Friday, June 24, 2022, Rebecca Goldstein

Theme: "Today's blog, literally?"

Puzzling thoughts:

Do you see what I did there with the "theme" image? No? Well, then perhaps you didn't "get" the gist of today's puzzle

So, Moe, what IS the gist of today's puzzle? Good question! First off, did your puzzle come with circles? If not, good luck solving. But please allow me to "reveal" for you what each entry means:

17-across. Something heard around Chicago, literally?: WEACCENTST. The word "ACCENT" is in the "MIDdle" of the word "WEST". So in this example, the literal something heard around Chicago is a Midwest Accent. This, maybe? Hope some of our Chicagoans will confirm or deny ...

26-across. Hurdle before spring break, literally?: TEEXAMRM. Midterm exam

40-across. Passport or Pilot, e.g., literally?: SISUVZE. Honda's entries in the Midsize SUV market

51-across. Frog that carries fertilized eggs on its back, literally?: WITOADFE. Total unknown for Moe. Had to Google. Midwife Toad

64-across. Reason to buy a sports car, for some, literally?: LICRISISFE. Midlife crisis. Moe had his midlife crisis in 2008 when he bought his Audi A5 which sort of qualifies as a sports car

So back to the original image and Moe's question, "Today's blog, literally?" = Midyear review. Well, it's not quite midyear, but close. The "actual" midyear occurs the first week of July. Let's examine the rest of the clues and fill

The finished grid:

1. Taper or fade: COIF. d-otto, did this one slow down your solving of today's puzzle? It did mine. I never once thought of the words "taper" or "fade" to refer to a hair style/haircut, or COIF. Meh

5. Many: A LOT. Could have been clued: "what a real-estate developer offers for sale"

9. Charcuterie board selection: EDAM. I had MEAT for the longest time. EDAM is a cheese selection that certainly could appear on a charcuterie board. Meh

13. Invocation syllables: ABRA. As in ABRA CadABRA?? I would use the word "incantation" instead of "invocation", but that might be picking nits. I think it's time for a song:

14. Tropical evergreen: CACAO; 16. Chanel scent: COCO. Kind of cool to see these side-by-side. CACAO is the raw, unprocessed version of COCOA. And COCO is a homophone of COCOA. And a scent created by COCO Chanel. I wonder if it smells like chocolate?

19. Like AOL software, originally: ON CD. AOL is a throwback internet service provider; computer software used to be only available ON CD (or floppy discs, if you go back further). Nowadays software for computers is generally downloaded as a file

20. EDM instrument: SYNTH. At first glance, I thought this was a CSO to CanadianEh!, as I thought EDM was somehow an abbreviation for EDMonton. But as I solved it (via perps) and googled for today's write-up, I found this

21. Bug: GET TO. I am trying really hard not to let clues/answers such as 20-across GET TO me

23. Digital thermometer?: TOE. Clever clue. Dip your big TOE into a bathtub, e.g., to see if the water temperature is OK

24. Acorn producer: OAK.

28. Baby __: ASPIRIN. I take one of these each evening; I'd suspect several other of our regulars do, too

32. Inflexible: RIGID.

33. One of 28 Monopoly cards: DEED. This came to me immediately; inDEED!

34. Dermatologist's concern: WART. Hmm, what other four letter words relating to the SKIN could've fit here? Oh, SKIN! That fits. Or zits? Cyst? Feel free to add any others that may have come to mind in the comment section below

37. Overalls material: DENIM.

39. Brooding sort: HEN. Hah!

42. Scooby-__: DOO. Debuting on CBS in 1969, the cartoon character Scooby-DOO has quite a following. As a senior in HS, I wasn't that much of a fan at the time, but I did watch it

43. Locked account?: DIARY. Clever clue. Did this film about a DIARY come to mind?

45. Snowballs or paintballs: AMMO.

Noteworthy blogger
Was armed, and ready to fight.
He said, "I AMMO"

46. "Yeah, try again": UM, NO. As a newbie constructor, I often ask myself (about a potential word entry) "WWMRD?" Not sure that this entry would've been in his lexicon, but I could be wrong ...

47. Regional plant life: FLORA. They go together with FAUNA

49. Cup holder site: ARMREST. I can't imagine driving a car without a cup holder. I can imagine that some car shoppers may ultimately decide on which cars have the best cup holders before purchasing

54. NYC member of "The Squad" in Congress: AOC. The Crossword Corner Blog rules strictly prohibit me/us from discussing politics; so, with regards to AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), I will just say "Thumper"

55. Frozen over: ICY. Not something that we folks who live in the desert SW are very familiar with

56. 48-Down song with the line "But when I call, you never seem to be home": HELLO. 48-down. 56-Across singer: ADELE. To be fair, having what I call "conditional clues", are fine. I might prefer them when the two clues are easily recognizable, but the words ultimately perped for me. I know who ADELE is, but the lyrics to her songs are not as familiar to me. Fast forward to 1:32 of this video to see the clued line in the lyrics

58. Shake __: SHACK. "HANDS" is what I entered at first. Shake SHACK restaurants aren't to be found in Arizona, which might explain why I am unfamiliar with them. Are they any good?

62. Snatches: NABS.

66. Grasp: GROK. Not sure why this cartoon came to mind when I saw the word "GROK"

67. Sign into law: ENACT.

68. Gas lighting?: NEON.

69. Hot: SEXY. I might have used this image before ...

70. Transcript stats: GPAS. Grade Point AverageS. Have I mentioned before that making an abbreviation plural is a pet peeve of mine?

71. Lip: SASS.


1. Crow's cacophony: CAWS. Shouldn't this have been clued "Crows' "?

2. Heed: OBEY.

3. Setting of the graphic novel "Persepolis": IRAN. Perps filled this in. Not familiar with this book

4. Bit of info: FACTOID.

5. The "A" of LGBTQIA+, for short: ACE. Asexuality, defined: "Sexual attraction, in basic terms, means you find a specific person sexually appealing and want to have sex with them. Asexual people, who might use the term “ACE” or “aces” for short, typically don't experience sexual attraction or want to pursue sexual relationships with other people" [Healthline dot com]

6. Scott who turns into Ant-Man: LANG.

7. Valence electrons, often: OCTET. "In chemistry and physics, a valence electron is an electron in the outer shell associated with an atom, and that can participate in the formation of a chemical bond if the outer shell is not closed; in a single covalent bond, both atoms in the bond contribute one valence electron in order to form a shared pair." [Wikipedia] Not sure I understand the OCTET answer

8. Have a trying experience?: TASTE. TASTE = to try

9. Green prefix: ECO.

10. "I'm not even here": DONT MIND ME. Last used in a major xword puzzle 6 years ago

11. Squeezeboxes: ACCORDIONS. As The Who says, "Mama's got a squeeze box ..."

12. Internet hookup: MODEM.

15. Mammal that uses kelp as a blanket: OTTER.

18. Crust: CHAR.

22. Rust: OXIDE.

25. Fuzzy fruit: KIWI.

27. Grow old: AGE.

28. Adult __: ADHD. [Mayo Clinic] "Adult ADHD symptoms may include:

Disorganization and problems prioritizing
Poor time management skills
Problems focusing on a task
Trouble multitasking
Excessive activity or restlessness
Poor planning
Low frustration tolerance

I might have a few of these traits ...

29. "Suit yourself!": SEE IF I CARE. What I might say with obscure clues!

30. Shark cage?: PENALTY BOX. Hah! San Jose Sharks NHL Hockey Team. But ... the PENALTY BOX is rarely - if ever - referred to as a "cage"

31. Ingenuity org.: NASA. Odd clue and answer; but ... it does fit

35. Coquito liquor: RUM. [Wikipedia] "Coquito meaning "Little Coconut" in Spanish is a traditional Christmas drink that originated in Puerto Rico. The coconut-based alcoholic beverage is similar to eggnog, and is sometimes referred to as Puerto Rican Eggnog." And, it contains "RUM"

36. Rating for "Euphoria," briefly: TV MA. Another TV show with which I am not familiar

38. No longer relevant: MOOT.

Mount McKinley was
Renamed Denali. It was
Then, just a MOOT point

40. Cab alternative: SYRAH. Cab, as in Cabernet. But SYRAH is an actual grape varietal, so this clue makes no sense. Cab is an abbreviation for either Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc; SYRAH is NOT an abbreviation. Meh

41. First name in the Harlem Renaissance: ZORA. "As a leader in the Harlem Renaissance ZORA Neale Hurston was a revolutionary in helping to protect the rights of African Americans. She was known during the Harlem Renaissance for her wit, irreverence, and folk writing style. Hurston was though most well know for her popular novels" [see link for source of the quote]

44. Piglet pal: ROO.

46. Tide pool sights: URCHINS. Just don't get stung by one

50. Zen garden growth: MOSS. And here, I only thought MOSS grew on the north side of trees

51. Boneless appetizer: WINGS. I like my WINGS with bones and in a "Buffalo" sauce. But these are definitely "boneless"

52. Hurl: FLING. VOMIT also fits! ;^)

53. Yosemite peak free-climbed by Emily Harrington, familiarly: EL CAP. Short for "EL CAPitan"

57. Black-and-white predator: ORCA.

59. Well offshore: ASEA.

60. Corp. bean counters: CFOS.

61. "Steak House" dressing brand: KEN'S. Originated at KEN'S Steakhouse in Framingham, MA. CSO to Wilbur Charles? I like their Vidalia Onion dressing

63. Chicago WNBA team: SKY.

65. "__ my pleasure!": IT'S. IT'S my pleasure to be your bi-weekly Friday blogger! And speaking of Friday, allow me to end with a Friday Moe-ku, and a CSO to all of our Sunshine State posters:

Floridians love
Fish Fry Fridays, 'cause they get
A grouper discount

Please offer YOUR thoughts below ...


Note from C.C.:

Chair Moe (Chris) made today's Newsday crossword. Click here to solve and give him your feedback.