, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: March 2018


Mar 31, 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2018, Neville Fogarty


Today we celebrate National Bunsen Burner Day with a lovely offering from Neville Fogarty. Husker Gary reporting from the Great Plains where I have used many a bunsen burner over the years. Neville's puzzle progressed steadily but at the end I could not find the one bad cell the computer said I had and then I realized I had put a ZERO instead of an O at shoOt em up. The juxtaposition of those two keys is unfortunate for bad typists such as yours truly. That's just another reason I prefer using a pencil instead of a laptop.

Here is a 2007 premiere of a fun TV Crossword Game Show featuring a precocious 19 year-old Neville on the premiere of a Crossword game show:

Now let's see what our TV star/constructor has for us today:


1. Dandies : FOPS - Henry IV, Part I, Act I, Scene 3, Hotspur and the FOP

5. Space Invaders genre : SHOOT 'EM UP - As so many games are. You shoot your blips at other blips

14. Blue dye : ANIL - Speaking of DYES, Granddaughter Elise has been blessed/cursed with Papa's affinity for crosswords and works them everyday. So for Easter, she DYED this crossword egg for me. Yeah, I'm proud!

15. Quintet that won a Grammy for their a cappella version of "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" : PENTATONIX - I had never seen this before and I just love it!

17. '20s tennis star Lacoste : RENE - Lacoste. The man and the eponymous clothing line he launched

18. 1996 McDonald's offering : ARCH DELUXE - A very expensive flop for McDonalds. Massive advertising couldn't save it

19. Gold mine : MONEY TREE - None in my yard

21. Shellac ingredient : RESIN

22. Egg, in Ecuador : HUEVO - HUEVOS Rancheros 

23. Former Monopoly token : IRON - The token in the middle replaces the IRON. Works for Dave and me!

25. Fair-hiring letters : EEO

26. Anthony of "black-ish" : ANDERSON - Okay

29. Cleaning staff members : MAIDS - We usually tip them $5/day

31. Sgt., e.g. : NCO - What movie featured Commissioned Officer Lieutenant Haulk and Non-Commissioned Officer Master Sergeant Dickerson?

32. Hawaii's __ Coast : KONA - Home of some very good coffee in the only American state that grows coffee

33. Split-resistant wood : ELM

34. Bit of progress : DENT - I have had 50 or more projects to grade at one sitting and it seemed to take forever to make even a DENT in the pile

36. Dynamite guy? : NOBEL - Alfred, the inventor of dynamite

38. It's administered by the College Board, briefly : PSAT

42. Brooding genre : EMO - Teenage angst is fertile ground for music

44. Welsh national emblem : LEEK - Traditionally worn on St. David's Day March 1

46. Downed : ATE - He ATE how many Nathan's Hot Dogs?

47. Mine countermeasure : SONAR 

49. Game with a disc : ULTIMATE - Previously known as ULTIMATE Frisbee but now just ULTIMATE

51. "The Lead With Jake Tapper" channel : CNN

52. Gutter locale : EAVE - _ A _ E turns out NOT to be LANE

54. Greek strings : LYRES

55. What Santa Claus makes and gets : LISTS - Santa is making LISTS and checking them twice and kids are sending him LISTS of what they want

57. Ornament : EMBELLISH - Merriam Webster's definitions of Ornament is 4.  The act of adorning or being adorned and 5. An embellishing note not belonging to the essential harmony or melody

60. Really easy to use : IDIOT PROOF - Why has no one ever thought of this before?

62. "Crash __ Me": Dave Matthews Band hit : INTO - Okay

63. Dwindled to nothing : PETERED OUT - Possibly originated in comparing Peter's fading faith in Jesus prior to the crucifixion 

64. Poetic units : FEET - An accented syllable with one or more unaccented syllables. Twas the NIGHT/be fore CHRIST/mas when ALL/ through the HOUSE = four FEET

65. Hospital employees : RESIDENTS - Miranda Bailey was the RESIDENT the interns called THE NAZI on Grey's Anatomy

66. Closes : ENDS


1. Field worker : FARM HAND - High tech equipment has greatly reduced the need

2. Like the most valuable American Gold Eagle coins : ONE OUNCE

3. Attached, as a ribbon : PINNED ON - Last Saturday's puzzle discussed the perils of pinning and unpinning a corsage on today's prom dresses

4. Magical hiding place : SLEEVE 

5. Minor fight : SPAT

6. Berliner's address : HERR

7. Rarely : ONCE IN A BLUE MOON - Tonight there will be a second full moon in this month which happens quite rarely. This second full moon is called a BLUE MOON because of its rarity not its color

8. Survey question option : OTHER

9. Little bit : TAD

10. For all time : ETERNAL - JFK's ETERNAL Flame has been extinguished several times. The first was when a group of Catholic school children sprinkled it with holy water and the lid came off.

11. Insidious insider : MOLE - Every teacher's lounge has one. Anything said there will go straight to the administration. Kvetch with caution!

12. Idle : UNUSED - Idle acres was a phenomenon where farmers did not plant anything and were paid by the government for doing so

13. Short cuts : PIXIES - Big Bang Theory fans will recognize who has this PIXIE cut

16. Foreign opening? : XENO - XENO means stranger or guest

20. Pennsylvania city where Peppermint Pattie was first produced : YORK - Hence the name

24. Folded fare : OMELET

27. State bordering Arizona and New Mexico : SONORA - We were in the north end of the SONORAN Desert last week. The Mexican state of SONORA is south of Tucson

28. Wish Tree artist : ONO - I am not familiar with anything Yoko ONO has done and precious few others would if she hadn't married well and had such a lovely name for crosswords

30. "Here comes trouble" type : IMP

35. "Dancing With the Stars" achievement : TEN - Last Saturday the puzzle had 
14. XXX, perhaps : TENS

37. Grown elver : EEL - An elever is a young EEL. Yeah, I knew that 😛

39. Gateway Arch designer : SAARINEN - Eero's mother certainly attended a sale on vowels when her son was born!

40. Bore witness : ATTESTED

41. They may be long drives : TEE SHOTS - This perfect form should get him a long drive

43. Musical chairs? : MAESTRI - A maestro is a symphony director and MAESTRI is a gaggle of them

45. Last word of two James Bond film titles : KILL - A View To A KILL and A License To KILL

47. Twisted Sister frontman Dee : SNIDER - He was not talking about your kid's money

48. In the plant, say : ON SITE

50. Billy Joel hit with the line "I don't want you to tell me it's time to come home" : MY LIFE

51. Cut : CLIP - The guy who CLIPS my hair isn't the best barber but he's a good guy

53. Salsa __ : VERDE - I know VERDE means green

56. Socks cover them : TOES

58. Set of rounds : BOUT

59. Young newts : EFTS - I sometimes can't tell my ENTS from my EFTS

61. X'ing one? : PED

We welcome all pertinent and impertinent remarks now:


Mar 30, 2018

Friday, March 30, 2018, Mark Feldman

Title- Close your eyes and listen.

I am never sure how this crowd will react to a sounds like pun puzzle but for me the theme fill is especially fun. I have blogged many of Mark's Friday creations and they all seem to have some sound element, and a very light-hearted approach. If you want to go to the archives, you will have a good time solving them all. We also had so many sparkly fill like BASS DRUM, GAG RULES, SHOELACE, SKI SLOPE, SMALLEST and STUNTMAN.

So let us see where the puns take us.

17A. Religious text for a Texas senator? : CRUZ MISSAL (10). CRUISE MISSILE. The hardest one, as while most know Ted Cruz,the book containing the prayers and rites used by the Roman Catholic priest in celebrating Mass over the course of the entire year.

24A. Pet for a Spanish surrealist? : DALI LLAMA (9). DALAI  LAMA. Salvatore and the two L.

53A. Underage child of a German chancellor? : KOHL MINOR (9). COAL MINER. I also am not sure if many remember HELMUT.

62A. Household help for a 19th-century president? : TAYLOR MAID (10). TAILOR-MADE. My grandfather was a tailor. Zachary, old Rough and Ready was the 12th President who was the second one who died in office in the 1840s.


1. Like "le" in Fr.: MASCuline.

5. Degrade: ABASE.

10. There's no money in it: SWAP. I love this clue; there are barter companies who broker professional services without money.

14. Prefix with syllabic: OCTO. This is pretty random, though a real word.

15. Starbucks offering: LATTE.

16. Cap with a flat, circular top: KEPI.

19. Flex ending: IBLE.

20. Home of Amboseli National Park : KENYA.
This PARK.

21. Pennant race mo. : SEPtember.

22. Tied accessory : ASCOT. This gets its name fro, the racetrack but historically was part of very formal wear. LINK.

23. Cause of a sleeve movement : TUG.

26. More uneven : BUMPIER.

29. Puts in a vault, in a way : ENTOMBS.

30. Dos Passos trilogy : USA. Do you like reading about the GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL?

31. Mild rebuke : TUT. Does anyone use a single tut?

33. With 44-Across, Hanna-Barbera feline : TOP. 44A. See 33-Across : CAT.

34. Cravings : YENS.

36. Sidekick : AMIGO.

38. Glimpse : ESPY.

42. Not a good start? : MAL. A bad prefix.

45. Shade : HUE.

46. Michigan neighbor : ONTARIO.

50. Baptized boys, often : GODSONS.

55. Milk source : EWE. Sheep milk. Do humans drink THIS?

56. Whac-__ : A-MOLE. Are you a CHAMP?

57. Heating stat : BTUBritish Thermal Unit

58. Finnish architect Alvar __ : AALTO. I had not heard of this MAN.

61. Look closely (over) : PORE.

64. Bank offerings : IRAS. Much more than a bank offering.

65. Resort WSW of Denver : ASPEN. My first trip to Colorado was to Denver and thenon to a condo in Snowmass at Aspen. 10D. 65-Across feature : SKI SLOPE. They have lots to do THERE.

66. __ coffee : ICED. Aha, not tea today.

67. Titillating message : SEXT.

68. Silly ones : GEESE.

69. Cong. period : SESSion.


1. Sham : MOCK.

2. Israeli port : ACRE.  A change for this fill, but very tricky. Acre is the holiest city of the Bahá'í Faith, and as such receives many Baha'i pilgrims. In 2016, the population was 47,808.Acre is a mixed city, that includes Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Baha'is. Wiki.

3. Nonspeaking movie role : STUNTMAN.

4. Ingratiate oneself (to) : COZYUP.

5. "When We Were Kings" subject : ALI.

6. It takes a beating : BASS DRUM. Another really cute clue.

7. Befuddled : AT SEA.

8. Basic : STAPLE. You need to stockpile these around hurrican season here.

9. Sushi selection : EEL. CSO to C.C.

11. Interoffice connection : WEBCAM. Not in my office, but many use them when they are nationwide.

12. Poise : APLOMB.

13. Madonna portrayals : PIETAS.

18. Crèche trio : MAGI.

22. Glee club member : ALTO.

25. Completely : IN TOTO. Funny letters into to.

26. Accept : BUY. That's your story? I guess I buy it.

27. Consumption : USE.

28. List ender : ET ALII.

32. Idiosyncratic contraction : TIC.

35. Of least significance : SMALLEST. Hey, good things come in small packages.

37. They squelch discussions : GAG RULES. This has a bad HISTORY. By statute or court rule, gag orders are often placed on grand jury participants.

39. It goes over the tongue : SHOELACE. You have to think about this one.

40. "Piano is not my forte," e.g. : PUN. I guess we understand where Mr. Feldman's head was when he built this puzzle.

41. With 51-Down, sometimes-sighed line : YES. 51D. See 41-Down : DEAR.

43. French weapon : ARME. Inferrable but I have never heard it used.

46. Congo natives : OKAPIS. The okapi also known as the forest giraffe or zebra giraffe, is an artiodactyl mammal native to the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Wiki.

47. "That's enough already!" : NO MORE.

48. Middle section of an insect : THORAX. I wish I had John Lampkin to pick a picture.

49. Hoping to get home : ON BASE. Baseball season started yesterday.

52. Religious ascetics : SWAMIS. More religion.

54. Common blood group : O-TYPE.

59. Connections : TIES. I have used facebook to restablish ties with so many with whom I had lost touch.

60. Chances : ODDS. Chances are that most are not very happy with...

62. Identify on Facebook : TAG.

63. Unified : ONE.

I enjoyed this one very much, and hope you all did as well. Happy Passover to those celebrating Passover this evening; we get to cook for my local son and his family after going to Colorado the last few years. Good Friday and Easter also are this weekend and the best to those who celebrate. Thank you Mark, and who come and share. Lemonade out.

Note from C.C.:

Below is letter I got from the great Jeffrey Wechsler. It warmed my heart.

"I consider it incumbent upon me to personally and publicly thank several of those whose comments on my Wednesday puzzle, and past puzzles, were so kind that I virtually blushed while reading them. I refer specifically to Irish Miss -- "I hereby nominate Jeffrey Wechsler for Word Play Wizard of the Crossword Community" -- and to Swamp Cat -- "Irish Miss, I second the nomination! JW certainly is a Word Play Wizard!"

For those of you who regularly solve LA Times puzzles, and for those who venture into the wider world of crosswords, I am sure that you know that there many, many constructors equally (and much more) worthy of the title of Word Play Wizard. Indeed, compared to some constructors, my presumed Wizard rank would be reduced to that of Muggle.

However, over the years I have been greatly appreciative by the many kind comments on this blog toward my work. I recall the slow advance of the reception of my Friday LA Times puzzles at the Crossword Corner from occasional befuddlement (and a rare bit of hostility!), to tentative acceptance, to enjoyment (although, of course, not by all). My intent is never to confound -- just to try to come up with something interesting, and perhaps challenging in a positive sense. Crossword puzzles should not be "gotcha" affairs -- they should be engaging, brain-tickling, and providers of enjoyment. And to that end, my favorite comments are perhaps from Misty. How can I resist smiling on seeing Wednesday's "Woohoo! Woohoo! I got a Wednesday Jeffrey Wechsler puzzle without a single error or cheating!" I always look forward to Misty's "Woohoo!" It's that sort of reaction that makes the odd enterprise of puzzle-making worthwhile. And I thank those in general who comprise the community who comment at the Crossword Corner. Especially in comparison to some other crossword blogs, the comments here are overwhelmingly kind, thoughtful, and lacking in unnecessary invective. Thank you all (even those who still misspell my name!).

All the best, and keep on solving,

Jeffrey Wechsler"