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


Sep 30, 2023

Saturday, September 30, 2023, Jess Rucks

 Saturday Themeless. by Jess Rucks

Carly            Jess
Despite my attempts to make Jess's fun puzzle difficult, I did mange to finish in a nice time for a Saturday and had a pleasant experience along the way.

I loved this picture of Jess and our circus trainer/constructor Carly Schuna when their paths crossed in Madison, WI. recently, Be sure to see the picture at the bottom of the write-up where Carly is showing Jess how to manipulate the Giant German Wheel.

Jess is originally from Minnesota but now lives in Colorado Springs where her husband is in the Space Force. Jess has held several interesting jobs including serving as an Urdu linguist for the Air 
Force. She now is a counselor and loves working with and advocating for kids.

"I hope you enjoyed Jess's puzzle" or in Urdu:

مجھے امید ہے کہ آپ نے جیس کی پہیلی کا لطف اٹھایا ہوگا۔



1. Red aperitif: CAMPARI - I have no idea why this leapt to my mind very quickly.

8. Defib experts: EMTS.

An EMT with an external
defibrillation device

12. Really clean up: MAKE A MINT - Bit coin, pet rocks, etc.

14. Love or life follower: BOAT - It wasn't the Love BOAT but the Titanic only had enough Life BOATS for half the passengers.

15. "Let me try again ... ": I MEAN TO SAY.

17. Morsel: BITE.

18. Old Irish: CELTS - Kelts or Selts? It can go either way but most say it is Kelts unless you're referring to sports teams in Boston, MA or Glasgow, Scotland

19. Mireille of "Big Love": ENOS - I know nothing about Ms. ENOS but I have caught on to the fact that she has displaced a biblical character and an old MLB baseball player in this venue. Her IMDB

21. Street cred: REP(utation) - Richie doesn't have any (3:48)

22. Crush a 23-Across performance, perhaps: SLAY and 23. Nothing to fret about?: 😀 AIR GUITAR.

26. Expand: ADD TO.

27. Up from Spain?: NORTE - España está al NORTE de Marruecos (Spain is north of Morocco) 

29. Hero with a weak spot: ACHILLES.

33. Inuk of film whose real name was Allakariallak: NANOOK - I knew nothing about Inuk or Allakariallak but those names reminded me of NANOOK which was in the deep recesses of my memory.

34. Breezy farewell: TOODLES.

35. Try again?: RETASTE Editorial comment: "Nope, that's liver and it still tastes horrible!" 😝

36. Proceed unsteadily: TOTTER.

37. Intrepid: FEARLESS.

38. Promising spot?: ALTAR 😀

39. Crown: TIARA.

40. Ones to "watch out for," per an Amazon Prime reality series: BIG GRRRLS - A seed entry for Jess.

42. Nearly all: MOST.

46. Jiff: SEC.

47. Throw away in disgust, slangily: YEET - Every teenager I asked knew this.

48. 13-Down, for one: DANCE and 13. Habanera kin: TANGO. As soon as I realized the habanera was a dance and not a pepper (habanero) I did a lot of research. Habanero and the Tango. Since it is both a dance and a type of music, this famous habanera will give you the rhythm.

49. Wakeboarding spot: LAKE.

51. Cantina rounds: MARGARITAS.

54. 100 sawbucks: ONE G - A sawbuck is ten dollar bill and 100 of them makes ONE-G (one grand or one thousand)

55. Minor celebrities?: TEEN IDOLS - I'll balance the Bizet opera above with this 60's rock and roll song.

56. Spanish pronoun: ESTO - ¡ESTO es divertido! (This is fun!)

57. Ticked by: ELAPSED - Hitters and pitchers now have time constraints and it greatly improves my viewing experience. 


1. Animal with three sets of eyelids and two sets of eyelashes: CAMEL.

2. Wolf voiced by Giancarlo Esposito in "The Jungle Book": AKELA - I remember him as the ruthless Gus Fring in Breaking Bad.

3. Like Bolognese: MEATY Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce in Italian cuisine, typical of the city of Bologna.

Gnocchi Bolognese

4. Chef's collection: PANS.

5. Receipt fig.: AMT.

6. Code name on "Money Heist": RIO.

7. Paper fatteners: INSERTS - Our paper has almost abandoned all of them in favor or online ads.

8. Go out on the beach?: EBB 😀

9. "Schitt's Creek" character who says, "What you did was impulsive, capricious, and melodramatic, but it was also wrong": MOIRA ROSE.

10. Hot-dish topping: TATER TOTS - They make anything better!

11. Blended family prefix: STEP.

12. Feedback providers?: MICS 😀

16. Second person: YOU - In counseling training, we were told to avoid "YOU" sentences in favor of "I" sentences. "YOU are" vs. "I feel". 

20. "Sugar Town" singer: SINATRA.

23. "Inferiority complex" coiner: ADLER Austrian psychologist Alfred ADLER

24. "Et tu" day: IDES 😀

25. Having a key: TONAL TONAL vs ATONAL

26. Hypersensitivity: ALLERGY.

28. Squeaks (by): EKES.

29. Chapati flour: ATTA - Frequently found in our crossword pantry

30. "Neat!": COOL BEANS Derivation

31. All the rage and hard to come by: HOT TICKET - To get one of these, requires either incredible good luck, big bucks or being named Travis Kelce. 😚
32. Entry need, maybe: ID TAG.

33. Comes close: NEARS.

35. Word in many Spanish team names: REAL.

37. Figure on the Oregon license plate: FIR TREE - That is true but check out the basketball court used by Oregon University.

39. Word that may make a dog sit up: TREAT.

41. "Everybody Hurts" band: REM.

42. Part of the inn crowd: MAIDS - MAIDS : Housekeepers :: Stewardesses : Flight Attendants 

43. With heels up: ON TOE 😀

44. Get into hot water?: SCALD.

45. "The Last of Us" survivor played by Anna Torv: TESS - I would have known Melanie Griffith's role in Working Girl or Julia Roberts' role in Ocean's 11.

46. Plum kin: SLOE - Last Saturday, we had SLOW LORIS

48. French press alternative: DRIP.

50. __ surf: EGO - I did an EGO surf on google for me and I came up with this picture taken during my last day at one of my old schools.

52. Long-lasting polish: GEL.

53. Actress Ortiz: ANA Her IMDB

Jess on the giant wheel 
being tutored by Carly

Sep 29, 2023

Friday September 29, 2023 ~ Robin Stears

Leader of the Puns?
Lead-off Punner?
Pun with Leaders?

Attila the Pun!

Robin delivers a Fabulous Friday. The theme is tight with leaders' titles used homophonically in the fill. If you like silly word-play like I do, you're in for a treat. Let's play.

17a. Official portraitist for a Mongolian leader?: KHAN ARTIST. Con Artist.

25a. Condiment for an Ottoman leader?: SULTAN PEPPER. Salt and Pepper. A couple of us from the office walked to The Galleria for lunch Wednesday and guess what I saw...

42a. Paltry stipend for a Middle Eastern leader?: EMIR PITTANCE. A mere pittance.

56a. Humble abode for an Arab leader?: SHEIK SHACK. Shake Shack.  There is also one of these at The Galleria.

1. Some twitches: TICS.

5. Cicada predators: WASPS.

10. Challenges for nannies: IMPS. Or Lighting Bugs, Lucina?

14. Compatriot: ALLY.

15. Bracelet spot: ANKLE.

16. "Smashing!": NEAT.

17. [See: theme]

19. "Water for Elephants" novelist Gruen: SARA.

20. Sinus infection woes: EAR ACHES.

21. Sheer: UTTER.

22. Suddenly become alert: SNAP TO.

23. Tone down: EASE.

25. [See: theme]

31. __ curls: BICEP.

34. Tends to a draft: EDITS.

35. Paris street: RUE.
The hotel at this intersection is our fav.

36. R&B singer Redding: OTIS.

Chained and Bound [7:39]
37. Hitches: SNAGS.

38. Cartoon girl who often says "Swiper, no swiping" to a masked fox: DORA.

(L to R) Swiper, Boots, and Dora

39. Web: NET.

40. Afternoon hr.: ONE PM.

41. Creator of a cocky hare: AESOP. Tex Avery, didn't fit.

42. [See: theme].

45. Scoreboard count: OUTS.

46. Effect: IMPACT.

50. Thrones: SEATS.
The Throne

53. Alcoves: RECESSES. Also my best school subject.

55. Stretched to the max: TAUT.

56. [See: theme]

58. Hobby farm measure: ACRE.

59. Horror or mystery: GENRE.

60. Haitian friend: AMIE.

61. Comparison word: THAN.

62. Jacket wool: TWEED.

63. Coat with gold leaf: GILD. [See: 50a commode]

1. Points of view: TAKES.

2. Omar of Congress: ILHAN.
Omar Represents Minnesota's 5th

3. Civil War nurse Barton: CLARA.
Founder Red Cross

4. Automatic transmission parts?: SYNAPSES.

5. Pop art icon played by Bowie in "Basquiat": WARHOL. Pop-art & Bowie gave it away.


6. Chip in a new pot: ANTE.

7. Goes downhill fast: SKIS.

8. "__ fix thx!": PLS.

9. Complete group: SET.

10. Keeping up (with): IN STEP.

11. Impossible Burger's lack: MEAT.

12. Peel: PARE.

13. Lead: STAR.

18. Cause trouble: ACT UP.

21. Exploits: USES.

23. "The Imitation Game" encryption machine: ENIGMA.

24. Some 2BR listings: APTS. Two bedroom apartment(s).

26. Creeds: TENETS.

27. Go with the flow: ADAPT.

28. Aces: PROS.

29. Italian bread?: EURO. I inked Lira.

30. Use a scythe on: REAP.

31. Hip hop's __ Thugs-n-Harmony: BONE. No clue. I Googled so you don't have to.

Crossroads [4:43]

32. Thing: ITEM.

33. Big name in credit cards: CITI. I almost Swiped (38a) my VISA.

37. Huffy state: SNIT.

38. High-pile carpet style: DEEP SHAG.

40. Numbered piece: OPUS.

41. High spots: ACMES.

43. Raising a stink?: ROTTEN.

44. Barely cut: NICKED.

47. "Ditto," more formally: AS AM I.

48. Poet Day-Lewis who wrote the Nigel Strangeways detective novels as Nicholas Blake: CECIL. A sample of poetry.

49. Expressed disapproval: TSKED.

50. RBI or ERA: STAT. The STATistics Runs Batted In or Earned Run Average. #Baseball

51. A pop: EACH.

52. Vibe picked up by a psychic, supposedly: AURA.

53. Russo who plays Frigga in Marvel's "Thor" films: RENE.

54. Dún Laoghaire's land: EIRE.

56. Rank above cpl.: SGT. Sergeant outranks a corporal.

57. Fell: HEW.

The Grid:
The Grid

WO: Lira -> EURO
ESPs: SARA (as clued), BONE
Fav: c/a for SYNAPSES.

Cheers, -T

Sep 28, 2023

Thursday, September 28, 2023, Jeff Stillman


Cheaper by the Dozen

Constructor Jeff Stillman is back with a puzzle that is so holy that I fear it might violate the Corner prohibition on religion.  But in this case most people are indeed quite religious about the subject of today's theme, so I don't think we'll have any problem with the censors (although AnonymousDNLC may have a fit 😁).  Here are the theme clues ...

18A. Propaganda technique that attempts to appeal to average Joes: PLAIN FOLKS.
American Gothic
Grant Wood

26A. Accessory for early U.S. presidents: POWDERED WIG.
George Washington

44A. Candy-coated caramels in a yellow package: SUGAR BABIES.
In researching this clue I came across some alternate connotations for the fill, of which Margaret definitely wouldn't approve (solvers so inclined can do their own research).

59A. Like the eyes of a person who hasn't gotten enough sleep: GLAZED OVER.

And what do they have in common ...

52D. Treat whose varieties appear at the starts of four long answers and are represented a dozen times in this puzzle: DONUT

And these varieties are ...




And in case you didn't notice all the donut holes, here's the grid ...

My only complaint about this puzzle is that Jeff didn't include my favorite: French Crullers.  For those of you who agree, here's a recipe.
French Crullers
And on a related note -- did you ever wonder about the long, sweet love affair between cops and doughnuts? (which BTW, British cops don't seem to share - I think they prefer SCONES 😋).


1. Green shade: JADE.

5. Pub offerings: PINTS.

10. Vellani who plays Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel: IMAN.   IMAN Vellani (born 3 September, 2002) is a Canadian actress and comic book writer.  Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Vellani moved to Canada when she was a year old, and was raised as a Shia Ismaili Muslim.  Before being cast in Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel at the end of her last year of high school, Vellani had planned to attend the Ontario College of Art & Design University.  Here's the season 1 trailer ....

14. European auto: OPELOPEL Automobile GmbH is a German automobile manufacturer which has been a subsidiary of Stellantis since 16 January 2021. It was owned by the American automaker General Motors from 1929 until 2017 and the PSA Group, a predecessor of Stellantis, from 2017 until 2021.

15. Missouri feeder: OSAGEOSAGE is also the name of an indigenous people who lived in the region of the river tributaries and are still active today.
Osage River Basin

16. On guard: WARY.  The poster child for the adverb WARY is of course the Geococcyx Californianus ...

17. Curly cabbage: KALE.

18. [Theme clue]

20. Vaping device: ECIG.

21. Family room: DEN.

22. Gary of "13 Reasons Why": SINISE13 Reasons Why is an American teen television series, which revolves around high school student Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) and his grief over the suicide of  high school student Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford).  Before her death, she leaves behind a box of cassette tapes in which she details the reasons why she chose to end her life as well as the people she believes are responsible for her death. Gary Sinise plays Clay Jensen's therapist. 

23. "Who else would I be talking about?": YES YOU.

25. Malleable: SOFTWhat are the most malleable metals?

26. [Theme clue]

32. "Check," in poker: NO BET.  Sometimes, but not always.

36. Haywire: AWRY.

37. Chardonnay adjective: OAKYThere's good OAKY and there's bad OAKY.

38. Some "Downton Abbey" characters: EARLS.  I've always been under the impression that Robert Crawley, the 7th Earl of Grantham was the only one.  But this article, published on the eve of the final series, spills the tea that he may have had an illegitimate son, and (with tongue firmly in cheek) speculates on some alternative outcomes to the saga.
Downton Abbey
Dramatis personae
39. Blood type abbr.: NEG.

40. Compare: LIKENLIKEN sounds like LICHEN ...

41. Cuisine with green and red curry: THAITHAI curries are dishes in Thai cuisine made from curry paste, coconut milk or water, meat, seafood, vegetables or fruit, and herbs. Curries in Thailand mainly differ from the curries in India in their use of ingredients such as herbs and aromatic leaves over a mix of spices.  Here's a recipe for Thai red curry with vegetables ...
Thai red curry
42. Suit to __: A TEE.
43. Troubled: ATE AT.

44. [Theme clue]

47. Western Asia native: KURD.

48. Engaged, as gears: MESHED.

53. Home for una familia: LA CASA.  Today's Spanish lesson: "La CASA de C.C. es nuestra CASA."

56. Bass, for one: ALE.

58. Lawn mower brand: TORO.  Also Japanese for "melting in the mouth".  An Easter Egg for our theme?  Or even better a type of toroid ...

59. [Theme clue]

61. Volunteer's phrase: IM IN.  I've got to stop saying that!

62. Chase and Citi rival, popularly: BOFA.  I have BOFEM.

63. "Dallas" surname: EWINGJ.R. EWING is the EARL of America's Downton Abbey.  Here's the cast.  Hand up if you can name them all, and bonus points if you can tell us Who shot J.R.?  (I never actually saw the show, but I did hear that he was shot 😀).

Dallas Cast
64. "In __ of gifts ... ": LIEU.

65. Adult-to-be: TEEN.

66. Candidate list: SLATE.

67. Dry run: TEST.


1. Lighthearted: JOKEY

2. With speed: APACE.

3. Lunch spots: DELIS.

4. Poem of lament: ELEGY.  One of the most famous is Walt Whitman's epic lament over the death of Abraham Lincoln, When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

5. Hall and Oates, e.g.: POP DUODaryl Hall and John Oates, commonly known as Hall & Oates, are an American POP ROCK DUO formed in Philadelphia in 1970. Daryl Hall is generally the lead vocalist; John Oates primarily plays electric guitar and provides backing vocals. The two write most of the songs they perform, separately or in collaboration. They achieved their greatest fame from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s with a fusion of rock and roll, soul music, and rhythm and blues.  The one I'm most familiar with is She's Gone  from 1973 ...

6. Tropical getaway: ISLE.

7. Bread brushed with ghee: NAAN.

8. __ Fridays: TGI.  "Thank God It's Friday!"

9. Like some overload: SENSORY

10. "You can't make me!": I WON'T DO IT.  The final words of many martyrs, even to this day I'm afraid.

11. Mauritania neighbor: MALIMALI, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa.  Its capital and largest city is Bamako. It has 13 official languages, of which Bambara is the most spoken one. Among the country's attractions is one of the largest adobe structures in the world, the Great Mosque of Djenné.
Republic of Mali
12. Torah storers: ARKS.  A Torah ark (also known as the hekhal, Hebrew: היכל, or aron qodesh, אֲרוֹן קׄדֶש) refers to an ornamental chamber in the synagogue that houses the Torah scrolls.
Torah Ark
Dohány Street Synagogue
Budapest, Hungary
13. Nasdaq rival: NYSE.

19. Military flute: FIFE.

24. Chooses: OPTS.

25. Composer Prokofiev: SERGEI.   SERGEI Prokofiev (27 April 1891 – 5 March 1953) is my favorite Russian composer.  His compositions are quite diverse ranging from symphonic works, virtuosic piano pieces, chamber music, and ballets. Probably his most popular work is the story of Peter and the Wolf, a kind of young person's guide to the orchestra. Here the Philadelphia Orchestra is conducted by Eugene Ormandy with narration by David Bowie ...

27. Opening lines?: WANT AD.  As in "We have an opening for a cruciverbalist".

28. Dorky sort: DWEEB

29. Bring around: WAKE.

30. Swedish superstore with a yellow-and-blue logo: IKEA.  Let's see: "four letter Swedish superstore?"  A CSO to SwenglishMom.

31. Ibsen's "Peer __": GYNT.  Playwright Henrik Ibsen (20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was born in Skien, Denmark (about 4 hours West of the Swedish border BTW).  He was one of the founders of modernism in theatre; is often referred to as "the father of realism"; and was one of the most influential playwrights of his time.  His major works include Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, A Doll's House, and Hedda Gabler.  One of the people he influenced was composer Edvard Grieg, who wrote incidental music for Peer Gynt.  Here is the In the Hall of the Mountain King from a suite of that music (you may recognize this as the tune played by Van Johnson in the 1957 film The Pied Piper of Hamlin) ...

32. Trawling equipment: NETS.

33. Ko'olau Mountains locale: OAHUKoʻolau Range is a name given to the dormant fragmented remnant of the eastern or windward shield volcano of the Hawaiian island of OAHU. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972.
Ko'olau Mountains
34. Show off: BRAG.
35. "On the Waterfront" director: ELIA KAZANELIA KAZAN, born Elias Kazantzoglou (Greek: Ηλίας Καζαντζόγλου); September 7, 1909 – September 28, 2003) was an American film and theatre director, producer, screenwriter and actor, described by The New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history".  Here's a trailer from his star studded masterpiece ...

40. Cut with a light: LASELaser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to vaporize materials, resulting in a cut edge. While typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, it is now used by schools, small businesses, architecture, and hobbyists.
Diagram of a Laser Cutter
42. Wears down: ABRADES.

45. Chicanery: RUSE.

46. Come forth: EMERGE.

49. Circus prop: STILT.

50. Bro: HOMIE.

51. Native New Yorkers: ERIESThe ERIES  were Indigenous people historically living on the south shore of Lake Erie. An Iroquoian group, they lived in what is now western New York, northwestern Pennsylvania, and northern Ohio before 1658. Their nation was decimated in the mid-17th century by five years of prolonged warfare with the powerful neighboring Iroquois for helping the Huron in the Beaver Wars for control of the fur trade.
Erie Nation
pre 1650

52. [Theme reveal]

53. Pride Month initials: LGBT.  Today's crosswordese.  Pride Month is every JUNE ...

It's all ya need!

54. Household succulent: ALOE.

55. Bistro: CAFE.

56. New Balance competitor: AVIA.

57. Fast time: LENT.  Next year it begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb 14th and ends on Holy Thursday, Mar 28th.  No chocolates on Valentine's Day! 😞

60. Midnight mouser: OWL.


And as always, thanks to Teri for proof reading and for her constructive criticism.