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


May 31, 2021

Monday May 31, 2021 Winston Emmons

Theme: HRS (58. Personnel depts., and what the personnel in 20-, 31-, 40- and 50-Across have in common) - Each theme answer is a person with a HR initial.

20. "The Carpetbaggers" author: HAROLD ROBBINS.

31. Auto industry partner of Charles Rolls: HENRY ROYCE.

40. "I Am Woman" singer: HELEN REDDY.

50. She married Bill in 1975 but didn't start using his last name until his 1982 Arkansas gubernatorial campaign: HILLARY RODHAM.

Boomer here again. Happy to wish everyone a safe and pleasant Memorial Day as we remember those who are no longer with us.

I hope you all hit a HOME RUN and solved this puzzle.  This past week C.C. and I met up with with two famous constructors, Andrea Carla Michaels and Tom Pepper. We took a HARRIET ROUTE around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. I think it is about a three mile trek.  I got about one mile around and Tom was gracious enough to accompany me back to the starting point since I am an old man that doesn't move too well.  C.C. and Andrea finished the loop around the lake.  A great way to spend a sunny Wednesday in Minnesota.
Boomer, C.C., Tom and Andrea, 5/26/2021


1. Shock: STUN.  I do not own a STUN gun but I think it's now called a Taser. 

5. Eyelid hair: LASH.

9. Run through a reader, as a debit card: SWIPE.  An improvement to the old days when you needed to present the card and the merchant ran it through a machine with a triple sheet receipt.

14. Mama's mate: PAPA.

15. Tooth trouble: ACHE.  I don't have that trouble anymore.  Just take my teeth out at night.

16. Printer powder: TONER.

17. Tiny picnic invaders: ANTS.  No problem, they won't eat much.

18. Drink in a stein: BEER.  "Beer, Beer, Beer said the privates, happy men are we.  There's none so fair as can compare with the fighting infantry. "

19. Side-by-side fridge pioneer: AMANA.  A small town east of Des Moines, famous for refrigerators.

23. Ending for hero or serpent: INE. Heroine. Serpentine.

25. 60 minuti: ORA.

26. "If looks could kill" look: GLARE. "Stop talking about my Mother!"

27. Form a close bond (with): LIAISE.

29. Insertion mark: CARET.

33. Operated: RAN.

36. Drama divisions: ACTS. I was in all of the ACTS of Noye's Fludde.

37. TiVo ancestor: VCR.  Video Cassette Recorder.  Almost as obsolete as me.

38. Latin god: DEUS.  Eight plus four years of Catholic school, I remember this.

39. Originally named: NEE.

43. Fern-to-be: SPORE.

45. Smoothly take one's place: EASE IN.  After my vaccination shots, my bowling team allowed me to EASE IN to the line up.

46. Chicago Eight defendant Bobby: SEALE.

48. "__ making a list ... ": HE'S.  "Checking it twice"

49. Series-ending abbr.: ETC.  This is an abbreviation of some of that Latin I learned.

54. In the end, in the Louvre: EN FIN. Not sure about the Louvre.  I only know Fin Is "Ice T".

55. Lunch or dinner: MEAL.

56. Second Hebrew letter: BETH.

59. "Down East" state: MAINE.  Silly me, I always thought MAINE was "Up East".

60. Give a darn: CARE.

61. "It's really cold!": BRRR.  Very famous consonant word in Minnesota.  For example, last Friday our temperature started around 40 F and maybe got to a high of 52 F.  Plus it rained all day but weather forecasters hinted that we might see snow?! 

62. Longed (for): PINED.

63. Tacks on: ADDS.

64. Garage sale caveat: AS IS.  We try to have a garage sale every year.  I unload baseball cards and we also try to peddle some things that we bought at other garage sales a few years ago.  But we never sell our garage.


1. Hot tub with a whirlpool: SPA.

2. Beige relative: TAN.  I've heard of Sunburn and Suntan.  Never heard of a Sunbeige.

3. Put more at stake: UP THE ANTE.  I like Craps at Las Vegas.  There is no ANTE.  Just bet what you can afford to lose.

4. Hubble-operating org.: NASA.

5. Unskilled worker: LABORER.  A LABORER Yes, A Crossword Blogger, Yes too.

6. Amtrak express: ACELA.

7. Place for a mower: SHED.  If you have one.  When I had a mower, I always kept it in the garage.

8. Frau's partner: HERR.  Retired 2nd Baseman of the St. Louis Cardinals.  By the way, have you seen the blue sign on the outfield fence of Busch Stadium.  About 20 feet left of center.

9. Horse home: STABLE.

10. Burrowing marsupial: WOMBAT.

11. "... bombs bursting __": IN AIR.  "Gave truth through the night, that our flag was still there".

12. Pasta tubes: PENNE.

13. Hurlers' stats: ERAS.  Earned Run Average.  Our Twins staff 's ERAs are pretty high this year.

21. Upbeat type of outlook: ROSY.  "Things look swell, Things look great, Gonna have the whole world on a plate."

22. Folklore fiend: OGRE.

23. Congresswoman __ Omar: ILHAN.  She is from Minnesota's 5th District.  C.C. and I live in the 3rd.  Congresswoman ILHAN was a bit controversial over the last four years.

24. Nephew's sister: NIECE.

28. Form 1099 agcy.: IRS.  Yeah, we did our thing in February.  How many waited until the revised date of May 15?  You may have lucked out because the IRS was overwhelmed.

29. Use the bike lane: CYCLE. 57. 29-Down prefix: TRI.  Lake Harriet has a bike lane and a path for walking so we did not get run over.

30. Land measure: ACRE.

32. Done: OVER.  Not quite yet.  Hang on.

33. Coupon users, e.g.: REDEEMERS.  We use coupons occasionally, but only from the stores that we already frequent.

34. Books review: AUDIT.

35. "Bye Bye Bye" band: NSYNC.

38. __ Moines: DES.  I visited the Graybar there as part of my job before I retired.

40. Garden worker: HOER.  Careful how you pronounce this.

41. Pine droppings: NEEDLES.  NEEDLES and Pins (UH), Smokie.

42. Impulsive: RASH.  Of course I have to mention PBA Player Sean RASH who bowled 2 of his 30 300 games on television.

43. Hospital solution: SALINE.

44. Smoothed wood: PLANED.  Is PLANE travel safe again ??

46. Mount in Exodus: SINAI.

47. Like Santa's helpers: ELFIN.

48. Cache: HOARD.  Yes, I have a HOARD of Baseball Cards.

50. Rope fiber: HEMP.

51. Village People megahit: YMCA.   I never caught on to the body contortions.

52. Enjoy one's Kindle: READ.

53. "Waterloo" group: ABBA.


May 30, 2021

Sunday May 30, 2021 Paul Coulter

Theme: "What's My Line?" - Each profession is punnily rephrased fitting the person in the clue.

23. Researcher with an outgoing personality?: SOCIAL SCIENTIST.

37. Clergyman who builds cupboards?: CABINET MINISTER.

49. Bleep button operator?: CROSSWORD EDITOR. Read it as CROSS WORD EDITOR.

68. Dietitian?: MIDDLE MANAGER.

87. Drug kingpin?: TRAFFIC ENGINEER.

96. Getaway driver?: FLIGHT ATTENDANT.

118. Fishing guide?: CASTING DIRECTOR.

Ha ha, we can just call Rich a "bleep button operator". All the other theme entries will make me smile. Lovely theme, Pau1!

Grid design is our standard LAT, 144 words with 76 black squares. Very much my style, though I often I reach 78 black squares.


1. Space station launched in 1973: SKYLAB. First U.S. space station.

7. "__, Inc.": 2001 film: MONSTERS.

15. Commonly green dish: SALAD.

20. South American naval force: ARMADA. Spanish for "naval fleet".

21. Turkey, mostly: ANATOLIA. Asia Minor. Asian part of Turkey.

22. Torment: AGONY.

25. Terry O'Quinn's "Lost" role: LOCKE (John). I don't recall seeing a O'qu* style surname before.

26. Big bunch: SCAD.

27. Floors: STUNS. Verb "floors".

28. Clamp shape: CEE.

29. Leveled, with "up": TRUED.

30. Dot-commerce: E-TAIL.

32. Two-time Super Bowl QB Manning: ELI.

34. Country name last used in 1949: SIAM.  Thailand's former name. "One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble. Not much between despair and ecstasy...". Argyle really loved the song. He was in Bangkok for a few days in his Marine days.

35. R&B singer's hyphenated stage name: NE-YO. Wiki says "The stage name Ne-Yo was coined by Big D Evans, a producer with whom Ne-Yo once worked, because Evans claimed that Ne-Yo sees music like the character Neo sees the Matrix."

44. Links scores: BOGEYS.

46. Lena of "Chocolat": OLIN.

47. Lennon's love: ONO.

48. Fall Out Boy genre: EMO.

53. __ boom: SONIC.

55. "Elder" or "Younger" Roman statesman: CATO.

56. Stuns: AWES.

57. Charlemagne's realm: Abbr.: HRE. Holy Roman Empire.

58. Marine snail: WHELK.

59. Home of Hercules' lion: NEMEA.

61. Loafer, e.g.: SHOE.

64. Mikey, Mouth or Chunk, in an '85 film: GOONIE. Alright, the film is "The Goonies".


65. TV monitoring org.: FCC.

72. Ground cover: SOD.

73. Friend of Athos: ARAMIS. "The Three Musketeers".

75. Big name in pet food: IAMS.

76. Hard-to-ride horse: BRONC.

78. Moved to a quieter table, say: RE-SAT.

79. Special __: OPS.

81. Old apple spray: ALAR.

82. Dept. of Labor arm: OSHA.

86. Football's Terrell, nicknamed "T.O.": OWENS. Hall of Famer.

92. "Yuck!": FEH.

93. Bank offering, for short: IRA.

94. Advanced: LENT. Verb "advanced".

95. Ancient ascetic: ESSENE. Jewish ascetic.

102. Former Fords: LTDS.

103. Mmes., in Madrid: SRAS.

104. CVS pickups: RXS.

105. Conger catcher: EELER.

107. Chopper blade: ROTOR.

109. __ Beach, composer of the first symphony composed by an American woman: AMY. Learning moment for me. Thanks for finding this new clue angle, Paul!

111. Mimic's talent: APERY. We just had APED last Sunday.

113. "To be" is one, poetically: IAMB.

117. Busybody: SNOOP.

122. Liveliness: VERVE.

123. Like some hard drives: EXTERNAL.

124. Altogether: IN TOTO.

125. Tradesperson: PLYER.

126. Reveal: DISCLOSE.

127. 1980 TV series with the episode "Harmony of the Worlds": COSMOS.


1. Undesirable freshness: SASS. Cute clue.

2. Fast food magnate who once owned the San Diego Padres: KROC (Ray). Nice trivia.

3. Pool site, often: YMCA.

4. Spotted: LAID EYES ON.

5. Nabokov novel: ADA.

6. Light wood: BALSA.

7. Retinal area subject to degeneration: MACULA. I bet Lemonade nailed this one.

8. "Come __!": "Welcome!": ON IN.

9. Dundee denials: NAES.

10. RR stop: STN.

11. "Sesame Street" watcher: TOT.

12. Bring out: ELICIT.

13. Angry reaction: RISE.

14. Fill to the max: SATE.

15. Short-lived 1979 nuclear treaty: SALT II.

16. Ancient assembly areas: AGORAS.

17. Temporary substitute that means "place holder" in Latin: LOCUMTENENS. Wow, never heard of this word, you?

18. Huber of tennis: ANKE. Forgot. We had her before. German.

19. Like some blond hair: DYED.

24. Bic Clic __ pen: STIC.

31. Small dogs: TOYS.

32. "National Velvet" author Bagnold: ENID.

33. Filmmaker Riefenstahl: LENI. German. Known for her Nazi propaganda.

34. __-cone: SNO.

35. "A Doll's House" heroine: NORA.

36. Awards acronym: EGOT.

38. They're ripped in gyms: BODS.

39. Martinique, e.g.: ILE.

40. Anchor: MOOR.

41. About, on a memo: IN RE.

42. __ Barzini, Vito's rival in "The Godfather": EMILIO. Barzini. He killed Don Corleone's oldest son Sonny, the hot-tempered one.

43. Disturbed greatly: ROCKED.

44. Discreetly send a dupe email to: BCC.

45. Hindu teachers: SWAMIS.

50. Was shy?: OWED. Good old clue.

51. Interpret: READ.

52. "Accordingly ... ": THEN.

53. Like much testimony: SWORN.

54. "Look here!": OHO.

60. Gives forth: EMITS.

61. Last word of "America the Beautiful": SEA.

62. "Let's see ... ": HMM.

63. Allied gp. since 1948: OAS.

64. "Seinfeld" friend: GEORGE (Costanza). Played by Jason Alexander.

65. Remote: FAR OFF.

66. Embroidery yarn: CREWEL.

67. Patient record: CASE HISTORY.

69. When repeated, Cult Jam vocalist: LISA.

70. Competent: ABLE.

71. Nana: GRAN.

74. "Wow!": MAN.

77. Negatively affects the flow in: CONSTRICTS.

79. Other, to Ortiz: OTRA.

80. Fall preceder?: PRAT. Pratfall.

81. Court records: ACTA.

83. Schedule competitively, as a tournament: SEED.

84. Coop group: HENS.

85. Is for a few: ARE.

88. Bend: FLEX. I never made the connection of the "drip, drip" noise in our bedroom/bathtub wall with rain until I read TTP's comment. Then we had steady rain on Thursday and I heard the annoying noise on Thursday evening non-stop. Here's our downspout. The association guy actually replaced the bottom bending part earlier this year as the old one was broken.

89. Marshy areas: FENS.

90. Not Rep. or Dem.: IND.

91. "Cast Away" setting: ISLE.

93. Part of TGIF: IT'S.

97. It's on the record: GROOVE.

98. Susan B. Anthony biographer Ida Husted __: HARPER. Also learning moment for me. Both Lemonade and Melissa have a granddaughter named Harper. See here.

99. No-tell motel events: TRYSTS.

100. Pine __: NEEDLE.

101. Garr of "Tootsie": TERI.

106. Songlike: LYRIC.

107. Invite request: RSVP.

108. Turow novel set at Harvard: ONE L.

109. Finished perfectly: ACED. Amazed at Moe's astute observations of Friday's theme.

110. Dress style: MAXI.

111. __ Domini: ANNO.

112. Annual May golf tournaments, familiarly: PGAS.

114. Tiny bit: ATOM.

115. Con __: briskly: MOTO.

116. Frat dudes: BROS.

119. Shamus: TEC.

120. Offline, briefly: IRL.

121. Brian of rock: ENO.

I'm very pleased to tell you that Fermat Prime (Lorraine) is doing well, though she does not get out much, according to her friend Malcolm. Here's a picture from her backyard last Monday.

Looks who's in town this week! Andrea Carla Michaels. Guess who the other cool guy is. Boomer will show you another picture tomorrow.
Andrea, Boomer and the Guy, 5/26/2021


May 29, 2021

Saturday, May 29, 2021, Freddie Cheng

 Saturday Themeless by Freddie Cheng


Today Freddie Cheng joins our Saturday themeless parade and, as you will see in his comments, it may be a while  until we see another one. This was a real workout for me following my usual Saturday pattern of establishing a base camp and working from there. Nicely done, Freddie!

Hi Gary!

I’m originally from the UK, with a background in electrical engineering with a PhD in telecoms. Have been working in finance in NYC, where I have lived for the last few decades. 

This is only my second published themeless, and my first attempt at a 66-worder. I guess I still have a lot to learn, since I must admit I found the whole construction process to be a real slog!

It's been about two years since I first started this puzzle, so with fresh eyes, I can see that 16A is going to be tough going for most people. Probably a necessary evil at the time though, to enable those nice verticals in that NE corner. I believe the puzzle was seeded with the 7D grid-spanner, as I remember playing around with SCREENED IN PATIO also, to try to get to a flashy enough SE corner.

I see that about half the clues were changed/improved. Luckily my personal favorite [for 35D] made it through intact.

Although I do have another 66-worder slated for publication in a NY Times Saturday, it’ll will probably be a very long time before I’ll attempt another one of these!




1. 153-year-old group that became unisex nationally in 1995: ELKS - A group of ELKS at G
ouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 in Gouverneur, NY in 2019

5. Core muscles: ABS and 1. Score some political points for: ENDORSE - Katy Perry baring her ABS and ENDORSING Hillary in 2016

8. Get some air: INHALE.

14. Assuring word on a cleaning product label: NON-TOXIC 

16. Fuel-carrying ship: COALER - Tanker sailed on by as the fuel on that cargo ship wasn't liquid. Freddie said he thought this might be tough.

17. "The Sound of Music" song opener: DOE A DEER - Am I the only one who put THE HILLS for "The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music" which is the first line of the song that actually opens the movie?

18. Stronger-than-steel material: KEVLAR - I think of bullet-proof vests when I hear KEVLAR

19. Like protozoans: ONE CELLED.

21. Prefix with motor: SERVO - New to me. Here a SERVOMOTOR from a hobby shop moves the airplane with feedback from the handheld controller.

22. "Casablanca" café: RICKS - "Of all the gin joints in all the world..."

23. Sushi bar fare: EEL.

25. Cruise stop: PIER - PORT crossing 
13. Slips: ERRORS ERRATA looked right

26. Salt sources: SEAS - We watched our neighbors house for a few days and she brought us a gift of chocolates topped with SEA salt. Interesting!

27. Quirks: MANNERISMS 

30. Second sight, say, briefly: ESP 

31. Perfectly executed: DONE TO A TEE Origin

32. "All peachy!": JUST DANDY.

 33. Targets of some blocking software: ADULT SITES.

35. Adobe file format: PDF - Our agent in Branson, MO sent us this PDF for our "escape from Covid captivity"!

38. Dangerous things to be behind: ENEMY LINES - Thousands of allied paratroopers were dropped behind ENEMY LINES as part of the D-Day invasion. They knew if the invasion failed there would be no rescue

39. Jazzman Saunders: MERL - I'm much more familiar with MERL(E) Haggard

40. Instruction unit: STEP - Gotta love Ikea's visual directions 

41. "Sure!": YEP.

42. Salt's companion: MATEY - I'm thinking Spitzboov and our other sailors at our site would have rarely used this word

43. Drink with a 2021 Peeps variety: PEPSI.

45. 2019 pop biopic: ROCKET MAN - Considered having this Elton John song played at my funeral but...

48. Cowering: IN FEAR.

50. As it happens: REAL TIME - The internet is full of REAL TIME video

51. Cause to lose it: ENRAGE.

52. Like a clean shave: CLOSE CUT - No electric beats my Trac II and Barbasol

53. Seat of Ohio's Montgomery County: DAYTON - Home of our good friend and constructor Mary Lou Guizzo

54. Growth chart nos.: HTS.

55. Sales crew members: REPS.


2. Canadian coins: LOONIES

A LOON is on the reverse and 
the Queen is on the Obverse

3. Shinbone neighbor: KNEECAP - Shinbone was also the town where this movie bad guy died.
4. IHOP servings: STACKS.

5. Jump on the ice: AXEL - A triple

6. "The Sinner" Golden Globe winner Jessica: BIEL.

7. Insect-resistant home feature: SCREENED-IN-PORCH - Freddie's seed entry. 

8. "Gross!": ICK.

9. Vetoes: NOES - Not NAES

10. Feel sorry for, with "on": HAVE PITY.

11. Apt slogan on merchandise featuring MLB slugger Aaron Judge: ALL RISE - "Here come da Judge"

12. "I need solitude": LEAVE ME 

15. Works with rhyming props?: ODES - Here "props" means respect or credit due to a person or thing. Here are the last lines of perhaps rock and roll's most famous ODE (cue the violins at the end) which I'm sure you know. Listen here.

20. Having teeth: DENTATE having teeth or pointed conical projections. You're welcome.

24. African currency whose singular form is part of its country's name: LEONES - $1 = 10,230 SLL. This bill would be worth about a nickel. 

27. Pretty much: MOSTLY.

28. Less likely to chillax: ANTSIER - Chillax is a portmanteau of "CHILL out" and "reLAX." Okay, I'll admit my shame at putting TYPE AER first!😟

29. Roentgen cousins: RADS - Radiation units. Google if you must

31. Noted starter?: DULY 

32. Foldable auto convenience: JUMP SEAT - My Dodge pickup had these but grandkids could not use them after they turned 8.

33. Aerial: ANTENNA - When I was heavy into CB radio, the Thunder Stick was the best you could get

34. Cook with batter, usually: DEEP FRY.

35. Loved cheese lovers?: PET MICE - MICE are "cheese lovers" and if they are a PET, I suppose they are loved

36. Visualize: DREAM UP.

37. Bug stoppers: FLY NETS - $46 to get one for Dobbin

38. Glimpsed: ESPIED.

39. Have some impact: MATTER 

42. Two of the Spice Girls: MELS Here ya go

44. Shakespearean standard-bearer: IAGO.

46. Gael, for one: CELT - Hard "C"

47. Foe of CONTROL on "Get Smart": KAOS.

49. "The Last Jedi" villain: REN - I'm sure he was but in what movie did Kevin Bacon play rebel REN McCormack. *Answer below

*Kevin played REN in Footloose.