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


Dec 31, 2019

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

I Triple Dog Dare Ya.  Each of the theme answers begins with a triple letter.

18-Across. Remote control insert: AAA BATTERY.

26-Across. Grievance filed with a consumer protection org.: BBB COMPLAINT.  Better Business Bureau.

49-Across. Spec for a large loafer: EEE SHOE-WIDTH.

63-Across. Firefox or Chrome: WWW BROWSER.  World Wide Web.

1. "In Her Shoes" actress Cameron: DIAZ.  Cameron Diaz (née Cameron Michelle Diaz; b. Aug. 30, 1972) is an American actress who began her career as a model.  In Her Shoes was a 2005 movie about a irresponsible party girl (Diaz) who is mistaken for her sister who is an attorney and nearly unrails her sister's career.

5. "__ Flanders": Defoe novel: MOLL.  Moll Flanders is a 1722 novel by Daniel Defoe (1660 ~ 1731) of Robinson Crusoe fame.  Moll Flanders is supposedly based on the life of Moll King, a strong-willed criminal.  Probably not on my "to-be-read" list of books.

9. Dethrones: OUSTS.

14. With the bow, to a violist: ARCO.  The perps gave me this answer.

15. Furniture giant: IKEA.  This furniture company was founded by Ingvar Kamprad (né Feodor Ingvar Kamprad; Mar. 30, 1926 ~ Jan. 27, 2018).  I visited the Ikea store in Houston once.  It's huge.  Didn't buy anything, though.

16. Still standing, as a bowling pin: UNHIT.

17. Like worn tires: BALD.  //  And 12-Down. Corvette quartet: TIRES.  A bit of a duplication here.

20. Like waterlogged sneakers: SQUISHY.

22. "Love It or List It" option: REMODEL.  Apparently Love It or List It is a Canadian home design television show.  I am not familiar with this show, so the answer revealed itself through the perps.

23. Pie __ mode: À LA.   Pie à la mode.  Yummers!

24. Inoculation fluids: SERA.

25. Chicago-to-Indianapolis dir.: SSE.  As in South SouthEast.

31. Source of iron: ORE.

32. Palindromic supermodel: EMME.  My first thought was Elle Macpherson, an Australian model.  The correct answer, however, was Emme (née Melissa Owens Miller; b. June 30, 1963).  She is considered a Plus-Size model, meaning, she's built more like people we all known and love.

33. Sevilla's country: ESPAÑA.  Today's Spanish lesson.

37. Has a bug: AILS.

39. Tally: SUM.  I initially tried Add.

41. Brawl souvenir: SCAR.

42. Come back: RETURN.

45. Lemonlike: TART.  Is this a CSO to our Lemonade?  I wouldn't say he is tart, though.

48. PC "oops" key: ESC.  As in the Escape key.

52. Mover's transport: VAN.  I guess they aren't good at counting.  It looks like more than 2 men to me.

55. Brewpub lineup: TAPS.

56. Wrestler's goal: PIN.

57. The tiniest bit: ONE IOTA.

59. As you like it, foodwise: TO TASTE.

65. Renegade on the road: JEEP.

66. Suffer defeat: EAT IT.

67. First in line: NEXT.

68. Fronton game word: ALAI.  A Fronton is the walled court used in playing Jai Alai.  We often see Jai Alai in the puzzles, but Fronton doesn't appear as often.

69. Smeltery refuse: DROSS.

70. Pre-coll. exams: SATs.  These tests, given to High School students, were originally called Scholastic Aptitude Tests.  They were later renamed the Scholastic Assessment Tests, now are simply called SATs.

71. Latin Grammy winner Anthony: MARC.  Marc Anthony (né Marco Antonio Muñiz; b. Sept. 16, 1968) is probably best known for being one of the husbands of Jennifer Lopez.

1. Applies gently: DABS.

2. Saudi Arabia neighbor: IRAQ.  Saudia Arabia has many neighbors.  Two even have the requisite number of letters to fit this clue.

3. Rights org. since 1920: ACLU.  As in the American Civil Liberties Union.  Next month the ACLU will celebrate its 100 anniversary.  It was founded on January 19, 1920.

4. Astrological sign system: ZODIAC.

5. Soccer great who co-founded Athletes for Hope: MIA HAMM.  Mia Hamm (née Mariel Margaret Hamm; b. Mar. 17, 1972) is a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

6. "Works for me": OKAY.

7. "Orange Is the New Black" actress DeLaria: LEA.  I have never seen Orange is the New Black, nor have I heard of Lea DeLaria (b. May 23, 1958), an actress and comedian.  Orange is the New Black is about female prisoners.  It is based on the memoir of the same name by Piper Kerman, which describes her experiences in her year spent in a federal prison for money laundering.  Apparently, the prisoners don't always wear orange on the show.

8. Tar pits locale: LA BREA.  All together, now:  La Brea Tar Pit is redundant.

9. Overwhelms by sheer numbers: OUT-MANS.

10. Golden rule preposition: UNTO.  Do unto others ...

11. Storage structures: SHEDS.  I initially tried Silos.  Poor Sheryl's She-Shed is afire.

13. Fashion sense: STYLE.

19. High-altitude home: AERIE.  I learned this word from doing the crossword puzzles.  It used to appear very frequently for the puzzles.

21. __ gin fizz: SLOE.  Everything you wanted to know about Sloe Gin, including a recipe.

24. Holmes and Poirot: SLEUTHS.  The former is Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the latter is Hercule Poirot created by Dame Agatha Christie.

26. Animal that sounds dull: BOAR.  They can be very destructive.

27. Puff pastry cheese: BRIE.  Brie in a puff pastry makes a great appetizer.

28. Karate skill award: BELT.  The colors of the Karate Belt explained.

29. Some govt. heads: PMs.  As in Prime Ministers.

30. Adorns with Charmin, for short: TPs.  Toilet Papering someone's house is a big prank for some high school kids.

34. Scored 100 on: ACED.

35. Tweed's caricaturist: NAST.  As in Thomas Nast (Sept. 27, 1940 ~ Dec. 7, 1902).  Although he was born in Germany, Thomas Nast is considered the Father of the American Cartoon.  He created many political cartoons, especially of Boss Tweed during the 1870s.  It is appropriate to see him to day because he is also credited with creating the modern version of Santa Claus.
Santa is on the Right.

36. Gothic window feature: ARCH.

38. Go after in court: SUE.

40. Chinese leader who hosted Nixon: MAO.  Nixon in China is a modern opera inspired by President Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China when he met with Chairman Mao.

43. Quick comebacks: RETORTS.  Am not!  Are too!

44. "How cool!": NEAT-O.

46. School assignments: REPORTS.

47. Annoying sort: TWIT.

50. Gives rise to: SPAWNS.

51. Up the creek: IN A JAM.

52. Made a solemn promise: VOWED.

53. Sadat of Egypt: ANWAR.  Anwar Sadat (né Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat; Dec. 25, 1918 ~ Oct. 6, 1981) was the 3rd President of Egypt.  He served as President from October 1970 until his assassination 11 years later.  In 1973, he led Egypt into the Yom Kippur War against Israel.  A few years later, he became the first Arab leader to visit Israel and worked for peace between the two countries.  In 1978, he and Menachem Began shared the Nobel Peace Prize.  Sadly, he was assassinated from within his army at age 62.

54. Not familiar with: NEW TO.

58. Sacred wading bird of ancient Egypt: IBIS.

59. Thumb-typist's message: TEXT.

60. Ward of "CSI: NY": SELA.  Sela Ward (née Sela Ann Ward; b. July 11, 1956) also appeared for one season on the current FBI.

61. Rip: TEAR.

62. Sweeping story: EPIC.

64. Briny expanse: SEA.

Here's the Grid:

I wish each and every one of you a very Happy 2020!

QOD:  Every age gets the lunatics it deserves.  ~  Roy Porter (né Roy Sydney Porter; Dec. 31, 1946 ~ Mar. 3, 2002), British medical historian

Dec 30, 2019

Monday Decemer 30, 2019 Matthew Stock

Theme: HANG IN THERE (62. "Don't give up yet!" ... or a hint to the answers to starred clues) - HANG is hidden in each theme entry.

17. *Baseball batting statistic measured in degrees: LAUNCH ANGLE.

28. *Common food thickening agent: XANTHAN GUM.

50. *High-ranking heavenly beings: ARCHANGELS.

Boomer here. C.C. said this might be another puzzle debut. Congrats, Matthew!

Greetings everyone. I am HANGing in there. We had a great Christmas. We celebrated with my son and his wife. I prepared a a ham which might have been too large. Now I am having ham for lunch probably into 2020 and beyond.

Keeping an eye out for the Gophers in a January 1 bowl for the first time since I started shaving, and also watching the Gopher basketball team that plays in a stadium that was opened in 1928.  Happy New Year and Happy new decade to all!!


1. Beloved British princess: DIANA.  I still remember the day of the shocking tragedy.

6. Clothing designer Perry: ELLIS.  Coincidence - ELLIS is my aunt Gerry's maiden name.

11. Lakers rivals, on NBA scoreboards: LAC.  Los Angeles Clippers. I am old enough to remember George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers.

14. Improvise: AD LIB.  Yeah, I know I do a lot of this on the blog.  C.C. lets me.

15. Coolness under pressure: POISE.

16. Every bit (of): ALL.  Ultra free clear liquid soap.  9.99 per gallon at Target.

19. In addition: TOO.

20. Arizona city or landform: MESA.  We had a bit of rain, sleet, and snow over the weekend.  I wonder how things were in MESA.

21. Cucumbers used as pickles: GHERKINS.  I think someone made this word up because they couldn't spell or say cucumber.

23. Peyton's quarterback brother: ELI.  Word is that Eli may retire after this season.  I wonder what insurance company he will be touting next year.

25. Cooking need: HEAT.  Miami's NBA team.  I guess Florida does not get Minnesota weather either.

27. 10-Down may have a sixth one: SENSE. 10. See 27-Across: SEERS.

32. Beet or ginger: ROOT.  "Root, Root, Root for the home team, if they don't win it's a shame".

33. Accustom (to), as hardship: INURE.

34. Best songs countdown list: TOP TEN.  I think the Gophers Rowed the boat into the Top Ten for a week or two this season before running into Wisconsin.

36. Soy sauce often gluten-free: TAMARI. Left one.

38. Actress __ Brie of "Mad Men": ALISON.  Sneak one more "L" into name and it reminds me of Minnesota Twin great Bob Allison.

42. Inlaid artwork: MOSAIC.

46. Emcee's opening: INTRO.

47. Crescent point: CUSP.

52. Dad's brother: UNCLE.  "I ain't down"  HOLLER UNCLE !  "I ain't down.

54. Appear to be: SEEM.  "SEEMS like old times ''...

55. Corned beef on __: RYE.  Add some Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. Reuben. 

56. Fragrant climbing plant: SWEET PEA.  Popeye's young friend.

58. Make, as money: EARN.

61. Altoids container: TIN.  German Shepherd RIN TIN 's surname.

66. Number of U.S. states with three-word capitals: ONE.  I'm going with Salt Lake City.

67. Fibber's admission: I LIED.

68. Fable writer: AESOP.  Odd name.  I know of no one named AESOP.

69. Rx writers: MDS.

70. In the ballpark: CLOSE.

71. Calendar entries: DATES.  Teens go out on them, older folks have them for dessert.


1. Indian lentil dish: DAL.

2. Boise's st.: IDA.  "Sweet as apple Ciida"

3. Foil metal: ALUMINUM.  I use it all the time.  It's incredible how they can make a metal into a sheet for baking.

4. Yellow-striped pool ball: NINE.  I remember when they used to refer to a baseball team as NINE.  Now it only works in the National League.

5. Basics: ABCS.

6. MPG-testing org.: EPA.

7. In olden times: LONG AGO.  "A long, long time ago, I can still remember how the music used to make me smile".  (Don McLean - American Pie - RIP Buddy Holly)

8. Start to shine: LIGHT UP.  "You Light up my Life".  Debby Boone

9. Capri or Wight: ISLE.

11. Guy watching Telemundo, probably: LATINO.

12. Pete of the N.Y. Mets who broke Aaron Judge's rookie record for home runs in 2019: ALONSO.  Polar Bear #20.

13. Room for a broom: CLOSET.  We have three closets in our home. We keep the brooms in the garage.

18. "Verrrry funny": HA HA.  Very Funny Name.  Ha Ha Clinton Dix started with the Green Bay Packers in the NFL.  I think he is with Chicago now.

22. Letterspacing technique, in typography: KERNING.

23. Highway off-ramp: EXIT.  Bad accident in Texas fog Saturday.  A semi truck was forced to exit to the right shoulder and rolled his trailer onto a pick up truck.  What could he do?... Another driver changed lanes right in front of the semi and forced him off the road.   

24. Singer Del Rey: LANA.

26. Tolkien creature: ENT.

29. Stomp all over: TRAMPLE.  "We've trampled the woods in the forest, and raided the pirates at sea.  We have no indenture, we're out for adventure as anyone plainly can see...(One of my high school solos in the Glee Club.)

30. Protagonist: HERO.  A big sandwich.

31. L.A. commuter org.: MTA.  "Well let me tell you the story of a man named Charlie on a tragic and fateful day.  He put ten cents in his pocket, kissed his wife and family, went to ride on the MTA".  (The Kingston Trio and another one of my High school Glee Club solos.)

35. Tiger's ex-wife: ELIN. I heard that Tiger's ex-girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn, from Minnesota, is engaged - not to Tiger.

37. "Love __ Battlefield": Pat Benatar hit: IS A.

39. Most harsh: STERNEST.  I though it was the farthest seat on the back of the boat.

40. Paris airport: ORLY.

41. Smell detector: NOSE.  This would be a seat farthest in front of the boat.

43. Hall of talk TV: ARSENIO.

44. Frozen periods: ICE AGES.  From October to April in Minnesota.

45. Guerrilla Guevara: CHE.

47. Made-to-order: CUSTOM.  I have my bowling balls drilled to order, but my golf clubs are "off the rack".

48. Chillax: UNWIND.  If you UNWIND a Yo Yo it won't work.

49. Movie takes: SCENES.  "Well a Scene! I want to make a scene!" (Chad Mitchell Trio - The Hip Song).

51. Congregation response: AMEN.  So Be It.

53. Moral standard: ETHIC.

57. Gloomy aura: PALL.

59. Somewhat: A TAD.

60. Flightless South American bird: RHEA.  Rhea Perlman was CARLA, a bar waitress at "Cheers" for about ten years. 

63. Suffix with fluor-: IDE.

64. __ v. Wade: ROE.  Amazing how some Supreme Court decisions last forever, but most of them we seldom even hear about.

65. Short albums, for short: EPS.  I remember albums were about 14 inches in diameter and we played them on a 33 1/2 RPM turntable.


Dec 29, 2019

Sunday December 29, 2019 Gary Larson

Theme:  "Electronic Games" - E is added to the start of each familiar phrase.

22. Unlikely getaway car alternative?: ESCAPE GOAT. Scapegoat.

24. Time left in an online auction?: EBAY WINDOW. Bay window. ORIEL.
36. Civil rights legislation?: EQUALITY CONTROL. Quality control.

52. Serengeti stampede?: ELAND RUSH. Land Rush.

67. Three-hanky films?: EMOTION PICTURES. Motion pictures.

83. Bong for special occasions?: EVENT PIPE. Vent pipe.

97. Big place to fool around in?: ESTATE OF AFFAIRS. State of affairs.

112. Eve?: EDEN MOTHER. Den mother.

115. Midnight sail?: EBON VOYAGE. Bon voyage.

It'd be cool if every theme entry is indeed a game. We've seen an E adding to the end with "E-tail" as a title.

Bold upper left/lower right design from Gary. Hard to pull off cleanly.


1. Immense: WHOPPING.

9. Spurred (on): EGGED.

14. Starts of many names: CAPS. Capital letters, right?

18. Procedure enforced locally: HOUSE RULE. Great fill.

20. Magician's cry: VOILA.

21. Certain something: AURA.

26. Utmost degree: NTH.

27. River-to-sea connection: ESTUARY.

29. Policy that includes higher menu prices: NO TIPS. Tipping is not a common practice in China and Japan.

30. Stitches: DARNS.

33. Meadow mom: DOE. EWE too.

34. Zest: GUSTO.

41. Many a Middle East native: ARAB.

44. Craved: LUSTED.

45. Bowling ball material: URETHANE. TTP and Boomer can tell you more.

47. Hood's weapon: GAT.

49. Where to get down: EIDER.

50. World view, perhaps: MAP.

55. Multidisciplinary strength-training program: CROSSFIT.

57. Guitarist Paul: LES.

60. Tell a thing or two: EDUCATE.

61. B'way need: TKT.

62. Under pressure: ON THE SPOT.

66. "The Plough and the Stars" playwright: O'CASEY.

70. Red choice: CLARET.

73. Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, e.g.: CO-ANCHORS. Hoda's name is very grid-friendly.

74. Single circuit: LAP.

77. Supremely spooky: EERIEST.

79. Bit of legal advice: SUE.

80. Promise that one will: PLEDGE TO.

86. Beast of burden: ASS.

87. Shower: AIRER.

88. Certain house mem.: SEN.

89. Emmy-winning creator of "Six Feet Under": ALAN BALL. Wiki says he also created "True Blood".

93. Solvent: AFLOAT.

94. Thames academy: ETON.

100. "Take Me Home, Country __": John Denver hit: ROADS.

102. Simple sack: COT.

103. Court figs.: ATTYS.

104. Take the heat off?: DISARM.

107. Early Yankee nickname: BAMBINO. Boomer told me he was enjoying "Babe". I said "The pig?". "What pig?". Turns out he was watching "The Babe".

109. "Rhoda" production co.: MTM.

119. Auto race signal: FLAG.

120. Pried (into): NOSED.

121. Glues: MUCILAGES. New word to me.

122. Daly of "Judging Amy": TYNE.

123. "The Teflon Don": GOTTI.

124. Climbing plant features: TENDRILS.


1. Word spoken during pouring: WHEN.

2. Throng: HOST.

3. Bad pun response: OUCH.

4. Ad about being green, briefly: PSA.

5. Zip: PEP.

6. Wrath: IRE.

7. "Cat Scratch Fever" musician: NUGENT (Ted). Not familiar with the song.

8. Shiny print: GLOSSY.

9. Boston suburb: EVERETT. What's it famous for?

10. Elapse: GO BY.

11. Supermodel Carangi: GIA.

12. Nevada copper town: ELY. Also new to me.

13. "The light __!": DAWNS.

14. Synagogue singer: CANTOR.

15. Quattro maker: AUDI.

16. Support, with "up": PROP.

17. Words of wisdom: SAWS.

19. Down: EAT.

23. 16th-century English architectural style: TUDOR.

25. Whit: IOTA.

28. Top of the line: A ONE.

30. Takes out: DATES.

31. A and O, but not E, I or U: ALERS. American Leaguers. A's and O's. We also have 40. MLB scoreboard letters: RHE. Runs, Hits, Errors.

32. Relieve (of): RID.

34. Soccer game highlight: GOAL.

35. Long bones: ULNAE.

36. Campaign sign word: ELECT.

37. Idiosyncrasy: QUIRK.

38. FAA overseer: USDOT. US Department of Transportation.

39. Stanley of the NHL?: CUP.

42. Mexican waters: AGUAS.

43. Sew with temporary stitches: BASTE.

46. Sign on the back: ENDORSE.

48. Nonbinary gender pronoun: THEY.

50. Perfect, as a collectible coin: MINT.

51. Web site: ATTIC.

53. Il __: Mussolini: DUCE.

54. Some appliances: RCAS.

56. Place to soothe the sole?: FOOT SPA. Very popular in China.

57. Horne and Dunham: LENAS.

58. "College Football Live" channel: ESPNU.

59. Item on a rack: SPICE.

63. Sob syllable: HOO.

64. Scot's "Crikey!": OCH.

65. Features of some 'Vettes: T-TOPS.

67. 2000 title role for Julia: ERIN.

68. Happen upon: MEET.

69. Results of Googling: URLS.

70. Cuckoo clock quartet: CEES.Cuckoo clock.

71. Bank construction: LEVEE.

72. Ain't like it oughta be?: AREN'T.

74. "Vive __!": LE ROI.

75. "I did not think to shed __": "Henry VIII": A TEAR.

76. Freighters' destinations: PORTS.

78. Like some floors: TILED.

81. "Portrayer" of Duck Dodgers: DAFFY. Read more here. First time I heard of  Duck Dodgers.

82. Southwestern lizards: GILAS.

84. Screen or bomb: PASS.

85. Rhinitis-treating MD: ENT.

86. South American greeting: ALO. Have yet to see NI HAO in a LAT puzzle.

90. Owner of Grey Goose and Dewar's: BACARDI.

91. Speck: ATOM.

92. Leave alone: LET BE.

93. Time in a personal ad: AFT. Afternoon.

95. Anaheim's county: ORANGE.

96. Result that's expected: NORM.

98. Spread apart, as police during a search: FAN OUT.

99. Hospital stat?: AT ONCE.

101. Surrounded by: AMONG.

104. Slick: DEFT.

105. Without serious thought: IDLY.

106. Penn name: SEAN. Sean Penn.

107. Root often pickled: BEET. So good. I have a weakness for pickled food. 

108. Tech giant based in Armonk, N.Y.: IBM.

109. Star followers: MAGI.

110. Neutrogena shampoo brand: T GEL. Many YouTubers have raved about this shampoo.

111. Jumble: MESS.

113. Excessively: TOO.

114. V-J Day president: HST.

116. Beaujolais, par exemple: VIN.

117. From the past, as a story: OLD.

118. Pirate's cry: YAR.