LA Times Crossword 26 Jan 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Blake Slonecker
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Em Dash

Themed answers are common phrases with “EM” removed:

  • 23A Tales of woe? : AIL ACCOUNTS (from “email accounts”)
  • 25A Piggy bank? : CENT MIXER (from “cement mixer”)
  • 39A Leave politics to wander? : ROVE FROM OFFICE (from “remove from office”)
  • 48A App for getting a hip escort? : DIAL-UP MOD (from “dial-up modem”)
  • 67A Precipitation not yet visible? : RAINS TO BE SEEN (from “remains to be seen”)
  • 85A Mafia hopefuls’ repressed personas? : INNER DONS (from “inner demons”)
  • 92A Musty sheets? : OFFENSIVE LINEN (from “offensive linemen”)
  • 108A Libertine on screen? : MOVIE RAKE (from “movie remake”)
  • 111A Musical works for deep voices? : BASSY SUITES (from “Embassy Suites”)

Bill’s time: 17m 43s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Sent regrets, say, briefly : RSVP’D

“RSVP” stands for “répondez s’il vous plaît”, which is French for “answer, please”.

6 Tank to go under : SCUBA

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

11 Sweater predator : MOTH

The larvae of several types of moth are noted for eating fabrics made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton. Many people store woolens in cedar chests believing that the scent of the wood prevents a moth infestation. In fact, the only known effective repellent is the naphthalene found in mothballs, which might be a health concern for humans. One way to kill moth larvae in fabric is to freeze the garment for several days at a temperature below -8 degrees centigrade.

15 Morsel in a linguine sauce : CLAM

“Linguine alle vongole” is Italian for “linguine with clams”. The dish originated in Naples, but is popular all over Italy, and indeed all over North America.

Linguine is a type of pasta that is similar to spaghetti, except that in cross-section linguine is elliptical whereas spaghetti is round. The correct name for the dish is “linguine” meaning “little tongues” in Italian. That said, the misspelling “linguini” is given in some dictionaries as an acceptable Americanized variant..

21 Twistable treat : OREO

The Oreo cookie was introduced in 1912. The Oreo was intended to be a competitor to the very similar Hydrox cookie which had debuted four years earlier. The Oreo won the resulting battle on the grocery store shelves …

22 “The Godfather” enforcer __ Brasi : LUCA

Luca Brasi is one of Don Corleone’s most loyal “enforcers” in Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather”. Brasi comes to a violent end, garroted while his hand is pinned to a wooden bar with a knife. Famously, the Corleone family learn of his demise when they receive Brasi’s bulletproof vest wrapped around dead fish. The message is that he “sleeps with the fishes”. In the big screen adaptation of “The Godfather”, Luca Brasi is played by ex-wrestler and professional bodyguard Lenny Montana. The role launched a very successful television character-acting career for Montana.

25 Piggy bank? : CENT MIXER (from “cement mixer”)

The word “pig” can be used for earthenware, or an earthenware shard. From this usage there evolved the term “pig jar” that described an earthenware pot that could be filled with water for use as a bed-warmer. Crockery pots were also used to collect coins and these were also termed “pig jars”. By the 1700s, these pig jars had evolved into the first “piggy banks”.

27 High hybrid stat. : MPG

Miles per gallon (mpg)

28 Organization for the 50+ crowd : AARP

“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

31 Musical corps members : FIFERS

A fife is a small flute that is often used in military and marching bands. The name “fife” comes from the German “Pfeife” meaning “pipe”.

32 Feminist poet Lorde : AUDRE

Audre Lorde was and American feminist author and civil rights activists. Lorde spent many years Germany. She was held a visiting professorship at the Free University of Berlin, and while holding that position became a leading light in the Afro-German movement.

44 Historian’s Muse : CLIO

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

Before the adoption of the nine muses of Greek mythology, there were originally three muses, the three Boeotian Muses. These were:

  • Mneme (memory)
  • Melete (meditation)
  • Aoede (song)

45 The Emerald Isle : EIRE

Ireland is often referred to as “the Emerald Isle” (and described as “green”) because of all that green grass that grows due to the seemingly non-stop rain.

47 Yemeni port : ADEN

Aden is a seaport in Yemen that is located on the Gulf of Aden by the eastern approach to the Red Sea. Aden has a long history of British rule, from 1838 until a very messy withdrawal in 1967. A native of Aden is known as an Adeni. Some believe that Cain and Abel are buried in the city.

48 App for getting a hip escort? : DIAL-UP MOD (from “dial-up modem”)

“Mod” is short for “modernist”, and describes a subculture that originated in London in the late fifties. Young men who called themselves mods tended to wear tailored suits, listen to pop music and drive around on Italian motor scooters. Mods came into conflict with another subculture that emerged at the same time in the UK called the rockers. Rockers were into rock and roll music, and drove motorcycles I remember as a young kid in school having to declare myself as either a mod or a rocker. I don’t think our “gangs” back then were quite the same as they are today though …

A modem is a device that is used to facilitate the transmission of a digital signal over an analog line. At one end of the line, a modem is used to “modulate” an analog carrier signal to encode digital information. At the other end of the line, a modem is used to “demodulate” the analog carrier signal and so reproduce the original digital information. This modulation-demodulation gives the device its name: a MOdulator-DEModulator, or “modem”.

51 __ Diego : SAN

The name of the California city of San Diego dates back to 1602, when Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno named the area after the Catholic Saint Didacus. Saint Didacus was more commonly referred to as San Diego de Alcalá.

52 What some hounds follow : SCENT

Dogs have an amazing sense of smell, and scientists tell us that it is 10,000 to 100,000 more acute than human olfactory capability. We have about 6 million olfactory receptors in our noses, compared to about 300 million in the nose of a dog. When we breathe in through our noses, all of that air goes straight to the lungs for respiration. In dogs, about 12% of inspired air is directed to a part of the nose that is dedicated to the sense of smell.

59 Kama __ : SUTRA

The “Kama Sutra” is renowned for its descriptions of positions that can be used for sexual intercourse, but the sutra includes many other texts that deal with various matters of a sexual nature, including how to woo a woman, the conduct of a “chief wife”, the conduct of “other wives”, how to make money as a courtesan, and much more.

61 Illinois-to-Washington family : OBAMAS

President Obama served three terms in the Illinois State Senate, from 1997 to 2004. The future President ran unsuccessfully for the US House of Representatives in 2000, and then successfully for the US Senate in 2004. Famously, State Senator Obama delivered the keynote address to the Democratic National Convention in 2004, just a few months before winning that US Senate seat.

63 Early fur trader : ASTOR

John Jacob Astor was the patriarch of the famous American Astor dynasty. He was the country’s first multi-millionaire, making his fortune in the trade of fur, real estate and opium. In today’s terms, it has been calculated that by the time of his death he has accumulated a fortune big enough to make him the fourth wealthiest man in American history (in the company of the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller).

71 Absinthe flavoring : ANISE

Absinthe is an alcoholic spirit that is distilled from various plants and herbs, including wormwood, anise and fennel. Absinthe was banned in the US in 1915 as it was deemed to be an addictive psychoactive drug. However, the accepted opinion today seems to be that absinthe is no more addictive or dangerous than any other spirit.

73 Sarges’ superiors : LOOIES

A “looie” (lieutenant) has a higher rank than a “noncom” (noncommissioned officer) such as a “sarge” (sergeant).

74 English glam rockers since the ’70s : SLADE

Slade is a favorite band from my youth, a rock band from the north of England who made it big during the seventies. One of Slade’s hallmark marketing techniques was a deliberate misspelling of their song titles. A couple of those titles are “Gudbuy T’Jane” and my personal favorite “Cum On Feel the Noize”.

I remember the days of glam rock so well, as it was a hugely popular genre of music in Britain and Ireland during the early seventies. Artistes wore the wildest of clothes, big hair, shiny outfits and really high platform boots. Names associated with glam rock are T. Rex, David Bowie, Roxy Music and the infamous Gary Glitter.

76 Someone to pay? : PIPER

The legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin dates back to medieval times. Recently there have been suggestions that the story is rooted in some truth, that the town of Hamelin did in fact lose many of its children, perhaps to plague. The suggestion is that the tale is an allegory. The use of the word “pied” implies that the piper dressed in multi-colored clothing. Our contemporary idiom “to pay the piper” means “to bear the cost of a poor decision”. It is a reference to townsfolk of Hamelin who refused to pay the Pied Piper for ridding the town of rats. They ultimately paid the cost when the piper lured their children away.

77 Big bomb trials : N-TESTS

Nuclear test (N-test)

83 Cher and Che : ICONS

“Cher” is the stage name used by singer and actress Cherilyn Sarkisian. Formerly one half of husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher, she is often referred to as the Goddess of Pop. In her acting career, Cher was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar of 1984 for her performance in “Silkwood”. She went further in 1988 and won the season’s Best Actress Oscar for playing Loretta Castorini in “Moonstruck”.

Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 he started to study medicine at the University of Buenos Aires. While at school he satisfied his need to “see the world” by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara’s memoir later published as “The Motorcycle Diaries”. While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara’s death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.

84 Big __ : SUR

Big Sur is a lovely part of the California Coast located south of Monterey and Carmel. The name “Big Sur” comes from the original Spanish description of the area as “el sur grande” meaning “the big south”.

90 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA

Sarah McLachlan is singer/songwriter from Halifax, Nova Scotia who lives in Vancouver. In 1997, McLachlan married Ashwin Sood, the drummer in her band. The 1998 hit song “Adia”, which she co-wrote and recorded, was intended as an apology to her best friend … for stealing her ex-boyfriend and then marrying him!

91 Basic diamond trio : OUTS

That would be baseball.

92 Musty sheets? : OFFENSIVE LINEN (from “offensive linemen”)

Something described as “musty” has a stale or moldy odor. The term derives from an obsolete word “moisty”, as in “moist”.

95 Metaphorical incentive : CARROT

There is some debate about the “carrot/stick” metaphor. Some say that a carrot represents an incentive and a stick represents a threat, with the idea being that an incentive is more effective than a threat. Another version of the metaphor is that the carrot is dangled on a stick before a donkey, incentivizing the animal to move forward. There’s no threat, just a reward that never gets any more attainable …

97 Part of TNT : -NITRO-

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

98 Crimson rivals : ELIS

“Eli” is the nickname for a graduate of Yale University, and a term used in honor of the Yale benefactor Elihu Yale.

Not only is crimson the school color, “Harvard Crimson” is the name given to the athletic teams, and to the school newspaper. The school color was chosen by a vote of the student body in 1875.

99 Writer Sontag : SUSAN

Susan Sontag was a writer and political activist from New York City. Sontag wrote extensively on a number of subjects, including photography. She spent the last decade of her life in a relationship with renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz.

103 Burt’s Bees product : BALM

Burt’s Bees is a line of personal care products that uses natural ingredients with minimal processing. The company started out in 1984 as a partnership between two entrepreneurs making candles out of excess beeswax from hives owned by one of the partners. Today the company has over $250 million in sales and is a division of Clorox.

105 Neruda wrote one to “things” : ODE

“Odes to Common Things” is a collection of poems by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Included in the list of 25 odes is “Ode to the Table”, “Ode to the Dog”, Ode to the Artichoke” and “Ode to French Fries”.

108 Libertine on screen? : MOVIE RAKE (from “movie remake”)

A “rake” (short for “rakehell”) is a man who is habituated to immoral conduct (isn’t it always the man??!!). The rake is a character who turns up frequently in novels and films, only interested in wine, women and song and not accepting the responsibilities of life. Good examples would be Wickham in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and Daniel Cleaver (the Hugh Grant part) in the movie “Bridget Jones’s Diary”. “Rake” comes from the Old Norse “reikall”, meaning “vagrant or a wanderer”.

Someone who is described as “libertine” is free of restraint, sexually immoral. Back in the 14th century a libertine was an emancipated slave, someone given his or her freedom. The term derives from the Latin “libertinus” describing a freed person who was once a slave.

111 Musical works for deep voices? : BASSY SUITES (from “Embassy Suites”)

The first Embassy Suites hotel opened in 1984, in Overland Park, Kansas.

115 Novelist Murdoch : IRIS

Dame Iris Murdoch was an Irish-born British author and philosopher. She was awarded the Booker Prize in 1978 for her novel “The Sea, the Sea”, although her best-known work is probably her first novel “Under the Net”, which was published in 1954.

116 Cyber Monday sector : E-TAIL

Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving, when retailers offer incentives to online shoppers in the hope of boosting sales. The term “Cyber Monday” was coined in 2005 in a press release issued by the website Shop.org. In recent years, consumers have been spending more money online on Cyber Monday than any other day in the year.

118 Performed on karaoke night : SANG

“Karate” is a Japanese word meaning “empty hand”, and the related word “karaoke” translates as “empty orchestra”.

119 ‘Tis the season : XMAS

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la!”

Down

1 Copier supply unit : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

2 Freudian __ : SLIP

A Freudian slip is an error that is interpreted as being due to an unconscious wish for the same outcome. Named for psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, the “slip” is also called a parapraxis.

3 One with unrefined tastes : VULGARIAN

A “vulgarian” is a person who is vulgar, but who is also wealthy and has good breeding.

4 Peck in the park, briefly : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

6 Camping treat : S’MORE

S’mores are treats peculiar to North America that are usually eaten around a campfire. A s’more consists of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. The earliest written reference to the recipe is in a 1927 publication called “Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts”. Girl Scouts always did corner the market on cookies and the like!

7 Brilliant stroke : COUP

A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”. We also use the abbreviated “coup” to mean “sudden, brilliant and successful act”.

9 It’s under Wayne Manor : BATCAVE

Wayne Manor is the home of Bruce Wayne, the alter-ego of Batman. It is a huge manor that lies just outside Gotham City. Looking after the house is the Wayne family servant, Alfred. Beneath the grounds of the manor is an extensive cave system where Bruce Wayne put together his Batcave. Access to the cave is via a staircase behind a hidden door. The door is opened by moving the hands of a non-functioning grandfather clock to 10:47, the time at which Wayne’s parents were murdered. It is the murder of his parents that sets Bruce off on his journey of crime fighting.

10 French border region : ALSACE

Of the 27 regions of metropolitan France (i.e. the territory of France within Europe), the smallest is Alsace. Alsace sits at the very east of the country, right on the border with Germany. The political status of Alsace was disputed by France and Germany for over three centuries, and was formally handed over to French control after Germany’s defeat in WWII.

11 Oft-beaded footwear : MOCS

“Moc” is short for “moccasin”, a type of shoe. The moccasin is a traditional form of footwear worn by members of many Native American tribes.

12 W. state whose largest city is named for a New England city : ORE

Portland is the largest city in Oregon. The city was founded by two claimholders from back East, one from Boston, Massachusetts and one from Portland, Maine. Both of the founders wanted to name the new city after their hometowns, and settled the dilemma with a coin toss. Portland won …

Portland is the largest city in Maine, and home to over a third of the state’s population. The name of Portland was chosen in 1786, a reference to the Isle of Portland, which is the southernmost point in the county of Dorset, England.

16 Swanky : LUXE

“Luxe” is another word for “luxury”. The term came into English via French from the Latin “luxus” meaning “luxury”.

17 Taiwanese tech giant : ACER

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I visited a couple of times when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

18 Rover’s destination : MARS

There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successfully for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and it is still going. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today.

26 Tick off : MIFF

To miff is to put out, to tee off. “To miff” is a verb that has been around since the early 1600s. Interestingly, in 1824 Sir Walter Scott described the word “miffed” as “a women’s phrase”. That should get him a slap, I’d say …

34 Leapers in a carol : LORDS

The fabulous Christmas carol called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” dates back at least to 1780 when it was first published in England, though it may be French in origin. The concept of twelve days of Christmas comes from the tradition that the three kings came to visit the Christ Child twelve days after he was born. This same tradition is the origin of the title to Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”.

36 Muscat’s land : OMAN

Muscat is the capital of Oman. The city lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

37 “Back in Black” band : AC/DC

The Heavy Metal band known as AC/DC was formed by two brothers Malcolm and Angus Young in Australia. The group is usually called “Acca Dacca” down under.

38 Pelvic bones : ILIA

The sacrum and the two ilia are three bones in the human pelvis.

39 Cristo Redentor city : RIO

The iconic statue of Jesus overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is known as “Cristo Redentor” (Christ the Redeemer). The statue was constructed between 1922 and 1931. It is the largest Art Deco statue in the world, as it stands at over 30 feet tall.

40 Job application component : RESUME

A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

42 Bleeping official : CENSOR

The original “censor” was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

45 TV chef Lagasse : EMERIL

Emeril Lagasse is an American chef who was born in Massachusetts. Lagasse first achieved celebrity as executive chef in Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Now famous for his television shows, his cuisine still showcases New Orleans ingredients and influences. Lagasse started using his famous “Bam!” catchphrase in order to keep his crew awake during repeated tapings of his show.

49 Ones taking a lot of interest in their work? : USURERS

Usury used to be the practice of simply lending money at interest, but the term now refers to lending at rates of interest that are excessive.

50 Org. that sued SeaWorld on behalf of orcas : PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a very large animal rights organization, with 300 employees and two million members and supporters worldwide. Although the group campaigns for animal rights across a broad spectrum of issues, it has a stated focus in opposition of four practices:

  • Factory farming
  • Fur farming
  • Animal testing
  • Use of animals in entertainment

52 Libel, in speech : SLANDER

The word “libel” describes a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation. It comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s, libel was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging association arising in the 1600s. The related concept of slander is defamation in a transient form, such as speech, sign language or gestures.

55 Comedian Fields : TOTIE

“Totie Fields” was the stage name of comedian Sophie Feldman. “Totie” is a corruption of “Sophie”, and was the nickname she was given as a child.

57 Milwaukee theater named for a brewer, with “the” : PABST

The Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin opened in 1895, making it the fourth-oldest continuously operating theater in the nation (the oldest is the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia). The Pabst was built by brewer Frederick Pabst on the site of Das Neue Deutsche Stadt-Theater (The New German City Theater), after the old theater burned down.

62 One-named Tejano singer : SELENA

Singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, known professionally simply as “Selena”, was murdered in 1995 by the president of her own fan club at the height of her career. In a 1997 biopic about Selena’s life, Jennifer Lopez played the title role. Selena had often been referred to as the “Queen of Tejano” during her career.

“Tejano” is the Spanish word for “Texan”. Tejano music is strongly influenced by Cajun culture, because of the proximity of Texas to Louisiana. The other strong influence came with immigrants from Poland and what is now the Czech Republic. These immigrants brought with them the waltz, polka … and the accordion.

64 Quick, in Quito : RAPIDO

The full name of the capital city of Ecuador is San Francisco de Quito. Quito is the second highest administrative capital city in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia.

65 Peace Prize-winning relief org. : UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund is known by the acronym UNICEF because the organization’s original name when it was founded in 1946 was the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. The original focus of the fund was to provide relief to children in countries that had been devastated by WWII. UNICEF is supported by contributions from governments, but also by individual donors. One of the more successful programs for collecting private donations is the Trick-or-Treat UNICEF box that has been a tradition here in North America since 1950.

75 “Bewitched” witch : ENDORA

In the television sitcom “Bewitched”, Endora is Samantha’s mother. Mother and daughter, and indeed granddaughter, have the magical powers accorded to witches. Endora is played flamboyantly by Agnes Moorehead.

81 “Do __ others … ” : UNTO

The Golden Rule is also known as the ethic of reciprocity, and is a basis for the concept of human rights. A version of the rule used in the Christian tradition is attributed to Jesus:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

82 Sibilant attention-getter : PSST!

“Sibilant” is a lovely word that describes a sound of speech, i.e. the sound of an “s” or “z”, a hissing sound. The word “sissies”, for example, has three sibilant sounds.

86 “Henry & June” diarist : NIN

The 1990 movie “Henry & June” is loosely adapted from the book of the same name by Anaïs Nin. The book is based on diaries written by Nin telling of her part in a love triangle with American author Henry Miller and his wife June. June Miller was played by Uma Thurman in the movie.

“Henry and June” is a 1986 book that is based on unpublished diaries of author Anaïs Nin. The book was commissioned by Nin’s husband Rupert Pole, almost a decade after Nin’s passing. “Henry and June” focuses on the passionate relationship that Nin had with writer Henry Miller’s wife June, and later with Henry Miller himself. The 1990 film “Henry & June” is based on the book, and stars Fred Ward and Uma Thruman in the title roles, and Maria de Medeiros as Nin.

88 French comics series set in Gaul in 50 BC : ASTERIX

“The Adventures of Asterix” is a series of comics originally published in French, starting in 1959. The French version was a very popular choice for us as kids when we were required to read some French “literature” at school.

90 Lively movement : ANIMATO

As one might expect, the Italian word “animato” is used in a musical score to indicate that one should play “spiritedly”.

93 River where down means north : NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

96 Per se : AS SUCH

“Per se” is a Latin phrase that translates as “by itself”. We use “per se” pretty literally, meaning “in itself, intrinsically”.

101 Royal Crown, for one : COLA

Claude A. Hatcher ran a grocery store in Columbus, Georgia. He decided to develop his own soft drink formula when he balked at the price his store was being charged for Coca-Cola syrup. Hatcher launched the Union Bottling Works in his own grocery store, and introduced Royal Crown Ginger Ale in 1905. The Union Bottling Works was renamed to Chero-Cola in 1910, the Nehi Corporation in 1925, and Royal Crown Company in the mid-fifties. The first RC Cola hit the market in 1934.

102 “Terrible” leader : IVAN

The Grand Prince of Moscow, and first Tsar of Russia, Ivan IV became known as “Ivan the Terrible”. The name “terrible” is a translation from Russian, and perhaps creates the wrong impression about the man. The Russian word is “Grozny”, which is more akin to “strict” and “powerful” rather than “cruel” or “abominable”.

103 Téa’s “Madam Secretary” role : BESS

“Madam Secretary” is A TV show that first aired in 2014. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

104 Home to most of the Silk Road : ASIA

The Silk Road was a network of trading routes that crossed North Africa and Asia, connecting Europe to West Asia. The routes get the name from the lucrative trade in silk from China.

106 Ingredient in OFF! : DEET

“DEET” is short for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, an active ingredient in insect repellents. DEET is most often used to repel mosquitoes by applying it to the skin and/or clothing. It is also used to protect against tick bites.

107 Best Upset, e.g. : ESPY

The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

110 Soul supplier : KIA

The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …

113 Glass of NPR : IRA

Ira Glass is a well-respected presenter on American Public Radio who is perhaps best known for his show “This American Life”. I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira’s first cousin.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sent regrets, say, briefly : RSVP’D
6 Tank to go under : SCUBA
11 Sweater predator : MOTH
15 Morsel in a linguine sauce : CLAM
19 Get around : ELUDE
20 Upstanding : MORAL
21 Twistable treat : OREO
22 “The Godfather” enforcer __ Brasi : LUCA
23 Tales of woe? : AIL ACCOUNTS (from “email accounts”)
25 Piggy bank? : CENT MIXER (from “cement mixer”)
27 High hybrid stat. : MPG
28 Organization for the 50+ crowd : AARP
29 Train units : CARS
31 Musical corps members : FIFERS
32 Feminist poet Lorde : AUDRE
34 Delicate fabric : LACE
35 Explode : GO OFF
37 Inflated accommodation : AIR BED
39 Leave politics to wander? : ROVE FROM OFFICE (from “remove from office”)
44 Historian’s Muse : CLIO
45 The Emerald Isle : EIRE
46 Attack : SET AT
47 Yemeni port : ADEN
48 App for getting a hip escort? : DIAL-UP MOD (from “dial-up modem”)
51 __ Diego : SAN
52 What some hounds follow : SCENT
53 Fails to understand : CAN’T SEE
54 Plug : STOP UP
58 Car dealer’s offering : LEASE
59 Kama __ : SUTRA
61 Illinois-to-Washington family : OBAMAS
63 Early fur trader : ASTOR
64 Tired routine : RUT
67 Precipitation not yet visible? : RAINS TO BE SEEN (from “remains to be seen”)
70 Busy hosp. areas : ERS
71 Absinthe flavoring : ANISE
73 Sarges’ superiors : LOOIES
74 English glam rockers since the ’70s : SLADE
76 Someone to pay? : PIPER
77 Big bomb trials : N-TESTS
79 Ties : EVENS UP
83 Cher and Che : ICONS
84 Big __ : SUR
85 Mafia hopefuls’ repressed personas? : INNER DONS (from “inner demons”)
87 Artful : DEFT
88 Really dug : ATE UP
90 Sarah McLachlan hit : ADIA
91 Basic diamond trio : OUTS
92 Musty sheets? : OFFENSIVE LINEN (from “offensive linemen”)
95 Metaphorical incentive : CARROT
97 Part of TNT : -NITRO-
98 Crimson rivals : ELIS
99 Writer Sontag : SUSAN
100 Winter hanger : ICICLE
103 Burt’s Bees product : BALM
104 Tap lineup : ALES
105 Neruda wrote one to “things” : ODE
108 Libertine on screen? : MOVIE RAKE (from “movie remake”)
111 Musical works for deep voices? : BASSY SUITES (from “Embassy Suites”)
114 Scheme : PLAN
115 Novelist Murdoch : IRIS
116 Cyber Monday sector : E-TAIL
117 Tiptoe, say : CREEP
118 Performed on karaoke night : SANG
119 ‘Tis the season : XMAS
120 Currently : TODAY
121 Quicker than is prudent : HASTY

Down

1 Copier supply unit : REAM
2 Freudian __ : SLIP
3 One with unrefined tastes : VULGARIAN
4 Peck in the park, briefly : PDA
5 An era may be confined to one : DECADE
6 Camping treat : S’MORE
7 Brilliant stroke : COUP
8 One may be measured in cups : URN
9 It’s under Wayne Manor : BATCAVE
10 French border region : ALSACE
11 Oft-beaded footwear : MOCS
12 W. state whose largest city is named for a New England city : ORE
13 Perfect score, often : TEN
14 Hurry, with “it” : HOTFOOT
15 Challenges for climbers : CLIFF FACES
16 Swanky : LUXE
17 Taiwanese tech giant : ACER
18 Rover’s destination : MARS
24 ID __ : CARD
26 Tick off : MIFF
30 Ones crying foul? : REFS
33 Curved fasteners : U-BOLTS
34 Leapers in a carol : LORDS
35 Avoided unhappy consequences : GOT A PASS
36 Muscat’s land : OMAN
37 “Back in Black” band : AC/DC
38 Pelvic bones : ILIA
39 Cristo Redentor city : RIO
40 Job application component : RESUME
41 Brainstorm : IDEATE
42 Bleeping official : CENSOR
43 Joins, as a club : ENTERS
45 TV chef Lagasse : EMERIL
49 Ones taking a lot of interest in their work? : USURERS
50 Org. that sued SeaWorld on behalf of orcas : PETA
52 Libel, in speech : SLANDER
55 Comedian Fields : TOTIE
56 Orchestral winds : OBOES
57 Milwaukee theater named for a brewer, with “the” : PABST
60 Spanish New Year : ANO NUEVO
62 One-named Tejano singer : SELENA
64 Quick, in Quito : RAPIDO
65 Peace Prize-winning relief org. : UNICEF
66 Hoops jump ball : TIP-OFF
68 “Couldn’t agree more” : SO TRUE
69 Roof edge : EAVE
72 It follows a guilty verdict : SENTENCING
75 “Bewitched” witch : ENDORA
78 A and B, on LPs : SIDES
80 Harmony ruiners : SOUR NOTES
81 “Do __ others … ” : UNTO
82 Sibilant attention-getter : PSST!
84 Soup step : STIR
86 “Henry & June” diarist : NIN
88 French comics series set in Gaul in 50 BC : ASTERIX
89 Entreaty : PLEA
90 Lively movement : ANIMATO
93 River where down means north : NILE
94 “Doubt it” : I’LL BET
95 Sticks by the pool table : CUES
96 Per se : AS SUCH
99 In a wily way : SLYLY
100 Little handfuls : IMPS
101 Royal Crown, for one : COLA
102 “Terrible” leader : IVAN
103 Téa’s “Madam Secretary” role : BESS
104 Home to most of the Silk Road : ASIA
106 Ingredient in OFF! : DEET
107 Best Upset, e.g. : ESPY
109 Shot spot : ARM
110 Soul supplier : KIA
112 Blue : SAD
113 Glass of NPR : IRA