Saturday, September 17, 2022, John Lieb

 Saturday Themeless by John Lieb

John is from Philadelphia but now lives in West Roxbury, MA. where he teaches math at Roxbury Latin School. He attended The Haverford School in Haverford, PA and studied math at Williams College in Williamstown, MA.

I have never written up any of John's puzzles but a search shows he has had LA Times constructions back to at least 2014. His FaceBook page contains personal information and this wonderful picture.  
As for the picture, John was kind enough to write:  The story of the outfit is that at my school, the day before Spring Break is a dress down/costume day, and the Elvis costume was my outfit a few years back. Fun to walk around as the King for a day...

I am happy to add this for John: Also, it would be great if you could mention Boswords, a series of online crossword competitions that I co-direct ... our Fall Themeless League is starting up in a few weeks and if solvers want to see more info, they can go to


1. Consultant on a family history project, perhaps: GRANDPA - All those resources have passed away and I missed a chance to consult. 

8. Spot for a note to self: POST IT.

14. Braided accent piece: ROPE RUG.

15. Univision language: ESPANOL.

17. "Ya feel me?": AM I RITE - Slang variation of a slang expression 

18. Get more out of: RECYCLE.

19. Delivers à la Tig Notaro: DEADPANS - 7 minutes worth

21. Elite: A-LIST.

22. Calls a ball a strike, say: ERRS 

23. Contracts of confidentiality, briefly: NDAS - We had "HUSH MONEY" last week as a possible part of Non Disclosure Agreements

25. Bone: Prefix: OSTE - From the Greek word ostéon meaning bone

26. __ milk: SOY - For lactose intolerant people

27. "Do you see anyone laughing?": READ THE ROOM.

30. Cannery row: TINS - Rows of cans from a, uh, cannery

31. Put on the line?: AIR DRY - Very common sight in my yute but rare to see now

32. Grasped: HELD.

33. Amy and Molly in "Booksmart," e.g.: PALS 4. Amy and Molly in "Booksmart," e.g.: NERDS.

34. Fills a flat again: RELETS.

36. Church recess: APSE.

37. YA novel by Matt de la Peña about a gifted athlete: BALL DON'T LIE Synopsis

39. "Scrumptious!": YUM.

42. Time toggle: AM/PM.

43. Lacking direction?: LOST.

44. Object formed by two faces in a classic illusion: VASE.
45. Augurs: BODES.

47. Jumps on a scale?: PAY HIKES - No weighing or musical intervals 

49. "This is bad, even for you": A NEW LOW.

52. Phoenix team: THE SUNS.

53. Pass on to one's followers, say: RESHARE - A common FaceBook activity

54. Device that is never free of charge?: IONIZER.

55. Uranus, e.g.: SKY GOD.

56. HS class with a mean teacher?: AP STATS - A mean (or average) would be a very introductory part of an Advanced Placement Statistics class


1. Marks: GRADES.

2. Horror film pioneer: ROMERO - George ROMERO is said to have started the Zombie craze with this 1968 "classic" where death does not 6. Cut short: PUT AN END TO life

3. Place with great buzz?: APIARY.

The Sweet Cheeks Farm and APIARY in N.J.

5. Dullard: DRIP.

7. Handouts from a chair: AGENDAS.

8. Each: PER.

9. Sugar suffix: OSE - dextrOSE, fructOSE, glucOSE, lactOSE, maltOSE, sucr

10. Adoption org.: SPCA - My wife would walk out with all the pets in the Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals shelter.

11. Word game option for Swifties: TAYLORDLE A variation of WORDLE based on Taylor Swift

12. Teeth lost by some hockey players: INCISORS.

13. Novelist who fought in the Crimean War: TOLSTOY.


16. "They're gonna do what they're gonna do": LET 'EM - Bad advice for a substitute teacher 

20. __ trombone: SAD - We all know this sound but I, for one, did not know it had a name. Jazzbumpa?

24. Shuttle stop: Abbr.: STAtion 

27. Stirred (up): RILED.

28. Toy also called a kangaroo ball: HIPPITY HOP.

29. Sabotage with a magnet, maybe: ERASE - It may or may not do it.

30. "I need to understand": TELL ME WHY which you can say to the 32. Troubleshooting locale: HELP DESK. They might reply, "Uh, maybe you got a magnet too close to your hard drive."

34. 1976 debut punk album: RAMONES - This punk group with its plethora of vowels and low scrabble value consonants is on the bill often here

35. NBC show Jay Mohr writes about in "Gasping for Airtime": SNL - His struggle with anxiety and trying to get his "stuff" on the air at Saturday Night Live.

36. Ancient French region: ALSATIA - Also ALSACE is in France's far NE corner on the border with Germany. It has changed so often during the centuries that it is not quite French and not quite German.

37. Fictional king who "lived among men and learned much": BABAR.

38. Leading: TOP.

39. Japanese crime syndicate: YAKUZA.

40. Early web forum: USENET.

41. Salutation abbreviation: MESSRS - Plural for mister  

44. Pop in: VISIT.

46. Foundry waste: SLAG - Byproduct of steel production

48. Female lobsters: HENS.

50. Two places higher than bronce: ORO.

Plata          ORO          Bronce

51. Join: WED.