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Theme:  "Elementary" - The chemical element in each person's name is replaced by its symbol.

21A. One of four women with an EGOT: WHOOPI AUBERG. Whoopi Goldberg. AU for GOLD.

26A. "Elizabeth I" Emmy winner: JEREMY FES. Jeremy Irons. FE for IRON.

31A. Joint winner of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award: DIEGO MARNA. Diego Maradona. RN for RADON.

44A. "Long Day's Journey Into Night" dramatist: EUGENE EILL. Eugene O'neill. NE for NEON.

92A. Grammy winner for comedy and banjo playing: STEVE MARSN. Steve Martin. SN for TIN.

98A. Emmy-winning comedian/actress: SARAH AGMAN. Sarah Silverman. AG for SILVER.

105A. Rami Malek's Best Actor role: FREDDIE HG. Freddie Mercury. HG for MERCURY.

117A. First living magician with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: DAVID CUFIELD. David Copperfield. CU for COPPER.

And the extras:

2D. Fe: IRON.

27D. Au: GOLD.

40D. Ag: SILVER.

48D. Sn: TIN.


55D. Rn: RADON.

66D. Cu: COPPER.

113D. Ne: NEON.

I'm thinking David did not originally have those short element entries, but Rich felt those were needed for solvers to understand the gimmick. Man, they made gridding so much harder, despite the short length.

See how this puzzle differs from the "Elements of Style" Mike Peluso made a few years only? Both have David Copperfield, but this theme set is much tighter. I know you guys don't like puzzles with many names, but this extra layer of "name only" set elevates the puzzle.


1. Market division: AISLE.

6. Subterfuge on ice: DEKE.  Hockey fake-out.

10. High-quality: TOP END.

16. Makes the rounds for rounds: BARHOPS. Great clue.

18. Thick noodle: UDON. Love seafood udon.

19. "No Reservations" host Anthony: BOURDAIN. He likes cacio e pepe.

23. Early rotary-winged aircraft: AUTOGIRO. We also have 67. Whirlybird raisers: ROTORS.

24. "Winning __ everything": ISN'T.

25. Butt heads: TUSSLE.

27. "... going, going, __!": GONE.

28. Speedy shark: MAKO.

30. Give in to gravity: SAG.

36. Magic's org.: NBA.  The Orlando Magic. Chinese love NBA. Most don't care about baseball or American football.

38. Martini partner: ROSSI.

42. Foot rest?: INSOLE. 43A clue.

43. Games go-with: FUN.

47. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, e.g.: OCTAD. 8.

48. Sweet __: TEA.

49. Christmas opener?: MERRY. Another misdirecting  clue: 59. Horse trailer?: CART.

50. Court exchange: RALLY.

51. Author Silverstein: SHEL. Could have avoided "Silver" in the clue.

52. Nothing in Naples: NIENTE.

54. "The Waltons" actor: GEER (Will).

56. "Frozen" reindeer: SVEN.

57. Screen star, say: ICON.

61. Red-wrapped cheese: EDAM.

63. PC panic button: ESC.

64. __ Creed: NICENE. Adopted by the First Ecumenical Council in 325.

67. Countermand: RESCIND.

69. Scarcity: DEARTH.

71. Tokyo, before the Meiji Restoration: EDO. Edo period is between 1603 and 1867.

72. N. Macedonia is its newest member: NATO. Followed by 74. Capital of Latvia: EURO.

75. Threadbare: WORN.

76. Mo. once seventh: SEPT. July and August were added to the original 10-month calendar,  honoring Julius Caesar and his successor Augustus.

78. Immortal Babe: RUTH. Boomer just sold his Albert Pujols rookie card (ungraded).

80. Stitched again: RESEWN.

82. Whaler of fiction: AHAB.

86. Spanish bar food: TAPAS.

88. Kind of trap: BOOBY.

90. "That's enough!": TMI. Too Much Information.

91. Mild cigar: CLARO.

94. Is for you?: ARE.

95. Islands west of Lisbon: AZORES.

96. "Buss It" rapper Banks: ERICA. And 97. One-named singer who directed "Music" (2021): SIA.

100. Airport calc.: ETD.

102. In the __ of time: NICK.

104. "The Kite Runner" protagonist: AMIR.

110. Softly illuminated: LOW-LIT.

112. Obstacle: SNAG.

116. Conspicuousness: SALIENCE. Not a word I use.

119. Against the flow: UPSTREAM.

120. Galena and others: ORES.

121. Easy way to win: IN A ROMP.

122. Mortarboard dangler: TASSEL. Husker Gary knows detasseling. Have you all read this article?

123. Field protector: TARP.

124. Church cries: AMENS.


1. Fireworks reactions: AAHS.

3. It may be a long one: SHOT.

4. Prune: LOP. Oh I meant to ask, do you use a garlic press or just use your kitchen knife to smash the garlic?

5. Ideal: EPITOME.

6. Adds dialogue to: DUBS.

7. Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian: EDELMAN. Retired now. Brady is still doing strong.

8. Divided land since 1945: KOREA.

9. Official language of Belize: Abbr. : ENG.

10. Outings with buses: TOURS.

11. Make more than: OUT-EARN.

12. Teen in a tux, often: PROM-GOER.

13. Unconventional, maybe: EDGY.

14. Ingenue: NAIF.

15. Like some straits: DIRE.

16. D.C. area airport: BWI. Baltimore/Washington International Airport.

17. Sweat spot: SAUNA.

19. Main squeeze, in slang: BAE. Baby.

20. House IDs: NOS. Numbers.

22. Highway toll, e.g.: USER FEE.

26. South African metropolis, colloquially: JOBURG. Johannesburg.

29. Dad-to-tot talk support: KNEE.

31. God of Guatemala: DIOS. And 33. One of four direcciones: ESTE. East.

32. Small amount to give: INCH.

34. Net defender: GOALIE.

35. Subtlety: NUANCE.

37. Shook, in a way: AGREED.

39. Lunar plains: SEAS.

41. Least well: ILLEST.

45. Inspected: EYED.

46. "The Elephant Man" (1980) director: LYNCH (David)

52. Lack of musicality: NO-EAR.

53. Zap: TASE.

58. First TV channel with 24-hr. news coverage: CNN.

60. Swing seat, maybe: TIRE.

62. La Méditerranée, e.g.: MER.

64. Stick-y spots?: NESTS. Full of tiny sticks.

65. Think: IDEATE. Not a word I use.

68. Cosa __: NOSTRA. The Sicilian Mafia Also 99. Firenze friends: AMICI.

70. Like old timers?: ANALOG. Another fun clue.

73. Bass in a band: TUBA.

75. "In Flanders Fields" setting, succinctly: WWI.

77. Kipling's Rikki-Tikki-__: TAVI.

79. Scam: HOSING.

81. Shade of green: EMERALD.

83. Hippocratic oath prohibition: HARM. First do no harm.

84. Field or its measure: AREA.

85. One on a fo'c'sle, perhaps: BOSN.

87. Union breakers: SECEDERS.

89. __ B'rith: BNAI.

91. Kingpin: CZAR.

93. Afternoon feature: MATINEE.

94. Invite for dinner, say: ASK OVER.

95. Yellowfin: AHI TUNA. We often just see AHI.

101. Window sticker: DECAL.

103. Santa __, Calif.: CLARA.

105. Seminoles' sch.: FSU. Does anyone still stay in contact with XchefWalt?

106. Spellbound: RAPT.

107. "Lohengrin" heroine: ELSA.

108. Morse sounds that can spell "hies": DITS.

109. Fashion line?: HEM.

111. Swirl of smoke: WISP.

112. Royal address: SIRE.

114. Contents of a monk's bowl: ALMS.

115. Econ. indicator: GDP.

117. Point: DOT.

118. Blood, slangily: FAM. Family.

I made a few little puzzles at my Ginger Roots blog last week. For the Aggie puzzle, there's a video clue for 1Across. Just click on the red arrow in the clue area (on top of ACROSS/DOWN), the red arrow inside the ACROSS box does not work.