, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Friday Septmber 1, 2023 Wendy L. Brandes


Sep 1, 2023

Friday Septmber 1, 2023 Wendy L. Brandes

Theme: NO HESITATION (57. "Proceed with confidence!," and how to make the answers to 20-, 31-, and 43-Across match their clues) - Three 2-letter hesitant syllables are ignored.

20. Pouch for collecting cobs?: CORNER POCKET.

31. Source of inspiration for a candlemaker?: WAX  MUSEUM.

43. Cry of dismay from a sailor?: AHOY MATEY.

C.C. here. Steve probably forgot to move his write-up from his blog to the Corner. Will publish his when he wakes up.


1. Gets moving: PRODS.

6. One inch = one mile, e.g.: SCALE.

11. Gym unit: REP.

14. Edible flower whose bulb has a toxic core: TULIP.

15. More washed out: PALER.

16. Brief qualifier: IMO.

17. "In sum ... ": AND SO.

18. Worrier's intro: I FEAR.

19. "NCIS" airer: CBS.

23. Slobbery smooch: WET ONE.

26. Inflammation reducers: STEROIDS.

27. "2 Fast 2 Furious" actress Mendes: EVA.

28. Swiper of "Dora the Explorer," for one: FOX.

30. ISP choice: DSL.

35. Culturally pretentious: ARTY.

39. Paragon: IDEAL.

40. The Nature Conservancy, e.g., briefly: NGO.

41. Only state to adopt a state seal designed by a woman: IDAHO.

42. Swift's home: NEST.

45. Short address: URL.

48. Summit: TOP.

49. Angsty music genre: EMO.

50. Spike: INCREASE.

55. Transcript components: GRADES.

59. St. crosser: AVE.

60. Saw: ADAGE.

61. Pop in on: VISIT.

65. Tiny: WEE.

66. Downtimes: LULLS.

67. Play to the cheap seats: EMOTE.

68. Yellowstone resident: ELK.

69. Olympic blades: EPEES.

70. Like flourless chocolate cake: DENSE.


1. School gp. that sponsors book fairs: PTA.

2. Jog: RUN.

3. Out-of-date: OLD.

4. Pop band Panic! at the __: DISCO.

5. Sugar amount, per Mary Poppins: SPOONFUL.

6. Test-drive: SPIN.

7. Bistros: CAFES.

8. Fully caffeinated, say: ALERT.

9. Jumped: LEAPED.

10. Crossword clues that don't match their answers, e.g.: ERRORS.

11. Documentary filmmaker Stern: RICKI.

12. Battle zone journalist: EMBED.

13. Fence supports: POSTS.

21. Some antique cars: REOS.

22. Piña __: COLADA.

23. Victorious cry: WE WIN.

24. Dodge: EVADE.

25. Strains: TAXES.

29. TV's warrior princess: XENA.

32. Fully grown: MATURE.

33. Repulsed reaction: UGH.

34. No longer relevant: MOOT.

36. Like books on RATED.

37. __ park: THEME.

38. Vacillates: YOYOS.

41. Got better: IMPROVED.

44. Meditation expert: YOGI.

46. Goal of many eBayers: RESALE.

47. Out of commission: LAID UP.

50. Bowled over: IN AWE.

51. "Mrs. Dalloway" or "The Hours": NOVEL.

52. __ by jowl: side by side: CHEEK.

53. Overused: STALE.

54. Two under par: EAGLE.

56. "Naruto" genre: ANIME.

58. Poet Gallagher: TESS.

62. Lenny Kravitz, to Roxie Roker: SON.

63. "__ not what you think": ITS.

64. Gym shirt: TEE.



Subgenius said...

Circles two days in a row! I have a “friend “ who’s not going to like this, but I guess he’ll just have to deal with it. As for me, I’d say circles have both positive and negative aspects. On the one hand, they do make solving the puzzle easier; on the other hand they generally lower the “challenge factor “ quite a bit. Actually, I didn’t find this puzzle very challenging at all, particularly for a Friday. Anyway, FIR, so I’m happy, if a bit disappointed at the relative easiness of the puzzle. Who knows, perhaps on Saturday I will rue that I asked for a puzzle of greater difficulty, but I doubt it. Anyway, see you folks tomorrow. Subgenius out!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Zipped through this one Wite-Out-free. Yes, those interjections are hesitation sounds, but what's left when they're removed aren't familiar in-the-language phrases. [meh] I'm looking forward to Steve's take on it to see if there's more than meets my eye. Thanx for kicking off September, Wendy, and for filling-in at the last moment, C.C.

Anonymous said...

More like a Monday puzzle, really lame

Anonymous said...

Took 7:18 today, with only a few hesitations.

Oh joy, circles!

SubG, I think I'd get along well with your "friend"....

I miss the old Friday-level puzzles, and I'm tired of the add/subtract letter(s) gimmick on Fridays. My guess is Steve is staging some sort of protest too.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR, but erased aol for DSL, rests for LULLS, trite for STALE, and dad for SON.

Today is:
NATIONAL BURNT ENDS DAY (I like prime rib end slices better)
NATIONAL LAZY MOM’S DAY (maybe caused by…)
NATIONAL CHIANTI DAY (just don’t get the crap in the wicker-wrapped bottle)
NATIONAL COLLEGE COLORS DAY (“go big blue” covers a lot of schools)
NATIONAL HOTEL EMPLOYEE DAY (they maid me put this one in)
NATIONAL ACNE POSITIVITY DAY (I used to be positive I would get a zit just before a big date)
NATIONAL FORGIVENESS DAY (I need it for posting all this drivel)

Zoё gives the best WET ONES. Such a smoochy poochie.

Sts and AVEs don't cross in Phoenix. Central AVE runs north/south through the middle of town. Numbered AVEs (starting at 1st) parallel it and the AVEs increment to the west (1st, 2nd, etc.) Sts also parallel Central, and increment to the east (1st St, 2nd st, etc.) IIRC, each are .1 mile from the next. So you can tell the direction and distance without Waze (at least on the same latitude.)

The Lovin' SPOONFUL sang the big hit Do You Believe in Magic.

Rupert Holmes had a huge hit with Escape, commonly called "The Pina COLADA song."

Thanks to Wendy for the Friday fun. I'll come back to read Steve's post after he becomes fully caffeinated.

Anonymous said...

Miss the commentary in the write-up today.

KS said...

FIR. But circles again? I've said it before, circles don't belong in crosswords. Jumbles yes, but crosswords no.
Overall this was a very easy Friday endeavor. Almost Monday fare. Only problem for me was reading the clue at 23A wrong. In my rush I read slobbery pooch. And then finally I saw the error of my ways

Big Easy said...

There was very little HESITATION when it came to completing Wendy's puzzle. I didn't slow down to notice the circles and IMO, the ERs, UMs, & AHs should be considered as just filler when it comes to completing crosswords. To be honest I didn't read the clues for 20A, 31A, 43A, or 57A and filled out CORNER POCKET, WAX MUSEUM, AHOY MATE, AND NO HESITATION by guessing after filling most of the down fills. When I try to solve the puzzles I go for the shortest fills first and ignore the long ones until enough perps are in place.

TULIP- didn't know it was edible
EVA, FOX, IDAHO, RICKI, RATED, ANIME, DENSE- can't say I knew them but they were easy fills after a perp or two.

Would a DENSE 'flourless chocolate cake' have Mary Poppins' SPOONFUL of sugar? Let the diabetic and person with Celiac disease decide. No flour, no sugar, no taste. UGH.

SubG-circles-"they generally lower the “challenge factor “ quite a bit."- not if you ignore them like I do.

Jinx- where I live in Jefferson Parish there are very few "streets". I live on Melrose DRIVE, not Place. There are Avenues, Circles, Courts, Blvds., Roads, Highways, Avenues A-M. The numbered streets are called 'street' but believe it or not, they are not in numerical order in some areas. North Oak Drive and South Oak Drive run parallel and are over a mile away from Oak Drive, not to be confuse with Oak Street a couple of miles away.
Across the river in in NOLA and almost everything is a 'street'.

Lee said...

Again a turtle puzzle for me. Just take time and it all fills in. Not even any interesting or unique fill to mention. Low difficulty for a Friday.

Sorry, Wendy. Not your best effort. On the plus side, there are no forced or esoteric Natick. Thanks to C.C. for covering for Steve

Have a great weekend!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

While I agree with SS @ 7:00 about missing the old Friday challenging puzzles, I thought this one was a cut above the recent add/subtract a letter Friday offerings. Maybe because, even with the 🤬 circles, the reveal was totally unexpected and very clever, to boot, at least to me. I’m not a fan of circles in late week puzzles, but sometimes they’re necessary to illustrate the theme, as in today’s puzzle and also yesterday’s. I’ll refrain from harping on my personal pet peeves because they’re well known by now. Ricki, Anime, Tess, and Disco, as clued, all needed perps, but only one w/o with We Won/We Win.

Thanks, Wendy, and thanks, CC, for temporarily subbing for Steve.

KS @ 7:51 ~ You must have been thinking of Jinx’s Zoe Slobbering Pooch!

For the last 10 days or so, my left foot was very painful, especially when standing or walking. My visit yesterday to an urgent care facility, after an exam and x-rays, resulted in a diagnosis of a hairline fracture of the fifth metatarsal. Recommended treatment includes rest, ice, elevation, and an Ortho boot. Oh, and a wee dram of Dewar’s, as needed. 🤣 I didn’t injure the foot but I do have arthritis and osteoporosis in the foot. Healing estimate is 4-6 weeks. 😬

Have a great day.

unclefred said...

Geez, so many complaints about this CW being too easy, having circles, not being witty…. Personally, I LOVED this CW! I found it to be, yes, easy for a Friday (thumbs up from me), void of an overload of obscure names (two thumbs up from me), and still clever enough to be fun and entertaining. Thanx, WLB, unclefred LOVED your CW, don’t let the groussers get you down. Perhaps your nice CW should have been selected as a Wednesday offering, but I’ll take it today and be grateful. Last week we had a Friday on a Monday, so hallelujah. Only W/O = WEWON: WEWIN. 11A coulda been REP or SET, had to wait on one more letter from perps to accompany the “E”. Hurray for me, I even got the theme for a change. Thanx C.C. for stepping in for Steve, let’s hope he’s O.K. Yesterday I met my friend Joel for lunch. We call it a Meezers lunch, as in Merck Geezers, old retirees from Merck. We started meeting for lunch about 15 years ago, when there were 12 of us. Now it’s down to Joel and I. Sad. Anyway, after lunch I had Joel come look at my 2017 Jeep Renegade Latitude. I really love this car. And the paint has held up perfectly, the car looks like it’s right off the showroom floor. Not a dent, not a scratch, still shiny. I was so proud of how nice it looks I had to show it off to Joel. Then on the way home someone waiting in the left turn lane suddenly decided they didn’t want to turn left after all, they wanted to go straight, and they pulled out into my lane RIGHT in front of me. I leaned on the horn, swerved to my right as far as I dared as there was a flatbed truck in the lane next to me, and somehow managed to squeeze through that narrow opening. It was SO close on both sides that when I got home I walked all the way around the car and examined it. Did I REALLY manage to pull that off without a scratch? Yep!! Not bad driving for an old fart. Enjoy your weekends everyone.

RosE said...

Good Morning! What a nice puzzle to start a new month! I enjoyed it, Wendy! While I’m not a fan of spelling vocal sounds, when they’re EMBEDded in a fill – they’re clever and fun!

FIR, no WOs, but slow going through the middle.

EAGLE – CSO to our golfers, and dear Boomer.

SPOONFUL – synchronicity! 😂 If anyone read my post yesterday @ 8:50 a.m. Okay, so I paraphrased it……

Thanks, C.C. Wake up, Steve! I need some insights.

RosE said...

Unclefred, well said!!

CrossEyedDave said...

I (for one), actually, with UncleFred, makes two, have no hesitation in saying I think this was a very clever use of circles, and I enjoyed the puzzle immensely. (Not everyone's a critic...)

Don't agree with me?

Feel better Irish Miss, and tread lightly...

Monkey said...

Zipped through most of this puzzle without much HESITATION, except for spelling hesitation sounds.

IM☘️@9:14. Sorry about your hairline fracture. My SIL is now getting over one. She sees progress each day but she loves to dance for exercise, at age 84 I might add, and she’s getting antsy with the rest the doctor ordered. It’s a slow healing process. Best of luck ☘️

Vidwan827 said...

Thank you Wendy Brandes for a very interesting - and for me, very doable, Friday puzzle. Enjoyed it immensely. I, for one, am very grateful for the offering.

I guess late weekday puzzles, scare off all but the hardiest souls, and the 'expert afficianados' dont want any easier versions.

Thank you CC, for pinch hitting, and providing the much desired answers.

So sorry to hear of all your foot problems, Irish Miss, God bless, and I hope and pray that you feel better and get better soon.

Old age is like an old car, if it's not one part going whack, it's another part in the same system ... taking your meds is like a fire fighting syndrome - all the time.

Thank you Jinx for all the various 'days' celebrations, today, really enjoyed it.!!!

Nice to see you CED, old friend.

Well said, UncleFred , ... that's why I prefer to have an older car, which is NOT in pristine condition. My wife can keep her latest and greatest models, and worry about its upkeep, the washings and worry about the car being dinged in parking lots. What me, worry ??

Have a nice day, and a very nice weekend all.

(now, how did I sign in to get in here in the first place ....)

Anonymous said...

Rose E, I read your "spoonful of loving" but knew it was sugar.

RosE said...

Anon @ 10:23, easy mix-up for me. When my darling husband complimented my cooking, I always responded that I stirred in a spoonful of love. Makes any dish taste better.

Charlie Echo said...

Got through this one quickly, but it felt kinda flat. Probably just me, as I see others took it differently. Wanted PATTIES for 10 down, but it wouldn't fit.

Anonymous said...

This one filled in easy for a Friday but I enjoyed the clean fill and cute theme. Thanks for a nice start to September Wendy and CC. …. kkFlorida

inanehiker said...

This was a fun and creative theme - I often feel like I should just say "Whatever D-O said",
but this one I disagree with him. I thought this was fun because with whatever the HESITATION sound was, when left in was an "in the language" phrase. Take it out and it fit as an answer to the clue.

Hope you all have a good weekend - sorry for your stress fracture IM - glad you can still be weight-bearing with it.

oc4beach said...

I agree with WEES about the non-Fridayness of the puzzle. But that's OK since I was able to solve it in record time. I didn't even look at the circles, so they were not involved in the solution of the puzzle.

Irish Miss: I hope you heal quickly. Hairline fractures can be very painful. Maybe a little more than a wee dram of Dewers can help with the healing process.

I hope everyone has a great day.

Lucina said...


No PRODS or STEROIDS needed to finish this puzzle. It filled quickly. Even made me feel ARTY.

As Jinx said above, the founding fathers of Phoenix laid out the grid nicely with Baseline as their guide and Streets and Avenues crossing. New neighborhoods lack that symmetry. Luckily a GPS can help to navigate them.

For many years a FOX used to visit my friend's garden and even brough her kits, then suddenly stopped so either she moved on or something happened to her.

IDAHO is one of the states I have not visited.

One year I planted a bed of TULIPS and they were glorious in spring.

IrishMiss, I'm sorry to hear of your foot problem and hope it heals well and soon.

Last night we had our annual Labor Day weekend rain. I say that because it seems to occur every year at this time. In fact, it was a big storm. One memorable year we had planned a family reunion at my uncle's ranch. In preparation, the men dug a pit for the barbecue and they were happily into their cups when the rain started so, of course, they had to drop everything and dig out the meat. It turned out well and the meat was cooked on the stove top. Three hundred people, all related, came for the event.

I hope you are all enjoying a restful weekend.

Husker Gary said...

-What a rapid, clever and fun exercise on my third sub day.
-CBS will run NCIS until Mark Harmon needs a walker
-I have to get to 7th hr and suspect I have nothing cogent to add.

Monkey said...

Uncle Fred. I’m so glad your cherished Jeep came out unscathed. I too like to keep my car as pristine as possible but that’s impossible since I go to the supermarket , the library and the gym at least three times a week, that means parking lots where people can be careless. Even if I park away from others, other cars manage to join my area anyway. I have a new car right now and I’m waiting to see how long before my first dent. 😢

PK said...

Thanks, Wendy, for a fun puzzle and C.C. for taking up the slack.

This week all the puzzles have taken about the same amount of time --just over 20 minutes -- for me to solve. Usually more time fluctuation.

IM: Sorry to hear about your foot. Those little cracks can be hard to heal. I had one when my kids were young that shifted around for years & hurt. In 2016 I had 4 tarsal bones cracked and was in a wheelchair for 6 weeks. Rest & elevation is a must.

Uncle Fred: congrats on your excellent driving. Pretty scary! Glad you're not smooshed.

Misty said...

Fun Friday puzzle, many thanks, Wendy, for getting our new month off to a good start. And thank you for helpfully substituting, C.C., much appreciated.

I got excited when I saw TULIP right at the beginning, thinking, with NO HESITATION, that we would get some more flowers and colorful garden products along the way. But I FEAR that was an ERROR on my part and there was no SPOONFUL of sugar coming up. Instead we had to deal with more MATURE issues like TAXES and RE-SALES, and although there were suggestions that this would make us SPIN and LEAP, it was time to get LAID back and have a Pina COLADA to enjoy.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

desper-otto said...

Husker, Gibbs (Harmon) last appeared on NCIS in October, 2021. The lead investigator role is currently played by a gray-haired Gary Cole.

Anonymous said...


Took me 17 minutes instead of the usual 14 for fridays.

Suggestion: make all the circles into squares, and the squares into circles.

AnonymousPVX said...

The Rupert Holmes song “Escape” is the soundtrack and is on constant repeat…in Hell.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

PVX, I thought it alternated with Disney's It's A Small World.

Ol' Man Keith said...

C.C.does the honors today, ushering a Brandes PZL.

Tougher than expected because it started easily in the NW corner.
But it all gave in eventually.
Two diagonals, one per side.
The near side's anagram (14 of 15) urges a pen pal to respond!


Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

WEES - easy peasy Friday puzzle. Thanks Wendy for the fun - THEME was an unexpected delight. Thanks C.C. for confirming we got all the squares right.
//I hope Steve is OK.

WOs: I was going for RA[re] classic cars before I checked perps. SIB b/f SON at 62d.
Fav: Panic at the Disco was fun.


IM - take it easy on your foot (and the Dewars ;-))

Unclefred - I've had two of those "how did I manage to shoot that gap with no scrape" moments. One was in a rental-car in IL (as it was happening, I thought "I should have gotten the insurance"). The other was coming down the mountain from Glacier Point. I'm driving down, a car pulls out of the parking area right in front of me. I swerve to miss as another car is coming up the bend -- OMG(!) it was scary with three cars and a SHEER edge.

Youngest is coming in from Austin for Labor Day so time to get things ready
Cheers, -T

Kelly Clark said...

Sweet and fun puzzle! Thank you, Wendy, and C.C. for filling in. Irish Miss, I've felt your pain...hope you heal soon!

(I also didn't know that tulip petals were edible!)

Jayce said...

I simply did not like this puzzle. The theme was cool, but the puzzle left me cold.

Jayce said...

Oh, and as been said so many times before, DSL is NOT an ISP! Jeez!

sumdaze said...

I am wondering if Monday's puzzle was a set-up for today's. We had 41A Hesitant sounds: ERS. and 18D. Hesitant sounds: UMS.

Thanks to Wendy and C.C.!

IM@9:14. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Anonymous said...

Not that bad, in spite of the circle thing (but only 3 pairs, so, ok…). Circles do not a grid make, sez Yoda! The clever theme was the puzzle’s salvation; gave me a couple of good grins 😎

Nice dodge job in your Jeep, @Unclefred; most people just nail the brake and freeze. The ABS probably helped (I tell my teen students that those letters also stand for Ability to Brake and Steer). Glad you squeezed through unscathed.

@IrishMiss, hope you heal up quickly!

====> Darren / L.A.

Anonymous said...

HAH same idea crossed my mind, sir!

====> Darren / L.A.

Lucina said...

After all the dust and debris from yesterday's storms my car needed a wash. I took it to the car wash so, of course, it's going to rain again. Now, after months and months of no rain!

PK said...

Lucina, better than a rain dance. Keep washing that car!

Luna said...

Loved this one! No naticks and the few obscure names were solvable using perps. One of the best recent Fridays. Thank you Wendy! Ignore the grouches above :-)