Wednesday, June 22, 2021 Kevin Christian

Theme: To Kill a Vampire.  The last word of each theme fill is something that a vampire cannot abide.

17. Netflix series about unintended consequences of new technology: BLACK MIRROR.  A British dystopian science fiction series with stand alone episodes.

As the legend goes, a vampire will not reflect in a MIRROR.  This is because, traditionally, MIRRORS were backed with a thin layer of silver, which, due to its purity, is incompatible with creatures of darkness. Cf silver bullets and were-wolves.

29. Campground support: TENT STAKE. A spike designed to hold the tent to the ground, either directly or by connecting to ropes.

A STAKE through the heart will take the un from the undead. Decapitation also works.  Leaving nothing to chance, a diligent vampire hunter will do both.

48. Part of a southpaw's ring repertoire: LEFT CROSS.  I boxing, a power punch delivered with the dominant hand when the opponent leads with the opposite hand.

The idea that a vampire cannot abide the CROSS stems from folk lore in Christian Europe.  Evidently, since vampires are taken to be agents of Satan, the crucifix is anathema to them.  Ditto holy water and the eucharist host.  But Anne Rice discarded these concepts in her more modern vampire novels.

61. On earth: UNDER THE SUN.  On earth; in existence (used in expressions emphasizing the large number of something.)

Since vampires are creatures of darkness, they cannot abide direct SUNlight.  Light reflected by the moon, however, is perfectly acceptable to all sorts of macabre and nocturnal entities.

And the unifier - 46. Classic Lugosi character with an aversion to the ends of 17-, 29-, 48- and 61-Across: DRACULA. The prototypical vampire, from Bram Stoker's novel, and its various adaptations.

Hi Gang - JazzBumpa here, STAKing a claim to to this vampiric puzzle.  Let's avoid getting CROSSED up, and finish it before the SUN goes down.


1. Digital money: ECASH.  Originally a digital-based system that facilitated the transfer of funds anonymously.  eCash was created by Dr. David Chaum under his company, DigiCash, in 1990. Though there was interest in the platform from large banks, eCash never took off and DigiCash filed for bankruptcy in 1998. Apparently the term is now used generically for a variety of electronic money transfers.

6. Welcomed at the door: SAW IN.  According to legend, a vampire can Olly enter a home if invited.

11. "Happy little trees" painter Ross: BOB.  He [1942-1995] died young from a lymphoma.  His TV show lived on long after his passing.

14. Elder Obama daughter: MALIA. She [b 1998] is to the left in this family photo.

15. Ad: PROMO.  Promotional spot

16. Sci-fi vehicle: UFO.  Unidentified Flying Object.

19. Cal. airport not in its namesake city: SFO.  It is located 13 miles from downtown San Francisco.

20. Arcing shot: LOB.

21. Like money in a poker game: AT RISK.  Or the stock market.

22. Some "Rocky" settings: GYMS.  Movies about a boxer.

23. Historic chapters: ERAS.  Long and distinct periods of history having  a particular feature or characteristic.

25. "__ la France!": VIVE.  An expression of French patriotism, on a par with God Bless America.

26. Embezzler's dread: AUDIT.  When the cooked books don't match the expected recipe.

27. Actors sans lines: MIMES.    Those using the theatrical technique of suggesting action, character, or emotion without words, using only gesture, expression, and movement.

31. Google: SEARCH.  Exploring the inter-tubes.

33. Uses a needle: SEWS.  Making a mend, perhaps.

34. "__ out!": YER.   Umpires declaration in baseball.

35. Dutch colonist: BOER. A member of the Dutch and Huguenot population that settled in southern Africa in the late 17th century.

37. Per __: DIEM.  Per diem is a Latin phrase that translates to “by the day.” The term also refers to the amount of money paid to employees for 2 different types of “day” scenarios. The most common use of the term per diem refers to expenses a company reimburses an employee when they travel on business. Another type of per diem is for employees who receive a set amount of pay for a single days’ work.

39. "Get a room!" elicitor, for short: PDA.  Public Displays of Affection.  Stop it - you're making me sick!

42. Pants, briefly: TROU.  Short for trousers.

44. Fashions: TRENDS.  That come and they go.

51. Insignificant person: TWERP.  A silly or annoying person.  Might or might not be insignificant.

52. TV host with her "OWN" network: OPRAH.  Needs no introduction

53. Fruity antacid: TUMS.  I prefer the old-fashioned minty-chalk version.

55. ROFL relative: LMAO. Laughing My Aft-regions Off

56. Colorful cereal brand: TRIX.

57. Homes high up: AERIES.  An AERIE is a large nest of a bird of prey, especially an eagle, typically built high in a tree or on a cliff.

59. Green prefix: ECO-.  -logical.  

60. Efron of "High School Musical": ZAC.  He [b 1987] has since moved on to a variety of other roles since this 2006-8 trilogy

63. Spacewalk initials: EVA.  Extra-Vehicular Activity

64. Image on some birth announcements: STORK.  

65. Hirsch of "Into the Wild": EMILE. [b 1985] Since then he has gone on to other movies, an assault conviction for an event he claims not to remember due to substance involvement, and a rehab stint.

66. Hibernation location: DEN.  If you are a bear.

67. Itty-bitty: EENSY.  teeny-tiny.

68. "Alas!": SO SAD.


1. Insignias: EMBLEMS.

2. Some diet soda has one: CALORIE.  A measure of the energy content of ingestibles.

3. College football powerhouse: ALABAMA.  The Crimson Tide.

4. [not my mistake]: SIC.  Sic is a Latin term meaning “thus.” It is used to indicate that something incorrectly written is intentionally being left as it was in the original. [Sic] is usually italicized and always surrounded by brackets to indicate that it was not part of the original.  If it ends up being unintentionally funny, it's {sic} humor.

5. Maori dance with rhythmic chanting: HAKA. If, like me, you knew noting about this, you can learn more here.

6. Exorcist's target: SPIRIT.  Presumably of the evil variety.

7. Gets in: ARRIVES.

8. Took a downturn: WORSENED.  

9. "Everything's fine!": I'M OK.

10. Postal motto word: NOR.  "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"   Until recently.

11. Reason to skip lunch, maybe: BUSY DAY.  If it's really busy, I might miss my nap.  But lunch?!? Hardly.

12. How some candid comments are made: OFF MIKE.  Or so the speaker hopes.

13. Enthusiastic supporter: BOOSTER.

18. "Jersey Shore" airer: MTV.

22. __ check: test of character: GUT.  An evaluation or test of a person's resolve, commitment, or priorities, typically with respect to a particular course of action.

24. Belgrade resident: SERB.  City and citizen of Serbia.

26. Aver: ASSERT.  Avow, proclaim..

28. Rusty nail liquor: SCOTCH.  The Rusty Nail is a cocktail made from Drambuie and SCOTCH whisky. Drambuie is a liqueur with a SCOTCH whisky base.  The classic recipe is two parts Scotch to one part Drambuie, over ice. Modern versions are as dry as 5 to 1.  A lemon twist is optional. 

30. Silly person: TWIT.

32. Munich address: HERR.  Meaning Mister or Sir.

36. Cheered for: ROOTED ON. For your favorite sports team

38. Whimper: MEWL.

39. Was overcome with emotion, informally: PLOTZED.  I was unfamiliar with this Yiddish term.

40. Corrupt: DEPRAVE.  This equivalence is legit, but I would never use them interchangeably

41. Like some violets: AFRICAN.   The various pecies and cultivars are commonly called African violets (although they are not closely related to true violets) or saintpaulias. They are commonly used as indoor houseplants, but can also be kept as outdoor plants in certain climates.

43. Loan sharks: USURERS.  Lenders of last resort who charge exorbitant fees.

45. Draco Malfoy, to Harry Potter: NEMESIS.  A loog-standing rival, or arch enemy.

47. Cuddled, in a way: SPOONED. In a couple of ways.  You choose.
1 : to nestle close together while lying down with one person facing the back of another
2 [perh. from the Welsh custom of an engaged man's presenting his fiancée with an elaborately carved wooden spoon] : to engage in amorous caressing, kissing, and conversation : NECK

49. Line on many bills: TAX.  Sales tax, in this instance.

50. Condescending: SMIRKYcharacterized by or having a smirk, especially so as to seem irritatingly smug or conceited..  Could be condescending, by not necessarily.

54. "Quiet on the __!": director's cry: SET.

57. Pay to play: ANTE.  An initial bet before the cards are dealt.

58. Sows, e.g.: SHES.  Females.

61. Operate: USE.    Run also fits. Need perps.

62. Punk rock offshoot: EMO.  A style of rock music resembling punk but having more complex arrangements and lyrics that deal with more emotional subjects.  

So ends another Wednesday.  Now, go out and get some SUN.

Cool regards,

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