LA Times Crossword 8 Dec 19, Sunday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Pet Sitting

Today’s grid includes six hidden CATs, with each sitting on something apt in the line below:

  • 114D One of six hidden in this puzzle, each sitting on an apt location : CAT
  • 19A Beats it : SCATS (cat on a lap)
  • 23A On easy street : IN THE LAP OF LUXURY
  • 32A Curtail : TRUNCATE (cat on a couch)
  • 40A Sedentary sort : COUCH POTATO
  • 51A Battery terminal : CATHODE (cat on a chair)
  • 55A Orchestra section leader : FIRST CHAIR
  • 77A Lively musical piece : TOCCATA (cat on a tree)
  • 84A Chart with branches : FAMILY TREE
  • 92A Pinpoint : LOCATE (cat on a bed)
  • 97A Track foundation : RAILROAD BED
  • 113A Excoriate : SCATHE (cat on a carpet)
  • 115A Opposite of commends : CALLS ON THE CARPET

Bill’s time: 15m 45s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Author Janowitz : TAMA

Tama Janowitz is an American writer. Janowitz was born in San Francisco but has lived much of her life in New York City. In New York she hung around with the likes of Andy Warhol and became well known in literary circles. Her most famous work is a collection of short stories called “Slaves of New York”, which was made into a film of the same name in 1989.

8 Green eggs and ham promoter : SAM-I-AM

Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” was first published in 1960. “Green Eggs and Ham” now ranks twelfth in the list of top selling children’s books. By the way, “Harry Potter” books hold the top four slots in that list. The text of “Green Eggs and Ham” has a lot of “I am” going on. It starts with:

I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am

and ends with:

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Sam-I-am

14 USPS deliveries : LTRS

The US Postal Service (USPS) delivers a lot of letters (ltrs.).

18 Brown of jazz : LES

Les Brown and His Band of Renown are a big band that started to perform in the late thirties and are still going strong today. Les Brown led the band from the start, and worked with the likes of Doris Day, Bob Hope and Tony Bennett. Brown passed away in 2001, and the band is now led by his son Les Brown, Jr.

19 Beats it : SCATS (cat on a lap)

Our word “scat!” means “get lost!” It comes from a 19th-century expression “quicker than s’cat”, which meant “in a great hurry”. The original phrase probably came from the words “hiss” and “cat”.

21 Thorny shrub : ACACIA

Acacia is a genus of trees and shrubs, that is also known as thorntree, whistling thorn and wattle. The acacia is the primary food source for the giraffe in the wild, with the animal eating the leaves high in the tree, leaves that are inaccessible to competing species. The natural gum from two species of acacia tree is known as gum arabic, which is used in the food industry as a stabilizer.

27 Hall of Famers : GREATS

The first Hall of Fame (HOF) established in the US was the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, an outdoor sculpture gallery located in the grounds of Bronx Community College in New York City. Completed in 1900, it is an open-air colonnade featuring the bronze busts of renowned Americans such as President George Washington, author Henry David Thoreau, musician John Philip Sousa and baseball legend Jackie Robinson. The Hall of Fame of Great Americans was inspired by the Ruhmeshalle (“Hall of Fame” in German) located in Munich, Germany that exhibits busts of important people from Bavaria.

32 Curtail : TRUNCATE (cat on a couch)

“To truncate” is to cut short. The term derives from the Latin “truncus” meaning “cut off, deprived of branches or limbs”. The same root gives us our word “trunk”.

38 My Chemical Romance 2-Down : EMO
(2D Category : GENRE)

My Chemical Romance was an alternative rock band from Jersey City that was active from 2001 to 2013.

51 Battery terminal : CATHODE (cat on a chair)

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

55 Orchestra section leader : FIRST CHAIR

In an orchestra, the first violins are led by the concertmaster, often referred to as the “first chair” in the US. The first chair is usually regarded as the most skilled of the first violin section, and will usually play any solo passages (unless a guest soloist is performing a violin concerto).

59 Blues singer James : ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

60 Tiny lab subjects : AMOEBAS

An ameba (also “amoeba”) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

61 Maxwell competitor : 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.

Maxwell was a line cars made in the US in the early 1900s. The manufacturer was named for co-founder Jonathan Dixon Maxwell, an ex-employee of Oldsmobile. At one point, Maxwell operated the largest automobile plant in the world, in New Castle, Indiana. The company overextended itself financially in the 1920s and was eventually absorbed into the Chrysler Corporation that was founded in 1925.

63 “If it’s handcrafted, … it’s on __” : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

64 Designing initials : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)

65 Airline to Stockholm : SAS

SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. SAS is based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport located just north of the Swedish capital.

66 Most Dresden residents : GERMANS

The German city of Dresden was almost completely destroyed during WWII, especially as a result of the famous firebombing of the city in 1945. Restoration work in the inner city in recent decades led to it being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, in 2006 when the city built a highway bridge close to the city center, UNESCO took Dresden off the list. This marked the only time a European location has lost World Heritage status.

71 Medical suffix : -OMA

In the world of medicine, the suffix “-oma” is used to denote a swelling or a tumor. For example, a lipoma is a benign, fatty tumor.

74 Anatomical canal : ITER

An iter is an anatomical passageway. The term “iter” is Latin for “path, journey”.

76 Its “B” is sometimes turkey : BLT

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

77 Lively musical piece : TOCCATA (cat on a tree)

A toccata is a virtuoso piece of music, one usually written for a keyboard or plucked string instrument, and one that has fast-moving passages that emphasize the dexterity of the performer’s fingers. It is a piece of music with an “improvisatory feel”, a piece that seems very spontaneous in form. The name “toccata” comes from the Italian word “toccare” meaning “to touch”.

81 1993 Literature Nobelist Morrison : TONI

Writer Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Amongst other things, Morrison is noted for coining the phrase “our first black President”, a reference to President Bill Clinton.

95 Part of a Shakespearean soothsayer’s warning : THE IDES

In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, a soothsayer warns the doomed emperor to “beware the ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.

100 Film __ : NOIR

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

105 Bridge positions : EASTS

The four people playing bridge (the card game) are positioned around a table at seats referred to as north, east, south and west. Each player belongs to a pair, with north playing with south, and east playing with west.

113 Excoriate : SCATHE (cat on a carpet)

To excoriate is to abrade or chafe. “To excoriate” also means to strongly denounce something or someone.

114 Queens’ __ Field : CITI

Citi Field is the relatively new baseball stadium used by the New York Mets that sits right next door to the site of Shea stadium, where the Mets had played for decades. And the new facility’s name comes from corporate sponsor Citigroup.

122 Conservative foe, in the U.K. : LABOUR

The UK’s Labour Party was founded in 1900 in response to a demand by the electorate for representation of the urban working class. The party’s first leader was Scottish trade unionist Keir Hardie.

124 “Yo te __” : AMO

In Spanish, one might say “yo te amo” (I love you) “con flores” (with flowers).

127 High-tech workers : BOTS

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1920 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

Down

3 Cosmetician Lauder : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

4 African menaces : TSETSES

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.

5 Orthopedic surgery targets, initially : ACLS

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that support the knee.

7 For face value : AT PAR

In days gone by, when companies first issued a stock, each share would be given a face value (called “par value”). In effect, the company was making a commitment not to issue any more stock under that par value, giving investors confidence that there was no better deal to be had. Nowadays, most stock is issued without such a “guarantee” and is called “no-par stock”.

8 Longtime “The Avengers” comics artist Buscema : SAL

Sal Buscema is a comics artist who is most closely associated with Marvel Comics, and drawing “The Incredible Hulk” and “The Avengers”. Sal’s elder brother John Buscema also drew “The Avengers”.

9 Pressure lead-in : ACU-

Acupressure and acupuncture are related alternative medical techniques. Both aim to clear blockages in the flow of life energy through the body’s meridians. The treatment is given by stimulating “acupoints” in the body, by applying pressure in the case of acupressure, and by applying needles in the case of acupuncture.

11 Post-OR area : ICU

Intensive care unit (ICU)

13 Perchance, old-style : MAYHAP

“Mayhap” is an adverb meaning “perhaps”. The term comes from the phrase “it may hap”.

16 Hebrew for “head” : ROSH

Rosh Hashanah is loosely referred to as “Jewish New Year”. The literal translation from Hebrew is “head of the year”.

17 “__ Loves You”: Beatles hit : SHE

The Beatles song “She Loves You” was released in 1963. It was one of five songs that together achieved an amazing feat in the US charts. At one point that year, those five songs were in the top five positions. The top five songs were:

  1. “Can’t Buy Me Love”
  2. “Twist and Shout”
  3. “She Loves You”
  4. “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
  5. “Please Please Me”

Further down the charts, and still in the top 100, were seven more Beatles songs.

20 Annual Jan. speech, in Twitter hashtags : SOTU

The US President’s State of the Union (SOTU) address is a requirement called out in Article II of the Constitution. George Washington gave the first address before a joint session of Congress in 1790. Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of making a personal address by sending Congress a written document that was then read out by a clerk. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson re-established the custom of delivering the message personally, there have been occasions since then when a written address has had to suffice, the last occasion being in 1981 when Jimmy Carter was in office.

30 Ecuadoran gold region : EL ORO

El Oro is a coastal province in the south of Ecuador. El Oro (meaning “The Gold”) takes its name from the gold production industry. The province is also one of the biggest banana exporters in the world.

32 Holy scrolls : TORAHS

The Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, are traditionally believed to have been written by Moses. As such, they are sometimes referred to as the Law of Moses, or Mosaic Law.

39 Deerskin attire : MOCCASINS

“Moc” is short for “moccasin”, a type of shoe. The moccasin is a traditional form of footwear worn by members of many Native American tribes.

43 1992-’93 NBA Rookie of the Year : O’NEAL

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality shows: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

45 Architect Saarinen : EERO

Eero Saarinen was a Finnish-American architect who was renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.

47 Penn, e.g.: Abbr. : STA

Penn Station in New York City may have been the first Pennsylvania Station, but it’s not the only one. The Pennsylvania Railroad gave that name to many of its big passenger terminals, including one in Philadelphia (now called 30th Street Station), one in Baltimore, one in Pittsburgh, one in Cleveland, as well as others.

54 Dancer who played a scarecrow : RAY BOLGER

In the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, Ray Bolger played the Scarecrow, his most famous role. At the end of the original script, Bolger (in the guise of a farmhand) heads off to agricultural school with Dorothy, hinting that there might be a romance in their future. All that was cut from the film before shooting started.

56 Not yet on the sched. : TBA

Something not yet on the schedule (“sked” or “sched.”) is to be advised/announced (TBA).

58 Capt.’s inferiors : LTS

The rank of lieutenant (lt.) is superior to the rank of sergeant (sgt.), and below the rank of captain (capt.).

62 Fed. fiscal agency : OMB

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is the successor to the Bureau of the Budget that was formed in 1970 during the Nixon administration. The main task of the OMB is to prepare the budget for the federal government. The Director of the OMB is a member of the Cabinet.

67 1966 Michael Caine title role : ALFIE

There have been two versions of the movie “Alfie”. The original, and for my money the best, was made in 1966 with Michael Caine. The remake came out in 2004 and stars Jude Law in the title role. The theme song was performed by Cher in the 1966 movie, but it was Dionne Warwick’s cover version from 1967 that was the most successful in the charts.

There have been only two actors who have been nominated for an Academy Award in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s. One is Jack Nicholson, and the other is Michael Caine. Caine is now known as Sir Michael Caine, as he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the year 2000.

69 Aloof : ICY

I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that is has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?

72 Loot : MOOLA

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

73 2006 Dunst title role : ANTOINETTE

“Marie Antoinette” is a 2006 film by Sofia Coppola that stars Kirsten Dunst in the title role. A lot of the film’s footage was actually shot in the Palace of Versailles. This is an interesting movie, with lavish costumes and a contemporary soundtrack that stands out given the period depicted on the screen.

Marie Antoinette was the wife of Louis XVI, the last king of France. Marie Antoinette was the fifteenth of sixteen children born to the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. The marriage to Louis, her second cousin once removed, was arranged while the two were very young. The prospective bride was “handed over” to the French at a border crossing in 1770 and two weeks later she was married to the future king. Marie Antoinette was just 14 years of age at the time, and Louis only a year her senior. Both Louis and Marie Antoinette were doomed to lose their heads courtesy of the guillotine during the French Revolution.

Kirsten Dunst is a Hollywood actress from Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Dunst is perhaps best known for playing the love interest and female lead in the “Spider-Man” series of movies opposite Tobey Maguire. Personally, my favorite Dunst films are “Wimbledon” and “Marie Antoinette”. Dunst is a dual citizen of the US and Germany, as her father is from Hamburg.

75 Big name in electric cars : TESLA

Tesla Motors shortened its name to just “Tesla” in early 2017.

77 Soldier’s helmet : TIN HAT

The helmet worn by British and American soldiers for much of WWI was known colloquially as a “tin hat”, and more formally as a “Brodie helmet”. Inventor John Leopold Brodie patented the design in 1915 in London. The helmet was pressed from a single sheet of steel, lined with leather and included a leather chin strap.

78 R&B vocalist India.__ : ARIE

India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.

79 “Bill & __ Excellent Adventure” : TED’S

“Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” is a 1989 comedy sci-fi film, starring Alex Winter as Bill and Keanu Reeves as Ted. It’s about two lazy students traveling through time in preparation for a history assignment, with a lot of “Dude!” and “Excellent!” scattered throughout the dialog. Reading the plot, this isn’t a movie that I’d normally go for, but somehow, I enjoyed it …

80 ’50s political initials : AES

Adlai Stevenson (AES) ran for president unsuccessfully against Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE), once in 1952 and again in 1956. Some years after his second defeat, Stevenson served under President Kennedy (JFK) as Ambassador to the United Nations. Stevenson was always noted for his eloquence and he had a famous exchange in a UN Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Stevenson bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. His words were “Don’t wait for the translation, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’!” followed by “I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!”

85 Charles River sch. : MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 and first offered classes in 1865, in the Mercantile building in Boston. Today’s magnificent campus on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge opened in 1916.

87 Like TV’s “Supernatural,” e.g. : EERIE

The American TV show “Supernatural” started airing in 2005. It’s about two brothers hunting down ghosts and demons. Not my cup of tea …

88 Mother of the Titans : GAEA

The Greek goddess personifying the earth was Gaea (also “Gaia”, and meaning “land” or “earth” in Greek). The Roman equivalent goddess was Terra Mater, “Mother Earth”.

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.

89 Former Fords : LTDS

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

93 Harem room : ODA

Oda is the Turkish word for “room”, and is the name used for a room within a harem in the days of the Ottoman Empire. We use the derivative word “odalisque” for “a concubine” or “a chamber girl”.

“Harem” is a Turkish word derived from the Arabic for “forbidden place”. Traditionally a harem was the female quarters in a household in which a man had more than one wife. Not only wives (and concubines) would use the harem, but also young children and other female relatives. The main point was that no men were allowed in the area.

94 “60 Minutes” network : CBS

The marvelous news magazine program “60 Minutes” has been on the air since 1968. The show is unique among all other regularly-scheduled shows in that it has never used theme music. There is just the ticking of that Aristo stopwatch.

96 Antarctic features : ICE CAPS

The polar ice cap at the north of our planet is floating pack ice in the Arctic Ocean. The southern polar ice cap is an ice sheet that covers the landmass known as Antarctica. About 70% of all the freshwater on Earth is held in the southern polar ice cap.

98 Expert in futures? : ORACLE

In ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”. One of the most important oracles of ancient Greece was the priestess to Apollo at Delphi.

102 252 wine gallons : TUN

A tun is a barrel, often a large barrel used in winemaking. The term “tun” came to be a measure of volume, originally 252 gallons of wine. The weight of such a volume of wine was referred to as a “tun”, which evolved into our contemporary unit “ton”.

106 Berne’s river : AAR

The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland. The Aar is a major tributary of the Rhine and flows through Bern, the nation’s capital.

Bern (sometimes “Berne”, especially in French) is the capital city of Switzerland. The official language of the city is German, but the language most spoken in Bern is a dialect known as Bernese German.

107 Fifth-century bishop in Ireland, familiarly : ST PAT

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

111 Photographer Dora who had a relationship with Picasso : MAAR

Dora Maar was a famous French photographer. She became Pablo Picasso’s lover and muse, when she was 29 and Picasso 54. The pair had a complicated relationship that lasted nine years. Picasso painted a portrait of her called “Dora Maar with Cat” that was sold at auction in 2006 for almost $100 million, which at that time was the second-highest price ever paid for a painting.

113 Cottontail’s tail : SCUT

A scut is short erect tail, like that on a rabbit or a deer.

Cottontail are rabbits that are native to the Americas. They are very prolific breeders, but they need to be. Very few young cottontails survive to maturity as they are prey to almost every animal that is larger in size or moves more quickly, including snakes and birds of prey. Their stubby white tail gives the name “cottontail”.

116 Certain corp. takeover : LBO

A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a transaction in which an investor acquires a controlling volume of stock in a company, but buys that stock with borrowed funds (hence “leveraged”). Often the assets of the acquired company are used as collateral for the borrowed money. There is a special form of LBO known as a management buyout (MBO) in which the company’s own management team purchase the controlling interest.

117 Airport near Tel Aviv : LOD

The Israeli city of Lod lies just a few miles southeast of Tel Aviv. Lod is the home of Ben Gurion International, Israel’s main airport.

119 Surg. sites : ORS

Surgery (surg.) is usually performed in an operating room (OR).

120 Ike’s WWII arena : ETO

General Dwight D. Eisenhower (“Ike”) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII. If you’re a WWII buff like me, then I recommend you take a look at a great, made-for-TV movie starring Tom Selleck as Eisenhower called “Ike: Countdown to D-Day” that came out in 2004.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Medical chart entry : AGE
4 Author Janowitz : TAMA
8 Green eggs and ham promoter : SAM-I-AM
14 USPS deliveries : LTRS
18 Brown of jazz : LES
19 Beats it : SCATS (cat on a lap)
21 Thorny shrub : ACACIA
22 “That’s not good” : OH-OH
23 On easy street : IN THE LAP OF LUXURY
26 Beer buy : CASE
27 Hall of Famers : GREATS
28 Put away : ATE
29 Knife holder : SHEATH
31 Demands : NEEDS
32 Curtail : TRUNCATE (cat on a couch)
37 “__ fair … ” : ALL’S
38 My Chemical Romance 2-Down : EMO
40 Sedentary sort : COUCH POTATO
44 They pick up things : SENSORS
48 Mailed : SENT TO
49 Get ready to eat? : RIPEN
50 Muffin topping : OLEO
51 Battery terminal : CATHODE (cat on a chair)
53 Assure : PROMISE
55 Orchestra section leader : FIRST CHAIR
57 Response in court : PLEA
59 Blues singer James : ETTA
60 Tiny lab subjects : AMOEBAS
61 Maxwell competitor : REO
63 “If it’s handcrafted, … it’s on __” : ETSY
64 Designing initials : YSL
65 Airline to Stockholm : SAS
66 Most Dresden residents : GERMANS
68 H.S. class : BIO
71 Medical suffix : -OMA
74 Anatomical canal : ITER
76 Its “B” is sometimes turkey : BLT
77 Lively musical piece : TOCCATA (cat on a tree)
81 1993 Literature Nobelist Morrison : TONI
83 Brings home : NETS
84 Chart with branches : FAMILY TREE
86 Chaotic but appealing person : HOT MESS
88 Powerless motion? : GLIDING
90 Boosts, e.g. : AIDS
91 Sneak off to Vegas, maybe : ELOPE
92 Pinpoint : LOCATE (cat on a bed)
95 Part of a Shakespearean soothsayer’s warning : THE IDES
97 Track foundation : RAILROAD BED
99 Parenthesis, essentially : ARC
100 Film __ : NOIR
101 To begin with : AS A START
105 Bridge positions : EASTS
110 Repair, as sewn-together edges : RESEAM
112 A in French : UNE
113 Excoriate : SCATHE (cat on a carpet)
114 Queens’ __ Field : CITI
115 Opposite of commends : CALLS ON THE CARPET
121 Choir voice : ALTO
122 Conservative foe, in the U.K. : LABOUR
123 Suddenly paid attention : SAT UP
124 “Yo te __” : AMO
125 Stereotypical angst sufferer : TEEN
126 Wears slowly : ERODES
127 High-tech workers : BOTS
128 Gymnast’s goal : TEN

Down

1 Adjust, as car wheels : ALIGN
2 Category : GENRE
3 Cosmetician Lauder : ESTEE
4 African menaces : TSETSES
5 Orthopedic surgery targets, initially : ACLS
6 Kid’s cry : MAA!
7 For face value : AT PAR
8 Longtime “The Avengers” comics artist Buscema : SAL
9 Pressure lead-in : ACU-
10 Nth degree : MAX
11 Post-OR area : ICU
12 Affectations : AIRS
13 Perchance, old-style : MAYHAP
14 Hour in a pilot’s announcement : LOCAL TIME
15 Response to sad news : THAT’S A PITY
16 Hebrew for “head” : ROSH
17 “__ Loves You”: Beatles hit : SHE
20 Annual Jan. speech, in Twitter hashtags : SOTU
24 Ate : HAD
25 Bog : FEN
30 Ecuadoran gold region : EL ORO
32 Holy scrolls : TORAHS
33 Emailed a dupe to : CC’ED
34 Bang-up : A-ONE
35 “For shame!” : TUT!
36 Outer: Pref. : ECT-
39 Deerskin attire : MOCCASINS
41 Aspirations : HOPES
42 Proficiency determiners : TESTS
43 1992-’93 NBA Rookie of the Year : O’NEAL
44 Slight, as a chance : SLIM
45 Architect Saarinen : EERO
46 Attendance count : NOSES
47 Penn, e.g.: Abbr. : STA
48 Aching to a larger degree : SORER
50 Birds-feather link : … OF A …
52 Staff builders : HIRERS
54 Dancer who played a scarecrow : RAY BOLGER
56 Not yet on the sched. : TBA
57 Quintet : PENTAD
58 Capt.’s inferiors : LTS
62 Fed. fiscal agency : OMB
66 Acquire : GET
67 1966 Michael Caine title role : ALFIE
69 Aloof : ICY
70 Group of eight : OCTAD
71 Wise start? : OTHER-
72 Loot : MOOLA
73 2006 Dunst title role : ANTOINETTE
75 Big name in electric cars : TESLA
77 Soldier’s helmet : TIN HAT
78 R&B vocalist India.__ : ARIE
79 “Bill & __ Excellent Adventure” : TED’S
80 ’50s political initials : AES
82 Self-destruction : IMPLOSION
85 Charles River sch. : MIT
87 Like TV’s “Supernatural,” e.g. : EERIE
88 Mother of the Titans : GAEA
89 Former Fords : LTDS
93 Harem room : ODA
94 “60 Minutes” network : CBS
96 Antarctic features : ICE CAPS
98 Expert in futures? : ORACLE
102 252 wine gallons : TUN
103 Unwanted workers : ANTS
104 Detox program : REHAB
106 Berne’s river : AAR
107 Fifth-century bishop in Ireland, familiarly : ST PAT
108 Most crosswords have one : THEME
109 Determined about : SET ON
110 Upset and then some : RILE
111 Photographer Dora who had a relationship with Picasso : MAAR
113 Cottontail’s tail : SCUT
114 One of six hidden in this puzzle, each sitting on an apt location : CAT
116 Certain corp. takeover : LBO
117 Airport near Tel Aviv : LOD
118 Go after, in a way : SUE
119 Surg. sites : ORS
120 Ike’s WWII arena : ETO

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Dec 19, Sunday”

  1. 1:06:10 with 3 errors……I went over this puzzle after finishing but apparently not close enough….I knew of a first chair in law but not music

  2. No errors today; got it all done first to the best of my memory, then
    at the end looked up the spelling of Janowitz first name. Had it right, so
    was satisfied. Fun puzzle and not too hard for a Sunday.

  3. Oh, oh, pride goeth before a fall; in rechecking my answers today I
    found errors after all. I had “amps” for booster instead of “aids” so that
    threw two other words off. Mea culpa. But it was still a good puzzle.

  4. 18:45 for me. That’s faster than average for me, which surprises me because I put in MOM for “kid’s cry” and then stubbornly left it there while struggling through the rest of that section, because of course it couldn’t POSSIBLY be anything else. 🙄 Lost quite a lot of time because of that. Not a big fan of MAA as an answer, either… it’s not really a word.

    The theme was interesting because it didn’t become apparent until the whole grid was filled in. It was kind of cute, but zero help in solving, and I usually like it when figuring out the theme early on helps me with filling out the grid. Oh well.

  5. Like Charley above, “Mom” threw me off for awhile and the theme, besides the word cat, was never apparent. Fun puzzle though.

  6. @Dirk (yesterday)
    Yes, cat litter works well in a pinch for getting unstuck in snow or ice. Kind of the same idea as cities spreading sand down on the roads – it breaks up the slick surface and provides traction.

    1. Thanks Glenn. We don’t get much snow or ice here, so it seemed kind of far fetched.

      Moderately difficult Sunday for me, took 55:54 on-line with a few peeks.

  7. 32 mins 44 sec… not sure if I got 4 errors or ten. I used the Check Grid when I finished, but didn’t get the “success popup”. It showed I had 10 misspellings, but I’m certain some of them were correctly entered. No way to go back and check. Anyway, I never felt quite comfortable with this grid, so may I did fat-finger more than I thought…

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