, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Tuesday, September 19, 2023 Zach Moore


Sep 19, 2023

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 Zach Moore

Spirits in the Material World:  The first word in each theme answer is an other-worldly Spirit.

20-Across. Ability to keep cool under pressure: PRESENCE OF MIND.

25-Across. Small beards: SOUL PATCHES.  Everything you ever wanted to know about a Soul Patch.

47-Across. Chile that's among the hottest in the world: GHOST PEPPER.

And the unifier:
52-Across. "I like your attitude!," and what can be said about the starts of 20-, 25-, and 47-Across?: THAT'S THE SPIRIT.

Arrgh!  Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day.  I hope you didn't abandon ship as you completed today's puzzle.

1. Like a grand-scale tale or fail: EPIC.  Don't try this at home.

5. Obligation: ONUS.

9. Activist Thunberg who is the youngest Time Person of the Year: GRETA.  Greta Thunberg (née Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg; b. Jan. 3, 2003) was on the December 19, 2019 cover of Time magazine.  She was 16 years old at the time.  [Name # 1.]

14. Top-ranked: A-ONE.

15. Eggplant __: Italian entree, briefly: PARM.  Yummers!  Eggplant Parmesan is one of our favorites.

16. Strung along: LED ON.

17. Civil rights icon Parks: ROSA.  Rosa Parks (née Rosa Louise McCauley; Feb. 4, 1913 ~ Oct. 24, 2005) is best known for her role in the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott.  After her death, her casket was placed in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol for two days of public viewing. She was the first woman and the second African-American to lie in state at the Capitol.  She was the 31st person and the first American who had not been a United States government official, and the second private person (after the French city planner Pierre L’Enfant) to be honored in this way.  [Name # 2.]

18. Logician's "therefore": ERGO.  Today's Latin lesson.

19. "Let me clarify ... ": I MEAN ...  Aye, Aye!

23. "__ la vie!": C'EST.  Today's French lesson.  That's life!

24. Labor Day mo.: SEPT.  Our current month and more of today's Latin lesson.  The name September is of Latin origin.  September or meaning “seven,” from the Latin “septem.”  September is the ninth month of the calendar.  The old Roman calendar had just ten months a year and September was the seventh month.

29. Org. whose annual awards are presented at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena: CMA. The next Country Music Awards ceremony will be on November 8, 2023.

32. Spare in a trunk: TIRE.

33. Male pal: BRO.

34. Deadly: LETHAL.

36. Sought-after guests: A-LIST.

38. Sr.'s nest egg acronym: IRA.  As in the Individual Retirement Account.

40. Paper unit: SHEET.

41. Laughs at the joke, say: GETS IT.  He who laughs last didn't get the joke.

43. Roxy Music co-founder Brian: ENO.  Brian Eno makes very frequent guest appearances on Tuesdays.  [Name # 3.]

Then and Now.

45. Gutter spot: EAVE.

46. Surname in the freezer aisle: EDY.  This brand of ice cream appears often in the puzzles.  It's known for being slow-churned, which it claims makes its ice cream so good.  [Name # 4.]

50. Hip and stylish: CHIC.

51. Tangy: TART.

58. Gaggle members: GEESE.  Hi, CanadianEh!

59. Greek aperitif: OUZO.  Ouzo is a dry anise-flavored aperitif.  It is a clear liquid, but if you add water (ice), it will turn cloudy.

60. "Good job": NICE.  Also a French city on the French Riviera.

61. Clear kitchen wrap: SARAN.

62. South American country with most of the world's alpacas: PERU.

63. Kept in the email loop: CC'ED.

64. Build up: AMASS.

65. "__ on the roof / And kicked off the moss": lyrics in Elton John's "Your Song": I SAT.  Time for a musical interlude.  I don't think I ever actually listened to the words of this song.

66. Squeezes (out): EKES.

1. Wyatt of the Old West: EARP.  Wyatt Earp (né Wyatt Berry Stapp; b. Mar. 19, 1848 ~ Jan. 13, 1929) is best known for the infamous shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.  [Name # 5.]

2. Below average: POOR.

3. State of self-doubt: INSECURITY.

4. Never-ending: CEASELESS.

5. Subwindow in a browser: OPEN TAB.

6. Drug cop: NARC.

7. Insist: URGE.

8. Press into a small space: SMOOSH.

9. Brief looks: GLIMPSES.

10. Send money: REMIT.

11. Genesis garden: EDEN.

12. Frog kin: TOAD.

13. __ Taylor Loft: ANN.  Ann Taylor Loft is a women's clothing store.  Clothing sold there is cheaper / less expensive than similar clothing sold at at Ann Taylor.  There is no actual person named Ann Taylor  related of the store.  [Name adjacent.]

21. Sixth sense letters: ESP.  As in ExtraSensory Perception.  A bit of a bonus as ESP may relate to today's theme.

22. Sense: FEEL.

25. Place for a play: STAGE.

26. Lubricated: OILED.

27. One more than bi-: TRI.

28. Pear centers: CORES.

29. Rock band known for the power ballad "The Flame": CHEAP TRICK.  The band Cheap Trick has been around since 1973 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.  [Name # 6.]

30. Novelist Binchy: MAEVE.  Maeve Binchy (née Anne Maeve Binchy; May 28, 1939 ~ July 20, 2012) is an Irish novelist.  I read one of her novels for one of my book clubs.  It was like reading a Lifetime movie.  [Name # 7.]

31. Change: ALTER.

35. Political treatise by Machiavelli: THE PRINCE.  The Prince was and attempt by Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (May 3, 1469 ~ June 21, 1527) to provide a political guide on how to acquire poser, create a state and keep it.   His belief that politics has its own rules shocked his readers.  His name has become a synonym for political maneuvers marked by cunning, duplicity, or bad faith.  Interestingly, The Prince was first published in 1532 ~ 5 years after Machiavelli died.

37. Makes less loose, as screws: TIGHTENS.

39. Aardvark's morsel: ANT.

42. "Watch __ space": THIS.

44. Decides to withdraw: OPTS OUT.

48. Squid kin: OCTOPI.

49. "The Raven" poet's monogram: EAP.  Edgar Allan Poe (Jan. 19, 1809 ~ Oct. 7, 1949) wrote The Raven.  [Name # 8.]

50. Homes in Havana: CASAS.  Today's Spanish lesson.

52. United group: TEAM.

53. Olympian queen who cursed Echo: HERA.  Hera is the Greek goddess of women, marriage and childbirth.  [Name # 9.]

54. Tints: HUES.

55. Vampire Weekend lead singer Koenig: EZRA.  I'm not familiar with either the band nor its lead singer.  Ezra Koenig (né Ezra Michael Koenig; b. Apr. 8, 1984).  [Name # 10.]

56. Drink brand with a polar bear in its logo: ICEE.  Yummers!  Especially refreshing on these hot summer days.

57. "Bill & __ Excellent Adventure": TED'S.  Keanue Reeves (né Keanu Charles Reeves; Sept. 2, 1964) and Alex Winter (né Alexander Ross Winter; July 17, 1965) starred in the 1989 film, Bill & Ted Excellent Adventure.  It was about 2 high school students who traveled in time.  [Name # 11.]

58. Govt. property overseer: GSA.  As in the General Services Administration.  Sumdaze thinks the office is usually closed on Mondays, but that's because it is a bit obscure for the beginning of the week.  It looks like you can Chat with the office from Sunday at 9:00 pm through Friday at 9:30 pm Eastern Time.  So, GSA may be the word of the week ~ just not on Saturdays.

Here's the Grid:



Subgenius said...

Once again we have a Tuesday puzzle which, to me, seemed easier than the Monday puzzle . And although I usually don’t think in terms of “ white-out” because I always do the puzzle on my phone, O would say this puzzle would qualify as “white-out” free. Anyway, FIR, so I’m happy.

Subgenius said...

Somehow my “I would say” came out as “O would say.” Don’t ask me how!

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Never heard of a "SOUL PATCH." Thought LOFT was Ann Taylor's last name. But it all came down to IS IT? or IS AT? IS IT won. "I SAT" never occurred to d-o. Bzzzzzzt. Thanx, Zach and Hahtoolah. I'm off to the abasement now.

Anonymous said...

The plural of octopus is octopuses instead of octopi, which I learned from reading The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery - an excellent book!

desper-otto said...

Anon@5:51 -- Merriam-Webster says both plurals are correct.

unclefred said...

Yep, Monday come on a Tuesday this week. FIR in less than usual Tuesday time, which I’m quite happy about. No W/Os today, and the CW filled smoothly. Wow, I even got the theme!! I thoroughly enjoyed this CW, thanx, ZM, although I also never heard of a “soul patch”. I didn't even notice the names, they just filled right in, either I knew the name or it perped so easy I never struggled. Hahtoolah, we can always count on you for a sterling write-up, and you came through again today. Thanx for all the time and effort you put into your write-ups for our entertainment.

KS said...

FIR. Seemed easy for a Tuesday, more like a Monday puzzle.
I'm not familiar with soul patches, and I've had a beard most of my adult life. Also Maeve and Ezra were complete mysteries to me. Thank heavens for the perps.

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Crossword friends.

Webster's defines a Soul Patch as "a small growth of beard under a man's lower lip". I added a link that provides insight into its origin.

QOD: Good things happen slowly; bad things happen fast. ~ Abigail Thomas (b. 1941), American writer

Vidwan827 said...

Thank You Zach Moore for a nice and interesting puzzle. Had a lovely time !

Thank You Hahtoolah for your always humorous commentary and your oh-so appropriate cartoons. They are fun to watch and must have taken you a long time to select them for the blog.

I finished the puzzle so fast I had no time to think of the theme.

Re:: Ghost peppers ... these chillies, with the super high capsacin ( the alkaloid that causes the burning sensation, on the tongue and in the sides of the mouth .... and maybe, the eventual heartburn ) capsacin levels, are named in a misnomer.

Those peppers were first discovered in the far eastern state of India ... Assam, of the tea gardens fame... In Assam, the chillies are known as "Bhoot - jolakhia " . The latter half, jolakhia means 'pepper', the first half 'Bhoot' was meant, by the locals, to mean '(imported) from Bhutan, a small kingdom, nearby...

Unfortunately, the socalled "Indian" interpreters, who worked for the anthropologists, did not know Assamese, so they applied the word, as in the Hindi language, where the word means 'ghost' ... hence the misnomer... ghost peppers. There is actually no ghost involved...

Personally, I wouldn't know a ghost from an assamese... ;-)
BTW, another type of spirit(s), that could have been included, would have been alcohol. Although Ouzo was there...

Growing up in Bombay, which was then, pre-1970, a 'dry' state, where there was strict prohibition, and potable alcohol was forbidden, or illegal, ... the only 'spirit' I knew, was 'denatured spirit', .... or ethyl alcohol purposely contaminated with 5% methyl alcohol to make it poisonous and non-drinkable. But it could still be used as a lighter for kerosene stoves, and as a diluent for varnishes and paints.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR, but erased duty for ONUS.

Today is:
TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY (*what’s a pirate’s favorite letter?)
NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY (Bumperspeak: "If you vote the choice is yours. If you don’t vote, the choice is theirs.")
NATIONAL BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING DAY (I may be the only adult on Earth that doesn’t like butterscotch)
NATIONAL IT PROFESSIONALS DAY (thanks to retired and working Cornerites who are IT folks)
*No, a pirate’s favorite letter isn’t “arrrrr,” it’s “p.” Without a “p”, a "pirate" is "irate."

To me, "insist" and URGE are different.

Spare TIRE in a trunk? Oh, that's so 8-track.

I've always heard that sixth sense is ESP. I've always thought "how can any sense be extrasensory?"

Jaques once said "All the world's a STAGE."

CSO to today's Jumble at "aardvark." As usual, I solved it without doing the anagrams.

I knew about soul patches from a story arc in Californication.

For some reason, SMOOSH made me think of mammograms.

Thanks to Zach for the fun puzzle, and to Ha2la for the great review. The BRO fails were amazing, but my favorite was the graph paper.

inanehiker said...

This moved right along and, typical for me, took about 30sec to a minute longer than yesterday.

A few years back the SOUL PATCH and skinny jeans with a flannel shirt was the epitome of the
"cool" youth pastor or worship leader

Gotta get to work - thanks Hatoolah and Zach!

Ray - O - Sunshine said...

Not a trying Tuesday by any means.
Interesting theme, easy-to-parse long answers providing lots of perpage

Inkovers : bud/BRO (If a “male friend” is a BRO Would a female friend be a Bra? 🫢)

“Machiavelli” corrupted from Mal (evil) Clavo (nail) seems appropriate 😈. On a lighter note: SARAN wrap named for the inventor’s wife and daughter Sarah and Ann

We can now add SMOOSH to owie, uie etc. nonsense fill. Spare TIRE in a trunk or tyre in a boot if yer a Brit. They once called a spare TIRE a stepney . Frog kin = toad, frogkin = tadpole?

Need to put “LEaD ON” (radspeak for donning a lead apron) to do procedures.

Problem a partially sighted person faces….. CEASELESS
Guinness, Blue Moon Belgian, Sierra Nevada Pale….. ALIST
Von Trappe daughter who sang with a lisp…LETHAL
What the Civil War South did…CCED
“Bill and ____ excellent “talks” …..TEDS

Painter coming today. DW doesn’t trust me to do the job. Iffen I did I’d hafta submit to the inevitable critiques so best for all to hire it out ☺️

Anonymous said...

Took 4:16 today for me to finish my whiskey.
(Oh, the other kinds of spirits.)

I agree with the prior posters that this seemed like a Monday puzzle, and I had the same unknowns as KS (today's author and today's singer).

Parsan said...

Fun and easy, thanks ZM. Knew SOUL PATCHES but not GHOST PEPPERS. Field before STAGE, sect/TEAM. Agree about MAEVE books, but I only read one, so maybe others were better. IS AT? No, I SAT.

Hahtoolah - Nice review! Perhaps a slip of the finger, but EAP 140 years old?

Happy day, all!

OwenKL said...

Adam had a wood frame house
In EDEN, where he found a spouse.
With roof o'er head,
In the Bible read,
The story of Adam and EAVE!

Reading, and wRighting, and 'Rithmatic
Are the Arrrs on a pirate ship.
That's the way
That pirates say
Most everything on Talk Like A Pirate Day!

CanadianEh! said...

Terrific Tuesday. Thanks for the fun, Zachary and Hahtoolah. (Sorry about those messy GEESE)
I FIRed in very good time with no inkblots, and saw the Spirit theme.

Perps were friendly for unknown names.
I recognized GSA today. Will I remember it next week?
We have seen MAUVE in CWs before, and I have enjoyed some of her books as a result.
We had AONE and ALIST today. (And AMASS). Then we moved down the alphabet to CCED.

Jinx- I noted the J connection too.
Lucina- enjoy your trip

Off to Niagara-on-the-Lake Shaw Festival this afternoon.
Wishing you all a great day.

Monkey said...

WEES. Smooth CW this morning. Thank you Hahtoolah for the link to SOUL PATCH. Interesting.

The last to fill were CMA since I’d never heard of MAEVE, and head scratcher IS AT, oh, it’s I SAT.

GHOST PEPPERS and their ilk are not in my vocabulary since I dislike spicy food.

Anonymous said...

The Oxford English Dictionary lists octopuses, octopi, and octopodes (the order reflecting decreasing frequency of use), stating that the last form is rare. The online Oxford dictionary states that the standard plural is octopuses, that octopodes is still occasionally used, and that octopi is incorrect.

CrossEyedDave said...

In regards to the theme...

my take on the the theme...

And Irish Miss says I'm an Imp...

Charlie Echo said...

Shiver me timbers! FI RRRR in faster time than yesterday. Taken aback by BUD/BRO, but sailed through the scurvey names by hook and by perp.

desper-otto said...

Gary, you're supposed to finish drinking one before opening another.

RosE said...

Good Morning! Thanks for today’s puzzle, Zach. I found the South a little trickier than the top and I liked the theme.

FIR with lots of perp help: CHEAP TRICK, THE PRINCE, HERA (as clued), EZRA,
GHOST (I never venture beyond jalapeno…). Hand up for IS AT??? Oh, I SAT! LOL!

Thanks, Hah2lah for another fun review. Loved the giraffe paper and the Canadian geese. CSO CE😉

Parsan said...

FLN - I did not comment yesterday but I wanted to add this information about DNA. My sister and I spent many hours over a number of years searched for a long lost 1st cousin,, to no avail. She applied to Ancestry and received a familial match. She notified the man and he was the son of our cousin. A very happy ending!

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I didn’t see the connection with the themers until I read the reveal clue and then, with just a couple of helper letters, immediately filled in That’s The Spirit. Nice reveal to a cute theme. Cheap Trick and Ezra, as clued, were the only unknowns and the sole w/o was Pal/Bro. I was happy to be reminded of Maeve Binchey as I enjoyed many of her novels. She may not have been what the critics consider a “Literary” writer, but she had a marvelous talent for story telling with a deep understanding of human nature. One of my favorites was The Lilac Bus, a compilation of several short stories, all interconnected.

Thanks, Zach, for a pleasant solve and thanks, Hahtoolah, for another gem of a review. The video of the “Epic” fails had me alternating between laughter and wincing at some of what had to be painful outcomes! Favorite ‘toons were the “spare” wagon wheel, the melting ice cream cone and, Best In Show, the graph paper.

Have a great day.

waseeley said...


Extremely busy yesterday, but I did get time for the puzzle, but didn't get a chance to thank Dan for the construction and sumdaze for the review. Favorite bling was the Rainbow Eucalyptus. We eat a lot of legumes too. And right now we have TONS of Zucchini. If you act fast I could arrange free shipping.

Today's puzzle:

Thanks Zach for a truly inSPIRing Tuesday and thanks for the silly SEANCE Susan.

A few favs:

58A GEESE. Err, that's CANADA Geese. Beautiful birds.

61A SARAN. The morning we received word that one of our son's 4 cats (FIZZY) just had 7 kittens. Anybody out there need a cat? We could package one up in SARAN WRAP and ship it to you free.

65A I SAT. Thanks for making me listen to that song Susan. I suspect that Sir John is talking to someone very special. It reminded me of this other love song.

5D OPEN TAB. Also an unpaid BAR BILL.

6D NARC. With the legalization of Cannabis in MD NARCS are like the Maytag repair man. No wait -- there's still illegal opioids, heroin, cocaine, crack, and speed. If we keep plugging away I'm sure we'll win this war eventually. Until then it provides full employment to the penal system.

29D CHEAP TRICK. DNK this band. Nice lick.

55D EZRA. Here's why you've never heard of him.


p.s. Here's the puzzle C.C. posted yesterday. It was a real tear jerker. Plus it has site specific meta fill (you'll have to solve it to see what I mean).

waseeley said...

Jinx @7:30 AM NATIONAL BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING DAY. I'm sure you'd like BUTTERSCOTCH if you met her. She's the mother of FIZZY, the aforementioned cat that just birthed the 7 kittens. They're still available.

TTP said...


desper-otto said...


Anonymous said...

waseeley via cell
Anon @9:09AM Just parse it in quotes -- it's amurican slang for a highly intelligent cephalopod 😀

Misty said...

Neat and enjoyable Tuesday puzzle, many thanks, Zach. And your pictures are always a delight, Hahtoolah, thanks for those too.

Well, EPIC got us off to a hopeful start, promising us an A LIST with A-ONE characters, maybe with a great TEAM of CHIC heroes on STAGE, like a NICE PRINCE. THAT would have given us an EDEN, wouldn't it? But the real world was conjured up too, with worries about INSECURITY, and CEASELESS problems and LETHAL possibilities that would TIRE us out. At that point it's best just to enjoy the critters, the GEESE and the TOAD and those big OCTOPI. THAT'S THE SPIRIT for dealing with an up and down puzzle like this.

Have a great day, everybody.

waseeley said...

FLN 2 DNA - Police are getting DNA data from people who think they opted out of sharing it.

RosE said...

Waseeley, gotcha, I stand corrected: Canada geese. Still a funny toon, eh?

Anonymous said...

waseeley via cell - RosE @2:38 PM. Actually I was commenting on Hahtoolah's caption, not your comment - completely missed the Ehs -- thx for that. 😊

Jinx in Norfolk said...


Husker Gary said...

-The movie Ghost, did a great job on this theme’s topic
-Changing a spare TIRE was much easier for a 1955 Chevy!
-We had an OUZO-like aperitif at a wedding in Italy. I remember some of that night. :-)
-I usually have way too many TABS OPEN.
-Kids use NARC as a verb for telling on someone.
-I had a principal once who was very Machiavellian

sumdaze said...

I enjoyed solving Zach's puzzle and reading Hahtoolah's terrific review!

The BRO EPIC fails looked LETHAL!

This weekend is the local Greek Festival. I am looking forward to partaking of the OUZO.

Did anyone look closely at the Llama side of that chart?

It's true. I did say I thought the GSA was closed on Mondays because I thought it was a bit obscure for a Monday. While I was writing that 'joke' I thought, "I hope someone GETS IT."

RosE said...

Yikes - next Sat. Blog posted!!?

Jinx in Norfolk said...

Bill, although I think that Zoё is wonderful in just about every way, Greyhound Pets of America rated her "not cat safe." As much as I'd like to become known around the neighborhood as that crazy old cat guy, I'll have to pass.

sumdaze said...

Thanks, RosE @ 4:31. H-Gary is fixing it now.

waseeley said...

sumdaze @3:57 PM Re Alpacas vs Llamas: Yes, I read it with some curiosity and just assumed that the latter are on the right wing of the camelid family. 😀

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Cute theme and a fun grid, Zach; thanks.

Amusing expo, as always, Hahtoolah. Loved Police's Spirits in the Material World (from the album Ghost in the Machine) and the "No WiFi" sign.

WOs: N/A
Fav: CHEEP TRICK but not for "The Flame" -- Surrender [4:28] is more my speed ;-)

{A, B+}

There's a band that thinks they're Better than EZRA. [Good 3:10]


Sumdaze - the joke was not lost on me.

Cheers, -T

Anonymous said...

It seemed to be a tribute to her late husband.

TTP said...





Hahtoolah said...

Waseeley: The caption came with the cartoon.

Anonymous T said...

C.C.: A poignant puzzle. *Virtual Hug*

TTP: I don't get it... A guy like you doesn't have at least two or three keyboards in a closet somewhere with PS/2 to USB adapters hanging off the end?

Heck, I look around my study and (count 1, 2, 3) 3 keyboards strewn about. This doesn't include the keyboard on my main laptop. I'm sure there's at least 5 in a box in the study closet :-)

Cheers, -T

waseeley said...

Hahtoolah @ 7:41 PM Sorry about that. I was just being pedantic to show off what little I know about birding. As RosE pointed out it was a really funny cartoon. 🙂

Chairman Moe said...

Puzzling thoughts:

Just a Moe-ku:

Steak Sauce enlisted
Instead of getting drafted;
A ONE was 1-A