LA Times Crossword 7 Jun 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Mark McClain
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Case in Point

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted with reference to a court of law:

  • 23A Bailiff who keeps the jury in stitches? : COURT JESTER
  • 34A Music played between attorneys’ arguments? : BRIEF INTERLUDE
  • 52A Polite argument on behalf of the accused? : CIVIL DEFENSE
  • 76A Cartoon dialogue introduced as evidence? : TRIAL BALLOON
  • 93A Satisfaction for a prosecuting attorney? : GUILTY PLEASURE
  • 109A Action brought by a cowardly plaintiff? : CHICKEN SUIT
  • 15D High-hat challenge of a conviction? : SNOB APPEAL
  • 69D Magistrate who specializes in agricultural litigation? : FIELD JUDGE

Bill’s time: 20m 27s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Jouster’s wear : ARMOR

“Jousting” and “tilting” are synonyms describing the medieval competition in which two horsemen yielding blunted lances attempt to unseat each other. Such an event has been referred to as “jousting” since the 1300s. At some point, the path of the two charging horsemen was separated by a cloth barrier known as a tilt (“tilt” meant “cloth covering”). The term “tilting” was applied to the sport in the 1500s, although by then the cloth barrier had been upgraded to a wooden fence.

6 Language of 100,000+ Canadians : 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.

10 “Waterloo” group : ABBA

“Waterloo” is the song that effectively launched the astounding career of Swedish band ABBA. They performed “Waterloo” in 1974 as the Swedish entry in the annual Eurovision Song Contest, and walked away with the competition (I remember it well!). The contest has been running since 1956, and “Waterloo” was chosen (in 2005) as the best song in the competition’s history.

14 Jr. challenge : PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

18 Early “Masterpiece Theatre” host Alistair : COOKE

The British-American journalist was probably best known over here in the US as the genteel host of PBS’s “Masterpiece Theatre” from 1971 to 1992. On the other side of the Atlantic, we knew him for his 15-minute BBC radio show called “Letter from America”, which ran every week from 1946 to 2004. “Letter from America” was the longest-running speech radio show in history.

21 Champagne word : BRUT

Sparkling wines can be classified according to sweetness. These classifications are, from driest to sweetest:

  • Brut Nature
  • Extra Brut
  • Brut
  • Extra Dry
  • Dry
  • Semi-Dry
  • Sweet

22 Toy owner in “Toy Story” films : ANDY

1995’s “Toy Story” was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. “Toy Story” was also the studio Pixar’s first production. The main roles in the film are Woody and Buzz Lightyear, who are voiced by Tom Hanks and Tim Allen respectively. Hanks was the first choice to voice Woody, but Allen was asked to voice Buzz after Billy Crystal turned down the role.

23 Bailiff who keeps the jury in stitches? : COURT JESTER

Here in the US, the term “bailiff” is sometimes applied to a peace officer who provides security in a court.

A stitch is a sudden stabbing pain in the side. We started using the term “stitch” to mean an amusing person or thing in 1968, from the sense of laughing so much that one was in stitches of pain, as in “he had me in stitches”.

30 “The Sandbox” playwright : ALBEE

“The Sandbox” is a much-panned, one-act play that was written by Edward Albee in 1959. Albee had a little more luck with another play, namely “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

31 Frigg’s spouse : ODIN

In Norse mythology, Odin was the chief of the gods. Odin’s wife Frigg was the queen of Asgard whose name gave us our English term “Friday” (via Anglo-Saxon). Odin’s son was Thor, whose name gave us the term “Thursday”. Odin himself gave us our word “Wednesday” from “Wodin”, the English form of his name.

39 Faithful spring? : LEAP

Leap of faith.

40 Pal played her in early films : LASSIE

The canine character Lassie is the creation of Eric Knight, an author who wrote a short story that he expanded into a novel called “Lassie Come Home” published in 1940. “Lassie Come Home” was turned into a movie three years later, the first of a very successful franchise. The original Lassie (a female) was played by a dog called Pal (a male). In fact, all of the dogs that played Lassie over the years were males, because they looked better on camera, retaining a thick coat even during the summer months.

41 Invitation encl. : SASE

An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.

42 First of an alley’s 10 : HEADPIN

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

46 Palm species : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

48 Home of the Big 12’s Cyclones : AMES

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable milestones, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

50 Actress Ward : SELA

Actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. Ward played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, and was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama “House” in which she played the hospital’s lawyer and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently, Ward played a lead role on “CSI: NY” and was a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast. And, Ward played Dr. Richard Kimble’s murdered wife in the 1993 film version of “The Fugitive”.

51 “The Great” detective of kid-lit : NATE

The “Nate the Great” series of children’s novels was written (mainly) by Marjorie Sharmat. Nate is like a young Sherlock Holmes, with a dog for a sidekick called Sludge. Some of the books have been adapted for television.

56 Ins. giant : AIG

“AIG” is an initialism used by the American International Group, a giant insurance corporation. After repeated bailouts by American taxpayers starting in 2008, the company made some serious PR blunders by spending large amounts of money on executive entertainment and middle management rewards. These included a $444,000 California retreat, an $86,000 hunting trip in England, and a $343,000 getaway to a luxury resort in Phoenix. Poor judgment, I’d say …

59 Toyota logo shape : OVAL

Although Toyota entered the passenger car market back in 1936, the current Toyota logo, consisting of three ovals formed into a “circled letter T”, has only been around since 1989. The two overlapping ovals are designed to represent a relationship of trust between the company and the customer, while the larger outside oval represents the global reach of the company’s products and technology.

60 Chaucer works : TALES

Geoffrey Chaucer was an English author. He is often referred to as the father of English literature because he established vernacular English as a legitimate language for artistic works, as up to that point authors used French or Latin. Chaucer’s most famous work is actually unfinished, a collection of stories called “The Canterbury Tales” that were all written at the end of the 14th century.

70 Do the crawl, e.g. : SWIM

The front crawl swimming stroke is also known as the Australian crawl or American crawl. It is the fastest of the front strokes, and is invariably used for freestyle competition, in which competitors can choose any stroke.As such, the front crawl is often referred to as “freestyle”.

75 Action film shooter : UZI

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

76 Cartoon dialogue introduced as evidence? : TRIAL BALLOON

A trial balloon is a tentatively announced initiative designed to test public opinion. The term “trial balloon” is a direct translation of “ballon d’essai”, a phrase describing a small balloon sent up before a manned ascent in order to determine wind speed and direction at altitude. We’ve been using “trial balloon” in a figurative sense since the 1820s.

81 Garfield’s foil : ODIE

Odie is Garfield’s best friend, and is a slobbery beagle. Both are characters in Jim Davis’ comic strip named “Garfield”.

A foil is someone who serves to enhance another by contrast. The term “foil” has been used in such a sense since the 16th century, and comes from the practice of placing metal foil at the beck of a gemstone to make it appear more brilliant.

84 Vishnu’s quartet : ARMS

Vishnu is one of the main deities in the Hindu tradition, and is one of the Trimurti (trinity) along with Brahma and Shiva. Vishnu is usually depicted as having four arms and pale blue skin.

87 Persian hunting dogs : SALUKIS

The Saluki is also known as the Persian greyhound or the royal dog of Egypt. The Saluki breed has been around a long time. Salukis feature in petroglyphs in Iran that date back to over 10,000 years ago.

92 Scott in an 1857 case : DRED

The landmark case of Dred Scott vs. Sandford came before the US Supreme Court in 1857. Scott had been born a slave, but lived with his owner in a free state for several years before returning to the slave state of Missouri. Scott’s argument was that living in a free state entitled him to emancipation. A divided US Supreme Court sided with Scott’s owner John Sandford. The decision was that no African American, free or enslaved, was entitled to US citizenship and therefore Scott was unable to petition the court for his freedom. The decision heightened tensions between the North and South, and the American Civil War erupted just three years later.

97 Mustard town : DIJON

Dijon is a city in eastern France in the Burgundy region. Dijon is famous for its mustard, a particularly strong variation of the condiment. The European Union doesn’t protect the name “Dijon” so anyone can use it on a label. That seems fair enough to me, given that 90% of the mustard made in and around Dijon is produced using mustard seed imported from Canada!

99 __ Fables : AESOP’S

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

100 Plate crossings : RUNS

That would be baseball.

102 Justice Kagan : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

103 Aggressive stingers : FIRE ANTS

Fire ants are stinging ants, and many species are known as red ants. Most stinging ants bite their prey and then spray acid on the wound. The fire ant, however, bites to hold on and then injects an alkaloid venom from its abdomen, creating a burning sensation in humans who have been nipped.

108 Tennis great Steffi : GRAF

Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, which is more than any other man or woman other than Margaret Court. She is married to another former World No. 1, namely Andre Agassi.

112 Links org. : USGA

The United States Golf Association (USGA) was formed in 1894. The need for a governing body for the sport became evident that year when both the Newport Country Club and the St. Andrew’s Golf Club in Yonkers, declared that the winner of a tournament at each of their courses was the “national amateur champion”. The first president of the USGA was Theodore Havemeyer, and to this day the one and only US Amateur Trophy bears his name.

113 In __: unmoved : SITU

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

115 “Neon” fish : TETRA

The neon tetra is a freshwater fish that is native to parts of South America. The tetra is a very popular aquarium fish and millions are imported into the US every year. Almost all of the imported tetras are farm-raised in Asia and very few come from their native continent.

117 Scientist __ deGrasse Tyson : NEIL

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who is noted for his ability to communicate science to the masses. Tyson is well known for his appearances on the great PBS show “Nova”.

118 Alan in old films : LADD

The last few years of actor Alan Ladd’s life were pretty rough. In 1962, he was found unconscious in a pool of blood with a bullet wound in his chest, an abortive suicide attempt. Two years later he was found dead, apparently having succumbed to an accidental overdose of drugs and sedatives. He was 50 years old.

Down

1 Clemson’s NCAA div. : ACC

The collegiate athletic conference known as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) was founded in 1953. The seven charter members of the ACC were Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Wake Forest.

2 Large cross : ROOD

A rood is a crucifix that specifically symbolizes the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

3 Pouty face : MOUE

The term “moue” comes from French, and means “small grimace, pout”.

4 Often-fried veggie : OKRA

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for its edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

6 __ blanc: Loire Valley wine : CHENIN

The Chenin blanc variety of white wine grape is native to the Loire valley of France. Today, it is planted mainly in South Africa, where it is also called Steen. The grape is named for Mont Chenin near the French city of Tours.

11 Literary Yorkshire family name : BRONTE

The Brontë family lived in the lovely village of Haworth in Yorkshire, England. The three daughters all became recognised authors. The first to achieve success was Charlotte Brontë when she published “Jane Eyre”. Then came Emily with “Wuthering Heights” and Anne with “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”.

13 Drive-thru device : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

14 Truckers’ cargoes : PAYLOADS

Back in the early 1900s, a payload was that part of a truck’s “load” that “paid”, from which revenue was derived. We use the term “payload” today in a similar sense, but also to describe the load carried by an aircraft that is necessary to fulfill the flight’s mission.

15 High-hat challenge of a conviction? : SNOB APPEAL

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

16 Freud disciple : ADLER

Alfred Adler was one of the group of medical professionals who founded the psychoanalytic movement. Today, Adler is less famous than his colleague Sigmund Freud.

17 Little shavers : TYKES

“Shaver” is a slang term for a “fellow”, from the sense of “one who shaves”. Hence, a “little shaver” is a boy, a youngster.

24 Foster with Oscars : JODIE

The wonderful actress and director Jodie Foster got her big break in movies early in her life, playing a very young prostitute in Martin Scorsese’s 1976 film “Taxi Driver”. Sadly, her appearance in “Taxi Driver” led to her being stalked by an obsessed John Hinckley, Jr. Hinckley called Foster on the phone, sent her love letters, and followed her on campus while she was attending Yale. In 1981, Hinckley famously shot and wounded President Reagan, claiming that he believed an assassination of the President would impress Foster.

29 Bounder : ROUE

“Roue” is a lovely word, but one used to describe a less than lovely man, someone of loose morals. “Roue” comes from the French word “rouer” meaning “to break on a wheel”. This describes the ancient form of capital punishment where a poor soul was lashed to a wheel and then beaten to death with cudgels and bars. I guess the suggestion is that a roue, with his loose morals, deserves such a punishment.

A bounder is a man deemed to be ill-bred and obtrusive. The term “bounder” was originally slang in England, and probably came from the sense of someone acting outside the bounds of acceptable behavior.

34 Flaxen, as hair : BLOND

Flax is mainly grown for its seeds (to make oil) and for its fibers. Flax fibers have been used to make linen for centuries, certainly back as far as the days of the ancient Egyptians. Flax fibers are soft and shiny, resembling blond hair, hence the term “flaxen hair”.

35 Speed gauge : RADAR

Radar speed guns were first used to monitor traffic by Connecticut State Police in the town of Glastonbury, way back in 1947!

36 Question in Matthew : IS IT I?

At the Last Supper, Jesus told his apostles that one of them would betray him that day. According to the Gospel of Matthew:

And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

38 Morales of TV’s “Titans” : ESAI

Actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

“Titans” is a web TV show created in 2018 that is based on the DC Comics team of superheroes known as the Teen Titans. Not my cup of tea …

42 Female lobster : HEN

A male lobster is called a cock, and a female a hen. A lobster weighing less than a pound is called a chicken.

47 Walgreens rival : CVS

The name of the drugstore chain CVS once stood for “Consumer Value Stores”, although these days the company uses the initialism to denote “Convenience, Value and Service”.

49 Filmmaker Gibson : MEL

Mel Gibson is an actor who was born in America, and not in Australia as many believe. Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York and moved with his family to Sydney, Australia when he was 12 years old.

53 Firm belief : DOGMA

A dogma is a set of beliefs. The plural of “dogma” is “dogmata” (or “dogmas”, if you’re not a pedant like me!)

54 Genesis matriarch : EVE

According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam’s companion by God, creating her from Adam’s rib.

55 Town across the Thames from Windsor : ETON

The town of Eton in Berkshire, England is home to the world-famous Eton College. The original settlement of Eton was located on an island surrounded by the River Thames, and the name “Eton” means “settlement on an island. A stream on one side of the island silted up almost 200 years ago, but it was cleared in 2019 so that Eton qualifies as an island once again.

58 Composer Weill : KURT

Kurt Weill was a German composer who was noted for his work with Bertolt Brecht. The most famous work by Weill and Brecht is “The Threepenny Opera”, which includes the celebrated ballad “Mack the Knife”. Weill was Jewish and had to flee Nazi Germany and eventually settled in the US.

64 Pen part : NIB

“Nib” is a Scottish variant of the Old English word “neb”, with both meaning the beak of a bird. This usage of “nib” as a beak dates back to the 14th century, with “nib” meaning the tip of a pen or quill coming a little later, in the early 1600s.

65 Milne creation : POOH

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

68 Biblical scribe : EZRA

Ezra the Scribe, also called “Ezra the Priest”, is the central character in the Book of Ezra in the Hebrew Bible.

70 “Cheers” bartender : SAM

On the sitcom “Cheers”, bartender Sam Malone was played by Ted Danson. Malone was a retired relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, and a recovering alcoholic. Great show …

71 URL element : DOT

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

72 “Ta-ta, Thierry!” : ADIEU!

“Adieu” is the French for “goodbye, farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

73 Big ship : LINER

The use of the word “line” with reference to transportation started in the 1780s, in the context of stagecoaches. Such transportation operated a string of stagecoaches between towns and cities along regular “lines”. The concept shifted to shipping “lines” operating ocean-going “liners” between ports.

78 E-file org. : IRS

E-file: that’s certainly what I do with my tax return …

80 Title for Gaga : LADY

“Lady Gaga” is the stage name of Stefani Germanotta. Germanotta is a big fan of the band Queen, and she took her stage name from the marvelous Queen song titled “Radio Ga Ga”.

83 Pole, for one : EUROPEAN

The country of Poland takes her name from the West Slavic tribe known as the “Polans”.

88 Canterbury’s county : KENT

Kent is a county in the southeast of England. Kent is a little unusual in that it shares a “land” border with France. That border nominally exists halfway through the Channel Tunnel, one end of which comes to the surface in the Kent port of Folkestone.

Canterbury is a cathedral city in the county of Kent in the southeast of England. Canterbury Cathedral is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England.

89 Companion of Dorothy : LION

The Cowardly Lion in L. Frank Baum’s “Land of Oz” books was portrayed by Bert Lahr in the celebrated 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”. The costume that Lahr wore in the film was made from real lion fur, and weighed a whopping 60 pounds.

90 Camel cousin : ALPACA

Alpacas are like small llamas, but unlike llamas were never beasts of burden. Alpacas were bred specifically for the fleece. As such, there are no known wild alpacas these days, even in their native Peru.

91 O’Connor who played Gabrielle on “Xena” : RENEE

Renee O’Connor is an actress from Katy, Texas who is best known for playing Gabrielle on the television show “Xena: Warrior Princess”.

93 Italian treats : GELATI

Gelato (plural “gelati”) is the Italian version of American ice cream, differing in that it has a lower butterfat content than its US counterpart.

98 “Fighting” Indiana team : IRISH

The athletic teams of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana are known as the Fighting Irish. There are several debated etymologies for the moniker “Fighting Irish”, with the most generally accepted being that it was applied by the press in the 1920s, reflecting the team’s fighting spirit and grit, determination and tenacity. I guess “grit, determination and tenacity” are characteristics often associated with the Irish.

99 Lofty home : AERIE

An aerie is an eagle’s nest, and is also known as an “eyrie”. The term “aerie” more generally describes any bird’s nest that is located on a cliff or a mountaintop.

103 World Cup org. : FIFA

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the sport of soccer. The competition has been held every four years (excluding the WWII years) since the inaugural event held in Uruguay in 1930. The men’s World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, even outranking the Olympic Games. And, the women’s World Cup is fast catching up …

104 Tiny bit of a min. : NSEC

“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns” (as opposed to “nsec”) and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

105 Ballet attire : TUTU

The word “tutu”, used for a ballet dancer’s skirt, is actually a somewhat “naughty” term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French “tutu” is an alteration of the word “cucu”, a childish word meaning “bottom, backside”.

108 “Family Feud” reruns channel : GSN

Game Show Network (GSN)

“Family Feud” is an American game show that has been remade in countries all over the world. We even have a version in Ireland that we call “Family Fortunes”.

110 “Good” cholesterol initials : HDL

HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is a compound that is used to transport fats around the body. When HDL is combined with (i.e. is transporting) cholesterol, it is often called “good cholesterol”. This is because HDL seems to remove cholesterol from where it should not be, say on the walls of arteries, and transports it to the liver for reuse or disposal. Important stuff …

111 Mai __ : TAI

The mai tai cocktail is strongly associated with the Polynesian islands, but the drink was supposedly invented in 1944 in Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. One recipe is 6 parts white rum, 3 parts orange curaçao, 3 parts Orgeat syrup, 1 part rock candy syrup, 2 parts fresh lime juice, all mixed with ice and then a float added of 6 parts dark rum. “Maita’i” is the Tahitian word for “good”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Jouster’s wear : ARMOR
6 Language of 100,000+ Canadians : CREE
10 “Waterloo” group : ABBA
14 Jr. challenge : PSAT
18 Early “Masterpiece Theatre” host Alistair : COOKE
19 Got the news : HEARD
21 Champagne word : BRUT
22 Toy owner in “Toy Story” films : ANDY
23 Bailiff who keeps the jury in stitches? : COURT JESTER
25 Hotel unit : ROOM
26 Egg-white omelet’s lack : YOLK
27 Close friends, say : DEAR ONES
28 Dramatic technique : IRONY
30 “The Sandbox” playwright : ALBEE
31 Frigg’s spouse : ODIN
32 Parade features : FLOATS
33 Bull alligator sounds : ROARS
34 Music played between attorneys’ arguments? : BRIEF INTERLUDE
39 Faithful spring? : LEAP
40 Pal played her in early films : LASSIE
41 Invitation encl. : SASE
42 First of an alley’s 10 : HEADPIN
45 Tribute creator : ODIST
46 Palm species : ACAI
48 Home of the Big 12’s Cyclones : AMES
50 Actress Ward : SELA
51 “The Great” detective of kid-lit : NATE
52 Polite argument on behalf of the accused? : CIVIL DEFENSE
56 Ins. giant : AIG
57 Bar group : DRINKERS
59 Toyota logo shape : OVAL
60 Chaucer works : TALES
62 Prompts on stage : CUES
63 Steam up : ANGER
65 Vanishing act word : POOF!
67 Send (to) : REFER
70 Do the crawl, e.g. : SWIM
71 Cause of ruination : DOWNFALL
75 Action film shooter : UZI
76 Cartoon dialogue introduced as evidence? : TRIAL BALLOON
81 Garfield’s foil : ODIE
82 Place for a nest : TREE
84 Vishnu’s quartet : ARMS
85 Solemn promise : OATH
86 Get a hard copy : PRINT
87 Persian hunting dogs : SALUKIS
89 Sing the praises of : LAUD
91 Turn into cash : REDEEM
92 Scott in an 1857 case : DRED
93 Satisfaction for a prosecuting attorney? : GUILTY PLEASURE
97 Mustard town : DIJON
99 __ Fables : AESOP’S
100 Plate crossings : RUNS
101 Blow a gasket : ERUPT
102 Justice Kagan : ELENA
103 Aggressive stingers : FIRE ANTS
107 __ one’s time: wait : BIDE
108 Tennis great Steffi : GRAF
109 Action brought by a cowardly plaintiff? : CHICKEN SUIT
112 Links org. : USGA
113 In __: unmoved : SITU
114 Spot cost : AD FEE
115 “Neon” fish : TETRA
116 After that : THEN
117 Scientist __ deGrasse Tyson : NEIL
118 Alan in old films : LADD
119 “My bad, Francesca” : SCUSI

Down

1 Clemson’s NCAA div. : ACC
2 Large cross : ROOD
3 Pouty face : MOUE
4 Often-fried veggie : OKRA
5 Upgrade technologically : RETROFIT
6 __ blanc: Loire Valley wine : CHENIN
7 Take exception to : RESENT
8 Digs in : EATS
9 Prior to, in verse : ERE
10 Out of the country : ABROAD
11 Literary Yorkshire family name : BRONTE
12 Channel markers : BUOYS
13 Drive-thru device : ATM
14 Truckers’ cargoes : PAYLOADS
15 High-hat challenge of a conviction? : SNOB APPEAL
16 Freud disciple : ADLER
17 Little shavers : TYKES
20 Goes for oil : DRILLS
24 Foster with Oscars : JODIE
29 Bounder : ROUE
30 Tiler’s calculation : AREA
32 Sickly : FRAIL
34 Flaxen, as hair : BLOND
35 Speed gauge : RADAR
36 Question in Matthew : IS IT I?
37 Heart and soul : ESSENCE
38 Morales of TV’s “Titans” : ESAI
39 Not as much : LESS
42 Female lobster : HEN
43 “Would __ to you?” : I LIE
44 Pesters : NAGS
46 Refreshes, with “out” : AIRS …
47 Walgreens rival : CVS
48 Way over yonder : AFAR
49 Filmmaker Gibson : MEL
52 So-so mark : CEE
53 Firm belief : DOGMA
54 Genesis matriarch : EVE
55 Town across the Thames from Windsor : ETON
58 Composer Weill : KURT
61 Makes available to : AFFORDS
63 Hole-making tools : AWLS
64 Pen part : NIB
65 Milne creation : POOH
66 Control : OWN
67 Wagon road features : RUTS
68 Biblical scribe : EZRA
69 Magistrate who specializes in agricultural litigation? : FIELD JUDGE
70 “Cheers” bartender : SAM
71 URL element : DOT
72 “Ta-ta, Thierry!” : ADIEU!
73 Big ship : LINER
74 “I can do that” : LET ME
77 Carefully timed operation : RAID
78 E-file org. : IRS
79 Awkward sorts : LOUTS
80 Title for Gaga : LADY
83 Pole, for one : EUROPEAN
86 Farm workers of old : PEASANTS
88 Canterbury’s county : KENT
89 Companion of Dorothy : LION
90 Camel cousin : ALPACA
91 O’Connor who played Gabrielle on “Xena” : RENEE
93 Italian treats : GELATI
94 Handy : USEFUL
95 Selling for, with “at” : PRICED …
96 Waited in hiding : LURKED
97 First appearance : DEBUT
98 “Fighting” Indiana team : IRISH
99 Lofty home : AERIE
103 World Cup org. : FIFA
104 Tiny bit of a min. : NSEC
105 Ballet attire : TUTU
106 Titles of respect : SIRS
108 “Family Feud” reruns channel : GSN
110 “Good” cholesterol initials : HDL
111 Mai __ : TAI

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Jun 20, Sunday”

    1. No, it isn’t. As I said in a post here on May 24, the GolfCross balls are sort of football-shaped, with two pointy ends. The one I found is egg-shaped, with one somewhat pointy end. I did find a ball like it (but with different markings) for sale on eBay:

      https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-GOLF-BALL-1950-60S-GOLDEN-RAM-EGG-SHAPED-BALL-RARE-/202798118767

      The one I found is a Wilson, with markings “Pro Staff” and “2”. My best guess is that it was a novelty item, to be used as a gag gift or a tournament memento. I’ve now asked quite a few golfers about it, but to no avail. I’m hoping John Daigle might have some input …

  1. 20:09, no errors. Decent puzzle, clever theme.

    @Glenn … Given that I have been solving crosswords competently for an awful lot of years, I feel comfortable in disagreeing with most of your negative reviews of individual puzzles, setters, clues, answers, metas, etc. I don’t have a lot of opinions about larger parts of the “industry” (because I don’t read a lot about crosswords – I just do them), but I’m more than a bit dubious about your negative reviews at that level, as well. I don’t know if you’re just generalizing from the small to the large or if you’re buying into attitudes expressed by critics like Rex Parker; either way, I’m dubious. It is certainly possible to find a lot of solvers who agree with negative reviews; remarkably, people even come to this blog (gasp! 😜) to complain bitterly that: a puzzle is awful; the clues are misleading and/or wrong; rebuses and other tricksy things don’t belong in crossword puzzles and ought to be outlawed; obsolete words, foreign words, abbreviations, and recent slang terms are off limits; dictionaries and atlases are often mistaken; and so on. I am not persuaded that a plethora of complaints about a puzzle justifies a condemnation of the puzzle or, even less, a blanket condemnation of some larger entity.

    So … again … my two cents’ worth … 😜

    1. As you said, you don’t read a lot ABOUT what’s going on. I don’t either, but I read enough to see things are happening. Like the bonus the NYT has been giving lately for submissions from “veteran constructors”, and a lot of venom some of the constructors have been spewing about their experiences with the NYT. I can also notice pretty readily that a large amount of the output of the NYT (and LAT too for that matter) has been either newbie constructors or weird “mentoring” collaborations. And it’s obvious that there’s gotta be some kind of standard of acceptance for a venue such as the NYT. That part falls right on Shortz to determine. There are “good” and there are “bad” puzzles in Shortz’s mind, as I’ve read of (and done) several of his rejected puzzles that the author later offered. Now if “bad” puzzles happen to get run, then that either says that Shortz’s standards are too low or he’s not getting enough submissions to maintain a high standard. A trip to Cruciverb to read the note there about his submission queue will dispel the later (the NYT is about 30 weeks backed up). Either way, that’s on Shortz to deal with and fix.

      Now what makes a “bad” puzzle. There’s obviously several uniform rules, but the major key is if it’s “interesting” and if it’s “fun”. If I feel like I just got the equivalent of sticking my finger in a light socket from doing the puzzle, my opinion of it isn’t going to be very good. Those definitions are going to vary from person to person, but like I remarked before, if the only reason most are doing a puzzle is “because it’s there”, that doesn’t bode very well. Even more so if someone constructs a puzzle and is considering a place to submit it. And quality concerns are going to be an issue, because there’s enough of a market place out there that people are going to pick and choose. Frankly, all I’ve been saying is that there’s not much that’s incredibly laudable at the NYT on that regard right now. You got your two cents worth in, all I’m saying is others have a right to theirs.

      1. @Glenn …

        Those definitions are going to vary from person to person.

        You got your two cents worth in, all I’m saying is others have a right to theirs.

        I could not agree more … 😜.

        1. How to ruin the enjoyment of crossword puzzles. Make it into an academic research project and start picking apart the elements that have nothing to do with the puzzle. Just my two cents. And that sounds really familiar talking about adding two cents to a discussion. I seem to recall that in a recent crossword here… ;-D>

          I was surprised at Bill’s time to solve. I anticipated it was going to be in the 14 to 15 minute range. I found this grid pretty easy for some reason.

  2. 21:12, 3 careless errors from putting deadpan for headpin on 42A. Didn’t care for dear ones (27A), but it fit.

  3. 23 minutes, 50 seconds, no errors. Even the theme clues were actually clever and fun this time. Keep ’em coming like this.

  4. Re: Glenn’s comment on NYT. I used to do that puzzle but sadly never more.
    That paper has become a shill for left wing propaganda. The Journalists have betrayed their calling IMHO.

    1. The propaganda creeps into a lot of the crosswords, too, sadly. I can’t think of a single venue where I don’t run into some kind of political grist of some kind in a crossword. I think that’s probably half of the reason why I needed that hiatus a couple of weeks ago. Crosswords should be escapist, not reflective of the bilge in this world.

    2. I did a good bit of reading yesterday and found that, indeed, the NYT crosswords are being criticized for what might be termed “old white men syndrome”. As an old white man (😜), I have mixed feelings about the criticism (some of which, IMHO, is a bit overdone), but it does need to be taken seriously, and I think/hope it will be. Nevertheless, I would observe that even his critics, for the most part, seem to acknowledge that Will Shortz has transformed the NYT crosswords in positive ways, and I see no reason to interpret their criticism in this particular area as some sort of blanket condemnation of him or his puzzles. (Mind you, I think Shortz can be a difficult person to deal with: I have friends who say they have a hard time listening to him on NPR, and I personally have reason to find fault with his response to what I see as thoroughly unprofessional behavior by the folks at “kenkenpuzzle.com” (an enterprise to which he contributed).

      It does appears that the advent of “indie” crossword constructors is changing the nature of the genre and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.

      One more thing: I find Joel’s comment and Glenn’s response to be wholly irrational and I can’t help but speculate that their view of the NYT as a hotbed of “left-wing propaganda” is at the bottom of all the critiques of Will Shortz and the NYT puzzles. What nonsense! (Even if that were true, a crossword is not an essay or an op-ed piece, it cannot be treated as such, and, in my experience, setters acknowledge that.)

  5. I don’t do a crossword just “because it’s there.” My local paper prints the Daily Commuter, but I skip it because it’s too simple – no fun. I do the LAT online.

    The whiners don’t seem to appreciate that a crossword is a friendly battle between the constructor and the solver. The constructor’s job is to make the clues as devious, misleading, and/or obscure as possible. This includes proper names, brand names, slang … anything goes. The more head-scratchy the better. That’s what makes a good crossword fun.

    A crossword limited strictly to Webster’s Revised Unabridged (1913, last printed edition?) would be pretty dull indeed.

    And please, what are some recent examples of “political grist” in the LAT crossword?

    1. Well said, Peter!

      I’d also like to be alerted to the next “bilge reflector” that comes along, as I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one. (It’s entirely possible, of course, that bilge, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder … 😜.)

  6. Decided to do the Sunday for a change; 34:24 on-line before I got the chime. Nice fun puzzle with no real problems. Didn’t know a few things, but managed to get everything with crosses.

  7. I thought for sure that “NSEC” (104d) was an error … certainly is a non-standard abbreviation for nanosecond. 12:30 with no mistakes here 🙂

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