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


Nov 30, 2022

Wednesday, November 30, 2022, Hoang-Kim Vu & Christine Simpson

Theme: Playing Innocent

 20. Shoplifting?: TAKING A STAND.

29. Insider trading?: BODY SWAPPING.

50. Money laundering?: GREEN WASHING.

60. "I did nothing wrong!," or an apt title for this puzzle?: IT'S NOT A CRIME.

Melissa here. Fresh and amusing theme today from Hoang-Kim and Christine - the clues are crimes (shoplifting), but the answers aren't (taking a stand). The unifier is perfect. Accordiing to this, Hoang-Kim has debuted 18 answer words in his NYT puzzles. He collaborates with his wife Jessica Zetzman (most recently 9/1/22), but here today with Christine Simpson - which appears to be her debut. Congratulations! Hoang-Kim's LA Times debut was May 2, 2019.


1. French "Thank you": MERCI. Nice, easy start.

6. Political alliance: BLOC. I first read this as Political allegiance.

10. Strongbox: SAFE.

14. Starters: A TEAM. Nice clue, I was thinking food.

15. New York school named after a Scottish isle: IONA. Iona University is a private Roman Catholic university in New Rochelle, New York. It was founded in 1940.

16. "Grand slam" awards acronym: EGOT. We see this regularly. The four awards are: Emmy (television), Grammy (music), Oscar (film), and Tony (theater). 17 people who have won an EGOT.

17. African herbivore: RHINO. It would be fun to see the full name rhinoceros, instead of shortened RHINO - although I'd never be able to spell it. Sad fact: Out of 100 that are known, there are currently only five species of living rhinos - three being critically endangered. Both species of African rhinos, black and white rhinos, are actually the same color - grey. Rhinoceros Fact Sheet.

18. "Double Indemnity" genre: NOIR. Stylish genre of crime film or fiction characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity.

19. Filmmaker Ephron: NORA. So many good films. She died in 2012.

23. Huffy mood: SNIT. I like the term "spiff," a combo of tiff and spat.

24. Pacific Northwest st.: ORE. PNW State = Oregon. The others are Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska.

25. "Lady Bird" Oscar nominee Metcalf: LAURIE. Looks good - Metcalf is brilliant in everything she does.

32. Male with horns: STEER. Second horned beast today.

35. Road goo: TAR.

36. Cushioned seat: SOFA.

37. La madre de su prima: TIA. Spanish for "his cousin's mother," making it his aunt.

38. Family docs: GPS. General Practitioners.

41. Food with altered DNA: GMO. Genetically Modified Organism.

43. Martin's "The West Wing" role: JED.

44. Lobby group for seniors: AARP. American Association of Retired Persons. Being retired isn't a requirement for membership.

46. Big primate: APE.

48. Erodes: WEARS.

54. Depress: SADDEN.

55. Group of whales: POD. A group of closely related matrilines (line of descent from a female ancestor) made up of mothers, daughters, sisters, cousins and their children. Pods usually consist of 5 - 30 whales, although some pods may combine to form a group of 100 or more.
56. Greeting Down Under: G'DAY. Australian phrase. King Charles III was officially proclaimed head of state of both Australia and New Zealand following Queen Elizabeth II's death at 96 in September of this year. Fun fact below.
63. Essential nutrient for the immune system: ZINC.

66. Pulled strings?: HARP. Sneaky - noun not verb.

67. Bushy-tailed canines: FOXES.

68. Field: AREA.

69. Aware of: ONTO.

70. Singer Patsy: CLINE.

71. Dollop: GLOB. I think I'd rather have a dollop than a glob.

72. Blast from the __: PAST.

73. Snow vehicles: SLEDS.


1. Gas station shops: MARTS.

2. "__ Frome": Edith Wharton novel: ETHAN.

3. Hands-on healing practice: REIKI.

4. "Do my eyes deceive me?": CAN IT BE.

5. "My time to shine!": I'M ON. Fun fact: Consummate actor Jack Lemmon had a habit of saying to himself before every take: “It’s magic time.”

6. Using only ones and zeros: BINARY.

7. Least strict: LOOSEST.

8. "Put a lid __!": ON IT.

9. Deterrent in a parking garage: CAR ALARM. Also Mike Ehrmantraut - one of the funniest running gags of all time in Better Call Saul.

10. Parodies: SENDUPS. Favorite parody, anyone?

11. Before now: AGO.

12. Pro: FOR.

13. "Wheels down" stat, for short: ETA. Estimated Time of Arrival.

21. Jupiter or Mars: GOD.

22. Suede property: NAP. The texture of the suede and nubuck's surface that can be felt and is created by the raised fibers of the hair.

26. Spanish wine region: RIOJA.

27. Deduce: INFER. Commonly misused to mean imply.

28. "Zounds!": EGADS.

30. __ chart: corporate diagram: ORG. "Corp. diagram," would indicate the shortened "org."

31. Move one's tail: WAG. Wag more. Bark less.

32. Males with antlers: STAGS. Yet more horned beasts!

33. Jeweled accessory: TIARA.

34. Like cornstalks?: EARED. Okay.

39. Spot for fast cash: PAWN SHOP.

40. Mud wrap venue: SPA.

42. Possess: OWN.

45. Human-powered taxi: PEDICAB.

47. Competitive video gaming: E-SPORTS.

49. Appetizer served with duck sauce: EGGROLL.

51. Brooklyn NBA player: NET.

52. Family-style Asian dish: HOT POT. Chinese Hot Pot is an interactive meal in which diners sit around a simmering pot of soup at the center of the table with various raw ingredients — meat, seafood, vegetables, tofu, and starches — in thin slices or small pieces for quick cooking.

53. Journalist Tarbell: IDA. In her most famous work, The History of the Standard Oil Company (which oil historian Daniel Yergin called the “most important business book ever written”), Miss Tarbell revealed, after years of painstaking research, the illegal means used by John D. Rockefeller to monopolize the early oil industry.

57. Carter of "Designing Women": DIXIE.

58. Modify: AMEND.

59. Agreements: YESES.

61. Mama's mama: NANA. That's what we called my dad's mom. She even had a restaurant called "Nana's Kitchen," and made the best Thanksgiving green bean casserole.

62. Ozone-destroying chemicals: Abbr.: CFCS. Chlorofluorocarbons. Today, the use of CFCs is outlawed by 197 countries around the world and scientists concur that the ozone layer is slowly recovering as a result.

63. Zig counterpart: ZAG.

64. Not online, online: IRL. In Real Life.

65. Prefix for classical and gothic: NEO.

Nov 29, 2022

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 Jared Goudsmit

The Princess and the Pea.  Each theme answer is a two word phrase where each word begins with the letter "P".  Today's puzzle is theme-heavy.  There are 6 theme answers: 4 in the Across position and 2 in the Down position.

17-Across. Big name in crossword magazines: PENNY PRESS.

28-Across. Wet blanket: PARTY POOPER.

47-Across. Challenging yoga asana named for a showy bird: PEACOCK POSE.  Nope, can't manage this pose.

61-Across. Electricity facility: POWER PLANT.

3-Down. Noodles often served alla vodka: PENNE PASTA.  Yummers!

30-Down. Picnic dinnerware: PAPER PLATE.


1. Word before and after against: HOPE.  Against Hope and Hope Against.  Hope can also be a woman's name.  [Name adjacent.]

5. Bite: CHOMP.

10. Credit card option, familiarly: AMEX.

14. Above: OVER.

15. Sound transmission: AUDIO.

16. Rain gutter site: EAVE.

19. Wreak havoc on: RUIN.

20. Concave belly buttons: INNIES.

21. Dramatic declaration during an unveiling: ET VOILÀ.  Today's French lesson.

23. Cave-dwelling fish: EEL.

24. Yuletide songs: CAROLS.  Why Christmas songs are called Carols.  Carol is also a woman's name.  [Name adjacent.]

26. Egyptian cobra: ASP.  The snake that did in Cleopatra.

33. sample: DNA.

34. "__ the front door!": SHUT.

35. Look daggers (at): GLARE.

36. Blu-ray __: DISC.

38. One-named singer whose four studio albums have numerical titles: ADELE.  Her given name is Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (b. May 5, 1988).  The four referenced studio albums are numbered 19, 21, 25, and 30.  The numbers refer to her age in which she started working on the album.  [Name # 1.]

41. Go in circles: SPIN.

42. Actress/model Kate: UPTON.  Kate Upton (née Katherine Elizabeth Upton; b. June 10, 1992) began  her modeling with Sports Illustrated in 2011 and was a cover model in 2012.  [Name # 2.]

44. First word for some babies: MAMA.

46. __ out a living: EKE.

50. Uncooked: RAW.  Some uncooked foods are delicious.


51. Shoelace tips: AGLETS.  I learned the name for the shoelace tips from doing the crossword puzzles.

52. Indy 500 sponsor: STP.

54. Digital currency: BITCOIN.

57. Pro at net working?: GOALIE.  Cute clue.

60. Empty hallway sound: ECHO.

64. Sci-fi author Stephenson: NEAL.  I don't generally read Science Fiction, so am not familiar with Neal Stephenson (né Neal Town Stephenson; b. October 31, 1959).  [Name # 3.]

65. Like the humans in "WALL-E": OBESE.

66. Director Preminger: OTTO.  Otto Preminger (né Otto Ludwig Preminger; Dec. 5, 1905 ~ Apr. 23, 1986) was born in Austria-Hungary.  He started his career in Austria before moving to the United States.    He was known for pushing the boundaries of censorship by dealing with themes that were taboo, such as drug addiction (The Man with the Golden Arm) and rape (Anatomy of a Murder).  He also directed the 1960 film Exodus.  [Name # 4.]

67. Oscar winner Catherine __-Jones: ZETA.  Catherine Zeta-Jones (b. Sept. 25, 1969) is married to  Michael Douglas (b. Sept. 25, 1944).  They share the same birthdate, albeit he is 25 years her senior.   [Name # 5.]

68. Nash of "The Rookie: Feds": NIECY.  Niece Nash (née Carol Denise Ensley; b. Feb. 23, 1970) also portrayed Deputy Raineesha Williams on the television sit-com Reno 911!  [Name # 6.]

69. Gas in an eye-catching sign: NEON.

1. Grand Canyon people: HOPI.

2. Brick __ pizza: OVEN.  Yummers!

4. Orange half of a "Sesame Street" duo: ERNIE.  [Name adjacent.]

5. Bottle tops: CAPS.

6. "Ben-__": HUR.  The novel Ben Hur, by Lew Wallace was first published in 1880.  It was adapted into a movie starring Charlton Heston in 1959.  It was an influential Christian novel when it was published and was a best seller until 1936 when Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind was published.  [Name adjacent.]

7. Laudatory poem: ODE.  A crossword staple.

8. Great woe: MISERY.  Also the title of a novel by Stephen King.

9. Hospital recovery area, for short: POST-OP.

10. Some spray cans: AEROSOLS.

11. Haleakala National Park island: MAUI.  The park is named after a dormant volcano.

12. Profoundly bad: EVIL.

13. Warrior princess played by Lucy Lawless: XENA.  Xena: Warrior Princess was an adventure television show that ran from 1995 until 2001.  [Name # 7.]

18. Shrill cries: YELPS.

22. YouTube journal: VLOG.

24. "Dang it!": CRUD.  Really?

25. Basketball shot: ATTEMPT.  Why an attempt?

26. Make logical sense: ADD UP.

Cartoon logical sense.

27. Long-billed marsh bird: SNIPE.

29. "I see now!": AHA!

31. "Get Out" actress Alexander: ERIKA.  Get Out is a 2017 psychological horror film.  Erika Alexander  (née Erika Rose Alexander; b. Nov. 19, 1953) played a TSA detective in the film.  [Name # 8.]

32. Continue to subscribe: RENEW.

37. Pepsi rival: COCA~COLA.

39. Country between Thailand and Vietnam: LAOS.  Laos is landlocked.

40. Ambulance letters: EMS.  As in Emergency Medical Services.  Emergency motorcycles can be seen all over cities in Israel.  They are the first responders and can provide medical assistance until the ambulance arrives.

43. Canceled, at Cape Canaveral: NO GO.

45. Greek fable writer: AESOP.  You can find his fables here.  [Name # 9.]

48. Like some earrings and ties: CLIP-ON.  Are clip-on earrings even available anymore?

49. Obi-Wan __: KENOBI.  Alec Guinness (né Alec Guinness de Cuffe; Apr. 2, 1914 ~ Aug. 5, 2000) portrayed Obi-Wan Kenobi in some of the Star Wars movies.  [Name adjacent.]

53. Bird of prey's claw: TALON.
54. Mercedes-__: BENZ.  I was shopping a month or so ago and there was an older woman in the shop who was wearing a Janis Joplin tee shirt.  The clerk asked her if she was a Joplin fan.  The woman replied, "oh, yes, but I was her babysittter."  [Name adjacent.]

55. Frozen drink brand: ICEE.

56. Not this: THAT.

57. Lady __ tea: GREY.  This must be the phrase of the week.  This tea appeared in Sunday's puzzle.  I knew of Earl Grey Tea, but was not familiar with Lady Grey Tea.  The difference seems to be that citrus peels are an addition to the Lady Grey Tea

58. Keen about: INTO.

59. Prestigious British school: ETON.  Prince William (b. June 21, 1982) and Eddie Redmayne (b. Jan. 6, 1982) were classmates at Eaton.

62. Tiny: WEE.

63. Keyboard key for exiting full-screen mode: ESC.

Here's the Grid:


Many thanks to Sumdaze for filling in on Tuesdays while I was in Israel.

At the Market in Jerusalem

At the Market in Jerusalem

Chagall Windows at Hadassah Hospital

Chagall Windows at Hadassah Hospital

Nothing beats an Israeli breakfast