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


Jul 31, 2021

Saturday, July 31, 2021, Craig Stowe

 Themeless Saturday Puzzle by Craig Stowe

Our Torontonian friend gives us another puzzle from north of the border whose main feature is his pinwheel stacks of nine which were very helpful. Here are Craig's gracious comments:

Hi Gary,

Thanks for getting in touch.  I've been trying for ages to fit LAVAZZA into a grid because it seems so crossword worthy, but I could never make it work.  I decided to start with it as the main entry instead and work out from there.  I'm not actually a huge LAVAZZA fan, though it's good. The grind we get here is too small for my French press.  I get my beans from a Canadian company called Kicking Horse.  I suspect LAVAZZA will be a little more familiar to folks.

I really wanted to say thank you to Rich and his team as well as to this blog for everything you do.  This is about my 50th puzzle with the LA Times and it's not by accident that most of my publications are with this venue.  I cannot stress enough to new and aspiring constructors how wonderful Rich is to work with.  If he likes the general feel of a puzzle he will do what he can to make it happen.  That is an amazing trait for any editor to have and it really helped me get to where I am today.  The insightful commentaries made by the bloggers and regulars helped shape the styling of my puzzles over these past five or six years.  I could go on but I'm starting to embarrass myself.

Sorry about having two affixes in a themeless, I originally had EPI- but a revision in the NE corner led to the inevitable -ETTE.  Never having been pregnant, I thought ANTENATAL and prenatal were interchangeable but some of you may disagree.




1. Entertainment genre with a French name of uncertain origin: VAUDEVILLE 
Origin of the word of the word. Early TV was heavily populated with former VAUDEVILLE stars

11. Wicked biblical king: AHAB.

15. "There's no point": IT'S USELESS 

16. Kiwi plant: VINE.

17. Biloxi or Gulfport: COUNTY SEAT - These two cities are both COUNTY SEATS of Harrison County, MS. There are ten such counties in MS with two COUNTY SEATS. What?

18. Suffix akin to -ule: ETTE - Buzz and Neal landed on the Moon in the small Lunar Module but I doubt it had a real kitchenETTE

19. Persona: IMAGE.

20. Johnny Cash's "At Folsom Prison" was recorded in one: STATE PEN.

22. Makes smooth and shiny, as hair: SLEEKS.

25. Voiced, in phonetics: SONANT - I'm always happy to learn

26. Heartland of America Park city: OMAHA - It is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation down by the Missouri River

28. Emmy-winning journalist O'Donnell: NORAH.

29. Not at all fatty: LEAN.

32. Weave: ZIGZAG.

35. Downed: ATE.

36. "So __ heard": I'VE.

37. Longtime Italian coffee brand: LAVAZZA - Craig finally got this coffee into a puzzle! More info 
38. __ es Salaam: DAR.

39. Flooey lead-in: KER.

40. Unmoved: IN SITU - NASA repaired the Hubble Space Telescope IN SITU rather than bring it back to Earth.

41. Remove: DELE.

42. Gay leader?: ENOLA - Col. Paul Tibbets picked the B-29 he wanted off the assembly line in OMAHA where it was made. He then named that plane after his mother and flew it on that historic mission on August 6, 1945.

44. From Trondheim, e.g.: NORSE - The adjective NORSE refers to Norwegians or Scandinavians

46. Disclose: IMPART.

48. Was barely heard: PEEPED.

51. Viral oral malady: COLD SORE - Provide your own visual 😟

54. Comedian Kemper: ELLIE Her IMDB

56. Fastidious to a fault: ANAL - All currency in my billfold must be arranged in ascending order with the faces all in the same orientation. ANAL? 

57. Check things out: POKE AROUND.

60. Russo of "Velvet Buzzsaw": RENE - Sometimes audiences like movies way more than the critics and sometimes...

61. Guided: SHEPHERDED - Successful coaches are sometimes said to have SHEPHERDED teams to championships

62. Saw: EYED.

63. "You betcha!": YES INDEEDY.


1. Caesarean section?: VICI - Bill Murray's variation on Caesar's proclamation of Veni, VICI, Vidi

2. They make up everything: ATOMS - Fun cluing

3. Prevailing: USUAL.

4. "The Pit and the Pendulum" setting: DUNGEON.

5. Appreciation: ESTEEM.

6. "Oy __!": VEY - Yiddish for "Woe is me!"

7. They, to Thierry: ILS - If Sonny and Cher sang I Got You Babe in French, it would start, 
 "ILS disent que nous sommes jeunes et nous ne savons pas"  ("They say we're young and we don't know")

8. Wranglers' cousin: LEES.

9. 180 is its max. score: LSAT.

10. Spanish pronoun: ESTAS - Elvis would have sang: ¿ESTÁS sola esta noche? ("Are you lonesome tonight?)

11. Brand with a Positively Radiant line: AVEENO.

12. Ranked musical listing: HIT PARADE - Take as big a bite out of this 65-yr-old trip down memory lane that you like...

13. Like care during pregnancy: ANTENATAL - A synonym for PRENATAL

14. "I can relate": BEEN THERE.

21. Pacific archipelago: TONGA - 170 islands with white sand beaches that are mostly unoccupied 

23. "Death of a Salesman" Tony winner: KAZAN - Arthur Miller's words and Lee J. Cobb's acting in 1949 probably helped Elia get a Tony for directing 

24. Makeshift blades: SHIVS.

27. On-__, off-__: AGAIN - Sounds like government mask policies 

29. "Whatevs": LIKE I CARE - This slang for "Whatever" begs the question: How did "I could care less" come to mean the same as " I couldn't care less"

30. Toss-up: EVEN MONEY - Equally likely

31. Heathrow lander: AEROPLANE - When in Britain, spell as the British spell

33. Trio with notable beards: ZZ TOP - Bassist Dusty Hill ( left below) died this week at 72 years old.

34. Fair color?: AZURE - With apologies to Irving Berlin: "AZURE skies smilin' at me, nothin' but AZURE skies do I see:".

37. Inventors of a sort: LIARS - Clever!

41. Lament: DEPLORE.

43. Dished up: LADLED.

45. Blow a fuse: SEE RED - Two words

47. Meryl's "Mary Poppins Returns" role: TOPSY - I remember TOPSY as a character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.

49. Duck: ELUDE.

50. Enjoyed a bistro: DINED.

52. Architect Mies van der __: ROHE.

53. Just makes, with "out": EKES.

55. Go around in circles?: EDDY - "Hey, Gary, didn't you use this picture in your write-up last week as well?" "Uh, yes, ya caught me!"

58. It may be left of center: EPI - Meta clues can be really tricky

59. "Kung Fu" actor Philip: AHN 

Philip AHN and David Carradine

Jul 30, 2021

Friday, July 30, 2021, Michael Dewey and Kevin Christian

  Title: Watch the bouncing I

Michael has been publishing puzzles since 2012, mostly here at the LAT. This is his first collaborative effort, but certainly not for Kevin who is not only prolific on his own but with others, and generously stops by to share his insights here at the Corner. Once I accepted the placement of a random in the middle of the theme fill, I was prepared for the reveal at 52D, which was part of every theme clue. 52D. Chain with an alternate 28-letter name ... and what you need to write five puzzle  answers? : IHOP (4). INTERNATIONAL (13) HOUSE (5) OF (2) PANCAKES (8). I guess the image is to be of the hopping into the middle. Creative, but still a bit puzzling to me but the solve went well. The only non-theme long fill are BRIBE MONEY and LIKE A CHARM both of which are introduced to major puzzle publications here and are placed symmetrically in the grid. 

The theme:

18A. Item served at 52-Down: POACHED EGG (11). I have eaten their poached eggs on toast. 

24A. Item served at 52-Down: FRENCH I TOAST (12). They use thick cut French Bread and have many varieties. 

38A. Item served at 52-Down: BANANA PANCAKES (15). A grid spanner with the central I, and along with their chocolate chip very popular, but now they are pushing strawberry. 

47A. Item served at 52-Down: TURKEY I BACON (12). For those of us who do not eat pork it is a great menu addition.

57A. Item served at 52-Down: HASH I BROWNS (11). Always an iffy choice, but they also have breakfast potatoes, potato pancakes and french fries.

They have a nice 55+ menu if you eat out, and they have kids eat free days but I have not been in about 20 years so my comments may not be relevant or reliable. On to the puzzle.


1. Surfing venue: WEB. Not a sea, but a sea of words.

4. Tapered off: ABATED. You have to be careful about being too proficient about tapering off.

10. Yankees' foes: JAYS. Or the CUBS, METS, RAYS, REDS ...

14. Nautical pronoun: HER. The HISTORY.

15. Chowder chunk: POTATO. Chowdah again so soon?

16. Wind in the reeds: OBOE. The tuning one.

17. Ring star: ALI. Muhammed.

20. 1988 self-titled country album: REBA. McIntyre.

22. Three, in Bari: TRE. Italian from this CITY in Southern Italy.

23. One of the "Emerging 7" nations: INDIA.

28. Word associated with Denver: MILE. Mile high, both literally and with all the legal marijuana smoked, eaten, etc. First time I flew there was on a learjet and it semi-unreal to watch the altimiter at 7000 feet as we were about to land. 

29. Govt. health org.: CDCCenter for Disease Control. No comment - way too political.

30. Flight: LAM. An ARTICLE for thought? A repeat from yesterday.

33. Kitchen draw: AROMA. Not a storage area, but what brings people there.

35. Mum of Charlotte, George and Louis: KATE. She is tall.

37. Queen's home: HIVE. How nice to have this next to a possible future Queen.

41. Stuntman Knievel: EVEL

42. Like Vassar since 1969: COED. Of the original Seven Sisters, 4 are still women's colleges. Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and Wellesley College have so far decided against adopting coeducation. 

43. Lift providers: UBERS. Not LYFT?

44. Mystery writer Josephine: TEY. Her first novel was made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock. As a mystery writer, she was a MYSTERY

45. "Can I help you?": YES. No way, leave me alone!

46. Orange County city: BREA. Did you lose your LA?

52. More unfriendly: ICIER. Ah ha, maybe that is Tin's idea?

55. Heckle: BOO. Hiss, or Jeckle?

56. One-horse ride: SHAY. According to the dictionary, it derived from the word chaise, French for chair. It also was Tyrion's favorite whore, and when we solved our dance puzzle this week, it reminded me of Lucina and her sashaying.

61. Non-verbal syst.: ASLAmerican Sign Language.

62. Tony kin: OBIE. Not Tigger but the award for theatrical productions. Broadway / off-broadway

63. Begin to associate (with): FALL IN. Generally a bad crowd,

64. 2016 Olympics host: RIO. And now 5 years later we have the 2020 olympics in Tokyo.

65. Prepare for a pic: POSE
66. Dumpster fire: FIASCO. The LINK.

67. ISP option: MSN. MicroSoft Network


1. Landing: WHARF. For a boat, silly.

2. Conger chaser: EELER. A big meh.

3. Loot to keep mute?: BRIBE MONEY. I love the clue and the fill, a rhyme and an introduction.

4. Smartphone software: APP.

5. "The Women" playwright Clare __ Luce: BOOTHE. Boy, is the old timey fill. If you do not know her STORY, you must at least read the link. She was a very inflential woman as I was growing up. 

6. Millipede maker: ATARI. the game maker and 13D. 6-Down rival: SEGA.

7. Musical "don't play": TACETMUSIC

8. E. African land: ETH.  ETH is the three-letter country abbreviation for Ethiopia. so now you know.

9. Buck's mate: DOE. Oh, Deer. More sexual innuendo.

10. Combined: JOINT. There they are cavorting, joined at the hip!

11. In the sack: ABED. What did I tell, sex, sex sex.

12. Hindu ascetic: YOGI. Not Berra, not Bear. The word is from the  Sanskrit - yogi 'one who performs yoga. But historically they were much more. Did you ever read or watch Marvel's IRON FIST in Hindi?

19. Clay pigeon, e.g.: DISC

21. __ kingdom: ANIMAL. Why? and why is the Lion the King? 

25. Scottish family: CLAN. Ms. Tey was born Elizabeth MacKintosh.  The MAC meant protestant, but she late in life converted to catholicism. Not talking religion, just history.

26. Group of eight: OCTAD.

27. Port on its own gulf: ADEN.
30. Best way for something to work: LIKE A CHARM. The other special clue fill combo, I hope they are for both MD and KC. 

31. Declare: AVER. I avow that I hate to aver. Or to 33D. Help, as a hood: ABET. Or even to 36D. Imitate: APE a friend. It could lead to an...

32. Untidy situation: MESS.

34. Wild, all-night party: RAVE. Do raves need to be all-night? IDK. 
Maybe. Just don't need a 37D. Writ of __ corpus: HABEAS to get home.

35. Newspaper stand, e.g.: KIOSK. A lovely word like Khaki which comes from Urdu and Persian words meaning “dust,” or “dusty
Kiosk  traces to Persian kushk​, which meant "palace." 

39. Taiwanese laptop brand: ACER. The REVIEW.

40. Street border: CURB. Not to be confused with the Rave credo PLUR.

45. __ Gagarin, first human in outer space: YURI. Back in the day also Misattributed, "I see no God up here."
This has been reported as a remark Gagarin made while in orbit aboard Vostok 1, but there is no indication of it in the official transcripts of his communications. It is similar to the above statements he reportedly made after his return to earth, which might have given rise to this account.

46. Jaime Sommers, TV's "__ Woman": 

47. Chuckle: TEHEE. Tees me me off when then leave off the E.

48. Congo River tributary: EBOLA. What is in a NAME

49. Feline complaints: YOWLS. Random.

50. Refuge from the heat: OASIS. This "fertile spot in a desert, where there is a spring or well and more or less vegetation," originally was in reference to the Libyan desert, 1610s, from French oasis (18c.) and directly from Late Latin oasis, from Greek oasis, probably from Hamitic (compare Coptic wahe, ouahe "oasis," properly "dwelling place," from ouih "dwell"). 

51. Early seat belt material: NYLON. Do we really care? Today, seat belt material is usually woven from 100% polyester. Nylon used to be the most popular material, but nylon stretches more than polyester and is more prone to wear and tear. 

53. Mexican resort, for short: CABO. Do you want to VISIT?

54. Sister of Osiris: ISIS. A frequent goddess visitor.

58. Lifelong bud, initially: BFF. Best Friends Forever.

59. Italian counterpart of the BBC: RAI. Much to learn, including Italian. LINK.

60. __-cone: SNO

Another week, another grid with single letters highlighted. My mind wandered again, and it had a very good time. Thank you Michael and Kevin, come say hello.

Lemonade out.

Jul 29, 2021

Thursday, July 29, 2021, Gary Larson


Good morning, cruciverbalists!  Malodorous Manatee here with the post-puzzle recap.

Today, Gary Larson returns to The Los Angeles Times with a very straightforward theme,  As you probably already know from solving the puzzle or, if you have yet to complete the puzzle, from the presence of the gentlemen above, we greet this Thursday with the strains of a traditional BARBERSHOP QUARTET.

Each of the four themed answers contain a word for an item that one might find at a Barbershop.   I believe that they call this a "Partial Entry, Category Member" type of theme.

Here is the reveal, followed by the themed answers:

60 Across:  Where to find the ends of 17-, 25-, 36- and 49-Across: BARBERSHOP.  Or, if you prefer, BARBER SHOP.  A quick bit of web searching reveals that both one word and two words are acceptable.

17 Across.  One of the only two NBA teams that share an arena: LA CLIPPERS.  The team currently shares Staples Center (used as a clue two days ago) with the Los Angeles Lakers but the CLIPPERS are building a new arena in Inglewood, CA.  Oddly, Inglewood is where the Lakers used to play.  The Phoenix Suns defeated both the Clippers and the Lakers in the NBA playoffs this year.

25 Across.  Hive feature: HONEY COMB.

Jimmie Rogers with Dick Clark

36 Across:  Simplicity-based problem-solving principle: OCCAMS RAZOR.

49 Across:  Nevada state flower: SAGE BRUSH.

While the theme was quite straightforward, some of the clues were less so.  However, we do get quite a few crossword "staples" to ease our way.  Let us, now, take a look at the clues and answers:


1. Letters in a water molecule diagram: HOH.  We commonly refer to water as Aitch Two Oh.

4. Slip by: ELAPSE.  Ah, the classics:  "As Time Elapses" -  Play it, Sam.   "Funny, How Time Elapses"   - Willie Nelson.  "Elapse Elapsin' Away" - Paul Simon

10. Cook's protector: MITT.

14. Vincent's agent in "Entourage": ARI.  ARI Gold is the name of a character in the television show.

15. Light cotton fabric: MADRAS.  When I was in Junior High School, madras shirts, with their distinctive tartan-esque patterns (and, yes, MADRAS and tartan are not the same), were all the rage.  Bitchen!

16. Actor Sharif: OMAR.  What?  You were expecting Dr. Yuri Zhivago?

19. Web __: PAGE.  Could have been SITE.  Or, FOOT.

Webster Webfoot

20. Happens: OCCURS.  Synonym.

21. Put on weight: GAIN.

23. Getaway: LAM.  From the idiom "Take it on the LAM" meaning to flee or escape.

24. Pre-High Holy Days Hebrew month: ELUL.  The months ELUL and ADAR often appear in crossword puzzles.  Fifty percent vowels.

27. Exit via the jetway: DEPLANE.  An intransitive verb meaning to disembark from an airplane.  DESHIP?  See also 66 Across.

30. Stand for something: EASEL.  Noun or verb?  Verb or noun?  Take a principled position?  Nope.  Something on which to put something such as a painting. 

31. Dazzling displays: ECLATS.  The clue defines the answer.

35. Distribute: METE.  Also, a hockey player - Victor METE.

39. Gaucho's weapon: BOLA.

41. Take on: ASSUME.  ASSUME often takes on a different meaning such as "suppose to be the case without sufficient evidence".  I assume that, in this case, it is used as in "to assume the role of".

42. Engineer Citroën: ANDRE.  I never knew his first name.  Thanks perps.

The Eponymous Citroën Deux Chevaux

44. Mix drinks: TEND BAR.

53. Fayetteville sch.: U OF A.  The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

54. NBC skit show: SNLSaturday Night Live often airs in our puzzles.

55. Outplay: BEST.  BEST, in this instance, is used as a verb although it can also be used as an adjective, adverb or noun.  If you defeat the reigning  champion did you BEST the BEST?  Could the highlight reel be called "The Best of the Best of the Best"?  Or, do we simply leave that one to the Men In Black?

56. Parodies: SPOOFS.

"Corona Virus Rhapsody", A SPOOF

58. Commotions: ADOS.  Does anyone use, see, or hear this word outside of crossword puzzles?  Shakespeare, of course, being an exception.

62. Tales and such: LORE.

63. Spiny lizard: IGUANA.  An IGUANA also visited us last Thursday.  Same reptilian answer.  Different photograph.  If this keeps up, Thursdays might come to rival Taco Tuesdays.  Nah, it's not alliterative.

64. Mine find: ORE.  Valuable solid material often found in crossword puzzles.

65. "Watermark" musician: ENYA.  Alternatively, an Irish singer who frequently appears in crossword puzzles.

66. Can't abide: DETEST.  The teacher handed out de test to de students.

67. Unmatched: ODD.  There are several ways to define ODD.  The constructor, or the editor, elected to go with a slightly ODD definition of the word.  Now, where did I put that sock?


1. Like the moon, at times: HALOED.  Okay, another little-used expression but not untrue.

2. Soothsayer: ORACLE.  This could have been clued something along the lines of "Larry Ellison's giant software company".

3. Glitch: HICCUP.  An idiom used to describe a problem that delays or interrupts for a while but does not cause serious difficulties.

4. Qatari leader: EMIR.

Tamin bin Hamad al Thani, Emir of Qatar

5. Relay units: LAPS.  It could have been LEGS of a relay.  While a portion of a relay race isn't always a lap, or laps, it certainly could be.

6. Payroll service initials: ADP.

7. Sauce whose name means "please": PREGO.  E italiano, si?

8. Kitchen wrap: SARAN.  I almost went with The Fugs song "Saran Wrap" here (NSFW,  you can look it up on YouTube when you get home).

9. Nail polish brand: ESSIE.  This marine mammal really needs to up his knowledge of nail polish brands as so many of them have been adorning our puzzles recently.

10. Clean, in a way: MOP.

11. "Beatles '65" song: I'M A LOSER.   Beatles '65, not to be confused with "When I'm 64", is the album title.  But, you knew that.  These days, would the song be IM (instant message) A Loser?


12. Pepcid rival: TAGAMET.  Both products are used to treat symptoms associated with excess stomach acid.

13. Show fear, maybe: TREMBLE.

18. Soothe: LULL.  We often hear something along the lines of "a LULL in the action", meaning an interval of relative quiet.  Today we get the verb as in to "LULL someone to sleep" or into a false sense of security.

22. "Science Guy" Bill: NYE.  Alternatively, a TV scientist appearing regularly in crossword puzzles.  Perhaps, someday, we'll see a puzzle with Professor Proton.

Professor Proton
The Door to his Office is Always Open

25. Big wheels: HELMS.  A bit of misdirection.  Semi trucks?  Kahunas?  Children's vehicles?  No, the large steering wheels on ships.  Take the helm!

26. Gear for stealth, briefly: CAMO.  CAMOflage.

28. Former nuclear agcy.: AEC.  The Atomic Energy Commission was referenced in "The Wild West" a song recorded in 1953 by Tom Lehrer.  I have the original issue of this album:

29. Indiana-based sports org.: NCAA.  Were we really expected to know where the NCAA is based?  Easily perp'd especially since there are not all that many sports orgs. and the NCAA appears quite often in xword puzzles.

32. Stubborn equine: ASS.  MULE would not fit.  We can each probably think of a few proper names that might.

33. Word in a court oath: TRUTH.

34. Indistinguishable, with "the": SAME.  Lock-down was great.  I didn't work.  I didn't socialize.  I barely left the house.  SAME as usual, except I didn't feel guilty.

36. Stars and Stripes: OLD GLORY.  Both the clue and the answer are idioms for the American Flag.

37. Word with health or hair: CARE.  A pair, there.  Fair.

38. Type of garden: ZEN.  ZEN gardens were originally created in Japan to assist Buddhist monks with their meditation.

39. Pub brand with a red triangle logo: BASS ALE.

40. Endlessly: ON AND ON.  In lieu of the obvious Stephen Bishop link let's just move on.

43. Wane: EBB.

45. Many old comedy teams: DUOS.  E.G., Abbott and Costello,  Martin and Lewis, Laurel and Hardy, Cheech and Chong.

46. Sarcastic "So sad": BOO HOO.  I almost cried.

47. Manage to pay: AFFORD.

48. Filed, in a way: RASPED.  I have a rasp in my toolbox but I cannot recall ever having said that I had RASPED something.  More often used to describe a harsh, or grating, noise.

50. Bridge term: REBID.  It sounds, to this marine mammal, more like something an amphibian would say.

51. Practice: USAGE.

52. Swaggering gait: STRUT.

56. D.C. group: SENS.  SENatorS  D.C. is the abbreviation for District of Columbia ergo the answer will be an abbreviation.

57. Start to fall?: PRAT.  A PRATfall is a staged, often comedic, fall.  It derives from pratt, meaning buttock.

59. Coral, for one: SEA. Shtick used by constructors playing around with the convention that clues are always started with a capital letter.  Of course we never know if the leading  "cap" is coincidental or part of the clue.  Without the cap, POLYP or a color.  With the cap, the proper noun, Coral SEA.

61. Sweetie, in modern lingo: BAE.  Alternatively, a slang expression appearing far too often in contemporary crossword puzzles.  We don't have to go back to "main squeeze" but . . . .

With that bit of commentary,  let's wrap things up.  For the outro, some Barbershop Quartet music from the 2011 International Barbershop Quartet Champions: