LA Times Crossword 11 Oct 23, Wednesday


Constructed by: Joseph A. Gangi
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Go Down To The Wire

Themed answers all GO DOWN TO THE WIRE, stretch from the top of the grid DOWN to the bottom, and end with a synonym of “WIRE”:

  • 10D Remain uncertain until the very end, and what the answers to the starred clues do? : GO DOWN TO THE WIRE
  • 3D *”You should be ashamed!” : THAT’S DESPICABLE!
  • 5D *Ability to show restraint : SELF-DISCIPLINE
  • 15D *Recent entry in Guinness, say : NEW WORLD RECORD

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 5m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies


1 Address letters : HTTP

“http” are the first letters in many Internet links. “http” stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. More secure and “safer” websites (like this one!) use links starting with “https”, which stands for “http secure”).

14 Disgraced energy firm : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

19 Barbara who played a TV genie : EDEN

Actress Barbara Eden is best known for playing the title role in the sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie”. For many years, Eden was married to fellow actor Michael Ansara, who was perhaps best known for playing Apache Chief Cochise in the western series “Broken Arrow” in the 1950s.

24 Goblin kin : ORC

Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction as well as in fantasy video games.

35 Word after film and before cut : CREW

The term “crew cut” probably originated in Yale in the 1890s. The Yale football players were noted for wearing their hair relatively long, as it helped protect their heads inside the flimsy leather football helmets of the day. In contrast, the rowing team wore their hair relatively short, in a style that came to be known as the “crew cut”.

37 Energy option involving roof panels : SOLAR

Solar panels are arrays of solar cells that make use of what’s known as the photovoltaic effect. We are more likely to have learned about the photoelectric effect in school, in which electrons were ejected from the surface of some materials when it was exposed to light or other forms of radiation. The photovoltaic effect is related but different. Instead of being electrons ejected from the surface, in the photovoltaic effect electrons move around in the material creating a difference in voltage.

43 Personal charisma : MOJO

The word “mojo”, meaning “magical charm, magnetism”, is probably of Creole origin.

44 “College GameDay” network : ESPN

There are several sports shows on ESPN called “College GameDay”, the oldest of which is the one covering college football.

53 Org. for Twins : MLB

The Minnesota Twins baseball team was founded as the Kansas City Blues in 1894, before becoming the Washington Senators in 1901. The team arrived in Minneapolis in 1961.

68 App with crowdsourced reviews : YELP is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

69 Diamond flaw? : ERROR

That would be baseball.


2 “Beautiful Mistakes” rapper Megan __ Stallion : THEE

“Beautiful Mistakes” is a 2021 song released by Maroon 5, and featuring rapper Megan Thee Stallion. Two of the song’s co-writers were Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine and Megan Thee Stallion. The pair also feature in the accompanying music video, Levine flying around in a 1974 Cadillac Eldorado and Megan Thee Stallion flying around in a 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark III.

8 High-tech worker : ROBOT

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1921 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

10 Remain uncertain until the very end, and what the answers to the starred clues do? : GO DOWN TO THE WIRE

To go down to the wire is to leave things unsettled until the last minute. The phrase comes from the world of horse racing, where the custom was to stretch a wire across and above the track at the finish line.

12 Judi who plays Queen Victoria in “Mrs Brown” and “Victoria & Abdul” : DENCH

Dame Judi Dench is an outstanding English actress who has appeared for decades in her home country on stage and screen. Dench’s film career took off in the nineties with a relatively trivial role as “M” in the James Bond series of films. Since then she has played leading roles in several excellent movies including “Shakespeare in Love”, “Mrs. Brown”, “Notes on a Scandal” and “Philomena”. Sadly, Dench suffers from a condition called macular degeneration, which has caused her to lose most of her central vision.

“Mrs Brown” is a 1997 movie starring Judi Dench as the widowed Queen Victoria. The film explores the close relationship between the queen and a Scottish servant named John Brown (played by the great Billy Connolly). The film’s title is a term used at the time to imply that the relationship between the two was improper. Good film …

“Victoria & Abdul” is a 2017 film about the relationship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Kariim. Judi Dench portrays the queen, and Ali Fazal the servant. In real life, Victoria was fiercely loyal to Abdul, despite tremendous resistance from those around her. The general impression was that she treated him like a son, rather than a servant.

15 *Recent entry in Guinness, say : NEW WORLD RECORD

“The Guinness Book of World Records” holds some records of its own. It is the best-selling, copyrighted series of books of all time and is one of the books most often stolen from public libraries! The book was first published in 1954 by two twins, Norris and Ross McWhirter. The McWhirter twins found themselves with a smash hit, and eventually became very famous in Britain hosting a TV show based on world records.

26 Seattle’s WNBA team : STORM

The Seattle Storm started competing in the WNBA at the beginning of the 2000 season. The team name “Storm” is a reference to the reputation that Seattle has as a rain-soaked city.

48 Ballpark figure? : UMP

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

54 Stout and porter : BEERS

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when it was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

Porter is a dark beer that originated in London in the 1700s. It is named for the street and river porters with whom it was very popular. Porter is a well-hopped beer made using brown malt, which gives it the dark color.

62 Actor Gunn who plays Kraglin in the MCU : SEAN

Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)


Complete List of Clues/Answers


1 Address letters : HTTP
5 Skyrocket : SOAR
9 Old-timey “OMG!” : EGAD!
13 “Fancy seeing you here!” : OH HI!
14 Disgraced energy firm : ENRON
16 Zigzagged : WOVE
17 Ring loudly : PEAL
18 Do not disturb : LET BE
19 Barbara who played a TV genie : EDEN
20 Trip, as an alarm : SET OFF
22 Cry of pain : YOWL
24 Goblin kin : ORC
25 Simple earrings : STUDS
27 Number of players in a chess game : TWO
28 Cry from a crib : WAH!
29 Say further : ADD
31 Problems picky people pick : NITS
33 Outstanding : OWING
35 Word after film and before cut : CREW
37 Energy option involving roof panels : SOLAR
39 Branch out (from) : STEM
41 Steep-walled formation : MESA
42 Move at a snail’s pace : CRAWL
43 Personal charisma : MOJO
44 “College GameDay” network : ESPN
45 “That makes my blood boil!” : I’M MAD!
46 Word to opt out of a text subscription : STOP
47 Ab-crunching exercise : SIT-UP
49 Many a retired racehorse : SIRE
51 Snicker syllable : HEE
52 PC panic key : ESC
53 Org. for Twins : MLB
55 Poke fun at : TEASE
57 “I knew it!” : AHA!
58 Spot to fish from : PIER
60 Stands too close to : CROWDS
63 Cries noisily : SOBS
65 “Super cool!” : NEATO!
67 Quite urgent : DIRE
68 App with crowdsourced reviews : YELP
69 Diamond flaw? : ERROR
70 Neck of the woods : AREA
71 Cruising, say : ASEA
72 __ money: startup funds : SEED
73 Stitched together : SEWN


1 Short flights : HOPS
2 “Beautiful Mistakes” rapper Megan __ Stallion : THEE
3 *”You should be ashamed!” : THAT’S DESPICABLE!
4 Flight school graduate : PILOT
5 *Ability to show restraint : SELF-DISCIPLINE
6 Undivided : ONE
7 Pseudo-sophisticated : ARTY
8 High-tech worker : ROBOT
9 Farm female : EWE
10 Remain uncertain until the very end, and what the answers to the starred clues do? : GO DOWN TO THE WIRE
11 Everyman : AVERAGE JOE
12 Judi who plays Queen Victoria in “Mrs Brown” and “Victoria & Abdul” : DENCH
15 *Recent entry in Guinness, say : NEW WORLD RECORD
21 Amusing : FUN
23 Blue : LOW
26 Seattle’s WNBA team : STORM
29 Highest point : ACME
30 Formal footwear : DRESS SHOES
32 Shuts with a bang : SLAMS
34 Philosophies, informally : ISMS
36 Have a yen for : WANT
38 Look for : AWAIT
40 Have the blues : MOPE
48 Ballpark figure? : UMP
50 Musician’s gift : EAR
52 GPA booster : EASY A
54 Stout and porter : BEERS
56 Cola and ginger ale : SODAS
59 Red in the center : RARE
61 Did some doodling : DREW
62 Actor Gunn who plays Kraglin in the MCU : SEAN
64 Hot tub : SPA
66 Stubbing victim : TOE

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Oct 23, Wednesday”

  1. Took me a while with the long down answers…obviously the theme wouldn’t help with clues!!!
    One of my cleaner grids in a while since I use a pen and sometimes have lots of write-overs.

  2. @Everyone … thanks for pointing out the correct interpretation of the theme for me. It went completely over my head. All fixed now. I appreciate the help.

  3. 8:52 – no errors, lookups, or false starts.

    New or forgotten: “Beautiful Mistakes,” SEAN Gunn, “Kraglin.”

    Didn’t see the theme gimmick until reading Bill’s explanation. Splitting up the last word in each did not occur to me. However, I don’t think of those theme words as synonyms – they have different connotations for me. “Line” seems more generic than “wire.” But, that seems to be the best interpretation.

    More like a Tuesday level of difficulty, and yesterday’s was maybe more like a Wednesday?

    1. An interesting question. For me: the Wall Street Journal puzzles usually feel a bit more difficult and take a bit longer to do than the Los Angeles Times puzzles, but I think that they’re edited a bit more consistently (and, perhaps, with fewer references to recent slang coinages?), so that, as I do them, I have fewer head-scratching moments of trying to figure out what a clue might mean and what guess would be a plausible answer. Your mileage may vary … 🤨.

      (In any case, I enjoy both … 🙂.)

  4. 7 mins 17 seconds, no errors or issues. Steady as she goes.

    Have to put in another plug for single-author grids. Group efforts usually suck.

  5. Mostly easy Wednesday for me; took 13:10 with no peeks or errors. Didn’t know just one thing: SEAN, but crosses got me that. I just did the puzzle at a slightly relaxed pace and had to muse awhile on some of the clues…

    @Phil – I agree with Glenn and Dave, WSJ is a touch tougher, but usually more straight-forward in its editing.

  6. 9:47 – forgot how to spell DENCH, arghhh ….

    Thought it a bit easy for a Wednesday, but it also was fun.

    Be Well.

  7. I think the NYT answers are harder, but it takes me longer to figure out what the CLUE is asking in the LATimes!

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