, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: 2023


Sep 27, 2023

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 John Guzzetta

Theme:   A puzzle in MODE mode.  The second word of two-word in-the-language phrases represent various types of MODES.

17 A. *Ray Winstone/Ben Kingsley crime drama: SEXY BEAST.  A SEXY BEAST is someone who exudes sexuality and is difficult to resist.  BEAST MODE  refers to the aggressive, animalistic persona that one might assume when in competition or combat in order to overpower an opponent.

22 A *Period of anxiety that may be brought on by facing one's mortality: MIDLIFE CRISIS.  This is an emotional crisis of identity and self-confidence that can occur in early middle age.   CRISIS MODE is a hyper reactive condition where everything catches you off guard,  increases your stress levels and you feel panicky. 

49. *Folded missile in a classroom: PAPER AIRPLANE.  Here are detailed instructions for how to make one.

AIRPLANE MODE is a setting on a smartphone or tablet for use on board an aircraft, in which the device does not receive or transmit wireless signals and so does not interfere with the aircraft's communication systems.

58. *Spot to store valuables when traveling: HOTEL SAFE.   A SAFE is a strong metal cupboard with special locks, in which you keep money, jewelry, or other valuable things.  There might be on in your HOTEL room.   SAFE MODE is a diagnostic mode of a computer operating system. It can also refer to a mode of operation by application software. Safe mode is intended to help fix most, if not all, problems within an operating system. It is also widely used for removing rogue security software. 

38. Fashionable, or an apt description of the ends of the answers to the starred clues: A LA MODE.  This refers to something fashionable and stylish.  Or, alternatively, a mode of serving pie, along with a scoop of ice cream.  

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here, in puzzle analysis MODE.  {We will definitely not be getting into analyzing musical or mathematical MODES!}.  Generally, a MODE is manner in which something occurs or is experienced, expressed, or done.  Let's get into action MODE.


1. Flowerbox place: SILL.  A widow shelf.

5. Hubbub: STIR.  Ado

9. Use a 26-Down: SHAVE.  Scrape whiskers off the face, for example.

14. Nabisco cookie: OREO.  A pair of chocolate wafers with a sugary cream filling.  The crossword world's favorite desert.

15. Gallant one: HERO.  Doer of courageous deeds, or a large sandwich.  Chose wisely.

16. Wonder Woman's rope: LASSO.  A rope with a loop or noose at one end, suitable for capturing villains, perhaps.

19. "Touch of Evil" director Welles: ORSON.  This 1958 movie involves the investigation into drug trafficking after a car bomb explodes near the Mexican border.  George Orson Welles [1915-1985] was an American actor, director, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in film, radio, and theatre. He is considered to be among the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. 

20. Some remote batteries: AAAs.  Small cylindrical batteries.

21. Bacon pieces: STRIPS.  One strip = one rasher. 

27. Apartment, say: UNIT.  A single living quarter in a larger structure.

28. "You __ to be there": HAD.  Explaining that being a direct witness is sometimes important for understanding or believing.

29. Put away: STOW.  Pack neatly in a particular place.

32. Some DVD players: SONYS.  Products of the Sony Group Corporation, a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan.

34. Assessed, with "up": SIZED.  Examined and evaluated something or someone.

36. Actor Vigoda: ABE.   Abraham Charles Vigoda [1921 - 2016] was an American actor known for his portrayals of Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather and Phil Fish in both Barney Miller and Fish TV shows.

37. Vampire vaporizer: SUN.   According to legend, these evil creatures cannot abide direct sunlight.

40. Not gross: NET.  After all charges and deductions.

41. Examine critically: EYE.  Size up, visually.

42. Waffle: WAVER.  Vacillate due to uncertainty.

43. First few pages of many books: INTRO.  Short for introduction -  a preliminary and explanatory section at the beginning of a book, report, or speech..

45. Feudal laborer: SERF.  An agricultural laborer bound under the feudal system to work on their lord's estate.

47. Neither's partner: NOR.  Used to exclude pairs of things or concepts.

48. Japanese noodle: UDON.   Wheat pasta made in thick strips.

54. Parking spots: SPACES.  Areas demarcated within a larger region for placing individual vehicles.

56. "Agreed!": DEAL.  An agreement entered into by two or more parties for their mutual benefit, especially in a business or political context.

57. Eagle's perch: AERIE.  A large nest in a high place.

63. Pertaining to birth: NATAL.  As defined.

64. Disney snowman: OLAF.  From the movie FROZEN.

65. "__ go bragh!": ERIN.  Ireland forever!

66. Do up, as hair: STYLE.  A particular arrangement of one's hair.

67. Guitar tuners: PEGS.    Short wooden or metal sticks with flat, rounded ends that are turned to make the strings on a musical instrument tighter or looser.

68. Lean (toward): TEND.  Have a natural inclination to do or be drawn toward some object of action.


1. "Help!" letters: SOS.   A Morse code distress signal used internationally, originally established for maritime use. In formal notation SOS is written with an overscore line, to indicate that the Morse code equivalents for the individual letters of "SOS" are transmitted as an unbroken sequence of three dots / three dashes / three dots, with no spaces between the letters.

2. Anger: IRE.  Negative emotional reaction to words or an event.  Hopefully, it is not forever.

3. Supervillain Luthor who co-founded the Injustice League: LEX.  Originated in Superman comics.

4. Faithfulness: LOYALTY.  A strong, reliable feeling of support or allegiance.

5. Bundle of harvested grain: SHEAF.   A bundle of grain stalks laid lengthwise and tied together after reaping.

6. Poke fun at: TEASE.   Merriment at the expense of a usually unwilling victim.

7. Org. with many auditors: IRS.  Internal Revenue Service - the Federal tax collecting agency.

8. Spoil: ROT.  Deteriorate over time, as produce.

9. Casino machines: SLOTS.   Coin-operated gaming machines that generate random combinations of symbols on a dial, certain combinations winning varying amounts of money for the player.

10. Vice president Kamala: HARRIS.   Kamala Devi Harris [b. 1964] is an American politician and attorney who is the 49th and current vice president of the United States. She is the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, as well as the first African-American and first Asian-American vice president. 

11. Prosecutor's deputy, for short: ASSISTANT D.A.   The Assistant District Attorney is responsible for assisting the District Attorney with administering the ongoing activities of the District Attorney's Office and assists in developing and implementing departmental goals and objectives within general policy guidelines.

12. Initials on a brandy bottle: VSOP.  Very Superior Old Pale.  For a cognac to be classified as a VSOP, the minimum age of the youngest eau-de-vie in the blend must be at least 4 years old.

13. Ages upon ages: EONS.   Long periods of unspecified duration.

18. "Wow at first sip" brand: BAI.  A brand of cocoanut water.

21. Allied (with): SIDED.  Joined together for some purpose, generally against organized opposition. 

22. Dishevels, as hair: MUSSES.  Runs fingers through someone's hair in a random way to mess it up.

23. Senator for whom Honolulu's airport is named: INOUYE. Daniel Ken Inouye [1924 - 2012] was an American attorney, soldier, and politician who served as a United States senator from Hawaii from 1963 until his death in 2012. Beginning in 1959, he was the first U.S. Representative for the State of Hawaii, and a Medal of Honor recipient.

24. Occasion to use the good china: DINNER PARTY.  A social occasion at which guests eat dinner together.

25. Fire-breathing Greek monster: CHIMERA.   In Greek mytholog, a fire-breathing female monster with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail.

26. Stubble remover: RAZOR.   An instrument with a sharp blade or combination of blades, used to remove unwanted hair from the face or body.

30. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" king: OBERON.  A king of the fairies in medieval and Renaissance literature. He is best known as a character in William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which he is King of the Fairies and spouse of Titania, Queen of the Fairies.  Also, Oberon is a wheat ale that embodies everything we love about summer. Brewed with just wheat malt, hops, water and Bells Brewery's signature house ale yeast.  

31. Slobbery kiss: WET ONE.  Moist smooch.

33. Watched: SAW.  Observed or eyed.

34. Really relish: SAVOR.  Enjoy the flavor of.

35. "Agnus __": DEI.   Agnus Dei is the Latin name under which the "Lamb of God" is honoured within Christian liturgies descending from the historic Latin liturgical tradition, including those of Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism and Anglicanism.

39. Features of a bowling alley: LANES.  Wooden or urethane decks that are 62'10-3/4" long and 42 inches wide with ten pins spaced one foot apart 60 feet from the foul line.  

44. Mathematical void symbolized by { }: NULL SET.   In mathematical sets, the null set is a set that does not contain any values or elements. It is expressed as { } and denoted using the Greek letter ∅ (phi). Now we exit math mode.

46. Treatment that may involve a peel: FACIAL.  A beauty treatment for the face.

50. "Nope" writer/director Jordan: PEELE.  Jordan Haworth Peele [b. 1978] is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker, known for his film and television work in the comedy and horror genres.  I don't believe he is known for his facial treatments.

51. Luggage label: I.D. TAG.  Item to identify the ownership of an item of luggage.

52. Hangouts for some schools?: REEFS.  A ridge of jagged rock, coral, or sand just above or below the surface of the sea.  The school here is of the fishy variety.  

53. Friend: PAL.  Buddy amigo.

54. Without: SANS.  In French.  I relish a puzzle sans French. 

55. Organic fuel: PEAT.   Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation or organic matter. It is unique to natural areas called peatlands, bogs, mires, moors, or muskegs. 

58. Short jump: HOP.  I HOP means I make a short jump.  IHOP is where I'm taking Gloria later this week for pumpkin pancakes. 

59. Copa Mundial cheer: OLE.   Copa Mundial is Spanish for World Cup, the FIFA international soccer [futbol] tournament.  I had a bit of trouble tracking it down, since Google just wanted to show me shoes of the same name.  Olé is a Spanish interjection used to cheer on or praise a performance commonly used in bullfighting and flamenco dance. 

60. What "will be" will be: ARE.  Forms of  the verb "to be."  This is a playful little excursion into tenses, where the future of the past becomes the present. 

61. Sign of a shark: FIN.  The shark's dorsal fin can sometimes be seen above the water line.  Not a good sign.

62. Goal: END.   The aim or purpose of an activity.  Also the END of this puzzle.  Well placed.

OK, Gang - that wraps up another Wednesday, and a fine ride it was.  I am now in sign-off mode.

Cool regards, 

Sep 26, 2023

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 Doug Peterson

 UPUP, and Away.

14-Across. *  Like birdies and eagles: UNDER PAR.

23-Across. *  Expert in community development: URBAN PLANNER.

40-Across. *  Publisher of scholarly journals: UNIVERSITY PRESS.  Everything you wanted to know about a University Press but didn't know to ask.  Books published through a University Press are generally peer reviewed.  Here's a list of books published by various University Presses around the country.

53-Across. *  India's most populous state: UTTAR PRADESH.  A few interesting facts about Uttar Pradesh.  It borders Nepal and is also the home of the Taj Mahal.

70-Across. Presumptuous newcomers, and what the answers to the starred clues literally have: UP STARTS.  Each theme answer is a two word phrase where the first word Starts with the letter U and the second word Starts with the letter P.

1. Loving murmur: COO.

4. Generic dog name: FIDO.  Which United States President had a dog named Fido?  *

8. Short __: pancake orders: STACKS.

16. "Très chic!": OO LA LA.

17. Pride and joy: EMOTIONS.

18. Snapped: LOST IT.

19. Perfect Sleeper company: SERTA.  [Name # 1.]

20. Short race, for short: ONE-K.  As in a race that is One Kilometer.  One Kilometer is 0.621371 miles.

22. Even one: ANY.

27. Nonkosher sandwich, briefly: BLT.  As in a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwich.  It's the Bacon that makes it Treyf (unkosher).

30. Distress call: SOS.  The letters SOS in the distress call don't actually stand for anything.

We got to listen to the song in yesterday's puzzle.

31. Baseball Hall of Famer Sandberg: RYNE.  Ryne Sandberg (né Ryne Dee Sandberg; b. Sept. 18, 1959) played baseball for 16 years.  He was a second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.  [Name # 2.]

32. Folk wisdom: LORE.

34. Feel poorly: AIL.

36. Paul of "Breaking Bad": AARON.  Paul Aaron (né Aaron Paul Sturtevant; b. Aug. 27, 1979) won several awards for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad.    [Name # 3.]

44. Make a dance club version, say: REMIX.

45. Animal park: ZOO.

46. "Note to __ ... ": SELF.

47. Swarm (with): TEEM.

50. Montero Lamar Hill, __ Lil Nas X: AKA.  Montero Lamar Hill (b. Apr. 9, 1999) is a rapper who became know with his country rap song Old Town Road.  [Name # 4.]

52. Almost empty: LOW.

58. "No seats" sign: SRO.  Standing Room Only.

59. "Moonstruck" Oscar winner: CHER.  Before she got into acting, Cher (née Cherilyn Sarkisian; b. May 20, 1946) teamed up with Sonny Bono (né Salvatore Phillip Bono; Feb. 16, 1935 ~ Jan. 5, 1998) and were a popular 1960s duo.  [Name # 5.]

60. Madeline Miller novel about an "Odyssey" witch: CIRCE.  I have read neither the original Odyssey nor the more recent Circe.  Madeline Miller (b. July 24, 1978) has an advanced degree in the Classics, and has written several novels based on ancient Greek mythology.  She is probably best known for her 2011 novel The Song of Achilles.  [Name # 6.]

64. Bluster: HOT AIR.  Hot Air helps balloons go UP.

66. Monopoly space with a police officer: GO TO JAIL.

69. "Despite that ... ": EVEN SO.

71. Begin to blush: REDDEN.

72. Greek vowels: ETAs.  Uppercase/Lowercase: Η η

73. Private __: EYE.

1. Sticks for pool sharks: CUES.

2. "I'll pay for dinner": ON ME.

3. Off-putting smell: ODOR.

4. Franciscan brothers: FRIARS.

5. Nasdaq debut: IPO.  As in Initial Public Offering on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations.  Nasdaq vs. Dow.

6. "SNL" alum Aykroyd: DAN.  Dan Aykroyd (né Daniel Edward Aykroyd; b. July 1, 1952) portrayed many characters on Saturday Night Live, including one of the Coneheads, and Elwood Blue of the Blues Brothers.  He also starred as one of the original Ghostbuster.  [Name # 7.]

7. Director Welles: ORSON.  Orson Welles (né George Orson Welles; May 6, 1915 ~ October 10, 1985) caused quite a stir in 1938, when his radio adaption of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that a Martian invasion was in fact occurring.  [Name # 8.]

8. Only: SOLELY.

9. Recharged, in a way: TOOK A NAP.

10. Racers Unser Jr. and Unser Sr.: ALs.  Father (Alfred Unser, Sr.; May 20, 1939 ~ Dec. 9, 2021) and Son (Alfred Unser, Jr.; b. Apr. 19, 1962) from the famous Unser racing family, which began with Louis Unser, Jr. (Mar. 16, 1896 ~ Oct. 18, 1979), the patriarch of the racing family.  [Names # 9 and 10.]

11. Board game with the tagline "Trade Build Settle": CATAN.  I wasn't familiar with this game, so I am glad that Sumdaze explained it to me yesterday.  The board is an interesting shape.

12. Kevin of "Dave": KLINE.  Dave was a 1993 comedy movie about a small business owner named Dave who unwittingly became President.  Dave was portrayed by Kevin Kline (né Kevin Delaney Kline; b. Oct. 24, 1947).  [Name # 11.]

13. Goat-legged deity: SATYR.

15. Legendary rebuke: ET TU.  Today's Latin lesson.  Did you remember this from last Tuesday?

21. Broadcaster with pledge drives: NPR.  National Public Radio appears with some frequency in the puzzles.

24. Tusked beast: BOAR.

25. Flaws and all: AS IS.

26. Zeros in on: NEARS.

27. Become hazy: BLUR.  Like being at the optometrist ... is it clear on the right or on the left?

28. Unaccompanied: LONE.

29. Add lace to, e.g.: TRIM.  RBG wore lace collars.

33. Musical set in Buenos Aires: EVITA.  The musical was loosely based on the life of Eva Perón (May 7, 1919 ~ July 26, 1952).  [Name # 12.]

35. Claiborne of fashion: LIZ.  Anne Elizabeth Jane Claiborne (Mar. 31, 1929 ~ June 26, 2007) was an American fashion designer who was born in Belgium to American parents.  She has ties to Louisiana: her ancestor, William C.C. Claiborne (1770s ~ Nov. 23, 1817) was the first governor of Louisiana after the state gained statehood. [Name # 13.]

37. React to a shock: REEL.

38. Home of the Norwegian Military Academy: OSLO.  Norway traces its military forces back to the Vikings.

Cold Response Training by the Military

39. Warning that might prevent a click: NSFW.  Textspeak for Not Suitable For Work.

41. Work out: EXERCISE.

42. Bumpy-skinned amphibian: TOAD.

43. Joining device: YOKE.

48. "You've Got Mail" writer/director Nora: EPHRON.  Nora Ephron (May 19, 1941 ~ June 26, 2012) was a journalist, writer and filmmaker.  She also wrote and directed When Sleepless in Seattle.  In addition to rom-coms, she also wrote Silkwood, a dramatic film based on the life and death of Karen Silkwood.  [Name # 14.]

49. GI's field ration: MRE.  Meals Ready to Eat.

51. Fancy neckwear: ASCOTS.  A brief history of the necktie.

53. Theater guide: USHER.

54. Treasure stash: TROVE.

55. Schlepped: TOTED.  Schlep can mean either to carry or to take a tedious journey.

Only the penguins can schlep to Antarctica.  The Polar Bears schlep north.

56. Squabble: ARGUE.

57. Daughter, in Spanish: HIJA.  Today's Spanish lesson.

61. Hardly ubiquitous: RARE.

62. Selma or Salem: CITY.  One is in Alabama and the other is in Massachusetts (or Oregon if you are west-coast oriented.)

63. Instead: ELSE.

65. "Is there more?": AND ...  Tell me more!

67. Make a call: OPT.

68. Agcy. that X-rays shoes: TSA.  With Global Entry, the Transportation Security Administration no longer requires one to remove shoes.

Here's the Grid:


Sep 25, 2023

Monday September 25, 2023 Amie Walker

 Hello Cornerites!

Theme:        Hum a Few Bars  ♪ ♪ 

I am always happy to see Amie Walker's name on a puzzle. Today's is a good example of her talents. There is more to unpack here than on a typical Monday. (Note:  You might want to pause here and top off your beverage of choice.)

Amie is playing with two music-related words in unexpected ways. The two words are LINE and BARS.

line of a song is a lyric. We have 3 lines from the song Get Down Tonight by KC and The Sunshine Band (1975). Amie adds an extra layer by including the word "line" in the clues for three long fills. Each time, we get a different meaning for the word "line" plus none of those meanings correspond to its musical definition.

20 Across. Conga line?: DO A LITTLE DANCE.
"Line" is a queue of people. "Conga" is the "dance".

36 Across. Neck line?: MAKE A LITTLE LOVE.
"Line" is a fashion feature that accentuates the wearer's body or a garment's detail. "Neck" is "necking" a.k.a. making out.

47 Across. Party line?: GET DOWN TONIGHT.
"Line" is the 'official message' of a particular group. "Party" is a group of revelers.

Fair enough, but what about the unifier(s)? This is where the puzzle truly became fun. 

62 Across. With 63-Across, 1970s nightclubs, or, in another sense, what 20-, 36-, and 47-Across are?: DISCO.

63 Across. See 62-Across: BARS.

In music theory, bar is another word for 'measure'. It contains a specific number of beats played at a particular tempo. They are called BARS because of the vertical lines that separate them along a musical staff. Think of the old joke, "No, but if you hum a few BARS...." Here is an example where both BARS have four beats.

Finally, Amie uses DISCO BARS in two ways. One is the 'nightclub' sense in the clue. The other is what I have been trying to build up to. The LINES in the long fills are BARS from the DISCO song, Get Down Tonight. They are another type of DISCO BARS. Whew! I told you there was a lot to unpack today! This would have been a good one for JzB. Are you ready for the song now?  

Before we move on to the other clues, I want to add that the length of the long fills makes this puzzle a Monday level fit. Once you've parsed the theme, you can fill in a lot (28%) of the squares. On the other hand, if you are not familiar with this song, the level moves a few days forward in the week.

1. Field of study: AREA.  and  9 Down. Field of study, perhaps: SITE.
[Fun clecho #1]

5. Lumps: CLODS.  If your AREA of study is archaeology, you might sift through CLODS at your work SITE.  
visit this archaeological SITE

10. "Wheel of Fortune" option: SPIN.  Contestants have three options:  SPIN the wheel, buy a vowel, or solve the puzzle.

14. Music genre for Jill Scott: SOUL.  This is Jill Scott.

15. Asian capital whose opera house is modeled on Paris's Palais Garnier: HANOI.  I like clues that teach us a little something extra.  
HANOI (lt) and Paris (rt)

16. Drive-__ ATM: THRU.

17. Italian dish, familiarly: PARM.  PARMigiana  9 Things you can "PARM" from the Food Network

18. Lopsided: ATILT.  Def:  in a tilted or inclined position.

19. Corner chess piece: ROOK.  a.k.a. castle  
Once again Colin found himself stuck between a 'Rook' and a hard place.

23. Resource in Catan: ORE.  Huh?
Catan, previously known as The Settlers of Catan or simply Settlers, is a board game for (generally) 3-4 players. It was designed by Klaus Teuber and was first published in 1995 in Germany. Players take on the roles of settlers, each attempting to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources.  

24. Woolly moms: EWES.  Fortunately for us XWD bloggers, there are plenty of sheep cartoons on the internet.

25. Cantina fare: TACOS.  A "cantina" is a type of bar common in Latin America and Spain. I am reminded of Rosie's Cantina in the song, El Paso, written by Marty Robbins. This is a 
a pepped-up cover by the Old 97's (1999). 
My favorite LINE:  I caught a good one. He looked like he could run. 

28. Prepare to advance after a fly ball: TAG UP.  In baseball, when a batter hits a fly ball and a fielder catches it, base runners have to go back to the base they were at when the play started and TAG UP before they can run to the next base. It gets exciting in the event the fielder botches the catch. Of course if there are already two outs, the runner should just go like the wind.  
In this 'fly ball' video, things are complicated by the infield fly rule. The announcer explains that "Bonds was immediately out" but it would have been helpful if he also explained that this meant there was no longer a force play at home so they needed to tag the runner.
I like how the runner did a don't-mind-me sneak around to step on the plate.

31. Radio host John: TESH.  He was born on July 9, 1952 on Long Island. In 1990, he wrote the NBA on NBC theme song.  Here it is:

32. Cinnamon-scented seasonal decor: PINECONES (also PINE CONES).  I love it when stores overpower me with cinnamon PINE CONES near the entrance!
Kudos to Amie for this 9-letter horizontal fill, along with its symmetrical partner at 39A.

39. "No, really!": I'M SERIOUS.  
a very young Val Kilmer (left) (35 sec.)
Real Genius (1985)

40. MGM co-founder: LOEW.  Marcus LOEW and Louis B. Mayer founded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. on April 17, 1924. LOEW died three and a half years later from a heart attack at 57-years-old.

41. Many "Saved by the Bell" characters: TEENS.  Ranker puts Saved by the Bell at #11 for The Best Teen Comedy Series Every Made.

42. Chores: TASKS.

44. Heckling chorus: BOOS.  
46. Cozy spot: DEN.  and  33 Down. Cozy spot: NOOK.
[Fun clecho #2]

54. Bruno Mars's birthplace: OAHU.  and  
56 Across. Floral garlands: LEIS.  
Born Peter Gene Hernandez on October 8, 1985 in Honolulu, HI,
Bruno has 31 Grammy nominations and 15 wins.
55. Squirrel away: HOARD.  

58. World Cup cheers: OLES.

59. Cosmic path: ORBIT. Thanks for the Science fill, Amie! It gives us an opportunity to catch up on what is happening with cislunar space.  
L1 and L2 are Legrange points.

60. Froyo topping option: OREO.  This feels a bit awkward in the singular.

61. Saucy: PERT.  

1. Egyptian cobra: ASP.

2. Fork locale: ROAD.  Homonyms are great for misdirection. It is not the fork located next to your dinner plate.
another tricky homonym

3. Greek currency: EURO.  Greece joined the EU in 1981. It adopted the EURO in 2001 in time to be among the first wave of countries to launch EURO banknotes and coins on January 1, 2002. Prior to that, it's national currency was the drachma (1833-2002).

4. __ mater: ALMA.  Def.:  the school, college or university that one once attended.
It is a Latin phrase that literally means "nourishing/bounteous mother".

5. Dining set array: CHAIRS.

6. Cupful with steamed milk: LATTE.

7. "I got this!": ON IT.

8. Mermaid Barbie, for one: DOLL.  
She has rainbows and a sparkly tiara!!
10. Informal surveys: STRAW POLLS.  My informal definition is "an unofficial vote to determine which way the group is leaning."

11. Device not allowed during a family meal, maybe: PHONE.  and  
45 Down. Significant __: OTHER.
Have you heard of "phubbing"? It is a portmanteau made from the words "phone snubbing" and is the act of ignoring a companion in favor of using a smartphone. Not cool, dude!

12. Some Camaros: IROCS.  Someone on The Corner used to have one but I do not remember whom it was.

13. Heat in a microwave: NUKE.  
And I thought nuclear weapons were a 20th century invention.
21. Bathroom, to a Brit: LOO.

22. Low card: DEUCE.

25. One of 32 in the NHL: TEAM.  The NHL's 2023-24 regular season begins on Tuesday, October 10.  more info

26. Queries: ASKS.

27. Residue from an orange snack: CHEETO DUST.  Its official name is "Cheetle". (No, really. I'M SERIOUS. I did not make that up.)
30 sec. TV commercial

28. Welliver of "Bosch" and "Bosch: Legacy": TITUS.  his IMDb page

29. Pantry pests: ANTS.  
Oh, "pantry",  not "pants" !
30. Solidify: GEL.

31. Brief "Yikes, didn't need that in my brain": TMI.  Too Much Information  

32. Subatomic particle: PION.  Hand up for atOm first.
an explanation of PION that I can understand

34. Present-wrapping nights, for procrastinators: EVES.  Hmmmm...... We might be trying too hard with this one. It would be uncommon to wrap presents on the non-Christmas EVES.

35. Work with a needle and thread: SEW.

37. "Am not!" retort: ARE SO.

38. Fib: LIE.

42. Take care of: TEND TO.

43. "The Phantom Menace" boy: ANI.  This was a nickname for the Star Wars:  Episode I -- The Phantom Menace character, Anakin Skywalker.

44. Memphis street of blues fame: BEALE.  website

46. Greek column style: DORIC.  

47. Slime: GOOP.  and  51 Down. Lump: GLOB.

48. "__'ve thunk it?": WHO'D.  WHO woulD haVE
"Thunk" was a hint at slang. The apostrophes represent missing letters.

49. Sushi seaweed: NORI.  
This pic shows sushi before being rolled up.
In this case, the NORI is under the rice so it will become the outside of the roll (maki style).
The bamboo mat helps with the rolling.

50. Guitar player's aid: TABS.  Pick?  bzzt.  Capo?  bzzt.
Guitar TABS are a way of writing music that tells finger positions on strings as opposed to telling chords.  Here is an example:  
The 6 horizontal lines represent a guitar's 6 strings.
A zero means to play it "open".

52. Wife of Zeus: HERA.

53. Level: TIER.

57. Call for help repeated in the Police's "Message in a Bottle": SOS.  It is only fitting we end this on a musical note.  
The Police, from their 2nd studio album, Reggatta de Blanc (1979)
"I'll send an SOS to the world. I'll send an SOS to the world."

Here's the grid:

Thanks for sticking with me on this one! I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts!