LA Times Crossword 11 Aug 19, Sunday

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Constructed by: John Lampkin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Poetry Slam

Themed answers sound like common phrases, but make reference to POETRY:

  • 23A Shakespeare’s ghostwriters? : SONNET COMMITTEE (senate committee)
  • 45A “Another day, another $%&! Grecian urn”? : SAME ODE, SAME ODE (same old, same old)
  • 68A “Religious Poetry Writing for Dummies” reminder? : PSALM ASSEMBLY REQUIRED (some assembly required)
  • 94A Love song written while playing hooky? : ABSENTEE BALLAD (absentee ballot)
  • 121A Chaucer’s workflow? : FROM BARD TO VERSE (from bad to worse)
  • 16D Poet known for her footwork? : IAMB WOMAN (“I Am Woman”)
  • 81D Tennyson lecture? : IDYLL TALK (idle talk)

Bill’s time: 24m 57s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • ANT (art!!!!!)
  • NOME (Rome)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Subterranean queen : ANT

The queen ant of some species can live to a ripe old age of 30 years, which is one of the longest lifespans in the insect world.

19 Eight-time Best Actor Oscar nominee : O’TOOLE

Irish actor Peter O’Toole got his big break in the movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia”. My favorite of O’Toole’s movies is much lighter fare, namely “How to Steal a Million” in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn. O’Toole never won an Oscar, but holds the record for the greatest number of Best Actor nominations without a win (8).

23 Shakespeare’s ghostwriters? : SONNET COMMITTEE (senate committee)

A sonnet is a short poem with varying rhyming schemes but always with 14 lines. The sonnet form has been around at least since the 13th century. The Shakespearean sonnet, for example, is composed of three quatrains (4 lines) and a final couplet (2 lines).

28 Heavenly harp : LYRA

Lyra (Latin for “lyre, harp, lute”) is a constellation that includes the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. The constellation Lyra is surrounded by the neighboring constellations of Draco, Hercules, Vulpecula and Cygnus.

37 What a ritardando gradually gets : SLOWER

Rit. (or sometimes ritard.) is the abbreviation for “ritardando”, a musical direction to slow down the tempo.

45 “Another day, another $%&! Grecian urn”? : SAME ODE, SAME ODE (same old, same old)

English Romantic poet John Keats wrote the famous “Ode on a Grecian Urn” in 1819, and published it anonymously in 1820. The most famous lines of the poem are the last two:

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know

51 Pete’s wife on “Mad Men” : TRUDY

Alison Brie is an actress best known for playing Trudy Campbell, the wife of Pete Campbell on the TV drama “Mad Men”.

56 Pacino and Roker : ALS

Al Pacino seems to be best known for playing characters on both sides of the law. Pacino’s big break in the movies came when he played Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”, a role that grew for him as the series of films progressed. But his Oscar-winning role was that of a blind ex-military officer in “Scent of a Woman”.

Al Roker is best known as the weatherman on the “Today” show on NBC. He has successfully branched out from that platform though, and even co-wrote a novel called “The Morning Show Murders”, about a celebrity chef and TV host who get entangled in mystery. Topical stuff …

57 Florida horse country city : OCALA

The city of Ocala, Florida was founded near a historic village with the same name. In the local Timucua language “Ocala” means “Big Hammock”. Back in the 1890s, Ocala was famous for its oranges, with over one third of that fruit shipped from Florida coming from the city. Also, thoroughbred horse farming in Florida started in Ocala, back in 1943. Some folks today call Ocala the “Horse Capital of the World”, but I bet that’s disputed by others …

59 Streaker’s covering : SKIN

People have been running around naked for an awfully long time, but the application of the word “streaking” to the phenomenon only dates back to 1973. A journalist was reporting on a mass nude run of 533 people at the University of Maryland in 1973, and used the words “they are streaking (i.e. moving quickly) past me right now. It’s an incredible sight!”. The Associated Press picked up the story the next day, and interpreting “streaking” as the term to describe “running naked”, and we’ve been using it that way ever since.

63 Assist in the gym : SPOT

People at the gym who are doing weight training will often “spot” for each other. This means that the person who is spotting assists in the lift, allowing the lifter to work with more weight than usual.

68 “Religious Poetry Writing for Dummies” reminder? : PSALM ASSEMBLY REQUIRED (some assembly required)

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

75 All of Sartre’s “No Exit”? : ACT I

“Huis Clos” means “behind closed doors” in French. It is the title of Jean-Paul Sartre’s one-act play that we in the English-speaking world would better recognize as “No Exit”. The play features four characters who are trapped in a room that they discover is actually located in Hell. One of the characters is Estelle Rigault, a society woman who married her husband for her money, and then has an affair that results in a child whom she murders. Heavy stuff! “No Exit” is the source for one of Sartre’s most famous quotations, “Hell is other people”, meaning that Hell isn’t found in torture or physical punishment, but in the torment inflicted by others.

77 “… bug in __” : A RUG

Snug as a bug in a rug.

78 Giant Manning : ELI

Eli Manning plays as quarterback for the New York Giants. Eli’s brother Peyton Manning retired from football as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos in 2015. Eli and Peyton’s father is Archie Manning, who was also a successful NFL quarterback. Eli, Peyton and Archie co-authored a book for children titles “Family Huddle” in 2009. It describes the Mannings playing football together as young boys.

82 Env. fattener : ENCL

An envelope (env.) might contain an enclosure (encl.).

84 Smarts measured by the ounce? : SENSE

As in “an ounce of sense”.

86 Muscle that sounds like a kiss : PEC

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

94 Love song written while playing hooky? : ABSENTEE BALLAD (absentee ballot)

Apparently the term “hooky” comes from “hoekje”, the Dutch name for the game hide-and-seek. To play hooky is to shirk one’s responsibility, as in a schoolkid taking a day off without permission.

98 Cooked sushi fish : EEL

Anyone going to a sushi restaurant can order all types of raw fish (known collectively as “sashimi”). However, eel is always served cooked, and that’s because the blood of eels contains a protein that cramps muscles if eaten. If the heart muscle “cramps”, the result can be death. The protein is easily rendered harmless by applying heat, i.e. by cooking.

102 Baroque : ORNATE

Something described as baroque is extremely ornate and convoluted. The term comes from the Baroque Period of the early 17th to mid-18th century. Many of the arts focused on great detail and elaborate design during that time.

103 Like some rovers : LUNAR

Three countries have sent lunar rovers to the Moon. Famously, the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle (aka “moon buggy”) carried American astronauts across the Moon’s surface on the last three missions of the Apollo program in the early seventies. Before the landing of the Apollo vehicles, the Soviet Union sent two unmanned, remote-controlled rovers to the Moon called Lunokhod 1 & 2. Years later, in 2013, the Chinese landed a lunar rover called Yutu (or “Jade Rabbit”).

111 Panthers’ school : PITT

The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) chose the nickname for its sporting teams in 1909, and claims that it was the first team in the country to adopt the name “Panthers”.

121 Chaucer’s workflow? : FROM BARD TO VERSE (from bad to worse)

Geoffrey Chaucer was an English author. He is often referred to as the father of English literature because he established vernacular English as a legitimate language for artistic works, as up to that point authors used French or Latin. Chaucer’s most famous work is actually unfinished, a collection of stories called “The Canterbury Tales” that were all written at the end of the 14th century.

124 Many a quartet’s bottom line : CELLO

A standard string quartet is made up of two violins, a viola and a cello. A string quintet consists of a standard string quartet with the addition of a fifth instrument, usually a second viola or cello.

127 Young ones : TYKES

“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

129 Bond, for one : SPY

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

130 Burns subjects : LASSES

Robert Burns is a cultural icon in Scotland and for Scots around the world. As a poet, Burns was a pioneer in the Romantic movement in the second half of the 18th century. One of his most famous works is the poem “Auld Lang Syne”, which has been set to the tune of a traditional Scottish folk song and is used to celebrate the New Year in the English-speaking world.

Down

1 Legendary mountain climber : MOSES

According to the Bible, Mount Sinai is the mountain on which Moses was given the Ten Commandments. The Biblical Mount Sinai is probably not the mountain in Egypt that today has the same name, although this is the subject of much debate. The Egyptian Mount Sinai has two developed routes that one can take to reach the summit. The longer gentler climb takes about 2 1/2 hours, but there is also the steeper climb up the 3,750 “steps of penitence”.

3 Toroid treat : DONUT

A torus (plural “tori”) is a shape resembling a doughnut.

7 One way to run : AMOK

The phrase “to run amok” (sometimes “to run amuck”) has been around since the 1670s and is derived from the Malay word for “attacking furiously”, “amuk”. The word “amok” was also used as a noun to describe Malay natives who were “frenzied”. Given Malaya’s troubled history, the natives probably had a good reason for that frenzy …

8 Destination of the 1925 diphtheria serum run : NOME

The 1925 serum run to Nome took place in order to save the inhabitants of Nome and environs from a developing diphtheria epidemic. The run comprised a dog sled relay across Alaska, and required 20 mushers and 150 sled dogs to travel the 674 miles in just 5½ days. The lead sled dog on the final leg into Nome was named Balto. The dog became quite the celebrity as a result of the run, and there is a statue of Balto in Central Park in New York City.

10 Baseball’s “Little Giant” : OTT

“Mel Ott: The Little Giant of Baseball” is a biography of the baseball legend that was penned by Fred Stein.

12 7-Across, to an aardvark : PREY
(7A Subterranean queen : ANT)

The aardvark is the oddest looking of creatures, and a nocturnal burrowing animal that is native to Africa. Even though it is sometimes called the African ant bear, the name “aardvark” is Afrikaans for “earth pig”. Aardvarks are noted, among other things, for their unique teeth. Their teeth have no enamel and wear away quite readily, but continuously regrow. The aardvark feeds mainly on ants and termites.

14 Sorority vowel : ETA

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

15 YouTube upload : VIDEO

YouTube is a video-sharing website that was launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

16 Poet known for her footwork? : IAMB WOMAN (“I Am Woman”)

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The lines in Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” use four sequential iambs, e.g. “Whose woods / these are / I think / I know”. With that sequence of four iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic tetrameter.

The successful singer Helen Reddy was born in Melbourne, Australia. In 1966, Reddy won a talent contest and earned herself a trip to New York City for an audition. The 25-year-old single mother decided to stay in the US, and a few years later was able to launch a successful singing career. Her hit song “I Am Woman”, released in 1972, was the first recording by an Australian artist to reach #1 in the US charts.

34 Bucolic outbursts : MOOS

The word “bucolic”, meaning “rustic, rural”, comes to us from the Greek word “boukolos” meaning “cowherd”.

38 Lamb literature : ESSAYS

Charles Lamb was an essayist and poet from England. Lamb’s best-known works are “Essays of Elia” (1823) and “Tales from Shakespeare”, an 1807 children’s book that he co-authored with his sister Mary Lamb.

39 Castro of Cuba : RAUL

Raul Castro is the younger brother of Fidel Castro. Raul has been President of Cuba since 2008, when Fidel stepped aside.

41 Smooch and stuff : NECK

The term “necking” applies to kissing and caressing. I like what Groucho Marx had to say on the subject:

Whoever named it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.

44 Canadian gas : 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.

46 Van Gogh milieu : ARLES

Quite a few years ago now, I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and was where he painted many of his most famous works, including “Cafe Terrace at Night” and “Bedroom in Arles”.

47 “How many roads __ man walk down … “: Dylan : MUST A

Bob Dylan wrote the famous song “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, apparently taking all of ten minutes to finish the whole composition. “Blowin’ in the Wind” has been covered many, many times, with a Peter, Paul and Mary version in 1963 the most commercially successful.

48 Swamp gas : MIASMA

The word “miasma” was first used for the poisonous atmosphere thought to arise from swamps and rotting matter, and which could cause disease. Nowadays, a miasma is just a thick cloud of gas or smoke.

50 Intestinal bacterium : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

58 Vegas attraction : CASINO

The stretch of South Las Vegas Boulevard on which most of the big casinos are concentrated is referred to as the “Las Vegas Strip”. The Strip was named for LA’s Sunset Strip by former Los Angeles law enforcement officer Guy McAfee. McAfee was a notoriously corrupt head of the LAPD vice squad in 1920s and 1930s who ran several brothels and gambling saloons. McAfee moved to Las Vegas in 1939 where he opened several casinos, including the Golden Nugget.

62 Yukon or Denali : GMC

The GMC Yukon is basically the same vehicle as the Chevrolet Tahoe.

GMC introduced the nameplate “Denali” in 1999 for their top-of-the-line SUVs and trucks.

64 “NewsHour” airer : PBS

“NewsHour” is the evening news program broadcast daily by PBS. The show started out as “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report” in 1975, and transitioned into the hour-long program “The NewsHour” in 1983. That transition made “NewsHour” the nation’s first hour-long nightly news broadcast.

65 “Little House” family name : OLESON

On the iconic television show “Little House on the Prairie”, the proprietor of Oleson’s Mercantile is Nels Oleson, who was played by actor Richard Bull.

67 Schlep : LUG

Our word “schlep” (sometimes “schlepp”) means “carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

70 Plumber’s piece : ELL

Plumbum is the Latin for “lead”, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of those pipes was leaking.

73 Colleague of Ruth and Sonia : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves on the US Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg was the second woman to join the Court, and was nominated by President Bill Clinton. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During that time she did not miss one day on the bench. In 2009 Justice Ginsburg had surgery for pancreatic cancer, and was back to work 12 days later. She had left-lung lobectomy to remove cancerous nodules in 2018, which forced Justice Ginsburg to miss oral argument in January 2019, for the first time since joining the court 25 years earlier. Much of Ginsburg’s life is recounted in the excellent 2018 movie “On the Basis of Sex”.

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic justice on the US Supreme Court, and the third female justice. Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace the retiring Justice David Souter.

79 Asian libation : SAKE

We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

81 Tennyson lecture? : IDYLL TALK (idle talk)

An “idyll” (also “idyl”) is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word comes from the Greek “eidyllion”, which literally translates to “little picture” but was a word describing a short poem with a rustic theme.

“Idylls of the King” is a cycle of twelve poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson that retells the tale of King Arthur. One of the “idylls” is the story of Geraint and Enid. This story is told in two parts: “The Marriage of Geraint” and “Geraint and Enid”. Tennyson’s Enid gave her name to the city of Enid, Oklahoma.

88 One-eyed Norse deity : ODIN

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. He is usually depicted as having one eye, reflecting the story of how he gave one of his eyes in exchange for wisdom.

90 The Beatles’ “words of wisdom” : LET IT BE

“Let It Be” was the last album that the Beatles released as an active group playing together. The title song was written by Paul McCartney, and it is clearly one of his own favorites. McCartney says that he was inspired to write the song after having had a dream about his mother (who had died some years earlier from cancer). In fact, he refers to her (Mary McCartney) in the line “Mother Mary comes to me”. Paul’s first wife, Linda, is singing backing vocals on the song, the only time she is known to have done so in a Beatles recording. 18 years after that 1970 recording was made, Paul, George and Ringo sang “Let It Be” at a memorial service for Linda, who was also lost to cancer. Sad stuff, but a lovely song …

91 Asian appetizer : SATE

The dish known as “satay” originated in Java, Indonesia and is marinated pieces of meat served on a skewer in a sauce, often a spicy peanut sauce. “Satay” is the Indonesian spelling, and “sate” is the Malay spelling.

95 Oboe kin : BASSOON

Our modern bassoon first appeared in the 1800s and has had a place in the concert orchestra ever since.

97 Unintentional rat poison victim : BARN OWL

Barn owls are very effective at keeping down the population of rats, and have been used for this reason for centuries. However, the use of rat poison takes a toll not only on rats, but on small mammals like voles and mice, and indeed on barn owls who feed on such creatures.

106 “__ Hope”: ’70s-’80s soap : RYAN’S

“Ryan’s Hope” is a soap opera that ran on ABC from 1975 to 1989. The show’s storyline centers on an Irish-American family in New York City. Never saw it …

108 Nerds : DORKS

I consider “dork” and “adorkable” to be pretty offensive slang. “Dork” originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

112 2017 Poker Hall of Fame inductee Phil __ : IVEY

Phil Ivey is a World Poker Tour title winner considered by many to be the best all-around poker play in the world. Ivey has a couple of nicknames, one of which is “the Tiger Woods of Poker”.

114 Suffix with buck : -EROO

The American-English word “buckaroo” (sometimes “buckeroo”) comes from “vaquero”, the Spanish for cowboy.

120 Alhambra article : LOS

Alhambra is a magnificent fortress and palace in Granada, Andalusia in the south of Spain. The large complex was completed in the 14th century in the days when the Moors ruled Andalusia.

122 Ed.’s stack : MSS

Editors (eds.) might read or edit a manuscript (MS)

123 U.S. govt. broadcaster : VOA

The US began shortwave propaganda broadcasts in early 1942, just after America entered WWII. The first broadcast to Germany was introduced by the “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and opened with the words:

Today, and every day from now on, we will be with you from America to talk about the war. The news may be good or bad for us — We will always tell you the truth.

That first broadcast was called “Stimmen aus Amerika” (“Voices from America”), and gave the fledgling broadcasting operation its name. VOA is still going strong today, and was a station that I used to listen to as a teenager back in Ireland in the early seventies …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Wacky : MADCAP
7 Subterranean queen : ANT
10 Reaction to a trip : OOPS!
14 Throw out : EVICT
19 Eight-time Best Actor Oscar nominee : O’TOOLE
20 Cloud content : MOISTURE
22 Queen topper : TIARA
23 Shakespeare’s ghostwriters? : SONNET COMMITTEE (senate committee)
25 Let in : ADMIT
26 Neither surfeit nor dearth, informally : ENUF
27 Lie about one’s age? : FAKE ID
28 Heavenly harp : LYRA
30 Decreases : EBBS
31 Go after : SET UPON
33 Aspiring singer’s aid : DEMO
35 Flexible joint : ELBOW
37 What a ritardando gradually gets : SLOWER
40 Very likely will, after “is” : … BOUND TO
42 Be beholden (to) : OWE
45 “Another day, another $%&! Grecian urn”? : SAME ODE, SAME ODE (same old, same old)
49 Short notes : MEMOS
51 Pete’s wife on “Mad Men” : TRUDY
52 Fits : SUITS
53 Places for drinks on tracks : CLUB CARS
56 Pacino and Roker : ALS
57 Florida horse country city : OCALA
59 Streaker’s covering : SKIN
60 __ account : ON NO
61 Faced : MET
62 Cloudy : GRAY
63 Assist in the gym : SPOT
66 Landscaper’s truckload : FILL
68 “Religious Poetry Writing for Dummies” reminder? : PSALM ASSEMBLY REQUIRED (some assembly required)
75 All of Sartre’s “No Exit”? : ACT I
76 Cut with light : LASE
77 “… bug in __” : A RUG
78 Giant Manning : ELI
79 Omit : SKIP
82 Env. fattener : ENCL
84 Smarts measured by the ounce? : SENSE
86 Muscle that sounds like a kiss : PEC
87 “Me too” : AND SO DO I
89 One way to run : ALONG
91 Play division : SCENE
93 Excited, with “up” : KEYED
94 Love song written while playing hooky? : ABSENTEE BALLAD (absentee ballot)
98 Cooked sushi fish : EEL
99 “My goose is cooked!” : I’M TOAST!
102 Baroque : ORNATE
103 Like some rovers : LUNAR
105 Buzz : STIR
107 Really feared : DREADED
111 Panthers’ school : PITT
113 Dessert options : PIES
115 Enter, as data : TYPE IN
118 How many Oscars 19-Across won : NONE
119 Be of help : AVAIL
121 Chaucer’s workflow? : FROM BARD TO VERSE (from bad to worse)
124 Many a quartet’s bottom line : CELLO
125 Relaxed : LOOSENED
126 Produce visibly, as a sweat : WORK UP
127 Young ones : TYKES
128 Great times : EONS
129 Bond, for one : SPY
130 Burns subjects : LASSES

Down

1 Legendary mountain climber : MOSES
2 Even things : ATONE
3 Toroid treat : DONUT
4 Addlepated : CONFUSED
5 Pub patron’s pint : ALE
6 Bowser’s bagful : PET FOOD
7 One way to run : AMOK
8 Destination of the 1925 diphtheria serum run : NOME
9 Bashful : TIMID
10 Baseball’s “Little Giant” : OTT
11 Audibly : OUT LOUD
12 7-Across, to an aardvark : PREY
13 Get sore : SEE RED
14 Sorority vowel : ETA
15 YouTube upload : VIDEO
16 Poet known for her footwork? : IAMB WOMAN (“I Am Woman”)
17 Wah-wah source? : CRIB
18 Pix from needles : TATS
21 Subsidiary wager : SIDE BET
24 Enthusiastic kids’ plea : CAN WE?!
29 Music genre prefix : ALT-
32 Bit of subterfuge : PLOY
34 Bucolic outbursts : MOOS
36 Tank : BOMB
38 Lamb literature : ESSAYS
39 Castro of Cuba : RAUL
41 Smooch and stuff : NECK
43 Frayed : WORN
44 Canadian gas : ESSO
45 Item sold in sheets : STAMP
46 Van Gogh milieu : ARLES
47 “How many roads __ man walk down … “: Dylan : MUST A
48 Swamp gas : MIASMA
50 Intestinal bacterium : E COLI
54 Career military members : LIFERS
55 Matchless : UNIQUE
57 Elocuted : ORATED
58 Vegas attraction : CASINO
59 Oinker’s digs : STY
62 Yukon or Denali : GMC
64 “NewsHour” airer : PBS
65 “Little House” family name : OLESON
67 Schlep : LUG
69 Interruption : LAPSE
70 Plumber’s piece : ELL
71 Forest __ : RANGER
72 Drive away : REPEL
73 Colleague of Ruth and Sonia : ELENA
74 Chopped into cubes : DICED
79 Asian libation : SAKE
80 __ pants : KNEE
81 Tennyson lecture? : IDYLL TALK (idle talk)
83 “Bye!” : CIAO!
85 Prefix with dermal : ENTO-
88 One-eyed Norse deity : ODIN
89 No. 2 : ASST
90 The Beatles’ “words of wisdom” : LET IT BE
91 Asian appetizer : SATE
92 Soaps and vacuums : CLEANERS
95 Oboe kin : BASSOON
96 Stop seeing someone : END IT
97 Unintentional rat poison victim : BARN OWL
100 Trailhead handout : MAP
101 Minor matter : TRIFLE
104 Handy : UTILE
106 “__ Hope”: ’70s-’80s soap : RYAN’S
108 Nerds : DORKS
109 Follow : ENSUE
110 Oceanic abysses : DEEPS
111 Concord : PACT
112 2017 Poker Hall of Fame inductee Phil __ : IVEY
114 Suffix with buck : -EROO
116 Job in a kitchen : PREP
117 Whitewater challenge : EDDY
120 Alhambra article : LOS
122 Ed.’s stack : MSS
123 U.S. govt. broadcaster : VOA

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Aug 19, Sunday”

  1. LAT…one hour and 33 min with no errors…a toughie IMO…several “never heard ofs” in this one.
    NYT 0728 listed in the paper as 0824 1 hour and 49 min with 2 errors in what IMO again is also a toughie.
    Back to the LAT…I have seen poker tournaments on TV for about one minute or less at a time and changed the channel or turned off the TV.
    I can’t imagine anyone sitting through the most boring thing I have ever seen but someone must like it because it stays on the air

  2. LAT: 25:17, no errors. Newsday: 17:03, no errors. WP: 31:29, no errors; lots of stuff from outside my bailiwick that I had to get from crosses and/or intelligent guesses.

    @Glenn … From what you said yesterday, I would extract the following nugget of wisdom: “… you’re going to get complaints …”. Boy, howdy, you can say that again! … 😜

    @Jeff … I plead guilty to occasionally being very stupid and stupidly making a stupid error, but I agree with you that it’s seldom the fault of the puzzle or its creators. I’ve met quite a few puzzles that made me feel stupid, but essentially none that I would describe as stupid. … 😜

    As I’ve probably said before: Unlike “Rex Parker” and others, I have not the ego required to condemn the puzzles for my own shortcomings.

    1. @Dave
      >“… you’re going to get complaints …”. Boy, howdy, you can say that again! …

      More than likely the editors of these puzzles won’t though. They’ll just stop doing the crossword. The major question of all these puzzle outlets is how many newspapers are subscribing from year to year, as all the complaints usually get directed there more than at the editor. And if enough complaints happen, the particular puzzle gets dropped. Sadly though, as much as I would savor to get a look at this market share data for all the crosswords (e.g. “The LA Times appears in X newspapers, solved by Y people.”), I’m not really sure it’s available – or that the main newspaper syndicators would want to release it.

      Steinberg’s major evaluation at Universal is going to be whether he gains papers that will take the puzzle (i.e. he brings in money). He’ll likely be out if he doesn’t (and with what I’ve heard, it’s not particularly encouraging for him).

      1. Well, in the case of *some* famous (and entrenched) editors, I can’t see the back of them too quickly. Same with a few of their pet contributors.

    2. Today’s 21×21 Universal: 16:42, no errors. Today’s 15×15 Universal: 9:11, no errors. Both of these puzzles had themes that I admired greatly, executed with grace and elegance. In particular, the larger puzzle had the names of capital cities embedded in the theme entries; each was described as “the center of a nation’s political power” and, in a particularly elegant touch, was in the exact center of its entry. The theme of the smaller puzzle was “United Nations” and each of its theme entries “united” the names of two countries (“POLANDORRA”, “CYPRUSSIA”, “BHUTANZANIA”, “NIGERMANY”, and “SWEDENMARK”). Marvelous! (But perhaps I’m easily pleased. 😜)

      My only complaint was that, for several hours, the “.puz” file for the 21×21 was corrupted in such a way that it not only could not be used, but it screwed up the version of “Across Lite” on my iPad to the extent that I had to reinstall it, which took me about half an hour.

      I share @Glenn’s concern for David Steinberg’s future. I’ve done all of his daily Universal puzzles since the beginning of the year and he has definitely made them more interesting (and perhaps less commercial). And I have to ask: How should we compute the value of a work of art?

      1. >How should we compute the value of a work of art?
        Most artists work from day to day and starve for their craft, never to be noticed if they’re lucky. However, most of the rest of the world, including newspapers need people to make money for them if they’re going to continue. Steinberg will be far from immune from that.

  3. No errors but took a long time with quite a few “startovers”.
    Nevertheless it was an enjoyable puzzle. I may grumble a bit if
    a puzzle is hard, but feel sort of cheated if they are too easy. No
    grumbles on this one.

  4. Foe me, the most challenging Sunday puzzle in quite a while. The approximate rhymes helped make it so. Talk about groaners! But it was fun.
    Re 67D: I used to off-load sweet rolls from a bakery production line. That’s right- I was a schneck schlepper.
    Gotta go- have to bathe my aardvark; he got antsy.

      1. @Allen – What happened to the criminal poet? Rhyme and Punishment! Send all groans to me prepaid. No COD complaints will be accepted. ;-D>

        No final errors. I like it that the LAT’s upped their game with the level of difficulty when it comes to the Sunday grid. It used to be pretty pro forma, so making it more on par with the NYT’s Sunday grid is a good thing, (although the LAT’s isn’t quite there yet).

  5. 31 mins 36, and 4 spelling errors caught with the aid of online puzzle (and corrected). Negotiating these groaner pun fills naturally adds to solve time.

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