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


Oct 31, 2023

Tuesday, October 31, 2023 Hoang-Kim Vu and Jessica Zetzman Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

19-Across. Restaurant that operates within another restaurant: GHOST KITCHEN.  Hand up if you knew of Ghost Kitchens.

27-Across. With 32-Across, embarrassing secret: SKELETON.  //  And 32. See 27-Across: IN THE CLOSET.  Together, this gives us a SKELETON IN THE CLOSET.

42-Across. Emmy-nominated TV series based on a Hilary Mantel novel: WOLF HALL.  That's Dame Hilary Mantel (July 6, 1952 ~ Sept. 22, 2022) to you.  She was best known for her historical fiction.  She wrote a trilogy about Thomas Cromwell's rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, King of England.  Wolf Hall was the first book in the series, followed by Bring Up the Bodies and The Mirror and the Light.   [Name # 1.]

And the unifier:

48-Across. Halloween attraction, or what 19-, 27-/32-, and 42-Across all might be a part of?: HAUNTED HOUSE.

And, what you might hear in a Haunted House:

36-Down. Evil laugh: MWA HA HA!

1. Hip-hop duo __ & Rakim: ERIC B.  I am not familiar with this duo of Eric B. (né Eric Barrier; b. Nov. 8, 1963) and Rakim (né William Michael Griffin, Jr.; b. Jan. 28, 1968).  The group was big in the late 1980s and early 1990s.   [Names # 2 and 3.]

6. Landlocked West African nation: MALI.  The United States Department of State currently lists Mali on its Do Not Travel list due to crime, kidnapping and terrorism.

10. Product prefix that evokes winter: SNO.

13. Gambling hub near Hong Kong: MACAU.  Everything you wanted to know about Macau but didn't know to ask.

14. Opinion piece: OP-ED.  Opposite the Editorial Page.

15. Cloverleaf feature: LOOP.

16. Eggs (on): SPURS.

17. Gem from Australia or Ethiopia: OPAL.  Hi, Kazie!  Is it bad luck to wear an Opal if it's not your birth stone?

18. Eclectic online digest: UTNE.  Its full name is the Utne Reader.  It was first published in 1984 and is named after its founder, Eric Utne.

22. Large cupboard: ARMOIRE.

25. Black belt discipline: KARATE.

26. Tosses: HEAVES.

29. Circle dances: HORAs.

30. "Finish the job!": DO IT.

31. Grass in a roll: SOD.

36. GI grub: MRE.  We had the Meals Ready to Eat last Tuesday.

38. Flair: ELAN.

39. Campfire residue: ASHES.

45. Texas border city: EL PASO.  The city and county of El Paso, Texas is in the Mountain Time Zone, where as most of the rest of Texas is in the Central Time Zone.

46. Glass raiser's opening: A TOAST.

47. Brother of Ophelia: LAERTES.  A reference to Willie the Shakes' play Hamlet.  I'll let our Shakespeare scholar expound on these characters.  [Names # 4 and 5.]

51. Fighting: AT IT.

52. Christian of fashion: DIOR.  Christian Ernest Dior (Jan. 21, 1905 ~ Oct. 24, 1957) was a French fashion designer.  He is best known for A-Line collection which made its debut in 1955.  [Name # 6.]

53. TV channel with election night coverage: MSNBC.  It's short for Microsoft and the National Broadcasting Corporation.

57. "For __ jolly ... ": HE'S A.

58. Not new: USED.

59. Like more than 4 billion people: ASIAN.

60. Fruit juice suffix: -ADE.  We miss you LemonADE!

61. Degs. for many profs: Ph.Ds.  Today's Latin lesson.  The abbreviation for Doctor of Philosophy, or in the original Latin: Philosophiae Doctor.

62. "Oppenheimer" director Christopher: NOLAN.  J. Robert Oppenheimer (né Julius Robert Oppenheimer; Apr. 22, 1904 ~ Feb. 18, 1967) was an American theoretical physicist and director of the Manhattan Project's Los Angeles lab.  He is sometime called the Father of the Atomic bomb.  Christopher Nolan (né Christopher Edward Nolan; b. July 30, 1970) is a British-born filmmaker who directed this past summer's blockbuster film about Oppenheimer and the atomic bomb.   [Names # 7 and 8.]

1. Ambulance gp.: EMs.  Emergency Medicine.  //  And 3-Down: Hosp. recovery area: ICU.  Intensive Care Unit.  //  And 20-Down. Surgery ctrs.: ORs.  Operating Rooms.

2. Knock sharply: RAP.

4. Moving day rental: CARGO VAN.

5. Most overgrown, say: BUSHIEST.

6. __ Tracks ice cream: MOOSE.  Vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups and chocolate fudge.  Apparently the name was inspired by a mini golf course.

7. Spot on a sked: APPT.  An appointment is a spot on a schedule.

8. Plumbing problem: LEAK.

9. "That sounds tempting": I'D LIKE TO.

10. Phrase of finality: SO THAT'S THAT.

11. Far from: NONE TOO.  Meh!

12. Allowing for modification, as a mortgage: OPEN END.

15. Loot: LUCRE.

21. "She's So High" singer Bachman: TAL.  Tal Bachman (né Talmage Charles Robert Backman; b. Aug. 13, 1968) is a Canadian singer-songwriter who is best known for She's So High.  [Name # 9.]

22. Sound at a spa: AHH!

23. __ Speedwagon: REO.  The band, which was formed in the late 1960s, was named after the REO Speed Wagon truck that first produced in 1915 by Ransom Eli Olds (June 3, 1864 ~ 1950) of Oldsmobile fame.  [Name # 9]

24. Duchess of Parma who was Napoleon's second wife: MARIE LOUISE.  Archduchess Marie Louise (Dec. 12, 1791 ~ Dec. 17, 1847) was the Duchess of Parma in her own right.  She reigned as the Duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla from April 1814 until her death 33 years later.  In 1810, she married Napoleon (Aug. 15mm 1769 ~ May 5, 1821).  He was her first husband.  After his death, she married twice more.  [Names # 10 and 11.]

27. L.A.'s region: SO-CAL.  Southern California.

28. Pottery oven: KILN.

30. Big name in crossword puzzle magazines: DELL.  [Name adjacent.]

33. Warmed, as leftovers: HEATED UP.

34. Arthur Miller's "Death of a __": SALESMAN.  Arthur Asher Miller (Oct. 17, 1915 ~ Feb. 10, 2005) wrote many, many plays, but is probably best known for his short marriage to Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 ~ Aug. 4, 1962).  She was the second of his three wives.  [Name # 12.]

35. Strong coffee in a tiny cup: ESPRESSO.  Yummers!

37. Went round and round: ROTATED.

40. WNW's opposite: ESE.

41. Emergency letters: SOS.  This is becoming a crossword staple.

43. Fruit soda brand: FANTA.  [Name Adjacent.]

44. Pres. after FDR: HST.  Harry S Truman (May 8, 1884 ~ Dec. 26, 1972) was Vice-President until the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Jan. 30, 1882 ~ Apr. 12, 1945).  Roosevelt president to be elected for a 4th term.  Truman was his 3rd Vice-President.  His first Vice-President was John Nance (Nov. 22, 1868 ~ Nov. 7, 1967).  Nance served from 1933 until 1941, Roosevelt's first two terms.  Henry A Wallace (Oct. 7, 1888 ~ Mpv. 18, 1965) was Roosevelt second Vice-President.  He served from 1941 until 1945.  [Names # 13 and 14.]

45. __ de toilette: EAU.  Today's French lesson.  Everything you wanted to know about Water of the Toilette but didn't know to ask.

47. Some Parliament members: LORDS.

49. Dinner plate: DISH.

50. Did a garden chore: HOED.

54. Zero, in soccer: NIL.

55. Sheep call: BAA.

56. TV channel with election night coverage: CNN.  Cable News Network.

Here's the Grid:


Oct 30, 2023

Monday October 30, 2023 Glenn Cook


Hello Cornerites!

sumdaze here. Today's puzzle is an LA Times debut for constructor Glenn Cook. The inspiration for this grid is SAMIN NOSRAT's 2017 book, SALT FAT ACID HEAT: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking.  

Consequently, our theme is:                Cook's Cook Book

Lest you cry foul for never having heard of this book, I am here to tell you that I read it this past February (all 480 pages) but still could not remember the author's name, the third element, nor the order of the elements. (Oof!) My "advantage" is debatable. Nevertheless, the Monday-level perps got me to a FIR.

I do remember that I very much enjoyed the book -- especially the parts where Samin talks about growing up in America as an Iranian immigrant. I also learned some cooking tips, e.g., I should warm up my pan before adding the olive oil. In short, I recommend the book.  goodreads link

We have seen this author & book clued three times in LA Times puzzles over the last year and a half: May 26, 2022September 18, 2022, and June 28, 2023SALT FAT ACID HEAT is also a series on Netflix. I remember inanehiker saying she liked the series. I really should commit this one to memory for next time. (Yes, it is reasonable to expect there will be a "next time".)

Here are the four themers and the reveal:

16 Across. "Push It" hip-hop trio: SALT-N-PEPA.  (Not a duo?)

23 Across. Mardi Gras: FAT TUESDAY.

48 Across. Inclination to use biting sarcasm: ACID TONGUE.

56 Across. "Feels like" figure that combines temperature and humidity: HEAT INDEX.

33 Across. Chef and cookbook writer whose four elements of cooking are the first words of the answers to 16-, 23-, 48-, and 56-Across: SAMIN NOSRAT.

Let's see what other goodies we can cook up:

1. Fancy alternative to a classic necktie: ASCOT.  Every ASCOT is a cravat, but not every cravat is an ASCOT.

6. Time sheet abbr.: HRS.  HouRS

9. Meat salad from Laos: LARB.  It seems there is no recipe for LARB in SALT FAT ACID HEAT.  Here's a recipe that has five stars on the internet.

13. Shop: STORE.  "Shop" and "STORE" are both nouns here.

14. Informal assent: YEP.  more than our usual, "nod"

15. Third-longest African river: NIGER.  The Nile, Africa's longest river, is also the longest river on the planet.
List of 10 Longest Rivers in Africa

18. Verdi work: OPERA.  Giuseppe Verdi (1813 - 1901) was the central figure in Italian OPERA for much of the nineteenth century. He wrote 28 operas!  
This is Verdi's Otello Act II finale, performed at the Royal Opera House, U.K. (2:27 min.)
We might be able to persuade waseeley to give us more background.

19. "Am __ picky?": I TOO.  If you are asking, you probably already know.

20. Mattel game based on Crazy Eights: UNO.  I used to play Crazy Eights when I was a kid. Now that I think about it, it is just like UNO. We used a regular deck of cards. Each player starts with 8 cards. You can either match the suit of the last discard or play a card with the same value. The 8s were wild and could change the suit. I cannot remember if we used the joker for something special. I also do not remember if we had to announce a last card.

21. Spoke monotonously: DRONED.  Can you think of a classic movie example? Anyone? Anyone?  
Ben Stein played a Science Teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). (1:15 min.)

22. Omen: SIGN.  

25. Traveler's stopover: INN.  

26. Hypotheticals: IFS.  "If IFS and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a very merry Christmas."  (Don Meredith, QB for the Cowboys)

27. Crumb-carrying critter: ANT.  They can carry 10 -50 times their body weight.  
28. App annoyances: ADS.  also, "Blogger annoyances"

29. Microbe: GERM.  Def.:  a microorganism, especially one which causes disease.

31. Freeze over: ICE UP.  This made me think of the Ice Age movies and that silly saber-toothed squirrel, Scrat. 
Ice Age:  Continental Drift (a.k.a. the 4th one) (2012) (2:40 min.)

37. Extinct birds: DODOS.

38. Russian denial: NYET.  We do not see "Russian acceptance" because "da" (
даis only two letters.

40. Foldable bed: COT.

43. 2016 Summer Olympics city: RIO.  and  26 Down. Mount Olympus dwellers, e.g.: IMMORTALS.

44. Meditation sounds: OMS.  

46. Period of history: ERA.

51. Quick cut: SNIP.

52. Say again: REPEAT.  a.k.a. Peter Jr.

53. GPS suggestion: RTE.  "Global Positioning System" is abbreviated, so is "RouTE".
NASA website's GPS page

54. Support staff member: AIDE.  An AIDE provides aid to the head honcho.

55. Artist's stand: EASEL.  

58. Foul moods: SNITS.  The following is an excerpt from I'm in a Rotten Mood! by Jack Prelutsky:
I'm in a rotten mood today,
a really rotten mood today,
I'm in a SNIT,
I'm in a stew,
there's nothing that I care to do
but sit all by myself and brood --

59. "I __ your pardon?": BEG.  I never promised you a rose garden.  𝅘𝅥𝅮𝅘𝅥𝅮𝅘𝅥𝅮
Lynn Anderson (1947-2015) won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female
in 1971 for her version of Rose Garden.

60. "Basic Instinct" actress Sharon: STONE.  Also, a solid, non-metallic mineral matter. Difference Between a Rock and a Stone

61. IRS IDs: SSNS.  Social Security NumberS were first used by the IRS for tax reporting purposes in 1962. Banks began requiring them in 1970. They were required by financial institutions for all interest-bearing accounts in 1983.

62. Poem of praise: ODE.

63. Puts a stop to: HALTS.  This puts a HALT to our across clues.

1. Birthplace of St. Francis: ASSISI.  He is the patron saint of animals, peace, and Italy. His feast day is October 4th.  
St. Francis of Assisi Holding a Bird (artist unknown)
Cyfarthfa Castle Museum & Art Gallery

2. Announcing: STATING.  

3. Choices at perfume counters: COLOGNES.  Thirteenfourteennineteenforty-oneforty-twoforty-sixfifty-onefifty-twofifty-six, sixty-onesixty-two, and sixty-six also fit. Weirdly, eight does not fit.

4. WWE champion Randy who had a long rivalry with John Cena: ORTON.  ESP
Randy & John
Randy is the one with the tats (I think).
5. Low card in a royal flush: TEN.  

6. African scavengers whose cries sound like laughter: HYENAS.  I learned here that they are primarily hunters, not scavengers. I did not know that. You can watch them on the Milwaukee County Zoo's HYENA cam.

7. Transplant in the greenhouse: REPOT.  Def.:  to put (a plant) in another pot, especially a bigger one.
It was not immediately obvious to me that "transplant" is a verb here! Tricky!

8. Relaxation station: SPA.

9. Slimming surgeries, informally: LIPOS.  LIPOSuctionS.

10. Meeting outline: AGENDA.  Flight of the Conchords (HBO 2007-2009) was known for its Band Meetings.  
Rhys Darby, Bret McKenzie, and Jermaine Clement (1:19 min.)

11. Go over again, as a contract: REREAD.

12. Blended sitcom family of classic TV: BRADYS.  
The opening theme song to The Brady Bunch explained how they became a blended family.
I always liked the way they looked around at each other.

15. "All sales are final": NO RETURNS.  I first had NO REfUndS.
The National Retail Federation reports that for every $1 billion in sales, retailers incur $165 million in merchandise returns. Plus, for every $100 in returned merchandise accepted, they lose $10.40 to return fraud.

17. Bit of smoke: PUFF.  This song always makes me cry a little bit.
Puff, The Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary was released in January 1963.

21. Sand formations: DUNES.  The tallest DUNES in North America are in Colorado!
This is a link to a 1:30 min. orientation video from the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.  

24. Snack in a shell: TACO.  "Escargot" did not fit.  
30. "Awesome!": RAD.

31. Allstate's industry: Abbr.: INS.  Allstate is an American INSurance company headquartered in Glenview, IL. 
32. Foot the bill: PAY.

34. "American __": rock musical based on a Green Day album: IDIOT.  This website has all the details -- plus the red tabs on the left have videos and songs.

35. Twelve sharp: NOON.  
High Noon original trailer (1952)
starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly

36. Many a Disney Channel star: TEEN IDOL.

39. Poseidon's staff: TRIDENT.  

40. Gentle touch: CARESS.

41. Quite a lot: OCEANS.  Def.:  (noun) any great expanse or quantity.

42. Deflects through a basketball rim: TIPS IN.  This is when an offensive player taps the ball into the hoop following a missed shot.  

44. Electrical interruption: OUTAGE.

45. Run into: MEET.
Poor Wile E.!
47. Pinnacles: APEXES.

49. Info, slangily: DEETS.  details

50. Avarice: GREED.

51. Father Christmas: SANTA.  
Click to enlarge.

56. "Barry" cable network: HBO.  I saw Season 1 and I hope to get around to watching the other seasons. Henry Winkler is brilliant as Gene Cousineau the acting coach. I cannot tell if he is a smooth hustler or if he believes his own schtick.

57. "Or so" suffix: -ISH.  It seems we have made it to the finISH line!

Time to serve up the grid:  

I will be traveling so I am submitting this blog a few days early. If it turns out that there is a glaring omission, now you know why. (For example, I am wondering if Patti might 'remind' us of Samin's book in another puzzle between now and Monday.)
Our ever-vigilant admin, C.C. and TTP, can correct any errors you might find. Chat with you next month!