Thursday, June 2, 2022, Emma Lawson


This just in, Cruciverbalists.  Malodorous Manatee here with today's Read All About It puzzle recap.

Our recently-named editor seems to be consciously, and conscientiously, exposing us to the works of new (and, in today's case, new not just to us) constructors.  In keeping with this plan, today's puzzle setter is Emma Lawson.  A web search returned Emma's website (Emma Lawson dot com).  I contacted her through the website and received this in reply:

"Nice to meet you and the rest of the Crossword Corner team! I'm a college librarian in Vancouver, BC and while I've been doing crosswords since I was a teen, I only started constructing this year. This puzzle is not only my LA Times debut but my first published crossword! Many thanks to Patti and Christina for seeing something worthy in it. I've had a huge learning curve when it comes to constructing but this puzzle felt like smooth sailing the whole way through.

I want to shout out the Crossword Puzzle Collaboration Directory who paired me with a mentor (hi Freddy!), the Crosscord Discord server, and the Inkubator team -- they're all so welcoming and friendly to new constructors."

Congratulations, Emma, and please allow me to extend, on behalf of everyone here, a warm welcome to the Crossword Corner!

Now, let's take a look at your puzzle.  The reveal is provided at:

59 ACROSS:  What an investigative journalist might do, and what the answers to the starred clues literally do: BREAK A STORY.

At four places, marked with stars for our convenience, we find synonyms for STORY broken into two pieces with those pieces placed so as to bracket the rest of that clue's answer.

17 Across:  *Locavore movement: FARM TO TABLE.  FABLE    Locavore, a mashup of local and omni/herbi/carne vore, was coined on Earth Day in 2005.

24 Across:  *Insulating layer around a nerve: MYELIN SHEATH.  MYTH  While I am pretty certain that we've seen this answer before I could not remember it.  Thanks perps.

37 Across:  *Accept a difficult role: TAKE UP THE MANTLE.  TALE    In the Bible, the prophet Elijah left his cloak behind when he ascended to heaven.   A new prophet, Elisha,  picked up this mantle to wear and also took over Elijah's role. 

50 Across:  *Use a randomizer to decide, say: SPIN THE WHEEL.  SPIEL  A lengthy or extravagant speech or argument usually intended to persuade. 

I found the puzzle to be fairly straightforward except for the mid-west section where MYELIN, YUZU, ANI (as clued) and ROTA all converged to form something of a Cluster Natick.  Fortunately, I knew OVITZ and the rest of the perps.  A final WAG for the Y and the computer pronounced the puzzle solved.  If I had been working in pen/pencil and paper, which is difficult to do in the water, I probably would have looked up YUZU and/or ROTA (after the fact) to confirm the FIR.

 As for the rest of the clues/answers, here is a brief description:


1. High standards: IDEALS.

7. All-in-one product's selling points: USES.  Many USES.

11. Open page on a web browser: TAB.

14. Weasellike pet: FERRET.  What's brown and sounds like a parrot?  A FERRET.

15. Spot for pore strips: NOSE.

16. "Don't Bring Me Down" band: 
ELO.  Electric Light Orchestra   THE ANIMALS would not fit in the allotted space.

ELO  -  Don't Bring Me Down

The Animals  -  Don't Bring Me Down

19. Also: TOO.  Also, ALSO is often clued with TOO, too.

20. Mos. and mos.: YRS.  YeaRS

21. Diary: LOG.

22. Identity __: THEFT.  A mini theme with 6 Down.

28. Bounce back: REBOUND.

31. Phone notification: ALERT.  Be a lert,  The world needs more lerts.

32. Former Disney president Michael: OVITZ.

33. Aromatherapy locale: SPA.  We often visit SPAs in our puzzles.

34. Snakelike fish: EEL.  See, also, 7 Down

42. Alex and __: jewelry company known for bracelets: 
ANI.  Usually clued with an avian reference.  This jewelry company was unknown to the author.  Most jewelry companies are.

43. Have debts: OWE.

44. Witherspoon of "The Morning Show": REESE.

45. Invisible urban pollution: NOISE.  The smog we can see.

48. Fake names: ALIASES.

53. Refers to: CITES.

54. Harley-Davidson's stock symbol: HOG.  HOG is slang for a Harley motorcycle.  It is also the acronym for the Harley Owners Group, a collection of enthusiasts.

55. Friend: PAL.

58. Maker of Good Grips kitchen tools: OXO.

64. Tear: RIP.

65. One of Eve's sons: ABEL.  Murdered by Cain.  He had no children of his own.

66. Dressing with anchovies: CAESAR.  A salad reference and not apparel reference.

Anchovy Dressing

67. Super Mario Bros. console: NES.  A video game reference.  Nintendo Entertainment System.  Last Saturday we had Wii as the clue for this.

68. Sup: DINE.

69. Florence's role in "Black Widow" and "Hawkeye": YELENA.  Unknown to this marine mammal.  Perped.


1. Dubious: IFFY.  Indeed.

2. Letter opener: DEAR.  Cute clue.

3. Texts the wrong person, say: ERRS.

4. Branch: ARM.

5. Word before "It Go" and "It Be," in song titles: LET.  Also, "It Bleed".

Idina Menzel With Jimmy Fallon and The Roots - Let It Go

Paul McCartney and Billy Joel - Let It Be  (2008 Shea Stadium)

The Rolling Stones - Let it Bleed (1981 East Rutherford New Jersey) 

6. Pinched: STOLEN.  A mini theme with 22 Across

7. 34-Across, to a sushi chef: UNAGI.  See, too, 34 Across (duh).

8. Cry noisily: SOB.  Could have been clued more nastily.

9. Night sch. class: ESL.  English As A Second Language

10. Quietly fume: SEETHE.  Emma could have gone with a Ray Charles reference.  What'd I say?

11. Private discussions: TETE A TETES Français - head to head

12. In the air: ALOFT.

13. Diner option: BOOTH.  Not the food, the seating

18. Snitched: TOLD.  Ratted out.  Dropped a dime.

23. The first "H" of HRH: HER.  Her or His Royal Highness.  What an odd word, Highness.

24. Sunbeam floater: MOTE.  Dust in the wind, Dude.

25. Citrus hybrid used in Japanese cuisine: YUZU.  Thanks WAG.

26. Kitten-lifting spot: NAPE.

27. Shut noisily: SLAM.  Straightforward.  Have we seen enough poetry clues for this one?

28. Duty roster: ROTA.  New to me.

29. __ Rachel Wood of "Westworld": EVAN.  I am familiar with the original movie.  I am not  familiar with the TV series.  I didn't know women were named EVAN.  Thanks perps.

30. Some halters: BIKINI TOPS.  They come in all sizes and shapes.  Today's "I'd better pass on the graphics" moment.

33. That woman: SHE.

35. Alternatively: ELSE.

36. Vintner's dregs: LEES.  The general sediment that forms in wine after fermentation.

38. Fancy-schmancy: POSH.  What's the difference between a badly dressed man on a unicycle and a POSH dressed man on a motorcycle.  A tire.

39. __ pop: Belle and Sebastian genre: TWEE.  Huh?  Thanks perps.

40. Singer India.__: ARIE.  A frequent visitor.  Four letters three of which are vowels.

41. "Snow Crash" novelist Stephenson: NEAL.  Snow Crash is not quite as good a read as  Cryptonomicon but it's still a fine book.  I have been known to use Hiro Protagonist as a screen name.

46. Number of World Series wins for the Nationals: ONE.  In 2019.

47. "No way to sugarcoat this": IT'S BAD.  Oh, the things people say.

48. "I see now": AH OK.  Ah, the things people say.

49. Mid-size Subaru: LEGACY.  I drove one just like this for fifteen years:

1997 Subaru Legacy Outback

50. Obvious disdain: SCORN.

51. Folklore trickster: PIXIE.

52. Pod member: WHALE.  In keeping with today's theme, it might have been clued something along the lines of "A type of story" or "A ____ of a tale".

55. Selfie stance: POSE.

56. Galway Bay's __ Islands: ARAN.  Located off the coast of Ireland (or Eire or Erin in crossword puzzles).

57. Harp constellation: LYRA.

60. Squeeze bunt stat: RBI.  A baseball reference.  Run Batted In

61. Poetic twilight: EEN.  EvENing

62. RSVP convenience: SAE.  Self  Addressed  Envelope  Not, in this instance, stamped.

63. __ Aviv: TEL.  A major city in modern day Israel . . . and the last of the seven fill-in-the-blank clues used today.