LA Times Crossword 23 Feb 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: John-Clark Levin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Herd Mentality

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted with reference to groups of animals:

  • 23A Ants in the British colonies? : CONTINENTAL ARMY
  • 37A Fish attending Mass? : CATHOLIC SCHOOL
  • 45A Lions marching event? : PRIDE PARADE
  • 63A Whales’ sorely lacking veggie supply? : TWO PEAS IN A POD
  • 80A Wolves from Lower Manhattan? : BATTERY PACK
  • 89A Bats living in an old Chrysler? : PLYMOUTH COLONY
  • 106A Crows sailing from Ethiopia to Egypt? : MURDER ON THE NILE

Bill’s time: 16m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Small Mercedes sedan : A-CLASS

The Mercedes A-Class is a subcompact car that is often referred to as the “Baby Benz”. Launched in 1997, the A-Class was Mercedes-Benz’s first venture into the compact car market. Famously, the first generation A-Class failed the evasive manoeuvre known as the “elk test”. The car flipped while trying to avoid hitting “the moose”. Mercedes stopped production, recalled all A-Class cars sold, and added electronic stability control to solve the problem.

7 Golf match equalizer : HANDICAP

A golfer whose handicap is zero is known as a “scratch golfer”. A player with a handicap of 18, given that there are 18 holes in a full round, is known as a “bogey golfer”.

21 Cheerio relative : AU REVOIR

“Au revoir” is a French phrase translating literally as “until seen again”, although the accepted usage is “goodbye”.

23 Ants in the British colonies? : CONTINENTAL ARMY

Soon after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, the Second Continental Congress formed the Continental Army, and famously appointed General George Washington as the army’s commander-in-chief. The bulk of the Continental Army was disbanded after the war ended in 1783, with only the 1st and 2nd Regiments remaining intact. In 1792, these regiments formed the core of the Legion of the United States, a standing army commanded by Major General Anthony Wayne. The Legion of the United States was renamed the US Army in 1796.

25 Drove at Indy : RACED

The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly, that was the first ever use of a rear view mirror on a motor vehicle.

27 Baton Rouge-to-Jackson dir. : NNE

Baton Rouge is the capital city of the state of Louisiana. The name “Baton Rouge” is French for “red stick” or “red staff”. The exact reason why such a name was given to the city isn’t really clear.

Jackson is the capital of the state of Mississippi. The city was founded in 1821 as a new state capital, and was named for future US president General Andrew Jackson.

28 “Great” Russian czar : PETER I

Peter the Great (aka “Peter I”) was perhaps the most successful of the Romanov tsars, and was famous for modernizing Russia and expanding the country’s sphere of influence, creating the Russian Empire. He ruled from 1682 until his death in 1725.

29 Sun Devils’ sch. : ASU

Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

30 Updike’s “Rabbit Redux,” e.g.: Abbr. : SEQ

The 1960 novel by John Updike called “Rabbit Run” tells the story of Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom as he tries to escape from his constraining, middle-class life. “Rabbit Run” is the first in a series of novels from Updike that feature the “Rabbit” character, the others being:

“Rabbit Redux”
“Rabbit is Rich”
“Rabbit at Rest”
“Rabbit Remembered”

31 Tennis immortal : ASHE

The great American tennis player Arthur Ashe spent the last years of his life writing his memoir called “Days of Grace”. He finished the manuscript just a few days before he passed away, dying from AIDS caused by a tainted blood transfusion.

33 Dull opening? : DEE

The opening letter in the word “dull” is a letter D (dee).

34 Gp. with a three-finger salute : BSA

Boy Scouts of America (BSA)

37 Fish attending Mass? : CATHOLIC SCHOOL

The principal act of worship in the Roman Catholic tradition is the Mass. The term “Mass” comes from the Late Latin word “missa” meaning “dismissal”. This word is used at the end of the Latin Mass in “Ite, missa est” which translates literally as “Go, it is the dismissal”.

41 Baroque painter Guido : RENI

Guido Reni was an Italian painter from Bologna who was active in the first half of the 17th century. Reni’s most famous work is probably “Crucifixion of St. Peter”, an altarpiece commissioned in the early 1600s that is now on display in the Vatican.

42 Elvis sings it in “Blue Hawaii” : ALOHA ‘OE

“Aloha ‘Oe” is a song of Hawaii composed by Liliuokalani, the last monarch of Hawaii and her only queen. The title translates as “Farewell to Thee”.

“Blue Hawaii” is one of a series of Elvis Presley movies, one released in 1961. 36-year-old Angela Lansbury was cast as the mother of the character played by 26-year-old Presley. Apparently, Lansbury “wasn’t amused” at the age gap, but took the role anyway.

45 Lions marching event? : PRIDE PARADE

A group of lions is known as a pride. It’s possible that the term “pride”, in this context, derives from the Latin “praeda” meaning “prey”.

47 Cataract surgery replacement : LENS

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. Although glasses can help alleviate early symptoms of the disease, the most effective treatment is the replacement of the affected lens with an artificial lens.

50 Edmond __: the Count of Monte Cristo : DANTES

“The Count of Monte Cristo” is an 1844 novel by the French author Alexandre Dumas. Dumas’ other famous title is “The Three Musketeers”.

51 Large body of eau : MER

In French, a “mer” (sea) is a large body of “eau” (water).

52 Fiscal execs : CFOS

Chief financial officer (CFO)

54 Pope’s jurisdiction : HOLY SEE

In the Roman Catholic Church, an episcopal see is the official seat of a bishop, and is usually described by the town or city where the bishop resides and has his cathedral. The most famous see in the church is called the Holy See, the episcopal see of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.

61 Juno, to Socrates : HERA

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

In ancient Greece, Socrates was a respected thinker of his day. One of Socrates’ most clever students was Plato, who spent much of life espousing the work and thinking of his mentor and teacher. In later life, Plato himself had a student who built on the work of both Socrates and Plato. That second-generation student was Aristotle. Socrates fell out of favor with the political leaders in Athens who put him on trial on trumped-up charges. He was found guilty of corrupting the youth of the city-state and of not believing in the gods of the state. The sentence levied was death by drinking hemlock.

63 Whales’ sorely lacking veggie supply? : TWO PEAS IN A POD

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

68 Pringles alternative : LAY’S

Lay’s potato chips were introduced in 1938 by Herman W. Lay. Lay started selling his chips out the trunk of his car, travelling all over the US. In those days the chips were pretty much handmade, but Lay put an end to that in 1942. He invented the first continuous potato processor in 1948, and chips started to take over the world!

70 Nestlé candy with a white covering : SNO-CAPS

Sno-Caps are a brand of candy usually only available in movie theaters. Sno-caps have been around since the 1920s, would you believe?

74 LAPD unit? : LOS

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the third-largest local law enforcement agency in the country, after New York PD and Chicago PD. Among other things, LAPD is famous for creating the first Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team in the US, in 1965.

75 Madame’s Spanish counterpart : SENORA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

77 Pale __ : ALE

Pale ale is a beer made using mainly pale malt, which results in a relatively light color for a malted beer.

80 Wolves from Lower Manhattan? : BATTERY PACK

The Battery is a park at the tip of Lower Manhattan that looks out over New York Harbor. Formally known as Battery Park, the area was named for artillery batteries placed there in the late 1600s. The Battery is home to Castle Clinton, formerly “Castle Garden”, which served as the nation’s first immigration station from 1855 to 1890, before being replaced by Ellis Island.

85 Things to avoid : TABOOS

The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

88 Wild plum : SLOE

The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin. A sloe looks like a small plum, but is usually much more tart in taste.

89 Bats living in an old Chrysler? : PLYMOUTH COLONY

Famously, the Mayflower was the ship that transported the Pilgrims from Plymouth, England to the New World in 1620. Most of the Pilgrims actually boarded the vessel on the River Thames in London. The Mayflower then anchored at Southampton Water on the south coast of England where she rendezvoused with another ship, the Speedwell, that was carrying English separatist Puritans from Holland. Both vessels set off for America, but eventually had to berth in Plymouth after the Speedwell started to leak. The Speedwell was in no condition to cross the Atlantic, and so the Mayflower ended up making the historic voyage alone.

92 Whoopi’s role in “The Color Purple” : CELIE

Whoopi Goldberg played Celie Harris Johnson in Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple”, the 1985 screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by Alice Walker.

96 Texter’s qualifier : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

98 NBC show since 1975 : SNL

NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1975 under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday recordings off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to put together a variety show to fill the vacant slot, and he came up with what we now call “Saturday Night Live”.

102 Aids in DNA sequencing research : GENE MAPS

The genome is all the hereditary information needed to reproduce an organism, in other words, all of its chromosomes. When scientists unravel the human genome it takes up an awful lot of computer storage space, and yet all of this information is in almost every cell in our bodies. Each and every cell “knows” how to make a whole human being.

106 Crows sailing from Ethiopia to Egypt? : MURDER ON THE NILE

There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology for “murder” as the collective noun for crows. One suggestion is that it comes from the scavenging behavior of crows, sometimes feeding on rotting bodies of dead animals.

110 Orson Scott Card protagonist __ Wiggin : ENDER

Orson Scott Card is a science fiction author (mainly). Card’s most famous work is his novel “Ender’s Game” first published in 1985. “Ender’s Game” was adapted into a movie and released in 2013, with a cast that includes Harrison Ford.

112 Swimwear fabric : TRICOT

Tricot is a knitting method, a type of warp knitting, as well as the name for the resulting knitted fabric. Tricot is very resistant to runs and is commonly used to make lingerie and swimwear.

113 Short : TESTY

Somebody described as testy is touchy, irritably impatient. The term “testy” comes into English from Old French, ultimately deriving from “testu” meaning “stubborn, headstrong”, literally “heady”. So, our word “testy” comes from the same root as the French word “tête” meaning “head”.

114 Closed ecosystems : BIODOMES

A biodome is an enclosed ecological system, and usually a man-made structure. I visited one of the more famous biodomes a few years ago, namely Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona. The Arizona facility was built as a closed-system experiment and used during the nineties as home to two small teams of people for extended periods. Both experiments ran into problems. The first group confronted insufficient generation of food and oxygen. The second group generated sufficient food, but oxygen eventually had to be injected into the habitat.

Down

1 “black-ish” airer : ABC

“black-ish” is a sitcom starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross that premiered in 2014. The show is noted for tackling tough issues such as racism, police brutality, attitudes toward the LGBT community, and the 2016 US presidential election.

2 Symbol of monastic life : CLOISTER

Cloisters are usually such beautifully peaceful areas. They are found as part of religious buildings in particular. Cloisters are rectangular open spaces surrounded by covered walkways that are attached to other structures. The use of the term “cloister” has evolved to also describe a monastery or convent.

3 Alfredo __, “Ratatouille” character named for a pasta : LINGUINI

“Ratatouille” is a 2007 animated film produced by Pixar. The hero of the piece is Remy, a rat whose ambition is to become a chef. Remy was voiced by stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt. The veteran actor Peter O’Toole voiced the character Anton Ego, a restaurant critic.

Linguine is a type of pasta that is similar to spaghetti, except that in cross-section linguine is elliptical whereas spaghetti is round. The correct name for the dish is “linguine” meaning “little tongues” in Italian. That said, the misspelling “linguini” is given in some dictionaries as an acceptable Americanized variant..

4 Alaskan island invaded by Japan in WWII : ATTU

Attu is the westernmost island in the Aleutian chain and so is the westernmost part of Alaska (and is in the Eastern Hemisphere). Japanese forces took the island in October 1942, eventually landing as many as 2,900 soldiers there. In May 1943, the US Army retook the island in twenty days of fighting that is now called the Battle of Attu, the only land battle to take place on US soil during WWII. I am very proud of my father-in-law, who served in the Aleutians during WWII …

7 Brinker on skates : HANS

“Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates” is a children’s novel written by American author Mary Mapes Dodge, and first published in 1865. The novel is famous for introducing, told within the novel’s own storyline, the tale of the little Dutch boy who put his finger in the leaking dike. I always thought the tale of the boy and the dike was a Dutch legend but no, it was a literary invention of Mary Mapes Dodge …

9 Gun lobby org. : NRA

National Rifle Association (NRA)

10 __ Taco : DEL

The Del Taco chain of fast food restaurants opened for business in 1964, with the first restaurant called “Casa Del Taco” located in Yermo, California. Del Taco serves American-style Mexican cuisine as well as the typical collection of hamburgers, fries and shakes.

11 Scott classic : IVANHOE

“Ivanhoe” is an 1819 historical novel by Sir Walter Scott that is set in 12th-century England. The story is divided into three adventures that involve such characters as Richard the Lionheart, King John and Robin Hood, although the protagonist is a Saxon knight named Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe. An underlying theme in the book is the tension between the Saxons and the Normans who conquered Britain a century earlier.

12 “Race Matters” author West : CORNEL

Cornel West is a philosopher, academic and activist who was the first African American to graduate from Princeton with a Ph.D. in philosophy.

13 Lyon lover’s word : AIME

The city of Lyon in France, is sometimes known as “Lyons” in English. Lyon is the second-largest metropolitan area in the country, after Paris. It is located just to the north of the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers.

15 Certain owl’s howl : SCREECH

There are over twenty species of screech owls, all of which are native to the Americas. Named for their eerie trill heard mainly during the night, screech owls are about the size of a pint glass.

16 “How now? __?”: Hamlet : A RAT

In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, the title character utters the line “How now, a rat? Dead for a ducat, dead!”. Hamlet then thrusts his sword through a tapestry covering an alcove and kills Polonius, who was lurking there.

17 News source for millions : FACEBOOK FEED

One has to wonder …

18 “Be it __ humble … “: song lyric : EVER SO

“Home! Sweet Home!” is a song that has been around at least since 1827. The melody was composed by Englishman Sir Henry Bishop, using lyrics written by American John Howard Payne.

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which seek thro’ the world, is ne’er met elsewhere.
Home! Home!
Sweet, sweet home!
There’s no place like home
There’s no place like home!

24 Law firm abbr. : ESQ

The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

28 Baja bar tender? : PESOS

The peso is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

29 __ The Magazine : AARP

“AARP The Magazine” is mailed to every AARP member, making it the most widely circulated magazine in the country. It was founded back in 1958 as “Modern Maturity”, and was rebranded in 2002.

32 Oxford, but not Cambridge : SHOE

An oxford is a type of lace-up shoe that originated not in Oxford, but actually in Scotland and/or Ireland.

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The exact date of the school’s founding is uncertain, although teaching was recorded there as early as 1096. Back in the early 1200s, the authorities from the town of Oxford hanged two Oxford University scholars following the death of a woman. There followed a dispute between the townsfolk and the university that resulted in many academics leaving Oxford. Many ended up in Cambridge, leading to the founding of the University of Cambridge in 1209. The two universities a similar status today, and are often referred to jointly as “Oxbridge”.

33 Mousetrap brand : D-CON

d-Con is a line of rodent control products that has been around for over 50 years.

36 1970s Plumber : LIDDY

G. Gordon Liddy serving in various positions in the Nixon administration. In 1971, Liddy was moved into a unit tasked with managing leaks of information from the White House. As the group was working on “leaks”, it was known as the White House “Plumbers” unit. Over time, the Plumbers moved from plugging leaks to actively plotting to embarrass the Democratic opposition during President Nixon’s re-election campaign. Ultimately, Liddy led the group of five men who famously broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Campaign in the Watergate Complex. Liddy was sentenced to a 20-year prison term, although he only served four and a half years following a commutation of his sentence by President Jimmy Carter. Years later, Liddy became quite successful as a nationally syndicated talk show host.

39 Madrid-based airline : IBERIA

The airline called Iberia is the flag carrier for Spain and is based in the country’s capital city at Madrid-Barajas Airport.

40 Moonshine : HOOCH

In the Klondike gold rush, a favorite tipple of the miners was “Hoochinoo”, a liquor made by the native Alaskans. Soon after “hooch” (also “hootch”) was adopted as a word for cheap whiskey.

42 Reuters apps alternative : AP NEWS

The Associated Press (AP) is a news agency based in New York City. AP is a non-profit cooperative that was set up by five New York newspapers in 1846 to share the cost of transmitting news. Nowadays, AP recoups most of its cost by selling news stories and related materials to newspapers all around the world, mostly outside of the US.

46 Down __: Maine nickname : EAST

The coast of Maine is often referred to as “Down East” by the people of New England. There is even a monthly magazine aimed at the people of Maine called “Down East”, that is published in Camden, Maine.

47 Writer Uris : LEON

Leon Uris is an American writer. Uris’s most famous books are “Exodus” and “Trinity”, two excellent stories, in my humble opinion …

51 ER scans : MRIS

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine uses powerful magnetic fields to generate images that can be used by medical professionals to diagnose injury and disease.

53 “Love Song” singer Bareilles : SARA

Sara Bareilles achieved success with her 2007 “Love Song” with the help of the iTunes online store. In one week in June of that year, iTunes offered the song as “free single of the week” and it quickly became the most downloaded song in the store, and from there climbed to the number spot in the charts.

54 Beatles album with a bang : HELP

“Help!” is a 1965 movie, and the second film released by the Beatles. The film’s soundtrack was released under the same title. Personally, I preferred “A Hard Day’s Night”, the Beatles’ first movie …

An exclamation mark is sometimes referred to as a bang. The term “bang”, in this context, comes from printers’ jargon.

55 The Wizard of Oz’s hometown : OMAHA

In the novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, the title character is revealed to have no magical powers, and is in fact a conman from Omaha, Nebraska. The “Wizard” was flying in a hot air balloon one day, when it strayed into the Land of Oz. The conman was assumed to be a great sorcerer, and was elevated to Supreme Leader of the kingdom. At the end of the novel, he leaves Oz in another hot air balloon.

57 Lukas of “Witness” : HAAS

Lukas Haas is an American actor best known for the role he played as an 8-year-old child in the excellent 1985 film “Witness”. In “Witness”, Haas plays a young Amish boy, alongside Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. Although Haas still acts today, he is also a musician and plays drums and piano for a band called The Rogues.

58 Debatable “gift” : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

59 Small piano : SPINET

“Spinet” is the name given to a smaller version of keyboard instruments, such as a small harpsichord, piano or organ. Spinets are still made today, as cheaper versions of full-size instruments.

60 General __ : MOTORS

General Motors (GM) was the largest manufacturer of vehicles in the world for 77 straight years, at least in terms of numbers of cars sold, from 1931 until 2007. GM was established in 1908 in Flint, Michigan as a holding company for Buick, which in turn had been founded in 1899. GM’s Buick brand is the oldest, still-active automotive brand in the US. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009, and emerged from that bankruptcy just one month later, with a lot of help from the US taxpayer. In order to do so, GM had to shut down its Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn operations. The revamped General Motors then had a huge Initial Public Offering in 2010 that raised $23 billion.

65 Aspiring MBA’s major : ECON

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

66 Fishing boat : DORY

A dory is a small boat that’s around 20 feet long with a shallow draft, a flat bottom and a sharp bow. Dories are commonly used for fishing.

75 WWII weapon : STEN

The STEN gun is an iconic armament that was used by the British military. The name STEN is an acronym. The letters S and T come from the name of the gun’s designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The letters EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.

76 Crafts website : 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.

79 Frozen planet in “The Empire Strikes Back” : HOTH

The fictional planet known as Hoth is featured in the “Star Wars” movie “The Empire Strikes Back”. Hoth is an ice planet, and home to a secret base belonging to the Rebel Alliance.

81 J.Lo’s fiancé : A-ROD

Apparently, singer and actress Jennifer Lopez started dating retired baseball player Alex Rodriguez in February 2017. The couple became engaged in March 2019.

82 Pumpkin pie seasoning : ALLSPICE

The spice known as “allspice” was given its name in the early seventeenth century as it flavor was said to resemble a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In fact, allspice is made from dried berries from the Pimenta dioica tree.

90 Adam of Maroon 5 : LEVINE

Adam Levine is the lead vocalist of the pop rock band Maroon 5. Levine also served as one of the coaches on the reality show “The Voice” from 2011 through 2019.

91 Mexican horseman : CHARRO

A “charro” is a horseman from Mexico, and is similar to a “vaquero”, a cowboy.

96 QB’s pass to a CB, say : INT

In football, if a quarterback’s (QB’s) pass ends up in the hands of a cornerback (CB), then that’s an interception (INT).

97 L.A. Philharmonic Conductor Emeritus : MEHTA

Zubin Mehta is an Indian conductor of western classical music, from Mumbai. Mehta studied music in Vienna, where he made his conducting debut in 1958. In 1961 he was named assistant director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, creating a fuss with the music director designate of the orchestra, Georg Solti. Solti resigned as a protest, and Mehta took his job. In 1978 Mehta took over as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, eventually becoming the longest holder of that position. In 2019, the Los Angeles Philharmonic bestowed on Mehta the title of Conductor Emeritus.

“Emeritus” (female form “emerita”, and plural “emeriti”) is a term in the title of some retired professionals, particularly those from academia. Originally an emeritus was a veteran soldier who had served his time. The term comes from the Latin verb “emerere” meaning to complete one’s service.

100 Tick-ing bomb? : DEET

“DEET” is short for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, an active ingredient in insect repellents. DEET is most often used to repel mosquitoes by applying it to the skin and/or clothing. It is also used to protect against tick bites.

101 City bond, briefly : MUNI

A municipal bond (“muni”) is one that is issued by a city or local government, or some similar agency. Munis have an advantage over other investments in that any interest earned on the bond is usually exempt from state and federal income taxes.

102 “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” author : GORE

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” is a 2017 documentary film and accompanying book by former US Vice President Al Gore. The “sequel” is a reference back to the very successful 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”.

104 Spanish cordial : ANIS

Back in the 14th century, we used the word “cordial” to mean “from the heart”. The most common meaning today is “courteous and gracious”. The original usage also evolved into the name for a drink that “stimulated the heart”. Today’s cordial beverages are strong, sweetened liqueurs.

107 “The Name of the Rose” author : ECO

Umberto Eco was an Italian writer who is probably best known for his novel “The Name of the Rose”, published in 1980. In 1986, “The Name of the Rose” was adapted into a movie with the same title starring Sean Connery.

109 Presumed UFO crew : ETS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Small Mercedes sedan : A-CLASS
7 Golf match equalizer : HANDICAP
15 Less risky : SAFER
20 Lighthearted : BLITHE
21 Cheerio relative : AU REVOIR
22 Yearn for : CRAVE
23 Ants in the British colonies? : CONTINENTAL ARMY
25 Drove at Indy : RACED
26 Tentative agreement : I GUESS SO
27 Baton Rouge-to-Jackson dir. : NNE
28 “Great” Russian czar : PETER I
29 Sun Devils’ sch. : ASU
30 Updike’s “Rabbit Redux,” e.g.: Abbr. : SEQ
31 Tennis immortal : ASHE
33 Dull opening? : DEE
34 Gp. with a three-finger salute : BSA
35 Listing : ATILT
37 Fish attending Mass? : CATHOLIC SCHOOL
41 Baroque painter Guido : RENI
42 Elvis sings it in “Blue Hawaii” : ALOHA ‘OE
44 Sarcastic “So sad” : BOOHOO
45 Lions marching event? : PRIDE PARADE
47 Cataract surgery replacement : LENS
48 Green-lights : OKS
50 Edmond __: the Count of Monte Cristo : DANTES
51 Large body of eau : MER
52 Fiscal execs : CFOS
54 Pope’s jurisdiction : HOLY SEE
57 Reason for a star : HEROISM
61 Juno, to Socrates : HERA
62 Punk subgenre : EMO
63 Whales’ sorely lacking veggie supply? : TWO PEAS IN A POD
67 Goof : ERR
68 Pringles alternative : LAY’S
70 Nestlé candy with a white covering : SNO-CAPS
71 “Shoulda listened to me!” : I TOLD YA!
73 Cool, in ’90s slang : PHAT
74 LAPD unit? : LOS
75 Madame’s Spanish counterpart : SENORA
77 Pale __ : ALE
78 Dilute : THIN
80 Wolves from Lower Manhattan? : BATTERY PACK
85 Things to avoid : TABOOS
87 Rangers’ domains : FORESTS
88 Wild plum : SLOE
89 Bats living in an old Chrysler? : PLYMOUTH COLONY
92 Whoopi’s role in “The Color Purple” : CELIE
93 VCR button : REC
94 Degree in math : NTH
95 Tinged : HUED
96 Texter’s qualifier : IMO
98 NBC show since 1975 : SNL
99 Gives the slip : EVADES
101 Be on duty at, as a battle station : MAN
102 Aids in DNA sequencing research : GENE MAPS
105 Fathered : SIRED
106 Crows sailing from Ethiopia to Egypt? : MURDER ON THE NILE
110 Orson Scott Card protagonist __ Wiggin : ENDER
111 Documented : ON RECORD
112 Swimwear fabric : TRICOT
113 Short : TESTY
114 Closed ecosystems : BIODOMES
115 Net worth component : ASSETS

Down

1 “black-ish” airer : ABC
2 Symbol of monastic life : CLOISTER
3 Alfredo __, “Ratatouille” character named for a pasta : LINGUINI
4 Alaskan island invaded by Japan in WWII : ATTU
5 Least likely to mingle : SHIEST
6 Connotation : SENSE
7 Brinker on skates : HANS
8 Start to correct? : AUTO-
9 Gun lobby org. : NRA
10 __ Taco : DEL
11 Scott classic : IVANHOE
12 “Race Matters” author West : CORNEL
13 Lyon lover’s word : AIME
14 Ask invasively : PRY
15 Certain owl’s howl : SCREECH
16 “How now? __?”: Hamlet : A RAT
17 News source for millions : FACEBOOK FEED
18 “Be it __ humble … “: song lyric : EVER SO
19 Phone button : REDIAL
24 Law firm abbr. : ESQ
28 Baja bar tender? : PESOS
29 __ The Magazine : AARP
31 Just barely : A TAD
32 Oxford, but not Cambridge : SHOE
33 Mousetrap brand : D-CON
36 1970s Plumber : LIDDY
37 Exercise target : CORE
38 Shouts of discovery : AHAS
39 Madrid-based airline : IBERIA
40 Moonshine : HOOCH
42 Reuters apps alternative : AP NEWS
43 Tardy with : LATE ON
46 Down __: Maine nickname : EAST
47 Writer Uris : LEON
49 “My bad” : SORRY
51 ER scans : MRIS
53 “Love Song” singer Bareilles : SARA
54 Beatles album with a bang : HELP
55 The Wizard of Oz’s hometown : OMAHA
56 Rewards for regulars : LOYALTY CARDS
57 Lukas of “Witness” : HAAS
58 Debatable “gift” : ESP
59 Small piano : SPINET
60 General __ : MOTORS
64 Refinement : POLISH
65 Aspiring MBA’s major : ECON
66 Fishing boat : DORY
69 Boiling sign : STEAM
72 What a subscription renewal prevents : LAPSE
75 WWII weapon : STEN
76 Crafts website : ETSY
78 Hypes : TOUTS
79 Frozen planet in “The Empire Strikes Back” : HOTH
80 Tree trunk : BOLE
81 J.Lo’s fiancé : A-ROD
82 Pumpkin pie seasoning : ALLSPICE
83 Vending machine feature : COIN SLOT
84 Underwater projection : KEEL
86 Not even moist : BONE DRY
87 Based : FOUNDED
89 Car radio button : PRESET
90 Adam of Maroon 5 : LEVINE
91 Mexican horseman : CHARRO
92 Rising stars : COMERS
96 QB’s pass to a CB, say : INT
97 L.A. Philharmonic Conductor Emeritus : MEHTA
100 Tick-ing bomb? : DEET
101 City bond, briefly : MUNI
102 “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” author : GORE
103 Results : ENDS
104 Spanish cordial : ANIS
106 Rabble : MOB
107 “The Name of the Rose” author : ECO
108 __-com : ROM
109 Presumed UFO crew : ETS

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Feb 20, Sunday”

  1. One guessed error in NW corner. Flipped coin and used “N” which gave me Nclass Mercedes instead of Aclass and NBC instead of ABC. Irritating, as i got all of the difficult clues right!

    I actually used the theme to help me this time which is not normally the case.

    Good puzzle overall.

    1. I guessed “A”. Whew!
      I thought this was a fairly easy puzzle for a Sunday. I think that sometimes a setter and I share the same general vocab.
      This puzzle inspired me to look up DOWN EAST, which is something I always wondered about, as Maine is so obviously Up East on a map. Now I know…maybe.

  2. Too hard for this old man. I had about 40 blanks left when I gave up. It could be the fact that I had only 1 hour of sleep two nights in a row had something to do with it. Damn insomnia!

    1. Interesting! I thought it was referring to that woman who was advertising for Comet or whatever it was. Still don’t remember her name.

  3. One box wrong; had bionomes instead of biodomes. I used the theme also
    to put together some of the long answers. I particularly liked “murder on
    the nile”.

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