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


Apr 30, 2022

Saturday, April 30, 2022, Lindsey Hobbs

 Saturday Themeless by Lindsey Hobbs

Hi Gary, 

Thanks for reaching out. The seed for this puzzle, which might be a NO BRAINER, was FREE BRITNEY.”  Well over a year ago now, after seeing the story in the news again and finding myself shouting to no one in particular, “It’s her damn money, she can spend it however she wants!” I added FREE BRITNEY to my running list of seed entries. The rest of the puzzle eventually fell into place.

A few clues that didn’t make the cut — for 1-across I originally had, “Like Bob Dylan, controversially, at the 1965 Newport Music Festival.” And for 20-across, “Emulate the Scooby gang.” I’m particularly proud of “Order of magnitude” for SUPERSIZE, which made it in. There are a number of clues I can’t take credit for, but I'm thrilled to see so many women in the puzzle. 

Also, this is my first themeless and my first puzzle for the LA Times, which is super exciting. Grateful to Patti Varol for helping to whip it into shape! 

When I'm not making crosswords, I'm usually conserving books and paper at the archives for New York City, gardening, or taking silly pictures of my partner Steve and our cats. 

Thanks, and hope you enjoyed the puzzle!


1. Connected: PLUGGED IN - The guitar that Bob Dylan controversially PLUGGED IN sold at auction for $965,000.

10. "All good here!": I'M SET -Yup, I've got a nice Saturday puzzle to blog!

15. Order of magnitude?: SUPER SIZE - A precursor to being 24. __ shape?: IN BAD.

16. Not touch: LET BE.

17. Paleolithic innovation: STONE TOOL.

18. Turning points?: KNOBS - Ah, TV's and radios of my misspent youth.

19. British pound note featuring Jane Austen: TEN.

20. Horn in: MEDDLE.

22. Jettison: TOSS - The Saturn V rocket that took us to the Moon did jettison every part except the tiny, by comparison, Apollo CM (Command Module) which is the only part that returned to Earth

23. Take off: FLEE.

26. Hardly rosy: GRIM.

27. "Broaden your horizons!": GET A LIFE.

30. Bank security: LIEN.

31. Self-evident pick: NO BRAINER - Calling off this game looks like a NO BRAINER to me.

32. Top pick: FAVE.

33. Big name in Early American art: PEALE - Charles Willson PEALE's 1772 portrait of George Washington and 
2. Gentileschi's "Self-Portrait as a __ Player": LUTE. Our retired art curator/constructor Jeffrey Wechsler would know both of these works.


34. Emmy winner Helgenberger: MARG - MARG got a big kick out of having her hometown of North Bend, NE co-naming Locust St. Helgenberger St. (Yes, we had MARG in Robyn's puzzle last Saturday)

35. Drunkenness: INEBRIETY - An inebriated person can be said to be in a state of INEBRITY. Not by me but...

37. Cut off: SAWN.

38. Backs: REAR ENDS.

39. Herb used in some Indigenous smudging rituals: SAGE Smudging rituals

40. Life styles?: BIOTA - The flora and fauna of a region

41. Personal matter?: GENE - About as personal as you can get

42. Parking space: SPOT - Got that?
44. Fortified, with "up": SHORED - NFL teams are trying to SHORE UP their weak spots in this week's draft

46. Cool amount?: MIL - I had to get rid of LIL (diminutive of little) for "cool amount" because of  
46. Nutmeg spice: MACEThen it hit me, A million dollars is a Cool MIL.  😳

49. Sierra __: LEONE - Recent Saturday puzzles have had 
Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana and now...

51. Smell-O-Vision rival: AROMARAMA.

53. Source of intelligence: ASSET - With A _ _ _ T, I had AGENT first

54. Summary of top headlines: NEWSRECAP.

55. Prankster's declaration: GOT YA - or GOTCHA

56. Mail order?: DO NOT BEND.


1. Start of a library conversation, maybe: PSST.

3. Just after: UPON - UPON passing my driver's license, I immediately drove home

4. Mil. title: GEN.

5. Troublemaker: GREMLIN.

6. Prize: ESTEEM.

7. LED component: DIODE.

8. Hilfiger rival: IZOD - Preppy wear?

9. Pen name of journalist Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman: NELLIE BLY What a fabulous woman!

10. Sort: ILK.

11. Element of some meditation exercises: MENTAL IMAGE.

12. Admired with quiet reverence, with "of": STOOD IN AWE - There's this woman in Minneapolis who runs our blog...

13. Goes back out: EBBS.

14. Crossword editor Harper in Hallmark's "Crossword Mysteries" series: TESS.

21. __ nous: ENTRE - Juste ENTRE NOUS, avez-vous apprécié ce puzzle? [Just BETWEEN US, did you enjoy this puzzle?]

23. Hashtag that went viral during a pop star's legal battle: FREE BRITNEY - Lindsey's seed 

25. Ewe said it: BAA.

26. Elevate: GIVE A BOOST - Ya gotta love this video!

27. Kids on a farm: GOATS.

28. Plant that sparked the Victorian craze "pteridomania": FERN - Pterido is Latin for fern.

29. Indoor rower, for short: ERG - New to me
30. "Smallville" role for Durance: LANE 31. "You okay there?": NEED A HAND Lois?

32. Cone source: FIR.

33. Pub trayful: PINTS.

36. Classic car: REO - GTO, XKE, BMW...

37. Coastal formations?: SAND ART.

39. Appear to be: SEEM SO.

41. Cultivated: GROWN - Nothing beats home-GROWN tomatoes 

42. Refinery waste: SLAG.

43. Cuban bar tender: PESO - Oh, a PESO that is tendered as payment!

45. Little dipper?: OREO - "How shall I clue thee, Let me count the ways!"

47. Supermodel with a cosmetics line for women of color: IMAN.

48. W. Coast force: LAPD - UCLA didn't cut it

50. "When will u b here?": ETA - C u l8er

52. Hoops stat: REB: Rebounds

A repost of Chairman Moe's link from last week:

Apr 29, 2022

Friday, April 29, 2022, Ryan Hecht and Doug Peterson

Theme: Get the lead out

Puzzling thoughts: Today's puzzle has a quartet of entries with no reveal. Each of the entries has a "B" (or "B's") in a place where a "P" would make a more plausible phrase. Here they are:

20-across. Group of apartments made of gingerbread?: EDIBLE COMPLEX. The more recognized phrase that is mimicked is: OEDIPAL COMPLEX. According to Brittanica dot com: "Oedipus (Oedipal) complex, in psychoanalytic theory, is a desire for sexual involvement with the parent of the opposite sex and a concomitant sense of rivalry with the parent of the same sex; a crucial stage in the normal developmental process. Sigmund Freud introduced the concept in his Interpretation of Dreams (1899). Well, isn't THIS the start to some "blue" blogging, Moe?? Would you just shake your head if I posted this song?

The punned version that Ryan and Doug chose as a clue implies this "EDIBLE"; albeit in the form of a group of these as in a condominium COMPLEX

35-across. Gang made up of very light eaters?: NIBBLE RING. In the punned version, the word "RING" can indicate a "gang". But in the non-punned sound-alike ... well, I guess you'll just have to imagine what THAT image would look like

The REASON you WON'T find an image for the NIPPLE RING is because (36-down. Two-piece piece: BIKINI TOP), covered it!

Moving right along ...

43-across. Logo designer's day-to-day existence?: SYMBOL LIFE. Unlike the other entries, this one did not feature a sound-alike that used "BLE". Instead, it used "BOL". Not sure why the editor would deviate, but that's why they're paid to edit, and I am NOT paid to blog. Designer's "SYMBOLS" are their iconic images that enhance the brand. I doubt any of them lead a "SIMPLE LIFE", though

And last, but not least, is: 53-across. Cute, furry problem for Captain Kirk?: TRIBBLE THREAT. Ahh yes, a Star Trek reference, although I wonder if our resident Trekkie, Picard is a fan of this episode from the "original series". But before I link a YouTube video, the un-punned phrase "TRIPLE THREAT" can mean several things:

a) perhaps an actor who can sing, dance, and act

(b) perhaps a running back in football who can run (duh!), block, and catch passes

(c) perhaps a basketball player who can pass, shoot, and rebound effectively ...

This is all I could find about the co-collaborator, Ryan Hecht. Doug Peterson is a 15+ year veteran cruciverbalist who's had at least 50 puzzles published in the NY Times, and who created the first puzzle edited by Patti Varol on April 18th of this year in the LA Times. Good job, gentlemen, though many of the clues were obscure to me - guess that is part of why this was a Friday selection. Here is the grid:

Let's see how the rest of the grid filled in ...

1. Swedish pop group with the 2021 album "Voyage": ABBA.

5. Gels: SETS.

9. Manhattan Project project, briefly: A-BOMB.

14. Moved smoothly: SLID.

15. Country that outlawed alcohol in 1979: IRAN. Learning moment for me. According to Amnesty dot org: "What happens if you drink alcohol in Iran?" Under Iran's Islamic Penal Code, consumption of alcoholic beverages is punishable by 80 lashes, and if an individual is convicted and sentenced three times, the punishment on the fourth occasion is death. And neither can tourists drink alcohol whilst visiting. Guess Moe can take that place off of his "bucket list" of places to visit ...

16. Home of the world's tallest building: DUBAI. A picture is worth a thousand words

17. Throw hard: HURL. The word "HURL" has another meaning; perhaps if Ryan and Doug added the word "up" in the clue, between the words "throw" and "hard"

18. Disney title character from Hawaii: LILO. Did you know her last name is Pelekai?

19. Like cellared wine: AGING. I guess this could be a CSO to yours truly. No "cellar" here in Arizona, but I do have a small (48 bottle) wine fridge that maintains a perfect temperature and humidity (55 degrees/70%) for AGING wine. I haven't added too many bottles to it that require much AGING, as my advancing years are limiting me to purchasing wine that can be drank now. It's also why I rarely buy green bananas ...

23. Fall for: BUY. See the last sentence in my previous comment. I am not "falling for" (BUYING) Bordeaux futures, e.g., as I'm not sure my palate would discern the enhanced quality of a wine I shouldn't drink for another 20+ years

24. Convention giveaway: TOTE. I put "SWAG" into this at first, which slowed me down considerably

25. Card game with a Pixar version: UNO. Another example of something to add to your minutiae list

28. Worship leader: IMAM. I'm pretty sure that none of these who reside in Iran imbibe

31. Trio for Bergman and Streep: OSCARS. Excellent clue

38. Keep hidden, perhaps: ABET. OK, is this ABET or A BET? Could it be both? I suppose when someone ABETs a criminal they would like to keep this fact "hidden". Likewise, if someone places A BET on some random sporting event, they may also want to keep that "hidden" from their partner, e.g. How did YOU interpret this?? Please place in the comment section, below

39. Skirt: AVOID. I would NEVER SKIRT my duties as a blogger ... OK, maybe this summer, when I'm on holidays

40. Letter from ancient Troy: TAU. The clue is "all Greek" to me

41. "Three Tall Women" playwright: ALBEE. A snippet from Wikipedia dot com: "Edward Franklin Albee III (/ˈɔːlbiː/ AWL-bee; March 12, 1928 – September 16, 2016) was an American playwright known for works such as The Zoo Story (1958), The Sandbox (1959), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), A Delicate Balance (1966), and Three Tall Women (1994). Some critics have argued that some of his work constitutes an American variant of what Martin Esslin identified and named the Theater of the Absurd. Three of his plays won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and two of his other works won the Tony Award for Best Play

42. __ chic: GEEK. And why did I think this was TRES, instead?

45. Like some jokes: INSIDE. I tried fitting "DAD" something into this, but failed

47. "__ it obvious?": ISN'T. Well, this clue and entry were

48. Hard-to-prove skill: ESP. Here at the Crossword Corner, the term "ESP" means "EVERY SINGLE PERP"; which is also a hard-to-prove skill

49. Soft ball: NERF. Note the clue: had it been "Softball" (one word), the entry would've been different

51. Toon spinner: TAZ. Fitting that this entry falls "down under" the "equator" of the grid. Looney Tunes

59. Roadster since 1989: MIATA. From MAZDA

60. Part of a plot: ACRE. I was initially thinking that "plot" meant a part of a novel/book/movie. You?

61. Tarot's swords, e.g.: SUIT. This was a late fill. I read my daily Horoscope but have never had a session with Tarot cards. But it makes sense to me now

63. Heavy metal bar: INGOT. What would you think an INGOT of gold at Fort Knox is worth? Answer below

64. Arena statue honoree, familiarly: SHAQ. This one took ESP to solve, as I was unaware of the venue called: " Arena". And I consider myself a sports fan. Here's a photo; the Arena is the former "STAPLES CENTER" in Los Angeles. The name changed on December 25, 2021. And of course the honoree is SHAQuille O'Neal, a former basketball icon with the Lakers

65. Corner: TREE. EDGE and TRAP also fit; both were put into the puzzle grid by yours truly before the crossing words corrected me

66. Brownish gray: TAUPE.

67. Folk singer Axton: HOYT. HOYT Wayne Axton was a country folk singer, actor, and songwriter. So many songs to choose from, but this is one most all of you will know. Enjoy!

68. Simple cat toy: YARN. I am leaving this one for our resident feline friend Cross-Eyed Dave

Answer to 63-Across: How much is a standard gold INGOT worth? A typical 400 oz gold bar is quite large, weighing in at whopping 27.4 pounds, with a single bar valued at roughly $750,000 U.S. These gold bars are held and traded internationally by central banks and bullion dealers, and are not typically sold to the general public. So now you know

1. 2022 Australian Open winner Barty, familiarly: ASH. Per [Wikipedia]: "Ashleigh Barty is a former Australian professional tennis player and cricketer. She was the second Australian tennis player to be ranked No. 1 in the world in singles by the Women's Tennis Association after fellow Indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley, holding the ranking for 121 weeks overall"

2. Bummed out: BLUE. So I chose a different meaning of the word "BLUE" as I described a few of the entries to this puzzle. BLUE: "[adjective] informal; (of a movie, joke, or story) with sexual or pornographic content"

3. Jay or oriole: BIRD. Had the "oriole" been capitalized, the clue might have a baseball reference

4. Surprise the director, maybe: ADLIB. Since there is "no script" when we blog, most all of what I type is ADLIBbed

5. "Wow, I am dumb!": SILLY ME. "Wow, do I revel in jocularity!" SILLY ME

6. Empire State county: ERIE. I lived in ERIE county New York (Grand Island) for a brief period of time back in 1975. Close to Buffalo

7. Puff stuff: TALC. As in TALCum powder; applied with a "puff" (cotton) ball, perhaps

8. Elitist: SNOOT. SNOB didn't have enough letters

9. Rolls with the punches: ADAPTS. I have been ADAPTing to the new editor here at the LA Times Crossword, as her clue usage is different than that of Rich

10. Taps, say: BUGLE CALL. Good fill; not often used in xword puzzles

11. Tony's cousin: OBIE. EGOT is short for: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Awards for TV, Music, Screenplay, and Broadway theater. So what's an OBIE? As the Tony Awards cover Broadway productions, the OBIE Awards cover off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway productions. So now you know

12. Tailless pet: MANX. As in a tailless cat

13. Not insignificant: BIG. Or, the name of one of Tom Hanks early movies, which also proved to be "not insignificant"; for him, anyway

21. Complete a LEGO set: BUILD. A Patti clue??

22. Synthesizer pioneer: MOOG. MOOG is again finding its way back into crossword puzzles

25. Kabayaki fish: UNAGI. Japanese for "freshwater eel"

26. Bond player in the original "Casino Royale": NIVEN. My last blog had a clue for the word "BOND" that referenced David NIVEN indirectly - he was one of seven actors to play the role

27. Yamaha products: OBOES. Yamaha may be known to some as a producer of motorcycles, but they are also well-known for their musical instruments, including OBOES and bassoons and pianos

29. Pretentious: ARTY.

30. Heat setting?: MIAMI. As in the MIAMI Heat NBA Basketball team

32. "Three Billboards ... " actress Cornish: ABBIE. [Wikipedia]: "ABBIE Cornish (born 7 August 1982) is an Australian actress. Cornish is best known for her film roles as Heidi in Somersault (2004), Fanny Brawne in Bright Star (2009), Sweet Pea in Sucker Punch (2011), Lindy in Limitless (2011), as Sarah in Geostorm (2017) and for her work with writer/director Martin McDonagh in Seven Psychopaths (2012) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017). For the latter, Cornish won her first Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the cast. In 2018, she portrayed Cathy Mueller in the first season of Amazon Video series Jack Ryan opposite John Krasinski. She also played Dixy in the film The Virtuoso (film) (2021) aside Anthony Hopkins

33. Sailing hazards: REEFS. BERGS also fits

34. Quite expensive: STEEP. PRICY also fits

37. Remnants in a crayon box: NUBS. Since my crayon box only came with 8 colors, they quickly became NUBS

41. Sacred stand: ALTAR.

43. Tesla, e.g.: SERB. As in Nikola Tesla, a SERBian-American inventor,

44. Hush-hush: ON THE Q.T.. "in a secret or quiet way All the arrangements were made on the q.t. This information is private, so keep it on the q.t. Q.T. is an abbreviation for "quiet"

46. Pre-election event: DEBATE. the word "PRIMARY" wouldn't fit

50. Superhero who taps into the Speed Force: FLASH. This dude

52. Hot: ZESTY. "SPICY" was my first choice here

53. Mother of Beyoncé and Solange Knowles: TINA. Her biography

54. Trattoria sauce: RAGU. RAGU is also a "brand name" for a spaghetti sauce, but it generally means: "(RAGU) a sauce that has more meat and minced elements, specifically minced carrot, celery and pancetta … also known as soffritto, and is made with wine, beef broth, and usually a little bit of heavy cream or milk poured in it to lighten the color and enrich the flavor". A "trattoria": the name comes from the French word “traiteur” which derives from “traiter” and respectively mean “host/caterer” and “to treat”. A trattoria is not a generic restaurant though: it always serves or is supposed to serve, traditional local food

55. Unoriginal reply: ECHO. Maybe the reply is "unoriginal", but the clue certainly IS original

56. DVD holder: TRAY. Most new PC's don't have one of these built in

57. Special glow: AURA. Fun fact I found: "How do you take a picture of your AURA?" First, you place your palms on a pair of metal plates, which are connected to a camera. When the photographer hits the shutter button, the plates send information about your energy to the camera. Colors corresponding to that energy then appear around your figure in a printed Polaroid photo. Sounds kinda special to me

58. Management level: TIER.

59. I.M. Pei's alma mater: MIT. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I.M. Pei (Ieoh Ming Pei) received his Bachelor's degree in Architecture here

62. Score half: TEN. As in "Four score and seven years ago ..." The word "score" refers to the number "twenty", of which half of that is TEN

And that's a wrap! Hope you enjoyed doing this puzzle. If you'd like to try your skill at solving another, here is a link to a puzzle that Chris Gross (aka, Chairman Moe) has running today at Newsday, entitled "Parking Spaces". Please give it a stab! Thanks in advance

Apr 28, 2022

Thursday, April 28, 2022, C.C. Burnikel


What a delicious, double delight!  My first review of a C.C. Burnikel puzzle, edited by our new editor Patti Varol.  And it has everything: it's an eclectically clued,  not too hard, not too easy Thursday puzzle, with an easily sussed theme, circles, CSOs, lots of music, and of course lots of food!

Here are the themers:

3D. Revenue for attorneys: LEGAL FEES.  Right off the bat we have CSOs to our legal beavers Hahtoolah and Lemonade.  Lemony only recently RAISED my awareness about vertical themes, e.g. those used in this puzzle.  His tip was they are usually a clue that there is a visual element to the theme.

7D. Garment associated with the Aran Islands: CABLE KNIT SWEATER.  The Aran Islands are a group of three islands at the mouth of Galway Bay, off the west coast of Ireland.  These islands are however famous for much more than just sweaters.  Teri and I visited  the largest island, Inishmore, in the late 90's, drawn there by our much earlier viewing of a cult classic "documentary" called Man of Aran.  It depicted an heroic struggle for existence that had long disappeared by the time the film was made in 1934, but drew waves of tourists to the island and changed the way of life there even further. The film had a major impact on the islands and even spawned a documentary about the documentary, revealing that it had actually been staged with photogenic, paid actors.  Here's a short trailer from the newer film revealing some of the mythical elements in the old film.

10D. Warrior with a light saber: JEDI KNIGHT.  The light saber was the weapon that revolutionized ancient combat in "a galaxy far, far away".  Here Obi Wan Kenobi duels Darth Vader:

31D. Option clicked during a Zoom call: MUTE BUTTON.  A failure to exercise this option can result in a HOT MIC.  I searched YouTube for some examples, but they always seem to involve politics.

Oh yes, back to the theme.  Here's the reveal

38D. Start to make more money, and what the circled letters do?: GET A RAISE.  I think our constructor intends for us to read the themers and the reveal itself from the BOTTOM UP and prefix the circled fill with the phrase RAISE A.  Reading the grid from left to right we get:

and saving the hardest for last:

We now descend to the rest of the clues and fill:


1. Top of the world?: POLE.  The realization that the Earth is spherical with "poles" at its North and South far predates the common misconception that in Medieval and previous times people believed that the Earth was flat.  Nowadays of course we all know that Santa Claus and his elves live at the North Pole and the US Post Office even has their address!

5. De __: actual: FACTO.  Or is it De JUREWhat's the difference?

10. Preservers of preserves: JARS.  Or using slightly cracked doors.

14. At any time: EVER.
Oxford Languages Dictionary

15. It's all in your head: BRAINOr in your Mind.  However, the preceding point of view may be 17A.

16. Géorgie, par exemple: ETAT.  The state of Georgia, USA.  Today's French lesson.

17. Open to discussion: NEGOTIABLE.  The number of negotiable propositions seem to be on the decline these days (see e.g. 25D).

19. Wrapped up: DONE

20. None whatsoever: NADA.

21. Deli sandwich with two vegetables: BLT.   Common crossword fare.  We had one this past Sunday clued as "Club kin".

22. Burn slightly: SINGE.   Singe another crossword staple and you get:
Ahi tataki

23. First player to make a slam dunk in a WNBA game: LESLIE.  A slam dunk, also simply a dunk, is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air, controls the ball above the horizontal plane of the rim, and scores by putting the ball directly through the basket with one or two hands.  The first woman to perform this feat of legerdemain in the WNBA was 6' 2" Lisa Leslie on July 30, 2002.  Here she is, showing off her stuff:

25. Maintenance: UPKEEP.  IMHO the cumulative expense of UPKEEP (bug fixes, routine changes, new releases, etc.) is rarely included in cost/benefit analyses for the estimated useful life of software systems.  "Getting too expensive to maintain?  We'll just write a new one!"

26. Legolas, for one: ELF.  This one doesn't live at the North Pole (see 1A), but rather in Middle Earth.

28. Clock sound: TICK.
29. Backs with bucks: FUNDS.  Or bucks with backs:
30. Appeared: SEEMED.

32. Osaka from Osaka: NAOMINaomi Osaka was born in Japan to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother, Osaka has lived and trained in the United States since age three. She came to prominence at age 16 when she defeated former US Open champion Samantha Stosur in her WTA Tour debut at the 2014 Stanford Classic.  Here's a biography for you tennis fans.
Naomi Osaka
34. "In __ of gifts ... ": LIEU.

35. Mix around: STIR.  Also Brit for "prison".

37. Shakshuka ingredients: EGGS. Did not know this dish, which is said to have originated in Tunisia.  Here's a recipe.

40. Concerning: AS TO.

42. Drive-thru devices: ATMS.  Nowadays some crooks are driving through them, loading them onto trucks, and taking them home to plunder the cash.

44. Chick tenders: HENS.  Cute clue.  Hens not only tend them, but have them.

46. Olympic swords: EPEES.

48. Courteous acknowledgment: HAT TIP.  AKA "doffing":
Oxford Languages Dictionary

50. Maguire of ''Seabiscuit'': TOBEY.  Before Seabiscuit there was Spider Man, which made Tobey Maguire a star.  On the other hand no one expected Seabiscuit the horse to be a star, but he surprised everybody.

Tobey Maguire
52. Put on: WEAR.

54. "Riverdale" actor KJ __: APAKeneti James Fitzgerald Apa (born 17 June 1997) is a New Zealand actor, singer, and musician.  Riverdale is an American teen drama television series based on the original characters of Archie Comics.  Apa plays Riverdale's alpha-teen, Archie Andrews:
AJ aka Archie.

55. Campus job security: TENURE.  A CSO to Misty and Ol' Man Keith. Hand up anyone I missed?

56. Make beloved: ENDEAR.

58. Worshipper in dreadlocks, informally: RASTA.  Here's some history on Rastafarianism.  Many of us are most familiar with Rastafarianism through the songs of of its musical ambassador Bob Marley.  Here's his Three Little Birds.
Bob Marley

59. Meadow bleat: BAA.

60. Rose Bowl org.: NCAAMarch Madness is finally over.  Hand up if your team won.

62. Neglect to mention: OMIT.

63. "Way, way off!": NOT BY A MILE.  As good as a miss.

66. Nix: VETO.

67. "Easy on Me" singer: ADELEAdele Laurie Blue Adkins was born on 5 May 1988 in the Tottenham district of London, to an English mother, Penny Adkins, and a Welsh father, Marc Evans.  The rest is history, but suffice it to say that she is 9th on this list (YMMV) of mononymous singers.  Here's her "Easy and Me" (lyrics):

68. Uruguay's Punta del __: ESTE.  A seaside resort on the "east tip" (Southeast actually) of the country, and today's Spanish lesson.  Among other superlatives it has been called the "Monaco of the South":
Punta del Este

  69. Place with a tree guarded by a flaming sword: EDEN. This weapon sounds a lot like that wielded by a 10DBut this sword guarded the Tree of Life in the Garden of EDEN, preventing the return of Adam and Eve after their fall from grace.  Legend has it that the angel brandishing it was named Jophiel.
The Angel Jophiel
banishing Eve and Adam

70. Black Panther's hat: BERET

71. Close securely: SEAL.  It's probably just my imagination, but the homophonic Bobby SEALE was one of the founders of the Black Panther Party referred to in the previous clue.


1. Implement stored in a notebook's spiral: PEN.

2. Tandoor, e.g.: OVEN.   All about Tandoor ovens: what they are and how they work.

4. Eat into: ERODE.

5. Org. in "Judas and the Black Messiah": FBI.  Rotten Tomatoes reports that 97% of 345 critic reviews of this 2021 film were positive, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The website's critics' consensus reads: "An electrifying dramatization of historical events, Judas and the Black Messiah is a forceful condemnation of racial injustice.

6. One of Morocco's official languages: ARABIC.  Most Moroccans are multi-lingual.  Here's a breakdown of the languages they speak.

8. Lean slightly: TILT.

9. Single: ONE.

11. Made things right: ATONED.  To be forgiven is one thing, but to atone is not always easy.

12. Spans: RANGES.

13. Hard to climb: STEEP.

18. Aesthetic sense: TASTE.

22. Ocean froth: SPUME.  Evocative of John Masefield's poem Sea-Fever, set to music by composer John Ireland (Masefield's Lyrics):

24. 10-Across tops: LIDS.

25. Sci-fi spacecraft: UFO.  Due to Congressional pressure, largely for reasons of national security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a 9 page, unclassified report* in June of 2021 entitled Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP is the new PC for a 25D).  This article contains a link to the DNI report in a downloadable PDF file.  There are two main schools of thought on these sightings:

(1) Visitation of the Earth by extra-terrestrials is impossible because of limitations on interstellar travel that have been clearly demonstrated by Einstein's theory of Special Relativity. Case closed!

(2) The flight dynamics of such objects, as observed by veteran pilots and which have been captured electronically, clearly violate other known laws of physics.  Open to discussion!

Here are two resources regarding this report: an audio interview with investigative reporter Leslie Kean discussing the implications of the DNI report (11 min); and a link to her 2011 book UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record.  I have read the latter, and let's just say I found it -- provocative.

* The report provides only summary findings for a small sample of the large numbers of sightings made yearly.   No detailed data regarding the sightings is provided.  Note that the report is based on 144 sightings, 143 of which were unidentified, i.e. those for which no satisfactory explanation could be found. 

26. Subj. for some new immigrants: ESL. English as a Second Language.

27. "Star Wars" general: LEIAMore than you could possibly want to know about Leia.

33. Vaccination spot, typically: ARM.  I've gotten two in each ARM.  I seem to get odd reactions to the odd shots.

36. Kim __-hyung: full name of the BTS singer known as V: TAEBTS also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a South Korean boy band that was formed in 2010 and debuted in 2013 The septet—consisting of members Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook—co-writes and co-produces much of their own output.  Here they are - V is the boy on the left:  As of this writing I guess they're not really boys anymore.
The Bangtan Boys
39. Cutting sound: SNIP.

41. Work with a score: OPERA.  Opera originated in the Renaissance and is still alive and well in the 21st Century, especially with masterpieces such as Moby Dick by Jake Heggie, which premiered in 2010.  Just as Melville's story of the whale-obsessed Captain Ahab is considered by many to be the great American novel, IMHO with Heggie's work  we finally have the great American opera.  We were privileged to see it at the Kennedy Center in D.C. a few years back in an amazing production with innovative, digitally enhanced staging.  Here's a trailer for the same production staged by the San Diego Opera:

43. Fish with prized roe: SHADBoth the fish and its roe are prized in Maryland.  The fish has a lot of tiny bones, but when slow baked for a 2 1/2 to 3 hours the bones dissolve and the fish is delicious.  Here's a recipe.

45. Place for a snail facial: SPAWhatever floats your boat!

47. Part of REM: EYE Rapid Eye Movement, a sleep stage indicative of dreaming.

49. Big concert venue: ARENA.

50. Paired (up): TEAMED.  I team up with Malodorous Manatee on alternate Thursdays.

51. Not remote: ONSITE.

53. Make possible: ENABLE.  C.C. ENABLED this particular puzzle and was ABETTED by Patti.

55. Treasure stash: TROVE.

57. High points: ACMES.  A member of the crossword A-TEAM, two others being ATOP and APEX.

59. Foreshadow: BODE.

61. Resort near Snowbird: ALTA.  Speaking of MalMan, I'll bet he's been there.  Hey, don't Snowbirds go to Florida in the winter?
63. Collar: NAB.

64. "Is it soup __?": YET.  Almost ...

65. Smoked fish in unagi nigiri: EEL.  I like unagi, but I'm afraid it gives me indigestion.

And as always thanks to Teri for proofreading and constructive suggestions.