LA Times Crossword 24 Feb 19, Sunday

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Constructed by: Gail Grabowski
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Prep-positioning

Themed answers are common phrases in which a prefix has been inserted before one word:

  • 23A. Revenue for a monarchy? : KINGDOM INCOME (from “kingdom come”)
  • 39A. Kids nagging parents about lack of air conditioning? : HOT OFFSPRING (from “hot spring”)
  • 58A. Bungalow inundated with vacationing relatives? : OVERRUN HOME (from “run home”)
  • 85A. Funny BBQ scene that got cut? : SPIT OUTTAKE (from “spit take”)
  • 101A. Unlikely winner of a trite joke contest? : CORN UNDERDOG (from “corn dog”)
  • 123A. Group unhappy with election results? : DOWNCAST PARTY (from “cast party”)
  • 16D. Preview from St. Peter? : AFTERWORLD TOUR (from “world tour”)
  • 52D. “You’re a big girl now”? : MATURITY UPDATE (from “maturity date”)

Bill’s time: 17m 20s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • INA (Ana)
  • MIKITA (Makita)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Cheese companion : MAC

Thomas Jefferson’s name is associated with the dish we known today as “mac ‘n’ cheese”. The future president discovered baked macaroni with Parmesan cheese while in Paris and in northern Italy. He started serving the dish to guests in the US, and even had a machine imported to make the macaroni locally. Whether or not Jefferson was the first to bring mac ‘n’ cheese to America isn’t entirely clear, but it has been popular ever since.

19. “Barefoot Contessa” cook Garten : INA

Ina Garten is an author as well as the host of the cooking show on the Food Network called “Barefoot Contessa”. Garten has no formal training as a chef, and indeed used to work as a nuclear policy analyst at the White House!

20. Journalist Larson : ERIK

Erik Larson is a journalist, most notably contributing features to “The Wall Street Journal” and “TIME” magazine. Larson is also a very successful author of nonfiction books, such as “The Devil in the White City” (about the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893) and “Dead Wake” (about the sinking of the Lusitania).

21. Pro shop purchase : POLO

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

26. Crêpe cousin : BLINTZE

A blintz (also “blintze”, and “blin”, plural “blini”) is a thin pancake similar to a crêpe although unlike a crêpe, a blintz may contain yeast.

28. San Simeon family : HEARSTS

William Randolph Hearst got into publishing when he took over “The San Francisco Examiner” from his father George Hearst. Beyond his work in the newspaper business, William Randolph Hearst was also a politician and represented a district of New York in the US House. His life was the inspiration for the lead role in the 1941 movie “Citizen Kane” with Orson Welles playing the Hearst-like character. If you’re ever driving along the coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco, I’d recommend a stop at Hearst Castle, William Randolph’s magnificent estate located near San Simeon.

31. Running total : TALLY

Back in the mid-1600s, a tally was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or had paid. The term “tally” came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”. The act of “scoring” the stick with notches gave rise to our word “score” for the number in a tally.

32. “The Hurt Locker” backdrop : WAR

The 2008 movie “The Hurt Locker” is a disturbing drama about a US Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team on the front lines during the Iraq War. The film appears to be very realistic, and was filmed in Jordan just a few miles from the Iraqi border. The screenplay was written by Mark Boal, a journalist who was embedded with an EOD team in 2004. “The Hurt Locker” won six Academy Awards, including Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to be so honored.

33. Upscale automaker : AUDI

The predecessor to today’s Audi company was called Auto Union. Auto Union was formed with the merger of four individual entities: Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer. The Audi logo comprises four intersecting rings, each representing one of the four companies that merged.

38. Novelist Waugh : ALEC

Alec Waugh was the older brother of the more famous Evelyn Waugh. Both were successful novelists (Evelyn of “Brideshead Revisited” fame), but what I like about Alec is that he supposedly invented the cocktail party. He invited his friends around “for tea” in the twenties, and served them all rum swizzles instead!

45. Predator and Iconia computers : ACERS

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

47. Jack Reacher creator Child : LEE

Lee Child is the pen name of British thriller writer Jim Grant. The hero of Child’s stories is an American ex-military policeman called Jack Reacher. The novel “One Shot” was adapted for the big screen as “Jack Reacher”, which was released in 2012 with Tom Cruise in the title role.

48. Dept. formed under Carter : ENER

The US Department of Energy (DOE) came into being largely as a result of the 1973 oil crisis. The DOE was founded in 1977 by the Carter administration. The DOE is responsible for regulating the production of nuclear power, and it is also responsible for the nation’s nuclear weapons. The official DOE seal features a lightning bolt and symbols denoting five sources of energy: the sun, an atom, an oil derrick, a windmill and a dynamo.

50. Agassi rival : SAMPRAS

Pete Sampras is a retired Greek-American tennis professional. Sampras was rated number one in the world rankings for six years in a row in the nineties.

Retired tennis professional Andre Agassi has been married to fellow player Steffi Graf since 2001. Agassi wrote an autobiography called “Open”, published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi’s famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

53. Muses’ domain : ARTS

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)

58. Bungalow inundated with vacationing relatives? : OVERRUN HOME (from “run home”)

In India, a house that was in the Bengali style was known by the Hindi word “bangla”, which came into English as “bungalow”. The original bungalows were humble buildings, single-story with thatched roofs (or “rooves” as the Colonials would say!) and a veranda at the front. Later, the British built very elaborate bungalows, and then even later, the term “bungalow” was brought back to the British Isles where it was used to describe a more modest home. Today, a bungalow is simply a single-story family dwelling.

63. __ column: concrete-filled steel support : LALLY

A lally column provides vertical support to horizontal beams in a building. The lally column is a hollow steel column, filled with concrete so that it resists buckling. The column takes its name from its inventor, American John Lally, who started producing them in the 1800s.

68. Dr. Leary’s turn-on : LSD

Timothy Leary was a psychologist and writer, an icon of the sixties counterculture and a promoter of the use of LSD. Leary popularized the phrase “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” in the sixties. After he died, some of Leary’s ashes were “buried” in space, launched aboard a rocket that contained the ashes of 24 other people including “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry.

70. Old Venetian coin : DUCAT

The original ducat was a coin introduced by the Republic of Venice in 1284. Famously, at the climax of William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”, Antonio goes on trial because he cannot repay a loan to Shylock of 3,000 ducats. Faced with non-payment, Shylock demands his legal right to “a pound of flesh”.

72. Capital that’s home to the Potala Palace : LHASA

Lhasa is the capital city of Tibet, with the name “Lhasa” translating as “place of the gods”. However, Lhasa used to be called Rasa, a name that translates into the less auspicious “goat’s place”. Lhasa was also once called the “Forbidden City” due to its inaccessible location high in the Himalayas and a traditional hostility exhibited by residents to outsiders. The “forbidden” nature of the city has been reinforced since the Chinese took over Tibet in the early 1950s as it has been difficult for foreigners to get permission to visit Lhasa.

The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet was the residence of the Dalai Lama until he fled the former country in 1959 during the Tibetan Uprising. The building is divided into the White Palace and the Red Palace. The White Palace made up the Dalai Lama’s private living quarters. The larger Red Palace comprised halls, chapels and libraries devoted to religious study.

77. Dodge logo critter : RAM

Chrysler put ram hood ornaments on all of its Dodge branded vehicles starting in 1933. When the first line of Dodge trucks and vans were introduced in 1981, they were named “Rams” in honor of that hood ornament.

80. Ghee-brushed bread : NAAN

Ghee is clarified butter used in South Asian cuisines. “Ghee” comes from Sanskrit, and translates as “sprinkled”.

81. Unwitting victim : STOOGE

We use the term “stooge” these days to for an unwitting victim, or perhaps the straight man in a comedy duo. The first “stooges” were simply stage assistants, back in the early 1900s.

85. Funny BBQ scene that got cut? : SPIT OUTTAKE (from “spit take”)

The comic maneuver in which someone spits out a drink in response to a joke or a surprising statement, that’s called a “spit take”.

88. It’s often bookmarked : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locators (URL).

92. It may be lit during the holidays : FIR TREE

Firs are evergreen coniferous trees, with several species being popular as Christmas trees. The most commonly used species during the holidays are the Nordmann fir, noble fir, Fraser fir and balsam fir. We also see a lot of Douglas fir trees at Christmas, but they’re not actually true firs.

99. Links army leader : ARNIE

Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot, until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.

104. Vicksburg soldiers : REBS

The city of Vicksburg in Mississippi was a fortress city that became the focus of the Vicksburg Campaign during the Civil War. Union forces were led by Ulysses S. Grant, and Confederate forces by John C. Pemberton. After over 6 months of fighting, Pemberton surrendered on July 4th 1863, just one day after the Confederates were defeated at Gettysburg.

108. One of Tom Brady’s three : ESPY

Quarterback Tom Brady signed up with the New England Patriots in 2000, and led the team to more Super Bowl appearances than any other player in history. Brady is from San Mateo, California, which isn’t very far from here. He dated actress Bridget Moynahan for a couple of years, and the pair have a child together. Brady has been married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen since 2009.

110. “JAG” spin-off : NCIS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spin-off shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

111. Has too much : ODS

Overdose (OD)

112. Piazza De Ferrari city : GENOA

The main square in the Italian city of Genoa is called the Piazza De Ferrari. The piazza features a magnificent circular fountain at its center.

113. Humorist Barry : DAVE

Dave Barry is a very humorous guy, an author and columnist. Barry also plays lead guitar in a rock band called The Rock Bottom Remainders. Also included in the band are noted authors Stephen King, Amy Tan and Scott Turow.

115. Takes care of a toy? : PET-SITS

The toy group of dogs is made up of the smallest breeds. The smallest of the small breeds are sometimes called teacup breeds.

120. Govt. water-testing sites : EPA LABS

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

125. SoCal daily : LA TIMES

The “Los Angeles Times” won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for its coverage of the 2015 shooting in San Bernardino and the subsequent terror investigation. The attack was perpetrated by a married couple from the city of Redlands, California and resulted in the death of 14 people.

127. Rich deposit : LODE

A lode is a metal ore deposit that’s found between two layers of rock or in a fissure. The mother lode is the principal deposit in a mine, usually of gold or silver. “Mother lode” is probably a translation of “veta madre”, an expression used in mining in Mexico.

128. Job ad abbr. : EOE

Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)

132. Chekov’s orig. “Star Trek” rank : ENS

Walter Koenig played Pavel Chekov in the original “Star Trek” series. Mr Chekov was a Russian character although Koenig himself was born in Chicago, the son of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania.

Down

1. NHL Hall of Famer Stan : MIKITA

Stan Mikita is a retired professional Canadian hockey player who was born in Communist-controlled, former Czechoslovakia.

2. Dog or dogie : ANIMAL

“Dogie” (sometimes “dogy”) is cowboy slang for a motherless calf in a herd.

4. WWII surrender celebration : VE DAY

World War II started in 1 September 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany. V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) was celebrated on 8 May 1945, when the German military surrendered in Berlin. V-J Day (Victory over Japan Day) was celebrated on 2 September 1945 when the Japanese signed the surrender document aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

5. 2016 MLB retiree : A-ROD

Professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just “A-Rod”. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there was a perception that teams went cold when he joined them and hot when he left. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez was in a world of hurt not so long ago, for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. He retired from the baseball in 2016.

6. Virginia senator Kaine : TIM

Tim Kaine took office as US Senator for Virginia in 2013, having served as the state’s governor from 2006 to 2010. He was also chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 until 2011. Famously, Senator Kaine ran as vice presidential running mate in Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2016.

7. Vail toppers : SKI HATS

The Vail Ski Resort in Colorado is the largest single-mountain ski resort in the whole country. The resort was opened in 1962, basically in the middle of nowhere. It was given the name Vail after Vail Pass which runs by the mountain (now also called Vail Mountain). The town of Vail, Colorado was established four years later in 1966, and now has a population of about 5,000.

8. Gp. advocating adoption : SPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

12. On the job, initially : TCB

Taking care of business (TCB)

13. “Rebel Without a Cause” actor : SAL MINEO

The actor Sal Mineo’s most famous role was John “Plato” Crawford, the kid who was in awe of the James Dean character in “Rebel Without a Cause”. Sadly, Mineo was murdered in 1976 when he was just 37 years old. He was attacked in the alley behind his Los Angeles apartment and stabbed through the heart. When an arrest was made it was discovered that the murderer had no idea that his victim was a celebrity, and that his plan was just to rob anyone who came along.

“Rebel Without a Cause” is a 1955 drama movie, famously starring actor James Dean who died just before the film’s release. The title comes from a 1944 book by psychiatrist Robert M. Lindner “Rebel Without a Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath”, although the content of the book has no bearing on the movie’s storyline. The three lead actors in the movie all died tragically, and while relatively young:

  • James Dean (24), in a car crash in 1955
  • Sal Mineo (37), in a stabbing in 1976
  • Natalie Wood (43), in a drowning in 1981

14. The Bee Gees, e.g. : TRIO

The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name “The Bee Gees”) were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

15. New-product div. : R AND D

Research and development (R&D)

16. Preview from St. Peter? : AFTERWORLD TOUR (from “world tour”)

In the Christian tradition, Saint Peter is often depicted as the keeper of the gates of heaven. This depiction arises from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew:

I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

17. Candy invented in Austria : PEZ

PEZ is an Austrian brand of candy sold in a mechanical dispenser. Famously, PEZ dispensers have molded “heads”, and have become very collectible over the years. The list of heads includes historical figures like Betsy Ross and Paul Revere, characters from “Star Wars” and “Star Trek”, and even British royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (“William and Kate”). The name PEZ comes from the first, middle and last letters of “Pfefferminz”, the German word for “peppermint”.

24. Easy pill to swallow : GELCAP

Gelatin capsules (gelcaps) might be an issue for those on a strict vegan diet. The gelatin used in the capsule is made from collagen extracted from animal skin and bone.

25. Pianist Peter : NERO

Peter Nero is a pianist and conductor of “pops” orchestral concerts. Nero had a huge hit in the pop music charts in 1971 with the theme tune from the movie “Summer of ’42”.

36. DIY mover : U-HAUL

The U-Haul company was started by married couple Leonard Shoen and Anna Mary Carty in Ridgefield, Washington in 1945. The Shoens used $5,000 of seed money to build trailers in their garage, and then cleverly recruited gas station owners as franchisees with whom they would split the rental revenue. There are now about 15,000 U-Haul dealers across the country.

41. Seedless plants : FERNS

Ferns are unlike mosses in that they have xylem and phloem, making them vascular plants. They also have stems, leaves and roots, but they do not have seeds and flowers, and reproduce using spores. Spores differ from seeds in that they have very little stored food.

42. Green of “Robot Chicken” : SETH

Seth Green is an actor and comedian best-known by many as creator and voice actor on the animated television series “Robot Chicken”. I know him best for playing “Napster” in the 2005 film “The Italian Job”.

46. Shoe with lots of holes : CROC

Crocs are foam clogs that were originally designed as shoes to be worn at health spas.

50. Tourney ranking : SEED

“Tourney” is another word for “tournament”. The term comes from the Old French word “tornei” meaning “contest of armed men”, from “tornoier” meaning “to joust, jilt”.

51. River of Pisa : ARNO

The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, and passes 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.

56. Roundup catcher : LASSO

Our English word “lasso” comes from the Spanish “lazo”, and ultimately from the Latin “laqueum” meaning “noose, snare”.

60. Band aide : ROADIE

A roadie is someone who loads, unloads and sets up equipment for musicians on tour, on the “road”.

62. Area 51 creatures, it’s said : ETS

The famed Area 51 is a remote base in the USAF Nevada Test and Training Range. There’s no question that Area 51 is an unusual base in that frontline operational units are not deployed there. It seems that it is used for developing and testing new and classified weapons facilities for the US Military and other US agencies like the CIA. The government did not even acknowledge that Area 51 existed until 1995, and this official position fueled a theory that the base is home to UFOs that landed on Earth.

71. Battleship letters : USS

The abbreviation “USS” stands for “United States Ship”. The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907 when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.

In the days of sail, a naval fleet of ships often formed a “line of battle” in the vessels formed up end to end. The advantage of such a formation was that all vessels could fire a battery of cannon along the full length of the ship. Vessels deemed powerful enough to join the line of battle became known as “ships of the line”, or “line of battle ships”. The term “line of battle ship” shortened over time to become our modern word “battleship”. The main feature of a contemporary battleship is a battery of large caliber guns.

72. Hugh of “House” : LAURIE

English actor and comedian Hugh Laurie used to be half of a comedy double act with Stephen Fry called simply “Fry and Laurie”. Fry and Laurie met in Cambridge University through their mutual friend, actress Emma Thompson. Over in North America, Laurie is best known for playing the title role in the medical drama “House”.

76. Legendary soccer star : PELE

“Pelé” is the nickname of Edson de Nascimento, a soccer player who has used the name “Pelé” for most of his life. Pelé is now retired, and for my money was the world’s greatest ever player of the game. He is the only person to have been a member of three World Cup winning squads (1958, 1962 and 1970), and is a national treasure in his native Brazil. One of Pele’s nicknames is “O Rei do Futebol” (the King of Football).

78. “Morning Joe” network : MSNBC

“Morning Joe” is a show broadcast by MSNBC each weekday morning. It is hosted by Joe Scarborough, and first went on the air in 2007. Given the name of the show, Starbucks was very happy to be the show’s sponsor from 2009 through 2013, and got lots of product placement.

82. Hatcher of “Desperate Housewives” : TERI

Teri Hatcher’s most famous role is the Susan Mayer character on the TV comedy-drama “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”. More recently, she portrayed Lois Lane on the show “Lois & Clark”.

83. Jazz count : BASIE

“Count” Basie’s real given name was “William”. Count Basie perhaps picked up his love for the piano from his mother, who played and gave him his first lessons. Basie’s first paying job as a musician was in a movie theater, where he learned to improvise a suitable accompaniment for the silent movies that were being shown. Basie was given the nickname “Count” as he became lauded as one of the so-called “Jazz royalty”. Others so honored are Nat “King” Cole and Duke Ellington.

84. Pal of Aramis : ATHOS

Alexandre Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” are Athos, Porthos and Aramis, although the hero of the novel is the trio’s young protégé D’Artagnan. A musketeer was an infantry soldier who was equipped with a musket. Funnily enough, the three “musketeers” really don’t use their muskets, and are better known for prowess with their swords.

87. “Hair” styles : AFROS

The full name of the famed show from the sixties is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”, although the 1979 film adaptation was simply titled “Hair”. This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties, as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. How things have changed over the past few decades said he … satirically …

90. Queen’s mate : DRONE BEE

Drone bees and drone ants are fertile males of the species, whose sole role in life seems to be to mate with a queen.

93. Mother canonized by Pope Francis : TERESA

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the city that is now called Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. At birth she was given the names Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (“Gonxha” means “little flower” in Albanian). She left home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto, and headed to Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham in Dublin, Ireland in order to learn English. Her goal was to teach in India, and English was the language used there for instruction by the nuns. After Mother Teresa passed away in 1997 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016, and is now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

Pope Francis was elected on 13 March 2013 as the 266th Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic church. The new pope is famously taking a much simpler and more modest approach to the office, as he did with his life back in Argentina. Francis is the first pope since 1903 not to reside in the papal residence, choosing to live instead in the less lavish Vatican guesthouse.

96. Hammer throw trajectory : ARC

There are usually four throwing events in a track and field competition:

  • hammer
  • discus
  • shot put
  • javelin

103. Campus recruiting gp. : ROTC

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.

105. Dining selection : ENTREE

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

106. Balladeer Michael : BOLTON

“Michael Bolton” is the stage name used by singer/songwriter Michael Bolotin. In fact, Bolton’s first album was titled “Bolotin”.

114. Seductive sort : VAMP

A vamp (short for “vampire”) is a seductive woman. The term was first used in reference to the sultry performance of actress Theda Bara in the 1915 film “A Fool There Was”. The movie’s title is a quotation from Rudyard Kipling’s 1897 poem “The Vampire”. Bara’s role was positioned as a “vampire”, a woman out to seduce a man, launching the use of “vamp” as an alternative term for “femme fatale”.

117. Triathlon component : SWIM

An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked to come up with the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finished first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

118. “Picnic” playwright : INGE

Playwright William Inge had a run of success on Broadway in the early fifties. Inge’s most celebrated work of that time was the play “Picnic”, for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The original 1953 cast of “Picnic” included a young male actor making his debut on Broadway. His name was Paul Newman. Many of Inge’s works are set in the American heartland and so he became known as the “Playwright of the Midwest”.

119. Bygone Fords : LTDS

There has been a lot of speculation about what the abbreviation LTD stands for in the car model known as “Ford LTD”. Many say it is an initialism standing for Luxury Trim Decor, and others say that it is short for “limited”. Although the car was produced in Australia with the initialism meaning Lincoln Type Design, it seems LTD was originally chosen as just three meaningless letters that sound well together.

120. 2015 Payne Stewart Award honoree Ernie : ELS

Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname “The Big Easy”. He is a former World No. 1 and has won four majors: the US Open (1994 & 1997) and the British Open (2002 & 2012).

Payne Stewart was a crowd favorite on the golf course, and always recognizable as he wore flamboyant attire that included bright, patterned knickerbockers. Sadly, Stewart died in famous airplane accident. All aboard the private plane in which he was travelling, including the pilots, succumbed to hypoxia after a loss of cabin pressure. The stricken plane flew for hours on autopilot escorted by USAF planes, until it ran out of fuel and crashed in South Dakota.

122. Return ID : SSN

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So, from 1986 onward, it is a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

124. Great Lakes’ __ Canals : SOO

In the summer of 2010, I spent a very interesting afternoon watching ships make their way through the Soo Locks and Soo Canals between Lake Superior and the lower Great lakes. The name “Soo” comes from the US and Canadian cities on either side of the locks, both called Sault Ste. Marie.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Cheese companion : MAC
4. Brewery fixtures : VATS
8. Minute dispute : SPAT
12. Sandal features : T-STRAPS
19. “Barefoot Contessa” cook Garten : INA
20. Journalist Larson : ERIK
21. Pro shop purchase : POLO
22. Group bar orders : CARAFES
23. Revenue for a monarchy? : KINGDOM INCOME (from “kingdom come”)
26. Crêpe cousin : BLINTZE
27. “My mom is gonna kill me!” : I’M DEAD!
28. San Simeon family : HEARSTS
30. Sleep __ : MODE
31. Running total : TALLY
32. “The Hurt Locker” backdrop : WAR
33. Upscale automaker : AUDI
35. It might be generic : DRUG
38. Novelist Waugh : ALEC
39. Kids nagging parents about lack of air conditioning? : HOT OFFSPRING (from “hot spring”)
44. Which one : WHO
45. Predator and Iconia computers : ACERS
47. Jack Reacher creator Child : LEE
48. Dept. formed under Carter : ENER
49. Bread grain : OAT
50. Agassi rival : SAMPRAS
53. Muses’ domain : ARTS
55. Massage offering : OIL RUB
57. Important span : ERA
58. Bungalow inundated with vacationing relatives? : OVERRUN HOME (from “run home”)
63. __ column: concrete-filled steel support : LALLY
64. Rope in : ENTICE
66. Quite a stretch : EONS
67. Freshly stained : WET
68. Dr. Leary’s turn-on : LSD
69. Sullen : DOUR
70. Old Venetian coin : DUCAT
72. Capital that’s home to the Potala Palace : LHASA
74. “This is my __” : STOP
77. Dodge logo critter : RAM
79. Poor, as excuses go : SAD
80. Ghee-brushed bread : NAAN
81. Unwitting victim : STOOGE
83. Puts the worm on : BAITS
85. Funny BBQ scene that got cut? : SPIT OUTTAKE (from “spit take”)
88. It’s often bookmarked : URL
89. Be there : ATTEND
91. Decorative jug : EWER
92. It may be lit during the holidays : FIR TREE
94. Withdrawn : SHY
95. They may be wireless : BRAS
98. Ristorante suffix : -INI
99. Links army leader : ARNIE
100. Loan letters : IOU
101. Unlikely winner of a trite joke contest? : CORN UNDERDOG (from “corn dog”)
104. Vicksburg soldiers : REBS
108. One of Tom Brady’s three : ESPY
110. “JAG” spin-off : NCIS
111. Has too much : ODS
112. Piazza De Ferrari city : GENOA
113. Humorist Barry : DAVE
115. Takes care of a toy? : PET-SITS
119. “To conclude … ” : LASTLY …
120. Govt. water-testing sites : EPA LABS
123. Group unhappy with election results? : DOWNCAST PARTY (from “cast party”)
125. SoCal daily : LA TIMES
126. Pre-calc course : TRIG
127. Rich deposit : LODE
128. Job ad abbr. : EOE
129. Pose a greater climbing challenge : STEEPEN
130. “I’ll get this one” : ON ME
131. Chuck : TOSS
132. Chekov’s orig. “Star Trek” rank : ENS

Down

1. NHL Hall of Famer Stan : MIKITA
2. Dog or dogie : ANIMAL
3. It may be scented : CANDLE
4. WWII surrender celebration : VE DAY
5. 2016 MLB retiree : A-ROD
6. Virginia senator Kaine : TIM
7. Vail toppers : SKI HATS
8. Gp. advocating adoption : SPCA
9. Substandard : POOR
10. Charity : ALMS
11. Line dance step : TOE-TAP
12. On the job, initially : TCB
13. “Rebel Without a Cause” actor : SAL MINEO
14. The Bee Gees, e.g. : TRIO
15. New-product div. : R AND D
16. Preview from St. Peter? : AFTERWORLD TOUR (from “world tour”)
17. Candy invented in Austria : PEZ
18. Dallas-to-Houston dir. : SSE
24. Easy pill to swallow : GELCAP
25. Pianist Peter : NERO
29. Confident : SURE
32. Less favorable : WORSE
34. Unpleasant noise : DIN
36. DIY mover : U-HAUL
37. Sidestepped : GOT BY
39. Flung with force : HEAVED
40. Put on conspicuous display : FLAUNT
41. Seedless plants : FERNS
42. Green of “Robot Chicken” : SETH
43. Question doggedly : GRILL
46. Shoe with lots of holes : CROC
50. Tourney ranking : SEED
51. River of Pisa : ARNO
52. “You’re a big girl now”? : MATURITY UPDATE (from “maturity date”)
54. “Who cares?” : SO WHAT?
56. Roundup catcher : LASSO
59. Postgame staple : RECAP
60. Band aide : ROADIE
61. Should have said : MEANT
62. Area 51 creatures, it’s said : ETS
65. Doggone mad : IRATE
71. Battleship letters : USS
72. Hugh of “House” : LAURIE
73. “Just __” : ASKING
75. Fiend of fantasy : OGRE
76. Legendary soccer star : PELE
78. “Morning Joe” network : MSNBC
80. Ad infinitum : NO END
82. Hatcher of “Desperate Housewives” : TERI
83. Jazz count : BASIE
84. Pal of Aramis : ATHOS
86. Relative who shares your birthday, perhaps : TWIN
87. “Hair” styles : AFROS
90. Queen’s mate : DRONE BEE
93. Mother canonized by Pope Francis : TERESA
96. Hammer throw trajectory : ARC
97. Impudent sort : SNIP
99. Pasta water prep instruction : ADD SALT
102. Did, but doesn’t now : USED TO
103. Campus recruiting gp. : ROTC
105. Dining selection : ENTREE
106. Balladeer Michael : BOLTON
107. Give the okay : SAY YES
109. Bush or Clinton, once : YALIE
112. Rubbernecks, with “at” : GAPES
114. Seductive sort : VAMP
116. Struggling to decide : TORN
117. Triathlon component : SWIM
118. “Picnic” playwright : INGE
119. Bygone Fords : LTDS
120. 2015 Payne Stewart Award honoree Ernie : ELS
121. Touch gently : PAT
122. Return ID : SSN
124. Great Lakes’ __ Canals : SOO

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17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 Feb 19, Sunday”

    1. I have the same issue, perhaps someone should be job hunting tomorrow? How many editors take their jobs for granted. Glad they don’t work at NASA.

  1. LAT 56:02 and
    I am proud to say
    I had the same error as Bill, couldn’t be in better company . No problem with the clues matching in the Baltimore Sun.
    NYT #0217 from my paper today, 1 hr and 23 min. With no errors.
    Rex Parker slammed this one and I agree. Not much fun

  2. 38:12. Fun one, I thought. I got the theme quickly enough and leaned on it throughout the puzzle.

    I used to be a big fan of LEE Child’s Jack Reacher novels. I say “used to” because I used to read them all, but now that there are over 20 of them, I stopped trying to keep up. The literary version of Jack Reacher was such a big guy (about 6’5″ 250 lbs), yet they decided on Tom Cruise to play him in the movies. Cruise actually did a good job portraying the character, but he couldn’t make himself any bigger..

    Best –

  3. 29 mins, 29 sec and 0 errors, although I must admit to 8 errors corrected by the auto-correct (sometimes, I find that some letters I’ve entered correctly get *changed*… how’s *that* happen???

    1. Auto-correct?! You leave some kind of auto-correct turned on?!

      The NYT app sometimes “seems” to alter letters for me. I think this happens when I move the cursor to a given square, but I forget to change the direction of fill, so that what I enter goes in the wrong squares. If I catch it before I get to the end of a word, I can usually correct the resulting errors pretty easily; if I hit the end of a word, the cursor can jump somewhere else and deposit letters in squares that are a lot harder to find.

      And I have to repeat: Auto-correct?! Do you not view that as cheating?

  4. I felt this to be easy also. Had one big mistake with “ham” rather than “mac.” Yes LA Times was fine, don’t know how other papers get it screwed up like some of you experienced. What a bummer. On to the Oscars!

  5. LAT: 27:26, no errors. Newsday: 19:39, with a single (one-square) error: for “Sign of disuse”, I filled in “RUST” instead of “DUST” and neglected to check the crossing entry. Washington Post: 54:31 (not to be taken too seriously, as I did it with many interruptions), no errors; a little put off by the fact that the fifth of eight key theme elements is misspelled, but the misspelling captures the desired sound, so I guess I’ll have to accept it … 😜.

    No further progress on Friday’s WSJ meta. Admittedly, I haven’t had much time to look at it, but I think it’s going to defeat me … 😳.

  6. Salve y’all!!🐔

    One error, and like Jack it’s the same as Bill’s. IMO that’s a serious natick in an otherwise pleasant Sunday puzzle. MIKITA crossing INA…. of course, for 1D at first all I saw was “Hall of Famer Stan” so I just assumed baseball and inked in MUSIAL. 😖

    Catherine! See Bill’s explanation– something about a spit take ALWAYS makes me giggle, even tho it’s such a juvenile gag!! And you can work it easily into any scene! Timing: just as your victim takes a sip of his drink, you tell a joke. Or you say, ‘I’m pregnant.” SPIT! Your friend egests the beverage, in shock.

    I shoulda been a comedy writer!😁

    Be well~~✌🏻

    1. @Glenn … “WHATSOEVER” is just fine, but the raised “upscale” notes are “DO”, “RE”, “MI”, “FA”, “SO”, “LA”, “TI”, “DO”, and one usually sees the fifth one spelled “SOL”, rather than “SO”.

      However, I have since done some Googling and found that “SO” is also used sometimes. This pleases me, actually, since some orderly part of my brain has always resented that apparently superfluous “L” … 😜.

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