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


Apr 30, 2023

Sunday, April 30, 2023, Matthew Stock & Stacey Yaruss McCullough

Theme: "Inbox Zero" - IN is replaced by O in each common phrase.

24A. Mayhem that ensues when one tries to order a Big Mac at an Arby's?: FAST FOOD CHAOS. Fast food chains.

37A. Troubles in central France?: BURGUNDY WOES. Burgundy wines.

47A. Moment of brain freeze for a programmer?: CODER BLOCK. Cinder block.

70A. What a wizard panda might cast on its hungry enemies?: THE CURSE OF THE BAMBOO. The Curse of the Bambino.

93A. How a baby born in mid-September might behave?: LIKE A VIRGO. Like a Virgin.

100A. Entry on a canner's to-do list?: PROCESS PEACH. Princess Peach.

118A. Anticipation on a horse farm?: FOAL COUNTDOWN. Final countdown.

Not quite sure I get the title. Makes sense if this is a rebus puzzle where IN in the box is replaced by O. As it is, the box is lost on me.

Congratulations to Stacey on her LAT debut!


1. Sticky sandwiches: S'MORES. Still never had one in my life.

7. Hayek Pinault of "Magic Mike's Last Dance": SALMA. Here with Channing Tatum. She's married to ... OK, Franรงois-Henri Pinault.

12. Mink cousin: MARTEN.

18. Rummylike game: CANASTA.

20. Begs: PLEADS.

22. Arise: EMERGE.

23. Made aware: ALERTED.

26. Staple used in some sensory play activities: RICE.

27. Workday alternative: ADP. Automatic Data Processing,

29. Cuts it close?: SHEARS. Nice clue.

30. Otolaryngologists, for short: ENTS. Such a long name.

31. Lawyer's org.: ABA.

32. "Just relax!": BREATHE.

35. Significant period: ERA.

36. Some online convos: IMS.

40. __ mess: traditional English dessert: ETON. Learning moment for me. No-bake dessert. Wikipedia says "it's commonly believed to originate from Eton College and is served at the annual cricket match against the pupils of Harrow School ..."

42. __ de deux: PAS.

45. Jack or jenny: ASS.

46. Drink gingerly: SIP.

50. Squeeze: SMUSH.

53. Gently object: DEMUR.

55. Port near Naples: SALERNO. My sister-in-law Connie has probably gone to all the cities in Italy.

56. Furry or feathered friend: PET.

57. Garden structure: SHED.

60. LaLiga chants: OLES.

62. Animal that often sleeps holding hands with its mate: OTTER. So they won't drift apart. So sweet!

63. Four seasons: YEAR.

65. Recovers: HEALS UP.

67. Saintly glows: HALOS.

75. Hard to sleep through, say: NOISY.

76. Go against: DISOBEY.

77. Some Outback sprinters: EMUS.

79. __ of undying: Minecraft item: TOTEM. No idea.

82. Trifling amount: A TAD.

84. Stack in a gym: MATS.

85. Kinda sorta: ISH.

86. Beef rib, to be brief: ANAGRAM. "Beef rib" is an anagram of "to be brief". Amazing clue.

89. Quickly: APACE.

91. Peppermint __: PATTY.

95. "__ Mubarak": holiday greeting: EID.

97. Summer Games org.: IOC.

98. Cell service initials: LTE.

99. Place to get blintzes: DELI. Have some!

106. Old-school weed whacker: HOE.

108. NYSE launch: IPO.

110. Advice when juggling knives: USE CARE.

111. __ Paulo: SAO.

112. Over again: ANEW.

114. Intensify: DEEPEN.

116. Soul maker: KIA.

117. Rabbitlike mammal with short hind legs: PIKA. Can't see clearly.

122. Target of some shaving: LEG HAIR.

124. Concurs: AGREES.

125. Like many valuable baseballs: SIGNED. Look at this one!

126. Heavy hammers: SLEDGES.

127. Lightning container, idiomatically: BOTTLE.

128. Jai alai basket: CESTA.

129. "Oof, everything hurts": I'M SORE.


1. Egyptian seal?: SCARAB. This kind of seal.


2. Surfrider Beach city: MALIBU.

3. Like some garages: ONE CAR.

4. Like a blue lobster or a blue moon: RARE. Is it tasty?

5. Cutesy suffix with "most": EST.

6. Foster's partner: STEARNS.  Stearns & Foster mattresses.

7. Coppertone stat: SPF.

8. In the manner of: ALA.

9. Mortgage-free resident, often: LESSEE.

10. Ruler's class: MATH.

11. Spot cost: AD FEE.

12. Prescribed stuff, for short: MEDS. The nurses helped me destroy Boomer's meds. Such a waste.

13. "Mayfair Witches" cable network: AMC.

14. Bring up again?: RE-HEM.

15. Convey: TRANSPORT.

16. Viola Davis accomplishment, briefly: EGOT. So talented.

17. Moray Firth river: NESS.

19. Extra: ADDED.

21. Flew without flapping: SOARED.

25. Speechifies: ORATES.

28. Doesn't dine and dash: PAYS.

32. "Running Up That Hill" singer Kate: BUSH.

33. __ one's thumbs: TWIDDLE.

34. Rhode Island's motto: HOPE.

36. Flowering: IN BLOOM. Rain/snow mix today, then a beautiful week ahead.

38. EV's lack: GAS.

39. Chisels: SCULPTS.

41. Singer Rita who is a judge on the U.K. edition of "The Masked Singer": ORA.

43. Clearasil target: ACNE.

44. Heath bar alternative: SKOR.

48. Valuable deposit: ORE.

49. Doesn't disturb: LETS BE.

50. Catch: SPY.

51. Converge: MEET.

52. State on the Colorado Plateau: UTAH.

54. Tunisian film director Tlatli: MOUFIDA. Unfamiliar to me.

57. Feng __: SHUI.

58. Towel set word: HERS.

59. Gut course: EASY A.

61. Biblical queen's land: SHEBA.

64. Go back (on): RENEGE.

66. Fountain beverage: SODA POP.

68. Lie for, say: ABET.

69. Big name in snacks: LAYS.

71. Cohort: COMRADE. Obit of Jiang Zimin, Comrade Jiang.

72. Hockey advantage: HOME ICE. One more great fill: 81. "Don't despair!": TAKE HEART.

73. Skip past: OMIT.

74. Bump from office: OUST.

78. Not likely to mingle: SHY.

79. __ tale: TALL.

80. "I've got that covered": ON IT.

83. Brand location: TAG.

87. Park in NYC: AVE.

88. Social atmosphere: MILIEU.

90. Corp. heads: CEOS.

91. Innocent, e.g.: POPE. Pope Innocent.

92. Air Force hotshot: ACE.

94. Gets ready to eat?: RIPENS.  I like this clue also.

96. Trex construction: DECK.

97. Tel Aviv resident, e.g.: ISRAELI.

101. Flawed sentences: RUN-ONS.

102. Heads to sea: SAILS.

103. Italian cheese: ASIAGO.

104. Less powdery: CAKIER.

105. Raspy: HOARSE.

107. Little hooter: OWLET.

109. Eye-related: OPTIC.

112. Abbr. for some nonbinary people: AFAB. Assigned Female At Birth. Also remember AMAB.

113. Canceled, at NASA: NO GO.

114. Prescribed amount: DOSE.

115. Lip: EDGE.

117. Scholars' degs.: PHDS.

119. Animation studio souvenir: CEL.

120. Drenched: WET.

121. Promise not to tell, for short: NDA.

123. Ruby, for one: GEM.


Do any of you make your own yogurt? Do you know why they want you to have shelf-stable coconut? I started mine yesterday morning and set it for 12 hours. I put a bit of agar agar as thickener, the result was still watery. Not creamy. Not even sour. Tasted just like coconut milk.

(Added later: I just realized that I forgot to put the yogurt starter. D'oh!)



Apr 29, 2023

Saturday, April 29, 2023, John Guzzetta

 Saturday Themeless by John Guzzetta

I blogged John's first LA Times Themeless a year ago and now he is back. He has had eleven other weekday LA puzzles. In his puzzle from last year, he told me he was a minister in the Tampa Bay area. This one tried my patience but worked itself out. My only real issue was a correct spin of the vowel wheel at MIR_/M_DDER.


1. With 40-Across, juice choice: SOLAR 40. See 1-Across: POWER.๐Ÿ˜€. Ah, electric juice! This solar farm is a quarter mile south of our house and you can see our coal-burning "juice" plant in the upper left.

6. Tesla, for one: SERB - A statue of Nikola Tesla in front of this birthplace in Smiljan, Serbia. 

10. Bands on the radio: AM/FM - We also have XM

14. Shady spot for a stroll: WOODED AREA.

16. Disney Junior's "Royal Detective": MIRA - I suppose former NFL quarterback George MIRA was out of the question. 

17. Tenochtitlan, e.g.: AZTEC RUINS.

18. Mocha option: ICED.

19. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" band: YES Here ya go

20. Yang counterpart: YIN - and you are...

21. Got to the point?: TAPERED ๐Ÿ˜€

23. Verses versus verses: MC BATTLE - MC Battle rap is a type of rapping performed between two or more performers that incorporates boasts, insults and wordplay. Battle rap is often performed or freestyled spontaneously in live battles, "where MCs will perform on the same stage to see who has the better verses". Very big in Japan. Yeah, I knew that ๐Ÿ˜—

25. "Set __ the doors O soul": Whitman: OPE - From Walt's The Imprisoned Soul

At the last, tenderly, 
From the walls of the powerful, fortress'd house, 
From the clasp of the knitted locks--from the keep of the well-closed 
Let me be wafted. 

Let me glide noiselessly forth; 
With the key of softness unlock the locks--with a whisper 
Set OPE the doors, O soul! 

26. Void: ANNUL.

29. Rooftop amenity for some travelers: HOTEL BAR.

31. Almost ready for the tooth fairy: LOOSE ๐Ÿ˜€

32. Does well: PROSPERS.

33. Colosseum feature: ARCH - I think the shades that could be unfurled were very nice for spectators 

34. Quarrel: ROW.

35. Score symbol: REST - John Phillips used both a quarter note and half note RESTs

37. Netflix series whose fifth season concludes with the election of Tony Blair: THE CROWN - I got hooked on this look into the quirkiness of this institution.

41. "None of this looks familiar": WHERE AM I - "We're not in Kansas anymore!"

42. Charlotte __: RUSSE.

43. Alternative introduction: AKA.

44. Unimpressive ride, in '70s slang: ECONOBOX.

47. "Can you talk?": GOT A SEC?

49. Gibberish: ROT.

50. "Yes?": AND.

53. Lindros in the Hockey Hall of Fame: ERIC.

54. One with artistic training?: BONSAI TREE ๐Ÿ˜€ Mr. Miagi is teaching Daniel how to train his tree

57. Philosopher Descartes: RENE - We math teachers remember him for the Cartesian plane

58. Really hard to mess up: IDIOT PROOF.

59. Sinks: SAGS.

60. Feijoada morsel: BEAN - Saturday cluing! Brazilian black bean stew.

61. Like a south-facing room, perhaps: SUNNY.


1. Rock and roll: SWAY - "Earthquake-proof"  building SWAY much less

2. Primordial stuff: OOZE or soup

3. Plenty: LOTS.

4. Lemon finish: ADE.

5. Use color-coded bins, say: RECYCLE.

6. Box at the gym?: SAUNA - A noun not a verb 

7. Airport north of PIT: ERI - Pittsburgh, PA International to Erie, PA International

8. Option for some tenants: RENT TO OWN.

9. Stones that make up Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway, e.g.: BASALTS - Hexagonal columns formed by cooling lava

10. Nice friend: AMIE - The French city doesn't trap good solvers

11. Many kombuchas: MICROBREWS.

12. Radio station prizes, often: FREE PASSES.

13. Rose in a King title: MADDER - A signed, first edition for $1,250

15. Little bit: DRIB.

22. Chirp: PEEP.

23. Iditarod figure: MUSHER.

24. Bonus: THROW IN.

26. Based on: ALA.

27. Birth country of "The Girl With Seven Names" memoirist Hyeonseo Lee: NORTH KOREA.

28. "Let's keep it clean!": NO CHEATING - If you're a fan of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, you know how this scene ends.

30. "The Phantom of the Opera" author: LEROUX - Andrew Lloyd WEBBER based his stage play on this novel.

32. Characters that take off online?: PROMO CODE ๐Ÿ˜€ - If you enter a PROMO CODE with an online order, the characters you enter usually allow you a modest amount you can take off.

36. Italy's __ Cime di Lavaredo: TRE - Three Peaks of Lavaredo. The most familiar group of peaks in the Italian alps.

38. Soccer center?: CEES - A meta reference - soCCer

39. Marathoner's wear: RACE BIB - Katherine Switzer ran in the 1967 Boston Marathon when no women were allowed. Below you can see a race official trying to pull her off the course. She broke away and finished the race to make a point. She became a cause cรฉlรจbre and her BIB #261 has been retired to honor her.

40. Life hacks from experts: PRO TIPS - I kept fighting DIY TIPS

41. Stakes: WAGERS.

45. Welles who narrates "The Magnificent Ambersons": ORSON - He also wrote, produced and directed this 1942 movie.

46. Launch, e.g.: BOAT.

48. Unbeatable services: ACES - A very unusual one

50. __ Ha-qodesh: Hebrew for "holy ark": ARON - The cabinet that holds the sacred scrolls of the Torah 

51. Focus of an art museum in Las Vegas: NEON.

52. Buck: DEFY - I did buck the system several times and it was not worth it

55. Actress Long: NIA - In a movie with another crossword favorite 

56. Play about Capote: TRU.