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


Mar 31, 2023

Friday, March 31, 2023, Rena Cohen

Good Morning Cruciverbalists.  Malodorous Manatee here with the Friday recap.

Today's puzzle comes to us courtesy of Rena Cohen and, in what seems to be an abundance of riches, we get not only starred clues but circles, too, each of which may have been either annoying or helpful depending on your personal proclivities.

Let's start with the unifier:

61 Across:  Lifts for one's self-esteem, and what's been given to the answers to the starred clues: EGO BOOSTS.

Ego.  Self.  Myself.  ME.  At four places in the puzzle (circled in case any of us found ourselves in danger of having an identity crisis) ME is "boosted" (raised) above the clue/answer on which we are working.  The letters ME are then integrated (in sequence - up right down right) into the answer below.  A metaphor for the whole self if you will?  It would have been fun if synonyms for ID and SUPER EGO had somehow been worked into the puzzle.  A picture being worth a thousand words, here is how things look in the grid:

Here are the four themed clues/answers (each starred for our convenience).  Without the ME the answers border on gibberish

17 Across:  *Brunch station for custom orders: OMELETTE BAR.

23 Across:  *TV competition won by singer Noah Thompson in 2022: AMERICAN IDOL.

37 Across:  *Many a retired pro athlete: SPORTS COMMENTATOR.  Retired (?) football player Tom Brady recently signed on as a COMMENTATOR for the sum of $375 million.

48 Across:  *Masquerade:  COSTUME PARTY


1. Lead characters in "Mike & Molly"?: EMS.  The leading letter (character) in both names is M.

4. Pockets for falafel: PITAS.   What did the hummus say to the PITA bread when she got sick?  I falafel.

9. Hawkeye: IOWAN.

14. "That's Not All Folks" memoirist Blanc: MEL.  Mel's book title may have included the word "Not" but his epitaph does not: 

15. Not quite right: ACUTE.  A geometry reference.  A right angle is 90 degrees.  An ACUTE angle is less than 90 degrees.

16. Evade, as the truth: 

19. Gate part: LATCH.

20. Christ the __: Rio landmark: REDEEMER.  A very famous statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

21. 400 meters, on a standard track: LAP.

22. Polite assent: YESM.  Shortened form of YES Ma'am.  What would be a polite dissent?  NOM?  Nom.

28. Write: PEN.  Noun or verb?  Verb.  T0 write something.

30. "Most likely ... ": ODDS ARE.

31. Checked thoroughly?: MATED.  A chess reference.  Checkmate.

34. Peak: ACME.  We often need to choose between ACME and APEX.

36. Irish actor Stephen: REA.   A frequent visitor.

41. Drop off: NOD.  To NOD off to sleep.  See also 38 Down.

42. Roman moon goddess: LUNA.

43. Actress Spacek: SISSY.

44. Late __: BLOOMER.

47. Shining example: 

51. Former home of the Mets: SHEA.  SHEA Stadium 1964 - 2009

55. Asian festival: TET.

Tet 2017 Year of the Rooster - Photo By MM

56. Military shelter: ARMY TENT.

58. Book that's all mapped out?: ATLAS.  An ATLAS being a book of maps.

62. Southern twang: DRAWL.  What happens to Texans when they stop doing drugs?  They suffer with DRAWL.

63. Flower part: SEPAL.

64. "Happy now?": SEE.

65. Burj Khalifa's city: DUBAI.  The world's tallest building.

66. Barilla rival: PREGO.  A pasta sauce reference.

67. Hurler's stat: ERA.   A baseball reference.  Earned Run Average.


1. Georgia school whose unofficial mascot is Dooley the Skeleton: EMORY.

2. Wild brawl: MELEE.  The word's origins are French.

3. Bobrun runners: SLEDS.  BobSLEDS.

4. B谩nh m矛 spread: PATE.

5. Marvel hero with super cool powers?: ICEMAN.  Cool as in cold as in ICE.  We shall pass on the Eugene O'Neill inspired jokes.

6. Rutabaga, e.g.: TUBER.

7. Game company featured in "Ready Player One": ATARI.

8. Spanish 101 verb: SER.  To be.

9. Christmas or Easter: ISLAND.  Nice word play.  Not Nice as in the city in France.  Nice as in pleasant.  Both Christmas and Easter are the names of holidays and ISLANDs.

10. Giraffe kin: OKAPIS.  Seen most often in crossword puzzles.

11. Quipster: WIT.  Hand up for first thinking WAG.

12. Part of a circle: ARC.

13. Ultimate power?: NTH.  A mathematics reference.  NTH can mean either unspecified or largest.

18. Disposition: TEMPER.

21. Encumbered: LADEN.

24. Date component, often: COMMA.  Not a social setting,  E.G. March 31 COMMA 2023.

25. Board game?: DARTS.  More wordplay.  Think dartboard.

26. Cookies that can illustrate phases of the moon: OREOS.  I had not thought of that. . . but OREOS are always a good guess if the clue references cookies.

27. "The Sandlot" actor Denis: LEARY.

29. D.C. clock setting during baseball season: EDT.  Eastern Daylight Time

31. Rachel Maddow's channel: MSNBC.

32. Speed skater Ohno: 
APOLO.  A frequent visitor.

33. Ruckuses: TODOS.

34. "Precision Crafted Performance" sloganeer: ACURA.

35. Scam: 
CON.  Both the clue and the answer can be used as either a noun or as a verb.

38. Dropped off: SLEPT.  See also 41 Across.

39. "Four Quartets" monogram: TSE.

40. Has as a goal: AIMS TO.

45. Parliament site in North America: OTTAWA.

46. Cereal mix: MUESLI.  This blogger's personal favorite.

47. Backpack in a locker, maybe: GYM BAG.

49. Epic bash: RAGER.  Relatively recent slang. 

50. Familiar theme: TROPE.

52. "Steppenwolf" author: HESSE.  Many here likely read the book.  About the same time we were listening to this:

Steppenwolf - 1968

53. Key in: ENTER.

54. Lost: AT SEA.  Idiomatic.

57. "Carpe diem" acronym: YOLO.  You Only Live Once

58. Do some sums: ADD.

59. Capote nickname: TRU.

60. CSI setting: LAB.  A TV show reference.  Crime Scene Investigation.  LABoratory.  Also, an abbreviated dog.

61. Unproven ability: ESP.

. . . and now it is time for ME to go

Mar 30, 2023

Thursday, March 30, 2023, Ella Dershowitz


Welcome to Jumble Thursday.  I can't wait to see what OwenKL does with this one.

Our constructor today is actress Ella Dershowitz, who says on her website that "When I'm not acting I make crossword puzzles ..." (including 4 previously for the LA Times).  Here's Husker's review of her first outing on Saturday, May 7, 2022.  Her web site is definitely worth checking out.

Today Ella takes us on a brief tour of New England in the Fall with the following themers:

17A. *Office meeting spot: WATER COOLER. The WATER COOLER as a valuable locus for the exchange of business information has long been recognized.  It's function is so important that during the pandemic it had to be replaced by the VIRTUAL water cooler.
Before the Pandemic
During the Pandemic - the Virtual Water Cooler
24A. *Time for a cold one, facetiously: BEER O'CLOCK.  You can use this app to tell you exactly how many hh:mm:ss it is until quitting time.  If you can't wait that long, this will definitely quench your thirst (be sure to watch the changing expression on curmudgeon Cowell's face as this magic trick unfolds).    A CSO to my BFF for sending me this:

37A. *First love, perhaps: HIGH SCHOOL CRUSH.  I met my first and only love in the 11th grade in the doorway of Mr. Saterlie's Modern and Contemporary History Class and had an immediate CRUSH馃挀馃挀馃挀 on her.  She's a wonderful person and among the many other things she does to help me, she proofreads these puzzle reviews (I of course am responsible for any remaining errors).

48. *Small-scale investments: MICROLOANSMicrolending: Definition, How It Works, Risks & Rewards.

I guess I can't hide the meaning of the themers any longer, so before they fall off, here's the reveal:

58. What autumn leaves do, and what five letters do in the answer to each starred clue: CHANGE COLOR.

Wasn't that exciting? 

Here's the grid:

Here are the rest:


1. Not in the mood for any funny stuff: STERN.

6. Bartending tool: SPOON.

11. Proof letters: QEDQuod Erat DemonstrandumLatin for "which was to be demonstrated", the statement appearing at the conclusion of a text to signify that the author's overall argument has just been proven.  At least she/he thinks it has.

14. Threepio's pal: ARTOO.  Star Wars lesson #1.  Here ARTOO is delivering a message ...

15. Khaki-colored cloth: CHINO.

16. Stars-and-stripes land: Abbr.: USA.

17. [Theme clue]

19. Doctrine: ISM.  Quick, think of the name of science other than DARWINISM that consists of a scientist's name + ISM?

20. Place for a spring break?: SPA.  The town of Lourdes at the foot of the Pyrenees in southern France, is one of the world's most popular SPAS.  The waters flowing from the spring at the Grotto of Massabielle are believed by many to have healing properties.  However only 70 persons over the last 160 years, a very small percentage of the over 3 million visitors who visit the site each year, have met the Catholic Church's stringent standards for declaring a healing miraculous.

21. Daily grind: RUT.  

22. Food truck fare: TACOS3 Reasons Why Taco Tuesday is Freakin' Terrific.

24. [Theme clue]

28. Amazed: IN AWE.

30. Candor: HONESTY.

33. Pool resources: UNITE.

34. Close: SEAL.

36. __ yum: Thai soup: TOM.  I DNK this soup, but it looks delicious.  Here's a recipe.
37. [Theme clue]

41. "Sooo annoying": UGH.

42. [Hands off my Friskies!]: HISS.  Today's cat lesson: "That'ss mine!"

43. Tyler Perry character in "Diary of a Mad Black Woman": MADEA.  Rumor has it that this film was a real DRAG.

44. Major babes: HOTTIES.  The Brits would add BIRD to this list ...
47. April Fools' Day declaration: GOT YA.  A timely clue for a change, as April Fools' Day is the day after tomorrow.  Tomorrow, however is Johann Sebastian Bach's birthday 馃巶 馃巿馃巵, which we will celebrate a day early with this masterpiece, the second movement of the Orchestral Suite No. 3, the famous Air on a G String, with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra:
48. [Theme clue]

51. Fifth flavor: UMAMI.  Remember the old days when the kids in the neighborhood would yell "UMAMI wears combat boots!"  馃槈

53. Tech giant based in Armonk, NY: IBM.

54. Tidal action: EBB.

57. Tavern: BAR.  I'll drink to that!  Here's the chorus in taberna ("in the tavern") from Carl Orrf's secular cantata Carmina Burana (all the toasts are in English at the bottom of the screen).

58. [Theme]

63. __ contact: EYE.

64. "Goodness me": LORDY.  I give you the lady from Port Arthur, Texas ...

65. Korean short ribs: GALBI.  Looks kind of YANG ...
Here's a recipe

 66. Sigur __: ethereal Icelandic band: ROS.  Like the Icelandic landscape.  A commenter to the following 2006 video Gl贸s贸li (apparently untranslatable) said: "I watched Sigur R贸s put an audience into the throes of rapture at Coachella 2001, their first North American performance. None of us knew who they were, but when they’d finished, thousands of us were left stunned, speechless, weeping, at peace. I’ve never seen anything like it. These are not songs. They’re spells".

67. Perrier rival: EVIAN.

68. Some big-box stores: IKEAS.


1. Tools that make the cut?: SAWS.  Or that make music that can take you over the rainbow ... 

2. Hip-hop genre: TRAP.  I predict that we probably won't see this clue/fill combination again any time soon.  TRAP is a subgenre of hip hop music that originated in the Southern United States in the 1990s. The genre gets its name from the Atlanta slang word "trap", a house used exclusively to sell drugs.  Sorry, but none of the songs I sampled passed the breakfast test.  

3. Blues guitarist Baker: ETTAEtta Baker (March 31, 1913 – September 23, 2006) was an American Piedmont blues guitarist and singer from North Carolina.  Here she plays the guitar riff to a song my Daddy used to play (lyrics).  His name was Bill too:

4. Sushi roll garnish: ROE.

5. Neither partner: NOR.

6. Search all over: SCOUR.

7. Instagram posting: PHOTO.

8. Canola __: OIL.

9. Opening number?: ONE.

10. Edward of "Glass Onion": NORTONGlass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (titled onscreen as simply Glass Onion) is a 2022 American mystery film written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Johnson and Ram Bergman. It is a standalone sequel to the 2019 film Knives Out, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as master detective Benoit Blanc.  NORTON plays the billionaire.  Available only on Netflix:
I first saw Edward Norton's work in The Illusionist.  A great flick streaming on various venues.

11. Fast learner: QUICK STUDY.

12. Petro-Canada rival: ESSO.

13. Stops (up): DAMS.

18. First Nations people of Canada: CREE.  A CSO to our CanadianEh! The CREE are one of several First Nations people in Canada.  I was struck by this modern work by Jackson Beardy (July 24, 1944 – December 7, 1984) who was an Indigenous Oji-Cree Anishinaabe artist born in Canada.
Calling the Night
23. Pro: ACE.

24. Bedtime story preceder, perhaps: BATH.  Presumably the BATH is a part of the deal if they want to hear the bedtime story.  Also the name of another famous SPA, a city in Somerset, England originally founded by the Romans and known for its BATHS

25. Baa nanas: EWES.  Well, sheep do have grandmaas too.

26. Utter disorder: CHAOS. The classic meme for CHAOS theory is "The Butterfly Effect", where a very small change in one location can ripple, enlarging as it goes, to cause a catastrophe far away: 
27. Laze: LOLL.

28. "My name is __ Montoya. You killed my father ... ": INIGO.  Here he is, played by Mandy Patinkin,  straight from The Princess Bride ...

29. Frightening ordeals: NIGHTMARES.   Nightmare Meaning and Nightmare Disorder: A Jungian Perspective
The Nightmare
John Henry Fuseli
31. Where sailors go: TO SEA.

32. Jewish social org.: YMHA.  A Young Men's Hebrew Association is a communal institution organized in various cities of the United States for the mental, moral, social, and physical improvement of Jewish young men. The YWHA is the corresponding organization for young women.

33. "Hard pass": UH UH.

34. Mint variety used in Japanese cooking: SHISO.  A garnish often served with sushi, SHISO is a cultigen of Perilla frutescens, an herb in the mint family Lamiaceae. It is native to the mountainous regions of China and India, but is now found worldwide.  It has many varieties beside the ruffled green one seen in sushi bars.  Here is the red variety:
Red Shiso
35. Skin care brand sold in colorful eggs: EOS.  Presumably it gives your skin the complexion of dawn.

38. Singer known as the "Goddess of Pop": CHER.  Born Cherilyn Sarkisian; May 20, 1946), CHER is an American singer, actress and television personality. She has been described as embodying female autonomy in a male-dominated industry.  Here's her 1998 hit Believe (lyrics):

39. "Seriously?": C'MON.

40. "Gosh darn it": RATS.

45. "Madam Secretary" actor Daly: TIMJames Timothy Daly (born March 1, 1956) is an American actor. He is known for his role as Joe Hackett on the NBC sitcom Wings and his recurring role as the drug-addicted screenwriter J.T. Dolan on The Sopranos (for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award).  We saw all the Wings episodes but then he kind of dropped off our radar scope.  The opening theme was from Franz Schubert's Piano Sonata No. 20 in A major, D. 959, Rondo: Allegretto.
Tim Daly
46. Melting point, maybe: ICICLE.  Cute clue.

47. Tablet download: GAME.

49. "Dead to Me" star Cardellini: LINDADead to Me is an American black comedy television series created by Liz Feld. The series premiered on May 3, 2019, on Netflix and stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini as two grieving women who bond during therapy.
Linda Cardellini
50. Birth day doc: OB GYN.

51. __ Eats: UBER.  IMHO this might not be a good idea as over eating can lead to obesity.

52. Club condiment: MAYO.

54. "The Great" actress Fanning: ELLEThe Great is an historical and satirical black comedy-drama television series starring Elle Fanning and loosely based on the rise to power of Catherine the Great, Empress of All Russia.
Elle Fanning
55. "The Mandalorian" bounty hunter __ Fett: BOBA.  Star Wars Lesson #2.  I'm really in over my head on this one as the original black and white space cowboys have morphed into fifty shades of gray, making it difficult to tell the bad guys from the good guys.  I'm punting to a trailer, the one where Din Djarin (good guy?) meets Boba Fett (bad guy sometimes?) ...

56. Jewish ritual: BRIS.  The Brit Milah (Bris): what you need to know if you're planning this ritual.

59. __ lane: HOV. A lane reserved for High Occupancy VehiclesHere are the rules in Maryland.

60. NPR host Shapiro: ARI.

61. Sci-fi FX: CGIComputer Generated Imagery.  Sci-fi FX are becoming Sci-Reality FX, e.g. deep fakes.

62. Wine tasting note: OAK.  A CSO to MOE.


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


Mar 29, 2023

Wednesday, March 29, 2023 - Chase Dittrich & Jeff Chen

Blah, Blah, Blah...

Alex Explains

Reveal: 67. "I lost interest" acronym spelled out by the starts of four answers in this puzzle: TL;DR. TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ.  //Monday was a spoiler :-(

When writing a long memo, just start off with The TL;DR (Executive Summary) and give 'em the skinny.

The Themers today builds the acronym's meaning (and Monday's 5d):

17. Like an amazing and fortuitous circumstance that can't possibly exist, despite an initial promising appearance [67-Across: Suspiciously awesome]: TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

26. Metaphor for the legal system that implies a criminal cannot hide or escape from that system's vast resources and unparalleled authority [67-Across: Police jurisdiction]: LONG ARM OF THE LAW.
(Do I link Kenny Rogers or Styx's Renegade?)

I went with Kenny - I love the Judge's sentence for Billy

42. Was as successful and enjoyable as early conjecture and predictions suggested it would be [67-Across: Met expectations]: DIDN'T DISAPPOINT.

51. Declaration from a person playing poker in a situation where the opponents think they have it in the bag [67-Across: "I win!"]: READ 'EM AND WEEP.
Wait, what? Five Aces? Eat Lead.

Cute build to the theme for a breezy Wednesday outing. Also note, each Theme fill and [bracketed hint - nice touch] is the TL;DR for the very wordy clues. Thanks Chase, Jeff, & Patti.

1. Wet dirt: MUD. Clear as my theme explanation, right? :-)

4. Biblical saying: PROVERB.

11. Fave pal: BFF. Best Friend Forever.

14. Sushi-grade tuna: AHI.

15. Pen with bright ink: HI-LITER.

16. Hoppy brew: ALE.

17. [see: Theme].

20. Pulsate: THROB.

21. Junior: SON.

Son, I said son.

22. Gave a leg up to: AIDED.

23. Actress Vardalos: NIA. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (even though she's Canadian) actress who came up through Second City (Chicago). Her WikiP.

25. 24/7 cash source: ATM. Automatic Teller Machine machine //from the Redundancy Department of Redundancy.

26. [see: Theme]

35. Unlock, poetically: OPE'.

36. Director Kubrick: STANLEY. [WikiP] Nothing but classic movies under his belt. For my money, I'll see Dr. Strangelove, 2001 - A Space Odyssey, or A Clockwork Orange again.

37. Wall St. debut: IPO. Initial Public Offering.

38. Plot portion: ACRE.

40. Feel bad about: RUE.

41. Successor: HEIR.

42. [see: Theme]

47. Mogul: TYCOON.

48. South Seas wrap: SARONG.

49. WC: LAV. Water Closet - LAVatory.

50. "i" topper: DOT. Dot your i's and cross your t's & zeds.

51.[see: Theme]

58. Game show creator Griffin: MERV. Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune are still on the air.

59. Pesto herb: BASIL. There is nothing better than basil pesto with angel-hair pasta.

Jamie Oliver is too afraid of garlic.

60. Broad valley: DALE. Hi Lucina!

62. Brink: EDGE.

63. Joint above a foot: ANKLE. Most of our joints are - pick one. //Not to be confused with a 13" Cheech MARIN [29d] doobie.

64. Bailiwick: AREA.  Wheelhouse.

65. WCs: LOOS. I always love a good callback [see: 49a]. //Bob Newhart's was the best!

66. Stands: RISES.

67. [see: Theme]

1. Actor Damon: MATT.

2. "Yikes!": UH OH. Pop says UH OH was the first phrase I uttered every time he screwed up. Apparently, I was a little-rat.

3. Designer Christian: DIOR.

4. Fears: PHOBIAS.

5. Kia sedan: RIO.

6. Cutlass sedan, e.g.: OLDS.  Nice callback.

7. Corleone patriarch: VITO. Hey! We no discuss business this early.

8. Henry VI's school: ETON.

9. Hoops stat: REB. Rebounds.

10. Whispery in tone: BREATHY. Why don't you go up and see her sometime?

11. Poet: BARD. There was once one upon Avon.

12. Fireplace shaft: FLUE.

13. Farm store bagful: FEED.

18. Large flat bell: GONG. Lynne Griffin (no relation to Merv (that I can find)) co-designed the set for the GONG Show.

19. Proctor's shout: TIME.
Student comes in late to the lecture hall for his final. He picks up a blue-book from the professor's desk and gets to writing his exam. The prof. calls TIME but the tardy student just keeps furiously writing.
I said, "TIME!" 
As the prof begins to pack up all the blue-books, the student comes forward with his hastily written essay.
"Sorry, SON [see: 21a]. I called TIME 10 minutes ago and I won't accept your exam."
"Do you know who I am? Or who my father is?," the student asks with airs.
Not to be belittled, the professor responds, "No I don't. And frankly I don't give a damn."
"Good!," exclaims the student as he places his essay in the middle of the pile.

24. Graffiti, e.g.: ART. It's in the eye of the beholder.

25. Dined: ATE.

26. Laundry batch: LOAD.

27. Footnote kin of ibid.: OPCIT. Cit'd earlier.

28. Geeky: NERDY.

29. Cheech of Cheech & Chong: MARIN. "It's me, Dave, man. Open up."

Tommy Chong Explains

30. Obligation: ONUS. I was obliged to link the above video.

31. Canine pests: FLEAS.

32. Occupy, as a bed: LIE IN.

33. Copying: APING.

34. Saint-John's-__: herbal remedy: WORT.

39. Closed-off districts: ENCLAVES.

41. Derided from the stands: HOOTED AT. A step above a Bronx Cheer.

43. Pond critter: TOAD.

44. Option for soap or ice cream: DOVE BAR.

45. Ping-Pong and canoeing needs: PADDLES.

46. Boat's front: PROW.

51. Ctrl+Y action: REDO. For Mac users, it's Command-Shift-Z (which makes sense 'cuz CMD-z == undo)

52. "By that logic ... ": ERGO.  Ergo, the professor didn't know who's exam it was.  
//That was the crux of the joke above.  Took Pop a second to get it. :-)

53. __-pedi: MANI. Lucina can fill you in.

54. Requests: ASKS.

55. Giza's river: NILE.

56. __ Grey tea: EARL. R.I.P. Abejo.

57. Implored: PLED.

58. Country singer Tillis: MEL.

61. Musician's gift: EAR.

There you have it folks. Here's the TL;DR:
WOs: N/A
Fav: Cheech MARIN. Up in Smoke was one of the first R-Rated films I ever saw (I was 9yrs?) -- I laughed my butt off even though I probably didn't get half the jokes.

A while back, I used TL;DR in this blog's comment section and, IIRC, TTP hadn't seen it before. So, thanks C.C. for picking me to expo this aptly themed grid.
Now, it's up to y'all to comment and don't be TOO LONG that we DON'T READ :-)

Cheers, -T

Mar 28, 2023

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 Tim D'Alfonso

I've Gotta Hand it to You:  Today's theme made me think of Bob Fosse and Jazz Hands.  Each theme clue has a Handsy meaning.

17-Across. Nondigital means of telling time: ANALOG WATCH.

29-Across. Display after a poker player's call: CARDS ON THE TABLE.

49-Across. Appreciation at a live performance: ROUND OF APPLAUSE.

And the unifier:

61-Across. Quick polling method, and what 17-, 29-, and 49-Across all are, in different ways: SHOW OF HANDS.  Hand up if you sussed today's theme.

1. Hotel amenity that may require a password: WI-FI.
5. Put up with: ABIDED.

11. More, in Spanish: MAS.  Today's Spanish lesson.  Hi, Lucina!

14. Playmates: PALS.

15. Negative campaign message?: VOTE NO.  Cute clue.

16. Molecule in some vaccines: RNA.  Everything you wanted to know about RNA vaccines but didn't know to ask.

RNA's structure vs DNA's structure

19. Plum's center: PIT.
20. Bar bill: TAB.

21. Southeast Asian language: LAO.  Everything you wanted to know about the language of Laos but didn't know to ask.  The language is very similar to that spoken in Thailand.  Laos is a land-locked country that primarily borders Thailand and Vietnam.

22. __ Valley: Reagan Library site: SIMI.

23. Takeout option with egg rolls: CHINESE.  Yummers!

27. Tool for opening wooden crates: CROW BAR.

31. "Star Trek Beyond" actor John: CHO.  John Cho (n茅 Cho Yo-Han; b. June 15, 1972) was born in Seoul, South Korea.  He also stared in the Harold & Kumar movies.  [Name # 1.]

32. Small vortex: EDDY.

33. Pigpen: STY.
34. Breathe heavily: PANT.

36. Place for a peel: SPA.

38. Common promise from a procrastinator: SOON.

42. MMA org.: UFC.  Mixed Martial Arts and Ultimate Fighting Championship.

45. Stately trees: ELMs.

48. Be nosy: PRY.

54. Naval officer: ADMIRAL.

55. Onion kin: SHALLOT.  What's the difference between Shallots and Onions?

56. Snoozes: NAPS.

57. Milk source: COW.

59. Sault __ Marie: STE.  Sault Ste. Marie straddles the international boarder of the United States (Michigan) and in Canada (Ontario).  The twin cities are connected by a bridge across the St. Mary River.     Sault Ste. Marie claims to be one of the oldest cities in the United States.  Hi, Yoopers Phil and CanadianEh!  

60. Brief "Oversharing!": TMI.  Textspeak for Too Much Information.  It has become a crossword staple, appearing in a puzzle just last week.

66. Play it by __: EAR.

67. Taken from above, as photos: AERIAL.  Can you guess the city below?

68. Early color TVs: RCAs.  A timeline of the RCA (Radio Company of America).

69. Unenviable grade: DEE.

70. Harden into bone: OSSIFY.

71. Email folder: SENT.


2. Bond creator Fleming: IAN.  In addition to creating Bond, James Bond, Ian Fleming (n茅 Ian Lancaster Fleming; May 28, 1908 ~ Aug. 12, 1964) also wrote Chitty Chatty Bang Bang: The Magical Car for his son, Casper.  [Name # 2.]

3. __ Building: Manhattan landmark named for its triangular shape: FLAT IRON.  The Flat Iron building was built in 1902 by renowned architect Daniel Burnham (n茅 Daniel Hudson Burnham; Sept. 4, 1846 ~ June 1, 1912).

4. Kitchen prep spot: ISLAND.

5. Slugger's stat: AVG.  As in Average.

6. Archery device: BOW.

7. Lang. of Florence: ITAL.  Italian is spoken in Florence, Italy, the home of David.

8. Separate: DETACH.

9. Concert bonuses: ENCORES.  Theme adjacent.  I saw the Tina: The Tina Turner Musical recently.  There was a big Encore at the end of the show.  The cast got a big Hand before and after the Encore.

10. Play-__: kids' clay: DOH.

11. Onetime Dr Pepper rival: MR. PIBB.  We think we saw Mr. Pibb recently.  Mr. Pibb arrived on the scene in the summer of 1972.  [Name adjacent.]

12. Cat or rat: ANIMAL.  Not only are they animals, but they are rhyming animals.  

13. Political humor, often: SATIRE.

18. Beyond plump: OBESE.

Actually in this case, the"obese" sheep is too full of wool.

22. Influences: SWAYS.

23. Letters on a Soviet uniform: CCCP.  As in Central Committee of the Communist Party.  //  And 41-Down. Russian "no": NYET.

24. "Very funny": HA HA!

25. Lawn roll: SOD.

26. Conclusions: ENDS.

28. Baseball Hall of Famer Mel: OTT.  Mel Ott (n茅 Melvin Thomas Ott; Mar. 2, 1909 ~ Nov. 21, 1958) was born in Gretna, Louisiana.  He played for the New York Giants for nearly 20 years from 1926 through 1947.  Tragically, he was killed from injuries sustained in a car accident.  He was only 49 years old.   [Name # 3.]

30. Far from laid-back: TYPE A.

35. North African capital: TUNIS.  Tunis is the capital of Tunisia.

37. Swiss peaks: ALPS.

39. Wealth: OPULENCE.

40. "... __ it seems": OR SO.

43. New Deal president's initials: FDR.  As in Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Jan. 30, 1882 ~ Apr. 12, 1945).   [Name # 3.]  //  And 1-Down. 43-Down job-creating program: WPA.  Originally known as Works Progress Administration, later renamed to Works Projects Administration.   //  And 58-Down. Conflict during 43-Down's presidency, briefly: WWII.  Also known as World War II.  [Name #4.]

44. Team instructors: COACHES.

46. Speedometer abbr.: MPH.  As in Miles Per Hour.

47. Drastically lower, as prices: SLASH.

49. __ and raved: RANTED.

50. Whoopi's "Ghost" role: ODA MAE.  [Name # 5.]

51. Ballpark figure?: UMPIRE.  Cute clue.

52. Elevator stops: FLOORS.

53. Chapel fixtures: ALTARS.

61. __ Paulo, Brazil: S脙O.  The city has an interesting history.

62. Clumsy sort: OAF.

63. Go by plane: FLY.  //  And 65-Down.  Bygone jet, for short: SST.  As in SuperSonic Transport.

64. Levy of "Schitt's Creek": DAN.  Dan Levy (n茅 Daniel Joseph Levy; b. Aug. 9, 1983) is the son of Eugene Levy (b. Dec. 17, 1946).  They look alike.  [Name # 6.]

And the Grid: