LA Times Crossword 31 Jan 20, Friday


Constructed by: David Poole
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Minibar

Themed answers each include the word MINI hidden in a black BAR in the grid:

  • 40A Hotel room amenity … or one of the configurations that resolve four puzzle answers : MINIBAR
  • 21A Cornerstone phrase : ANNO DOMINI
  • 29A In a humiliating way : IGNOMINIOUSLY
  • 47A Resident at Ottawa’s 24 Sussex Drive : PRIME MINISTER
  • 57A Little versions : MINIATURES

Bill’s time: 8m 48s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Apologies to everyone!

Somehow, and I am not quite sure how, I thought I had written up today’s puzzle comprehensively and correctly. But, I clearly did not. Here is at least a basic post, with answers and an explanation of the theme.

I’m going to blame a course of pain meds that I started taking a few days ago. I guess they are stronger than I thought …

Again, apologies for the inconvenience caused. Normal service will resume tomorrow (hopefully) …


Complete List of Clues/Answers


1 Really big show : SMASH
6 Sharp bark : YELP
10 Software product with a cup-and-saucer logo : JAVA
14 Addresses : TALKS
15 Maintain : AVER
16 Australian __ : OPEN
17 __ Marbles: historic sculptures : ELGIN
18 Serious warnings : RED ALERTS
20 Narrow range : A TO B
21 Cornerstone phrase : ANNO DOMINI
22 Plunders : MARAUDS
24 Upper-class San Francisco area : NOB HILL
29 In a humiliating way : IGNOMINIOUSLY
31 Old JFK lander : SST
33 Takes pieces from? : UNARMS
38 Beast hunted in Hercules’ fourth labor : BOAR
39 Can. sign letters : KPH
40 Hotel room amenity … or one of the configurations that resolve four puzzle answers : MINIBAR
42 Fr. title : MME
43 Arizona city : YUMA
45 Horn of Africa native : SOMALI
46 W. alliance since 1948 : OAS
47 Resident at Ottawa’s 24 Sussex Drive : PRIME MINISTER
51 Added numbers : ENCORES
54 Unwitting tool : CAT’S PAW
57 Little versions : MINIATURES
59 Smoothie seed : CHIA
60 “Cosmos” presenter : CARL SAGAN
64 Baker’s tool : WHISK
65 Mayberry moppet : OPIE
66 1920s chief justice : TAFT
67 Binary pronoun : HE/SHE
68 2001 Microsoft debut : XBOX
69 Span. titles : SRAS
70 Financial guru Suze : ORMAN


1 Cook, as bao buns : STEAM
2 Smallest European Union nation : MALTA
3 Like search engine ranking systems : ALGORITHMIC
4 Winter luggage item : SKI BAG
5 QVC sister station : HSN
6 Tall tales : YARNS
7 Tied : EVEN
8 Deceived : LED ON
9 Museum with Goyas : PRADO
10 10-Across : JOE
11 Boston Marathon mo. : APR
12 Boxer’s fixer : VET
13 “Jeopardy!” ques., actually : ANS
19 Timber wolf : LOBO
21 Dreamboat : ADONIS
23 One for the money? : UNUM
25 Center : HUB
26 Type of mathematical equivalence : ISOMORPHISM
27 Parent of a cria : LLAMA
28 Minstrel strings : LYRES
31 FaceTime alternative : SKYPE
32 Disdainfully reject : SPURN
34 “I’ll take that as __” : A NO
35 Canyon edge : RIM
36 Wharton deg. : MBA
37 Latin dances : SALSAS
41 “Norma Rae” director : RITT
44 Latin trio word : AMO
48 Jazz and Swing : ERAS
50 Artist known for optical illusions : ESCHER
52 Les __-Unis : ETATS
53 10-Down sweetener : SUGAR
54 Euro fractions : CENTS
55 Tyler of “Criminal Minds” : AISHA
56 Rouse : WAKEN
58 Tennis nickname : RAFA
60 Crew chief : COX
61 PD heads-up : APB
62 Kia subcompact : RIO
63 Latin law : LEX
64 Dr. Seuss’ Cindy-Lou, e.g. : WHO

36 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 31 Jan 20, Friday”

  1. January 30 puzzle, Adolph Rupp played at Kansas but coached at Kentucky, Kentucky basketball venue is named Rupp Arena

  2. Took awhile to figure out the “mini” part, but after that — it was still hard! Ended with cox/xbox. Not familiar with “cat’s paw.”

  3. I was really forward to your explanation of some answers which are so very strange. But it is yesterday’s answers that appear.

  4. The Friday puzzle by David Poole lacked an essential quality of any good crossword: It was absolutely joyless, a grinding slog propping up an uninspired theme. Bellyflop. Yawn. Ugh.

      1. Actually, row 6 contains the entire word “ignominiously”, which does mean “in a humiliating way” (the clue for 29-Across).

        And, since I’m here … 10:26, no errors, no false steps … and I thought it was a very clever and enjoyable respite from the labor associated with my move from an old house to a new one … 😜.

    1. Pointing out the error is one thing. But even before Bill’s explanation, screaming “FIX IT!!!!” was WAY out of line. Can’t you see that this was just an “oops” of some kind? It’s not like you’re paying for access to this blog. If this is all it takes for you to go berserk, then you need to get a life, or get therapy.

    2. Hi Annie, are you aware that Bill writes this blog for our entertainment and for himself? He doesn’t get paid. No, he doesn’t make any money from ads; this is the only way he can write his blog without having to pay. Bill started some 10 years ago as a retirement hobby. Lots of people enjoyed reading it and it became popular. If he misses a day or posts the wrong write-ups (which hardly ever happens) he has a very good reason, and you have no reason to take him to task.

  5. @Bill. Hi Bill. You do yeoman’s duty, each and every week, 7 days with no time off for good behavior. So you have no need to apologize to me for your lapse, pain meds or not. Thanks for all your hard work and I look forward to tomorrow and your explanations of the weird and the wonderful crossed up crosswords.

  6. 15:02, and again, escaped error-free. As usual, couldn’t visually separate A TO B, so made a reasonable guess with SKI BAG to complete it. Interesting little device, a “mini” puzzle within a puzzle, if you will.

  7. 12:44 for me. Once I figured out the “schtick” it went faster, but I was stuck for a while thinking that IGNOMINIOUSLY was IGNOBLY (although that’s not what that word means). Once I got the “mini bar” thing stuff fell into place, BUT for some reason I was still blind to the top and bottom ones, where there was no split clue (MINI appears last or first). That slowed me down for a while because it kept me from getting “(MINI)ATURES” and since I didn’t know RAFA, I was at a standstill right at the end for a while. Eventually, as we used to say in college, “dawn breaks on the Serengeti!”

  8. Hello, Bill . . . Get off of those darn opioids as soon as possible. While they work for you in the short term, long-term ain’t good. Feel better!!

  9. Was doing great until today. Had way too many errors and didn’t understand the theme even though I got “mini bar” early. Too many software, computer etc things for me. AND not very fun even after seeing the answers.

    Bill, you don’t need to apologize to any of us. You do a great job everyday!

  10. I thought this puzzle was deliciously clever. Lots of fun to solve. ANNO DO[MINI], IGNO[MINI]OUSLY, PRIME [MINI]STER, [MINI]ATURES. Ingenious! To all the whiners: shut up, go away, and do the ridiculously easy Tribune puzzle.

  11. Moderately difficult/easy Friday for me; took 28 minutes with no errors. I knew something was up on the second theme clue, but was thinking ignobly, like Charley. I finally figured it out on PRIME-MINI-STER, but the first and last theme clues still had me fooled until I got here.

    The rest of the puzzle was pretty straight-forward and I just had to wait for a few crosses, although the “binary pronoun” seemed a bit off…is heshe a word?..spell checker doesn’t seem to think so.

  12. Peter, kindly do not tell me to shut up and go away! Just skip the rest of my comment.

    Greetings y’all!!🦆

    DNF….this was too much for me. I do NOT like puzzles where entries are intentionally misspelled in service of the theme!! As far as I’m concerned IGNO is just a misspelled word, unless and until I figure out the theme, and I couldn’t hang around for it with this grid!😬

    Dirk! That’s written with a slash: HE/SHE. You’ve probably seen it. Looks weird without the punctuation. 🤔

    Be well ~~🍺🍺🍺

    1. I didn’t direct my comments to anyone personally – only to people who whine because the puzzle isn’t simple enough for them.

      I discovered that the easy-peasy “Tribune” puzzle is actually the “Daily Commuter Crossword”. If the whiners don’t enjoy challenging puzzles, maybe that would be more their speed.

      They are the ones who should shut up, go away, and do the no-brainer puzzles. I like obscure, misleading, devious clues and answers. Lots more fun!

  13. Dear Bill,
    Your puzzles and comments are a great source of comfort to me. It’s my go to each morning before I have to deal with the absurdities of my life.
    Yes this puzzle was quite a challenge but I kept at it. I’m quite the novice compared to your followers. It’s September 2020 and I’m still catching up! Lol! (not sure you will even see this response)
    I’m 73 and have had only a 9th grade education. I view my morning puzzles as a learning experience!
    I am grateful for it! Thank you!
    Never go away!! Lol!

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