LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Oct 15, Sunday

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CROSSWORD SETTER: Pam Amick Klawitter
THEME: Bringing Your “A” Game … each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but with an “E” sound changed to an “A” sound:

21A. What echolocation is used for? WHALE BEARINGS (from “wheel bearings”)
31A. Bit of theatrical thievery? COPPING A PLAY (from “copping a plea”)
51A. Fight at the coffee shop? CAFFEINE FRAY (from “caffeine-free”)
68A. Barbie and Ken’s servant? VALET OF THE DOLLS (from “Valley of the Dolls”)
89A. Aversion therapy tool? HATE DETECTOR (from “heat detector”)
104A. Quick question at the building site? WALL STRAIGHT? (from “Wall Street”)
121A. Cosmetics counter freebie? SHOPPING SPRAY (from “shopping spree”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 32m 09s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 3 … AESIR (Aesie), WELLES (Relles!), BREWER (beerer!!!)

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. “Ivy Mike” test weapon H-BOMB
The first successful detonation of a hydrogen bomb was in a test codenamed Ivy Mike. The test was conducted by the US on an atoll in the Pacific Ocean named Enewetak.

6. Bush trip SAFARI
“Safari” is a Swahili word, meaning “journey” or “expedition”.

12. University of Idaho city MOSCOW
Moscow, Idaho is home to the University of Idaho. In its early days the city was known as Paradise Valley, and the name changed to Moscow in 1875. The choice of “Moscow” seems unexplained, but it is more likely related to Moscow, Pennsylvania than Moscow, Russia.

18. Group at Asgard AESIR
“Aesir” is sometimes used as the collective noun for the Norse gods.

Asgard is one of the Nine Worlds of Norse religions. It is where the Norse gods live and is also home to Valhalla, the enormous hall ruled over by the god Odin.

21. What echolocation is used for? WHALE BEARINGS (from “wheel bearings”)
“Echolocation”, is location of things using echoed signals …

The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defence demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using “supersonics”, but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the IC from “superson-ic-s” to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology “ASDivite”. By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application called RADAR. And so the name ASDIC was deep-sixed …

25. Hayworth’s second husband WELLES
George Orson Welles (known as “Orson”) is perhaps best-remembered in the world of film for his role in 1941’s “Citizen Kane”. In the world of radio, Welles is known for 1938’s famous broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”, a broadcast that convinced many listeners that the Earth was indeed being invaded by aliens. Welles was the second husband of Hollywood superstar Rita Hayworth. Welles and Hayworth were married for only four years, but as Welles pointed out, that was longer than any of four other Hayworth marriages.

Rita Hayworth was born in Brooklyn as Margarita Carmen Cansino. Her father was a flamenco dancer from Spain and so his daughter fell naturally into dancing. The family moved to Hollywood where Hayworth’s father set up a dance studio, and there worked with the likes of James Cagney and Jean Harlow. The young Hayworth had a slow start in movies, finding herself typecast because of her Mediterranean features. When she underwent extensive electrolysis to change her forehead and dyed her hair red, she started to get more work (how sad is that?). In 1941 she posed for that famous pin-up picture which accompanied GIs all over the world.

26. Shrek, notably OGRE
Before “Shrek” was a successful movie franchise and Broadway musical, it was a children’s picture book called “Shrek!” authored and illustrated by William Steig. The title “Shrek!” came from the German/Yiddish word Schreck, meaning “fear” or “terror”.

31. Bit of theatrical thievery? COPPING A PLAY (from “copping a plea”)
“To cop” was northern British dialect for “to seize, catch”. This verb evolved in the noun “copper”, describing a policeman, someone who catches criminals. “Copper” is often shortened to “cop”.

38. Liberal side? ELL
There is a letter L (ell) on either side of the word “liberal”.

39. First name in exploring LEIF
Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer and was the first European to land in North America, some 500 years before Christopher Columbus’s landing in 1492. The Norsemen named the area they discovered “Vinland”, which might translate as “Wine Land” or “Pasture Land”. Erikson built a small settlement called Leifsbudir, which archaeologists believe they have found in modern day Newfoundland, at L’Anse aux Meadows. The settlement discovered in Newfoundland is definitely Norse, but there is some dispute over whether it is actually Erikson’s Leifsbudir.

42. Conn of “Grease” DIDI
Didi Conn, born Edith Bernstein, played a great character in the “Grease” films called “Frenchy”. Conn also played Stacy Jones in the children’s television show “Shining Time Station” in the late eighties-early nineties.

45. Dismissals in a ’70s-’80s game show GONGS
NBC’s “The Gong Show” was originally broadcast in the seventies and eighties, but it always seems to be showing somewhere on cable TV. I suppose the show was a forerunner of today’s “America’s Got Talent”, in that it was a talent show in which the acts can be cut off in mid-performance by the sounding of a gong (just like the 3 buzzers on “Talent”). Despite all the terrible acts that appeared, some famous names made it after the show e.g. Boxcar Willy, Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman) and Andrea McArdle (played “Annie” on Broadway).

47. __ Rock: Australian attraction AYERS
Ayers Rock was discovered by Europeans in 1873, who gave it its name in honor of Sir Henry Ayers who was the Chief Secretary of South Australia at the time. The Aborigines call the landmark Uluru, the more accepted name these days.

54. Flair ELAN
Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style” or “flair”.

58. Ornamental shrub SPIREA
Spirea, also known as Meadowsweet, is too woody to be considered as a food plant, although it has long been used by Native Americans as a herbal tea. Spirea is chock full of salicylates, chemicals that have properties similar to aspirin.

59. Space travel meas. LT YR
A light-year (lt. yr.) is a measure of distance, not time. It is the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one year. The accepted abbreviation for a light-year is “ly”. A light-second is a lot shorter distance: about 186,282 miles.

60. Bubbly region ASTI
Asti is in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

66. Epic Trojan warrior AENEAS
In Roman and Greek mythology, Aeneas was a Trojan warrior. According to ancient Roman lore, Aeneas traveled to Italy and became the ancestor Romulus and Remus, and thus the ancestor of all Romans. Aeneas’s story is told in Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”.

68. Barbie and Ken’s servant? VALET OF THE DOLLS (from “Valley of the Dolls”)
Barbie’s male counterpart doll is Ken, and Ken’s family name is Carson. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. When Ken was introduced in 1959, it was as Barbie’s boyfriend. In 2004 it was announced that Ken and Barbie were splitting up, and needed to spend quality time apart. Soon after the split, Barbie “met” Blaine, a boogie boarder from Australia.

Jacqueline Susann’s novel “Valley of the Dolls” was first published in 1996 and was a runaway success. The word “dolls” in the title is slang for barbiturate drugs, so-called “downers” or sleep aids. The book was adapted into a film that was nominated for a number of Oscars.

72. Garden feature GAZEBO
A gazebo is a roofed structure, often octagonal in shape, that is found mainly in public spaces. Gazebos can be quite small, or can be large enough to perhaps serve as a bandstand. The actual etymology of the term “gazebo” seems to be a bit of a mystery, and there are some misconceptions out there.

75. Banking control AILERON
In traditional aircraft designs, pitch is controlled by the elevator and roll is controlled by the aileron. On some newer aircraft these two functions are combined into single control surfaces called “elevons”.

76. Sponsorship AEGIS
Someone is said to be under the aegis (also “egis”) of someone else (for example) if that other person provides protection, or perhaps sponsorship. The word “aegis” comes from the Greek word for a goat (“aigis”), the idea being that the goatskin shield or breastplate worn by Zeus or Athena, gave some measure of protection.

81. Change one’s mind about changing STET
“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

84. “The Wizard of Oz” prop TIN HAT
Actor Jack Haley played the Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz”. Haley was the second choice for the role, as it was originally given to Buddy Ebsen (who later played Jed Clampett in “The Beverly Hillbillies”). Ebsen was being “painted up” as the Tin Man when he had an extreme, near-fatal reaction from inhaling the aluminum dust makeup that was being used. When Haley took over, the makeup was changed to a paste, but it was still uncomfortable and caused him to miss the first four days of shooting due to a reaction in his eyes. During filming, Haley must have made good friends with the movie’s star, Judy Garland, as years later Jack’s son married Judy’s daughter, Liza Minnelli.

92. “The Family Circus” creator KEANE
Bil Keane is a cartoonist most associated with his strip “The Family Circus”. Once Bil sketches out the text and idea for the cartoon, he sends it off to his son Jeff Keane who inks and colors the pictures so that the strip is ready for publication. In the storyline itself, the main characters are based on Bil’s own family. In fact, the son “Jeffy” in the story is based on Jeff, Bil’s son and production assistant.

94. Passover month NISAN
Nisan is the first month in the Hebrew ecclesiastical calendar.

96. Hematology prefix SERO-
The prefix “sero-” represent the word “serum” in a compound word.

Blood serum is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell or a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to some disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

97. Melissa Joan of “Melissa & Joey” HART
Melissa Joan Hart is mainly a TV actress, best known perhaps for playing the title role in “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”.

98. The Snake R. runs through it IDA
The Snake River in the US northwest is the largest tributary of the Columbia River.

100. Pleasure trip JUNKET
Nowadays we use the term “junket” for a trip taken by a government official at public expense that has no public benefit. Back in the late 1500s, a junket was a basket for carrying fish. The term was then applied to a feast or banquet, perhaps adopting the notion of a picnic “basket”. From feast or banquet, the term came to mean a pleasure trip, and is now our political junket.

102. Oliver Stone’s alma mater NYU
Oliver Stone came to prominence as a film director in the 1980s when he came out with a string of war films such as “Salvador”, “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July”. Stone dropped out of Yale University in the sixties and spent six months in South Vietnam teaching English. A few years later he signed up with the US Army and requested combat duty in South Vietnam and completed a 15-month tour. His movie “Platoon” is a semi-autobiographical account of his experiences during the Vietnam War.

104. Quick question at the building site? WALL STRAIGHT? (from “Wall Street”)
New York’s famous “Wall Street” was originally named by the Dutch as “de Waal Straat”. How the name came to be “de Waal” is disputed, with some saying it is a reference to an earthen wall, and other saying it is a reference to the Walloons of Belgium.

108. Catalog giant SPIEGEL
Spiegel is a company that sells women’s clothing and accessories, and which has a famous catalog sales business. The company was founded way back in 1865 by Joseph Spiegel as a home furnishings retail outlet in Chicago.

112. Supermarket letters IGA
IGA stands for Independent Grocers Alliance, a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

113. Bangkok bread BAHT
The baht is the currency of Thailand, and is subdivided into 100 satang.

Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand. The exact etymology of the name “Bangkok” seems unclear, although “bang” is a Thai word meaning “a village situated on a stream”.

114. Quakers in the forest? ASPENS
The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

116. Anago or unagi EEL
Unagi is the Japanese word for freshwater eel, and anago is the word for salt-water eel.

118. One who puts you to sleep SANDMAN
The sandman is a mythical character from folklore who is said to induce sleep and bring good dreams by sprinkling sand on the eyes of children.

125. Seat of Washington’s Snohomish County EVERETT
Everett, Washington is a city located just 25 miles from Seattle. Everett is home to the largest building in the world, the Boeing assembly plant where the 747, 767, 777 and 787 passenger jetliners are produced.

126. Portuguese wine MADEIRA
Madeira is a Portuguese-owned archipelago that lies to the southwest of mainland Portugal. Madeira is famous for its wine, which is a fortified beverage (as is port, sherry and Marsala wine).

127. Beethoven dedicatee ELISE
“Fur Elise” is a beautiful piece of music written by Beethoven, and is also known as “Bagatelle in A Minor”. “Fur Elise” means simply “For Elise”, but sadly no one knows for sure the identity of the mysterious dedicatee.

130. Collaborative 2012 Streisand album DUETS
As so many artists seem to have done by now, Barbra Streisand produced an album titled “Duets”, in 2002. The list of collaborators includes Barry Gibb (“Guilty”), Neil Diamond (“You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”), Frank Sinatra (“I’ve Got a Crush on You”), and Donna Summer (“No More Tears”). Due to the magic of the recording studio, Streisand even records a duet with herself, a medley version of “One Less Bell to Answer” and “A House is Not a Home”.

Down
1. “Cactus Flower” Oscar winner HAWN
“Cactus Flower” is a farce written for the stage that played on Broadway for many years before being adapted for the silver screen and released in 1969. The play by Abe Burrows was itself based on a French play with the same name, just in French: “Fleur de cactus”. The movie has a great cast, led by Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman and Goldie Hawn. Hawn won an Oscar for her performance.

2. “The View” alum Joy BEHAR
Joy Behar is a comedian, and former co-host of the hit talk show “The View”. Behar was one of the original co-hosts of “The View”, and stayed with the show from 1997 until 2013.

3. Missouri tributary OSAGE
Much of the Osage River in Missouri is now taken up by two large reservoirs created behind two dams that provide power for St. Louis and the surrounding area. The two reservoirs are the Truman Reservoir and the Lake of the Ozarks.

4. Part of a GI’s URL MIL
The .mil domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:

– .com (commercial enterprise)
– .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
– .mil (US military)
– .org (not-for-profit organization)
– .gov (US federal government entity)
– .edu (college-level educational institution)

7. River to the Rhein AARE
The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. A famous spot along the Aar is the Reichenbach Falls in the center of the country, actually a series of waterfalls near the city of Meiringen. These falls are renowned in the world of literature as it was here that Sherlock Holmes fell to his supposed doom with his nemesis Professor Moriarty (in “The Adventure of the Final Problem”).

8. California city nickname FRISCO
“Frisco” is not a term you’d hear used in the San Francisco Bay Area for our main city. Acceptable nicknames are “the City by the Bay” and “Fog City”. We usually just refer to it as “the City”.

9. Chicago’s __ Center AON
The Aon Center in Chicago is the third-tallest building in the city. There is also an Aon Center in Los Angeles that is the second-tallest building in that city.

12. Horsemanship school MANEGE
An equestrian school can sometimes be referred to as a “manège”, the French name for such a facility.

13. Olive desired by Bluto OYL
“Thimble Theater” was the precursor comic strip to the famous “Popeye” drawn by E. C. Segar. Before Popeye came into the story, the brother and sister characters Castor Oyl and Olive Oyl were the main protagonists. And then along comes a sailor …

Bluto is the villain in the Popeye cartoon strip, a character who has been around since 1932. Sometimes you will see Bluto go by the name Brutus, depending on the date of the publication. This “confusion” arose because there was an unfounded concern that the name “Bluto” was owned by someone else. Bluto, Brutus … it’s the same guy.

15. Nitpick CAVIL
To cavil is to make petty objections that really aren’t necessary.

16. Cutesy nickname for a former home of the Orlando Magic O-RENA
The Amway Arena in Orlando was home to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, and as such was sometimes referred to as the “O-Rena”. The Magic now play at the Amway Center, which opened for business in 2010.

17. Darling girl WENDY
The author and dramatist J.M. Barrie is best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan. Barrie wrote a play in 1904 called “Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”. He turned this into a novel called “Peter and Wendy” in 1911. The girl’s name “Wendy” was very uncommon before Barrie named his character, and the play is given credit for making the name as popular as it is today.

19. “‘__ is empty / And all the devils are here'”: “The Tempest” HELL
William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” tells the story of Prospero, who was removed from the throne of Milan and banished to a deserted island along with his daughter Miranda. The island is home to a devilish character called Caliban, who is forced into slavery on the arrival of the exiles. Prospero learns sorcery while cast away, and eventually conjures up a tempest that drives those who usurped his throne onto the island’s shores (in particular his own brother, Antonio). On the island, Prospero is eventually successful in revealing Antonio’s lowly nature.

20. Laura of “Jurassic Park” DERN
The actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Dern played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

27. Role for Sally or Sandra GIDGET
“Gidget” is an early “beach party film” that was released in 1959. The movie stars Sandra Dee as a teenage girl who falls in love with a young surfer. The surfer’s gang gives the young lass the nickname “Gidget”, a portmanteau of “girl” and “midget”. The film spawned a sixties TV show of the same name, with Sally Field in the title role.

The actress Sandra Dee started out as a model before moving into film. After a promising start to her career it seemed to peter out, and the public became more interested in her 7-year marriage to Bobby Darin. And she will forever be remembered from the song in the movie and stage-show “Grease” called “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee”.

Actress Sally Field first came to the public’s attention in the sixties with title roles in the TV shows “Gidget” and “The Flying Nun”. She has two Best Actress Oscars; one for “Norma Rae” (1979) and one for “Places in the Heart” (1984).

32. Lingerie brand OLGA
Olga is a manufacturer of lingerie that was started by Olga Erteszek who immigrated to California from Europe during WWII. Erteszek’s initial stake in her business was just ten dollars, which she used to rent a sewing machine.

34. Severus Snape portrayer Rickman ALAN
Alan Rickman is a marvelous English actor, famous for playing bad guy Hans Gruber in the original “Die Hard” film, Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” series and my personal favorite, Eamon de Valera in “Michael Collins”.

37. Hitchcock survival film LIFEBOAT
Alfred Hitchcock makes a cameo appearance in 39 of his 52 movies. My favorite, and perhaps the most innovative, is in the movie “Lifeboat”. In the film, there is a limited cast, just the people in a lifeboat and no extras. Hitchcock managed to make his appearance in a print ad in a newspaper read by one of the survivors in the boat.

40. Morgan or Wyatt EARP
The famous Earp brothers of the Wild West were Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan. All three brothers participated in what has to be the most famous gunfight in the history of the Old West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Strangely enough, the fight didn’t happen at the O.K. Corral, but took place six doors down the street in a vacant lot next to a photography studio.

44. Emulate the Piper DERAT
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.

46. Breed of dog? SLY
You sly dog …

49. Poet Dove RITA
Poet Rita Dove received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987, and was the second African American to be so honored (the first being Gwendolyn Brooks).

50. Jaime’s half-dozen SEIS
“Seis” is Spanish for “six”.

Our word “dozen” is used for a group of twelve. We imported it into English from Old French. The modern French word for twelve is “douze”, and a dozen is “douzaine”.

53. One-named children’s singer RAFFI
Raffi Cavoukian, usually just “Raffi”, is a Canadian singer-songwriter who specializes in entertaining children.

55. Shrunken sea ARAL
The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet Union irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

60. “As I Lay Dying” father ANSE
“As I Lay Dying” is a novel by William Faulkner first published in 1930. The book has an unusual structure, with stream-of-consciousness writing throughout. There is one whole chapter that I’d like to quote here:

My mother is a fish.

That’s a five-word chapter …

62. Iris holder UVEA
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball.

The iris is the colored part of the eye with an aperture in the center that can open or close depending on the level of light hitting the eye.

64. Hawks, on NBA scoreboards ATL
The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks started out as the Buffalo Bisons in 1946, although after only a few months the team was moved to Moline, Illinois as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. The Blackhawks were one of the 17 original teams playing at the founding of the National Basketball Association. There was another move in 1951 and a renaming to the Milwaukee Hawks, and yet again in 1955 when the team became the St. Louis Hawks. The latest move was to Atlanta, in 1968.

65. Butler of literature RHETT
In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, when Rhett Butler finally walks out on Scarlett O’Hara he utters the words “My dear, I don’t give a damn”. Most of us are more familiar with the slightly different words spoken by Clark Gable in the film adaption of the story: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

70. Where, in Juárez DONDE
The Mexican city sitting across the border from El Paso is more correctly called Ciudad Juárez. Juárez used to be called El Paso del Norte (the North Pass). It was to be the younger settlement on the northern side of the Rio Grande which would retain the “El Paso” name.

71. “__ Majesty’s Secret Service” ON HER
“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is the sixth of the James Bond series films, and the only one to star George Lazenby in the leading role. He wasn’t a great choice for 007 …

73. India born in Denver ARIE
India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson.

74. Sweater letter ZETA
One might see the Greek letter zeta on a varsity sweater.

Zeta is the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a precursor of our Roman letter Z. The word “zeta” is also the ancestor of the name “zed”, which became “zee”, the pronunciation that we use here in the US.

78. Inventor Sikorsky IGOR
Igor Sikorsky was a Russian pioneer in the world of aviation. He designed and indeed piloted the world’s first multi-engine, fixed-wing aircraft in 1913. He moved to the US in 1919 and set up his own aircraft manufacturing business. In the thirties he made the magnificent flying boats that were used by Pan Am in their Clipper era. Sikorsky also developed the world’s first mass-produced helicopter, in 1942.

83. Seder prophet ELIJAH
Once the Grace after Meals has been recited at the Passover Seder, it is customary to pour a cup of wine known as the Cup Of Elijah. Tradition is that by doing so the home is is graced by the presence of Elijah the Prophet.

88. Puzzle pieces in Penzance? ZEDS
There are two letters Z (zee, zed) in the word “Penzance”.

The letter named “zed” has been around since about 1400, and derives from the Greek letter zeta. The spelling and pronunciation of “zee” used in America today first popped up in the 1670s.

Penzance is a port at the southwestern tip of England, in the county of Cornwall. Among other things, Penzance is famous as the birthplace of the famed chemist Sir Humphry Davy, and as a setting in the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta “The Pirates of Penzance”.

90. Pharaoh’s cross ANKH
The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world). The ankh is also known as “the key of the Nile” and “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

101. Troop encampments ETAPES
“Étape” is the French word for stage, as in a “stage” in the Tour de France. It is used in English military circles to describe where troops halt overnight, but can also describe the section of the march itself. So, a march can be divided into stages, into étapes.

105. Tequila source AGAVE
Tequila is a city in Mexico that is located about 40 miles northwest of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. The city is the birthplace of the drink called “tequila”. Local people made a variety of a drink called mezcal by fermenting the heart of the blue agave plant that is native to the area surrounding Tequila. It was the Spanish who introduced the distillation process to the mescal, giving us what we now know as “tequila”.

106. Where to see x’s in boxes LANES
One usually records a strike as an “X” in a box, at a bowling alley.

107. Blog, at times RANT
Not me. Well, I try not to …

108. Predecessor of Gerald SPIRO
Spiro Agnew served as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, before becoming the only VP in American history to resign because of criminal charges (there was a bribery scandal). Agnew was also the first Greek-American to serve as US Vice-President as he was the son of a Greek immigrant who had shortened the family name from Anagnostopoulos.

Gerald Ford is the only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the US, without having been elected to those positions. Ford was nominated by President Richard Nixon to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew after he resigned in 1973. Vice President Ford assumed the presidency the following year after President Nixon resigned.

109. Elizabeth of “La Bamba” PENA
Elizabeth Peña was an actress of Cuban descent born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The role I most remember her in was the Colombian mother of Gloria Pritchett on the sitcom “Modern Family”.

115. Hot rod SPIT
A spit over a barbecue might be considered a “hot rod”.

117. Strong alkalis LYES
What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are the alkalis, the hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

119. Hip-hop Dr. DRE
Dr. Dre is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

120. Persian plaint MEW
The Persian is a long-haired cat with a squashed muzzle. The breed takes its name from its place of origin, namely Persia (Iran).

A plaint is a grouse, a complaint.

122. Kubrick’s out-of-control computer HAL
In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” (famously adapted for the big screen as “2001: A Space Odyssey”) the computer system that went rogue was called HAL 9000, or simply “HAL”. HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer. Even though, Clarke denied it, there’s a good argument that can be made that the acronym HAL is a veiled reference to IBM, the big player in the world of computing at the time of the novel’s publication (1968). The acronym HAL is just a one-letter shift from the initials “IBM”.

123. “Ghost” psychic __ Mae Brown ODA
Oda Mae Brown is the psychic medium in “Ghost”, played by Whoopi Goldberg.

The fabulous film “Ghost” was the highest-grossing movie at the box office in 1990, bringing in over $500 million, despite only costing $21 million to make. Stars of the film are Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. You might want to check out the stage musical adaptation “Ghost The Musical”, which debuted in 2011 and is touring the UK and US.

124. Like mice and men: Abbr. PLU
The words “mice” and “men” are both plurals.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. “Ivy Mike” test weapon H-BOMB
6. Bush trip SAFARI
12. University of Idaho city MOSCOW
18. Group at Asgard AESIR
19. Listen to completely HEAR OUT
20. Working parents’ aid DAYCARE
21. What echolocation is used for? WHALE BEARINGS (from “wheel bearings”)
23. Spice up ENLIVEN
24. Hound NAG
25. Hayworth’s second husband WELLES
26. Shrek, notably OGRE
28. Unaffiliated: Abbr. IND
29. Strikes down REPEALS
31. Bit of theatrical thievery? COPPING A PLAY (from “copping a plea”)
36. Dessert table vessel URN
37. Acted indolently LOLLED
38. Liberal side? ELL
39. First name in exploring LEIF
42. Conn of “Grease” DIDI
45. Dismissals in a ’70s-’80s game show GONGS
47. __ Rock: Australian attraction AYERS
51. Fight at the coffee shop? CAFFEINE FRAY (from “caffeine-free”)
54. Flair ELAN
56. Go flat? LIE
57. Hosp. titles DRS
58. Ornamental shrub SPIREA
59. Space travel meas. LT YR
60. Bubbly region ASTI
61. Speak pompously SPOUT
63. Lift charge CAB FARE
66. Epic Trojan warrior AENEAS
68. Barbie and Ken’s servant? VALET OF THE DOLLS (from “Valley of the Dolls”)
72. Garden feature GAZEBO
75. Banking control AILERON
76. Sponsorship AEGIS
80. It might be gray AREA
81. Change one’s mind about changing STET
84. “The Wizard of Oz” prop TIN HAT
86. Maniacal leader? EGO-
87. Punster WIT
88. Passion ZEAL
89. Aversion therapy tool? HATE DETECTOR (from “heat detector”)
92. “The Family Circus” creator KEANE
94. Passover month NISAN
96. Hematology prefix SERO-
97. Melissa Joan of “Melissa & Joey” HART
98. The Snake R. runs through it IDA
100. Pleasure trip JUNKET
102. Oliver Stone’s alma mater NYU
104. Quick question at the building site? WALL STRAIGHT? (from “Wall Street”)
108. Catalog giant SPIEGEL
112. Supermarket letters IGA
113. Bangkok bread BAHT
114. Quakers in the forest? ASPENS
116. Anago or unagi EEL
118. One who puts you to sleep SANDMAN
121. Cosmetics counter freebie? SHOPPING SPRAY (from “shopping spree”)
125. Seat of Washington’s Snohomish County EVERETT
126. Portuguese wine MADEIRA
127. Beethoven dedicatee ELISE
128. Fixes, as a seam RESEWS
129. Stretchable, in product names ELASTO
130. Collaborative 2012 Streisand album DUETS

Down
1. “Cactus Flower” Oscar winner HAWN
2. “The View” alum Joy BEHAR
3. Missouri tributary OSAGE
4. Part of a GI’s URL MIL
5. Craft __ BREWER
6. Arctic barkers SEALS
7. River to the Rhein AARE
8. California city nickname FRISCO
9. Chicago’s __ Center AON
10. Word after scatter or throw RUG
11. “Come on in” IT’S OPEN
12. Horsemanship school MANEGE
13. Olive desired by Bluto OYL
14. School subj. SCI
15. Nitpick CAVIL
16. Cutesy nickname for a former home of the Orlando Magic O-RENA
17. Darling girl WENDY
19. “‘__ is empty / And all the devils are here'”: “The Tempest” HELL
20. Laura of “Jurassic Park” DERN
22. Tortilla chip go-with BEAN DIP
27. Role for Sally or Sandra GIDGET
30. Bit of smoke PUFF
32. Lingerie brand OLGA
33. Tricky tactic PLOY
34. Severus Snape portrayer Rickman ALAN
35. Work at PLY
37. Hitchcock survival film LIFEBOAT
39. Some TV screens LCDS
40. Morgan or Wyatt EARP
41. Words often before “then” IF SO
43. Way to pack fish IN ICE
44. Emulate the Piper DERAT
46. Breed of dog? SLY
48. End of a threat … ELSE
49. Poet Dove RITA
50. Jaime’s half-dozen SEIS
52. Cornerstone abbr. ESTAB
53. One-named children’s singer RAFFI
55. Shrunken sea ARAL
59. Most suspicious LEERIEST
60. “As I Lay Dying” father ANSE
62. Iris holder UVEA
64. Hawks, on NBA scoreboards ATL
65. Butler of literature RHETT
67. Lift up ELATE
69. Throw a fight, say LOSE
70. Where, in Juárez DONDE
71. “__ Majesty’s Secret Service” ON HER
72. Stare GAWK
73. India born in Denver ARIE
74. Sweater letter ZETA
77. “__ grip!” GET A
78. Inventor Sikorsky IGOR
79. Laundry room step SORT
82. Beach shade TAN
83. Seder prophet ELIJAH
85. Penitent ATONING
88. Puzzle pieces in Penzance? ZEDS
89. Display, in a way HANG
90. Pharaoh’s cross ANKH
91. Big belt CHUG
93. It means nothing at all NIL
95. “No argument here” SUITS ME
99. Turns up at home? AT BATS
101. Troop encampments ETAPES
103. Agreed with YESSED
104. Older partner, hopefully WISER
105. Tequila source AGAVE
106. Where to see x’s in boxes LANES
107. Blog, at times RANT
108. Predecessor of Gerald SPIRO
109. Elizabeth of “La Bamba” PENA
110. Goosebump-inducing EERIE
111. ” … to say the __” LEAST
115. Hot rod SPIT
117. Strong alkalis LYES
119. Hip-hop Dr. DRE
120. Persian plaint MEW
122. Kubrick’s out-of-control computer HAL
123. “Ghost” psychic __ Mae Brown ODA
124. Like mice and men: Abbr. PLU

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5 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 11 Oct 15, Sunday”

  1. 3/4 of the grid completed before I got stuck. I'll check for errors and continue, as it does seem to help to go ahead and complete the grid doing it that way.

  2. I "finished" this one pretty quickly, but I realized there was something amiss: I had SOAK and SLUG in place of SORT and CHUG, giving LARK instead of HART (which was okay by me, since I'd never heard of Melissa Joan) and HATE DETESTOA, which was obviously wrong. Ten more minutes of head-scratching finally sufficed to reveal the necessary fix …

  3. Some pretty awful clues & answers: quick question at building site? wallstraight Is this really a question?
    WHO is Morgan Earp? Derat ??
    Still don't get answer for 115D

  4. Pretty awful puzzle. Theme clues and answers are very weak. Too much TV and movie crap. Dudes, you gotta make more sense. I give this one a D.

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