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


Dec 31, 2023

Sunday December 31, 2023 Matthew Stock & Miranda Carson

Theme: "Squad Goals" - The end of each theme entry is a WNBA team.

23. *Symptom of isolation, perhaps: CABIN FEVER. Indiana Fever.

28. *Leave the nest: SPREAD ONE'S WINGS. Dallas Wings.

48. *No. 1 Katy Perry album featuring the No. 1 song "Firework": TEENAGE DREAM. Atlanta Dream.

56. *Oscar-winning role for Rami Malek: FREDDIE MERCURY. Phoenix Mercury.

82. *One of Sheriff Woody's catchphrases in "Toy Story": REACH FOR THE SKY. Chicago Sky.

91. *Concurrence of many negative possibilities: PERFECT STORM. Seattle Storm.

114. *Lorraine Hansberry play whose title comes from a Langston Hughes poem: A RAISIN IN THE SUN.  Connecticut Sun.

 121. Championship series where fans hope to find the ends of the answers to the starred clues?: WNBA FINALS

And something extra: 38. Group seen seven times in this puzzle: TEAM.

Total 12 teams in the WNBA. Missing are the Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, New York Liberty, Las Vegas Aces & Washington Mystics. 

Liked this puzzle. Reminds me of the "Single Ladies" for the Universal a while ago. I had a set of teams with singular nouns.

Congrats on your LAT debut, Miranda! You found a brilliant collaborator.


1. Flub: FUMBLE.

7. Tell (on): RAT.

10. Barbershop service: SHAVE.

15. Santa __: home of the Charles M. Schulz Museum: ROSA.

19. Without principles: AMORAL.

20. Word with devil or dog: SLY. Also 22. Extremely bad: EVIL.

21. Patio stone: PAVER.

25. Oahu's __ Stadium: ALOHA.

26. Actress Rowlands: GENA. "The Notebook" is so moving.

27. French novelist Zola: EMILE.

31. Cash collector: TILL.

32. Yearbook superlative: MOST.

33. Distillery tub: VAT.

34. "What was I __ to do?": MEANT.

35. Looking for, in ads: ISO. In Search Of.

37. Jackal cousin: COYOTE.

39. Bring up: RAISE.

42. Contrail makeup: VAPOR.

44. Shape of the three-point line: ARC.

45. Illustrator's tools: PENS.

47. Recipient of a classic shout-out: MOM.

52. Fender bender: ACCIDENT.

55. Itty-bitty kitties: RUNTS.

58. Cup holder spot, perhaps: ARM. This refers to armrest, right?

59. Demeanor: MIEN.

61. Prov. that borders all but one of the Great Lakes: ONT.

62. Scrutinize: EYE.

63. No longer consequential: MOOT.

65. Yearbook gp.: FROSH.

68. Busch Gardens city: TAMPA.

71. Brief quarrel: TIFF.

75. "Let's __!": EAT. Went to my sister-in-law Connie's place on Christmas eve. She made poached salmon (unpictured: tzatziki sauce), wild rice salad and roasted Brussels sprouts. That piece of seeded bread is from a local bakery that stone-mills its own flour. So lucky to have such a great sister-in-law!

77. Gomez's hairy cousin: ITT.

79. Soothing YouTube genre, for short: ASMRAutonomous Sensory Meridian Response.

81. "You think I did that!?": MOI.

88. Accompanist?: USHER. Quite a few nice clues in this grid.

90. Mark on a garage floor: OIL STAIN.

93. Rd. with a no.: RTE.

94. Very, in Biarritz: TRES. French city on the Bay of Biscay.

96. "__-hoo!": WOO.

97. Try to swat: HIT AT.

98. Supports on Kickstarter, say: BACKS.

101. Taco truck dips: SALSAS.

103. "Gangnam Style" rapper: PSY.

104. "The Secret History" writer Donna: TARTT.

106. Smallish batteries: AAS.

107. Degrees for corp. execs: MBAS.

110. Cake layer: TIER.

118. Food processor's output: PUREE.

119. Burgles: ROBS.

120. Papa: DADDY. Ba ba, in Chinese.

123. Fit: ABLE.

124. Fireplace hazard: EMBER.

125. Flow back: EBB.

126. Early online forum: USENET.

127. Brewed beverage: BEER. And 64. Brewed beverages: TEAS.

128. Prophets: SEERS.

129. Early broadcasting co.: RCA.

130. Low points: NADIRS.


1. Diamond side: FACET. 4. Diamond cut: BRILLIANT.

2. Parmesan quality: UMAMI. Connie is cheese connoisseur. She lived in Italy for a few years. She  still visits Italy and France regularly.

3. Gas giant?: MOBIL. 90. Round figure?: ORB. I like both clues.

5. Track assignment: LANE.

6. Beauty brand whose name stands for three body parts: ELF. Eyes Lips Face.

7. Sends regrets, perhaps: RSVPS.

8. Heads-up: ALERT.

9. Spare in a boot: TYRE.

10. "Me time" option: SPA DAY.

11. Low-calorie ice cream brand: HALO TOP. Boomer liked Breyers No Sugar Added.

12. Maker of Skin So Soft products: AVON.

13. Fervor: VEHEMENCE.

14. Delete: ERASE.

15. "Fidelity" pop artist Spektor: REGINA. Born in Moscow.

16. Kitchen beeper: OVEN TIMER.

17. Snitch: SING.

18. Woeful sigh: ALAS.

24. Spanish "that": ESO.

29. Green smoothie ingredient, perhaps: AVOCADO.

30. Simple card game: WAR.

32. Synthesizer pioneer: MOOG.

36. Involuntary jerk: SPASM.

37. Rep: CRED.

40. JumboTron maker: SONY.

41. First responder, briefly: EMT. And 43. Send to a specialist: REFER.

42. Cash app: VENMO.

44. "Blessed __ ... ": ARE.

46. Say "aaahh!": SCREAM.

48. Disneyland ride: TRAM.

49. Malta money: EURO.

50. James Bond's first movie foe: DR NO.

51. Pristine, as a baseball card: MINT. So easy to get Boomer Christmas gifts. He loved baseball cards.

53. Like some roads in January: ICY. We finally got some snow last night. Odd not to have snow on ground for Christmas.

54. Pair's performance: DUET.

57. "on ur way?": ETA.

60. "Or perhaps less": IF THAT.

66. Chivalrous title: SIR.

67. URL starter: HTTP. More HTTPS these days.

69. Fashion: MAKE.

70. "Kidding!": PSYCH.

72. "Turn on the AC!": I'M HOT.

73. Author Jonathan Safran __: FOER. His founder Joshua Foer co-founded Atlas Obscura.

74. Like some mattresses: FIRM.

76. Fake it: ACT.

78. Dirty laundry destination: THE WASH. And 95. Dirt, so to speak: SLANDER.

80. Oxidizes: RUSTS.

82. Pop singer Ora: RITA.

83. Fit for a seat?: ELECTABLE. Government seat.

84. Birth certificate entry: FIRST NAME.

85. Top classification: ONE A.

86. Bow-wielding god: EROS.

87. Hub near Marin Co.: SFO.

89. "Don't touch that dial": STAY TUNED.

92. Gratuities: TIPS.

99. Crusty roll: KAISER.

100. Yearbook gp.: SRS.

102. Mythical forest flutists: SATYRS.

105. Surfer's concerns: TIDES.

107. "Morning Joe" network: MSNBC. 109. 107-Down anchor Cabrera: ANA.

108. NASCAR racer Wallace: BUBBA.

111. Afghani neighbor: IRANI. More often Iranian.

112. Conger hunter: EELER.

113. Musical breaks: RESTS.

114. Like many North Africans: ARAB.

115. Judicial garb: ROBE.

116. "__ happy to!": I'D BE.

117. Spout sporter: EWER.

118. City with an iconic tower: PISA.

122. Lots of laughs: FUN.

Jaelyn and Harper now have a baby sister. Melissa's third granddaughter was born on December 1, 2023. She sent me these few precious pictures. Melissa will take an extended break from blogging due to personal matters. We'll be thinking of you and looking forward to your return, Melissa!



Jaelyn and Harper

Dec 30, 2023

Saturday, December 30, 2023, Zhouqin Burnikel

 Saturday Themeless by Zhouqin Burnikel 

Our gracious blogmistress offers us a challenging and clever puzzle on this last Saturday of 2023. Her long fills in the pinwheel pattern were very helpful but SAPOR and DULE along with some alternate fills were speed bumps for me. However, I persisted and earned a "got 'er done!"


1. Carne __: ASADA - I was all over Roast Meat even with the Spanish adjectives following the noun.

6. Pull: SWAY - Sometimes you need someone with real pull or SWAY

10. __-relief: BAS - This is one of many on the capitol building in Lincoln, NE

13. Short-lived business: POP UP STORE - Hickory Farms has had these for years at Christmas time

15. Minesweeper unit: CELL - Haven't we all played this addictive game?

16. Delicious desserts?: APPLE TARTS.

17. Della Warrior's heritage: OTOE the first and only woman to date to serve as the chairperson and chief executive officer for the Otoe-Missouria Tribe

18. Romeo or Juliet: ROLE - TEEN and NAME came and went

19. Group originally called the "Jolly Corks": ELKS Here ya go

20. Magnificent: GRAND.

21. Rugby score: TRY.

22. Orange coat: PEEL 😀

23. One paying a flat rate: RENTER 😀 

24. Sings again: REPRISES 76 Trombones is REPRISED for the big finale in Music Man

26. Fig. affected by traffic: ETA.

27. Word with ring or swing: MOOD.

29. Achievement: FEAT.

30. [I know this is wrong]: SIC - This was a grate [SIC] puzzle by our lovely hostess

31. "I have more to say": DON'T INTERRUPT ME.

35. Short chats?: IMS.

36. 1936 Cooperstown inductee: COBB 

This ball signed in 1939
by the first 11 members 
3 years after the original 6
sold for over $600,000

37. Obeyed a court order: ROSE - "All RISE" - Name this movie. (* answer below)

38. Place with soothing music: SPA.

39. Like some potential: UNTAPPED.

42. Magnetism: ALLURE.

44. Rough positions: LIES - Good luck in this rough 

45. Punch sound: POW.

48. Witherspoon of "The Morning Show": REESE - An Apple+ series

Reese                  Jennifer Anniston

49. Dough for pupusas: MASA - A wonderful Guatemalan restaurant makes them here in our town. I told the owner 
 to give me something good and she got me some tasty pupusas!

50. Background for a portrait: BLUR - As seen here in this painting of Mona (Lady) 
Lisa Gherdinini, the wife of Francesco Del Giocondo.

51. Locks in the zoo?: MANE 😀 - Here's one in Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo with the tram going overhead.

52. "Never been in that situation myself": CAN'T RELATE.

54. Those, in Toledo: ESOS.

55. Shell stations?: TACO STANDS 
¿A quién pertenecen ESOS puestos de tacos? (Who owns those TACO STANDS?)

56. Drops in the morning: DEW 😀

57. Eclipse, in the ancient world: OMEN.

58. Gig for a model: SHOOT.


1. Split up: APART.

2. Lethargy: SOPOR - I never have seen this word and so I first had SLOTH

3. Put on: APPLY.

4. Hill of "The Wonder Years": DULE - He plays the father in the updated version of the 1988 original.

5. Dr. Zaius, for one: APE - From 1968 movie

6. Not as newsworthy: STALER.

7. Professional challenge?: WORK LIFE BALANCE.

8. Part of STEAM: ARTS.

9. No other choice?: YES 😀

10. Trials for errors: BETA TESTS - Hopefully all the bugs will appear to be fixed

11. Solo stretch: ALONE TIME.

12. The American Dog Derby, for one: SLED RACE - Started in 1917, it is the oldest dog SLED RACE in the lower 48. It is run in Ashton, ID in the shadow of the Tetons

14. Brew: STEEP - Zhoquin is also a tea connoisseur 

15. Ear pieces?: CORN 😀

20. Waves, say: GESTURES.

22. Digital service: PEDICURE 😀

23. Nurture: REAR.

24. Spoil: ROT.

25. Spanish infinitive: SER.

27. "Can I? Can I? Can I? Can I?": MOM PLEASE 😀

28. Spot line: ON SALE NOW.

31. Turned off, in a way: DISARMED 😀

32. Zip: NONE.

33. Hashtag for retro pics: TBT - I could use this retro pic for Throw Back Thursday

 Jim        Linda           Gary
circa 1956

34. Place for new calves: POD 😀

40. Slide whistle part: PISTON.

41. Sliced pieces on top of bibim naengmyeon: PEARS - A Korean PEAR on top.

43. Purposes: USES.

45. Texas home of Frito-Lay: PLANO.

7701 Legacy Dr., PLANO, TX

46. Better or best: OUTDO - Verbs

47. Seize by force: WREST.

49. Address with an apostrophe: MA'AM.

50. Vanilla: BLAH - Plain label unlike 49. "Eww!": BLEH we had recently

52. Exec concerned with network security: CTO - Chief Technology Officer

53. Nonprofit that administers Praxis assessments: ETS - Educational Testing Service. I had never heard of this test.

*If you can handle the truth, that is a scene from the great movie A Few Good Men