Saturday, February 11, 2023, Rafael Musa

 Themeless Saturday by Rafael Musa

Rafael Musa posted that HE got into crosswords when he read that someone had done a NYT puzzle in less than 10 minutes and set that as a goal. A little over a year later, he obtained that goal and decided to make his own puzzle. 

A stark difference from last Saturday's puzzle was that this puzzle has only 62 open squares (ones that don't touch any other squares) compared to last week's 109 in Doug Peterson's puzzle. 

I managed a mini struggle in the NE trying to get 10 D to start with GETTING. In the SE, AMANDA, AHMAD, TRAN and Qurratulain were no help in the SE. As Bill Shakespeare wrote, All's Well That Ends Well


1. Large file: RASP.

5. Bumpkin: RUBE - Al Capp's version

9. Well-connected co.?: ISP - Ours

12. Chap: FELLA.

13. Hebrew for "spring": AVIVAVIV (אביב, or Abib) is a Hebrew word that can be translated as "spring", symbolizing renewal, and tell (or tel) is an artificial mound created over centuries through the accumulation of successive layers of civilization built one over the other and symbolizing the ancient. You're welcome. 

14. Nodded discreetly, maybe: CUED - You could get that nod or a spoken CUE from a prompter's box.

16. Beset: UNDER SIEGE - Grant took control of the Mississippi River when he defeated the Confederates by putting Vicksburg UNDER SIEGE in 1863

18. Rihanna album with the hit single "Work": ANTI.

19. Book full of legends?: ROAD ATLAS - An anachronism?

20. Caper: ANTIC.

21. Australian member of the music supergroup LSD: SIA - She and her exotic headwater have made an appearance here before

22. Info needed to schedule a book tour, say: PUB DATE - A PUB(lication) DATE would seem to be useful info(rmation) for scheduling a book tour

24. "Welp": I SPOKE TOO SOON - I put in the correct fill but had never heard of this use of Welp. I'd always heard of it as referring to a young pup but...

29. Singer Morissette: ALANIS.

30. Sweet-talk, say: WOO - College coaches win or lose games this time of year as they WOO kids to come to their school.

31. Bit of hardware: T-NUT.
34. Broods: MOPES 

35. Racket: DIN.

36. Bake, as eggs: SHIRR - A word I learned here. Our poached eggs look very similar.

37. Vegetable with golden and Chioggia varieties: BEET.

38. Jupiter, to Saturn: SON - Yikes!

39. "Change Sings: A Children's Anthem" author Gorman: AMANDA.

40. Not taking a back seat: RIDING SHOTGUN - Did you think of the movie Stagecoach?

43. Hardest to reach, maybe: TOPMOST.

45. "LOL, I can't even": OMG.

46. Still on the market, in a way: UNLET - Rooms to LET, 50 cents, No phone, no pool no pets...

47. Accessory to pair with an eye patch, maybe: PIRATE 
53. Bridges in Hollywood: BEAU.

54. Thread-weaving aid?: PLOT DEVICE - One PLOT DEVICE is called "A Macguffin" and this is a famous one.

55. Gives in to the munchies: EATS.

56. "The __ U Give": Angie Thomas novel: HATE.

57. Cristiano Ronaldo's jersey number: SEVEN - This framed, autographed jersey is only $1,600. My number 7 would be Mickey Mantle.

58. Finch family creator: LEE - Harper LEE famously created the family headed by this famous Finch. 😀

59. Couple: DYAD.

60. __ leches cake: TRES - A light cake with TRES (3) types of milk (leches)


1. City near Tahoe: RENO.

2. "The West Wing" Emmy winner: ALDA - He played a conservative Republican 

Jimmy Smits    Martin Sheen.   Alan Alda

3. Vehicle often steered with the feet: SLED.

4. Hits the slopes with a chute: PARASKIS - or on the flats

5. Go off on: RAIL AT.

6. Layer between the sclera and the retina: UVEA - It has those very useful vowels.

7. One in a cuddle: BIG SPOON - The BIG SPOON is on the outside. 😀

8. Night before: EVE.

9. "Leave it to me!": I CAN DO THAT.

10. Going dark: SUN TANNING.

11. __ four: PETIT - Small cakes - PETIT (small) four (oven) - Fr.

12. Abundance for a Chewbacca cosplayer: FUR - $170 on Amazon 

15. Some are fuzzy: DICE - They're a small part of this number but at 2:15. Kenicke brings 'em in and I love listening to this song.

17. Pens: STIES - Pig pens

20. Transfusion letters: ABO - I'm A positive 

23. GI hangout: USO.

24. Foot that's part of a meter: IAMB - Our literary group can easily find the eight IAMBS in this line

25. Blueberrylike fruit: SLOE.

26. China's weaker counterpart: PAPER PLATE.

27. What a 26-Down is designed for: ONE TIME USE - also...

28. Due (to): OWING.

32. Qurratulain Hyder's language: URDU - The grand dame of URDU poetry I found out. #1 on the trip into the wilderness of my arts knowledge that filled in themselves 

33. Kelly Marie who voices Raya in "Raya and the Last Dragon": TRAN - #2

35. "Hey, be serious!": DON'T PLAY.

36. Exhaustive analysis?: SMOG TEST - Exhaust is in the clue

38. Member of the fam: SIS.

39. Jazz pianist Jamal: AHMAD - #3

41. Bindi, e.g.: DOT - Cultural learning for me - 
Bindi: A decorative mark on the forehead, worn by Hindu women (and members of some other religious groups), traditionally believed to be venerating an energy center of the human body or representing “the third eye,” but also worn as an adornment or a sign of marriage. You're welcome.

42. In order: SORTED.

43. Lipstick container: TUBE.

44. Youngest Oscar winner: O'NEAL - A wonderful 1974 movie made with her dad

48. Bit: IOTA.

49. At all: EVER.

50. Queen's realm: HIVE - The Queen appears to have a BINDI. 😀

51. Helpful blackjack cards, maybe: ACES and 
52. Helpful blackjack card, maybe: TEN - A TEN would not be helpful on any of these hands below.

54. High deg.: PHD - We've got a lot of