Otorhinolaryngologist, in 18 fewer letters [3]

This one could’ve been clued without the “in 18 fewer letters” kicker, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as funny that way. Credit to the clue then for finally calling out what we’ve all long thought about the good old Ear, Nose & Throat doctor–they’re ENTs, not an unpronounceable 21-letter word.

  • Matt Gaffney, The Wall Street Journal Daily Crossword, 5/12/17

Spectrum offering [5]

If there’s one good piece of news from the Time Warner merger with Charter and Bright House, it’s that their new company Spectrum creates a lot of fun new cluing options. Given how shitty their service still is, it’s debatable whether you can consider Spectrum to actually offer CABLE, but that’s what we’re looking for.

  • Marie Kelly, The Wall Street Journal, 5/5/17

Skim [6]

Either an milky adjective or a bookish verb, this clue ends up going with the former, describing a thing that is NONFAT.

  • Marie Kelly, The Wall Street Journal, 4/7/17

Three’s company? [13, 2 wds.]

Once you’ve got the sitcom’s theme song out of your head, it’s time to get down to the business of deciphering this clue. If that’s the logic you followed, then you’re halfway there, because we’re indeed describing business, the sort that might employ only three people: a SMALL BUSINESS.

  • Patrick Berry, Wall Street Journal Second Saturday Puzzle, 3/17/17

Diesel alternative [3]

I’ve seen variants of this one before, but it still gets me, largely because the association between “diesel” as a type of gas is so much stronger than “Diesel” as a pair of jeans. Without that camouflage, this is as much of a gimme for LEE as “Robert E. ___.”

Court workers [7]

There are a lot of different ways to read this one, thanks to the flexibility of “court.” As a verb, it might call RECRUIT to mind; as a noun, you might think about LAWYERS or some form of athlete. Instead, we’re harkening back to medieval times: JESTERS.

  • Marie Kelly, Wall Street Journal, 3/10/17