LA Times Crossword 8 Mar 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Robin Stears
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Losing an Hour

Themed answers are common phrases that have LOST AN “HR” sequence of letters:

  • 23A Floating flower going under? : SINKING VIOLET (from “shrinking violet”)
  • 28A Ratio of a synagogue’s center column to its roof slope? : TEMPLE SINE (from “temple shrine”)
  • 52A Simon, partly? : GAME OF TONES (from “Game of Thrones”)
  • 69A Highways pitted with potholes? : TOUGH ROADS (from “through roads”)
  • 71A Cast of “Caddyshack”? : TEE STOOGES (from “Three Stooges”)
  • 87A Hauling beach umbrellas? : TOWING SHADE (from “throwing shade”)
  • 113A Pointy-bottomed paper cups missing their holders? : CONIC PAINS (from “chronic pains”)
  • 119A “Someone stole our cash box!”? : THE TILL IS GONE (from “the thrill is gone”)

Bill’s time: 29m 36s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 __ copy : CARBON

I wonder do the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle? A kind blog reader pointed out to me a while back that the abbreviation has evolved and taken on the meaning “courtesy copy” in our modern world.

7 Stopped the ship, in nautical lingo : LAID TO

A sailing vessel that is “hove to” is pointed into the wind, with the foresail “backed” so that it tries to push the bow away from the wind. At the same time, the mainsail works to push the bow into the wind. The end result is that the vessel remains relatively stationary. Another technique used to stop a sailboat is to “lie to”. A vessel “lying to” is usually pointed about 45-degrees off the wind, with the sails let loose, just flapping.

13 Female Plymouth Colony settler, say : EMIGREE

An émigré (fem. “émigrée”) is an emigrant. The term is French in origin, and particularly applies to someone who is a political refugee from his or her native land.

The early settlers of the Plymouth Colony were known as English Dissenters and belonged to congregations that separated from the Church of England. Many English Dissenters headed for Holland in the Netherlands, but the Mayflower Pilgrims opted to set up a new colony in North America in an effort to maintain their English cultural identity.

20 Bagel Bites brand : OREIDA

Ore-Ida frozen foods are all made using potatoes. The company is located in Oregon, just across the border from Idaho. “Ore-Ida” is a melding of the two state names.

22 Cradlesong : LULLABY

A lullaby is a soothing song, one usually used to quiet children. The term “lullaby” has its roots in Middle English and is related to our contemporary word verb “to lull”, as in “to lull to sleep”.

23 Floating flower going under? : SINKING VIOLET (from “shrinking violet”)

Someone who is very shy might be described as a “shrinking violet”. The violet in this case is the flower, and not the girl’s name. The plant Viola odorata is sometimes called a “shrinking violet” because of its habit of hugging the ground as it grows.

26 Montréal morning : MATIN

The original name of Montreal was Ville-Marie, meaning the City of Mary. Ville-Marie is now the name of a borough in the city, the borough which includes the downtown area and “Old Montreal”. The present-day city covers most of the Island of Montreal (in French, “Île de Montréal”) that is located where the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers meet. The name “Montreal” comes from the three-headed hill that dominates the island and is called “Mount Royal”.

27 Longings : YENS

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

28 Ratio of a synagogue’s center column to its roof slope? : TEMPLE SINE (from “temple shrine”)

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

30 Aerosmith’s “Love __ Elevator” : IN AN

Aerosmith is a hard rock band from Boston that formed in 1970. Aerosmith is the best-selling American rock band of all time, and holds the record for most gold albums by any American group. The band’s lead singer is Steven Tyler, father of actress Liv Tyler.

31 __ dixit: unproven claim : IPSE

“Ipse dixit” is Latin, a phrase meaning “he himself said it”. The term is used in contemporary English to describe an unsupported assertion, one usually by someone in authority.

33 Tricolor cats : CALICOS

Domestic cats with a white coat and patches of brown and black are called calico cats in this country. Back in Ireland, and the rest of the world I think, such cats are called tortoiseshell-and-white. “Calico” is not a breed of cat, but rather a coloring.

35 Tony nominee Phillipa of “Hamilton” : SOO

Phillipa Soo is an actress and singer who is perhaps best known for portraying Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, the title character’s wife in the Broadway production of “Hamilton”.

37 Like a prof. emeritus : RET

“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.

49 Org. involved in the Waco Siege : ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today is part of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The ATF has its roots in the Department of Treasury dating back to 1886 when it was known as the Bureau of Prohibition. “Explosives” was added to the ATF’s name when the bureau was moved under the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of the reorganization called for in the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

In recent years, Waco is perhaps most famous as the site of a siege and shootout between ATF agents and members of the Protestant sect known as the Branch Davidians. Shortly after ATF agents tried to execute a search warrant, shots were fired and at the end of the fight six people inside the Branch Davidian compound were dead, as were four agents. A fifty-day siege ensued at the end of which a final assault resulted in members of the community setting fire to the compound. Only nine people walked away from that fire. 50 adults and 25 children perished.

52 Simon, partly? : GAME OF TONES (from “Game of Thrones”)

Simon is an electronic memory game that was released in the 1980s. The idea is to press four big colored buttons in the right order.

55 Jamaican tangelos : UGLIS

The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine that was first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today. “UGLI” is a trademark name that is a variant of “ugly”, a nod to the fruits unsightly wrinkled rind.

The fruit called a tangelo is a hybrid between a tangerine and either a grapefruit or a pomelo (which gives its the name). A pomelo is a very large, pear-shaped citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. The Jamaican form of tangelo is known as the ugli fruit.

61 James Patterson hero __ Cross : ALEX

Author James Patterson is known for his thriller novels, especially those featuring his forensic psychologist Alex Cross. Patterson holds the record for the most hardcover fiction titles to appear in “The New York Times” bestseller list …

62 Playful swimmer : OTTER

Sea otters actually hold hands while sleeping on their backs so that they don’t drift apart. When sea otter pups are too small to lock hands, they clamber up onto their mother’s belly and nap there.

71 Cast of “Caddyshack”? : TEE STOOGES (from “Three Stooges”)

“Caddyshack” is a comedy that was released in 1980 that was directed by Harold Ramis, his first movie. The film stars Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight and Bill Murray. “Caddyshack” has quite a cult following, but it’s a little too slapstick for me …

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you might have noticed that the line-up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946. Shemp stayed with the troupe until he himself died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine suffered a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

74 Home to Purdue : INDIANA

Purdue University was founded in 1869, largely using a donation from local industrialist John Purdue. Purdue’s donation included 100 acres of land near the town of Battle Ground, Indiana on which the campus was built. The university’s location now falls within the bounds of the city of West Lafayette.

76 Altar attire : ALBS

An alb is a white, neck-to-toe vestment worn by priests, usually with a rope cord around the waist. The term alb comes from “albus”, the Latin word for “white”.

77 Revealing type : GOSSIP

Our word “gossip” comes from the Old English “godsibb” meaning “godparent”. The term was then used for women friends who attended a birth, and then for anyone engaging in idle talk.

83 Longtime SeaWorld star : SHAMU

Shamu was the name of the third orca (aka “killer whale”) ever to be featured in a public exhibition. Shamu starred in a popular SeaWorld show in San Diego in the sixties. After she died in 1971, her name lived on as the “stage name” of orca shows in different SeaWorld parks. That original Shamu was retired after she grabbed and refused to let go of the leg of one of her trainers.

87 Hauling beach umbrellas? : TOWING SHADE (from “throwing shade”)

To throw shade is to show disrespect to someone publicly using insults or criticisms.

91 Luis Almagro’s org. : OAS

The Organization of American States (OAS) was founded in 1948, and has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Not all of the independent states in the Americas are members. Cuba was barred from participation in the organization after a vote in 1962. Honduras had her membership suspended after the country’s 2009 coup.

Luis Almagro is a diplomat from Uruguay who assumed the office of Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 2015. Before taking his position with the OAS, Almagro served for five years as Uruguay’s Foreign Minister.

95 Romanov royals : TSARS

The House of Romanov was the second and last imperial dynasty to rule over Russia, after the Rurik dynasty. The reign of the Romanovs ended when Emperor Nicholas II abdicated following the February Revolution of 1917. Famously, Nicholas II and his immediate family were murdered soon after he stepped down, and other members of the Romanov Dynasty were sent into exile by the Bolsheviks.

97 Pitcher and poker pro Hershiser : OREL

Orel Hershiser is big into poker now that he has retired from Major League Baseball. Hershiser lives in Las Vegas and when he isn’t working for ESPN, apparently he is at the poker tables, playing professionally. When Hershiser is eliminated in a poker tournament, he is in the habit of presenting the person who ousts him with an autographed baseball.

100 Equinox mo. : SEP

An equinox is a phenomenon dictated by the tilt of the earth’s axis. Twice every year, that tilt “evens out” and the sun is equidistant from points at the same latitude both north and south of the equator. It is as if the earth has no tilt relative to the sun. The term “equinox” comes from the Latin for “equal night”, inferring that night and day are equally long, as the effect of the earth’s “tilt” is nullified. Equinoxes occur each year around March 21st (the vernal equinox) and September 23rd (the autumnal equinox).

106 Defamatory : LIBELOUS

The word “libel” describes a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation. It comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s, libel was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging association arising in the 1600s. The related concept of slander is defamation in a transient form, such as speech, sign language or gestures.

110 Word on an Irish euro : EIRE

“Éire” is the Irish name for Ireland, coming from “Ériu”. Ériu was the matron goddess of Ireland in Irish mythology.

Euro coins are issued by all the participating European states. The reverse side is a common design used by all countries, whereas the obverse is a design specific to each nation. For example, the one euro coin issued by Malta features the Maltese Cross. That Maltese euro is legal tender right across the eurozone. The Irish euro features a harp.

112 Dwarf planet formerly known as Xena : ERIS

Eris is the largest known dwarf planet in our solar system. It is also the ninth largest body orbiting the sun, a fact that helped relegate Pluto (the tenth largest body) from its status of planet in 2006. Eris was discovered in 2005.

116 Place name from the Greek for “I burn” : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcano in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

117 Pablo’s last word : ADIOS

The term “adiós” is Spanish for “goodbye”. “Adiós” comes from the phrase “a Dios vos acomiendo” meaning “I commend you to God”.

118 Like the moons Titania and Oberon : URANIAN

All of the twenty-seven moons of the planet Uranus are named for characters from literature, with each being characters created by William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. The five major moons are so large that they would be considered planets in their own right if they were orbiting the sun directly. The names of these five moons are:

  • Miranda (from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”)
  • Ariel (from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”)
  • Umbriel (from Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”)
  • Titania (from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)
  • Oberon (from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”)

124 __ Pieces : REESE’S

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett “H.B.” Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “Pieces” …

127 Art supporters : EASELS

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey”, would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

Down

1 __ dust : COSMIC

Cosmic dust is usually defined as the space dust that exists in our solar system. These dust particles mainly originate from comets and asteroids in our system, but can also be interstellar dust particles that are just “passing through” from other solar systems.

2 Grande dame of pop : ARIANA

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four season on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

4 They don’t cover much : BIKINIS

The origin of the word “bikini”, describing a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

5 Hopkins’ “Thor” role : ODIN

The 2011 movie “Thor” is yet another film based on a comic book hero. Even though I won’t be seeing it (I don’t do comics), I must admit it does have an impressive cast. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor, supported by Natalie Portman, Rene Russo, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins. And to crown it all, Kenneth Branagh is the director.

The marvelous actor Anthony Hopkins got his big break in movies playing Richard the Lionheart in the 1968 historical drama “The Lion in Winter”. Hopkins hails from the south coast of Wales, and was encouraged in his early career by fellow Welshman Richard Burton, whom he met when he was a teenager. I’d say that Hopkins’ best-known film role was Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs”.

6 Tandoori bread : NAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

8 Dior skirts : A-LINES

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares towards the hem. The term “A-line” was first used in fashion by French designer Christian Dior in his 1955 spring collection.

10 Pickles on “Rugrats” : DIL

Tommy Pickles is the protagonist on the Nickelodeon cartoon show “Rugrats”. Dil Pickles is Tommy’s younger brother.

12 Path lead-in : OSTEO-

The healthcare discipline known as osteopathy was founded in 1892 by an American physician who opened up the first school of osteopathy in 1892 in Kirksville, Missouri. Osteopaths emphasise the role played by the musculoskeletal system in health and disease.

14 Rod Stewart and David Bowie rocked them in the ’70s : MULLETS

A mullet haircut is one that is short at the front and sides, and is long in the back.

English singer Rod Stewart first achieved success with the Jeff Beck Group in the late sixties before launching a solo career while recording with a new lineup called Faces. Stewart is an ardent soccer fan, and actually supports the Scottish national team (Rod’s father was Scottish). Stewart plays the game himself, playing for a team called the LA Exiles along with a few other celebrities. He even kicks autographed soccer balls into the audience at his concerts.

David Bowie was the stage name of English singer David Jones. Bowie adopted the alter ego Ziggy Stardust during his glam rock phase in the 1970s. Sadly, Bowie passed away from liver cancer in early 2016.

17 Beatle George’s Indian friend : RAVI

Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous virtuoso (to us Westerners) from the world of Indian classical music, and was noted for his sitar playing. Shankar was the father of the pop singer Norah Jones.

George Harrison is often referred to as the “quiet Beatle”, although he did have a profound influence on the direction taken by the Fab Four. It was Harrison who first became an admirer of Indian culture and led the rest of the group into the Indian way of life. Harrison went as far as embracing the Hindu religion.

18 Irving Bacheller’s “__ Holden” : EBEN

Irving Bacheller was an American journalist and writer. His novel “Eben Holden” was published in 1900.

19 Brontë heroine : EYRE

“Jane Eyre” is the celebrated novel written by Charlotte Brontë, under the pen name Currer Bell. The love story is perhaps represented by the oft-quoted opening lines of the last chapter, “Reader, I married him”. There is a wonderful 4-hour television adaptation made by the BBC that I highly recommend to fans of the novel …

24 Plaster of Paris component : GYPSUM

Plaster made using gypsum is commonly referred to as plaster of Paris. The original plaster of Paris came from a large deposit of gypsum mined at Montmartre in Paris, hence the name.

31 I as in Iris : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

In Greek mythology, the goddess Iris was viewed as the link between the gods and humanity, a messenger. She was also the goddess of the rainbow. In Virgil’s “Aeneid”, Iris takes the form of a Trojan woman and incites other Trojan mothers to set fire to Aeneas’ ships, preventing them from leaving Sicily.

32 Seabiscuit, once : COLT

Seabiscuit was a thoroughbred racehorse who dominated horse racing in the US in the 1940s. There have been a few films made based on the horse’s life, including 1949’s “The Story of Seabiscuit” starring Shirley Temple, and 2003’s “Seabiscuit” starring Tobey Maguire.

36 Starts to dicker, maybe : OFFERS

“To dicker” is “to bargain, haggle over a price”.

39 Blanc who voiced Bugs : MEL

Mel Blanc was known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”. We’ve all heard Mel Blanc at one time or another, I am sure. His was the voice behind such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Woody Woodpecker, Elmer Fudd and Barney Rubble. And the words on Blanc’s tombstone are … “That’s all folks”.

40 Chi follower : PSI

Psi is the 23rd and penultimate letter of the Greek alphabet, and the one that looks a bit like a trident or a pitchfork.

41 HI and OK : STS

Hawaii (HI)

Oklahoma (OK)

43 Katniss’ “Hunger Games” ally : PEETA

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, and the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

45 Letters for short people? : IOU

I owe you (IOU)

46 Spike TV, formerly : TNN

Spike TV was a 2003 relaunch of the Nashville Network (TNN) and was marketed as the first television channel for men. The station owners ran into trouble though as the director Spike Lee sued, claiming that viewers would assume he was associated with the channel because of the use of “Spike”. The suit was settled when Lee concluded that there was no intention to trade on his name.

49 Early luthier family name : AMATI

The first of the Amati family to make violins was Andrea Amati, who lived in the 14th century. He was succeeded by his sons Antonio and Girolamo. In turn, the two brothers were succeeded by Girolamo’s son Nicolo. Nicolo had a few students who achieved fame making musical instruments as well. One was his own son, Girolamo, and another was the famed Antonio Stradivari.

A luthier is someone who constructs and repairs stringed instruments like violins and guitars. The term “luthier” is French and comes from “luth”, the French word for “lute”.

50 Eagle claw : TALON

A talon is a claw of a bird of prey. The term “talon” ultimately derives from “talus”, the Latin word for “ankle”.

51 Slip eponym : FREUD

A Freudian slip is an error that is interpreted as being due to an unconscious wish for the same outcome. Named for psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, the “slip” is also called a parapraxis.

54 Musical “phone” namesake : SOUSA

John Philip Sousa was a composer and conductor from Washington, D.C. Sousa was well known for his patriotic marches and earned himself the nickname “The American March King”. He served as a member of the US Marine Band from 1868 to 1875, and after leaving the Marines learned to conduct and compose. One of the Sousa compositions that is well-known around the world is called “The Liberty Bell”, a tune used as the musical theme for BBC Television’s “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. Sousa also wrote “Semper Fidelis”, which is the official march of the US Marine Corps.

The sousaphone is a kind of tuba that was specifically designed to send the sound upward and over the rest of the orchestra, with a warm tone, achieved with a large bell that pointed upwards. The instrument was developed at the request of the composer John Philip Sousa, hence the name. The design proved to be more suitable than its predecessors for use in marching bands, and that is how it is used most frequently today.

57 Nov. celebrant : EX-GI

Veterans Day used to be known as Armistice Day, and is observed on November 11th each year. This particular date was chosen as the Armistice that ended WWI was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

65 Freddie Mac purchase : LOAN

“Freddie Mac” is the common name for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC).

66 Aptly named cooler maker : IGLOO

Igloo Products is a Texas-based manufacturer, mainly of ice chests.

67 Marty, in “Madagascar” films : ZEBRA

“Madagascar” is an animated film released in 2005. It’s a story about zoo animals, used to “the easy life” in captivity, getting shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar off the African coast.

70 World Court site, with “The” : HAGUE

“Den Haag” is the Dutch name for the city in the Netherlands that we know in English as “The Hague”. Even though the Hague is the seat of the Dutch parliament and is where Queen Beatrix resides, it is not the country’s capital city. That honor goes to Amsterdam.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is commonly referred to as the World Court, and is based in the Hague in the Netherlands. Housed in a building known as the Peace Palace, the ICJ is the main judicial branch of the United Nations. One of the court’s functions is to settle disputes between UN member states. The US no longer accepts the jurisdiction of the ICJ, after the court’s 1986 decision that the USA’s covert war against Nicaragua was in violation of international law. The UN Security Council is charged with enforcing the ICJ rulings, and so the US used its veto power on the council in the Nicaragua v. United States case.

72 Mendes and Perón : EVAS

I best know actress Eva Mendes as the female lead in the movie “Hitch”, in which she played opposite Will Smith. Mendes was known off the screen for dating actor Ryan Gosling from 2011 to 2013.

Eva Perón was the second wife of President Juan Perón who was in office from 1946 to 1955. The Argentine First Lady was known affectionately by the people as “Evita”, the Spanish language diminutive of “Eva”. “Evita” is also the title of a tremendously successful musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice that is based on the life of Eva Perón.

73 Oxygen’s atomic number : EIGHT

The element oxygen has an atomic number of 8, and has eight electrons within each atom. The name “oxygen” was coined (“oxygène” in French) by the Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, from the Greek “oxys” meaning “acid” and the French “-gène” meaning “producer”. It was originally believed that oxygen was needed to make all acids.

78 Djibouti language : SOMALI

Djibouti is a country in the Horn of Africa that is located to the northwest of Somalia, with coasts on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Once known as French Somaliland, the country gained independence from France in 1977. The newly independent nation adopted the same name as Djibouti, the capital city.

79 “Letters From __ Jima”: 2006 film : IWO

“Flags of Our Fathers” is a 2006 war film directed by Clint Eastwood, based on a 2000 book of the same name by James Bradley. “Flags of Our Fathers” was a somewhat unique film, as it was filmed within a few months of a “paired” movie “Letters from Iwo Jima”, also directed by Eastwood. “Flags of Our Fathers” told the story of the WWII Battle of Iwo Jima from the American perspective, and “Letters from Iwo Jima” told the same story from the Japanese standpoint.

82 Toxin fighters : SERA

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

83 Sign of being full? : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

85 One of 17 Monopoly props. : AVE

The street names in the original US version of the board game Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

86 Hat designer : MILLINER

A milliner is someone who makes, designs or sells hats. Back in the 1500s, the term described someone who sold hats made in Milan, Italy, hence the name “milliner”.

88 Capone nemesis : NESS

Eliot Ness was the Treasury agent charged with the task of bringing down the notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone. When Ness took on the job in 1930, Chicago law-enforcement agents were renowned for being corrupt, for being on the take. Ness handpicked 50 prohibition agents who he thought he could rely on, later reducing the group to a cadre of 15 and ultimately just 11 trusted men. That group of 11 earned the nickname “The Untouchables”, the agents who couldn’t be bought.

89 __ projection : ASTRAL

An astral projection is an out-of-body experience. It is often associated with incidents of near-death and describes the phenomenon of the astral body leaving the physical body and travelling around the astral plane.

93 Home or FAQ, e.g. : WEB PAGE

Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Even this blog has one!

96 Heavy hammers : SLEDGES

A sledgehammer is a big hammer, one used to apply a lot of force. The word “sledgehammer” comes from the Anglo Saxon “Slaegan” meaning “to strike violently”. “Slaegan” is also the root of the words “slag”, “slay” and “slog”.

103 Easy on the ears : ARIOSE

A tune that is “ariose” is song-like, characterized by melody as opposed to harmony.

104 Duettist with Diana in “Endless Love” : LIONEL

“Endless Love” is a Lionel Richie song that he recorded as a duet with Diana Ross. That recording was named the greatest song duet of all time by “Billboard” magazine.

Singer-songwriter Lionel Richie got his big break as a singer and saxophonist with the Commodores starting in 1968. Richie launched a very successful solo career in 1982. Richie is the father of socialite Nicole Richie, childhood friend of Paris Hilton and co-star on the Fox show “The Simple Life”.

Diana Ross is one of the most prolific recording artists in history. She sang with the Supremes from 1959 to 1970 and then launched an incredibly successful solo career. Ross was listed in the 1993 edition of “The Guinness Book of World Records” as the most successful music artist ever, with eighteen #1 records.

111 Fjord, for one : INLET

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, and both are formed as sea levels rise. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

114 City once known as Provo Bench : OREM

Orem, Utah was originally known as “Sharon” (a Biblical name), then “Provo Bench”, and in 1914 it was given the family name of a local railroad operator called “Orem”. Orem gave itself the nickname “Family City USA” and sure enough in 2010, “Forbes” rated Orem the 5th best place in the country to raise a family.

115 Church part : NAVE

In large Christian churches, the nave is the main approach to the altar, and is where most of the congregation are seated.

117 In the Red? : ASEA

The Red Sea (sometimes called the Arabian Gulf) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to the north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.

120 Middle of a memorable palindrome : … ERE …

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite terms is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 __ copy : CARBON
7 Stopped the ship, in nautical lingo : LAID TO
13 Female Plymouth Colony settler, say : EMIGREE
20 Bagel Bites brand : OREIDA
21 Nostalgic numbers : OLDIES
22 Cradlesong : LULLABY
23 Floating flower going under? : SINKING VIOLET (from “shrinking violet”)
25 Everywhere : ALL OVER
26 Montréal morning : MATIN
27 Longings : YENS
28 Ratio of a synagogue’s center column to its roof slope? : TEMPLE SINE (from “temple shrine”)
30 Aerosmith’s “Love __ Elevator” : IN AN
31 __ dixit: unproven claim : IPSE
32 They’re selective : CHOOSERS
33 Tricolor cats : CALICOS
35 Tony nominee Phillipa of “Hamilton” : SOO
37 Like a prof. emeritus : RET
38 Folklore pests : IMPS
42 End a slump? : SIT UP
44 Darts : FLITS
47 Least ludicrous : SANEST
49 Org. involved in the Waco Siege : ATF
52 Simon, partly? : GAME OF TONES (from “Game of Thrones”)
55 Jamaican tangelos : UGLIS
56 Stable girls : MARES
58 Girl in a wool coat : EWE
59 Sell in a hurry : UNLOAD
61 James Patterson hero __ Cross : ALEX
62 Playful swimmer : OTTER
64 Put to work : UTILIZE
69 Highways pitted with potholes? : TOUGH ROADS (from “through roads”)
71 Cast of “Caddyshack”? : TEE STOOGES (from “Three Stooges”)
74 Home to Purdue : INDIANA
75 Like a hawk : AVIAN
76 Altar attire : ALBS
77 Revealing type : GOSSIP
81 Bother a lot : NAG
82 Nocturnal dorm annoyance : SNORE
83 Longtime SeaWorld star : SHAMU
87 Hauling beach umbrellas? : TOWING SHADE (from “throwing shade”)
91 Luis Almagro’s org. : OAS
92 Source of a movie poster quote : REVIEW
94 Place to stay : MOTEL
95 Romanov royals : TSARS
97 Pitcher and poker pro Hershiser : OREL
98 Portuguese pronoun : ELA
100 Equinox mo. : SEP
102 Song refrain : TRA-LA-LA
106 Defamatory : LIBELOUS
110 Word on an Irish euro : EIRE
112 Dwarf planet formerly known as Xena : ERIS
113 Pointy-bottomed paper cups missing their holders? : CONIC PAINS (from “chronic pains”)
116 Place name from the Greek for “I burn” : ETNA
117 Pablo’s last word : ADIOS
118 Like the moons Titania and Oberon : URANIAN
119 “Someone stole our cash box!”? : THE TILL IS GONE (from “the thrill is gone”)
122 Film sequel word : REVENGE
123 Make bubbly : AERATE
124 __ Pieces : REESE’S
125 Came out : EMERGED
126 Tuning shortcut : PRESET
127 Art supporters : EASELS

Down

1 __ dust : COSMIC
2 Grande dame of pop : ARIANA
3 Thrifty offering : RENTAL
4 They don’t cover much : BIKINIS
5 Hopkins’ “Thor” role : ODIN
6 Tandoori bread : NAN
7 Is sweet on : LOVES
8 Dior skirts : A-LINES
9 Pledges that end an engagement : I DOS
10 Pickles on “Rugrats” : DIL
11 They may be gnashed or gritted : TEETH
12 Path lead-in : OSTEO-
13 Go by : ELAPSE
14 Rod Stewart and David Bowie rocked them in the ’70s : MULLETS
15 Not as healthy : ILLER
16 Treating as unimportant, with “over” : GLOSSING
17 Beatle George’s Indian friend : RAVI
18 Irving Bacheller’s “__ Holden” : EBEN
19 Brontë heroine : EYRE
24 Plaster of Paris component : GYPSUM
29 Bite : MORSEL
31 I as in Iris : IOTA
32 Seabiscuit, once : COLT
34 Butts : CIGS
36 Starts to dicker, maybe : OFFERS
39 Blanc who voiced Bugs : MEL
40 Chi follower : PSI
41 HI and OK : STS
43 Katniss’ “Hunger Games” ally : PEETA
45 Letters for short people? : IOU
46 Spike TV, formerly : TNN
48 Film part : AUDIO
49 Early luthier family name : AMATI
50 Eagle claw : TALON
51 Slip eponym : FREUD
53 Due : OWED
54 Musical “phone” namesake : SOUSA
57 Nov. celebrant : EX-GI
60 Sorting aid on an env. : ATTN
62 Yes-__ question : OR-NO
63 Done for : TOAST
65 Freddie Mac purchase : LOAN
66 Aptly named cooler maker : IGLOO
67 Marty, in “Madagascar” films : ZEBRA
68 Twisty turns : ESSES
70 World Court site, with “The” : HAGUE
71 Snarl : TANGLE
72 Mendes and Perón : EVAS
73 Oxygen’s atomic number : EIGHT
78 Djibouti language : SOMALI
79 “Letters From __ Jima”: 2006 film : IWO
80 Tire-changing spot : PIT
82 Toxin fighters : SERA
83 Sign of being full? : SRO
84 Yon yacht : HER
85 One of 17 Monopoly props. : AVE
86 Hat designer : MILLINER
88 Capone nemesis : NESS
89 __ projection : ASTRAL
90 “I __ you!” : DARE
93 Home or FAQ, e.g. : WEB PAGE
96 Heavy hammers : SLEDGES
99 Listed at sea : LEANED
101 Dress size : PETITE
103 Easy on the ears : ARIOSE
104 Duettist with Diana in “Endless Love” : LIONEL
105 Do taxing work? : ASSESS
107 Cupcake topper : ICING
108 Ready in the keg : ON TAP
109 One who helps you find your place : USHER
111 Fjord, for one : INLET
113 Antidote : CURE
114 City once known as Provo Bench : OREM
115 Church part : NAVE
116 Flight sked info : ETAS
117 In the Red? : ASEA
120 Middle of a memorable palindrome : … ERE …
121 Extreme umbrage : IRE

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Mar 20, Sunday”

  1. Pretty rough.
    I really expecting “ending a slump?” to be a missing HR answer. Kind of misleading.
    Also, I thought Nov. celebrant was for all GI’s, not just ex-GI’s. I could always be wrong.
    Lately I’ve been having trouble getting to this site. Or I come up with the right puzzle, but comments from yesterday. Again, it’s probably just something I’m doing wrong.

  2. 25:41, no errors. I briefly had “HOVE TO” and “VOWS” before “LAID TO” and “I DOS”, and later I had “TNT” before “TNN” … otherwise a pretty straightforward solve.

  3. I cannot easily equate “in the red” and on the sea with asea, despite the cap on red. Otherwise, a really good crossword. Thanks.

  4. Whew. Glad that’s over. The 40 or so capitalized PPPs (Products, Places, Pop culture names and references), several of which were fairly obscure, felt more like 80. Too many clues were pompous reaches (31D, “I as in Isis” for IOTA) and some of the theme answers were either tortured (113A: CONIC PAINS, alluding to paper cups’ emotional anguish) or desperate (69A, TOUGH ROADS, which includes the very HR pair [tougHRoads] whose omission IS the damn theme!) Sigh. Maybe next Sunday …

  5. Too many of these clues made no damned sense. And, since I had to way to refresh my memory as to the theme, I couldn’t figure out the puns. This had more of a detrimental effect on my mood than losing an hour of sleep. Boo.

  6. Wayne I don’t think it is something you are doing wrong…or I am doing
    it wrong too. I’ve found the same mixup a time or two.
    Today’s was hard for me…one of those days when I think I’ve got it all
    right and find some dumb errors. Not even going to mention how many.

  7. 6:30, and no errors. As with the last few weeks, thought I glided through with a better time than I ended up with. Oh well…

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