Sunday August 29, 2021 Mark McClain

Theme: "Begone" - B is removed from the each theme entry.

22A. Sports venue where the home team hasn't won in years?: RINK OF DISASTER. Brink of disaster.

44A. Cattle farm run by bigwigs?: EXECUTIVE RANCH. Executive branch.
71A. Epithet for Henry Ford?: FATHER OF THE RIDE. Father of the bride.
100A. Advice for runners' practice sessions?: RACE YOURSELVES. Brace yourselves.

128A. Powerful fall cleanup tools?: HYDRAULIC RAKES. Hydraulic brakes.

16D. TV weather promo about a storm threat?: RAIN TEASER. Brain teaser.

78D. Quarters for a spell caster?: WITCH'S ROOM. Witch's broom.

In all theme entries, B is removed from the start of the key word. Very consistent. And there's no stray B's in the grid.  The professionalism of Mark McClain, who has generously helped me and many other constructors with various crossword questions.

Mark is also a regular contributor to Newsday crossword, which Splynter solves every day.


1. Impressive sights at affairs: SPREADS.

8. Fendi rival: PRADA. Beautiful. Miranda Kerr.

13. Paved: TARRED.

19. Victim of river diversion in Asia: ARAL SEA.

20. Like some R-rated films: EROTIC.

21. Comfortable: AT EASE.

24. Boulevard feature: MEDIAN.

25. Invoice no.: AMT.

26. Brainstorm: IDEATE. Not a word I use.

27. Dreyfus defender: ZOLA. Émile Zola. "J'Accuse…!"

29. Heavy weight: ONUS.

30. Hubbub: HOOPLA.

33. Trimming plans: DIETS.

35. Industrial site: PLANT.

37. Like memories to smile about: FOND.

39. Sock part: TOE.

41. Hottest, in a way: SEXIEST.

51. __ Stephens: 2017 US Open Women's Singles champ: SLOANE. Followed by 52. Tennis feature: NET.

53. Isolated work group that hinders corporate efficiency: SILO.

54. Bone near a calf: SHIN.

56. Belgian artist James: ENSOR. Here is his "Christ's Entry into Brussels".

57. Chews like beavers: GNAWS.

60. "I __ noticed": HADN'T.

62. Change for a ten: ONES.

64. Drop the ball: ERR.

65. Bird rarely on the wing: RATITE.  Like emu or ostrich. Copying Gary's picture.

67. Pitt URL ending: EDU.

68. Toys"R"Us giraffe mascot: GEOFFREY.

76. Stayed to the bitter end: SAW IT OUT. Great entry.

79. NBA impossibility: TIE.

80. Hide out: LIE LOW.

84. Sushi bar order: AHI. Have any of you tried Trade Joe's sushi rolls?

85. Company named for the exaggerated height of its tallish bottles: NEHI.

87. Bowling headache: SPLIT. And 95. Pain pill target: ACHE. Boomer!  The amount of pain he endures every day.

90. "Crazy" vocalist: CLINE.

91. Mountain gap: NOTCH.

94. Blood bank fluids: SERA. Boomer's going to get the hormone shot in 2 weeks.

96. Blackthorn fruit: SLOE.

97. FD employee: EMT.

98. Magnate: TYCOON.

105. Feeling guilty: ASHAMED.

107. Ducks org.: NHL.

108. Frozen Four org.: NCAA.

109. Tough goings: SLOGS.

110. Like some promises: EMPTY.

114. Swan dive revelation: ARMPIT. Not sure if you guys heard of this 14-year-old diver Quan Hongchan. She scored two perfect dives at Tokyo. She's from Guangdong Province. Guangzhou is the capital city of Guangdong.

118. Expected result: NORM.

120. Cause for a claim: LOSS.

123. Not as relaxed: TENSER.

125. Smeltery input: ORE.

126. French star: ETOILE. Our state moto is "L'etoile du Nord" ("Star of the North") .

132. Having a twist: IRONIC.

133. Bug, for one: INSECT.

134. Gets back to business: RE-OPENS. I just can't believe how long this stupid COVID lasts.

135. Sorrowful tune: LAMENT.

136. Free-for-all: MELEE.

137. Red Sea land: ERITREA.


1. Mother of Isaac: SARAH.

2. First-class: PRIMO.

3. Totaled: RAN TO.

4. Reindeer cousin: ELK.

5. Japan's Mount __: ASO. Aso-san. San is just mountain in Japanese.

6. Disobedient: DEFIANT.

7. Org. concerned with youth substance abuse: SADD. Students Against Destructive Decisions.

8. Ramble on: PRATE.

9. Egyptian site of a historic 1799 discovery: ROSETTA. The Rosetta Stone.

10. NFL passing stat: ATT. Attempt.

11. Nueve y uno: DIEZ. 9 +1 =10.

12. Bat prefix: ACRO.

13. Spicy food truck items: TAMALES. 14. Had some 13-Down: ATE. Here's the Guangzhou tamale. It's called "lo mai gai", sticky rice & chicken wrapped in lotus leaves and steamed. So tasty.

15. Purplish veggie: RED ONION.

17. Biblical twin: ESAU. And 20. Actor Morales: ESAI.

18. Entertainment center sites: DENS.

23. Iraq War weapon: Abbr.: IED.

28. Vinyl revival items: Abbr.: LPS.

31. Low USMC rank: PFC.

32. MLB Hall of Famer Brock: LOU. Boomer just sold a Lou Brock patch card on eBay. Also a Pujos patch card. A few dollars. Patch cards are not popular. Rookie cards rule!!

34. Family guys: SONS.

36. Bar on a truck: AXLE.

38. Chef's creation: DISH. This is called Cai Jia Mo, a popular Xi'an street food.  I never found similar bread in the US.

40. Cavern phenomenon: ECHO.

42. [Bo-ring!]: SNORE.

43. Absorbent fabric: TERRY.

44. Many an MIT grad: ENGR. Engineer.

45. Lawless role: XENA. Lucy Lawless.

46. Coup d'__: ETAT.

47. Routing word: VIA.

48. Respected figure: ELDER.

49. Concerto finale, perhaps: RONDO.

50. Depend: HINGE.

55. Poetic contraction: NE'ER.

58. Hot spot service: WIFI.

59. ER demand: STAT.

61. Research university with a Boston campus: TUFTS. And 66. School near Windsor: ETON.

63. Agronomist's concern: SOIL.

69. Org. created by the 1933 Banking Act: FDIC.

70. Sense: FEEL.

72. Shades: HUES.

73. Early number?: ETHER. Parse it as Numb-er.

74. Buzzed: TIPSY.

75. Familiar greeting: HELLO.

76. Fall mall hiree: SANTA. Here's our Santa with Spitzboov. They were at a local county fair. Here's my state fair John Deere.

77. Ship-to-ship greetings: AHOYS.

81. Actor Schreiber: LIEV.

82. "I'm buying!": ON ME.

83. Moistens: WETS.

86. Country whose name ends in the same three letters as its capital: IRAN. Tehran.

88. Debtor's note: IOU.

89. Gull relative: TERN. Reminds me of D-8's Buoys and Seagulls picture dilemma.

92. Lynn's father worked in one: COALMINE. Loretta Lynn, the "Coal Miner's Daughter".

93. Primate genus: HOMO.

99. Ignore: NEGLECT.

101. Provider of shade: ELM TREE.

102. Harder to get: SCARCER.

103. Corn unit: EAR.

104. Fast flight: LAM.

106. U.K. military award: DSO. Distinguished Service Order.

111. Goal of an accord: PEACE. Tiny clue/answer dupe: 116. Peace goddess: IRENE.

112. Flanged fastener: T NUT.

113. Fashion initials: YSL.

115. __ face: POKER.

117. "The Gondoliers" bride: TESSA.

118. Playwright Simon: NEIL. He wrote "The Odd Couple".

119. Sierra's "other": OTRA.

121. Carpenter's wedge: SHIM.

122. "Auld Lang __": SYNE.

124. Cork's home: EIRE.

127. Maya __, Vietnam Veterans Memorial designer: LIN. Lin means "forest" in Chinese.

129. ISP option: DSL.

130. French king: ROI.

131. Just right: APT.