, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner


Sep 27, 2023

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 John Guzzetta

Theme:   A puzzle in MODE mode.  The second word of two-word in-the-language phrases represent various types of MODES.

17 A. *Ray Winstone/Ben Kingsley crime drama: SEXY BEAST.  A SEXY BEAST is someone who exudes sexuality and is difficult to resist.  BEAST MODE  refers to the aggressive, animalistic persona that one might assume when in competition or combat in order to overpower an opponent.

22 A *Period of anxiety that may be brought on by facing one's mortality: MIDLIFE CRISIS.  This is an emotional crisis of identity and self-confidence that can occur in early middle age.   CRISIS MODE is a hyper reactive condition where everything catches you off guard,  increases your stress levels and you feel panicky. 

49. *Folded missile in a classroom: PAPER AIRPLANE.  Here are detailed instructions for how to make one.

AIRPLANE MODE is a setting on a smartphone or tablet for use on board an aircraft, in which the device does not receive or transmit wireless signals and so does not interfere with the aircraft's communication systems.

58. *Spot to store valuables when traveling: HOTEL SAFE.   A SAFE is a strong metal cupboard with special locks, in which you keep money, jewelry, or other valuable things.  There might be on in your HOTEL room.   SAFE MODE is a diagnostic mode of a computer operating system. It can also refer to a mode of operation by application software. Safe mode is intended to help fix most, if not all, problems within an operating system. It is also widely used for removing rogue security software. 

38. Fashionable, or an apt description of the ends of the answers to the starred clues: A LA MODE.  This refers to something fashionable and stylish.  Or, alternatively, a mode of serving pie, along with a scoop of ice cream.  

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here, in puzzle analysis MODE.  {We will definitely not be getting into analyzing musical or mathematical MODES!}.  Generally, a MODE is manner in which something occurs or is experienced, expressed, or done.  Let's get into action MODE.


1. Flowerbox place: SILL.  A widow shelf.

5. Hubbub: STIR.  Ado

9. Use a 26-Down: SHAVE.  Scrape whiskers off the face, for example.

14. Nabisco cookie: OREO.  A pair of chocolate wafers with a sugary cream filling.  The crossword world's favorite desert.

15. Gallant one: HERO.  Doer of courageous deeds, or a large sandwich.  Chose wisely.

16. Wonder Woman's rope: LASSO.  A rope with a loop or noose at one end, suitable for capturing villains, perhaps.

19. "Touch of Evil" director Welles: ORSON.  This 1958 movie involves the investigation into drug trafficking after a car bomb explodes near the Mexican border.  George Orson Welles [1915-1985] was an American actor, director, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in film, radio, and theatre. He is considered to be among the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. 

20. Some remote batteries: AAAs.  Small cylindrical batteries.

21. Bacon pieces: STRIPS.  One strip = one rasher. 

27. Apartment, say: UNIT.  A single living quarter in a larger structure.

28. "You __ to be there": HAD.  Explaining that being a direct witness is sometimes important for understanding or believing.

29. Put away: STOW.  Pack neatly in a particular place.

32. Some DVD players: SONYS.  Products of the Sony Group Corporation, a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan.

34. Assessed, with "up": SIZED.  Examined and evaluated something or someone.

36. Actor Vigoda: ABE.   Abraham Charles Vigoda [1921 - 2016] was an American actor known for his portrayals of Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather and Phil Fish in both Barney Miller and Fish TV shows.

37. Vampire vaporizer: SUN.   According to legend, these evil creatures cannot abide direct sunlight.

40. Not gross: NET.  After all charges and deductions.

41. Examine critically: EYE.  Size up, visually.

42. Waffle: WAVER.  Vacillate due to uncertainty.

43. First few pages of many books: INTRO.  Short for introduction -  a preliminary and explanatory section at the beginning of a book, report, or speech..

45. Feudal laborer: SERF.  An agricultural laborer bound under the feudal system to work on their lord's estate.

47. Neither's partner: NOR.  Used to exclude pairs of things or concepts.

48. Japanese noodle: UDON.   Wheat pasta made in thick strips.

54. Parking spots: SPACES.  Areas demarcated within a larger region for placing individual vehicles.

56. "Agreed!": DEAL.  An agreement entered into by two or more parties for their mutual benefit, especially in a business or political context.

57. Eagle's perch: AERIE.  A large nest in a high place.

63. Pertaining to birth: NATAL.  As defined.

64. Disney snowman: OLAF.  From the movie FROZEN.

65. "__ go bragh!": ERIN.  Ireland forever!

66. Do up, as hair: STYLE.  A particular arrangement of one's hair.

67. Guitar tuners: PEGS.    Short wooden or metal sticks with flat, rounded ends that are turned to make the strings on a musical instrument tighter or looser.

68. Lean (toward): TEND.  Have a natural inclination to do or be drawn toward some object of action.


1. "Help!" letters: SOS.   A Morse code distress signal used internationally, originally established for maritime use. In formal notation SOS is written with an overscore line, to indicate that the Morse code equivalents for the individual letters of "SOS" are transmitted as an unbroken sequence of three dots / three dashes / three dots, with no spaces between the letters.

2. Anger: IRE.  Negative emotional reaction to words or an event.  Hopefully, it is not forever.

3. Supervillain Luthor who co-founded the Injustice League: LEX.  Originated in Superman comics.

4. Faithfulness: LOYALTY.  A strong, reliable feeling of support or allegiance.

5. Bundle of harvested grain: SHEAF.   A bundle of grain stalks laid lengthwise and tied together after reaping.

6. Poke fun at: TEASE.   Merriment at the expense of a usually unwilling victim.

7. Org. with many auditors: IRS.  Internal Revenue Service - the Federal tax collecting agency.

8. Spoil: ROT.  Deteriorate over time, as produce.

9. Casino machines: SLOTS.   Coin-operated gaming machines that generate random combinations of symbols on a dial, certain combinations winning varying amounts of money for the player.

10. Vice president Kamala: HARRIS.   Kamala Devi Harris [b. 1964] is an American politician and attorney who is the 49th and current vice president of the United States. She is the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, as well as the first African-American and first Asian-American vice president. 

11. Prosecutor's deputy, for short: ASSISTANT D.A.   The Assistant District Attorney is responsible for assisting the District Attorney with administering the ongoing activities of the District Attorney's Office and assists in developing and implementing departmental goals and objectives within general policy guidelines.

12. Initials on a brandy bottle: VSOP.  Very Superior Old Pale.  For a cognac to be classified as a VSOP, the minimum age of the youngest eau-de-vie in the blend must be at least 4 years old.

13. Ages upon ages: EONS.   Long periods of unspecified duration.

18. "Wow at first sip" brand: BAI.  A brand of cocoanut water.

21. Allied (with): SIDED.  Joined together for some purpose, generally against organized opposition. 

22. Dishevels, as hair: MUSSES.  Runs fingers through someone's hair in a random way to mess it up.

23. Senator for whom Honolulu's airport is named: INOUYE. Daniel Ken Inouye [1924 - 2012] was an American attorney, soldier, and politician who served as a United States senator from Hawaii from 1963 until his death in 2012. Beginning in 1959, he was the first U.S. Representative for the State of Hawaii, and a Medal of Honor recipient.

24. Occasion to use the good china: DINNER PARTY.  A social occasion at which guests eat dinner together.

25. Fire-breathing Greek monster: CHIMERA.   In Greek mytholog, a fire-breathing female monster with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail.

26. Stubble remover: RAZOR.   An instrument with a sharp blade or combination of blades, used to remove unwanted hair from the face or body.

30. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" king: OBERON.  A king of the fairies in medieval and Renaissance literature. He is best known as a character in William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which he is King of the Fairies and spouse of Titania, Queen of the Fairies.  Also, Oberon is a wheat ale that embodies everything we love about summer. Brewed with just wheat malt, hops, water and Bells Brewery's signature house ale yeast.  

31. Slobbery kiss: WET ONE.  Moist smooch.

33. Watched: SAW.  Observed or eyed.

34. Really relish: SAVOR.  Enjoy the flavor of.

35. "Agnus __": DEI.   Agnus Dei is the Latin name under which the "Lamb of God" is honoured within Christian liturgies descending from the historic Latin liturgical tradition, including those of Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism and Anglicanism.

39. Features of a bowling alley: LANES.  Wooden or urethane decks that are 62'10-3/4" long and 42 inches wide with ten pins spaced one foot apart 60 feet from the foul line.  

44. Mathematical void symbolized by { }: NULL SET.   In mathematical sets, the null set is a set that does not contain any values or elements. It is expressed as { } and denoted using the Greek letter ∅ (phi). Now we exit math mode.

46. Treatment that may involve a peel: FACIAL.  A beauty treatment for the face.

50. "Nope" writer/director Jordan: PEELE.  Jordan Haworth Peele [b. 1978] is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker, known for his film and television work in the comedy and horror genres.  I don't believe he is known for his facial treatments.

51. Luggage label: I.D. TAG.  Item to identify the ownership of an item of luggage.

52. Hangouts for some schools?: REEFS.  A ridge of jagged rock, coral, or sand just above or below the surface of the sea.  The school here is of the fishy variety.  

53. Friend: PAL.  Buddy amigo.

54. Without: SANS.  In French.  I relish a puzzle sans French. 

55. Organic fuel: PEAT.   Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation or organic matter. It is unique to natural areas called peatlands, bogs, mires, moors, or muskegs. 

58. Short jump: HOP.  I HOP means I make a short jump.  IHOP is where I'm taking Gloria later this week for pumpkin pancakes. 

59. Copa Mundial cheer: OLE.   Copa Mundial is Spanish for World Cup, the FIFA international soccer [futbol] tournament.  I had a bit of trouble tracking it down, since Google just wanted to show me shoes of the same name.  OlĂ© is a Spanish interjection used to cheer on or praise a performance commonly used in bullfighting and flamenco dance. 

60. What "will be" will be: ARE.  Forms of  the verb "to be."  This is a playful little excursion into tenses, where the future of the past becomes the present. 

61. Sign of a shark: FIN.  The shark's dorsal fin can sometimes be seen above the water line.  Not a good sign.

62. Goal: END.   The aim or purpose of an activity.  Also the END of this puzzle.  Well placed.

OK, Gang - that wraps up another Wednesday, and a fine ride it was.  I am now in sign-off mode.

Cool regards,