Showing posts with label Friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Friday. Show all posts

Aug 18, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: X marks the spot.

JW is back with another of his intricate visual puzzles, this time presenting 5 different iterations of the word FILES set out in an X pattern indicated by circles. The only strictly theme fill is the reveal:
39A. '90s-'00s sci-fi hit ... or what this puzzle's circles graphically depict : THE X-FILES (9).
The genius comes in when you place the five Xs in the grid so that together they create super X. This is the result of connecting the Xs from NW to SE and SW to NE. But wait - there's more! If the circles in each set are seen as a series, going from left-to-right and top-to-bottom as follows:

                     1        2
                     4        5

you will notice that the letters in FILES rotate in strict sequence from one set to the next.  That is, in the NW set, F is at position number 1, with the other letters following.  In the NE set, the F has shifted to position 2, and the other letters follow.  In the central set, the F is at position 3, and so on. Thus, the positioning of the letters in FILES is not a random scrambling, but a precise progression. The Z pattern he employed to present his pattern eluded me for a very long time.
Another technical marvel of construction.

We also have some fun fill, like ACCOSTS,  ACETONE,  AT A RACE,  BAD SPOT, DOLEFUL, EATS OUT, PROPMAN, PUFFERS,  UPLIFTS, GRAIN SILO, LEXINGTON but it pales in comparison to the architectural masterpiece.  Another YMMV, I guess, but let's see.


1. Sound check item : AMP. Amplifiers have been known as amps for some time!

4. Went down : SANK.  Simple, but so many SYNONYMS.

8. Euripides tragedy : MEDEA. Wife of Jason.

13. __ cross : TAU.  LINK.

14. Skewer relative : PRONG. A skewer is single. The better QUESTION.

16. Hipbone-related : ILIAC.  No more please.
17. Woofer's output? : ARF. Not the tweeter.

18. Even less given to emotion : ICIER.

19. Quantum of solace? : SOFT C. This had me almost as confused as the title of the BOND movie. Here it just means the "C" in the word solace.

20. Leave in disarray, probably : RIFLE.

22. Copier room quantity : REAM. 500 sheets.

24. "Taking that as a given ... " : IF SO. Logic terminology.

25. Comfortable (with) : AT EASE.

27. Indisposed : ILL.

29. Dawn goddess : EOS. I had her many times a few years ago - in my puzzles anyway.

30. Bread component : CARB.

31. Toy used on flights : SLINKY. Not airplanes, stairs.

34. Rural road track : RUT.

35. Disney character who sings, "The cold never bothered me anyway" : ELSA.

36. Go Fish request : TENS. Random, could be ace, two, six or ten.

37. Turns red, maybe : RUSTS. Reddish, actually I believe we call it rust color.

42. 2006 demotion : PLUTO. Yes Mickey was mad at him. Oh, the planet!

45. Heracles' beloved : IOLE. The STORY is more complicated. I do like seeing the Greek name for Hercules in keeping with Friday. .

46. Very little : A DAB. A little one will do you.

50. Agent : REP. Another word that is now acceptable as a word not just an abbreviation.

51. 1962 "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" singer : MONROE. There is a longer version on You Tube.

53. Fla. resort : BOCA. This is a bit misleading as Boca is now a city of almost 100,000 permanent residents. LINK.

54. Natural resource : OIL.

55. Physics unit : ERG.

56. Shut off completely, as lights : KILLED.

58. Trident-shaped letters : PSIS. More Greek.

60. Order to Spot : STAY.

63. Sugar source : BEETS.

64. Civilian garb : MUFTI.

66. Pair in the score for Beethoven's Fifth : OBOES. This is not an additional reference to Marilyn.

68. Dandy : FOP. Similar to last week's TOFF.

69. Partner of ciencias : ARTES. Arts and Sciences...pretty inferrable.

70. Forward attitude : NERVE.

71. Pizzeria chain : UNO. They opened three franchises of this Chicago Pizzeria here in late 70s; they are all gone.

72. Stick dwellings : NESTS. I like this simple clue/fill.

73. Holden Caulfield, for one : TEEN. Catcher in the Rye.

74. Court call : LET. Tennis


1. Visiting Pimlico : AT A RACE. The Preakness.

2. __ counseling : MARITAL.

3. Blowfish : PUFFERS.

4. Furtive sorts : SPIES.

5. Golf chip path : ARC.

6. "The Big Sleep" genre : NOIR.

7. Walk-in joint? : KNEE. I am left with my creaky knees and sore hips.

8. Inaccurate introduction? : MIS. Do?

9. Wells race : ELOI. I thought Yvette Mimieux was beautiful, but enough is enough.

10. Suggests an alternative : DIFFERS.

11. Enjoys a buffet, usually : EATS OUT.

12. Engages with boldness : ACCOSTS.

15. Farm structure : GRAIN SILO.

21. Company that survived Canada's Prohibition : LABATT. Labatt survives Canadian Prohibition by producing full-strength beer for export south of the border and by introducing two "temperance ales" (brews with less than two percent alcohol) for sale in Ontario. When Prohibition was finally repealed in 1927, Labatt was one of the 15 remaining breweries — giving them a strong, fresh start. (Labatt material)

23. Jan. honoree : MLK.

26. Tequila sunrise direction : ESTE. Two days in a row.

28. Old plucked strings : LYRE.

32. Minuteman Statue city : LEXINGTON. There is this ONE. Or this OTHER. You can tell JW is not from New England.

33. About to receive : IN FOR.

38. Not to be wasted : USABLE.

40. Diamond plate : HOME.

41. Garlic relative : LEEK. All you need to know; marry a cook. LINK.

42. Stage employee : PROPMAN.

43. Down time : LEISURE.

44. Makes joyous : UPLIFTS.

47. Joyless : DOLEFUL.

48. Paint thinner solvent : ACETONE.

49. Dicey situation : BAD SPOT.

52. Hosp. areas : ORS.

57. "An Enemy of the People" playwright : IBSEN. If you want to study. LINK.

59. Editor's afterthought : STET.

61. Act as lookout, say : ABET.

62. Time long past : YORE.

65. Orbiting research facility: Abbr. : ISS. International Space Station.

67. "Fairest of creation," in a Milton classic : EVE. Paradise Lost  No Will, either play or poem, but one of my favorites, John Milton.

“O fairest of all creation, last and best
Of all God's works, creature in whom excelled
Whatever can to sight or thought be formed, an enemy of the people
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,
Defaced, deflow'red, and now to death devote?”

Another interesting Friday with most of the cluing fair, but the layers used to create the visual difficult to recognize. I struggled with the pattern. For those who do not like complicated themes, this was intricate but the grid could be filled without circles and without understanding or appreciating the skill needed to build this one. Thank you JW, and thank you all for stopping by. Lemonade out.

Aug 11, 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017, Roger and Kathy Wienberg

Title: "It's just a jump to your left, then a step to the right..."LINK

This is the third LAT from this couple, with the others running on Tuesday. They clearly worked hard to create this very challenging effort. I know I am still getting my solving skills back, but this was very difficult to suss the theme.  I was very close to use my 'phone a friend' lifeline, but I was able to get most things filled in.  Because there were no clues for 4 words, I knew I had to work backwards from those fill. I saw the connection "m-odule." Then after pondering the reveal: 65A. Like some baseball pitches ... and a hint to locating the second part of four three-part puzzle answers : SIDEARM, the four un-clued fill and the inexplicable clue/fill: 8D. The Eagle, for one : LUN and the light bulb came on.  Voila- The Eagle was the name of the LUNAR MODULE. It was seeing that you got "three parts" going to the side to get the "ARM." The next to fall was also left, then right, 15D. McDonald's offering for tight budgets : DOLL leading to DOLLAR MENUThen the lightbulb came all the way on, just as they told us it was ARM that was on the side in all 4 themers! Wonderful! 35D. Post office standard : REGUL quickly led to REGULAR MAILFinally we have
 37D. Syrup source : SUG to reveal SUGAR MAPLE. This exposed the brilliance as all are separated between two words one ending in AR on starting with M.

There also some nice 7 letter fill ANDIRON,  ANTONIO, EARLOBE, GESTALT. LUCKY ME, RAW DATA and the unknown to me TANGRAM.  I sense this will be a love it/hate it puzzle, but you will let me know.

8D. The Eagle, for one : LUN...(AR M)...26D. - : ODULE.

15D. McDonald's offering for tight budgets : DOLL...(AR M)...34D. - : ENU.

35D. Post office standard :  REGUL...(AR M)...59D. - :  AIL.

37D. Syrup source :  SUG...(AR M)...51D. - :  APLE.


1. Welcome site : MAT.

4. One may be nervous : TIC.

7. Best of the best : ALL STAR. Miami Dolphin great Jason Taylor was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past week-end. He and brother-in-law Zach Taylor have been all stars both on and off the field.

14. It hasn't been analyzed yet : RAW DATA. We make our information like our vegetables.

16. Lottery winner's comment : LUCKY ME. Would you tell people immediately when you win?

17. Shutterbug : SHOOTER. In our troubled time, nice to see this clue/fill.

18. Fireplace fixture : ANDIRON.

19. Like a vertebral region : LUMBAR. My microdiscechtomy was at L2-L3.

21. Meddle, with "around" : NOSE.

22. Biblical songs : PSALMS.

25. Splotchy garment : SMOCK. How many remember Steve Allen and "Smock, Smock"

28. Calendar abbr. : APRil.

29. Blow : MISDO. A repeat from Tuesday, not a word I use, but it has been around since the 1200's. LINK.

30. Suffix with star or tsar : DOM. Never thought of TSARDOM, but like the anagram clue.

33. Flimsy : LAME. Like most excuses.

35. U.K. fliers : RAF.

36. Bearish? : URSINE.

38. Twists : IRONIES.

40. Couple in the news each December : CLAUSES. Santa (CSO Argyle) and the MRS.

41. Like tennis rackets : STRUNG.

42. Color property : HUE.

43. They go with guys : GALS. Is this now an un-pc term?

44. Stable diet : HAY. Cute.

45. Item from a mill? : RUMOR. Nice misdirection.

47. Singer/songwriter Carly __ Jepsen : RAE. She was popular in x-words for a while.

48. Secure, as a ship's line : BELAY. I was long confused by the two meanings. verb
1.fix (a running rope) around a cleat, pin, rock, or other object, to secure it.
2.nautical slang stop; enough! “Belay that, mister. Man your post.”

49. Rascals : SCAMPS.

52. Hook's right hand : SMEE. Also fun. Which hand was bitten off?

55. Intensify : RAMP UP.

57. Seven-piece Chinese puzzle : TANGRAM. Did not know the name, but they are used as part of many IQ tests.

60. Stud location : EARLOBE.

64. Shakespearean merchant : ANTONIO. Our Friday dose of Will. The MERCHANT of Venice.

66. Unified whole : GESTALT. A gimme for anyone with a degree in Psychology.

67. To some degree : ANY.

68. Upsilon preceder : TAU. Greek - one of many alphabets to memorize.


1. Dash or Doubtfire : MRS. Salt free or a very salty Robin Williams.

2. Sound of relief : AAH.

3. Number missing, in a way, from "4 = 16" : TWO. This is interesting as 4 to the 2nd power = 16 and 2 to the 4th power = 16.

4. Ryan's daughter : TATUM. She won an Oscar married John McEnroe and disappeared from fame.

5. Chairperson's list : ITEMS.

6. Energy food component : CARBohydrate. Carb loading was big when I was playing sports.

7. Snooze buttons stop them : ALARMS. Stopped using an alarm once I became ill.

9. PC screen type : LCDLiquid Crystal Display.

10. Lizard that can shed its tail : SKINK. We have lots of them in Florida. I have many friends (ladies) who are terrified by these small creatures.

11. Pro's opposite : TYRO. Beginner.

12. Book after Joel : AMOS. No religion but if you want INFORMATION.

13. Actor Auberjonois : RENE. He has appeared as Father Mulcahy in the M*A*S*H movie, Odo in Star Trek, Deep Space Nine and was in the wonderful Boston Legal.  Do you know his face?

20. "Dream on!" : AS IF.

22. Lacking color : PALISH. Not a word I would ever use.

23. Athens rival : SPARTA.

24D. Weapons source : ARMORY.

27. "Downton Abbey" countess : CORA. The all-American Elizabeth McGovern

29. Uno __: Juan's "one more" : MAS. I learned from Roberto Duran.

30. Captivate : DISARM.

31. A quarter mile, maybe : ONE LAP. We had a 440 track built by the Catholic girls high school next to our house.

32. Cans of worms : MESSES.

39. Memo opener : IN RE.

40. Lowlife : CUR.

42. Georgetown cager : HOYA. The HISTORY.

46. Critter in the same family as chipmunks and squirrels : MARMOT. Cute?

48. Conceived : BEGOT. More biblical wording.

49. New World colonizer : SPAIN.

50. Like Miss Muffet's fare : CURDY. Meh.

52. Guys-only : STAG. I love the Farmers AD.

53. Locks in a barn : MANE. One of the NAME anagrams from Monday.

54. Tolkien race : ENTS.

56. Tableland : MESA.

58. Genetic messenger : RNA.

61. Muffin choice : OAT. Usually Oat bran.

62. Top at the shore : BRA. A LINK to make up for last week's thong?

63. Outback runner : EMU. A CSO to our OZ connection - Kazie.

A true work out, but when I understood the concept I was hooked. YMMV. In any case, thank you Roger and Kathy and all who comment and all who read. lemonade 714 out. Also a special thanks to HG for massaging the grid picture to highlight the 'side arms.'

Aug 4, 2017

Friday, August 4, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: This Jake became a jock!

Jeffrey is back with a 'replace the letters puzzle,' that takes some unraveling. AKES is replaced with OCKS to create new phrases that are clued whimsically. Each change occurs in the last word of a phrase with two changing five letter words and two six letters. A common grid design with 15 letter fill in row 3 and 13. No reveal was needed, so none was included. There are many interesting 7 letter fill like ABOLISH, CARACAS, DORMERS, ERECTED, EVEREST, FESTOON, KNUCKLE, MINERAL, NOVELLA, SAFE BET, STETSON, TED RALL, UNCROSS and VERBOSE. This makes the solver work a bit harder, but it is a Friday. Well, on to the themers.

17A. Why St. Peter owns darning needles? : FOR HEAVEN'S SOCKS (15). I doubt St. Peter would be doing the mending of socks, if there were socks to be worn in heaven.

31A. Museum of Home Security exhibits? : THE GREAT LOCKS (13). I like the Rabson which according to Bernie Rhodenbarr are the best. I wonder if the Museum is near one of the Great Lakes?

37A. What a shepherd sees after a snowstorm? : FROSTED FLOCKS (13). I love the alliteration and the cereal as well.

57A. Consumer reactions to big price hikes for brownies? : CHOCOLATE SHOCKS (15). Like sticker shock. I like chocolate shakes even better.


1. Enjoy deeply : SAVOR.

6. Verne voyager : NEMO. Captain Nemo to you.

10. Campus hangout : QUAD. the Quadrangle where the worlds all meet.

14. "Things are never quite as scary when you've got __ friend": Bill Watterson : A BEST. If you do not know this MAN, he created the great philosopher Calvin whose best friend was Hobbes.

15. Old Roman poet : OVID. He was my favorite Roman POET.

16. "Once more __ the breach": Shak. : UNTO. JW gets his Shakespeare reference in today, from Henry V, Act III, Scene I.

20. Actor Idris __ : ELBA. Idris has displaced the Napoleon palindrome and may replace Daniel Craig as James Bond.

21. "Take this" : HERE.

22. Naturally lit indoor spaces : ATRIA.

23. CV inclusion : BIOCurriculum Vitae.

24. Not as good-looking? : PALER. Maybe not looking good...

25. Minimalist beachwear : THONG. Good for the right WOMAN.

26. "Ah, Wilderness!" mother : ESSIE.  Eugene O'Neill play.

28. Future D.A.'s hurdle : LSAT Law School Admission Test.

30. Fresno-to-L.A. dir. : SSE.

35. Peanut product : OIL. nearby 44A. Appreciative cry : OLE.

36. Fraser or Douglas : FIR. Christmas trees. Or heavyweight boxing champions.

46. Sol preceder : AERO. Spray can.

47. "Not possible" : I CAN'T.

48. Frigga portrayer in "Thor" : RUSSO. She was in the movie with Idris Elba. CAST.

51. Prefix in makeup product names : DERMA.

53. Feel sorry about : RUE.

54. Perfumer's ingredient : ATTAR. Essence of rose.

55. Red-coated security force: Abbr. : RCMP. Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

56. Diplomacy result : PACT.

60. Pointer's cry : LOOK. Mira!

61. O or Jay : ALER.  Baseball.

62. Author Calvino : ITALO. He appears regularly in puzzles (this is his 7th 2017 appearance). My favorite quotation of his: "Although I am small, ugly and dirty, I am highly ambitious, and at the slightest flattery, I immediately start to strut like a turkey."

63. Coastal raptors : ERNS.

64. Cutlass, e.g. : OLDS.

65. City on the Ruhr : ESSEN.


1. It's in the bag : SAFE BET. Very few really are.

2. Void : ABOLISH. Are these synonymous?

3. Like a motormouth : VERBOSE.

4. Org. concerned with ladder safety : OSHAOccupational Safety and Health Administration

5. GPS datum : RTE. Datum signifying a single route.

6. "An ill-defined and disreputable literary banana republic": Stephen King : NOVELLA. One of my favorite novellas is Stephen King's "Rita Haworth and the Shawshank Redemption." LINK.

7. High point of Hillary's career : EVEREST. A fun misdirection based on the "LL" used by both Clinton and Sir Edmund.

8. __ spring : MINERAL.

9. "__ bodkins!": old oath : ODS. JW sneaks in another Shakespeare reference.

10. "The Raven" verb : QUOTH. "Nevermore."

11. Straighten, as one's legs : UNCROSS.

12. Diet doctor : ATKINS. There are many diet doctors in that game now.

13. Pharmacist's concern : DOSAGE. And the patients.

18. "Now it's clear!" : AHA.

19. Didn't rise : SAT.

24. Dental procedure, for short : PERIO.

27. Composer Stravinsky : IGOR. The MAN. The MUSIC.

29. Devonshire dandy : TOFF. I learned of this reading British mysteries.  John Creasey created this as a character. LINK. The Saint, Simon Templar was also a toff, as was James Bond.

32. "Born Free" lioness : ELSA.

33. Paramecium movers : CILIA.

34. McDonald's founder : KROC.

37. Bit of suspended decoration : FESTOON.

38. Controversial political cartoonist : TED RALL. Not as subtle as Calvin and Hobbes.

39. Put up : ERECTED. Next to....

40. Projecting architectural features : DORMERS. We had shed dormers on the house where I grew up. There are many types.

41. Capital NE of Bogotá : CARACAS. I have been there a couple of times on cruises and it was always depressing as the ride in was through horrible slums and the city was filled pickpockets, drug sellers etc.

42. Get to work, with "down" : KNUCKLE. In 1740, Thomas Dyche and William Pardon published a dictionary which defined knuckle down: "A particular phrase used by lads at a play called taw, wherein they frequently say, Knuckle down to your taw, or fit your hand exactly in the place where your marble lies." various.

43. Big hat : STETSON. It is a brand name and they produce more than cowboy hats. LINK.

44. Ancient prophet : ORACLE.

45. Comics villain since 1940 : LUTHOR. Introduced in issue 23 of Action Comics, he originally had a full head of red hair.

49. Gives the heave-ho : SACKS. I wish this were not in this puzzle.

50. Conquistador's treasure : ORO. Gold.

52. Speed meas. : MPS. Miles per second.

56. "Chopped" array : POTS. Never seen nor heard of this show though it is in season 22.

58. Southeast Asian tongue : LAO. My wife taught me that they do not say Laotian, simply LAO for the language.

59. Move it, quaintly : HIE. I nice variation for a handy three letter fill.

Another Friday and a treat from Jeffrey. This was not his most difficult puzzle but it took concentration and -as always- a sense of humor. Lemonade out from steamy Florida.

Jul 28, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017, Mike Buckley

Title: V is for Victory

Mr. Buckley gives us a themeless puzzle with a theme that exists visually with a one clue reveal. This is Mike's first Friday puzzle this year and a great departure from the July 2016 puzzle which had 12 short theme fill. V is also for variety. The placement of the Vs, and the avoiding any other Vs in the grid was masterful. With an open grid there are oodles of long fill. Pick your favorite. SERAPHS,  SIGNAGE,  YES DEAR, AS I SEE IT, DR. MOREAU,  GIUSEPPE, KNEE DEEP, OUTLIVED,  SAUTERNE,  SNOBBERY,  TRIP OVER, ETHIOPIAN, PENTAGRAM, LOVE POTION and TERMINATOR. Let me know what you think;  I love visuals.

7D. What can be drawn using the only V's, representing vertices, in this puzzle's grid : FIVE POINTED STAR (15).

Bonus theme related fill:

19D. See 7-Down : PENTAGRAM. Often thought of in connection with the occult.

25D. Like a flag featuring a 19-Down : ETHIOPIAN.  I wish I had learned all this on Fun with Flags. LINK.

We have music and Latin and some wit, so....


1. Render inconceivable? : SPAY. Great clue/fill.

5. Carl who composed "Carmina Burana" : ORFF.  A repeat fill made easy.

9. Itching for action : ANTSY.

14. Hamlet's first choice : TO BE. Better than or not to be.

15. Sound from a fan : WHIR. Onomatopoeia.

16. River of Champagne : MARNE. Cute.

17. U.N. reps : AMBS. Ambassador.

18. Purported passion promoter : LOVE POTION.  Number 9? Made more famous by the Searchers.

20. One-named singer with the #1 hit "Royals" : LORDE. I know the SONG but did not know the singer.

22. Prevent : DETER.

23. "Frontline" airer : PBS.

24. Seriously mired : KNEE DEEP. Often in BS.

26. Big wheel : NABOB. Often nattering.

28. Scholar : SAVANT. From the Latin.

29. Lasted longer than : OUTLIVED. Usefulness?

32. Sound from a fan : RAH. One little rah?

33. Draft letters : IPA. Beer is back.

34. Despot who raced in the 67 Olympics : NERO.  HISTORY. Sadly all footage of the 67 Olympics was destroyed when Rome burned.

35. __ station : GAS.

38. Highway reading : SIGNAGE.

41. Bread or liquor : RYE.

42. PDQ : ASAP.

44. Word with cake or flake : OAT.

45. Prescribed meds : RXS.

47. "Rigoletto" composer Verdi : GIUSEPPE. More MUSIC. Everyone knows this tune, right?

49. 86 and 99 : AGENTS. Maxwell Smart and the future Mrs. Max.

53. Turntable needles : STYLI. Latin plural of -us.

54. Wells islander played by Brando : DR. MOREAU. H.G. and Marlon.

56. Creator of Finch and Radley : LEE. Atticus  and Boo, created by Harper.

57. France dance : VALSE. Sounds like waltz.

59. Medal-worthy quality : VALOR.

60. Boundary between the illuminated and darkened part of the moon, in astronomy : TERMINATOR. There is so much I do not know. So I read this LINK.

63. Ballet move : PLIE.

64. T. rex et al. : DINOS. My oldest loved reading about dinosaurs and then came Jurassic Park; saw it 14 times - in the movie theater.

65. Wrapped garment : SARI.

66. Villain's welcome : HISS.

67. __ Curry, first unanimous NBA MVP : STEPH.

68. "By that reasoning ... " : ERGO. Therefore in Latin.

69. Rectangular paving stone : SETT. learned from puzzles.


1. Cornfield array : STALKS.

2. Cal Poly city : POMONA.

3. Shortened, shortened : ABBREViation. Silly.

4. Affectionate assent : YES DEAR. Affectionate? Not always...

5. Hogwarts mail carrier : OWL.

6. __ Island : RHODE. because Long was too Short.

8. Worry : FRET.

9. Not bothered by conscience : A-MORAL. More Latin e.g. asexual, amoral, anarchy, anhydrous, Anabaptist, anachronism; also uses a and an.

10. "Unforgettable" Cole : NAT.

11. Stumble on : TRIP OVER.

12. Condescension : SNOBBERY. I loved watching HYACINTH BUCKET (pronounced Boo-kay).

13. Pines : YENS.
21. Ferber and a Dame : EDNAS. I let you look up the great Ms. Ferber, but here is a touch of the DAME.

27. Arabic "son of" : BIN. Hebrew Ben.

30. Kick __ fuss : UP A.

31. Unknown John : DOE.

35. Order of silence : GAG.

36. "In my view ... " : AS I SEE IT.

37. Semisweet American white wine : SAUTERNE. Ah, where is Chairman Mao when we need him.

39. Alibi problem : GAP.

40. Sarah Palin, e.g., briefly : EX-GOV.

43. Humanities subj. : PSYchology.

46. Six-winged angels, in Isaiah : SERAPHS. Yes, and so much MORE.

48. Tolkien language : ELVISH.

50. Nervous one? : NELLIE.

51. I Ching adherent, perhaps : TAOIST. Perhaps. This LINK discusses the connection. My eldest brother also studied Book of Changes.

52. Least tentative : SUREST.

55. Corp. shuffle : REORGanization. Well how many are too many?

56. Classic Fords : LTDS.

58. Emit coherent light : LASE.  "In lasers, waves are identical and in phase, which produces a beam of coherent light." There are incoherent lights, as well as incoherent bloggers.

61. Messy locks : MOP. Very popular when Beatles came to the US, e.g. mop tops.

62. Carnival site : RIO.

We already have seen the grid and I will await your comments on this creative effort from Mr. Buckley. It would be nice to hear from him on the genesis of this puzzle. Meanwhile, see you in August. Lemonade out.

Jul 21, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: Friday Funderdome Without Steve Harvey!

Jeffrey is back with one of his specialties - adding a three letter (or more) word to an existing phrase. In this installment he adds FUN so we all have fun. The first splits into two words, the second splits one word and the third is added to the beginning of the phrase. With the three theme plus reveal JW really crafted a very balanced grid loaded with many new things, sparkly things and well clued fill.
EAT TO LIVE and the wonderful IMMENSELY are among my favorites. A puzzle that includes no dreck, just nice fill clued well.

17A. Complain, "Don't I get anything to do around here?"? : DEMAND A FUNCTION (15).
Demand Action.

24A. Compensation for an incomplete sundae? : CHERRY REFUND (12). Cherry Red is a color, a record company, a song....

40A. When a restaurant offers its weekly mushroom specials? : FUNGAL FRIDAY (12). No idea about the resulting phrase,  but Gal Friday was very popular before we needed to choose our words to not offend, even unintentionally. 
The reveal:
51A. "It's party time!" ... or a hint to 17-, 24- and 40-Across : LET'S HAVE SOME FUN (15).


1. Asian priests : LAMAS. The one L ones.

6. Miso base : DASHI. If you appreciate Japanese cooking you need to read the LINK.

11. Zodiac critter : RAM. The symbol of the ram for Aries is based on the Chrysomallus, the flying ram that provided the Golden Fleece. (Atsma).

14. Town house, e.g. : ABODE.

15. How gourmands enjoy their food : IMMENSELY. A lovely double entendre that is not sexual.

19. Distressed sort? : DAMSEL.

20. Medium for much body art : HENNA.  These TATTOOS are very popular for people visiting Key West.

21. Crop planter : SOWER. Reap what you shall sow.

23. Slants : BIASES.

28. European luxury vehicles : AUDIS.

29. Atari release of 1972 : PONG. Control your excitement.

30. Twaddle : PAP. Two words that are not popular where I live.

33. Rock quarry unit : SLAB. You can buy them DIRECT.

34. River feeder : BROOK.

36. It may involve cold calls : POLL. I am so glad I no longer have a landline.

37. Air-conditioning sound : HUM.

38. Territory east of the Philippines : GUAM. US Territory that is.

39. Dance performed with passion : TANGO.

43. Witless sorts : MORONS. Not always un-pc WORD.

46. Water nymph : NAIAD.

47. Diarist Nin : ANAIS.

48. Heads or tails : PLURAL.  Old fashioned puzzle trickery.

56. 2003 best-selling nutritional self-help book : EAT TO LIVE.

57. Raring to go : ANTSY.

58. Furtive : SLY.

59. x, in math : TIMES.

60. Condition : STATE.


1. Any Boy Scout : LAD. Every Boy Scout.

2. Not up : ABED.

3. NYC cultural attraction : MOMAMuseum oModern Art. A wonderful place.

4. Tracy/Hepburn classic : ADAM'S RIB.

5. Burglar alarm devices : SENSORS.

6. Electronic telemarketing tool : DIALER.

7. Big initials in bowling : AMF. Brunswick and AMF, any comment Boomer?

8. Dallas campus: Abbr. : SMUSouthern Methodist University.

9. Chick magnet? : HEN. This was a cute deception.

10. Making slow progress : INCHING. Cute?

11. Jockey controls : REINS.

12. Isolated : ALONE.

13. Birds that may babble : MYNAS.

16. Stand (one) in good __: be useful to : STEAD.

18. Like a meadow in the morning : DEWY.

22. One taking things back? : REPOMAN.

23. Balderdash : BUNK.

24. Fives and tens, say : CASH. Again?

25. Netflix competitor : HULU.

26. Dutch export : EDAM.

27. Rock's __ Fighters : FOO. Very successful SUCCESSOR to Nirvana.

30. 31-Down environment : POND.

31. Bit of 30-Down life : ALGA.

32. Bit of subterfuge : PLOY.

34. Backyard cookout supply : BUNS. For Splynter I found this LINK.

35. Car wash item : RAG.

36. Leased, with "on" : PAID RENT. No idea what the "on" adds to this.

38. Crime drama sound effect : GUNSHOT. The sound alone can cause...

39. Psychological wounds : TRAUMAS.

40. Pass off (on) : FOIST.

41. Runs out : LAPSES.

42. Baklava dough : FILO.

43. Bulls and bucks : MALES. How cool to have a basketball misdirection just before...

44. Retired NBA center : O'NEAL. There are two that I know of. They were even teammates in Boston, when they were no longer stars, I think. Jermaine on the viewer's left, Shaquille on the right.

45. Like shabby old clothes : RATTY. Schmatta.

49. Mennen lotion : AFTA.

50. "... prologue to the history of __ and foul thoughts": Iago : LUST.
"Lechery, by this hand, an index and obscure prologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts." Act II, Scene 1, Othello by a regular visitor to JW puzzles.

52. Ring legend : ALI.

53. Get-up-and-go : VIM. And vigor.

54. Big night : EVE.

55. TV's "Science Guy" : NYE. My favorite SCENE.

Well it was a JW so it must be Friday; I hope you enjoyed his work and the guided tour.  Lemonade out.

Jul 14, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017, Ed Sessa

Title: Babar where are you?

I apologize for an abbreviated write up but I was supposed to have surgery last Friday and then it got moved to Wednesday and then after waiting around the hospital it got cancelled again and I was quite bummed. Anyway, Ed Sessa a consistent pro has created a puzzle that seems to have only three theme fill, all grid-spanners and all related to elephants. I have always loved them since my mother read Babar to me and have about 75 images made from paper to jade.  Anyway, this is a puzzle filled with really fun cluing and if there is more to the theme, I am sorry but I do not have time. However, I will point out the some excellent fill like BACK LINK,  DON ADAMS,  FENDS OFF,  NAME DROP, SEXTANTS,  TAP DANCE, IGNORAMUSES and  OVEREXCITED; also a mini-theme of French words and the grid-spanners-

17A. Ring heavyweights : CIRCUS ELEPHANTS (15).

33A. Makes next to nothing : WORKS FOR PEANUTS (15).

49A. Jack's spot : AUTOMOBILE TRUNK (15).


1. Innocents : LAMBS. A biblical metaphor.

6. Afternoon tea accompanier : CHAT. Not the French word for cat, but small talk.

10. Longtime shipboard scurvy preventative : LIME. Because lemon would not fit.

14. Piles (of) : A HEAP. Can you sing the song that includes this line, "To have a heapin helpin of their hospitality..."?

15. "Yo" : HI YA.

16. Matched, in Paris Match : EGAL. French for equality, as in liberté égalité fraternité, the motto of the French Revolution.

20. Big cheese : KRAFT. Cute clue/fill and a fascinating history of food in AMERICA.

21. NYC building that was Lennon's last home, with "The" : DAKOTA. Not far from Strawberry Fields at New York's Central Park. A nice walk to the Museum of Natural History.

22. Literary intros : PROLOGS.

25. "Real Time" host : MAHER. A run of the mill comic who reemerged as a political satirist from the left.

26. Western ambush site : RAVINE. I grew up on Gilman Street which connected to Ravine Street.

27. '80s voice of Inspector Gadget : DON ADAMS. Don is more famous as Maxwell Smart.
30. "You said it!" : AMEN.

31. Protest movement : MARCH.

32. Angus beef? : MOO. What a cow says when complaining - brilliant.

37. San Jose-to-Sacramento dir. : NNE.

38. Uncultivated land : HEATH. made famous by the Bronte sisters.

39. Regarding : AS TO.

40. Navigation tools : SEXTANTS. How do they figure these things out. LINK.

42. Grapefruit's bigger cousin : POMELO. You need to learn citrus TAXONOMY or remember the French word Pamplemousse.

44. Common bugs : COLDS. Another fun Friday misdirection.

45. Baroness Blixen's pen name : DINESEN. Isak Dinesen was the pen name for Baroness Karen Christenze von Blixen-Finecke most famous for Out of Africa and appearing in crossword puzzles.

46. Women's clothing chain founded on Florida's Sanibel Island : CHICOS.  They have three BRANDS.

48. Like Olympic racetracks : LANED.

54. Appear : SEEM.

55. Unnerve : FAZE.

56. Was successful in : WON AT.

57. "Nothing lived in him but fear and hatred" : HYDE. The dark side of Dr. Jekyll from the mind of Robert Louis Stevenson. He also wrote Treasure Island.

58. Become undone, in a way : FRAY. Cuffs on dress shirts e.g.

59. Gets down to business? : OPENS.


1. Senegal's pink-watered __ Rose : LAC. from the French for Pink Lake. LINK.

2. Sushi selection : AHI.

3. Cannes view : MER. The sea in French.

4. Website-to-website connection : BACK LINK. No idea but it fits.

5. Embolden : SPUR ON.

6. Ones doing the dishes : CHEFS. Not washing them, but creating them. Again, bravo!

7. Sword handle : HILT.

8. Maritime agreement : AYE aye cap'n.

9. Cagney does it on stairs in "Yankee Doodle Dandy" : TAP DANCE.
10. Came out somehow : LEAKED. Politics.

11. Dolts : IGNORAMUSES. I asked and the world answered.

12. Damon of the Bourne films : MATT.

13. Big cat of film : ELSABorn Free.

18. Wise one : SAGE.

19. "Very funny!" : HA HA HA. The Thai word for the number 5 sounds like HA, so 555.

22. Seafood order : PRAWNS. I do not know but read prawns have claws on three of their five pairs of legs, shrimp have claws on two of their five pairs of legs. Their gills and body shape are different too. As far as cooking them goes, they are virtually identical and interchangeable. Various sources.

23. Punk rock surname : RAMONE.

24. Hyped-up : OVEREXCITED. Give them Ritalin.

25. Transform : MORPH. Power Rangers?

27. Pub entertainment : DARTS.

28. Mark with blotches : MOTTLE. Mottled skin, also known as livedo reticularis, is alone a harmless condition that is commonly seen with vascular issues and autoimmune diseases. Various sources.

29. "Already?" : SO SOON.

31. Medieval barriers : MOATS.

34. Hebrew greeting : SHALOM. Shabbat shalom.

35. Drives back : FENDS OFF.

36. Make a personal connection? : NAME DROP. Great. How many name droppers do you know? Not counting me.

41. On the way : TO COME.

42. Softwood tree : PINE.

43. Knockout couple? : ONE TWO. Give 'em the old one two.

45. Prominent mayor at the 1968 Democratic Convention : DALEY. The year of the riots, vote with your feet etc.

46. What's in your wallet : CASH. Not always.

47. News headliner Lewis? : HUEY. His band.  Their WEB-SITE.

48. "__ With a 'Z'": 1972 TV special : LIZA. I liked her in Cabaret, not much else.

50. Military band? : BAR.  On the shoulder.

51. A, in Avignon : UNE. Just French.

52. Photographer Goldin : NAN. I should have remembered this WOMAN.

53. Board jumpers: Abbr. : KTS. We end with an abbreviation I am unfamiliar with; the Knights in a Chess match.

I have just enough time to give a filled grid and wish you all a pleasant Bastille Day, which fits right in with all the French in this puzzle.  Thank you Mr. Sessa.  Lemonade out.

Jul 7, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title:   'Ay you, let's switch.

Our Friday maven JW is back. Once again we have a letter switch puzzle, with the resulting fill clued whimsically.  We have five clues where an "A" is replaced with a "U." The initial three have the change in the first word, the remaining two in the second word. All of the new fill are witty - BUNK Robber my favorite and Exhaust FUN the most poignant.  But wait ! There is More, each word has an N after each A/U. It is hard enough to to make a letter substitution work, but to have the consistency of the AN to UN is the cherry on top. I missed it my first time through. With 61 theme squares, JW still manages to include ARTEMIS,  USED CAR, EPITHETS, FORENSIC, SNATCHING and WOOD SCREW to leave a very satisfying grid.

17A. Thief at a sleepaway camp? : BUNK ROBBER (10). The BANK robber downsized.

24A. People who wear "I'm with stupid" T-shirts? : DUNCE PARTNERS (13). Perhaps they will become DANCE Partners.

37A. Fail a jewelry class lesson? : BUNGLE BRACELETS (15). Not my favorite, BANGLE Bracelet while alliterative, just does not excite.

48A. What drives a fashionista? : CLOTHES HUNGER (13). Clothes HANGERS have not changed much in my lifetime.

59A. Run out of amusing things to do? : EXHAUST FUN (10). Every stove has an Exhaust FAN.

I hope you are not too exhausted to move on....


1. Itsy-bitsy critter : MITE. Dust mite anyone?

5. Caroler's accoutrement : SCARF. Accoutrement is such a classy word!

10. Farthest from the hole : AWAY. This is for golfers, determining who plays next.

14. Slangy "Got that?" : Y'SEE?  This contraction of 'you see' is in the dictionary now.

15. Izu Islands city : TOKYO. Major learning moment for me. LINK.

16. Soda opener? : COCA. Cola.

19. Red cap? : CORK. Red wine - nice clue.

20. Vivid dye : AZO. The  wiki-chemist says "aryl azo compounds have vivid colors, especially reds, oranges, and yellows. Therefore, they are used as dyes, and are commonly known as azo dyes."

21. Kibbutz entertainment : HORA. The dance.  There are variations.

22. End sections of some Greek poems : EPODES. Epode, a verse form composed of two lines differing in construction and often in meter, the second shorter than the first. In Greek lyric odes, an epode is the third part of the three-part structure of the poem, following the strophe and the antistrophe. The word is from the Greek epōidós, “sung” or “said after.” Sure. Britannica.

27. __ Cruces : LAS. The crosses, Spanish, is located in New Mexico.

28. It may be a lemon : USED CAR. A clear CSO.

31. Lhasa __ : APSO.
34. Range : AMBIT.

36. LP maker : RCA.

41. Bali or Hanes product : BRA. Any other three letter products?

42. Bridge call : I PASS.

43. Boo-boo : OWIE.

44. Deity with bow and arrows : ARTEMIS. The Greek goddess of the hunt, etc. She and Diana are similar but not the SAME. 56A. Superhero with a hammer : THOR. Now we have a Norse god added.

46. Bot., e.g. : SCI.

54. Go over : REHASH.

57. Natural resource : ORE.

58. Tissue box access : SLIT.

62. Forest climber : VINE.

63. Three-time 20-game winner for the '70s Red Sox : TIANT. I will never forget his WINDUP or his STORY.

64. Cried : WEPT.

65. Classifies (as) : PEGS.

66. Trig functions : SINES.

67. Fine things? : ARTS.


1. "I'm the culprit" : MY BADMea culpa before the millennials came along.

2. Brand once hawked by an eponymous "Joe" : ISUZU. He was a STAR.

3. Joinery element : TENON. Splynter? You agree joinery is the wooden components of a building, such as stairs, doors, and door and window frames, viewed collectively?

4. "I sure don't want that" : EEK. Two weeks in a row.

5. Retrieves dropped keys, say : STOOPS.

6. Hooded snake : COBRA.

7. Mogul emperor, 1556-1605 : AKBAR. Interesting MAN.

8. Bakery offering : RYE. It was rye bread that led to the Salem witch trials.

9. Like "CSI" work : FORENSIC. Which I may have learned from CSI.

10. Agreement : ACCORD.

11. Item in many an IKEA kit : WOOD SCREW.  "Wood screws are better than drywall screws for woodworking projects. Drywall screws are made of hardened, brittle steel, and the shaft will often snap during installation, especially if they're screwed into hardwoods."

12. Lot division : ACRE. There are 640 acres in a Section, but most lots are smaller than an acre.

13. Shoots the breeze : YAKS.

18. Carla portrayer on "Cheers" : RHEA.

23. Actress/author Holly Robinson __ : PEETE. Ex-Detroit Lion QB Rodney Peete's wife.
RODNEY did not have a great career, but he found a great WIFE.

25. Obstruct : CLOG.

26. Marching band section : TUBAS.

29. When "Kansas City" is sung in "Oklahoma!" : ACT I.

30. Knock down, in Nottingham : RASE. The British spelling of the word we spell raze.

31. "SOS" group : ABBA.

32. Run smoothly : PURR.

33. Pickpocket's activity : SNATCHING. Actually it seems more like stealing to me.

34. Humiliate : ABASH.

35. Union address? : MRS. Fun clue/fill.

38. Oscar night arrivals : LIMOS.

39. Peter the Great et al. : EPITHETS. They are not always nice, the Terrible, the Mad etc.

40. Butcher's offering : LOIN.

45. Brings great pleasure to : ELATES.

46. Shows anger, maybe : SHOUTS.

47. Ornery sorts : CURS.

49. Vermont patriot Allen : ETHAN. More famous for his furniture.

50. Oscar-nominated western : SHANE. Alan Ladd was 5'4" I am told.

51. Menial assistant : GOFER.

52. Blow : ERUPT.

53. Flat fees : RENTS. Pun on British word for apartment.

54. "I'll be there" message, e.g. : RSVP.

55. Author Wiesel : ELIE.

60. Number on old dials : XII.

61. BOAC competitor : TWA. They both are gone.

We are in the good old summer time; hope you all had a fun day on the 4th. It feels right to have Jeffrey back in the Friday saddle.  Thank you all for tuning in; see you next week gwatcdr.
Lemonade out.

Jun 29, 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017, Dave Cuzzolina & Patti Varol

Title: Add a letter - find an animal

Well it seems that we have a new Patti Varol (Rich's assistant) mentee debuting on a Friday. The gimmick is simple but I have not seen it before. The adding a letter to a word to make it into an animal related fill is skillfully done. CATTITUDE is my favorite and LAMBITION, not so much, but they are all good. We also have some nice fill like  HOME ICE,  MAUGHAM,  ANTIQUE, SATSUMA, CURSIVE and AS I SAID.

Since Ms. Varol is Rich's assistant, I wonder how many clues were changed? Well let's see what was left.

17A. Know-nothing swine? : PIGNORAMUS (10). Do people say Ignoramus any more? I guess so; LISTEN at your own risk.

22A. Puppet's desire to manipulate Shari Lewis for a change? : LAMBITION (9). This takes knowing LAMB CHOP was her lead sock puppet.

35A. Sass from a young lion? : CATTITUDE (9). I leave this for CED to go wild with.

51A. Lazy lady's man? : SLOTHARIO (9). Yes this is REAL.

58A. Cephalopod wizard's game? : SQUIDDITCH (10). The only one that has no google life. It is a portmanteau of SQUID and QUIDDITCH.

Finding five which could be placed symmetrically was great.


1. Actress Kaczmarek or Krakowski : JANE. It took me a minute, but I think the first was from Malcolm in the Middle and the latter from Ally McBeal and 30 Rock.

5. Friends abroad : AMIS. French.

9. Resigned words : AH ME.

13. Chihuahua cheers : OLES. Chihuahua, Mexico.

14. Point of view : SLANT.

15. Creep : TOAD. Not a meaning I know.

16. Woodshop tools : SAWS.

19. "Conan" channel : TBSTurner Broadcasting System.

20. Baja vacation spot : CABO. Both spring breakers and high end travelers go HERE.

21. Co-owner of the Pequod : PELEG. I do know my Moby Dick. But is he FUNNY?

25. Yale founder Yale : ELIHU. Hence Eli.

27. Come to light : EMERGE.

28. Cry of fright : EEK.
or 18D. Raise a stink? : REEKGame of Thrones?

30. GoPro product, briefly : CAMera.

31. Before thou know'st : ANON. Popular Shakespeare word.

32. The teensiest bit : A TAD.

34. One filling in : TEMP. Temporary help.

38. Conceal : MASK. The movie?

41. Piano recital piece, e.g. : SOLO.

42. Marine predator : ORCA.

45. Lead-in to roll or spree : ON A.

46. Moll's leg : GAM. Two words from the gangster world; moll has meant gangster's girlfriend since the 1500's. Gam appeared in the 30's.

47. Fast entry : IN RUSH.

49. Mink relative : OTTER. I knew this, not sure why.

54. Long Island airport town : ISLIP. I flew into Islip with my wife two years ago on our trip to my childhood haunts.

56. __ Domani: Italian wine brand : ECCO. Where is Chairman Mao, our wine expert?
57. Issuer of nine-digit ID nos. : SSA.

60. Tale spinner : LIAR.

61. Sport whose champions are called "yokozuna" : SUMO. A great MATCH featuring two champions.

62. CoverGirl competitor : ALMAY.

63. Car rental giant : AVIS. We use this more often than Hertz.

64. Suckling spot : TEAT. Oh My!

65. Come off as : SEEM.

66. Formally relinquish : CEDE.


1. Elbow one's way : JOSTLE.

2. "To Kill A Mockingbird" setting : ALABAMA. Have any of you read the sequel?

3. Ones turning in stories : NEWSMEN.

4. Small opening? : ESS. The S starting Small.

5. "I was home alone," perhaps : ALIBI. That is not much of an alibi.

6. Myopic Mr. : MAGOO.

7. Roadside retreat : INN.

8. "Knock it off!" : STOP. My father said that often in the 50's.

9. One bit : AT ALL. I used say that so much in the 70's and 80's.

10. Hockey advantage : HOME ICE. The cold version of home field advantage.

11. "The Razor's Edge" novelist : MAUGHAM. An interesting MOVIE as well.

12. Mad men? : EDS.

14. Flood : SPATE. I did not know this definition.

20. Aetna rival : CIGNA. Insurance giants.

23. Lou who stole 938 bases : BROCK. He was traded away by the Cubs. Sadly he has had one of his legs amputated.

24. "Sweet!" : NEATO.

26. One working at a base : UMP. Maybe Patti and CV.C. trade baseball stories.

29. Kin of gov : EDU.

32. Molecular particles : ATOMS.

33. Up to, briefly : TIL.

34. __ firma : TERRA. Latin for firm land - hence Earth.

36. Org. with body scanners : TSA.  And so much more now.

37. "Tiny Bubbles" singer : DON HO. From 50 years ago.

38. Farm sound : MOO.

39. It's not new : ANTIQUE.

40. Asian citrus fruit : SATSUMA. I have learned many new vegetables and fruits from my wife, including this mandarin orange type.

43. Gettysburg Address feature : CURSIVE.  Very deceptive. They do not even teach handwriting in schools now.

44. "Let me repeat myself ... " : AS I SAID.

46. Graph paper design : GRID. It was how puzzles were designed until the computer came along.

47. Like a mosquito bite : ITCHY.

48. Raspy : HOARSE.

50. "Adam Bede" novelist : ELIOT. This was George Eliot's first novel.

52. "Here, I'll do that" : LET ME.

53. Non-shaving razor name? : OCCAM. Of course this was easy for all.

55. BlackBerries, e.g. : PDAS. Personal Digital Assistant.

58. Former JFK lander : SST.

59. French landmass : ILE.

60. Fond du __, Wisconsin : LAC. I think John Lampkin should have had a bonus fill last week - Lake Winnebago!

We are done, as is the month of June. Some will have a long week-end for the 4th. Personally I am tired of being home, but these write-ups are fun. Have a safe and fun fourth! Lemonade out.

Jun 16, 2017

Firday, June 16, 2017, Christopher Shaw

Title: Friday quip

Our first new Friday constructor in a while presents us with a quip puzzle. This one has 60 spaces of theme and nice symmetry with 4 seven letter fill. I like Mitch Hedberg who is a regular on the comedy channels on Sirius XM so the humor of the quip appealed, but YMMV.  Not much room left for long fill, but we do get POOL CUE,  SWAHILI,  LET'S DO IT and DRUMMING.  There were some learning moments and some old memories dredged up. As Christopher says, LET'S DO IT. I love the the sevens.

20A. Start of a one-liner by 54-Across : MY FAKE PLANTS (12).
25A. One-liner, part 2 : DIED (4).
29A. One-liner, part 3 : BECAUSE (7).
38A. One-liner, part 4 : I DID NOT (7).
40A. One-liner, part 5 : PRETEND (7).
46A. One-liner, part 6 : TO WATER (7).
49A. End of the one-liner : THEM(4).
54A. Standup comic known for one-liners : MITCH HEDBERG (12). A very funny man in the Steven Wright mold. LINK.

1. Snake, footwise : APOD.  noun. zoology. an animal with no feet or whose feet are rudimentary. 

5. Instagram and Pinterest : APPS.

9. Bad thing to draw during a test : BLANK. Cute clue.

14. Saboteur, e.g. : MOLE. An infiltrator.

15. Fruit used in alcohol flavoring : SLOE. Used in a sloe gin fizz and a singapore sling.

16. Home for 66-Across : AERIE. I wonder if they really do go to these, or the sea eagle nickname made this answer seem correct. I am no expert on Erns. 

17. Criticism : FLAK. So don't give me any....

18. Wedding dress insert : HOOP. Are they still worn? 

19. Impatient : ITCHY.

23. Tiresome type : PILL. This is a very old fashioned word. 

24. Cavaliers, on scoreboards : CLE. Amazing.

32. Paella pot : OLLA.

33. NFL receivers : TES. Tight Ends, like Gronk.

36. Actress Skye : IONE. She used to be a crossword regular for the three vowels in her name. While she has worked professionally for more than 25 years, she will always be the daughter of  Donovan (Leitch). LINK.

37. Upset : RILED. From roil, getting the waters all turbulent.

42. Stands for funerals : BIERS.

43. Black and Red : SEAS. I needed perps to get this.

44. "__ of Light": 1998 Madonna album : RAY. This was very infer-able even if you do not like Madonna. The ALBUM was well received. 

45. Words to a traitor : ET TU. Brute.

50. Andean root vegetable : OCA.  It is available in a range of colors, including yellow, orange, pink, apricot, and the traditional red.(Wiki). Very popular in New Zealand, where they refer to it as a yam.

51. California tourist attraction : NAPA. Where is the "Valley?"

59. Stereotypically haunted area : ATTIC. Not so much in Florida.

62. One-eighties : UIES.

63. Flash, maybe : IDEA.

64. Absorbed eagerly, with "in" : DRANK.

65. It may affect a sentence : PLEA. An attempt to misdirect the grammarians. 

66. Sea eagles : ERNS.

67. "__ Stardust": David Bowie song : ZIGGY. The album, the Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was a concept album that reflected Bowie's self-image.

68. Chihuahua sounds : YIPS.

69. Afternoon fare : SOAP. Ah the fading operas.


1. Switch letters : AM FM. I like this also.

2. Tentacled creature : POLYP. While familiar with polyps in the colon, this was either a learning moment or something I forgot. A polyp is a solitary or colonial sedentary form of a coelenterate such as a sea anemone, typically having a columnar body with the mouth uppermost surrounded by a ring of tentacles. (dictionary).

3. Start of a Norwegian line : OLAF I. Not an NCL ship but monarchs.

4. Northern Illinois University city : DEKALB. See it?

5. "Off the Court" memoirist : ASHE. Tennis great who died so sadly after a blood transfusion.

6. Splash sound : PLOP. From my youth...
"Hasten Jason
Get the Basin
Oops, Plop
Get the Mop"

7. A pro brings his own to the table : POOL CUE. This took lots of work, but I love it.

8. Flower parts : SEPALS. Petals, sepals, stamens....

9. Switch partner : BAIT. Car dealer staple.

10. "Ready if you are" : LET'S DO IT.

11. Circle segment : ARC.

12. Med. research agency : NIHNational Institutes of Health.

13. One in, or on, a chain : KEY. Island/Door Opener?

21. Calvin and Anne : KLEINS. Poor Robert gets forgotten. 

22. Born, in France : NEE.

26. Not as healthy : ILLER. Are you all sick of this fill?

27. Colleague of Ruth and Sonia : ELENA. SCOTUS.

28. Source of some issues? : DADDY. Psychobabble.

30. Comforting sound : COO.

31. Bad picnic omen : ANT. Omen?

33. Area sometimes called "The Roof of the World" : TIBET. Learning moment. READ.

34. "Downton Abbey" lady : EDITH. Edith Pelham (nee Crawley) has her own FANS.

35. Number of Maravillas del Mundo : SIETE. Seven Wonders of the World. 

37. Email again : RESEND.

39. Showing impatience, digitally : DRUMMING.

40. __ shooter : PEA.

41. Fink : RAT.

43. Linguistic origin of Kwanzaa : SWAHILI. A complicated LANGUAGE with influences from Arabic.

46. Wee one : TOT.

47. Live in : OCCUPY. Hence all the mail to "OCCUPANT."

48. Hydrophobia : RABIES. Not sure why but I have known this term since I was little. 

52. "Napoleon Dynamite" sidekick Sánchez : PEDRO.

53. Hockey setting : ARENA.

55. Repulsive : ICKY. My brain went HERE

56. Dickens schemer : HEEP. Uriah. He later was reincarnated as THIS.

57. Those, in Chihuahua : ESAS.

58. [Horrors!] : GASP.

59. Woodworker's tool : ADZ.

60. Prefix with cycle : TRI. Uni? 

61. It's game : TAG. And now you are it, as my work here is done. I hope you all have a wonderful father's day weekend, and come catch us next week. Lemonade out.