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


Jul 31, 2023

Monday, Jul 31, 2023 Jolie L'Heureux & Alexander Liebeskind

 Theme: "IN THE BEGINNING...."

    So, I was born February, 1971....oh wait, that's a long story.  This is my first time blogging a "themed" puzzle for C.C. and the LA Times, as I was the regular Saturday themeless guy for about five years.  I still work the puzzles everyday, and I read the write-ups every day.  Since I last blogged, I changed my solving style and prefer to do all the DOWN clues first, then when I switch to ACROSS, most of the perps are in place, and the theme answers a little easier to solve. We had two nine- and two eight-letter words in the downs today, which is unusual for a Monday puzzle. C.C. had asked me to "guest" blog, and I had the opportunity last month, but was way out of practice, and thus had my own "EPIC FAIL".    But enough of my long story, here are the theme answers for today;

20. Bank customer, e.g.: ACCOUNT HOLDER

28. Colorful and fuzzy street art: YARN BOMB - Never heard this term before; here's an image


36. Innovative concept: NOVEL IDEA

49. Big-time letdown: EPIC FAIL

 57. "I'll tell you the rest another time," and what can be said about the starts of 20-, 28-, 36-, and 49-Across: IT'S A LONG STORY

And away we go~!


1. Matriarch of the Three Bears: MAMA

5. Grocery shopper's aid: LIST - I have mine on my phone, listed by aisle, and my new favorite store since I moved to CT is "Big Y" because I can scan the barcodes with my phone camera, pay via credit card, and walk right out.

9. Private supply: CACHE

14. "Right away" letters: ASAP - As Soon As Possible

15. Mideast leader: EMIR

16. Catchall option on a survey: OTHER

17. At a __ for words: LOSS

18. Regarding: AS TO

19. With 4-Down, small dog from Tibet: LHASA and 4D. See 19-Across: APSO

23. 24 horas: DIA - Spanish

24. Disco __ of "The Simpsons": STU - Crossword regular now

25. Has lunch on a blanket, say: PICNICS

31. More expansive: VASTER - meh.

32. Southeast Asian language: LAO

33. Mani-__: spa treatments: PEDIs

35. "For sure": "YES"

40. Cat coat: FUR - clever clue

43. Calf-length skirts: MIDIs - I cannot resist....

44. Raspberry shade: RED

47. "The way things are ... ": AS IT IS

53. Shares a tweet on Instagram, say: REPOSTS - Spell-check doesn't like this

55. Pull the plug on: END - Sadly, I pulled the plug on my career as a Pipe Organ technician - at least for now.  I had tried to bargain for a pay increase, but the company could not come up to the offer I got from a local millwork company that needed a CAD drafter; so my three-week trip to Lynchburg VA in July was my "Swan Song"; here's me at the Washington National Cathedral; it was howling windy and raining as we unloaded.

56. Ode title words: TO A....

60. Vietnam's capital: HANOI.

62. Comfort: EASE.

63. Shape of many a car logo: OVAL - Ford, Subaru, Toyota and others

64. Houston MLB player: ASTRO - Spellcheck doesn't like this one, either

65. Squeezes (out): EKES - Crossword staple

66. How-to presentation: DEMO

67. Cereal eater's utensil: SPOON

68. Hissed "Hey!": "PSST~!"

69. Etch or sketch: DRAW


1. Affliction: MALADY

2. Preferring to be alone: ASOCIAL - My ex-wife is/was a counselor, and she 'diagnosed' me as being anti-social; I told her "good, that lets me off the hook" - not the answer she wanted to hear....

3. Cosmetic applied with a wand: MASCARA

5. Makeshift shelter: LEAN-TO.

6. "Haven't the foggiest": "I'M STUMPED"

7. Lightsaber wielders who are enemies of the Jedi: SITH

8. Scout unit selling cookies: TROOP

9. Unsolved crime: COLD CASE

10. Home of the Acropolis and the Parthenon: ATHENS - GREECE fit, too

11. Donation recipient: CHARITY - On my way back from Lynchburg, I saw billboards reading Mega Millions was up to $940mil - I would have to donate to more than one CHARITY if I walked away with that kind of money

 12. Father and son: HEs - Meh.  True, but I'm not a fan of this kind of answer

13. Time studied in history class: ERA

21. PC connection port: USB

22. Really steamed: LIVID - I had IRATE to start

26. Average grade: CEE

27. Graduating gp.: SRs - Abbreviated group, abbreviated SenioRs

29. Persona __ grata: NON - Latin

30. Represent inaccurately: BELIE

34. Hands out: DISPENSES - ATMs and vending machines "dispense", which I think is not quite the same as "hand out"

37. Something left out: OMISSION - $2 Monday 8-letter word

38. Photogenic expanse: VISTA

If you zoom in, this is Washington DC from the cathedral

39. "Woof!": "ARF~!" - Dogspeak

40. Few and __ between: FAR

41. Function: USE - as a designer, I am of the thought that FORM follows FUNCTION

42. Verbally attack: RIP INTO - We stayed at a popular, long-term hotel with in-room kitchens for the trip to VA - there were several issues in my room that never got resolved during my 19-day stay - so when they sent me a survey, I had to RIP INTO the chain's poor service.

45. Dine at a friend's: EAT OVER

46. Elementary school shoebox project: DIORAMA - I helped my buddy's seven-year-old son build a "Leprechaun trap" for a school project - quite enjoyable

48. "My Neighbor __": Studio Ghibli film: TOTORO - The Wiki; I've been solving the LA Times crossword daily for the past year, and I can tell that the new editor has changed the rules - I doubt this clue/answer would fly on a Monday in the past

50. Consume: INGEST

51. Insured investments: Abbr.: CDs - I have one through my Discover card, and a savings account now getting 4.30%

52. "Stay out of trouble": LAY LOW - I had BEHAVE

54. Dream state: SLEEP

58. Thousand __: Ventura County city: OAKS - filled via perps

59. Sondheim's "Sweeney __": TODD

60. Gives birth to: HAS.

61. Egyptian snake: ASP - My #1 movie of all-time, Raiders of the Lost Ark


Well, I'm back, 

da-na-na-na, na-na-na-na-na-na
Fix your bent antenna, tune it in, and then I'm gonna
Enter in and up under your skin like a....


Notes from C.C.:

Welcome back, Splynter! We missed you.

Splynter will blog next Monday's puzzle also. Sumdaze will be back on August 14th.

Jul 30, 2023

Sunday, July 30, 2023 Desirée Penner & Jeff Sinnock

Theme: "Double Plays" - Each theme entry is mashup of two songs by the same musician.
23. "Time to blaze a trail in frozen desserts, Ms. Lee": GO YOUR OWN WAY SARA. Go Your Own Way. Sara. Fleetwood Mac

37. "You'll never make it big in the toy industry, Holly Hobbie!": DREAM ON RAG DOLL. Dream On. Rag Doll. Aerosmith.

50. "Stop tormenting the mail carrier, you mangy mutt!": DON'T BE CRUEL HOUND DOG. Don't Be Cruel. Hound Dog. Elvis.

73. "Whoa there, cowboy!": TAKE IT EASY DESPERADO. Take It Easy. Desperado. The Eagles.

88. "Stop futzing with that, Mr. Law": HEY JUDE LET IT BE. Hey Jude. Let it Be. The Beatles.

106. "Get off the court, Ms. King!": BEAT IT BILLIE JEAN. Beat It. Billie Jean. Michael Jackson.

OK, this beautiful couple must be our constructors. Congrats on your wedding and your LAT debut!

Thought of D-Otto, not only because of Desperado, but his love of music and wordplay.


1. Buddhist monks: LAMAS.

6. Totals (up): ADDS.

10. NPR host __ Simon: SCOTT. Host of the Weekend Edition.

15. Up in the air: IFFY.

19. Clock app feature: ALARM.

20. Female kangaroos: DOES. And 22. Garden digger: MOLE.

21. Blanches: PALES.

26. Frigate front: PROW.

27. Classic songs: STANDARDS.

28. Nnedi Okorafor genre: SCI-FI. Hugo Award & Nebula Award winner.

29. Tosses, slangily: YEETS. We just had this & YEET.

30. Gibson ingredient: GIN.

31. Lay out in advance: PLAN.

32. Mold, mildew, etc.: FUNGI.

33. Like fancy caramel: SALTED.

42. Farm team followers: PLOWS. The real "farm".

43. Welcome: SEE IN.

44. Banque currency: EURO.  And 47. Bank claim: LIEN.

45. __ flottante: French dessert: ILE. Floating island. Wikipedia says it's "a dessert consisting of meringue floating on crème anglaise (a vanilla custard). The meringue used is baked in a bain-marie. It may be served at room temperature or chilled."

46. Brazilian berry: ACAI.

48. __Clean: laundry brand: OXI.

49. Hiccup: SNAG.

57. "Paradise Lost" figure: EVE.

58. Croupier's tool: RAKE.

59. Handwriting features: LOOPS.

60. Bouncy Milne character: ROO.

61. Sunday message: SERMON.

63. Former name on a Chicago skyscraper: SEARS. Sears Tower.

64. Get-up: OUTFIT.

68. Geologist's unit: EON.

69. Mails: SENDS.

70. Arts town east of Georgia O'Keeffe's Ghost Ranch: TAOS. So dry.

72. High court action?: LOB. Tennis court.

77. Corner shop: MART.

79. Family guy: DAD.

80. Roadie's burdens: AMPS.

81. Moriarty of "The Boys": ERIN.

82. Ballpark fig.?: ERA. Or RBI.

83. "Let's __ it a night": CALL.

85. Enlists again: RE-UPS.

87. Deplete: SPEND.

92. Highland girls: LASSES.

93. Stands watch for, say: ABETS.

94. Not on a tape delay: LIVE.

95. Baton: ROD.

96. Sings like Ella: SCATS.

97. Nickname of the NBA star whose #3 was retired by the Heat: D-WADE. Dwyane Wade. Minority owner of the Utah Jazz.

99. Native American ceremony performed in the dry season: RAIN DANCE.

105. Pans with high sides: WOKS.

108. "Bonne __!": IDEE. Good idea!

109. Run the show: EMCEE.

110. Apogee: ACME.

111. __ Domingo: SANTO.

112. Knight-time story: GEST.

113. Stuff on a shelf: GOODS.

114. Honey brew: MEAD. Never had this. Good?

115. Arborist's charges: TREES.


1. Straggles: LAGS.

2. Substantially: A LOT.

3. Poet Angelou: MAYA.

4. "East of Eden" brother: ARON. I watched this movie years ago.

5. Performs a Native American cleansing ritual: SMUDGES.

6. Beautify: ADORN.

7. Ann of "The Leftovers": DOWD. Don't know her.

8. Comfy retreats: DENS.

9. Vane dir.: SSW.

10. Secret recording device: SPYCAM.

11. House of cards?: CASINO.

12. Snowman who says, "Some people are worth melting for": OLAF. Oh, I think I'm worth melting for.


13. "The Fosters" actress Polo: TERI.

14. Org. that checks bags after check-in: TSA.

15. Loom: IMPEND.

16. Just mentioned: FOREGOING.

17. Small armada: FLOTILLA.

18. Conifers with bright red berries: YEWS.

24. "Kills bugs dead" brand: RAID. I like this brand with picaridin. I have both the spray and the lotion. It does not have that chemical smell.

25. Lion of Narnia: ASLAN.

29. Car on many "worst cars of all time" lists: YUGO.

31. Canadian prov.: PEI.

32. Word repeated in "Star Wars" introductions: FAR.

33. Trick-taking game: SPADES.

34. Nook: ALCOVE.

35. Courtesy car: LOANER.

36. Flibbertigibbet: TWIT.

37. Name on much farm equipment: DEERE.

38. Lens care brand: RENU. Contact lens.

39. Meeting point: NEXUS.

40. Trash: RUIN.

41. Limb lifted in a développé: LEG. Ballet move. Learning moment for me.

43. Unwell: SICK.

47. Romance novelist Banks: LEANNE. Wikipedia says she has written over 60 romance novels since 1991. Stunning.

48. Klutz's cry: OOPS.

49. Fire proof?: SOOT.

51. Streamlet: BROOK.

52. Justice Kagan: ELENA.

53. Washday units: LOADS.

54. Carousel mount, to a tot: HORSY.

55. Sags: DROOPS.

56. Hit with a water balloon, say: DOUSE.

62. Spam or ham: MEAT. No no for my sister-in-law Connie, who does not even eat chicken.

63. Bird feeder filler: SEED.

65. Bell-bottoms features: FLARES.

66. First aid tincture: IODINE.

67. Some low-risk investments, briefly: T-BONDS.

69. Drag one's feet: STALL.

70. Home of Sun Devil Stadium: TEMPE.

71. Egyptian snakes: ASPS.

73. Sheet cakes, in British parlance: TRAYBAKES. Never heard Steve mentioned this term.

74. Going nowhere: IDLE.

75. Apply crudely: DAUB.

76. Gym units: REPS.

77. "Nothing to write home about": MEH.

78. 213 or 323 for Los Angeles, e.g.: AREA CODE. OK, I had to look at Steve's number. Neither for Studio City.

83. Skips, as class: CUTS.

84. Commercials: ADS.

85. Construction fastener: RIVET.

86. French summer: ETE.

87. Most blue: SADDEST.

89. Frequent fliers: JET SET.

90. Tickled pink: ELATED.

91. Declutters, perhaps: TIDIES.

92. Comedian Love: LONI.

95. Worked (up): RILED.

96. Big gulp: SWIG. Just had two big gulps of my kombucha. My favorite.

97. Free software version: DEMO.

98. Texas city where Dr Pepper was invented: WACO.

99. Bibimbap base: RICE. Bap is Korean for "rice".

100. __ mater: ALMA.

101. Almost closed: AJAR.

102. Hawaiian honker: NENE.

103. Oscar winner Blanchett: CATE.

104. Actress Mireille: ENOS.

106. Ask earnestly: BEG.

107. "Kapow!": BAM.


Jul 29, 2023

Saturday, July 29, 2023, C.C. Burnikel

 Saturday Themeless by C.C. Burnikel


A very nice puzzle by our beloved blogmistress! I asked her permission to use this picture and she said okay and remarked "that was when I had long hair." I had to abandon some fills that I thought were good but all's well that ends well. 


1. Winter sports park activity: SNOW TUBING.

11. National Humor Mo.: APR - Well, it starts with April Fool's Day so...  

14. Game that typically has hard-to-get tickets: HOME OPENER - The Twins HOME OPENER in Minneapolis was pushed back due to some, uh, unfriendly baseball weather.

15. California roll ingredient: CRAB - Crab or imitation crab and avocados

17. Line from one cutting it close: AM I TOO LATE? If you were TOO LATE to see Halley's Comet in 1986, it won't be back until 2061 (I'll be 115).

18. Emerald City visitor: TOTO - TOTO and Dorothy were definitely not in Kansas anymore

19. Scandal sheet: RAG - 100% on Rotten Tomatoes for this 1952 movie. 

20. Part of a bang-up job: TNT 😀 Oppenheimer did not fit.

21. Got ready for: AWAITED 

23. Promises that end engagements: I DO'S 😀

25. Fish with transparent babies: EELS.

27. Nancy, to Fritzi Ritz: NIECE - The last bid on this 1948 comic was $1,008.

28. Target area: AISLE 😀

30. Like the top of most refrigerators: DUSTY.

32. Part of a routine: GAG - Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis didn't get along but they made millions with their GAGS. They ended their relationship ten years to the day from when they started and didn't talk for 20 years.

33. Ashram sound: CHANT.

35. Free __: REIN - Something veteran teachers do not give to a study hall full of kids.

36. Org. with an Office of Water: EPA.

37. Starting points for pro golfers: BLACK TEES - Golf holes can have many different colored markers for where you TEE off. The BLACK TEES are usually the farthest back and the red tees are usually closest.

40. Library warning: SHH.

43. Jelly in some boba: ALOE - This consists of aloe vera that is peeled, cut into mini cubes, and cooked with some sugar. 

44. Lab kit supply: SWABS - Many of us endured these SWABS in the last few years.

47. Talk sweetly: COO - WOO was a road block here for a while. BTW, what does "COO, COO, ca-choo, Mrs. Robinson" mean? 😀

48. Parents: REARS - A verb. The toughest job in the world.

50. Bad blood: SPITE.

52. Remove identifiers, on social media: UNTAG - I might UNTAG you if you want to use FaceBook for political opinions.

54. Exam taken in "Legally Blonde": LSAT - Reece Witherspoon's character celebrating.

56. Bourguignon, for one: STEW - B

57. Ingredient in many a 56-Across: BAYLEAF - Can you see any above?

59. Haul: LUG.
61. Apology starter: MEA.
62. Buckets: A LOT.

63. Court figures: LITIGATORS.

66. Company with a hedgehog mascot: SEGA.

67. Perk up?: PRIVATE JET 😀 This would be a "perk" when you need to go "up" in the air.

68. Shape of orecchiette pasta: EAR - Literally "small ear" in Italian. 
ôriˈkyedē or oh-reck-ee-ET-tay
69. Political staffer: SENATE AIDE.


1. Law in some Gulf States: SHARIA.

2. Like some Mongols: NOMADIC.

3. "Holy smokes!": OMIGOSH.

4. Just out of an onsen, say: WET.

5. Traffic sound: TOOT.

6. Barely ahead: UP ONE - If your team is only UP ONE in the ninth inning, a bad bullpen can doom you.

7. Socked: BELTED.

8. "Modern Comfort Food" writer Garten: INA.

9. Type of value calculated for mutual funds: NET ASSET.

10. Rose: GREW.

11. When Romeo and Juliet have their balcony scene: ACT II.

12. One under a wing: PROTEGE.

13. Cause of limited interest, perhaps: RATE CAP Here ya go

16. "In the Heights" shop: BODEGA.


22. Question of status: ANY NEWS?

24. Chunk: SLAB.

26. Sneaky types: LURKERS - or passive types

29. Make it big: ENLARGE.

31. No-win situations: TIES - The most famous/infamous TIE in college football history

34. Spinner's yarn: TALE.

38. Underground blaze that emits toxic gases: COAL FIRE - This one is burning underground in China 

39. Sentimental sorts: SAPS.

40. Takes a deep dive, maybe: SCUBAS.

41. Land where Puff and Jackie Paper played: HONALEE - I have sung this song that is set in "a land called HONALEE" many times.

42. Practice with sweaters: HOT YOGA.

45. Customizable avatar app: BITMOJI - One of mine is shown here and my usual one at the very bottom of this write-up.

46. Took control: STEERED - What the heck, I'll throw in another BITMOJI.

49. Spitball need: SALIVA.

51. Target of some recycling drives: E-WASTE.

53. Union station?: ALTAR 😀

55. Pull on: TUG AT.

58. New Zealand's Southern __: ALPS.

60. Flight assignment: GATE.

64. Element with the shortest name: TIN.

65. PG Tips, e.g.: TEA - A likely choice for our constructor who is also a TEA connoisseur