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Crossword puzzle is published by the Los Angeles Times. It consists of puzzles drawn on a large grid with black and white squares.
The LA times crosswords are solved by the readers. The time allotted for solving the puzzle is 3 hours. Black squares with black letters indicate the alphabetical order of words within a word list.
So lets get started…
Well dang, Moe, what got your dander up this morning??! Actually, it’s probably a combination of travel (as we speak, I am off visiting family), stress from the omicron variant of Covid-19 (my Mom’s Assisted Care Living Center gets at least 3-4 new cases of Covid every day), and knowing that there are just 14 more shopping days until Christmas. But I’ll survive; kinda like this guy who had to deal with some road rage, and whose initials are also a hint to today’s puzzle theme: (note, there are a few mild expletives that could not be deleted from this video)
I normally trade weeks with Lemonade714 whenever there is a Jeffrey Wechsler puzzle on my Friday; but due to my travel this week, I knew I couldn’t, as I would not have been able to deliver a blog on December 17th. Sorry Jason for not sharing this one, and I hope you’ll stop by to offer your thoughts on this WACKY idea. Jeffrey was able to squeeze 5 play-on-word entries into a 15 x 15 grid, using about 1/3 (61) of the 185 letters in his themers. No “reveal” was necessary once you saw that getting the “CK” out of the entries was common to all. Let’s explore how (the) heCK did it:
18-Across. Tinker Bell’s play ender?: FAIRY TACKLE. Without the “CK”, FAIRY TALE remains. Nice, but that must be one big FAIRY to end a (football) play with a TACKLE. A TICKLE, maybe . . .
My favorite FAIRY TALES growing up were narrated by Edward Everett Horton and a cast of toons from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show:
24-Across. TV channel with bizarre humor?: WACKY STATION. Whack off the CK, and a WAY STATION appears. A WAY STATION is a stopping off point for those on a long car, bus or (4-Across. Commuting option:) RAIL trip. Originally meant “a STATION between STATIONs”. It’s a place to have a meal, go to the bathroom, stretch your feet, etc. And for those of you who, like me, are curious about whether there are any “WAY” radio STATIONS, here’s a link
37-Across. Harbormaster’s income source?: DOCKING BUSINESS. Chuck the CK and DOING BUSINESS is left. Did you ever wonder what the letters “DBA” mean after a corporation’s name? Well, I can provide an example: The Corporation: “HELEN’s FOOD SERVICE, INC”, dba “HELEN’s CATERING”. DBA means: DOING BUSINESS as . . .
48-Across. Unreliable origami practitioner?: FICKLE FOLDER. Flick the CK and FILE FOLDER remains. Clever clue and answer. And of course a reminder of an archived Moe-ku:
Sucks at Texas Hold’em, ’cause
He will always FOLD
And our 5th themer: 59-Across. What an education budget provides?: SCHOOL BUCKS. Shuck the CK and SCHOOL BUS becomes the more familiar term. A little Simpsons video for your entertainment
Here is the grid:
Off we go to cheCK out the rest of the clues and solves:
1. Bookmarked item: URL. At first I wasn’t looking for an abbreviated word. But “URL” is widely known by internet users, and “bookmarking” a page makes it easier for to find a previously visited website
8. “Gone With the Wind” feature: DRAWL. Meh; the clue is OK but not great
13. __ Wee Reese: PEE. Harold Henry (PEE Wee) Reese, HOF inductee in 1984. Glad to see the former Brooklyn Dodger baseball player back to the crossword grids, if even for just 1/2 of his nickname
14. Old Icelandic text: EDDA. Prose EDDA is an Old Norse textbook written in Iceland back in the 13th Century
15. Discussion-ending word: PERIOD. Literally, when someone says, “PERIOD, end of discussion!”
17. Bud 4 life: BFF. This had to be a texting acronym: Best Friends Forever
20. Food bits: ORTS. Another of the more tried and true crossword answers; or is it “tired” and true? Anyhoo, here’s a ku:
Sex-starved sous chef saw
Pleasure from leftovers. Does
He sew his wild ORTS??
22. Relocation: MOVE. Back in my corporate life, I MOVEd (relocated) 5 times in 36 years. After leaving that, and before retirement, I MOVEd an additional 7 times. Hoping this is the last!
23. Schooner gear: SAILS. Gear, like deer, can be either singular or plural
27. This is one: CLUE. Duh! It sure is!!
28. Tech review website: CNET. I visit this site whenever I am looking to upgrade my iPhone or replace a laptop. Good reviews
30. Duration of employment: STINT. See 22-Across; My STINT at one company was 25 years, and quite honestly, I could’ve stayed longer
31. Protected: SAFE. Or what 13-Across often was when he stole second base. He led the National League in stolen bases twice; was 2nd four times
34. Adjustable border: HEM. HEMlines brought about the “mini-midi-maxi-dress” styles back in the 1960’s and 1970’s
41. Bother a lot: IRK. All of these “Greek-named” Covid variants are starting to IRK me
42. Marquee name: STAR. There are a plethora of STARs in the movie “STAR Wars”. Too many for one marquee to house
43. “___ War”: Jules Verne-based game: NEMO’S. Learning moment for me. Never played it. Wonder if you have “to find NEMO”?
44. Aching: SORE. A couple of ibuprofen tablets at bedtime helps ease my SORE fingers and joints
47. What an a cappella singer never wants to be: FLAT. Only because SHARP wouldn’t fit, but as a former singer, it’s much easier to go “FLAT” than to go “SHARP”
54. Cheaply, after “for”: A SONG. From the freedictionary dot com: “The expression dates from the sixteenth century. Shakespeare used it in All’s Well That Ends Well (“I know a man . . . sold a goodly manor for a song” [3.2]). It was a cliché by the time Byron wrote, “The cost would be a trifle—an ‘old song’” (Don Juan, 1824)
57. Bash: GALA. As in a GALA affair. Black tie and ball gowns
58. Past time: YORE. The “time” when we used the term in 57-Across
62. Cold air quality: NIP. No NIP in the air as yet here in the Phoenix AZ area, but it’s getting closer. Low temp’s are nearing the 50 degree mark. Your mileage may vary, but that’s cold here!
63. Get into gear: SUIT UP. I put SHIFTS in first before perps came to the rescue
64. Health factor: DIET. I am on a seafood DIET: I see food and then eat it
65. 31-Down, e.g.: Abbr.: NCO. Non-Commissioned Officer. An example of this is: (31-Down. Rank above cpl.) SGT.
66. Meter creators: POETS. A CSO to OwenKL, Misty, WC, Old Man Keith and sometimes, Moe
67. Jacuzzi effect: EDDY. As in a whirlpool; a Jacuzzi effect is also helpful when you’re 44-Across
68. Remote inserts: AAS. As in “double-A” batteries; though many of ours require AAAS
1. What a “V” symbol means in violin music: UPBOW. I had to look this one UP. Violin lounge dot com says this: “Up bow is indicated by the V marks above the notes in the second picture. The V looks a bit like the tip of your bow. The up bow movement goes from tip to frog. Just as the down bow mark, this doesn’t tell you something about the bow division”
2. Type of optical telescope: REFRACTOR. This:
3. Mouse activities: LEFT CLICKS. First ever usage of this in a crossword puzzle! And I’m guessing that JW didn’t use this as a “themer”, because no one ever has heard of the phrase: LEFT CLIS
4. One whistling often: REF. I was thinking of a tea kettle so POT went in first. Clever mis-direction
5. First president to live in the White House: ADAMS. Pretty easy to suss as WASHINGTON or JEFFERSON had too many letters
6. “… a tale told by an __ … “: Macbeth: IDIOT. Filled with perps, so I didn’t have to cheat on this one. If memory serves, JW likes to throw a Shakespeare quote into his CLUEs
7. Caterpillar, say: LARVA. Another no-brainer
8. Immunization letters: DPT. Diphtheria Pertussis and Tetanus. An immunization given to babies, I believe. WebMD describes it as: “Tdap is a combination vaccine that protects against three potentially life-threatening bacterial diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Td is a booster vaccine for tetanus and diphtheria. It does not protect against pertussis. Tetanus enters the body through a wound or cut”
9. Good thinking: REASON. I like to think that this has its roots in mathematics
10. Grasped by few: ARCANE. As I progress toward the age of 70, I may someday choose a homophonic combination of words to describe this CLUE: OUR CANE
11. User-edited site: WIKI. WIKIpedia has been bugging me the past few days to give them a donation
12. Hang loosely: LOLL. An abbreviation of LOLLygag, perhaps?
16. Paris’ Pont __ Arts: DES. Frawnch – filled in with perps, once again
19. Still: YET. Oxford Languages shows that the word “YET” is becoming popular again as an adverb or conjunction
21. Keep from scoring: SKUNK. Any cribbage players out there? The term “SKUNK” in cribbage means to hold your opponent to fewer than 90 points (121 points = “game”), and is worth two pegs in the scoring of games won. Ms Margaret and I play this game often. Neither of us wants/likes to be SKUNKed
25. Hairy legend: YETI.
Snowman may be a myth, and
YETI still exists (to some)
26. Summertime treat: ICES. ICEE also fit. As did the rapper, ICE T
29. Figure in many devotional paintings: THE MADONNA. Giovanni’s rendition:
30. Reagan-era mil. program: SDI. Strategic Defense Initiative
32. Org. with cases: ABA. American Bar Association, and a CSO to all of our Crossword Corner barristers
33. Pelt: FUR. We had the opposite CLUE and solve the last time I blogged. Was this funny then and now??!
35. Things few understand: ESOTERICA. Collins dictionary dot com uses ESOTERICA in a sentence this way: “I have inherited her warmth towards ESOTERICA; she had none for people, but she loved her dreadful facts. It was the sort of ESOTERICA I had never had an interest in but which now composed a whole world
36. Ed.’s stack: MSS. Abbr. for MANUSCRIPTS
38. Nuclear physics time unit: Abbr.: NSEC. Nano-SECond. One billionth of a SECond. How did anybody have the time to measure this??
39. Facts: INFO. Read the Crossword Corner blog each day and you’ll get plenty of INFO
40. “M.O.” rapper: NELLY. He grew up with the name Cornell Iral Haynes Jr
45. Famed: OF NOTE. Merrium Webster dot com says: “important and deserving to be noticed or remembered American writers OF NOTE include Herman Melville, Mark Twain, and Emily Dickinson
46. Dress, as in a particular costume: RIG OUT. From Collins Dictionary: “If you RIG yourself OUT or are rigged out in a particular way, you are wearing a particular kind of clothes
49. Putin’s USSR employer: KGB. Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti. And now you know why it’s abbreviated. Putin was in the KGB from 1975 to 1991; resigned to begin his political career, and served under Boris Yeltsin in 1996
50. Magna cum __: LAUDE. Means “with great distinction”
51. Famed Castilian knight: EL CID. Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (EL CID) was a Castilian knight and warlord in medieval Spain. Fighting with both Christian and Muslim armies during his lifetime, he earned the Arabic honorific al-sīd, which would evolve into El Cid, and the Spanish moniker El Campeador. He was born in Vivar del Cid, a village near the city of Burgos. From WIKI
52. Forged: FAKED. OK, I will confess that when I was a lad of 18, I FAKED (forged) an expired driver’s license, and changed my birthdate to “make me” 21 so I could buy beer
53. Property seizures: REPOS. Short for “repossessions”
54. Brayer: ASS. Bray is the word for the noise a donkey (or ASS) makes. So one making this noise would be a brayer – I guess . . .
55. Atlantic fish commonly called a porgy: SCUP. Stenotomus_chrysops (SCUP). The fish shown in the image below. I’m guessing that Gershwin never considered calling his opera, SCUP and Bess
56. Where I-70 and I-75 cross: OHIO. An easy one for me. I was born in NE OHIO, lived between Cincinnati and Dayton from 1993-2010, and drove across the intersection of I-70 and I-75 many times. DAYTON (Vandalia, actually) wouldn’t fit . . . see map below
60. Early RCA output: LPS. Radio Corporation of America (RCA) first began producing LPS (Long Play Records) in the early 1930’s
61. Farm enclosure: STY. Pig out? Not when it’s in a STY
And once again, Moe has reached the end of his blog. Hope this one was better than it was craCKed up to be! Have a great weekend, and as always, comments are welcome . . . see you on Christmas Eve
#LATimes #Crossword #Corner #Friday #December
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