LA Times Crossword 5 Apr 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: The Other Half

Themed answers are phrases with one word switched. That word is THE OTHER HALF of common idiom:

  • 23A Pasta on the barbie? : GRILLED MACARONI (macaroni and cheese; grilled cheese)
  • 32A Like the club that Sinatra, Zappa and Capra belonged to? : FULL OF FRANKS (franks and beans; full of beans)
  • 51A “Don’t forget we’re having omelets”? : BRING HOME THE EGGS (bacon and eggs; bring home the bacon)
  • 68A Town group that decides what kinds of lawns are allowed? : TURF BOARD (turf and surf; surfboard)
  • 88A Unexpected eccentric skydiver? : A NUT OUT OF THE BLUE (nuts and bolts; a bolt out of the blue)
  • 101A Lucky one at the dairy raffle? : BUTTERWINNER (bread and butter; breadwinner)
  • 118A Sniffing the jalapeños? : SMELLING PEPPERS (salt and pepper; smelling salts)

Bill’s time: 13m 28s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Calypso offshoot : SKA

Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of a sound.

The musical style known as calypso originated in Trinidad and Tobago, but there seems to be some debate about which influences were most important as the genre developed. It is generally agreed that the music was imported by African slaves from their homeland, but others emphasize influences of the medieval French troubadours. To me it sounds more African in nature. Calypso reached the masses when it was first recorded in 1912, and it spread around the world in the thirties and forties. It reached its pinnacle with the release of the famous “Banana Boat Song” by Harry Belafonte.

13 Pond buildup : ALGAE

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

19 Slate or Salon : E-MAG

“Slate” is an online magazine that was founded in 1996. “Slate” was originally owned by Microsoft and was part of the MSN online offering. The magazine has been available for free since 1999 (it is ad-supported) and has been owned by the Washington Post Company since 2004.

Salon.com is a popular online magazine, one of the first “ezines” ever published. “Salon” focuses on American politics and current affairs, but also has articles about books, music and films. The magazine was launched in 1995, and managed to survive many loss-making years. Most of Salon’s content is free, but it does make money by offering a premium service with extra content, and by selling ad space.

22 Nobelist Bohr : NIELS

Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who won his 1922 Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Later in his life, Bohr was part of the team working on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb. Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein had a series of public debates and disputes in the twenties and thirties. Although the two respected each other very highly, they held very different views on quantum theory, different views on the laws of physics at the atomic level. The passage of time has shown that Bohr won out in those debates.

23 Pasta on the barbie? : GRILLED MACARONI (macaroni and cheese)

Thomas Jefferson’s name is associated with the dish we know today as “mac ‘n’ cheese”. The future president discovered baked macaroni with Parmesan cheese while in Paris and in northern Italy. He started serving the dish to guests in the US, and even had a machine imported to make the macaroni locally. Whether or not Jefferson was the first to bring mac ‘n’ cheese to America isn’t entirely clear, but it has been popular ever since.

26 Bill with billions : GATES

Bill Gates is the former CEO of Microsoft, a company that he co-founded with Paul Allen. Gates has been listed as the wealthiest man in the world on several occasions over the past two decades. He now works full-time as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, alongside his wife Melinda. The Gates’ foundation is the largest transparently-operated charitable foundation in the world.

27 Brother of Andrew the Apostle : ST PETER

According to the Christian tradition, Saint Peter was crucified on the orders of Emperor Nero in Rome. Many hold that he requested to be crucified upside down as he felt that he was unworthy to have the same fate as Jesus Christ.

30 Churchill’s “so few”: Abbr. : RAF

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” was the Battle of Britain, when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

32 Like the club that Sinatra, Zappa and Capra belonged to? : FULL OF FRANKS (franks and beans)

Frank Sinatra was married four times in all. His first wife, and mother of his three children, was Nancy Barbato. Barbato and Sinatra met in Jersey City while in their teens, and married in their early twenties in 1939. They divorced in 1951 following a string of affairs that Sinatra had after he moved his family to Hollywood. One of those very public affairs was with actress Ava Gardner, who became Sinatra’s second wife a few months after divorcing Barbato. That marriage lasted until 1957. Sinatra then married actress Mia Farrow, when she was 21 years old and he was 29 years her senior. That marriage only lasted a couple of years. Sinatra’s last marriage took place in 1976, and was Barbara Blakely Marx, the ex-wife of Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers.

Frank Zappa was an American composer and guitarist. He was a solo artist as well as the founding member of the rock band Mothers of Invention. You might like to meet his four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

I can’t tell you how many of Frank Capra’s movies are on my list of all-time favorites. He directed such classics as “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town”, “Lost Horizon”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, “Meet John Doe”, “Arsenic and Old Lace” and the holiday favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Capra was the first person to win three directorial Oscars: for “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” and “You Can’t Take It With You”. Capra also did his bit during WWII, enlisting just a few days after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Given his great talent, and the fact that he enlisted at the relatively advanced age of 44, the US Army put him to work directing 11 documentary war films in the “Why We Fight” series, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

35 Like Stout’s Wolfe : OBESE

Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective and the hero of many stories published by author Rex Stout. There are 33 Nero Wolfe novels for us to read, and 39 short stories. There are also movie adaptations of two of the novels: “Meet Nero Wolfe” (1936) which features a young Rita Hayworth, and “The League of Frightened Men” (1937). One of Wolfe’s endearing traits is his love of good food and beer, so he is a pretty rotund character.

42 Hawaiian for “long” : LOA

Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

46 Defense gp. since 1948 : 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.

55 Sea of troubles : ARAL

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

56 On the job, for short : TCB

Taking care of business (TCB)

58 Au pair’s subj. : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working and living as part of a host family. The term “au pair” is French, and means “on a par”, indicating that an au pair is treated as an equal in the host family.

61 Roswell sightings, briefly : UFOS

The Roswell UFO Incident took place in 1947. Some people believe that an extraterrestrial spacecraft crashed, with aliens aboard. After the initial reports the public accepted the US Military’s explanation of the crash, that the debris recovered belonged to an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon. The whole incident was dug up again over 30 years later when a claim was made that there was a cover-up in 1947, and that the armed forces had recovered an alien craft and brought it to Roswell Army Air Field. “The National Enquirer” ran the story, and it has been running ever since.

63 Johnson of “Laugh-In” : ARTE

Arte Johnson, as well being a frequent judge on “The Gong Show”, played the German soldier on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”. Johnson’s character’s famous catchphrase was, “Very interesting, but …”

64 Peke or Pom : LAPDOG

The pekingese (“peke”) breed originated in China, as one might suspect from the name. Breeding practices have resulted in the dog having many health problems, including breathing issues related to the “desirable” flat face. Standards have been changed in recent years, demanding an “evident muzzle” in an attempt to breed healthier “pekes”.

The Pomeranian is a small breed of dog named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …

73 Legal claims : LIENS

A lien is the right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

76 Ravel’s “Gaspard de la __” : NUIT

“Gaspard de la nuit” is a suite of three solo piano pieces written in 1908 by French composer Maurice Ravel. The final “Scarbo” movement of the work is considered to be one of the hardest pieces to play in the whole piano repertoire.

77 Banned fruit spray : ALAR

The chemical name for Alar, a plant growth regulator and color enhancer, is “daminozide”. Alar was primarily used on apples but was withdrawn from the market when it was linked to cancer.

79 Kiwi or rhea : RATITE

The kiwi is an unusual bird in that it has a highly developed sense of smell and is the only one of our feathered friends with nostrils located at the tip of its long beak.

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

Ratites are species of birds that cannot fly. Ratites are different physiologically than other birds in that they have nowhere on their sternum to attach the muscles needed for flight.

80 “Anderson Cooper 360°” channel : CNN

“Anderson Cooper 360°” is a CNN news show that is often referred to simply as “AC360”.

Anderson Cooper is a respected news personality on CNN and on various shows around the dial. Among my favorite appearances of his, although he would call them trivial I am sure, was as host of a great reality game show called “The Mole” that aired in 2001. Cooper’s mother was fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt.

84 “The Gold-Bug” monogram : EAP

“The Gold-Bug” is an Edgar Allan Poe short story, a mystery tale about a man who was bitten by a gold-colored bug. The story first appeared in three installments in the ”Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper” in 1843, and became very popular. Poe had submitted the story to a writing contest sponsored by the paper, and it was published as the winning entry. The grand prize also included $100 in cash, which was likely the largest sum that Poe ever received for a work in his lifetime.

87 School near Windsor : ETON

Eton College near Windsor in the south of England was founded way back in 1440 by King Henry VI. Originally known as “The King’s College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor”, the school was intended to provide free education to poor boys. Free education today at Eton? Not so much …

93 Basic video game : PONG

Do you remember the arcade video game that is like a game of tennis, with paddles moving up and down to hit what looks like a ball, over what looks like a net? Well, that is Pong. The arcade version of Pong was introduced in 1972, with Atari selling a home version through Sears for the Christmas market in 1975.

94 “Saving Private Ryan” craft: Abbr. : LST

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.

“Saving Private Ryan” is an epic 1998 movie directed by Steven Spielberg, a real “must see”. The D-Day invasion scenes were shot over a two-month period on the southeast coast of Ireland.

95 “I, Claudius” role : NERO

Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and he had quite the family life. When he was just 16-years-old Nero married his step-sister Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.

“I, Claudius” is a 1934 novel penned by Robert Graves, written in the form of an autobiography of Emperor Claudius of Rome. Graves wrote a sequel in 1935 called “Claudius the God”. Both books were adapted by the BBC into a fabulous television series that went by the name of the first book “I, Claudius”.

97 Mag man with a mansion : HEF

The Playboy Mansion is the former home of Hugh Hefner, although much of the building and grounds are also used for corporate events. The mansion was built in 1927 for Arthur Letts, Jr., the son of Arthur Letts who founded the Broadway chain of department stores. Playboy bought the property in 1971 for just over a million dollars, and it’s now worth about 50 times that amount.

110 Yours, to Yvette : A TOI

“À toi” is the French term for “yours”, when talking to someone with whom one is familiar. “À toi” literally means “to you”.

111 Largest of the Balearic Islands : MAJORCA

The Island of Majorca (“Isla Mallorca” in Spanish) is Spain’s largest island, and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The population of the island ballooned over the past few decades as Majorca became a mecca for tourists from all over Europe.

The Balearic Islands (“Baleares” in Spanish) form an archipelago in the western Mediterranean of the east coast of Spain. The Balearics are made up of four main islands: Ibiza and Formentera (aka “the Pine Islands”), Majorca and Minorca.

117 Lush : SOUSE

The verb “to souse” dates back to the 14th century and means “to pickle, steep in vinegar”. In the early 1600s, the usage was applied to someone pickled in booze, a drunkard.

118 Sniffing the jalapeños? : SMELLING PEPPERS (salt and pepper; smelling salts)

The jalapeño is a chili pepper, and a favorite of mine. The pepper’s name translates from Spanish as “from Xalapa”. Xalapa (also “Jalapa”) is the capital of the Mexican state of Veracruz, and the traditional origin of the jalapeño pepper. A smoke-dried jalapeño, called a chipotle, is used for seasoning.

The active ingredient in smelling salts is usually ammonium carbonate, which releases ammonia gas when mixed with alcohol. When the activated salts are held under the nose, the ammonia irritates the mucous membranes causing an inhalation reflex action.

123 Atlanta-based channel : TBS

The tbs cable television station started out in 1967 as local broadcast TV station in Atlanta. The station’s first call letters were WJRJ-TV, and this was changed to WTCG in 1970 when it was acquired by Ted Turner (the TCG stood for Turner Communications Group). In 1976, Turner started distributing WTCG via satellite making its programming available in other parts of the country. WTCG was only the second channel to transmit via satellite, following HBO. The difference was that WTCG was broadcast without requiring a premium subscription. The station’s call sign was changed again in 1979 to WTBS, with “TBS” standing for Turner Broadcasting System. In 1981, the channel adopted the moniker “Superstation WTBS”.

125 Biblical miracle units : LOAVES

According to the Gospels of the New Testament, Jesus performed two miracles in which he fed the multitude. The first was the Feeding of the 5,000, with five barley loaves and two small fish, which is reported in all four Gospels. The second was the Feeding of the 4,000, with seven loaves and a few small fish, which is reported in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew.

126 In check : AT BAY

Our use of the phrase “at bay”, to mean “in check”, derives from the older expression “at abai” used to describe a hunted animal “unable to escape”.

128 Nintendo’s Super __ : NES

The name Super NES (or “SNES”) stands for Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

129 Suppressed anger : SPLEEN

The spleen has a couple of functions in the human body. It removes old red blood cells, and recycles the iron contained therein. The waste product of this recycling is bile. It also holds a reserve of blood that can be released when necessary (if the body goes into “circulatory shock”). Greek and Roman physicians ascribed to the theory that the body had four basic substances, the so-called four humors. All diseases were caused by these four substances getting out of balance. The four humors were:

  • Black bile (melancolia)
  • Yellow bile (cholera)
  • Phlegm (phlegma)
  • Blood (sanguis)

Down

2 Diamond used as an abrasive : BORT

Diamonds that aren’t of gem quality are referred to as “bort” or “boort”, as are small chips from diamond-cutting. Bort can be used as an abrasive to polish gemstones, and in cutting edges on drill bits and saws.

4 W competitor : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

“W” is a fashion magazine that has been published monthly since 1971. “W” uses the tagline “Who, What, Where, When, and Why in the World of Style”.

8 Doc bloc : AMA

American Medical Association (AMA)

9 __-12 Conference : PAC

“Pac-12” is an abbreviation for the Pacific-12 Conference, a college athletic conference in the western US. The Pac-12 has won more NCAA National Team Championships than any other conference. The Pac-12 was founded in 1915 as the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC). Over time as it grew, the conference went by the names Big Five, Big Six, Pacific-8, Pacific-10 and became the Pacific-12 in 2011.

10 “Cheers!” : SKOAL!

“Skoal” is a Scandinavian toast that has roots in the old Norse word “skaal” meaning “cup”.

11 Martial art with bamboo swords : KENDO

Kendo is a Japanese martial art based on sword fighting.

Martial arts are various fighting traditions and systems used in combat or simply to promote physical well-being. The term “martial” ultimately derives from Latin and means “Arts of Mars”, a reference to Mars, the Roman god of war.

12 “Exodus” hero : ARI

“Exodus” is a wonderful novel written by American writer Leon Uris that was first published in 1947. The hero of the piece is Ari Ben Canaan, a character played by Paul Newman in the 1960 film adaptation directed by Otto Preminger.

13 Sweater material : ANGORA

Angora wool comes from the Angora rabbit. On the other hand, the Angora goat produces the wool known as mohair. Both rabbit and goat are named for Turkey’s capital Ankara, which was known as “Angora” in many European languages.

14 Jungle climber : LIANA

Liana (also “liane”) is a vine that generally grows in moist areas such as rain forests. Lianas grow using the trees in the forest as structural support. My bet is that Tarzan swung from tree to tree on liana vines …

16 Smart follower : ALECK

Apparently, the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

17 Saint-Saëns trio : ESSES

There are three letters S (esses) in the name “Saint-Saëns”.

Camille Saint-Saëns was one of the great French composers, in my humble opinion. He composed during the Romantic Era, and it was he who introduced the symphonic poem to France. Even Saint-Saëns’ light and airy “The Carnival of the Animals” is a lovely work.

20 Walk clumsily, like the Jabberwock slayer : GALUMPH

To galumph is to prance about, somewhat smugly. The word is an invention of Lewis Carroll and he used it in his famous nonsense poem “Jabberwocky”. Apparently he arrived at “galumph” by blending the words “gallop” and “triumph”.

32 Pays : FOOTS

To foot the bill is pay it, to pay the total at the “foot” of the bill.

33 June 14 honoree : FLAG

Flag Day in the US is June 14th each year, as the Flag of the United States was adopted officially by the Second Continental Congress on June 14th, 1777. Flag Day in Canada is on February 15th, as the current Flag of Canada was inaugurated on February 15th, 1965.

34 Fuddy-duddy : FOSSIL

That would be me, at least according to my kids … and my wife …

35 Uranus, e.g. : ORB

One of the unique features of the planet Uranus is that its north and south poles lie where most other planets have their equators. That means that Uranus’ axis of rotation is almost in its solar orbit.

36 Ernie’s pal : BERT

For many years, I believed that the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In the movie, the policeman’s name is Bert and his taxi-driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the “Sesame Street” folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence. Aww, I don’t wanna believe that’s a coincidence …

37 Obama attorney general Holder : ERIC

Eric Holder was the Attorney General of the United States from 2009 to 2015, the first African American to hold the position. Holder was close to President Obama during the presidential campaign. Holder was the campaign’s legal advisor and was also one of the three members on the Obama vice-presidential selection committee that recommended future Vice President Joe Biden.

41 WWI battleship Graf __ : SPEE

Maximilian Graf von Spee was actually born in Denmark, but of a noble German family. By the time WWI started, Spee had risen to the rank of Rear Admiral in the German Navy. He was killed in the Battle of the Falkland Islands (the original 1914 version!). He gave his name to the powerful pocket battleship, the Admiral Graf Spee, which was damaged in the Battle of the River Plate during WWII. The Graf Spee took refuge in the neutral port of Montevideo and when the boat was expelled by the government of Uruguay, the captain scuttled her rather than face the Allied flotilla waiting for her just outside the port.

47 Colonial bloodsucker : VAMPIRE BAT

Vampire bats feed mostly in the blood of mammals, including humans. When they find a suitable “victim”, often one that is asleep, the bat usually lands close by and approaches its “meal” on the ground. It makes a small cut with its razor-sharp teeth and laps up the blood. The blood tends to flow freely as the bat’s saliva contains anticoagulants. Reports of bats biting the neck of humans are very rare in the real world, but the neck is the preferred location of attack in the fantasy world of vampires.

50 Modern sources of reflections : BLOGS

Well, maybe not this blog …

Many folks who visit this website regard it as just that, a website. That is true, but more specifically it is referred to as a blog, as I make regular posts (actually daily posts) that then occupy the “front page” of the site. The blog entries are in reverse chronological order, and one can just look back day-by-day, reading older and older posts. “Blog” is a contraction of the term “web log”.

52 Brewer’s oven : OAST

An oast is a kiln used for drying hops as part of the brewing process. Such a structure might also be called an “oast house” or “hop kiln”. The term “oast” can also apply to a kiln used to dry tobacco.

53 Architect Saarinen : EERO

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

54 This, in Toledo : ESTA

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.

60 Kiara’s mother in “The Lion King” : NALA

Kiara is the daughter of Simba and Nala in “The Lion King”. Kiara grows to become the protagonist in the movie sequel “The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride”.

63 NYC dance troupe : ABT

The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) was founded in New York City in 1939. ABT was officially recognized by the US Congress as “America’s National Ballet Company” in 2006.

65 Throat problem : STREP

Streptococcus bacteria multiply and divide along a single axis so that they form linked chains. That behavior gives the genus of bacteria its name, as “streptos” is Greek for “easily twisted, like a chain”. I had to battle with streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) twice in the past few years and it was not at all pleasant, I must say. Another species of streptococcus is responsible for that terrible “flesh-eating” infection that makes the news from time to time.

67 Austrian composer Webern : ANTON

Anton Webern was a composer and conductor from Austria. In his compositions, Webern used the twelve-tone technique devised by Arnold Schoenberg, which means that I find his music a tad difficult to appreciate …

70 “Babe” in the 1995 film, e.g. : RUNT

Back around 1500, a runt was an old or decayed tree stump, and by the early 1600s “runt” was being used to describe animals that were similarly old and decayed. Ultimately “runt” came to mean the smallest and often sickest in a litter.

The hit 1995 film “Babe” was produced and filmed in Australia. The movie is an adaptation of a 1983 novel called “The Sheep-Pig” written by Dick King-Smith. “Babe” was a smash hit at the box office and was extremely well received by the critics. The film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, but lost out to “Braveheart”. However, it did win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects by beating out “Apollo 13”, which was an amazing feat, I’d say…

71 Dry Spanish sherry : FINO

The driest and palest varieties of sherry are labeled “fino”, the Spanish for “refined, fine”. Typically, fino varieties are made from grape juice produced just by the weight of the grapes crushing themselves, before a wine press is used.

72 Sticker in a bar : DART

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

78 Mormon prophet, or the Utah city named for him : LEHI

The Utah city of Lehi was first settled in 1851. The settlement grew rapidly and was incorporated in the second year of its existence, in 1852. The name Lehi was chosen after a prophet in the Book of Mormon.

81 One in a roundup : STEER

A steer is a male bovine that was castrated when young and is then raised for beef. The term “steer” comes from the Old English “steor” meaning “bullock”.

85 “Crimes and Misdemeanors” actor : ALDA

“Crimes and Misdemeanors” is a 1989 black comedy written and directed by Woody Allen. I’m afraid I am not a fan of Woody Allen’s work, so I have never seen the movie. Alan Alda plays a pompous brother-in-law of the main character, who is played by Woody Allen himself.

89 Brief warning about the links? : NSFW

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

92 Help-wanted ad abbr. : EOE

Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)

97 Luther’s crime, per the Diet of Worms : HERESY

The Imperial Diet was a general assembly of the estates of the former Holy Roman Empire. The most famous of these assemblies was the Diet of Worms, a 16th-century meeting that took place in the small town of Worms on the Rhine River in Germany. The main item on the agenda was discussion of the 95 theses of Martin Luther. Luther was summoned to the meeting and found to be guilty of heresy.

98 Carbon compound : ENOL

An enol is an alkene with a hydroxyl group, and so is part-alkene and part-alcohol. The term “enol”, therefore, is a portmanteau of “alkene” and “alcohol”.

101 It’s enough for Juan : BASTA

“Basta” is Spanish (and Italian) for “enough”.

102 WWII sub : U-BOAT

“U-boat” stands for the German “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). Notably, a U-boat sank the RMS Lusitania in 1915, an event that helped propel the US into WWI.

105 Poetic feet : IAMBS

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The lines in Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” use four sequential iambs, e.g. “Whose woods / these are / I think / I know”. With that sequence of four iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic tetrameter.

106 Bikini blast : N-TEST

The name of Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands comes from the Marshallese name “Pikinni”, meaning “coconut place”. Famously, Bikini Atoll was the site of 23 nuclear detonations by the US from 1946 to 1958.

108 Iona College athletes : GAELS

Iona College is a Roman Catholic school run by Christian Brothers in New Rochelle, New York. The school’s sports teams are called the Iona Gaels, and the team mascot goes by the name “Killian”.

112 Asian genre influenced by The Beatles : J-POP

“J-pop” is an abbreviation for “Japanese pop”, a genre of music that emerged in the nineties. Although J-pop is rooted in traditional Japanese music, it is heavily influenced by western bands from the sixties such as the Beatles and the Beach Boys.

113 Australian export : OPAL

97% of the world’s opals come from Australia, so it’s no surprise perhaps that the opal is the national gemstone of the country. The state of South Australia provides the bulk of the world’s production, i.e. about 80%.

114 Debussy’s dream : REVE

Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers, and someone who epitomises the Romantic Era and Impressionist Movement in music. One of my favorite CDs is a collection of some “lighter” Debussy pieces called “Debussy for Daydreaming”, and what an evocative collection it is. Included are “Syrinx”, “Maid with the Flaxen Hair”, “Rêverie” and everyone’s favorite, “Clair de Lune”.

In French, one might have a “rêve” (dream).

115 Hudson Bay nation : 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.

Hudson Bay in northern Canada is the second largest bay in the world, after the Bay of Bengal. Hudson Bay was named by English explorers after Henry Hudson who explored the area in 1610 on his ship “Discovery”. Hudson’s crew mutinied during that voyage and set Hudson and his officers adrift in a small boat. It is presumed that the castaways didn’t survive for very long.

116 NBA part: Abbr. : ASSN

National Basketball Association (NBA)

118 Canonized Mlle. : STE

“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a “femme” (woman).

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

119 “At Seventeen” singer Janis : IAN

Janice Ian wrote her lovely song “At Seventeen“ when she herself was 22, looking back at that earlier age with a little maturity. The lyrics were inspired by a newspaper article she read about a teenage debutante who had learned the hard way that her popularity at school was not the answer to life’s problems.

120 2019 MLB World Series champs’ division : NLE

National League East (NLE)

121 Some appliances : GES

General Electric (GE)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Haunt : OBSESS
7 Mountain geography feature : GAP
10 Calypso offshoot : SKA
13 Pond buildup : ALGAE
18 Arrive onshore, perhaps : ROLL IN
19 Slate or Salon : E-MAG
21 Plop or plunk preceder : KER-
22 Nobelist Bohr : NIELS
23 Pasta on the barbie? : GRILLED MACARONI (macaroni and cheese)
26 Bill with billions : GATES
27 Brother of Andrew the Apostle : ST PETER
28 Detective’s aid : LEAD
29 Chilled : ON ICE
30 Churchill’s “so few”: Abbr. : RAF
32 Like the club that Sinatra, Zappa and Capra belonged to? : FULL OF FRANKS (franks and beans)
35 Like Stout’s Wolfe : OBESE
40 Buxom : BOSOMY
42 Hawaiian for “long” : LOA
43 Some summer shows : RERUNS
45 Each : A POP
46 Defense gp. since 1948 : OAS
47 Give or take, say : VERB
51 “Don’t forget we’re having omelets”? : BRING HOME THE EGGS (bacon and eggs)
55 Sea of troubles : ARAL
56 On the job, for short : TCB
57 Havens : OASES
58 Au pair’s subj. : ESL
59 How early LPs were recorded : IN MONO
61 Roswell sightings, briefly : UFOS
63 Johnson of “Laugh-In” : ARTE
64 Peke or Pom : LAPDOG
65 Angry reaction : SNARL
68 Town group that decides what kinds of lawns are allowed? : TURF BOARD (turf and surf)
73 Legal claims : LIENS
74 Court contest : TENNIS
76 Ravel’s “Gaspard de la __” : NUIT
77 Banned fruit spray : ALAR
79 Kiwi or rhea : RATITE
80 “Anderson Cooper 360°” channel : CNN
81 Facebook option : SHARE
84 “The Gold-Bug” monogram : EAP
87 School near Windsor : ETON
88 Unexpected eccentric skydiver? : A NUT OUT OF THE BLUE (nuts and bolts)
93 Basic video game : PONG
94 “Saving Private Ryan” craft: Abbr. : LST
95 “I, Claudius” role : NERO
96 “You left me no choice” : I HAD TO
97 Mag man with a mansion : HEF
98 Square : EVEN UP
100 Condition : STATE
101 Lucky one at the dairy raffle? : BUTTERWINNER (bread and butter)
107 Splitting target : LOG
109 Opposite of love : ABHOR
110 Yours, to Yvette : A TOI
111 Largest of the Balearic Islands : MAJORCA
117 Lush : SOUSE
118 Sniffing the jalapeños? : SMELLING PEPPERS (salt and pepper)
122 Makes less unruly : TAMES
123 Atlanta-based channel : TBS
124 Ad headline : SALE!
125 Biblical miracle units : LOAVES
126 In check : AT BAY
127 Approx. : EST
128 Nintendo’s Super __ : NES
129 Suppressed anger : SPLEEN

Down

1 Assns. : ORGS
2 Diamond used as an abrasive : BORT
3 Tongue trouble? : SLIP
4 W competitor : ELLE
5 Bank deposit : SILT
6 Contemptuous look : SNEER
7 Beauty : GEM
8 Doc bloc : AMA
9 __-12 Conference : PAC
10 “Cheers!” : SKOAL!
11 Martial art with bamboo swords : KENDO
12 “Exodus” hero : ARI
13 Sweater material : ANGORA
14 Jungle climber : LIANA
15 Arrive : GET IN
16 Smart follower : ALECK
17 Saint-Saëns trio : ESSES
20 Walk clumsily, like the Jabberwock slayer : GALUMPH
24 Blah : DRAB
25 Bank (on) : RELY
31 Features of beer and sponges : FOAMS
32 Pays : FOOTS
33 June 14 honoree : FLAG
34 Fuddy-duddy : FOSSIL
35 Uranus, e.g. : ORB
36 Ernie’s pal : BERT
37 Obama attorney general Holder : ERIC
38 Getting too many rays : SUNBURNING
39 Coll. major : ENG
41 WWI battleship Graf __ : SPEE
44 “Beat it!” : SHOO!
46 Leering sort : OGLER
47 Colonial bloodsucker : VAMPIRE BAT
48 Wear down : ERODE
49 Wouldn’t stop talking : RAN ON
50 Modern sources of reflections : BLOGS
52 Brewer’s oven : OAST
53 Architect Saarinen : EERO
54 This, in Toledo : ESTA
60 Kiara’s mother in “The Lion King” : NALA
62 Dart : FLIT
63 NYC dance troupe : ABT
65 Throat problem : STREP
66 “Cool beans!” : NEATO!
67 Austrian composer Webern : ANTON
69 Full-length : UNCUT
70 “Babe” in the 1995 film, e.g. : RUNT
71 Dry Spanish sherry : FINO
72 Sticker in a bar : DART
75 Undercoat : SEALER
78 Mormon prophet, or the Utah city named for him : LEHI
81 One in a roundup : STEER
82 Pedestrian startler : HORN
83 In conflict with, with “of” : AFOUL …
85 “Crimes and Misdemeanors” actor : ALDA
86 Short stroke : PUTT
89 Brief warning about the links? : NSFW
90 Shows for the first time : UNVEILS
91 “How’s that again?” words : EHS
92 Help-wanted ad abbr. : EOE
97 Luther’s crime, per the Diet of Worms : HERESY
98 Carbon compound : ENOL
99 Splendor : POMP
101 It’s enough for Juan : BASTA
102 WWII sub : U-BOAT
103 Hitching aid : THUMB
104 Where mariners go : TO SEA
105 Poetic feet : IAMBS
106 Bikini blast : N-TEST
108 Iona College athletes : GAELS
112 Asian genre influenced by The Beatles : J-POP
113 Australian export : OPAL
114 Debussy’s dream : REVE
115 Hudson Bay nation : CREE
116 NBA part: Abbr. : ASSN
118 Canonized Mlle. : STE
119 “At Seventeen” singer Janis : IAN
120 2019 MLB World Series champs’ division : NLE
121 Some appliances : GES

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Apr 20, Sunday”

    1. Garbage. Hmmm. I didn’t see any of that in today’s puzzle …

      Given your comment from yesterday and given that I’m totally “walked out” and unable to move from my easy chair for the rest of the day and given that I finally managed to work out the answer to Friday’s WSJ meta, I just moved Newsday’s “Saturday Stumper” of February 15th to the top of my stack and did it: 30:42, no errors. I certainly liked it and I thought it was a bit easier than the usual Stumper, but I didn’t find it any more “stellar” than usual. (Also, if I wanted to pick a nit with it, I would point out that AMVET, at 7D, is, as far as I can tell, incorrect: the organization in question is known as AMVETS and I can find no evidence that there is a “singular” form. Perhaps it’s a colloquialism unfamiliar to me.)

  1. Fun puzzle again.. Messed up on a couple. 86D I had BUTT. As in BUTT stroke. Wasn’t thinking of golf and as for 84A, I definitely missed the always present EAP. I thought maybe EAB was new. I also missed the Balearic islands in 111A. Who knew it was MAKOSCA and not MAKOCCA. Of course I thought 114D was SEVE. I must have “DREAMT” all that. Even learned a new spanish word today. 101D, BASTA! Who needs those new apps to learn a new language. I’ve got all these crosswords to teach me!!!! It’s a lot more fun this way. Anyway, hope everyone stays well!

  2. 26:53, no errors. Clever theme! And very helpful, if you got it early. (Otherwise, I can see how it might have been frustrating .., 😳.)

  3. 1:04:39 plus a lot of review and correct time to finally finish with no errors.
    I thought 88A was the other half of RIGHT out of the blue but what do I know?…this was IMO a pretty tricky puzzle.
    Stay safe everyone.

  4. Well, with a lot of help, I managed to finish in under TWO HOURS. I kept going since I have nothing else to do.

  5. Lazy/Horrible puzzle. The theme clues could have at least hinted at what was missing. “Butter winner” means absolutely nothing.

  6. I just finished re-reading a Nero Wolfe last night! It was much more less frustrating than this puzzle — never could get the theme and that makes for hard slogging. Hang in there everyone!

  7. No errors, but it was one of the most difficult puzzles I’ve seen in a long
    time. 89 down stumped me for a long time and though the crossed words
    give me the answer, I still didn’t know what it meant until I read Bill’s
    answers. I had some google help with this stuff or I’d never have been
    able to complete it…i.e. the Ravel work and Majorca.

  8. Briefest accurate description: Definitely NOT the NYT, or any other on its level. The theme is cute enough to make any fourth-grader smile, but the god-awful fill — obscure answers, way too many proper nouns, and clues that are obviously deliberate efforts to mislead — was enough to turn the solve into a slog. I think the SE corner represents it perfectly. (A suggestion: If you haven’t done the puzzle yet, start down there and see how long it is before you’re ready to toss it in favor of one that’s professionally done, i.e. challenging but consistently ENJOYABLE.)

  9. After 28 minutes, both the far NW and lower SE were all but blank. No chance to finish this, as I had forgotten what the “title” was, and the punny theme fills were just impossible to guess at. There’s a half hour of my life I can’t get back…

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