, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: February 2022


Feb 28, 2022

Monday February 28, 2022 John Michael Currie

Theme: SECRET SAUCE (55. Subtle element in a success story ... and what's revealed by each set of circles) - Five type of sauces are hidden in the theme answers.

 20A. Like civilizations that antedate written records: PREHISTORIC. Pesto.

 30A. Pop singer's list of recordings, e.g.: DISCOGRAPHY. Soy.

 46A. Sourced locally, as a menu: FARM TO TABLE. Mole.

 11D. Official inspection spot: CHECKPOINT. Hot.

 29D. Diver's rotation: SOMERSAULT. Meat.

Boomer here. 

Well, I have certainly had SOY sauce over the years and I can also say I have enjoyed HOT sauce now and then. PESTO, MOLE, and MEAT are not enjoyed in our house. 

Happy to say so long to February which contributed about a dozen days where the thermometer hit a mark below zero.  Add that to January and we had about a total of 30 minus days.  I think it is a new record of minus for the land of 10,000 lakes.


1. Taiwanese bubble tea: BOBA.


5. Yawn-inducing: BANAL.

10. Dull pain: ACHE. Attacks my left leg frequently.

14. Racetrack shape: OVAL.  Kentucky Derby is coming soon.  Place your bets.  Minnesota has "Canterbury Downs" where they show a video of Churchill downs and betting is open.

15. Fruit whose oil is used in cooking: OLIVE.  Popeye's girlfriend.

16. Onetime Ralston cereal now owned by General Mills: CHEX.  My favorites are simple Wheat and Corn Chex.  I see a lot of sugary Chex in the cereal aisle and cinnamon are not too bad.  Most of the others have lots of sugar.  Except Rice which are not a favorite.

17. Wine lover's prefix: OENO. As in "oenophile".

18. Nine-piece combo: NONET.

19. U. of Maryland athlete: TERP.  Short for Terrapin.

23. Pigeon sound: COO.  We do not see many Pigeons.  They are known to make a mess.

24. "SNL" alum Gasteyer: ANA.

25. Armored vehicle: TANK.  We have one that holds about $60.00 worth of gasoline.  Of course that is this week.  Who knows about next week.

27. Tres menos uno: DOS. Three minus one.

36. Traditional piano key wood: EBONY.  Blacker than the Ace of spades.

38. Root for a luau: TARO.

39. Pâté de __ gras: FOIE.

40. Covert ops outfit: CAMO.  I used to have some Camo stuff left over from Uncle Sam.  It's gone now. 

41. "Chopsticks __ fork?": OR A.  Fork for me, sticks for my dear wife.

42. Fey with nine Emmys: TINA.  I could never stay up late enough to watch Saturday Night Live.

43. Part of BSA: Abbr.: AMER. The Boy Scouts of America.

44. Ponder (over): MULL.  I'll think about it.

45. Hunger signs that hurt: PANGS.  Not me.  I always eat before the PANGS show up.

49. Vietnamese New Year: TET.

50. Articulated: SAID.

51. Tiny colonist: ANT.  Driveway is covered with snow right now.  Amazing how these little bugs can dig holes in the tar and create a home in the spring.

53. Reggae relative: SKA.

62. Unseating plan?: COUP.  I don't know.  There is usually enough room in the back.

64. Avoid, as duty: SHIRK.

65. Broadway event: SHOW.  "SHOW me the way to go home.  I'm tired and I wanna go to bed."

66. Adept: ABLE.  I have not been ABLE to bowl for awhile. Working on PT rehab.

67. One of the senses: TASTE.

68. Joint above the ankle: KNEE.

69. Greek B: BETA.  Alpha, BETA, Gamma, Delta.  Only one Airline in the Greek Alphabet.

70. "Oof!": YIKES.

71. Abel and Cain, to Adam and Eve: SONS.  Don't forget SETH. 


1. Cutesy nose-poke word: BOOP.  Betty's last name.

2. Mind-matter link: OVER.  "Why don't we stop fooling ourselves.  The game is OVER, OVER, OVER."  Simon and Garfunkel.

3. Scourge: BANE.

4. Hawaiian greeting: ALOHA. Also can be "See you later".

5. Dwarf planting: BONSAI.

6. Very much: A LOT.  Where I park at the grocery store.

7. Barcelona boy: NINO.

8. Declare: AVER.

9. "Time to stop obsessing on this": LET IT GO.  Aaron Rodgers - are you listening?

10. Play a part (in): ACT.

12. One who comes to the rescue: HERO.  A big sandwich.

13. Montreal MLBer before 2005: EXPO.  Montreal left Canada and became the Washington Nationals.  The Minnesota Twins were the Senators that left Washington in 1960.

21. "500" race, familiarly: INDY.  This OVAL track race is also coming soon.  Around Memorial Day.

22. Automobile: CAR.  These Fast, Faster will be at INDY but never in my garage.

26. Tripartite commerce pact acronym: NAFTA.  North America Free Trade.

27. Pre-bedtime coffee, often: DECAF.  I am enjoying this now.  I guess Chemotherapy patients are not supposed to have caffeine.

28. President with degrees from Columbia and Harvard: OBAMA.  I remember him.

31. Dark beer: STOUT.  I have never liked beer.

32. Diane's "Cheers" co-server: CARLA.  Where everybody knows your name.

33. Colgate rival: ORAL B.

34. Depend (on): HINGE.  Depends on keeping your door in place.

35. Brewery need: YEAST.  Also needed for pizza dough.

37. __ Rae, Sally Field role: NORMA.

44. "Aw shucks" quality: MODESTY.

45. Writers' tools: PENS.  Pigs lived in them on my Uncle Bill's farm in Siren, Wisconsin..

47. Apt "it's" anagram: TIS.  The season to feel jolly.

48. Hanukkah pancakes: LATKES.

52. Duties: TASKS.  The physical therapy lady gives me a few tasks.

53. Wound cover: SCAB.  I cover with a Band Aid.  The SCAB comes later.

54. Asian beef city: KOBE.  Mr. BRYANT was a great LA Laker Basketball player, before he went down in a helicopter.

56. Indian spiced tea: CHAI.

57. Take a chance on: RISK.  I think Kramer played RISK with Neuman in Jerry's Apartment.

58. Art Deco artist: ERTE.

59. "Hmm ... doubt it": UH NO.

60. Ethan or Joel of film: COEN.

61. Fleecy females: EWES.

63. Podded plant: PEA.  C.C. likes all kinds of veggies.


Feb 27, 2022

Sunday February 27, 2022 Katrina Lee

Theme: "Juicy Tidbits" - Four different teas are dropped from four long Across theme entries.

1A. Often abbreviated reaction to information overload: TO (O LONG), DIDN'T READ.

2D. Chinese for "black dragon": OOLONG.

32A. Completely different situation: A WHOLE OTH(ER BAL) GAME.

35D. Like some remedies: HERBAL.

70A. Middle-earth ring bearer: BILB (O BA)GGINS. And 12. 70-Across nephew: FRODO.

71D. Fett in "The Mandalorian": BOBA.

106A. Résumé alert about an unfinished goal: DEG(REE N)OT COMPLETED.

108D. Putting __: GREEN.


130. "Give me some gossip!" ... and a hint to this puzzle's sets of circles, which affect four Across answers: SPILL THE TEA.

Congrats to Katrina for her first LAT puzzle. And a Sunday!

I don't think we've seen a puzzles with a 11-letter Across, normally the first themer starts at the 3rd row. Amazing grid! "Dropping" theme is always trickier to design and fill.


12. Ukulele ridge: FRET.

16. "Gotcha" sounds: AHS.

19. Starter: HORS D'OEUVRE. 22. Altruism: SELFLESSNESS. Partnered with two more long entries: 120. Total removals: ERADICATIONS. 127. "The Crocodile" of early tennis: RENE LACOSTE.

20. Indian flatbread: ROTI. Not NAAN.


21. Laser pointer chaser: CAT.

23. Most of the 2010s: OBAMA ERA.

25. Span of a scale with three sharps: A TO A. Tricky to parse.

26. That, in Madrid: ESA. Or ESO.

27. Gucci of fashion: ALDO.

29. "Elements of Algebra" author: EULER. Wikipedia says he wrote the book around 1765 in German.

30. "Don't back down, bro!": MAN UP.

36. Certain carton components: EGG CUPS.

39. Reunion attendees: AUNTS.

40. Café freebie: EAU. And 112. Like a romantic dinner, in Paris: A DEUX. 117. Paris gal pal: AMIE. 28. Paris article: LES.

41. "Don't think so": I BET.

42. Nos. for alums: YRS.

43. Comparative data diagram: BAR GRAPH. So many fantastic entries in this grid: 64. "Play it cool": ACT CASUAL. 78. Raggedy: MOTH-EATEN. 92. Dad's referral?: GO ASK MOM. 15D. Zoom annoyance: TIME LAG.

48. "The Misery Index" network: TBS.

51. Bulgarian's neighbor: SERB.

53. Type of diet that might replace potatoes with cauliflower: LOW CARB. I'd be miserable with such a diet.

 56. New Deal agcy.: NRA.

57. "High Rollers" co-host __ Lee: RUTA.  Here with Alex Trebek.

59. Grams: NANAS.

61. Alert on the road: HONK AT.

63. __ in Charlie: C AS.

66. Prefix with treat or giving: MIS.

67. Blow a fuse: LOSE IT.

69. Sellers of KAFFEREP cinnamon buns: IKEAS.

74. Following: POSSE.

75. Tokyo airport: NARITA. Busiest airport in Japan. The first two characters 成田 is Narita.

77. Apple runs on it: IOS.

80. Hot state: IRE.

81. How three nursery-rhyme merchants went to sea: IN A TUB.

84. Trailer follower: MOVIE.

85. Laker legend, familiarly: KOBE. Bryant.

86. Votes against: NOS.

87. Soybeans served in the pod: EDAMAME. It's called "mao dou" in Chinese. Same thing.

89. Gawk at: OGLE.

91. With 6-Down, Rudolph's guiding light: RED. And 6. See 91-Across: NOSE.

95. Boarding precedes it: Abbr.: ETD. Also 14. ORD posting: ETA.

97. Penicillium, e.g.: MOLD.

99. Half a martial art: TAI. Tai chi.

100. Kendrick with a Pulitzer: LAMAR. For his album DAMN.

102. On the lam: AT LARGE.

113. Chef's protection: APRON.

114. Word with words or chance: LAST.

115. Org. with many returns: IRS. And 128. ID on many returns: SSN. Have not done ours yet.

118. Most sentimental: WEEPIEST.

125. Maiden name preceder: NEE.

126. __-Ball: SKEE.

129. Post: SEND.


1. What Rickey Henderson often beat: THE TAG. 1,406 stolen bases. Record of course.

3. NIAID director: DR FAUCI. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
4. Luzon, for one: Abbr.: ISL. Island. Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines.

5. JFK predecessor: DDE.

7. Thompson of Marvel movies: TESSA.

8. Beat it: RUN AWAY.

9. Night before: EVE.

10. ___ Technica: tech news website: ARS.

11. Make drinkable, as seawater: DESALT.

13. "Mr. __": Rami Malek drama: ROBOT.

 16. Amtrak speedster: ACELA.

17. Sultan's group: HAREM

18. Intimidate, with "down": STARE.

22. Identical: SAME.

24. Foretell: AUGUR.

31. Trivia night settings: PUBS.

33. Flings: HURLS.

34. "That's wrong __ many levels": ON SO.

37. Hammer parts: PEENS.

38. "Ghost Story" author Peter: STRAUB. Learning moment for me.

43. Forbid: BAN.

44. Flood shelter: ARK.

45. 23andMe discovery: ANCESTOR.

46. "Thank the Lord!": PRAISE BE.

47. Got a move on: HASTENED.

48. Instruction: TRAINING.

49. "__ Holiday": opening section of Copland's "Rodeo": BUCKAROO.

50. First woman to be named Doctor of the Church, briefly: ST TERESA. Sometimes we see AVILA clued as [St. Teresa's city].


52. __ B'rith: BNAI.

54. Tory adversary: WHIG.

55. __ de' Medici, first de facto Lord of Florence: COSIMO. Also new to me.

58. Berry in a bowl: ACAI.

60. Garlic genus: ALLIUM. Onion, leek, chive all belong to this genus.

62. Get plastered: TOPE. Not a word I use.

65. Piedmont bubbly: ASTI.

66. Classic U.K. sports cars: MGS.

68. Prepare, as beans: SOAK. I like peas better, esp black-eyed peas, widely used in Cantonese soup.

72. De __: again: NOVO.

73. Stain: STIGMA.

76. Short on iron, maybe: ANEMIC. Beans and peas are high in iron.

79. Serf of Sparta: HELOT.

82. Ruckus: ADO.

83. Cap with a pompon: TAM.

84. Convened in: MET AT.

88. Idea that spreads in a culture: MEME.

90. "First Lady of Song": ELLA. And 116. 90-Down's improv: SCAT.

93. Entrance porch: STOOP.

94. Teen dystopian novel narrator: KATNISS. "The Hunger Games".

96. Hanukkah top: DREIDEL.

98. Duchamp, for one: DADAIST.

100. CD precursors: LPS.

101. Lets out, say: ALTERS. Sometimes I struggle to fold Boomer's walker. Not fun when it's -12 and windy. I'm surprised that it takes a long time for my cracked finger to heal. I'm also surprised that the same spot can be cracked twice. I need to be a better glove-wearer.

103. Channel changer: REMOTE.

104. Kind of pig that's not a pig: GUINEA.

105. They can be tricky to run into: EXES.

106. Daybreaks: DAWNS.

107. Foil relatives: EPEES.

109. Designer Ashley: OLSEN. Here with her twin.

110. Like some cornered kings: MATED.

111. "You know the __": DRILL.

119. Just make, with "out": EKE.

121. Good name, briefly: REP.

122. "Star Wars" nickname: ANI. Nickname for the young Darth Vader.

123. German "Alas!": ACH.

124. __ the line: TOE.

We have another busy week ahead. VA every day. Thursday is tougher with four appointments, including Boomer's chemo infusion and a meeting with the neurosurgeon.

But there's no more below zero in the forecast. So happy. We had a tough time last Tuesday with the snowstorm.


Feb 26, 2022

Saturday, February 26, 2022, Jamey Smith

 Saturday Themeless by Jamey Smith

Jamey is our Longhorn constructor who worked at the University of Texas for 25 years as a 
writer/editor in the university’s development communications office. As always he gives us a very nice challenge today.

Thanks for checking in, Gary, and a big hello to Saturday solvers far and wide.

This puzzle was something of a departure for me in that I began with no particular seed entries in mind. Instead I set myself the challenge of designing an interesting-looking grid and then seeing where it might take me fill-wise. This resulted in, well, a little something for everyone — at least that’s my hope. My favorite juxtaposition is the pair of eight-letter entries in the NE corner. The lower one pretty much sums up my reaction to the “conquest” above!  

Warm wishes,


1. Be temporarily: ACT AS.

6. Pulitzer-winning journalist for her Clinton-Lewinsky columns: DOWD The ten columns she wrote

10. Part of an ear: COB.

13. Heckle: TAUNT - Tit for tat

Works both ways

14. 2018 documentary about Alex Honnold's conquest of El Capitan: FREE SOLO17. "Are you serious!?": WAIT! WHAT? - "You want me to climb El Capitan with no equipment?"

16. Like a classic Reuben: ON RYE.

18. Key of Chopin's Ballade No. 1: G MINOR - Oh...

19. Mariner's worry: REEFS.

20. Minute quality: TININESS - Yeah, I suppose that would be the noun from the adjective tiny

23. Pastoral sounds: BAAS - Jamey included sheepishly.

24. Return address for guilty sorts?: SCENE OF THE CRIME - Fun clue!

28. Written in the stars: MEANT TO BE - In a recent q/a with Neil de Grasse Tyson, I heard him say that karma and such. is just a bunch of bunk.

29. 6-Down info: ETAS - That is sometimes a moot point

33. "My Fair Lady" composer: LOEWE 

34. Law school newbie: ONE-L 

This great movie's 
main characters

35. Postgame celebrations: FIST PUMPS - Matt Stafford didn't get many during his dismal years with the Detroit Lions. After being traded to the LA Rams, his 37. Elusive result: FAIRY TALE ENDING is being a Super Bowl Champion. 

44. Enervate: TIRE - A word I use about as often as last Sunday's ROISTERED

45. Well-thought-of: ESTEEMED.

46. John of Scotch fame: DEWAR - This 32-year-old version will run you about $150 
56. Mellow, in some cases: AGE - Can be an expensive process

48. Showrunner Shonda: RHIMES.

Three of Shonda's Shows

49. Colorful quartz variety: AMETHYST.

53. Victim of Hermes: ARGUS If you're interested

54. Trepidatious query starter: DARE I ASK.

55. [Shrug]: DUNNO 

57. What one often wears out?: COAT - I've been wearing this one for 22 years old and it's still going strong!

58. City near Düsseldorf: ESSEN.


1. __ Fireball: hot candy: ATOMIC

2. Boxer, for instance: CANINE - Woof!

3. Call it a night: TURN IN - If it's bed time, Joann has our kitty staring at her.

4. Fishing line?: ANYONE - Fun clue! Of course you thought of this scene:

5. Sound choice: STEREO.

6. Tex. airport that's bigger than Manhattan: DFW.

7. 1/24 of un giorno: ORA - 24 means hours, giorno means Italian and 1/24 means one ORA (hour)

8. One of China's Northern Dynasties: WEI.

386 A.D to 535 A.D.

9. Take away: DETRACT.

10. Unity: COHESION - In the zero-g of the ISS, water's cohesion pulls itself into a sphere

11. "Frozen" snowman who sings "In Summer": OLAF.

12. Some spammers: BOTS - There's this Nigerian Prince...

15. Certify: SWEAR TO.

18. Sporty rides: GT'S - Gran Turismo - Italian for Grand Touring 

21. Calif. home of works by Matisse and Warhol: S.F. MOMA - The San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art

22. Skyline feature: STEEPLE - The soaring STEEPLES of Cologne were used as landmarks on WWII bombing runs and were left untouched while the rest of the city was leveled

23. Prefix with diction: BENE - Gluey, Jamey?

25. Mooring cable openings: HAWSES.

26. U.K. honor: MBE - These lads are Members Order Of The British Empire

27. Sushi bar fare: EEL.

29. False start?: EFF False

30. __ Maria: TIA - Aunt Maria 

31. So to speak: AS IT WERE - Hall of fame QB Dan Marino is also famous, AS IT WERE, for never having won a Super Bowl. 

32. Mark with bands: STRIATE.

33. Ukulele forebear: LUTE What is a LUTE?

36. Like a costly victory: PYRRHIC - The Confederate victory at Chancellorsville was PYRRHIC because Lee's "right arm" Stonewall Jackson was killed by friendly fire

38. Schwab rival: E-TRADE 

39. '60s-chic jackets: NEHRUS - Yeah, I had a green one

40. Stoops: DEIGNS - Many thought she was so snobbish she would not DEIGN to even acknowledge others

41. Protected, in a way: IMMUNE - I've had three Covid shots, a flu shot and a shingles shot this past year

42. "Taken" trilogy surname: NEESON - Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a 59%.

43. Dept. store stock: GDS - GooDS or MERCHandise

46. Post-WWI art movement: DADA Dada was an art movement formed during the First World War in Zurich in negative reaction to the horrors and folly of the war.

47. Kindle read: E-MAG.

50. Former hoopster __ Ming: YAO.

7'6" Yao and his 6'3" wife Ye Li

51. Org. funded by FICA: SSA - Social Security Administration helps fund me!

52. Box office buy: Abbr.: TKT.

On Broadway