, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: March 2020


Mar 31, 2020

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 Kevin Christian and Bruce Haight

What are Little Girls Made of?   Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice.

16-Across. Sweetened, as something harsh to hear: SUGAR-COATED.

24-Across. Variety, idiomatically, with "the": SPICE OF LIFE.

38-Across. Loaded bakery item: EVERYTHING BAGEL.  Yummers!  My favorite kind of Bagel; especially good with cream cheese and lox.

47-Across. "Don't make any sudden moves": NICE AND EASY.

And the Unifier:

59-Across. What the starts of 16-, 24-, 38- and 47-Across make?: LITTLE GIRLS.

And, just so the boys don't feel left out:

1. Fords and Chevys: AUTOS.  Because Cars was too short.

6. Trick: FOOL.

10. Electric guitarist's need: AMP.  A crossword staple.

13. "When __ we three meet again": "Macbeth" opening line: SHALL.

14. Baseball card transaction: TRADE.

15. "You think I did it?!": MOI?  Here's workout video to do at home, since we can't go to the gym.  My trainer prepared several nice videos for me to do at home until the fitness center opens again.  Her video is a bit more strenous than Miss Piggy's.

18. Had a bite: ATE.

19. Culturally pretentious: ARTY.

20. Coffee container: URN.  John Keats wrote an Ode on a Grecian one.

21. __ nerve: OPTIC.

23. Daisy __: Li'l Abner's wife: MAE.

27. Amazes: AWES.

29. "A," in pilot shorthand: ALFA.

30. Bulova competitor: TIMEX.  Both are watches.  I think of Bulova is being a bit more upscale than the Timex watch, however ...

32. Give a hoot: CARE.

34. Credit in a footnote: CITE.

41. Surrender, as land: CEDE.

42. "Star __: The Rise of Skywalker": WARS.  I stopped watching the Star Wars films decades ago.

43. Molecule parts: ATOMS.  Chemistry 101.

44. Recipe instruction: STIR.

46. Aid in crime: ABET.  A crossword staple.

52. "No more sharing," briefly: TMI.  Textspeak for Too Much Information.

55. Island in "Jaws": AMITY.

56. Bethesda research org.: NIH.  As in the National Institutes of Health, where you can get the latest information on Covid-19.

57. Mythical man-goat: FAUN.  Roman mythology.  A Satyr is it's Greek counterpart.

58. Cacophony: DIN.

63. Ltd., across the pond: INC.  Clever!  Going East to West, instead of the usual West to East across the pond.

64. Sooner State natives: OKIES.  An Okie is a resident of Oklahoma, but is also a somewhat derogatory term used to describe migrant workers during the Great Depression during the 1930s.  Here's the reason why Oklahoma is nicknamed the Sooner State.

65. Jump for joy: EXULT.

66. In the past: AGO.

67. Rump: REAR.

68. Brainy bunch: MENSA.

1. Black tea from India: ASSAM.  Assam is a state in northeastern India and is known for its tea plantations.

2. "Star Trek" lieutenant: UHURA.

3. Worked closely with a partner on a task: TAG TEAMED.

4. Skin care brand: OLAY.  A crossword staple.

5. Camera initials: SLR.  As in Single Lens Reflex camera.  We see this a lot in the puzzles, but what does it really mean?  I'll let the the Britannica explain.

6. Old Paris coin: FRANC.  I lived in France before the Euro.  We went to Switzerland and had to exchange our French Francs for Swiss Francs.  Before returning to France, we went into a Swiss chocolate shop and plopped the remainder of our Swiss Francs on the counter and asked to purchase as much chocolate as our money could buy.

7. Horse morsel: OAT.

8. Shelley's "__ to the West Wind": ODE.

9. Batted first: LED OFF.

10. Stradivari's tutor: AMATI.  Antonio Stradivari (1644 ~ Dec. 18, 1737) was an Italian stringed instrument maker.  He is best known for his violins.  He is believed to have crafted over 950 violins, of which approximately half that number are known to have survived through the centuries.  Nicolò Amati (Dec. 3, 1596 ~ Apr. 12, 1684) came from a family of violin makers.  He is known for adopting the form of the violin to give it a greater power of tone.  He is said to have taught Stradivari, however, this may or may not have been correct.  Stradivari is said to have begun an appreticeship at age 12 under the guidance of the aged Amati.  A Brief History of Amati and Stradivari.

11. Central idea: MOTIF.  I was so sure that Theme was the correct answer.

12. Cake serving: PIECE.  I wanted a Slice of cake.

14. Singer Amos: TORI.  Tori Amos (née Myra Ellen Amos; b. Aug. 22, 1963) won a full scholarship to the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University at age 5.  She was expelled 6 years later, at age 11, for musical insubordination.

17. Pair in a pint: CUPS.

22. Appease: PLACATE.

24. Hot: SEXY.

25. Makes on the job: EARNS.

26. Cassini of fashion: OLEG.  Oleg Cassini (né Oleg Aleksandrovich Cassini Loiewski; Apr. 11, 1913 ~ Mar. 17, 2006) was an American fashion designer with an interesting ancestry.  He was born in Paris, France to an Italian Countess and a Russian diplomat.  He ultimately made his way to the United States and became a naturalized citizen.  He designed costumes for Hollywood, but is probably best known for his White House connection.  In 1961, he became Jackie Kennedy's exclusive couturier.
28. "No more for us": WE'RE SET.

30. Noir sleuth: TEC.

31. "__ been wrong before": I'VE.

32. Zin cousin: CHARD.  Think of the Red and White wines of Zinfandel and Chardonnay.

33. Broadcast: AIR.

35. "Time for me to split": I GOTTA RUN.

36. President pro __: TEM.  Pro tem. is short for Pro Tempore.  Article One, Section Three, Paragraph 5 of the United States Consitution reads:  "The Senate shall chuse (sic) their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States."  The President pro tempore is the second highest ranking officer in the Senate.  The current President pro tem is Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa.  End of civic lesson.

37. Hallelujah trio?: ELs.  As in the letter "L".  I wasn't fooled by this clue.

39. Bed size: TWIN.

40. Life-changing household arrival: BABY.

45. Pop star Swift: TAYLOR.  Taylor Allison Swift (b. Dec. 13, 1989) is only 30 years old, but she seems to have been around forever.

46. Tennis great Arthur: ASHE.  Our good friend Arthur Robert Ashe (July 10, 1943 ~ Feb. 6, 1993) makes another guest appearance in the crossword puzzle.

47. First name in 1970s gymnastics: NADIA.  As in Nadia Comăneci (b. Nov. 12, 1961).  In 1976, at just the age of 14, she was the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect 10 at Olympic Games.

48. Cyberchatting: IMING.  As in Instant Messaging.

49. __ de Mayo: CINCO.  A brief history of Cinco de Mayo.

50. Oversized keyboard key: ENTER.

51. Feels poorly: AILS.

53. Thinks (over): MULLS.

54. Photo-sharing website, familiarly: INSTA.

57. Prix __ menu: FIXE.  Today's French lesson.  The phrase means Fixed Price.

60. '50s presidential nickname: IKE.

61. Aunt in Acapulco: TIA.  Today's Spanish lesson.

62. Great fielding play, say: GEM.

Here's the Grid:

QOD:  It’s not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.  ~  René Descartes (Mar. 31, 1596 ~ Feb. 11, 1650), French philosopher

Stay safe everyone and please mind the stay-at-home orders.  This is serious, folks. My sister is a nurse in a hot-spot area.  She said she has never been more scared in all her 30 + years of nursing.  She is tapped to work on the frontline.  After working all day, she has to go home and make masks for her staff!  She said that the hospital is having to use trucks to haul out the bodies.  Please mind the orders and stay the requisite distance from others.  We need you all to come back to continue this crossword community.  Maria from The Sound of Music reminds us to Stay at Home.

Mar 30, 2020

Monday March 30, 2020 Annemarie Brethauer

Theme: HOME STRETCH (59. Last leg of a race ... or a hint to the circled letters) - H, O, M, E are stretched out in each theme answer.
17. Studio feature that produces reverb: ECHO CHAMBER.

25. Very popular movie star, e.g.: HOT NUMBER.

37. 2017 Day-Lewis film with multiple Oscar nominations: PHANTOM THREAD.

50. Talk Like a Pirate Day greeting: AHOY, MATEY.

Boomer here.  

We are still dealing with the Covid-19 and our Governor has ordered us to stay HOME.  I expect the same advice or command for most of you also. Also the Major Leagues have been delayed unfortunately so we will not hear Joe Nuxhall "Rounding third and heading for HOME."  I do not have a Gene Autry CD or tape singing "HOME, HOME on the Range"  So all I can do is hope that you are all Safe at Home.  It's a baseball thing.


1. Run __ of the law: get in trouble: AFOUL.  Return to home plate after hitting A FOUL.

6. Seized SUV, say: REPO.  Hopefully the stimulus will help folks pay their bills so they do not suffer a REPO.

10. Pumpkin dessert: PIE.  Thanksgiving.  Don't forget a little Cool Whip on top.

13. Style: MANNER.  Mind your MANNERs while eating that pie.

15. Wind instrument in Donovan's "Jennifer Juniper": OBOE.  Donovan was a bit of a weird duck, but I liked some of his songs.

16. "__ ideas?": ANY.  to deal with coronavirus ?  Stay HOME.

19. GPS choice: RTE.  Get your kicks, on RTE66.

20. AFL partner: CIO.

21. Pool-filling aid: HOSE.  Remember when Kevin Costner grabbed a HOSE and created a rainout in  "Bull Durham".  They did not have coronavirus to cancel their game.

22. Spa sigh: AAH.

23. Fifty percent: HALF.

30. Advanced in age: ELDERLY.  They say they are most vulnerable to the virus.

33. Museum of Natural __: HISTORY.  "Jeopardy" has HISTORY categories frequently.  Who was the first U.S. President to give the State of the Union address on Television ?

34. Goat's cry: MAA.  I thought it was BAA, but I never owned a goat.

35. Pasta sauce brand: RAGU.  Lots of this in our fridge and cupboard.

36. Poe's "Annabel __": LEE.  Who remembers Pinky LEE ?

41. True master: PRO. I am also missing the PGA on TV.  They show reruns, but it's just not the same.

42. Days, to Diego: DIAS.

43. Famous Downing Street address: TEN.  If your not yet sick of me mentioning the virus, Boris Johnson, PM of the UK at 10 Downing Street got a positive shortly after Prince Charles received the same.

44. Bone-muscle connectors: TENDONS.

46. Like moody Romantic heroes, as first described in the works of a British lord: BYRONIC. Lord Byron.

52. Centers of activity: LOCI.  Keep six feet apart and no more than 10.

53. Before, to poets: ERE. "And I heard him exclaim ERE he rode out of site"

54. Untidy condition: MESS.  Clean it up!!

57. __ Van Winkle: RIP.  Sew it up!!

58. Sassy West: MAE.

63. SUV's "U," briefly: UTE.

64. "Easy to Be Hard" musical: HAIR.  "I'm HAIRY noon and nighty Night Night, HAIR is a fright".  The Cowsills.

65. Way out of jail: PAROLE.  Or just draw a "get out of jail free" in Monopoly.

66. Ed.'s backlog: MSS.

67. "Don't move, Rover!": STAY.  Do people still name their dogs "Rover"?

68. More sensible: SANER.


1. "Cocoon" co-star Don: AMECHE.

2. Spa skin-care treatment: FACIAL.  Need not go to a SPA.  Just watch TV commercials.

3. Waiting for a phone rep, maybe: ON HOLD.  Our stimulus payments are ON HOLD for about three weeks I am told.

4. Tres menos dos: UNO. Three minus two.

5. Solidarity's Walesa: LECH.  Created a "Solidarity" movement in Poland, now he is removed from politics - retired in Poland, age 76.

6. Juliet's love: ROMEO.  "Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou ROMEO"

7. Tidal reflux: EBB.  Caused by the moon.

8. "Nevermore" poet: POE.  "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,"  (That's all I remember).  Freshman English was hard.

9. Poet's contraction: O'ER. "O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave."

10. Geometry curve: PARABOLA.  Freshman Geometry was just as hard.

11. Losing money, colorfully: IN THE RED.  Many portfolios IN THE RED right now, but they are coming back.  Don't listen to me, I am not a financial advisor but I do watch CNBC. 

12. Organ with a pupil: EYE.

14. Letter after pi: RHO.  That's Greek to me.

18. Pallid: ASHY.  I quit smoking many years ago, so my home and car are not ASHY.

22. Check no.: AMT.

24. National Preparedness Month org.: FEMA.  Counting on them for help.

26. "Is __ legal?": THAT.

27. First of two nearly identical words to a tucked-in tot: NIGHTY.  See 64A,  I'm Hairy noon and NIGHTY night, night.

28. Loan shark: USURER.

29. Whiskey grain: RYE.  No Whiskey left hear, but I do have part of a Rye loaf.  Left over after Reuben sandwich season.

31. Hit-or-miss: RANDOM.

32. Rita Moreno, e.g.: LATINA.

35. Apt. ad count: RMS.  Must be tough on people living in apartments.

37. Warms in advance: PRE-HEATS.  We got a new stove, and the view shows the oven temp while it is warming up.  When it gets to the requested temp, it beeps like crazy - about 6 times.

38. Award recipients: HONOREES.

39. Hops kiln: OAST.

40. Organic compound: ENOL.

41. School support org.: PTA.  Jeannie C. Riley - "The day my mama socked it to the Harper Valley PTA"

45. Color, as hair: DYE.

46. Tournament passes: BYES.  The entire Major League Baseball is getting a BYE right now.

47. McAfee rival: NORTON.  Ralph Kramden's buddy who worked in the sewer.

48. Frozen spike: ICICLE.  We get many off our gutters over the winter.  They are all gone now.

49. Coded writing: CIPHER.

51. Nail-filing board: EMERY.  Never used one.  I have clippers.

55. Car care brand: STP.  Saint Paul.

56. Mex. ladies: SRAS.

58. "The word" in silence: MUM.  The GEICO's Gecko has a MUM who makes small biscuits.  It's a secret recipe.

59. FDA overseer: HHS.  Or the High School of every city that starts with "H".

60. Breakfast grain: OAT.  General Mills Cheerios are very tasty.  I'm stuck on Wheat Chex for now.  Hy Vee had a big sale.

61. Hamm of soccer: MIA.

62. Important period: ERA.  Important Stat for a pitcher if they ever get going.


Mar 29, 2020

Sunday March 29, 2020 Gary Larson

Theme: "Inner Cities" - Seven capital cities are hidden in the theme entries.
22A. *Alternative to a pizza oven: BAKING STONE. Jamaica.

38A. *Office group leader: TEAM MANAGER. Jordan.

60A. *Online gaming attraction: VIDEO SLOTS. Norway.

77A. *Mathematical abstraction with evenly spaced integers: NUMBER LINE. Germany.

100A. *Only occupant of Vostok I: YURI GAGARIN. Latvia.

15D. *Lead singer of a group whose first two Top 40 hits reached #1: FRANKIE VALLI. Ukraine And 89. 15-Down singing style: FALSETTO.

62D. *Breakfast order usually made with ham, onion and green pepper: DENVER OMELET. Italy.

118. Startup funds ... and a hint to what's hidden in the answers to the starred clues: SEED CAPITAL.

What a great title and reveal entry. Solid rationale for a hidden theme gimmick.

The clue and answer reminds me of my START UP CAPITAL for the LAT two years ago.


1. Plot again: RE-MAP.

6. Brand created by a periodontist in the 1950s: ORAL B. Love their tongue brush.

11. Zap: TASE.

15. Kite user's verb: FLY.

18. Yawning: AGAPE.

19. Iris aperture: PUPIL.

20. Being broadcast: ON TV.

21. Toledo's lake: ERIE.

24. Word derived from the underworld god Orcus: OGRE. I only know Hades. This Orcus guy has a big mouth.

25. Quarterback's option: PASS.

26. "Romanian Rhapsodies" composer: ENESCO (Georges)

27. Birds that tell time?: CUCKOOS. Nice clue.

29. Tolkien race: ENTS.

30. What Brits cross to get here: THE POND. Best wishes for Jill, Steve!

34. Forsaken: LORN.

35. Orange __: PEKOE.

36. Like some airports: Abbr.: INTL.

42. Those with clout: INS.

43. Reef dweller: POLYP.

45. Line of clothing: INSEAM.

46. Harsh: SEVERE.

48. Blow away: AWE.

49. Latin being: ESSE.

51. Part of a court game name: ALAI. Jai alai.

53. Elimination: REMOVAL.

56. General on a menu: TSO. General Tso's chicken.

57. Rat: SNITCH.

59. Antique shop transaction: RESALE.

65. Designer Cassini: OLEG.

67. Street in Mason's office: DELLA.

68. Sews up: ICES.

69. Dynamic start?: AERO. Aerodynamic.

70. Norse patron: OLAV.

72. Encouraging words: OLES.

73. Rotund man in a bright suit: SANTA. Sure miss our Santa.

75. Metalworking union: WELD.

79. Farriers' tools: ANVILS.

81. Like some mistakes: STUPID.

83. Ode title starter: TO A.

84. Shooting marble: STEELIE.

86. Passion: ZEAL.

87. Daring exploit: GEST.

89. Luthor, to Superman: FOE.

92. Not for kids: R-RATED. Restricted.

94. Sign up: ENLIST.

96. Wrangles: SPARS.

98. Former General Motors division: GEO.

102. Varieties: ILKS.

103. Teaspoon equivalents, roughly: LUMPS.

105. Goddess with cow's horns: ISIS.

106. Track wagers: EXACTAS.

109. Conception: IDEA.

110. Not full: UNSATED.

113. Judging groups: PANELS.

116. Ring at the chapel: TOLL.

117. YA fiction reader: TEEN. YA= Young Adult.

122. Manitoba tribe: CREE.

123. Fails to be: ISN'T.

124. Beach, in Baja: PLAYA.

125. Futuristic toon dog: ASTRO. "The Jetsons" dog.

126. Monopoly token: HAT.

127. D-Day craft: LSTS.

128. Gunpowder ingredient: NITER.

129. Feed, as a fire: STOKE.


1. "Streamers" playwright: RABE (David). Unknown to me.

2. Pulitzer-winning novelist Jennifer: EGAN.

3. "The Egg and I" woman: MA KETTLE. Read more here.

4. In an imitative way: APISHLY.

5. Parts of a pound: PENCE.

6. Special __: OPS.

7. Same old same old: RUT.

8. GI's address: APO. VA hospital here in Minnesota is so overwhelmed with the coronavirus that they canceled Boomer's blood tests for the next two months. They're just going to send him oral chemo pills without seeing the blood work.

9. "The Mod Squad" role: LINC.

10. __ cheese: BLEU.

11. Began to deal with: TOOK ON.

12. Fluffy felines: ANGORAS.

13. Like gales vis-à-vis breezes: STRONGER.

14. Gift-wrapping times, perhaps: EVES.

16. Champ dethroned by Clay in 1964: LISTON (Sonny)

17. Approvals: YESSES.

21. Duel tool: EPEE.

23. Political initials since 1884: GOP.

28. V8 relative: CLAMATO.

31. Elevator name: OTIS.

32. Hawaiian goose: NENE.

33. Court figs.: DAs

35. Program for future docs: PRE-MED.

36. Draft pick: IPA.

37. When repeated, a cautioning word: NOW. Now, now.

39. Wherewithal: MEANS.

40. Timbuktu's land: MALI.

41. Incessantly: EVER.

44. Cancún cash: PESO.

47. Reddish rash: ROSEOLA.

50. McGwire rival: SOSA. Boomer once pulled an autographed of Sosa from an Upper Deck set. Luckily he sold on eBay before Sosa's stock crashed.

52. Apple storage place: ICLOUD.

54. __ wrench: ALLEN.

55. Limited-term usage contract: LEASE.

56. More irritable: TESTIER.

57. Eric of "Pulp Fiction": STOLTZ. I watched the movie ages ago. Never understood it.

58. Position of control: HELM.

60. Travel docs: VISAS.

61. Defeatist's words: I CAN'T.

63. "Ben-Hur" author Wallace: LEW.

64. Valuable rocks: ORES.

66. Idle talk: GAB.

71. "Cone of shame" docs: VETS. Here's why it's called "Cone of shame".

74. Quiets: ALLAYS.

76. 90 degrees: DUE EAST.

77. Wafer brand: NILLA.

78. Goes bad: ROTS.

80. In __: as found: SITU.

82. Twinge: PANG.

85. Strange quality: EERINESS.

87. Unofficial EU leaders group: G SIX.

88. Peak seen from Messina: ETNA.

90. TV planet: ORK.

91. Start to save?: ESS. Just the starting letter.

93. Political opposition: DISSENT.

95. Cause of yelling, often: IRE.

97. One working on a bench?: PIANIST. Nice clue also.

98. Snag: GLITCH.

99. Writer Welty: EUDORA.

101. 2014 World Series champs: GIANTS.

104. __ ale: PALE.

107. Tax pro: CPA.

108. Calamares or caracoles: TAPAS.

110. Elec., e.g.: UTIL.

111. Locker room shower, at times?: ESPN.

112. Where to find a hero: DELI.

114. Bit of mischief: LARK.

115. Wild plum: SLOE.

119. Wolf down: EAT.

120. Salon coloring: DYE.

121. Saturn or Mercury: CAR.

Stay safe, everyone! Back in late January and February, I mentioned how the streets were all deserted in Xi'an/Guangzhou. The daily numbers were scary. But now even the night street food market is Xi'an is open.

We'll overcome this.