LA Times Crossword 26 Jul 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: David Alfred Bywaters
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Endives

Themed answers are all in the down-direction, and come in pairs. The top element of each pair has an N removed from a word in a common phrase. That letter N “DIVES” into a common phrase in the lower element of the pair, recreating the original word that lost an N. Complicated …

  • 3D Tearjerker’s quality? : SOB APPEAL (from “snob appeal”)
  • 69D Tales of social climbers? : SNOB STORIES (from “sob stories”)
  • 7D Mysterious foliage-sprouting proclivity? : CHIA SYNDROME (from “China syndrome”)
  • 88D Ceramic dog, maybe? : CHINA PET (from “Chia Pet”)
  • 12D Remit with goatskin? : PAY IN KID (from “pay in kind”)
  • 65D Western hero noted for his thoughtfulness? : BILLY THE KIND (from “Billy the Kid”)
  • 16D Vehicle for transporting bark spice? : CINNAMON BUS (from “cinnamon buns”)
  • 83D Farmers market baked goods? : LOCAL BUNS (from “local bus”)

Bill’s time: 19m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

20 Sword handle : HILT

The hilt of a weapon is its handle. One might push in the blade of a knife to the hilt, to the maximum degree.

21 Andrew Jackson carried one with a sword in it : CANE

Like many of the earlier US presidents, Andrew Jackson was a career military man. Jackson distinguished himself as commander of American forces during the War of 1812, particularly in the defense of New Orleans. He had a reputation of being fair to his troops, but strict. It was during this time that he was described as “tough as old hickory”, giving rise to the nickname “Old Hickory” that stuck with him for life.

23 Marie Curie has two of them : NOBELS

Marie Curie lived a life of firsts. She was the first female professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and indeed was the first person to win two Nobel prizes (in Physics in 1903, and in Chemistry in 1911). Most of Curie’s work was in the field of radioactivity, and was carried out in the days when the impact of excessive radiation on the human body was not understood. She died from aplastic anemia, caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Curie’s personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.

24 Tiny bit : IOTA

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

26 Grandson of Eve : ENOS

Enos was the son of Seth, and therefore the grandson of Adam and Eve, and nephew of Cain and Abel. According to the ancient Jewish work called the Book of Jubilees, Enos married his own sister Noam.

27 Spirited style : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

28 Disney film set in Polynesia : MOANA

“Moana” is a 2016 animated feature film and the 56th animated Disney movie. The title character is the daughter of a Polynesian chief who heads off in search of the demigod Maui, hoping that he can save her people.

The term “Polynesia” was coined in 1756 by author Charles de Brosses when he used it to describe all the islands in the Pacific. This usage was later restricted to what we now refer to as a subregion of Oceania.

30 Amphetamines, e.g. : STIMULANTS

Amphetamine is a drug discovered in 1887 that stimulates the central nervous system. The first commercial amphetamine to hit the shelves was Benzedrine, which was marketed back in 1933 as a decongestant. It didn’t take long for “bennies” to be misused recreationally due to the euphoric stimulant side effect. Those original doses were meant to be inhaled, but abusers cracked open the container and removed the contents, a paper strip covered in Benzedrine. Those strips were swallowed, often with coffee or alcohol.

32 Petit four purveyor : PATISSERIE

A petit four is a small confection served at the end of a meal, either as a dessert or with coffee. The name “petit four” is French for “small oven”.

35 West Coast ZIP starter : NINE …

ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym “ZIP” stands for “Zone Improvement Plan”, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.

37 Econ. indicator : GDP

A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, although related, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

39 Alcohol type : ETHYL

Ethyl alcohol is more usually known as ethanol. Ethanol is the alcohol found in intoxicating beverages, and nowadays is also used as a fuel for cars. It is also found in medical wipes and hand sanitizer, in which it acts as an antiseptic.

40 Braided Jewish bread : BABKA

Babka is a sweet yeast cake that can also be called bobka or baba. Babka originated in Eastern Europe and is served traditionally on Easter Sunday, and with a drizzle of rum syrup.

42 Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ eleven : EMMYS

Actress and comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an alum of the sketch show “Saturday Night Live”, in which she appeared from 1982 to 1985. Her really big break came when she was chosen to play Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld”. More recently, Louis-Dreyfus can be seen playing Vice President Selina Meyer on the HBO comedy show “Veep”. And, she has won more Primetime Emmy Awards than any other performer in history.

44 Deutsche darling : LIEBCHEN

“Liebchen” is a German word meaning “sweetheart, dear”.

The country that we know in English as “Germany” is known as “Deutschland” in German. The name “Germany” comes from “Germania”, which is the Latin name that Julius Caesar gave to the peoples located east of the Rhine. The name “Deutschland” comes from an Old High German word meaning “land belonging to the people”.

46 Lab dish eponym : PETRI

Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist and was the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts as a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an “agar plate”.

47 It was inspired by Sunshine Hydrox cookies : OREO

The Oreo cookie was introduced in 1912. The Oreo was intended to be a competitor to the very similar Hydrox cookie which had debuted four years earlier. The Oreo won the resulting battle on the grocery store shelves …

49 Dangerous snake : ADDER

The adder, a snake in the viper family, is the only venomous snake found on the island of Great Britain. Adders are also found in Norway and Sweden, north of the Arctic Circle.

51 Hebrew winter month : ADAR

Adar is the twelfth month of the Hebrew ecclesiastical calendar. Adar is equivalent to February-March in the Gregorian calendar.

61 Derby favorite, say : BEST BET

Our use of the word “derby” to mean a race started in 1780 with the English Derby horse race, which was founded then by the 12th Earl of Derby. Ultimately, the term “derby” derives from the old English shire of “Deorby”, a word meaning “deer village”.

63 Black-and-white : PATROL CAR

A police car is often referred to by the slang term “black-and-white”, a reference to the vehicle’s common paint scheme.

65 Get some rays : BASK

Our verb “to bask”, meaning “to expose one to pleasant warmth”, is derived from the gruesome, 14th-century term “basken”, meaning “to wallow in blood”. The contemporary usage apparently originated with Shakespeare, who employed “bask” with reference to sunshine in “As You Like It”.

66 Neighbor of Mex. : USA

The Mexico-US border stretches almost 2,000 miles, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. It is the most frequently crossed international border in the whole world, with about 350 million legal crossings annually.

67 Rehab symptoms, briefly : DTS

The episodes of delirium that can accompany withdrawal from alcohol are called delirium tremens (the DTs). The literal translation of this Latin phrase is “trembling madness”.

70 Where Tennyson’s “light brigade” charged : CRIMEA

“The Charge of the Light Brigade” is a narrative poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson published in 1854, just two months after the “Charge” took place at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. Apparently, Tennyson took only a few minutes to write the poem, after reading two accounts of the military engagement in “The Times” of London. Here’s the first of the six verses:

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

71 Noble Brit : ARISTO

“Aristo” is short for “aristocrat”.

79 Trite saying : BROMIDE

A bromide is a compound containing a bromide ion i.e. a bromine atom with a singular negative charge. Potassium bromide was commonly used as a sedative in the 19th century, and this led to our use of the term “bromide” to mean “boring cliché” or “verbal sedative”.

86 Hamlet’s first option : TO BE

There has been centuries of debate about how one interprets Hamlet’s soliloquy that begins “To be or not to be …”. My favorite opinion is that Hamlet is weighing up the pros and cons of suicide (“to not be”).

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles …

87 Letter abbr. : ENCL

Enclosure (encl.)

89 1986 U.S. Open champ Raymond __ : FLOYD

Raymond Floyd is a former PGA golfer who won four majors, with the British Open eluding him and preventing a career grand slam.

92 Dupes : SAPS

“Sap” is slang for “fool, someone easily scammed”. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain when it was used in “saphead” and “sapskull”. All these words are derived from “sapwood”, which is the softwood found in tree trunks between the bark and the heartwood at the center.

94 Organic fertilizer : HUMUS

Humus is the dark organic material found in soil. It is the result of the decomposition of vegetable and animal matter, and supplies vital nutrients to the earth. “Humus” is Latin for “earth, soil”.

101 Actor Douglas and quarterback Cousins : KIRKS

Megastar Kirk Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch in Upstate New York. One of Douglas’ coups was to purchase the film-making rights to the play “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, in which he starred on Broadway in the mid-sixties. He gave those rights to his son, actor Michael Douglas, who made it into the magnificent movie of the same name. Kirk Douglas celebrated his 100th birthday in December, 2016.

Kirk Cousins is an NFL quarterback who was drafted in 2012 by the Washington Redskins. Predictably perhaps, Cousins earned himself the nickname “Captain Kirk” (a “Star Trek” reference) while playing for the Redskins.

102 Snowboarder White : SHAUN

Professional snowboarder Shaun White has won Olympic gold twice, in 2006 and 2010. White is a red-headed Irish American, and is often referred to as “The Flying Tomato”.

104 Latin lover’s assertion : AMO

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

105 Horse color : ROAN

A roan horse has an even mixture of white and colored hairs on the body with the head, lower legs, mane and tail having a more solid color.

110 Wallabies and wombats : MARSUPIALS

Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch. Better-known marsupials are kangaroos, koalas, wombats and Tasmanian devils. As you can probably tell from this list, most marsupials are native to the Southern Hemisphere.

Wallabies are marsupials native to Australia and New Guinea that look like small kangaroos. One early name for the wallaby was “brush-kangaroo”.

Wombats are marsupials that are native to Australia. Apparently, wombats are often mocked in their native land, as they are viewed as fat, slow, lazy animals. The “unofficial” mascot of the 2000 Sydney Olympics was “Fatso the Fat-A***ed Wombat”.

117 Soft cheese : BRIE

Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert. Brie is often served baked in puff pastry.

119 Sushi seaweed : NORI

Nori is an edible seaweed that we used to know as “laver” when I was living in Wales. Nori is usually dried into thin sheets. Here in the US, we are most familiar with nori as the seaweed used as a wrap for sushi.

124 Soon, long ago : ANON

“Anon” originally meant “at once”, but the term’s meaning evolved into “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

127 Span. miss : SRTA

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

Down

1 Jutland native : DANE

Jutland is a peninsula in Northern Europe comprising the mainland of Denmark and part of northern Germany. Jutland is named for the Jutes, a powerful Germanic people that inhabited the peninsula in the Nordic Iron Age.

6 Title assassin in a 2005 Pitt-Jolie film : MR SMITH

“Mr. & Mrs. Smith” is a 2005 film starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in the title roles. It’s a fun film, sort of a melded romantic comedy and action movie. The film is noted as the first time Pitt and Jolie met, after which they fell in love and became the media’s “Brangelina” item.

7 Mysterious foliage-sprouting proclivity? : CHIA SYNDROME (from “China syndrome”)

Chia is a flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seeds are an excellent food source and are often added to breakfast cereals and energy bars. There is also the famous Chia Pet, an invention of a San Francisco company. Chia Pets are terra-cotta figurines to which are applied moistened chia seeds. The seeds sprout and the seedlings become the “fur” of the Chia Pet.

A loss-of-coolant accident in a nuclear reactor is often referred to as the “China syndrome”. The name is meant to reflect the severe meltdown with the core component burning through the Earth’s crust and reaching the opposite side of the planet. Well, that couldn’t happen …

8 Model train giant : LIONEL

Lionel is the brand name most associated with toy trains in the US. The first Lionel trains rolled off the production line in 1901 and they are still produced today, although the original Lionel Corporation is long gone. In 1995, the brand was bought by an investment company that included train enthusiast Neil Young (the singer), and operated as Lionel, LLC. Neil Young’s financial involvement ended after a 2008 reorganization of the company following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, but the company is still producing and selling.

10 Org. concerned with students : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

11 Vocal improv : SCAT

Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

12 Remit with goatskin? : PAY IN KID (from “pay in kind”)

Male goats are bucks or billies, although castrated males are known as wethers. Female goats are does or nannies, and young goats are referred to as kids.

13 Persistent weakness : ANEMIA

The term “anemia” (or “anaemia”, as we write it back in Ireland) comes from a Greek word meaning “lack of blood”. Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood, or a low red blood cell count. Tiredness is a symptom of the condition, and so we use the term “anemic” figuratively to mean “lacking in vitality or substance”.

16 Vehicle for transporting bark spice? : CINNAMON BUS (from “cinnamon buns”)

“True” cinnamon sticks are taken from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. However, a lot of cinnamon sticks are also sold that come from a related species of tree, and these are more correctly referred to as “cassia”.

29 Rapper Ice Cube’s first name : O’SHEA

Rapper Ice Cube’s real name is O’Shea Jackson. Since the year 2000, Ice Cube has gradually moved away from rap music and focuses more on acting. The 2015 movie “Straight Outta Compton” tells the story of the gangsta rap group N.W.A., of which Ice Cube was a member. Ice Cube co-produced the film, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. played his real-life Dad on screen.

31 Lascivious look : LEER

“Lascivious” is such an appropriate-sounding word, I always think. It means “lecherous, salacious”.

33 Gumshoe : TEC

“Gumshoe” is a slang word used for a private detective or private investigator (P.I.). Apparently the term dates back to the early 1900s, and refers to the rubber-soled shoes popular with private detectives at that time.

34 Spanish airline : IBERIA

The airline called Iberia is the flag carrier for Spain and is based in the country’s capital city at Madrid-Barajas Airport.

37 Seize, slangily : GLOM

“Glom” is a slang term meaning “steal”, although it can also be used to mean “latch onto” when used as “glom onto”. The term probably comes from the Scots word “glam” meaning “to snatch at”.

38 Met celebrity : DIVA

The term “diva” comes to us from Latin via Italian. “Diva” is the feminine form of “divus” meaning “divine one”. The word is used in Italy to mean “goddess” or “fine lady”, and especially is applied to the prima donna in an opera. We often use the term to describe a singer with a big ego.

The Metropolitan Opera (often simply “the Met”) of New York City is the largest classical music organization in the country, presenting about 220 performances each and every year. Founded in 1880, the Met is renowned for using technology to expand its audiences. Performances have been broadcast live on radio since 1931, and on television since 1977. And since 2006 you can go see a live performance from New York in high definition on the big screen, at a movie theater near you …

45 Radar screen spot : BLIP

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called “Radio Detection And Ranging”, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

46 Sheet material : PERCALE

Percale is a fabric that is often used to make bedsheets. It has a very high thread count (200+), and can be made from cotton, polyester or perhaps a bland. The original percale fabric was exported from India in the 1800s.

47 Greek victim of the Furies : ORESTES

Orestes is a character appearing in Greek mythology, and is the subject of several Ancient Greek plays. In a story by Homer, Orestes kills his mother Clytemnestra. He does so in revenge as Clytemnestra killed Agamemnon, who was her husband and father to Orestes. Agamemnon was killed by his wife for sacrificing his daughter Iphigenia in order to get favorable winds on a sea voyage. Heavy stuff …

The Furies of Greek and Roman mythology were the female personification of vengeance. They were also known as the Dirae, “the terrible”. There were at least three Furies:

  • Alecto: the “unceasing”
  • Megaera: the “grudging”
  • Tisiphone: the “avenging murder”

57 Desert plants : CACTI

The cactus (plural “cacti”) is a member of a family of plants that are particularly well-adapted to extremely dry environments. Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, although some succulent plants from the old world are similar in appearance and are often mislabeled as “cacti”.

62 Nordic toast : SKOAL!

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

65 Western hero noted for his thoughtfulness? : BILLY THE KIND (from “Billy the Kid”)

I’m guessing that the notorious Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid was of Irish stock as his family name was McCarty. Although he usually used the alias William H. Bonney, another indication of an Irish connection is that he also went by William Antrim, Henry Antrim and Kid Antrim, as Antrim is one of the six counties in the north of Ireland.

68 Matador’s opponent : TORO

The term “torero” is used to describe all bullfighters. The term “matador” is reserved for the bullfighter whose job is to make the final kill. Aptly enough, “matador” is Spanish for “killer”.

72 Move, in some ads : RELO

Relocate (relo)

88 Ceramic dog, maybe? : CHINA PET (from “Chia Pet”)

The ceramic known as “porcelain” can be referred to as “china” or “fine china”, as porcelain was developed in China.

90 “The Wreck of the Mary __” : DEARE

“The Wreck of the Mary Deare” is a novel by Hammond Innes, as well as a 1959 movie adaptation of the book, starring Gary Cooper.

93 Quechua is one of its official languages : PERU

Quechua was the Native-American language adopted by the Incan Empire and favored over other dialects. Today, Quechua is one of the official languages in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, alongside Spanish.

95 Trading places: Abbr. : MKTS

Market (mkt.)

97 Text entries named for their traditional red color : RUBRICS

In Medieval illuminated manuscripts, sections of text that are highlighted in red ink are known as rubrics. Often a rubric would be seen at the top of a page, and we tend to use the term “rubric” for a title or a name. “Rubric” comes from the Latin “rubrica”, the red ocher used in making the red pigment used in ink. “Rubric” has evolved to mean an authoritative rule or direction.

98 Genetic letters : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

99 African snakes : MAMBAS

Mambas, and most famously black mambas, are highly venomous snakes that used to be responsible for a great number of fatalities before anti-venoms became available. Mamba venom is a deadly mix of neurotoxins that attack the nervous system and cardiotoxins that attack the heart. A bite, if left untreated, causes the lungs and the heart to shut down.

100 Historic Nile excavation site : AMARNA

Armana is an archaeological site on the east bank of the Nile River in Egypt, almost 200 miles south of Cairo. The ancient city is also known as el-Amarna, and Tel el-Amarna, although the use of “Tel” is apparently incorrect. “Tel” commonly appears in names in the region (Arabic for “hill”), but should not apply to Amarna as the site is perfectly flat.

101 Roll or emperor : KAISER

The Kaiser roll was invented in Vienna, Austria. It is thought that the “Kaiser” name was applied to the crusty roll in honor of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I.

“Kaiser” is the German word for “emperor”. The term is usually applied to the Emperors of the German Empire or Deutsches Reich that started with Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1871 and ended with the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II after the Empire’s defeat in WWI.

102 2000s Israeli leader Ariel : SHARON

Ariel Sharon was a former Prime Minister of Israel. While still in office in 2005, Sharon suffered two debilitating strokes that left him in a permanent vegetative state from early 2006, until he finally passed away in early 2014.

106 Slanted columns : OP-EDS

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

108 Steak named for its shape : T-BONE

The T-bone and porterhouse are related cuts of meat, with the latter being a larger version of the former, and both being cut from the short loin.

109 Virgil’s language : LATIN

Publius Vergilius Maro (better known as “Virgil”) was a poet from ancient Rome. His best known works are:

  • The “Eclogues” (or “Bucolics”)
  • The “Georgics”
  • The “Aeneid”

112 Heavenly harp : LYRA

Lyra (Latin for “lyre, harp, lute”) is a constellation that includes the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. The constellation Lyra is surrounded by the neighboring constellations of Draco, Hercules, Vulpecula and Cygnus.

115 Kansas-born playwright : INGE

Playwright William Inge had a run of success on Broadway in the early fifties. Inge’s most celebrated work of that time is the play “Picnic”, for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The original 1953 cast of “Picnic” included a young male actor making his debut on Broadway. His name was Paul Newman. Many of Inge’s works are set in the American heartland and so he became known as the “Playwright of the Midwest”.

116 Hardy’s “Pure Woman Faithfully Presented” : TESS

The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess …” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.

121 Phillies’ div. : NLE

National League East (NLE)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Take pieces from? : DISARM
7 Applaud : CLAP
11 Practice fighting : SPAR
15 Likely to evoke an “Eww!” : ICKY!
19 Big fan : ADORER
20 Sword handle : HILT
21 Andrew Jackson carried one with a sword in it : CANE
22 Not just eat : DINE
23 Marie Curie has two of them : NOBELS
24 Tiny bit : IOTA
25 Juan’s “yesterday” : AYER
26 Grandson of Eve : ENOS
27 Spirited style : ELAN
28 Disney film set in Polynesia : MOANA
30 Amphetamines, e.g. : STIMULANTS
32 Petit four purveyor : PATISSERIE
35 West Coast ZIP starter : NINE …
36 Wore (away) : ATE
37 Econ. indicator : GDP
39 Alcohol type : ETHYL
40 Braided Jewish bread : BABKA
42 Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ eleven : EMMYS
44 Deutsche darling : LIEBCHEN
46 Lab dish eponym : PETRI
47 It was inspired by Sunshine Hydrox cookies : OREO
48 Not quite circular : OVAL
49 Dangerous snake : ADDER
51 Hebrew winter month : ADAR
53 Finishes : ENDS
56 Ill will : MALICE
59 Something you don’t see everyday : RARITY
61 Derby favorite, say : BEST BET
63 Black-and-white : PATROL CAR
65 Get some rays : BASK
66 Neighbor of Mex. : USA
67 Rehab symptoms, briefly : DTS
70 Where Tennyson’s “light brigade” charged : CRIMEA
71 Noble Brit : ARISTO
73 Cloud site : SKY
74 Very long time : EON
75 Gift-wrapping aid : TAPE
76 Asset in a crisis : LEVEL HEAD
79 Trite saying : BROMIDE
81 Happened to : BEFELL
82 Use just one water ski : SLALOM
86 Hamlet’s first option : TO BE
87 Letter abbr. : ENCL
89 1986 U.S. Open champ Raymond __ : FLOYD
91 Over with : DONE
92 Dupes : SAPS
94 Organic fertilizer : HUMUS
96 Domestic platforms : TERRACES
99 Not at all glossy : MATTE
101 Actor Douglas and quarterback Cousins : KIRKS
102 Snowboarder White : SHAUN
103 Cigar discard : ASH
104 Latin lover’s assertion : AMO
105 Horse color : ROAN
107 Playground game with a rope and a pole : TETHERBALL
110 Wallabies and wombats : MARSUPIALS
113 Bread source : BAKER
114 Not much : A BIT
117 Soft cheese : BRIE
118 Notice : ESPY
119 Sushi seaweed : NORI
120 Ready to play : IN TUNE
122 Over again : ANEW
123 Silhouetted road sign animal : DEER
124 Soon, long ago : ANON
125 Succumbs to static : CLINGS
126 Impertinence : SASS
127 Span. miss : SRTA
128 Warp : BEND
129 Becomes aware of : SENSES

Down

1 Jutland native : DANE
2 False god : IDOL
3 Tearjerker’s quality? : SOB APPEAL (from “snob appeal”)
4 Large venue : ARENA
5 Brother, e.g.: Abbr. : REL
6 Title assassin in a 2005 Pitt-Jolie film : MR SMITH
7 Mysterious foliage-sprouting proclivity? : CHIA SYNDROME (from “China syndrome”)
8 Model train giant : LIONEL
9 Vow locale : ALTAR
10 Org. concerned with students : PTA
11 Vocal improv : SCAT
12 Remit with goatskin? : PAY IN KID (from “pay in kind”)
13 Persistent weakness : ANEMIA
14 Show again : RERUN
15 Notion : IDEA
16 Vehicle for transporting bark spice? : CINNAMON BUS (from “cinnamon buns”)
17 Difficult to solve : KNOTTY
18 Words of assent : YESSES
29 Rapper Ice Cube’s first name : O’SHEA
30 Senator’s place : SEAT
31 Lascivious look : LEER
33 Gumshoe : TEC
34 Spanish airline : IBERIA
37 Seize, slangily : GLOM
38 Met celebrity : DIVA
41 Donkey song? : BRAY
43 Come across : MEET
45 Radar screen spot : BLIP
46 Sheet material : PERCALE
47 Greek victim of the Furies : ORESTES
50 Glen cousin : DALE
52 Shame : ABASH
54 Writing __ : DESK
55 Legal suspension : STAY
57 Desert plants : CACTI
58 Online stock transactions : E-TRADES
60 Moving memoir subject? : TRAVELS
62 Nordic toast : SKOAL!
64 Get ready to eat? : RIPEN
65 Western hero noted for his thoughtfulness? : BILLY THE KIND (from “Billy the Kid”)
67 Card balance, say : DEBT
68 Matador’s opponent : TORO
69 Tales of social climbers? : SNOB STORIES (from “sob stories”)
72 Move, in some ads : RELO
77 Gush : EFFUSE
78 Pops, to baby : DADA
80 Essence : MEAT
81 Short-term memory? : BLUR
83 Farmers market baked goods? : LOCAL BUNS (from “local bus”)
84 Change for a five : ONES
85 Netting : MESH
88 Ceramic dog, maybe? : CHINA PET (from “Chia Pet”)
90 “The Wreck of the Mary __” : DEARE
93 Quechua is one of its official languages : PERU
95 Trading places: Abbr. : MKTS
97 Text entries named for their traditional red color : RUBRICS
98 Genetic letters : RNA
99 African snakes : MAMBAS
100 Historic Nile excavation site : AMARNA
101 Roll or emperor : KAISER
102 2000s Israeli leader Ariel : SHARON
106 Slanted columns : OP-EDS
108 Steak named for its shape : T-BONE
109 Virgil’s language : LATIN
111 Stitches up : SEWS
112 Heavenly harp : LYRA
115 Kansas-born playwright : INGE
116 Hardy’s “Pure Woman Faithfully Presented” : TESS
119 Pick up : NAB
121 Phillies’ div. : NLE

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 Jul 20, Sunday”

  1. 4 errors.. I like the puzzle.. Nice changeup on the theme direction.. Took my usual hour.. Messed up on 71A.. I had ARISSO.. Didn’t know for sure 47D so i missed ORESSES.. also missed 119D, thought it was TAB.. Like “pick up the TAB”.. Didn’t know 119A and I had TORI.

    Stay safe!

  2. 17:33, no errors. Cute gimmick. I very much appreciate this kind of word play. Today’s NYT crossword employs what is, for me, an even more entertaining (not to mention astounding) bit of word play.

  3. 1:04:55 no errors…I got32 & 44A &29D via crosses and guesses…I’m not sure how 81D is a blur but it fit.👍
    Stay safe.

  4. I thought it was a great puzzle even though it took me about an hour to complete. I knew fairly early on the “N” had to be taken out of the theme words then later realized the “N” had to be put in others. But it was only near the end that I realized all the theme answers were connected on the same line. That helped me get Chia Syndrome. Very clever theme. Kudos to the constructor!

    I did get stuck on 40 across. Kept thinking it was challah and then tried to figure out how the constructor spelled it. Iberia finally set me straight. Also, never heard of Armana. Now I know.

  5. Had to correct Lyre into Lyra to make the abbreviation for senorita to make sense but all told it took me 17 minutes. Yay!

  6. We’d never heard of a Chia Pet. Googled it, so now we know. Didn’t think to change LYRE into LYRA because we didn’t notice SRTE made no sense. Quite a number of “oh, of course!”s (especially CLINGS).

  7. Four errors. My stream of consciousness:
    Is it Deere or is it DEARE? Snowboarder?
    Is it Liebshon or is it Liebchon? I thought Ice Cube’s first name was Ice. Ochoa sounds like it could work. No that won’t work, try Oshoa. Panisserie, hmmm vaguely familiar, go with it, but how is Nes a gumshoe? Heck with it, let’s go to the videotape… Hey, how is TEC a gumshoe??

    I’m afraid I had to make too many WAGs for this puzzle to be enjoyable for me.

    1. Interestingly, Merriam-Webster online defines “tec” as slang for “detective”. But in their definition of “detective”, their list of synonyms does not include “tec” – either in their definition or in their thesaurus.

      I’ve only ever seen or heard of ‘”tec” in crosswords. I think constructors invented it as a cheap filler. Bill, or anyone else, can you find an example of “tec” other than in crosswords? Maybe in some 40s – 50s noir movie? Or in pulp novels? If not, it should be banned.

      1. I did a (very) quick check and found “tec” in various dictionaries. FWIW, Collins says it’s British. I’m not inclined to quarrel … 😜.

  8. No errors but had to look up the snowboarder’s name because I kept
    wanting to spell it “Shawn”. Understood the theme when the chia
    and china needed to be interchanged. Clever construction, but it took
    me awhile to put it all together. I did not know Amarna, but filled
    it in by the cross answers.

  9. 33 minutes, 17 seconds, and no errors, but required the use of the Check feature to hunt down 4 entries. Start to finish, this puzzle was a morass of misdirection, mean-sprited clueing, and out-and-out trickery. Added to by the multitude of proper names, specialized/cultural terminology and the occasional true vocabulary test (Petit-four?? How’s THAT for “snob appeal”?). Glad it didn’t defeat me, although I considered throwing in the towel on several occasions. Thoroughly unenjoyable and pretentious.

  10. 25:34. A couple errors around 11D. Thought vocal improv could be SKIT vs SCAT. In French “yesterday” is “Hier”, so it seemed reasonable that it could be IYER in Spanish. Of course, that leaves 21A as KANE. Figured out the add and subtract N with the SNOB STORIES. Also did not realize they were in the same column until I finished.

  11. For 59-Down, did anyone’s Internet-based puzzle or printed puzzle use the [correct] adverbial phrase “every day” rather than the [incorrect] adjective “everyday?” The error, as demonstrated within this puzzle’s “Something you don’t see everyday” clue, is a common one.
    Messrs. Bywaters (cruciverbalist) and Norris (editor) should BOTH know better!

  12. 17:11 no errors

    About halfway filled, I started thinking, This is going pretty well, but what about the theme? Would it help? Does it have something to do with N? It wasn’t until I was done that I could sit back and admire the construction.

    I’ve been learning about Amarna on the History of Egypt podcast, and all this time I thought the narrator was calling it “Amanna.” Another extra N!

  13. No final errors. For some reason I first put in Vince for 101 Across instead of Kirk. I finally saw my down answers weren’t happening and went back and rethought my initial answer and Kirk solved the last of my difficulties. Fun and challenging puzzle.

  14. Fun Sunday, if tricky, Sunday for me; took me 1:03 on-line with 4 look-ups in the end. The look-ups could’ve been avoided if I’d paid closer attention to the theme…sigh.

    Didn’t know the Juan’s “yesterday” or the “Braided Jewish bread.” But PAYINKID should have come from the theme, which would have helped get ANEMIA.

    re Charge of the Light Brigade – Interesting reading in wiki. Although they lost a battle with devastating casualties, they did go on to win the ensuing “Battle of Inkerman” as well as the Crimean War in the end.

  15. Again. could you please make the graphic of the filled-in grid bigger or make it so clicking on it will zoom in.

  16. Fun, but too many mistakes. Shawn became Shean and still smelled, which led to “rabrics”, but what do I know? I got stuck forever on black and white/patrol car and domestic platforms/terraces. That effusive has two Fs led to another patch of grrr.

  17. As amateur crossworders, this was quite difficult, David. Maybe in the future, try to avoid using ethnic stereotyped names for your clues. Thank you, and good day sir.

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