LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Oct 2017, Monday



Constructed by: Jeff Stillman
Edited by: Rich Norris



Today’s Theme: BBB

Each of today’s themed answers has the letters “PIC” on the OUTSIDE, shared between the answers start and finish:
Each of today’s themed answers comprises THREE words beginning with the letter B:

  • 59D. Consumer protection org., and a hint to the answers to starred clues : BBB
  • 20A. *A little bit at a time, to a mason : BRICK BY BRICK
  • 32A. *Next step up after a crib, for some toddlers : BIG-BOY BED
  • 40A. *Hit by *NSYNC about the end of a relationship : BYE BYE BYE
  • 50A. *Iconic refrain from the Trammps’ 1976 hit “Disco Inferno” : BURN BABY BURN

Bill’s time: 5m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0


Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies


1. Security gp. with wands : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.

8. Hooch : BOOZE

In the Klondike gold rush, a favorite tipple of the miners was “Hoochinoo”, a liquor made by the native Alaskans. Soon after “hooch” (also “hootch”) was adopted as a word for cheap whiskey.

13. __ Spumante : ASTI

Asti is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy, and is named for the town of Asti around which the wine is produced. The wine used to be called Asti Spumante, and it had a very bad reputation as a “poor man’s champagne”. The “Spumante” was dropped in a marketing attempt at rebranding associated with a reduction in the amount of residual sugar in the wine.

17. Minor league ice org. : AHL

The American Hockey League (AHL) is the so-called development circuit for the National Hockey League (NHL), the equivalent of the minors in professional baseball. The AHL’s playoff trophy is called the Calder Cup, which is named for Frank Calder who was the first president of the NHL.

23. Los Angeles athlete : RAM

The Los Angeles Rams are the only franchise to have won NFL championships in three different cities, i.e. Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951) and St. Louis (1999). The Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945, in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1994, in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, and returned to Los Angeles in 2016.

24. *Trademark on Sealy’s home page : POSTUREPEDIC

The Sealy Corporation makes mattresses. The company name comes from the city where it started out in 1881, namely Sealy, Texas. Sealy Corporation is now headquartered in Trinity, North Carolina.

26. Lamb pen name : ELIA

Charles Lamb published a famous collection of essays simply entitled “Essays of Elia”. Elia was actually a clerk and co-worker of Charles Lamb, whereas Lamb was the author.

29. Green Giant morsels : PEAS

The Jolly Green Giant was introduced by Minnesota Valley Canning in 1925 to help sell the company’s peas. He was named after one of the varieties of pea that the company sold, the “Green Giant”. The Jolly Green Giant first appeared in a television commercial in 1953, walking through a valley with young boys running around at his feet. That first commercial proved to be so scary for younger viewers that it was immediately pulled off the air. In 1972, the Jolly Green Giant was given an apprentice called the Little Green Sprout.

33. Nearly 25% of a marathon : TEN-K

The marathon commemorates the legendary messenger-run by Pheidippides from the site of the Battle of Marathon back to Athens, and is run over 26 miles and 385 yards. The first modern Olympic marathon races were run over a distance that approximated the length of the modern-day Marathon-Athens highway, although the actual length of the race varied from games to games. For the 1908 Olympics in London, a course starting at Windsor Castle and ending in front of the Royal Box at White City Stadium was defined. This course was 26 miles and 385 yards, the standard length now used at all Olympic Games. Organizers of subsequent games continued to vary the length of the race, until a decision was made in 1921 to adopt the distance used in London in 1908.

34. Marvin Gaye’s label : TAMLA

Tamla Records was started in 1959 by Berry Gordy, Jr. Gordy started a second record label the following year, called “Motown”.

Marvin Gaye was a singer-songwriter from Washington, D.C. who came to be known as “Prince of Soul” and “Prince of Motown”. Some of Gaye’s biggest hits are “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968), “What’s Going On?” (1971), “Let’s Get It On” (1973) and “Sexual Healing” (1982). Famously, Gaye was shot dead by his father while Marvin was sitting on his mother’s bed just talking to her. Marvin had given the gun to his father as a Christmas gift.

38. *Like “The Hunger Games” trilogy : POST-APOCALYPTIC

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

44. Descartes’ sum : I AM

The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”.

45. *1998 Bullock/Kidman film involving sorcery : PRACTICAL MAGIC

“Practical Magic” is a 1998 romcom starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as two sisters who are raised as witches. The film is based on a 1995 novel of the same name written by Alice Hoffman.

52. Pepper typically hotter than a jalapeño : SERRANO

The serrano chili pepper is native to the mountainous regions of the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo. The name “serrano” comes from the Spanish “sierra” meaning “mountain”.

The jalapeño is a chili pepper, and a favorite of mine. The pepper’s name translates from Spanish as “from Xalapa”. Xalapa (also “Jalapa”) is the capital of the Mexican state of Veracruz, and the traditional origin of the jalapeño pepper.

54. Conestoga traveler : WAGONER

A Conestoga is a large covered wagon that was used in many of the wagon trains that crossed North America in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The name was taken from the Conestoga Valley near Lancaster, Pennsylvania where the design was developed. The Conestoga wagon resembled a boat on wheels, and often the gaps between the planks were caulked so that it would float when crossing water.

55. Bars in aisles, briefly : UPC

Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code (UPC)

59. “Ugh, I’ve heard enough” : TMI

TMI (too much information!)

67. “Law & Order: __” : SVU

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin-off from the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly (to me), there is a very successful Russian adaptation of the show that is set in Moscow.

69. Brown rectangle? : QUAD

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island is one of the eight Ivy League schools. Brown has been around a long time, founded in 1764, years before America declared independence from England. The university took the name of Brown in 1804 after one Nicholas Brown, Jr. gave a substantial gift to the school. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Brown Bears, and their mascot is Bruno.

70. “Ben-__” : HUR

The celebrated Charlton Heston movie “Ben-Hur” is a dramatization of a book published in 1880 by Lew Wallace titled “Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ”. The 1959 epic film won a record 11 Academy Awards, a feat that has been equaled since then but has never been beaten. The other winners of 11 Oscars are “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the Rings”.

71. Outlook alternative : AOL MAIL

Outlook is the email management application that comes with Microsoft Office.

74. Joe dispenser : URN

It seems that no one really knows why we refer to coffee as “joe”, but we’ve been doing so since early in WWII.

84. “Every kiss begins with __”: jeweler’s slogan : KAY

Kay Jewelers is perhaps the most famous store brand owned by Sterling Jewelers. Sterling is the largest fine jewelry chain in the country, with the company’s main competitor being Zale Corporation.

87. Gauge on the dash : TACH

The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

88. *Furry, green baseball mascot : PHILLIE PHANATIC

The Phillie Phanatic is the mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. The Phanatic replaced the older mascots Philadelphia Phil and Philadelphia Phillis in 1978.

93. Toast opener : HERE’S …

The tradition of “toasting” someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

94. Swanson on “Parks and Recreation” : RON

Ron Swanson is the boss, the director of the parks and recreation department on the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation”. Swanson is played by actor Nick Offerman.

97. Bespectacled “Scooby-Doo” character : VELMA

“Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” is a series of cartoons produced for Hanna-Barbera Productions, first broadcast in 1969. The title character is a great Dane dog owned by a young male called Shaggy Rogers. The character’s name was inspired by the famous “doo-be-doo-be-doo” refrain in the Frank Sinatra hit “Strangers in the Night”. Shaggy was voiced by famed disk jockey Casey Kasem.

98. Downward dog surface : YOGA MAT

The downward-facing dog pose in yoga is more properly known as “adho mukha svanasana”.

110. Classic palindrome ending : PANAMA

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite words is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

111. Tuscan hill city : SIENA

Siena is a beautiful city in the Tuscany region of Italy. In the center of Siena is the magnificent medieval square called Piazza del Campo, a paved sloping open area made up of nine triangular sections. The square has to be seen to be believed. Twice a year, the famous bareback horse-race called the Palio di Siena is held in the Piazza.

113. Acronymic anxiety about being excluded from the fun : FOMO

Fear of missing out (FOMO)

116. Veto : NIX

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of Ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.


1. Rain delay cover : TARP

Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The word “tarpaulin” comes from “tar” and “palling”, with “pall” meaning “heavy cloth covering”.

2. Some free downloads : SHAREWARE

Shareware is software that is distributed for free, although there is usually a request to pay non-compulsory license fee.

3. “Talk to Her” Oscar-winning screenwriter Pedro : ALMODOVAR

Pedro Almodóvar is a very successful Spanish film director, born in a small town in the region of La Mancha (made famous by Don Quixote). I’m afraid I don’t recognize any of Almodovar’s films.

“Talk to Her” is a 2002 Spanish film that was written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. I haven’t seen the movie, but it does have an interesting storyline. It is about two men who become friends, while each cares for a woman who is in a coma.

5. One below quatre : TROIS

In French, “trois” (three) is one below “quatre” (four).

11. Alphabetiser’s ending : ZED

On the other side of the Atlantic, a “zed” (zee) would be the last letter used by an alphabetiser (with an S, instead of a Z).

13. Guinness of “Star Wars” : ALEC

Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered (sadly, I think) for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”.

15. Tamsui River capital : TAIPEI

“Taipei” translates from Chinese as “Northern Taiwan City” and indeed is situated at the northern tip of Taiwan. The city is nicknamed “City of Azaleas” as flowers are said to bloom better in Taipei than in any other city on the island.

21. Protective lymphocyte : T CELL

T cells are a group of white blood cells that are essential components of the body’s immune system. T cells are so called because they mature in the thymus, a specialized organ found in the chest.

Lymph is a fluid that exists “alongside” blood in the body, and is transported through lymph vessels. One of the functions of the system is to pick up bacteria in the body, transporting them to lymph nodes where they are destroyed by lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Lymph can also carry metastatic cancer cells, which can lodge in lymph nodes making lymph nodes a common site where tumors may be found growing.

28. City named by Cortés : VERACRUZ

The port city of Veracruz in Mexico was originally called Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz, which translates as “rich village of the true cross”. The “rich” referred to the large amount of gold that the Spanish found in the area.

Hernán Cortés (also “Hernando Cortez”) led the expedition from Spain to Mexico that eventually led to the fall of the Aztec Empire.

33. Ancient wrap : TOGA

In Ancient Rome the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

34. Author Morrison : TONI

The writer Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Amongst other things, Morrison is noted for coining the phrase “our first black President”, a reference to President Bill Clinton.

35. Power couple? : AC/DC

Anyone with a laptop with an external power supply has an AC/DC converter, that big “block” in the power cord. It converts the AC current from a wall socket into the DC current that is used by the laptop.

38. __ de gallo : PICO

Pico de gallo is a Mexican condiment made from tomato, onion and chili peppers. “Pico de gallo” is Spanish for “beak of rooster”. Apparently this name was given as eating of the condiment with the thumb and forefinger resembled the pecking of a rooster.

40. Rabanne of fashion : PACO

Paco Rabanne is a Spanish fashion designer who was at the height of his success and influence in the 1960s. He was a pioneer in the genre known as Metal Couture. Indeed, it was Rabanne who was responsible for the elaborate metallic fashions used in the 1968 sci-fi movie “Barbarella” starring Jane Fonda.

46. Spanish snack : TAPA

“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”, and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

47. Barracks noncom : LOOIE

Lieutenant (lt., and “looie” in slang).

48. Artist Chagall : MARC

Marc Chagall was a Russian-French artist, one of the most successful of the 20th century. Unlike so many painters, Chagall was able to achieve wealth and notoriety for his work during his own lifetime. It did help that Chagall lived to a ripe old age though. He passed away in 1985, when he was 97 years young. One of Chagall’s most famous works is the ceiling of the Paris Opera. The new ceiling for the beautiful 19th-century building was commissioned in 1963, and took Chagall a year to complete. Chagall was 77 years old when he worked on the Paris Opera project.

49. Another name for abalone : EAR SHELL

The large edible sea snails that we call abalone are called ormer in the British Isles, and is served as “awabi” at a sushi bar. The abalone shell resembles a human ear, giving rise to the alternative names “ear shell” and “sea ear”.

50. God head? : DEMI-

In Greek mythology, a demigod was a half-god, the offspring of one parent who was a god and one parent who was human. The list of demigods includes the Greek hero Heracles and the Celtic hero Cú Chulainn.

51. Benét or Bellinger of R&B : ERIC

Eric Benét is an R&B and neo-soul singer from Milwaukee. Benét does a bit of acting as well. His first wife was actress Halle Berry, but they divorced in 2005 after four years of marriage. Benét’s second marriage was to Manuela Testolini, who is Prince’s ex-wife.

Eric Bellinger is an R&B and soul singer from Los Angeles. Bellinger is married singer and actress La’Myia Good in 2014. Neither name means anything to me …

54. Hip-hop hitmaker Fetty __ : WAP

“Fetty Wap” is the stage name of rap artist and R&B singer Willie Maxwell II.

56. “Letter from Birmingham Jail” initials : MLK

The “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a 1963 open letter penned by Martin Luther King, Jr. defending nonviolent resistance to racism. King wrote the letter in several pieces, using the margins of newspapers as this was the only paper available to him while in jail.

57. Bingo relative : BEANO

The game called Beano is a precursor to Bingo. Beano was so called as dried beans were used to cover the called numbers on a card.

61. Novello for whom British music-writing awards are named : IVOR

Ivor Novello was one of the most popular entertainers in Britain in the early 20th century. Novello was a Welsh composer, singer and actor. On top of his success on the stage and in front of the camera, he even wrote the dialogue for the 1932 movie “Tarzan the Ape Man” starring Johnny Weissmuller.

62. Former South African monarchy : ZULU KINGDOM

The Zulu are the largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an estimated population of 10-11 million people today. The Zulu were famous for resisting the colonization by the British in 19th century, resulting in the Anglo-Zulu War. The Zulus had initial success, but the British eventually prevailed (see the excellent film “Zulu”, starring Michael Caine and others, from 1964).

65. Arizona retirement city : YUMA

The city and county of Yuma, Arizona take their name from the Quechan (aka “Yuma”) Native American tribe that inhabited the area.

66. Comedian Alonzo’s self-named sitcom : CRISTELA

Cristela Alonzo is a comedian from San Juan, Texas who is perhaps best known from her ABC sitcom “Cristela” that ran in 2014/2015. Alonzo was named for the midwife who delivered her. In a strange twist of fate, that same midwife’s niece is actress Maria Canals-Barrera, who plays Alonzo’s sister on “Cristela”.

69. TV drama partly set on a Louisiana farm : QUEEN SUGAR

“Queen Sugar” is a TV drama that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name by Natalie Baszile. It’s all about three estranged siblings who reunite to save their family’s failing sugarcane farm in Louisiana.

72. Square serving? : MEAL

A “square meal” is one that is substantial and nourishing. According to some sources, the phrase originated with the Royal Navy, and the square wooden plates on which meals were served. However, this centuries-old practice is an unlikely origin as the phrase is first seen in print in the US, in 1856. An advertisement for a restaurant posted in a California newspaper offers a “square meal” to patrons, in the sense of an “honest, straightforward meal”. The “honest” meaning of “square” was well-established at the time, as in “fair and square”, “square play” and “square deal”.

76. Grouse family bird : PTARMIGAN

Ptarmigans are in the grouse subfamily of birds that all live in cold upland areas or tundra. Ptarmigans have feathered feet and toes, an adaptation to the environment in which they live. These “hare-like” feet give rise to the taxonomic name for the ptarmigan’s genus, i.e. “Lagopus” from the ancient Greek “lagos” meaning “hare” and “pous” meaning “foot”.

77. Pilaf-like product : RICE-A-RONI

Rice-A-Roni was introduced in 1958 by the Golden Grain Macaroni Company of San Francisco. The company was run by an Italian immigrant and his four sons. The wife of one of the sons created a pilaf dish for the family diner they owned. It was a big hit, so her brother-in-law created a commercial version by blending dry chicken soup mix with rice and macaroni. Sounds like “a San Francisco treat” to me …

78. Publisher Adolph : OCHS

Adolph Ochs was a former owner of “The New York Times”. Ochs had purchased a controlling interest in “The Chattanooga Times” when he was only 19 years of age, and took control of “The New York Times” in 1896 when he was 38 years old. Soon after taking charge, Ochs coined the paper’s slogan “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. It was also Ochs who moved the paper’s headquarters to a new building on Longacre Square in Manhattan, which the city later renamed to the famous “Times Square” after the newspaper. Och’s son-in-law Arthur Hays Sulzberger took over control of “The New York Times” after Adolph died. The Ochs Sulzberger family has owned the paper ever since.

80. With 57-Across, storied hot-porridge eater : PAPA …
(57A. See 80-Down : … BEAR)

The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837, in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

83. Free __: carte blanche : REIN

The phrase “carte blanche” was imported from French in the early 1700s, when it was used to mean “blank paper” (in French it means “white paper”). Later in the century, the term came to mean “full discretionary power”, which is how we use the phrase today.

85. The Irons of soccer’s Premier League : WEST HAM

West Ham United is a professional football club located in the East London, England. “The Irons” were founded in 1895 as a club called “Thames Ironworks”. The club was disbanded and reformed as West Ham United in 1904, taking the name of the East London neighborhood. Although “the Irons” nickname is still around today, it’s more usual to refer to the team as “the Hammers”. The team’s badge features two crossed hammers, a nod to the origins in the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company.

89. African American folk magic : HOODOO

Hoodoo is a traditional African-American folk magic and spirituality that has West African, Native American and European roots. Hoodoo is sometimes confused with Voodoo, especially as they both have West African connections. However, the two practices are very different.

90. Like Candy Crush purchases : IN-APP

“Candy Crush Saga” is an “app” version of the browser video game “Candy Crush”. Apparently it is very, very popular. Not with me, though …

91. Taiwanese PC brand : ACER

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I used to visit a lot when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

92. Lines at the door? : TA TAS

I’m done with the puzzle, and am out of here. Ta ta! Bye!

97. Blood lines : VEINS

Arteries are vessels that carry blood away from the heart, and veins are vessels carrying blood to the heart.

101. Long-necked pampas bird : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

The pampas are fertile lowlands covering a large part of Argentina, Uruguay and some of Brazil. “Pampa” is a Quechua word meaning “plain”.

102. River of Hades : STYX

The River Styx in Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or Hades). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.

105. First character in this clue : ONE

That’s because the clue is 105-down.

106. Bit of body art : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are also sometimes referred to as “ink”.


Complete List of Clues/Answers


1. Eydie who sang with Steve Lawrence : GORME
6. Began a typical triathlon : SWAM
10. Went lickety-split : SPED
14. Construction girder : I-BEAM
15. Prefix with legal : PARA-
16. Epitaph starter : HERE …
17. Six-inch putt, say, in golf lingo : GIMME
18. Distinctive flair : ELAN
19. Eye part : IRIS
20. *A little bit at a time, to a mason : BRICK BY BRICK
23. Heavy favorites : SHOO-INS
26. Those women, in Spain : ELLAS
27. Shabby homes : HOVELS
28. Huge : LARGE
31. Surprise police action : RAID
32. *Next step up after a crib, for some toddlers : BIG-BOY BED
36. Grecian vessel of verse : URN
37. What “is yet to come,” in a Sinatra classic : THE BEST
39. Shogun stronghold : EDO
40. *Hit by *NSYNC about the end of a relationship : BYE BYE BYE
42. When repeated, a Samoan city : PAGO
43. Sleep clinic study : APNEA
44. Got via hard work : EARNED
46. Chicago airport : O’HARE
49. Diplomatic office : EMBASSY
50. *Iconic refrain from the Trammps’ 1976 hit “Disco Inferno” : BURN BABY BURN
54. Playground retort : AM SO!
55. Shapeless mass : BLOB
56. Biting : ACERB
60. Space Race destination : MOON
61. Theater level : LOGE
62. Cygnus’ brightest star : DENEB
63. “Rule, Britannia” composer : ARNE
64. “Goodness gracious!” : EGAD!
65. Founded: Abbr. : ESTAB


1. Jazzman’s job : GIG
2. Japanese sash : OBI
3. Sleep stage : REM
4. Did a Cuban dance : MAMBOED
5. TV chef Lagasse : EMERIL
6. Contractor’s details : SPECS
7. Base on balls : WALK
8. Spirited horse : ARAB
9. Scads of : MANY
10. Child star Temple : SHIRLEY
11. Danger : PERIL
12. “All My Children” vixen : ERICA
13. Newsroom fixtures : DESKS
21. Helpful connections : INS
22. Fathered, biblically : BEGOT
23. Landscaper’s planting : SHRUB
24. White with age : HOARY
25. Sheeplike : OVINE
28. Tripoli’s country : LIBYA
29. 1958 Pulitzer-winning author James : AGEE
30. Football carriers: Abbr. : RBS
32. “Cheers” actress Neuwirth : BEBE
33. Spilled the __: told all : BEANS
34. Barely beats : EDGES
35. Puppet Howdy __ : DOODY
37. Easygoing sort : TYPE B
38. Egg layer : HEN
41. Without exception : BAR NONE
42. Struts like a horse : PRANCES
44. Australian runner : EMU
45. Use sandpaper on : ABRADE
46. Trump predecessor : OBAMA
47. Funny stuff : HUMOR
48. Felonious flames : ARSON
49. Subsided : EBBED
51. Ready, willing and __ : ABLE
52. Modern diary : BLOG
53. Discipline with mats : YOGA
57. Tolkien tree creature : ENT
58. Stephen of “The Crying Game” : REA
59. Consumer protection org., and a hint to the answers to starred clues : BBB


15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 23 Oct 2017, Monday”

  1. Today’s puzzle wasn’t too bad, though I made a few silly errors. The BBB theme helped. Had sAMBaED instead of MAMBOED but knew SHOO was supposed to cross. Oh well. Had a busy end of the week so I was slow to get those puzzles accomplished and read through the blog. Hence no comments from me.

    When I was first getting into baseball it always baffled me to see BB on the scoreboard in place of W for walks. Guess they liked W for the ‘win’ so they came up with ‘base on balls’ for walks.

    @Carrie – rooting for the Dodgers here on out. ⚾️

    Still waiting for the WSJ puzzle to be posted. Seems like everyone else got LOCH as well for the meta. That took me a while because I didn’t notice the fish that were crossing. Initially I found them all in one direction but not the other. Then I saw ‘carp’ as a cross and it came to me. 🙂 Feeling pretty good as I’ve gotten a few in a row now!

    Hope everyone has a great day!


  2. LAT (pen and paper): 6:58, no errors. I’m not into sports, so “base on balls” made sense, but was new to me. Newsday: 6:50, no errors. WSJ and BEQ: not available yet … and I’m starting to worry. (Reminder to self: at first available opportunity, get real life … ?.)

    @Megan … You definitely have a knack for the WSJ metas! I also sent in LOCH, but I spent some time wondering if it might be a red herring, as has happened in the past.

  3. 8:59. Nice easy Monday which was quite welcome after a very difficult puzzle weekend. When it’s all weekend and both the LAT and NYT that were giving me fits, I tend to think it was more my not being on my game than the puzzles being that hard.

    The MAMBO reference reminds me of the song Mambo No 5. The song came out when I was in Barcelona and I must have heard that song 100 times while there for 5 days. Even though I heard it many more times back in the U.S., I always think of Barcelona when I hear it…

    Best –

  4. Newsday: 6:50, no errors; very easy.

    Now, as for Brendan Emmet Quigley’s latest: after about an hour and fifteen minutes, I had finished less than half of it and it was becoming clear to me that I was not going to be able to do very much more without spending a lot of time, so I gave up and began using Google to research the many, many references to things completely unknown to me. From that point on, it took another half hour to fill in all the squares. A good learning experience (though it remains to be seen how much of what I learned will stick with me … or will do me any good if it does ?).

      1. @Glenn … Thanks for the report. I thought that BEQ was a real bear – the hardest one of his that I’ve seen, and one that I don’t think Shortz would have published (certainly not as is). I filled in the “smaller” corners (lower left and upper right) completely, along with some portions of the rest, but I found certain clues/answers to be really disheartening (in particular, those for 17A, 23A, 28A, 30A, 34A, 46A, 55A, 8D, 9D, 24D, 31D, 37D, 40D, and 49D). Hindsight tells me that I could have done more (particularly in the upper left), but I became disinclined to continue and I sincerely doubt that I would have been able to finish unassisted.

        I also have to wonder a little if Quigley finished this puzzle at the last minute, as I picked up two errors in the clues: an extra “s” in 27A and “who’s” in place of “whose” in 24D. (Neither error gave me any grief, but it’s quite unusual for me to find any errors at all in the clues.)

        I probably need to take a break from puzzles for awhile, as I find myself doing what I so often do: getting obsessive/compulsive about finishing a certain set of things every day, no matter what else needs to be done, and adding a little more every so often, until it all gets to be too much, and I have to reset and indulge in a little R & R. Of course, I’d have to find something else to take my mind off the current political situation, wouldn’t I? … ?

        1. @Dave
          IMO, it really wasn’t any worse than any of the late week NYT puzzles. In fact for me, most of the NYT puzzles are worse than this one, including the last one BEQ had there.

          But you’re relaying something I put into Bill’s NYT blog a few weeks ago and something I could write about most of the NYT puzzles. For all the obscure cultural references few have heard of (either too new or too old) and the other general idiocy that gets put into these puzzles, I won’t be able to do any of these puzzles within 5 years. It’s just incredibly ridiculous, more so Shortz’s puzzles. It still astounds me to this day that I’m even able to do any of them at all.

          To get more specific about the puzzle itself, besides my typically glacially slow times (121 minutes before the DNF), the upper left was the main problem for me. Got a lot via crosses, but really only 3 clues that I had issue with, and 2 of those (23A, 8D) were ones that would have never showed up in the NYT for one reason or another.

          I’m thinking though that I’m going to need to step away a lot more than I already have for wanting to pick up some of my other hobbies. That and evidently not figuring these crossword puzzles out.

  5. Other airports with odd FAA names:

    Orlando Intl, MCO. Used to be McCoy Field.
    Kahului (OGG). Named after Hawiaan aviator Jimmy Hogg.
    Kansas City (MCI). Originally “Mid-Continent Intl.”
    New Orleans (MSY). Originally Moisant Field.
    Cincinnati (CVG). Originally Covington Field, and is actually in Kentucky.

  6. 5:39, no errors on this. Nice to be able to complete something and not have fits, like most of the puzzles over the weekend that I DNFed (Sat, Sun NYT, Sat Newsday, Croce #302, numerous WSJ puzzles, etc) or got numerous errors on (most of the rest, I did zero error the Fri NYT in 35 minutes so I guess that’s something). Like I say, I’m still missing something pretty big to do so badly with a lot of these puzzles still. I’ll see how I do with today’s BEQ in a bit.

    We wouldn’t want Sports Illustrated to be wrong now would we? (Though it would be quite amazing to find that cover and collect it for an Astro’s fan if they did really win.)

    Always nice to see you around here.

    I got LOCH for the meta as well. It was an easier one today, I think. Not like last week’s.

  7. Today’s puzzle was super easy … not so much fun.

    Thanks all for all your comments. Just returned from a long trip. I managed to meet my niece, who works for Google, who flew back to Chicago, this morning, and then onto Dublin, after one day in Moscow. Jeff, I wonder if people get any work done, when they are jet hopping all over the place ?

    The winter rains have begun, and the temps are in the 60oS. I hope the winter is not going to be bad.
    Bill, thanks for all the information on the blog. Really, really enjoyed it !@!
    Goodnight, all.

  8. Am I the only one that’s noticed that Bill’s explanations are from some other puzzle. The displayed grid and the complete answer list is OK, but the explanations in the middle?

    @Bill ???

    1. Hi there, Dirk.

      I think that I owe an apology. I’ve been trying to clean things up in the background, as quietly as possible, after the hosting change that I had to make a month or so ago. As a result, some people saw some mismatched content today. I’m tempted to say that it was all a test to see who reads the drivel that I write every evening, but the truth is that I just messed up. But, thank you, Dirk … for reading those Googlies that take most of the time to write up! 🙂

  9. New to this. What are wags, perps, red letter runs, and is natick part of this jargon I need? Any other lingo defined would be appreciated. Google was no help and the only source for these terms I found was you guys, i. e. Crossword Corner.

  10. What?? Robert, is that YOU? I’m Carolyn, known here as Carrie!!?
    Omigosh this is crazy!!!
    Crosswordland brings people together!! So, a Natick is a point in a puzzle where two words cross and you don’t know either one!! They’re too obscure. I believe Will Shortz coined the term (is that correct, folks?) It takes the name from an obscure town in Massachusetts, tho I’m sure the people who live in Natick, MA don’t think it’s so obscure….!?
    (If you’re a different Robert: my apologies!)
    Hey all! ?
    Dirk, I noticed it too!
    Easy Monday–I had a near-Natick myself on this one, at DENEB/ENT. Didn’t know DENEB, and I only know ENT from crosswords!! And I always get it confused with EFT.
    Hey Glenn! Great link; thanks! I do hope we prove them wrong….⚾
    Dave- finally started Croce’s #302… Made some headway, but really, I’m only about 60% confident in what I’ve got…
    Megan! Right there with ya! GO BLUE!
    Be well~~™???

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