, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Sunday September 10, 2023 Meghan Morris


Sep 10, 2023

Sunday September 10, 2023 Meghan Morris

Theme: "Walk Around the Block" - 6 words that can precede "walk" take a tour around a black square (block).

25. "But there is a silver lining ... ": ON THE BRIGHT S(IDE). Sidewalk.

43. Made a volatile situation worse: ADDED FUEL TO THE F(IRE). Firewalk.

62. Scramble to meet a deadline: (RAC)E AGAINST TIME. Racewalk.

76. "Deadliest Catch" catch: ALASKAN KING C(RAB). Crabwalk.

97. Egg-laying mammal: (DUC)K-BILLED PLATYPUS. Duckwalk.

116. Beethoven piano classic: (MOO)N LIGHT SONATA. Moonwalk.

OK I'll copy and paste what Will Shortz wrote here: "Meghan Morris is an appellate public defender in Denver, where she lives with her partner and twin kindergarteners. She got into crosswords at the University of North Carolina, where she did them in The Daily Tar Heel."

Congrats on your LAT debut, Meghan! Very creative and consistent theme. And entries and key words are symmetrically placed, this is not always the case with this type of theme.


1. Jury makeup: PEERS.

6. "Look after yourself": BE SAFE Always listen to Agnes!

12. Took steps: ACTED.

17. Good for farming: FERTILE.

19. Los __, New Mexico: ALAMOS.

20. Moan and groan: WHINE.

21. Nuclear power sources: REACTORS.

23. Some digital watches: CASIOS. I think I got first one in 1987. Quite a rage then.

24. Actress Sykes: WANDA. Do you think she's funny?

27. Uno y uno: DOS.

29. Tater: SPUD.

30. Child's pose, e.g.: ASANA. Ask sumdaze about anything yoga-related. Or running. Or swimming. She's just amazing, Vidwan!

31. Watched: EYED.

33. Graphics that typically have AK and HI as insets: US MAPS.

35. City with Heat and Hurricanes: MIAMI.

39. __ Fridays: TGI.

40. Jaded sort: CYNIC.

42. "Sorry, lassie": NAE.

48. Devotee of Jah: RASTA.

50. Perkins known as the "King of Rockabilly": CARL.

51. Apartment divs.: RMS.

52. Currency of 94-Across: EURO. 94. Continental gp.: THE EU.

53. Shakespearean king: LEAR.

55. Christina of "Yellowjackets": RICCI.

57. None: ZERO.

58. Splotchy garment: SMOCK.

61. Steeped drink: TEA. And 68. Pub pints: ALES.

70. Opener: INTRO.

72. Italian peak: ALP.

73. Unhittable serve: ACE.

74. Hunts, with "on": PREYS.

75. French silk: SOIE. Also 108. Pâté de __ gras: FOIE. 9. French pal: AMI. 66. "Vous êtes __": French map phrase: ICI.

81. Pool float filler: AIR. Guess what my sweet neighbor at 5507 told me last week when I told her about the relentless weed smell from the 5501 renters? She smokes marijuana also, my God! No wonder I can't even enjoy baths. The bathroom is just so weedy. My air filter was red for 2 hours yesterday morning. Some bad air probably comes from the 5505 pot user.

82. Immune system component: T CELL.

84. New York canal: ERIE.

85. Library IDs: ISBNS.

87. Pollen pouches: SACS.

89. Signify: MEAN.

90. Visual communication syst.: ASL.

92. Depose: OUST.

101. Guys: HES. And 67. Guys: MEN. 86. Laddie: BOYO.

102. Australian greetings: G-DAYS.

104. Big name in gourmet pasta sauce: RAO. Never used this. Good?

105. Old Testament prophet: HOSEA.

106. Twist in pain: WRITHE.

111. Say: UTTER.

113. Oscar-winning film set in Iran: ARGO.

114. Olympic figure skater Midori: ITO.

122. Monopoly payments: RENTS.

124. Sleeve band: ARMLET.

126. Obama campaign slogan: YES WE CAN.

127. Something special: TREAT.

128. "__ 8": Sandra Bullock heist film: OCEAN'S. Ensemble cast.

129. Most prized: DEAREST.

130. "Alas ... ": SADLY.

131. Two-wheel scooter: SEGWAY.

132. Long-legged wader: STORK.


1. Hammer end: PEEN.

2. Basic Latin verb: ERAT.

3. Laser cut, perhaps: ETCH.

4. Walgreens rival: RITE AID. Do you guys use arnica gel? I bought this a few years ago to help Boomer with his pain and bruises. Now I use it often. I hit my left hand so hard into the pool edge last week when I did the backstrokes.

5. Ones who stay out of the pick-up game?: SLOBS. Nice clue.

6. "Goldberg Variations" composer: BACH.

7. Overjoy: ELATE.

8. Smart: SASSY.

10. Easter activity supply: FOOD DYE.

11. Petrol brand: ESSO.

12. "So cute!": AWW.

13. Abyss: CHASM.

14. Some disposable cookware: TIN PANS.

15. Get to, eventually: END UP AT.

16. Body of water that's nearly 10 times saltier than the ocean: DEAD SEA.

17. To and __: FRO.

18. Typo discovered after printing: ERRATUM.

22. Gets a little too close to a flame: SINGES.

26. "Birds of Prey" comic book writer Simone: GAIL. Learning moment for me.

28. __ generis: SUI.

32. Bounce back: ECHO.

34. "Beat it!": SCRAM.

35. Laptop choice: MAC. 74. 35-Down alternatives: PCS. 119. Big name in 74-Down: ACER.

36. "That's too scary for me": I DARE NOT. I asked David a while ago what his biggest fear was. He said "trapped in the cloud".

37. Balkans border: ADRIATIC.

38. Sporty Spice of the Spice Girls: MEL C.

41. Saints' org.: NFL.

44. Cold, in Cancún: FRIA.

45. High schooler, usually: TEEN.

46. Yours and mine: OURS.

47. Jog: TROT.

49. Loud, as a crowd: AROAR.

54. -speak: ESE.

56. Corp. head: CEO.

57. Compresses, in a way: ZIPS.

59. Post-spill operations: CLEAN-UPS.

60. Debate focus: KEY ISSUE.

61. Poetic contraction: TIS.

63. Lass: GAL.

64. In the manner of: ALA.

65. Opinion: TAKE.

69. Former union member: Abbr.: SSR.

71. Actress Witherspoon: REESE.

76. Wine bottle abbr.: ALC. OK, alcohol.

77. Nautical spine: KEEL.

78. North __ Sea: Kazakh lake: ARAL. I only know Aral Sea.

79. Sudoku digit: NINE.

80. __ monster: GILA.

83. Chuckle: LAUGH.

88. Reggae kin: SKA.

89. Japanese soup: MISO. Yellowrocks has mentioned this a few times. Miso is the paste. You want "miso soup", misoshiru, never "miso" alone for the soup. But we're in America.

90. Disinterest: APATHY.

91. Like some spoons: SLOTTED.

93. Airport safety org.: TSA.

94. Stymies: THWARTS.

95. Venezuelan designer Carolina: HERRERA. I have the full set of these bags she made for Target ages ago. Very pretty. Guess what I put inside?

96. Approved, as a PDF contract: E-SIGNED.

98. Using coercion: BY FORCE.

99. Pharmacy purchase: DRUG.

100. Attempt to hit: THROW AT.

103. Agnus __: DEI.

107. Add up to: TOTAL.

109. Spouse's sibling, e.g.: IN-LAW. My sister-in-law Connie has been amazing. We've been very close after she moved back to Minneapolis last December.

C.C. & Connie, Vegas, 2019

110. Justice Kagan: ELENA.

112. Swiss borders?: ESSES. Swiss.

115. Art community in New Mexico: TAOS.

117. Teeny: ITSY.

118. Wolfe of "Death of a Doxy": NERO.

120. Chore: TASK.

121. Wee worker: ANT.

123. Pigpen: STY.

125. The White Stripes drummer White: MEG.

Alright, here's my flawed freestyle. I did not expect swimming to be so hard when I jumped into the water back in June. I still only feel comfortable breathing from one side. I'm right-handed, somehow I kick harder on my left leg. Those are the flutter kicks, D-Otto!



PK said...

Hi Y'all! Yep, I'm up and at 'em in the middle of the night again. Thanks, Meghan, for an engrossing, difficult but doable puzzle. Took 51 minutes.

Thanks, C.C., for a fine expo and for giving us a glimpse into your life. Great to see you swimming! Glad to know your sister-in-law has been there for you. I'd think all that marijuana smoke would be dangerous to your health. Wish you could move elsewhere to cleaner air.

I didn't catch on to the "walk" part of the theme, but I did get the gimmick with the circles going around the block.

Subgenius said...

I didn’t catch on to the “walk” part of the theme until I got here, either, PK, and I looked hard for some kind of connecting link! That being said, the circles made the gimmick quite obvious (sorry, SS!) and that definitely helped with the solve . Anyway, FIR, so I’m happy.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Here's another hand up for missing "walk." This one was a straight-forward solve. Sundays are always a bit of a slog, but no problems, no drama, no Wite-out. The stacked sevens lower left and upper right were very nice. Thanx, Meghan and C.C. (Why was I thinking your "flutter kick" was some sort of jujitsu or karate move?)

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR, but erased beware for BE SAFE, ariable for FERTILE, PLATaPUS, men for HES, anklet for ARMLET, crane for STORK, erratta for ERRATUM, frio for FIRA, and RMS (STET.)

Today is:
NATIONAL PET MEMORIAL DAY (the Rainbow Bridge poem)
NATIONAL HUG YOUR HOUND DAY (around our house, that’s only days that end in “y”)
NATIONAL SWAP IDEAS DAY (after I told my DW #1 that I had swap ideas, I had to eat…)
NATIONAL TV DINNER DAY (my mom would wash, refill and refreeze the aluminum trays)
NATIONAL GRANDPARENTS DAY (I really only knew my paternal grandmother)

OK, is MEG White a metaclue by Meghan?

My most fun CASIO had a phone book and speed call capability. I could select a phone number, then hold the watch to the phone, and it would beep out the touch-tones to connect the call. I also set it up to beep out my long distance credit card number, but that was a little less successful. I tried to use it mainly at airport pay phones, and had to use the dial-around access code (10333?) to get me to Sprint (which the company owned,) then the number I was calling, then the credit card number at the sound of the tone. Using the watch was too cumbersome to get through all those digit strings without timing out the call.

Never heard of BOYO. Guessing it has Great Britain origin.

Can a jar pasta sauce be "gourmet?" Sounds like "fine box wine" to me.

Thanks to Meghan for the fun, clever puzzle. And thanks to CC for the explanations and a peek into your world. I was thinking that I might enjoy the contact high from living in your building, but I already have enough trouble staying out of the snacks without having the munchies. And my guess is that you have peanuts in the elephant bag for trips to Twins games.

Big Easy said...

With the circles I finally caught the WALK around but never noticed the different walks. Just wanted to FIR and I did. I DARE NOT WHINE about any constructor's work but unknown proper names (MEL C and RICCI) crossing a foreign word (FRIA) crossing the walking RACE gave me fits before I worked it out.

BOYO, GAIL, HERRERA, MEG, ESE (????), FRIA, RICCI, MEL C, SOIE, ICI, ASANA,- didn't know any of those as clued.

Jinx- RAO- never heard of it before some company bought it a few weeks ago and paid over two $billion for it. When we go eat at Italian restaurants I always tell the waiter to leave off all the sauce and put it in another dish. I don't like my food smothered in sauce and put on the amount I like.

C.C.- as for your Herrera bag I know you did not put and ELEPHANT in it.

KS said...

FIR, but failed to see the walk angle of the theme. However, this posed no threat to my whipping through this CW.
Only total unknown was Herrera? Other than that, perps saw me through with ease.

Anonymous said...

Took 14:15 today to ... walk around the block, I guess.

Oh joy, circles!
(Apology accepted, SubG.)

Lots to like in this one (aside from those dreaded circles), but a few clunkers too, e.g., today's designer, the drummer, all the foreign words (or words from, or of, foreign places, whichever is the technically proper way to describe them).

I knew two of today's actresses (Sykes & Reese), but not the other one (Ricci).
Like Meatloaf says, "2 out of 3 ain't bad."

C.C., do just like Dory says, "just keep swimming."

Lee said...

Took a while to finish, but I agree that it was ultimately doable. Perps appeared when needed and the phrases of the theme were recognizable.

The dueling 7's in the NE and SW were impressive, DO. What would have been more impressive would have been to have the same in the NW and SE. Actually, the SE is already there, just add an "S" in the corner.

Outstanding job, Meghan. Keep up the swimming, C.C. It is great you have a pool available. I always found that kicking was the hardest part of swimming.

Bye, bye all.

CrossEyedDave said...

walk around the block?

Adele said...

Pretty fun puzzle…was able to figure it out and get it done in 35:15. Just had to add my 2 cents about Rao’s jarred sauce. Having grown up in an Italian household, with an Italian Restaurant…I’m a bit of a sauce “snob”. I think Rao’s is an excellent replacement if you don’t have the time for homemade. It is a little pricey though.

Charlie Echo said...

This one was not easy, but I found it enjoyable. Took quite a bit of back-and-forth, as I held off on a bunch of entries until checking the perps. Saves on WiteOut! Clever themes, once I got the gimmick, but never caught on to the walks. I don't think I would have gotten it without circles today. Thanks for the Rainbow Bridge, Jinx. DW and I have some dear friends waiting there.

Husker Gary said...

-BE SAFE is the sentiment of all of us in her extended family for dear C.C.
-What a fun gimmick. I should have read the title for the “rest of the story”.
-During today’s NFL games, some players will WRITHE in agony after getting injured
-ALAS, the Husker FB team fumbled away another game yesterday. The VB girls, however, won big.
-TIN PAN – We still use a TIN pizza PAN after over 50 years of use
-In 2022, the TSA THWARTED 6,301 attempts to get a gun onto a flight
-I loved the video, C.C.!

Monkey said...

Very satisfying puzzle, enough challenge to engage. I also didn’t notice the WALKS. I was so pleased to have finished, I smugly walked away.

Quite a few unknowns, but perps helped and a WAG for CARL and MEL C.

The PLATYPUS is a ridiculous animal. I believe it’s native to Australia.

CC, what do you have in that lovely bag?

Acesaroundagain said...

This one was a pretty easy "walk around the block". No problems, but I missed the walk aspect of the circles. CC you're probably getting a little high from all that smoke. What a pain. Nice swimming. Try bending your arms a little when they come out of the water for a smoother arm turnover. GC

Wendybird said...

I take back everything negative I’ve said about circles- I found them really helpful today to get started on the theme clues. It took me quite a while to finish, but I enjoyed the challenge. Lots of interesting clues and perps got me through the unknown names quagmires. Thank you, Megan!

Speaking of challenges, CC, I so admire you for learning to swim now. The video looks great, and you look pretty darned smooth for a beginner. I’ll make some more comments “off line”. Keep it up!!

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

I had to reveal "I DARE NOT" to fill the western border

Yes, C.C., we've had RAO's - it is really tasty and not overly salty nor sugary

waseeley said...

Thank you Meghan for the pleasant Sunday 1/2 mile stroll.

And thank C.C. for explaining the clever theme. I liked the way that the themers looped around at the end of each block.

A few favs:

116A MOONLIGHT SONATA. Thia sonata was actually named by the poet Ludwig Resstab in 1832, five years after Beethoven's death. The moniker derives from the dreamy first movement that reminded the poet of moonlight. . But in the 3rd movement this MOON erupts into a "Presto Agitato"!

6D BACH. BACH wrote the eponymous variations were for harpsichordist Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who used play them for his boss who suffered from chronic insomnia. Here's Bach master Glenn Gould performing Variation #1 of 30.

Note to C.C. - Get someone to teach you the side stroke. Very relaxing and your head is always above the water.


waseeley said...

Jinx @7:25 AM ... you had to eat ... in the dog house?

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Bill, funny. Yes, a TV dinner in the dog house.

Anonymous T said...

Sunday Lurk say... Hi all!

I got 1/3 way through the puzzle over breakfast tacos I built b/f it was too many words for my little (dyslexic) brain to deal with.
//when I sub for C.C. understand the undertaking.

C.C.: - Wanda Sykes is funny when you think what she's thinking. Never had RAO's sauce. If I don't make my own, I get a jar of Classico - it's not bad.
Oh, and your swimming - keep at it. Legs don’t need to move so much to propel and you can breath by bobbing your head straight up. We are descendants of the water.

FLN: OKL, I tried to put Almond Oil and Doily in a rhyme. I too was stymied.

Jinx - Rainbow Bridge (er, tunnel) is in SFO at the end of a bridge. #RIP Robin Williams.

TanteNique - Platypus(es | i(?)) are secret spies.

The only more I can add (so far) today is silly walks.

Cheers, -T

Monkey said...

-T that clip makes me miss Fawlty Towers. ¿Qué?

sumdaze said...

Thanks, Meghan for your Sunday stroll! I noticed that the circled letters were full-on words -- not just the first or last 4 letters -- but I did not catch the "walk" element. Nice job!
FIW @ 61D with 'TIl, not 'TIS. French fabric didn't help this time.
FAV: City with Heat & Hurricanes

Thanks for your write-up and compliment, C.C.! The swim video makes me happy for you! Yes on the Arnica gel but I find it works best when applied early and often. If I wait for the next day to apply it, I still get a bruise. Good stuff!

Fun videos, -T @ 3:54.

Jayce said...

I enjoyed this puzzle a lot, and actually understood the walkarounds. The key for me was MOONLIGHT SONATA. I hadn’t heard the term RACEWALK before and still don’t know quite what it is. Because of that, I had MEL B instead of MEL C and FRIO instead of FRIA. Last to fill was the S crossing TIS and SOIE. (I had an L there.)

Good reading you all.

Sandyanon said...

Off topic, but...
Novak just got #24 !!

Anonymous said...

Hello, can someone please explain 54 down to me? How does "-speak" become ESE?

TTP said...

ESE - originating from, or of the language of a people, place or a group. For example, goods or cuisine originating from Milan would be Milanese, or from Canton would be Cantonese. Or the language of a people, such as Japanese or Vietnamese.

The hyphenated "-speak" is informal for the argot of a group.
For example, think of the language of lawyers... legalese. Legal-speak.
Perhaps geek-speak, tech-speak for computer whizzes. You get the idea.

Cross@words said...

My Spanish speaking mathematics students all would have said uno mas uno for 27A.