LA Times Crossword 17 Nov 19, Sunday

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Constructed by: Pam Amick Klawitter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Dined In

Themed answers sound like well-known phrases, but with “ATE” inserted:

  • 22A Note to self before appearing on “America’s Got Talent”? : CAPTIVATE AUDIENCE (from “captive audience”)
  • 59A Ancient Greek warrior’s pet monkey? : AMAZON PRIMATE (from “Amazon Prime”)
  • 79A Try to cure the effects of a skunk invasion on a semi? : AERATE FREIGHT (from “air freight”)
  • 118A Best Reader Award winner? : PICK OF THE LITERATE (from “pick of the litter”)
  • 15D “That’s not a baby bump?”? : SURELY YOU GESTATE? (from “surely you jest!”)
  • 37D Liven up the science fair? : ACTIVATE VOLCANOS (from “active volcanos”)

Bill’s time: 17m 52s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Arctic “snowshoe” critters : HARES

The snowshoe is a species of hare found in North America. The snowshoe hare takes its name from its hind feet, which are so large that they do not sink easily into snow as it hops and walks. The snowshoe hare’s fur is brown during the summer and white in the winter.

6 Musical Mama : CASS

Cass Elliot (born “Ellen Cohen”) was one of the four singers in the Mamas and the Papas, a sensational group from the sixties. “Mama Cass” was performing sold-out concerts in London in 1974 when she was found dead one morning, having had a heart attack. She was only 32 years old. Eerily, Elliot died in the same flat (on loan from Harry Nilsson) in which the Who’s drummer Keith Moon would die just four years later.

10 Meter users : BARDS

The meter of a poem is its rhythmic structure.

19 Myanmar, at one time : BURMA

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar is the official name of the Asian country that some nations still recognize as the Union of Burma.

21 Colorful card game : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the shedding family of card games, meaning that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

22 Note to self before appearing on “America’s Got Talent”? : CAPTIVATE AUDIENCE (from “captive audience”)

NBC’s show “America’s Got Talent” is part of a global franchise based in the UK. The original show is called “Britain’s Got Talent”, and the whole franchise is owned by Simon Cowell. The first host of “America’s Got Talent” was Regis Philbin (2006), followed by Jerry Springer, Nick Cannon and Tyra Banks.

25 MGM rival : RKO

The RKO Pictures studio was formed when RCA (RADIO Corporation of America) bought the KEITH-Albee-ORPHEUM theaters (and Joe Kennedy’s Film Booking Offices of America). The RKO initialism then comes from the words “Radio”, “Keith” and “Orpheum”.

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio was founded in 1924 by Marcus Loew. Loew was already a successful movie theater owner when he purchased Metro Pictures Corporation in 1919, and then Goldwyn Pictures in 1924. Later in 1924, Loew also purchased Louis B. Mayer Pictures, mainly so that Louis B. Mayer could merge all three studios and run them himself as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

28 Well-mannered : GENTEEL

Our words “jaunty” and “genteel” are related in that they both derive from the French “gentil” meaning “nice, pleasing”. In modern usage, someone described as jaunty has a buoyant air. Someone described as genteel is refined in manner.

30 Bits of energy : ERGS

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

34 Dresses down : SCOLDS

To give someone a dressing-down is to give a reprimand, a scolding. One suggestion is that the term “dressing-down” has nautical roots. Sails that had become old and dry were “dressed down” to make them more useful. They were taken down and dressed with oil and wax so that they performed better in the wind. Similarly, a sailor might be given a figurative dressing-down in order to improve his effectiveness.

39 Where to find Reubens and Cubans : DELI

There are conflicting stories about the origin of the Reuben sandwich. One such story is that it was invented around 1914 by Arnold Reuben, an immigrant from Germany who owned Reuben’s Deli in New York.

A Cuban sandwich almost always includes Cuban bread filled with roast pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese and sliced dill pickles. The Cuban was designated the city of Tampa’s signature sandwich in 2102.

41 They’re in the air : GASES

Air is mainly composed of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%) and argon (1%). We hear a lot about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It makes up (or should make up!) about 0.04%, but that’s an important 0.04%.

43 Today, to Tomás : HOY

In Spanish, the day after “hoy” (today) is “mañana” (tomorrow).

50 Soapmaking compounds : LYES

Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

54 Gospel travelers : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

58 Uzi’s brother in “The Royal Tenenbaums” : ARI

“The Royal Tenenbaums” is a 2001 comedy-drama film with a very impressive cast, including Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. The latter co-wrote the screenplay with the movie’s director Wes Anderson. Lots of people love this film, but not me …

59 Ancient Greek warrior’s pet monkey? : AMAZON PRIMATE (from “Amazon Prime”)

The Amazons of Greek mythology were a tribe of female warriors who were the daughters of Ares and Harmonia.

Primates are mammals, many of whom are omnivorous and make good use of their hands. They also have larger brains relative to their body size, compared to other animals. The order Primates includes apes, lemurs, baboons and humans.

Amazon Prime is a membership service that Amazon introduced in 2005.

64 Place to see X’s and O’s : LOVE NOTE

In the sequence letter sequence “XOX”, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. “OOO” is a string of hugs, and “XXX” a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …

70 Cinematic Sergio : LEONE

Sergio Leone was an Italian film director, and someone very much associated with the spaghetti western movie genre . Perhaps most famous of Leone’s westerns were the so-called “Man with No Name” trilogy starring Clint Eastwood. The three films are:

  • “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964)
  • “For a Few Dollars More” (1965)
  • “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966)

71 Actor’s nickname that sounds like a golf term : BOGIE

Humphrey “Bogie” Bogart’s breakthrough movie was “The Petrified Forest” from 1936, but for me nothing beats “Casablanca”. That said, check out the original “Sabrina” from 1954. It’s a real delight. Bogie was nominated three times for a Best Actor Oscar, but only won once: for “The African Queen”.

The golfing term “bogey” originated at the Great Yarmouth Golf Club in England in 1890, and was used to indicate a total round that was one-over-par (and not one-over-par on a particular hole, as it is today). The name “bogey” came from a music hall song of the time “Here Comes the Bogeyman”. In the following years it became popular for players trying to stay at par to be “playing against Colonel Bogey”. Then, during WWI, the marching tune “Colonel Bogey” was written and named after the golfing term. If you don’t recognize the name of the tune, it’s the one that’s whistled by the soldiers marching in the great movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”.

72 Posy pieces : PETALS

“Poesy” was the name given to a line of verse engraved on the inner surface of a ring. The related word “posy”, for a bouquet of flowers, arose with the notion that giving a posy might be a message of love, just as a poesy inside a ring could have the same meaning.

74 ’90s candidate who opposed NAFTA : PEROT

Ross Perot graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1953, as president of his class. Perot served his 4-year commitment but then resigned his commission, apparently having become somewhat disillusioned with the navy. He was ranked number 101 on the Forbes 400 List of Richest Americans in 2012, and at that time was worth about $3.5 billion. Back in 1992, Perot ran as an independent candidate for US president. He founded the Reform Party in 1995, and ran as the Reform Party candidate for president in 1996.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a treaty between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994, it set up the largest free trade zone in the world.

75 Walter Reed hospital city : BETHESDA

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is located in Bethesda, Maryland on a site that was selected by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. The facility is named for US Army physician Walter Reed who discovered in 1901 that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes rather than by direct contact. Originally called Walter Reed General Hospital, it was renamed in 1951 to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC). The WRMAC was absorbed into the tri-service Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 2011.

82 Carol opener : ‘TIS …

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

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

83 Jeans name : LEVI

Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

86 “LOTR” menaces : ORCS

Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction as well as in fantasy video games.

“Lord of the Rings” (LOTR)

89 Jumbo tail? : -TRON

A JumboTron is a big-screen television system developed by Sony, one often seen in sports stadiums. The brand name “JumboTron” is used pretty generically now for any big-screen system in such venues, even though Sony exited the business in 2001.

90 Vicious with a bass : SID

Sid Vicious was a famous English musician and the best-known member of the seventies punk rock group called the Sex Pistols. In 1978, Vicious woke up out of a drugged stupor in his hotel room in New York, to find his girlfriend stabbed to death in the bathroom. Vicious was charged with the murder, and ten days later sliced his wrist in a suicide attempt. Vicious made bail a few months later and at a celebratory party his own mother supplied him with heroin on which Vicious overdosed and died, at the age of 21.

91 Pea opener in toons? : SWEE’-

Originally Popeye used the nickname “Swee’Pea” to address his girlfriend Olive Oyl. Then along comes a baby, found on Popeye’s doorstep.

92 Fly over Africa : TSETSE

The tsetse fly is responsible for the transmission of sleeping sickness, a disease that is more correctly called African trypanosomiasis. The disease is only observed in humans who have been bitten by a tsetse fly that is infected with the trypanosome parasitic protozoan.

93 Express opp. : LOC

A local (loc.) train isn’t an express train.

100 Many August births : LEOS

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

104 Rope maker’s supply : SISAL

The sisal plant is an agave, the flesh of which is not generally used in making tequila. Sisal is grown instead for the fibers that run the length of its leaves. The fiber is used extensively for twine, rope, carpeting, wall coverings etc. My favorite application though, is in the construction of dartboards. Sisal takes its name from the port of Sisal in Yucatan, Mexico that was a major shipping point for sisal plants.

108 Part of it is now a desert : ARAL SEA

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

110 Whale tracker : SONAR

The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defence demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using “supersonics”, but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the “IC” from “superson-ic-s” to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology “ASDivite”. By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so, the name ASDIC was deep-sixed …

117 Cru output : VIN

“Cru” is a term used in the French wine industry that means “growth place”. So, “cru” is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms “premier cru” and “grand cru” are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below.

121 Classic auto : REO

The REO Motor Company was founded by Ransom Eli Olds (hence the name REO). The company made cars, trucks and buses, and was in business from 1905 to 1975 in Lansing, Michigan. Among the company’s most famous models were the REO Royale and the REO Flying Cloud.

124 Noted 2001 bankruptcy : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

125 Solid start? : ESS

The word “solid” starts with a letter S (ess).

126 Word in a Morton Salt motto : RAINS

Morton Salt started doing business in 1848 in Chicago, and now is the largest producer of salt in North America. The product’s logo is the Morton Salt Girl, a young girl walking with an open umbrella in the rain, while scattering salt behind her from a cylinder. The product’s motto is “When it rains, it pours”, which originated in 1914 after Morton started to use magnesium carbonate as an additive to ensure that the salt poured freely.

127 Thin change : DIME

The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

128 1951 Reagan co-star : BONZO

“Bedtime for Bonzo” is a 1951 comedy film about a man training a chimpanzee. The man in question is played by future US president Ronald Reagan. After Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel, California, Reagan called up Eastwood and asked him, “What’s an actor who once appeared with a monkey in movie doing in politics?”. Eastwood had appeared with a monkey in the 1978 film “Every Which Way but Loose”.

Down

1 Modern-day break-in : HACK

A computer hacker is a computer expert, and in particular one who uses that expertise to solve problems with hardware and software. So, the original use of the term “hacking” was very positive. Since the 1980s, the term “hacker” is more commonly used for an expert in subverting computer security.

2 Snape portrayer Rickman : ALAN

Alan Rickman was a marvelous English actor, one famous for playing bad guy Hans Gruber in the original “Die Hard” film, Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” series and (my personal favorite) Eamon de Valera in “Michael Collins”. Sadly, Rickman passed away in January 2016, after which fans created a memorial under the “Platform 9¾” sign in London’s Kings Cross Railway Station, from where the Hogwarts Express is said to depart in the “Harry Potter” universe.

4 90° from norte : ESTE

The cardinal directions in Spanish are “norte” (north), “este” (east), “sur” (south) and “oeste” (west).

5 Way through a fence : STILE

A stile is a structure allowing people to pass over or through a fence, while at the same time preventing livestock from escaping. The derivative term “turnstile” describes a revolving structure in a wall or fence that allows the controlled passage of people.

7 51, for one : AREA

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.

8 Insincere flattery : SMARM

The word “smarm” describes insincere flattery. The term comes from a colloquial word “smalm” that was used in the mid-19th century to mean “smear the hair with some sort of styling product”.

9 Pepperoni alternative : SAUSAGE

Pepperoni originated in the US and is reminiscent of a spicy salami sausage from southern Italy. The name “pepperoni” is a corruption of the Italian “peperone”, the name for the red or green pepper plant.

10 … Fitzgerald, __, Milhous … : BAINES

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was the son of Joe Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald, hence the president’s double-barreled name.

Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in Stonewall, Texas to Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines.

President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

15 “That’s not a baby bump?”? : SURELY YOU GESTATE? (from “surely you jest!”)

The normal gestation period for humans is 280 days, a little over 9 months. The gestation period can be a little shorter, or longer. Back in 1945, a pregnancy was confirmed at 375 days, which is just over 12 months.

23 Mesa __ National Park : VERDE

Mesa Verde National Park is in Colorado. Mesa Verde is home to ancient cliff dwellings built by the Puebloan people, also known as the Anasazi. The most spectacular of these dwellings is Cliff Palace, which is the largest cliff dwelling in North America.

24 Toon adventurer : DORA

“Dora the Explorer” is a cartoon series shown on Nickelodeon. Part of Dora’s remit is to introduce the show’s young viewers to some Spanish words and phrases.

36 Mes con 31 días : ENERO

In Spanish, “enero” (January) is a “mes con 31 días” (month with 31 days).

37 Liven up the science fair? : ACTIVATE VOLCANOS (from “active volcanos”)

Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

38 Dundee denial : NAE

The city of Dundee lies on the north bank of the Firth of Tay in Scotland. The origins of the name “Dundee” are a little obscure, although the omnipresent “dùn” in place names all over Scotland and Ireland is the Celtic word for “fort”.

40 “I hate the Moor” speaker : IAGO

Iago is the schemer in Shakespeare’s “Othello”. He is a soldier who fought alongside Othello and feels hard done by, missing out on promotion. Iago hatches a plot designed to discredit his rival Cassio by insinuating that Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona, Othello’s wife.

The most famous Moor in literature has to be Othello, the title character in William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello, the Moor of Venice”. The word “Moor” describes various peoples of North Africa, usually of the Muslim faith. At the height of their geographic influence the Moors occupied much of the Iberian peninsula, calling it Al Andalus (from which modern Andalusia gets its name).

42 Victoria’s Secret competitor : SOMA

Soma is a brand that was launched by Chico’s in 2004. The Soma line consists mainly of lingerie, sleepwear and beauty products.

45 Hiker’s handful : GRANOLA

The names “Granola” and “Granula” were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

56 No surprise to a Disney World arrival : LINE

The Magic Kingdom in Disney World, Florida receives more visitors annually than any other theme park in the whole world. The Magic Kingdom alone received about 17½ million visitors in 2012, and that’s not including the visitors to nearby Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

65 Educator LeShan : EDA

Eda LeShan wrote several nonfiction books including “When Your Child Drives You Crazy” and “The Conspiracy Against Childhood”. LeShan was also host of the PBS television show “How Do Your Children Grow?”

70 “Why, then, __ soldier drink!”: 40-Down : LET A

(40D “I hate the Moor” speaker : IAGO)
In Shakespeare’s “Othello”, the scheming Iago treats us to a rendition of a drinking song:

And let me the canakin clink, clink;
And let me the canakin clink
A soldier’s a man;
A life’s but a span;
Why, then, let a soldier drink.
Some wine, boys!

72 Hide in the forest? : PELT

A pelt is the skin of a furry animal.

74 Critters with black eye patches : PANDAS

Taxonomic classification of the giant panda has been a subject of great debate for years, the main question being whether it belongs to the bear or raccoon family. The accepted opinion these days, based on molecular studies, seems to be that the panda is in fact a true bear.

75 Guns that don’t shoot : BICEPS

“Guns” is a slang term for very strong arms or biceps.

80 Machu Picchu or Chichén Itzá : RUIN

Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

Chichén Itzá is a Mayan ruin located in the Mexican state of Yucatán. It is the second-most visited archaeological site in the country (after the ancient city of Teotihuacan). Chichén Itzá has seen a surge in the number of visitors since the development of nearby Cancún as a tourist destination.

81 Spanish 101 word : ERES

“Eres tú” is Spanish for “you are”.

94 One of the 54-Across : CASPAR
(54A Gospel travelers : MAGI)

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

99 102-Down month : APRIL
(102D Fire sign : ARIES)

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

101 Pro Football Hall of Fame QB Brett : FAVRE

Brett Favre is best known as the former starting-quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. Favre retired in 2010 after playing with the Minnesota Vikings for a short time. Among the many NFL records held by Favre, he made the most consecutive starts.

102 Fire sign : ARIES

Each of the twelve astrological signs is associated with one of the classical elements:

  • Fire signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
  • Earth signs: Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo
  • Air signs: Libra, Aquarius, Gemini
  • Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

103 “The Pearl Fishers” priestess : LEILA

“The Pearl Fishers” (“Les Pêcheurs de Perles”) is the second-most famous Georges Bizet opera, after “Carmen”. “The Pearl Fishers” is about two Ceylon fishermen, Nadir and Zurga, who are lifelong friends. Their friendship is threatened when the two fall in love with the same woman, a priestess named Leila.

105 “The Good Fight” actress : LAHTI

Christine Lahti is an actress probably best known for playing Dr. Kate Austen on the TV medical drama “Chicago Hope”. If you read “The Huffington Post” you might run across her as well, as Lahti is a contributing blogger.

“The Good Fight” is an excellent CBS web TV show that is a spinoff and sequel to the equally excellent legal drama “The Good Wife”. The main character in the sequel is Diane Lockhart, played by Christine Baranski. Recommended viewing …

107 Social misfit : DWEEB

“Dweeb” is relatively recent American slang that came out of college life in the late sixties. Dweeb, squarepants, nerd; they’re all not-nice terms that mean the same thing, i.e. someone excessively studious and socially inept.

111 Copy paper purchase : REAM

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

113 Early Bond foe : DR NO

“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. If you’ve read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you’ll recognize the similarities between the characters Dr. Julius No and Fu Manchu. By the way, the author Ian Fleming tells us that Julius No attended medical school in Milwaukee.

115 Familiar gamut : A TO Z

In medieval times, the musical scale was denoted by the notes “ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la”. The term “gamma ut”, shortened to “gamut”, was used to describe the whole scale. By the 1620s, “gamut” was being used to mean the entire range of anything, the whole gamut.

116 Car-collecting comic : LENO

Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

119 “Country Music” chronicler Burns : KEN

Ken Burns directs and produces epic documentary films that usually make inventive use of archive footage. Recent works are the sensational “The War” (about the US in WWII) and the magnificent “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”, as well as 2014’s “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History”. Burns’ 2017’s offering was “The Vietnam War” that he co-directed with Lynn Novick.

“Country Music” is a 2019 documentary series from Ken Burns that examines the country music genre and its influence in American culture.

120 Bit of perjury : LIE

An act of perjury is the willful giving of false testimony under oath. The term “perjury” ultimately comes from the Latin “per” meaning “away” and “iurare” meaning “to swear”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Arctic “snowshoe” critters : HARES
6 Musical Mama : CASS
10 Meter users : BARDS
15 Bit of beer, say : SIP
18 Cluster of stars? : A-LIST
19 Myanmar, at one time : BURMA
20 Look forward to : AWAIT
21 Colorful card game : UNO
22 Note to self before appearing on “America’s Got Talent”? : CAPTIVATE AUDIENCE (from “captive audience”)
25 MGM rival : RKO
26 Tile setter, often : KNEELER
27 Firing offense? : ARSON
28 Well-mannered : GENTEEL
30 Bits of energy : ERGS
32 Stable dwellers : MARES
34 Dresses down : SCOLDS
35 “What do you __?” : MEAN
39 Where to find Reubens and Cubans : DELI
41 They’re in the air : GASES
43 Today, to Tomás : HOY
44 Coop up in a coop : ENCAGE
46 Take a load off : EASE
48 Cry out loud : SOB
50 Soapmaking compounds : LYES
53 Put a damper on : DETER
54 Gospel travelers : MAGI
55 Fire sign : FLAME
57 Not just primary, as an heir : SOLE
58 Uzi’s brother in “The Royal Tenenbaums” : ARI
59 Ancient Greek warrior’s pet monkey? : AMAZON PRIMATE (from “Amazon Prime”)
63 Take advantage of : USE
64 Place to see X’s and O’s : LOVE NOTE
66 Witch : CRONE
67 Like the soles of walking boots : RIDGED
69 Put on a pedestal : ADORE
70 Cinematic Sergio : LEONE
71 Actor’s nickname that sounds like a golf term : BOGIE
72 Posy pieces : PETALS
74 ’90s candidate who opposed NAFTA : PEROT
75 Walter Reed hospital city : BETHESDA
78 Night before the big day : EVE
79 Try to cure the effects of a skunk invasion on a semi? : AERATE FREIGHT (from “air freight”)
82 Carol opener : ‘TIS …
83 Jeans name : LEVI
85 Like some probes : LUNAR
86 “LOTR” menaces : ORCS
87 Leaders : HEADS
89 Jumbo tail? : -TRON
90 Vicious with a bass : SID
91 Pea opener in toons? : SWEE’-
92 Fly over Africa : TSETSE
93 Express opp. : LOC
95 __ academy : NAVAL
98 Go a round or two : SPAR
100 Many August births : LEOS
101 Spa offering : FACIAL
104 Rope maker’s supply : SISAL
106 Tried to make up for lost time : SPED
108 Part of it is now a desert : ARAL SEA
110 Whale tracker : SONAR
112 Short end of the stick : RAW DEAL
117 Cru output : VIN
118 Best Reader Award winner? : PICK OF THE LITERATE (from “pick of the litter”)
121 Classic auto : REO
122 Adjust : ALTER
123 Cybersales : E-TAIL
124 Noted 2001 bankruptcy : ENRON
125 Solid start? : ESS
126 Word in a Morton Salt motto : RAINS
127 Thin change : DIME
128 1951 Reagan co-star : BONZO

Down

1 Modern-day break-in : HACK
2 Snape portrayer Rickman : ALAN
3 Ready in the field : RIPE
4 90° from norte : ESTE
5 Way through a fence : STILE
6 “Scene’s over!” : CUT!
7 51, for one : AREA
8 Insincere flattery : SMARM
9 Pepperoni alternative : SAUSAGE
10 … Fitzgerald, __, Milhous … : BAINES
11 Stunned state : AWE
12 Summoned to the door : RANG
13 Does some meal prep : DICES
14 Foul quality : STENCH
15 “That’s not a baby bump?”? : SURELY YOU GESTATE? (from “surely you jest!”)
16 Signed : INKED
17 Backyard amenities : POOLS
19 Canal craft : BARGE
23 Mesa __ National Park : VERDE
24 Toon adventurer : DORA
29 They get the job done : TOOLS
31 Scandalous stuff : SLEAZE
33 With 52-Down, bagel flavoring : SESAME …
35 Competition carrot : MEDAL
36 Mes con 31 días : ENERO
37 Liven up the science fair? : ACTIVATE VOLCANOS (from “active volcanos”)
38 Dundee denial : NAE
40 “I hate the Moor” speaker : IAGO
42 Victoria’s Secret competitor : SOMA
45 Hiker’s handful : GRANOLA
47 More honest : SINCERER
49 Promise to marry : BETROTH
51 End of an ultimatum : ELSE
52 See 33-Down : … SEED
54 Down Under bud : MATE
55 Hot concert spot : FRONT ROW
56 No surprise to a Disney World arrival : LINE
60 Delightful bites : MORSELS
61 Prosecutor’s burden : PROOF
62 Pieces of pie, often : EIGHTHS
65 Educator LeShan : EDA
68 Common game piece : DIE
70 “Why, then, __ soldier drink!”: 40-Down : LET A
71 More than just asks : BEGS
72 Hide in the forest? : PELT
73 Happily-after link : EVER
74 Critters with black eye patches : PANDAS
75 Guns that don’t shoot : BICEPS
76 Playground comeback : DID SO!
77 Pack animals : ASSES
80 Machu Picchu or Chichén Itzá : RUIN
81 Spanish 101 word : ERES
84 How tuna might be packed : IN OIL
88 Skinny swimmer : EEL
91 Not straight up : SLANTED
92 Pleasant surprise : TREAT
94 One of the 54-Across : CASPAR
96 Golfers’ headgear : VISORS
97 Beginning with : AS OF
99 102-Down month : APRIL
101 Pro Football Hall of Fame QB Brett : FAVRE
102 Fire sign : ARIES
103 “The Pearl Fishers” priestess : LEILA
105 “The Good Fight” actress : LAHTI
107 Social misfit : DWEEB
109 When the story starts on stage : ACT I
111 Copy paper purchase : REAM
113 Early Bond foe : DR NO
114 Pull down : EARN
115 Familiar gamut : A TO Z
116 Car-collecting comic : LENO
119 “Country Music” chronicler Burns : KEN
120 Bit of perjury : LIE

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Nov 19, Sunday”

  1. 1:05:17 no errors….I think some of these clues were just plain horrible like 10&36D and others….to finish with no errors was just lucky guesses…..I am too old to take Spanish lessons

  2. Goof in themed answers: . Some answers take out “at” as in “captivate” to make “captive” and “activate” becomes “active”; but take “at” out of “literate” and you get “litere”, which isn’t a word.

  3. 40 minutes, 11 seconds and DNF: 4 fills in the NW corner just defied me.

    Overall, this puzzle was just crammed with cynically-phrased clues; a poster child for “manufactured difficulty”. Constructor and editor both ought to be ashamed of themselves.

        1. Robert, I heartily agree. Which would you rather see as a clue for PEEP: “Little Bo ____” or “something not heard”? I, for one, would much prefer the second clue. I like headscratcher clues. Simple, obvious clues are insulting.

        2. @Robert, @Peter … “Bravo!”, to both of you. (Of course, Allen has been told this, over and over, and simply refuses to understand what crosswords are all about. Sigh.)

  4. Never got to this puzzle. I did today’s NYT, but the blog over there didn’t post. Anyway – 36:34 for the NYT Sunday puzzle. It was the guy’s 50th (!!) NYT Sunday puzzle. He’s been doing them for almost 30 years. He’s a retired school principal.

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