, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Saturday, December 25, 2021, David Karp


Dec 25, 2021

Saturday, December 25, 2021, David Karp

  Themeless Saturday by David Karp

Hi Gary,

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, and Merry Christmas to you and your readers! I'm very excited as this is my first LA Times crossword, as well as my first themeless crossword to be published.

I'm a relatively new crossword constructor from Victoria, BC, Canada. I started solving crosswords a few years ago on a daily basis and took up construction as a hobby during the pandemic. When I'm not making crosswords, I'm a policy advisor for the provincial government and a new dad to a two-and-a-half-month-old Mattias.

Oddly enough, the seed entry for this crossword was BLOCKCHAIN. If you don't recall seeing it, that's because I eventually had to rip it out of the grid. It was part of a top stack that also included PRIVATE JET and CARICATURE, which the editors nixed because one of the crosses would have been too obscure (RALE, an abnormal sound in the lungs). But hopefully solvers enjoyed GIFT BASKET as the 1-Across entry, which seems particularly fitting for Christmas.

One of my favorite entries is RELIEF AREA, as it merges me and my wife Laura's love of dogs and travel, and I always find the bright green strips of Astroturf in airports look charmingly out of place.




1. Surprise with cheese and wine, perhaps: GIFT BASKET - $62.88 seems reasonable to me

11. Craft fare: BREW - Lazlo's microBREWery in Lincoln

15. Traveler's question: ARE WE THERE.

16. Mother of Judah: LEAH.

17. Pieces for a wannabe conductor?: MODEL TRAIN.

18. Afterthought preceder: ALSO.

19. U.S.'s leading employer of mathematicians, it's said: NSA - For years secretive National Security Agency employees said NSA stood for No Such Agency 

20. How some agents travel: INCOGNITO - An option in Google Chrome

22. What looks can't do?: KILL - Okay, not literally, but...

25. Wind: SNAKE - Verbs

26. Arranges: SCHEDULES.

30. Took off: LEFT.

32. Give false hope: LEAD ON - Ponzi schemes are an example

33. __ wedge: golf club with maximum loft: LOB - Phil Mickelson uses his LOB wedge to get the ball up over a man right in front of him

35. Evil: DARK.

37. Sunday morning server: URN.

38. Blank spaces: LACUNAE - (
luh kyoo nai). I'm not immune to learning

41. Underwater beginnings: ROE

Salmon ROE sushi

42. First-aid product prefix: MEDI.

44. Cone's counterpart: ROD Here ya go

45. Long and hard, as a stare: STEELY - High praise in NASA

47. Trig calculation: SINE.

49. Metaphors for high esteem: PEDESTALS.

51. Home of the 75-feet-tall Golden Driller statue: TULSA.

53. Controversial late Russian painter Glazunov: ILYA Here ya go

54. Tiger, perhaps: EXOTIC PET.

57. Only team with a gold at every Summer Olympics: Abbr.: GBR - The USA boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics and the Russians did the same for the 1984 LA games

60. Bush advisor: ROVE.

61. Weather record: ALL TIME LOW.

65. Lumberjack: AXER - Hmmm...

66. Cleaning product claim: LEMON FRESH.

67. Lawn care brand: TORO - Now available in electric

68. Corridor: PASSAGEWAY.


1. Leg, slangily: GAM.

2. Pressing need?: IRON

3. Mulder and Scully, briefly: FEDS.

4. Fine-tuned: TWEAKED - This write-up has been TWEAKED several times

5. "The Fresh Prince of __-Air": BEL.

6. NFL passing stat: ATTempts

7. Ear-piercing: SHRILL - Gilbert Gottfried leapt to my mind 

8. New Jersey public university with a campus in China: KEAN.

9. Swedish company that invented Bluetooth: ERICSSON - So that's the origin of the bluetooth symbol. It uses the runes for King Harald Bluetooth of the tenth century. It is speculated he had a very bad tooth.

10. Mortise mate: TENON.

11. Shut out: BLANKED - The Royals BLANKED the White Sox

12. Place for pets at an airport: RELIEF AREA - This one's at LAX

34. Swiss cultural city: BASEL - My cousin lives in Hieden, Switzerland which is 13. Right way?: EAST of BASEL

14. "Yay!": WHOO.

21. __ pal: GAL.

23. Role model: IDOL.

24. Like some probes: LUNAR - Russia's Luna 3 LUNAR probe took the first pictures of the backside of the Moon in 1959

26. Blighted area: SLUM.

27. Dwarf planet between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter: CERES - I'd weigh 6 pounds there

28. "Give me that!": HAND IT OVER.

29. Get past: ELUDE.

31. Online flame thrower?: TROLL - The bane of all websites

36. 2019 and 2020 Grammys host, or what she plays: KEYS - Alicia

39. Get time off?: COP A PLEA - Two weeks in a row

40. Maker marketplace: ETSY.

43. Not yet delivered: INUTERO - An INUTERO surgery for spinal bifida at the Cleveland Clinic

46. Knickknack stand: ETAGERE.

48. Director Roth: ELI Here ya go

50. Signs of repetition: DITTOS.

52. Hawk tickets: SCALP - SCALPERS disappeared at this year's CWS because tickets went all digital

54. Q.E.D. part: ERAT.

55. Amorous letters: XOXO.

56. Trees with split-resistant wood: ELMS.

58. Squandered: BLEW - NFL record - In 2017, the Falcons were ahead 25 - 3 over the Patriots and BLEW that lead to lose 28 - 34.

59. Parks of Alabama: ROSA - A real hero!

62. Words with bit and way: IN A.

63. Plant activity: Abbr.: MFG.

64. Word that sounds like its last letter: WHY.


Notes from C.C.:

1) Congrats on your debut, David!

2) The neurosurgeon removed Boomer's dressing yesterday. He's also off the catheter. Not much going on today due to Christmas, hopefully he'll have PT tomorrow.
3) Happy Birthday to dear Yellowrocks, our tenacious and knowledgeable Kathy! 
Kathy (Yellowrocks), Dec 10, 2020

4) Happy 84th Birthday to Lorraine (Fermatprime)! She sends me email occasionally. She continues to enjoy various online games. 

Thanksgiving, 2015



OwenKL said...

FIRight! The NE corner still had a lot of white when I finished the rest of the puzzle, but I eventually got it, too. I think the turning point was deciding (witch)Craft fare wasn't TOLL, but BREW. Do any vehicles besides cars and trucks ever pay tolls? Ships going thru Suez or Panama?

What a lot of useless innuendo
About a babe that's still IN UTERO.
Who will he be?
Well don't ask me!
Even born he'll still be INCOGNITO!

My friend Jerry (he goes by "Jer")
Has a knick-knack shelf, an Γ‰TAGÈRE,
So stuffed it has no LACUNAE!
(He even has a rock from LUNA!)
To suggest a thinning gets a STEELY stare!

{A-, A-.}

desper-otto said...

Good morning! (and Merry Christmas)

Got 'er done, but it took a l-o-n-g time -- 17 minutes and change. Still, that's within the allotted range, so life is good. Tried AGTS before FEDS showed up. LACUNAE bubbled up on its own from some dark recess once LAC was in place. Never heard of a LOB wedge, but it was inferable from the clue. We've never flown with pets, so the only RELIEF AREA I could think of was the concourse restroom. Perps to the rescue. Impressive debut, David. Enjoyable expo, Husker.

ALL TIME LOW: Here in SE Texas we're experiencing ALL TIME highs. Daily highs will be 80°+ through New Years Day. That's about 20 degrees above average.

ILYA: Anyone else think of ILYA Kuryakin -- the Man From Uncle character played by David McCallum?

TENON: Mortise and tenon is one of the strongest wood joints, and one of the most difficult to make. The tenon, not so complex, but the mortise takes precision chisel work.

Happy birthday, YR. I always enjoy your well-documented posts.

Good to hear that Boomer is progressing, but it's a bummer spending Christmas in the VA hospital. I'm sure that place looks like a ghost town today.

waseeley said...

Merry Christmas everyone!


Vidwan happened to mention that he is making fruit cakes this season. It brought to mind this recipe from our Parish cookbook, contributed by an emeritus organist, now playing organ for the Angels. Here's Bud's Best Ever Rum Cake.


ATLGranny said...

FIR this Christmas morning, but a lot slower than DO! The NE side was a struggle from ROE on up. Like OwenKL, it took a bit of time to get away from ships to beer for BREW. And ERICSSON! I tried several spellings for that name before filling in the right one. Speaking of "right one," there sits EAST on the east side of the puzzle! In the end it worked out and I thank you David for your debut puzzle.

Lots to like in this puzzle and your holiday review today, Gary, illustrated and explained everything well. Thanks!

Good to hear Boomer's progress, C.C.
Happy Birthday to YR, our Christmas birthday girl. And Merry Christmas to all you fellow puzzlers!

tiptoethru said...

Merry Christmas morning! I'm settled in my chair with a cup of coffee after shoveling the snow off the driveway-a true white Christmas! I'm happy to come to this site and find the answers I needed from yesterday so that I could enjoy this puzzle twice! Thank you to all the puzzle constructors, solvers, and explainers here and wishing you all blessings and warmth today and on into the next!

billocohoes said...

Merry Xmas!

NE was the last to go, getting away from As an ..afterthought, WHOO isn't what I'd say for YAY, and BREW took an alphabet run to click.

My sister worked for the NSA but she couldn't tell me what she did.

I don't think RALE is obscure, it's almost standard crosswordese. I've seen it more than LACUNAE.

Big Easy said...

David- RALE was too obscure but LACUNAE wasn't? For me it was the latin plural of an unknown word. Your rough draft had to be TWEAKED for Rich to accept.. Perps to the rescue for LACUNAE after changing BERNE to BASIL which gave the the unknown ILYA. I FIR at the cross of KEYS & ROE. Only other change was AS AN afterthought to ALSO.

FEDS- all perps. Mulder & Scully unknown.
KEA, ELI Roth,- unknown for me
RELIEF AREA- nothing more disgusting that seeing somebody who isn't blind or handicapped walking a phony 'service animal' through an airport.
ALL TIME LOW- golf score of 77 on a former PGATour course. LOB wedge- I could never make myself hit it hard enough as I wouldn't take a full swing for a short shot.

inanehiker said...

This was a challenge - but eventually FIR. It helped to have words like LACUNAE in my vocabulary- but the cluing made it need a few perps to get started. Clever cluing for ROE. I grew up watching a lot of golf with my dad - but didn't know of a LOB wedge; they probably just call it a wedge most of the time.

Big Easy - I wouldn't judge from externals - sure there are always people gaming the system - but there are service dogs that help people in other ways- some that are trained to sense low blood sugars in brittle diabetics, to sense a seizure coming on in those with difficult to control seizure disorders, vets with PTSD.

Thanks HG and congrats to David!
HBD to YR and Lorraine!
Continued prayers for Boomer and CC!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

Merry Christmas to all! πŸŽ„πŸŽ

I thought my completion time was pretty good (23:12) until Speedy Gonzalez, AKA, DO piped up! πŸ˜‰ Anyway, I’m not a speed solver so fast times aren’t important. I found the cluing to be clever yet not unfair or overly difficult. I needed perps for Lacunae, Ceres, Ericcson, Ilya, and Tulsa, as clued. I had Cat before Pet but no other w/os. I smiled at the timely 1A, Gift Basket, and the Gal/Gam, Brew/Blew, and Roe/Rod duos. CSO to Lemony (Lemon Fresh) HG (Lunar), and Misty (Whoo).

Thanks, David, for a satisfying solve and for dropping by. Congrats on your LA Times and themeless debuts and on your recent fatherhood. Thanks, HG, for an informative and colorful tour, as usual.

Happy Birthday, YR, hope it’s a special and joyous day. πŸŽ‚πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ

Happy Birthday, Ferm, celebrate in style! πŸŽ‚πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ

Best wishes to Boomer for a discharge and return to home very soon!

Have a great day. Hope Santa treated everyone kindly!

Malodorous Manatee said...

Mele Kalikimaka!

Happy Birthday, Kathy and Lorraine!

A solvable Saturday. Relatively easy in parts while approaching diabolical in other parts.

Thanks for the update, C.C.

PK said...

Joyous Noel, Y'all! An engrossing challenge, thanks, David. Very good expo, Gary.

Glad to hear Boomer is doing okay. Blessings to you & C.C.

Happy Birthday, Kathy. May it be a special day.

Happy Birthday, Lorraine, I've been wondering how you were & glad to hear you are okay or as okay as we can be at our ages.

waseeley said...

Merry Christmas, again! I think I'm fully awake now, but getting ready for a nap to rest up before seeing my 8 grandchildren later this afternoon. Teri may have gotten a little carried away with all the gifts and I hope we have enough room in the car for everything!

Thank you David and congrats on your debut. Your puzzle was a delightful Christmas present, although for a good while I thought Santa was going to put coal in my stocking. The cluing in this puzzle was very, very clever and in the NE it was formidable, for me at least. For a long time the only firm fill I had in the region was 16A LEAH. It wasn't until I SWAGGED GAL, another Israeli woman, for 21D that I was able to SNAKE my way through the rest of the clues up there. Last to fall was 11A BREW, as naturally I wanted POTS.

And thank you HUSKER for another fine review, and especially for contacting David to get his take on the puzzle.

44A ROD. It continues to amaze me that the retina of the eye simply evolved via random mutations and natural selection.

51A TULSA. That statue must have cost a fortune. I guess it's too heavy to steal.

9D ERICSSON. Actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr is credited with co-inventing "spread spectrum technology" with composer George Antheil. Lamarr was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for the development of her frequency hopping technology in 2014. The achievement has led Lamarr to be dubbed “the mother of Wi-Fi” and other wireless communications like GPS and Bluetooth.

12D RELIEF AREA. DNK this one, but perps don't lie, nor do sleeping dogs.

13D EAST. Right way? Oh, on a map! Was David thinking of this Christmas hymn? ...

People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.


And Happy Birthday Kathy and Lorraine! πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚
And thank you C.C. for the update on Doug.

Wilbur Charles said...

I finally get ROE . Perped but ???
I was wondering if 'SHUTOUT' had a baseball relationship. But BLANKED needed the K from SNAKE(another slow go) as was RELIEF AREA.

Well deserved A's on the clever l'icks, Owen

D-O, I first thought: 'LA Angels?' Then I thought, not D-O, who eschews all sports. Did you get BLANKED? I was BLANKED in NE but took my shower and it finally fell

ATL, you couldn't have enjoyed that Falcon 3-25 / 34-28 reminder. But I did

"I FIR at the cross of KEYS & ROE." DITTO, BigE

HBD to YR and Lorraine!

LOB Wedges are handy in RELIEF AREAs

Re. Waseeley poem: Author, author!


Ray - O - Sunshine said...

A very Merry Christmas to all... πŸŒ²πŸŽπŸŽ…

Don't mean to Karp, David (congratulations on your dayBU) but found this CW my stocking too hard to complete oddly because in part I thought RELIEFAREA was wrong. (are there actually places for pets to "go" at airports? πŸ€”) so the NE was my WATERLOO (a Brit aeroport area for pets to go I guess). The mother of Judah was not Princess Leia, tried "felt" for "craft fare", nope. Left in "flanked" for BLANKED, "dire" for DARK.

Inkovers: delude/LEADON, cup/TOR,

Why is an URN a Sunday server? URNS are more common where I work. Alicia's name was not "oboe" guess.πŸ˜†

ICON or idol?

Thought a "driller" statue would be found in "Texas" Didn't work perpwise. You say la-KYOON-ay We say la-KOON-ay (cerebral infarcts less than 1cm for ex.). ..We use the medi-vac suction canister pictured daily to suction pleural (lung) and peritoneal (abdominal) fluid accumulation. Ours hold 1.2 liters , my record is aspirating 15 liters of abdominal fluid from one unfortunate but grateful patient. RALE is a medical term I've never seen in the singular..kind of like "measle"

"underwater beginnings"?..was looking for a prefix.

Poor choice of building materials. Wouldn't a campus in china break easily? DO hands up for Ilya Kuryakin. 17min? yikes!😳

Longest ever cow sound....ALLTIMELOW
Small Brit shacks....SCHEDULES

YR & Lorraine HBD.... Christmas birthdays?

CC, if by "off the catheter" you mean what I think you mean, Boomer can now use the hospital room RELIEF AREA or at least the URNal...always a positive sign. 😊

Misty said...

Delightful Christmas day puzzle, thanks for your GIFT BASKET, David, and for checking in. And always enjoy your commentary Husker Gary--thanks for that too.

So glad to hear Boomer is getting better, C.C.

Nice poems, Owen.

Happy birthdays, Yellowrocks and Lorraine. How does it feel to have a Christmas birthday? Mine is on December 23, and my mother planned only one birthday party for me, but everyone thought it was a Christmas party and I got hardly any presents. Hope you both have a lovely day.

Hey, I got IRON and BEL-AIR for a good start to the puzzle.

Also, nice to see ROSA Parks.

I spent a year in BASEL once, as a visiting Professor--lovely city.

Have a joyful, wonderful Christmas day, everybody.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

DNF, looking up ILYA. That was enough for me to WAG LACUNAE.

Lore has it that Phil used to hit LOB wedges over his mom and into the swimming pool in his high school days. He is known as the master of the flop shot.

When I lived in Dallas, my community of Monticello was known as the GTE / American Airlines ghetto. Hardly a blighted area, though.

Merry Christmas to all.

Picard said...

We are back from travels to the San Francisco Bay Area for my brother's birthday this week. His daughter flew out from Austin where she is in medical residency. I guess today is another Jewish guy's birthday!

Struggled to get GBR as clued. Learning moment why the USA and Russia/USSR did not qualify. Tried SWAK before XOXO. Anyone else? Clever clue for KEYS; slow to get it. Had SUB before ROE. Favorite was clue for IN UTERO. Tried EN ROUTE. Learning moment about LACUNAE.

To me, CLEAN means free of odor. Does anyone else agree that if a perfume is added it is no longer CLEAN?

Do you see the SNAKE in this photo or were you looking at something else?

This was at our Lucidity Festival which has not been happening during COVID.

Vidwan827 said...

Happy Birthday, YellowRocks, Kathy ... May you have a wonderful double day, of your birth and the holiday of love, peace and harmony. Best wishes and hopes for many years ahead - and trust your two sons and family will give you the best presents and companionship yet.
I read your posts with interest, especially on the occurences of rare words. Hopefully, when the COVID eventually passes on, you will have plenty of opportunities to participate in square dancing.

Happy Birthday, Lorraine - FermatPrime, and wishing you the best. I remember your first posts every morning back in the good, old days. I always marvelled at the presence of a female professor of mathematics, although I have personally had the privilege of many such teachers over the years. Hope you doing well.

Merry Christmas to all the blog posters and readers, whereever you may be.

Today is a holiday even in Pakistan, which is a country based on the muslim religion, Islam, because it is celebrated as Quiad-e-Azam's birthday. Mahommed Ali Jinnah, the Quaid e Azam ( Great leader of all, populace ) *

*Stanley Wolpert, author of the his magnum opus, Jinnah of Pakistan, disputes this date, ...... but it may be considered nitpicking, though historically accurate.

As for my rum fruit cake project .... it is stil coming along.
Thank you Waseely, for the Bud Best ever rum cake, .... it made me tipsy just reading thru the direcshuns. My wife and I tried the rum on a Pannetone, and decided it was too strong ... we may have to go with an Orange flavored Triple Sec spritz...

Thank you Lucina and PK for your advice, as well ... I'll be sure to follow your well meant advice.

have a great day, all.

ATLGranny said...

Oops, I see I failed to wish Fermat Prime a very Happy Birthday this morning. I remember seeing your posts earlier and hope you are doing well.

TXMs said...

Great puzzle and recap - thanks, David, and HG! DNK LACUNAE, but the perps were solid. ALL TIME LOW: in the 2019 AFC Divisional play-offs between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans, the Texans were ahead 24-0 at the end of the 1st quarter. They tanked (as usual), 51-31. Of course, I won't mention their scoring "prowess" this year.

Great news about Boomer. Happy Birthday to all the Christmas babies! I've called my good friend with BD greetings and will call my brother later.

Lucina said...

Hola y feliz navidad!

Thanks to David Karp and Gary for the Saturday fun! It was a bit of a slog, but doable. It took longer because I was watching the Disney parade at the same time. Those young people express so much energy!

GIFT BASKET is a perfect start for tis puzzle on Christmas day.

CSO to Cookie, aka, LEAH, who posted in past times.

I really liked the clues for ROE and KEYS. Alicia KEYS. A piano player. Also for IN UTERO.

PEDESTALS crossing ETAGERE seems fitting.

My family expects me at 2 P.M. so it's time to get ready.

Have a joyous, peaceful and contented Christmas Day, everyone! Picard, I like your perspective on this holiday.
We could write a book about our experience in TULSA when we went for my nephew's wedding. Part of the hotel where we stayed was under construction!

I had a DNF at LACUNAE/ELUDE/ETSY. Learning moment for me.

Lucina said...

Happy birthday, Kathy and Lorraine!

OwenKL said...

I see ATLGranny and I had very different interpretations of "craft" and "brew", yet both came to the same conclusion!

I so wanted to add a "YET" to the end of ARE WE THERE.

Husker Gary, thanks for explaining SNAKE! I couldn't figure which homograph "wind" was! Also the background on Bluetooth, I've wondered about that.

LACUNAE isn't just a medical term, tho that's where it's used the most. I read a sci-fi story about a California town that sank into the ocean, titled "LACUNAE Beach".

ILYA reminds me of a shaggy dog story I once wrote about Czechoslovakian twins, Ilya and Ilyana, "The Three Greatest Lies". They were "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you," "Of course I'll still respect you in the morning," and "The Czech is in the male."

GBR I had to LIU. I thought maybe it was an abbreviation for German something Republic, not Great BRitain.

That Betty Grable pic was from the back to hide her being several months pregnant.

Mulder and Scully were from "The X Files". "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" was Will Smith.

That RELIEF AREA looks small for a PET TIGER!

Good to hear Fermat' is still around!

OwenKL said...

Oh, another LIU, why was Ilya Glazunov a "controversial painter"? He seems to have won every award the Kremlin has to give. A single incident early in his career: "For the ideological crime of depicting Solzhenitsyn [among dozens of other leaders and cultural figures], the Central Committee of the Communist Party considered exiling him from the Soviet Union. Instead, he was sent to Siberia to paint portraits of the workers of the Baikal-Amur Railroad."

desper-otto said...

The breadcrumbs have been croutonned, the carrots and cabbage sliced, the roast is in the oven, and 10 pounds of potatoes have been peeled, grated, and are soaking in a pillowcase in the sink. We're currently experiencing a planned "hold" before launching into dumpling assembly about 4:30. At 6 it'll be dinner time! Yay. Let the annual festival of indigestion begin!

Vidwan827 said...

My continued best wishes and prayers for Boomer and CC. May the season bring better news and a better prognosis.

Picard, I did look at the snake, but couldn't make out the head or tail of it. I finally figured out that the head was with the lady on the right, based on the size of the circles on the skin of the python ... smaller circles near the head, I suppose.

I had a good time with the CW puzzle, so thank you David Karp, and congratulations on your debut. I have a family of Karps next door, but none of them are Davids.
Thank you HG for your lucid explanatory review.

I had a tough time, with the clues, because of the argot and jargon in the cluing, so it was a challenge, but slowly it came together.

51 Acrosss ... TULSA ...Golden Driller Statue, ...
Waseely, you thought that statue would be too heavy to steal. FYI, if that statue would have been real gold, it might have represented all the US holdings in Ft. Knox and elsewhere. BTW, the US has about 8,133 tons of gold in its holdings, and the entire stock would represent a cuboid of 46'x48'x34'....of which 4,581 tons is at Ft. Knox.
Knowing the density of gold, that statue of real gold would have sliced through the earth like a knife going through melting butter.

As for the NSA hiring the mathematicians, it is fairly well known that the top cryptic codes are all based on very large arrays of prime numbers, in the thousands of digits. That is why, all research in that area is highly classified.

Anonymous T said...

Merry Christmas and Happy Saturday everyone!

A special Christmas HBD to YR (have fun w/ Alan this week!) and Fermateprime (we miss you at The Corner).

David left coal in my stocking; I just couldn't fill 34d & 46d crossing 38 & 53a. Thanks for the puzzle, David, and congrats on your LAT debut.

Great expo, HG. Thanks for making me feel better a bit about not knowing LACUNaE; I ALSO didn't know ETAGERE even though Eldest has the one pictured (hers is green) for books.

WOs: agtS -> FEDS (Hi D-O!), ERICkSON
Fav: TROLL's clue.

IN UTERO: I was so close to inking eNroute.
I too wondered how the .UK beat out both .US & .RU, like ALL TIME... Thanks HG(br? :-))!

{A, B+ but fun xword words}

Picard - I was thinking 'sub' first but TROLL was a lock - I mean, it had to be, right?
I hate smelly stuff and so does my skin. Fragrance-free for me :-)

D-O: Really??, 17 min? That's how long it took me to finally ink my 1st fill (NSA) :-)
//these help with mortise cuts (and you won't slice the side of your thumb's knuckle).

Vidwan - DITTO. Two of my most influential math teachers were females. One in HS that got me into (her) advanced program at Byrd and one at LA Tech who commented on my strong algebra skills (thanks to HS teach) and how I would do well in her Calc class.
Prof was married to another Calc Prof - they'd met at Los Alamos mathing rocket paths.
Re: NSA - they have ways of making your crypto weak. [see ALSO: DES3 in the '70s]

RELIEF AREA - I reckoned it was a good place outside & on the other side of the security-checkpoint to drag a Camel.
Notice: NO SMOKEING(?!?)
"Your dog can s*** here but I can't smoke?" was an afterthought.

Waseeley - LOL Rum Cake. Even funnier 'cuz Youngest made Egg Nog from scratch this morning (the store was out of all but lactose-free stuff). I need to go find the spiced rum.

Boomer & C.C. - Things are looking up, I feel. God Speed to both yous.

Cheers, -T

waseeley said...

Wilbur Charles @11:48 AM It's actually the first line of the first verse of "People look east, a Christmas hymn with lyrics Eleanor Farjeon. She also wrote the lyrics to one of my favorite songs, "Morning has Broken" sung to the Scottish tune BUNESSEN, popularized by Cat Stevens.

Picard said...

Yellowrocks and FermatPrime Happy Birthday!

Boomer Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Lucina Thank you for the kind words! Yes, today is a celebration of the birth of a famous Jewish carpenter. I have another good friend whose birthday is today.

Vidwan Thank you for taking a look at the SNAKE. There was a SNAKE?

This photo gives a clearer view of the head of the SNAKE.

AnonT Glad you agree that LEMON FRESH is not CLEAN. CLEAN means free of contamination. Including the contamination of perfumes.

Did anyone else think of this Beatles song Bungalow Bill when you saw the bit about LOOKS COULD KILL?

I cued it up to that line in the song.

Anonymous T said...

Waseeley - Songs? Anything by Sir Paul is most beautiful. Pop got me this book(s) for Christmas.
I'm in Chapter 3 already.


Ol' Man Keith said...

H B D Yellowrocks & Fermatprime ~ and a Merry Christmas to all!

A busy day at the Fowler homestead, so I'll keep this short. Here's wishing everybody in the Corner a happy holiday. May all your dreams be mild & sweet, and all your realistic wishes come true.

Kelly Clark said...

Oh, oh -- wonderful puzzle that had me stumped for EONS, until I finally got RELIEF AREA. (Confession time: I actually looked up Airport on Wikipedia and searched vainly for something to do with pets...getting nothing, I bravely continued on until the penny dropped.)

Happy Birthday, Kathy and Lorraine.

Boomer and C.C.? You know how much you're loved.

Merry Christmas, all...and thank you for all that you do!

Michael said...

Picard, re: your photo @ 12:12 --

Nice omphaloi!

Michael said...

-T, the troops used to call him 'Daddy DIRNSA.'