Sunday October 24, 2021 Gary Larson

Theme:  "Sporting Chance" - Each theme entry consists of two sports team in singular form.

23A. *Grizzly, for one: BROWN BEAR.  Cleveland Browns. Chicago Bears. Two NFL teams.

25A. *Olaf II of Norway, notably: VIKING SAINT. Minnesota Vikings.  New Orleans Saints. 
Two NFL teams.

46A. *It goes up in cold weather: HEAT BILL. Miami Heat (NBA).  Buffalo Bills (NFL).

69A. *Nickname for Joe DiMaggio: YANKEE CLIPPER. New York Yankees (MLB).  LA Clippers (NBA).

93A. *The sun will eventually be one: RED GIANT. Cincinnati Reds (MLB). San Francisco Giants (MLB) Or New York Giants (NFL), whatever you prefer..

117A. *ICBM booster until 1987: TITAN ROCKET. Tennessee Titans (NFL).  Houston Rockets (NBA).

36D. *Kipling's Shere Khan is one: BENGAL TIGER. Cincinnati Bengals (NFL). Detroit Tigers (MLB).

42D. *"Virtuous Woman" reggae singer: WARRIOR KING. Golden State Warriors (NBA). Sacramento Kings (NBA) or LA Kings (NHL)


120. They're on the same side ... and a hint to the answers to starred clues: TEAMMATES.

I explored a similar theme a few months ago (with D-Otto's help), but I gave up after I found out this puzzle last October with a DOUBLE TEAM reveal. I wonder if MM and TTP recall that theme.

Glad to see that Rich now allows 84 black squares. His limit used to be 78.


1. Model in the Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun": T BIRD. Also 35. Hose clamp tightener: T BOLT.

6. "Nightmare" street: ELM.

9. Middles: WAISTS.

15. Demonstrating skill: ABLY.

19. Subtle glows: AURAE.

20. Wasikowska of "Damsel": MIA. Australian actress.

21. Allergic outburst: AHCHOO.

22. Hudson Bay nation: CREE.

27. Ornamental vase: URN.

28. Earthly: TERRENE. Not a word I use.

30. MLB Hall of Famer Fox and journalist Bly: NELLIES. Here's Fox.

31. __ a soul: NARY.

32. Va. winter hours: EST. Eastern Standard Time.

34. Genesis twin: ESAU.

37. More klutzy: GAWKIER. So different from the GAWK meaning.

40. Prepare, as a contract: DRAW UP.

45. Like some dorms: COED.

48. Sound of shock: GASP.

49. Sharply hit baseball: LINER. 68. NL Central club: STL. And 12. Slugger's creation: SHINER.

51. Relax, maybe: LIE. Lie down. Helps when Boomer's hernia acts up.

52. Wolf down: EAT.

54. Guru's residence: ASHRAM. My landlord in Shanghai was a Buddhist. He burned incense and chanted every night.

56. Pool concern: ALGAE.

57. Loses steam: FLAGS.

60. Claim no longer allowed on cigarettes: LESS TAR. Remember this type of ads? Amazing what you can find in those old Life magazines.

62. Fortune: WEALTH.

64. Show with constant cliff-hangers: SOAP.

66. Cell division: MITOSIS.

73. Words of understanding: OHS.

75. Uses, as a scale: STEPS ON. We have a mechanical scale. It's not accurate, maybe it's old.

77. Candy bar with a Nordic name: SKOR.

78. Self-reproach: REGRET.

80. Thinks: IDEATES.

82. Played really badly: STANK. These are infamous Stinky Tofu. The tofu is fermented.

85. Comic book artist: INKER.

86. Mentally assimilate: DIGEST.

88. A musician usually has a good one: EAR. 92. Willing to listen (to): OPEN.

90. Originally called: NEE. Chinese women keep their names at marriage. Same tradition in Korea.

91. Bête __: NOIRE.

97. Button alternative: SNAP.

98. Posse carriers: HORSES.

101. Max Ernst, for one: DADAIST.

102. True: ALIGN.

104. Yearn: ACHE.

106. Eye, to a poet: ORB. Also the horse who won the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

107. Pickup relatives, briefly: UTES.

108. Condemnation: REPROOF.

111. Zip one's lip: KEEP MUM.

114. "Rugrats" dad: STU.

122. Pizzazz: ELAN.

123. Spiritualist Deepak: CHOPRA.

124. Bagpiper's topper: TAM.

125. Past pudgy: OBESE. You won't find this word in any of Don G's grids.

126. Target of a military press: DELT.

127. "Dear Evan __": 2015 musical: HANSEN.

128. Mahershala of "Moonlight": ALI. He won an Oscar for his role in "Moonlight".

129. Grown-up efts: NEWTS.


1. Perfume that sounds forbidden: TABU. Taboo.

2. VP under Jefferson: BURR.

3. Par-3 choice, often: IRON. Not a long par-3. You'll need a driver.

4. Not even rare?: RAW.  Mmm, sashimi!

5. Insurance that covers dams?: DENTAL. Dental dams.

6. Manicurist's board: EMERY.

7. Yarn spinner: LIAR.

8. Dark area on the moon: MARE.

9. Surfboard/kayak hybrid: WAVESKI. Amazing.

10. Yellowfin tuna: AHI.

11. Response to goo: ICK.

13. Shades: TONES.

14. "I'm __ to hear from you!": SO GLAD. Rare 6-letter partial.

15. Smoothie fruit: ACAI.

16. Cheese on crackers: BRIE.

17. Telescope part: LENS.

18. To this day: YET.

24. Docking place: BERTH.

26. Result of one too many, maybe: SLUR.

29. Rookie, briefly: NEWB. Newbie.

31. "I can't agree to this": NO DEAL.

33. Scrabble piece: TILE.

35. Going places?: TOILETS. Any of you have a heated toilet seat?

37. Author Sheehy: GAIL.

38. Relaxed: AT EASE.

39. Airline with an all-kosher menu: EL AL.

41. Turkish bigwigs: AGHAS.

43. Solheim Cup team: USA. It was held here in Edina, MN in 2002. We saw lots of big potatoes there.

44. Fluoride-in-water meas.: PPM. Parts Per Million.

45. Cat's weapons: CLAWS.

47. Little trickster: ELF.

50. Confirms, as a password: RE-TYPES.

53. Sub: TEMP.

54. China __: showy bloom: ASTER. So pretty.

55. Use for preservation, as wine barrels: STORE IN.

58. Takes off: GOES.

59. Pass rusher's stat: SACKS.

61. Small intake: SIP.

63. Attacks: HAS AT.

65. Story line: PLOT.

67. Singer Ed featured in the 2019 film "Yesterday": SHEERAN. The guy in glasses.

70. "Just kidding!": NOT.

71. Place for a pad: KNEE.

72. Modern Persians: IRANIS. Iranians more common.

74. __ throat: STREP.

76. Utopias: EDENS.

79. Knowledge of spiritual matters: GNOSIS. Not a word I use.

81. Bareilles of "Waitress": SARA.

83. Without ice: NEAT.

84. Understanding: KEN.

86. Quote from Homer: D'OH. Homer Simpson.

87. 2012 Facebook event, for short: IPO. The wise guys on our blog are not on Facebook.

89. Overhaul: REDO.

94. Sunbather's pride: DARK TAN.

95. Poke fun at: GIBE.

96. Best Supporting Actress before Ingrid: TATUM. Tatum O'Neal ("Paper Moon"). Ingrid Bergman ("Murder on the Orient Express").

99. Merit: EARN.

100. Discolor by burning: SCORCH.

101. Military alert state: DEFCON. Defense Ready Condition Levels.

103. Jack of "Some Like It Hot": LEMMON.

105. To-do: HOOHA.

107. It was added to create an everyday quintet in 1990: UMAMI. Fish sauce. Soy sauce. Miso paste, etc.

108. Tick off: RILE.

109. Series finale: Abbr.: ET AL.

110. Huff and puff: PANT.

112. R&B great James: ETTA. We really need another famous ETTA.

113. Ring at a wedding: PEAL.

114. State of suppressed worry: STEW.

115. Reason to cram: TEST.

116. List for a versatile tool: USES.

117. Talk acronym: TED. Ted Talks.

118. Mil. mess duties: KPS.

119. Before, poetically: ERE.

121. Presidential nickname: ABE.

Dear Agnes (Irish Miss) is feeling better, still weak but no more coughing. I'm just so happy to be able to email her and receive emails from her again.