LA Times Crossword 17 Feb 19, Sunday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Getting Ahead

The HEAD of each themed answer is something one can BEAT:

  • 22A. *Online business-building method : CROWDFUNDING
  • 27A. *Las Vegas pros : ODDSMAKERS
  • 48A. *Guinness entries : RECORD SETTERS
  • 81A. *User’s nightmare : SYSTEM FAILURE
  • 102A. *Zapping direction : HEAT ON HIGH
  • 107A. *Nine-to-fiver : CLOCK-WATCHER
  • 31D. *Overextended : SPREAD THIN
  • 51D. *Where one might idle away the time? : TRAFFIC JAM

Bill’s time: 16m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Unstressed, as a syllable : ATONIC

In linguistics, an atonic syllable is one that is not stressed.

7. Painter of melting watches : DALI

“The Persistence of Memory” is probably Salvador Dalí’s most famous work. It features the celebrated “melting clocks”, and you can see them in the painting in the MoMA in New York City.

14. A deadly sin : LUST

The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are:

  • Wrath
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Pride
  • Lust
  • Envy
  • Gluttony

18. It’s split in a boat : BANANA

The banana split was created in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904. This particular sundae was the idea of David Stickler, a young apprentice pharmacist at the Tassel Pharmacy’s soda fountain.

19. Command to a junkyard dog : SIC ’EM

“Sic ’em” is an attack order given to a dog, one instructing the animal to growl, bark or even bite. The term dates back to the 1830s, with “sic” being a variation of “seek”.

20. Early internet pioneer : AOL

Founded as Quantum Computer Services in 1983, the company changed its name in 1989 to America Online. As America Online went international, the acronym AOL was used in order to shake off the “America-centric” sound to the name. During the heady days of AOL’s success the company could not keep up with the growing number of subscribers, so people trying to connect often encountered busy signals. That’s when users referred to AOL as “Always Off-Line”.

22. *Online business-building method : CROWDFUNDING

Crowdsourcing is mainly an online phenomenon, and is the solicitation of perhaps services, ideas or content from a large group of people. “Crowdsourcing” is a portmanteau of “crowd” and “outsourcing”. An example of crowdsourcing is crowdfunding, where an individual solicits many small contributions from a large number of people to fund a project.

24. Common Woody Allen character disorders : NEUROSES

Allan Stewart Konigsberg changed his legal name to “Heywood Allen” when he was 17 years old, and soon after started to call himself “Woody Allen”, the name with which he achieved celebrity. Allen won four Academy Awards, three for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Director. He has more Oscar nominations as a screenwriter than any other writer, but he spurns the Awards ceremony and only attended it once in all his years in the movie business. He broke tradition by turning up at the 2002 ceremony, unannounced, to beg producers to continue filming in his beloved New York City despite the fears created by the 9/11 attacks.

29. Iraq’s main port : BASRA

Basra is a Iraq’s main port, and is located in the south of the country, 34 miles from the Persian Gulf. Access to the gulf is via the Shatt al-Arab waterway, a river that discharges into the gulf in the port city of Umm Qasr.

34. Comic actor Amsterdam of old TV : MOREY

Morey Amsterdam was the actor and comedian who played Buddy Sorrell on “The Dick Van Dyke Show”. He was a skilled cellist, and worked in a Chicago speakeasy in the 1920s that was operated by Al Capone. Amsterdam made the move from the Midwest to California after being caught up in a gunfight in said speakeasy. Wise move …

35. “Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail” writer : DONNE

Here some lines from the poem “To Sir Henry Wotton” by John Donne:

And seeing the snail which everywhere doth roam,
Carrying his own house still, still is at home,
Follow (for he is easy paced) this snail,
Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail.

36. Call into question : OPPUGN

To oppugn is to call into question. “Oppugn” comes from the Latin “oppugnare” meaning “to attack”.

41. St. Patrick’s land : EIRE

There is a fair amount known about Saint Patrick, some of which comes from two letters written in his own hand. St. Patrick lived in the fifth century, but was not born in Ireland. He was first brought to Ireland at about 16 years of age from his native Britain, by Irish raiders who made him a slave for six years. Patrick managed to escape and returned to his homeland where he studied and entered the Church. He went back to Ireland as a bishop and a missionary and there lived out the rest of his life. There seems to be good evidence that he died on March 17th (now celebrated annually as Saint Patrick’s Day), although the year is less clear. The stories about shamrock and snakes, I am afraid they are the stuff of legend.

45. Like radon, say : INERT

An inert gas can be different from a noble gas. Both are relatively non-reactive, but a noble gas is an element. An inert gas might be a compound, i.e. made up of more than one element.

The element radon (Rn) is a radioactive gas, and a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

47. “Norma __” : RAE

“Norma Rae” is a 1979 movie starring Sally Field as Norma Rae Webster in a tale of union activities in a textile factory in Alabama. The film is based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton told in a 1975 book called “Crystal Lee, a Woman of Inheritance”.

48. *Guinness entries : RECORD SETTERS

“The Guinness Book of World Records” holds some records of its own. It is the best-selling, copyrighted series of books of all time and is one of the books most often stolen from public libraries! The book was first published in 1954 by two twins, Norris and Ross McWhirter. The McWhirter twins found themselves with a smash hit, and eventually became very famous in Britain hosting a TV show based on world records.

51. Pre-flight frisking gp. : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attacks. TSA personnel carry out the baggage and body searches at US airports. The TSA has a Trusted Traveler program that allows certain passengers to move more quickly through security screening. These passengers pay the TSA a one-time fee that covers a background check after which successful applicants are issued a Known Traveler Number (KTN).

54. One may be played with sticks or brushes : SNARE DRUM

Snare drums are so called because they have a set of wire strands (snares) stretching across the bottom surface of the drum. When the drum is struck, the snares vibrate against the bottom drumhead producing a unique sound.

57. Hawkish god : ARES

The Greek god Ares is often referred to as the Olympian god of warfare, but originally he was regarded as the god of bloodlust and slaughter. Ares united with Aphrodite to create several gods, including Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror) and Eros (Desire). Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera, and the Roman equivalent to Ares was Mars.

The dove is a symbol of peace, and the hawk is a symbol of war.

58. Composer Milhaud : DARIUS

Darius Milhaud was a 20th-century composer from France. Milhaud taught many students who flourished both inside and outside the world of classical music, including Burt Bacharach, Dave Brubeck, Philip Glass and Steve Reich.

61. Apple browser : SAFARI

Safari is Apple’s flagship Internet browser, one that is used on its Mac line of computers. A mobile version of Safari is included with all iPhones.

63. Former Bears coach : DITKA

Mike Ditka is a retired NFL player, and retired coach of Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints. Ditka and Tom Flores are the only people to have won Super Bowls as a player, an assistant coach, and as a head coach.

65. Satan : BEELZEBUB

Beelzebub is an alternative name for the devil. Beelzebub is often described as a demonic fly, and given the moniker “Lord of the Flies”. It was this phrase that William Golding used as the title for his most famous novel.

68. Tips, as a hat : DOFFS

One doffs one’s hat, usually as a mark of respect. To doff is to take off, with “doff” being a contraction of “do off”. The opposite of “doff” is “don” meaning “to put on”.

69. Minerva’s Greek counterpart : ATHENA

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

71. Smith, at times : SHOER

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

74. Baseball’s Speaker : TRIS

Tris Speaker was a Major League Baseball player, and the holder of the record for the most doubles hit in a career. He led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series championships, in 1912 and 1915.

75. 1970 Neil Diamond hit : SHILO

The Neil Diamond song “Shilo” was released in 1970. The title refers not to the Civil War Battle of Shiloh, nor to the Biblical city of Shilo. Instead, Shilo was an imaginary friend that Diamond had as a child.

80. Author Rand : AYN

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born Alisa Rosenbaum. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

85. Prom attendees : TEENS

A prom is a formal dance held upon graduation from high school (we call them “formals” over in Ireland). The term “prom” is short for “promenade”, the name given to a type of dance or ball.

87. Open a bit : AJAR

Our word “ajar” is thought to come from Scottish dialect, in which “a char” means “slightly open”.

91. Bill’s attorney general : JANET

Janet Reno was Attorney General of the US from 1993 to 2001, and part of the Clinton administration. Reno was second-longest holder of the office, and our first female Attorney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life, and passed away at the end of 2016.

98. Friend of TV’s Sheldon : RAJ

Raj Koothrappali is a character on the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” who is played by British-Indian actor Kunal Nayyar. Nayyar is married to Neha Kapur, a former Miss India.

Jim Parsons is an actor from Houston, Texas who is best known for playing Sheldon Cooper on the television sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”. As of 2014, Parsons and his co-stars Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco are earning one million dollars per episode of the show.

101. “__ World”: “Sesame Street” segment : ELMO’S

The “Sesame Street” character named Elmo has a birthday every February 3rd, and on that birthday he always turns 3½ years old. The man behind/under Elmo on “Sesame Street” for many years was Kevin Clash. If you want to learn more about Elmo and Clash, you can watch the 2011 documentary “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”.

104. Seasonal song words after “gay apparel” : FA LA LA

“Don we now our gay apparel” is a line from the Christmas carol “Deck the Halls”.

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 19th century.

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

106. Superhero-themed kids’ wear : UNDEROOS

Underoos is a brand of underwear for children that is made by Fruit of the Loom. Each pack of Underoos includes a top and a bottom that feature characters from comics and animated shows. The list of characters includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl. I hear that Underoos are now made in adult sizes as well.

114. See 103-Down : ARK
(103. 114-Across builder : NOAH)

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

115. Main blood vessel : AORTA

The aorta originates in the heart and extends down into the abdomen. It is the largest artery in the body.

117. Nine-digit IDs : SSNS

A Social Security number (SSN) is divided into three parts i.e AAA-GG-SSSS, Originally, the Area Number (AAA) was the code for the office that issued the card. Since 1973, the Area Number reflects the ZIP code from which the application was made. The GG in the SSN is the Group Number, and the SSSS in the number is the Serial Number. However, this is all moot. Since 2011 SSNs are assigned randomly. However, some random numbers have been excluded from use, i.e. Area Numbers 000, 666 (!) and 900-999.

Down

2. Paving material : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call tarmac.

3. Strawberry Fields benefactor : ONO

Strawberry Fields is a memorial in Central Park in New York City. The memorial is a triangular piece of land found directly across from the Dakota Apartments where Lennon lived and was murdered. At the center of the triangle of land is a circular pathway mosaic of stones with the word “Imagine” in the middle. Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, contributed over one million dollars to help pay for the memorial’s design and upkeep.

5. Like some “La Cage Aux Folles” dancers : IN DRAG

The musical “La Cage aux Folles” opened on Broadway in 1985. It is an adaptation of the French play of the same name by Jean Poiret that was first staged in 1973. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the stage play nor the musical, but I love the wonderful movie adaptation called “The Birdcage”, which was released in 1996. The film has a very strong cast that includes Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Hank Azaria.

The etymology of the term “drag”, as used in the transvestite world, seems to be unclear. It perhaps relates to the tendency of a transvestite’s skirts to drag along the ground in days of old (although why they just didn’t hitch up their skirts is beyond me!).

6. Rick’s, in film : CAFE

The fictional Rick’s Café Américain is the main setting used in the movie “Casablanca”, with the café owner played by Humphrey Bogart. Should you ever visit Morocco, you might try visiting Rick’s Café Casablanca, an establishment opened in 2004 that largely recreates the look and feel of the memorable movie set.

7. Followed a Hippocratic dictum : DID NO HARM

“First, do no harm” is a translation of the Latin phrase “Primum non nocere”. The phrase is a principle used in the world of medicine that reminds a provider of healthcare that to do nothing might be better than intervening in some situations. It is often said that “First, do no harm” is found in the text of the Hippocratic Oath, but that’s just not true.

The Hippocratic Corpus is a collection of about 70 medical works that were at one time believed to have written by the Ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, although authorship has been called into question. Within the collection is a document known as the Hippocratic Oath (but again, the authorship has been questioned). The oath is still used today as the basis for oaths taken by medical graduates before they enter into medical practice.

9. Novelist Deighton : LEN

I used to walk my dog right past author Len Deighton’s house years ago, as we lived in the same village in Ireland (probably my only claim to “fame”). Deighton wrote the excellent espionage thriller “The IPCRESS File”, made was into a 1965 movie starring Michael Caine.

11. Docudramas airer : A AND E

The A&E television network used to be a favorite of mine, with the “A&E” standing for “arts and entertainment”. A&E started out airing a lot of the old classic dramas, as well as biographies and arts programs. Now there seems to be more reality TV, with one of the flagship programs being “Dog the Bounty Hunter”. A slight change of direction I’d say …

12. 35-Across output : POESY
(35A. “Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail” writer : DONNE)

“Poesy” is an alternative name for poetry, and is often used to mean the “art of poetry”.

13. Choice : PLUM

To describe something as plum is to say that it is especially desirable, e.g. a plum job, the plum choice. We’ve been using “plum” in this sense since the late 18th century, and it is probably a reference to the particularly sweet and enjoyably parts of a plum pudding.

16. “Tristram Shandy” author : STERNE

Laurence Sterne is best known for his novel “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman”. It is an epic work, that was published in nine volumes over ten years.

23. Actress Thurman : UMA

Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

25. Navigation aids : RADARS

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called “Radio Detection And Ranging”, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

28. “Frasier” bros., e.g. : DRS

In the sitcom called “Frasier”, Niles Crane is the brother of the title character Frasier Crane. Frasier is played by Kelsey Grammer and Niles is played by David Hyde Pierce. Frasier was originally intended to be an only child in the show’s storyline, but the producers decided to add a brother when they noted the remarkable similarity in appearance between David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer.

29. Transvaal settlers : BOERS

“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for “farmer”, a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.

In geographic terms, the Transvaal is an area in modern-day South Africa that lies north of the Vaal River. “Transvaal” translates as “across the Vaal”.

30. Like lives in hives : APIAN

Something described as apian is related to bees. “Apis” is the Latin for “bee”.

39. Chicago airport code : ORD

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

40. Beach divers : TERNS

Terns are seabirds that are found all over the world. The Arctic Tern makes a very long-distance migration. One Arctic Tern that was tagged as a chick in Great Britain in the summer of 1982, was spotted in Melbourne, Australia just three months later. The bird had traveled over 14,000 miles in over those three months, an average of about 150 miles a day. Remarkable …

43. Clean with S.O.S : SCRUB

“S.O.S” is a brand name of scouring pads made from steel wool impregnated with soap. The product was invented as a giveaway by an aluminum pot salesman in San Francisco called Ed Cox. His wife gave it the name “S.O.S” as an initialism standing for “Save Our Saucepans”. Note the punctuation! There is no period after the last S, and that is deliberate. When Cox went to register the trademark, he found that “S.O.S.” could not be a trademark because it was used as an international distress signal. So he dropped the period after the last S, and I hope made a lot of money for himself and his wife.

50. Windy City newspaper, for short : TRIB

“The Chicago Tribune” was first published in 1847. The most famous edition of “The Trib” was probably in 1948 when the headline was “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”, on the occasion of that year’s presidential election. When it turned out Truman had actually won, the victor picked up the paper with the erroneous headline and posed for photographs with it … a famous, famous photo, that must have stuck in the craw of the editor at the time.

52. Feudal 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”.

57. CIO partner, familiarly : AF OF L

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was founded in 1886, making it one of the first federations of unions in the country. Over time the AFL became dominated by craft unions, unions representing skilled workers of particular disciplines. In the early thirties, John L. Lewis led a movement within the AFL to organize workers by industry, believing this would be more effective for the members. But the craft unions refused to budge, so Lewis set up a rival federation of unions in 1932, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The two federations became bitter rivals for over two decades until finally merging in 1955 to form the AFL-CIO.

62. Acrobat maker : ADOBE

Adobe Acrobat is the software used to create .pdf files. Most of us are more familiar with the associated application called Adobe Reader, because that’s what we use to read those .pdf files.

66. Jennifer of “Zero Dark Thirty” : EHLE

Jennifer Ehle is a favorite actress of mine. She is an American actress who is noted for playing English characters. Most famously, Ehle portrayed Elizabeth Bennett opposite Colin Firth’s D’Arcy in the fabulous 1995 BBC production of “Pride and Prejudice”. Ehle and Firth began a romantic relationship during the filming of the Jane Austen novel. Years later, the couple worked together again, for the film “The King’s Speech”.

“Zero Dark Thirty” is a film directed by Kathryn Bigelow that tells of the long but ultimately successful hunt for Osama bin Laden. I found one aspect of this film to be particularly uplifting, namely the central role played by a remarkable CIA officer who was a woman operating against the odds in a man’s world.

67. Deck crew boss : BOSUN

A boatswain works on the deck of a boat. He or she is unlicensed, and so is not involved in the navigation or handling of the vessel, and instead is in charge of the other unlicensed workers on the deck. “Boatswain” is pronounced “bosun” and this phonetic spelling is often used interchangeably with “boatswain”. The contraction “bo’s’n” is also very popular.

73. Medicare component : PART A

Medicare is divided into four parts:

  • A: Hospital Insurance
  • B: Medical Insurance
  • C: Medicare Advantage Plans
  • D: Prescription Drug Plans

76. QVC sister station : HSN

The Home Shopping Network (HSN) was the first national shopping network, and was launched locally as the Home Shopping Club in Florida in 1982.

The QVC shopping channel was founded in 1986 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The company now has operations not only in the US but also in the UK, Germany, Japan and Italy. That means QVC is reaching 200 million households. The QVC initialism stands for Quality, Value and Convenience.

79. Injures, as a matador : GORES

The term “torero” is used to describe all bullfighters. The term “matador” is reserved for the bullfighter whose job is to make the final kill. Aptly enough, “matador” is Spanish for “killer”.

83. Debater of Stephen in 1858 : ABE

Stephen A. Douglas was a US Senator from Illinois, and the Democratic Party’s nominee in the 1860 presidential election. Famously, Douglas was defeated by the Republican Party’s candidate Abraham Lincoln, a result that helped to precipitate the American Civil War. Despite opposing Lincoln in the election, Douglas rallied support for the Union cause after the outbreak of war.

87. Tide competitor : ALL

All is a laundry detergent made by Sun Products.

88. Speedy ski run : SCHUSS

A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, one with no turns taken to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.

89. Dunne and Ryan of cinema : IRENES

Irene Dunne was a wonderful Hollywood actress. She played a variety of roles, but I always think of her as the leading lady with Cary Grant in the movies “The Awful Truth”, “My Favorite Wife” and “Penny Serenade”. Irene Dunne was great friends with fellow actress Loretta Young, and the two often attended church together. Dunne is often described as the best actress never to win an Oscar, even though she was nominated five times for the Best Actress Academy Award.

Irene Ryan was the wonderful actress who played “Granny” on “The Beverly Hillbillies”. Ryan was remarkable in that she had a successful career in vaudeville, on radio and television, on film and on Broadway.

91. Sporty wheels, briefly : JAG

Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

92. Art movement typified by Sloan’s “McSorley’s Bar” : ASHCAN

The Ashcan School was an early 20th-century artistic movement that focused on works that portrayed scenes of daily life in New York City. Examples of artists who worked in the style were Robert Henri, George Luks and John Sloan.

John French Sloan was an artist who did much of his work in New York City in the early 1900s. Sloan was a founder of the Ashcan School, a movement that focused on portrayals of daily life in New York. One of my favorite Sloan paintings is “McSorley’s Bar”, a 1912 work that depicts the inside of the celebrated East Village ale house that the artist used to visit quite regularly.

A few years ago, I accompanied my wife and sister-in-law into McSorley’s. I was foolish enough to ask what kind of wine they had for the ladies. The gruff answer was “McSorley’s Light or McSorley’s Dark” (both of which are beers).

94. Michael Jackson hit … or what you can do to the start of each answer to a starred clue : BEAT IT

“Beat It” is a 1982 song by Michael Jackson that appeared on the “Thriller” studio album. Famously, the 4-minute song includes a 30-second guitar solo that Eddie Van Halen recorded as a favor to Jackson.

99. __-Seltzer : ALKA

Alka-Seltzer is a brand of fizzy antacid that has been marketed since 1931. In terms of ingredients, it is a mix of sodium bicarbonate, aspirin and anhydrous citric acid.

105. Kilauea flow : LAVA

Kilauea is one of the five active volcanoes on that form the Big Island of Hawaii. It erupted almost continuously starting in 1983, until it entered a period of inactivity following a months-long explosive event in 2018.

108. Canterbury can : LOO

Canterbury is a city in the southeast of England, in the county of Kent. Canterbury is famous for Canterbury Cathedral where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170, making it a pilgrimage destination for Christians. It was one of these pilgrimages that was the inspiration for Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” written in the 14th century.

109. Vel follower : -CRO

The hook-and-loop fastener that we now call “Velcro” was invented in 1941 by Georges de Mestral, a Swiss engineer. Mestral noticed that the seeds of the burdock plant (burrs or burs) stuck to his clothes. Under the microscope he found hooks on the burrs that grabbed hold of loops in his clothing. After years of development, he came up with a way of simulating the natural hook using man-made materials, and Velcro was born.

110. “Tell __”: Streisand/Dion duet : HIM

“Tell Him” is a 1997 duet recorded by Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion. Streisand was inspired to ask Dion to record a duet together after she heard Dion perform the Streisand song “I Finally Found Someone” at the 1996 Academy Awards ceremony.

111. Yalie : ELI

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

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Unstressed, as a syllable : ATONIC
7. Painter of melting watches : DALI
11. iPhone purchase : APP
14. A deadly sin : LUST
18. It’s split in a boat : BANANA
19. Command to a junkyard dog : SIC ’EM
20. Early internet pioneer : AOL
21. Not fooled by : ONTO
22. *Online business-building method : CROWDFUNDING
24. Common Woody Allen character disorders : NEUROSES
26. Send back, as into custody : REMAND
27. *Las Vegas pros : ODDSMAKERS
29. Iraq’s main port : BASRA
33. In the past : AGO
34. Comic actor Amsterdam of old TV : MOREY
35. “Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail” writer : DONNE
36. Call into question : OPPUGN
38. Features of academic gowns : HOODS
40. Less lax : TAUTER
41. St. Patrick’s land : EIRE
42. F equivalent : E-SHARP
45. Like radon, say : INERT
47. “Norma __” : RAE
48. *Guinness entries : RECORD SETTERS
51. Pre-flight frisking gp. : TSA
54. One may be played with sticks or brushes : SNARE DRUM
56. Misplay with matches? : ARSON
57. Hawkish god : ARES
58. Composer Milhaud : DARIUS
59. Hard-to-meet condition : BIG IF
61. Apple browser : SAFARI
63. Former Bears coach : DITKA
65. Satan : BEELZEBUB
68. Tips, as a hat : DOFFS
69. Minerva’s Greek counterpart : ATHENA
71. Smith, at times : SHOER
72. End in grand style : TOP OFF
74. Baseball’s Speaker : TRIS
75. 1970 Neil Diamond hit : SHILO
77. Deactivating : DISABLING
80. Author Rand : AYN
81. *User’s nightmare : SYSTEM FAILURE
84. Company VIP : CEO
85. Prom attendees : TEENS
86. Out of class : ABSENT
87. Open a bit : AJAR
88. Muted to the max : SILENT
91. Bill’s attorney general : JANET
93. Remove by melting, say : ABLATE
95. Pungent green : CRESS
96. Indelicate : CRASS
98. Friend of TV’s Sheldon : RAJ
101. “__ World”: “Sesame Street” segment : ELMO’S
102. *Zapping direction : HEAT ON HIGH
104. Seasonal song words after “gay apparel” : FA LA LA
106. Superhero-themed kids’ wear : UNDEROOS
107. *Nine-to-fiver : CLOCK-WATCHER
113. Future viewer : SEER
114. See 103-Down : ARK
115. Main blood vessel : AORTA
116. Manly : VIRILE
117. Nine-digit IDs : SSNS
118. “Psst!” : HEY!
119. Visual okays : NODS
120. Tinier than tiny : ATOMIC

Down

1. Easy comparative : ABC
2. Paving material : TAR
3. Strawberry Fields benefactor : ONO
4. Rural turndown : NAW
5. Like some “La Cage Aux Folles” dancers : IN DRAG
6. Rick’s, in film : CAFE
7. Followed a Hippocratic dictum : DID NO HARM
8. Corrosive stuff : ACID
9. Novelist Deighton : LEN
10. “No more for me” : I’M GOOD
11. Docudramas airer : A AND E
12. 35-Across output : POESY
13. Choice : PLUM
14. Observation point : LOOKOUT
15. Not yet posted : UNSENT
16. “Tristram Shandy” author : STERNE
17. Salad preparer : TOSSER
19. Reel trouble : SNAG
23. Actress Thurman : UMA
25. Navigation aids : RADARS
28. “Frasier” bros., e.g. : DRS
29. Transvaal settlers : BOERS
30. Like lives in hives : APIAN
31. *Overextended : SPREAD THIN
32. Have remorse for : RUE
34. Cleaning tools : MOPS
37. “__ say more?” : NEED I
39. Chicago airport code : ORD
40. Beach divers : TERNS
43. Clean with S.O.S : SCRUB
44. Provides home care services? : HOUSE-SITS
45. “There’s no use” : IT’S FUTILE
46. New start? : NEO-
48. Played again on TV : RERAN
49. Hankering : EAGER
50. Windy City newspaper, for short : TRIB
51. *Where one might idle away the time? : TRAFFIC JAM
52. Feudal worker : SERF
53. Sale stipulation : AS IS
55. Tools with tines : RAKES
57. CIO partner, familiarly : AF OF L
59. Bud’s promise : BLOOM
60. Suffix often meaning “to make” : -IZE
62. Acrobat maker : ADOBE
63. Facts and figures : DATA
64. Modest admission : I TRY
66. Jennifer of “Zero Dark Thirty” : EHLE
67. Deck crew boss : BOSUN
70. Thus far : AS YET
73. Medicare component : PART A
76. QVC sister station : HSN
77. Draws attention (from) : DISTRACTS
78. “Terrif!” : NEATO!
79. Injures, as a matador : GORES
81. Motion detector, e.g. : SENSOR
82. Cheerful group? : FANS
83. Debater of Stephen in 1858 : ABE
85. Marketing hirees : TESTERS
87. Tide competitor : ALL
88. Speedy ski run : SCHUSS
89. Dunne and Ryan of cinema : IRENES
90. Plodding : LEADEN
91. Sporty wheels, briefly : JAG
92. Art movement typified by Sloan’s “McSorley’s Bar” : ASHCAN
94. Michael Jackson hit … or what you can do to the start of each answer to a starred clue : BEAT IT
96. After-school job : CHORE
97. Not without danger : RISKY
99. __-Seltzer : ALKA
100. Hinged mouth part : JAW
103. 114-Across builder : NOAH
104. Shallow crossing : FORD
105. Kilauea flow : LAVA
108. Canterbury can : LOO
109. Vel follower : -CRO
110. “Tell __”: Streisand/Dion duet : HIM
111. Yalie : ELI
112. Remote button : REC

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16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Feb 19, Sunday”

  1. LAT: 23:34 at the point where I was only missing two letters: for 75A, I had “S_I_O” and thought I was irrevocably stuck for lack of help from the crossing entries, but, a few seconds later, I thought of “HSN” and filled in the “H”, at which point “SHILO” seemed reasonable and I filled in the “O”, but forgot to check my final time.

    Newsday: 16:59, no errors. Washington Post: 22:03, no errors.

    NYT: 38:04 after finding and fixing an error on a frustrating personal Natick.

    And … I finally found some quiet time to work out Friday’s WSJ meta! Interesting one …

    The NYT blog is still coming up blank for me. Is anyone else able to get to it?

    1. I was able to see a note from Bill on a previous LAX page saying he’s in Ireland and having trouble with the site again. I can’t find it again though!

      1. Found it! Here’s what it said:

        I am aware of the problem, and have been unable to fix it with my limited expertise. I’ve contracted someone to resolve the issue, and am hopeful that we’ll be back online shortly. I’m over in Ireland right now, for an unanticipated visit. Quite frankly, I’m a little overwhelmed with issues arising on both blogs, and real life can get in the way and makes things so much worse. I apologize for the poor service in recent months, and fully intend to get online with high-speed, reliable websites at both LAXCrossword.com and NYXCrossword.com just as soon as I can. I refuse to give up!

        1. Sorry to be unclear in previous post. This is what I found on a previous LAXcrossword page. It’s an explanation from Bill Butler about the NYXpage:
          Here’s what it said:

          I am aware of the problem, and have been unable to fix it with my limited expertise. I’ve contracted someone to resolve the issue, and am hopeful that we’ll be back online shortly. I’m over in Ireland right now, for an unanticipated visit. Quite frankly, I’m a little overwhelmed with issues arising on both blogs, and real life can get in the way and makes things so much worse. I apologize for the poor service in recent months, and fully intend to get online with high-speed, reliable websites at both LAXCrossword.com and NYXCrossword.com just as soon as I can. I refuse to give up!

    2. Dave –
      I’m getting the NYT page, but it’s stuck on last Wednesday’s puzzle. I assume that means it’s working but Bill just hasn’t added to it these last few days. If you’re still getting a blank page, maybe clearing your cache would at least clear that.

      Btw – What was your natick on today’s NYT?

      Best –

      1. @Jeff … I can also get to Wednesday’s NYT blog now, but lots of things (for instance, navigating to past dates) don’t work as expected. My problem with today’s NYT was at the intersection of 35D (“1962 hit for the Ikettes” = “I’M BLUE”) and 46A (“Delaware nickname” = “BLUE HEN STATE”). I knew I needed to put a color in the square, and I should have been able to come up with “BLUE”, but I had a bit of a time constraint and got impatient. Another complication was that I wasn’t really sure of “ORANGE BOWL” and “ORANGE MAN” and thought that might be where my error was.

  2. I had trouble with the same spot, Dave, started out with “smile” instead of
    Shilo….but finally the light dawned. Backed up a bit and started over a bit
    on this one, but finally got it right.

  3. LAT 1 hr and 7 min. With 2 errors. I had lmpugn for oppugn.
    NYT # 0210 from my paper today also 1 hr and 7 min. with 7 errors , all of which, had I checked against “my notes” would have been eliminated. You know what they say about teaching old dogs.

  4. 35:27. As usual, I really enjoyed an Ed Sessa’s puzzle. Got the theme from the reveal, but it didn’t help much.

    Amazing tidbits on Morey Amsterdam’s connection to Capone and speakeasys. Whoda thunkit? Loved him on Dick Van Dyke even as a kid.

    How many are going to run out and read all 9 volumes of Tristam Shandy? Sounds interesting, but 9 volumes??

    NYT puzzle (46:12) today was especially well done, I thought. Spoiler alert: The rebus was obvious enough, but I didn’t realize until I’d finished and read the blurb about the puzzle on Wordplay that those colors and the corresponding subjects mimic Trivial Pursuit.

    Two good ones today. I haven’t had time to do both on a Sunday in quite a while.

    Best –

  5. 33:06, 6 errors. Fills like SHOER and OPPUGN are just dirty pool. And the “theme” was an incredible stretch. Horrible start to the week.

  6. SHOER was dirty pool? That’s seems pretty whiny to me. As for OPPUGN, I thought that was really cool. I knew IMPUGN, but as I filled in the crosses, I realized that OPPUGN, by its structure, could be a related word, even though I’d never heard of it. Where better to learn previously unknown words than in a Sunday crossword? And once I caught the theme, it helped a lot. Nicely done, Mr. Sessa!

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