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


Nov 30, 2019

Saturday, November 30, 2019, Neville Fogarty

Saturday Themeless by Neville Fogarty 

Another constructor in our long line of PhD's, Dr. Neville Fogarty, gives us a taxing Saturday exercise today. Here is more info on Dr. Fogarty who is a math professor at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA.

Neville was kind enough to write to me about this puzzle: 

It has been so long since I wrote this puzzle that I don't think I remember anything about its construction of interest. I do remember explicitly that I wanted to put TRASH PANDA in this puzzle, as it's (in my opinion) such a fun, evocative phrase. I had also recently observed that WE SHALL OVERCOME was exactly fifteen letters long, so I thought it would be an interesting grid-spanning entry.

I thank Neville for that input but tell you that you don't need to take Neville's Abstract or Linear Algebra class to do this puzzle. Let's survey his work:


1. Raccoon in a dumpster, facetiously: TRASH PANDA and 29. Easy, as a job: CUSH. - All new phrases for me but pretty easy to suss 

11. Speak harshly: SNAP.

15. 1950s-'90s preschool program with many local versions: ROMPER ROOM - The first one from Baltimore

16. Take cover: HIDE.

17. Daniel Radcliffe co-star in eight films: EMMA WATSON.

18. Internal prefix: ENDO.

19. Certain petty officers: YEOMEN - Navy administrative assistants 

20. Well-punctuated reaction: EMOTICON So you'd like to see a few hundred...

22. Original "King Kong" company: RKO.

24. Sharp grabbers: TALONS.

25. Squat: NADA - So many synonyms for nothing. 

32. Cooking acronym: PAM - An acronym for one of its inventors - Product of Arthur Meyerhoff

33. Roman : Discordia :: Greek : __: ERIS - All you need to know

34. Comfortable: AT HOME

36. __ talk: PEP.

39. 1963 folk album, and its title song: WE SHALL OVERCOME - Twenty-year-old Joan Baez sang this iconic song on the day of MLK's I Have A Dream speech 

42. Summer tone: TAN - Gary Trudeau once described a TAN as a "lovely pre-cancerous glow" in Doonesbury

43. Numerical pair?: ELEVEN

44. Put on an unhappy face: POUT.

45. Sister of Helios: EOS - EOS has "dawned" on us many times here at our little literary popsicle stand

47. Poker player's problem: TELL - In one M*A*S*H episode, Major Winchester's TELL was to whistle arias when he was bluffing. He got cleaned out.

48. Architectural recess: APSE.

49. Dust buster: DRY MOP.

52. Scatter: SOW.

54. Use a counseling technique: ROLE PLAY.

57. Cut back: PRUNED - A tree that is PRUNED timidly can give you this. 

62. Purim month: ADAR - Today is 2 Kislev 5780 on the Jewish calendar

63. Limited retail offer: ONE DAY SALE - What a wonderful tribute to Abe and George to have a ONE DAY white SALE on President's Day

65. Traveled: WENT.

66. Pool maintenance concern: WATER LEVEL.

67. Float component: SODA.

68. Thai food staple: STICKY RICE What is STICKY RICE?


1. Long shot, in hoops lingo: TREY  Nobody does it better than Steph Curry from behind the three-point line (or the half-court line)

2. Capital of Italy's Lazio region: ROME - Italy has twenty regions. 

3. Some rounds: AMMO.

4. Filter target: SPAM.

5. Cutting-edge worker?: HEWER - SEWER had to change when TRASH was obvious

6. Practical joke involving ringing: PRANK CALL - "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?"

7. Dance, e.g.: ART.

8. Reporter's best sense?: NOSE - A NOSE for news

9. Unhappy ending: DOOM.

10. Rebuttal during recess: AM NOT - A playground rebuttal to "ARE TOO"

11. "Blue eyes and a ponytail" girl in a 1962 hit: SHEILA - A very pleasant musical memory of a very pleasant time of my life

12. Dummy: NINCOMPOOP - Samuel Johnson who compiled Britain's first dictionary said it come from the Latin - non compos mentis (“not of right mind”)

13. Something more: ADD ON.

14. Lowly workers: PEONS 

21. Make a point: TAPER.

23. Retail store: OUTLET - No golf , book or computer stores? What's the point?

25. Garter snake prey: NEWT - Kids always say Gardener Snake

26. Quarter: AREA - The BOQ on a military base is the AREA where Bachelor Officers have Quarters 

27. New Orleans Square site: DISNEYLAND - In Anaheim 

28. Gray shade: ASH.

30. Play rough: SHOVE - Black Friday strategy 

31. Shabby quarters: HOVELS.

35. Community in New Jersey's Edison Township: MENLO PARK  - Home of the Wizard of...

37. Avian sprinters: EMUS - Up to 30mph

38. Old Red Rose: PETE -  Old PETE Rose of the Cincinnati Reds is one of the best but he violated baseball rules by betting on games while still in the game and that is what is keeping him out of the baseball hall of fame. 
Neville told me he gladly takes credit for what I told him was a beyond-clever clue!

40. Greek storyteller: AESOP - Do any of AESOP's fables come to mind to describe PETE's arrogance and hubris?

41. Pro filer: CPA.

46. Posthumously published Puzo novel: OMERTA - Don't say nuttin' to nobody!

49. Popular movies, say: DRAWS - Puzo's Godfather I, II and III were big DRAWS

50. "Buckaroo Holiday" ballet: RODEO An Aaron Copland ballet

51. Winter storm sights: PLOWS - They are infamous for dredging up huge piles of ice and snow at the bottom of the driveway you just spent an hour clearing

53. With a twist: WRYLY.

55. Vet school subj.: ANAT.

56. Igloo competitor: YETI.

58. App tapper: USER.

59. "Avatar" race: NAVI- Two actors in this movie before and after makeup

60. Juice for PCs: ELEC.

61. Proofer's mark: DELE.

64. Mo. originally tenth in the Roman calendar: DEC - This Roman calendar starts on March 1 and underwent many changes over the centuries 

I'm confident that Dr. Fogarty could handle this problem below. Can you name the movie from which this problem came before you comment on the puzzle?

Nov 29, 2019

Friday, November 29, 2019 David Alfred Bywaters

"Turn of Phrase"

17. Plumbing expert?: DRAIN BRAIN

25. Cub Scout meeting refreshment?: PACK SNACK.

30. Candlemaker's choice?: WICK PICK.

45. Zookeeper's job, at times?: BEAR CARE.

51. School sports upset: JOCK SHOCK.

64. Inflated thread-count scam?: SHEET CHEAT.

Swap the words in the answers to get the real phrase.   I have no idea what a pick wick is, but a few references say it is a pick like tool used for raising the short wick in an oil lamp.


1. Fit together: MESH.

5. Explodes: POPS.

9. Sources of shade: ELMS.    So elms throw shade ?  They seem more stately than that.

13. Lope opening?: ANTE.   "Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play."   Except, of course, they're really not antelope.  They're pronghorn.   Kind of like buffalo v. bison.  Commonly accepted misnomers.

14. Pacifies: CALMS.

16. "The disease of kings": GOUT.    I once had to see a backup doctor when mine was away.   My sprained wrist was misdiagnosed as gout.    Gout is now on my record at the hospital.  

19. Tasmania's highest peak: OSSA.   Didn't we just have Abel Tasman last week ?  Or was it in a link from Lemonade ?  Anyway, Mount Ossa is as high as Denver, CO.

20. Lively movements: RONDOSHelp me get her out of my heart   Sounds like the definition of a rondo to me.   The refrain.   Yes / No ?

21. Snare: TRAP.

23. Idiosyncrasy: TIC.

24. Break up: END IT.    Cause ending it is hard to do.

27. Mex. neighbor: USA.

29. Robbery: HEIST.

35. Food distribution giant: SYSCO.   The world's largest.  Headquartered in Houston. 

38. Instrument named for an animal part: HORN.   Love the opening of this song.

39. Name related to Marge: PEGGY.    I tried Midge.  My Aunt Peg would have been disappointed.

42. __ beer: NEAR.   Tried one once.

43. Two-run homer situation: ONE ON.

47. United Kingdom language: SCOTS.  One of three native languages spoken in Scotland today.

50. Private __: EYE.   A gumshoe.   A detective.   A dick.    Have you ever seen The Bank Dick starring W.C. Fields as Egbert Sousé, "...a drunk who must repeatedly remind people in exasperation that his name is pronounced "Sousé—accent grave over the 'e'!", because people keep calling him "Souse" slang for drunkard" ? 

54. Kosher deli offering: LATKE.    They tasted a lot like potato pancakes to me too, Yellowrocks.

59. Place for a slip, perhaps: ICE.    Cute clue.

60. Cry of pain: YOWL.     Tried yelp.   Painful reviews.

61. Drawing tool: SIPHON.    Nice wordplay in the clue.   Loved it.

62. Give temporarily: LEND.   First instinct was loan.  Waited for another letter from a perp.

66. "I did it!": TADA.    No melodic tada at WaPo like we had at the Mensa site.

67. Like cornstalks: EARED.

68. Wight, for one: ISLE.    The Isle of Wight is just south of England.

69. Highbrow, perhaps: SNOB.

70. Pugilistic victories, briefly: TKOs.    Technical knockouts

71. Prized: DEAR.


1. Familia member: MADRE.    Esposa de su padre.   As Hahtoolah would quip, today's Spanish lesson.

2. Company whose failure brought down an accounting firm: ENRON.   Arthur Anderson.

3. Remain in force: STAND.   e.g. The judge's gag order will (remain in force) (stand).

4. Alpine protagonist: HEIDI.   Johanna Spyri's Swiss miss

5. Banned pollutants: PCBs.    Polychlorinated biphenyls

6. Tool secured by tholes: OAR.    Typically mounted on the gunwales

7. Oro y __: Montana's motto: PLATA.

8. Taint: SMIRCH.

9. Psych 101 subject: EGO.

10. Drifting, possibly: LOST AT SEA.

11. Bach's bailiwick: MUSIC

12. Neat pile: STACK.

15. Treacherous type: SNAKE.   "Instead you lay still in the grass, all coiled up and hissin' " - Keep on Loving You - Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon.

18. Still in bed: NOT UP.   But not necessarily asleep.

22. Pitchfork-shaped letters: PSIs.

25. Walk or run: PACE.

26. Timberlake's former band: NSYNC.   Justin Timberlake. 

28. Liquid sample: SIP.

30. Question of identity: WHO.   Who Are You is an album and song by English rockers The Who.

31. It carries a charge: ION.

32. Orchestral climax: CRESCENDO.   There are two in The Beatles A Day in the Life.

33. Rap: KNOCK.  

34. Cold War agcy.: KGB.   Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti - Committee for State Security

36. Sleeper or diner: CAR.  

37. Smeltery supply: ORE.

40. Nerd: GEEK.    It's all geek to me.

41. Happy fan's word: YAY.   

44. Intrusive: NOSY.

46. Natural history museum item: RELIC.

48. 56-Down's opposite: THOSE.   And, of course,   56. 48-Down's opposite: THESE.

49. "I'm not impressed": SO WHAT.   "Big whoop"

51. Stuns at the altar: JILTs.   Maggie Carpenter left three grooms at the altar before the big city columnist came to town to investigate.  Name the movie.

52. Eel's element: OCEAN.

53. Counter tender: CLERK.   Be harsh. 

55. Ladybug prey: APHID.    I read that each ladybug can eat up to 50 aphids a day.

57. Eucalyptus eater: KOALA.    Heartwarming story last week about the lady that saved the koala from the fire in New South Wales.

58. Put in: ENTER.  

61. Norms: Abbr.: STDs.    Who says, "The standard is the standard ?"   Don't rack your brain unless you are an NFL fan.  NFL Article from 2015

63. Apply with care: DAB.    And the initials of today's constructor !

65. Fair-hiring letters: EEO.   Equal Employment Opportunity.

Here's another place to check your grid:

Note from C.C.:

Here's a picture of Bill G's granddaughter Bella enjoying the rain. Good to see you back in blue, Bill! Thanks for persevering through the login troubles.

Nov 28, 2019

Thursday, November 28th 2019 Joseph Ashear

Theme: Black Thursday - discounts come early this year to the crossword:

20A. 2015 Marvel feature, after budget cuts: FANTASTIC THREE. I'm sure STAN Lee would have fought to preserve the four, in spite of the cuts.

29A. 1995 romantic comedy, after budget cuts: EIGHT MONTHS

39A. 2018 heist thriller, after budget cuts: OCEAN'S SEVEN. I think I'd have looked for an alternative to this theme entry, if possible. There are already four "genuine" numbered titles in the "Ocean's" film series (in release order, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen and Eight) so that this one doesn't seem at all incongruous or unlikely.

50A. 1957 courtroom drama, after budget cuts: ELEVEN ANGRY MEN

Well, hot on the heels of Joseph's debut that had a lot of us scratching our heads a couple of weeks ago, here's a second Thursday offering. This one was a nice Thanksgiving-morning solve, nothing too challenging and giving us all plenty of time to pay attention to the turkey in the oven!

On to the fill:


1. Headache feature: THROB

6. Report of a blowup?: BANG

10. More, in Madrid: MAS

13. Peter of Herman's Hermits: NOONE. Unlike the head-throb at 1A, Mr. Noone was something of a heart-throb. He could also clap like a champ.

14. Winds in a pit: OBOES

16. In the past: AGO

17. Away from the coast: TO SEA

18. "Counting Sheep" company: SERTA

19. Celestial sphere: ORB

23. Wee bits: IOTAS

24. Less stuffy: AIRIER

25. Historical capital of Bohemia: PRAGUE. Not Praha?

28. Federal IDs: S.S.N.'S

32. "The Shawshank Redemption" actor Robbins: TIM

35. Coagulate: CLOT

36. Arthur with Emmys: BEA

37. The Velvet Underground singer: NICO. A big grumble here, Nico was not a member of the band; she sang vocals on three tracks (at the behest of producer Andy Warhol) on the album named, tellingly, "The Velvet Underground and Nico". Lou Reed was the Velvet Underground's vocalist and 'twill ever be so.

38. Beer barrel: KEG

43. Rap fan: B-BOY. A breakdancer, or a "break boy". Apparently b-boys didn't like to be called breakdancers.

44. On the job: AT WORK

45. Lucille Ball's son: DESI JR. I'm not sure I knew there was a Desi Jr. but it didn't take long to figure out.

48. Beverage aisle array: SODAS. Not in my beverage aisle, unless you're talking about soda water or tonic.

54. Went for the worm: BIT

55. Avocado or plum: COLOR. 1970's bathroom fixtures. It was quite a selling point to be able to list a house with an "avocado suite" in the bathroom.

56. Bit of climbing gear: PITON

58. Submachine gun in action films: UZI

59. Léopard relative: TIGRÉ

60. Radii neighbors: ULNAE

61. Shade at the beach: TAN

62. They're worked with pull-ups and pull-downs: LATS

63. Lynx and Mercury: TEAMS. Minnesota and Phoenix, respectively, of the Women's NBA.


1. Wile E. Coyote supply: TNT.

2. Reindeer foot: HOOF

3. Parks of Alabama: ROSA

4. __ only: special performance alert: ONE NIGHT. Today's theme would have this as "No nights only".

5. Triumph over: BEAT OUT

6. __ nova: BOSSA. Tempted by SUPER, waited.

7. Helps in a heist: ABETS

8. Sushi seaweed: NORI. I'm eating some right now, great to snack on, you don't need to wrap anything in it, although my Auntie Miho's Spam Musubi rocks. I'll be eating some at Christmas.

9. Use an ATM: GET CASH. When I first went to Hong Kong, I stopped off to get cash at the HKSB ATM near my hotel in Kowloon and topped short - the keypad is upside down. It never really crossed my mind that I remembered my PIN from the pattern on the keys, not the numbers. I had to turn my head 180 degrees to get it right. You don't want to get your ATM card swallowed by a machine at midnight, wherever you are.

10. One of New Zealand's official languages: MAORI

11. Match: AGREE

12. Not lit: SOBER

15. Lustrous fabrics: SATINS

21. "Up and __!": AT 'EM. Not AWAY then! I got that wrong at first.

22. Appt. book blocks: HRS.

25. Two dry gallons: PECK. Ask Peter Piper. That's a lot of peppers to pick.

26. Irk: RILE

27. All aflutter: AGOG

28. Spider-Man co-creator Lee: STAN. With Artist-Writer Steve Ditko. Stan passed just a year ago, he had a remarkable career and legacy in the comic book world. If you come across the original comic book in great condition, you're looking at around $18,000.

30. Follow: OBEY

31. Cultural funding org.: N.E.A.

32. Pioneering DVR: TIVO

33. Pastry bag user: ICER. No, sorry. Why should a member of the Institute of Clinical and Economic Review need a pastry bag? Time to retire this fill.

34. Coltrane collaborator: MONK. John's jazz pianist chum Thelonious.

37. Phrase in cosmetic dentistry marketing: NEW SMILE

39. Take exception: OBJECT

40. Mazola product: CORN OIL

41. __ City: Baghdad suburb: SADR

42. Remain in place: STAY PUT

43. End of the rainbow mnemonic: BIV. Another fill for the dustbin. Really? Take three random letters and call them a word. Terrible. Take any three of ROYGBIV to suit your needs and off you go.

45. Run for the first time: DEBUT

46. Dushku of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer": ELIZA. Thank you, crosses. Fortunately I didn't need to even look at this one, it was already filled in for me.

47. Take hold gradually: SET IN

48. Inelegant laugh: SNORT

49. Shrek and Fiona: OGRES

51. Fish tank growth: ALGA

52. One of Italy's trio of active volcanoes: ETNA

53. Linguist Chomsky: NOAM

57. Mario Bros. console: N.E.S. All Together Now "Nintendo Entertainment System".

Well, swiftly to the conclusion and a Happy Thanksgiving to all. Here's the grid, and I'll see you at the leftovers.


Nov 27, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019, Bruce Venzke and Gail Grabowski

 Theme: LUCK OUT

20. First, Lucky plays the lottery and buys the __: WINNING TICKET.

25. Then, Lucky goes to court and is awarded a __: HUGE SETTLEMENT.

47. Finally, Lucky joins March Madness and fills out a __: PERFECT BRACKET.

52. What Lucky got, literally and figuratively, when his alarm clock put an end to a very pleasant dream: RUDE AWAKENING.

Melissa here. Interesting looking grid, and a clever theme, the way it took a turn at the end there. To be honest, I wasn't paying enough attention to the clues at first, just the answers, trying to figure out how they all related. As soon as I slowed down and read the clues it was obvious. I think we've all had those RUDE AWAKENINGS on occasion. On the other hand, waking up from a bad dream can be a real relief.


1. Roster entry: NAME. Bueller?

5. Opens, as a car hood: POPS.

9. Letter-shaped opening: T-SLOT.

14. Foundry by-product: SLAG. Glass-like by-product left over after a desired metal has been separated from its raw ore.

15. Army outfit: UNIT.

16. __ squash: ACORN. Great for the Thanksgiving table. I like it this way. ➡

17. Long tooth: FANG.

18. Will of "The Waltons": GEER. Call me a DWEEB or a NERD, but I've been watching the entire series on Amazon Prime. Geer's portrayal of Zebulon Walton was perfect. He combined his passion for acting and plants by forming a most unusual repertory theater situated in rustic Topanga Canyon in California's San Fernando Valley. He named it "Theatricum Botanicum."

19. Vinaigrette holder: CRUET.

23. "Price negotiable," in ads: OBO. Or best offer.

24. Soft drink choice: COLA.

32. Put up, as preserves: CAN.

33. "Winter Song" musician John: TESH. Couldn't find that one on Youtube, but I'm partial to early Lightfoot anyway.

34. Post-quake rumbling: TREMOR.

35. Bear up?: URSA. Nice clue.

37. Pride youngster: CUB. Anyone see the new live action Lion King? The $20 price on Prime was worth it just for the extra features. I think it's going to Disney+, if it hasn't already.

39. "That's that!": DONE.

40. Tennis great Graf: STEFFI. Married to another tennis great, Andre Agassi.

43. Goya subject: MAJA. Francisco de Goya painted the Maja both clothed and unclothed. The word maja is the feminine form of majo, a low class Spaniard of the 18th and 19th century. The model is identifiable as a maja by her costume, but her identity is not known; it has been suggested that she looks like Godoy's mistress Pepita Tudó.

46. Second-largest U.S. state: TEX. Largest four in order: Alaska, Texas, California, Montana.

50. Lascivious look: LEER.

51. Letter after phi: CHI.

58. Geeky type: DWEEB. Guilty.

60. Unresponsive state: COMA.

61. Like a cloudy London day: GREY.

62. "Laughing" critter: HYENA. Speaking of Lion King.

63. Pre-event periods: EVES. We have a few coming up 🦃🎄🎉

64. Old-time teacher: MARM.

65. Giant opening?: SOFT G.

66. Rooms with TVs: DENS.

67. Fades to black: ENDS.


1. "Careful where you open this link" shorthand: NSFW. Not Safe For Work. Also, POS for Parent Over Shoulder, to warn the sender before sending.

2. Jai __: ALAI.

3. Grammy winner Aimee: MANN.

4. Yuletide mugful: EGGNOG.

5. Doglike facial feature: PUG NOSE.

6. Universal donor's type, briefly: O NEG. Red blood cells from O- donors can be transfused to anyone, regardless of the person’s blood type. Only 7% of the population has O- blood.

7. Artist Mondrian: PIET. See some of his abstract art here.

8. Not at all lenient: STRICT.

9. Touchdown preventer, often: TACKLER. Oof.

10. Reacted to a scare: SCREAMED

11. Ill-mannered type: LOUT.

12. Tramcar filler: ORE.

13. Source of blowups: TNT.

21. "Fat chance": I BET.

22. Future stallion: COLT.

25. "Tennessee's Partner" story writer: HARTE. Short story first published in the Overland Monthly in 1869, which has been described as "one of the earliest 'buddy' stories in American fiction."

26. Racing family name: UNSER.

27. PC abort key: ESC.

28. Rule of __: THUMB.

29. Put on quite an act: EMOTE.

30. Large chamber group: NONET. Musical composition for nine voices or instruments.

31. Monopoly token since Mar., 2017: T-REX

32. Transition point: CUSP.

36. Rolling in dough: AFFLUENT.

38. MacLaren's on "How I Met Your Mother," e.g.: BAR.

41. Holder of oats: FEEDBAG.

42. Drink with a polar bear mascot: ICEE.

44. Jenny's mate: JACKASS. A jenny is a female donkey.

45. Post-CrossFit woe: ACHE.

48. Tracked down: TRACED.

49. Checkers cry: KING ME.

52. Atoll barrier: REEF.

53. Zigzagged: WOVE.

54. "When you're right, you're right!": AMEN. So be it.

55. Caspian Sea land: IRAN.

56. Geeky type: NERD. A few of us here.

57. Places with elliptical trainers: GYMS.

58. Dept. that includes the TSA: DHS. The Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that has authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States.

59. Old Faithful's st.: WYO.