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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to the questions most frequently asked:

Why isn't the puzzle in my paper the same as the one shown on your blog?
If the puzzle in your paper doesn't match the one that I solved, it is probably a Sunday crossword. On Sundays, the "LA Times" chooses to publish Merl Reagle's excellent crossword, and not their own "LA Times" Crossword. The "LA Times" puzzle is still sent out in syndication, and is also published in the "LA Times" online. I've been asked to blog about Merl Reagle's crossword, but frankly I don't have the time. Sunday puzzles have lots of clues!

How are you so quick, publishing your solution before I even get my newspaper??!!
I do the "LA Times" crossword online. The crossword is published online a few hours before it appears in the print edition. Actually, the crossword is available online at 7 p.m. Pacific Time each evening. I usually do the crossword late in the evening, just before I head for bed.

How long does it take you write up each puzzle?
After I’ve finished the crossword (hopefully I managed to finish!), I take about an hour to do lookups and write up things I hope will be of interest. It takes about another fifteen minutes to format and publish everything. I take about twice that time for the larger, Sunday crossword. Although the Blog is all my own original work, I do copy and paste from previous posts where it makes sense. I mean, how much original material can one write about OREO cookies??!!

How do I leave a comment?
If you wish to leave a public comment, click on the “Comments” link at the bottom of the post. I use a service called Blogger (a Google subsidiary), and by default you will be offered the opportunity to sign in using a user name or “identity”, should you have one. You don’t have to give any name at all, and can just press on the “Anonymous” button. Most people who leave an “anonymous” comment include a first name or nickname below the comment, just to be friendly, but it’s not necessary. If you want to comment, but not publicly, then you can send me an email me at I answer all emails, and usually within 24 hours.

Why are the last few letters on the bottom-right of the grid always shaded?
I solve the LA Times crossword online, so I download the puzzle every evening into a crossword program called Across Lite, and solve it on my computer. When I am done, I take a "picture" of the finished puzzle on the screen and post it so that readers of the blog can see it everyday.

The problem is that Across Lite always highlights the space in the grid where I am typing an answer, so there will always be one answer shaded. I try to make it a little less distracting by always tabbing down to the last answer leaving the shading in the bottom right of the grid.


Anonymous said...

why aren't ALL the solutions given???????!!!!! Signed, Very cranky in neew york. And where can i find all the solutions NOT provided?

Bill Butler said...

Hi there,

If I understand your question, this blog has only been in business since September 2012, because that is when I started it. I've posted the solution and commented on every LA Times crossword published since then. The plan is to keep doing so ...

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

why are only some and not all the solutions given for the october 13, crossword puzzle. i don't understand 96 across, nor 63 across. But more importantly, I just want to know why all the solutions aren't given. thanks.

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, again.

If you scroll down to the bottom of each page, all of the answers are given.

I'm afraid that I don't have the time of an evening to comment on all of the clues/answers, especially on a Sunday as there are so many clues. I do try to explain the really tricky clues, though, but sometimes we can disagree on what is "tricky". If so, just leave a comment and I or someone else will add an explantion, I am sure.

To answer your specific questions:

63A. We're-together link IN THIS
As in "we're IN THIS together".

96. Recess retort AM TOO!
Kids in recess might get into an argument and say (You are not ... I AM TOO!)

Hope that helps.

mothra said...

Bill, I can't find the next day's puzzle online after 7 pm (pst). I would like to do it the night before as well. Can you post a link?

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Mothra.

The early copy of the puzzle is available at the Cruciverb website. Membership is required, but there's no cost to sign up. The puzzle is available in the LA Times Archive.

mothra said...

Bill, managed to get set up with, but since Sun
(10/27), the LAT xword isn''t avail. in archive, or reg. as of today (10/28).

Don't know if this is a common problem, but I have been unable to get LAT xword for a week- the page keeps showing error code and restarting. I am new to this game and out of my depth. Love doing puzzles online but frustrated by my inabailty to correct or address these problems. seemed to be a solution until yesterday. Any advice where I can go for help?

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Mothra.

Yes, unfortunately the Cruciverb site can "fall behind" on puzzles occasionaly, although not too often. I think it is still the best place to get an early copy of the crossword. I just checked, and indeed the site has not been updates with today's (Monday) puzzle.

So, the next place I check is the MENSA website. This site provides a flash version of the puzzle that can be solved online. It comes up between 10 and 12 pm nightly (Pacific time) and doesn't have any advertising. I've found that this lack of advertising leaves it less prone to error messages.

Hope that helps, Mothra. Usually Cruciverb comes back up in a day or two. Good luck!

mothra said...

Thanks, Bill. It was back up tonight and was I relieved! Nothing like a new obsession to make you crazy! I really appreciate the help you have given through this blog and look forward to your daily info re the LATimes puzzle.

K. Mc. said...

Hi Bill,

Just came across this blog. Nice to see another site dedicated to the LAT Times puzzle. Rich Norris and contributors do a great job.

As for the issues, mea culpa. Rich does a pretty good job of getting the puzzles to me well in advance. All I can say is that I am not online every day, and sometimes it just slips through the cracks. I've been trying to make sure the puzzle is available every day. So far so good in the last several weeks, and I hope to keepit rgular through 2014.

Kevin McCann,

Bill Butler said...

Hi there, Kevin.

It's an honor to hear from you! Your website is marvelous resource. We solvers are very grateful for the work that you do in maintaining it. And yes I agree, Rich Norris and his "gang" does a fabulous job keeping us amused with new puzzles day after day.

I empathize with you when it comes to those daily updates. Those puzzle keep coming, relentlessly. Real life can get in the way sometimes. It happens to me too.

Happy New Year, Kevin!

Anonymous said...

I love that you take the time to explain some of the answers!
Thank you!
Were you aware that the answers posted in last weeks puzzle featured lots of uuu's and ooo's?...I found this site after I recycled the paper...but one of the clues was tennis shot between the legs...frustrating!!

Anonymous said...

It's late - but I found the solution to the puzzle that had "too many" uuu's in it - AND the explanation...har har!! Made so much more sense, if a little quirky!!

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About This Blog

This is the simplest of blogs.

I do the Los Angeles Times puzzle online every evening, the night before it is published in the paper. Then, I "Google & Wiki" the references that puzzle me, or that I find of interest. I post my findings, along with the solution, usually before midnight PST.

I've been writing the blog (about the New York Times crossword) since 2009. I finally started this blog in response to many requests over the years to write about the daily LA Times crossword.

About Me

The name's William Ernest Butler, but please call me Bill. I grew up in Ireland, but now live out here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am retired, from technology businesses that took our family all over the world.

I try to answer all emails, so please feel free to email me at

Crosswords and My Dad

I worked on my first crossword puzzle when I was about 6-years-old, sitting on my Dad's knee. He let me "help" him with his puzzle almost every day as I was growing up. Over the years, Dad passed on to me his addiction to crosswords. Now in my early 50s, I work on my Los Angeles Times and New York Times puzzles every day. I'm no longer sitting on my Dad's knee, but I feel that he is there with me, looking over my shoulder.

This blog is dedicated to my Dad, who passed away at the beginning of this month.

January 29, 2009

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