LA Times Crossword 26 May 19, Sunday

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Constructed by: Kevin Salat
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Abracadabra!

Themed answers come in pairs that lie side-by-side in the grid. The paired answer on the left is a common phrase with IT inserted, and the paired answer on the right is another common phrase with IT removed:

  • 68A Magic words … and a hint to four side-by-side pairs of puzzle answers : NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T
  • 23A For-display-only Greek deli items? : FAUX PITAS (“faux pas” plus “it”)
  • 25A Twenty minutes of juggling and acrobatics? : SHORT CIRCUS (“short circuit” minus “it”)
  • 46A Alien with high heat tolerance? : SUN VISITOR (“sun visor” plus “it”)
  • 48A Einstein’s asset? : GREAT BRAIN (“Great Britain” minus “it”)
  • 87A Play part for a giant god? : TITAN LINES (“tan lines” plus “it”)
  • 89A Bachelor pad? : SINGLE DIGS (“single digits” minus “it”)
  • 111A Musician evoking compassion? : PITIED PIPER (“Pied Piper” plus “it”)
  • 113A Resist extra calories at Thanksgiving? : DEFY GRAVY (“defy gravity” minus “it”)

Bill’s time: 15m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Mosque leader : IMAM

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.

5 Language from which “cummerbund” is derived : URDU

A cummerbund is a sash worn around the waist by some men, usually with a dinner jacket or tuxedo. Cummerbands came to us from Afghanistan in the early 1600s.

9 Banjo sound : TWANG

The instrument that we know today as the banjo is a derivative of instruments that were used in Africa.

14 Social division : CASTE

Although caste systems exist in several societies around the world, we tend to associate the concept with the social stratification that is still found in many parts of India. The term “caste” comes from the Portuguese word “casta” meaning “race, breed”. The Portuguese used the term to describe the hereditary social groups that they found in India when they arrived in the subcontinent in 1498.

19 Nixed, at NASA : NO-GO

The use of “nix” as a verb, meaning “to shoot down”, dates back to the early 1900s. Before that “nix” was just a noun meaning “nothing”. “Nix” comes from the German “nichts”, which also means “nothing”.

21 Oklahoma Air Force base : VANCE

Vance Air Force Base is located just a few miles south of Enid, Oklahoma. The main mission of the base is to train pilots for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Vance AFB is named after a Medal of Honor recipient from WWII, Leon Robert Vance, Jr.

23 For-display-only Greek deli items? : FAUX PITAS (“faux pas” plus “it”)

The term “faux pas” is French in origin, and translates literally as “false step” (or “false steps”, as the plural has the same spelling in French).

30 Capital south of Oklahoma City : AUSTIN

Austin is the capital of the state of Texas. When the area was chosen to be the capital of the Republic of Texas, it was known as Waterloo. The name was changed in honor of Stephen F. Austin, a native of Virginia who was raised in Missouri and led the first successful colonization of Texas.

35 Cubs’ org. : MLB

The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series four games to three over the Cleveland Indians. That marked the first World Series win for the Cubs since 1908. The Indians would have liked a win too, as their last World Series title was in 1948.

36 Actor Alda who wrote the best-seller “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?” : ALAN

Alan Alda has had a great television career, especially of course as a lead actor in “M*A*S*H”. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing surgeon Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He also won an Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Senator Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

38 Game winner : O-O-O

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

43 Salsa singer Cruz : CELIA

Celia Cruz was born and bred in Cuba, but spent most of her working life in the United States, playing out her salsa singing career in New Jersey. Around the world, Cruz was known as the “Queen of Salsa”.

45 “If u ask me … ” : IMO …

In my opinion (IMO)

48 Einstein’s asset? : GREAT BRAIN (“Great Britain” minus “it”)

The terms “United Kingdom”, “Great Britain” and “England” can sometimes be confused. The official use of “United Kingdom” originated in 1707 with the Acts of Union that declared the countries of England and Scotland as “United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain”. The name changed again with the Acts of Union 1800 that created the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland” (much to the chagrin of most of the Irish population). This was partially reversed in 1927 when the current name was introduced, the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”, in recognition of an independent Irish Free State in the south of the island of Ireland.

51 Starts after a crash : REBOOTS

The verb “to boot”, as used in the world of computers, comes from the phrase “pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps”. The idea is that the software that has to be loaded before a computer can do anything useful is called a “bootstrap load”.

55 “SpongeBob SquarePants” setting : SEA

SpongeBob SquarePants is a cartoon character in a Nickelodeon television series. Spongebob first appeared in 1999, and he “lives in a pineapple under the sea”. The character was created by marine biologist, cartoonist and animator Stephen Hillenburg.

58 Maryland coll. team : TERPS

The sports teams of the University of Maryland are called the Maryland Terrapins, or “the Terps” for short. The name dates back to 1932 when it was coined by the the university’s president at the time, Curley Byrd. He took the name from the diamondback terrapins that are native to the Chesapeake Bay.

60 Milne hopper : ROO

Like most of the characters in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh”, the kangaroo named “Roo” was inspired by a stuffed toy belonging to Milne’s son Christopher Robin.

61 Herculean acts : FEATS

“The Twelve Labors of Hercules” is actually a Greek myth, although Hercules is the Roman name for the hero that the Greeks called Heracles.

64 Hogwarts’ first High Inquisitor __ Umbridge : DOLORES

Imelda Staunton is a favorite actress of mine. Nowadays, Staunton is known for playing Prof. Dolores Jane Umbridge in the “Harry Potter” series of films. I’ve seen/heard her many times on radio shows, TV shows and movies that haven’t had much exposure in North America. One of Staunton’s more powerful performances was the title role in the 2004 film “Vera Drake”.

72 Hosp. triage expert : ER NURSE

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on a battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “a sorting”.

74 Rush’s Neil known for his 360-degree drum set : PEART

Rush is a Canadian rock band that has been around since 1968. The band has three members: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart.

76 Shares an email with : CCS

I wonder do the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle? A kind blog reader pointed out to me a while back that the abbreviation has evolved and taken on the meaning “courtesy copy” in our modern world.

77 It’s fed on streets : METER

An early patent for a parking meter, dated 1928, was for a device that required the driver of the parked car to connect the battery of his or her car to the meter in order for it to operate!

79 Driller’s deg. : DDS

Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)

81 Old calculators : ABACI

The abacus (plural “abaci”) was used as a counting frame long before man had invented a numbering system. It is a remarkable invention, particularly when one notes that abaci are still widely used today across Africa and Asia.

86 New Zealand native : MAORI

The Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. They are eastern Polynesian in origin and began arriving in New Zealand relatively recently, starting some time in the late 13th century. The word “māori” simply means “normal”, distinguishing the mortal human being from spiritual entities. The Māori refer to New Zealand as “Aotearoa”.

87 Play part for a giant god? : TITAN LINES (“tan lines” plus “it”)

The Titans were a group of twelve older deities in Greek mythology, the twelve children of the primordial Gaia and Uranus, Mother Earth and Father Sky. In the celebrated Battle of the Titans, they were overthrown by the Olympians, who were twelve younger gods. We use the term “titan” figuratively to describe a powerful person, someone with great influence.

93 NBA’s Magic : ORL

The Orlando Magic were formed in 1989 as an NBA expansion team. A local paper was asked to run a competition to suggest names for the new team and the community came up with its four top picks of “Heat”, “Tropics”, “Juice” and “Magic”. A committee then opted for “Orlando Magic”. A good choice I think …

94 Cats in Cádiz : GATOS

Cádiz is a port city in southwestern Spain, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Cádiz is a remarkable city geographically in that it sits on a thin spit of land that juts out into the sea.

95 Simon & Garfunkel genre : POP-FOLK

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel performed together as “Simon & Garfunkel”, as I am sure we all know. The friends started singing together way back in the fifties when they were still in school together. The name of their act at that time was “Tom & Jerry”.

99 “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” channel : CNN

Anthony Bourdain was a chef, author and television personality from New York City. Bourdain’s celebrity came with the publication of his book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” in 2000. He moved on to host the television shows “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”. Bourdain was working on an episode of “Parts Unknown” when he committed suicide in 2018, in his Paris hotel room. Sad …

100 Toon collectible : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

101 Après-ski drink : COCOA

The beverages hot cocoa and hot chocolate differ from each other in that the latter contains cocoa butter, whereas the former does not.

“Après-ski” is a French term meaning “after skiing”. It refers to the good times to be had after coming off the slopes.

103 Bills featuring Ben : C-NOTES

Benjamin Franklin’s portrait is featured on one side of the hundred-dollar bill (also called a “C-spot, C-note, benjamin”), and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on the other side. There is a famous error in the image of Independence Hall. If you look closely at the clock face at the top of the building you can see that the “four” is written in Roman numerals as “IV”. However, on the actual clock on Independence Hall, the “four” is denoted by “IIII”, which has been the convention for clock faces for centuries.

105 Five o’clock phenomenon? : SHADOW

A male might shave to remove his five o’clock shadow.

111 Musician evoking compassion? : PITIED PIPER (“Pied Piper” plus “it”)

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

118 Standard Oil brand : ESSO

The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

119 On the calm side : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

120 Daily Planet name : OLSEN

In the “Superman” stories, Jimmy Olsen is a cub photographer who works on the “Daily Planet” newspaper with Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

Down

3 Lo que un desierto no tiene : AGUA

In Spanish, “agua” (water) is “lo que un desierto no tiene” (what a desert does not have).

4 Spunk : MOXIE

Back as far as 1876, Moxie was a brand name of a “medicine” peddled with the claim that it “built up your nerve”. In 1924, Moxie was registered as a trademark for a bitter, non-alcoholic beverage (no more claims of nerve-building). And we’ve used the term “moxie” to mean “nerve” ever since …

We’ve been using the word “spunk” to mean “pluck, courage” since the late 1700s. Prior to that it was a Scottish word meaning “spark”, a word that we absorbed into English.

5 Aussie college : UNI

In Australia (Down Under), and in Britain and Ireland, the term “Uni” is routinely used for “university”.

7 MyHeritage service : DNA TEST

MyHeritage is an Israeli-based genealogy company that offers products and services that are similar to Ancestry.com, e.g. access to historical records, online creation of family trees, and DNA testing.

8 KGB country : USSR

The “Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti” (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d’état designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

9 Expensive Super Bowl purchase : TV SPOT

The Super Bowl is used for high-profile advertising because of the high viewership numbers. For example, Super Bowl XLIX (2015) had an average audience of 114 million viewers, making it the most-watched American TV program in history.

12 ATM maker : NCR

NCR is an American company that has been in business since 1884 and was originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo. NCR is a leading supplier of automated teller machines (ATMs) and barcode scanners.

14 Phi followers : CHIS

Phi follows chi in the Greek alphabet.

15 Ventricular outlet : AORTA

The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers (the atria) accept deoxygenated blood from the body and oxygenated blood from the lungs. The atria squeeze those blood supplies into the two lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), “priming” the pump, as it were. One ventricle pumps deoxygenated blood to the lungs, and the other pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of the body.

16 Archimedes, by birth : SICILIAN

Archimedes of Syracuse was a mathematician and scientist in ancient Greece. He contributed in many areas of physics, astronomy and mathematics, but is perhaps best known by us mere mortals for developing Archimedes’ principle. His discovery was that the upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid, whether fully or partially submerged, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces. The story is that Archimedes came up with principle while stepping in or out of a bath, and famously uttered “Eureka!”, meaning “I have found it!”.

17 Dangerous waves : TSUNAMIS

“Tsunami” is a Japanese word meaning “harbor wave”.

18 Sci-fi staples : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

26 Ark unit : CUBIT

According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, Noah was instructed to build his ark 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. That’s about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

The ancient unit of length called a cubit was chosen as the length of the forearm. In some cultures a cubit was divided into 7 palms, the width of the hand excluding the thumb.

29 Turkish hospice : IMARET

Imarets were inns or hostels used by pilgrims throughout the Ottoman Empire. The network of imarets was set up to provide food to anyone in need, so they also served as soup kitchens, as it were.

33 Grammar best-seller “Woe __” : IS I

Patricia O’Conner has written five books about the English language, including “Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English”. What a great subject for a book! I need to buy it for my kids. And to be honest, for me too …

37 Zilch : NONE

We use the term “zilch” to mean “nothing”. Our current usage evolved in the sixties, before which the term was used to describe “meaningless speech”. There was a comic character called Mr. Zilch in the 1930s in “Ballyhoo” magazine. Mr. Zilch’s name probably came from the American college slang “Joe Zilch” that was used in the early 1900s for “an insignificant person”.

38 “One of Us” singer Joan : OSBORNE

Joan Osborne is a blues singer who is best known for her 1995 hit “One of Us”, a song dealing with one’s relationship with God.

44 Ruby Red vodka brand : ABSOLUT

I must admit, if I ever do order a vodka drink by name, I will order the Absolut brand. I must also admit that I do so from the perspective of an enthusiastic amateur photographer. I’ve been swayed by the Absolut marketing campaign that features such outstanding photographic images.

47 Biological duct : VAS

“Vas” is an anatomical term for a tube. The vasa deferentia are the ducts that carry sperm into the urethra during ejaculation. In a vasectomy, the vasa deferentia are cut and the ends tied to prevent sperm from reaching the urethra.

48 Eames’ “Law & Order: CI” partner Bobby : GOREN

Actor Vincent D’Onofrio is best known today, perhaps, for playing Detective Robert Goren on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”. Not having seen the show, I better know him for playing Private Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence in 1987’s “Full Metal Jacket”, and Edgar the Bug in 1997’s “Men in Black”.

55 Gertrude McFuzz creator : SEUSS

“Dr. Seuss” was the pen name of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Geisel first used the pen name while studying at Dartmouth College and at the University of Oxford. Back then, he pronounced “Seuss” as it would be in German, i.e. rhyming with “voice”. After his books found success in the US, he went with the pronunciation being used widely by the public, quite happy to have a name that rhymes with “Mother Goose”.

65 Perfume ingredient : ROSE OIL

Attar of rose is also known as rose oil, and is an essential oil extracted from the petals of various types of rose.

69 Joshua tree genus : YUCCA

Joshua Tree is the common name for the plant species more correctly called Yucca brevifolia. One of the best places to see Joshua Trees is in the beautiful Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. The plant was named by Mormon settlers crossing the Mojave Desert in the mid-1800s. The name was chosen as the shape of the tree reminded the settlers of Joshua reaching his hands to the sky in prayer.

70 Minuscule bits : IOTAS

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

77 Runners occupying bases : MEN ON

That would be baseball.

83 Athens attacker, in Plato : ATLANTIS

The legendary city of Atlantis was first referred to in writing by the Greek philosopher Plato. The story is that a navy from Atlantis attempted to invade Athens but failed, and as a result the city of Atlantis sank into the ocean.

84 Dizzying Playskool toy, at times : SIT‘N SPIN

The Sit‘n Spin was made by Kenner toys. It consisted of two circular discs, one on top of the other. One disc is the base of the toy that sits on the ground, and a child sits on the second disc … and spins …

86 Vietnam’s __ Delta : MEKONG

At over 2,700 miles in length, the Mekong is the twelfth longest river in the world. It rises in the Tibetan Plateau and empties into the South China Sea at the famed Mekong delta system in Vietnam.

90 Rams’ football gp. : NFC WEST

The Los Angeles Rams are the only franchise to have won NFL championships in three different cities, i.e. Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951) and St. Louis (1999). The Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945, in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1994, in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, and returned to Los Angeles in 2016.

92 Partners’ abbr. : LLC

A limited liability company (LLC) is a company structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. It is a hybrid structure in the sense that it can be taxed as would an individual or partnership, while also maintaining the liability protection afforded to a corporation.

95 Diver’s quest : PEARLS

Pearls form in oysters because of a reaction that is similar to an immune system response in higher animals. The pearl is formed as the oysters lays down successive layers of calcium carbonate around some microscopic foreign body that has penetrated the shell.

110 Indigo and henna : DYES

The name of the color “indigo” ultimately comes from the Greek “indikon” meaning “blue dye from India”.

Henna has been used for centuries as a dye, for leather and wool as wells as hair and skin. In modern days, henna is often used for temporary tattoos.

112 Suffix with chlor- : -IDE

In chemistry, when a metal combines with a nonmetal, the nonmetal is often given the suffix “-ide”. One example would be iron sulfide, made from iron (a metal) and sulfur (a nonmetal).

114 Seminoles’ sch. : FSU

Chief Osceola was a leader of the Seminole Native Americans in Florida who actively resisted the removal of his people from their lands during the Second Seminole War. Osceola was captured when he was tricked into entering a US fort for peace talks. He died in prison a few months later. The Florida State University Seminoles football team uses a student dressed as Chief Osceola on his horse Renegade as a mascot at their games. This practice, approved by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, involves Chief Osceola riding onto the field and planting a flaming spear at the 50-yard line.

115 “… the dew of __ high eastward hill”: “Hamlet” : YON

But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
Walks o’er the dew of yon high eastward hill.

The above are lines from William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Mosque leader : IMAM
5 Language from which “cummerbund” is derived : URDU
9 Banjo sound : TWANG
14 Social division : CASTE
19 Nixed, at NASA : NO-GO
20 Sisters : NUNS
21 Oklahoma Air Force base : VANCE
22 Lift up : HOIST
23 For-display-only Greek deli items? : FAUX PITAS (“faux pas” plus “it”)
25 Twenty minutes of juggling and acrobatics? : SHORT CIRCUS (“short circuit” minus “it”)
27 Live : ON AIR
28 Stumble over : TRIP ON
30 Capital south of Oklahoma City : AUSTIN
31 Like things that go bump in the night : EERIE
34 Pasture sound : MOO!
35 Cubs’ org. : MLB
36 Actor Alda who wrote the best-seller “If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?” : ALAN
38 Game winner : O-O-O
41 Dietary claim : LESS FAT
43 Salsa singer Cruz : CELIA
45 “If u ask me … ” : IMO …
46 Alien with high heat tolerance? : SUN VISITOR (“sun visor” plus “it”)
48 Einstein’s asset? : GREAT BRAIN (“Great Britain” minus “it”)
50 Backup group : B-TEAM
51 Starts after a crash : REBOOTS
53 Get a feeling : SENSE
54 Racetrack ratios : ODDS
55 “SpongeBob SquarePants” setting : SEA
58 Maryland coll. team : TERPS
59 Season trio: Abbr. : MOS
60 Milne hopper : ROO
61 Herculean acts : FEATS
63 It may be matched : SET
64 Hogwarts’ first High Inquisitor __ Umbridge : DOLORES
68 Magic words … and a hint to four side-by-side pairs of puzzle answers : NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T
72 Hosp. triage expert : ER NURSE
73 Ear piece? : COB
74 Rush’s Neil known for his 360-degree drum set : PEART
75 Foxlike : SLY
76 Shares an email with : CCS
77 It’s fed on streets : METER
79 Driller’s deg. : DDS
80 Recover : HEAL
81 Old calculators : ABACI
84 Tranquilized : SEDATED
86 New Zealand native : MAORI
87 Play part for a giant god? : TITAN LINES (“tan lines” plus “it”)
89 Bachelor pad? : SINGLE DIGS (“single digits” minus “it”)
93 NBA’s Magic : ORL
94 Cats in Cádiz : GATOS
95 Simon & Garfunkel genre : POP-FOLK
96 Rent : LET
97 Palindromic bread : NAAN
99 “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” channel : CNN
100 Toon collectible : CEL
101 Après-ski drink : COCOA
103 Bills featuring Ben : C-NOTES
105 Five o’clock phenomenon? : SHADOW
107 Microwaved : NUKED
111 Musician evoking compassion? : PITIED PIPER (“Pied Piper” plus “it”)
113 Resist extra calories at Thanksgiving? : DEFY GRAVY (“defy gravity” minus “it”)
116 Poker strategy : RAISE
117 Ten out of ten : IDEAL
118 Standard Oil brand : ESSO
119 On the calm side : ALEE
120 Daily Planet name : OLSEN
121 Pond critters : NEWTS
122 Flabbergast : STUN
123 Camera component : LENS

Down

1 Facts and figures : INFO
2 Lamentation : MOAN
3 Lo que un desierto no tiene : AGUA
4 Spunk : MOXIE
5 Aussie college : UNI
6 Boring routine : RUT
7 MyHeritage service : DNA TEST
8 KGB country : USSR
9 Expensive Super Bowl purchase : TV SPOT
10 “Yippee!” : WAHOO!
11 Auth. unknown : ANON
12 ATM maker : NCR
13 Earn a perfect report card : GET ALL AS
14 Phi followers : CHIS
15 Ventricular outlet : AORTA
16 Archimedes, by birth : SICILIAN
17 Dangerous waves : TSUNAMIS
18 Sci-fi staples : ETS
24 Qualifying match, briefly : PRELIM
26 Ark unit : CUBIT
29 Turkish hospice : IMARET
32 High-__ monitor : RES
33 Grammar best-seller “Woe __” : IS I
35 Crosses paths : MEETS
37 Zilch : NONE
38 “One of Us” singer Joan : OSBORNE
39 Like some pet cats : OUTDOOR
40 Info in this puzzle? : ONE-DOWN
42 Backing : FOR
43 Midriff-exposing shirt : CROP TOP
44 Ruby Red vodka brand : ABSOLUT
47 Biological duct : VAS
48 Eames’ “Law & Order: CI” partner Bobby : GOREN
49 Fix a lawn : RESOD
52 Wisest choice : BEST BET
55 Gertrude McFuzz creator : SEUSS
56 Effortlessness : EASE
57 “No thanks, I already __” : ATE
59 Keeps from drifting : MOORS
61 Compelling : FORCING
62 Formally withdraws : SECEDES
64 Group of two : DYAD
65 Perfume ingredient : ROSE OIL
66 Make bigger : ENLARGE
67 Job that requires cutting class? : STYLIST
69 Joshua tree genus : YUCCA
70 Minuscule bits : IOTAS
71 Marry : WED
77 Runners occupying bases : MEN ON
78 Like many used cars : RESOLD
80 “You __ to be there” : HAD
81 Heaps : A TON
82 Like some children of mixed marriages : BIRACIAL
83 Athens attacker, in Plato : ATLANTIS
84 Dizzying Playskool toy, at times : SIT‘N SPIN
85 Word with party or skinny : … DIP
86 Vietnam’s __ Delta : MEKONG
88 Tied, as skates : LACED
90 Rams’ football gp. : NFC WEST
91 Sticky stuff : GOO
92 Partners’ abbr. : LLC
95 Diver’s quest : PEARLS
98 Racket : NOISE
100 Copier, maybe : CHEAT
102 Hearing-related : AURAL
104 Many a gamer : TEEN
105 Eject : SPEW
106 Poems of praise : ODES
108 Healthy salad green : KALE
109 “Why __ bother?” : EVEN
110 Indigo and henna : DYES
111 Backing : PRO
112 Suffix with chlor- : -IDE
114 Seminoles’ sch. : FSU
115 “… the dew of __ high eastward hill”: “Hamlet” : YON

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 May 19, Sunday”

  1. LAT: 20:04, no errors. Newsday: 20:07, no errors, not including the time it took to use the trick mentioned yesterday to get a print. WP: 18:16, no errors.

    @Dave
    I’ll look for a response when you get the chance. In other news, I ended up ordering a number of the Fireball books. Don’t know when I’ll get to them, but they’ll be interesting given the subscription ones I’ve already seen.

  2. LAT: 23:35, no errors. Newsday: 14:27, no errors. WP: 22:15, no errors. Universal: 22:26, no errors. All pretty straightforward, with some interesting themes.

  3. 50:38 no errors…..The NYT puzzle in my paper today is supposed to be #0519 but that comes up as something different and I can’t seem to locate it…..it’s titled MUCICAL REMIXES by Joel Fagliano. ANY HELP?

  4. After I finally got the “now you see it, now you don’t” theme, the other
    answers started to make a little more sense. A clever Sunday puzzle and
    fun to do. Again, I have to confess to googling a couple of names. I’m not
    up on names in today’s entertainment field. Have a good Memorial Day
    weekend everybody!

  5. Very enjoyable Sunday puzzle. Yes, it contains what, viewed separately, could be called groaners, but in the context of a puzzle like this, I find them clever and amusing. And you have to admire the skill and focus it must take to put something like this together. Kudos to its creator.

  6. 35:11. Agree with the above posts – an A-plus theme.

    I’ve read Bill’s blurb on England vs. Great Britain vs. The UK, and I probably still mess that up sometimes. It reminded me of the saying that England and America are two countries separated by the same language. I looked it up, and I guess George Bernard Shaw is attributed that quote. He was referring to our common language making it easier to understand slights and insults and therefore making it easier for us to quarrel as well.

    I thought Bill would appreciate the follow-up quote (also by Shaw) to that:

    “The Irish dislike the English so much because Irishmen have learned to speak the English language; whereas America and France have no common language in which to quarrel”

    Carrie – Glad to see you’re back. You have been AWOL. None of us received an excuse note for your absence….

    Best

    1. LOL! Y’all can’t get rid of me! 😎✌🏻⚾️ … altho today was yet another day in which I didn’t have time for the puzzle– glad it’s early-week again!

  7. Also glad to see LuLu back. No weekend effort, hoping for success tomorrow.

    Happy Memorial Day to all and be blessed.

  8. I, too, agree with the above comments. It was a fun one. It’s been awhile since we’ve had that. I made a couple of typos but still got through the whole puzzle. Never figured out the “it” theme but it didn’t seem to matter. Glad Bill always explains that part for me.

  9. 74 (Across) “Rush’s Neil known for his 360-degree drum set:”
    As you mention, Rush was formed in the Toronto, Ontario area in 1968. Neil Peart was not the original drummer, though.

    The original drummer was a fellow by the name of John Rutsey. Rutsey appears on the first, self titled Rush LP, the one with the 7 1/2 minute, ‘bathroom break’ song “Working Man” that initially got the attention of a rock radio programme director in Cleveland, OH.

    Just after the release of their debut record in 1974 Rutsey decided to leave the band for health reasons. Neil Peart literally answered a “help wanted” advert posted in a Toronto music shop with just a fortnight to learn the songs before Rush was set to go on tour supporting Uriah Heep. Neil was working as a farm equipment parts clerk with his father at the time.

    Rush officially retired in 2018 after the completion of their “Clockwork Angels” tour.

  10. 24 mins 10 sec, no errors. A highly enjoyable puzzle that didn’t stretch it too far with the cuteness and the puns. Big bonus points for the grid-spanning theme fill at dead center.

    (I see from the comments above, which I read only after drafting this mini-review, are in complete agreement. Take a bow, Kevin Salat!!)

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