, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: March 2021


Mar 31, 2021

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Joe Deeney

Theme: FIRST THINGS FIRST (61. "Start at the beginning," and a hint to the four other longest Across answers)  - First can precede the first word of each theme entry.

18. 2010s sci-fi crime drama starring Michael Emerson: PERSON OF INTEREST. First person.

24. Completed in haste: DOWN AND DIRTY. First down.

39. Equine sprinter: QUARTER HORSE. First quarter.

53. Pull-and-peel food item: STRING CHEESE. First string.

Boomer here again, filling in another blogging gap, blogging another 16x15 grid. 

I lived in Hopkins Minnesota from 1952 to 1997.  Although I went to a Catholic High School in a neighboring suburb, my three sisters all went to Hopkins High.  The reason I mention this is because a recent graduate named Paige Bueckers graduated from Hopkins last year after tearing up the Lake Conference and is now shooting hoops for UConn in the NCAA Tournament.   I am not a huge Basketball fan but I am waiting for Major League Baseball starting the end of this week.  Go  Twins!


1. Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations __ Ujiri: MASAI.  I suspect Toronto fans are waiting for the Blue Jays to take the field also eh.

6. "Ditto!": SO AM I.  Yup!

11. Qatar's capital: DOHA.

15. Largest members of the dolphin family: ORCAS.  They are huge fish.  I do not think any are swimming around in the pool at Tampa Bay's Stadium.

16. B's equivalent: C FLAT.

17. Iridescent gem: OPAL.

21. Two after epsilon: ETA.  I was never any good at the Greek alphabet.  But I know Alpha and Beta.

22. Full Sail offering: ALE.  Canada Dry zero sugar Ginger ALE is one of my favorites.

23. "Rats!": DANG.  I sometimes use a different word when I miss a ten pin.

30. Bill collection?: WAD.  Nice to think about, but only if they are Benjamins.

32. Diva's numbers: SOLOS.

33. Stalls: BUYS TIME.  Talk about BUYING TIME?  I was watching the match play golf on TV last weekend and it took those guys forever to play.

35. NBA official: REF.  They have a rough time in the NCAA Tournament.

37. "I'll skip it": PASS.  The REF has to make a quick decision about whether a PASS was okay.

38. Noodle output?: IDEA.

42. Leave speechless: STUN.

44. "Silly me!": OOPS.  DANG, I missed another Ten Pin.

45. Discouraging words: NOS.

46. NBC drama with two pronouns in its title: THIS IS US.

48. Brass in parades: TUBAS.  I don't remember seeing TUBAS in parades.  They are big and heavy and not comfortable to walk down a street two miles or more while wearing a band uniform on a hot summer day.

52. Name that's also a Roman numeral: LIV.  Super Bowl LIV was a year or two ago.  Liv Tyler is the daughter of Steve Tyler.

57. Dresden denial: NEIN.  I was in Germany once and learned this word first.

59. Castle queenside, in chess notation: OOO.

60. "Atonement" author McEwan: IAN.

67. Smoothie berry: ACAI.

68. Traffic cop?: NARCO. Drug traffic. 31. Anti-traffic org.: DEA.

69. More loyal: TRUER.  TRUER words were never spoken.

70. Ping-Pong supplies: NETS. The Puzzlemaster Will Shortz is an avid player.

71. Kids: TYKES.  I never got a chance to coach high school bowling this year.  They are kids but I think they might have to be younger to be called TYKES.

72. Showing one's claws, so to speak: CATTY.


1. Fuel-efficient bikes: MOPEDS.  I remember these.  When I was a TYKE, we could rent a 50cc scooter for fun.  I think they were Suzukis.

2. Playground rebuttal: ARE TOO.  YES I AM!

3. Prescription, to a layperson?: SCRAWL.  Hmmm.  I don't think mine are SCRAWLED.  They just show up in my mailbox on time, and C.C. keeps track.

4. Remote batteries: AAS.  Very popular and necessary.  We have a drawer full of them.

5. Prefix with metric: ISO.

6. Take to task: SCOLD

7. Did in: OFFED.

8. Whom Clay became: ALI. Cassius Clay.

9. Fellow: MAN.

10. Wednesday kin: ITT.  Proud member of the Addams Family but I cannot remember if  ITT was a girl or a boy ??

11. TV explorer with a monkey named Boots: DORA.

12. Hygienist's request: OPEN WIDE.  Wife's request - SHUT UP !

13. Can really play: HAS GAME.  We'll see how many Major Leaguers HAVE GAME next week.

14. Ctrl-__-Del: ALT.  I would stay away from the sequence.

19. Photographer Goldin: NAN.

20. Freezer aisle brand: EDYS.  I've been eating Breyer's for dessert.  They have no sugar added.

25. Shutout feature: NO RUNS.  How many Pitchers will HAVE GAME ??

26. Crossing the pond, say: ASEA.  He joined the Navy, to see the world but he only saw the SEA.

27. Pronoun-shaped girders: I BARS.

28. Hurry:  RUSH.  Speaking of RUSH.  We lost Mr. Limbaugh a few weeks ago. 

29. Emmy winner Cicely: TYSON.

34. Crying need: TISSUE.  Okay if I just call it a Kleenex?

36. Cold coat: FROST.  It looks like we Minnesotans might have to wait until November to see our breath outside again.

37. __ Challenge: soft drink promotion: PEPSI.  That's my other soft drink, Diet Pepsi next to the zero sugar Ginger Ale. 

39. Shake in fear over: QUIVER AT.

40. Series of dates: TOUR.

41. With 66-Down, nest egg option: ROTH. 66. See 41-Down: IRA.  I have a regular IRA.  I never understood the Roth kind.  It seemed to have a lot of ifs, ands and buts. 

42. Cardinal letters: STL.  Home of the Arch.  If you want to take a ride to the top, it takes 45 minutes.  I did not go.  Instead I visited the Bowling Hall of Fame.  I was not in it and I heard that it has been moved to Texas.

43. Metaphor for a treacherous situation: THIN ICE.  It's not a metaphor here.  We have laws to take ice fishing houses off the lakes by earlier this month.  

47. Ain't right?: ISN'T.

49. Lebanon's capital: BEIRUT.  Didn't he hit 714 Home Runs for the Yankees?

50. How flatware is usually sold: AS A SET.  I always called it silverware, even though it was some other kind of metal.

51. Guard at the gate: SENTRY.

54. Time being: NONCE.

55. "We Got the Beat" group: GO GOS.  You cannot fool me.  This goes back to the 1970s.  Are they still around?

56. Trig. ratio: COS.

58. Goddess with cow's horns: ISIS.

61. Ceiling fixture: FAN.  We have one of these but we seldom use it.  It can keep you awake.

62. Big bang letters?: TNT.  Turner Network Television.  It has some classic old movies sometimes.  I never knew that Ronnie Howard was in "The Music Man" until I saw it on TNT.

63. Mare's meal: HAY.  Mare's eat oats and Does eat oats, and Little Lambs eat Ivy.

64. Really bug: IRK.

65. Consumer protection org.: FTC.



Mar 30, 2021

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 Prasanna Keshava

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like Home.  Today we move up in the world from a Flat (apartment) to a Manor.

17-Across. Perspiration cause by fear of failure: FLOP SWEAT.  Gross!  Flat.  What is the difference between a Flat and an Apartment?

23-Across. Lucky wristband: CHARM BRACELET.  Chalet.  I think of these as being more of vacation homes.

35-Across. "Don't cheer yet!": HOLD THE APPLAUSE.  House.

44-Across. Best woman?: MATRON OF HONOR.  Manor.

Wayne Manor

And the Unifier:

56-Across. Confined to one's residence ... or, as the circles show, a description of four puzzle answers: HOME BOUND.  Note that the word spelling out each abode forms the outer Bounds of the answer phrase.  Home Bound is appropriate for the past year.  Hopefully, we will soon be able to expand our universe and venture out to do the things we enjoyed before the pandemic.


1. Holiday sub: TEMP.  With more people buying online, I wonder how many brick-and-mortar stores will be hiring extra salesclerks for the holidays.

5. Kilt wearer: SCOT.

9. "Mazes and Monsters" novelist Rona: JAFFE.  Rona Jaffe (June 12, 1931 ~ Dec. 30, 2005) was an American author.  Mazes and Monsters was also a 1982 made-for-TV movie, which starred a young Tom Hanks.

14. Natural soother: ALOE.  This has become a crossword staple.

15. To be, to Balzac: ÊTRE.  Today's French lesson.  Honoré de Balzac (May 20, 1799 ~ Aug. 18, 1850) was a French playwright and novelist.

16. Popular ride app's basic level of service: UBERX.

19. "Is it too risky?": DARE I?

20. X: TEN.

21. Turquoise kin: TEAL.

22. Indian strings: SITARs.

26. Autumn shade: OCHER.

28. Children's author Blyton: ENID.  Enid Blyton (née Enid Mary Blyton; Aug. 11, 1897 ~ Nov. 28, 1968) was a British author who wrote over 600 books for children.  I am not familiar with her works, however.

29. Spiral shape: COIL.

30. Fashion label from Milan: PRADA.

32. Gross less deductions: NET.

39. Gave the go-ahead: OK'D.

40. Emcees: HOSTS.

41. Ballpark officials: UMPs.  As in the Umpires.

42. Fabergé perfume, originally: BRUT.

43. Surgical tube: STENT.

50. Gofer's task: ERRAND.

51. University of New Mexico player: LOBO.

52. Game-winning line: OOO.  Think of the game of Tic-Tac-Toe.

55. Arnold of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World": STANG.  Arnold Stang (Sept. 28, 1918 ~ Dec. 29, 2009) was a comic actor.

58. "All kidding __ ... ": ASIDE.

59. Totals: SUMS.

60. Poker stake: ANTE.

61. Church council: SYNOD.

62. Redwood, e.g.: TREE.

63. Aussie hoppers: ROOs.

1. Only president who was also chief justice: TAFT.  William Howard Taft (Sept. 15, 1857 ~ Mar. 8, 1930) served as the 27th President of the United States and the 10th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  He was a very large man, and legend has it he once got stuck in his bathtub.  Doubtful, but a special bathtub was made especially for him.

2. Vogue alternative: ELLE.  Both are fashion magazines.

3. One born under the sign of Cancer: MOON CHILD.  Everything you wanted to know about a Moon Child, but didn't know to ask.

4. Oomph: PEP.

5. Refuse conduit: SEWER.  The famous sewer scenes from Phantom of the Opera.

6. Third-stringers: C-TEAM.

7. Dental care brand: ORAL-B.  This has become a crossword staple.

8. Asian New Year: TET.

9. Court-ordered, as a review: JUDICIAL.

The Supreme Court of the United States

10. Eased up: ABATED.

11. Born in the wild: FERAL.  Feral hogs are terribly destructive.

12. "__ Jacques": FRÈRE.

13. Live and breathe: EXIST.

18. Sun, for one: STAR.

22. "500" initials on Wall Street: S AND P.  As in Standard and Poor's.

24. Repressed, with "in": HELD.

25. Harvests: REAPS.

26. It's eight in Madrid: OCHO.  Today's Spanish lesson.

27. "Order up!" shouter: COOK.

30. Italian sauce with pine nuts: PESTO.  Yummers!

31. Word before race or trap: RAT.

32. Top dog: NUMERO UNO.

33. "SportsCenter" channel: ESPN.

34. Midterm or final: TEST.

36. Crowded into: THRONGED.

37. Elvis' "__ Dog": HOUND.

38. Camera setting that does everything except point and shoot: AUTO.

42. Best Actor winner for "On the Waterfront": BRANDO.  Marlon Brando, Jr. (Apr. 3, 1924 ~ July 1, 2004) was born 97 years ago this coming Saturday.

43. Hoity-toity sort: SNOB.

44. Parts of Western landscapes: MESAs.  Hi, Lucina!

45. Culturally pretentious: ARTSY.

46. Get in shape: TRAIN.

47. Pancake maker's need: FLOUR.  Or you could just use a pancake mix.

48. Metz man: HOMME.  French geography.

49. Quite overweight: OBESE.

53. Fully aware of, as a scheme: ONTO.

54. Lofty verses: ODEs.

56. Post-WWII pres.: HST.  Harry S Truman (May 8, 1884 ~ Dec. 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States.  His Vice President was Alben Barkley.

57. Rowboat mover: OAR.

Here's the Grid:


Glad to learn that the ship has finally been freed.