Apr 26, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017, Bill Zagozweski


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 


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


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: 

Apr 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 C.C. Burnikel

Theme: Initials - Entries start with the same two letters. The following vowels are in A, E, I, O, U order.

18A. *Increases homeowner levies, say: RAISES TAXES

24A. *EMS group: RESCUE TEAM

41A. *Meaty barbecued pork dish: RIB TIPS

50A. *Marinara sauce ingredient: ROMA TOMATO

62A. *Restaurant chain named for a Rolling Stones hit: RUBY TUESDAY. (primarily east coast)

61D. Pretentiously cultured, and a phonetic hint to the answers to starred clues: ARTY

Argyle here(and in the puzzle). A signature offering from C.C. Not only do the entries start with the same two letters but the following letters are vowel progression...for both words. A lot of CSO's today.


1. Oysters are found in one: BED

4. Campfire leftovers: ASHES

9. Bowler's challenge: SPLIT

14. Deli loaf: RYE

15. Kingdom: REALM

16. Escape detection by: ELUDE

17. Notable period: ERA

20. "Pitching" or "sand" golf club: WEDGE

22. Tartan wrap: KILT. 47D. Diamond-shaped pattern: ARGYLE

23. Candidate's goal: SEAT

27. 2015 FedExCup champ Jordan: SPIETH. Golf.

29. '80s-'90s legal drama: L.A. LAW

33. Williams in the Country Music Hall of Fame: HANK. 1961

34. "Brokeback Mountain" director: ANG LEE

39. Go astray: ERR

40. Dutch financial powerhouse: ING. (International Netherlands Group)

42. You, in Paris: TOI

43. Dessert with a crust: PIE

44. Corrects a pencil mistake: ERASES

45. Soft "Hey!": "PSST!"

46. "Buzz off!": "SCRAM!". and stay off my lawn.

48. Siouan speakers: OSAGEs

55. Medication: DRUG

58. San Joaquin Valley problem: SMOG

59. Prying type: YENTA

65. Make public: AIR

66. "Hello" Grammy winner: ADELESong.

67. Part of an act: SCENE

68. Mining supply: TNT. BOOM BOOM!

69. French hat: BERET

70. Smooths in shop class: SANDS

71. Pig's pad: STY


1. Coffee or tea: BREW

2. Fictional governess: EYRE. Jane.

3. Double: DEAD RINGER. Doppelgänger doesn't fit.

4. Take into custody: ARREST

5. Pirate's milieu: SEA

6. Japanese 17-syllable poem: HAIKU

7. Borden spokescow: ELSIE

8. Silvery food fish: SMELT

9. Ready to go: SET

10. Blood component: PLASMA

11. Very fancy: LUXE

12. Creative spark: IDEA. Like which R.T. set this puzzle in motion?

13. Trial run: TEST

19. Sault __ Marie: STE.

21. Adorkable one: GEEK

25. Rocker, e.g.: CHAIR

26. Tavern drinks: ALEs

27. Ocean crossers: SHIPS

28. __ button: PANIC

30. Chant for D.C.'s baseball club: [LET'S GO NATS!]

31. Cropped up: AROSE

32. Court orders: WRITS

35. Org. with Warriors and Wizards: NBA. (National Basketball Association)  Golden State Warriors, Oakland, Ca, and  Washington Wizards, Washington, D.C.

36. Alfa Romeo sports cars: GTs

37. Tell tall tales: LIE

38. Surrey town known for salts: EPSOM

41. San __: Riviera resort: REMO

45. Hors d'oeuvres spread: PÂTÉ

49. Go along: SAY YES

51. The Spartans of the NCAA: MSU. (Michigan State University)

52. "Don't make __!": A MESS

53. Puccini premiere of 1900: TOSCA

54. Nash who rhymed "grackle" with "debacle": OGDEN

55. Dull: DRAB

56. Lacking manners: RUDE

57. Popular rideshare app: UBER

60. Window shade: TINT

63. Spring Festival : China :: __ : Vietnam: TET

64. "What else?": "AND?". And now your comments.

Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Kazie (Kay), who has been with our blog since the summer of 2008. Kay grew up in Australia, met her husband Barry while traveling in Spain. She still travels to Germany frequently to visit her son and their beautiful family.

Kay and her husband Barry on Tamborine Mountain, overlooking Brisbane

Apr 24, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: Reveal Monday - And a darn good thing.

17A. Sheet for plotting in math class: GRAPH PAPER. Autograph.

35A. Gridiron pass-defense scheme: ZONE COVERAGE. AutoZone. (car parts store)

42A. TV series starter: PILOT EPISODE. Autopilot.

64A. Market research target: FOCUS GROUP. Autofocus. (camera feature)

50D. Running by itself, and where the first words of 17-, 35-, 42- and 64-Across can be placed: ON AUTO

Argyle here. Textbook Monday. Very enjoyable.


1. Keebler cracker: ZESTA. Original Saltine Crackers.

6. Hotel employee: MAID

10. Consequently: THUS

14. Reference containing insets: ATLAS

15. Big name in luxury hotels: OMNI

16. What some hogs hog, with "the": ROAD

19. Rich rocks: OREs

20. Added to the collection plate: GAVE

21. Scrutinizes: INSPECTS

23. Menlo Park inventor: EDISON. Thomas Alva Edison, "The Wizard of Menlo Park".

25. Fort Worth sch.: TCU. (Texas Christian University)

26. Prohibition __: ERA

29. Advent mo.: DEC.. Advent, the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas.

30. Silent approvals: NODS

33. Author Capote: TRUMAN

37. Brand for Fido: ALPO

40. Misspell or misspeak: ERR

41. Nibble (on): GNAW

47. Points a finger at: BLAMES. Point a finger at Fido and he may gnaw on it.

48. Decant: POUR

49. Soft slip-on: MOC. (moccasin) Tonto has his mocs on but the Masked Man is John Hart.

52. Traditional Asian sauce base: SOY

53. Seventh Greek letter: ETA

55. One-named Tejano singer: SELENA

57. Eggs __: brunch dish: BENEDICT

61. General Bradley: OMAR

62. Object of adoration: IDOL

66. Door openers: KEYS

67. Provide a fake alibi for, say: ABET

68. Come together: UNITE

69. Minimal effort: EASE

70. Storied loch: NESS

71. Mystic's deck: TAROT


1. Took a sharp turn: ZAGGED right after zigged.

2. Online financial site: E-TRADE

3. Like Croats and Serbs: SLAVIC

4. Carton sealers: TAPES

5. Volcanic debris: ASH

6. Reaction to a bad pun: MOAN

7. Miami Sound Machine sound machines: AMPS. 44D. "Coming Out of the Dark" singer Gloria: ESTEFAN. Song history. The song(4:06).

8. Klutzy: INEPT

9. Dish Network competitor: DIRECTV

10. Jogger's pace: TROT

11. Member of the Apocalypse quartet: HORSEMAN. All four are horsemen. War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death.

12. Abu Dhabi's fed.: UAE.(United Arab Emirates)

13. Militant '60s campus org.: SDS. (Students for a Democratic Society)

18. Attach, as a name tag: PIN ON

22. Restore to health: CURE

24. Tokyo-born Yoko: ONO

27. Hindu melody: RAGA

28. From the beginning: ANEW

31. Like the diving-board end of the pool: DEEP

32. Rx, for short: SCRIP. No tee.

34. Hard-to-resist impulse: URGE

35. Go like heck: [ZOOM!]

36. Estimate words: OR SO

37. BOLO equivalents: APBs. "Be On the LookOut"/"All Points Bulletin" sent to LEOs, "Law Enforcement Officers"

38. Disney's "__ & Stitch": LILO

39. Don Juans: PLAYBOYS

43. Many a manga fan: TEEN. Manga are comics created in Japan.

45. Expels by force: OUSTS

46. Dr. with Grammys: DRE

49. Life story: MEMOIR

51. "Magic" transport: CARPET

54. Photoshop maker: ADOBE

56. Doone of fiction: LORNA

58. Otherwise: ELSE

59. Puts frosting on: ICES

60. Scissors snips: CUTS

62. Cold War prez: IKE

63. Org. busting dealers: DEA. (Drug Enforcement Administration)

65. __ reaction: instinctive feeling: GUT


Apr 23, 2017

Sunday April 23, 2017 Craig Stowe

Theme: "Labor Disputes" - Each theme entry is punnily re-imagined as what the union group did during contract talks.

23A. During contract talks, a marching band __ : STEPPED OUT OF LINE. Craig could put the 17-letter or 13-letter theme entry in this slot also, but we would have had more 3-letter entries to deal with.

33A. During contract talks, a cruise ship's crew __ : MISSED THE BOAT

47A. During contract talks, a postal union __ : PUSHED THE ENVELOPE. The actions are all related to the clue occupations of course.

64A. During contract talks, a veterinarians' association __ : FOUGHT LIKE CATS AND DOGS. Sparkly grid-spanner.

78A. During contract talks, a divers' group __ : WENT OFF THE DEEP END

94A. During contract talks, an opera company __ : FACED THE MUSIC

107A. During contract talks, a fighters' club __ : TOOK THE GLOVES OFF

I think this is Craig's first Sunday puzzle. Congratulations! Are you this Craig?

What a fun theme. Very John Lampkin-like. Heavy themage too. Total 113 theme squares and only 140 words.


1. "Yowza!" : JEEZ.  "Yowza!"= Lucina. "Woohoo!" = Misty.

5. Virtuous : CHASTE

11. Numéro avant six : CINQ. French for five. Also 103. Avril follower : MAI. April/May.

15. __ speak : SO TO

19. "Amarantine" Grammy winner : ENYA

20. Stopped : HALTED

21. Diamond family name : ALOU. Vowel-rich.

22. Nile menace : CROC. No ASP/ASPS today.

26. All ears : RAPT

27. __ story : SOB

28. One awarding stars, perhaps : RATER

29. Peter Fonda title role : ULEE. Ulee's Gold.  Quite a moving movie.

30. Nimble : LITHE. Not AGILE.

31. Thomas associate : ALITO. Clarence Thomas.

37. Woody and others : ALLENs

39. Caribou, e.g. : DEER. We also have 109. Disney doe : ENA

40. Ducks : AVERTS

41. Fragrant shrub : LILAC. Spring has finally arrived in MN. The two trails we explored this week are greening up.

42. Panache : STYLE

45. Shuts up, with "down" : PIPES

51. Beach letters : SPF

54. Bouncing babies? : JOEYS. Cute clue.

55. Plot twist : IRONY

56. Part of BC: Abbr. : COLL. Boston College. I thought BC was referring to British Columbia. 

57. Yogurt topping : GRANOLA

61. Dental problem : DECAY. My hygienist told me to use these proxy brushes from inside out, as she found pockets on the inner side of my teeth. I found it impossible to follow her instructions.

63. Unlucky gambler's wishful words : I'M DUE. Keep dreaming.

69. Get ready to surf : LOG ON

70. Not just happen once : RECUR

71. Crude : BOORISH

72. City north of Des Moines : AMES

73. Mythical hunter : DIANA. Thought of ORION first.

75. "Canst thou not minister to __ diseased": Macbeth : A MIND

77. One-handed Norse god : TYR. Tuesday god.

85. Paris divider : SEINE

86. Wash off : RINSE

87. Spelunkers' haunts : CAVES

88. Drops off : ABATES

91. Pierre's st. : S DAK.  The abbr. told you the answer won't be ETAT.

93. Most artful : SLIEST

98. Winner of the first two Super Bowl MVPs : STARR (Bart). Here he is with Brett Favre in 2015.

99. Runs through a sieve : RICES

100. Instrument with a flared bell : OBOE. New clue angle.

101. Part of a cast : ACTOR

106. On : ATOP

111. Jazzman Saunders : MERL. Unknown to me.

112. Clog or pump : SHOE

113. Common soccer score : ONE ONE. Or ONE NIL.

114. Memorable times : ERAS

115. Vortex : EDDY

116. Oenophile's adjective : OAKY

117. Fritters away : WASTES

118. Squat : ZERO. Also  68. Squat : NONE


1. Zooey's role in "New Girl" : JESS. Easy crosses.

2. Prefix with dermal : ENTO

3. Gives the once-over : EYEBALLS

4. Nuke : ZAP

5. Breaks the rules : CHEATS. You have to know the rules to break them.

6. Didn't get a say : HAD TO

7. Lotion additive : ALOE

8. __ und Drang : STURM

9. Annual Vietnamese celebration : TET. Same date as Chinese New Year.

10. Pre-1868 Tokyo : EDO. Lots of Japanese movies we watched in the late 1980's were set in the Edo Period.

11. Square dance figure : CALLER

12. Admission of deceit : I LIED

13. Large chamber group : NONET. We also have 18. Large chamber groups : OCTETS

14. N.Y. neighbor : QUE (Quebec)

15. Copyists of yore : SCRIBES

16. Webster, notably : ORATOR

17. One of the original Monopoly tokens still in use : TOP HAT. Got via crosses.

24. Robin Hood foe : PRINCE JOHN. Fresh fill!

25. __ box : FUSE. Fill-in-the-blank clue can be hard. Too many choices.

30. Bank insurance? : LEVEE. Great clue.

32. Jacob's first wife : LEAH. Our Chickie's real name.

34. Inactive : IDLE

35. Spotted : SEEN

36. __ hour : HAPPY

37. Peak seen from Grindelwald : ALP

38. Greater N.Y. school : LIU (Long Island University)

42. Lift : STEAL

43. Your of yore : THY

44. Last word of Joyce's "Ulysses" : YES. Below is the last line. Lots of YESes there, Misty!
"I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another… then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes."

45. Ruses : PLOYS

46. Physics particle : ION

48. Numbskull : DOLT

49. Anglican priest : VICAR

50. Latin 101 word : ERAT. E in QED.

51. "Me too!" : SO DO I. Not SO AM I.

52. Power connections : PLUGS

53. Blood relative? : FLESH.  Oh, flesh and blood. 

56. Starfleet VIP : CMDR (Commander). Spitzboov's rank when he retired. Commander Al. Very cool.

57. Key above F : G FLAT

58. Spacious : ROOMY

59. Boring bit :AUGER

60. Private nonprofits: Abbr. : NGOS. NGO= Non-Governmental Organization. Common abbr. in news media.

61. After-dinner drink : DECAF

62. Old French coin : ECU

63. "Isn't that something!" : I DO DECLARE. Great fill.

65. Steamed : IRATE

66. Number-picker's game : KENO. Every casino has it.

67. Stomach : ABIDE

73. Jefferson, theologically : DEIST

74. B&B, e.g. : INN

75. Philip of "Kung Fu" : AHN.  I mentioned a while ago that AHN (Korean) = ANG (As in Ang Lee)

76. Enero, por ejemplo : MES. Month.

78. Lawn invaders : WEEDS

79. Monastic titles : FRAS

80. "Kon-__" : TIKI

81. Good "pocket" holding in Hold 'em : PAIR

82. Eternally : EVERMORE

83. Video game letters : NES

84. Summer hrs. : DST

85. In a precipitous fashion : STEEPLY. I finally received the 25% subsidy on my health insurance. It's retroactive of Jan 2017, so I did not need to pay anything this month. Yay! What a big relief.

88. Many a chalet : A-FRAME

89. Set, as a trap : BAITED

90. Pact : ACCORD

91. Bandit chaser of film : SMOKEY. Police.

92. 1983-'84 #1 hit "Say Say Say," say : DUET

93. Potbellies : STOVES

95. Ruckus : HOO-HA

96. Modern read : E-BOOK.  What are you reading now, D-Otto?

97. Zoo sights : CAGES

98. __ Age : STONE

102. Coagulate : CLOT

104. Miles away : AFAR

105. "That being the case ... " : IF SO

107. General of culinary fame : TSO

108. Reporter's query : HOW.  Watch this clip. NBC News did a short piece on Will Shortz two days ago. Wouldn't be refreshing to see a piece on Rich Norris?

110. "__ who?" : SEZ

Apr 22, 2017

Saturday, Apr 22nd, 2017, Debbie Ellerin

Theme: None

Words 72 (missing J,Q,W,Z)

Blocks: 33

A friendly looking grid today from Ms Ellerin, which was how I described her last Saturday offering as well.  Lots of my first Across guesses were so wrong they worked out just right for the Down crossings, strangely, and the rest of my answers turned out to be spot-on correct.  Alas, I did not get my "ta-DA~!" because I guessed at the end of the second longest Across fill, and "BAILed" to correct it - and so I had a sloppy Down answer with an 'I don't know for sure' Across perpendicular.  Oh well.  Red-letters it is.  Two 8's, two 10's, and two 12-letter spanners;

22. Rotten Tomatoes caution : SPOILER ALERT 

 Or this one~?

9. Stud venue : CARD ROOM - because of the horse race clue, I was thinking about that kind of stud.  Our weekly card game is held in a friend's dining room - I need to bring some felt to cover the table top tonight

27. Oktoberfest setting : BEER GARDEN - aw, I waited, since I got "BIER" wrong last week

45. 2008 financial crisis mantra : TOO BIG TO FAIL - even UPS tried to get in on the "free" money

36. Problem addressed by counters : INSOMNIA - ah, the sheep count-ers.  Here's Megadeth's take on the disorder

3. One who shuns shaking : GERMOPHOBE - I still did not get this until I was writing the blog - HAND shaking, oh....


1. Some conversion targets : PAGANS - my first read was conversATion, so I waited

7. Time to "Run for the Roses" : RACE DAY - we're at the start of the Triple Crown season

14. Blissful : EDENIC - ah, not ELATED

15. Bar talk? : LEGALESE - Nailed it

16. Shout from Speedy : ARRIBA - not ÁNDALE

17. Devils' playgrounds? : ICE RINKS - Well, I was in the NHL New Jersey Devils frame of mind, but this did not jump out at me

18. "Losing My Religion" group : REM

19. "Kiss of the Spider Woman" star Sonia : BRAGA

21. ... : DOTS - I thought maybe we had some sort of theme going on today, but this just turned out to be exactly what you see....dots

25. Teen introduction? : PRE - ugh.  I tried SIX

26. Canonized pope who persuaded Attila not to attack Rome : St. LEO

27. Accessory for Miss Piggy : BOA

30. Half a luau serving? : MAHI - the other half tastes better

32. Usher's creator : POE - filled via perps

33. Revolted : ROSE UP - the revolution type of revolt, not the "I'm offended" one

35. Thatcher or Blair, e.g. : OXONIAN - tried ETonian.  This is one from Oxford, or relating to

37. Smirks : SIMPERS - I thought this meant to weep, not smile

38. Capital since 1797 : ALBANY - bam, nailed it - but maybe it doesn't count because I lived there, so it might have been a subconscious remnant of those days

39. Expected : DUE

40. Ballpark phrase : OR SO - ah, the ballpark estimate, not the baseball park

41. Provider of a small raise : TEE - clever

42. "It Don't Come Easy" singer : STARR - Ringo, in his solo career

44. "Star Trek" record : LOG - totally missed this one, so when I had L-G, it took the V-8 can to get it.  I've been keeping a journal of my daily events for the last 12 years, and that includes my punch times for UPS; when I went in to dispute my hours this week, my boss to a dig at me and told me to "check my diary".
"It's a log, dude."

49. Dixie elision : MA'AM - dah~!  I went with Y'ALL, and I am sure so did everyone else

51. Plain to see : OVERT

52. Cellular messenger : RNA - ah, the genetic, not phone-callian type of cellular

53. Soaking solution : MARINADE - got stuck on "DYE", so it took a while for this to appear

55. Feuding (with) : AT ODDS

57. Fashion item used for protection in ancient Egypt : EYELINER - learning moment; CODPIECE fit, but I was sure the garment was not called that. In fact, the 'kilt' is called a shendyt, but the long belt I was thinking about is just called a belt.  More here; there's a mention of eyeliner under cosmetics

58. "I'm a fan" : LOVE IT

59. Leafs, e.g. : NISSANS - again, I was in hockey mode, so I was thinking of the Toronto Maple LEAFs, or some sort of Canadian reference

60. Yoga class regimen : ASANAS


1. Still-life subjects : PEARS - which worked with my first two Across fills, but when the rest didn't, out it came
Nice pear....

2. "Mad Men" extra : AD REP

4. "The Phantom Menace" boy : ANI - short for Anakin, the Skywalker who gave us Luke and Leia

5. Angler's hope : NIBBLE

6. Close one : SCARE

7. Automaker's bane : RECALL

8. Preceder of beauty? : AGE - AGE before Beauty

10. Prufrock's creator : ELIOT - filled via perps

11. Bump souvenir : DENT - I figured this was one on the head, so I went with WELT - that's 50% correct - and 100% at that, right D-O~?

12. Requires : ASKS

13. "Roundabout" rock group : YES - I was never able to appreciate their progressive rock style, but half the original members formed ASIA, and their debut album is still one of my favorites of all time - more on ASIA here
15. Tie up in surgery : LIGATE

20. Bad lighting? : ARSON - took half a beat for me to remember this clever cluing for that kind of lighting

23. Youngest of Chekhov's "Three Sisters" : IRINA - filled via perps

24. Like many 32-Across works : EERIE - not PROSE, not VERSE - which was 100% 60% correct~!

28. Shared between us : OURS - the literal definition

29. Lhasa __ : APSO

30. Safety feature for zoo visitors : MOAT - there's a moat around my dream home

31. Drive shaft component : AXLE

32. Check phrase : PAY TO

34. Make fun of : SPOOF - my crossings gave me SMOOB, so I was going to check and see if maybe it was a word....it is; check the 'Urban' Dictionary

37. Power concern : SURGE - I had -U--E, which led me to ponder JUICE

39. Club at a club : DRIVER - more golfing

43. They may be humble : ABODES - I prefer to refer to my humble abode as the awesome man-cave - my whole studio apartment, not just the entertainment room

44. Powerball and others : LOTTOS

45. Word in pregame instructions : TAILS - or you could choose HEADS

46. Refrain part : TRA-LA

47. Setting for "Slumdog Millionaire" : INDIA - filled via perps; did not see the movie

48. Has legs, so to speak : LASTS - yes - and she has legs, too

49. "Allow me" : "MAY I~?"

50. Father of Phobos and Deimos : ARES

53. Valets, e.g. : MEN - meh

54. Rockport's cape : ANN - not sure where Rockport is, so take your three-letter pick; COD, MAY, or ANN - two of them in Massachusetts

56. Eggs : OVA