, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: January 2024


Jan 31, 2024

Wednesday January 31, 2024. Chris Gross

Theme Buried Culinary Treasures.  Common in-the-language phrases contain, that is to say, have room for,  tasty postprandial delights.

20 A. *Bakery employees who offer free samples?: CUPCAKE HOLDERS. The surface meaning is a person holding cupcakes to be distributed.  A CUP HOLDER is a device for holding a plastic cup or other drinking container, as in the console of a motor vehicle, or an item if furniture.  The hidden desert is a CAKE an item of soft, sweet food made from a mixture of flour, shortening, eggs, sugar, and other ingredients, baked and often decorated. And this fill is a CAKE holder in more ways than one. A bit involuted, but tasty.  Do those bakery folks have frosting on their fingers?

33 A. *Mistakes made while preparing a simple breakfast?: POPTART FOULS How wold one foul a Poptart?  By dousing it in pickle juice, perhaps. In baseball, a POP FOUL is a ball hit high in the air for not much distance that lands in foul territory.  Our dessert here is a TART - an open pastry case containing a filling.   Don't mess it up.

43 A. *Comfort food with a high price tag?: POTPIE OF GOLD.   I've heard of gilding the lily. Hmmm. Perhaps made with gold electroplated pastry dough? A POT OF GOLD is a large amount of money, especially one that is unattainable or illusory.  A dessert PIE is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that contains a filling of various sweet or savory ingredients.  As distinguished from a TART, the PIE has a top crust. Probably not made of gold, though

58. Question from a server, or what was needed to create the answer to each starred clue: ROOM FOR DESSERT.   Chris made room in each of these phrases to tuck in a sweet treat.  The server would be asking of you are too full to participate.

Hi gang, JazzBumpa here, in the throes of a dramatic glucose spike.  Let's get going and work off some of those carbs.


1. Tracks: CUTS.  Album tracks.  Wasn't my first thought.

14. "Pronto" letters: ASAPAs Soon As Possible.  Take your time, but hurry.

15. Delight: ELATE. Make very happy.

16. Rachel Maddow's field: NEWS.   Information about current events.  What's happening now.

17. Simon or Garfunkel: NAME.  Ditto Smith and Jones.  Again, not what one would expect from the clue

18. Terra __: COTTA.  A clay-based non-vitreous ceramic, fired at relatively low temperatures.  Earthenware.

19. Small valley: DELL.  Often in a wooded area.

23. Purpose: USE.  The reason for which something exists.

24. Shed: LOSE.  Give off, discharge or expel.  During the hurricane my yard shed its shed.

25. Summer hrs. in Portsmouth: EDT Eastern Daylight Time

26. Some DEA employees: NARCS.  Slang shorthand for narcotics agent, who specializes in laws dealing with illegal drugs.

28. Smallest state in India: GOA.   Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea. Its long history as a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is evident in its preserved 17th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations.

30. Stable staple: OAT.   A nutritious breakfast for both horses and people.

38. "Frozen" sister: ELSA.  Elsa is the Queen of Arendelle in the Disney cartoon feature, Frozen.  I think this clue should point to her sister Anna, since Elsa is the star of the show.

41. Misstep: ERROR.  Faux pas, Fingerfehler.  Oops.

42. Water waster: DRIP.  From a not-properly-shut-off faucet.

46. Back: AGO. In the past.

47. "The A-Team" actor: MR T.   Laurence Tureaud [b. 1952] is an American actor. He is known for his roles as B. A. Baracus in the 1980s television series The A-Team and as boxer Clubber Lang in the 1982 film Rocky III.

48. Abbr. before a year: ESTAB.  Established - referring to the year something was founded. 

52. Fundraising org.: PTA Parent-Teachers Association, a network of of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools.   

54. Gets faint: DIMS.   Reduces in brightness or image clarity.

57. Laundry brand: ERA.  A P&G product.

62. Soap brand: LAVA.  Lava is a heavy-duty hand cleaner in soap bar form manufactured by the WD-40 Company. Unlike typical soap bars, Lava contains ground pumice, which gave the soap its name. The soap and pumice combination is intended to scour tar, engine grease, paint, dirt, grime, filth, and similar substances from the skin.

63. French 101 infinitive: AVOIR.  Meaning to have.

64. Last remarks?: OBIT.  Not a last utterance, but funereal comments about the recently departed.

65. Improves in a cellar, say: AGES.  As wine or cheese.

66. Barbershop quartet part: TENOR.  Unlike choral harmony in which the parts from top down are soprano, alto, tenor and bass, with the melody usually in the soprano part; in barbershop harmony the tenor sings a harmony part that is consistently above the melody, which is sung by the lead.  Below that are baritone and bass.  So the voices from top down are tenor, lead, baritone and bass.

67. Soap brand: DOVE.  A brand of facial soap made by Unilever that comes in a variety of specialized uses.  Dove chocolate tastes better than any of them.

68. Pigeon fancier on "Sesame Street": BERT.  This was not a great success.

69. Adversary: ENEMY.  One that contends with, opposes, or resists.

70. Took a hatchet to: AXED.  Hewed or chopped.


1. Tourist destination on the Yucatan: CANCUN.   Cancún, a Mexican city on the Yucatán Peninsula bordering the Caribbean Sea, is known for its beaches, numerous resorts and nightlife. It’s composed of 2 distinct areas: the more traditional downtown area, El Centro, and Zona Hotelera, a long, beachfront strip of high-rise hotels, nightclubs, shops and restaurants. 

2. Chant for the red, white, and blue: USA-USA.  Often heard at the Olympics.

3. Mess (with): TAMPER.  Interfere with something in order to cause damage or make unauthorized alterations.

4. Job detail, for short: SPEC.  Specification - a detailed description of the design and materials used to make something.

5. Geico icon: GECKO.  I don't know which I hate more - the Geico adds with the gecko or without the gecko.

6. Medicinal plants: ALOES.   Aloe vera is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. It is widely distributed, and is considered an invasive species in many world regions. An evergreen perennial, it originates from the Arabian Peninsula, but also grows wild in tropical, semi-tropical, and arid climates around the world.   The leaves of Aloe vera contain significant amounts of the polysaccharide gel acemannan, which can be used for topical purposes. Aloe skin contains aloin which is toxic. Products made from Aloe vera usually only use the gel.

7. Come clean?: BATHE.   Instead of admitting to some wrong-doing, here we make us of, for example, Dove or Lava soap.

8. "A Man Called __":  OTTO.  Tom Hanks film based on a Fredrik Backman novelm, A Man Called Ove.   When a lively young family moves in next door, grumpy widower Otto Anderson meets his match in a quick-witted, pregnant woman named Marisol, leading to an unlikely friendship that turns his world upside down.

9. Down-to-earth: REAL.   With no illusions or pretensions; practical and realistic.

10. Done: ENDED.  Finished.

11. Excursion where one might see something brewing?: BEER TOUR.   As you visit each brewery, you will learn how they differ from each other, and how their beers make them distinct from the others. You will also get to taste different kinds of beer and know each brewery's bestseller and award-winning beers.

12. Pointed tools: AWLS.    Tools with which holes can be punctured in a variety of materials, or existing holes can be enlarged. They are also used for sewing heavy materials, such as leather or canvas. They have a thin, tapered metal shaft, coming to a sharp point, either straight or slightly bent.

13. Designer monogram: YSL.   The initials of Yves Saint Laurent.  I will wear clothes with his monogram when he wears clothes with the RLT monogram.

21. To boot: ALSO.  The term comes from the Old English to bote, which was once used as part of a legal term in English law, meaning something extra that is added as part of a bargain or compensation.  
You don't hear this expression much here in the States.  But I watch a lot of hockey, and it seems quite common in Canada

22. Like many students at Gallaudet University: DEAF.  Gallaudet University is a private federally chartered university in Washington, D.C., for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing. It was founded in 1864 as a grammar school for both deaf and blind children.

27. Sleep apnea apparatus, initially: CPAP.   CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is a machine that uses mild air pressure to keep breathing airways open while you sleep. Your healthcare provider may prescribe CPAP to treat sleep-related breathing disorders including sleep apnea.

28. High seas quaff: GROG.   A strong alcoholic drink, originally rum, mixed with water

29. Other, in Oaxaca: OTRO.   Spanish.

31. Wong of "Birds of Prey": ALI.    Alexandra Dawn Wong [b. 1982] is an American stand-up comedian, actress, writer, producer, and director. She is best known for her Netflix stand-up specials Baby Cobra, Hard Knock Wife, and Don Wong. She has also starred in the romantic comedy film Always Be My Maybe, on which she also served as a writer and producer.

I think I'll pass

32. Recipe amt.: TSP.  Teaspoon.

34. Equal: PEER.   One that is of equal standing with another 

35. Relaxed pace: TROT.  A pace faster than a walk

36. Dog park sound: ARF.  Barking.

37. Likelihood: ODDS.  Probability that something will happen.

38. BEACH Act org.: EPAEnvironmental Protection Agency

39. Record: LOG.  Enter (an incident or fact) in the log of a ship or aircraft or in another systematic record.

40. Brief visit: STOP OVER.   To stay at a place for a short period of time on the way to somewhere else or before returning home.

44. Islamic leader: IMAM.   Any of various rulers that claim descent from Muhammad and exercise spiritual and temporal leadership over a Muslim region

45. "Not that much": LESS.  Comparatively not as much.

49. Place to drive: TEE BOX.   In golf,  the start of each hole where you take your first swing.

50. Show up: ARRIVE.  Reach a place at the end of a journey or a stage in a journey.

51. Part of RBI: BATTED.  RBIs are Runs batted in: a run that is scored as a result of a specific batter's hit, walk, sacrifice, etc. 

53. Canapé base, maybe: TOAST.  A canapé is a small piece of bread or pastry with a savory topping, often served with drinks at a reception or formal party.

54. Worker with a monotonous routine: DRONE.   a person who is obliged to do menial, routine or boring work 

55. Cold feet or hot seat: IDIOM.   A type of phrase or expression that has a meaning that can't be deciphered by defining the individual words. Appropriately, the word “idiom” is derived from the ancient Greek word “idioma,” which means “peculiar phraseology.”

56. Full of cheer: MERRY.  Cheerful and lively.

58. Breathe fire, say: RAGE.  Be extremely angry and vocal.  Another example of an idiom.

59. Inevitable end: FATE.  The development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power.

60. Pizza place: OVEN.  Where it is cooked, not where it is eaten.

61. Bartender's supply: SODA.  Bubbly water.

62. Chocolate __: LAB.  The Hershey product research facility. No, wait -- The Chocolate Lab is a brown colored variety of Labrador Retriever,  a friendly, confident and loving dog with great character and huge appeal as a pet.

And on that friendly note we draw today's treats to a close.  We had some fun snacks and a few opportunities to clean up.  Hope you found it satisfying.

Cool regards!

Jan 30, 2024

Tuesday, January 30th, 2024, Zachary David Levy


 The TIDE has been turned, reversed, and spelled backwards three times in the grid, and it was almost perfectly constructed, too, as the first theme answer broke down to E - DIT, followed by ED -IT, but we didn't get the final EDI -T; can anyone think of a way to build that into the puzzle~?  A relatively quick solve, with either "gimme" answers, or something rather vague ( I'm looking at you 39A. ).  And again, several proper names, yet none that didn't fill in on their own if I didn't know them immediately.  Somehow, I seem to have created an 80s songs sub-theme, too.  Oh, and we're missing just the "Z" for a pangram.

17. Playful tune: LITTLE DITTY - 'bout Jack n' Diane~?

John Cougar Mellencamp

27. Threw in the towel: CALLED IT QUITS - Men At Work, "It's A Mistake"

Lyrics @ 2:29

46. Roadside channel for water runoff: DRAINAGE DITCH - OK, 1976, so not quite the 80s

Blue Öyster Cult - see 26D.

60. Stage a comeback, or an apt title for this puzzle: TURN THE TIDE - and the TIDE is "high", by Blondie, which I did not know as a remake....

Is that Darth Vader~?

Washed Away We Go~!


1. "I've been here before" feeling: DÉJÀ VU - yeah, I think I was here before, like, maybe last Wednesday~!?

7. __ and carrots: PEAS

11. Has been: WAS

14. Some dome-topped venues: ARENAS

15. Roger's rival, familiarly: RAFA - Tennis - Roger Federer vs. Rafael "Rafa" Nadal

16. __ crossroads: AT A

19. Half a score: TEN - a score being twenty, as in "Four score and seven...."

20. Low USN rank: ENSign

21. Fires up, as an engine: REVS

22. Converse: SPEAK

24. Japanese art genre: ANIME

26. Proper conduct, in Hinduism: DHARMA - Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, guitar master from Blue Öyster Cult

31. Ooze, as charm: EXUDE

32. Addition amount: SUM

33. Church bench: PEW - we have "pew pads" that clip to the tops of the benches so that we can utilize the space effectively with no damage done

Lynchburg, VA

36. Made readable, in a way: DECODED - I never had a "secret decoder ring" when I was a kid  :7((

39. Based on deduction instead of experience: A PRIORI - I have actually read/heard this term before

42. Two-time Super Bowl MVP Manning: ELI - New York technically has either "two" or "no" football teams ( the Giants and 3D. ), depending on your perspective on playing in New Jersey; I recall the "helmet catch" of an Eli Manning throw, Superbowl XLII.  BTW, the "big" game always "interferes" with my birthday weekend....

43. Male sheep: RAM

45. Elba of "The Wire": IDRIS - crossword staple

51. Bring on: INDUCE

53. Gave it a shot: TRIED

54. Threshold: VERGE

55. Kristen who was on "SNL" from 2005 to 2012: WIIG - no clue, filled via perps

56. Henson who created the Muppets: JIM - him I do know

59. Sweetie: BAE - I cringe at the use of this "word"

64. In the style of: À LA

65. "That makes sense": "I SEE"

66. Immune system components: T-CELLS

67. Fine stone: GEM

68. Sugar source: CANE - I had perps, so it wasn't "BEET"

69. Throat-soothing beverage: HOT TEA

aaah, that's better~!


1. Small valley: DALE

2. "__ go bragh!": ERIN - St. Patrick's Day is nigh

3. New York NFLers: JETS - us long suffering Jets fans had another "Really~?" season in 2023

4. Kitchen pest: ANT

5. Kilmer of "Top Gun: Maverick": VAL - I have, thankfully, never seen this, nor the original movie

6. Login requirement: USER ID

7. Flowering shrubs used as border hedges: PRIVETS

8. Uses (up): EATS - a series of rush plays in football "EATS" up the clock, especially inside the two-minute warning

9. Toward the tiller: AFT - nautical terms

10. Greets, with "to": SAYS "HI"

11. Wakeboarding, for one: WATER SPORT

12. Mr. T's squad: A-TEAM - I pity the fool

13. Maxwell House decaf brand: SANKA - I have heard of this "instant" coffee, did not know it was Maxwell House, and according to Wiki, it's where the "orange" diner carafe handle comes from

18. Singer Lovato: DEMI - learned by doing crosswords

23. Butter portion: PAT - I was 16 when this advertisement appeared

24. Big name in footwear: ALDO - not big enough for me - NIKE, AVIA, maybe; ALDO I have seen, but did not know was just footwear

How about ALDO Nova~? - more 80s music

25. Require: NEED

26. Hauler destination, perhaps: DUMP - ooh, a good guess on my part

27. Give up: CEDE

28. Figure skater's jump: AXEL

29. Certain state of awareness while sleeping: LUCID DREAM - I love it when I can recall my lucid dreams.  I try to retain the details every time I wake up - getting pretty good at it.  Does anyone think there's a 'hidden meaning' or something deeper to one's dreams~?  I believe there is....

30. Sine __ non: QUA - Latin "without which not", or, a thing that is necessary

34. Writer/illustrator Carle: ERIC - filled via perps, and a WAG at the "R"

35. Genie's offering: WISH - three from a bottle~?

37. Lake near the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: ERIE - hey~!  I was just there - in the city of Erie, PA, where the Organ Supply Industries warehouse and manufacturing shop is located

38. Karate skill level: DAN - the Wiki

40. Attraction at a fair: RIDE

41. "__ my best": "I DID"

44. Afternoon show: MATINEE

47. Bit of floor decor: RUG

48. Like pickling liquid: ACETIC - BRINY and SALTY didn't fit, Saline was a weak maybe....

49. Moxie: GRIT

50. Half of a fourth: EIGHTH - good crossword fill with G-H-T-H; the math is 1/4 ÷ 1/2 - or - .5 * .25

51. ICU hookup: IV BAG - my first thought, but I hesitated

52. Writer Zora __ Hurston: NEALE - not familiar with her; I know of NEALE Donald Walsh, author of "Conversations with God" - I have most of the book series, but I just discovered there was a movie made in 2006

55. Small songbird: WREN - crossword staple

56. Leave at the altar: JILT - ah, that's the word I couldn't recall....

57. Not going anywhere: IDLE

58. City outside Phoenix: MESA - another good WAG on my part

61. Can. neighbor: USA - seems too easy and obvious, after the previous clue

62. Green beginning: ECO

63. Vietnamese New Year: TET - crossword staple


Jan 29, 2024

Monday January 29, 2024 Doug Peterson



Happy Monday, everyone! sumdaze here. Grab your rod and reel. Ace constructor Doug Peterson hid five fish in today's grid. Let's see what we can catch.

16 Across. *Glide around a rink: ICE SKATE.

24 Across. *Angel who's a three-time AL MVP: MIKE TROUT.  
30 Across. *Toll road: TURNPIKE.

44 Across. *Radioactive decay emission: GAMMA RAY.

50 Across. *Ace at a poker table: CARD SHARK.
There was some discussion on this one last month. "Cardsharp" refers to someone who cheats at cards and can also be skilled. It is spelled as one word. On the other hand, a CARD SHARK is someone who is skilled at cards (an ace, perhaps) but not a cheater. It is spelled as two words. Some people think that CARD SHARK is an eggcorn but the two terms have different etymologies.

And the unifier:

63. Swerve back and forth, as a car's rear end, or a feature of the answer to each starred clue: FISHTAIL.  

SKATETROUTPIKERAY and SHARK are all FISH that appear at the TAIL end of the starred clues.
It is impressive to see five themers plus a reveal in a grid that still has room for  the pairs of 7- and 9-word fills in the NE and SW corners. Well done, Doug! So fin-tastic!
Let's admire Doug's grid:

Answer:  more clues!
Let's keep going.
1. Includes on an email: CCs.  Hi C.C.!

4. Quite often: A LOT.  A LOT of people spell this as one word. I wonder if one day in the future "alot" will be the correct spelling.  #LanguageEvolves

8. Regimen for injured athletes: REHAB.  a program for rehabilitating after an injury

13. Infield bounce: HOP.  
Just kidding!
A short infield HOP is a ball that bounces in front of the fielder, making it tricky for the defensive player to field accurately and quickly.

14. Burn slightly: SEAR.  Does anyone else like to SEAR their ravioli?

15. Walked proudly: STRODE.  

18. "If nothing changes ... ": AS IT IS.  with the situation that exists now  

19. Manicurist's application: POLISH.  
race for a cure for nail psoriasis???

20. Delivery vehicle: VAN.  
Toy Story. Buzz & Woody sneak into a different delivery vehicle. (1:35 min.) YO!

22. Eucalyptus, for one: TREE.  We have several eucalyptus TREES in the area. They smell amazing when it rains.

23. Fries topping: SALT.

26. "Now You See Me" actress Fisher: ISLA.  
You might know Isla from the movie Wedding Crashers (2005)
or the TV show Wolf Like Me (2022-present).
She celebrates her 48th birthday this coming Saturday.
Happy Birthday, Isla!

29. Set of beliefs: CREED.  
Do you remember this CREED?

34. Filled with cargo: LADED.

37. Boxer Muhammad: ALI.  
Flashback to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Can you watch this without choking up? I cannot.

38. Part of a place setting: UTENSIL.

41. Blunder: ERR.

42. Threatening forecast: STORM.

46. Honking flock: GEESE.  
2:24 min. of GOOSE cuteness

49. December number: NOEL.  Good one! A NOEL (like all songs) is a musical number.

53. Idris of "The Suicide Squad": ELBA.  I heard him tell an interviewer that he was the DJ for Prince Harry & Meghan's wedding. Apparently his uncle was a DJ so teenager Idris spent a lot of time helping him. Eventually he became quite good. Here's a pic for Lucina.  

57. Thermometer type: ORAL.  If the following line amuses you, you might want to read Erma Bombeck's full essay here.
I remember the first time I gave my mother a pair of earrings wrapped in a rectal thermometer box. 

58. Feel regret: RUE.

59. Not moving: AT REST.  

61. "The World Is Not Enough" actress Richards: DENISE.  her IMDb page

65. "Coming up next ... ": AND NOW.  

66. Pennsylvania's Gem City: ERIE.  Another one of ERIE's nicknames is the Flagship City.

67. Pharmaceutical watchdog gp.: FDA.  Food and Drug Administration

68. Metal for construction beams: STEEL.  Speaking of Pennsylvania city nicknames, Pittsburg is the Steel City.

69. Copier paper pack: REAM.  There are 500 sheets of copy paper in a REAM. If you do not believe me, you can count them.

70. "Of course!": YES.  

1. Chocolate morsels: CHIPS.     pairs nicely with     
2 Down. Chocolate drink: COCOA.

3. Bit of witchcraft: SPELL.  

4. Poses questions: ASKS.

5. "Nancy Drew" actress Lewis: LEAH.  LEAH was born December 9, 1996 in Shanghai, China. When she was eight months old a family in Florida adopted her. She played Nancy's friend George Fayne on Nancy Drew (2019-2023).

6. Cheerios grain: OAT.

7. Rome's __ Fountain: TREVI.  
Nicola Salvi designed this masterpiece.

8. ACLU concerns: RTS.  TBH, I'm still not comfortable with this abbreviation for RighTS.

9. Country north of Ethiopia: ERITREA.  
Biniam Girmay, an up and coming cyclist, was born in Asmara, ERITREA.

10. One with a souped-up ride: HOT RODDER.  Def.:  a person who drives a motor vehicle that has been specially modified to give it extra power or speed.

11. French farewell: ADIEU.  

12. Under siege: BESET.  Def.:  to surround or hem in.
This works if we use the passive voice. Merriam-Webster gives the example sentence, "He's been BESET by a lack of confidence."

15. More reasonable: SANER.

17. Protest without marchers: SIT-IN.

21. Dog breeders' org.: AKC.  American Kennel Club  
Comet, a Shih Tzu, won the AKC National Championship Best in Show award in 2023.

24. "Let's __ a Deal": MAKE.

25. "I'm all ears!": TELL ME.

27. Froths: SPUMES.

28. Held a match to: LIT.

30. Univ. aides: TAs.

31. Last: Abbr.: ULT.  ULTimate???

32. Waterway that translates to "big river": RIO GRANDE.  
Cole Porter (1891-1964) wrote I'm an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande).
This is Asleep at the Wheel's cover (2006).

33. Shakespeare's lang.: ENG.
The language in which Shakespeare wrote is referred to as Early Modern English, a linguistic period that lasted from approximately 1500 to 1750. The language spoken during this period is often referred to as Elizabethan English or Shakespearian English.  source

35. Notable time period: ERA.

36. Towel off: DRY.

39. Pocketed, as a billiard ball: SANK.  You would think people would avoid using the word SANK when referring to (a) pool.

40. Brief "As I see it": IMO.  IMOpinion

43. Tachometer marking: RED LINE.  

45. On the ball: ALERT.

47. Molelike mammal: SHREW.  
short-eared elephant SHREW

48. __ de cologne: EAU.  

50. Musical conclusions: CODAS.

51. "There __ enough hours in the day!": AREN'T.

52. Send for a second opinion: REFER.  like a medical opinion

54. Like kale: LEAFY.

55. Back of a 45: B-SIDE.  The 7-inch 45 RPM record was introduced by RCA Victor in 1949.
Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers was the B-SIDE to Hung On You (1965).  

56. Volume of maps: ATLAS.

59. Home to seven countries whose names end in "-stan": ASIA.  The suffix -stan is Persian and Urdu for place of or where one stands.

60. Not us: THEM.  so divisive

62. Fa follower: SOL
64. Hot reaction: IRE.  anger.

It's oh-fish-ial, that's all for today. Let minnow what you thought of today's puzzle in the Comments section. Sea you later!

Jan 28, 2024

Sunday January 28, 2024 Gary Larson & Amy Ensz

Theme: That's Amore (A-more) - A is added to the start of each common phrase/word.

25A. Bit of support on the job?: AMEN AT WORK. Men at work.

42A. Leave everyone amazed?: AWE THE PEOPLE. We the people.

67A. In-house water source?: ABODE WELL. Bode well.

98A. Collect music publishing copyrights?: AMASS NUMBERS. Mass numbers.

119A. Legislative branch that is mindful and introspective?: AWARE HOUSE. Warehouse.

3D. Rock collector?: AGATE KEEPER. Gatekeeper.

6D. Stood up as friends?: AROSE BUDS. Rose buds.

72D. Row in Petco?: AISLE OF DOGS. Isle of Dogs.

83D. Mixture for a Pennsylvania Dutch brewer?: AMISH MASH. Mishmash. 

Very consistent. All the A's are inserted in the front.

Quite a gridding feat. The four Downs intersect four of the Across theme entries. I don't think I've done this for a Sunday grid before. Intersection sometimes makes the filling easier, sometimes it brings knotty spots.


1. Refrigerator handle: AMANA. Ha, nice handle.

6. Rideshare updates, for short: ETAS.

10. Pencils that are hard to sharpen: STUBS.

15. In need of resupply, maybe: BARE.

19. Asperity: RIGOR. Never used "asperity" before.

20. TV producer Spencer: LARA. Knew her from "Antiques Roadshow" days.

21. Put forward: POSIT.

22. Lacking a paper trail: ORAL.

23. About to explode: IRATE.

24. Blondie drummer Burke: CLEM. Short for Clement.

27. Blues legend James: ETTA.

28. Partridge family member: PHEASANT.

30. Dune plants: GRASSES.

31. Scottish herders, informally: SHELTIES.

33. Noble gas that's roughly 1% of the atmosphere: ARGON.

35. __ gin fizz: SLOE.

36. Arboreal marsupial: KOALA.

37. Hypoallergenic makeup brand: ALMAY.

39. Bouillon __: CUBES.

47. Farm female: HEN.

49. Glissade garb: TUTU.

50. Sushi roll topper: ROE.

51. Tristan and __: ISOLDE.

52. Like much of Montana: RURAL.

54. Dworshak structure: DAM. Not famliar with the Dworshak Dam. In Idaho.

55. Gets a move on: HOPS TO. And 60. Greets silently: NODS TO.

57. Legal term that means "guilty mind": MENS REA.

62. See 58-Down: ADELINE. 58. With 62-Across, barbershop standard: SWEET.

64. Broke off from a group: WENT SOLO.

66. Supermodel Banks: TYRA.

71. From Perth to Sydney: EAST.

75. Sanctimonious sort: PHARISEE. I think I learned this word from Boomer, or maybe from Father Charlie.

78. Southern staple: RED RICE. We have real red rice in China.

81. Goes after: CHASES.

84. Woodstock sextet: SANTANA.

88. Being: PERSON.

89. Sleep cycle: REM.

90. Not quite foggy: MISTY. Hi there, Misty!

92. Goodyear offering: RADIAL.

94. "__-in-the-Mist": novel by Hope Mirrlees: LUD. Learning moment.

95. Purple bloom: IRIS.

97. Post-dubbing title: SIR.

101. Like 101 courses: BASIC.

103. "Honest": NO LIE. And 4. Very little: NOT A LOT.

105. Light cigar: CLARO.

106. Letter-shaped beam: H BAR.

108. Sealy rival: SERTA.

110. County officers: SHERIFFS.

113. Daughter of Cronus and Rhea: DEMETER. Also 82. Daughter of Cronus and Rhea: HERA. And 118. Balder's father: ODIN.

116. One well-versed in competition?: SLAM POET. Nice clue/fill.

121. Bent: BIAS.

122. "Middle Child" rapper: J COLE.

123. "Being the Ricardos" role: DESI.

124. Basilica areas: APSES.

125. Almond shade: ECRU.

126. "Shucks!": OH GEE.

127. Labor agcy.: OSHA.

128. Vegetarian source of protein: BEANS. Not a fan of beans. I do like tofu though.

129. Coarse file: RASP.

130. Conquers: BESTS.


1. Astrological ram: ARIES.

2. Jollity: MIRTH.

5. "Blessed __ the meek": ARE.

6. Stingy sort: EL CHEAPO.

7. Chronicles: TALES.

8. Length x width, for a rectangle: AREA.

9. Kafka protagonist: SAMSA. "The Metamorphosis".

10. Sequin: SPANGLE.

11. Snareless drum: TOM TOM. Hi there, Tom, Tom!

12. Make the most of: USE.

13. Google alternative: BING.

14. Rating units: STARS.

15. Steps aside: BOWS OUT

17. Scarce: RARE.

18. Group with lodges: ELKS.

26. Mineral replaced by cornstarch in most cosmetic powders: TALC.

28. Adds criticism to criticism: PILES ON.

29. North __ Sea: Kazakh lake: ARAL.

32. Island of French Polynesia known for black-sand beaches: TAHITI.

34. Language of central Mexico: NAHUATL.

38. "Programs! Git __ programs here!": YER. What does this mean?

40. Nouveau-Mexique, par exemple: ETAT.

41. Japanese wrestling: SUMO. The wrestlers eat sumo oranges.

42. Buddhist who has attained nirvana: ARHAT.

43. Buzz Lightyear's pal: WOODY.

44. Shade tree: ELM.

45. Laudatory poem: ODE.

46. Cross product: PEN.

48. Tech startup?: NANO. Another great clue.

52. Actress Russo: RENE.

53. "hehe": LOL.

56. Smacks: SLAPS.

59. DVR button: REW.

61. "All the Light We Cannot See" novelist Anthony: DOERR. We had him before.

63. Ring bearer, maybe: EAR.

65. Camera type, briefly: SLR.

68. Casual cafes: BISTROS.

69. Anthem opener: O SAY.

70. TV room: DEN.

73. Use elbow grease on: SCOUR.

74. Cares for: TENDS.

76. Alter, in a way: HEM.

77. Clearance rack caveat: AS IS.

79. Shoulder ornament: EPAULET.

80. California beach town with a historic racetrack: DELMAR.

81. Nursery piece: CRIB.

85. Longtime Notre Dame coach Parseghian: ARA.

86. "If I Ruled the World" rapper: NAS.

87. Infomercials, e.g.: ADS.

91. Gluttony, e.g.: SIN.

93. Creeps: INCHES UP.

96. Risk territory: SIBERIA.

98. Close: AIRLESS. I don't get this clue.

99. Self-referential: META.

100. Eggy bun: BRIOCHE. Looks so soft.

102. "Tár" Oscar nominee Blanchett: CATE.

104. Abate: LESSEN.

107. Get-well program, briefly: REHAB.

109. "Waves of grain" color: AMBER.

110. Takes off: SOARS.

111. Boneless cut: FILET.

112. Bygone blades: SNEES.

113. Carpentry slot: DADO.

114. Farm females: EWES.

115. Tire swing holder: ROPE.

117. 12-point type: PICA.

120. Winner of all but three Olympic women's basketball championships: Abbr.: USA. I bet this is Patti's clue.

122. listing: JOB.

Big Easy's granddaughter Janie scored 26 points in her final HS home game. Here she is with her coach. Big Easy had a few health hurdles in the past few weeks. Glad the toughest part is over, George!