LA Times Crossword 17 May 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Adam Vincent
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Illegal Tender

Themed answers are common two-phrases in which the second word has been reinterpreted as a synonym of “MONEY”:

  • 22A Mad money? : STEAMED CLAMS
  • 28A Grant money? : WISH BONES
  • 40A Hot money? : BUFFALO BILLS
  • 52A Ransom money? : SPRING ROLL
  • 76A Old money? : STALE BREAD
  • 87A Paper money? : EDITOR’S NOTES
  • 100A Bad money? : SOUR DOUGH
  • 109A Smart money? : SHARP CHEDDAR

Bill’s time: 14m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Fallopian tube neighbor : OVARY

The Fallopian tubes leading from the ovaries of female mammals in the uterus. The tubes are named for the 16th-century Italian anatomist Gabriello Fallopio, who was the first to describe them.

12 __ Beta Kappa : PHI

Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for “philosophia biou kybernētēs”, which translates into “philosophy is the guide of life”. The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.

22 Mad money? : STEAMED CLAMS

“Clam” is a slang term for “dollar”. It has been suggested that “clam” is a throwback to the supposed use of clams as units of currency in ancient cultures.

24 Lingerie brand : OLGA

Olga is a brand of lingerie that is produced by American clothing retailer Bare Necessities.

26 Close-knit team : CADRE

A cadre is most commonly a group of experienced personnel at the core of a larger organization that the small group trains or heavily influences. “Cadre” is a French word meaning “frame”. We use it in the sense that a cadre is a group that provides a “framework” for the larger organization.

27 Navel type : OUTIE

The navel is basically the scar left behind when the umbilical cord is removed from a newborn baby. One interesting use of the umbilicus (navel, belly button) is to differentiate between identical twins, especially when they are very young.

28 Grant money? : WISH BONES

Apparently, we’ve been using the slang “bone” for “dollar” since the late 1800s.

30 Takes too much, briefly : ODS

Overdose (OD)

31 The OED’s 21,728, e.g. : PAGES

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

33 Australian rockers __ at Work : MEN

Men at Work are a rock band that formed in Australia in 1979. The group’s biggest hits are “Who Can It Be Now?” and “Down Under”.

35 Voice below soprano : ALTO

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

36 French toppers : BERETS

In French, one wears a “chapeau” (hat), a “béret” (beret) perhaps, on one’s “tête” (head).

39 NFL pass rushers, as a unit : D-LINE

Defensive line (D-line)

40 Hot money? : BUFFALO BILLS

There are a few stories about how Buffalo wings were first developed, most of them related to the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. If you’re looking for Buffalo wings on a menu in Buffalo, you’ll note that in and around the city they’re just referred to as “wings”.

45 They’re used for emphasis : ITALICS

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

47 Olympian Bolt : USAIN

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who won the 100m and 200m race gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Back in Jamaica, Bolt was really into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler had he not hit the track instead.

48 Bit of info : DATUM

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

50 Social media pic that may go viral : MEME

A meme (from “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

51 Intrinsically : PER SE

“Per se” is a Latin phrase that translates as “by itself”. We use “per se” pretty literally, meaning “in itself, intrinsically”.

56 Amtrak track : RAIL

Amtrak is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. “Amtrak” comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

57 Talk Like a Pirate Day word : ARR!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19th every year, a “holiday” that was created in 1995. The event started out as an inside joke between John Baur and Mark Summers of Albany, Oregon, but when they shared the notion with columnist Dave Barry, he promoted the idea and it took off.

58 Undoing : BANE

Today, we tend to use the word “bane” to mean anathema, a source of persistent annoyance. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

64 Afterwords : EPILOGS

Our word “epilog” (also “epilogue”) applies to an addition at the end of a play or other literary work. The term ultimately comes from the Greek “epi-” signifying “in addition”, and “logos” meaning “speech”.

67 Greek goddess of wisdom : ATHENA

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

69 Hawaiian staple : POI

I am a big fan of starch (being an Irishman I love potatoes). That said, I think that poi tastes horrible! Poi is made from the bulbous tubers (corm) of the taro plant by cooking the corm in water and mashing it until the desired consistency is achieved.

73 BuzzFeed reaction button : LOL

BuzzFeed is an Internet media company that was founded in 2006 in New York City. Buzzfeed’s original focus was the publication of online quizzes and pop culture articles. The company branched into serious journalism in 2011 with the launch of the “Buzzfeed News” website.

81 Sister of Rachel : LEAH

According to the Bible, Leah was one of the two wives of Jacob, the other being Leah’s sister Rachel. Jacob’s intention had been to marry Rachel, but Leah and Rachel’s father “switched” his daughters and provided Leah as the veiled bride. Jacob married Rachel a week later, and lived with the two wives concurrently.

82 Mercedes-Benz sedan line : E-CLASS

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a range of executive-size cars. Originally, the “E” stood for “Einspritzmotor”, the German for “fuel injection engine”.

89 Type of drum or dance : CONGA

The type of drum called a conga is more properly known as a tumbadora. The conga is regarded as a Cuban instrument today, but it probably evolved from older African drums made from hollowed logs.

The conga line is a dance that originated as a Cuban carnival march. It became popular in the US starting in the thirties. The dance is apparently named after the Congo region of Africa, and it was originated by slaves who were brought from there to Cuba.

90 Cassock wearer : PRIEST

A cassock is a long coat that is worn by some clerical members of some Christian churches. The term “cassock” comes from a Middle French word “casaque” meaning “long coat”.

92 Long, long time : AEON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

94 Bear in Baja : OSO

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

95 Seder staple : MATZO

Matzo is an unleavened bread that is very brittle. The bread is crushed, creating a Matzo meal that is then formed into balls using eggs and oil as a binder. The balls are usually served in a chicken stock.

97 Pres. when Sputnik was launched : DDE

The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik satellite towards the end of 1957 in a development that shocked the establishment in the US. Within months, President Eisenhower created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Space Race had begun …

103 Hindu teacher : SWAMI

A swami is a religious teacher in the Hindu tradition. The word “swami” can also mean “husband” in the Bengali and Malay languages.

105 Rumble in the Jungle setting : ZAIRE

The Rumble in the Jungle was the celebrated 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman that took place in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The fight was set in Zaire because of financial arrangements between promoter Don King and Zaire’s President Mobutu Seko. Ali coined the term “rope-a-dope” to describe his incredibly successful strategy in the contest. From the second round onwards, Ali adopted a protected stance on the ropes letting Foreman pound him with blows to the body and head, with Ali using his arms to dissipate the power of the punches. He kept this up until the eighth round, and then opened up and downed the exhausted Foreman with a left-right combination. I hate boxing but I have to say, that was a fascinating fight …

107 Celtic Sea land, to the IOC : IRL

The Celtic Sea is that part of the Atlantic Ocean that lies off the southern coast of Ireland, the southwestern coast of Britain, and the northwestern coast of France. The boundary with the Atlantic Ocean proper is defined by the continental shelf, which drops off dramatically some 200-300 miles off the coast of Britain and Ireland. The seabed under the Celtic Sea is called the Celtic Shelf.

109 Smart money? : SHARP CHEDDAR

Apparently, we’ve been using the terms “cheddar” and “cheese” as slang terms for money since WWII. The suggestion is that it is a reference to the big lump of cheese that was routinely included in a welfare package issued after the war.

111 Wonderland drink : TEA

In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, the Mad Hatter makes his first appearance in a chapter called “A Mad Tea-Party”. This event is usually described as “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”, even though the Mad Hatter was just a guest. The host was the March Hare. In fact, the phrase “Mad Hatter” doesn’t appear anywhere in Lewis Carroll’s novel, although the character, the Hatter (and sometimes “Hatta”), is described as “mad”.

116 Flyers’ org. : NHL

The Philadelphia Flyers hockey team was founded in 1967. The team’s name was chosen using a “name-the-team” fan contest.

117 Witherspoon of “Wild” : REESE

“Reese” is not actually actress Witherspoon’s given name. She started out life as Laura Jeanne Witherspoon. “Reese” is her mother’s maiden name.

Author Cheryl Strayed has written several successful books, most notably her 2012 memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”. “Wild” was adapted into a 2014 film starring Reese Witherspoon as Strayed. I haven’t seen the film yet, but my wife has and really enjoyed it …

118 African pest : TSETSE

The tsetse fly is responsible for the transmission of sleeping sickness, a disease that is more correctly called African trypanosomiasis. The disease is only observed in humans who have been bitten by a tsetse fly that is infected with the trypanosome parasitic protozoan.

Down

1 ’70s music genre : DISCO

Discotheques first appeared during WWII in Occupied France. American-style music (like jazz and jitterbug dances) was banned by the Nazis, so French natives met in underground clubs that they called discotheques where records were often played on just a single turntable. After the war, these clubs came out into the open. One famous Paris discotheque was called “Whiskey a Gogo”. In that Paris disco, non-stop music was played using two turntables next to a dance-floor, and this concept spread around the world.

4 Peter the Great, e.g. : TSAR

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

8 Battery count : VOLTS

Alessandro Volta was the physicist who invented the first battery, way back in 1800. One of Volta’s first applications of his new invention was to use a battery (and a very long run of wire between the Italian cities of Como and Milan) to shoot off a pistol from 30 miles away! The electric potential unit “volt” is named for Volta.

9 Jai __ : 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”.

10 Ancient mariner’s story, e.g. : RIME

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is an epic poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge that was first published in 1798. The publication of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is said to mark the beginning of the Romantic period of British literature. Perhaps the lines most often quoted from the poem are:

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where
Nor any drop to drink

16 Main cast of “Parasite,” e.g. : KOREANS

“Parasite” is a 2019 comedy thriller movie from South Korea that became the nation’s highest-grossing film of all time. It was also the first movie not filmed in English to win the Oscar for Best Picture. I haven’t seen “Paradise” yet, but I hear great things from friends and family who have …

28 Like a bairn : WEE

“Bairn” is a Scots word for “child”.

32 Georgia airport code : ATL

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the world’s busiest airport, as measured by passenger traffic. Atlanta has had that distinction since 1998, and was the world’s busiest in terms of take-offs and landings from 2005 until 2013. Over 50% of Atlanta’s traffic comes from Delta Air Lines.

33 Dash in a spice rack? : MRS

Mrs. Dash is a brand name of seasoning mixes. Just before the product first went to market in 1981, brand owner B&G Foods also considered the name “Mrs. Pinch”.

36 Living symbol of happiness : BLUEBIRD

The “blue bird of happiness” is a phrase coined by Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck in his 1908 play “The Blue Bird”. The bird in question happened to be just that, a bird that was blue. Since then, the phrase has become associated specifically with the bluebird species.

37 State tree of Massachusetts : ELM

The official state tree of Massachusetts is the American elm. The elm was chosen in 1941, in a gesture commemorating George Washington taking command of the Continental Army in 1775. He did so beneath an American elm on Cambridge Common.

38 No-nonsense : STAID

Something described as staid is unwavering, fixed. This usage expanded to mean “sober, sedate”. The term dates back to the 16th century, and comes from the verb “to stay”. “Staid” is a rewriting of the past participle “stayed”.

40 Undeserved punishments : BUM RAPS

A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap”, “bad rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

42 Hermanos, primas, etcétera : FAMILIA

In Spanish, “hermanos, primas, etcétera” (brothers, cousins, etc.) are “familia” (family).

43 Ballet-inspired workout method : BARRE

Barre is a form of exercise that uses a ballet barre and incorporates classical moves from the world of ballet. The barre program dates back to 1959 when ballerina Lotte Berk introduced it in London.

A barre is a handrail used by ballet dancers for warm-up exercises and to provide support when practicing certain moves.

44 Oft-mispunctuated word : ITS

The word “it’s” is a contraction for “it is”, as in “it’s a fun crossword”. The spelling “its”, without an apostrophe, is used in all other cases, most commonly as the possessive form of the pronoun “it”. In that sense, “its” is akin to the pronouns his, hers, ours, etc., as in “the newspaper is known for its great crosswords”.

46 Time Person of the Year et al. : ANNUALS

“Time” magazine started naming a “Man of the Year” in 1927, only changing the concept to “Person of the Year” in 1999. Prior to 1999, the magazine did recognize four females as “Woman of the Year”: Wallis Simpson (1936), Soong May-ling a.k.a. Madame Chiang Kai-shek (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986). “Time” named Albert Einstein as Person of the Century in 1999, with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi as runners-up.

49 Compressed file format : MPEG

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was established in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. The standards they’ve come up with use the acronym “MPEG”.

63 Tina Fey’s boss on “30 Rock” : ALEC BALDWIN

Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey. More recently, he is known for impersonating President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”.

65 Devices made largely obsolete by smartphones : PDAS

Personal digital assistant (PDA)

68 Multinational hotel chain : HILTON

Conrad Hilton was a native of New Mexico, but he bought his first hotel in Cisco, Texas, in 1919. He did well on the deal and opened up hotels all over Texas in the following years, and built the first high-rise Hilton Hotel in Dallas. Hilton went on to build the world’s first international hotel chain. Hilton was married three times, most famously to actress Zsa Zsa Gabor from 1942 to 1946.

74 Like many La Scala productions : OPERATIC

La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its Italian name “Teatro alla Scala”.

77 Bookkeeper’s book : LEDGER

A ledger is an account book. The term ”ledger” comes from the Middle English “leggen” meaning “to lay”. The original ledger was a large book “laid” in one particular place permanently, an example being a breviary in a church.

78 Ovarian hormone : ESTROGEN

The primary female sex hormone is estrogen (also “oestrogen”). The “estrogen” comes from the Greek “oistros” meaning “verve, inspiration” and the suffix “-gen” meaning “producer of”.

83 ’60s protest gp. : SDS

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

86 Like many Cubist paintings : ANGULAR

In the art movement known as Cubism, objects that are the subject of a painting are broken up and reassembled in an abstract form. The pioneers of the Cubist movement were Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.

87 Fair-hiring inits. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

89 Bolivian bungalow : CASITA

“Casita” is the diminutive form of “casa”, the Spanish word for “house”, and might be translated as “cottage”.

95 Former fillies : MARES

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

97 “__ We Almost Have It All” : DIDN’T

“Didn’t We Almost Have It All” is a 1987 song released by Whitney Houston.

102 River through Orsk : URAL

The city of Orsk is located about 60 miles southeast of the southern tip of the Ural Mountains in Russia. The city lies on the Ural River, which forms the boundary between Europe and Asia. As a result, Orsk can be considered situated in two continents. Orsk also lies where the Or River joins the Ural, and so the Or gives the city its name.

103 Pump, e.g. : SHOE

A pump is a woman’s shoe that doesn’t have a strap. Such shoes are probably called “pumps” because of the sound they make while walking in them.

106 “Zip-__-Doo-Dah” : A-DEE

“Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” is a song from the Disney film “Song of the South” released in 1946. “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” won that season’s Oscar for Best Original Song. The song is also featured at the end of the Disney theme parks’ ride called Splash Mountain.

109 Home of many 2010s refugees: Abbr. : SYR

The Syrian Civil War started in 2011, during the wave of protests known as the Arab Spring. As a result of the conflict, it is estimated that almost half of the nation’s population has been displaced, with almost 4 million Syrians now considered refugees.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Please stay” : DON’T GO
7 Fallopian tube neighbor : OVARY
12 __ Beta Kappa : PHI
15 Just peachy, in old slang : OKE
18 Tool for winter fishing : ICE SAW
19 “I swear!” : NO LIE!
20 Royal problem? : PAIN
21 Superhero sound effect : POW!
22 Mad money? : STEAMED CLAMS
24 Lingerie brand : OLGA
25 Chapter in history : ERA
26 Close-knit team : CADRE
27 Navel type : OUTIE
28 Grant money? : WISH BONES
30 Takes too much, briefly : ODS
31 The OED’s 21,728, e.g. : PAGES
33 Australian rockers __ at Work : MEN
34 Shoot for : AIM AT
35 Voice below soprano : ALTO
36 French toppers : BERETS
39 NFL pass rushers, as a unit : D-LINE
40 Hot money? : BUFFALO BILLS
45 They’re used for emphasis : ITALICS
47 Olympian Bolt : USAIN
48 Bit of info : DATUM
49 Nasty type : MEANIE
50 Social media pic that may go viral : MEME
51 Intrinsically : PER SE
52 Ransom money? : SPRING ROLL
56 Amtrak track : RAIL
57 Talk Like a Pirate Day word : ARR!
58 Undoing : BANE
60 “What else could it be?!” : DUH!
61 Go head to head : VIE
62 From sunup to sundown : ALL DAY
64 Afterwords : EPILOGS
67 Greek goddess of wisdom : ATHENA
69 Hawaiian staple : POI
70 Gamer’s complaint : LAG
72 Arrived at, as a conclusion : DREW
73 BuzzFeed reaction button : LOL
75 Wears on : IRKS
76 Old money? : STALE BREAD
79 Dishes out incautiously : SLOPS
81 Sister of Rachel : LEAH
82 Mercedes-Benz sedan line : E-CLASS
83 “What are you gonna do about it?!” : SUE ME
84 Put on : STAGE
85 Should really : HAD BEST
87 Paper money? : EDITOR’S NOTES
89 Type of drum or dance : CONGA
90 Cassock wearer : PRIEST
92 Long, long time : AEON
93 Heavenly body? : ANGEL
94 Bear in Baja : OSO
95 Seder staple : MATZO
97 Pres. when Sputnik was launched : DDE
100 Bad money? : SOUR DOUGH
103 Hindu teacher : SWAMI
105 Rumble in the Jungle setting : ZAIRE
107 Celtic Sea land, to the IOC : IRL
108 Hard end? : -WARE
109 Smart money? : SHARP CHEDDAR
111 Wonderland drink : TEA
112 “I would consider __ honor” : IT AN
113 Backwoods type : YOKEL
114 Self-referential “Don’t you think?” : AREN’T I?
115 Fizzy prefix : AER-
116 Flyers’ org. : NHL
117 Witherspoon of “Wild” : REESE
118 African pest : TSETSE

Down

1 ’70s music genre : DISCO
2 Pie slices, often : OCTAD
3 Water and air, e.g. : NEEDS
4 Peter the Great, e.g. : TSAR
5 Strategy : GAME PLAN
6 Be indebted to : OWE
7 As expected : ON CUE
8 Battery count : VOLTS
9 Jai __ : ALAI
10 Ancient mariner’s story, e.g. : RIME
11 Positive answer : YES
12 Besties : PALS
13 Runner’s __ : HIGH
14 Unfavorably : IN A BAD LIGHT
15 Feature of club nights for comic wannabes : OPEN MIC
16 Main cast of “Parasite,” e.g. : KOREANS
17 Discarded old PCs, say : E-WASTE
20 Finer-tipped : POINTIER
23 Well-intentioned humanitarian : DO-GOODER
28 Like a bairn : WEE
29 Fried foods, vis-à-vis baked ones : OILIER
32 Georgia airport code : ATL
33 Dash in a spice rack? : MRS
35 Word rarely used without “far” : … AFIELD
36 Living symbol of happiness : BLUEBIRD
37 State tree of Massachusetts : ELM
38 No-nonsense : STAID
40 Undeserved punishments : BUM RAPS
41 Rely heavily on : USE A LOT
42 Hermanos, primas, etcétera : FAMILIA
43 Ballet-inspired workout method : BARRE
44 Oft-mispunctuated word : ITS
46 Time Person of the Year et al. : ANNUALS
49 Compressed file format : MPEG
51 Accounts __ : PAYABLE
52 Ski slope apparel : SNOW SUIT
53 Stuff oneself silly : OVEREAT
54 Connection : LINKAGE
55 Pet control aids : LEASHES
59 Tavern mugful : ALE
63 Tina Fey’s boss on “30 Rock” : ALEC BALDWIN
65 Devices made largely obsolete by smartphones : PDAS
66 NFL ref’s review aid : SLO-MO
68 Multinational hotel chain : HILTON
71 Understand : GRASP
74 Like many La Scala productions : OPERATIC
77 Bookkeeper’s book : LEDGER
78 Ovarian hormone : ESTROGEN
80 Rent : LET
83 ’60s protest gp. : SDS
84 Big bores : SNOOZERS
85 Special guest, perhaps : HONOREE
86 Like many Cubist paintings : ANGULAR
87 Fair-hiring inits. : EEO
88 “__ me!” : SEZ
89 Bolivian bungalow : CASITA
91 Sorta cousin : -ISH
95 Former fillies : MARES
96 More than enough : AMPLE
97 “__ We Almost Have It All” : DIDN’T
98 Mildly annoyed cries : DRATS
99 Unnerving : EERIE
101 Swear words? : OATH
102 River through Orsk : URAL
103 Pump, e.g. : SHOE
104 Aftermath : WAKE
106 “Zip-__-Doo-Dah” : A-DEE
109 Home of many 2010s refugees: Abbr. : SYR
110 Magician’s source of surprises : HAT

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 May 20, Sunday”

  1. 14:17, 2 errors (couple of typos).

    > Is your skill set the one against which all puzzles are to be judged?
    And yours are? Despite that, I see a lot more people commenting with problems (esp yesterday). I don’t discount anyone’s experiences, unlike some.

    1. What I quarrel with is your use of the words “gibberish” and “poor communication” to describe clues that you don’t understand when, in fact, they essentially always turn out to have a completely logical interpretation. The fact that the interpretation is difficult to grok and that others here sometimes have difficulty doing it has no bearing.

      Where is it written that every puzzle should be doable by anyone who attempts it? I come across an occasional puzzle that I can’t do without “cheating“, and I’ve been doing them for 60+ years. Does that mean that such a puzzle is horrible, should never have been published, and is further evidence of a terrible trend foisted upon us by the evil Will Shortz and his slavish minions? My answer: Nonsense! We all have different skill sets and different knowledge bases and the puzzles vary greatly in difficulty. So what?

      An article I found not long ago revealed that almost a quarter of a million people were shelling out good money to download and use the NYT crossword app. I think one might consider that evidence that Shortz is doing something very right … 😜.

  2. 4 errors. I didn’t go back to review. I had IRE for 107A, that have me ANGUEAR for 86D. Dumb #1. Then for 88D, i had SEE . That gave me MATEO for 95A. Dumb #2.
    Got the theme.. I was entertained throughout!! Got stuck on the BAIRN clue for too long.. I thought it was some regional lingo for BARN. So then maybe was WET? RED? No,.. It was code for a ….. Kid? Wow, I didn’t go there. Definitely regional but I didn’t go to scotland!!
    Be safe?

  3. 23:15, no errors. Straightforward.

    Didn’t understand the word “hot” in the clue for 40A until I came here. Buffalo wings. Hot. Yes. Makes sense now … 😜.

    1. BTW … if you downloaded that Croce puzzle on Friday, be forewarned that there’s an error in it. I sent an email to Tim about it and he has now fixed the problem, but if you downloaded a copy early on, you should either download a new copy or simply remove the “R” from the 16th entry. (I’ve managed to do 29 of the 30 problems so far, but the remaining one has me baffled.)

  4. Misspelled “matzo” as “matsa”. Caused me to have a little trouble in that area. Otherwise, did pretty well. Fun puzzle.

  5. 54:17 with one error…I had Tasita for Casita, BTW I looked up Tasita on google and it is also a type of Spanish house…that’s 4 puzzles this weekend and at least one error in each one.
    At least this one had one setter and gave me a chance unlike Mr Agard and his partners.
    Stay safe

  6. Four write-overs, (FIFTYONES/WISHBONES); got stuck on the president instead of the verb.

    I believe that the SDS was a terror, rather than a protest group. To not mention in the clue’s reveal, the violence that came out of this organization waters down history.

  7. No errors, no lookups. A theme that was fun, but I kept waiting for
    the use of “cabbage” in a phrase for money. I hadn’t heard of “cheddar”
    as a word for money, but I always learn something from these puzzles.

  8. Finished with one really silly error, I answered arg for talk like a pirate which made barre barge and I didn’t notice the goof. Arr!

  9. First time commenter, and coming to this puzzle late. But! I got weirdly excited when I realized the one error I made actually still works fine in both directions–a first for me, that I can recall: I had 75A=IRKS –> IRES (wears on) and 5D=LINKAGE –> LINEAGE (connection). Using IRE here felt like a stretch, but I see that Merriam Webster allows it as a transitive verb, so I feel vindicated (ha). Anyway, it’s fun to note that that appear to be two possible solutions.

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