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


Oct 31, 2018

Halloween, Wednesday, October 31, 2018, Bruce Haight

 Spooktacular  Halloween! Bruce Haight has given us a Frightening puzzle for this Halloween.
From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties

And things that go bump in the night,

Good Lord, deliver us!

 ~ Scottish Poem
17. Actor who's anxious to get the Halloween party startled?: BOO BRIDGES.  Long lost brother of Beau Bridges (né Lloyd Vernet Bridges, III; b. Dec. 9, 1941).
24. Sci-fi character trying to creep it real?: MISTER SPOOK.   Mr. Spock's evil twin.
35. Comedian who says no body's perfect?: RED SKELETON.  As in Red Skelton (né Richard Skelton; July 18, 1913 ~ Sept. 17, 1997).  He had lots of amusing characters in his repertoire.  When I was a kid, I thought his surname really was Skeleton.
49. Pop group whose music is in en-crypted files?: SPICE GHOULS.  Kin to the Beastie Boys.  Very appropriate since one of the members was known as Scary Spice.
58. Actor who frights for every part?: SCARY GRANT.  As in Cary Grant (né Archibald Alec Leach; Jan. 18, 1904 ~ Nov. 29, 1986).
And the unifier:
42. Like this puzzle's theme?: HAUNTED.

What other scary things appeared in today's puzzle?


1. Story with many chapters: SAGA.  I can really get lost in a good Saga.

5. Hoops gp. since 1996: WNBA.  As in the Women's National Basketball Association.

9. Colorado tribe: UTEs.

13. Curved fastener: U-BOLT.  Not to be confused with Usain Bolt.
15. Remote batteries: AAAs.

16. Former Persian ruler: SHAH.  The last Shah was Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (Oct. 26, 1919 ~ July 27, 1980).  He was shah from September 1941 until he was overthrown by the Iranian Revolution in February 1979.
19. Only: MERE.  I initially tried Sole.

20. Man __: trendy hairstyle: BUN.
21. Neighborhood: AREA.

22. Sonnet line fivesome: IAMBI.

23. Communications co. with a blue-and-white globe logo: ATT.
27. Bends to retie laces, say: STOOPS.  Or a place to sit.
29. Velvet-voiced Tormé: MEL.  As in the singer Mel Tormé (Sept. 13, 1925 ~ June 5, 1999).  I remember him from being the hero of the Honorable Judge Harry T. Stone from the sit-com, Night Court.
30. Air rifle ammo: BBs.

31. One might put stock in it: SOUP.  How to make a Soup Stock.

32. Small keyboard: SPINET.  It doesn't look so small to me.
39. Zero: NOT ONE.  The perps gave me this answer, which I initially parsed as NO TONE.

40. Composer who was a CBS reporter: TESH.  As in John TESH (né John Frank Tesh; b. July 9, 1952).  I think he was more of an entertainment reporter, not a news reporter.
43. Medium ability: ESP.  As in ExtraSensory Perception.

46. __ de deux: PAS.  A ballet dance for two people, generally a man and a woman and a Red Sox player.
47. Everycity, USA: PEORIA.  But does it play in Peoria?

53. __ shot: FLU.  I got my Flu shot.  Did you get yours?

54. Pear centers: CORES.

55. __ B'rith: B'NAI.  B'nai B'rith is a Hebrew phrase that means "Children of the Covenant".  Founded in 1843, B'nai B'rith is the oldest Jewish service organization the world.

56. Former Fed chair Bernanke: BEN.  As in Ben Bernanke (né Ben Shalom Bernanke; b. Dec. 13, 1953).  He served as the 14th Chairman of the Federal Reserve from February 2006 through January 2014.
57. Just barely: A TAD.

61. Show impatience, in a way: PACE.

62. Opposite of away: HOME.

63. Actor Nick: NOLTE.  As in Nick Nolte (né Nicholas King Nolte; b. Feb. 8, 1941).
64. Ice cream brand: EDY'S.  This brand of ice cream makes frequent appearances in the crossword puzzles.

65. Messy stack: HEAP.

66. Ran, as dye: BLED.


1. Speaker for low sounds: SUB-BASS.

2. Momentarily will, after "is": ABOUT TO.  As in the sentence:  Dinner is About To be served.

3. Travel with the band: GO ON TOUR.  Thank you, perps.  This is another one I tried to parse incorrectly.  I initially looked at it as Goon Tour.  Well, that fits with today's scary theme!

4. Greece neighbor: Abbr.: ALB.  As in Albania, the country to the west of Greece.

5. Gets one's feet wet: WADES.

6. Bedevil: NAG AT.

7. Sweetie, in slang: BAE.  We've had discussions of this puzzle word in the recent past.

8. Donkey: ASS.

9. graphic, for short: US MAP.  As in a Map of the United States.  If you had a map of the US without the States identified, could you place all the States in their correct location?

10. Crime film group: THE MOB.

11. Dangling jewelry: EARBOB.  I think of this as being an old-fashioned word.  I remember reading about Earbobs in Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott.

12. Mideast chieftains: SHEIKS.

14. Pooch who shared spaghetti with Lady: TRAMP.  A reference to the Disney animated movie Lady and the Tramp.

18. Crocus kin: IRIS.

22. Florida key, e.g.: ISLET.

25. Novelist Zola: ÉMILE.  Émile Zola (Apr. 2, 1940 ~ Sept. 29, 1902) is best known for his role in the Dreyfus Affair, in which Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer in the French army, was wrongfully accused of revealing military secrets solely because he was Jewish.  Zola wrote a letter that was published in the Paris newspaper accusing high ranking army officials of anti-Semitism.  Dreyfus was ultimately exonerated.  Dreyfus Affair.

26. Russo who plays Frigga in "Thor" films: RENE.  As in actress Rene Russo (née Rene Marie Russo; b. Feb. 17, 1954).  She began her career as a fashion model.
28. Uncork, say: OPEN.

32. Smidge: SKOSH.  A fun word.

33. Fenced-in area: PEN.

34. "Africa" band: TOTO.  You know you've heard this song.

36. Chowderheads: DOPES.

37. Dudes-only: STAG.

38. Spongy toy: NERF BALL.  You can get one for all sorts of sports.
41. Matte finish?: SILENT E.  Not keen on this type of cluing.

43. Way out: ESCAPE.  Another appropriate word for Halloween.  This reminded me of Harry Houdini (né Erik Weiss; Mar. 24, 1874 ~ Oct. 31, 1926), the great ESCAPE artist.  Sadly, he died on Halloween.

44. Brief TV plug: SPOT AD.

45. Kidd stuff: PIRACY.  Think of Captain Kidd, the pirate, not the USS Kidd, which is now housed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
47. Remote button: PLAY.

48. Complete, as a PDF contract: E-SIGN.

50. Gives over (to): CEDES.

51. Michelle Robinson's married name: OBAMA.  As in the former First Lady, Michelle Obama (b. Jan. 17, 1964).
52. Gen. Assembly member: UN REP.  As in a Representative in the United Nations.

58. "Lower your voice!": SHH!  Don't awaken all the Ghouls tonight!

59. Country singer David Allan __: COE.  I am not up in my country music, so was not familiar with David Allan Coe (b. Sept. 6, 1939).
60. Steal from: ROB. This puzzle was a real Treat.

Here's the Grid:

Oct 30, 2018

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018 C.C. Burnikel

"Keep in Touch"

17. *Easy-to-read character: BLOCK LETTER.

24. *Cruise stop: PORT OF CALL.

40. *Microsoft Outlook service: EMAIL.

43. *FaceTime alternative: SKYPE.

52. *Emphatic typeface: ITALIC TEXT.

65. Parting words suggested by all or part of the answers to starred clues: KEEP IN TOUCH.

Five ways to stay in contact were hidden in the theme answers.  Did you see them before you got to the reveal ? 


1. Beauty queen's topper: TIARA

6. Standoffish: ALOOF.

11. Irish folk dance: JIG

14. Naysayers: ANTIS.

15. "Z: The Beginning of Everything" star Christina: RICCI.  She starred as Zelda Fitzgerald in the short-lived 2017 television series.

16. Santa __ winds: ANA.

19. "Real World" channel: MTV.  This reality TV program aired for 21 seasons from 1992 to 2013, and is being rebooted on Facebook.  Pick seven or eight late teens to mid twenties types, put them in a house, and film non-stop. 

20. Triangular Indian pastry: SAMOSA. "The samosa is made with all-purpose flour locally known as maida shell stuffed with some filling, generally a mixture of mashed boiled potato, onions, green peas, lentils, spices and green chili, or fruits. The entire pastry is then deep-fried in vegetable oil or rarely ghee to a golden brown color." - Wikipedia

21. Skinny fish: EEL.

22. Buzzing insect: BEE.

23. Luxury bag monogram: YSL.  As shown on this "Women's Large Monogram Matelasse Leather Chain Shoulder Bag - Black", available at Sak's Fifth Avenue.

28. Like much Scotch: AGED.  Tinbeni likes Scotch.  He said the other day, in reference to the MIXED DRINKS puzzle, that he likes his Scotch mixed with Scotch. 

30. Purchase at Lowe's: TOOL

31. July 4th nonstarter: DUD.  A firework, such as a firecracker or aerial display, that doesn't explode properly.   

34. Kagan of the Court: ELENA.

37. "Grr!," say: SNARL.  And 68A. "Grr!": I'M MAD

42. Freight weight: TON.

44. 1988 film farce fish: WANDA.  93% at Rotten Tomatoes:   A Fish Called Wanda

45. Asian part of Egypt: SINAITranscontinental Countries – Is Egypt in Africa or Asia?

47. Assist: AID.

48. Goes to seed: ROTS.

50. "Enchanted" fantasy film girl: ELLA.

56. Patriots' org.: NFL. The New England Patriots of the National Football League.  They played the Buffalo Bills last night on Monday Night Football.

59. Stool pigeon: RAT.   A police informer in this clue, in bad guy lingo.    BTW, James Cagney was misquoted.  He actually said, "... you dirty yellow-bellied rat" to the guy that killed his brother. 

60. Put a spell on: HEX.  You can read about the "Andretti curse" at Wikipedia.  In short, in 1970 the wife of co-owner Clint Brawner put a hex on them, promising that no Andretti would ever win the Indy 500 again.  Mario never won it again,  nor did his two sons, his nephew, and his grandson in 54 Andretti family attempts.

61. Decline to participate: OPT OUT.

64. Cigar refuse: ASH.

67. Peg for a round: TEE

69. "Tomorrow" musical: ANNIE. The comic strip Little Orphan Annie made it to radio, stage and film.  Here's the song from the 1982 film:

70. Slip up: ERR.

71. Cozy spots: NESTS.

72. Rent-a-car choice: SEDAN.


1. File folder projections: TABS.

2. Mosaic technique: INLAY.

3. Molecule parts: ATOMS.

4. Cough drop name sung in ads: RICOLA.

5. Seeks answers: ASKS.

6. "__ you listening?": ARE.

7. Soda bottle size: LITER.  I still want to spell it litre. 

8. Four pairs: OCTET.

9. Spotted wildcat: OCELOT.  Here kitty, kitty.

10. Evergreen tree: FIR.  A conifer.  You can identify the tree as a fir because the cones stand upright versus hanging down as they do in spruce and other pines.

11. One-pot New Orleans dish: JAMBALAYA.   I saw the following reader comment on a Food Wishes video for a Jambalaya recipe:

The best food in America comes from the south.
The best food in the south comes from Louisiana.
The best food in Louisiana comes from New Orleans.
And the best food in New Orleans is Jambalaya.

12. Major chip maker: INTEL.   Lemonade had the clue "Gathering of spies" for this answer last Friday in Joe Kidd's puzzle.

13. Chairperson's order keeper: GAVEL.

18. Place for a campaign button: LAPEL.

25. "Waiting for Lefty" playwright: ODETS.  Clifford.  A play about a group of taxicab drivers  planning a labor strike.  Lefty was their elected chairman.  This was in the '30s, before Uber and Lyft. 

26. Archaeologist's find: FOSSIL.

27. Fail suddenly, with "out": CONK.  Or, go to sleep.

29. Desserts in Little Italy: GELATI.  Little Italy is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, once known for its large population of Italian Americans.  Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream.

31. Morning drops: DEW.

32. Actress Thurman: UMA.

33. Longtime "CBS Evening News" anchor: DAN RATHER.   24 years.  Took the helm when Walter Cronkite retired in 1981.

35. "There's __ in team": NO I.

36. Building add-on: ANNEX.

38. Hudson Riv. tech school: RPI.  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  The esteemed engineering school.  Founded 1824.  Troy, N.Y.   RPI overlooks the Hudson River.    Hi Spitzboov !  Hi Irish Miss !

39. Went first: LED.

41. Worshiped star: IDOL.

46. "Iron Chef Gauntlet" host Brown: ALTON.   We tuned into his FoodTV show "Good Eats", but were never fans of the original Iron Chef program or its spinoffs.

49. Devious plan: SCHEME.

51. San __: Texas city, familiarly: ANTONE.  Do you recall the song from these lyrics ?
Rain, dripping off the brim of my hat.
It sure is cold today.
And here I am'a walking down sixty-six.
Wish she hadn't done me that way.

52. Steaming mad: IRATE.  I rate this an accurate clue for the answer.

53. Law enforcement shocker: TASER.

54. Overflows (with): TEEMS.

55. Yank in Yemen, for short: EXPAT.  Short for expatriate.  One who lives outside their native country.

57. No longer lost: FOUND.

58. Saint __: Caribbean island: LUCIA.

62. School bake sale orgs.: PTAs.

63. In that case: THEN.

65. They're related: KIN.

66. Cards checked at the gate, briefly: IDs.

Oct 29, 2018

Monday October 29, 2018 Paul Coulter

Theme: SURPRISE TEST (54. Unexpected classroom announcement ... and, initially, one hiding in each set of puzzle circles) - Three different tests are hidden in each theme entry.

20. Protective net above a cradle: DREAM CATCHER.

34. Government prosecutor: STATE'S ATTORNEY.

40. Reduced responsiveness to medication: DRUG RESISTANCE.

Boomer here.  

Hello everyone, and thank you for all the well wishes and birthday greetings.  C.C. and I  had a great Saturday meeting my son and daughter-in-law at the local Native American casino known as Mystic Lake in a south suburb of Minneapolis. (Shakopee). We enjoyed the buffet and then risked a few bucks in the casino.  (I'm pretty cheap, I play for nickels).  


1. Autos: CARS.  My mother worked for CARS at the VA.  (Stood for Central Accounts Receivable Service).

5. Cutlass automaker: OLDS.  Yup this is a car.  I never had a Cutlass, but I had a couple of Olds gas hogs in the 60s.

9. Stick-on design: DECAL.

14. Fever with chills: AGUE. Gesundheit!

15. Hide, as a bone: BURY.  I often wondered how the bone tastes when the dog digs it up ?

16. 100 bucks: C NOTE.  Or, 100 male deer in a GEICO commercial.

17. Breadbasket item: ROLL.

18. Read bar codes on: SCAN.  They are amazing!  I have a bar code on my VA ID and checking in to the clinic it reads the bar code and knows more about me than I do.

19. "Wizard of __ Park": Edison: MENLO.  Thomas Edison was a wizard and set up shop in Menlo Park, New Jersey, near Newark.  Since I had a long history with Graybar Electric, I sometimes feel I owe my career to Thomas Edison.

23. __ Paulo, Brazil: SAO.  Huge City !

24. Some tech sch. grads: EES.  I think the puzz is pointing at Electrical Engineers.

25. Type of energy or reactor: ATOMIC.  Don't get too close to this.

29. '60s-'70s quarterback Tarkenton: FRAN.  NFL Vikings Hall of Famer.  Number 10.  I remember some of the magic he worked back in 1961, when the Vikings were an expansion team!

31. Content cat sound: PURR.  PURRfect !

33. Spanish gold: ORO. Our Records Only

37. Philip of "Kung Fu": AHN.

38. Live and breathe: ARE. This are an interesting clue

39. "Ich bin __ Berliner": JFK: EIN. Yes, I am old enough to remember this speech, but I am sure younger folks have heard this line many times.

45. "Casablanca" pianist: SAM.  Play it again !

46. She sheep: EWES.

47. Blues singer James: ETTA.  Also Miss Kett

48. At first, second or third: ON BASE.  I might have guessed UMPIRE

50. Long __ of the law: ARM.

51. Airline to Stockholm: SAS.

58. Gorge: CHASM.

61. Aesop's also-ran: HARE.  I never believed that story about the tortoise .

62. "East of Eden" director Kazan: ELIA.

63. Blender button: PUREE.  Just make sure you have that rubber top on the thing or you will have puree all over your counter.

64. Barely makes, with "out": EKES. We eked out a few dollars on a 2 cent machine at Mystic Lake Saturday.

65. A short distance away: NEAR.

66. Accumulate: AMASS.  We DID NOT amass a fortune at Mystic Lake however.

67. "Wild" frontier place: WEST.  Remember Mr. West who played Batman ?

68. IRS form IDs: SSNS. You may give your last four, but not the whole works.


1. King and queen: CARDS.  We played Jacks or better Saturday

2. Greek marketplace: AGORA.

3. Hitchhiker's principle?: RULE OF THUMB.  Is there also a rule of finger ?

4. Actress Ward: SELA.

5. Lewd: OBSCENE.

6. "Star Wars" mastermind: LUCAS.  George Lucas created this epic movie.  If you purchased a few of the figures in 1977, you may have a fortune.  however, I bought baseball cards.

7. "Dang!": DRAT.

8. Lip-__: mouth the words: SYNC.  Not allowed at karaoke

9. U.S. capital transit system: DC METRO.  I've never been to DC. Couldn't get the votes.

10. First month of el año: ENERO.

11. Pro's opposite: CON.  Jails are full of these.

12. Braves, on scoreboards: ATL.  They didn't quite make it to the World Series this year, but I remember who beat them in the 1991 Series.

13. DiCaprio, in fan mags: LEO.  Short for Leonardo.  Famous for "Titanic"

21. Potatoes partner: MEAT.  Remember the Wendy's Commercial lady.  "Where's the Beef?"

22. "B.C." cartoonist Johnny: HART.

26. Tennis great with nine Grand Slam singles titles: MONICA SELES.

27. Goodnight woman of song: IRENE.  "I'll see you in my dreams."

28. Coquettish: COY.

30. Tolled like Big Ben: RANG.  The Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback does not toll.

31. Romeo's rival: PARIS.  I never read Shakespeare so I will take the word for this.

32. Salt Lake City team: UTES.

34. Leftovers wrap: SARAN.  I never liked the way it sticks to itself, but it seals better than wax paper.

35. Postage-paid enc.: SASE.  Acronym

36. Cost of living?: RENT.  And any other thing on which you spend money.

40. Brit. military award: DSO.

41. Job applicants' preparations: RESUMES. Rez oo may, not Re zoom

42. Pretty pitcher: EWER.  Not Chris Sale or Clayton Kershaw ??

43. Most concise: TERSEST.  I always thought Terse had a little anger in it too.

44. "Don't look __ like that!": AT ME.

49. Beasts of burden: ASSES.  No comment

50. Buenos __: AIRES.  It took me a while to learn that this is pronounced Ireez.

52. From China, say: ASIAN.

53. Popular performers: STARS. Dallas Hockey Team.  (Formerly Minnesota North Stars).

55. "That was close!": PHEW.

56. Leaves gatherer: RAKE.  A necessary tool this time of year.

57. Addition column: TENS. Gymnastics scores for Nadia.

58. Auditing pro: CPA.

59. Run smoothly: HUM.  Option if you cannot sing.

60. Altar in the sky: ARA.  I know this is Latin, but I could never see the so called pics in any of these constellations, except for the big dipper.  And it did not look like a bear.


Oct 28, 2018

Sunday October 28, 2018 Greg Johnson

Theme: "Change of Address" - Each theme entry is an anagram of an US city and its state.
23A. Message about nearly a dozen U.S. sailors being flown overseas? (Pa.): ALL TEN NOW IN NAVY PLANES. Allentown, Pennsylvania.

35A. Annoyed Mayberry aunt gets an old Toyota at a raffle? (Wis.): ANGRY BEE WINS SCION. Green Bay, Wisconsin.

57A. Boast about Japanese animation? (Me.): BRAG ON ANIME. Bangor, Maine.
64A. Emanation from an aging rural miner? (Co.): OLD RUBE COAL ODOR. Boulder, Colorado.

75A. Lunch treats from Clinton's veep? (Or.): MEALS ON GORE. Salem, Oregon.

93A. Black Friday headline? (Md.): RETAIL MOB RAN MADLY. Baltimore, Maryland

110A. Muslim ascetics drain Sahara pipeline contents? (Ca.): FAKIRS BLEED AFRICAN OIL. Bakersfield, California.

We've seen a few city anagram themes. Never with its state. This necessitates very long theme entries, including two spanners.

I'm just in awe of Greg's creativity. All theme entries make fun surface sense. And the fill is solid with a few fresh entries. 


1. Run-down area: SLUM. Slums are not allowed in China.

5. Fire starter: SPARK.

10. Defunct Ford div.: MERC.

14. Like some bulls: PAPAL.

19. Bigger than big: HUGE.

20. Enjoy slowly, as a drink: SIP ON. I like sipping on a cup of hot ginger/date tea in cold days.

21. "I __ busted!": AM SO. And 36. Untrue: NOT SO.

22. Come to light: ARISE.

27. Not talkative: QUIET.

28. Receive inside info: GET A TIP.

29. Tired comment: I'M BEAT.

30. One terminus of Chicago's Blue Line: O'HARE.

33. Soccer goose egg: NIL. Tiny clue/answer dupe 78. Holiday song sextet: GEESE.

34. Cunning plan: PLOY.

41. Delaware's capital?: DEE. Delaware.

44. Disheveled: TOUSLED.

45. At least one: ANY. And 71. All: EVERY BIT.

46. Landlord's reminder: LATE RENT. Debut fill.

48. Tanning time on the Riviera: ETE.

49. Babe's counterpart: HUNK.

51. "Follow me!": C'MON.

53. State definitively: AVER.

54. Constitution letters: USS. USS Constitution.

55. White selection, briefly: CHARD. Chardonnay.

60. Not requiring stamps: POSTPAID. Do you have Informed Delivery in your area? We do.

62. Hopefully, what's left for dessert?: ROOM. Sweet.

63. "Funny thing is ... ": ODDLY.

68. Pitcher part: SPOUT.

70. Absence: LACK.

79. Brooding genre: EMO.

80. Ornate molding: OGEE.

81. Sources of bow wood: YEWS.

82. Author Caleb: CARR. He wrote "The Alienist".

83. Five-O alert: APB.

84. Tied: DEAD EVEN. Another debut.

87. Goof: ERR.

88. Myrtle whose oil is a folk remedy for skin conditions: TEA TREE. I'm allergic to this oil somehow.

92. South end?: ERN. Southern.

97. Overnight retreats: INNS.

98. Simba, at the start of "The Lion King": CUB.

99. Primrose family plant: OXLIP.

100. Ready to breed: AT STUD.

103. Moonlighter's work: SIDE JOB.

106. Tokyo shopping district: GINZA. Never been there. Shanghai is my favorite shopping place.

114. Flawed: AMISS.

115. Cap'n's underling: BOSN.

116. "Free your pores!" skincare brand: BIORE. Known for their pore strips.

117. Ignore, with "out": TUNE.

118. Tighten, as laces: RE-TIE.

119. Jazz club sessions: SETS.

120. Prefix for a Dow foam: STYRO.

121. Not quite never: ONCE.


1. 1990s-2000s Laker star, familiarly: SHAQ.

2. Humdinger: LULU.

3. Not-cute fruit: UGLI.

4. Geminids sights: METEORS.

5. 3-2-4 ID: SSN. When you make an appointment in VA hospital or clinic, you need to tell them your "last four".

6. Wrestler's coup: PIN.

7. Orbital high point: APOGEE.

8. "Deadliest Catch" narrator Mike: ROWE.

9. Work with needles: KNIT.

10. Six-legged prayer?: MANTIS. Praying mantis.

11. Addresses with "@": EMAILS.

12. Brief invite answer?: RSVP.

13. Artfully shy: COY.

14. Treo maker, before it shortened its name: PALM ONE. Learning moment for me.

15. Sheikdom of song: ARABY.

16. Air freshener scent: PINE.

17. On the briny: ASEA.

18. For fear that: LEST.

24. Kind of alcohol: ETHYL.

25. Kid raiser, in two ways: NANNY. Why "in two ways"?

26. Cockpit worker: PILOT.

31. Prez on a five: ABE.

32. Prince Harry's locks, e.g.: RED HAIR.

34. Holder of keys: PIANO. Great clue.

35. Devoured: ATE UP.

37. "C'mon, take a __": GUESS.

38. Security checkpoint device: WAND.

39. Well filler: INK.

40. Shoe or its dance: CLOG.

41. Hot sauce bottle image: DEVIL. Not familiar with this sauce. Any of you familiar with Brazilian fish stew?

42. Good guy, to a bad guy: ENEMY.

43. French 101 verb: ETRE.

47. Stopped flowing: RAN DRY.

50. Pakistani tongue: URDU.

51. Swindler: CROOK.

52. What may be baby's first word: MAMA. Universal. Also 62. Parents: REARS.

55. Fair grade: C PLUS.

56. Couldn't avoid it: HAD TO.

57. Italian lawn game: BOCCE.

58. Lymph __: NODES.

59. Love to bits: ADORE.

61. Motored (along): TOOLED.

65. Leave, slangily: BLOW.

66. Inappropriate look: LEER. This and OGLE both have grid-friendly letters, unfortunately.

67. Demand too much of: OVERTAX.

68. Silver Bullet Band rocker: SEGER (Bob). Never heard of the band.

69. Joyous song: PAEAN.

72. A new one may itch: BEARD.

73. Push forward: IMPEL.

74. Actor Maguire: TOBEY.

75. Style: MODE.

76. Nikita's negatives: NYETS.

77. Rowlands of "The Notebook": GENA. Great movie.

78. Worn things: GARB.

82. __-Magnon: CRO.

85. Hosp. drama role: ER NURSE. So grateful to the ER doc who correctly diagnosed Boomer's bone cancer. The Twin Cities Orthopedics, and the two different doctors in our local VA clinics all said Boomer's back pain was arthritis. I guess their X-rays couldn't show the cancer cells or the T 11 fracture.

86. Sells: VENDS.

87. Add to a website, as a video: EMBED.

89. Bigger copy: Abbr.: ENL.

90. Guadalajara gal pal: AMIGA.

91. Draw upon: TAP INTO.

94. Most aloof: ICIEST.

95. Cough drops brand: LUDEN'S. Never had wild cherries. You?

96. Scotch cocktail: ROB ROY.

97. "Just me," formally: IT IS I.

100. Quite a distance: AFAR.

101. Hardly a threat: TAME. The wild turkeys at Springbrook Nature Center are very tame.

102. "SNL" staple: SKIT.

103. Wild plum: SLOE.

104. Sparring punches: JABS.

105. "Never heard __": OF IT.

107. Car, truck or bike: NOUN. Always fun to clue NOUN or VERB.

108. #30 on the periodic table: ZINC.

109. Toward shelter: ALEE.

111. Small ammo: BBS.

112. Like deeply discounted mdse.: IRR.

113. Leader with perks: CEO.

Thank you for the birthday wishes for Boomer. You guys are the best! The kids he coaches every week and their teachers gave Boomer a super sweet card and healing angel last Tuesday. I'm so proud that he only missed two practices with the kids this year, both because we had a long day at the VA for various tests.

Boomer also got his back brace. It's like this. Made of hard plastic. Bulky and restrictive. Boomer calls it his "cage". 


Oct 27, 2018

Saturday, October 27, 2018, Michael Ashley

Themeless Saturday By Michael Ashley

Today we celebrate a holiday that will be met with, uh, great gusto at our little literary popsicle stand here: National Beer Day. Ales and beers of all description populate our puzzles and discourse. I don't imbibe but will raise an imaginary glass to you on this sudsy holiday! Salut, Cheers, Skol, L'Chaim, Here's mud in yer eye!

Today's constructor is Michael Ashley. I blogged his last puzzle here on September 15 which of course was another themeless marvel and this is what I found out about Michael that day:  I lived nearly 20 years in Manhattan, New York, and have now lived with my wife and two children in Scottsdale, Arizona, since 1993. Besides being a maniacal online chess buff, in my spare time I dabble at another sport which, on my better days, strongly resembles golf. 


1. "Grab that guy!": SEIZE HIM - A 1965 Lee Faulk Book Guild Poster of Prince Valiant on the lam!

9. Indonesian dyed fabrics: BATIKS - I was so surprised how quickly I wrote in this word

15. Speaking to a TV audience, say: ON CAMERA.

Hey, it's great to be here at the
LA Times Crossword Blog today!
16. Name attached to 14 Grand Slam tennis titles: EVONNE - From an Australian aboriginal family

17. Ultimate degree: NTH POWER  
9= 3 - Math peeps will know what NTH POWER of 9 makes this true

18. Pick up: NEATEN 

19. Urgent event: CRISIS  - The one that leaps to my mind

21. Agitated states: STEWS - The state Americans were in during the CRISIS above

22. Only driver to win Indy and Le Mans in the same year: A.J. FOYT - Number 14 at Indy and Number 1 at the 24 hours of Le Mans which he won with co-driver Dan Gurney in 1967

25. 2017 NLDS player: NAT - Washington NATional 

27. Gaelic tongue: ERSE -  Bobby Burns in Gaelic and translated on this beer day: `O gude ale comes and gude ale goes; Gude ale gars me sell my hose, Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon – Gude ale keeps my heart aboon!'' 

`O good ale comes and good ale goes; good ale makes me sell my hose (stockings), Sell my hose and pawn my shoes – Good ale keeps my heart afloat!'')

28. School closing?: MARM  - A SCHOOLMARM circa 1890

29. Link with: TIE TO.

31. Music with expressive lyrics: EMO.

32. Offering from your server: E-MAIL

34. Corn containers: CRIBS - The ones around here are all slowly wasting away, having been supplanted by silos and bins

36. Malamute pair?: EMS MalaMute - Yup!

38. Principal aluminum ore: BAUXITE - Mining BAUXITE in India

40. Habitual surfer: NETIZEN - A citizen of the net, sometimes to excess. Who me?

42. Red Cross provision: AID.

43. California's __ Beach: PISMO - A clam diggers paradise

45. Mississippi river to the Mississippi River: YAZOO - A fiendishly clever clue that refers to the YAZOO River IN Mississippi that empties INTO the Mississippi River just above Vicksburg

46. Green target: CUP - It's that 4" receptacle that we golfers stew about trying to get the ball to drop into

48. Besmirch: TAINT -  The TAINT of steroids made these home run records suspect. McGwire did 52. Cop to: OWN his usage but Sammy has 't yet

50. Single-channel: MONO - MONOaural and not stereo 

51. Stock trader's option: CALL - If you really want to know about Puts and CALLS

53. Put down: ABASED.

55. Real estate basics: AREAS - This 1395 sq. ft. house would fetch well less than half this price in my AREA

57. Title for Versace: SIGNOR - SIGNOR Versace is one of those single-named people for whom SIGNOR is usually omitted

59. Pressured, in a way: DUNNED - In this scene from Godfather II, a young Vito Corleone is being DUNNED for a cut of a robbery by Don Fanucci. Suffice it to say it did not work out well for SIGNOR Fanucci. 

61. Defies all logic: CAN NOT BE - Recently I posted John McEnroe screaming "You CAN NOT BE serious!"

65. Ran the show: EMCEED - I just got a very gracious note from a band director for a show I EMCEED a month ago.

66. Service companies: AGENCIES - My Sister-In-Law has spent years helping in a local AGENCY that helps abused women

67. Fly to flee: TSE TSE

68. Ashley's twin: MARY KATE - Here is a 24 second voice-over they did on The Simpsons


1. Family business partner: SON - e.g. Sanford and SON

2. Fangorn Forest dweller: ENT - ENTs are tree-like creatures that are found in the Fangorn Forest in JRR Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings. You can buy some sculptures of them online. 

3. Goethe's "I": ICH ICH liebe dich is the only German phrase I know and I bet you know it too!

4. 1960s pioneer in countercultural strips: ZAP COMIX - They came around in the late '60's when I was diverting my comic book money to groceries for my family 

5. Atlanta university: EMORY - Founded in 1836 in Oxford, GA

6. "60 Minutes" creator Don: HEWITT  - Don and the boys

7. Angers: IRES.

8. Venus probe craft: MARINER - In 1962, MARINER 2  became to the first spacecraft to reach another planet and today orbits the Sun

9. Rock's Harper or Folds: BEN - On Saturday you get singers BEN Harper and BEN Folds not BEN Franklin and Uncle BEN

10. Forum greetings: AVES.

11. Just right: TO A TEE - My blogging fits my meager skills TO A TEE

12. Brahms piano pieces: INTERMEZZOS - Originally pieces written to fill in between acts of a play or movements of larger musical works. Brahms wrote his as stand alone creations. Yeah, I knew that! 😏

13. Had an in: KNEW SOMEONE - How to get work in some institutions 

14. Intuit: SENSE - Women can intuit/SENSE things better than men as far as I am concerned 

20. Attended casually: SAT IN ON - Woody Allen SAT IN ON (WITH) The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band at the Cafe Carlyle in NY

22. Microscopic specimen: AMEBA.

23. Island spirits: JAMAICA RUMS - Hey! This is beer day!

24. Deceit: FRAUDULENCE - Wanna learn how to practice FRAUDULENCE? Google this video

26. Hamlet's first choice: TO BE - or not TO BE

30. Sharp winter tools: ICE SAWS - Those blocks the iceman brought had to originate from somewhere

33. Rim: LIP - A Rim out or a LIP out

35. Home near a cote, perhaps: STY - Here is a oil painting entitled A French Sheep COTE which could be near a pig STY

37. Hair net: SNOOD - A bi-level SNOOD

39. Former Yugoslav leader: TITO.

41. Final cut on the "Sounds of Silence" album: I AM A ROCK 
An anthem for isolation and emotional detachment

44. A luge driver might wear one: MINICAM - 1:14 of insanity

47. Revolver?: PLANET - Yes, kids, Planets revolve as they rotate around the Sun 

49. 1977 Australian Open winner Roscoe: TANNER.

51. VMI student: CADET - VMI first admitted women in 1997

54. Like a pretty lass: BONNY.

56. Matches in Hold 'em: SEES - Same as calling a poker bet

58. Lady of song: GAGA  - In the latest iteration of this movie, Lady GAGA has received good reviews for her acting and great ones for her voice

60. '50s ticket initials: DDE.

62. __ Maria: TIA - Aunt Maria - A dark liquor whose main flavor ingredients are coffee beans, Jamaican rumvanilla, and sugar, blended to an alcoholic content of 20%.

63. One might be made on the nose: BET - A BET for a horse to win a race

64. Canton ending: ESE - Find it below?

Now before you hoist up a stein, tankard, glass or can, how 'bout a comment:


Notes from C.C.:

Happy 71st birthday to Boomer, the sun of my life! This picture was taken on August 22, 2014 when Gary and his wife Joann visited Minneapolis.

Left to Right: Boomer, Gary, CC & Joann