Saturday, October 16, 2021, Bill Pipal

 Saturday Themeless by Bill Pipal

Today we have another new constructor. This is a picture of Bill and his rescue dog who got too hot on a walk and so he carried her. How great is that?

 I punched through in the middle and worked out from there. NEMEA, ELISHA, AUDRE and RENE took some finagling. 

Here are some generous notes from Bill: 

I currently reside in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood with my wife and rescue dog.  Proud double-Illini working as an in-house attorney for a tech start-up in Chicago. Like many, I started constructing crossword puzzles during the pandemic and was lucky to meet so many kind people in the crosswording community who helped me learn from mistakes and improve my construction skills.  A big thank you to the test solvers of this puzzle (and all of my puzzles).  Specifically, my sister-in law, Alie, and my father-in law, Tom.  Most importantly, while not a crossword enthsuiast herself, my wife was incredibly supportive of me in this time consuming hobby and encouraged me to keep trying even after some rejections started coming in on earlier puzzles.
-Only one seed entry CANCEL CULTURE!  Built the rest of the grid around that thirteen-letter entry.
-I struggled to come up with a good clue for CANCEL CULTURE and proposed [A bad take might make you a victim of it].  Love Rich's clue and wish I had thought of it.  I clued PIANO BAR as [Good place to see a duel?] and wish that had made the cut!
I had fun cluing TV REMOTE, DREAM BIG, and APPLE PIE.
-After I put in the seed entry, I worked counter-clockwise to fill up the rest of the grid.  I almost scrapped this version because I had trouble even getting the middle part of the puzzle in good shape, but once I found AMICLEAR I felt good about the middle.  The NW corner proved to be the most difficult section as I was trying my best to avoid NEGEV and ENROBE, but felt those were good options, especially to get DRY SPELL and IN A PANIC as entries.
-This is my first 15x15 puzzle that has been published so this is a big thrill for me!  I am most excited for my friends and family to get the chance to solve it!


1. Term of address in old Westerns: KEMOSABE - How old do you have to be to get this reference? Uh, I qualify!!

9. Survives, maybe: ADAPTS - Very famous ADAPTORS 

15. Freaking out: IN A PANIC.

16. DNA sample source: SALIVA - Spit in a tube and send it in for DNA analysis

17. Writer's challenge: DRY SPELL Getting through one

18. Ascent, for one: SUBARU - Car brand and model. Google if you must, they all look alike.

19. Crowd around: MOB - Treatment received by Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles,...

20. Show confidence in, with "by": SWEAR - I SWEAR by my eight-yr-old Cadillac but my son-in-law will not drive a domestic car and even flew to Chicago to get a new Audi to drive back to Lincoln 

22. "Seinfeld" surname: BENES 
Seinfeld, Kramer, Costanza and BENES

23. Touch: ABUT - HGTV's International House Hunters showed some houses that really do ABUT each other in Paris

25. Short piece: STUB.

27. 2018 film for which Alfonso Cuarón won Best Director: ROMA - No idea for me. 

28. Beersheba's region: NEGEV - Beersheba (also called Be'er Sheva) is a little over an hour SSE of Tel Aviv via the Toll Road Hwy 6 on the north edge of the NEGEV Desert.

30. Organic fuel source: PEAT BOG bog or bogland is a wetland that accumulates peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses, and in a majority of cases, sphagnum moss.

32. "The Color of Money" game: NINE BALL - Who else could get billing above Tom Cruise? 89% on Rotten Tomatoes. 
36. Enjoyed, with "up": ATE - I ATE up this movie but the original, The Hustler, got a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes

37. Controversial phenomenon in response to controversial actions: CANCEL CULTURE -Google if you must. This forum is not for political issues.

40. Disheveled do: MOP.

41. "Capisce?": AM I CLEAR.

Yes, Mr. Soprano!

42. They make a lot of calls: UMPIRES - Replay shows them right 94+% of the time

44. Inflexible: RIGID.

48. Kids' song locale: DELL - There's this farmer who lives in one...

49. Cries of success: AHAS.

52. Tireless assistant: SIRI - SIRI on my iPhone  is a bottomless supply of useful and useless information! 

53. Puppy: WHELP - As a noun a WHELP is a synonym for a puppy and as a verb it means to give birth to puppies. Below is a WHELP Box that is used for mom's comfort and containing the puppies.

55. L.A.'s __ Museum of the American West: AUTRY - I almost asked SIRI about the LA Museum of the American West but cowboy actor Gene AUTRY finally came to my mind. _ _T _ Y almost led me to GETTY

58. Outlaw: BAN.

59. Fix: REPAIR.

61. "Anything's possible": DREAM BIG.

63. Alicia Keys label: ARISTA - I found at least four labels for which Alicia records

64. Got off the leash: RAN LOOSE.

65. View secretly: PEEK AT.

66. Penciled-in item: EYELINER.


1. Oscar winner as Woolf in 2002: KIDMAN - Nicole as Virginia Woolf in the movie The Hours (79% on Rotten Tomatoes)

   Woolf                     KIDMAN 
                                 as Woolf

2. Dress for court, maybe: ENROBE - An unfortunate word that Bill told us he used as a last resort 

3. Common name for a cockchafer: MAYBUG - Also called a Doodlebug or Maybeetle 

4. Covert __: OPS.

5. Drains: SAPS.

6. One way to begin: ANEW.

7. Gymnast who won four golds in Rio: BILES.

8. Brilliance: ECLAT - A word I have never heard or used except in crosswords. 

9. Biblical mount: ASS.

10. Slap (on): DAUB - This guy is DAUBING a thick substance onto a stick frame called a wattle to make a wall

11. Renaissance painter Dürer: ALBERT - Bill wrote me that he clued it as "MLB slugger Pujols" but Rich selected "the more obscure reference" 

12. Setting for a Billy Joel classic: PIANO BAR - I like Rich's cluing here

13. One hiding in the cushions?: TV REMOTE - I like Bill's cluing here

14. Breakfast link: SAUSAGE.

21. "Drag Race" host: RUPAUL - Constructor Stella Zawistowski told me she is a big fan 

24. Ark. neighbor: TENN - We crossed the Mississippi River from ARK. to get to Memphis, TENN.

26. Ball charmer: BELLE - Cinderella for example 

29. Church official: VICAR - Miss Marple investigates foul play at his house

31. Union setting: ALTAR.

33. Site of Hercules' first labor: NEMEA.

34. "24" actress Cuthbert: ELISHA - ELISHA and her NHL hockey player husband Dion Phaneuf

35. Discreetly send a dupe to: BCC - Blind Carbon Copy:  "My client" does not know I am sending this to "My boss" as well as to her.

37. Curt summons: COME HERE.

38. Slice of Americana?: APPLE PIE - A one time ad claimed Chevrolet was as American as Baseball, Hot Dogs and APPLE PIE

39. "Trinity" novelist: URIS - Leon's more well known novel Exodus is not used today

40. Spa treatment whose effects are temporary, per the FDA: MUD WRAP - Is the mud being DAUBED on?

43. "Lemme check": I'LL ASK.

45. Small Asian ape: GIBBON - You know that Bonobo at the zoo that you said resembles Uncle Fred? Well...

46. Announcement that suggests strength: I RAISE.

47. Homer or jack: DINGER - All three are slang for a home run

50. Feminist poet Lorde: AUDRE Here ya go

51. Many a pound adoptee: STRAY - So appropriate for our dog adopter/constructor Bill! 

54. It's a wrap: PITA.

56. Surrealist Magritte: RENE - Of his most famous painting,  Son Of Man (1964), he said this was a take on a self portrait where we strain to see what we can't see.

57. Dixie bunch?: Y'ALL.
60. Snitch: RAT.

62. "You can't mean me!": MOI.

Notes from C.C.

1) Congrats on your debut, Bill!

2) Happy Birthday to our foodie Blue Hen, who gave us this amazing risotto recipe a few years ago.

3) Happy birthday to CrossEyedDave, who never fails to delight us with his amazing links.