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


Dec 31, 2022

Saturday December 31, 2022, Evan Mulvihill

 Saturday Themeless by Evan Mulvihil

This is Evan's first solo Saturday puzzle for me. He and Adam Simpson co-authored one on November 5 of this year. I told Evan we must be of similar minds because I got this one done in 17 minutes and had fun in the process!
Evan told me, "I am a­ clinical pharmacist at Zuckerberg, San Francisco General, a crossword constructor and lover or all things word-play related."


1. Accessory that may be paired with a smoking jacket: ASCOT.

6. "Euphoria" network: HBO.

9. Okra or orca unit: POD - Orca/Okra similarity did not get me

12. Like pins and needles: PLURAL.

14. "I cleaned my plate!": ALL DONE.

16. Largest moon of Uranus: TITANIA.

18. Many of the "GoodFellas" main characters: MADE MEN In the American and Sicilian Mafia, a MADE MAN is a fully initiated member of the Mafia. To become "made", an associate first must be Italian or of Italian descent and sponsored by another made man. An inductee will be required to take the oath of omertà, the Mafia code of silence and code of honor

19. Behavioral psychologist's concern: PATTERN.

21. Squash: STEP ON.

22. Account statement?: SWORN TESTIMONY - Your account of what happened while under oath is SWORN TESTIMONY but still...

24. Maureen presented with an Honorary Academy Award in 2014: O'HARA - Presented by Clint Eastwood and Liam Neeson

25. Buff: FAN - I am a Husker buff. 

26. Kermit sipping tea and Keanu playing with puppies: MEMES.

27. Clothing store department: BOYS.

28. Turn in: GO TO BED.

30. Psyche segments: IDS.

31. Border dispute: TURF WAR - The most famous one in the movies was the Sharks vs Jets

32. Corp. execs: VPS.

35. Puzzle that uses every letter: PANGRAM.

36. Athlete who wrote the memoir "My Life and the Beautiful Game": PELE.

37. Drained of color: ASHEN.

40. Poetic dusk: EEN.

41. "Being the Ricardos" role: ARNAZ - The actual 1940 marriage license for Desiderio Alberto ARNAZ and Lucille Desiree Ball

42. Robin DiAngelo book about race relations: WHITE FRAGILITY.

45. "Very funny": HA HA HA.

46. Shut up: KEPT MUM - A requirement of all who worked on The Manhattan Project

47. "Did not expect to survive that": I'M ALIVE.

49. Like some passes: LATERAL - Here is a forward pass and two LATERAL passes (passes that do not travel toward the opponent's goal line)

51. "Hm ... ": LET'S SEE.

52. Have the gumption: DARE TO.

53. Mag wheels?: EDS - EDitorS are big wheels at MAGazines 

54. Archipelago part: Abbr.: ISL - Here in The Marianas Archipelago you will find the ISLand of Tinian from which the Enola Gay took off on August 6, 1945

55. Portends: BODES.


1. Apropos: APT.

2. Careless: SLIPSHOD.

3. Film flashbacks, essentially: CUTAWAYS Titanic starts with Rose in modern times with the crew searching for the diamond called The Heart Of The Ocean. The bulk of the movie is a flashback to her time on the doomed ocean liner.

4. Figures of speech: ORATORS.

5. Mystical text in Sanskrit: TANTRA Here ya go

6. Scenery chewer: HAM - I nominate Jim Carrey 

7. Heck of a party: BLAST.

8. Honoree who might wear a vintage uniform: OLD TIMER - Do you know these old Yankees? (
* Answer at the bottom of the write-up)

9. Santa hat feature: POM POM.

10. Impossible NFL score: ONE ONE.

11. Chain with "all day diner deals": DENNYS.

13. Property claim for outstanding debt: LIEN.

15. Held: DEEMED.

17. Master of disguise?: ART FORGER - I'd bet our art curator/puzzle constructor, Jeffrey Wechsler, could spot the work of this person

20. One whose priorities are in order?: NEAT FREAK.

23. Winter figure: SNOW ANGEL.

24. Sash tied with a butterfly knot: OBI.

28. Staple __: GUN.

29. "Just like that!": BAM.

31. "Between the World and Me" writer Coates: TANEHISI.

32. Hazarded, as a guess: VENTURED.

33. Schoolyard friend: PLAYMATE.

34. "__ who?": SEZ - Mike wrote thousands of columns for the Chicago Tribune and always wrote exactly what he thought.

35. Potpourri pieces: PETALS.

36. First, in Spanish: PRIMERO - PRIMERO, segundo y tercero (First, second and third. masc.)

37. For a spell: AWHILE.

38. Brought low: SHAMED.

39. Kit parts with pedals: HIHATS - I'll bet you can pick out this part

41. Window-switching shortcut: ALT TAB.

43. Top picks, slangily: FAVES.

44. Apple TV+ device: IPAD.

48. Unadon fish: EEL.

50. "__ Espookys": 6-Across comedy series: LOS - 
Variety confirmed that on December 2, HBO canceled Los Espookys, the spookiest, weirdest, and most original comedy on television. Here is the weirdest 2 minute trailer you will ever see.

* Those Old Timer Yankees are Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Joe DiMaggio and Casey Stengel. 

Dec 30, 2022

Friday, December 30, 2022, Mark Valdez and Brooke Husic

Theme: To hyphenate or not to hyphenate; that is the question!

And welcome to the penultimate puzzle of 2022!

Hi Cornerites! The penultimate puzzle of 2022 was cleverly created by a crafty couple, Mark Valdez and Brooke Husic. This is not the first time these two have collaborated on a puzzle, and it shouldn't be their last. In keeping with the new Friday-styled puzzles, today's is another play-on-words that involves the "ADDition" of the word "UP", as is clued in the reveal: (71-across. Make sense, and a hint to the answers to the starred clues: ADD UP). So the added "UP" defines what each of the four theme entries has done in the form of a noun. Interesting to note, the addition of the word UP to the selected words (BREAK, MIX, SET, and MASH) could form a verb phrase and adjective, as well as a noun. In all but one case, the noun requires a hyphen; some may argue that SETUP does, too. So if I had just the tiniest of nits to pick, a theme with four hyphenated puns would've been perfect!

Note: I edited this review several times. I wish I had sent Yellowrocks - our resident grammarian - an email asking for her explanation. Nonetheless I'll try to give it my best shot! Let's explore, shall we?

20-across. *Separation after the vernal equinox?: SPRING BREAK-UP. I like the clues for all four of today's witty entries, starting with this one. Not sure if it was Mark or Brooke or both who came UP with this extremely clever idea, and the equally clever clues. Kudos! In the first of the four, "Spring" is defined as the time of the vernal equinox. And Spring goes just fine with the word "Break" (a period of time-off). SPRING BREAK has been the rite/ritual of many a college student over the years. And I'd venture a guess that many Spring Break trips result in a "Spring Break-UP"

31-across. *Nightmare for a wedding baker?: CAKE MIX-UP. Given the enormous number of weddings on any Saturday during the spring and summer, it's certainly possible that a bakery could have a "mix-up" with their deliveries, even if they used the same batter to mix up each cake. Decorations; tiers; cake toppers; who can keep them straight?? I really wanted to insert a cake-related image here, but I think it more appropriate that CrossEyedDave find one and use it in HIS comments. Dave, are you here today? Please help me out, buddy!

45-across. *Arrangement of extras for a zombie movie?: DEAD SETUP. So first, is it dead-set or dead set? Dead set is often a phrasal adjective, but it usually follows what it modifies, so it doesn't need to be hyphenated. (as in "he was dead set against it") When it precedes what it modifies, however, dead-set is correct. The one-word deadset has not fully caught on as a replacement of the two-word form, but it is gaining ground, and may someday gain acceptance [according to grammarist dot com]. The same website discussed SETUP vs set up: Is it setup or set up? Set Up – What's the Difference? Setup is one word when it is a noun (e.g., “it was a setup!”) or an adjective (e.g., “follow the setup instructions”). It is two words—set up—when it functions as a verb (e.g., “I'm going to set up the computer”). No hyphen needed; the outlier today. And now you know!

58-across. *Halloween costume that's a sheet on the bottom and a witch's hat on top?: MONSTER MASH-UP. [dictionary dot com] MASH-UP is "a mixture or fusion of disparate elements." Clearly a halloween costume with a sheet for the bottom (ghost) with a witch's hat on the top is pretty disparate. And without sounding desperate, was this puzzle that hard or am I making more of the theme and entries than I should be? Well, that's why this blog comes with a "Comments" section!

I'm interested in seeing how you all interpreted today's puzzle. But before that, let's check out another song video that fits 58-across:

1. In the lead: FIRST. I placed the word "AHEAD" in this space, and quickly fell behind

6. Word files, informally: DOCS. Microsoft WORD has been around for a long, long time. When you save something you've created in Word, the file extension is .doc

10. Box set unit: DVD. A "boxer" set unit might be: "BVD"

13. The Gem State: IDAHO. I knew this one; when I placed it into the grid (below AHEAD), something looked weird

FUN FACT: Why is Idaho called the Gem State, you ask?

14. "By yesterday!" letters: ASAP. [spoiler alert] I got today's puzzle in an email from C.C. on the 19 December; solved it, and began writing my blog on the 20th. ASAP was my cue. Then the holidays became nigh; I only got through a few of the clues, and continued/finished writing the blog on Boxing Day ...

15. Ginger or daikon: ROOT. While I would always ROOT for Ginger, I thought Mary Ann was much hotter

17. "The Princess and the Frog" setting: BAYOU. My daughter's alma mater, LSU, is sometimes nicknamed the "BAYOU Bengals" even though their "official" sports nickname is the "Fighting Tigers". Experiencing a night game at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge is quite an event

FUN FACT: The BAYOU Bengals nickname is now bestowed upon the Cincinnati Bengals NFL team as their starting QB and WR are both LSU grads (they played together in 2019 season when LSU won the National Championship)

18. "Carol" star Rooney: MARA. This person

19. "The Country Girls" novelist O'Brien: EDNA. This person

23. Moral wrong: SIN. Although I did not grow up Roman Catholic, I had plenty of friends who did. I came to learn that they have all different kinds of SINs. Some tried to group them all into a venial SIN so as not to lose their entire grace with God ... this image may depict otherwise:

24. Round number: ESTIMATE. So if I interpret this clue and answer correctly, 3-1/3 would NOT be an ESTIMATE?

25. "And now, without further __ ... ": ADO. I bring you the clue and answer to: "when did C-Moe have his first 2 oz. pour of brown-colored liquor as he was doing his recap?" NOW!! A little Green Spot Irish Whisky in the Glencairn

28. Take to court: SUE. It's a stretch, but "WOO" fits, doesn't it??!

30. "So?": AND.

35. Epic tales: SAGAS.

39. Streetcar: TRAM. The alternate title for the Tennessee Williams play featuring Blanche DeBois was "TRAM named Desire"

40. Thompson of "Passing": TESSA. This person

42. Draped attire: TOGA. I think I once took a pair of drapes from a curtain rod to form a TOGA ...

43. Zoom alternative: SKYPE. Four words of the 21st century that never made a crossword puzzle in the past century (at least clued as such) are: ZOOM, SKYPE, LYFT, and UBER. I'm sure there are several more ...

47. Light touch: TAP. I know someone who gets goose bumps when I give a light touch; they've never called it a "TAP"!

49. Draw: TIE. Oddly, these still exist in NFL games; only after the teams have played a ten minute overtime period

50. "This __ to stop": HAS. Not really; I'm still on the "across" clues; had this been in 50-down, it would make more sense, "Crossword Blog-wise"! ;^)

51. "Be careful!": STAY SAFE. One of my favorite uses of this clue is: "travel SAFEly"

56. Choose: OPT. I OPT for writing my blog recap in HTML

61. Strongly encourage: URGE. I URGE you to keep reading ...

62. Falsehoods: LIES. Which coincides with 1-down. (Tell 62-Across:) FIB.

63. Broadcasting: ON AIR. A sign to alert standers-by to keep quiet

66. Big do: GALA. AFRO also fits here

67. Kick back: LAZE. A favorite activity for this returee

68. Spanish royal: REINA. CSO to Lucina, our resident REINA!

69. Sweltering: HOT. Even though November and December were below average temperature-wise in AZ, we KNOW that in the summertime it will be sweltering HOT here

70. Showcase for a soprano: ARIA. Here are some you might enjoy:

Kinda sorta goes with: (57-down. Hitting all the right notes:) TUNED.

2. Civil rights pioneer __ B. Wells: IDA. This person

3. Sunbeams: RAYS. CARS would've been a cute distraction as the answer here. Anyone recall the Sunbeam automobile?

4. Selling points?: SHOPS. This clue was a bit odd, but I get it

5. Major component of Iceland's economy: TOURISM. Not on my bucket list, but it does look like an interesting place to visit. I'd bet that Picard has some photos to share

6. __ with faint praise: DAMN. [Merrium Webster dot com] says: "to give praise without enthusiasm in a way that shows one really dislikes someone or something"

7. Great Plains people who call themselves "Children of the Middle Waters": OSAGE. Learning moment

8. Pasta nutrients, for short: CARBS. [medlineplus dot com] says: "Along with proteins and fats, carbohydrates (aka, CARBS) are one of three main nutrients found in foods and drinks. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main source of energy for your body's cells, tissues, and organs"

9. Peloponnesian city-state: SPARTA. [NationalGeographic dot org] says: "The Peloponnesian War was a war fought in ancient Greece between Athens and SPARTA—the two most powerful city-states in ancient Greece at the time (431 to 405 B.C.E.). This war shifted power from Athens to Sparta, making Sparta the most powerful city-state in the region

10. Info provided to a matchmaker, perhaps: DREAM DATE. Here are the Top 14 dating websites, according to [chicagoreader dot com]. I tried Zoosk for awhile but none of those I dated were interested in a long-term relationship. I did travel with one to Belize

11. Spirit of the cosmos?: VODKA. Cute play-on-words clue. Without the question mark, Spirit of the Cosmos would refer to this tarot deck:

But in the context of the clue and correct answer, it refers to the erstwhile most popular adult beverage (for females) known as the Cosmo. Made with VODKA. Click here for the full recipe

12. Pastry with a hole: DONUT. So, is it DONUT or DOUGHNUT? [grammerly dot com] says: "DONUT is an alternate spelling of doughnut. Some dictionaries point out that donut is rarely used outside the United States. All of them recognize doughnut as the main spelling, as do some of the more popular style guides. Doughnut might be the spelling you should use if you want to be sure you're not making a mistake

FUN FACT: According to [alexaanswers dot amazon dot com] "How many donuts are made in the US each year? 10 billion! That's a lot of holes!!

16. Cassette: TAPE. [according to npr dot org] This person invented the cassette TAPE

21. Alaskan people: INUIT. ALEUT fits; ESKIMO does not

22. Zehn minus neun: EINS. 10 minus nine (in German) = one (EINS)

25. Makes a move: ACTS. "GOES" is another four-letter word that fits here

26. __ chocolate: DARK. "MILK" is another four-letter word that fits here; I prefer DARK, and it was my first choice; guessing that some of you tried MILK first

27. "Sure": OKAY.

29. Crossed (out): EXED.

32. Focus of some special elections: EMPTY SEAT. Believe it or not, it's been 10 years since the focus of the 2012 Presidential Election was on a speech given in Tampa Florida; referencing a synonym for "SEAT"

33. Function: USE.

34. Pre-coll. exam: PSAT.

36. Ancient Teuton: GOTH.

37. __ fresca: Mexican drink: AGUA. Another CSO to Lucina?

38. Depletes: SAPS.

41. "¡Hasta mañana!": ADIOS. A third CSO to Lucina?

44. Right direction?: EAST. As in the direction that is on the right side of a compass; EAST

46. "We Belong to Something Beautiful" cosmetics chain: SEPHORA. As I filled in the puzzle, the letters from the perps helped me solve this. I don't use cosmetics but I've heard of this chain

FUN FACT: SEPHORA (founded in 1969) is a French multinational retailer of personal care and beauty products. Featuring nearly 340 brands, along with its own private label, Sephora Collection, Sephora offers beauty products including cosmetics, skincare, body, fragrance, nail color, beauty tools, body lotions and haircare [Wikipedia dot com]

48. Saffron-flavored rice dish: PAELLA. Does anyone remember their first PAELLA? I do. It was at the Columbia Restaurant Ybor City, back in the mid 1990's. I guess this could be a CSO to Wilbur Charles (and Tinbeni), our Tampa resident(s) on this chat board blog. Please take a few moments to search their website as it has some interesting history. But if you're strapped for time, here is an image of the PAELLA from their menu:

51. Self-satisfied: SMUG. I've been called this before; not a trait I'm proud of, but if the shoe fits, wear it

52. Bat mitzvah scroll: TORAH. The counter-attack on Japan in WW II by some Jewish airmen was called: "TORAH, TORAH, TORAH" ... really, Moe?!

53. __-Saxon: ANGLO.

54. Man on a mission?: FRIAR. MORMON didn't fit

55. "The Death of Vivek Oji" author Akwaeke: EMEZI. Totally solved via perps. [Wikipedia dot com] says: "The Death of Vivek Oji is a 2020 fiction novel by Nigerian author Akwaeke EMEZI. It was published on 4 August 2020 by Riverhead books, it narrates the life of Vivek Oji until his death

59. Between ports: ASEA. Crossword-ese

60. Settled: PAID. As in settled a debt

64. Shiba __: dog breed: INU. I thought I knew most all breeds of dog. I don't, obviously, because this one is unfamiliar to me. It is similar to an AKITA

FUN FACT: The Akita dog protects its family. Because of its fighting dog background, it can be aggressive toward other dogs. The Shiba Inu, on the other hand, is often more tolerant of other dogs. And if you live in a smaller space or a shared environment — like in an apartment building — the Shiba Inu is better suited to adapt. This is what one looks like:

65. Megan Thee Stallion genre: RAP. This person:

Well, my timing was better tonight as my Green Spot Irish Whisky finished just as the blog did. I hope y'all had fun with the puzzle. Please add your thoughts and comments below. Here is the grid:, and see you next year!

Dec 29, 2022

Thursday, December 29, 2022, Damon Gulczynski

Today's constructor is Damon Gulczynski, a real blast from the past, who last visited us on February 18, 2010 and was reviewed by none other than C.C. Burnikel.  Her review is worth reading if for no other reason than to see some commenters who were members of the fledgling Corner, some whom I know and some I do not.   While he was away it seems that Damon was spending a lot of time at that other newspaper (and thanks to them we have this capsule bio).

Today Damon wants to ask us some

Questionable Questions

using 2 word clues, which are questions about the question we're asked to fill in.  There's no reveal, but these and only these 5 Across clues end in ?:

17. Trick question?: WAS THIS YOUR CARD?  A question a card sharp might ask:  shuffle and cut the deck, ask the mark to "pick a card, any card", have he/she insert it back in the deck, shuffle again, pick a card, and pop the question.  Don't ask me how it works?

23. Quick question?: DONE ALREADY?  A question a teacher might ask of a slow student who finishes before everybody else.

38. Burning question?: WHERES THE FIRE?  A question a cop might ask a speeder.  The real burning question might be "how much is the fine?".

49. Leading question?: WHO'S WINNING?  Everybody was asking this question about the World Cup until December 18th.  In case you were living in a cave, it was Argentina.

58. Probing question?: FIND ANY THING YET?.  Grandma asks this from time to time on Easter afternoon as the kids are probing the bushes for eggs in the back yard.

Here's the grid:

More questions for you to answer:


1. Young chaps: LADS.

5. Methodology: Abbr.: SYSTSYSTEM.  I found many definitions for these two terms and they seemed vague, inconsistent, contradictory and sometimes circular.  In my experience a METHODOLOGY is a formal, documented approach to defining the requirements and designs of INFORMATION SYSTEMS.  There are many such methodologies. YMMV.

9. Played over: RERAN.

14. Samoa's biggest city: APIASamoa, officially the Independent State of Samoa and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesian island country consisting of two main islands (Savai'i and Upolu); two smaller, inhabited islands (Manono and Apolima); and several smaller, uninhabited islands.  APIA is on Upolu island.  Not to be confused with American Samoa, which is located 64 km (40 mi) Southeast of Samoa. IIRC D-O served in the military in America Samoa.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

15. Fat-heavy diet: KETO.

16. Prenatal test, for short: AMNIO.  Short for Amniocentesis, which is a diagnostic test that may be recommended by your health care provider following an abnormal triple test result. Inherited or genetic concerns lead some parents to choose amniocentesis to determine if specific genetic disorders may be present in their baby.

[Theme clue].

20. Role for Flockhart: MCBEAL.   Ally McBeal is an American legal comedy drama television series starring Calista Flockhart and originally aired on Fox from September 8, 1997, to May 20, 2002.
Calista Flockhart
21. Like much event swag: FREE.

22. "That's it!": AHA.

[Theme clue].

29. Fictional Wolfe who was born in Montenegro: NERONero Wolfe is a brilliant, obese and eccentric fictional armchair detective created in 1934 by American mystery writer Rex Stout. The character also appeared in a 2011 TV Series on A&E:

31. Netflix's "__ White People": DEARDear White People is an American comedy-drama television series on Netflix that follows several black college students at an Ivy League institution (the fictional Winchester University), touching on issues surrounding modern American race relations through a progressive lens.

32. By way of: VIA.

33. "Battle of the Sexes" loser: RIGGS.  In tennis, "Battle of the Sexes" describes various exhibition matches played between a man and a woman, or a doubles match between two men and two women in one case. The term is most famously used for an internationally televised match in 1973 held at the Houston Astrodome between 55-year-old Bobby Riggs and 29-year-old Billie Jean King, which King won in three sets.  What was he thinking?  The match was made into a movie starring Steve Carell  Emma Stone:

35. Like dried rose petals: PAPERY.

[Theme clue]

41. Bumps: RAISES.

42. "__ Meenie": Kingston/Bieber hit: EENIE.

43. "CODA" communication method: ASLAmerican Sign LanguageCODA is a 2021 coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Sian Heder. It stars Emilia Jones as Ruby Rossi, the titular child of deaf adults (CODA) and only hearing member of her family, a teenager who attempts to help her family's struggling fishing business while pursuing her own aspirations of being a singer. The movie uses deaf actors to play the deaf characters, who, along with Jones, communicate in ASL.

44. Blues singer Thomas: IRMAIrma Thomas (née Lee; born February 18, 1941) is an American singer from New Orleans. She is known as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans."  Here's her cover of Jerry Ragovoy's Time Is On My Side:

45. Soaks (up): SOPS.

[Theme clue]

54. Currency of Laos: KIPKIPS were trading for 17,296.782 for a dollar on the day this was written.  This will tell you if that number has changed.

55. Roth investments: IRAS.

56. Screenwriter Cody who won an Oscar for "Juno": DIABLOJuno MacGuff (Ellen Page) is a fairly typical 16-year-old teenager with attitude and a quick tongue. She decides to experiment with sex with her friend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). This results in an unwanted pregnancy.
Diablo Cody, is the pen name for Brook Maurio (née Busey; born June 14, 1978), an American writer and producer.
Diablo Cody
[Theme clue].

63. Hawaii or Alaska, on many a map: INSET.

64. Bread served with mattar paneer: NAAN.   Peas and paneer is our all time favorite Indian dish.  You can substitute cottage cheese for the paneer, buy it in Indian food stores, or make your own.  Here's a recipe for the mattar paneer:
Mattar Paneer
65. Radiate: EMIT.

66. Grind, as teeth: GNASH.

67. Fail suddenly, with "out": CONK.

68. Turn down: DENY.


1. Wyatt Earp, for one: LAWMANWyatt Berry Stapp Earp (March 19, 1848 – January 13, 1929) was an American lawman and gambler in the American West, including Dodge City, Deadwood, and Tombstone. Earp took part in the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral, during which lawmen killed three outlaw Cochise County Cowboys.
Wyatt Earp
2. Southwestern people: APACHE.  The Apache (/əˈpæi/) are a group of culturally related Native American tribes in the Southwestern United States, which include the Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Lipan, Mescalero, Mimbreño, Ndendahe (Bedonkohe or Mogollon and Nednhi or Carrizaleño and Janero), Salinero, Plains (Kataka or Semat or "Kiowa-Apache") and Western Apache (Aravaipa, Pinaleño, Coyotero, Tonto (so his name was just an adjective?)). Distant cousins of the Apache are the Navajo, with whom they share the Southern Athabaskan languages. There are also Apache communities in Oklahoma and Texas, and reservations in Arizona and New Mexico.  Did I miss anybody?
Apachean tribes, c. 18th century
WA: Western Apache N: Navajo
Ch: Chiricahua: M Mescalero
J: Jicarilla L: Lipan
Pl: Plains Apache

3. Keep from practicing?: DISBARA legal term.

4. Fill until full: SATE.

5. Places to recover after going downhill fast: SKI LODGES.  A CSO to MalMan.  When he's not frolicking in tropical lagoons, he spends his time going downhill (but I understand not as fast as in former days).

6. "Sweet!": YES.

7. Farm pen: STY.

8. Over the line: TOO FAR.  For some reason, this hit by Brewer and Shipley was the first thing that popped into my head.  DNK the railway station.  Hand up if you do?

9. Like more expensive art, often: RARER.

10. Awards show host: EMCEE.

11. Genetic molecule translated into protein: RNADNA would have fit as well, so you have to wait for perps.  Here's a simplified view of the translation process. PET PEEVE: I have a lot of problems with orthodox explanations of this process because they employ circular reasoning, a logical fallacy formally known as petitio principii  and commonly called "begging the question".  For example, a key component of the translation process involves a large enzyme (a type of protein) called a ribosome, which is  a complex assembly of various proteins and ribosomal RNA (rRNA).   Thus proteins and RNA are precursors to the synthesis of proteins and RNA.  Thus the premise assumes the conclusion.  Scientists have been trying to explain how this process originated (was "bootstrapped") ever since Francis Crick formulated his famous central dogma in 1958.  So far the explanations all boil down to this:

12. Ultrathin MacBook: AIR.

13. Go-ahead: NOD.

18. Conned: HAD.

19. Short address: URL.

24. Photo sources: NEGSNEGATIVES, a term which might seem a little negative to any Gen X,Y, or Zers reading this, i.e. anyone who was raised taking digital pictures with cellphones.   This article will give you much more than you'd  ever want to know about the ancient analogue world of film photography, but it does have a lot of pretty photos.

25. Conference of Magic and Wizards: EASTERN.  That is the NBA conference of the Orlando Magic and the Washington Wizards.  As near as I could tell it has nothing to do with Harry Potter.

26. Assert as true: AVER.

27. Bleak: DIRE.

28. "Woot!": YAY.  A CSO to Anonymous -T.  I hope he's way better by the time he reads this.

30. Rich deposits: ORES.

34. Intense anger: IRE.

35. No-frills drawing style: PEN AND INK.  This is MC Escher's "No-frills" pen and ink sketch,

 the study for this famous lithograph:

Hand with a Reflecting Sphere
MC Escher, 1935

36. "100 Greatest Movie Quotes of All Time" org.: AFI.  I think we can all guess #1 -  here are all them  from the American Film Institute.

is also an abbreviation for A Fire Inside, an American rock band from Ukiah, California, formed in 1991. Since 1998, it consists of lead vocalist Davey Havok, drummer and backing vocalist Adam Carson, bassist, backing vocalist and keyboardist Hunter Burgan, and guitarist, backing vocalist and keyboardist Jade Puget. Originally a hardcore punk band, they have since delved into many genres, starting with horror punk and following through post-hardcore and emo into alternative rock and gothic rock.  Here's their emo hit Leaving Song Pt. II from their Platinum album Sing the Sorrow:

37. Traditional March 14 desserts: PIES.  That date comes every year on 3.14, and is celebrated with homophonic PIs by geeks everywhere.  And I'll betcha raspberry pi is -T's favorite flavor.

38. Break-even proposition: WASH.

39. Oldest city in Hawaii: HILO.  Around 1100 AD, the first Hilo inhabitants arrived, bringing with them Polynesian knowledge and traditions. Although archaeological evidence is scant, oral history has many references to people living in Hilo, along the Wailuku and Wailoa rivers during the time of ancient Hawaii. Oral history gives the meaning of Hilo as "to twist", no doubt the origin of everybody's favorite crosswordese dance.  Hilo was about 800 years old when this picture was taken in 1907 (not bad for a film camera).
Hilo, Hawaii 1907

40. Half up front?: HEMI. HEMI as in "half";  "up front" as in "prefix",  as in HEMISPHERE:
41. Gritty, in a way: RAW.

44. Thinking alike: IN SYNC.

46. "No objection here": OK BY ME.  Sounds like these conversers are IN SYNC.

47. Enter en masse: PILE IN.  This clue was last seen on the Corner in a DAB puzzle on October 20th, 2022, reviewed by -T (who co-incidentally illustrated his theme title with a lithograph by MC Escher).

48. Like bad cell reception: SPOTTY.

50. Teams: SIDES.

51. Intense anger: WRATH.  As in DIES IRAE ("Day of WRATH"), the Latin poem used in the Catholic Office for the Dead.   Here's Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting a commemorative performance of Verdi’s Requiem on the 20th anniversary of 9/11:

52. McKellen who plays Gandalf: IAN.  Here's Ian McKellen in what is for me the most memorable  scene in the Lord of the Rings.  It expresses not only WRATH, but intense SADNESS: (spoiler alert: don't watch this if you haven't seen LOTR; you owe it to yourself to see the whole saga first):

53. Martini ingredient: GIN.

57. Matured: AGED.  I didn't know that GINS could be AGEDYou might have to give away your AGE to get into this site.

58. Newton fruit: FIG.

59. Overnight option: INN.

60. DOD intel arm: NSANo Such Agency is just down the pike from where we live.

61. Living-in-harmony principle: TAOGood advice whatever your beliefs.

62. "To All the Boys" novelist Jenny: HANJenny Han is an American author of young adult fiction and children's fiction. She is best known for writing The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy which was adapted into a TV series of the same name beginning in 2022 and is still ongoing.  Here's the trailer for one of the stories, To All the Boys I've Loved Before:


As always, thanks to Teri for proof reading and for her constructive criticism. 


Damon Gulczynski you are invited to post anything you'd like to share about this puzzle, its evolution, the theme, or whatever, in the Comments section below.  We'd love to hear from you.