LA Times Crossword 29 Mar 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Gary Larson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Inner Cities

Themed answers each include a CAPITAL CITY INSIDE:

  • 118A Startup funds … and a hint to what’s hidden in the answers to the starred clues : SEED CAPITAL
  • 22A *Alternative to a pizza oven : BAKING STONE (inner “Kingston”)
  • 38A *Office group leader : TEAM MANAGER (inner “Amman”)
  • 60A *Online gaming attraction : VIDEO SLOTS (inner “Oslo”)
  • 77A *Mathematical abstraction with evenly spaced integers : NUMBER LINE (inner “Berlin”)
  • 100A *Only occupant of Vostok I : YURI GAGARIN (inner “Riga”)
  • 15D *Lead singer of a group whose first two Top 40 hits reached #1 : FRANKIE VALLI (inner “Kiev”)
  • 62D *Breakfast order usually made with ham, onion and green pepper : DENVER OMELET (inner “Rome”)

Bill’s time: 24m 08s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • ENESCO (Inesco)
  • RABE (Rabi)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Brand created by a periodontist in the 1950s : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

19 Iris aperture : PUPIL

The pupil of the eye is the hole located in the center of the iris through which light enters the retina. The term “pupil” came into English via French from the latin “pupilla”, which is the diminutive form of “pupa” meaning “girl, doll”. The term came about due to the tiny doll-like image that one can see of oneself when looking into the center of another’s eyes.

21 Toledo’s lake : ERIE

Toledo, Ohio lies in the northwest of the state, at the western end of Lake Erie. Toledo was founded as a result of the prosperity that hit the area when the Miami and Erie Canal was constructed in the 19th century connecting Cincinnati to the Great Lakes. Toledo is known as the Glass City as several glass companies originated there, including Owens Corning and Pilkington North America. There is a large exhibition of glass art at the Toledo Museum of Art.

22 *Alternative to a pizza oven : BAKING STONE (inner “Kingston”)

Kingston is the capital of Jamaica. Prior to an earthquake in 1692, Port Royal was the main settlement on the island. Survivors of the earthquake set up camp in the agricultural village of Kingston. Despite the hardship of thousands dying in the camp from mosquito-borne diseases, the camp developed into a permanent settlement, especially after a 1703 fire that further destroyed Port Royal.

24 Word derived from the underworld god Orcus : OGRE

An ogre is a hideous monster of legend. There is a suggestion that “ogre” is French in origin and comes from “Orcus”, the name of an Etruscan underworld god who fed on human flesh. Nice guy …

26 “Romanian Rhapsodies” composer : ENESCO

George Enescu (aka “Georges Enesco”) was a Romanian composer and performer. Enescu’s most popular works are two “Romanian Rhapsodies” (1901-2) and the opera “Oedipe” (1936).

27 Birds that tell time? : CUCKOOS

Cuckoo clocks are usually regulated with a pendulum and signal the hour with the appearance of a cuckoo and the sound of a cuckoo’s call. Cuckoo clocks have been around since the 1600s, but they really took off in the 1850s when production ramped up in the Black Forest region of Germany for the export market.

29 Tolkien race : ENTS

Ents are tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

30 What Brits cross to get here : THE POND

The Atlantic Ocean has been referred to as “the pond” for quite a long time. The expression dates back to the 1640s.

34 Forsaken : LORN

To be lorn is to be bereft, forsaken. “Lorn” is an archaic term meaning “lost”. A lovely word, I think …

35 Orange __ : PEKOE

A pekoe (or more commonly “orange pekoe”) is a medium-grade black tea. There is no orange flavor in an orange pekoe tea. The “orange” name most likely derived from the name of the trading company that brought the tea to Europe from Asia.

38 *Office group leader : TEAM MANAGER (inner “Amman”)

Amman is the capital city of Jordan, and is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Amman has been occupied by a number of different civilizations over the centuries, including the Greeks who called it “Philadelphia”, a name retained by the Romans when they occupied the city just after 100 AD.

43 Reef dweller : POLYP

Polyps are tiny sea creatures that are found attached to underwater structures or to other polyps. Polyps have a mouth at one end of a cylindrical “body” that is surrounded by tentacles. Some polyps cluster into groups called stony corals, with stony corals being the building blocks of coral reefs. The structure of the reef comprises calcium carbonate exoskeletons secreted by the coral polyps.

51 Part of a court game name : ALAI

Jai alai is a game that derives from Basque pelota, and is known as “cesta-punta” in the Basque language. The name “jai alai” translates from the original Basque as “merry festival”.

56 General on a menu : TSO

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

60 *Online gaming attraction : VIDEO SLOTS (inner “Oslo”)

Oslo is the capital of Norway. The city of Oslo burns trash to fuel half of its buildings, including all of its schools. The problem faced by the city is that it doesn’t generate enough trash. So, Oslo imports trash from Sweden, England and Ireland, and is now looking to import some American trash too.

65 Designer Cassini : OLEG

French-born American fashion designer Oleg Cassini had two big names particularly associated with his designs. In the sixties he produced the state wardrobe for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and he was also the exclusive designer for Hollywood’s Gene Tierney, who was Cassini’s second wife.

67 Street in Mason’s office : DELLA

Della Street is Perry Mason’s very capable secretary in the Erle Stanley Gardner novels. Street was played on the TV show by Barbara Hale.

70 Norse patron : OLAV

Of the many kings of Norway named Olaf/Olav (and there have been five), Olaf II is perhaps the most celebrated, as he was canonized and made the patron saint of the country. Olaf II was king from 1015 to 1028 and was known as “Olaf the Big” (or “Olaf the Fat”) during his reign. Today he is more commonly referred to as “Olaf the Holy”. After Olaf died he was given the title of “Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae”, which is Latin for “Norway’s Eternal King”.

73 Rotund man in a bright suit : SANTA

The Santa Claus with whom we are familiar today largely comes from the description in the 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, and from the 1863 caricature created by the political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Nast is also responsible for locating Santa’s workshop at the North Magnetic Pole, a fact that he revealed to the world in a series of drawings in 1879.

77 *Mathematical abstraction with evenly spaced integers : NUMBER LINE (inner “Berlin”)

Berlin is the capital of Germany. It is the nation’s largest city, and is the second-most populous city in the European Union (after London).

79 Farriers’ tools : ANVILS

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

84 Shooting marble : STEELIE

A playing marble made from agate is called just that, an agate. Steelies on the other hand, are made from solid steel.

87 Daring exploit : GEST

Our word “gest”, meaning “great deed or exploit”, has been around since about 1300 and comes from the Old French word “geste” meaning the same thing. These days, “geste” can also mean “gesture”.

89 Luthor, to Superman : FOE

Lex Luthor is the arch-nemesis of Superman in comics. Luthor has been portrayed in a number of guises in the comic world as well in movies and on the small screen. For example, he appeared as Atom Man in the 1950 film series “Atom Man vs. Superman”, and was played by actor Lyle Talbot, opposite Kirk Alyn’s Superman.

98 Former General Motors division : GEO

Geos were small vehicles manufactured by General Motors mainly in the nineties. Geos were designed to compete head-to-head with the small imports that were gaining market share at the time in the US. Some Geo models that you might remember are the Metro, the Prizm and the Storm. The cars were actually built as joint-ventures with Japanese manufacturers. The Prizm was a GM/Toyota project, the Metro was GM/Suzuki, and the Storm was GM/Isuzu.

100 *Only occupant of Vostok I : YURI GAGARIN (inner “Riga”)

Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space when his spacecraft Vostok I made a single orbit of the Earth in 1961. Sadly, Gagarin died only seven years later in a plane crash.

Riga is the capital city of Latvia. The historical center of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared as such because of the city’s magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

103 Teaspoon equivalents, roughly : LUMPS

That would be sugar.

105 Goddess with cow’s horns : ISIS

Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children. She was the personification of the pharaoh’s power. The name “Isis” translates as “throne”, and she is usually depicted with a headdress shaped like a throne.

106 Track wagers : EXACTAS

To win a bet called an exacta (also called “perfecta”), the person betting must name the horses that finish first and second, and in the exact order. The related bet called the trifecta requires naming of the first, second and third-place finishers in the right order.

117 YA fiction reader : TEEN

Young adult (YA)

122 Manitoba tribe : CREE

The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US, Montana is home to most of the Cree nation. They live on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada, most of the Cree live in Manitoba.

Manitoba is the Canadian province that borders the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota. Even though Manitoba has an area of over 250,000 square miles, 60% of its population resides in the province’s capital city of Winnipeg.

124 Beach, in Baja : PLAYA

Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.

125 Futuristic toon dog : ASTRO

“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it debuted in 1963 on ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” is like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family in Orbit City are their household robot Rosie and pet dog Astro.

126 Monopoly token : HAT

The tokens included with a game of Monopoly have changed over the years. Two of the more interesting tokens are the battleship and cannon. These were created by Hasbro for a board game called Conflict. When Conflict failed in the market, the excess tokens were recycled and included with Monopoly.

127 D-Day craft : LSTS

The initialism “LST” stands for Landing Ship, Tank. LSTs are the large vessels used mainly in WWII that have doors at either ends through which tanks and other vehicles can roll off and onto beaches. The design concept persists to this day in the huge fleet of commercial roll-on/roll-off car ferries, all inspired by the LST.

128 Gunpowder ingredient : NITER

The chemical name for saltpeter (also called “niter, nitre”) is potassium nitrate. The exact origin of the name “saltpeter” isn’t clear, but it may have come from the Latin “sal petrae” meaning “stone salt”. The main use for potassium nitrate is as a fertilizer, a source of potassium and nitrogen. As it is a powerful oxidizing agent, it is also used in amateur rocket propellants. Anyone who has ignited one of those “engines” would have noticed the lilac-colored flame, indicating the presence of potassium.

Gunpowder is the earliest-known explosive chemical. Also called “black powder”, it is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal and saltpeter (i.e. potassium nitrate). The saltpeter is a powerful oxidizing agent, providing the oxygen to burn the sulfur and charcoal, which acts as the fuel in the mixture. Gunpowder was invented by the Chinese in the 8th century.

Down

1 “Streamers” playwright : RABE

David Rabe is an American playwright, a veteran of Vietnam. He is the author of a trilogy of plays that draw on his own experience during the Vietnam War:

  1. The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1971)
  2. Sticks and Bones (1969)
  3. Streamers (1976)

2 Pulitzer-winning novelist Jennifer : EGAN

Jennifer Egan is an author who grew up in San Francisco. Egan’s 2010 work “A Visit from the Goon Squad” won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Usually termed a novel, “A Visit from the Goon Squad” is structured in such a way that it is sometimes described as a collection of linked short stories.

3 “The Egg and I” woman : MA KETTLE

Author Betty MacDonald wrote a memoir called “The Egg and I” that was published in 1945. It tells the story of her life as a young wife on a chicken farm in Washington state. The book was adapted into a film of the same name in 1947, with the lovely Claudette Colbert playing Betty McDonald and the great Fred MacMurray as her husband. Two other characters feature in the storyline, namely Ma and Pa Kettle. The latter characters were so well received by theater audiences that a whole series of films about them and their fifteen children was made between the years 1949 and 1957.

5 Parts of a pound : PENCE

I remember the days when there were 240 “pence” (pennies) in an Irish/British pound. Life became so much easier when that was changed to 100 “new pence” in 1971.

8 GI’s address : APO

Army post office (APO)

9 “The Mod Squad” role : LINC

The 1999 movie “The Mod Squad” was an adaptation of the seventies television show of the same name. The part of Lincoln “Linc” Hayes was played by Omar Epps, Claire Danes played Julie Barnes and Giovanni Ribisi played Peter Cochran.

10 __ cheese : BLEU

Being a bit of a French speaker (admittedly, a very poor one), the term “bleu cheese” has always kind of irritated me. I would prefer that we use either “blue cheese” or “fromage bleu” and not mix the languages, but then I can be annoyingly picky! It’s said that blue cheese was probably discovered accidentally, as molds tend to develop in the same conditions that are best for storing cheese. The blue mold in the cheese is introduced by adding Penicillium spores before the cheese is allowed to set. And yes, it’s the same mold that is used to produce penicillin, the antibiotic.

12 Fluffy felines : ANGORAS

The Turkish Angora is a breed of domestic cat that is often called simply an Angora or Ankara cat. The Angora is particularly prized for its white coat, although the breed can come in a variety of colors.

13 Like gales vis-à-vis breezes : STRONGER

A gale is a very strong wind, one defined by the Beaufort scale as having wind speeds from 50 to just over 100 kilometers per hour.

15 *Lead singer of a group whose first two Top 40 hits reached #1 : FRANKIE VALLI (inner “Kiev”)

Frankie Valli is a great singer who is best known for fronting the 4 Seasons in the sixties. Valli had an incredible number of hits, with and without the 4 Seasons. The extensive list includes, “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like a Man”, “Rag Doll”, “My Eyes Adored You” and “Grease”.

16 Champ dethroned by Clay in 1964 : LISTON

Muhammad Ali fought Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Championship twice. The first bout was in 1964 in Miami, and the second in 1965 in Lewiston, Maine. In the first fight, Liston failed to come out of his corner for the seventh round. On seeing this, Ali (or “Cassius Clay” as he was then) ran to the ropes yelling “I’m the greatest!” and “I shook up the world”.

23 Political initials since 1884 : GOP

The Republican Party has had the nickname Grand Old Party (GOP) since 1875. That said, the phrase was coined in the “Congressional Record” as “this gallant old party”. The moniker was changed to “grand old party” in 1876 in an article in the “Cincinnati Commercial”. The Republican Party’s elephant mascot dates back to an 1874 cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast for “Harper’s Weekly”. The Democrat’s donkey was already an established symbol. Nast drew a donkey clothed in a lion’s skin scaring away the other animals. One of the scared animals was an elephant, which Nast labeled “The Republican Vote”.

28 V8 relative : CLAMATO

Clamato is a drink made by Mott’s that is a blend of tomato juice and clam broth flavored with spices.The drink is intended to be reminiscent of Manhattan-style clam chowder.

The beverage V8 is a mixture of eight different vegetable juices, hence the name. It was introduced in 1933 by the New England Products Company as “ege-min 8”. The eight vegetables are beets, celery, carrots, lettuce, parsley, watercress, spinach, and tomato.

31 Elevator name : OTIS

Elevators (simple hoists) have been around for a long time. What Elisha Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. At the Fair, Otis would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this demonstration, the orders came rolling in.

32 Hawaiian goose : NENE

The nene is a bird that is native to Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful. The nene was named State Bird of Hawaii in 1957.

33 Court figs. : DAS

District attorney (DA)

36 Draft pick : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

40 Timbuktu’s land : MALI

The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa located south of Algeria. Formerly known as French Sudan, the nation’s most famous city is Timbuktu. Mali is the third-largest producer of gold on the continent, after South Africa and Ghana.

44 Cancún cash : PESO

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”.

Cancún is a city and island on the east coast of Mexico, on the other side of the Yucatan Channel from Cuba. The city is growing rapidly due to its booming tourist business. Cancún is the center of what’s often called “The Mexican Caribbean” or the “Mayan Riviera”.

47 Reddish rash : ROSEOLA

“Roseola” is a common name for the infant disease exanthema subitum. It is a viral infection that causes a fever and a pink rash.

50 McGwire rival : SOSA

Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

52 Apple storage place : ICLOUD

iCloud is an Apple service that features cloud storage and cloud computing.

54 __ wrench : ALLEN

The Allen wrench (or “Allen key”, as we call it back in Ireland) is a successful brand of hex wrench that was trademarked in 1943 by the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford , Connecticut. However, the hex wrench had in fact been around since the mid-to-late 1800s.

56 More irritable : TESTIER

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”.

57 Eric of “Pulp Fiction” : STOLTZ

Eric Stoltz is an actor from Whittier, California who is best known for playing the disfigured Rocky Dennis in the 1985 movie “Mask”. In 1984, Stolz spent weeks playing Marty McFly for the film “Back to the Future” before producers concluded that he was miscast and gave the role to Michael J. Fox.

I’m not a big fan of director Quentin Tarantino. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think “Pulp Fiction” is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence, it’s really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta’s career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out to be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly-received performances.

60 Travel docs : VISAS

A visa is usually a stamp in one’s passport, an indication that one is authorized to enter (and less often, to exit) a particular country. The word “visa” comes into English, via French, from the Latin expression “charta visa” meaning “paper that has been seen”, or “verified paper”.

62 *Breakfast order usually made with ham, onion and green pepper : DENVER OMELET (inner “Rome”)

A Western omelet (also “omelette”) is also known as a Southwest omelet or a Denver omelet. The usual ingredients include diced ham, onions and green bell peppers.

According to tradition, Rome was founded by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus. The pair had a heated argument about who should be allowed to name the city and Romulus hit Remus with a shovel, killing him. And so, “Rome” was born, perhaps instead of “Reme”!

63 “Ben-Hur” author Wallace : LEW

Lew Wallace was a general for the Union Army during the Civil War, and was also an author. He wrote a very successful and celebrated book called “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ”, first published in 1880, which was made into a 1959 movie starring Charlton Heston.

71 “Cone of shame” docs : VETS

A vet may fit a cone-like device around an animal’s head to prevent it from biting or licking a wound. That device is known as an Elizabethan collar or pet cone, although it has more frivolously been referred to as a cone of shame, pet lampshade or pet radar dish.

77 Wafer brand : NILLA

As one might expect, “Nilla” is a shortened form of “vanilla”. However, you won’t find any vanilla in Nilla brand cookies or wafers. They have always been flavored with vanillin, which is synthetic vanilla. Is nothing sacred …?

80 In __: as found : SITU

“In situ” is a Latin phrase meaning “in the place”, and we use the term to mean “in the original position”.

87 Unofficial EU leaders group : G-SIX

The G6 are the six most populous states in the European Union (EU), i.e. Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Poland.

88 Peak seen from Messina : ETNA

Messina is a port, and the third largest city, on the Italian island of Sicily. The city’s natural harbor has a curved shape like that of a scythe. When founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, the settlements first name was “Zancle”, from the Greek word for “scythe”. The port gives its name the Strait of Messina, the narrow passage between the island of Sicily and the Italian mainland.

90 TV planet : ORK

“Mork & Mindy” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1978 to 1982. The title characters were played by Robin Williams and Pam Dawber. Mork is an alien from the planet Ork who reports back to his superior called Orson. Orson is played by voice actor Ralph James. Ralph James was also known for providing the voice of Mr. Turtle in famous Tootsie Pop commercials in the seventies. Nanu nanu!

91 Start to save? : ESS

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

98 Snag : GLITCH

“Glitch” comes into English from German via Yiddish. The original German word is “glitschen” meaning “to slip”. It is a relatively new term, and generally applied to computer software bugs.

99 Writer Welty : EUDORA

Eudora Welty was an author from Jackson, Mississippi who wrote short stories and novels about the American South. Welty won a Pulitzer in 1973 for her novel “The Optimist’s Daughter”. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1980.

101 2014 World Series champs : GIANTS

Today’s San Francisco Giants baseball team was founded in 1883 as the New York Gothams. The team’s name was changed to the Giants in 1885, and the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958.

104 __ ale : PALE

What’s known as “bitter ale” in the UK corresponds to “pale ale” in the US. I’m a fan …

107 Tax pro : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

108 Calamares or caracoles : TAPAS

In Spanish, “calamares” (squid) and “caracoles” (snails) might be served in tapas.

111 Locker room shower, at times? : ESPN

The initialism “ESPN” stands for Entertainment Sports Programming Network. ESPN is a cable network that broadcasts sports programming 24 hours a day, and was launched back in 1979. ESPN has a lot of ardent fans. Several parents have named their children Espn (usually pronounced “Espen”) in honor of the network.

115 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.

121 Saturn or Mercury : CAR

Saturn was a brand of automobile introduced by General Motors (GM) in 1985. The Saturn line was GM’s response to the increase in sales of Japanese imports, and was initially set up as a relatively independent division within the company. Saturn had its own assembly plant, and its own network of retailers.

The Mercury brand of car was made by Ford from 1938 until 2011. Mercury was introduced by Henry Ford’s son Edsel Ford. Mercury vehicles were positioned as being more luxurious that the regular Ford models, and more economical than Ford’s high-end Lincoln models.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Plot again : REMAP
6 Brand created by a periodontist in the 1950s : ORAL-B
11 Zap : TASE
15 Kite user’s verb : FLY
18 Yawning : AGAPE
19 Iris aperture : PUPIL
20 Being broadcast : ON TV
21 Toledo’s lake : ERIE
22 *Alternative to a pizza oven : BAKING STONE (inner “Kingston”)
24 Word derived from the underworld god Orcus : OGRE
25 Quarterback’s option : PASS
26 “Romanian Rhapsodies” composer : ENESCO
27 Birds that tell time? : CUCKOOS
29 Tolkien race : ENTS
30 What Brits cross to get here : THE POND
34 Forsaken : LORN
35 Orange __ : PEKOE
36 Like some airports: Abbr. : INTL
38 *Office group leader : TEAM MANAGER (inner “Amman”)
42 Those with clout : INS
43 Reef dweller : POLYP
45 Line of clothing : INSEAM
46 Harsh : SEVERE
48 Blow away : AWE
49 Latin being : ESSE
51 Part of a court game name : ALAI
53 Elimination : REMOVAL
56 General on a menu : TSO
57 Rat : SNITCH
59 Antique shop transaction : RESALE
60 *Online gaming attraction : VIDEO SLOTS (inner “Oslo”)
65 Designer Cassini : OLEG
67 Street in Mason’s office : DELLA
68 Sews up : ICES
69 Dynamic start? : AERO-
70 Norse patron : OLAV
72 Encouraging words : OLES
73 Rotund man in a bright suit : SANTA
75 Metalworking union : WELD
77 *Mathematical abstraction with evenly spaced integers : NUMBER LINE (inner “Berlin”)
79 Farriers’ tools : ANVILS
81 Like some mistakes : STUPID
83 Ode title starter : TO A …
84 Shooting marble : STEELIE
86 Passion : ZEAL
87 Daring exploit : GEST
89 Luthor, to Superman : FOE
92 Not for kids : R-RATED
94 Sign up : ENLIST
96 Wrangles : SPARS
98 Former General Motors division : GEO
100 *Only occupant of Vostok I : YURI GAGARIN (inner “Riga”)
102 Varieties : ILKS
103 Teaspoon equivalents, roughly : LUMPS
105 Goddess with cow’s horns : ISIS
106 Track wagers : EXACTAS
109 Conception : IDEA
110 Not full : UNSATED
113 Judging groups : PANELS
116 Ring at the chapel : TOLL
117 YA fiction reader : TEEN
118 Startup funds … and a hint to what’s hidden in the answers to the starred clues : SEED CAPITAL
122 Manitoba tribe : CREE
123 Fails to be : ISN’T
124 Beach, in Baja : PLAYA
125 Futuristic toon dog : ASTRO
126 Monopoly token : HAT
127 D-Day craft : LSTS
128 Gunpowder ingredient : NITER
129 Feed, as a fire : STOKE

Down

1 “Streamers” playwright : RABE
2 Pulitzer-winning novelist Jennifer : EGAN
3 “The Egg and I” woman : MA KETTLE
4 In an imitative way : APISHLY
5 Parts of a pound : PENCE
6 Special __ : OPS
7 Same old same old : RUT
8 GI’s address : APO
9 “The Mod Squad” role : LINC
10 __ cheese : BLEU
11 Began to deal with : TOOK ON
12 Fluffy felines : ANGORAS
13 Like gales vis-à-vis breezes : STRONGER
14 Gift-wrapping times, perhaps : EVES
15 *Lead singer of a group whose first two Top 40 hits reached #1 : FRANKIE VALLI (inner “Kiev”)
16 Champ dethroned by Clay in 1964 : LISTON
17 Approvals : YESSES
21 Duel tool : EPEE
23 Political initials since 1884 : GOP
28 V8 relative : CLAMATO
31 Elevator name : OTIS
32 Hawaiian goose : NENE
33 Court figs. : DAS
35 Program for future docs : PREMED
36 Draft pick : IPA
37 When repeated, a cautioning word : NOW
39 Wherewithal : MEANS
40 Timbuktu’s land : MALI
41 Incessantly : EVER
44 Cancún cash : PESO
47 Reddish rash : ROSEOLA
50 McGwire rival : SOSA
52 Apple storage place : ICLOUD
54 __ wrench : ALLEN
55 Limited-term usage contract : LEASE
56 More irritable : TESTIER
57 Eric of “Pulp Fiction” : STOLTZ
58 Position of control : HELM
60 Travel docs : VISAS
61 Defeatist’s words : I CAN’T
62 *Breakfast order usually made with ham, onion and green pepper : DENVER OMELET (inner “Rome”)
63 “Ben-Hur” author Wallace : LEW
64 Valuable rocks : ORES
66 Idle talk : GAB
71 “Cone of shame” docs : VETS
74 Quiets : ALLAYS
76 90 degrees : DUE EAST
77 Wafer brand : NILLA
78 Goes bad : ROTS
80 In __: as found : SITU
82 Twinge : PANG
85 Strange quality : EERINESS
87 Unofficial EU leaders group : G-SIX
88 Peak seen from Messina : ETNA
89 15-Down singing style : FALSETTO
90 TV planet : ORK
91 Start to save? : ESS
93 Political opposition : DISSENT
95 Cause of yelling, often : IRE
97 One working on a bench? : PIANIST
98 Snag : GLITCH
99 Writer Welty : EUDORA
101 2014 World Series champs : GIANTS
104 __ ale : PALE
107 Tax pro : CPA
108 Calamares or caracoles : TAPAS
110 Elec., e.g. : UTIL
111 Locker room shower, at times? : ESPN
112 Where to find a hero : DELI
114 Bit of mischief : LARK
115 Wild plum : SLOE
119 Wolf down : EAT
120 Salon coloring : DYE
121 Saturn or Mercury : CAR

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 29 Mar 20, Sunday”

  1. Knowing world capitals helped with this one but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a whole lot of errors in this grid anyway, including the same one Bill made.

    1. Given that the Romanian Rhapsodies composer’s name is Enescu everywhere in the world except France and LA is not in France, I think the clue should have been tagged “in France”

  2. Got stuck way too long on 20A “BEING BROADCAST” thinking of sci-fi or something even though I had TV at the end of it. Confounded with TINKER for 11D. Did the rest and came back to it. Missed 4 everywhere else and broke down and googled “BEING BROADCAST”. How embarrasing is that. ON TV …AARRRGGHHH. Over an hour but still fun.

  3. 1:00:00 and for the first time this weekend no errors…I think 60D should have indicated ABBR but that’s just me…I made a halfhearted attempt to figure out the theme but as usual it didn’t come to me.
    Stay safe everyone…we will beat this.

  4. 23:43, no errors … BUT … I then changed RABE/ENESCO to RABI/INESCO before checking my answers! Grrrrrr. (Knowing that Bill had the same error does take some of the sting out of it … 😜.)

    1. Oddly enough, I just realized that, a little less than a year ago, I walked past Enesco’s gravesite in Pere Lachaise Cemetery, in Paris. Seems like an eternity since then … 😳.

  5. Took a long time; thought I had it done with no errors, but had a blank
    box at the top of Icloud. I knew cloud but not Icloud. This puzzle was easier than I first thought it would be. Oh well,…should have thought of
    alai but didn’t.

  6. Didn’t try today, just wanted to read the comments. Looks like the general consensus
    was that it was pretty hard.

    Stay well, everyone; wash your hands.

  7. If the veteran constructor Gary Larson wrote the remarkably bad clues to this slogfest himself, his editor let him down by not recrafting a solid half of them. If, on the other hand, his editor IS responsible for the clueing, Larson should have protested vigorously and refused to let his respected byline remain on this travesty.

  8. This one starts with a rash of proper names in the upper left, (and since they cross, you get little to no help) and never recovers from that. Lots of cynical clues, and I didn’t see cities in half of the theme fills (not that I bothered to look hard). Horrible puzzle. DNF: @12 errors or unfilled entries.

  9. Maybe the LAT should include a trigger alert for fragile, easily-offended snowflakes: “WARNING: This crossword puzzle may include proper names, deliberately misleading clues, and/or extremely obscure answers. If this might make you start spittin’ up blood, you may wish to avoid this puzzle and do the amateur-level Daily Commuter crossword instead.”

  10. 47:20 with a few look-ups but entertaining none-the-less. Enescu’s Rumanian Rhapsody is a very challenging and entertaining piece of music – wow! A lot of new stuff for me but I decided to look into all the stuff I didn’t know, just for entertainment purposes.

    Not sure I’ll remember Egan, Rabe or Eudora Welty, but Enescu I should be able to though. Liston was a real monster of a boxer!

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