Friday, May 19, 2023, Alexander Liebeskind

Theme: "Double Entendre"

Sub-theme: "Are you trying to be a "Y's" guy??!"

Puzzling thoughts:

I thought the name Alexander Liebeskind looked familiar. This same blogger wrote his recap on the LAT Crossword Corner on Friday, October 21, 2022, just 7 short months ago

"Y" did I get Mr. Liebeskind again, you ask? Coincidence? Perhaps to be a bit more jocular than I was on that blog? (I was in the throws of moving, if you recall) ... I actually like that I am getting another stab at young Alexander, so let's see what I can conjure up ...

17-across. Building a fire without any charcoal or lighter fluid?: STICK(Y) SITUATION. Right off the bat, Alexander knocks one out of the park, achieving his double entendre with both STICK/STICKY being the correct adjective for SITUATION. Think about it ... no charcoal or lighter fluid to use to build a fire? Rub two STICKS together. But regardless, it creates a STICKY SITUATION for sure


23-across. Mountain of comfy shoes?: SLIPPER(Y) SLOPE. Another winner! While I can't imagine, nor picture a mountain of SLIPPERS, a SLOPE of SLIPPERS would be quite SLIPPERY. This could almost be a triple entendre!

37-across. Artichokes eaten first thing in the morning?: HEART(Y) BREAKFAST. Maybe a bit of a stretch here, but when you have 5 "themers" in a crossword puzzle, there needs to be one "outlier". I never think of an artichoke HEART being HEARTY; nor do I consider it a BREAKFAST food, but I can't think of another "HEART" that would fit

Maybe this needs a Moe-ku:

Teen sleuths Frank and Joe
Eat artichokes each morning.


48-across. "Should this potted plant go in the dining room window or the bedroom window?," e.g.: SILL(Y) QUESTION!

[I threw in the exclamation point for added effect]

Of course a potted plant would go in the dining room window! On the SILL, naturally. What a SILLY QUESTION!

And last, but not least, 58-across. Relinquishing one's noble title?: EARL(Y) RETIREMENT. Technically speaking, an EARL cannot RETIRE; but they can be removed. After opening the link, scroll down a paragraph or two for the explanation

Well done, Alexander! If I may be so bold, I will summarize today's theme with the following Moe-ku (which starts out as a Moe-CLUE):

Likelihood of an
Eel solving today's puzzle?

The grid:

1. College-level HS English course: AP LIT. Confession: I was never into reading novels and the like; nor was I a particularly good HS English student

6. __ and drop: DRAG. Could it have been clued: Favorite MS Word editing feature for a transvestite?

10. Party loot: SWAG. Rhymes with DRAG

14. Place for a bench warmer?: SAUNA. I like this clue. Lots of benches in a SAUNA. See for yourself!

15. Bag: EARN. Does the Thesaurussaurus like this synonym?

16. Melodramatic sigh: AH, ME.

20. Brain wave readout, for short: EEG. [electoencephologram] "An EEG is a test that detects abnormalities in your brain waves, or in the electrical activity of your brain. During the procedure, electrodes consisting of small metal discs with thin wires are pasted onto your scalp. The electrodes detect tiny electrical charges that result from the activity of your brain cells" [Johns Hopkins website]

I am pretty sure, without taking one, that there are abnormalities in MY brain!! ;^)

21. Not bumpy: EVEN.

22. Hindu spiritual writing: SUTRA. Part of the KAMASUTRA. KAMA = kinky, weird, acrobatic sexual positions; SUTRA = weirdly wanting to write about them! ;^)

27. Only cardinal direction not in a state name: EAST. Of course, we have NORTH and SOUTH CAROLINA/DAKOTA and WEST VIRGINIA, but no EAST anything ... unless EAST JABIP counts!

Fun Fact: Oddly many college/university names DO contain this word; e.g, EAST CAROLINA, EAST TENNESSEE ST, EAST TEXAS ST; while others (IL, KY, MI, NM, OR, & WA) use the word "EASTERN"

28. Big lug: OAF.

29. Dirty word?: MUD. You knew this wasn't a cuss word, 'cause it didn't have 4-letters

32. Mesopotamian region where cuneiform was invented: SUMER. [Wikipedia] "Sumer is the earliest known civilization in the historical region of southern Mesopotamia, emerging during the Chalcolithic and early Bronze Ages between the sixth and fifth millennium BC"

Moe-ku #3:

The season, and where
Cuniform was invented?
"Summer, in SUMER"

35. Missay, say: ERR. No one ever says, "To missay is human ... "

36. Prefix with dynamic: AERO.

41. Potato spots: EYES.

42. Dawn goddess: EOS. Could've been clued with two other familiar objects; here are all three

43. Specks: IOTAS.

44. Gesture-based communication syst.: ASL.

45. Ancient: OLD.

46. Designer Gucci: ALDO. [wikipedia] "ALDO Gucci was an Italian personality and the chairman of Gucci from 1953 to 1986. He was the eldest son of Guccio Gucci, who founded the company bearing the family name in 1921"

54. Many, casually: LOTSA.

56. "High Drama" singer Lambert: ADAM. "High Drama" is the album name; here is a video from KCAL TV in LA

57. Premier __: French wine designation: CRU. CRU literally means "growth". Premier CRU = "first growth", and usually means that the specific wine comes from a superior part of the region. There is a "level above" Premier CRU called "Grand CRU". To be called a GRAND CRU, the grapes are typically grown in a specific vineyard in a specific village within a region. Examples of this are in Chablis. FYI, Chablis is NOT a grape varietal; it's a region. The primary grape grown in Chablis is Chardonnay. Here is a list of both Premier and Grand CRUS in Chablis

62. Oxford, but not Cambridge: SHOE. Nice clue misdirection

63. Quod __ demonstrandum: ERAT. Also seen abbreviated in crossword puzzles as "QED"; and while we are at it, here is (12-down. Omnia vincit __:) AMOR, but I can't recall this being abbreviated as "OVA". EGGSactly, Moe!

64. Hilarious: A RIOT. I hope a few of you think that the Chairman is A RIOT (sometimes!!)

65. Basic math homework: SUMS. Hmm. Not a clue I'd use for this but I guess it works. YMMV

66. Autos: CARS.

67. Full of fluff: LINTY. Moe-ku #4:

1930's dance
Popular in laundromats
Is "The LINTY Hop"

1. Pack animals: ASSES. This word, in both its singular and now plural form, has been showing up a lot, lately in LAT puzzles. Coincidence?

2. "Lion" Oscar nominee Dev: PATEL. He was featured in a recent crossword puzzle here that used a Picture in a Picture theme; "SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE" (with "LION" in circles), e.g.

3. "Super Mario" brother: LUIGI.

4. Fortune rival: INC. As in the magazine, "Fortune"

5. Share: TAKE PART.

6. Antarctica, for one: DESERT. Fun Fact: even though the word "DESERT" is thought of by this meaning: "a dry, barren area of land, especially one covered with sand, that is characteristically desolate, waterless, and without vegetation", the same definition applies to Antarctica (minus the sand)

7. Unlike a 6-Down: RAINY.

8. Quilting, e.g.: ART. Never thought of quilting as an ART, but why not?

9. Serengeti grazer: GNU. Moe-ku #5 (oldie, but a goodie):

Headline in the ORLANDO SENTINEL:

"Disney World built some
Imitation antelopes"
You think that's fake GNUs?

10. Broke out of a slump?: SAT UP. If this clue were a baseball reference, I am not sure that there are any five letter words/phrases that fit; cute clue

11. Poultry choice: WHITE MEAT. Not I; I am a thigh and leg man

13. Actress Rowlands: GENA. Actress Davis spells her's, GEENA

18. Part of YSL: YVES.

19. Starting on: AS OF. AS OF the first week of June, the Chairman will be on sabbatical

24. Equals: PEERS. As in the "EARL(s)" of the EARL(Y) RETIREMENT entry in today's puzzle

25. Like some subjects: SORE. Moe-ku #6 (double entendre):

British Count hurt leg
And can't kneel before the King;
Very SORE subject ...

26. "The Practice" actress __ Flynn Boyle: LARA. "The Practice" is an erstwhile TV Drama which aired on ABC. I never watched it. Here is Ms. Boyle (1997 pic):

30. __ Minor: URSA. Please bear with me; just a few more to parse for you ...

31. Colon units: DOTS. Neither RECTUM nor APPENDIX fit ... oh ... THIS colon ":"

32. __ butter: SHEA. The favorite spread of the NY Mets; formerly

33. One-eighties: UEYS. Is it UEYS or UIES? I've seen both ...

34. Violent vortex: MAELSTROM. Moe-ku #7:

"Black Friday" event
Caused turbulence. It was called:
"MAELSTROM at Nordstrom's"

35. Triage ctrs.: ERS.

36. In the offing: AFOOT. Why do podiatrist's and shoe salesmen make great detectives? They always know when something is AFOOT


39. Word with surf or shop: BODY. "Gin a BODY meets a BODY ... "

40. Restaurant offering that may have an age limit: KID'S MEAL. I think that the so-called "age limit" for these should be further defined to include those of us "septuagenarians and older" who can no longer eat such big portions ... the toy can be made optional ...

45. Skin care brand: OLAY.

46. Open-book exams?: AUDITS. Like this clue a lot

47. Prolific TV producer Norman: LEAR. [wikipedia] "Norman Milton LEAR is an American producer and screenwriter, who has produced, written, created, or developed over 100 shows. Lear is known for many popular 1970s sitcoms, including the multi-award winning All in the Family as well as Maude, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, and Good Times." As of the date I wrote this blog, LEAR is alive and kicking at age 100

49. Caribbean spots: ISLES.

50. 2022 FIFA World Cup host: QATAR. Time Magazine article regarding QATAR/World Cup 2022

51. Strand during a ski trip, say: ICE IN. I guess if this happens, "apres ski" begins sooner? MalMan care to discuss?? (52-down. " ... never mind, then":) OR NOT?

53. Like brown butter: NUTTY. [according to Food Network dot com]: "Brown butter, also known as buerre noisette in French, is made by heating butter until the milk solids caramelize, imparting a golden color and toasted, NUTTY flavor. The French technique is an easy way to ramp up the flavor of regular butter without adding any extra ingredients"

54. Minus: LESS. I guess this clue is OK; more or less

55. Diamond Head locale: OAHU.

59. __ center: REC. Our local REC center is supported by Silver Sneakers - great place to work out

60. Stretch of history: ERA.

61. Sports doc's scan: MRI.

Please feel free to add your thoughts and comments below. Maybe the constructor will catch word of this blog and stop by to say "hello" ...