classic V-8 : T-BIRD. Cue The Beach Boys. Did Gidget drive a T-Bird?

38. What the nose knows : ODOR

39. "That's amazing!" : WOW!

42. Blow one's top : GO APE

43. Chum : BUD

44. Alarm : SCARE

46. Remote button : REC. RE and wait for the cross.

47. Ohio aviation city : DAYTON

50. Literary alter ego : HYDE. Dr. Jekyll's dark side in Robert Louis Stevenson's novella.


51. Comic strip outburst : ACK!

52. Matures : RIPENS

53. Treated with a pack : ICED

54. Nabisco chocolate treat : MALLOMAR. News to me. I must have walked past these things thousands of times in the store and never noticed them.

56. Extra number : ENCORE

58. Hose connections : SPIGOTS

59. Tottenham tint : COLOUR. North London soccer rivals of my club Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur play in white at home, blue on the road. We beat 'em 4-2 last weekend in the FA Cup semi-finals. Yay!

60. John of "Fuller House" : STAMOS

61. Gives a hand : HELPS

Down:

1. Source of party gifts : GRAB BAG

3. Versus : AGAINST

4. Tries to unearth : DIGS AT

5. Storm's dir. : E.N.E.

6. Learns new technology, say : ADAPTS

7. __ Islands: Danish archipelago : FAROE. Although part of Denmark, they have their own soccer association and as such enter the World Cup and European Championships independently. The players are all part-timers and they play their international fixtures in Sweden because there are no grass pitches on the islands.

9. __ crossroads : AT A

10. The Stooges frontman : IGGY POP. His "Lust for Life" was used as the theme to the movie "Trainspotting". Not for the weak of stomach.

11. Remove from consideration : RULE OUT

13. Regarding : AS TO

15. Banister post : NEWEL

20. Took another plunge? : RE-WED. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, for example.

29. Vat filler : DYE

32. Last part : END

33. Istanbul : Constantinople :: Tokyo : __ : EDO. Where Noh was performed.

34. Nurse : SIP. As one's drink. Cheers!

35. Extra purchase : ADD-ON

36. Boot reinforcements : TOECAPS

37. Like some e-readers : BACK-LIT

39. "Outstanding!" : WAY COOL!

41. Gardening tools : WEEDERS. I wasn't quite sure what one of these was, so I went to look:

42. Lab units : GRAMS

43. Way around the city : BYPASS

45. Chewing gum ingredient : CHICLE. Natural gum sourced from trees.

48. "We __ please" : AIM TO

49. Tiny bit of time: Abbr. : NSEC.

55. Airport near Citi Field: Abbr. : LGA. La Guardia in New York, a few miles from the Mets' ground in Flushing Meadow.

57. Masked drama : NOH. Japanese cultural staple dating back to the 14th century.

That's about it from me. Time to post the grid, and then a stroll down the Strip. I'm in Las Vegas for a convention.

Steve


Apr 26, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017, Bill Zagozweski

Title: COMPLETE THE PHRASE



Husker Gary here to fill in the blanks on Bill's very clever puzzle. If you knew going in that every themer had the word BLANK in it and that the actual single clue word had to be mentally placed in/over that BLANK, it would have made for a faster solve. It worked that way for me after I got the gimmick. What a hoot!

As you can see in the grid at the right, I have put the Clue word over (rather than in) the BLANK and that generates a familiar phrase.


I thought INCUS and BALATA were mighty meaty words for a Wednesday and I had to research PET and SHIN used in unfamiliar contexts, but learning is an great adjunct to these daily exercises. Opposed to popular opinion, I am trainable.


Now before I BLANK out, lets examine what the theme fills, one layer at a time.


20. NOTHING : BLANK BUT NET - NOTHING fills in for BLANK and we get NOTHING BUT NET which is a baseball phrase shown here in a fun way



56. NAUGHT : ALL FOR BLANK - NAUGHT fills in for BLANK to give us ALL FOR NAUGHT. Like when Andy Hawkins threw a no-hitter for the Yankees but got beat because of errors

11. SPACE : OPEN BLANK -Drop SPACE in the BLANK and you get OPEN SPACE. Tom Lehman took the OPEN SPACE of Nebraska's Sand Hills and built the 35th best public golf course in America.



31. EMPTY : BLANK NEST - EMPTY fills in the BLANK to give us EMPTY NEST. We at least waited two days before we moved the computer desk into her room and to make it an office.


38. Provide missing info ... and what four clues do to their answers : FILL IN THE BLANKS - A round of Mad Libs:


FILL IN THE BLANKS: This was a(n) ADJECTIVE puzzle that gave me ADJECTIVE NOUN. I thought it was ADVERB ADJECTIVE for a Wednesday because the fill was ADVERB ADJECTIVE than usual. 


My answers - Wonderful, Great Joy, Particularly Difficult, More Challenging


Now you get to read my ADJECTIVE review/exposition 


Across


1. Reduce drastically : SLASH


6. Skyscraper girder : I-BEAM - They just pulled up an I-BEAM for lunch 



11. Bobby on the ice : ORR


14. Willowy : LITHE


15. Impudent : NERVY


16. Baltimore Ravens mascot named for an author : POE - Baltimore? Ravens? Makes perfect sense!


17. Attendant who invites Hamlet to duel Laertes : OSRIC - Peter Cushing playing OSRIC to Olivier's Hamlet

18. Blubbers : CRIES

19. Potato part : EYE


22. "Stillmatic" rapper : NAS - His lyrics ain't exactly Gershwin


23. Equinox mo. : SEP - On or about the 21st





24. Secure at the pier : LASH - Bill Murray had to be LASHED to the mast to overcome his fear of sailing in this hilarious film



25. Small bite : NIBBLE


27. Sulky state : PET - There it was, it had to be, but wha...? My research showed it as a shortened form of in a PETulant mood. Sample: Bill is really in a PET today.


28. L.A.'s region : SOCAL - SOuthern CALifornia 


29. Jessica of "Fantastic Four" films : ALBA - Let me get this straight. You give her this special power? Really? 

32. Waimea Bay island : OAHU

35. First sound of the day, for many : ALARM - Mine is a hungry kitty


41. Author Asimov : ISAAC


42. Ratio phrase : IS TO


43. Boxing stats : TKO'S


44. Explosive experiment : N-TEST - Here's one on Bikini Atoll with some VIP observers miles away


46. Vote for : YEA - An important prop in the play 1776

48. "I wanna go too!" : TAKE ME

50. "Psst!" kin : AHEM


52. These, in Nantes : CES - CES croissants sont délicieux 


55. Roadside respite spot : INN


59. Word with Iron or Bronze : AGE


60. Enter on a laptop : KEY IN


61. Tropical porch : LANAI - Where I first heard the word

62. Hi-__ image : RES


63. Año Nuevo month : ENERO - El desfile de las rosas es el 1 de ENERO. (Desfile = Parade)


64. Ham it up : EMOTE


65. Cockpit abbr. : ALT


66. Building leveler, to a Brit : RASER - Wait a minute, we're going to RASE that barn that grandpa helped RAISE?


67. Like horses : MANED - Farrah's coiffure was described as a feathered MANE in this picture




Down


1. Neatniks' opposites : SLOBS


2. Stocking thread : LISLE - How many times did I have to see this before I wrote it in right away today?


3. "It's __!": "They tricked us!" : A TRAP - Admiral Ackbar's warning



4. Climb, in a way : SHIN - This ranks right up there with the obscure (to me) usage of PET above. From dictionary.com 



5. Badger from the bleachers : HECKLE - I saw an umpire take off all his equipment and throw it down in front of a HECKLER in the bleachers and say, "You do it!" He declined and shut up.


6. Anvil-shaped ear bone : INCUS - Thar she blows in the canal!



7. Ocean bed? : BERTH - It costs extra if you have a porthole or a balcony


8. Burnett of CNN : ERIN


9. ACTIVE NATURALS skin care brand : AVEENO


10. Otherworldly : MYSTICAL


12. Fit for a queen : ROYAL


13. Piece maker? : REESE - Mars Candy rued the day they turned down the tie-in with M&M's because they thought, "Who'd want to see a movie about an alien adopted by a lonely kid." Turns out, millions did. Hershey gladly cashed in with this blockbuster movie.



21. It may be passed : BATON


26. Golf ball material : BALATA - The sap harvested as you see here from these Central/South American trees was formerly widely used for a golf ball covers. Pros could control these balls better but amateurs just kept cutting them.

27. Sense of taste : PALATE

28. Bird feeder food : SUET - Part of our bird buffet


29. John Williams won its 2016 Life Achievement Award: Abbr. : AFI - American Film Institute


30. Fleur-de-__ : LIS


33. Busy, busy, busy : AT IT - After giving an assignment, I usually said, "Now, get AT IT!"


34. Dept. that oversees the FDA : HHS


36. "Citizen Kane" studio : RKO - William Randolph Hearst was so incensed at this movie that used him as a model, he leaned on Hollywood to make sure this "greatest American movie ever made" lost the Oscar to How Green Was My Valley in 1942


37. Ed.'s backlog : MSS - An Acquisition Editor with a backlog of unsolicited ManuScriptS

39. Fridge feature that needs water : ICE MAKER - Didn't you just hate wrestling with ice trays?


40. Bergman's "Gaslight" co-star : BOYER


45. Title Tejano singer in a 1997 biopic : SELENA


47. Starbucks' mermaid, e.g. : EMBLEM


48. Sparkly crown : TIARA


49. Broadway backer : ANGEL - The premise for making money in The Producers was Max Bialystock bilking money out of his stable of elderly ANGELS

50. Blazing : AFIRE


51. Roll out the red carpet for : HONOR


52. Pachelbel work : CANON - His CANON (a repeating melody) has graced many a wedding - I paid for two of them 


53. Related on mom's side : ENATE


54. Hit the slopes : SKIED - I would hit the slopes hard if I SKIED! 


57. Caustic cleaners : LYES


58. Tibetan spiritual adviser : LAMA - Carl (Bill Murray) was a looper (caddy) for the LAMA and admired his golf game in Caddyshack



Now it's time for your ADVERB  ADJECTIVE comments: