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


Oct 31, 2021

Sunday October 31, 2021 Paul Coulter

Theme: "A&E Network" - A and E change position in each theme entry.

23A. Govern in Austin?: DIRECT TEXAS. Direct taxes.

25A. Set of rules for a jury?: PANEL CODE. Penal code.

38A. Volume subtitled "100 Good Excuses"?: BOOK OF DENIAL. Book of Daniel.

60A. Party garb for one going as a pollution inspector?: EPA COSTUME. Ape costume.

65A. Historic period with a lot of risks?: CHANCES ERA. Chances are.

90A. Cube-shaped stones for a fireplace shelf?: MANTEL BLOCKS. Mental blocks.

105A. Wizard's communications device?: MAGE PHONE. Megaphone.

107A. Braided Greek cheese?: TWIST OF FETA. Twist of fate.

This is more complicated than our normal change a letter gimmick, as it involves two letter changes. Is it hard brainstorming or did you write a script for the word search, Paul?


1. Leader who succeeded Muhammad: CALIPH. The state is called Caliphate. Muhammad founded Islam.

7. Tried to get home, say: SLID. Baseball.

11. Boiling state: IRE.

14. Beliefs: ISMS. My pal Lesley copies "Heart Sutra" every day to find inner peace.  Any of you familiar with the term? Vidwan? Not a lot of characters, so she can complete the whole text every day.

18. Keys on a piano: ALICIA. The singer.

19. 100 cents: EURO.

20. "I, Claudius" role: NERO.

22. Texter's "Then again ... ": OTOH. On the other hand.

27. Sault __ Marie: STE.

28. Throttle: CHOKE.

29. Pretentious: LA- DI-DA.

30. Anthem contraction: O'ER.

31. Group name derived from the Dutch for "farmer": BOERS. They lost to the British in 1902. The Boer War. China also lost the two Opium Wars to the British Empire mid-19th century.


 32. __ blanche: CARTE.

33. Like crazy: MADLY.

35. Graceful antelopes: IMPALAS.

40. Car bar: TIE ROD.

41. Bodies usually bigger than bays: GULFS.

43. Mercury Theatre co-founder Welles: ORSON.

44. Farm units: ACRES.

45. Lawyer's filing: BRIEF.

46. "The Texan" star Calhoun: RORY. Unknown to me.

48. The Eagle, e.g.: LEM. Lunar Excursion Module.

51. Eric the Red's son: LEIF.

52. Comedian Shecky: GREENE. Wikipedia says "He is known for his nightclub performances in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he became a headliner in the 1950s and '60s."

53. Currency exchange abbr.: USD.

54. Mozart's "__ Kleine Nachtmusik": EINE.

55. 17.2-million-square-mile area: ASIA.

57. __ metal: dark '80s-'90s music genre: DEATH.

59. Snakes' weapons: FANGS.

68. Bob of "Fuller House": SAGET.

69. Explode: BURST.

71. Full of slime: OOZY.

72. Breezed through: ACED.

73. Animation frame: CEL.

74. Family reunion attendee: NEPHEW. Looks like we can have a somewhat normal Thanksgiving this year.

77. Botch: MUFF.

81. "__ so you!": IT'S.

82. "No problem!": SURE.

83. Name of two presidents: ADAMS.

84. Privilege: HONOR.

85. Broadcaster: AIRER.

88. A lot: SCADS.

89. State bordering Baja: SONORA.

94. Overly optimistic: BLUE SKY.

95. "Chicago Med" pro: ER DOC.  Also 111. Blood type, briefly: O NEG.

96. Location: SITUS. Not a word I use.

97. Clamorous: NOISY.

98. Color TV pioneer: RCA.

99. H.S. exam for college credit: AP TEST.

101. Brownish gray: TAUPE.

102. Cacophony: DIN.

110. Biblical plot: EDEN. Also an organic food brand. Their umeboshi paste is pretty good.

112. Lash mark: WELT.

113. Shade: NUANCE.

114. Fit together compactly: NEST.

115. Classified ad abbr.: EEO.

116. Comply with: OBEY.

117. Slow-moving mammals: SLOTHS.


1. Bounders: CADS.

2. Settled (on): ALIT.

3. Euros replaced them: LIRE. Italian currency.

4. Coolers?: ICE.

5. Winds also called ottavinos: PICCOLOS.

6. Result of keeping a cap on too long: HAT HEAD.

7. Goes after: SEEKS.

8. Elegance: LUXE.

9. 401(k) alternative: IRA.

10. Big affairs: DOS.

11. Out of gear: IN PARK.

12. Entertain at bedtime, as a tot: READ TO.

13. "Sixteen Tons" singer whose nickname is his birth state: ERNIE FORD. Tennessee

14. Games gp.: IOC.

15. Waited, not always patiently: STOOD IN LINE. We used to stand in lines for hours to get Twin's bobbleheads.

16. Roadster in the Henry Ford Museum: MODEL A.

17. Crow with Grammys: SHERYL. Here with Lance Armstrong.

21. Brit. lexicon: OED. The Oxford English Dictionary.

24. High spots: TORS.

26. Metal-threaded fabrics: LAMES.

29. Golden Triangle country: LAOS.

31. Shameless: BAREFACED. Lie.

32. Eye-opening cupful: COFFEE.

34. Spanish span: ANO. Year.

35. Emphatic type: Abbr.: ITAL. Italic.

36. They actually prefer fruit and grains to cheese: MICE. Really? Maybe I should put ripe banana on the mouse trap then.

37. "Frasier" actress Gilpin: PERI.

38. Kitchen counter staple: BLENDER.

39. Cocktail order: DRY.

41. Coll. senior's test: GRE.

42. One-eighty: UIE.

45. Cookout choice: BRAT.

46. Babe with a bat: RUTH. Babe Ruth.

47. Dept. of Labor arm: OSHA.

49. Tech sch. alumnus: ENGR.

50. Big butte: MESA.

52. Base figs.: GIS. Military base.

54. Fast bucks: EASY MONEY. 62. Seemingly forever: AGES AND AGES. Great fill.

56. Barfly: SOT.

58. Represented oneself to be: ACTED AS.

59. Casbah headgear: FEZ.

60. Morales of "NYPD Blue": ESAI. Tony Rodriguez. All went weird after he his ex-wife came back.

61. Agreement: PACT.

63. Lyft rival: UBER.

64. Paragon of stubbornness: MULE.

66. Denials: NOES. Also 104. Dundee disagreements: NAES.

67. Dairy grazer: COW.

70. Light fare: SNACKS.

73. Street edging piece: CURBSTONE.

75. Crash site?: PAD. 91. Game keeper?: ARCADE. Nice clues.

76. Royal Navy initials: HMS.

78. Pizzeria chain, familiarly: UNOS.

79. Motorist's decision point: FORK.

80. Donnybrook: FRAY.

82. Frites seasoning: SEL. And poivre.

84. Holiday guests, maybe: HOUSEFUL.

86. 1995 court VIP: ITO.

87. Go over: RECAP.

88. Cottontail's tail: SCUT. Learned from doing crosswords.

89. They usually don't have laces: SLIP-ONS.

90. Mythical males with tails: MERMEN.

92. Homeowner, vis-à-vis the bank: LIENEE.

93. Cooperstown's lake: OTSEGO. How many of you have been to Cooperstown?

94. Attack, as of an illness: BOUT.

97. Foul: NASTY.

100. Saigon soup: PHO. Very similar to Cantonese rice noodle soup.

101. Word game piece: TILE.

102. Bit of progress: DENT.

103. Allergic reaction: ITCH.

106. Tolkien creature: ENT.

107. Wee hour: TWO.

108. Information source, with "the": WEB.

109. __ Schwarz: FAO.

Extra notes:

1) Agnes continues to improve. She enjoyed some lobster rolls last week. I think she has her appetite back! She also got her booster shot and flu shot last Friday. Thanks again to those who continue to think of her, send her emails and cards.

 2) Lemonade's youngest son Devin got married last Friday. Here are a few pictures. See here for more here. His oldest granddaughter Charlotte also turned nine yesterday.



Oct 30, 2021

Saturday, October, 30, 2021, Adrian Johnson

 Themeless Saturday by Adrain Johnson

After only a month's absence, our friend Adrian Johnson has another Saturday puzzle for us. To refresh your memory, Adrian is from Laramie Wyoming and has graduated with a degree in  International Studies from Macalaster College in Saint Paul, MN. I had a delightful struggle with the puzzle and had one bad cell at LE_A/CARI_A. Not knowing anything about Game Of Thrones is one thing but for this amateur astronomer to miss CARINA was a real disappointment. 
 It seemed that a lot of consonants could have filled that cell. Sigh...Particularly impressive to me was Adrian's double stack of grid spanners with a central grid spanner thrown in for good measure. Wow! Adrian's notes:Hi Gary
Thrilled to be back with my third LA Times themeless, just 5 weeks after my sophomore effort at the end of last month. I'm back to my old ways with a grid heavy on 15-letter entries, yet somehow this puzzle has one less grid spanner than my February LAT debut. As for the fill... I haven't seen 54A, but I made a deal with my partner that if she finishes my crossword I'll watch it with her. 

Personally, I'm not a big fan of superhero/fantasy movies as a whole, but Endgame was more than a movie. Endgame was the culmination and turning point of the Marvel Cinematic Universe– a saga of 25 (26 on 11/5) films that's become a cultural phenomenon and touchstone for millions around the world. 

My other seed, 15A, reminds me of how much of a pushover I'd be as a father... allowing my kid to act up and then telling them "okay THIS time I mean it..." but then not being serious, thereby provoking a never-ending cycle of mayhem and empty promises in our house. I didn't find it in any database or wordlist I use as a constructor, so I thought It'd make for an engaging and original start to the puzzle. 

Crosswords are my favorite OUTSIDE INTEREST in life right now, and I can't wait to share more of my work with you in the months and years ahead!



1. Make bold, maybe: STRESS - When you really want to stress a point

7. Advanced degree candidate's no.: GRE SCORE - I took mine and got my score (no.) in 1968

15. "No more kidding around!": THIS TIME I MEAN IT - A seed entry for Adrian

17. Hobby: OUTSIDE INTEREST - Here is my hobby where I am celebrating my first hole-in-one

18. Peck in the park, informally: PDA - "Get a room!"

19. Controversial oil well verb: FRACK.

20. "Whose __ was that?": IDEA 

21. Philosophy 101 subject: PLATO.

22. Headey of "Game of Thrones": LENA - LENA Horne didn't work for a Saturday puzzle

24. "Turning Tables" singer: ADELE - She and her lovely vowels are on stage here quite often.

27. Main ingredients in the Thai dish tam som: PAPAYAS.

30. Shuffle alternative: NANO.

iPod NANO           iPod Shuffle

31. Speak from memory: RECITE - Did you have to memorize and RECITE the Gettysburg Address too?

34. One-named "Chandelier" singer: SIA Her IMDB

35. Start thinking about old unpleasantness: DREDGE UP THE PAST - A Thanksgiving tradition that should be abandoned. Get over it!!

38. Stately tree: ELM.

39. Gas up?: AERATE - Inside this dispenser are tanks of syrup for flavor and CO2 tanks for AERATING "gassing up" water, This combination produces a soft drink

40. World's largest fashion magazine: ELLE.

41. Responds to a minister, in a way: SAYS I DO.

43. Coarse cloth: TWEED - Professor Indiana Jones in a TWEED suit

44. Join (with): ALLY.

45. Sources of suffering: BANES.

48. Ginormous: MEGA - _ _ G _  turns out to NOT (see 1 across) be HUGE

50. Completely surround: BOX IN - This guy in D.C. got BOXED IN but refused to sell his small building for years even though he was offered $3M.

51. Food is tossed in it: WOK.

54. 2019 culmination of a 22-film story: AVENGERS ENDGAME - One of AJ's seed entries. I hope he and his partner watch it soon!

58. Thrift store merchandise: VINTAGE CLOTHING - A store in NYC's West Village

59. Free throws, usually: SET SHOTS - Wilt Chamberlain didn't in his early years but changed to overhead SET SHOTS later in his career because he didn't like how the underhand style looked. He missed a lot  either way.


60. "You're absolutely right": SO IT IS - What I say when my lovely bride is right. When I'm right, silence...


1. "That's enough!": STOP.

2. Sound of a flop: THUD - In sports an athlete who falls down dramatically feigning being fouled despite being untouched is said to have "flopped". The THUD is manufactured

3. Romance writers' award until 2019: RITA Accusations of racism

4. Assassin standout?: ESS - Yup, there's a lot of 'em.

5. Smother: STIFLE.

6. Libya's Gulf of __: SIDRA 

7. Company with woodchuck ads: GEICO - GEICO also used pigs, squirrels, et al

8. Stars' play area: RINK - Their rink is in Dallas. 

9. Lifesaver, briefly: EMT - Can't say enough good things about First Responders 

10. "Catch my drift?": SEE.

11. Canopus' constellation: CARINA - Canopus is the brightest star in CARINA that is the "Keel Of The Argo"

12. Short promotion: ONE DAY SALE.

13. Hilltop: RISE - "They'll be coming over the RISE any minute now"

14. Place Sundance liked to see: ETTA - Ah yes, The Sundance Kid's girlfriend ETTA Place always has a, uh, place in crosswords 

16. Substance: MEAT - Some college football teams don't get into the MEAT of their schedule until this time of year

21. Drudge or trudge: PLOD - I'm more used to the former word being a noun

22. Woodshop tool: LATHE.

23. Heaviest of the three modern fencing swords: EPEE.
24. Quito's range: ANDES.

25. Alfalfa's love interest: DARLA.

26. Suspicious plant: ENEMY AGENT - This scene from Stalag 17 had William Holden outing Peter Graves as the ENEMY AGENT who was actually a Nazi plant in their prisoner barracks.

27. The Panthers of the ACC: PITT.

28. Symbolic compromise crossing: AISLE - Not much of that being done in today's very contentious Congress

29. Having no more room, perhaps: SATED - If relatives are SATED they won't DREDGE UP THE PAST at Thanksgiving.

31. Thin in tone: REEDY - Anyone else think of Barney Fife?

32. Latvian capital: EURO - A KFC in Riga. Instead of a decimal point, the EURO uses a comma.

33. Pro concerned with returns: CPA.

36. Olympic sprinter Devers: GAIL.

37. Prayer supports?: PEWS - It amazed me that St. Mark's Basilica in Venice (and many other great churches) had no PEWS, just chairs. 

42. Op-ed features: SLANTS - One piece may "point with pride" and the next one will "view with alarm"

43. Care for: TEND TO.

45. Bartlett relatives: BOSCS - I posted pear types last Saturday     

46. Double or triple skating move: AXEL - Count the revolutions

47. Boys of Sevilla: NINOS - The Boy Who Touched The Stars

48. Cuban team, for short: MAVS - HUGE made me think HAVS (sic) would work before I realized Adrian was talking about the Dallas Mavericks, the NBA team Mark Cuban owns

49. Name that sounds like its first two letters: EVIE 

50. Poison lead singer Michaels: BRET.

51. Stand by: WAIT.

52. Start to science?: OMNI - OMNI and SCIENCE both sound very different in this word below
53. Bar supply: KEGS.

55. Cry of exasperation: GAH - Not UGH or BAH

56. Word with surf or trip: EGO - I knew EGO trip but not

57. Letters next to a 4: GHI - Even on my iPhone 11