LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Jul 17, Sunday










Constructed by: Alan Olschwang

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

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Theme: Up the River

Today’s themed answer are all in the down-direction. The circled letters in the grid, within those themed answers, are hidden names of RIVER when read in the UP-direction:

  • 5D. British actor who played Algy Longworth in 1930s Bulldog Drummond movies : REGINALD DENNY (hiding “Niger”)
  • 7D. Garage job : ALIGNMENT (hiding “Gila”)
  • 11D. Western actor who taught Harrison Ford how to use a bullwhip : LASH LARUE (hiding “Ural”)
  • 15D. “Titanic” theme vocalist : CELINE DION (hiding “Nile”)
  • 61D. Was perfectly tailored : FIT LIKE A GLOVE (hiding “Volga”)
  • 76D. Memorable line from Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek” : I’M IN HEAVEN (hiding “Neva”)
  • 85D. Third James Bond novel : MOONRAKER (hiding “Arno”)
  • 87D. Samba relative : BOSSA NOVA (hiding “Avon”)

Bill’s time: 16m 57s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Back biter? : MOLAR

Molars are grinding teeth. The term “molar” comes from the Latin “mola” meaning “millstone”.

6. They’re rarely good dance partners : OAFS

And there I am, in the crossword again …

19. Sherlock’s adversary Adler : IRENE

The character Irene Adler only appears in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In that story, “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Holmes expresses remarkable admiration for Adler as a woman and as a foe. As a result, derivative works in the Holmes genre often feature Adler as something of a romantic interest for Sherlock.

22. Big fight : MELEE

Our word “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

24. Big Island port : HILO

Hilo is the largest settlement on the big island of Hawai’i, with a population of over 43,000 (that’s not very many!). I love the Big Island …

27. Cargo unit : TON

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. Over in the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton or sometimes a “long ton”. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a “short ton”. To further complicate matters, there is also a “metric ton” or “tonne”, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

28. Lennon classic covered by Pentatonix : IMAGINE

John Lennon’s magnus opus is his song “Imagine”, released in 1971. “Imagine” was quite successful at the time of its release, but sadly, it only became a number one hit when Lennon was murdered in 1980. According to Lennon, the message behind the song is very simple: a world without countries or religion would be a peaceful place.

Pentatonix (sometimes “PTX”) is an a cappella group that was founded by school chums in Arlington, Texas. The group’s break came with a win in 2011 on the NBC reality show “The Sing-Off”.

37. Willamette University home : SALEM

Willamette University is a private school in Salem, Oregon that is the oldest university in the whole of the Western US. It was founded in 1842 as the Oregon Institute.

39. “Enigma Variations” composer : ELGAR

Edward Elgar’s famous “Enigma Variations” are more correctly titled “Variations on an Original Theme for Orchestra (“Enigma”)”. There are fourteen variations in the piece, with each named for one of Elgar’s close friends, a family member, and there is even one named for Elgar himself. Each variation is an affectionate portrayal of the person for which it is named. The “enigma” in the piece is quite a mystery. It is not even clear that the variations are based on a musical theme. Elgar’s notes tell us that the theme is “not played”, but he would never explain during his lifetime just what “the enigma” is.

41. Scary biter : TSETSE

Tsetse flies live on the blood of vertebrate mammals. The name “tsetse” comes from Tswana, a language of southern Africa, and translates simply as “fly”. Tsetse flies are famous for being carriers of the disease known as “sleeping sickness”. Sleeping sickness is caused by a parasite which is passed onto humans when the tsetse fly bites into human skin tissue. If one considers all the diseases transmitted by the insect, then the tsetse fly is responsible for a staggering quarter of a million deaths each year.

45. Coral Sea sight : ATOLL

The Coral Sea is part of the South Pacific Ocean lying off the northeast coast of Australia. It is home to the renowned Great Barrier Reef.

52. NBC weekend staple : SNL

NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

53. Ancient German : TEUTON

The Germanic peoples of Northern Europe are often called Teutonic, a term which originated with the Teutons, one of the Germanic tribes that lived in the region in the days of Ancient Greece and Rome.

56. Polishes, as prose : EMENDS

The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

60. Job listing ltrs. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

73. Span. title : SRA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

76. Hastings hearth : INGLE

An ingle is a hearth or fireplace. The word “ingle” probably comes from the Scottish word “aingeal” meaning “fire”.

84. Cartesian conclusion : … I AM

The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”.

Anything pertaining to the philosophy of the great Rene Descartes can described by the adjective “Cartesian”.

86. Volvo competitor : SAAB

“SAAB” stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. Although we usually think of SAAB as an auto manufacturer, it is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. A Chinese consortium purchased the assets of SAAB Automotive in 2012, and so SAAB vehicles are in production again. The new vehicles are using the SAAB name, but cannot use the SAAB griffin logo, the rights to which have been retained by the mother company.

Volvo is a Swedish manufacturers of cars, trucks and construction equipment. The Volvo name was chosen as “volvo” is Latin for “I roll”.

89. Sitarist Shankar : RAVI

Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous virtuoso (to us Westerners) from the world of Indian classical music, and was noted for his sitar playing. Also, Shankar was the father of the beautiful pop singer Norah Jones.

94. Scandinavian capital : KRONE

“Krone” translates into English as “crown”, and was the name given to coins that bore the image of the monarch in several countries. Today, the krone is the name given to the currency of Norway and of Denmark. Some of the Norwegian and Danish kroner have holes in the middle, giving them a “doughnut” or “torus” shape.

95. Fictional wolf’s disguise : GRANDMA

“Little Red Riding Hood” is a fairy tale that originated in Europe and was first published in France by Charles Perrault in 1697. The title translates into French as “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge”.

100. Algonquian chief : SACHEM

In some Native American peoples, particularly the Algonquians, paramount chiefs are referred to as Sachems and Sagamores, with a Sagamore ranked lower than a Sachem. A Sagamore represents a single tribe, and a Sachem a group of tribes.

101. Govt. issue : T-NOTE

A Treasury note (T-Note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-Note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A T-Bill is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-Bond matures in 20-30 years.

102. Arabian peninsula capital : SANA’A

Sana (also Sana’a) is the capital city of Yemen. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

106. Intestine sections : ILEA

The human ileum (plural “ilea”) is the lowest part of the small intestine, and is found below the jejunum and above the cecum of the large intestine.

112. Dr. Brown’s classic : CREAM SODA

Dr. Brown’s is a soda brand that’s big in and around New York City. The original formulation first went on the market in 1869, and was primarily sold in Jewish neighborhoods. Dr. Brown’s had a kosher certification long before Coca-Cola achieved the same status in the 1930s.

115. Ivy in Ithaca : CORNELL

Ezra Cornell was an associate of Samuel Morse and made his money in the telegraph business. After he retired he co-founded Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He provided a generous endowment and donated his farm as a site for the school, and was then rewarded by having the institute named after him.

118. Baby bug : LARVA

The larva is an intermediate stage in the development of an insect. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago.

122. Spender of rials : OMANI

“Rial” is the name of the currency of Oman (as well as Yemen, Iran, Cambodia and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in a rial.

124. French 101 infinitive : AIMER

“Aimer” is French for “to love”.

125. “Power Hits” series record label : K-TEL

K-Tel was founded in 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by one Philip Kives. K-Tel’s recipe for success was the sale of inexpensive goods with a simple sales pitch and mail-order distribution.

129. Lowly worker : SERF

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

131. Lyrical poetic form : EPODE

An epode is a lyric poem made up of couplets in which the first line is long, and the second line much shorter. The form was invented by the Greek poet Archilochus, and was most famously used by the Roman poet Horace.

Down

1. Peruvian volcano El __ : MISTI

El Misti is a volcano, also known as Guagua-Putina, that lies in Southern Peru near the city of Arequipa.

2. Wrinkle-resistant fiber : ORLON

Orlon is the brand name used by the DuPont Corporation for the acrylic fibers the company developed in 1941.

4. “Barbara __”: Beach Boys hit : ANN

The Beach Boys 1965 hit “Barbara Ann” was actually a cover version of a song first recorded by the Regents in 1961 (with a different spelling: Barbara “Anne”).

5. British actor who played Algy Longworth in 1930s Bulldog Drummond movies : REGINALD DENNY (hiding “Niger”)

Reginald Denny was an English actor who had several strings to his bow. As well as a successful career on stage and screen, Denny was a pilot and a boxer. As a pilot, he fought in the Royal Flying Corps during WWI, and also spent years flying stunt planes. Denny was also a pioneer user of radio-controlled model airplanes.

Bulldog Drummond is the hero in a series of adventure novels that were conceived by author H. C. McNeile. Drummond also appeared in short stories, stage plays and movies.

The principal river in western Africa is the Niger, running 2,600 miles through the continent. The river has a boomerang shape, taking a sharp turn around the the ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali.

6. DOL watchdog : OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created in 1970 during the Nixon administration. OSHA regulates workplaces in the private sector and regulates just one government agency, namely the US Postal Service.

The US Department of Labor (DOL) was founded as the Bureau of Labor in 1889 under the Department of the Interior. The Bureau’s status was elevated to Cabinet level by President William Howard Taft in 1913, with a bill he signed on his last day in office. The DOL has headquartered in the Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C. since 1975. The building was named for Frances Perkins who served as Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945 and who was the first female cabinet secretary in US history.

7. Garage job : ALIGNMENT (hiding “Gila”)

The Gila River is a tributary of the Colorado and flows through New Mexico and Arizona. From 1848 to 1853, the Gila marked part of the border between the US and Mexico.

11. Western actor who taught Harrison Ford how to use a bullwhip : LASH LARUE (hiding “Ural”)

Alfred LaRue was an actor who appeared in a lot of western movies in the forties and fifties. He was very adept with the bullwhip, earning him the nickname “Lash”. Years after his onscreen career ended, LaRue was the guy who trained Harrison Ford how to use a bullwhip for his role in the “Indiana Jones” series of films.

The Ural River rises in the Ural Mountains in Russia and flows for half its length through Russian territory until it crosses the border into Kazakhstan, finally emptying into the Caspian Sea.

14. Cynical Bierce who defined “sweater” as “Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly” : AMBROSE

Ambrose Bierce was, among other things, an American satirist. He wrote a satirical lexicon called “The Devil’s Dictionary” published in 1911. The book is still popular today, with an updated version released in 2009. It includes “new” definitions from Bierce that were not included in his original work. Roy Morris, Jr. wrote a biography about Bierce called “Ambrose Bierce: Alone in Bad Company”.

15. “Titanic” theme vocalist : CELINE DION (hiding “Nile”)

French-Canadienne singer Céline Dion first came to international attention when she won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest, in which she represented Switzerland in the competition that was hosted in Dublin, Ireland. She is now the the best-selling Canadian artist of all time.

“My Heart Will Go On” is the love theme from the 1997 blockbuster movie “Titanic”. It was recorded by Céline Dion, and hit the number one spot in the charts all around the world. “My Heart Will Go On” was destined to become Dion’s biggest hit, and the best-selling single in the world for 1998.

Depending on definition, the Nile is generally regarded 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 the peoples living along its length.

17. Bausch + Lomb brand : RENU

Bausch + Lomb is an American company headquartered in Rochester, New York. It is a major supplier of contact lenses and associated eye-care products. As one might guess, the company was founded (in 1853) by two German immigrants, John Jacob Bausch and Henry Lomb. Bausch was an optician, and Lomb was the “money man”. The company was originally set up to manufacture monocles.

18. Rorem and Beatty : NEDS

American composer Ned Rorem is famous for his musical compositions, but also for his book “Paris Diary of Ned Rorem” that was published in 1966. Rorem talks openly about his sexuality in the book, and also about the sexual orientation of others including Noel Coward, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, much to some people’s chagrin.

Actor Ned Beatty is probably best remembered for the rather disturbing “squeal like a pig” scene in the movie “Deliverance”. Beatty also earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1976 movie “Network”.

29. Qantas hub letters : MEL

Melbourne Airport (MEL) is the second busiest airport in the country, after Sydney Airport.

QANTAS is the national airline of Australia. The company name was originally an acronym for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services. QANTAS has featured a koala in advertising campaigns for many years, although the company’s logo is a kangaroo.

30. Tertiary Period stones : EOLITHS

Eoliths are chipped flint nodules. They were once thought to be the first stone tools, but the general opinion today is that eoliths are produced by natural processes such as glaciation.

The Tertiary Period is a time span that is no longer recognized as a formal unit in the Earth’s history. Traditionally spanning the period from 66 million to 2.58 million years ago, the same same span is now divided between the Paleogene and the Neogene Periods, and extends into the first stage of the Pleistocene Epoch.

32. __ Martin: Bond’s car : ASTON

Aston Martin is a British car manufacturer, founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin. The Aston part of the company name comes from Aston Hill, a famous site for hill-climbing cars that is nearby the original factory. Aston Martin cars are much loved by the British entertainment industry. James Bond was given one in “Goldfinger”, and Michael Caine drove one in the 1969 version of “The Italian Job”. Also, Roger Moore’s character drove a yellow Aston Martin in the seventies television show “The Persuaders!”.

34. Like italics : ASLANT

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

38. Middle of dinner? : ENS

The middle letters in the word “dinner” are two letters N (ens).

40. Turn right : GEE

“Haw!” is a command given to a trained animal that is hauling something (like a horse or an ox). “Haw!” is used to instruct the animal to turn to the left. The equivalent command for a right turn is “Gee!” Just to confuse things, the same commands are used in the British Isles but with the opposite meanings. That must be pretty unsettling for jet-setting plow horses …

42. Capa attacker : TORO

In Spanish, a “toro” (bull) attacks the “capa” (cape) in a bullfight.

43. Scand. land : SWED

The country of Sweden emerged during the Middle Ages, and became one of the great powers of Europe in the days of the Swedish Empire in 17th and early 18th century. Since then Sweden’s influence has waned. What was the eastern part of Sweden was lost to Russia in the early 1800s, and is now modern-day Finland. In the 20th century Sweden has adopted a very non-aggressive stance and was neutral in both World Wars. Sweden is not a member of NATO, but is a member of the European Union, although the country does not use the euro as its currency.

45. Gemini rocket stage : AGENA

The RM-81 Agena was an upper-stage rocket designed and built by Lockheed, first used in 1959. After 365 launches, it was retired in 1987.

President Kennedy famously launched the Apollo space program in 1961. The Mercury program had been the project that put Americans into space, and NASA decided that more development work was need to bridge the gap in capabilities needed between what was known from Mercury and what was needed to land a man on the moon, the objective of the Apollo program. So, the Gemini program was born, in which astronauts learned to spend extended periods in orbit, rendezvous and dock spacecraft, walk in space, and improve the reentry and landing stage of a space flight.

46. Some library volumes : TOMES

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century “tome” had come to mean “a large book”.

47. Caribbean sorcery : OBEAH

“Obeah” is a West Indian term that describes the folk magic practiced in many of the Caribbean islands.

49. Sorbonne student : ELEVE

The French word “élève” can be translated as “pupil, student”

The Sorbonne is the name usually used for the old University of Paris, and some of the institutions that have succeeded it. The institution was named for French theologian Robert de Sorbonne who founded the original Collège de Sorbonne in 1257. That’s quite a while ago …

54. Trueheart of the comics : TESS

In the “Dick Tracy” comic strip, Tess Trueheart was Dick’s love interest, and later his wife (and still his love interest, I am sure!).

61. Was perfectly tailored : FIT LIKE A GLOVE (hiding “Volga”)

The Volga is the longest river in Europe, and is also considered the national river of Russia.

63. Glass component : SILICA

Glass is made up of about 75% silica, another name for sand.

65. Ancient home of Irish kings : TARA

Tradition has it the Hill of Tara was the seat of the High King of Ireland. That was back in the 11th century. More recently, Margaret Mitchell referred to the Hill of Tara as being the inspiration for the name of the Tara plantation in her novel “Gone with the Wind”.

70. Sister of Rachel : LEAH

According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but the Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.

72. A lot more than a little mistake : SNAFU

SNAFU is an acronym standing for Situation Normal: All Fouled Up (well, that’s the “polite” version!). As one might perhaps imagine, the term developed in the US Army, during WWII.

76. Memorable line from Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek” : I’M IN HEAVEN (hiding “Neva”)

Irving Berlin wrote the song “Cheek to Cheek” for the 1935 movie “To Hat” starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Heaven, I’m in heaven,
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing, cheek to cheek

The Neva is a very large river that spills into the Gulf of Finland at the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. The river forms an expansive delta as it reaches the Baltic Sea, and the delta gives rise to numerous islands, with the number of islands further increased by a network of canals. The historic part of the city is built on these islands, giving St. Petersburg a very Venetian feel. I had the privilege of visiting the city some years ago, and I can attest that it is indeed spectacular …

81. Energy bits : ERGS

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, as there are 10 million ergs in one joule. it has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

82. Ancient Japanese capital : NARA

The Japanese city of Nara, located not far from Kyoto, was the nation’s capital from 710 to 784 CE.

85. Third James Bond novel : MOONRAKER (hiding “Arno”)

“Moonraker” is the third of Ian Fleming’s “James Bond” novels, and was first published in 1955. It is unique on the series in that it is the only one in which all of the action takes place entirely in Britain. The title “Moonraker” was used for the eleventh in the series of “James Bonds” movies, but the film’s plot was very different from that of the book.

The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, passing through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

87. Samba relative : BOSSA NOVA (hiding “Avon”)

Bossa Nova is a style of music from Brazil that evolved from samba. The most famous piece of bossa nova is the song “The Girl from Ipanema”.

There are actually four rivers called the Avon in England, but “Shakespeare’s Avon” lies mainly in Warwickshire. The name “Avon” comes from the Old English word for a river, “abona”. Stratford-upon-Avon was the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

90. Filmdom’s Thompson and Watson : EMMAS

Emma Thompson is one of my favorite English actresses, someone who has appeared in many of my favorite films. She probably first came to attention in the US when she won an Oscar for her role in “Howards End”, which she followed up with “Remains of the Day” and “In the Name of the Father”. Perhaps my favorite production of hers is her own adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility”, which won her Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress. Emma Thompson went to Cambridge University and was good friends with a host of successful British actors and entertainers, including her ex-boyfriend Hugh Laurie who is famous in the US for playing the title role in television’s “House”.

Emma Watson is the English actress famous for playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” series of movies. Watson continued her education while pursuing her acting career and studied at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

91. 1961 Literature Nobelist Andric : IVO

Ivo Andrić was a novelist from former Yugoslavia who won the 1961 Nobel Prize for Literature.

93. Plant studied by Mendel : PEA

Gregor Mendel was an Austrian monk, and a scientist who achieved fame after his passing when his work in the field of genetics was rediscovered. The conclusions he drew from his studies of garden peas led to him earning the moniker “father of modern genetics”.

96. Hamlet’s homeland : DENMARK

The full title of William Shakespeare’s play that we tend to call “Hamlet” is “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. It is the most performed of all Shakespeare’s plays and it is also his longest, the only one of his works comprising over 4,000 lines. That’s about a 4-hour sitting in a theater …

103. First word in Dante’s “Inferno” : NEL

The opening lines of Dante’s “Inferno” are:

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.

These lines translate as:

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” is an epic poem dating back to the 14th century. The first part of that epic is “Inferno”, which is the Italian word for “Hell”. In the poem, Dante is led on a journey by the poet Virgil, starting at the gates of Hell on which are written the famous words “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”.

107. Grain bane : ERGOT

Ergot is a fungus, or actually a group of fungi, that cause disease in rye and related plants. If human eat ergot-contaminated grain, a condition called ergotism can result. Ergotism is the result of consumption of alkaloids produced by the fungi, alkaloids that can cause seizures and manic behavior. It has even been suggested that the hysteria exhibited by the Salem “witches” was perhaps caused by the ingestion of ergot-contaminated rye.

109. Sister of Calliope : ERATO

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)

112. Storm harbinger : CLAP

A harbinger is a person or a thing that indicates what is to come. The word comes from the Middle English “herbenger”, a person sent ahead to arrange lodgings.

113. Marsh bird : RAIL

Rails are birds of the family Rallidae (hence their name). Outside of America, the name “rail” tends to be reserved for long-billed specie and the the term “crake” is used for short-billed species.

114. Name on the column “At Wit’s End” : ERMA

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years, producing more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns describing her home life in suburbia.

116. Hungarian city known for red wine : EGER

Eger is a city in the northeast of Hungary that is noted for its thermal baths and for its wine production. Back in Ireland, I would quite often drink “Bull’s Blood”, Hungary’s most famous red wine, which comes from the Eger wine region.

123. Swiffer WetJet, e.g. : MOP

Swiffer is a brand of cleaning products introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1999. The mainstays of the Swiffer cleaning system are the Swiffer WetJet mop and the Swiffer Sweeper.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Back biter? : MOLAR

6. They’re rarely good dance partners : OAFS

10. Worry word : ALAS

14. Nut under a tree : ACORN

19. Sherlock’s adversary Adler : IRENE

20. Zero-star meal : SLOP

21. Hard finish? : -WARE

22. Big fight : MELEE

23. Words on the street? : SLANG

24. Big Island port : HILO

25. Spanish pronoun : ESTA

26. Window treatment : BLIND

27. Cargo unit : TON

28. Lennon classic covered by Pentatonix : IMAGINE

31. Like some riots : HILARIOUS

33. Absurd : INSANE

35. Aborted operation : NO-GO

36. Something to learn : LESSON

37. Willamette University home : SALEM

39. “Enigma Variations” composer : ELGAR

41. Scary biter : TSETSE

45. Coral Sea sight : ATOLL

48. More hard-up : NEEDIER

50. Square dance milieu : HOEDOWN

51. Turn : GO BAD

52. NBC weekend staple : SNL

53. Ancient German : TEUTON

55. Fuming : IRED

56. Polishes, as prose : EMENDS

58. Support source : TECH

60. Job listing ltrs. : EEO

61. Bacon and eggs, say : FOODS

62. Puts in order : NEATENS

64. Police protector : VEST

66. Woodworking supply : STAIN

68. Workable wood : ASH

69. Firmly affixed : NAILED

71. State with confidence : ASSERT

73. Span. title : SRA

76. Hastings hearth : INGLE

77. Deserve : EARN

79. Tells : RELATES

81. Hostile force : ENEMY

84. Cartesian conclusion : … I AM

86. Volvo competitor : SAAB

88. Freshen : AIR OUT

89. Sitarist Shankar : RAVI

90. Like hiss or boom : ECHOIC

92. Snappy dresser : FOP

94. Scandinavian capital : KRONE

95. Fictional wolf’s disguise : GRANDMA

97. Employ to excess : OVERUSE

99. Fisherman with pots : EELER

100. Algonquian chief : SACHEM

101. Govt. issue : T-NOTE

102. Arabian peninsula capital : SANA’A

104. Infatuate : ENAMOR

106. Intestine sections : ILEA

108. Plumed birds : EGRETS

112. Dr. Brown’s classic : CREAM SODA

115. Ivy in Ithaca : CORNELL

117. Seek office : RUN

118. Baby bug : LARVA

119. Wedding reception eye-catcher : CAKE

121. Worked up : AGOG

122. Spender of rials : OMANI

124. French 101 infinitive : AIMER

125. “Power Hits” series record label : K-TEL

126. Went off the deep end : DOVE

127. Picked a ticket, perhaps : VOTED

128. Board : PLANK

129. Lowly worker : SERF

130. Christmas symbol : STAR

131. Lyrical poetic form : EPODE

Down

1. Peruvian volcano El __ : MISTI

2. Wrinkle-resistant fiber : ORLON

3. Cants : LEANS

4. “Barbara __”: Beach Boys hit : ANN

5. British actor who played Algy Longworth in 1930s Bulldog Drummond movies : REGINALD DENNY

6. DOL watchdog : OSHA

7. Garage job : ALIGNMENT

8. Book sheet : FOLIO

9. Freeloaded : SPONGED

10. Stupefied state : AWE

11. Western actor who taught Harrison Ford how to use a bullwhip : LASH LARUE

12. More pretentious : ARTIER

13. Waterproofs, perhaps : SEALS

14. Cynical Bierce who defined “sweater” as “Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly” : AMBROSE

15. “Titanic” theme vocalist : CELINE DION

16. Broad assortment : OLIO

17. Bausch + Lomb brand : RENU

18. Rorem and Beatty : NEDS

29. Qantas hub letters : MEL

30. Tertiary Period stones : EOLITHS

32. __ Martin: Bond’s car : ASTON

34. Like italics : ASLANT

38. Middle of dinner? : ENS

40. Turn right : GEE

42. Capa attacker : TORO

43. Scand. land : SWED

44. Circle’s lack : ENDS

45. Gemini rocket stage : AGENA

46. Some library volumes : TOMES

47. Caribbean sorcery : OBEAH

49. Sorbonne student : ELEVE

50. Nocturnal tree dweller : HOOTER

54. Trueheart of the comics : TESS

57. Problem with a line : SNAG

59. Turn over : CEDE

61. Was perfectly tailored : FIT LIKE A GLOVE

63. Glass component : SILICA

65. Ancient home of Irish kings : TARA

67. Academic specialty : AREA

70. Sister of Rachel : LEAH

72. A lot more than a little mistake : SNAFU

73. It may have a swivel top : STOOL

74. Get together with old classmates, say : REUNE

75. China __: showy bloom : ASTER

76. Memorable line from Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek” : I’M IN HEAVEN

78. Religious recluse : ASCETIC

80. Unpaid bill : ARREAR

81. Energy bits : ERGS

82. Ancient Japanese capital : NARA

83. Brush fire op : EVAC

85. Third James Bond novel : MOONRAKER

87. Samba relative : BOSSA NOVA

90. Filmdom’s Thompson and Watson : EMMAS

91. 1961 Literature Nobelist Andric : IVO

93. Plant studied by Mendel : PEA

96. Hamlet’s homeland : DENMARK

98. Puts in another roll of film : RELOADS

101. Up till now : TO DATE

103. First word in Dante’s “Inferno” : NEL

105. Taunts : MOCKS

107. Grain bane : ERGOT

109. Sister of Calliope : ERATO

110. Not sharp or flat : TUNED

111. Rather nasty : SNIDE

112. Storm harbinger : CLAP

113. Marsh bird : RAIL

114. Name on the column “At Wit’s End” : ERMA

116. Hungarian city known for red wine : EGER

120. Seasonal worker? : ELF

123. Swiffer WetJet, e.g. : MOP

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10 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 2 Jul 17, Sunday”

  1. 28:54, no errors, on paper. Had trouble with a few sections, but muddled through.

    It’s been a long week. I’m very much looking forward to an easy Monday puzzle.

  2. Bit of a slog for me. A few parts went quickly, but there were also a few (several) where I got bogged down enough that I had to cheat a few times. Finished in 57 minutes with a bit of cheating. Tougher than most LAT Sunday puzzles.

    Also – the LAT has been circle-happy recently. Here’s yet another puzzle with circles that I never saw. I doubt they would have helped much anyway.

    NYT looks even tougher than this one. Maybe do that later today.

    Best –

  3. Dave –
    You need to see your buddy Anon’s comments in the syndicated NYT puzzle today. He outdid himself commenting on the Sunday rebus from last week….

  4. Using a device whose battery is nearly flat, I’ll keep my comments on this puz as short as they are heartfelt: Ugh. Awful. Totally joyless slog.

  5. Some very clever clues, starting off with back biter. Thought that to “turn” was perhaps to go mad instead of bad, so couldn’t quite get that last letter.

    @Jeff: I’ve taken to have a quick look at the LA Times site to see if there are circles or not. If not, go to Mensa.

    Irene Adler was indeed Sherlock’s brief romantic interest in AC Doyle’s novels. In the derivative TV drama “Elementary” she appears in several episodes, (spoiler alert!) but is revealed to have a secret identity which I shouldn’t reveal here. Wow, I didn’t see that coming. 🙂

    1. @Piano Man
      Yeah I always use the mensa site now. It never has circles, but it’s a good tradeoff with the LA Times site because it doesn’t have ads either.

      I had a tough time with the NYT puzzle today which was brutal. It had no circles, but it had gray or black squares that may or may not be active. Tough puzzle day. Monday can’t get here fast enough…..

      Best –

  6. Had a tough time with this one. Forgot to time it, and made many errors. Oh well, tomorrow’s another day…

  7. Agree with most of the above comments. Thought this puzzle was totally flat. No real link or theme. Yes, a slog. Happy 4th to you all.

  8. 66 minutes, 7 errors off a lot of bad guesses. “Joyless slog” pretty aptly describes this one. At least I’m getting generally better at being able to finish these grids, even if I still slog on them at points.

  9. Agreed!! A real slog.
    Just too many arcane answers — and what’s with all the ancient history stuff?? ?
    All due respect to the setter, but really! Sundays should be easier.
    I’ll be glad when the 4th is over…. never was a fan of fireworks, but the WORST are all the illegal ones going off in my neighborhood. Kids are out there setting off those big M-80s!!
    Dang, guess I’m in a mood tonight!!? Also glad for upcoming easy puzzles…
    Be well~~™???

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