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LAT Wed. 6/3 Peter A. Collins



"Place to crash"   PAD
"Took another plunge?"   REWED
"Ran through"   SPENT

I carped Monday about calling Gene Krupa an "old-time drummer," but "Old-time actress Bara" seems right for THEDA, who was a silent film star.  The difference between the stars may have been only ten years.

Law, silence, honor, and ethics are related to cryptographers, but just how is cryptic to me.  I wonder for how many cruciverbalists it is plain.  I suspect it's some code to which cryptologists suscribe.     :)

Thanks for revealing what the circled letters were.  (I did the puzzle online and therefore couldn't see the circles.)

I'm thinking that the theme refers to the phrases: code of silence, code of honor, and code of ethics.

I've heard of the civil code, the criminal code, and Hammurabi's code, so I guess "code of law" makes sense too.

Yes, like 60A in the puzzle says: BROKENCODES.  The letters of the codes are "broken" by the other intervening letters in the theme entries.

But words like silence and ethics are not codes, so breaking them up doesn't break a code.  And as MAMSELLE points out, there's the problem of law.  :)

I really don't see the problem.  Since the puzzle gives a hint to the theme as BROKENCODES, I think it's very crosswordpuzzle-ish to assume that you can read the theme words as "Code of ...". And certainly "code of silence", "code of ethics", and "code of honor", are familiar phrases.  A "code of law" is the same as a civil code, a codified body of statutes.  And "code of law" gets over 150,000 hits on Google, so it's not just me who thinks it's a familiar phrase.

I don't think the BROKENCODES type of theme would ever be used in a commuter puzzle, or in USA Today, or in a tabloid newspaper.  But the LA Times provides us with high-quality themed puzzles, thank goodness!


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