Sunday January 15, 2023 Taylor Johnson


Theme: "We're Done Here" - ME is removed from each clue.
23. *Beemer with a "Fighting Spirit": MODELO ESPECIAL. Beer with a "Fighting Spirit".
33. *Mewed quietly: MARRIED IN SECRET. Wed quietly.

52. *Firmest offer: STARTING BID. First offer.

69. *Dreamed every possibility: WORRY YOURSELF SICK. Dread every possibility.

90. *Charmed, e.g.: LEAFY GREENS. Chard, e.g.

105. *Ramen from a restaurant: DINED AND DITCHED. Ran from a restaurant.


121. "I want nothing to do with this!," and how to make the six starred clues match their answers: LEAVE ME OUT OF IT.

We've seen themes with removing ME from the theme entries. I don't recall a theme with ME clue removal. Very unexpected. 

For this type, you need the theme entries to be solid-in-the language, and the clues should sound natural with or without ME.


1. "Clean up on aisle five" tools: MOPS.

5. Feature of some debit cards: CHIP. So happy now I have my own debit card and credit card. My Baby Ruth tin era is over.

9. Flea market warning: AS IS.

13. Lounge on a train: BAR CAR.

19. Yet again: ANEW.

20. Headey of "Game of Thrones": LENA.

21. Spanish kiss: BESO.

22. Painter Monet: CLAUDE.

26. Military training groups: CADRES.

27. Fearful: AFRAID. 96. "Is it worth the risk?": DO I DARE. Peach!

28. Tazo beverage: TEA. Pleased that I finally got my Naoki matcha also.

29. Casserole pasta: ZITI.

31. German appliance brand: MIELE.  Italian for "honey". French is "miel". Or "chérie"

32. Many an download: FORM.

36. D.C. daily: WAPO. The Washington Post.

38. Twirled (around): SPUN.

39. Musical finale: CODA.

40. __ buco: OSSO.

43. Marinara tomato: ROMA.

46. Per unit: A POP.

48. Fragrant fir: BALSAM.

55. Legal org.: ABA.

57. "Fast Money" cable network: CNBC. Hosted by Melissa Lee.

58. Poker variety: HOLD'EM.

59. Rebecca Solnit's "__ Explain Things to Me": MEN. Origin of the word "mansplaining".

60. "Understood": NOTED.

62. "Buenos días": HOLA. So this guy called me last week. Ted is a Brooklyn native, ex-NYPD officer. Coolest guy I've worked with.  "Oh, Xi'an, wo qu guo." He said. Impeccable Chinese.

63. Fitting: APT.

64. __ Lingus: AER.

66. Pop Warner football division: PEEWEE. OK, from Google: Pop Warner has nine tackle football divisions: Tiny-Mite, Mitey-Mite, Junior Peewee, Peewee, Junior Midget, Midget, Junior Bantam, Unlimited and Bantam.

68. Rock singer?: SIREN. Homer's "Odyssey"

74. Poutine topping: GRAVY.

76. River formations: DELTAS.

77. Plopped down: SAT.

78. 12/24, e.g.: EVE.

81. Past due: LATE.

82. Viral social media posts: MEMES.

83. Place to retire: INN.

86. City with a view of Vesuvius: NAPLES.

88. __-friendly: USER.

89. Cal. neighbor: ORE.

92. Actress Plimpton: MARTHA.

94. __ colada: tropical mocktail: NADA. Twist on the pina colada.

97. Strip on a bench: SLAT. Not verb "strip".

98. Small jazz combo: TRIO.

99. "Pitch Perfect" actress __ Mae Lee: HANA.

101. Snoop (around): NOSE. And 103. Snoop (around): ROOT.

111. Small 34-Down: MINI. 34. Apple tablet: IPAD.

114. Central Florida city: OCALA.

115. Square one?: NERD. We've seen this clue before.

116. Hoodwink: CON.

117. Noisy insect: CICADA. We ate cicadas when I was a kid.

119. Generous: GIVING. Thank you so much for caring me the way you've been, Glenn!

124. Jerk: MEANIE.

125. Loser to the tortoise: HARE.

126. Part of Q.E.D.: ERAT.

127. Small building block: ATOM.

128. Actress Dahl who is Lorenzo Lamas's mother: ARLENE. Here they are.

129. "Ah": I SEE.

130. Oxen harness: YOKE.

131. Scottish caps: TAMS.


1. Fairy-tale bear: MAMA.

2. Switch positions?: ON/OFF.

3. Pascal of "The Mandalorian": PEDRO.

4. Curse: SWEARWORD.

5. Oaf: CLOD.

6. Tee-__: HEE. Ted behind the mask for a newspaper interview. I chuckled at his pale, unwrinkled hands.

7. App with pics: INSTA.

8. Origami need: PAPER.

9. "Abbott Elementary" network: ABC.

10. Quit working suddenly, as an engine: SEIZE UP.

11. Emphatic refusal: I SAID NO.

12. Longtime Chicago Symphony conductor: SOLTI (Georg)

13. Covertly add to an email: BCC.

14. Oakland's county: ALAMEDA.

15. Tom Wolfe coinage for frivolous activism: RADICAL CHIC. Learning moment for me.

16. One making jerky, perhaps: CURER. Gluey.

17. "Skyfall" singer: ADELE.

18. Pedometer button: RESET.

24. __ bean: LIMA.

25. Corn servings: EARS.

30. "Monsters, __": INC.

33. Crescent on Pakistan's flag: MOON. Here's their flag.

35. "Totally horrible": SO BAD.

37. Painter's layer: PRIMER.

40. Workplace safety org.: OSHA.

41. "Enough!": STOP.

42. Taffy type: SALTWATER.

44. __ Grand: Las Vegas casino: MGM. Las Vegas was fun when Boomer was around.

45. Penny prez: ABE.

47. Dev of "The Newsroom": PATEL.

49. Reef explorer: SNORKELER.

50. Willing partner: ABLE.

51. Thom __ shoes: MCAN.

53. Welling up: TEARY. Wish there were pills for tears.

54. Enters, as data: INPUTS.

56. Disputes: BEEFS.

60. Loch resident, familiarly: NESSIE.

61. Carry a balance: OWE.

65. Winona of "Stranger Things": RYDER. She was born in Winona, Minnesota. Big Easy just told me that I'm a strange girl in a strange land. Some tragic truth to it.

67. Chapter in history: ERA.

68. Pear-shaped instrument: SITAR.

70. Too far: OVER THE LINE.

71. Saudi Arabia neighbor: YEMEN.

72. The Grand __ Opry: OLE.

73. Serenaded: SANG TO.

74. Blue: GLUM.

75. Tabula __: RASA. Followed by 79. "__, vidi, vici": VENI.

80. International gas brand: ESSO.

82. Disney heroine voiced by Auli'i Cravalho: MOANA. Cravalho is from Hawaii.

84. "Montero" singer Lil __ X: NAS.

85. Pro Bowl org.: NFL.

87. Frilly underskirt: PETTICOAT.

90. Go on: LAST.

91. Lawn party site: YARD.

93. Was connected: HAD AN IN.

95. San __ Fault: ANDREAS.

100. Novelist Patchett: ANN. She has her own bookstores.

102. __ homo: ECCE.

104. Fail to mention: OMIT.

105. Steadfast belief: DOGMA.

106. More slick: ICIER. Our roads are so icy now.

107. Maritime: NAVAL.

108. Yamuna River city: DELHI. Tributary of the Ganges.

109. Comfortably familiar: HOMEY.

110. First month of el año: ENERO.

112. Commerce pact until 2020: NAFTA. Replaced by USMCA (United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement).

113. Figure of speech: IDIOM.

117. Meet-__: rom-com device: CUTE.  So cute.

118. Cash dispensers: ATMS.

120. "__ willikers!": GEE.

122. Flying formation: VEE.

123. Connecticut's Charter __: OAK.


Lesley sent me these pictures last night. Guangzhou is ready to open the Spring Festival flower market again. The market usually starts three days before the Spring Festival (next Sunday). Lots of red, the lucky color in China. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit.

Here is a picture of flower market in 2020. Very pretty. Bring me back to Guangzhou, please!



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