, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Sunday December 8, 2019 Paul Coulter


Dec 8, 2019

Sunday December 8, 2019 Paul Coulter

Theme:  "Pet Sitting" - CAT is placed on top of its usual spots.


19. Beats it: SCATS.

23. On easy street: IN THE LAP OF LUXURY.

32. Curtail: TRUNCATE.

40. Sedentary sort: COUCH POTATO.

51. Battery terminal: CATHODE.

55. Orchestra section leader: FIRST CHAIR.

77. Lively musical piece: TOCCATA.

84. Chart with branches: FAMILY TREE.

92. Pinpoint: LOCATE.

 97. Track foundation: RAILROAD BED.

113. Excoriate: SCATHE. Only familiar with "scathing".

115. Opposite of commends: CALLS ON THE CARPET.

114. One of six hidden in this puzzle, each sitting on an apt location: CAT.

Cute, right? All the CATs are fully embedded in another words. The place where each cat sits is a discrete word in a longer phrase.


1. Medical chart entry: AGE.

4. Author Janowitz: TAMA. One of the literary "brat pack".

8. Green eggs and ham promoter: SAM I AM.

14. USPS deliveries: LTRS.

18. Brown of jazz: LES.

21. Thorny shrub: ACACIA. Never saw one in person. Very pretty.

22. "That's not good": OH OH.

26. Beer buy: CASE.

27. Hall of Famers: GREATS. My all-time favorite. 

28. Put away: ATE.

29. Knife holder: SHEATH.

31. Demands: NEEDS.

37. "__ fair ... ": ALL'S.

38. My Chemical Romance 2-Down: EMO. 2. Category: GENRE.

44. They pick up things: SENSORS. Nice clue.

48. Mailed: SENT TO.

49. Get ready to eat?: RIPEN.

50. Muffin topping: OLEO.

53. Assure: PROMISE.

57. Response in court: PLEA.

59. Blues singer James: ETTA.

60. Tiny lab subjects: AMOEBAS.

61.  competitor: REO. Never heard of Maxwell automobile. Read more here. We also have 89. Former Fords: LTDS.

63. "If it's handcrafted, ... it's on __": ETSY. I've been eyeing a disc necklace there for a few months.

64. Designing initials: YSL.

65. Airline to Stockholm: SAS.

66. Most Dresden residents: GERMANS.

68. H.S. class: BIO.

71. Medical suffix: OMA. .And 74. Anatomical canal: ITER. We also had 93. Harem room: ODA.

76. Its "B" is sometimes turkey: BLT.

81. 1993 Literature Nobelist Morrison: TONI.

83. Brings home: NETS.

86. Chaotic but appealing person: HOT MESS. I learned this phrase from an article about Britney Spears ages ago.

88. Powerless motion?: GLIDING. Another great clue.

90. Boosts, e.g.: AIDS.

91. Sneak off to Vegas, maybe: ELOPE.

95. Part of a Shakespearean soothsayer's warning: THE IDES. Of March.

99. Parenthesis, essentially: ARC.

100. Film __: NOIR.

101. To begin with: AS A START.

105. Bridge positions: EASTS.

110. Repair, as sewn-together edges: RE-SEAM.

112. A in French: UNE.

114. Queens' __ Field: CITI.

121. Choir voice: ALTO.

122. Conservative foe, in the U.K.: LABOUR. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, etc.

123. Suddenly paid attention: SAT UP.

124. "Yo te __": AMO.

125. Stereotypical angst sufferer: TEEN.

126. Wears slowly: ERODES.

127. High-tech workers: BOTS.

128. Gymnast's goal: TEN. Who's your favorite gymnast?


1. Adjust, as car wheels: ALIGN.

3. Cosmetician Lauder: ESTEE.

4. African menaces: TSETSES.

5. Orthopedic surgery targets, initially: ACLS.

6. Kid's cry: MAA. Farm kids.

7. For face value: AT PAR.

8. Longtime "The Avengers" comics artist Buscema: SAL. Learning moment for me.

9. Pressure lead-in: ACU.

10. Nth degree: MAX.

11. Post-OR area: ICU.

12. Affectations: AIRS.

13. Perchance, old-style: MAYHAP. Not familiar to me.

14. Hour in a pilot's announcement: LOCAL TIME.

15. Response to sad news: THAT'S A PITY. Very nice parallel long entries

16. Hebrew for "head": ROSH.

17. "__ Loves You": Beatles hit: SHE.

20. Annual Jan. speech, in Twitter hashtags: SOTU. State of the Union.

24. Ate: HAD.

25. Bog: FEN.

30. Ecuadoran gold region: EL ORO.

32. Holy scrolls: TORAHS.

33. Emailed a dupe to: CC'ED.

34. Bang-up: A-ONE.

35. "For shame!": TUT.

36. Outer: Pref.: ECT.

39. Deerskin attire: MOCCASINS.

41. Aspirations: HOPES.

42. Proficiency determiners: TESTS.

43. 1992-'93 NBA Rookie of the Year: O'NEAL. Shaq.

44. Slight, as a chance: SLIM.

45. Architect Saarinen: EERO.

46. Attendance count: NOSES.

47. Penn, e.g.: Abbr.: STA.

48. Aching to a larger degree: SORER.

50. Birds-feather link: OF A.

52. Staff builders: HIRERS.

54. Dancer who played a scarecrow: RAY BOLGER. "The Wizard of Oz".

56. Not yet on the sched.: TBA.

57. Quintet: PENTAD. 70. Group of eight: OCTAD.

58. Capt.'s inferiors: LTS.

62. Fed. fiscal agency: OMB. Office of Management and Budget.

66. Acquire: GET.

67. 1966 Michael Caine title role: ALFIE.

69. Aloof: ICY.

71. Wise start?: OTHER. Otherwise.

72. Loot: MOOLA.

73. 2006 Dunst title role: ANTOINETTE.

75. Big name in electric cars: TESLA.

77. Soldier's helmet: TIN HAT.

78. R&B vocalist India.__: ARIE.

79. "Bill & __ Excellent Adventure": TED'S.

80. '50s political initials: AES. Adlai Ewing Stevenson.

82. Self-destruction: IMPLOSION.

85. Charles River sch.: MIT.

87. Like TV's "Supernatural," e.g.: EERIE.

88. Mother of the Titans: GAEA.

94. "60 Minutes" network: CBS.

96. Antarctic features: ICECAPS.

98. Expert in futures?: ORACLE.

102. 252 wine gallons: TUN.

103. Unwanted workers: ANTS.

104. Detox program: REHAB.

106. Berne's river: AAR.

107. Fifth-century bishop in Ireland, familiarly: ST PAT.

108. Most crosswords have one: THEME. Except those low-word count Saturdays.

109. Determined about: SETON.

110. Upset and then some: RILE.

111. Photographer Dora who had a relationship with Picasso: MAAR.

113. Cottontail's tail: SCUT.

116. Certain corp. takeover: LBO.

117. Airport near Tel Aviv: LOD.

118. Go after, in a way: SUE.

119. Surg. sites: ORS.

120. Ike's WWII arena: ETO.

Happy birthday to our cool Jazzbumpa (Ron), who's having a very busy month. He'll be back to guide us next month.



Paul C. said...

Thanks, C.C. (By the way, check out C.C.'s terrific grid in the Sunday Universal.) This one took six tries before it was good enough for Rich to run. Pretty tricky getting all the words containing CAT to be unrelated to actual cats, while also sitting atop likely places. Those places had to be in phrases using a non-literal sense of the word. The working title was "Purr-fect Places." But I have to admit, Rich's title is purr-fection. I'm actually a dog guy. Big dogs, in particular. They make great pets and I've had them all my life. My daughter Neena is the cat lover. When she was young, I tolerated them for Neena's sake. But there was one I liked a lot. Neena named it Sungold. When I read at night, I like to stretch out on the couch. Sungold would usually curl up on my feet. Which I appreciated, since they're always cold. As a tall person, my theory is the blood cools off before it travels all the way down my legs. My hands also get cold, so I imagine that's true about arms, too. Happy holidays to all you cat and dog people, which I imagine is most of you. The Corner-ites are all so nice, which I've found is true of pet lovers, too. But even if you're not, I hope you have a terrific holiday and New Year.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Well, mark me down for two in a row, DNFs that is. Figured that kid could be crying Baa or Maa, and guess who went with the B? Taba Janowitz sounded reasonable. Bzzzzzt! To make matters worse, d-o failed to correctly read the reveal clue. Again. I found all the sitting locations, but didn't notice the cat on top of it. D'oh! Not my finest hour by a long shot. Very clever, Paul. Thanx for the tour, C.C. I'm off to sulk now.

Happy birthday, JzB. Planning a big blow-out?

BobB said...

SW corner was last to fall so I never saw the theme. Otherwise a easy fill.

Kent Tekulve said...

When I logged onto the internet this morning, this article on Yahoo Sports was front and center. So when I was solving the puzzle, the "cobra" was still in my head.

Dave Parker's BIO will come out this week which will make a CASE for him to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame, as he is one of the GREATS, in my humble opinion. He NEEDS an abundance of votes SENT TO Cooperstown in order for this to happen. I PROMISE I will not be a HOT MESS if he is not selected, I will, however, think to myself, "THAT"S A PITY".

Anonymous said...

Really, really liked this puzzle. Very clever theme, and with a high degree of construction difficulty but very consistent, for the reasons Paul pointed out in his comment. Had never heard of SAL, SCUT or ELORO and didn't understand MAA at first, but they were all easily gettable with crosses. Great job, Paul!

A. Aajma said...

This is my favorite crossword of all time because it is CATegorically clever on multiple levels.

jfromvt said...

A nice Sunday puzzle, which I completed in my normal time. I couldn’t figure out why CAT was the reveal, but knew I was missing some nuance of the puzzle....duh. Very clever Paul!

My minor nit - ATE and OR (operating room) are used as both a clue and answer, which in my mind is a bit sloppy. I blame it more of an editing issue, not the constructor. Maybe I’m being too critical, and overall it’s really not a big deal.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIW, missing my wag at TAwA x wAA. Considered MAA, but thought surely no one is named TAMA.

My favorite was CATHODE for battery terminal. Who knew from working crosswords that batteries had two terminals? Next constructors will be telling us that Columbus had ships other than Nina, and that there are wind instruments other than oboes.

I used Maxwell audio and video tapes, but didn't know they once made cars.


Thanks to PC for the fun Sunday puzzle, yeah, yeah yeah. And thanks to CC for all you do.

Anonymous said...

Agree with jfromvt that ATE as the answer for 28A and the clue for 24D, and the similar situation for OR seem like they would have been easy to avoid, and detract from an otherwise stellar puzzle. Paul, did those just slip through from all the revisions?

Paul C. said...

Anonymous - There was actually a seventh revision, since Rich decided to change my circled cats to a CAT revealer. When there are minor infelicities like clues that use a word duping a grid entry, it's sometimes the constructor, and sometimes the editor.

Lucina said...


Happy birthday, Jazzbumpa! I hope someone will play the song for you today.

I saw the CAT entries but, of course, not where they were sitting. That's really clever, Paul, and thank you for elucidating us about your theme and process.

This took about regular Sunday time, just under an hour, and I chuckled in a few places and learned a bit, too. I did not know ROSH meant head in Hebrew, did not know ANTOINETTE was played by Kirsten Dunst, and had no idea about Dora MAAR and Picasso. All of those emerged with the surrounding perps some good guessing.

CSO to Canadian Eh with LABOUR.

Our FAMILY TREE is vast and growing all the time. My five month old great-grandson is the youngest addition.

TAMA was a pure guess after I had TA_A and MAA filled 6D.

Alas, I left a blank by not noticing the U was missing in TUN/UNE. THAT'S A PITY!

We had more rain last night and have almost reached our annual quota of seven inches. The desert will be ablaze this spring.

BTW, the ACACIA trees here have red blossoms.

109D, SETON, could also be Mother Elizabeth SETON who founded the Sisters of Charity and is the first American to be canonized a saint by the RC church.

Have a fantastic day, everyone!

Husker Gary said...

-I was going to make some SHAKSHUKA this morning but we had run out of eggs.
-Natick of an obscure author with a sheep or goat cry will not generate the nearly 70 comments we had yesterday
-As an owner (slave to) a CAT who can sit anywhere, I loved this theme!
-Many RAILROAD BEDS in Nebraska this past spring
-Bob Hope traveled with “LES Brown And His Band Of Renown”
-Allied bombers devastated DRESDEN in Feb. of 1945 and it had to be completely rebuilt
-Are you old enough to remember the group where Phyllis sang lead, Dottie sang first ALTO and Chris sang second ALTO
-My favorite gymnast made this incredibly courageous jump
-97-yr-old m-i-l broke her hip Thursday afternoon. The ORHTOPEDIC surgeon took 26 minutes to fix it on Friday and she was up on a walker Saturday morning!
-Thanks for the puzzle and the visit Paul
-Happy Birthday, Ron!

billocohoes said...

"MAYHAP a funeral among men is a wedding feast among Angels." - Kahlil Gibran

Maxwell was bought by Walter Chrysler in the 1920s and phased out. Comedian Jack Benny, in his cheapskate persona, drove a Maxwell decades it was out of production.

Big Easy said...

SAM I AM but no "CAT in the Hat" in a CAT puzzle? It's a DNF due to sloppy checking for this LSU Tiger fan. I had filled ADDS for "Boosts" and after guessing the correct spelling of TOCCATA I didn't change India.ARDE. My only question on this cat sitting puzzle was solved by C.C. The REO explanation.

I filled REO for the Maxwell competitor and left it because the perps were solid. That's the only reason. Had to fill the usual Sunday puzzle with perps on unknowns. TAMA, MAYHAP, MAAR, ANTOINETTE, SAL Buscema, HOT MESS, ROSH, GAEA, Bill & TED. I was hesitant to fill ORS for 119D since it was a clue in 11D- "Post OR area".

GEAUX TIGERS. We went to the LSU-Arkansas game two weeks ago and when the SHAQ walked out on the field the whole stadium stood up and roared. O'NEAL went over to the bench and made the LSU linemen look small.

Hungry Mother said...

Still smarting from having to turn on the red letters on yesterday’s monster, completed this morning, I relatively breezed through this one. On safari, I only encountered TSETSEs in Zambia, but that was enough. Despite our guides burning elephant dung and my spraying repellant all over, I got a bite behind my left earlobe.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I dare say that CED found this offering to be the Cat's Meow! I thoroughly enjoyed the theme and the solve, but like Lucina, I saw the perches but not the sitting cats, until the reveal. My perp patrol rounded up the usual proper name suspects: Sal, Rosh, El Oro, Antoinette, Maar, and Gaea. I liked the many duos: Pentad/Octad, Acu/ICU, Amo/EMO, Maa/Maar, Ltrs/Lts. And Tun/Tut. My w/os were minimal, though: Vacumns before Censors, Tami before Tama and Pkgs/Ctns before I realized the clue referred to the Post Office, not UPS, giving me Ltrs. I was struck by the numerous words ending in O: Alto, Amo, Oleo, Reo, EMO, LBO, ETO, Oro, Bio, Eero, Potato, and (Sent) To. CSO to CEh at Labour and Tin at Icy and Ice Caps, neither usage taboo, I don't think.

Thanks, Paul, for a delightful Sunday solve and for dropping by to "chat" with us and thanks, CC, for a breezy, informative summary. Gymnastics isn't a sport that I was really interested in but I always admired Mary Lou Retton, Olga Korbut, Nadia Comaneci, etc. and, of course, today's shining star is the much admired and multi-talented Simone Biles. My passion was the figure skating competitions, especially the Ladies and my all-time favorite was Peggy Fleming, followed by Dorothy Hamill. I don't follow it anymore, though, because too much emphasis is put on the raw athleticism and showy theatrical routines, plus unusually flamboyant costumes, IMO. The skater's beautiful interpretation of the music, the disciplined poise, and the seemingly effortless gracefulness have all gone by the wayside, again, IMO.

Happy Birthday, JazzB, hope it's darn-tootin' delightful! 🎂🎁🎈🎉🍾

Have a great day.

P.S. Can anyone find a word play Easter Egg is my comments?

Alice said...

With TESLA, LTD, and REO I began to think the theme might involve cars as well as CATS. While I DNF due to HOT MESS and MOOLA, this is a fun puzzle with a cute theme.

Clay said...

108D: NO, "most" crosswords do NOT have a theme. At least that's my experience after almost 45 years of daily crossword solving. "Many" would have been a more accurate clue.

Irish Miss said...

Sorry, "in my comments".

Misty said...

How nice of you to stop by, Paul. And, C.C. thanks always for your helpful Sunday commentary. I enjoyed this puzzle and too found the CAT theme cute, without getting the perches. I started out with AMOEBAS, and then GET helped me get GERMANS, who made sense as living in Dresden. EL ORO and HOPE helped me get COUCH POTATO and PROMISE, and so it went, slowly filling in a lot of the puzzle before I had to start cheating. Got TONI and ELOPE, which helped me get IMPLOSION, and was delighted when ANTOINETTE eventually emerged. And I didn't hesitate for a second before putting in the TSE-TSES for African menaces, since they show up pretty often in puzzles. Lots of Sunday morning fun, thanks again, Paul and C.C.

Lucina, I never would have remembered SETON Hill College, in Pennsylvania, where I had my freshman year. So, of course, I remember fondly our honoring Mother Seton, a lovely American saint.

Have a wonderful birthday, Jazzbuma. And have a great Sunday, everybody.

Picard said...

Very much enjoyed this puzzle even though I finished it wrong with TAbA/bAA which seemed just as good. I got all the locations: LAP, COUCH, etc. But totally missed the actual CATs on top of them! CC thanks for the full explanation!

Paul Coulter thank you for stopping by.

Hand up that yesterday was not a good puzzle day. I actually got all the "impossible" Naticks, but was done in by guessing USTA instead of USGA.

I am roused to post because Wilbur Charles called out to me yesterday regarding KHAN/Star Trek. I enjoyed when Star Trek had creative, visionary ideas. KHAN was just an angry, bitter character.

And roused also because of today's reference to that CHARLES RIVER SCH.

Here I found some of my MIT photos from my student days.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We were up in the San Francisco Bay Area with family and friends.

Here are a few photos of us mostly in Monterey and San Francisco

Still editing the rest of the videos and photos. Some interesting special events and exhibits along the way.

Paul C. said...

Picard - Thanks for posting your MIT pics. Brings back great memories. I was Class of '76. Funny, but I recognize one of the people in your Building 7 pic.

Wilbur Charles said...

I assume that's Harmon, he of the late homerun in the penultimate game in 1967 which was futile but put an asterisk on Yaz's triple crown.

FLN: my point is " Let the leagues decide the championship much like MLB and NFL did until 1970.

Picard, I guessed a Star Trek ref. might bring an appearance. I forgot you were MIT. Lots of great pics; I see it's getting chilly around San Fran.

I had the MAR/BAR snafu as well as not knowing my Dr Seuss. I should have known it couldn't be HAM I AM from the clue rules. I see Rich is getting careless about it but perhaps it's no longer important.

This was steady going with a search for CATS afterwards.


Lucina said...

Your pictures of Monterey and San Francisco bring some lovely memories and since my friend, Claire, moved from Carmel to San Rafael, it's unlikely I shall return to those parts. I'll miss that but she is better situated.

I made one more shopping trip today and have only one more person for whom to buy gifts and that will be on the 19th. Why a specific date you might ask? It's because I have $50 in Kohl's cash and that's when it's valid.

I also bought myself a birthday/Christmas gift of Pioneer Woman mixing bowls. I have been wishing for them and decided now was a good time. I already have several other pieces which I love, butter dish, salt/pepper shakers, salad plates and utensil holder. Some have been gifts and others I've gifted myself. I love her beautiful patterns! Can you tell?

I'm glad you have fond memories of your days at Seton College.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Paul Coulter, for fine puzzle. Thank you, C.C., for a fine review.

Got through most of the puzzle at a typical Sunday time. A few tough spots. MAAR was tough, but perps helped.

ALFIE needed some perps. Same for LOD. Perps. That must stand for something. Most airport letters do.

TEDS, perps needed. CATHODE was a piece of cake. Tried BCCD before CCED worked much better.

Tried EL ORO on a whim, and it worked. ROSH as a head. New to me.

Liked the theme. I knew it had to be CAT somewhere. So I looked hard and found them all.

See you tomorrow,


( )

Abejo said...

Why do I wind up having to verify myself each time now? Anyone know?


Jayce said...

I liked this puzzle okay. At times it was a bit of a slog, especially when dealing with 3-letter abbreviations and proper names that happen to be totally unknown by me. But other areas of the puzzle were a pleasure to solve. So, a mixed bag.

Happy birthday, Jazzbumpa! I think of you every time I hear the beginning of Sibelius's Finlandia.

By the way, Kent Tekulve is my favorite pitcher. Aly Raisman is right up there among my favorite gymnasts.

Irish Miss, would the word play Easter Egg in your comments have something to do with "darn-tootin'"?

Good wishes to you all.

Wilbur Charles said...

I believe the college is Seton Hall. It's near Newark- Oranges? Misty is that right. Or.. Or is it Seton Hill

Also. Remarkable that there were 60 odd comments on a Saturday xword.


PS. "Hall" is South Orange

Misty said...

Wilbur, there is a college called Seton Hall, but it's a different--and not a Catholic--school. There's often a lot of confusion between the two. Seton Hill is in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, if I remember it correctly, I think.

Irish Miss said...

Jayce @ 5:08 ~ No, although I can understand why you would think so. The one I'm referring to was accidental and I didn't even realize the word play until I was proofreading my post. Any Sherlock Holmes wannabes out there?

Misty @ 6:04 ~ Seton Hall is a Catholic school, located in S. Orange, NJ. Perhaps you're familiar with another similarly named school.

PK said...

Hi Y'all! Loved the CAT theme and found them all smug and purring atop the theme spots to my great delight. So clever, Paul, thanks for giving us a fun Sunday puzzle & for joining in the comments.

Can't believe so many regulars didn't get all the theme greatness. Brains got scrambled yesterday maybe? I had to study the situation a while to get it, but laughed aloud when I did. The puzzle today was a challenge and had some unknowns, but was fun somehow.

Thank you, C.C. for your great expo and the devotion to the Corner that you demonstrate.

Happy Birthday, JzB!

Yellowrocks said...

Redemption after yesterday's fail. I soon saw all the cats, but did not see their perches. Clever, Paul.FIR.
I had a German great aunt whose name was pronounced tay-mah. I have no idea how it was spelled. I have a friend of Finnish ancestry called Taimi, pronounced time-me.
I liked kid's cry, maa.
My talented college roommate played Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in D minor.
I attended a delightful square dance dinner party today. The chicken marsala was the best I ever tasted.I sat with eight good friends and knew most of the 75 people there.The caller and dancing were fun.
In the evening I attended a church Christmas party with other friends.
A very happy birthday, Jazz. I enjoy your posts.
I get more and more spam every day, supposedly sent by myself to me, bypassing my filter. Suggestions would be extremely welcome.

Wilbur Charles said...

Misty went to Seton Hill in PA. Seton Hall was an original member and still is in the Big East which are generally Catholic Colleges(St John's, Georgetown, Marquette).


Misty said...

Irish Miss and Wilbur, thanks for letting me know that Seton Hall is also a Catholic school. I didn't remember that.

CanadianEh! said...

Super Sunday. Thanks for the fun, Paul(glad you stopped by) and C.C.
Late to the party again. I had better success going DOWN and at the bottom, and thus saw CARPET under the BED, COUCH, CHAIR first. I thought we might be furnishing a house from the floor up. But then LAP and TREE did not fit. When CATS filled in, I went searching for them and smiled. I am a cat lover although I no longer have one in the house.

Officially a DNF because of my personal Natick of the O in REO and OMB (Canadian disadvantage?). OTOH I entered the U in LABOUR immediately and grinned as I imagined you all remembering the proper British/Canadian spelling!

I did notice the Ate clue/answer dupe but missed OR.

Irish Miss, re your Easter egg- is it "perp patrol"? My grandchildren love Paw Patrol, and although the characters are dogs, the Paw would apply to CATs. But that might be a stretch. Perhaps you were referring to "the numerous words ending in O"; then you proceeded to use CSO and taboo.

Happy Birthday JazzB
Good evening to you all.

Anonymous T said...

Sunday Lurk Say...

Just wanted to pop in and wish JzB a very happy birthday. Bummpa-Pa!

Cheers, -T