, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Monday September 4, 2023 Marin Wells & Andrew Kingsley


Sep 4, 2023

Monday September 4, 2023 Marin Wells & Andrew Kingsley


Theme:        Is it chilly in here?  
Hello Cornerites!

Happy Labor Day! I did not have to work too hard to solve today's puzzle. It felt just right for a Monday.
Two ways to write "easier", Monday-level clues are (1.) use clues we have already seen 100 times and (2.) provide sensible descriptions. I put this puzzle in the latter category. Let's take a look:

We have four starred clues, each with the letters I - C - E broken up across the words, always in that order. Circles are used to highlight those letters. Notice that each of those letters is used only once in each answer.

17 Across. *Clue suspect dressed in red: MISS SCARLET.  This time "Clue" refers to the board game. Hasbro's new 2023 edition updated her look.  
25 Across. *The key to good locks?: HAICARE.  I like the pairing of "key" with "locks" in this clue. Legally Blonde fans will remember this scene. (You'll need to stop the video yourself at 3 min.)  
"The rules of HAIR CARE are simple and finite. Any Cosmo girl would have known."
Reese Witherspoon (2001)

40 Across. *"I confess! You got me!": GUILTY AS CHARGED. I love this grid-spanner!

50 Across. *Parakeet's home: BIRDCAGE.  Bird Paradise in Singapore is Asia's largest enclosed bird park. Below is a 2:13 min. news video covering its opening this past May. (Hi PK!)

The reveal is at
64 Across. Begin a conversation, and what the answers to the starred clues do to their circled letters?: BREAK THE ICE.  This idiom means to do or say something to relieve tension or get conversation going at the start of a party or when people meet for the first time. An example of an ice breaker question is, "What is your favorite holiday?" 193 more ice breaker questions
For our puzzle, it refers to the letters I - C - E being separated or "broken up", if you will, across the starred answers.

Neither Marin Wells nor Andrew Kinglsey showed up in my search of our blog's history; however, I did find that they each have published puzzles elsewhere. Congratulations to you both on your L.A. Times debuts!

1. Crown sparkler: JEWEL.

6. Like the Mandarin and Thai languages: TONAL.  In these languages, words with different TONAL inflections convey different meanings. For example, a single word could be said with four different tones, and each of those tones will change the meaning of the word.

11. Surgery ctrs.: ORS.  "Centers" is abbreviated and plural, so is "Operating RoomS".

14. Spanish birthplace of St. Teresa: 
ร€VILA.  link to a Univ. of Notre Dame website

15. Food flavoring: SPICE.  
Get it? He's dead. Haha!

16. Conjunction that's the "B" in the FANBOYS mnemonic: BUT.  
I was unfamiliar with the mnemonic, BUT I could only think of one 3-letter conjunction beginning with the letter "B";
so, boy, am I a fan!
19. Commotion: ADO.

20. 4x4, briefly: UTE. a utility vehicle

21. Boston newspaper: HERALD. My local paper is also called The Herald. I have a digital subscription.

22. Foreboding sign: OMEN.  In other news, Season 2 of Amazon Prime's Good OMENs came out this summer. It stars David Tennant, Michael Sheen, and Jon Hamm. Here is the 2 min. trailer.  
23. Package: PARCEL.

27. Poems of praise: ODES.

29. Muscle twitch: TIC.

30. Regarding: AS TO.

33. Civil rights icon Parks: ROSA.

36. Tropical fruit: GUAVA.  I heard this cover of 
the GUAVA Jelly song on the radio just about every day when I lived in Hawaii. It was originally written and recorded by Bob Marley.
The Ka'au Crater Boys (1998)

43. Tennis star Naomi: OSAKA.  She became a mom this summer.

44. Silicon Valley's __ Alto: PALO.  city website for visitors

45. Pond plant: REED.

46. "__ be the judge of that": I'LL.  See 40A.

48. Temptation: URGE.

55. Elbows: NUDGES.  Two weeks ago, 1A was NUDGE so I blogged about NUDGE Theory in Behavioral Economics. A Cornerite posted a link to the classic Monty Python skit. Here we have a comic linking them together. #SomethingForEveryone

As you probably guessed, the UK's Behaviour Insights Team is nicknamed the Nudge Unit.

59. Some nest eggs, for short: IRAS.

60. Puts underground: BURIES.  and  
7 Down. "Queen of All Media" Winfrey: OPRAH.

62. Baseball official: UMP.  I checked a couple of dictionaries. "UMP" was not listed as an abbreviation but a few labeled it as "slang" or "informal".

63. __ Quixote: DON.

66. Ted Lasso setting: Abbr.: ENG.  ENGland
hence the tea cup
67. Out of style: PASS

68. Painter's stand: EASEL.

69. Night anticipating the Ball Drop, informally: NYE.  New Year's Eve

70. Where most of "Moby-Dick" takes place: AT SEA.  Yesterday we had 5D Captain PELEG.
The Pequod's Journey by Alondra Gonzalez

71. Romance novelist Danielle: STEEL.  Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein Steel was born on August 14, 1947 in New York City. 
One source said she has written over 200 books and 25 of them have been made into movies.
1. Become clogged, as a printer: JAM UP.  

2. "Buenos Aires" musical: EVITA.  I never tire of this stirring refrain.
Don't Cry For Me Argentina
performed by The Maestro Guido & The European Pop Orchestra
featuring Wendy Kokkelkoren at Kerkrade, the Netherlands

3. Knowing better now: WISER.

4. Golfer Ernie known as "The Big Easy": ELS.  Theodore Ernest "Ernie" Els is a South African professional golfer with more than 70 career wins. He was born on October 17, 1969 in Johannesburg.

5. __ out: reacted angrily: LASHED.

6. Russian autocrat: TSAR.  An autocrat is someone who has absolute power.

8. __ wafers: NILLA.

9. Nailed an exam: ACED IT.

10. Net judge's call: LET.  This is called when the ball hits the net but still lands in the service court, usually so close to the net that it cannot be returned. It is a do-over situation and the server is not faulted.

11. President who appointed two women to the Supreme Court: OBAMA.  and  
50 Down. President who declared Juneteenth a federal holiday: BIDEN.

12. Less civil: RUDER.

13. Curling piece: STONE. Great clue! Perhaps a stretch but I'm calling it an Easter Egg. CanadianEh!, what do you think?
Norway won the gold in the Fancy Pants category that year.

18. Dip stick?: CELERY.  The L had me trying oiL??? for a while. Hand up for dipping my CELERY stick in a jar of peanut butter.

22. Happened: OCCURRED.  I could not remember if this word was spelled with two C's or two R's.

24. Popular group in school: COOL KIDS.  These KIDS (goats) are COOL!

26. Latvia's capital: RIGA.  I learned so much about RIGA while watching this 7 min., Rick Steves-style video.  48 hrs. in Riga

28. Sudsy bar: SOAP.

30. Earlier: AGO.

31. Dubious, slangily: SUS.  SUSpicious, perhaps???

32. Argentine aunt: TIA.

34. Nine-digit ID issuer: SSA.  The Social Security Board (SSB) was created on August 14, 1935 when President F.D. Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. It was renamed the Social Security Administration on July 16,1946.

35. LGBTQ+ advocacy org.: ACLU.  American Civil Liberties Union

37. Dating app info: AGE.  

38. "Peace" shape: VEE.  
39. Go on to say: ADD.

41. Barber's powder: TALC.

42. Stinging insect: HORNET.  But they can be beneficial, too.

47. Rodent in a maze: LAB RAT.

49. Raves (about): GUSHES.

51. "The Twilight Zone" specialty: IRONY.  So true! In many episodes, a twist at the end turned the tables on the less-than-honorable character(s). "Situational IRONY" occurs when an expected outcome is subverted. A literary example is O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi.

52. "Home on the __": RANGE.  Where the deer and the antelope play.  ๐… ๐… ๐… 

53. Speculate: GUESS.

54. Wipe clean: ERASE.  

56. False front: GUISE.  

57. Quiz-show host: EMCEE.

58. Say "C-H-E-E-S-E"?: SPELL.  This clue was one of my favorites. The hyphens indicate that we are to say each letter, not the whole word. We are SPELLing the word "cheese" -- not posing for a picture.

61. Self-assembly furniture giant: IKEA.  "IKEA" is Swedish for "couples quarrelling". ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ

64. Chemical in some plastics, briefly: BPA.  Bisphenol A is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1950s. Retailers began replacing water bottles and baby bottles with BPA free containers around 2008. More from the Mayo Clinic 

65. "Dig in!": EAT.  

Here's the grid:  
Now that the ICE has been broken and hot dogs have been eaten, it's time to chill with a Labor Day refreshment. Have a great day everyone!  


Subgenius said...

Maybe this puzzle had slightly more crunch than the typical Monday puzzle, but not by much, IMHO. Anyway, FIR, so I’m happy.

Vidwan827 said...

Howee, I made number two on the comment list ... what does that make me ? .. a sub-sub-genius ? ... or an insomniac ?

I had a good time with this easy Monday puzzle. I guess we are supposed to be conserving 'labor' today. If Karl Marx is to be believed, the opposing force to Labor, is Capital ... is there a 'Capitalist's ' day ?? Hmmm, sumdaze maybe ...

'Thank you Marin Wells and Andrew Kingsley, for a very enjoyable puzzle.

There is/are no controversies to harp upon ... everything is as straight forward as apple pie.

Is it just a curious me,.... or are they many others, also hoping that "sumdaze" would complete his/her personal portfolio on 'their' blog page ...

.... like gender, general study and work experience and a few personal likes and dislikes ?

Sumdaze, you did an excellent job and a wonderful commentary on the puzzle, and lots and lots of links for us to experience the clues further. Thank You.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Saw the ICE in the circles, and crushed it. Only went sideways with OchoA where OSAKA needed to go. Boston has its Herald and Houston its Barnacle -- costs a dollar a day for online-only access. Ufda. Thanx for the diversion, Marin and Andrew, and for the tour, sumdaze. (I'll bet "Kokkelkoren at Kerkrade" is fun to say.)

Vidwan827 said...

Ufda ... generally spelt as Oofda, or Ofda or Uffda ....or Ufda

... A Scandinavian exclamation or interjection used to express dismay, typically on hearing bad news...( Google search meaning )

Also used to express surprise, relief, annoyance, relief, exhaustion, disappointment, astonishment, exasperation or dismay.

Anonymous said...

Took 3:41 today.

A few crunchy spots (Spanish, today's author, and which spelling of tsar/czar) as the esteemed SubG pointed-out, but otherwise an old-school Monday-level puzzle.

Oh joy, cIrClEs!

Anonymous said...

* Oh joy, cIrClEs!

(trying to capitalize the I-C-E in circles, but the format looks off to me.)

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR in the wee hours. Zoั‘ became unsettled around 1:00, so I dressed and came downstairs in case she needed to go out. She didn't follow, so I worked the puzzle on my laptop. I had some backspacing up around Spokane, but I don't remember what-for-what. I'll stick with Pentel and paper when I can.

Today is:
LABOR DAY (Signed into law by Grover Cleveland in 1894)
NATIONAL SPICE BLEND DAY (an art and a science)
NATIONAL WILDLIFE DAY (sounds like CC’s and Big Easy’s neighborhoods have plenty of wild life)
NATIONAL MACADAMIA NUT DAY (throw in some white chocolate and cookie dough and I’m in)

I also worked the King Features CW this morning. I know I gripe about Patti's editorial choices a lot, but at least she doesn't use clue/fill attic/GARRET, crossed with novelist Seton/ANYA, on a Monday. Shame on Sheffer.

I've heard that everyone should add an ICE - In Case of Emergency - contact in their phone. Supposedly the authorities look in contacts for ICE if you can't speak for yourself. Think I'll add that today - don't know if it would help, but it won't hurt, and it's free.

Thanks to Marin and Andrew for the fun start to a groggy day, and to Sumdaze for the clever review.

KS said...

FIR. Another puzzle with circles. Oh joy! With the theme so simple the gimmick wasn't necessary, or the entire theme for that matter. And only two proper names!
Puzzle was an easy Monday solve. Only puzzlers for me were FANBOYS and BPA. Other than that, a typical Monday CW for a change.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

No labor required to breeze through this typical Monday offering. Cute theme and a fun reveal and no w/os, no unknowns, and only one, teensy-weensy nit with Sus. I have a sneaking Sus that we’re getting lazier and lazier with our lang. when we have to abbr. so many perfectly decent wds. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ The themers were all solid and, as sumdaze said, Guilty As Charged was a standout grid spanner. Unusual to have two presidents in the same grid, especially two so politically allied.

Thanks, Marin and Andrew, and congrats on your LA Times debut (I’m familiar with Andrew from that other paper) and thanks, sumdaze, for the fun and facts. Enjoyed the music from Evita and the article on St. Teresa of Avila, but my favorite was the clip from Legally Blonde, a light-hearted, feel-good movie with the indomitable Elle and her “fearsome” Chihuahua, Bruiser! I laughed out loud at the cartoon with the Tinder-summoned Cougars lurking in the alley. Great job today, as usual.

Enjoy your day of rest!

Lee said...

No labor involved in the solve today except for the holiday.

I enjoyed the rendition of Don't Cry for Me, Argentina. It is one of my DW's favorite tunes.

Congratulations to Marin and Andrew for their labors in producing today's smorgasbord of clues/answers for our amusement. Many thanks to Sumdaze for the recap of their labors.

Enjoy your Labor Day, all!

RosE said...

Good Morning! Thanks, Sumdaze, your recap is delightful! What a fun array of info and clips. Interesting about Behavioral Economics – new to me. And what great clips – Evita, Legally Blonde, and the too funny KIDS!

Unfortunately I was sloppy today, where was my head? Right from the get-go: WOs tiara -> JEWEL; out ->LET; and -> ADD; smile -> SPELL.

Thanks, Marin & Andrew. Congrats on your first LAT. Hope to see you back soon.

Jinx, re: Nat’l Spice Blend Day, my favorite is Poultry Seasoning (though technically an herb blend bought from the SPICE rack in the store). I use it with poultry, chicken soup, and pork. Very versatile & adds so much flavor! I enjoy your listing of the special days – some are so obscure - is there a Crossword Puzzlers Day?? LOL!

Monkey said...

Cool CW this morning. True Monday fare. No big hick ups. I usually fear the word “slangily” in a clue, but this time perps made the answer invisible.

I visited รvila many years ago.

When I was younger the VEE stood for victory, not peace.

Sumdaze, loved the goat video.

unclefred said...

Lovely Monday no-labor Labor Day CW, which I thoroughly enjoyed, thanx MW&AK. At 1A my very first thought was JEWEL, but I thought, “My very first thought is too often wrong”, so I didn’t write it in until I had a couple of letters from perps. Then the usual CZAR/TSAR/TZAR wait-for-perps. Commenters groused about the circles, but I don’t know how anyone could see the theme today w/o them. Interesting write-up today, thanx Sumdaze. The goats video really had me smiling, I kid you not. Too cute!! Awful to think they are probably being raised for goat meat. Interesting info about wasps/hornets, but I wish the article had included pictures to differentiate between the species. And curse you, Sumdaze: I discovered that guava jelly you dished up was full of ear-worms. Not I can’t get it out of my head! Happy Labor Day to one and all. Eat a hot dog! Drink a beer!

sumdaze said...

Thank you for the kind words, everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed today's puzzle, as I did.

Vidwan827 @ 5:25. C.C. posted a couple of photos of me on the Blog Photos tab.

D-O @ 5:34. "Crushed it". Good one!

Anonymous@7:34. I wish I would have seen the broken ICE in "circles". N-ICE!

Irish Miss. Did you notice the special drink I added to the beverage bucket for you?

sumdaze said...

Uncle Fred @ 9:42. "ear-worm". Tell me about it!! Haha! Like I said, they played it every day on the radio....

Husker Gary said...

-I once got in trouble because of something silly I did. The assistant principal turned me in to the principal and when confronted, I simply said “GUILTY AS CHARGED” and the whole thing went away.
-Speaking of TONAL (1:00)
-I don’t remember my OR very well as I was unconscious quickly after getting there
-Complaining that my Omaha World HERALD was wet fell on deaf ears. Today I got no paper.
-“Here’s a great clue, Patti!”. “Oh yeah, I’LL be the judge of that!”
-MLB is going to get electronic UMPS to prevent bad strike calls like this
-School secretaries know fixing paper JAMS is part of their informal job description
-Professor Harold Hill preferred The Sadder But WISER Girl
-Lovely as always, Sumdaze! I’ve picked enough about you to say, “Your resume would look like a gourmet meal compared to my sack lunch!” :-)

Charlie Echo said...

What a nice start for the week. A Monday puzzle on an actual Monday! Zipped right through to an easy FIR.
Great tour, Sumdaze. Enjoyed the "spice of life", Evita, and the reference to the Twilight Zone irony. Still my all time favorite TV show. DW claims it's because my sense of humor is completely warped. She's probably right. I do prefer the original V- sign...Winston's "for Victory".

CrossEyedDave said...

Where's Tinbeni when you need him?

RosE said...

Husker Gary, if your paper is like mine, today is a "paper" holiday. You might see a little notice in the lower section of yesterday's paper saying they are not sending a print copy of the paper & they invited subscribers to read today digitally.

Irish Miss said...

sumdaze @ 9:46 ~ No, I didn’t notice, another testament to my non-existent powers of observation. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, though! ๐Ÿ˜‰

HG @ 10:01 ~ It’s hard for me to visualize you getting into trouble! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Had some questionable moments for a Monday but eventually FIR
I needed the ⚪️⚪️⚪️’s and a mallet to BREAK THE ICE

What are “Sugary ctrs”? nougat? crรจme?, caramel ? Ohhhh…never mind ๐Ÿ™. “Fanboys?” What happened to ROY G BIV?

Those languages were also Asian…SUS crossed with OSAKA was a WAGed Natick. Didn’t care for “Dip stick”/CELERY.

“BIRDCAGE” 1996 Nathan Lane/Robin Williams film version of “La Cage aux Folles” a fav hilarious classic, searched but couldn’t find a clip that wouldn’t end up offending someone.

Vivian Leigh role….. MISSSCARLET.
“Dolls” go with…. GUISE.
Fruit to JAMUP…..BURIES.
Result of a lower joint replacement….IRONY.
The “Science Gye” is “close by” ….NYE.

Happy Labor Day (to all Moms 9 month pregnant and having
contractions) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anonymous said...

A stress free Monday level puzzle that let me “chill” out. Thanks Marin and Andrew. The Dewars was an awesome addition to the beverage bucket Sumdaze and thanks for the entertaining recap. ….. kkFlorida

Big Easy said...

Circles? Did I notice? No. GUILTY AS CHARGED. But being Monday _REAK THE ICE was filled by perps and I just put a B and there are only a million chemicals and BPA is just an abbr. of one of them. The only other unknowns filled by perps were SUS and BUT for FANFOYS (unknown). I learned it as " and, or, nor, but yet for" but 'so' wasn't included.

Boston HERALD- I wanted GLOBE but it wasn't long enough; hadn't heard of the Herald.
Tempted to fill SMILE for the 'cheese' clue but the UPMire killed that thought and broke that SPELL.

Somewhere in GWTW I remember someone saying 'Miss Scarlet-t" in some scene.
With OBAMA, BIDEN, & ACLU as fills I SUSpect Marin & Andrew tilt a little to the left.
HAIR CARE- wouldn't have done any good for me and certainly doesn't now.

Tante Nique & Charlie Echo- I agree with you about the V for Victory sign.
Gary- with electronic UPMs, what will the managers do to start an argument?
CrossEyedDave_ Tinbeni?? He might have gone to Hedonism II again. Who knows.

CanadianEh! said...

Marvellous Monday. Thanks for the fun, Marin and Andrew, and sumdaze.
I FIRed and got the ICE BREAKER theme.

Perps changed Avila to AVELA.
Hand up for thinking of Tiara before JEWEL PERPED. Same with Smile to SPELL. (Cute clue)
I waited for perps to decide between AS TO or In Re.
Unlike Ray-o, my favourite was the clue for CELERY.

I’m not sure whether STONE is an Easter Egg, sumdaze. That’s bit of a stretch. But I wanted Rock, which is perhaps the more familiar term used here.

Vidwan- I smiled at your “sub-subgenius”.

Wishing you all a great Labour Day.

Misty said...

Interesting Monday puzzle, many thanks, Marin and Andrew. And always enjoy your commentary, Sumdaze, thanks for that too.

Well, as soon as I saw JEWEL I figured it was an OMEN and a HERALD for some fashion and party items. And we did get HAIR CARE and SOAP and TALC, so we seemed to be on the way. But, sadly, that was pretty much it for beauty. I then looked for some art, but it wasn't until the end that we got an EASEL and some ODES, but that it was it.

Time to look for something else, and at least we got some critters, a HORNET (not likely to make a good pet), and a LAB RAT, and, at last, a BIRD CAGE which will hopefully have a BIRD in it. Any chance the TSAR or OPRAH, or OBAMA, or BIDEN have any pets? I GUESS so, or, at least, hope so.

Have a good week coming up, everybody

waseeley said...

Thank you Marin and Andrew for a really COOL puzzle. TGIM again! This theme was trickier than it appeared as the letters E and I are the 1st and 3rd most frequent letters in the English language.

And thanks sumdaze for a really CHILL review. You really know how to BREAK THE ICE for the coming week.

A few favs:

25A HAIR CARE. Clever clue and even cleverer clip. I've never seen legally blond (I guess because I'm legally blond), but that scene will be PERMANENTLY etched in my memory.

14A AVILA. We've never been to AVILA, but we've been to Lisieux twice -- the birth place of St. Thรฉrรจse (the "Little Flower") and Teri's baptismal name.

70A AT SEA. Not only is Moby Dick considered the great American novel, it's also the great American opera.

37D AGE. Looks like those lads have been CATFISHED.

35D ERASE. LOVED that GIF sumdaze. Where'd ya get it?


TTP said...

Thank you, Marin Wells, Andrew Kingsley, and Sumdaze. Fun through and through. Hot and humid here, so I can't tend to the gardens or enjoy the outdoors. Ribs and sweet corn are on the agenda, but they will be done in the comfort of air conditioning. Might as well comment for a change.

I also did not know of the FANBOY mnemonic for the conjunctions... Those KIDS are cute, but there is something about a goat's pupils that gives me the heebie jeebies. I learned a very long time ago to steer clear of goats

I have found that the LA TIMES is pretty consistent. TSAR for the autocrats, CZAR for the business titans. Some other venues vary.

Unclefred, my guess is that there are some solvers that aren't really interested in understanding the theme, so circles don't do anything for them. I agree w/ Sumdaze. Sometimes that theme would be pretty hard to spot without the circles. The SAG puzzle last week was another prime example.

Me too, Jinx, up way too early. 2:15 here. Solved the puzzle, removed spam, read and read and read, and finally back to sleep. Thanks for the ICE tip. I'm going to do that, and also talk to my neighbor's daughter about putting a notice on her mom's refrigerator.

Husker Gary, was your GUILTY AS CHARGED admission when you were a student or in your role as an educator? :>) My HS Assistant Principal lived directly across the street from us. I may have been given a little bit of extra leeway now and then. An oddity: Her three sons had the same first names as me and my two brothers, and in the same order.

Also HG, yesterday there was an article and image of an MLB calling a batter out on a strike that was way out of the strike zone, just as in your image. If that wasn't egregious enough, the batter was called out on the second strike. The batter corrected him, and the UMP reversed his out decision. That UMP probably won't be chosen for the playoffs.

RosE - hand up for poultry seasoning as an all-around, but as may palate has changed, Weber's Kick'n Chicken is my new go-to.

A somewhat humorous series of thoughts on getting older.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Sumdaze brings this Wells/Kingsley PZL to us...

Well chosen illustrations!
I particularly enjoyed the cartoon illuminating SPICE.
Nice to see that Death doesn't always have the upper (final? tasty??) hand.

Can't say I am fond of the "GUAVA jelly" song.
Guess it hasta grow on ya.
One diagonal, far side.
Its anagram (14 of 15) identifies an artist who can translate James McNeill Whistler's "Arrangement in Grey & Black, No. 1" into 3D!
Yes, I speak of...


waseeley said...

Vidwan @5:25 AM sumdaze is a "she" and speculating about her mysterious biography is a favorite diversion of many Cornerites, especially the "he"s.

Jinx @7:59 AM 15A SPICE is in the blend NATIONAL SPICE BLEND DAY. I wonder if Patti planned the release of today's puzzle around that fill?

Ray - O @10:39 AM MISS SCARLETT is also a private detective.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

TTP - I like Burt's take on aging. I heard on a radio or TV show the other day that "it was a lot more fun being in my 20s in the 70s than it is being in my 70s in the 20s." I concur.

Jayce said...

I enjoyed solving this puzzle and reading the comments by all of you. I smiled at the clue for CELERY. I wrinkled my nose at the clue for BUT, and at the fill SUS and NYE.

I had a "six degrees of separation" experience yesterday. LW and I watched a movie called The Red Violin, about a fictional violin, which made me think of a real violin nicknamed "The Red Mendelssohn," which I then looked up to learn more about. It is a Stradivarius currently owned and played by Elizabeth Pitcairn. That last name is very familiar to me, and upon further research I learned that her aunt (her father's sister) is a former high-school classmate of mine whom I knew well.

And there's more. My best friend during high school (and we continued to be best friends throughout the years until his death 8 months ago) had a huge crush on her but his love was unrequited. I sat with him during multiple crying sessions. (We all know how dramatically emotional teenagers can be.) Well, it turns out he ended up marrying my cousin! And they have lived in Palo Alto for many years (where my family and I had also lived for years), making it easy for us to stay in contact all this time. Cool beans!

Good wishes to you all.

Vidwan827 said...

Its been a busy, busy afternoon - what between three visits of condolences, and one visit for a very sick friend. Unfortunately, that's the state of current affairs in this phase of my (our -) lives....

But, I did want to thank SumDaze for directing me to the Blog Posts page, and see our dedicated cyclist in person. The rest of the introductory stuff, that I had mentioned ... is none of my (our -) business, anyhow. Thank you for your volunteer work.

Thank you also for directing me to dear Boomer's obituary. It was around the time, last year, when I was fighting my own demons, in battle.

Now, onto the rest of the week !@!!!!!

Lucina said...


I almost didn't make it here on this Labor Day! I did finish the puzzle earlier today but am very tired. Last night was one of those when I had severe insomnia and did not sleep at all the entire night. It happens about every six months, unfortunately.

But the puzzle was fun and finished it in good Monday time.

sumdaze, thank you for the entertaining review and especially for posting the haunting song from EVITA. I love it!

This insomnia is a killer and right now I am exhausted. Luckily I have Netflix to watch during those long waking hours.

I hope you have all enjoyed your holiday!

Anonymous T said...

Happy Labor Day All!

Thanks Marin & Andrew for a labor-free puzzle - congrats on LAT Debut.

Thanks Sumdaze for the expo & cartoons (nudge, nudge).

Fav:I really liked the clue to HAIR CARE

I will second the recommendation for Good Omens. The apocalypse is LOL!

TTP - cute article on getting older.

Jayce - Cool stories.

Enjoyed reading y'all!
Cheers, -T

Michael said...

FWIW, English letter frequency is:

ETAOIN SHRDLU, and the rest rarer (in my mind, at a foggy 0010).