, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: September 2019


Sep 30, 2019

Monday September 30, 2019 Roland Huget

Theme: WHITE MATTER (60. Certain brain tissue, or what each half of the answers to the starred clues can be) -

17. *Realtor's client: HOUSE-HUNTER. White House. White hunter.

26. *Surface for slicing rye, say: BREADBOARD. White bread. Whiteboard.

36. *Vehicle's rear warning lamp: TAILLIGHT.  Whitetail. White light.

50. *Feline metaphor for an empty threat: PAPER TIGER. White paper. White tiger.

Boomer here. First and foremost, I am pleased to convey a Happy New Year,  Rosh Hashanah to members of Jewish faith that participate on the Crossword Corner.

At home, the "Magic Number" finally hit zero, and it looks like our Twins are headed to New York to play the Yankee Doodle Dandies.  Too early to JUDGE who might win.


1. Gull relatives: TERNS. I wonder if, when the birds get together for Thanksgiving, do they sit on the left or right?

6. Spots to fast-forward through: TV ADS.  I am not able to fast forward, I watch TV in real time.  I hate most of the ads, especially car insurance and "Ask you doctor".

11. Cleopatra's killer: ASP.  "Would you take that lousy life if it was offered to you?  You can bet Cleopatra's ASP you would."  (Chad Mitchell Trio on Liz Taylor.)

14. Sharply inclined: STEEP.

15. Trip odometer function: RESET.  I do not have a Trip Odometer.  I am sure it was an option that I chose not to waste money on.

16. Chinese steamed bun: BAO.

19. Category: ILK.

20. Rural stopover: INN.  My favorite - C'Mon INN in Billings Montana.  I think it's about 800 miles from my home, but I am not sure.  I don't have a trip odometer.

21. __ d'Alene, Idaho: COEUR.

22. "Well, gosh!": OH GEE.  Together worth three points in Scrabble.

24. Social reformer Jacob: RIIS.

28. Body ink: TATTOO.  De plane, De Plane!

30. Eye part that may become detached: RETINA.

31. Golf's Slammin' Sammy: SNEAD.  It's amazing what this guy could do with woods made of real wood and a golf ball that is not Super Soft or a Pro V1.

32. Karma: FATE.

35. Vegas' "one-armed bandit": SLOT. Yeah you should expect to donate to the casino.  I like the draw poker machines. They make you think a little bit and not wait for three 7s to show up on the pay line.

39. Head or tooth pain: ACHE.  Or the New York Yankees whose pain is a bit lower and on the back side.

42. Pick out with care: CULL.

43. Aficionados: BUFFS.

47. "Ye Olde" retailer: SHOPPE.  You know, I see this in crosswords frequently, but I have never seen or been to a Shoppe.

49. Lose its fizz, as soda: GO FLAT.  I had a nail in a tire a few months ago but amazingly it was found and repaired by the tire store before it went FLAT.

54. Pâté de __ gras: FOIE.

55. Goodnight woman of song: IRENE.  I'll see her in my dreams.

56. "The __ Wears Prada": 2006 film: DEVIL.

58. "__ you awake?": ARE.  Of course.  You think I could do this if I was asleep??

59. Vied for office: RAN.  Only about 13 months away.

63. Pre-marital (just barely) promise: I DO.

64. Parisian love: AMOUR.

65. Reagan attorney general Ed: MEESE.

66. After taxes: NET.  After taxes, a NET is about the only thing I can afford.

67. Easy victories: ROMPS.  The Gophers took care of Purdue Saturday although it should not be called a ROMP. I was impressed by the folks in West Lafayette.  A college town of about 30,000 people.  I think most of them were at the game.

68. Medicare Rx section: PART D.  I really don't think Part D covers much. I am very thankful to have VA prescription service.  Co-pays are pretty reasonable.


1. Tops with slogans: T-SHIRTS.  I have many.

2. Ian Fleming or George Orwell, schoolwise: ETONIAN.

3. Get the old gang together: REUNITE.  Graybar has one of these for retired old coots in Las Vegas.  Usually in February, but I have not heard yet this year.

4. Old Nintendo game console: Abbr.: NES. This looks like half a name to me. Right Irish Miss?

5. Job detail, briefly: SPEC.

6. More accurate: TRUER.  Words were never spoken.

7. Change of __: trial request: VENUE.

8. Stars, in Latin: ASTRA.

9. Lousy grade: DEE.  Sandra of old time flicks.

10. Flasher at a disco: STROBE.  These things drive me nuts, almost as bad as the whoopers at ball games,

11. 1797-1801 first lady Adams: ABIGAIL.  I remember "Dear Abby" - Abigail Van Buren.

12. City near Naples: SALERNO.  South of Rome near Naples.

13. Prodded: POKED AT.

18. Stereotypical boxcar hopper: HOBO.  Red Skelton.

23. 1979 Donna Summer hit: HOT STUFF.

25. Local govt. prison: STATE PEN.  Or Jesse Ventura's retirement benefit.

27. Bit of wine sediment: DREG.

29. "Ghost" psychic __ Mae Brown: ODA.

32. Winter malady: FLU.  Do the shots really work?  Every pharmacy even the small ones in grocery stores beg me to get a flu shot every year.  I pass, and have never gotten the flu.  Too bad they don't sell cancer shots.

33. "__ My Children": ALL.

34. Shop __ you drop: TIL.

37. Rapper/actor whose name sounds like a summer drink: ICE T.  I DO NOT care for Rap, but I did like ICE T in "Law and Order SVU."  Did you know Mariska Hargitay is Jayne Mansfield's daughter?

38. "Westworld" network: HBO.  I pay enough for Direct TV.  I don't need to pay extra for whatever.

39. Pill for pain: ASPIRIN. Boy, that's old school. Now it is Ibuprofen, Aleve, Afrin, Oxycodin, Tylenol, etc.

40. Pantomimed act in a parlor game: CHARADE.

41. "Sure wish that doesn't happen": HOPE NOT.  My Mom's name was HOPE.  Earlier during doctor questions I was asked if I had "hopeless feelings".  I answered that my mother had passed away. Then explained her name was HOPE.  I am sure the nurse thought I was a smartass, which I am.

44. Pool noodle, e.g.: FLOATER.

45. "... who is the __ one of all?": Evil Queen: FAIREST.  Mirror Mirror on the wall ?

46. Manned the helm: STEERED.

48. Like the Great Depression, timewise: PRE-WAR.  We have had way too many PRE-WAR periods in the 20th Century.

49. Like the Reaper: GRIM.  Speaking of the 20th Century, Bob Grim was a pitcher for the Yankees, Kansas City A's, and others in the late 50s and early 60s.

51. Figure of speech: IDIOM.

52. Hop out of bed: GET UP.  "Get up Jimmie Newman, the morning has come." (Tom Paxton).

53. Activist Medgar: EVERS.  This clue should be "Tinker to ______ to Chance."

57. Tanning device: LAMP.  SUN did not fit in the grid.

61. Medical ins. plan: HMO.

62. Scone go-with: TEA.  Tea for two and two for me


Notes from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to our dog lover Pat and her husband, who were born in the same day and same year. Pat was a few hours older than her husband. Hope today is extra special, Pat!

Sep 29, 2019

Sunday September 29, 2019 Paul Coulter

Theme: "Where It's At" - Two-part theme. One part is the literal interpretation of its position with regard to the other part.
22. Ahead of time ... and where it's at: BEFOREHAND. This answer comes ahead of the hand in 24A.

24. It includes a king and queen: ROYAL FLUSH.

44. On the up and up ... and where it's at: ABOVEBOARD. Above 52A.

52. Food squares?: MEALS.
50. Bout enders, for short: KOS.

53. In a ship's hull ... and where it's at: BELOW DECKS. Under 50A.
88. More than flamboyant ... and where it's at: OVER THE TOP. Over 93A.

93. Casual shirt: TEE.

92. Red __: SEA.

95. Mortgaged to the hilt and then some ... and where it's at: UNDERWATER. Under 92A.
118. Final football score including at least one safety: NINE TO FIVE. Ahead of 121A.

121. Subsequent to the normal closing time ... and where it's at: AFTER HOURS.

Another creative effort from Paul Coulter. Like the "Greek Cross" we had a few weeks ago. This grid is also very challenging to fill. Tremendous restrictions. 


1. Bite: TANG.

5. Arabic for "commander": EMIR.

9. Exam administered by the College Board, briefly: PSAT.

13. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame architect: I M PEI. Born in Guangzhou. He also designed the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong. 

18. Burn balm: ALOE.

19. "Mostly Ghostly" series author: STINE.

20. Charity: ALMS.

21. High times?: NOONS.

26. Regards intensely: STARES AT. And 31. Bedevil: NAG AT.

27. Like the White Rabbit: LATE.

29. About to explode: IRATE.

30. Cherbourg cherub: ANGE. Angel. Another alliteration: 118. Nancy, in Nancy: NOM.

33. Speak colorfully, so to speak: SWEAR. Ah, colorfully.

35. Rescue op: EVAC.

37. Not for: ANTI.

39. MileagePlus rewards co.: UAL.

40. Puts in stitches: SEWS.

48. Chutney fruit: MANGO. Never had this. Probably a fixer at Steve's house.

51. Lenient: LAX.

56. West Point newbie: PLEBE.

59. Rapa __: NUI.

60. Japanese beer brand: KIRIN. Same letter count as ASAHI.

61. Native Nebraskan: OTOE.

62. Atlanta suburb: SMYRNA. I learned that Julia Roberts went to Smyrna's Campbell High School.

64. Complain: CRAB.

66. Itsy-bitsy: TEENY.

68. Frisk: SEARCH.

70. "... __ he drove out of sight": Moore: ERE.

71. Compass points: RHUMBS. New word to me.

74. Bank: CAROM.

76. Strong-voiced Mama: CASS.

78. Bends: STOOPS.

80. The Miners of the Lone Star St.: UTEP.

82. Add: PUTIN.

84. Blackguard: CAD. Wiki says "Blackguard" is an old-fashioned term for a scoundrel.

87. Nab in a trap: SNARE.

90. Artist Matisse: HENRI. He's wearing Matisse's work. "Blue Nude".

94. Adult: OF AGE.

98. Highland toppers: TAMS.

100. Away from the office: OUT.

101. "__ here": SAME.

103. Burpee product: SEED.

104. Big dipper: LADLE.

106. Areas for religious statues: APSES.

108. Former WNBA star __ Leslie: LISA. First one to dunk in WNBA.

111. José's "good": BUENO.

113. Speedy steed: ARAB.

115. Zone that may be restricted: AIRSPACE.

123. Martini garnish: OLIVE.

124. Each: APOP.

125. Salad green: CRESS.

126. Notices: SEES.

127. Doled (out): METED.

128. Puts the kibosh on: BANS.

129. "Categorical imperative" philosopher: KANT.

130. Scots Gaelic: ERSE.


1. Checks with tax, usually: TABS.

2. Prince Valiant's wife: ALETA. Mom of another crossword regular ARN.

3. Hardly in favor (of): NO FAN.

4. Paternal grandfather of Elizabeth II: GEORGE V.

5. 2007 Best Director Oscar sharer: ETHAN COEN. With Joel Coen. "No Country for Old Men".

6. Mazda model: MIATA.

7. B&B, e.g.: INN.

8. City near San Bernardino: REDLANDS.Also learning moment for me.

9. Actor's goal: PART.

10. Gin flavor: SLOE.

11. One of Alcott's "Little Women": AMY.

12. Org. with a lot of baggage?: TSA. I like this clue also.

13. Prefix with red: INFRA.

14. Back biters: MOLARS.

15. Displeased look: POUT.

16. Massachusetts motto opener: ENSE. "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" . What a mouthful.

17. Book end?: ISH. Bookish.

19. French possessive: SES.

23. Christopher of "Superman": REEVE.

25. Hide out: LIE LOW.

28. ABA member: ATT.

32. Aioli ingredient: GARLIC. My brother just told me how to make the perfect spinach salad. The key is this Zhenjiang Vinegar.

33. Naturally illuminated: SUNLIT.

34. Conestoga driver: WAGONER.

36. 1972 USA-USSR treaty subj.: ABM.

38. Drinks: IMBIBES.

41. Big name in kitchenware: EKCO. I don't think we own any of their product.

42. Active against racial injustice, in slang: WOKE. Stay woke.

43. Sautéing sound: SSS.

44. "The Sound of Music" backdrop: ALPS.

45. Salves: BALMS.

46. Daisy variety: OXEYE.

47. Sullivan Award sports org.: AAU. Amateur Athletic Union. Sullivan Award is awarded to "the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States" every year, a la Wiki.

49. __ Lingus: AER.

54. Breakfast sinkers: DONUTS.

55. Linguistic root: ETYMON.

57. Pick-me-up: BRACER.

58. Absorbed: ENRAPT.

60. Part of DKNY: KARAN.

63. Spanning: Abbr.: ACR. Across.

65. Chef's creations: RECIPES. My friend Carmen and her husband Lao Pan are terrific chefs.  The girl in red is Lao Pan's daughter Xiao Pan, who was just a little girl when I left Guangzhou. If you look closely, both Xiao Pan and Carmen are wearing a jade bracelet. Girls in Guangzhou like to wear jade bracelets or jade necklaces.

67. "Come again?" sounds: EHS.

69. Auditioning actor, say: HOPEFUL.

72. Sing one's own praises: BOAST.

73. Bender: SPREE.

75. Change genetically: MUTATE.

77. Clips for trailers: SCENES. Movie trailers.

79. Lightly burn: SEAR.

80. Eye layer: UVEA.

81. Abound (with): TEEM.

83. Dude (up): TOG.

85. Connector of partners: AND.

86. Most formal, fashion-wise: DRESSIEST.

88. Giant whose #4 was retired: OTT.

89. Jinx: HOODOO.

90. Large whale: HUMPBACK.

91. Steamed state: IRE.

96. From Swansea, say: WELSH.

97. Fatty: ADIPOSE.

99. Short one seen more in warm weather: SLEEVE. Cute clue angle. Long-sleeve shirt weather here in MN.

102. Battery size: AAA.

105. Started the pot: ANTED.

107. Consumed: EATEN.

109. Acidic, in Augsburg: SAUER. Sour.

110. Farm measures: ACRES.

111. Irascibility: BILE.

112. Condo, e.g.: UNIT.

113. HarperCollins romance imprint: AVON.

114. Gym set: REPS.

116. Monopoly foursome: Abbr.: RRS.

117. To be, to Brutus: ESSE.

119. Terrif: FAB.

120. Draft pick: IPA.

122. Monk's title: FRA.


Sep 28, 2019

Saturday, September 28, 2019, Ed Sessa

Themeless Saturday Puzzle by Ed Sessa

Today Dr. Ed Sessa makes a house call to our little literary popsicle stand and prescribes a very challenging exercise. This one took me a little longer than most Saturdays with OLA_/A_ILA being my last fill (wouldn't you know that our old Scandinavian friend OLAV/OLAF would be in the mix). I did choose correctly because I knew of Cleveland Indian second baseman Bobby Avila much more than I did where Isabella I was born.

Let's see what else the good doctor has for us today:


1. Little more than a drop: THIMBLEFUL

11. Gossip: DISH - Some in the teacher's lounge can really DISH the DIRT

15. Simile for "luve" in a classic poem: RED RED ROSE - Robert Burns

16. "__ the valley of Death ... ": Tennyson: INTO - Now Lord Tennyson's poetry makes an appearance but on a far rougher note

17. C.S. Lewis, for one: ALLEGORIST - Continuing in the literary vein, some say his The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is a Christian ALLEGORY

18. High seas adverb: THAR - THAR, she blows! Where? THAR!

19. Declared one's innocence, say: PLED 23. "I'm innocent": NOT ME - It means either I didn't do it or you can't prove I did.

20. Over and done with: PAST - American generals started fighting the Civil War using Napoleonic tactics of the PAST despite new weaponry  

21. Trio in H2O: ATOMS - Two hydrogens and one oxygen

22. Varnish option: MATTE.

24. __ Brava: Spanish tourist site: COSTA - What does it cost to rent this vacation home along Spain's COSTA Brava (wild coast)?

28. Emailers, e.g.: USERS.

30. Bentley of "American Beauty": WES Thora Birch and Mena Suvari were also in this movie and have appeared in our crosswords 

31. Nadya Suleman, in 2009 headlines: OCTO MOM - Public opinion turned against her when it was discovered that she already had six children and was on public assistance

33. No-frills flight feature: LOW FARE - Probably has a very limited wine list

35. Martial artist/musician Steven: SEAGAL Here ya go! So tough, he doesn't even use a pick on this fun tune

36. Straighten up: NEATEN.

37. Instruments also called rumba shakers: MARACAS Just in case you don't know

39. Genetic identifiers: MARKERS - Your saliva, uh, speaks

40. Connections: INS - When boss's son gets a job for which someone else is much more qualified

41. Isabella I's birth city: AVILA - She was born in the Castilian town of  Madrigal de las Altas TorresÁVILA and married Ferdinand of Aragon. Of course they are most famous for financing a certain sailor from Genoa, Italy 

43. To the point: TERSE - I'll take TERSE over TMI anytime!

44. Snake targets: CLOGS.

46. Factor of diez: CINCO - Si, CINCO veces dos es igual a diez (Yes, five times two equals ten)
48. More than just eats: DINES.

49. Texter's "May I say": IMHO.

50. "__ Before Chanel": 2009 film: COCO - Meh...

54. Military group: UNIT.

55. "Sgt. Pepper" collectible: ALBUM COVER Here's the cover and who's on it

57. Shakers, but not movers: SECT - Shakers are a millenarian nontrinitarian restorationist Christian SECT founded circa 1747. Huh?

58. Workers behind bars: LION TAMERS - They prefer being called LION TRAINERS as LIONS can not really be tamed

59. Deuce topper: TREY.

60. Connect with by nailing, say: FASTEN ONTO.


1. Yap: TRAP -Two crude mouth references 

2. Inferno: HELL.

3. Not occupied: IDLE.

4. '60s role for Bamboo Harvester: MR ED - His real name of course, of course. He seemed to have more 14. Stable judgment?: HORSE SENSE than the other characters in this sit com

5. Entreat: BEG.

6. Parkinson's drug: L DOPA - An intriguing, touching movie about L DOPA

7. Post-printing problem: ERRATUM - Computers make correcting an ERRATUM (uptown word for an error) much more doable

8. Palms off (on): FOISTS 

9. Company co-founded by J.P. Morgan: US STEEL - A captain of industry/robber baron

10. Reason for a court replay: LET - To see if the tennis serve touched the net (called a LET). If it did the point is replayed. Volleyball has changed the rule so that a serve that hits the net is in play 

11. Likewise: DITTO - He couldn't bring himself to say the word

12. Like a stereotypical cannibal captive: IN HOT WATER 

13. Claudius and Porky Pig: STAMMERERS - King George (corrected) VI also

21. Be called: ANSWER TO.

22. "Dream a Little Dream of Me" singer: MAMA CASS - "She had to overcome John Phillips' concern that her voice was too low for his (Mamas and Papas) arrangements, that her physical appearance would be an obstacle to the band's success and that her temperament was incompatible with his." Yeah, she was the odd one!

24. Matter of space: COSMIC DUST If you're interested 

25. Port-to-port connector: OCEAN LINER.

26. Scott Hamilton venue: STARS ON ICE.

27. Cover-up in Nero's time: TOGA.

29. Novelist Jaffe: RONA Here 'ya go

32. Scandinavian patron: OLAV.

34. Art buyer's concern: FAKE - Which one is real? (answer at bottom of blog)

38. Strait of Messina isola: SICILIA - An image from space of where the two-mile bridge connecting isola of SICILIA (island of Sicily) with the Italian region of Calabria might be built over the Strait of Messina

39. It often follows a breakout: MAN HUNT - The movie and TV show The Fugitive traced the MAN HUNT for Dr. Richard Kimble

42. Transitional situations: LIMBOS - I'm sure Dr. Ed would consider "Pole dances" as a very marginal clue 😏

45. Big name in oil: GETTY.

47. Title in a Dumas title: COMTE - Yeah right, I was the only one who put in COUNT first instead of this French word for Count. My wife's maiden name was Christo (nee Christo) and she had a cousin named Monte.

50. Lake of Lombardy: COMO - Lake COMO is in the northern Italian administration district of Lombardy which abuts Switzerland

51. Spot for pots: OVEN.

52. Marriage doc.: CERT - Not LISC it turns out

53. Roughly: OR SO.

55. Loser to Franklin in '36: ALF - Uh, what does a landslide look like...

56. Spam holder: CAN - My city of Fremont, NE makes a lot of Spam and in 2011 its citizens built the world's largest open-faced sandwich (Guinness) using that product

Add a comment and then take two aspirin and call Dr. Ed in the morning!

The real American Gothic is on the right.

Sep 27, 2019

Friday, September 27, 2019 David Alfred Bywaters

"Z Replacementz"

17. Really terrible wine?: UNPARDONABLE ZIN.  Sin.

27. Dad jokes?: POP ZINGERS.  Singers.

46. Hardware store window feature?: DISPLAY ADZ.  Ads.

56. Power nap?: MAINTENANCE DOZE.  Dose.


1. Doing something: BUSY.  Do something:  Get busy.  Now there's a word where the S really sounds like a Z.

5. Infatuated, old-style: SMIT.   Raging dopamine levels clouding one's judgement.

9. "The Goldbergs" actor George: SEGAL.
14. Corner: TREE.  I first read the clue as a noun, but had to read it as a verb for it to make sense.

15. First-rate: A-ONE.

16. Hardly in the dark: AWARE.  Andre Ware (A Ware ?) would be known to longtime college football fans.  He was the 1989 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback who played for the University of Houston Cougars.   He was the first African American quarterback to win the honor.

20. Master's degree seeker's assignment: THESIS.  Thesis title: “Membership of Subculture as Made Evident Through Referential Verbal Cues”  Translated title: "Nerds say nerd things to other nerds."

21. Evaluate: ASSESS.

22. Hosp. area for critical cases: ICU

24. Truck unit: TON.

25. PreCheck org.: TSA.  TSA Pre✓®  - Transportation Security Administration

26. Focus word in a Scripps logo: BEE.

30. Extensive periods: EONs.

31. "See ya": SO LONG.

32. Pork cuts: LOINs.

34. Beethoven wrote just one: OPERA.  My eyes deceived me.  I read "Beethoven just wrote one" and thought, "What ?  That can't be right!"

35. Academic growth: IVY.

36. Indian silk region: ASSAM.

40. Trumpet sound: BLARE.  To "blow one's own trumpet" is to talk openly and boastfully about one's achievements.  

42. Mrs. King on "Scarecrow and Mrs. King": AMANDA.  Kate Jackson starred as a divorced mother of two opposite Bruce Boxheimer as a spy.  "Goodbye, PTA...hello, foreign intrigue!"

43. HUD financing gp.: GNMA.  Ginnie Mae.  The Government National Mortgage Association in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

48. Tanning line: RAY.

49. Mag. listing: EDs.

50. Some PCs: HPs.

51. Kitty alternative: KAY.   Both can be short forms of Katherine. 

52. Pertaining to a heart chamber: ATRIAL.

54. Facial feature named after an animal: GOATEE.

60. Location: PLACE

61. Innocent, for one: PLEA.

62. Keypad predecessor, in some cases: DIAL.

63. Rent-a-car choice: SEDAN. Alamo ? No.   Hertz ? No.    Aha, now I see !

64. Cabs and the like: REDs.  Wines.   Other reds might be Medoc and Merlot.  I learned they were reds in a USA Today puzzle last week.  Wine Folly

65. Multinational range: ALPs.   Eight Alpine countries: France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia.


1. A/C measure: BTU. Air Conditioning. British Thermal Unit.

2. Caterer's item: URN.

3. 35 to 5, say: SEPTUPLE.   You know.   Single, double, triple, quadruple etc.  Do the math.   This may be a debut for septuple.  Crossword history ?

4. Slangy assent: YEAH.

5. "Teen Angel" or "Leader of the Pack": SAD SONG.   Teenage tragedy songs of the early 60s era.  Here's another:

6. Sounds from the pasture: MOOING.

7. Holiday places: INNs. Holiday Inns.

8. English cuppa: TEA.

9. Spicy condiment: SALSA.  Spicy dance: Salsa.

10. Farm moms: EWEs.

11. Summerhouse: GAZEBO.

12. Out of bed: ARISEN.

13. They can make things clearer: LENSEs.

18. __ scan: ID method: RETINAL.

19. Soprani opposites: BASSI.

22. __ facto: IPSO.

23. Farm home: COOP.
Nice digs from the folks at Chicken Coop Mansions

25. Helen's home: TROY.  We have an Irish Miss of Troy. 

28. Kazantzakis title hero: ZORBATime magazine book review from 1953

29. Fabled mischief-makers: ELVEs. The Keebler elves make Uncommonly Good cookies with elfin magic in the Hollow Tree.

30. Montaigne work: ESSAY.

33. Yoga class greeting: NAMASTE.  "... a respectful greeting said when giving a namaskar."   That clears it up.

35. Greek rainbow goddess: IRIS.

37. Charlatan's curative: SNAKE OIL.

38. "__ pinch ... ": recipe direction: ADD A.   A pinch of patience,  a dash of kindness, and a spoonful of laughter.

39. Labyrinthine: MAZY.

41. Disorient: ADDLE.

42. Andean animals: ALPACAs.

43. Dad's dad: GRAMPS.

44. Italian Christmas: NATALE.

45. Many: MYRIAD.

47. Contacted, in a way: PHONED.

49. Gobbled up: EATEN.

53. Ancient Peruvian: INCA.

54. Wind warning indicated by two red flags: GALE.
 55. Icelandic poetic work: EDDA.

57. "Morning Edition" airer: NPR.  National Public Radio.  A number of fans here at the Corner.

58. Nuke: ZAP.  Both slang for microwave.

59. Little League leaders?: ELs.  Little League trailers: Ees.

Check your grid against this one:

Sep 26, 2019

Thursday, September 26th 2019 David Poole

Theme: Spooked: Two government agencies facing off across the great idealogical crossword divide.

As the reveal, diplomatically placed in the center tells us:

23D. Long-running Mad feature suggested by this puzzle's circled letters: SPY VS. SPY

A great theme from David, the circles reveal CIA, appropriately on the West side of the puzzle, and KGB, aptly, on the East.

There's a lot to like about this theme, simple on the surface, but a little more when you dig down. The theme entries are placed pleasingly symmetrically, the letters for the agencies aren't just the first or last letter in the theme entries, they stand alone in each name or phrase, and the placement of the reveal dead center between the two is very neat. Good job.

Let's see what the fill holds for us:


1. Indian food option: MILD. I lean towards the more hot/spicy dishes, but there are many Indian dishes which are spiced, but not with chili or cayenne, the spices are there for aroma and flavor. Two classic examples are the korma, which is a mild, creamy curry, and the biryani, which is Indian cuisine's one-pot rice dish, a relative of paella, jambalaya and others. Here's my chicken biryani with coconut and yoghurt green raita.

5. "4x2=8" rapper from Korea: PSY. The "Gangnam Style" dude. I'm not sure any of us would be able to name any other Korean rapper.

8. Blood component: PLASMA

14. Et __: and others: ALII

15. Troy, N.Y., school: R.P.I. I tried to guess this, I got the "Institute" part, I could have guessed "Polytechnic", but there was no guessing "Rensselaer".

16. Trojan War hero: AENEAS

17. Delivery method: C-SECTION

19. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, familiarly: COACH K

20. Fall: AUTUMN

21. Boats and gravy boats: VESSELS

22. Stockpiled: AMASSED

24. Tigers, on scoreboards: DET.

25. "Miracle on Ice" winners: Abbr.: U.S.A. One of the most famous moments in sports, and that goes for non-US fans - I remember this from the 1980 Winter Olympics long before I moved to the States and before I knew much at all about hockey. "Do you believe in miracles? YES!"

28. Pours carelessly: SLOPS

29. Start of el año: ENERO

31. Quick bite: NOSH

33. Chef's collection: FRY PANS. I've literally worn out a couple of my Cuisinart skillets, I'm thinking about replacing them with cast iron.

35. Siri device: IPHONE

37. Pointed facial features: VAN DYKES. This dude rocks a great Van Dyke.

41. Morris Buttermaker's "bad news" team: THE BEARS

43. Big name in smooth jazz: KENNY G

44. Spray can output: AEROSOL. I thought the aerosol WAS the can. The output is deodorant, paint, olive oil, you name it.

46. Like some U.S. mail: CERT. ified.

47. African antelope: ELAND

50. Binge: SPREE

52. Montgomery of jazz: WES

53. Part of UCLA: LOS

54. Due: PAYABLE

56. Easy marks: PATSIES

59. __ del Fuego: TIERRA. I met a bartender in New Orleans who was from Tierra del Fuego; she said when she was a kid, her mom would point at the moon and tell her that was the closest place to where they lived.

62. Angular abode: A-FRAME

63. Complex containing thiamine and niacin: VITAMIN B. My Doc told me to take B3 supplements, apparently I'm not getting enough sun, that seems difficult to pull off in Southern California. (Edit - he told me to take D3! - Steve]

65. Close tightly: SEAL UP

66. Half of eleven?: ONE. Nice clue. Double-1 makes 11.

67. Spots at the prom?: ACNE. Sad, but true.

68. Discount phrase: OR LESS

69. Farm sci.: AGR.iculture. Seems hard to imagine studying farming without it.

70. Mower holder: SHED. If you're mowing the grass for silage on the farm, your agriculture class probably tells you the size of shed you need for the mower.


1. Brit's raincoat: MAC. Have you seen the ad currently running for the Microsoft Surface? It features a real Brit called Mackenzie "Mac" Book who points out the differences between the Surface and the Mac Book. It made me laugh, very clever.

2. Rick's love in "Casablanca": ILSA

3. In __ of: LIEU

4. Decrees: DICTA

5. 1996 Richard Gere/Edward Norton thriller: PRIMAL FEAR

6. Spot buyer: SPONSOR

7. Half a cosmic whole: YIN

8. Walked nervously: PACED

9. Some summer babies: LEOS

10. Santa __: dry winds: ANAS. Fierce debate in my neck of the woods as to whether they are called "Santa Anas" or "Santanas". I'm firmly with the latter. "Santa Ana" is a corruption of the original name perpetrated by out-of-state weather forecasters. In Richard Dana's "Two Years Before the Mast" he references "the devil wind Santana", well known to sailors in these parts. Santa Ana is a small city in Riverside County, and the winds neither originate from there or are funneled through there. OK, got that off my chest!

11. Withdraw formally: SECEDE

12. "Resurrection Symphony" composer: MAHLER

13. Invites for: ASKS TO.  Invites for lunch/asks to lunch.

18. Antacid brand: TUMS

21. Italian scooter: VESPA. Here's a young Sting riding a Vespa GS in the Who's "Quadrophenia" movie. Goodness knows what that scooter would be worth now, they're getting very hard to find.

25. Yard, say: UNIT

26. Junior-to-be: SOPH. Shouldn't it be "Jnr." in the clue? Last time I looked, you were properly a sophomore.

27. Tennis immortal: ASHE. Arthur. The stadium in Flushing Meadows, home of the U.S. Open is named for him. The Australian open has the Rod Laver Arena, The French Open has "Stade Roland Garros" and Wimbledon has - Wimbledon. I rather like that. You're pretty much one and done with naming. Imagine the uproar if the French decided to replace Roland with Yannick Noah or Suzanne Lenglen.

29. "The Neverending Story" author: ENDE. A German novel, originally.

30. Acronymically named boy band: 'N SYNC. The last letters of the first names of the band members. Who knew? I think it's just a happy coincidence.

32. White House architect James: HOBAN

34. Rug rat: ANKLE BITER

36. More than want: NEED

38. Had down cold: KNEW

39. Thornfield Hall governess: EYRE

40. Capt.'s subordinates: SGTS.

42. Bouquet for a señorita: ROSAS. Second Spanish class of the day. Roses in January?

45. On the soapbox: ORATING

47. West Texas city: EL PASO. According to TripAdvisor, the best restaurant in El Paso serves Greek and Mediterranean food. Somehow I'm a little unsure about that.

48. Preppy shoe: LOAFER

49. Celestial: ASTRAL

51. Zeno's home: ELEA

54. Coterie members, in slang: PEEPS

55. "Aunt __ Cope Book": ERMA'S

57. Black Friday event: SALE

58. Controversial radio host: IMUS. It's difficult to have any kind of respect for this man, I'll leave it at that.

60. Like chocolate cheesecake: RICH

61. Actress Hathaway: ANNE

63. Intl. news broadcaster: V.O.A. Voice of America. A shadow of its former self. The BBC's World Service is now the largest international broadcaster.

64. Rest area?: BED

That about does it for me. Here's the grid, and it's time for 64D!


Note from C.C.:

Happy Birthday to Dennis, who helped me greatly in the first few years of this blog. Dennis (the Marine) is now fighting another major battle. He'll probably let you know more later. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.