Saturday, April 30, 2022, Lindsey Hobbs

 Saturday Themeless by Lindsey Hobbs

Hi Gary, 

Thanks for reaching out. The seed for this puzzle, which might be a NO BRAINER, was FREE BRITNEY.”  Well over a year ago now, after seeing the story in the news again and finding myself shouting to no one in particular, “It’s her damn money, she can spend it however she wants!” I added FREE BRITNEY to my running list of seed entries. The rest of the puzzle eventually fell into place.

A few clues that didn’t make the cut — for 1-across I originally had, “Like Bob Dylan, controversially, at the 1965 Newport Music Festival.” And for 20-across, “Emulate the Scooby gang.” I’m particularly proud of “Order of magnitude” for SUPERSIZE, which made it in. There are a number of clues I can’t take credit for, but I'm thrilled to see so many women in the puzzle. 

Also, this is my first themeless and my first puzzle for the LA Times, which is super exciting. Grateful to Patti Varol for helping to whip it into shape! 

When I'm not making crosswords, I'm usually conserving books and paper at the archives for New York City, gardening, or taking silly pictures of my partner Steve and our cats. 

Thanks, and hope you enjoyed the puzzle!


1. Connected: PLUGGED IN - The guitar that Bob Dylan controversially PLUGGED IN sold at auction for $965,000.

10. "All good here!": I'M SET -Yup, I've got a nice Saturday puzzle to blog!

15. Order of magnitude?: SUPER SIZE - A precursor to being 24. __ shape?: IN BAD.

16. Not touch: LET BE.

17. Paleolithic innovation: STONE TOOL.

18. Turning points?: KNOBS - Ah, TV's and radios of my misspent youth.

19. British pound note featuring Jane Austen: TEN.

20. Horn in: MEDDLE.

22. Jettison: TOSS - The Saturn V rocket that took us to the Moon did jettison every part except the tiny, by comparison, Apollo CM (Command Module) which is the only part that returned to the Earth

23. Take off: FLEE.

26. Hardly rosy: GRIM.

27. "Broaden your horizons!": GET A LIFE.

30. Bank security: LIEN.

31. Self-evident pick: NO BRAINER - Calling off this game looks like a NO BRAINER to me.

32. Top pick: FAVE.

33. Big name in Early American art: PEALE - Charles Willson PEALE's 1772 portrait of George Washington and 
2. Gentileschi's "Self-Portrait as a __ Player": LUTE. Our retired art curator Jeffrey Wechsler would know both of these works.


34. Emmy winner Helgenberger: MARG - MARG got a big kick out of her hometown of North Bend, NE conaming Locust St. Helgenberger St. (Yes, we had MARG in Robyn's puzzle last Saturday)

35. Drunkenness: INEBRIETY - An inebriated person can be said to be in a state of INEBRITY. Not by me but...

37. Cut off: SAWN.

38. Backs: REAR ENDS.

39. Herb used in some Indigenous smudging rituals: SAGE Smudging rituals

40. Life styles?: BIOTA - The flora and fauna of a region

41. Personal matter?: GENE - About as personal as you can get

42. Parking space: SPOT - Got that?
44. Fortified, with "up": SHORED - NFL teams are trying to SHORE UP their weak spots in this week's draft

46. Cool amount?: MIL - I had to get rid of LIL (diminutive of little) for "cool amount" because of  
46. Nutmeg spice: MACEThen it hit me, A million dollars is a Cool MIL.  😳

49. Sierra __: LEONE - Recent Saturday puzzles have had 
Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana and now...

51. Smell-O-Vision rival: AROMARAMA.

53. Source of intelligence: ASSET - With A _ _ _ T, I had AGENT first

54. Summary of top headlines: NEWSRECAP.

55. Prankster's declaration: GOT YA - or GOTCHA

56. Mail order?: DO NOT BEND.


1. Start of a library conversation, maybe: PSST.

3. Just after: UPON - UPON passing my driver's license, I immediately drove home

4. Mil. title: GEN.

5. Troublemaker: GREMLIN.

6. Prize: ESTEEM.

7. LED component: DIODE.

8. Hilfiger rival: IZOD - Preppy wear?

9. Pen name of journalist Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman: NELLIE BLY What a fabulous woman!

10. Sort: ILK.

11. Element of some meditation exercises: MENTAL IMAGE.

12. Admired with quiet reverence, with "of": STOOD IN AWE.

13. Goes back out: EBBS.

14. Crossword editor Harper in Hallmark's "Crossword Mysteries" series: TESS.

21. __ nous: ENTRE - Juste ENTRE NOUS, avez-vous apprécié ce puzzle? [Just BETWEEN US, did you enjoy this puzzle?]

23. Hashtag that went viral during a pop star's legal battle: FREE BRITNEY - Lindsey's seed 

25. Ewe said it: BAA.

26. Elevate: GIVE A BOOST - Ya gotta love this video!

27. Kids on a farm: GOATS.

28. Plant that sparked the Victorian craze "pteridomania": FERN - Pterido is Latin for fern.

29. Indoor rower, for short: ERG - New to me
30. "Smallville" role for Durance: LANE 

31. "You okay there?": NEED A HAND.

32. Cone source: FIR.

33. Pub trayful: PINTS.

36. Classic car: REO - GTO, XKE, BMW...

37. Coastal formations?: SAND ART.

39. Appear to be: SEEM SO.

41. Cultivated: GROWN - Nothing beats home-GROWN tomatoes 

42. Refinery waste: SLAG.

43. Cuban bar tender: PESO - Oh, a PESO that is tendered as payment!

45. Little dipper?: OREO - "How shall I clue thee, Let me count the ways!"

47. Supermodel with a cosmetics line for women of color: IMAN.

48. W. Coast force: LAPD - UCLA didn't cut it

50. "When will u b here?": ETA - c u l8er

52. Hoops stat: REB: Rebounds

A repost of Chairman Moe's link from last week: