LA Times Crossword 5 Jul 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: The Magnificent Seven

The SEVEN themed answers each comprise two words, the first of which often follows “GRAND”:

  • 111A Ribbon-cutting event, or what the starts of the answers to starred clues can have : GRAND OPENING
  • 23A *Pro in a ring : PRIZE FIGHTER (giving “grand prize”)
  • 36A *Challenge for a hopeful collegian : ENTRANCE EXAM (giving “grand entrance”)
  • 55A *Multi-faceted stage performance : SLAM POETRY (giving “grand slam”)
  • 77A *Military stint : TOUR OF DUTY (giving “grand tour”)
  • 94A *Act of genius : MASTER STROKE (giving “grand master”)
  • 16D *1977 Eagles hit : HOTEL CALIFORNIA (giving “Grand Hotel”)
  • 44D *Liszt list, e.g. : PIANO REPERTOIRE (giving “grand piano”)

Bill’s time: 14m 16s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Graf with 22 Grand Slam singles titles : STEFFI

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.

To win the Grand Slam of tennis, a player must win the four major tournaments in the same season:

  • The Australian Open (in mid-January, played on hard courts)
  • The French Open (in May/June, played on clay)
  • Wimbledon (in June/July, played on grass)
  • The US Open (in August/September, played on hard courts)

7 Epcot’s Spaceship Earth, e.g. : GLOBE

Spaceship Earth is perhaps the structure that comes to mind when we think of Epcot in the Walt Disney World Resort. It is the large, white, 18-story geodesic sphere.

12 Sacha Baron Cohen alter ego : ALI G

“Da Ali G Show” is a satirical TV series featuring English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. I wouldn’t be a big fan …

16 Part of HMS : HER

The ship prefix “HMS” is used by the warships of the Royal Navy, and stands for “Her/His Majesty’s Ship/Submarine”. The prefix “RMS” is used by ships of the merchant navy, and stands for “Royal Mail Ship/Steamer”.

19 Soup dish : TUREEN

A terrine (also “tureen”) is a cooking dish with a tightly-fitting lid made from glazed earthenware. A terrine is used for cooking in an oven, and for serving soups and stews.

21 NFL analyst Tony : ROMO

Tony Romo is a former quarterback who spent his entire NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys. Romo is also an avid amateur golfer and has even tried (albeit unsuccessfully) to qualify for the US Open golf championship.

22 Big name in kitchen gadgets : OXO

The OXO line of kitchen utensils and housewares is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average household tools. The intended user of OXO products is someone who doesn’t have the normal range of motion or strength in the hands e.g. someone suffering from arthritis.

27 Boxers’ org.? : AKC

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the organization that handles registration of purebred dogs The AKC also promotes dog shows around the country, including the famous Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

32 Bygone Russian ruler : TSARINA

A tsarina (also “czarina”) was the wife of a tsar (also “czar”), and so was a Russian empress.

34 Sonic the Hedgehog creator : SEGA

Sonic the Hedgehog is a title character in a videogame and the mascot of Sega, the computer game developer. Sonic was set up as a rival to Nintendo’s mascot Mario.

35 Math class for coll. credit : AP CALC

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

Remember doing calculus at school, and all those derivatives and integrals? Well, you probably also remember that an integral calculates the area under a curve (for example), and a derivative calculates the slope of a tangent at a particular point on a curve.

40 Footnote abbr. : OP CIT

“Op. cit.” is short for “opus citatum”, Latin for “the work cited”. Op. cit. is used in footnotes to refer the reader to an earlier citation. It is similar to ibid, except that ibid refers the reader to the last citation, the one immediately above.

46 Trawler’s catch : SHRIMP

The terms “prawn” and “shrimp” are often used interchangeably on menus. Over in the UK, the term “prawn” is most common, while “shrimp” is seen more often here in North America. Sometimes there is a differentiation from a food standpoint, with “prawn” being used for larger species and “shrimp” for smaller species. As a result, “jumbo prawns” seems to be an acceptable descriptor for a dish, whereas “jumbo shrimp” seems to be an oxymoron.

49 Title for Marian : MAID

Robin Hood is a figure from English folklore, celebrated in story and song. Some stories suggest that Robin Hood the outlaw was actually a real nobleman, the Earl of Huntingdon. Robin Hood’s famous companion was Maid Marian. Interestingly, the legend of Maid Marian (full name Lady Marian of Leaford) had been around for centuries before she became associated with Robin Hood starting in the 1700s.

53 Pet peeve? : FLEA

Fleas are flightless insects, but they sure can jump. Their very specialized hind legs allow them to jump up to 50 times the length of their bodies.

The phrase “pet peeve”, meaning “thing that provokes one most”, seems to be somewhat ironic. A “peeve” is a source of irritation, and the adjective “pet” means “especially cherished”.

54 Cap-and-crown org.? : ADA

The American Dental Association (ADA) is the largest and oldest national dental association in the world. Today the ADA is based in Chicago, but the association was founded in Niagara Falls, New York in 1859. The ADA started out as a group of 26 dentists, and it now has more than 152,000 members.

55 *Multi-faceted stage performance : SLAM POETRY (giving “grand slam”)

A poetry slam is a competition in which poets read their own work (usually), with winners being chosen by members of the audience. Apparently the first poetry slam took place in Chicago in 1984. Now there is a National Poetry Slam that takes place each year, with representatives from the US, Canada and France.

58 Believer : THEIST

Broadly speaking, theism is the belief that there is at least one god. The term “theism” is also used to describe the belief in just one god, although the term “monotheism” is perhaps more accurate. Followers of Christianity, Judaism and Islam would all be classified as theists or monotheists.

62 Lands’ End department : MEN’S

Lands’ End is a retailer of casual clothing and home furnishings that primarily sells over the Internet and through mail order. The company started out in 1963 in Chicago as a mail-order superior of yachting supplies. Given the nautical nature of the original product line, the founders chose to name their venture after the headland known as Land’s End, which is the most westerly point on mainland England. You’ll note the difference in punctuation between “Lands’ End” (the company) and “Land’s End” (the headland); that was the result of a typo in the first marketing materials that was too expensive to rectify, so it was retained.

63 Barrier __ : REEF

Barrier reefs are coral reefs that are separated from the mainland by a deep channel. The most famous example is the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Other examples are the Belize Barrier Reef off the coast of Belize in Central America, and the New Caledonian Barrier Reef off the coast of New Caledonia in the South Pacific.

64 Historic toolmaking period : IRON AGE

Ancient societies can be classified by the “three-age system”, which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:

  • The Stone Age
  • The Bronze Age
  • The Iron Age

The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

66 Practices, as a trade : PLIES

The verb “to ply”, as in “to ply one’s trade”, is related to the verb “to apply”, and is in effect a shortened form of the latter.

71 Chocolate-caramel candy brand : ROLO

Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.

73 Actor Cumming of “The Good Wife” : ALAN

Alan Cumming is a very versatile Scottish actor. Cumming has played some pretty “commercial” roles, like the bad guy Boris Grishenko in “GoldenEye” and Fegan Floop in the “Spy Kids” movies. He also played the unwanted suitor in the fabulous film “Circle of Friends” and won a Tony for playing the emcee in the 1998 Broadway revival of “Cabaret”.

“The Good Wife” is a legal drama show on CBS starring Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, a litigator who returns to practicing law after spending 13 years as a stay-at-home mom. I binge-watched the show some time back and found it to be well-written, with a great cast and great acting …

74 River inlet : RIA

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

75 International economic coalition : G-SEVEN

The G6 was a group of six industrialized nations that formed in 1975 and whose governments met on a periodic basis. The founding members were France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. The membership expanded in 1976 with the addition of Canada, forming the G7. Russia was given representation in the group in 1997, forming the G8. Russia’s membership was suspended in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea.

77 *Military stint : TOUR OF DUTY (giving “Grand Tour”)

The original Grand Tour was a rite of passage for young wealthy men, mainly in the 18th century. Rich families (especially the English) would send off their sons after finishing their schooling to be exposed to the various cultures across Europe. Essential stops along the way were Paris, Venice and Rome.

80 One of the Bobbsey twins : NAN

The “Bobbsey Twins” series of children’s novels was first written by Edward Stratemeyer in 1904. Stratemeyer used the pseudonym Laura Lee Hope, as did subsequent authors who wrote 72 books in the series between 1904 and 1979. The title characters are two sets of fraternal twins, one named Bert and Nan (who are 12) and the other named Flossie and Freddie (who are 6).

81 Valley with cellars and sellers : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

84 Loathing : ODIUM

Odium is a strong dislike or aversion. The term is Latin in origin and relates to the Latin word “odi” meaning “I hate”.

85 “__ Misbehavin'”: Fats Waller song : AIN’T

“Ain’t Misbehavin’” is a song written in 1929 by Fats Waller and Harry Brooks, with lyrics by Andy Razaf. Waller was the first to record the song, quickly followed by six other artists that same year. The song also provided the title for a successful stage musical that premiered in 1978.

89 The NBA’s Magic : ORL

The Orlando Magic were formed in 1989 as an NBA expansion team. A local paper was asked to run a competition to suggest names for the new team and the community came up with its four top picks of “Heat”, “Tropics”, “Juice” and “Magic”. A committee then opted for “Orlando Magic”. A good choice I think …

90 Leave the larval stage : PUPATE

A pupa is a stage in the life of some insects. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago. Pupae can look like little dolls, hence the name. “Pupa” is the Latin for “doll”.

92 __-Croatian language : SERBO

The language known as Serbo-Croatian is the primary language spoken in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

97 Plant-based sugar substitute : STEVIA

Stevia is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute. It is extracted from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana, a plant in the sunflower family that is native to Brazil and Paraguay. The active compounds in Stevia are many times more sweet than sugar, but are not metabolized by the body. As such, stevia has zero calories.

100 Earliest work in a musical chronology : OPUS ONE

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”. We sometimes also use the plural “opuses” in English.

106 Afghan capital : KABUL

Kabul is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. The city has been the site of major conflict for much of the 3,500 years that it has been in existence. In the past, this conflict was mainly driven by the city’s strategic location on the major trade routes of south and central Asia.

108 Initialism for some time away from work : LOA

Leave of absence (LOA)

114 Canon initials : SLR

Single-lens reflex camera (SLR)

The Japanese company called Canon is largely known in the US for producing quality cameras. The company started out as Precision Optical Industry Laboratory in 1937 making camera bodies. The name was changed in 1947 to Canon.

115 Singer from County Donegal : ENYA

Enya’s real name is Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career, eventually becoming Ireland’s best-selling solo musician. And, she sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

Donegal is the name of the most northerly county in Ireland, and is also the name of the town that gave the county its name. “Donegal” is the anglicized form of the Irish “Dún na nGall” meaning “fort of the foreigners”. County Donegal is a really beautiful part of the country …

119 Insect repellent : DEET

“DEET” is short for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, an active ingredient in insect repellents. DEET is most often used to repel mosquitoes by applying it to the skin and/or clothing. It is also used to protect against tick bites.

121 Forensic competition : DEBATE

Something described as forensic is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.

Down

1 Mar. 17 figure : ST PAT

The first Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in the US was held in 1600, in St. Augustine, Florida. There is some evidence that the first St. Paddy’s Day parade was held the following year, in the same locale. The annual parade in Boston dates back to 1737, in New York City dates back to 1762, and in Chicago dates back to 1843.

2 Ankara natives : TURKS

Ankara is the second largest city in Turkey, after Istanbul (formerly Constantinople). After WWI, the Ottoman Empire had been defeated and the Allies occupied the Ottoman capital of Istanbul. The victors planned to break up most of Turkey, leaving native Turks just part of their country for their own. In the inevitable War of Independence that followed, the Turkish Nationalists used Ankara as their base. When the Nationalists emerged victorious, they declared Ankara the new capital of Turkey.

3 “Fear of Flying” author Jong : ERICA

Author Erica Jong’s most famous work is her first: “Fear of Flying”, a novel published in 1973. Over twenty years later, Jong wrote “Fear of Fifty: a midlife memoir”, published in 1994.

4 Topper for 2-Down : FEZ

A fez is a red, cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of “fez” is unclear, although it might have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

7 Disco era word : GO-GO

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.

8 Lion player Bert : LAHR

Bert Lahr’s most famous role was the cowardly lion in “The Wizard of Oz”. Lahr had a long career in burlesque, vaudeville and on Broadway. Remember the catchphrase made famous by the cartoon character Snagglepuss, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!”? Snagglepuss stole that line from a 1944 movie called “Meet the People” in which it was first uttered by none other than Bert Lahr.

9 5’9″ Giant Mel : OTT

At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

10 Disco band brother : BEE GEE

The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name “The Bee Gees”) were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

13 Bath bathroom : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo”, meaning “toilet”, comes from “Waterloo” (water closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

15 Perp’s pretend friend, in interrogation : GOOD COP

In cop-speak, a “perp” (perpetrator) might prey on a “vic” (victim).

16 *1977 Eagles hit : HOTEL CALIFORNIA (giving “Grand Hotel”)

“Grand Hotel” is a marvelous film released in 1932 based on a book of the same name by William A. Drake. Drake himself had based his book on a novel by Vicki Baum titled “Menschen im Hotel”. The 1932 movie has a stellar cast including Greta Garbo and John Barrymore. “Grand Hotel” was remade in 1945 as ‘Week-End at the Waldorf”, a film I saw not that long ago starring Ginger Rogers and Walter Pidgeon.

“Hotel California” is the title song from a 1976 album released by the Eagles. The song is allegorical in nature, and tells of a luxury hotel where one can check in, but never check out. The hotel is a symbol for the California music industry of the seventies that destroyed so many people who were trapped by it. There is an unrelated Hotel California in San Francisco, my favorite of the city’s “boutique” and reasonable priced places to stay.

30 Brass band members : SAXHORNS

Saxhorns form a family of brass instruments that were invented by Belgian instrument-maker Adolphe Sax. Saxhorns became popular with marching bands, as the series provided a set of instruments with varying pitches that could replace a variety of existing instruments, such as the flügelhorn, cornet and euphonium. They were particularly popular with military bands during the American Civil War. Troops marching behind the band could hear the music as the saxhorn’s bell pointed backwards, over the player’s shoulder.

34 Bonehead : SCHMO

“Schmo” (also “shmo”) is American slang for a dull or boring person, and comes from the Yiddish word “shmok”.

35 Yves’ squeeze : AMIE

Back in the late 1800s, a “main squeeze” was the “most important person”. It wasn’t until almost a century later the one’s main squeeze became one’s sweetheart.

38 Tide type : NEAP

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

39 “We Have the Meats” sandwich chain : ARBY’S

The Arby’s chain of fast food restaurants was founded in 1964 by two brothers, Forrest and Leroy Raffel. The name “Arby’s” is a homonym of “RB’s”, standing for “Raffel Brothers”. There is a rumor out there that the initials “RB” were chosen for “roast beef”, but that’s not true.

42 Fish sauce taste : UMAMI

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

43 Low point : NADIR

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

44 *Liszt list, e.g. : PIANO REPERTOIRE (giving “grand piano”)

A grand piano is one with the frame supported horizontally on three legs. An upright piano has the frame and strings running vertically. Grand pianos come in many sizes. For example, the length of a concert grand is about 9 feet, a parlor grand is about 7 feet, and a baby grand is about 5 feet.

Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer and a fabulous pianist. Particularly towards the end of his life, Liszt gained a tremendous reputation as a teacher. While he was in his sixties, his teaching profession demanded that he commute regularly between the cities of Rome, Weimar and Budapest. It is quite remarkable that a man of such an advanced age, and in the 1870s, could do so much annual travel. It is estimated that Liszt journeyed at least 4,000 miles every year!

50 Downfall : 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.

59 __ Penny: folk tale name : HENNY

In a famous folk tale, Chicken Little is a young chick who panics when an acorn falls on his head. Chicken Little assumes that the sky is falling. “The sky is falling!” is a phrase often used in English today that originated in the folk tale. The protagonist’s name is “Chicken Little” in most American versions of the story, whereas “Henny Penny” is used in many European versions.

65 Smoked salmon : NOVA

Nova lox is salmon that has been cured with a mild brine and then cold-smoked. The term “nova” originally applied to salmon from Nova Scotia.

67 Grant on old TV : LOU

The character Lou Grant originated on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Grant was Mary Richards’ boss at WJM-TV in Minneapolis, and was played by Ed Asner. As Lou Grant, Asner is the only actor ever to win a comedy and drama Emmy for playing the same character.

69 Mirthful : RIANT

“Riant” is such a lovely word, I think, “meaning cheerful, laughing and full of mirth”. “Riant” comes into English directly from French, and is the past participle of “rire” meaning “to laugh”.

70 “À votre __!” : SANTE

“À votre santé” is French for “to your health”. Cheers!

72 Stretch mark, say : STRIA

Striae (singular “stria”) are stretch marks on the skin. They are caused by the layer of the skin known as the dermis tearing during a period of rapid growth. As such, striae are commonly encountered during puberty and during pregnancy.

75 Safari sights : GNUS

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

78 Lysol targets : ODORS

The disinfectant called Lysol takes its name from the words “lysosome” and “solvent”. Lysosomes are structures found within cells that have the job of breaking up waste material and cellular debris.

79 Stands in the forest, perhaps : FIRS

Firs are evergreen coniferous trees, with several species being popular as Christmas trees. The most commonly used species during the holidays are the Nordmann fir, noble fir, Fraser fir and balsam fir. We also see a lot of Douglas fir trees at Christmas, but they’re not actually true firs.

A stand of trees might be called a “copse”. The use of “stand” is in the sense of “standing growth”, and is usually with reference to trees.

83 Baum princess : OZMA

L. Frank Baum wrote a whole series of books about the Land of Oz. Princess Ozma appears in all of them except the one that’s most famous, namely “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”.

85 A group of them may be called a shrewdness : APES

Here are some colorful collective nouns:

  • A pride of lions
  • A shrewdness of apes
  • A cloud of bats
  • A bench of bishops
  • A clowder of cats
  • A waddling of ducks
  • An army of frogs
  • A knot of toads

88 Memorable pie throwers : STOOGES

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

91 Tiny Tim’s strings : UKULELE

Tiny Tim was the stage name of American singer and ukulele player Herbert Khaury. Tiny Tim’s most famous recording by far was his novelty version of the 1926 song “Tip-Toe Thru’ the Tulips”.

93 Oregon golfing mecca : BEND

The Oregon city of Bend is situated on the Deschutes River. It is named for a ranch called “Farewell Bend” that existed in the area when the town was founded. It was US Post Office bureaucrats that dropped the “Farewell” to give the shorter name “Bend”.

96 Automaton prefix : ROBO-

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1921 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

98 Sherlock’s foe Adler : IRENE

The character Irene Adler only appears in one of the many Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In the story “A Scandal in Bohemia”, Holmes expresses remarkable admiration for Adler as a woman and as a foe. As a result, derivative works in the Holmes genre often feature Adler as something of a romantic interest for Sherlock.

101 Three-time A.L. batting champ Tony : OLIVA

Tony Oliva is a former Major League Baseball player who played his whole career for the Minnesota Twins. Oliva suffered from severe knee problems due to multiple injuries, forcing him to play the last four years of his career as a designated hitter (DH). On the bright side, he went into the history books in 1973 when he became the first DH to hit a MLB home run.

103 Sharp-eyed bird : EAGLE

The eyesight of an eagle is extremely powerful, and is estimated to be 4-8 times stronger than that of an average human. A large eagle, weighing about 22 lb, has the same size eyes as a human weighing about 200 lb.

104 Cathedral recess : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

105 ER directive : STAT

The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

110 Emmy-winning scientist : NYE

That would be “Bill Nye the Science Guy”. Bill’s show ran on PBS for four years, from 1993-97.

112 Melrose in L.A., say : AVE

Melrose Avenue is a thoroughfare in Los Angeles that was first paved in 1909. The street was named for the Massachusetts city of Melrose, which is located in the Greater Boston metropolitan area. One of the more famous addresses in Hollywood is 5555 Melrose Avenue, the home of Paramount Pictures.

113 Lincoln’s st. : NEB

The city of Lincoln is the second-largest in Nebraska, and is the state capital. In the days of the Nebraska Territory, the capital was the larger city of Omaha. When the territory was being considered for statehood, most of the population (which lived south of the River Platte) was in favor of annexation to Kansas. The pro-statehood legislature voted to move the capital nearer to that population in a move intended to appease those favoring annexation. As this conflict was taking place just after the Civil War, a special interest group in Omaha arranged for the new capital to be named Lincoln, in honor of the recently-assassinated president. The thought was that the populace south of the River Platte had been sympathetic to the Confederate cause and so would not pass the measure to move the capital if the Lincoln name was used. But the measure passed, the capital was moved, and Nebraska became the thirty-seventh State of the Union in 1867.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Graf with 22 Grand Slam singles titles : STEFFI
7 Epcot’s Spaceship Earth, e.g. : GLOBE
12 Sacha Baron Cohen alter ego : ALI G
16 Part of HMS : HER
19 Soup dish : TUREEN
20 Like many feedbag cereals : OATEN
21 NFL analyst Tony : ROMO
22 Big name in kitchen gadgets : OXO
23 *Pro in a ring : PRIZE FIGHTER (giving “grand prize”)
25 Helped throw a party : COHOSTED
27 Boxers’ org.? : AKC
28 Birth day ordeal : LABOR
29 Boxer’s wound : GASH
31 Clock watchers : IDLERS
32 Bygone Russian ruler : TSARINA
34 Sonic the Hedgehog creator : SEGA
35 Math class for coll. credit : AP CALC
36 *Challenge for a hopeful collegian : ENTRANCE EXAM (giving “grand entrance”)
40 Footnote abbr. : OP CIT
42 Removes fasteners from : UNPEGS
45 Hand-rubbing chuckle : HEH!
46 Trawler’s catch : SHRIMP
48 Firewood option : ASH
49 Title for Marian : MAID
50 Reacts with obvious pleasure : BEAMS
52 Comply with : OBEY
53 Pet peeve? : FLEA
54 Cap-and-crown org.? : ADA
55 *Multi-faceted stage performance : SLAM POETRY (giving “grand slam”)
58 Believer : THEIST
60 Least amt. : MIN
61 Reasons against : CONS
62 Lands’ End department : MEN’S
63 Barrier __ : REEF
64 Historic toolmaking period : IRON AGE
66 Practices, as a trade : PLIES
68 Eyes and ears : SENSORS
71 Chocolate-caramel candy brand : ROLO
72 Industrial arts class, informally : SHOP
73 Actor Cumming of “The Good Wife” : ALAN
74 River inlet : RIA
75 International economic coalition : G-SEVEN
77 *Military stint : TOUR OF DUTY (giving “Grand Tour”)
80 One of the Bobbsey twins : NAN
81 Valley with cellars and sellers : NAPA
82 On the fence : TORN
84 Loathing : ODIUM
85 “__ Misbehavin'”: Fats Waller song : AIN’T
86 Suffix with glob : -ULE
87 Ingratiates oneself (to), with “up” : COZIES …
89 The NBA’s Magic : ORL
90 Leave the larval stage : PUPATE
92 __-Croatian language : SERBO
94 *Act of genius : MASTER STROKE (giving “grand master”)
97 Plant-based sugar substitute : STEVIA
99 Charged atoms : IONS
100 Earliest work in a musical chronology : OPUS ONE
104 One making amends : ATONER
105 Winter coat? : SNOW
106 Afghan capital : KABUL
108 Initialism for some time away from work : LOA
109 Met a monthly obligation : PAID RENT
111 Ribbon-cutting event, or what the starts of the answers to starred clues can have : GRAND OPENING
114 Canon initials : SLR
115 Singer from County Donegal : ENYA
116 Like many roofs : EAVED
117 Parking garage designation : A-LEVEL
118 Just make, with “out” : EKE …
119 Insect repellent : DEET
120 Gushes : SPEWS
121 Forensic competition : DEBATE

Down

1 Mar. 17 figure : ST PAT
2 Ankara natives : TURKS
3 “Fear of Flying” author Jong : ERICA
4 Topper for 2-Down : FEZ
5 Premonition : FEELING
6 Hospital deliveries : INFANTS
7 Disco era word : GO-GO
8 Lion player Bert : LAHR
9 5’9″ Giant Mel : OTT
10 Disco band brother : BEE GEE
11 Makes hopping mad : ENRAGES
12 Foot part : ARCH
13 Bath bathroom : LOO
14 “Gotcha, man” : I’M HIP
15 Perp’s pretend friend, in interrogation : GOOD COP
16 *1977 Eagles hit : HOTEL CALIFORNIA (giving “Grand Hotel”)
17 Works out : EXERCISES
18 Reel holders : RODS
24 Letter-shaped girder : I-BAR
26 Hand-to-hand sound : SLAP
30 Brass band members : SAXHORNS
33 Marsh plant : REED
34 Bonehead : SCHMO
35 Yves’ squeeze : AMIE
37 Interruption lead-ins : AHEMS
38 Tide type : NEAP
39 “We Have the Meats” sandwich chain : ARBY’S
41 This, when over there : THAT
42 Fish sauce taste : UMAMI
43 Low point : NADIR
44 *Liszt list, e.g. : PIANO REPERTOIRE (giving “grand piano”)
47 “I’m buying” : MY TREAT
50 Downfall : BANE
51 Part-time player : SEMI-PRO
53 Bank add-ons : FEES
55 What weight watchers watch : SCALE
56 Access, as a site : LOG ONTO
57 Drive origination point : TEE
59 __ Penny: folk tale name : HENNY
65 Smoked salmon : NOVA
66 Calls work from home : PHONES IN
67 Grant on old TV : LOU
68 Blighted area : SLUM
69 Mirthful : RIANT
70 “À votre __!” : SANTE
72 Stretch mark, say : STRIA
73 Grownup : ADULT
75 Safari sights : GNUS
76 Pitch from a rep : SALES TALK
78 Lysol targets : ODORS
79 Stands in the forest, perhaps : FIRS
83 Baum princess : OZMA
85 A group of them may be called a shrewdness : APES
87 Dealt with : COVERED
88 Memorable pie throwers : STOOGES
90 Window one would rather keep closed : POP-UP AD
91 Tiny Tim’s strings : UKULELE
93 Oregon golfing mecca : BEND
95 Swathe : ENWRAP
96 Automaton prefix : ROBO-
98 Sherlock’s foe Adler : IRENE
101 Three-time A.L. batting champ Tony : OLIVA
102 Nine-piece combos : NONET
103 Sharp-eyed bird : EAGLE
104 Cathedral recess : APSE
105 ER directive : STAT
106 Had already learned : KNEW
107 Supplements, with “to” : ADDS …
110 Emmy-winning scientist : NYE
112 Melrose in L.A., say : AVE
113 Lincoln’s st. : NEB

25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Jul 20, Sunday”

  1. 2 errors. OZMO and so STEVIO… about 50 minutes.. Cruised along until I got to the section with my errors. .. NOVA made me stop and think. Hadn’t seen that before. Also, PUPATE made me think because I wasn’t sure about RIANT and SANTE.. But I prevailed…

    Gee glen, at 12 minutes I was just taking my second sip of coffee and dealing with the theme still. You motored!!.

    Be safe..

  2. 59:47 (it’s under an hour so I’ll take it)…no errors…a pleasantly small amount of foreign words, initials and computer terminology for a change.
    Stay safe.

  3. 20:05, no errors. Did it in the middle of a 3- or 4-hour display of (totally illegal) fireworks here in Denver. Bombs to the right of me, bombs to the left of me, volleyed and thundered! I imagine a lot of old dogs in the neighborhood were cowering in the basement; I certainly contemplated it! At one point, a plane came in for a landing at DIA and I couldn’t help but think, “My God, somebody’s called in an air strike!”

    (Truth to tell, a small part of me enjoyed it – I just hope that no buildings burned down and no body parts were sacrificed … 😳.)

  4. No errors, but not because I knew every answer. Got some of them
    because of the cross words…i.e. saxhorns which I didn’t know about
    and Ozma, that I didn’t know or forgot. A pretty easy puzzle all in
    all.

  5. Solvers on here who also work NYT puzzles and read Rex Parker’s blog are familiar with the “Green paint” criticism. The most glaring example of it I’ve ever seen is 30D (Clue: Brass band members) … SAX HORNS! I almost quit this puzzle at that point, but thank goodness I didn’t. If I had, I’d have missed such sparklers as OZMO, LOA, and STRIA. The fuse burned all the way down, but this dud fizzled, Ed.

    1. Those who, like me, don’t normally take the time to read Rex Parker’s self-aggrandizing comments and have never heard of the “green paint” criticism may be interested in the following link, from September 5, 2012:

      https://rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com/2012/09/lorres-role-in-casblanca-wed-9-5-12.html

      (Mr. Parker defines the term, which he had just learned at that time, and applies it to a particular entry in the puzzle. In this case, I find his comment interesting, though, as usual, I don’t find that it adds anything to my enjoyment of the puzzle he is discussing.)

    2. I can’t say I know much about what goes on behind the scenes, but I can guess pretty readily. Between Universal becoming a thing and the other outlets offering more money for puzzles, I have to wonder if the pickings are getting thin for Mr. Norris. In other words, “This has a problem, but I gotta have something to run…” It played about like an average Universal Sunday and had more problems than just the “green paint” one. I won’t get into those because it’s been made abundantly clear that discussing the flaws of crosswords is unwelcome here, but just know those are there.

      1. I think that discussing “the flaws of crosswords” would be more appropriate in a venue frequented by constructors, rather than solvers. When I come here, having done and enjoyed a puzzle, only to be told, in a way, that I really shouldn’t have enjoyed it because it violated someone else’s (necessarily subjective) notions of what a puzzle ought to be and was therefore fundamentally flawed, it kind of rubs me the wrong way (particularly when four-letter words and other pejorative terms are involved). In addition, if the critic’s solving errors are blamed on the puzzle, I become a bit suspicious of his or her motives.

        Just for grins, I recently downloaded and did all the puzzles I could find by Michael Sharp (aka Rex Parker). I found them to be competently done (and really quite enjoyable), but I would also observe that, if I were so inclined, I could find in them a lot of the features that he is so fond of criticizing in the puzzles of others. Say what you want about “crossword-ese”, it’s the glue that makes a lot of puzzles possible.

        1. >When I come here, having done and enjoyed a puzzle, only to be told, in a way, that I really shouldn’t have enjoyed it

          You know what? People have the right to express whether or not they enjoyed the puzzle as a solver, which I’ve done rather consistently in the past until recently. The fact that someone might be able to go on and point out exactly *why* they didn’t enjoy it as opposed to just saying they didn’t enjoy it doesn’t have any bearing on anything. Or the fact that someone else might have enjoyed it. And since you bring it up, the ultimate goal of the constructor is to come up with something that the average solver will enjoy – and they will often determine that through their own lens as a solver.

          If you enjoyed a puzzle that I didn’t enjoy, that’s a great thing. Or if you hated a puzzle that I enjoyed (that happens lots here too), that’s a great thing too. At least it showed in both cases that the person was engaged in doing the puzzle and not apathetic. (I would be more worried if someone really didn’t care about crosswords at all and did them.) People have the right to enjoy any puzzle as they see fit, or not enjoy any puzzle as they see fit.

          And last time I heard, the point of blogs and discussion areas was for people to discuss their thoughts on things, specifically for this one, crossword puzzles. If I may make an observation, you seem to take things way too personally that you read on here, and I can say that’s been true the whole time you’ve been on both of Bill’s blogs. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, including you, and if they differ from yours that shouldn’t be taken as a personal offense.

    3. I disagree re the Green Paint. As Bill says, saxhorn is a recognized family of instruments (separate from the saxophone family) &, in this context, does not mean a collection of instruments invented by Sax. Just because we didn’t know of it before this puzzle (I didn’t) doesn’t make it false.

  6. No errors. Took 15 minutes for the last six boxes though. Didn’t know the French phrase, vaguely remembered the Bobbsey Twins.
    Stared at:
    69A SENSO _ _
    74A………..R _ _
    80A………..N _ _
    ………………I N T
    ……………..A T E
    Before filling in SANTE and then reluctantly, RIANT. Never heard of it before, but I read Bill’s write-up. I’m afraid I disagree with Bill about how lovely it is; I guess I’m just not a happy guy….

  7. If you are writing or mentioning the word ‘salmon,’ it is not just a one word description (nova). That word would not suffice. Otherwise, a fun puzzle.

  8. Took a while, but no errors.
    While Ali G is admittedly low-grade comedy, sometimes I’m in the mood for that sort of thing. There is an underpinning of taking digs at American culture, as the character is into American basketball and African American culture and parrots lingo without understanding it. One thing he said was “You ‘ave to ‘ave a good heducation.” Most Americans I’m sure don’t get that, a play on the old English joke, in which a Cockney is at a restaurant and tells the server “‘am and eggs, please.” A lady at the next table says “Sir, one of those words starts with an H and should be pronounced as such.” He responds “Well, then it must be “heggs,” because everybody knows ‘am is ‘am.”
    Re 98D: A man named Larry Adler is an acquaintance of mine. Of course, he had to go and marry a girl named Irene.
    Re the neighborhood fireworks: I welcomed them, as our municipal displays were cancelled. So at least the kids had something to watch. I didn’t, however, appreciate what came later last night- the youths setting off the noisemakers, M80s, M100s even, until 2:35 AM. This was the first year LAPD did nothing about it. I suppose it’s because they’re mad at the mayor and city council for partially defunding the department. NYPD backed off on enforcement for a couple of weeks several years ago when they were upset at Del Blasio. Until LAPD defunding was enacted, but after the protests, I haven’t seen any driver pulled over. Some drivers are going 60 mph on Highland Ave., and about half are blowing through four-way stops at night. Some drivers are treating red lights as stop signs. Cops have been afraid to enforce the law, but are now failing to do so as a show. To me, that’s even more support for even more defunding. LAPD is rotten to the core- just read what their union leaders have been saying.
    Don’t get me started!

  9. 28:36 Pretty smooth solve for me. Unfamiliar with RIANT and SAXHORNS and NOVA as it pertains to salmon. Crosses helped in these areas.

    Also VERY impressed with @Glenn’s time.

  10. 20:06 no errors thanks to a lucky guess on the last square.

    As a child, I devoured the Oz books, and my favorite was the second one, The Marvelous Land of Oz. I remember great characters, like the flying Gump and Jack Pumpkinhead. General Ginjur was problematic. Ozma gets to have the most fun in this book, and the reason why she is different always bugged me.
    The other Oz book that stands out in my memory is the fourth one, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, with some truly creepy sequences.

  11. I would chime in on the instrument discussion but I find I’ve lost my sax appeal…

    No final errors. Thought it was an easier than typical LAT’s Sunday grid. YMMV

  12. Moderately difficult Sunday for me; took about 45 minutes on-line, albeit with three or four look-ups, mostly in the SE and SW corners. Didn’t know OZMA, OLIVA and vaguely remembered RIANT and STEVIA.

    Still, mostly fun and no complaints. Take care everyone.

  13. Finally, an “easy” one for me, which means two hours. I got Steffi and Hotel California and started salivating. Had cartel for G-Seven forever, schmo with the c didn’t look right, ria/riant was a guess. “Pop up ad” was clever and had me flummoxed for a long time. Only carp is with “gogo” as a disco era word; go-go was from 1967, man! Mini-skirted dancers on Shindig in elevated cages, Cleopatra eye makeup and bouffant ‘dos. Disco word; poppers?

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