Husker Gary here acting as a literary Sherpa for our crossword mistress. This Sunday, C.C. had made an AMAZING (hence the title) puzzle by scrambling the word GRACE inside some two or three word phrases and situated those scrambled letters such that they span the words in the phrases. Fun!
I am showing the grid early to help those of you who did not have the circles in your paper or electronic grid.
I saw the gimmick and struggled to see what could go with GRACE for the gimmick. However, for the payoff, C.C. substitutes the word BLESSING for GRACE to generate this reveal (not MIXED GRACES):
121. It's not all good ... and it's literally found in this puzzle's circles : MIXED BLESSING. Cool! I have always considered cell phones as a MIXED BLESSING
22. Tehran tinderbox for 14-plus months : HOSTAGE CRISIS - They were released just minutes after Ronald Reagan's inauguration
34. Making the Guinness Book, say : SETTING A RECORD - Ozzie set the record for "Dog Rope Walking" by going 11.4' in 14 seconds
55. World Cup events : SOCCER GAMES - I am not a SOCCER FAN and this is the ONLY image I remember from the sport - Brandi Chastain in 1999
84. Recycling center item : BEVERAGE CAN - They can really add up
101. Log holder : FIREPLACE GRATE - This feels pretty good at this this time of year on the Great Plains
16. What a Facebook post might draw : STRONG REACTIONS - I posed what I thought was a very innocent question on FB last election season and I was bombarded by STRONG REACTIONS. To quote Edgar Allen's famous bird - NEVERMORE!!
43. Violet Crawley's title in "Downton Abbey" : DOWAGER COUNTESS - Hearing Maggie Smith wield her acid tongue in this role is well worth viewing!
Now let's what other AMAZING BLESSINGS C.C. is bestowing on us today
1. /, on some score sheets : SPARE - The bottom score here is known as a Dutch 200 where you get that score by alternating spares (/) and strikes (X) for ten frames. Boomer doesn't bother with /'s all that often! 😏
6. Herbal tea : TISANE, 1. Teahouse treat : SCONE and 80. "Unexpected blends" tea brand : TAZO provide a mini theme by tea connoisseur C.C.
12. Premier League powerhouse : CHELSEA - More Soccer
19. Ascended : SCALED
20. Calligraphy container : INKPOT
21. Top-seller : HOT ITEM
24. Getting on in years : ELDERLY - Hey! I resemble that adjective!
25. Asthmatic's device : INHALER - It got my brother through his childhood
26. Super, slangily : UBER - Today's use of that word is much better than what is was used for two generations before.
27. Batman after Michael : VAL - Can you find Mr. Kilmer?
28. Google : Android :: Apple : __ : IOS - This Operating System keeps my iPhone going
29. Got the word : HEARD
30. It borders three oceans : ASIA
32. Resort near Boston : CAPE ANN - I picked the wrong one at first
38. Wander (about) : GAD - My lovely bride doesn't care for the fact that I do this constantly when we are shopping
41. Took charge of : LED
44. Long stretches : AEONS
45. Netflix alternative : HULU - I'm a NETFLIXer
46. Down tune : DIRGE -These Volga boatmen have a famous one named after them.
48. Ocean rings : ATOLLS
50. Earned : WON
51. Some charges : USER FEES - It's better to use them than to 49. Impose, as a tax : LEVY
54. Investment firm T. __ Price : ROWE
60. Plummeted : SANK
61. Ne'er-do-well : KNAVE
63. Catch of the day, perhaps : SEA BASS - $30 on this menu for Misoyaki SEA BASS
64. Inc., in Toronto : LTD
66. Euro divs. : CTS - It takes 100 €0.01 to make €1.00
67. Workout addicts : GYM RATS - Our YMCA has them of all ages and sizes
69. "That's no kidding" : I MEAN IT
72. Sault __ Marie : STE
74. Pull : TUG - Her trademark
75. Jerry-rigged, in a way : TAPED ON - Oh, like this?
79. Ekberg of "La Dolce Vita" : ANITA
82. Crime scene figure : PERP - PERP (prep) SCHOOL was our first silly, Sunday answer last week
87. Stable baby : FOAL
88. National summer sport of Canada : LACROSSE - Hmmm... A sport that only requires two months. 😜 Sorry Canadian Eh!
90. Luanda is its cap. : ANG - Where I'm sure they post many 14. Flight takeoff fig. : ETD's at their international airport
91. Mourning on the court : ALONZO - A 6'10" former NBA player
93. Distant : ALOOF
94. Sudden attack : RAID - Look out refrigerator!
96. Dish alternative : CABLE
99. Lush : SOT
100. Lady Tigers' sch. : TSU - The Tennessee State University Lady Tigers play just north of where the Vanderbilt University Lady Commodores play in Nashville
106. More offensive : NASTIER - Campaigns race to see who can be NASTIER
108. Queen in "Frozen" : ELSA (not our Born Free lioness) and 86. Film lioness : NALA (a different lioness)
109. Lackluster finish : MATTE
113. And the like: Abbr. : ETC - Yul Brynner sang/spoke it in The King and I
114. Sweetie : HON - This appellation may not be very welcome today
115. Mother of Castor : LEDA - Castor's twin Pollux had a different father. It's a long story...
117. Choice word : WHETHER
119. Get going, as an oven : PRE-HEAT
123. Roll call discovery : ABSENCE - A big requirement in schools these days
124. Figure of speech? : ORATOR - A clever clue for one of the best ORATORS of modern times
125. Oddball : WEIRDO
126. Agreement often reluctant but still respectful : YES DEAR - What to say if my lovely bride is right or wrong
127. Mischief-makers : DEMONS
128. Thrills : SENDS - A great song using this 50's slang by one of the best R 'n B singers ever
2. Lara's husband in "Doctor Zhivago" : PASHA - Later in the book, this laughter prone prankster changed - "[PASHA] knew that rumor had nicknamed him Rasstrelnikov, 'the Executioner.' He took it in stride, he feared nothing"
3. Wedding settings : ALTARS
4. Genuine article : REAL DEAL
5. Barely beat (out) : EDGE
6. It may be nervous : TIC - If Inspector Clouseau worked for you...
7. Reduced to rubble : IN RUINS - The Roman Colosseum is magnificent even in this state
8. Aspen traveler's item : SKI BAG
9. Cathedral recess : APSE
10. Detective fiction genre : NOIR - Bogie was the film master
11. Movie makeup dept. creations : ETS - Such as in my favorite Sci-Fi movie Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
12. Inferior : CHEAPO
13. Cry out loud : HOLLER
15. '60s protest : LIE IN - When your "Sit In" just wasn't gettin' it done
17. Fish trapped in pots : EELS - I'd try them at C.C.'s house if she offered them...
18. Adams of "Her" : AMY
19. __ Tzu : SHIH - Most take great pains to pronounce this breed carefully
23. Sister of Clio : ERATO - One of the muses who frequent our little word stand here
27. Space devoid of matter : VACUUM - Here's a kitty trying to figure out a VACUUM here on Earth
31. Lust, e.g. : SIN
32. Dopey frame, e.g. : CEL - In this CEL frame, he is gettin' down with Snow White
33. Short lines at the post office? : ADDR - ADDRess
35. Hardy's "Pure Woman" : TESS - She and Yoko both are frequent fliers here
36. Now, in Nicaragua : AHORA and 53. This, to Picasso : ESTA - Aquí ESTÁ la respuesta AHORA (Here is the answer now)
37. Climbing aids : RUNGS
39. Mole, perhaps : AGENT
40. Classroom array : DESKS - These DESKS have only way to be arrayed
41. Shenanigan : LARK - Or a more beautiful use of the word from a musical we all know
42. School since 1440 : ETON - The ETON Cricket team will tour Sri Lanka next spring
47. Uncertainties : IFS - If IFS and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas
50. Bug catcher : WEB - Our lush landscape invites many of these spider constructions
52. One-named Tejano pop star : SELENA - I subbed for a Spanish teachers for two days and I showed half of this film of her too-short life each day
56. Plains folks? : OSAGES
57. Belgium winter hrs. : CET
58. Social division : CASTE
|...but so is high school|
62. Pro with a siren : EMT
65. Paternity test letters : DNA - Blood tests could only tell a man he wasn't the father or that he could be
68. Uses elbow grease on : RUBS
70. Comfy slip-on : MOC
71. Skinny : INFO
72. Impact sound : SPLAT - Spaghetti's done!
73. Dabbling ducks : TEALS - New use of Dabble for me
76. Thin as __ : A RAIL and 121. Like Twiggy's style : MOD - 5'6" 90lbs
77. Important animal in '70s U.S.-China diplomacy : PANDA - Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing
78. Future chicken : EGG
81. Heaps : A LOT
83. Golf course figure : PRO -
85. Ben of "Roots" : VEREEN - Chicken George
89. Send-__: farewells : OFFS
92. "Hmm … " : LET ME SEE - Did I find all my errors or will I have to count on my friends to find them?
95. What "4" may mean: Abbr. : APR - Uncle Sam gets my last tax money as late as possible on 4/15
96. Porcelain with a pale green glaze : CELADON - Beautiful green pottery first made in China but named in England
97. Justice Dept. bigwigs : AGS - Attorneys General (A'S G?)
98. Beaning aftermath, sometimes : BRAWL
103. Revolting sort? : RIOTER
104. Formally give : CEDE TO
105. Takes courses at home? : EATS IN
107. Felt the pain : ACHED
110. "Hot corner" base : THIRD - So called because hit balls get there very quickly, that's why all that play THIRD base should wear these
111. Ministers : TENDS
112. Cartesian connection : ERGO
113. Kathryn of HBO's "Oz" : ERBE - Google it if you're interested
115. Old Parmesan bread : LIRE - A euphemism for old money in Parma, Italy
116. Eye __ : EXAM - My 95-year-old MIL passed her eye EXAM and now her driver's license is now good until she is 100
118. Adheres (to) : HEWS - So this is where that comes from
119. Settle up : PAY
120. Biloxi-to-Mobile dir. : ENE -ESE would work for this famous song lyric "From Natchez To Mobile"
122. Places to crash, in ads : BRS - One of our 3 B(ed)R(nooms)S got converted to a computer room/office 20 minutes after on daughter got a job and moved to Lincoln.
Now how 'bout some MIXED BLESSINGS from the peanut gallery (Man, I'm old!)
Notes from C.C.:
Here is a picture from our local crossword constructors get-together last Sunday Dec 3, 2017. Chris is based in Iowa. Drove a long way. Quite a few are our LAT constructors. Kathy made her LAT debut earlier this year.
I recall Will Shortz mentioned a while ago that after New York and California, Minnesota has the most constructors.
Thanks for organizing the event, Tom, you're the best!
|Dec 3, 2017 Sunday|
Seated, L to R: C.C. Burnikel, Theresa Horan (Teedmn), Kathy Jaschke
Standing: George Barany, Tariq Samad (Cryptics constructor), Stew Lelievr (been to the ACPT for about 20 years straight), Andrew Sand, Amy Bemis, Jay Kaskel, David Hanson (Rosebud), Marcia Brott, Christopher Adams, Victor Barocas and Tom Pepper