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


Feb 29, 2024

February 29, 2024, Thursday, Margi Stevenson


Have it Both Ways

Psych: The Musical is a spinoff from Psych,  
a detective comedy-drama TV series (2006 - 2014).
(currently streaming on Prime)

Today constructor Margi Stevenson presents us with a theme about what is arguably everyone's favorite conjunction: AND [why settle for just OR?].  Here are her themers (no stars, circles, or reveal) --

17A. Tap options?: HOT AND COLD.  There doesn't seem to be a convention for which is on the left and which is on the right.

25A. Poker options?: SHOW AND TELL.  Or an elementary school introduction to public speaking.

37A. Flower options?: CUT AND DRIED.  Teri is very adept at the keeping the former from becoming the latter.  However deliberately drying flowers is also a means of preserving them.

52A. Mouth options?: OPEN AND SHUT.  I need to work on the second option.  😀

61. Boxing options?: DOWN AND OUT.  If you go DOWN you've got until the count of 10 before you're OUT.

This theme explication is now OVER AND OUT. Which could be clued: "CBer communications options?".

Here's the grid ...

Here's the rest ...


1. Caught wind of: HEARD.  You can experience this  after the next clue ...

6. Helpless?: SOLO.  As today is Gioachino Rossini's 56th birthday it was a no-brainer to play what is arguably the most famous SOLO of all time.  Here's Ettore Bastianini  singing the aria Largo al factotum from the Barber of Seville ...

10. French friends: AMISAND, if this were tomorrow or the next day it might be clued "Kingsley ___", novelist, poet, and critic.

14. Get along: AGREE.

15. Rotten to the core: EVIL.  Like Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie) in John le Carré's The Night Manager

16. Fender flaw: DENTAND, if this were tomorrow or the next day it might be clued "Arthur ____, anti-hero of HGTTG" ...

AND that will be all of that.

17. [Theme clue]

19. Disney princess whose gown is adorned with snowflakes: ELSA.  She didn't mean to do it ...

20. "I'm so dumb!": IDIOT.  I resemble that remark!.

21. Lessen, as pressure: EASE UP.

23. Slumber party wear, for short: PJS.

25. [Theme clue]

28. Time-stamp component: DATE.

30. Like oyster shooters: RAWHere's a recipe.  I prefer mine neat with a dab of hot sauce and a vodka chaser on the side (a half dozen of these and you'll be floating in the Chesapeake! 😀).
Oyster Shooter
31. 90° from sur: OESTE.  Today's Spanish lesson: "West".  As it's 5 letters, it couldn't be ESTE -- Spanish for "East".

32. Start of many long weekends: FRIDAY.  Also the start of the hard puzzles.

35. Academic figure: DEAN

37. [Theme clue]

41. German automaker once owned by General Motors: OPELOpel Automobile GmbH, usually shortened to Opel, is a German automobile manufacturer which has been a subsidiary of Stellantis since 16 January 2021. It was owned by the American automaker General Motors from 1929 until 2017 and the PSA Group prior to its merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to form Stellantis in 2021.

42. Emotional baggage: ISSUES.  A common problem between "ITEMS". 😀

45. Hawk's claw: TALON.

49. __ Speedwagon: REOREO Speedwagon, or simply REO, is an American rock band from Champaign, Illinois. Formed in 1967, the band cultivated a following during the 1970s and achieved significant commercial success throughout the 1980s. Their best-selling album, Hi Infidelity (1980), contained four US Top 40 hits and sold more than 10 million copies.  Here's Keep On Loving You from that album ...

51. Upgrade a gravel driveway, say: PAVE.
52. [Theme clue]

56. SoCal airport: LAX.

57. Big citrus: POMELO9 Health Benefits of Pomelos -- but be sure to read the caveat at the end if you take statins for high cholesterol.
58. Lipstick mishap: SMEAR.

60. Luminescence: GLOW.  E.g the GLOW of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).  A celestial event is due to happen this year that may cause them to be seen at much lower latitudes.
Aurora Borealis
61. [Theme clue]

66. Forearm bone: ULNA.  Can also be clued as "Radius partner" ...
Radius and Ulna
67. Field of study: AREA.

68. Huevos rancheros condiment: SALSAHere's a recipe.
Huevos Rancheros.
69. Overly inquisitive: NOSY.

70. Baking amt.: TBSP.

71. Fix, as text: EMEND.


1. Scoffer's laugh: HAH.

2. Psychoanalysis subject: EGO.  Today's Latin lesson: I.

3. Like one who can really draw a crowd?: ARTISTIC. For example ... 

4. Audition (for): READ.

5. "Tree of Smoke" novelist Johnson: DENISTree of Smoke is a 2007 novel by American author Denis Johnson (July 1, 1949 – May 24, 2017) which won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2007 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. It is about a man named Skip Sands who joins the CIA in 1965, and begins working in Vietnam during the American involvement there.
Denis Johnson
6. Pie chart slice: SECTOR.

7. Ab __: from the beginning: OVO.  But what came before the OVO?

8. Short, for short: LIL.  E.g. apparently many rappers are height challenged. 😀

9. Of yesteryear: OLDEN.

10. "__ Fideles": ADESTE. More Latin: "Oh come all ye faithful" ...
11. Wild brawls: MELEES.

12. Slight: INSULT.

13. Rice, in some cuisine: STAPLE.

18. "I'm so dumb!": DOH.

22. Mortal lover of Aphrodite and Persephone: ADONISADONIS was an exceptionally handsome young man. He was so handsome, in fact, that the goddesses Aphrodite and Persephone competed for his love. Though they were ultimately forced to share the young man, Adonis favored Aphrodite and was best known as her lover. 
23. Common email attachment: PDFPortable Document Format, a de facto standard developed by the Adobe, Inc.

24. Preserves preserver: JAR.

26. Imitates a penguin: WADDLES.  A PSA from our Antarctic friends ...

 Stay safe on ice - walk like a penguin!

27. Wowed: AWED.

29. Part of a 35-Across's address: EDU.

33. Lacking a musical key: ATONALThis does not appear to be a well-defined term.  While it is associated more with music of the 20th century, atonality was used as early as 1885 in Franz Liszt's Bagatelle sans tonalité, S.216a, here played by Yulianna Avdeeva ...
34. Terrier's bark: YAP.

36. "Midsommar" filmmaker Aster: ARISorry, even the trailer is rated R.

38. Unhip type: NERDDWEEBS, but not GEEKS.

39. Uncanny ability, for short: ESPExtra Sensory Perception, a scientifically unhip thing to believe in. 😀

40. Job for an actor playing identical twins, say: DUAL ROLE.

43. "Hadestown" Tony nominee Noblezada: EVA. Hadestown is a 2010 sung-through  musical (i.e. an opera -- but it's probably best not to call it that 😀) with music, lyrics, and book by Anaïs Mitchell. It tells a version of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Eurydice, a young girl looking for something to eat, goes to work in a hellish industrial version of the Greek underworld to escape poverty and the cold, and her poor singer-songwriter lover Orpheus comes to attempt to rescue her.  Here's a recent review in the Guardian of the London staging.
Eva Noblezada
44. Possible reason for an R rating: SEX.  This film was rated R for SEX and nudity but this trailer is rated PGEmma Stone won a BAFTA for Best Actress for her performance ...

45. 1986 movie partly filmed at San Diego's Air Station Miramar: TOP GUNTOP GUN is a 1986 American action drama film inspired by an article titled "Top Guns", written by Ehud Yonay and published in California magazine three years earlier. It stars Tom Cruise as Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, a young naval aviator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.  "Top Gun" is the name of the United States Navy's Fighter Weapons School at Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.  For some reason this school was moved to the Nevada desert in 1996.
46. "The Trials of __": Rick Riordan series based on Greek myths: APOLLOThe Trials of Apollo is a pentalogy of fantasy adventure and mythological fiction novels written by American author Rick Riordan that collectively form a sequel to the Heroes of Olympus series.

47. Small citrus: LEMONS.

48. Like freeway ramps: ONE WAY.

50. "Nice burn!": OH SNAPOH SNAP is a slang expression of surprise. It is similar to whoa and woah and also used when someone is insulted in an embarrassing manner.

53. Greet silently: NOD AT.

54. Actress Thurman: UMA.  For obvious reasons I've never seen this film ...

55. On edge: TENSE.

59. "Ferrari" actor Driver: ADAMFerrari is a 2023 American biographical sports drama film directed by Michael Mann and written by Troy Kennedy Martin. Based on the 1991 biography Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races, the Machine by motorsport journalist Brock Yates, the film follows the personal and professional struggles of Enzo Ferrari, the Italian racer and founder of the car manufacturer Ferrari S.p.A.  What better actor to play the star than ADAM Driver?
62. Scepter top: ORB.

63. Director Anderson: WES.  One of my favorite directors.  Here's a trailer for his most recent film Asteroid City, which can best be described as -- "quirky".  The cast includes Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Margot Robbie, and Adrian Brody ...

64. Gp. featured in 45-Down: USN.

65. Skosh: TAD.


And as always, thanks to Teri for proof reading and for her constructive criticism.


Feb 28, 2024

Wednesday February 28, 2024. Natalie Murphy

Theme:  If we could turn back time.  The word "DAY is hidden in each theme entry, but spelt backwards.  Not easy to find.  Nota bene: each YAD is split across two words.

21. Beach community in L.A.'s South Bay: PLAYA DEL REY.   A seaside suburb in the Santa Monica Bay and the South Bay region of Los Angeles County, California. As of 2018, the community had a population of 16,230 people.

26. Customer who buys a gadget as soon as it's available: EARLY ADOPTER.    an early customer of a given company, product, or technology. The term originates from Everett M. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations.  They ususally pay the highest price.

43. Guidance at just the right moment: TIMELY ADVICE.   Exactly as defined in the clue.

50. Time to do things out of order, or what appears in 21-, 26-, and 43-Across: BACKWARD DAY.   National Backwards Day, celebrated on January 31st each year, is a whimsical and fun-filled observance that encourages people to do things in reverse or unconventional ways.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here, thinking about driving a Toyota in reverse.  But let's go at this puzzle in a straightforward way.  


1. Like purchases made while playing freemium games: IN APP.  With some apps, you can buy additional content or services within the app. We call these "in-app purchases." Here are some examples of in-app purchases: A sword that gives you more power in a game. A key that unlocks more features of an app. Virtual currency that can be used for purchases.

6. Hanging on every word, say: RAPT.  Completely fascinated by what one is seeing or hearing.

10. Golf course transport: CART.   A small motorized vehicle for golfers and their equipment.

14. Storm-tracking device: RADAR.   A system for detecting the presence, direction, distance, and speed of aircraft, ships, and other objects, by sending out pulses of high-frequency electromagnetic waves that are reflected off the object back to the source.  Radar spelt backwards is __________.

15. Cincinnati's state: OHIO.   A state in the Midwestern region of the United States. Ohio borders Lake Erie to the north, Pennsylvania to the east, West Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Indiana to the west, and Michigan to the northwest. Of the 50 U.S. states, it is the 34th-largest by area. With a population of nearly 11.8 million, Ohio is the seventh-most populous and tenth-most densely populated state. Its capital and largest city is Columbus, with other large population centers including Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron, and Toledo. Ohio is nicknamed the "Buckeye State" after its Ohio buckeye trees, and Ohioans are also known as "Buckeyes".[10] Its flag is the only non-rectangular flag of all U.S. states.  Giraffes are not native to Ohio because buckeyes are poisonous to them.

16. Taiwan-based laptop giant: ACER.   Acer Inc. is a Taiwanese multinational hardware and electronics corporation specializing in advanced electronics technology, headquartered in Xizhi, New Taipei City.

17. "Skyfall" singer: ADELE.  Adele Laurie Blue Adkins MBE  (born 5 May 1988), known mononymously as Adele, is an English singer-songwriter. She is known for her mezzo-soprano vocals and sentimental songwriting. Adele has received numerous accolades including 16 Grammy Awards, 12 Brit Awards (including three for British Album of the Year), an Academy Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Golden Globe Award.

18. __ bene: NOTA.   A Latin phrase meaning "note well". It is often abbreviated as NB or n.b., and first appeared in English writing c. 1711.

19. "Space Jam" bunny voiced by Kath Soucie: LOLA.  Lola Bunny is a Looney Tunes cartoon character portrayed as an anthropomorphic female bunny created by Warner Bros. Pictures. She is generally depicted as Bugs Bunny's girlfriend. She first appeared in the 1996 film Space Jam.

20. Oldest Bobbsey daughter: NAN.  The Bobbsey Twins are the principal characters of what was, for 75 years, the Stratemeyer Syndicate's longest-running series of American children's novels, written under the pseudonym Laura Lee Hope. The first of 72 books was published in 1904, the last in 1979, with a separate series of 30 books published from 1987 through 1992. The books related the adventures of the children of the upper-middle-class Bobbsey family, which included two sets of fraternal twins: Bert and Nan, who were twelve years old, and Flossie and Freddie, who were six.  Does anybody read them any more?   Imagine NAN facing in the other direction.

24. Scottish Highlander: GAEL.  (Especially in historical contexts) a member of the Gaelic-speaking peoples inhabiting Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.

25. Calendar entries: EVENTS.  An occasion planed for a certain lpace and time.

31. Woodshop grippers: VISES.   A mechanical apparatus used to secure an object to allow work to be performed on it. Vises have two parallel jaws, one fixed and the other movable, threaded in and out by a screw and lever. 

32. "Aw, darn!": RATS.   Exclamation of disappointment or dismay.  But it's bright in reverse.

33. Sweet potato: YAM.  Not the same thing.  We've been over this.  Especially in MAY.

36. "__ done the same thing!": I'D'VE.  I would have.

37. "The Cider House Rules" Oscar winner Michael: CAINE.  Sir Michael Caine CBE [b 1933] is an English retired actor. Known for his distinctive Cockney accent, he has appeared in more than 160 films over a career spanning eight decades and is considered a British film icon. 

39. Beauty mark: MOLE.    A normal skin growth that develops when pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) grow in groups. They appear as small, dark marks, or sometimes flesh-coloured small bumps, on your skin. Moles can appear in a range of different colours, shapes and sizes.

40. Napkin holder: LAP.  The flat area between the waist and knees of a seated person, suitable for placing a napkin or computer.   In retrospect, it could be your friend.

41. Cast a ballot: VOTE.  A formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands or by voice.

42. All fired up: EAGER.   Wanting to do or have something very much.

46. "Ooh, makes sense": AH, I SEE.   Expression of enlightened agreement.

49. __ and ends: ODDS.   Miscellaneous articles or remnants.

53. Enormous: BIG.  Huge

56. Working hard: AT IT.   Or arguing, or something . . .

57. Verbally attacked, with "into": TORE.  A verbal assault.

58. Like some breakfast tea: IRISH.   Irish Breakfast Tea is a type of black tea that has been a beloved beverage in Ireland and around the world for centuries. This tea is known for its robust and bold flavor, as well as its invigorating effects, making it a popular choice for a morning cuppa. Nota bene: Irish Tea is not grown in Ireland.

60. "__ a Lady": Tom Jones classic: SHE'S.  

61. Brunch, e.g.: MEAL.   A meal is an eating occasion that takes place at a certain time and includes consumption of food. The names used for specific meals in English vary, depending on the speaker's culture, the time of day, or the size of the meal.

62. Terse denial: NOT ME.  Properly should be NOT I, but nobody talks like that.

63. Quaint "Listen!": HARK.  Pay attention!

64. Quiche base: EGGS.  Oval or round objects laid by  female birds, reptiles, fish, or invertebrates, usually containin developing embryos. The eggs of birds are enclosed in a chalky shell, while those of reptiles are in a leathery membrane.

65. V-formation flyers: GEESE.  A goose is a bird of any of several waterfowl species in the family Anatidae. This group comprises the genera Anser and Branta. Some other birds, mostly related to the shelducks, have "goose" as part of their names.  They also lay eggs,


1. Persia, today: IRAN.   Iran, also known as Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in West Asia. It is bordered by Iraq to the west and Turkey to the northwest, Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan to the north, Afghanistan to the east, Pakistan to the southeast, the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to the south. It covers an area of 1.648 million square kilometers (0.64 million square miles), making it the world's 17th-largest country. Iran has around 90 million people, making it the world's 17th most populous country. Its capital and largest city is Tehran with around 16 million people in its metropolitan area.

2. Spanish "nothing": NADA.  Literal

3. Yemen's Gulf of __: ADEN.

4. Buddy: PAL.  Amigo, chum, bestie.   Reversed when you sit down.

5. Takes care of charges in advance: PRE-PAYS.  Pay up front, or earlier,

6. 2018 NL Rookie of the Year Acuña Jr.: RONALD.  Ronald José Acuña Blanco Jr. [1997] is a Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball. After signing with the Braves as an international free agent in 2014, Acuña made his MLB debut in 2018, and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

7. "Howdy, Cap'n!": AHOY.  A shout used, especially by people in boats, to attract attention: Ahoy there! used, especially on a boat, when you see something, usually something that is in the distance: Land ahoy! Ship ahoy!

8. Bread with a pocket: PITA.    A flat rounded slightly leavened bread, originally from the Middle East, with a hollow inside like a pocket, which can be filled with food. 

9. Marioverse racer with pink braids: TOADETTE.   A female Toad who appears as a playable character in various spin-off games throughout the Mario series.

10. Telemarketer: CALLER.    Salespeople who are employed by a company to telephone people in order to persuade them to buy the company's products or services, typically at dinner time. 

11. __ squash: ACORN.  An acorn-shaped dark green winter squash (Cucurbita pepo) with a ridged surface and mildly sweet yellow to orange flesh.

12. Rented again: RELET.  Rent (a property) for a further period or to a new tenant.

13. Cafeteria stack: TRAYS.   Flat, shallow containers with raised rims, typically used for carrying food and drink, or for holding small items.

22. Grassy meadow: LEA.   An open area of grassy or arable land.

23. Nights before: EVES.   The day or period of time immediately before an event or occasion.

24. Delight: GLEE.   Great delight.   Originally, the joy one gets from singing, hence glee clubs as singing ensembles.

26. Wicked: EVIL.  Bad and nasty.  In real time if you turn it around.

27. Verdi opera set in Egypt: AIDA.  A tragic opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt.  The Egyptians have captured and enslaved Aida, an Ethiopian princess. An Egyptian military commander, Radamès, struggles to choose between his love for her and his loyalty to the King of Egypt. To complicate the story further, the King's daughter Amneris is in love with Radamès, although he does not return her feelings.

28. "Tell me if you're coming" letters: RSVP.   RSVP is an initialism derived from the French phrase Répondez s'il vous plaît, literally meaning "Respond, if it pleases you", or just "Please respond", to require confirmation of an invitation.

29. Protruding window: ORIEL.    A large window built out from a wall and resting on a bracket or a corbel.

30. Skillet: PAN.  A flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods. It is typically 20 to 30 cm in diameter with relatively low sides that flare outwards, a long handle, and no lid. 

33. "Pic-a-nic" basket-stealing bear: YOGI.

34. Smart __: wiseacre: ALEC.   A person who is irritating because they behave as if they know everything.  Frex, I know this should be ALECK.

35. Little more than: MERE.   That is solely or no more or better than what is specified.

37. "Bring it on!": COME AT ME.  Used to express confidence in meeting a challenge.

38. Consumed: ATE.   Eat, drink, or ingest food or drink.

39. Dallas NBA team, for short: MAVS.   The Dallas Mavericks (often referred to as the Mavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Dallas. The Mavericks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. The team plays its home games at the American Airlines Center, which it shares with the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars.

41. Perspective: VIEW.   A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

42. Going around in circles?: EDDYING.  As water, air or smoke.

43. "Naughty!": TSK-TSK.   A tongue-clicking sound expressing disapproval or annoyance.

44. Alpine songs: YODELS.  a form of singing which involves repeated and rapid changes of pitch between the low-pitch chest register and the high-pitch head register or falsetto.  This vocal technique is used in many cultures worldwide.

45. Poet laureate Limón: ADA.  Ada Limón [b. 1976] is an American poet. On July 12, 2022, she was named the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States by the Librarian of Congress. This made her the first Latina to be Poet Laureate of the United States.  She's the same, any way you look at her.

46. Embarrass: ABASH.   A feeling of shame or being disconcerted or embarrassed.

47. Branch of yoga: HATHA.   A yoga system of physical exercises and breathing control.

48. Less welcoming: ICIER. More unfriendly or hostile.

51. "Walkabout" director Nicolas: ROEG.  Nicolas Jack Roeg CBE BSC [1928 -2018] was an English film director and cinematographer, best known for directing Performance, Walkabout, Don't Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bad Timing and The Witches.

52. "RuPaul's __ Race": DRAG.    A reality show in which a group of talented drag queens compete in challenges to impress host RuPaul, the world's most famous drag queen, to win a cash prize along with a crown and the title of America's Next Drag Superstar. 

53. Tasting menu portion: BITE.   A very small portion of food.

54. Schools of belief: -ISMS.  A suffix denoting the act, practice, or process of doing a particular thing in a particular way. 

55. Clarified butter: GHEE.   Ghee is made by melting regular butter. The butter separates into liquid fats and milk solids. Once separated, the milk solids are removed, which means that ghee has less lactose than butter. 

59. Maki sushi topper: ROE.  The fully ripe internal egg masses in the ovaries, or the released external egg masses, of fish and certain marine animals such as shrimp, scallop, sea urchins and squid. As a seafood, roe is used both as a cooked ingredient in many dishes, and as a raw ingredient for delicacies such as caviar.

That's it for today.  Hope it didn't set you back too much,

Cool regards!

Feb 27, 2024

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 ~ Jared Goudsmit

Happy Tuesday Folks! Today is going to be short & sweet. I was taking an extra propane tank to the garage, tripped over outdoor cushions, and fell ass over teakettle onto my cactus last night. What a pain in the toosch! [Sp?]

17. *Manga series also known as "Mach GoGoGo": SPEED RACER.

Oh, did I love this cartoon in the '70's.

29. *Captain Morgan product: SPICED RUM.

47. *Iced bun, e.g.: SWEET ROLL.

64. *Yuletide excursion: SLEIGH RIDE.

40. Ceiling beams, or a three-word hint for the answers to the starred clues: R AFTER S.
What you think? A nice breezy puzzle that keeps the reveal hidden 'til the end.

1. British pop singer Lewis: LEONA. The only pop singer I know is Huey but he's from CA.

6. Stuff in a trough: SLOP. Oink.

10. Sea blue: AQUA.

14. Winter X Games host city: ASPEN. #Snowboard

15. Word before or after man: CAVE. HG showed you a snap of my "Cave" last Sat.

16. Reynolds of "Boogie Nights": BURT. He was also in Smokey & the Bandit w/ Sally Field & and the incomparable Jackie Gleason.

 17. [See: Theme]

19. Latvia's capital: RIGA.

20. Condensed, for short: Abbr.: SYN. I'm not sure how this works but it filled.

21. Measuring stick: RULER. "Ruler" is a 15th century variation of "rule," which comes, via French, from Latin "regula," which meant a measuring stick, a diminutive derived from "regere," to straighten, lead, or guide." I use mine to make a straight line.

22. Nodded: DOZED. I'll #Nap when I'm done.

23. Trusty mount: STEED.
My Hero!

25. "Loki" voice actress Strong: TARA.

27. Team on a movie set: CREW.

29. [See: Theme]

34. __ Fables: AESOPS.

37. "Cornflake Girl" singer Tori: AMOS.

38. United: ONE.

39. Molecule in some vaccines: RNA.

40. [See: Theme]

42. Hullabaloo: DIN.

43. AOC, for one: DEM. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D) is a representative or NYC's 14th.

44. Bassoon cousin: OBOE.

45. MLB team with Mr. and Mrs. mascots: NY METS. New York's Mr. Met.

47. [See: Theme]

50. "Alita: Battle Angel" star Salazar: ROSA.

51. Having no loose ends?: TIED.

52. "To reiterate ... ": I SAID.

55. Malfunction, as a copier: JAM UP.

58. Guilty and not guilty: PLEAS.

60. Relieved (of): RID.

63. Suitable for cacti: ARID. I love my Gramp's cacti but this is a sore subject for me right now.

64. [See: Theme]

66. "You can't have it!": MINE.

67. Normandy city: CAEN.

68. Rainwater diverters: EAVES.

69. Cricket clubs: BATS.

70. Calligrapher's collection: INKS. Pens & nibs also fit.

71. Give an address: SPEAK.

1. Gal: LASS.

2. Glimpse: ESPY.

3. Ali Baba's magic words: OPEN SESAME.

4. Family tree word: NEE.

5. Actor Braugher: ANDRE.

6. Spills the tea, maybe: SCALDS. You can sue if it's too hot and SCALDS you.

7. Garter trim: LACE.

8. Paycheck fattener: OVERTIME. Time and a half helped pay the rent.

9. __ capita: PER.

10. Using one's passport, say: ABROAD. I need to renew mine; expired in Dec t did.

11. Pop __: QUIZ.

12. Hard-to-resist impulse: URGE.

13. Just slightly: ATAD.

18. Have regrets: RUE.

22. Black tie optional, say: DRESSY.

24. Only even prime number: TWO.

26. Oak nut: ACORN.

27. Swiped items: CARDS.

28. Extend, in a way: RENEW.

30. Dev of "Slumdog Millionaire": PATEL.

31. Beverly Hills shopping destination: RODEO DRIVE. You can't say RODEO like a Texan. You gotta Church-it-up hoity-toity like Targette.

32. Storage rentals: UNITS.

33. High-minded org.?: MENSA.

35. Expert advice: PROTIP.

36. Buffalo hockey pro: SABRE.

41. Meal regimen: FOOD PLAN. Your diet.

46. Med scan: MRI.

48. Technique-building piano pieces: ETUDES.

49. Supine protests: LIEI-NS.

53. __-AFTRA: SAG. The Nanny (Fran Drescher) is in charge. Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. I didn't know the AFTRA bit. Sounds like a razor.

54. Lenten symbol: ASHES.

55. Door part: JAMB.

56. Opera highlight: ARIA.

57. Money maker: MINT.

59. Chive kin: LEEK.

61. Lightbulb, metaphorically: IDEA.

62. Help __: DESK.

64. School subj.: SCI.

65. Jay-Z genre: RAP.

The Grid:

The TL;DR:
WOs: pens -> INKS
Fav: I kinda liked JAM UP xing with JAMB.

Cheers, -T

Feb 26, 2024

Monday February 26, 2024 Chris Gross


Theme:                It's a Horse ... Of Course!  
Mr. Ed Theme

Howdy, everyone! sumdaze here with a puzzle by The Corner's own Chris Gross, a.k.a. Chairman Moe. I am sure I am not the only one delighted to see Chris' name on today's grid.

There are three themers. Each is a familiar, three-word phrase:

20 Across. "Focus on the future now": NO LOOKING BACK.

25 Across. "Never in a million years!": WHEN PIGS FLY.

45 Across. Easy to set up, as a computer: PLUG AND PLAY.

What do they have in common? It's a HORSE...of course!
Let's look at the reveal:

51 Across. Equestrian transport vehicles, and what the last words of 20-, 25-, and 45-Across can be: HORSE TRAILERS.
When we place the last words in each of the themed clues after (in other words trailing) the word HORSE, we get:
  • HORSEBACK: (adj.) done while on a horse; (adv.) on a horse.
  • HORSEFLY:  any of a family of large dipteran flies with bloodsucking females.
  • HORSEPLAY:  rough play in which people push and hit each other or behave in a silly way. 
This theme set reminds me of the time I was HORSEBACK with my friend Kelli and her daughter. We were holding the herd and, to pass the time, PLAYed a game where we whacked HORSEFLies with our romals and kept score. We all got into the double digits. I have never been around that many HORSEFLies before or since that day.
I'll stop stalling now and move on to the other clues:

1. "Golly!": GOSH.

5. Infuriated with: MAD AT.  I thought I'd flip the script with this one and use it to cue a love song by Madness.  
Madness It Must Be Love  (1981)
Note:  Imagine my surprise when Madness turned up as a clue in last Saturday's puzzle!
10. Light on one's feet: SPRY.  

14. "It's __ you": "You decide": UP TO.  

15. Justice Kagan of the Supreme Court: ELENA.

16. Metals from a mine: ORES.

17. "Jeopardy!" creator Griffin: MERV.  He also created Wheel of Fortune. Here' a fun 1:27 min. video about when Merv hired Pat Sajak.  

18. Piccata ingredient: LEMON.  
This is that -- LEMONs and all.
(Those little green things are capers.)

19. Christmas song: NOEL.  The first one, they say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay.

23. Top-notch: A-ONE.

24. "__ you listening?": ARE.  This is a line from another Christmas song.
Sleigh bells ring ... 🎵

31. Barely lit: DIM.

34. Makes cursed: HEXES.  
35. Some clip-on accessories: TIES.

36. Game with Skip and Reverse cards: UNO.

37. "Need You Tonight" band: INXS.

38. Cover story: ALIBI.  A fun play on a magazine's cover story!
This Lefty Frizzell song always gets to me.  
Long Black Veil  (1959)
"The judge said son what is your ALIBI?
If you were somewhere else then you won't have to die."

40. Pakistani language: URDU.  This is what UNSECO says about URDU.

41. Theater sign on a busy night: SRO.  Standing Room Only
Last week we learned it can also mean Single Room Occupancy in the hotel biz.

42. Shortly: SOON.

43. "Delta of Venus" author Nin: ANAIS.  goodreads link

44. Family: KIN.

48. Deg. for an exec: MBA.  An executive might have a Master of Business degree.

50. Went by bike: RODE.  Watch these professional cyclists show what it takes to ride in the French Alps. (3:15 min.) 

57. Desert in southern Mongolia: GOBI.  It ranks #5 on this List of the 10 Largest Deserts.

58. Clueless gamers: NOOBS.  N00BS are "new" to something. IIRC, -T told us to spell it with two zeros -- but that wouldn't perp this time.

59. Go first: LEAD.     and its clecho     2 Down. Go first: OPEN.  (like when one band OPENs for the main attraction band)

61. Surrounded by: AMID.

62. Connecticut Ivy Leaguer: YALIE.  A student at Yale University is called a YALIE. Another nickname is Elis after Elihu Yale, the school's namesake.

63. Spanish "she": ELLA.  Spanish "he" is only two letters so él no est
á aquí.

64. Brazilian soccer legend: PEL
É.  Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940, Pelé was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee in 1999. He scored 1,279 goals in 1,363 games. The world mourned his passing on December 29, 2022.

65. Book of maps: ATLAS.  

66. Like purple hair: DYED.  
Are you sure it's not natural?

1. Bubble blower's mouthful: GUM.  Fun clue!  

3. Houston MLBer: STRO.  "Major League Baseball player" is abbreviated, so is "ASTRO".

4. Rush-hour traffic conveniences: HOV LANES.  High-Occupancy Vehicle. Nice fill! I checked Crossword Tracker. It showed HOVLANE but not it's plural.  
SoCal news anchors chat about this violator on "The 210".

5. Christopher of "Law & Order: SVU": MELONI.  
Oh, yeah, that guy.
Catch him in an 11-Down.
6. Pub barrel: ALE KEG.

7. "Cool for the Summer" singer Lovato: DEMI.

8. "We don't know who wrote this" abbreviation: ANON.  Multiple CSOs!

9. Cranberry juice quality: TANG.  Hand up for TArt before TANG.

10. Sunken ship finder: SONAR.

11. Many a TV crime drama: PROCEDURAL.  In television, this specifically refers to a genre of programs in which a problem is introduced, investigated, and solved all within the same episode. These shows tend to be hour-long dramas, and are often (though not always) police or crime related.

12. Assault the nose: REEK.  not a punch on the nose  
13. Fashion monogram: YSL.  
You can buy this YSL purse at Neiman Marcus for $1,790.

21. Unwelcome word from a barber: OOPS.  Cute!

22. Large coastal inlets: BAYS.   
I live next to this one.
25. Batter blender: WHISK.  Whimsical Wording!

26. "Three Bathers" painter Matisse: HENRI.  (Dec. 31, 1869 - Nov. 3, 1954) It turns out Matisse owned 
Cézanne's painting for forty years. article
(L to R) Three Bathers by Paul Cézanne (1879-1882)
Three Bathers by Henri Matisse (1907)
Henri Matisse's three cats (who look like they just finished bathing)

27. S&P 100 company that's a descendant of Standard Oil: EXXONMOBIL.  John D. Rockefeller formed the Standard Oil Company in 1870. Exxon and Mobil merged in 1999.  timeline

28. On-the-job risk for a beekeeper: STING.  I recommend The Honey Bus, a book by Meredith May about her beekeeper grandfather.

29. White lie: FIB.

30. Sweet-smelling garland: LEI.  My Yellow Ginger Lei is a Hawaiian classic.  

32. Nepal neighbor: INDIA.  

33. Hardly assertive: MOUSY.  Def.:  nervous, shy, or timid.

38. Email pioneer: AOL.  America Online

39. Baseball Hall of Famer Gehrig: LOU.  Boomer knew all about the cards.  
40. Still having a rind: UNPEELED.  The Orange Peel Theory  is trending. Basically you test someone's love for you by asking them to do something simple like peeling an orange for you. Personally, I do not think we should test others' love for us.

42. Health resorts: SPAS.

43. Not incl.: ADD'L.  If it is not included, there might be an ADDitionaL charge.

46. Saudi __: ARABIA.

47. Beeps and peeps: NOISES.

49. Wedding bouquet tosser: BRIDE.  

51. Base runner's goal: HOME.

52. Irish New Age singer: ENYA.  RosE and I are fans.  
Long Long Journey  (2005)

53. Precisely: TO A T.  Read as "To a Tee".  
Mr. T, accessorized TO A T
54. Tootsie __: ROLL.

55. Depend (on): RELY.

56. Cyber Monday event: SALE.

57. Generation __: GAP.  This can be an issue with XWD solvers.

60. Family guy: DAD.  or son or unc or pop or bro
Peter Griffin is the patriarch on the TV show Family Guy.

Well, that's enough horsing around from me. I'll attach the grid then I'm oat-a here!

Feb 25, 2024

Sunday February 25, 2024 Ed Sessa

Theme: "Free Booze" - BOO is added to each theme entry.

22. Air freshener in the monkey house?: BABOON DEODORANT. Ban deodorant.

31. Ready to take reservations?: FIT FOR A BOOKING. Fit for a king.

53. Container for firecracker flowers?: BOOMING VASE. Ming vase.

69. Jump-start?: BOOSTING OPERATION. Sting operation.

88. Apparel for linksbabies?: GOLF BOOTEES. Golf tees.

102. (Soup or salad) and (chicken or fish), e.g.?: BOOLEAN CUISINE. Lean Cuisine.

120. Train conductor's "That's the end of the ride for you!"?: GET OFF MY CABOOSE. Get off my case.

This would have been a perfect Halloween's puzzle, but it's a Tuesday last year when Ed sent in this puzzle idea. Thursday this year.

I love the title and theme clues. "Jum-start" is so simple, so perfect.


1. God often depicted in a helmet: ARES.

5. "Gracias a la vida" singer Mercedes: SOSA. Don't know her. Argentine singer. From Wikipedia:
"Her music made people hail her as the "voice of the voiceless ones". She was often called "the conscience of Latin America." She died in 2009.

9. Fire sign: SMOKE.

14. Marble piece: SLAB.

18. Lopsided win: ROMP.

19. K-12 appropriate: EL HIElementary High. This is my old high school. 200-meter tracks.


20. Dust-up: RUN-IN.

21. Fuel: STOKE.

25. Artist Matisse: HENRI.

26. Secondhand music purchase: USED CD.

27. Boxer Laila: ALI.

28. "__ you see that!?": DID.

29. "Game of Thrones" beast: DRAGON.

30. D or C, in D.C.: STREET.

34. IJBOL equivalent: LOL. I Just Burst Out Laughing.

36. Jiffy: SEC.

37. Before now: AGO.

38. Pink shade: CORAL.

42. Strange: ODD.

45. Doohickey: THING.

48. College focus: MAJOR. What did you study in college, Splynter?

56. Fun time: GAS.

57. Jiffy __: LUBE.

58. Pest in a cloud: GNAT.

59. The Mel-Tones lead singer: TORME.

60. Rooked: HAD.

61. Add yeast to: LEAVEN.

63. Broken mirror, for some: BAD OMEN.

65. Better than expected, except on the links: ABOVE PAR. I broke 90 a few times at Cedar Creek, a very ladies-friendly course here in Minnesota. Very flat.

68. Storm center: EYE.

73. Tina Fey's former show, for short: SNL.

75. Hunter-gatherer period: STONE AGE.

76. Low bar?: GIN MILL. I did not know the meaning of "gin mill". Cheap bar.

79. Takes as one's own: CO-OPTS.

81. White Claw container: CAN. Never had this.

82. __ seas: SEVEN.

85. Pelvic bones: ILIA.

86. With the bow, in music: ARCO.

87. One hanging around a cave: BAT.

90. Used the oven: BAKED.

92. Mushroom in miso soup: ENOKI.  Mushroom and tofu. Classic miso soup.

94. __ Jima: IWO.

95. Edition: ISSUE.

96. Actress Thurman: UMA.

98. O'er and o'er again: OFT.

100. Brynner of "The King and I": YUL.

110. Ready for fresh paint: PRIMED.

115. Smithy fixtures: ANVILS.

116. Co. interested in net neutrality: ISP.

117. Potassium-rich fruit: FIG. I served Tom Pepper fresh figs a while ago. He liked the taste. He also liked ripe papaya slices, but could not stand green papaya salad.

118. Patti who won a Tony as Evita: LUPONE.

119. French royal: REINE.

123. Took some courses: DINED.

124. Sports venue: ARENA.

125. "Power Book III: Raising Kanan" actor Omar: EPPS.

126. Big barrel: DRUM.

127. Husky's load: SLED.

128. __ longlegs: DADDY.

129. Sports figure: STAT.

130. Bishoprics: SEES.


1. "Identical Twins" photographer Diane: ARBUS.

2. Use the oven: ROAST.

3. Campfire remnant: EMBER.

4. Fine English china: SPODE.

5. Phrase on a mailing label: SEND TO.

6. Hardly fresh: OLD.

7. Harvest bundle: SHEAF.

8. Remoulade kin: AIOLI. Never had remoulade or aioli or tartar.

9. "All seats taken" sign: SRO.

10. "The Sea, the Sea" novelist: MURDOCH. Iris.

11. Studio sign: ON AIR.

12. "Yes and no": KINDA.

13. Doc with a tongue depressor: ENT.

14. Tuna cut: STEAK.

15. Sound heard in libraries?: LONG I.  The i sound in "libraries".

16. Ohio tire city: AKRON.

17. Person: BEING.

21. Psychedelic fungus, casually: SHROOM.

23. Spots on a peacock feather: OCELLI.

24. Morse clicks: DITS.

29. Fetch player: DOG.

32. Swanky do: FETE.

33. Luggage: BAGS.

35. Access, as a network: LOG ONTO.

38. Legendary NYC punk club: CBGB.

39. Actress Chaplin: OONA.

40. Reason for a detour: ROADBLOCK.

41. "Are not!" retort: AM TOO.

43. TiVo, for one: DVR.

44. Power generator: DAM.

46. "__ it my all": I GAVE.

47. Four-time presidential candidate Ralph: NADER.

49. __ mode: A LA.

50. Youth: JUVENILES.

51. Follow directions: OBEY.

52. "The False Mirror" painter Magritte: RENE.

54. Arms treaty subjects, briefly: N TESTS.

55. One who avoids all animal products except fish: SEAGAN. I only knew the term "pescetarian". My sister-in-law Connie is one.

60. Words spoken with crossed fingers: HOPE SO.

61. "__ USA": NPR program hosted by Maria Hinojosa: LATINO.

62. Environmentalist Brockovich: ERIN.

64. Lion's share: MOST.

66. Cranberry field: BOG.

67. Bobbed hairstyle: PAGEBOY.

70. Like some Peruvian ruins: INCAN.

71. "Terrif!": NEATO.

72. Glosses over: OMITS.

73. Wound cover: SCAB.

74. Filmmaker Ephron: NORA.

77. In __ of: LIEU.

78. Cut with a beam: LASE.

80. "The Last Jedi" pilot Dameron: POE.

83. New Haven Ivy Leaguer: ELI.

84. Armed forces org.: VFW.

87. Burrito morsel: BEAN.

88. Some image files: GIFS.

89. Soothing massage option: OIL RUB.

91. Crossed swords: DUELED.

93. Water feature with ornamental fish: KOI POND.

97. Some humanities degs.: MAS.

99. Spat: TIFF.

101. Batting ninth: UP LAST.

102. Medieval poets: BARDS.

103. "The Rookie" actress Melissa: O'NEIL.

104. Ewe-like: OVINE.

105. Like loose-leaf paper: LINED.

106. Cutlass model: CIERA.

107. Spanish pronoun: USTED.

108. City in southern France: NIMES.

109. Country in two continents: EGYPT.

111. Apple players: IPODS.

112. Julianne of "Still Alice": MOORE.

113. Follow: ENSUE.

114. Judges: DEEMS.

120. Josh of "Frozen": GAD. He voiced Olaf.

121. Actress Wray: FAY.

122. Audit pro: CPA.