Sunday, April 17, 2022, Jeffrey Wechsler

Title: A memo from the desk of Jeffrey Wechsler

For this last puzzle edited by Rich Norris, a most accomplished and prolific LA  Times constructor was chosen. Our leader, a most accomplished and prolific constructor, has chosen me to prepare my very first Sunday blog to mark this occasion. I am thrilled. 

As with all Sunday LAT puzzles, this is the only day of the week where the constructors provide their own title. JW's is "In re" a Latin phrase used as the start of most American memoranda. I hope Tom (desper-otto) bothered to read Jeffrey's choice as it really helped pinning down (a CSO to Tom's early career) the themers. Simply, you put RE in various phrases and the new phrases are clued with whimsy and charm. With JW, there is always more to his plan, as he is very careful to avoid adding the RE as either a prefix, or a suffix to a word. That extra layer makes this 8 themer puzzle just a bit more special.

My tried and true blogging approach does not fit a Sunday as there are many more words and many long ones but I point to a few of the 7 and 8 letter fill I liked: DEMO CDS, HEROINE,  LAMENTS, ODOROUS, SET ROLE,  STROBES, AGITATOR, GATORADE, STEERAGE, STIRRERS, TASTE BAD, SEND IT IN, and TYPING IN.

22A. All caps in an angry blog?: INTERNET SCREAM (14). With what we charge for blogging, this is obviously not a SCAM, and I assume you all know that using all caps in a post or text signifies yelling, this is a perfect place to begin the adding RE and letting everyone know the theme. 

32A. "Untoward behavior shall call for appropriate countermeasures," e.g.?: FANCY THREAT (11). FANCY THAT is a British English spoken phrase used to express your surprise or shock about something. (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English). Plug in your RE and you can hear the British accent making that warning. 

47A. Wiseacre mom and dad?: SMARTY PARENTS (13). SMARTY PANTS is a British English phrase to describe someone who always says clever things or always has the right answer, in a slightly annoying way. (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English). Wiseacre is an old fashioned way to say wise guy. 

63A. Type of dog that does origami?: FOLDING BREED? (12).
A folding bed is a rather mundane image, but a dog who is using his paws to create classic Japanese paper art is extremely silly and a nice image for our dog lovers.

74A. Farsi editor's mark?: PERSIAN CARET (12). For a Sunday themer, this requires some specialized knowledge. First, FARSI is the Persian word for the Persian language. And a ^ caret is a universal mark which shows where an additional or corrected or substituted letter, word, or phrase is to be inserted in or above the line. (University Style Guide). A Persian Cat may be a mascot for this blog

84A. Finishing touch for foppish painters?: PLACING A BERET.(13). Who here has never PLACED A BET, for money or otherwise? Here if you want to be stylish (not foppish), you can wear a beret. 

104A. 1932 presidential election victory?: HOOVER DREAM  (11).
HERBERT HOOVER was not only the President from 1928 until his defeat by FDR in 1932 because of the depression, but he was optimistic and probably did dream of winning that election. He also was President when the Boulder Dam was commissioned and it was named after him unofficially. It became official in 1947, by act of Congress. This is a more serious themer. It is the largest damn dam in the world.

118A. Hush-hush lamasery topic?: BUDDHIST SECRET (14).
Do you all realize you know the definition of a lamasery? It is a place for Lamas, yes the one Ls. Like a monastery,  a nursery or a surgery it is where the lamas hang out. SECT becoming SECRET paints a great picture of these holy people whispering and probably gossiping.  

We also have a return to classic (rotational) symmetry with 14, 11, 13, 12, 12, 13, 11, and 14 themers. 

Now time for the rest...


1. Beat decisively: DRUB. This is probably not a popular 1A, as this is not a common word, though I do hear the sports announcers referring their teams giving/receiving a drubbing. What I found interesting is the etymology sources disagree completely about the history of this word.

5. Evoke an "Eww!," maybe: TASTE BAD. The verb set.

13. Venetian Renaissance painter: TITIAN. He was an Italian painter during the Renaissance, considered the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. 
Mars, Venus and their son AMOR from last week .

19. He played Klaatu in "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (2008): KEANU. This was a remake of the classic version starring Michael Rennie.

20. Inferior accommodations: STEERAGE. The  part of a ship providing accommodations for passengers with the cheapest tickets. Most of my forbears arrived that way to the US. 

21. Common cone color: ORANGE. Not a common cold.

24. Glutinous: VISCID. Viscous is such an evocative word.

25. Christmas in Rome: NATALE. The Italian word. Buon Natale -T!

26. Etna output: ASH. Etna again.

27. Nonsense: ROT.

29. Artist friend of Dalí: SERT. Josep Maria Sert i Badia was a Spanish muralist, the son of an affluent textile industry family, and friend of Salvador Dalí. (wiki).

30. They usually have frames: GLASSES. Movies did not have enough letters.

36. Trig function: SINE. No math today.

37. Word with tax or L.A.: DODGERS. A droll combination.

41. __ martini: DRY. Shaken not stirred? A wonderful link yesterday by HG to explain it all. Or 126A. Sticks in drinks: STIRRERS

42. Put away: ATE.

43. Fruity, so to speak: BANANAS. I do not get this clue/fill. I know a banana is a fruit...I guess fruity can be a bit "barmy."

44. Absorbs, with "up": SOPS. Picture a thick, juicy steak and a fresh yeast roll. NO! Not during Passover!

46. Barfly: SOT. Nice placement.

53. Hider's hissed revelation: IN HERE. My eyes deceived me and I read this as "Hitler's hissed revelation."

55. Biblical spy: CALEB. Along with Joshua, he was faithful to his belief and told Moses that the Israelites could take over Canaan. The other 19 sent out were afraid, irritated the divine, and caused the 40 years of wandering the dessert, so they say.

56. Means: AVENUE.

59. Skilled at painting, say: ARTISTIC.

69. Perjurious testimony: LIES. Spellcheck does not like it, but it is a word. 

70. 81-Down friend: ROO. 81D. Storied bear: POOH.

71. Astonish: AWE.

72. 23rd Greek letter: PSI. The Greek ALPHABET is back. The letters of the Greek alphabet are: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, eta, theta, iota, kappa, lambda, mu, nu, xi, omicron, pi, rho, sigma, tau, upsilon, phi, chi, psi, omega.

73. Capital NNW of Copenhagen: OSLO. To our Norse scions.

77. Submit a crossword, say: SEND IT IN. An inside joke I guess.

79. Nytol competitor: UNISOM. To sleep, perchance to DREAM.

80. "I'm not __ brag, but ... ": ONE TO. Always said by braggarts.

81. Urban park snack snitcher: PIGEON.

92. __ roll: ON A. I like sesame. 

93. Long-running CBS drama: NCIS. Gibbs is gone, get used to it!

96. Nose-wrinkling: ODOROUS. Ponderous.

97. Prov. bordering four Great Lakes: ONT. Hey Canadian Eh.

98. Formicidae family member: ANT. You knew The Formicidae is an unequivocally monophyletic group, previously defined by Bolton (1994, 2003) as eusocial, sexually dimorphic aculeate Hymenoptera bearing metapleural glands and geniculate antennae. Sure.

99. Mourns: LAMENTS.

100. Meat serving: CHOP. Steaks are basically beef chops. Pork chops and lamb chops are basically pork steaks and lamb steaks. Why? Why not?

108. Fixed function: SET ROLE. Help techies, all I can find is it is a command which sets the current user identifier of the current SQL session to be role_name . The role name can be written as either an identifier or a string. ???

110. Gator relative: CROC. Gator-Alligator as Croc-Crocodile.

111. White team: SOX. My childhood heroes.

112. Shout: CRY.

115. Heat units: THERMS.

116. "Tear down this wall!" speaker: REAGAN.

122. Keep going: ENDURE. These Sundays are long. 

123. Higher than normal, maybe: ELEVATED.

124. Cal State city: CHICO.

125. Joust participants: STEEDS. Let's hear it for the horses. 

127. Brings together: WEDS. People, or ideas.


1. U.S. peak officially renamed in 2015: DENALI. Bad enough to be shot, but President McKinley lost that honorofic.

2. Palm used in furniture: RATTAN.

3. Angst: UNEASE.

4. Rounded, knotty tree growths: BURLS.  These are not related to MR. IVES, or are they?

5. Follower of Mao?: TSE. Or Chris.

6. "__ girl!": ATTA.

7. Congressional mtg.: SESSion. 

8. Worker with mice: TECH

9. Go left instead of right, say: ERR. No Politics!

10. One inspiring PDAs: BAE. The new it word for your it girl.

11. "F Troop" corporal played by Larry Storch: AGARN.

12. Musicians' garage creations, maybe: DEMO CDS. Garage bands. That really is where more successful bands start out.

13. "Mazel __!": TOV. I hope you are all having a great Passover, Easter, Kwanza or whatever brings you joy.

14. "Fighting" Indiana team: IRISH. Notre Dame.

15. It's shocking: TASER. Ha Ha.

16. Go up: INCREASE. Prices.

17. Washer component: AGITATOR. I said no politics.

18. "Spider-Man" reporter __ Leeds: NED. Not a major character.

19. Board members who might become mated?: KINGS. Chess board.

23. Supplies order phrase: NEED BY.

28. Beginner: TYRO.

31. Ivory, for one: SOAP. Aslo a Coast, which also happens to be a soap.

32. Viking great Tarkenton: FRAN.

33. No. 2: ASST.

34. Entering, as data: TYPING IN.

35. Head of France: TETE. Just French.

38. Significant archaeological find: DNA

39. Long-nosed fish: GAR.

40. Boise-to-Fargo dir.: ENE. Who goes from Boise to Fargo?

45. Brush off: SNUB. Not to be confused with DRUB.

47. Make a killing on, in a way: SCALP. Tickets.

48. Skyler's sister on "Breaking Bad": MARIE. Never watched it. 

49. Redo: ALTER. I am sure the pets do not like this.

50. Come out with a more current version of: REISSUE. Not for me.

51. "Chad" network: TBS. Chad? Never heard of it. I thought it is a country near the Ivory Coast.

52. "A pity": SAD.

54. Most any Disney princess: HEROINE. All of them.

57. Ones often seen in restricted lounges: VIPS.

58. Massachusetts motto starter: ENSE. Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem. Seek peace but only in freedom.

60. Sleeper, for one: TRAIN CAR.

61. Electrolysis products: IONS. Are they the products, or the process?

62. Pixar film set in Mexico: COCO.

63. Distant: FAR.

64. Need to pay: OWE.

65. Permit: LET.

66. Fragrant compound: ESTER. We had this recently. Looks like a WORDLE word.

67. Top names: ELITE. And another.

68. Prohibition words: DO NOT.

75. Privy to: IN ON. Gossip?

76. Concert piece: AMP. Tricky and not true of all concerts.

78. Pt. of an age calculation: DOB. Date of Birth.

82. Unworldly: INNOCENT.

83. PepsiCo sports beverage: GATORADE. More CSO to me and my alma mater.

85. 1970 Kinks hit: LOLA. Our new downstairs neighbor.

86. Driver of "BlacKkKlansman": ADAM.
87. Dot follower?: COM.

88. Choler: IRE.

89. Prefix with event or issue: NON.

90. Nerve: GUTS. They are related. 

91. Valuable things: ASSETS.

94. Swing voters: Abbr.: INDS. Is that really an abbreviation for independents?

95. Lightning simulators: STROBES.

100. Yuletide display: CRECHE. More religion.

101. Really awful: HORRID.

102. Early Mexicans: OLMECS. Talk about a gimme after this week's puzzles.

103. Basil-and-pine-nuts sauce: PESTO.

105. Lauren Hutton has been on its cover 26 times: VOGUE. Why?

106. Modern greeting: E-CARD.

107. Rejoice: EXULT. Lots of reason to do this now.

109. "Superman & Lois" network: THE CW.

112. Burn a bit: CHAR. My oldest granddaughter.

113. Solemn event: RITE. Lots  of them this week and next.

114. Belgian river: YSER. Look at your list of four letter European rivers.

116. Hi-__ image: RES. Not to be confused with...

117. Video game letters: NES. Nintendo Entertainment System.

119. Agnus __: DEI. Lamb of G-d. Timely for all Judeo-Christians.

120. Binge-watcher's device: DVR. Not so much anymore.

121. Ideal NFL drive endings: TDS. Touchdowns which is the perfect place for me to end this tour and return control of your computer to each of you. Rich we all appreciate everything you have done for C.C., this blog, for all the new constructors brought in by C.C.,  and for Jeffrey Wechsler. 

Patti, we have enjoyed your puzzles and look forward to a long working relationship pushing the envelope while appreciating our history.
Lemonade out.
Notes from C.C.:
1) Boomer's CT scan last Monday did not show more cancer progression, so Dr. Downs ordered one more blood draw on Wednesday. Thankfully Boomer's white blood count went up, so he was able to get his 4th chemo infusion on Thursday. The scan did show two tiny nodules on his lung, but Dr. Downs was not overly concerned. Boomer will have one more scan after his 6th chemo. Light schedule next week. Only one appointment with his spinal cord doctor.

2) Thanks for the special Rich, Jeffrey & Lemonade treat, Lemonade! You always brings the best of Jeffrey's grids!
3) As I've mentioned before, this is our last puzzle edited by Rich Norris, who's retired after 22 years as the editor for the L.A. Times Daily Crosswords. I feel incredibly lucky to have Don G as a mentor and Rich as an editor for so many years. Rich has always been so patient, encouraging and generous. When Rich rejected a puzzle, he always gave me his rationale, never a curt reply. He helped me tighten up so many themes and made me look smart with his brilliant clues. Thank you so much, Rich, words can't express how grateful I'm. You're a first class wordsmith and gentleman!

Rich Norris and his wife Kim Taylor