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


Jan 31, 2023

Tuesday, January 31, 2023 John Guzzetta

POP Goes the Weasel:

Speaking of Weasels (oh, we weren't?), when we were in Vietnam we sampled some Weasel Coffee.  I brought some home and served it to my friends.  I told them after it had been consumed how it had been produced.  It's actually quite good.

20-Across. Rebate redeemer's requirement, usually: PROOF OPURCHASE.  First POP!

39-Across. Motto for a socially responsible corporation: PEOPLE OVER PROFIT.  Second POP!

56-Across. Academic ultimatum: PUBLISH OPERISH.  Third POP!

And the Unifiers:

70. With 71-Across, Destiny's Child or the Supremes, and an apt description of this puzzle's longest answers: POP.

71. See 70-Across: TRIO.

Together these two answers give us a POP TRIO.  Both Destiny's Child and The Supremes are/were female pop trios.  Beyoncé (née Beyoncé Giselle Knowles; b. Sept. 4, 1981) is the best known member of Destiny's Child and Diana Ross (b. Mar. 26, 1944) is the best known member of The Supremes.  There is also a TRIO of P-O-P theme answers.

1. Shapeless mass: BLOB.  //  And 2-Down. Shapeless mass: LUMP.

5. Syst. with hand gestures: ASL.  As in American Sign Language.

8. Zac of "High School Musical": EFRON.  His role in High School Musical is probably the role that is most identified with Zachary David Alexander Efron (b. Oct. 18, 1987).  [Name # 1.]

13. German automaker: AUDI.   Everything you wanted to known about Audi, but didn't know to ask.

14. Ill-mannered sort: BOOR.

16. Like some dips: ONIONY.

17. Metropolitan haze: SMOG.

18. Skin care balm: ALOE.  This has become a crossword staple.

19. Argon and oxygen: GASSES.

23. Acct. earnings: INT.  As in Interest.

24. "Arrested Development" actor Will: ARNETT.  Will Arnett (né William Emerson Arnett; b. May 4, 1970) is a Canadian actor best known for his role as Gob Bluth on Arrested Development.  He was also  married to Amy Poehler (b. Sept. 16, 1971) for over a decade.   [Name # 2.]

25. Patterned fabric: TOILE.  This is not the first time this fabric has appeared in the crossword puzzles.

28. Manolo Blahnik creation: SHOE.  Manolo Blahnik (né Manuel Blahnik Rodríguez; b. Nov. 27, 1942) is a Spanish fashion designer best known for his very expensive shoes.  He was the subject of 2017 documentary entitled Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards.  [Name # 3.]

29. Long story: SAGA.  I love a good saga.  Ken Follett (né Kenneth Martin Follett; b. June 5, 1949) is known for writing fabulous historical sagas.  He wrote three sagas that make up his Century Trilogy: Fall of GiantsWinter of the World, and Edge of Eternity.  The series follows 5 inter-related families throughout the 1900s, beginning with World War I in the first novel, followed by World War II in the second novel, and concluding with the  Cold War and the civil rights movements.

32. Branch: ARM.

33. __ deco: ART.  Our old friend Erté (né Romain Petrovich de Tirtoff; Nov. 23, 1892 ~ Apr. 21, 1990), who used to make frequent guest appearances in the crossword puzzles, was an expert in Art Deco.

35. Moving vehicle: VAN.  My favorite clue of today's puzzle.

37. Golf course rental: CART.

43. Motown genre: SOUL.

44. Reddit tell-all sesh: AMA.  As in Ask MAnything.

45. Attempt: TRY.

46. "Mean Girls" screenwriter Tina: FEY.  Tina Fey (née Elizabeth Stamatina Fey; b. May 18, 1970) was also the star of 30 Rock. [Name # 4.]

47. "Halt!": STOP.

49. Curved foot part: ARCH.

51. Live (in): DWELL.

53. "Lucifer" actress Helfer: TRICIA.  I am not familiar with the Canadian-born Tricia Helfer (née Tricia Janine Helfer; b. Apr. 11, 1974), nor am I familiar with television series Lucifer.   [Name # 5.]

55. __ Lingus: AER.  Aer Lingus is the airline of Ireland.

62. Egypt's continent: AFRICA.

63. Colorado Plateau natives: UTES.  The Utes make frequent guest appearances in the puzzles.

64. Well-behaved: GOOD.

66. "Carol" Oscar nominee Mara: ROONEY.  Rooney Mara (née Patricia Rooney Mara; b. Apr. 17, 1985) is probably best known for her role as Lisbeth Salander in the movie The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  [Name # 6.]

67. Meh-worthy: SO-SO.

68. "Reservation Dogs" streaming service: HULU.

69. Donkeys: ASSES.

1. __-relief: BAS.  I saw a lot of Bas-Relief on the wall of Angkor Wat.

3. Smell: ODOR.

4. Bloc in the fossil fuels lobby, collectively: BIG OIL.

5. To the back, on a boat: ABAFT.  We need our friend Spitzboov to explain this answer.

Spitzboov and his wife, Betty

6. Song for one: SOLO.  He sang solo we couldn't hear him.

7. Shower scrubber: LOOFAH.

8. Passes into law: ENACTS.

9. Seafood snack in a shell: FISH TACO.  Yummers!

10. "Undone" voice actress Salazar: ROSA.  Rosa Salazar (née Rosa Bianca Salazar; b. July 16, 1985) is our second Canadian actress in today's puzzle.  [Name # 7.]

11. Dollar bills: ONES.

12. Org. with opening and closing bells: NYSE.  As in the New York Stock Exchange.

15. Admonish: REPROVE.

16. Fantasy brute: OGRE.

21. Former NBA great Shaquille: O'NEAL.  Shaquille O'Neal (né Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal) played basketball for Louisiana State University for 3 years before leaving for the NBA.  He later returned to LSU and earned his B.A.  [Name # 8.]

22. Dig up: UNEARTH.

25. Lights-out music: TAPS.

26. Double Stuf cookies: OREOS.  A crossword staple.

27. "See ya": I'M OUT.
28. Tolerate: STOMACH.

30. Social blunder: GAFFE.

31. Disney mermaid: ARIEL. She is actually fictional because mermaids aren't real.  [Name # 9.]

34. Stephen of "The Crying Game": REA.  The Crying Game is a 1992 film that starred Stephen Rea (b. Oct. 31, 1946).  [Name # 10.]

36. "All Things Considered" airer: NPR.  As in National Public Radio.

38. "bye 4 now": TTYL.  Textspeak for Talk TYou Later.

40. Story's framework: PLOT LINE.  The Plot Line is very important to 29-Across.

41. Assorted: VARIOUS.

42. Actress Winona: RYDER.  Winona Ryder (née Winona Laura Horowitz; b. Oct. 29, 1971) has appeared in numerous films.  In 2000, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  [Name # 11.]

48. Does some comparison shopping: PRICES.

50. Like some cargo carriers: CAR TOP.  Oh, as in something to put on top of your car to carry extra luggage, not a cargo ship.

52. "Native Son" novelist Richard: WRIGHT.  Richard Wright (né Richard Nathaniel Wright; Sept. 4, 1908 ~ Nov. 28, 1960) was an African American writer.  Much of his literature concerned racial themes.  His work was instrumental in helping to change race relations in the United States.  Sadly he died young ~ at age 52.  [Name # 12.]

54. "My stars!": I SAY!

55. Greek storyteller: AESOP.  You can read his fables here.  [Name # 13.]

56. Prefix with sail: PARA-.  It looks like fun, but I don't think I would really like to try parasailing.

57. Some fuzzy tabloid pics: UFOs.  As in Unidentified Flying Objects.

58. Dudes: BROS.

59. Mexican money: PESO.  One US Dollar is currently about 18.85 Mexican Pesos.

60. Like unripe grapes: SOUR.

61. Hindu spring festival: HOLI.  Everything you wanted to know about Holi, but didn't know to ask.  This year, the Holi falls on March 8, 2023.

65. Couple: DUO.

Here's the Grid:


Jan 30, 2023

Monday January 30, 2023 Baylee Devereaux


Hello Cornerites!

sumdaze here. Today's puzzle comes to us from constructor, Baylee Devereaux. This is her second LA Times publication. I will quote Ol'Man Keith on Baylee's LA Times debut, "Some seriously clever long fills in this Devereaux opus, alternating with commonplace XWD fills, all marshaled for us by JZB."

As for today's puzzle, Baylee had something different in mind. I am calling it

Top Hand
Tad Lucas was known as "Rodeo's First Lady".

Baylee placed her themers vertically in the grid because she wants us to pay special attention to the top (UPPER) part of each of the four themed answers:

3 Down. *Performer's pseudonym: STAGE NAME.  a name assumed for professional purposes by an actor or other performer.

8 Down. *Flippable timekeeper: HOURGLASS.  Does your brain go here, too?

13 Down. *Creamy dip for vegetables: RANCH DRESSING.

30 Down. *Dog in a Disney tear-jerker: OLD YELLER. TBH, I cannot go there without crying so please, if you have questions, look this one up yourself.

Then the reveal:

32 Down. Advantageous position, and what each answer to a starred clue literally has: UPPER HAND.  the position of having power or being in control in a particular situation.

Joining the UPPER parts with HAND, we get:
STAGE HAND  a person who moves scenery or props before or during the performance of a play. 
HOUR HAND  This one is a bit of an outlier because it is a clock part, not a person.
RANCH HAND  a manual laborer on a ranch.
OLD HAND  a person with a lot of experience in something. 

Here's a fun-loving video clip with RANCH HANDS, OLD HANDS, and (unseen) STAGE HANDS.
I'm an Old Cowhand (from the Rio Grande)
written by Johnny Mercer for the movie Rhythm on the Range (1936)
starring Bing Crosby and Louis Prima on the trumpet
JazzBumpa, can you tell us about that other horn @ 1:40 ?

1. Amble along: MOSEY.

6. "I don't get it": HUH.

9. Secret agent: SPY.
Johnny Rivers  Secret Agent Man  (1966)

12. Wonderland cake invitation that Alice accepted: EAT ME.  Two years ago I reread Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There after listening to a podcast that talked about the themes and poems from an adult perspective. If you want to reread them, too, see if your library has a copy with John Tenniel's illustrations. They are wonderful!

13. Nevada gambling town near Carson City: RENO.

The Truckee River flows from Lake Tahoe to Donner Lake (made famous by the Donner Party), into Nevada, through RENO, and onward.

14. Pool stick: CUE.

15. Emmy category: DRAMA.  The 2022 Emmy for Best Drama went to Succession.

16. Merry-go-rounds: CAROUSELS.  Let's see what Mary Poppins is up to.
Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins (1964)  (2:05 min.)

18. Floral wreath: GARLAND.

20. Washer cycle: RINSE.

21. "Fee, __, foe, fum": FIE.  from Jack to King Lear

23. DEA agent: NARC.  "Drug Enforcement Administration" is abbreviated, so is "NARCotics".

24. Feels the same: AGREES.

25. "Ella Enchanted" star Hathaway: ANNE.
(2004)  ~  3 stars on IMDb

27. Car or truck: VEHICLE.

29. South American grasslands: LLANOS.  Pronounced 'ya-nohs' (Spanish for "plains"), they are wide grasslands stretching across western Venezuela and northeastern Colombia.

31. Facts and figures: DATA.  Also, a Star Trek character portrayed by actor Brent Spiner. He is a synthetic life form with artificial intelligence.
Lt Commander DATA with his cat Spot

32. Thumb drive port: USB.
How many tries it take to plug in a USB drive?     3
1st try:  correct but you're not sure and are afraid to force it.
2nd try:  obviously incorrect.
3rd try:  same as 1st try but with confidence.

35. Humped beast: CAMEL.
GEICO 'Hump Day' commercial. Never gets old! (30 sec.)

36. Buffet table coffee server: URN.
21st Century URNs ???

37. Overly sentimental: SAPPY.  Hand up for liking the SAPPY Hallmark Christmas movies.

39. Be in debt: OWE.  We can OWE money but we can also OWE a debt of gratitude.

40. Prom partner: DATE. The Charleston dance scene in It's a Wonderful Life (1947) was filmed at Beverly Hills High School's Swim-Gym, built in 1939 as a federal public works project.
Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed (1:10 min.)

42. Fireplace receptacle: ASH PIT.  Hand up for changing PoT to PIT.

43. Enters using a keyboard: TYPES IN.

45. In this location: HERE.

46. Girl who lost her sheep: BO PEEP.
Woody was sweet on BO PEEP in the Toy Story movies.

49. Shoveler's target: SNOW.

51. Hi-__ monitor: RES.  "High" is shortened, so is "RESolution".

52. Hearing-related: AURAL.

53. Language of Helsinki: FINNISH.

55. Some horses on a stud farm: STALLIONS.  and 
17 Down. Thoroughbred's father: SIRE.
Here is some information about famous horses from the Smithsonian Institution.

57. Lab containers: VIALS.
This one is a bit meta.

60. One of 88 on a piano: KEY.  I like this clue!  BTW, 32 are black & 56 are white.

61. Vaping pen, informally: E-CIG.

62. Orange Muppet in a striped shirt: ERNIE.

63. Fourth-yr. students: SRS.  "YeaR" is abbreviated, so is "SenioRS".

64. Part of the fam: REL.  "Family" is shortened, so is "RELative". Were you expecting "sis" or "bro"?

65. Move like a crab: SIDLE.
Seinfeld:  The Sidler (54 sec.)

1. Pre-__: college track for a future doctor: MED.

2. White-water rafting need: OAR.

4. Corrin who plays Diana in "The Crown": EMMA.  They appear in Season 4. (I only saw Season 1.)

5. Pine (for): YEARN.

6. Bunch of buffalo: HERD.

7. __, dos, tres: UNO.  counting in Spanish

9. Public tantrum: SCENE.
Oh, my!

10. Heart rate: PULSE.
11. Acceptances: YESES.  plural of 'YES'

16. __ package: CARE.  a parcel of food, money or luxury items sent to a loved one who is away.
I regularly sent DH these during his (too many) military deployments.

19. Loos: LAVS. Since "LAVS" is shortened, I reasoned that "Loos" must also be shortened but I had to do a little research :
Despite its British popularity for a slightly less crude way to call the toilet, the word “loo” is actually derived from the French phrase 'guardez l'eau', meaning 'watch out for the water”. (

21. Edie of "The Sopranos": FALCO.  Edie is a frequent guest to XWD grids. We are usually asked Ms. FALCO's vowel-full first name. Just a heads up, she played General Ardmore in the movie Avatar 2 (released 12/16/22). We might start seeing her clued in this new way.

22. Kin by marriage: IN-LAW.  It's all RELative.

24. Play a role: ACT.

26. WSW opposite: ENE.  Even though they often stumped me, I sort of miss the clues that gave us two cities and asked the direction in relationship to each other. Just writing the opposite of WSW is too much of a gimme. I careful of what you ask for....

28. "Atonement" novelist McEwan: IAN.  Goodreads link

33. Steeple topper: SPIRE.

34. Memory units: BYTES.

Why 8 ?
8 is 2 to the 3rd power or just multiply 2 by itself 3 times
2 x 2 x 2
Why 1,024 ?
1,024 is 2 to the 10th power or  just multiply 2 by itself 10 times
2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2
So 1,024 is the maximum number of computer memory addresses that can be referenced with 10 binary switches.

36. SLC athlete: UTE. someone on a team representing the Univ. of Utah, located in Salt Lake City, UT.

38. Contented sigh: AHH.  Sometimes it's "aah" and sometimes it's "AHH". A good perp will give you the "aha" moment.

41. Google Play download: APP.  Google Play is the android equivalent of The App Store for iPhones. It cannot be clued  as "The App Store download" because
 "app" cannot be in the clue and in the answer.
42. Unknown author, for short: ANON.  CSO to a few Cornerites!

43. Bluish green: TEAL.  The Allure & Power of the Color Teal

44. Cozy stopovers: INNS.

46. Savors the sun: BASKS.  This word always makes me think of lizards BASKing in the sun.
Bearded Dragon lizard

47. On the periphery: OUTER.

48. Seeks divine guidance: PRAYS.

50. Some ring bearers: WIVES.  Perhaps this is meant to be a misdirection to make one think of a wedding ceremony. Here it refers to already married people wearing rings.

53. Wrap for leftovers: FOIL.
Mythbusters Episode 96:  Adam and Jamie build a balloon out of lead FOIL.
Will it "go down like a lead balloon"? (4:48 min.)

54. Apple's digital assistant: SIRI.

56. Apply a bag of peas to, maybe: ICE.
Have you ever noticed in movies, they always have a handy bag of frozen peas in the freezer for a black eye even if there is nothing else in the refrigerator? Why hasn't anyone eaten the peas???

58. "Eternal Atake" rapper __ Uzi Vert: LIL.  Top 10 LIL rappers  (Spoiler alert:  Mr. Vert is #15.)

59. "O say can you __ ... ": SEE
The Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) in Baltimore (Hi Waseeley!)
It crosses the Patapsco River where FSK was inspired to write the words to the
Star Spangled Banner.

It is now time to HAND you the grid:

I just noticed that we have a lot of cowboys & horses today.
Happy trails to you!