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


May 31, 2023

Wednesday, May 31, 2023, Katie Hale

Theme:  Embrace Me
17. *Not so great: BELOW PAR.

23. *Roe delicacy: BELUGA CAVIAR. In 2005, the United States made it illegal to import beluga caviar and beluga sturgeon into the country, because of the animal's endangered status. However, caviar from beluga hybrid species are still for sale in the country.

38. *Laboratory vessel: BELL JAR. Also a book by Sylvia Plath. Animated book summary. The protagonist Esther Greenwood describes her depression as a feeling of being trapped under a bell jar, struggling for breath. 

51. *Currency in San Ignacio: BELIZE DOLLAR. Wikipedia: The official value is pegged at BZ$2 = US$1.

61. Tight embraces, and what the answers to the starred clues literally have?: BEAR HUGS. The BE and AR are 'hugging' the letters in between. 

Melissa here. I like how the theme answer BELL JAR is positioned right in the middle of the grid. Also interesting is that each theme phrase (except for the reveal answer) begins with BEL. The only other BE*AR words I can come up with are BEACHWEAR and BEGGAR. No L's.


1. __ signs: VITAL. Measurements of the body's most basic functions. The four main vital signs routinely monitored by medical professionals and health care providers are: Body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, blood pressure.

6. Feminine pronoun: SHE.

9. World Cup chant: USA.

12. With money at stake: ON A BET.

14. Guinness of "Doctor Zhivago": ALEC. Guinness played Lieutenant General Yevgraf Zhivago.

15. Task on a suburban summer to-do list: MOW.

16. Woke: CAME TO. Woke vs. Awoke: You can replace "awoke" with "woke." The reason is that they are the past participles of the verbs "awake" and "wake," which have identical meanings.

19. Singer DiFranco: ANI.

20. Put away: STORED.

22. Road trip game: I SPY.

26. Blog entry: POST.

27. Surround: ENVELOP. Like a BEAR HUG.

31. Drag show accessories: BOAS.

34. Q's neighbor: TAB. On a keyboard.

36. Fixes a crossword, say: EDITS.

37. Oblique neighbors: ABS. Abdominal muscles.

41. "__ but a scratch": TIS. In the wonderfully hilarious British cult classic film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, King Arthur once defeated a guard on his quest for the Holy Grail. In the famous scene, the guard refuses to let Arthur pass and thus the battle begins. Arthur gravely wounds the guard, who continuously claims, “Tis but a scratch.

42. Part of a bath set gift basket: LOOFA.

44. Sea-__ airport: TAC. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

45. Rat's home: NEST.

46. "I'm going before you!": ME FIRST. No, no ... contigo abajo. (A little Spanish humor.)

49. Prepare, as potatoes: MASH.

56. London's __ Park: HYDE. History of Events in Hyde Park. There is also a Hyde Park in Chicago, Hyde Park Village in Florida, the Town of Hyde Park in NY, and a neighborhood in Boston.

59. "Gimme a minute": ONE SEC.

60. Abbreviation with a suggested price: OBO. Or best offer.

63. Beatles hairstyle: MOP TOP. In the early '60s, the Fab Four were wearing mop-top haircuts, a longish style with bangs that resembles a certain household tool. Rock legend has it that the revolutionary Brits were inspired by two young German photographers sporting mop tops who befriended them in Hamburg in 1960. The look was a dramatic departure from the very short, conservative cuts of the 1950s, and it was soon mimicked on both sides of the Atlantic. By the late '60s, the band had abandoned the style in favor of locks that were even longer. 

65. Formula 1 need: CAR. F1 is the highest class of international racing for open-wheel single-seater formula racing cars sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

66. Rhyme Syndicate founder: ICE-T. Rhyme Syndicate was an American hip hop collective of artists formed to unite East and West Coast rappers, DJs and record producers.

67. "Hey, bro": YO DUDE.

68. Coffee receptacle: URN.

69. Advanced deg.: PhD. Doctor of Philosophy, is a high-level degree earned after a period of three or more years of graduate-level study, culminating in the creation, submission, presentation and defense of a research dissertation.

70. Uses a surgical beam: LASES.


1. Lesson that may involve a thesaurus, for short: VOCAB.

2. Silly: INANE.

3. Language in Sri Lanka: TAMIL. Dravidian language natively spoken by the Tamil people of South Asia.

4. Pres. in a stovepipe hat: ABE.

5. "We're leaving now!": LET'S GO.

6. Oreo cookie packaging: SLEEVE.

7. Bottled up, as emotions: HELD IN.

8. Earth Day prefix: ECO. The prefix eco (often used with a hyphen) refers to ecology or to the environment: Because population is concentrated in urban settings, cities have large eco-footprints (ecological footprints). This product is eco-friendly (safe for the environment).

9. Work-from-home types: UMPS. Nice clue. Home base. Baseball.

10. Irish Spring, e.g.: SOAP.

11. Slightly off: AWRY.

13. Cookbook phrase: TO TASTE.

14. Pokémon species that evolves into Kadabra and Alakazam: ABRA. Kadabra evolves from Abra after accumulating enough experience, and evolves into Alakazam only when traded from one copy of a Pokémon game to another. The original Pokémon is a role-playing game based around building a small team of monsters to battle other monsters in a quest to become the best.

18. Full of energy: WIRED.

21. Eight-related: OCTAL.

24. Company with brown trucks: UPS.

25. State boldly: AVER.

28. Diet branding word: LITE.

29. "Try a Little Tenderness" singer Redding: OTIS.

30. Hushed summons: PSST.

31. Lip Smacker product: BALM.

32. Clarinet kin: OBOE. Oboe vs. Clarinet.

33. Starting from: AS OF.

35. Club alternative: BLT. Sandwich. A signature feature of a club sandwich is using three pieces of bread – with one slice used as a separator in the middle. It is an American classic, often served in delis, country clubs and other restaurants. It is often cut into quarters or halves and held together by cocktail sticks.

38. Unadorned: BARE.

39. Lily of "Downton Abbey": JAMES.

40. Starfleet school: ACADEMY. In the fictional universe of Star Trek, Starfleet Academy is where recruits to Starfleet's officer corps are trained.

43. Bran benefit: FIBER.

45. Org. for Oilers: NHL. Hockey.

47. Abandon good posture: SLOUCH.

48. Lightly shaded: TINGED.

50. "Awesome!": SO COOL.

52. Citrus bits: ZEST. The outermost layer of the peel known as the flavedo. This layer contains loads of natural oils that are full or flavor and not as acidic as the tart juice.

53. Sacred flower: LOTUS.

54. Quarters: ABODE.

55. Lures (in): ROPES.

56. Morehouse, for one: Abbr.: HBCU. “any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary of Education.”

57. 12 months: YEAR.

58. "Fiddlesticks": DARN. Couldn't help but think of this ...

62. In: HIP.

64. "Get a room!" elicitor, for short: PDA. Public Display of Affection.

May 30, 2023

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 Amie Walker

It's the Small Things in Life that Count.

18-Across. One in a snuggly pair: LITTLE SPOON.

23-Across. Office fund for odds and ends: PETTY CASH.  I had a co-worker who complained that he caught his niece in an act of Petty theft.  It seems she had gotten up in the night and eaten a donut that was for breakfast.

53-Across. Insignificant weakness: MINOR FLAW.

59-Across. Without much warning, with "on": SHORT NOTICE.

And the Unifier:

34. With 36-Down and 38-Across, Blink-182 hit song, and a description of four long answers in this puzzle: ALL.  //  34-Down.  36. See 34-Down: THE.  38-Down. See 34-Down: SMALL THINGS.  Together we get the song:  ALL THE SMALL THINGS.  The first word of each theme answer describes something that can be small.

1. Fiat or Ferrari: CAR.  Both are Italian vehicles.  This article is 10 years old, but it explains a "weird" relationship between Fiat and Ferrari.

4. Greek letter after alpha: BETA.  The Greek alphabet often sneaks into the crossword puzzles.

8. Horrified: AGHAST.

14. "Should I take that as __?": A NO.

15. Lead off: OPEN.

16. Focus of a historic New Orleans museum: VOODOO.  The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum is a small museum located in the French Quarter.

17. Cold War gp.: KGB.  As in the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti.  It officially ceased operations in December 1991.  //  63. Hush-hush org.: CIA.  As in the Central Intelligence Agency.

20. Marry in secret: ELOPE.

22. Arrive at: REACH.

25. Ties up at a pier: DOCKS.

30. Grammy-winning Grande: ARIANA.  Whenever I hear her name, I think of her donut-licking incident.  [Name # 1.]

31. Soccer great Long or basketball great Quigley: ALLIE.  Allie Long (née Alexandra Linsley Long; b. Aug. 13, 1987) plays as a midfielder for NJ/NY Gotham Football (soccer) Club. Allie Quigley (née Alexandria Quigley; b. June 20, 1986) plays for the Chicago Sky.  [Name # 2.]

Allie Long

Allie Quigley

32. Military advisory gp.: NSC.  As in the National Security Council.

33. Ultimate: LAST.

37. Duane __: NYC drugstore chain: READE.  I was not familiar with the Duane Reade drugstore chain, but then, I don't live in New York.  You can Read(e) [get it?] all about it here.

42. Sovereign: RULER.

44. Caustic cleaners: LYES.

45. Loan application ID: SSN.  As in Social Security Number.  A crossword staple.

48. Clog-busting brand: DRANO.

49. Sheepish "Good point": TOUCHÉ.

52. Picture book?: ALBUM.  Great clue.

56. Cobra pose, e.g.: ASANA.  Think yoga.  I practice yoga, but this pose is too much for me.

58. Area with trees: WOODS.

64. Game console with a Mii Parade: WII.  If you say so.

65. Culture of cuteness, in Japan: KAWAII.  Not a Tuesday word.

66. Bad to the bone: EVIL.

67. French word that indicates a name change: NÉE.  This French word has been making frequent appearances in puzzles recently.

68. Bug: INSECT.

69. Legit: REAL.

70. Prom gp.: SRS.  As in Seniors in High School.

1. Piece of bakeware: CAKE PAN.  They can come in all shapes and sizes.

2. Some folks who fish: ANGLERS.  Cute clue.

3. Place where engineers can do some machine learning?: ROBOTICS LAB.

4. Anne who was the mother of Elizabeth I: BOLEYN.  Everything you wanted to known about Anne Boleyn but didn't know to ask.  [Name # 3.]

5. Prefix with gram: EPI-.  As in Epigram.

6. Aquarium fish: TETRA.

7. Initial bets: ANTES.

8. "Sans" opposite: AVEC.  More of today's French lesson.

9. Dad-blasted: GOSH DARN.  Mild swears.

10. Move like a bunny: HOP.

11. Hubbub: ADO.

12. "Hamilton" Tony nominee Phillipa: SOO.  Phillipa Ann Soo (b. May 31, 1990) appeared in last Tuesday's puzzle.  She portrayed Eliza Hamilton in the musical Hamilton.  [Name # 4.]

13. Load: TON.

19. "Well, __-di-dah!": LAH.

21. Sch. group: PTA.  As in the Parent Teacher Association.  A crossword staple.

24. Summon: CALL.

26. Cassini of couture: OLEG.  Oleg Cassini (né Oleg Aleksandrovich Loiewski; Apr. 11, 1913 ~ Mar. 17, 2006) became well known as being Jackie Kennedy's favorite designer.  If I remember correctly, there was a connection between Cassini and our Lemonade.  [Name # 5.]

27. Some attention-seeking students: CLASS CLOWNS.

28. Tease: KID.

29. "Understand?": SEE.

35. Farm pen: STY.

39. List of options: MENU.

40. Fragrant: AROMATIC.

41. Analogy words: IS TO.  I erroneously filled this in as As To, which gave me the theme song as All the Small Thangs, which could make sense.

42. Suggested intake, on some labels: RDA.  As in Recommended Daily Allowance.  More that you ever wanted to know about Dietary guidelines and are sorry you asked.

43. Clickable link: URL.  As in the Uniform Resource Locator.  A crossword staple.

46. Less reputable: SHADIER.

47. Musical with the songs "Carrying the Banner" and "The World Will Know": NEWSIES.  Newsies is a musical that is based on the true story of the 1899 Newsboys Strike in New York City.

50. "Animal Farm" writer George: ORWELL.  His given name was Eric Arthur Blair (June 25, 1903 ~ Jan. 21, 1950).  Much of his work can be categorized is being social criticism, opposition to totalitarianism, and support of democratic socialism.  We all probably had to read Animal Farm and 1984 when we were in high school.  I wonder if these books are now on the banned list.  [Name # 6.]

51. Blurry craft in tabloid pics: UFO.

53. Eponym of a Chinese tunic suit: MAO.  Andy Warhol depicted Mao in many renditions.  [Name # 7.]

54. Bury: INTER.

55. Easily duped: NAÏVE.

57. Sour mood: SNIT.

59. Winter runner: SKI.

60. __ Solo of "The Force Awakens": HAN.  [Name # 8.]

61. Cries of pain: OWS!

62. Singer Carly __ Jepsen: RAE.  [Name # 9.]

Here's the Grid:


In memory of Tina Turner (Nov. 26, 1939 ~ May 24, 2023), I'll leave you with this video.

May 29, 2023

Monday May 29, 2023 Mike Peluso


Hello Cornerites and Happy Memorial Day!  
On Memorial Day we remember and honor the men and women
who died while serving in the U.S. military.
It is a day of both celebration and grief.

Today's theme:          A Cool Water Puzzle!
The Sons of the Pioneers recorded Cool Water in 1941.
(Dan is his burro.)

Constructor Mike Peluso gives us four 2-word phrases, each ending with a word that can also be found in FRONT of the word WATER for a different type of WATER.

The 4 themers are:

18 Across. Blended condiment: GARLIC SALT.  SALT WATER

23 Across. Fictional band that uses an umlaut on the "n" in its name: SPINATAP.  TAP WATER
We recently saw this Christopher Guest mockumentary in last Tuesday's puzzle. The joke is that umlauts over consonants are rare, but the bandmembers are not bright enough to match their own artistic airs. Here is a fun article on the American fad for gratuitous umlauts.

49 Across. Like recently harvested produce: FARM FRESH.  FRESH WATER

57 Across. Leavening agent that's also a cleaning product: BAKING SODA.  SODA WATER

The unifier is a grid-spanner on row 8:

39 Across. Oscar-winning Marlon Brando film, or where the last words of 18-, 23-, 49-, and 57-Across can literally be found: ON THE WATERFRONT.  
 "I coulda been a contender".
Rod Steiger and Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront (1954).
The film received 12 Academy Award nominations and won 8, including Best Actor.

If you missed the theme, there is no need to turn on the waterworks. This puzzle has plenty of delightful fill. Let's dive in.

1. Meghan Trainor's "All About That __": BASS.  
Stand-up BASS player, Esperanza Spalding has won 5 Grammy Awards.
Here, she performs Overjoyed in 2009.

5. Catholic service: MASS.

9. Tossed: THREW.  I hope you did not TITT!

14. West Coast gas brand with ampm convenience stores: ARCO.  Not every ARCO has an ampm, but over 1,100 do. You can find them in CA, OR, WA, NV, AZ, OH, IL, GA, and FL.
The first ampm location opened in Southern California in 1978.
I wonder if that is the station where, one Sunday afternoon, I learned my bank put a hold on my credit card because I was using it while driving from Colorado to California and I had not notified them to expect travel. #LessonsLearned

15. Fatherly nickname: PAPA.

16. Grocery section: AISLE.  
17. Fibber: LIAR.  
This one is for my fellow math geeks.
20. Pinochle plays: MELDS.  MELDS are combinations of cards that add up to different point values. How to Play Pinochle

22. Snowball pile, say: AMMO.  

26. "Rats": DRAT.

30. Portuguese lady: DONA.  
DONA Maria 1, Queen of Portugal
18th century oil, artist unknown
She was the first queen of Portugal, married her uncle, and eventually went mad.
a brief history

31. Honker in a gaggle: GOOSE.  We have many new goslings in our area now. DH took this pic last week at the reflecting pool.

32. Local source of 49-Across produce, for short: CSA.  Community Supported Agriculture
It is unusual to see self-referential clues pointing at one of the themed clues.

35. Twin of Romulus: REMUS.  The legend of Romulus and REMUS was the inspiration for this (IMHO disturbing) sculpture.  
This Capitoline Wolf replica is in Rome.
38. Tiny bits: IOTAS.

42. Word before pointer or printer: LASER.  I like clues like this one!  

43. Letter embellishment, in typography: SERIF.  
44. Comedian Romano: RAY.  Parade did a cover story on him last month.

45. Neighborhoods: AREAS.

46. Airborne mysteries: UFOS.  

48. Open-handed hit: SLAP.  If you watched How I Met Your Mother, you know about the SLAP bet.

54. Unremarkable: SO SO.  Teen slang:  mid

55. Trial versions of software, e.g.: DEMOS.
In 1979, Weird Al Yankovic recorded his DEMO of My Bologna in a bathroom across the hall from the Cal Poly radio station because he liked the acoustics...and it was free. It was his first official hit.  
This is the teaser trailer for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022).
Yep, that's Daniel Radcliffe from Harry Potter.
63. Locale: SITE.

64. Regional flora and fauna: BIOTA.  the animal and plant life of a particular region, habitat, or geological period (rhymes with the root of 38A)

65. Give off: EMIT.

66. Smart __: ALEC.  The term came to us from police slang for a criminal who was too smart for his own good, or whose cockiness led to his arrest.

67. Refreshingly cool: CRISP.  Anyone else suddenly craving lettuce?

68. Actress Daly: TYNE.  IMDb page

69. Result of a sting, maybe: WELT.  a ridge or lump raised on the body (as by a blow or allergic reaction)

1. Salve: BALM.  You can make one out of aloe to put on a welt.

2. Zodiac sign also called the Ram: ARIES.  birthdates Mar. 21 - Apr. 19

3. Spot for implants: SCALP.  Oh, that type of implants!

4. Filthy: SORDID.  SOileD also fit...for a while.

5. Car sticker stat: MPG.  Miles Per Gallon

6. Roadside aid org.: AAA.  
7. Jack who could eat no fat: SPRAT.  
8. "Frida" star Hayek Pinault: SALMA.  
Frida (2002) Official Trailer
9. Food truck snack: TACO.

10. That dude's: HIS.  
11. Cape Town's country: Abbr.: RSA.
12. Right-angled bracket shape: ELL.  
13. Damp: WET.  an Easter egg???
someone who is not enjoying the bathWATER
19. Little pest: IMP.

21. Noisy sleepers: SNORERS.

24. Once again: ANEW.

25. Tibetan spiritual leaders: LAMAS.

26. Cuckoo clock part: DOOR.  Also, 
I learned from Good Job, Brain! that a book written in 1930 by American writer Mary Roberts Reinhart called The DOOR is generally credited with introducing the trope, “The butler did it.”

27. Windmill part: ROTOR.

28. Yoga pose: ASANA.  Poses are but one of the 8 Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga.  
29. Short-tempered: TESTY.  Perhaps practicing yoga will help.

31. Kathie Lee of morning talk: GIFFORD.

32. Some soft drinks: COLAS.

33. Entangle: SNARL.  to cause to become knotted and intertwined; to make excessively complicated
I took this photo in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
The head of a stone Buddha has become embraced by a SNARL of a bodhi tree's roots.

34. On a cruise: AT SEA.

36. Sport-__: off-road vehicle: UTE.   UTility vehicle

37. Skin rejuvenator: SERUM. If the bottle is small, you know it must be worth the high price.

40. Messy mound: HEAP.  
41. Repeated jazz phrase: RIFF.
for example, Wes Montgomery's Road Song (1968)

47. Two-person playground fixture: SEE-SAW.    The name might have come to us from the French ci-ça, meaning literally, this-that; seemingly attributable to the back-and-forth motion for which a see-saw is known.

49. Weather condition common around the Golden Gate Bridge: FOG.  
San Francisco averages 108 foggy days per year. (I would have guessed more.)
Look for your city here.

50. Profit-and-loss figure: ASSET.  Hmmm... ASSETs generally go on the Balance Sheet but you might find small ASSETs on a P&L Statement.

51. Spacious: ROOMY.

52. Grin: SMILE.  OK  😀

53. Suite spot: HOTEL.  fun clue!

54. Round closer on an infant's onesie: SNAP.

56. Offshoot group: SECT.

57. "Doctor Who" TV network: BBC.  In looking for a pattern to the clueing of British shows and 3-letter fills, my guess is that if it says "airer", we go with PBS; but if it says "network", we go with BBC.

58. Beach ball filler: AIR.

59. Colorful carp: KOI.  Because they swim against the current and overcome great obstacles, KOI, in Japanese culture, symbolize strength, courage, and success through perseverance.
KOI flags are flown to celebrate Children's Day.
60. "__ about time!": IT'S.  Not quite. Two clues remain.

61. Clamor: DIN.

62. Downed: ATE.  as in, "He downed 4 hot dogs, 2 pretzels, and a beer."

Here is today's grid:  
Have a sparkling day, everyone. I look forward to reading your comments!