LA Times Crossword 2 Aug 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Dan Schoenholz
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Double Features

Themed answers are movie titles. The circled letters within each answer spell out the title of yet another movie. A relationship between the paired movies is noted in the clue:

  • 23A Two that received Oscar nods in all four acting categories : A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (hiding “REDS”)
  • 39A Duo from the Deep South : STEEL MAGNOLIAS (hiding “SELMA”)
  • 53A Pair for the holidays : IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (hiding “ELF”)
  • 74A Couple in the 21st century with Best Director Oscar winners : BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (hiding “ROMA”)
  • 91A Two period pieces from across the pond : THE KING’S SPEECH (hiding “TESS”)
  • 107A Pair of divergent tales of the paranormal : A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (hiding “GHOST”)

Bill’s time: 16m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Food chain with a smiley face in its logo : IHOP

The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was founded back in 1958. IHOP was originally intended to be called IHOE, the International House of Eggs, but that name didn’t do too well in marketing tests.

10 Oma’s “Oh, my!” : ACH!

The German for “grandpa” is “Opa”, and for “grandma” is “Oma”.

13 Car company that owns SolarCity : TESLA

SolarCity is a Tesla-owned company that was founded in 2006 by Peter and Lyndon Rive, cousins of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The company makes solar energy and related devices.

18 __ eclipse : LUNAR

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the Earth from the light of the Sun, in other words when the Earth is positioned directly between the Sun and the Moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, so that the Earth falls into the shadow cast by the Moon.

19 Super stars? : NOVAE

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

23 Two that received Oscar nods in all four acting categories : A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (hiding “REDS”)

When Elia Kazan directed the 1951 movie “A Streetcar Named Desire”, he was already very familiar with the play as he had directed the original Broadway stage production. Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden starred in the film, reprising the roles they had played on stage. Vivien Leigh played Blanche Dubois in the movie, a role she had played on the London stage.

“Reds” is a 1981 film directed, produced and co-written by Warren Beatty, who also played the male lead. The movie lays out the life and work of American journalist John Reed, who wrote about the Russian Revolution in the book “Ten Days That Shook the World”. The film’s title refers to the Communist leanings of Reed and his wife and fellow journalist Louise Bryant, played by Diane Keaton.

27 Vietnamese soup : PHO

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a noodle soup from Vietnam that is a popular street food.

29 Nile danger : ASP

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt.

31 Homer’s TV neighbor : NED

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer Simpson on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer, and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

32 Samoa’s largest export before the blight : TARO

Prior to 1993, taro was a major export from the Samoan Archipelago. It accounted for almost 60% of the Samoan economy, bringing in $3.5 million annually. The crop was then hit with Taro Leaf Blight, leading to taro exports of a mere $60,000 in 1994.

36 Fancy neckwear : ASCOTS

An ascot is a horrible-looking (I think!), wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

39 Duo from the Deep South : STEEL MAGNOLIAS (hiding “SELMA”)

“Steel Magnolias” is a 1989 film with quite a cast of actresses including Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Dolly Parton, Daryl Hannah and Julia Roberts. The film is based on a play of the same name by Robert Harling.

“Selma” is a 2014 film about the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the movie stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson.

49 Feudal lord : LIEGE

A liege was a feudal lord, one to whom service or allegiance was owed under feudal law. “Liege” was also the term used for one who owed allegiance or service to a lord. Apparently the term is influenced by the Latin verb “ligare” meaning “to tie, bind”. So, I guess both lord and servant were “bound” to each other.

50 Orca group : POD

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

52 Olympic sledder : LUGER

A luge is a small sled used by one or two people, on which one lies face up and feet first. The luge can be compared to the skeleton, a sled for only one person and on which the rider lies face down and goes down the hill head-first. Yikes!

53 Pair for the holidays : IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (hiding “ELF”)

The Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” was released in 1946, and is a Frank Capra movie starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. The film’s screenplay was adapted from a short story called “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern. Remember the famous swimming pool scene? That was shot in Beverly High School gym, and the pool is still in use today.

“Elf” is a comedy movie that was released for the 2003 Christmas season. “Elf” was directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrell in the title role, with James Caan supporting and Ed Asner playing Santa Claus. It’s all about one of Santa’s elves who finds out he is human and goes to meet his father in New York City.

58 Versailles VIP : ROI

In French, a “roi” (king) might be found in a “palais” (palace).

Versailles is a city located just 10 miles from the center of Paris. It is famous as home to the magnificent Palace of Versailles. The palace started out as a hunting lodge built in the village of Versailles in 1624, built for Louis XIII. Louis XIII extended the lodge into a full-blown château, but it was Louis XIV who expanded it into one of the largest palaces on the planet. Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris to Versailles starting in 1678.

59 Coolidge’s VP : DAWES

During WWI, Charles G. Dawes had served with the American Expeditionary Force in Europe and had risen to the rank of Brigadier General. After the war, the work that Dawes did in an attempt to assure Germany could build a sustainable economy earned him a share of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925. A year earlier, Dawes was elected as US Vice President under President Calvin Coolidge. Famously, Dawes and Coolidge did not get along at all well, neither in private nor in public.

60 Iris ring : AREOLA

An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” (plural “areolae”) comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

61 Retina part : CONE

The retina is the tissue that lines the inside of the eye, and is the tissue that is light-sensitive. There are (mainly) two types of cells in the retina that are sensitive to light, namely rods and cones. Rods are cells that best function in very dim light and only provide black-and-white vision. Cones on the other hand function in brighter light and can perceive color.

62 Gathers in a condensed layer : ADSORBS

Adsorption is the accumulation of chemicals on the surface of a solid or liquid. Absorption is the accumulation through pores or interstices. The derivative verb “sorb” can be applied to either process.

67 Big game centers : ARCADES

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

69 Supply orders: Abbr. : REQS

Requisition (req.)

70 Big name in pain relief : ANACIN

Anacin is a brand of pain reliever that comprises aspirin and caffeine as active ingredients.

72 Weasel relative : STOAT

The stoat has dark brown fur in the summer, and white fur in the winter. Sometimes the term “ermine” is used for the animal during the winter when the fur is white. Ermine skins have long been prized by royalty and are often used for white trim on ceremonial robes.

73 Sigma follower : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter which gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

74 Couple in the 21st century with Best Director Oscar winners : BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (hiding “ROMA”)

The very successful 2005 movie “Brokeback Mountain” is an adaptation of a short story written by Annie Proulx. The two romantic lead characters were Ennis del Mar (played by Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (played by Jake Gyllenhaal).

The 2018 movie “Roma” won that season’s Oscar for Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), and in doing so became the first foreign-language film to win in that category. “Roma” was also the first Mexican entry to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

83 Band led by the Wilson sisters : HEART

Heart is a rock band from Seattle, Washington, founded in the seventies and still going strong. The band has had a changing lineup, except for sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson.

84 Mystical old letter : RUNE

A rune is a character in an alphabet that is believed to have mysterious powers. In Norse mythology, the runic alphabet was said to have a divine origin.

87 Game console letters : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

91 Two period pieces from across the pond : THE KING’S SPEECH (hiding “TESS”)

“The King’s Speech” is a wonderful, wonderful 2010 film about King George VI and his efforts to overcome his speech impediment. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter all do fabulous jobs playing the lead characters. It is an independent film, so was made with a relatively low budget of $15 million, but grossed almost $400 million at box offices worldwide. “The King’s Speech” is the most successful British independent film of all time.

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”.

96 Go for the passer : RUSH

That would be football.

98 Insignificant amount : SOU

A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

100 Bird one hates to eat? : CROW

The phrase “eat crow”, an alternative to “eat humble pie”, perhaps refers to the fact that cooked crow may be edible, but is not a great food choice.

102 Before, to Byron : ERE

George Gordon Byron, known simply as “Lord Byron”, was an English poet active in the early 1800s. Byron was equally as famous for his poetry as he was for the wild excesses in his personal life. Byron lived much of that life outside of England, and fought for revolutionaries in both Italy and Greece. He died from a fever contracted while fighting for the Greeks against the Ottomans.

104 Bounty title : HMS

HMS Bounty, of mutiny fame, was originally a collier named Bethia. The relatively small ship was purchased by the Royal Navy in 1787, and was refitted and renamed HMS Bounty. The Bounty was purpose built for one mission, to acquire breadfruit plants in Tahiti and deliver them to the West Indies. The shameful purpose of the mission was to introduce breadfruit to the West Indies as a cheap source of food for slaves. After the infamous mutiny, the Bounty ended up on Pitcairn Island where the mutineers remained undetected for 18 years. The band avoided detection partly by burning their ship, in what is now known as Bounty Bay. The remains of the Bounty were discovered off Pitcairn Island in 1957.

107 Pair of divergent tales of the paranormal : A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (hiding “GHOST”)

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” is a Wes Craven slasher-horror film that was released in 1984. As I don’t do “slasher” or “horror”, I was surprised to learn that Johnny Depp was in the movie, making his feature film debut.

The fabulous film “Ghost” was the highest-grossing movie at the box office in 1990, bringing in over $500 million, despite only costing $21 million to make. Stars of the film are Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. You might want to check out the stage musical adaptation “Ghost The Musical”, which debuted in 2011 and is touring the UK and US.

112 Tree-lined walkway : ALLEE

In French, a tree-lined and usually straight path through “une forêt” (a forest) is called “une allée”.

113 Actress Longoria : EVA

Eva Longoria is a fashion model and actress who had a regular role on TV’s “Desperate Housewives”, playing Gabrielle Solis.

114 “Attack, Rover!” : SIC ‘EM!

“Sic ’em” is an attack order given to a dog, one instructing the animal to growl, bark or even bite. The term dates back to the 1830s, with “sic” being a variation of “seek”.

116 Digital units : BYTES

In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. The prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, and so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and gigabyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

Down

1 Hockey’s __ shot : SLAP

A slap shot in ice hockey involves slapping the ice just behind the puck with the stick, causing the stick to bend and store up extra energy. When the stick finally hits the puck, all that extra energy is released along with the energy from the swing resulting in the hardest shot in hockey.

2 Heinie : TUSH

“Tush”, a word meaning “backside”, is an abbreviation of “tochus” that comes from the Yiddish “tokhes”.

7 Pawn at a shop : HOCK

The phrase “in hock” is an American invention. Back in the mid-19th century “in hock” meant both “in debt” and “in prison”. The word “hock” comes from the Dutch “hok” meaning “jail”.

I remember the bad old days growing up in Dublin, Ireland, when my mother had to go to the pawnshop (bad times!). I’d wait outside with my brother, looking up at the pawnbroker’s sign, three gold balls hanging down from a metal bar. This traditional sign used by pawnbrokers is said to date back to the Medici family as the sign had symbolic meaning in the province of Lombardy where the Medici family reigned supreme. Because of this connection, pawnshop banking was originally called Lombard banking.

8 In vitro supply : OVA

In vitro fertilization is the process in which egg cells are fertilized by sperm cells outside of the body in vitro. The phrase “in vitro” translates from Latin as “in glass”. The process is usually carried out in a glass culture dish.

12 Harry Potter’s owl : HEDWIG

Hedwig is the owl belonging to Harry Potter in the J. K. Rowling series of fantasy novels. Hedwig is a female owl, although she is played in the movies by male snowy owls. Male snowy owls are completely white, whereas females have dark patches on their plumage.

14 Canon camera line : EOS

I’ve been using Canon EOS cameras for decades now, and have nothing but good things to say about both the cameras and the lenses. The EOS name stands for Electro-Optical System, and was chosen because it evokes the name of Eos, the Titan goddess of dawn from Greek mythology.

24 Pair with drums : EARS

The eardrum lies at the intersection of the outer ear and middle ear. Also called the tympanic membrane, the eardrum picks up vibrations in air caused by sound waves, and transmits these vibrations to three tiny bones called “ossicles”. These ossicles (hammer, anvil and stirrup) are in the middle ear, and transmit the vibration to an oval window. The oval window is the membrane-covered opening lying at the intersection of the middle ear and the inner ear. The vibrations are transmitted into fluid in the inner ear, and converted into nerve impulses in the cochlea that are transmitted to the brain.

32 Fujita scale subjects : TORNADOS

The Fujita scale (or F-scale) measures the intensity of tornadoes. It does so by measuring the effect that the tornado has on man-made structures and on vegetation. It was developed in 1971 by Tetsuya Fujita of the University of Chicago.

35 Jesus of baseball : ALOU

Jesus Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as did Felipe’s son Moises.

36 Italian bubbly : ASTI

Asti is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy, and is named for the town of Asti around which the wine is produced. The wine used to be called Asti Spumante, and it had a very bad reputation as a “poor man’s champagne”. The “Spumante” was dropped in a marketing attempt at rebranding associated with a reduction in the amount of residual sugar in the wine.

37 Tequila order : SHOT

Tequila comes in four categories, depending on how long it has been aged:

  • “Blanco” (white) or “plata” (silver) is unaged
  • “Reposado” (rested) is aged 2 months to a year
  • “Añejo” (aged, vintage) is aged 1-3 years
  • “Extra añejo” (extra aged, ultra aged) is aged 3 years or more

38 Jerseys, e.g. : COWS

Jersey cattle were originally bred on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands, off the coast of France. If you’ve seen Elsie the Cow, the mascot of Borden in the US, then you’ve seen a Jersey cow.

40 Sources of fall colors : MAPLES

Leaves are green because of the presence of the pigment chlorophyll. There is so much chlorophyll in a leaf during the growing season that it masks out the colors of any other pigments. The amount of chlorophyll falls off in the autumn so that other pigments, present all year, become evident. These pigments are carotenoids which are orange-yellow in color, and anthocyanins which are red-purple.

41 Olympics speed skater Ohno : APOLO

Speed-skater Apolo Ohno has won more Winter Olympics medals than any other American. Ohno also did a great job winning the 2007 season of television’s “Dancing with the Stars”.

45 One trashing a cab, maybe? : WINE SNOB

The cabernet sauvignon (often just “cab”) grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grapes.

54 High-card-wins game : WAR

War is a card game, one played mainly by children.

55 Zoologist’s subject : FAUNA

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

62 Hopper or Whistler : ARTIST

Edward Hopper was an artist from Nyack, New York. He was a celebrated realist painter best known for his works using oils.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler was an American-born painter who spent most of his working life in Britain. His most famous work is the 1871 painting usually referred to as “Whistler’s Mother”. That actual title of the piece is “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1”.

64 Broad and solidly constructed, in Sussex : SQUARE-BUILT

Sussex is a county in the southeast of England that lies right on the English Channel. The county of Sussex has about the same boundaries as the ancient Kingdom of Sussex, a Saxon colony that existed for about five hundred years until the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Hastings, a town on the Sussex coast, was the site of the first battle of the Norman Conquest of England.

66 Writing tip : 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.

71 Pulitzer playwright Zoë : AKINS

Zoë Akins was a playwright from Humansville, Missouri who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1935 for her adaptation of Edith Wharton’s “The Old Maid”. Her own play “The Greeks Had a Word for It” was adapted into the famous movie “How to Marry a Millionaire”, which rocketed Marilyn Monroe into stardom. Akins is the great-aunt of actress Laurie Metcalf.

75 Nabisco cracker made with cheddar : CHEESE NIP

Cheese Nips are cheese-flavored crackers that first hit the shelves in 1955.

76 Stacy who played TV’s Mike Hammer : KEACH

Actor Stacy Keach is perhaps as well known for his work as a narrator as he is for his work in front of the camera. Keach hit a low in his life in the mid-1980s when he was arrested for possession of cocaine at Heathrow Airport in London. For that transgression, Keach served six months in a British jail.

Mike Hammer is the protagonist in a series of private detective novels by Mickey Spillane. The novels have been adapted for radio, television and the big screen. The actor most associated with Mike Hammer is Stacy Keach, who played the role in the TV series “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” from 1984 to 1987.

77 Rosemary Clooney, to George : AUNT

Rosemary Clooney was a singer who enjoyed most of her success in the 1950s, but who had sustained public exposure right up until her death in 2002. Clooney was married three times, with her first two marriages being to Hollywood actor José Ferrer. Actor George Clooney is Rosemary’s nephew, being the son of her brother Nick Clooney.

Actor George Clooney’s breakthrough role was playing Dr. Doug Ross on TV’s “ER”, although before that he had a fairly regular role on the sitcom “Roseanne”. George’s aunt was the singer and actress Rosemary Clooney.

90 Lab order? : GO FETCH!

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

92 Fabled underground treasure guardians : GNOMES

In English folklore, the fairy’s anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Although the charastics of gnomes vary in folklore, typically they are described as diminutive humanoids who live underground. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable. We now have garden gnomes, and even the Travelocity Gnome.

93 Capital of France : EUROS

The Euro is the official currency of most of the states in the European Union, but not all. The list of EU states not using the Euro includes Denmark and Sweden.

97 The Stones’ “__ Shelter” : GIMME

The 1969 Rolling Stones song “Gimme Shelter” is in essence a duet featuring lead singer Mick Jagger and guest vocalist, American soul singer Merry Clayton. In the original, and some subsequent releases, Clayton’s given name was written mistakenly as “Mary”.

98 Bygone Swedish car company : SAAB

“SAAB” stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. Although we usually think of SAAB as an auto manufacturer, it is mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. A Chinese consortium purchased the assets of SAAB Automotive in 2012, and so SAAB vehicles are in production again. The new vehicles are using the SAAB name, but cannot use the SAAB griffin logo, the rights to which have been retained by the mother company.

101 Permanent __ : WAVE

“Perm” is the common name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls.

103 Sierra Nevada products : ALES

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is powered almost exclusively by solar energy, and even has a charging station for electric vehicles at its brewery. The company also uses the cooking oil from its restaurant as biodiesel for its delivery trucks. Discarded yeast is used to make ethanol fuel, and spent grain is used as food for livestock. For its efforts to preserve the environment, Sierra Nevada won the EPA’s “Green Business of the Year” award for 2010.

104 Rope source : HEMP

Hemp, also known as “cannabis”, is a hardy, fast-growing plant that has many uses mainly due to the strength of the fibers in the plant’s stalks. Hemp is used to make rope, paper and textiles. The term “hemp” is sometimes reserved for varieties of the plant grown for non-drug use.

105 Internet __: viral item : MEME

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

111 Pop artist Lichtenstein : ROY

Roy Lichtenstein was a pop artist from New York City, andmt a contemporary of Andy Warhol. Lichtenstein was famous for his “cartoon-strip” paintings, especially works called “Whaam!” and “Drowning Girl”. If you saw the Ben Stiller film “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”, you might remember Lichtenstein’s painting “Crying Girl” coming to life as part of the plot.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Defeat big-time : STOMP
6 Food chain with a smiley face in its logo : IHOP
10 Oma’s “Oh, my!” : ACH!
13 Car company that owns SolarCity : TESLA
18 __ eclipse : LUNAR
19 Super stars? : NOVAE
21 Wish to do over, perhaps : RUE
22 Get on the wagon : HOP UP
23 Two that received Oscar nods in all four acting categories : A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (hiding “REDS”)
27 Vietnamese soup : PHO
28 Chocolate choice : DARK
29 Nile danger : ASP
30 Meet activity : SWAP
31 Homer’s TV neighbor : NED
32 Samoa’s largest export before the blight : TARO
33 Lurid material : SMUT
34 “Just to clarify … ” : I MEAN …
36 Fancy neckwear : ASCOTS
39 Duo from the Deep South : STEEL MAGNOLIAS (hiding “SELMA”)
44 Reinforce, with “up” : SHORE …
45 “Come again?” : WHAT?
46 Kisser : YAP
47 One soaking things up : SPONGE …
48 Word with up, mid or down : -TOWN
49 Feudal lord : LIEGE
50 Orca group : POD
52 Olympic sledder : LUGER
53 Pair for the holidays : IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (hiding “ELF”)
58 Versailles VIP : ROI
59 Coolidge’s VP : DAWES
60 Iris ring : AREOLA
61 Retina part : CONE
62 Gathers in a condensed layer : ADSORBS
65 Disrespects : SNUBS
67 Big game centers : ARCADES
69 Supply orders: Abbr. : REQS
70 Big name in pain relief : ANACIN
72 Weasel relative : STOAT
73 Sigma follower : TAU
74 Couple in the 21st century with Best Director Oscar winners : BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (hiding “ROMA”)
80 More than annoyed : IRATE
82 Recycle container : BIN
83 Band led by the Wilson sisters : HEART
84 Mystical old letter : RUNE
85 Soda shop freebies : STRAWS
87 Game console letters : NES
89 “Relax” : EASY
90 Category : GENRE
91 Two period pieces from across the pond : THE KING’S SPEECH (hiding “TESS”)
94 Went sailing, say : BOATED
95 Have confidence in : BET ON
96 Go for the passer : RUSH
97 Innate talent : GIFT
98 Insignificant amount : SOU
100 Bird one hates to eat? : CROW
102 Before, to Byron : ERE
103 Second : AIDE
104 Bounty title : HMS
107 Pair of divergent tales of the paranormal : A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (hiding “GHOST”)
112 Tree-lined walkway : ALLEE
113 Actress Longoria : EVA
114 “Attack, Rover!” : SIC ‘EM!
115 Date component, often : COMMA
116 Digital units : BYTES
117 Work with thread : SEW
118 Model : POSE
119 Bouncing off the walls : HYPER

Down

1 Hockey’s __ shot : SLAP
2 Heinie : TUSH
3 Not fooled by : ONTO
4 Scrape, say : MAR
5 Happen before : PREDATE
6 “101” course title word : INTRO
7 Pawn at a shop : HOCK
8 In vitro supply : OVA
9 Defining characteristic : PARAMETER
10 Escort’s offering : ARM
11 Sticks maintained with chalk : CUES
12 Harry Potter’s owl : HEDWIG
13 Whom prosecutors represent : THE PEOPLE
14 Canon camera line : EOS
15 Equipment shunned by fly fishers : SPINNING ROD
16 Entice : LURE
17 Mimicked : APED
20 Happen next : ENSUE
24 Pair with drums : EARS
25 In a relevant way : APTLY
26 Puts a curse on : DAMNS
32 Fujita scale subjects : TORNADOS
33 __ fright : STAGE
35 Jesus of baseball : ALOU
36 Italian bubbly : ASTI
37 Tequila order : SHOT
38 Jerseys, e.g. : COWS
39 Gets rid of : SHEDS
40 Sources of fall colors : MAPLES
41 Olympics speed skater Ohno : APOLO
42 When many walk : AGE ONE
43 Set of TV programs : SERIES
45 One trashing a cab, maybe? : WINE SNOB
49 Type of weightlifting squat : LOW-BAR
51 Tending to procrastinate : DILATORY
54 High-card-wins game : WAR
55 Zoologist’s subject : FAUNA
56 Metro area, informally : URB
57 ’60s “Sweet!” : FAR OUT!
61 Snack for Tabby : CAT TREAT
62 Hopper or Whistler : ARTIST
63 Serious shortage : DEARTH
64 Broad and solidly constructed, in Sussex : SQUARE-BUILT
65 Act parts : SCENES
66 Writing tip : NIB
68 Fire at work : CAN
71 Pulitzer playwright Zoë : AKINS
72 Big shot in tennis : SMASH
74 Entrances : BEWITCHES
75 Nabisco cracker made with cheddar : CHEESE NIP
76 Stacy who played TV’s Mike Hammer : KEACH
77 Rosemary Clooney, to George : AUNT
78 Subject opener : IN RE
79 “__ I say more?” : NEED
81 Grab : TAKE
86 Stable sound : SNORT
88 Buying time big-time? : SPREE
90 Lab order? : GO FETCH!
92 Fabled underground treasure guardians : GNOMES
93 Capital of France : EUROS
94 Auction actions : BIDS
97 The Stones’ “__ Shelter” : GIMME
98 Bygone Swedish car company : SAAB
99 No more than : ONLY
101 Permanent __ : WAVE
103 Sierra Nevada products : ALES
104 Rope source : HEMP
105 Internet __: viral item : MEME
106 Headliner : STAR
108 “No kidding” : GEE
109 Not even rare : RAW
110 Green opening : ECO-
111 Pop artist Lichtenstein : ROY

23 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Aug 20, Sunday”

  1. That was a fun puzzle, I thought. One thing that puzzles me, though. I’ve always known that puzzles are symmetrical, but I never pay much attention to that. I just read a short article by an unnamed author who said that he used to ignore the layout, too. But now as a “smart” solver, he “respects the grid too much.” So what am I missing here?

    1. I’ve always been puzzled by the symmetry thing, too. The constraint certainly poses an additional challenge for the constructor and I can’t really see how it assists the solver. It’s just an esthetic custom … and some constructors insist on flouting the custom (at least to the extent of allowing other forms of symmetry).

    2. On symmetry, I do notice it and reference it while I’m solving grids. It’s hard to describe exactly what I do with the information, but I guess it’s in terms of a “this side was this way, so the other side is going to be the same” kind of mindset. That kind of helps in knowing what to look for sometimes. I say “sometimes” because there’s grids that are easy enough that a lot of the subtext is irrelevant, but others where you can kind of take the insight of how puzzle are constructed and see some of the decisions that would have been made to make the puzzle work and know to look for certain things. Regardless, learning how to construct one of these things, even if you don’t actually submit them anywhere, does help lend some insight into solving them.

    3. Most crossword puzzles are symmetric, and this one is no exception. If you fold the puzzle on either of its (long) diagonals, you will see the symmetry.
      And. of course, the puzzle is a square, 21 units on a side.

  2. Unlike Saturdays, the Sunday puzzle is, with very few exceptions, always enjoyable to do. The theme was clever and once deciphered, made it easier to finish. On the flip side…. I never heard of allee because I don’t speak French. And once again the clue for euros is capital of… (pick any European country).

  3. After spending 1:21:35 on this one I had no idea what 64D or 69A were and where they crossed I took a guess (wrong as usual)👎👎👎👎
    Stay safe

  4. Bill’s times are beginning to depress me! I finished with no errors but it was a slog and the theme wasn’t much help.

    1. @Jay … Don’t worry overly much about times. It’s true that timing is one of the factors used to determine the winner of the ACPT, but the techniques involved in achieving a fast time are not specific to crosswords and many find that they detract from a simple enjoyment of the process.

    2. Don’t worry too much about the times. We’re not in a race here! Really, the only reason I post times is as a barometer of how things went for me, since on the LAT puzzles most of the time, errors really aren’t a thing. If anything the only one I’m really racing against is myself.

      I’ll admit I’ve been disappointed lately because I’ve noticed I really haven’t gotten any faster the last year or so (especially doing the Boswords puzzles last weekend, but also noticing my handwriting wall for 21×21 is still around 20 minutes after about 2 years). Not to mention that I’ve been way too error-prone for my own tastes for a large number of puzzles I checked last weekend, including 3 of those Boswords puzzles.

      Oddly enough, I get the same advice for that when I bring it up, but again don’t worry too much about what everyone else is doing, as long as you’re happy with what you’re doing. Not sure really what good advice would be there if you’re genuinely not like I am, but such are things.

  5. A tip of the crossword cap to Dan Schoenholz, (our grid constructor for today) for the clue of 74 Down “Entrances”. It had me reading it, (as the wily Dan figured it would) as ways to ingress. When I finally reframed the word as putting one under a spell the right answer of bewitches came to mind and the puzzle was complete.

    Thanks for that, Dan. It made me chuckle out loud when I finally saw the answer.

  6. 22:05, no errors. Like @Tony, I also got a kick out of “Entrances” (and for the same reason).

    And @Tony’s use of the word “ingress” reminded me of the story about P. T. Barnum, who had trouble with people spending too much time in his museum until he put up a big sign saying “This Way to the Egress!” over an exit door. (Must not have had a lot of cruciverbalists among his patrons … 😜.)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barnum%27s_American_Museum

  7. I agree with you fellows who fought “entrances” for a long time until
    I got enough cross words …then it was “duh!!” No errors at the end but
    I needed a lot of help with it. The movie titles came quite easily, it
    was the rest of the words that took a long time. Luckily I don’t time
    myself. It would never work.

  8. One error ‘aes’ instead of NES; guess I’m just not good at video games. (My newspaper had the 71D playwright name as Zo’ which made me look in a different direction for the last name.)

    I remember watching an interview with Nastassja Kinski, the star of TESS and daughter of eccentric director Klaus Kinski) on the David Letterman show in the early eighties. She came in with her hair pommaded straight up like one of the troll dolls and when Dave gently inquired about it, reacted defensively and more than a little flaky throughout the interview. Somehow Letterman made it through. His next guest, John Candy, (obviously watching from the green room) improvised and pommaded HIS hair and went through his interview as if nothing was wrong. It was hilarious.

    1. @Chris C … You made me curious, so I did a bit of Googling, found accounts of that particular David Letterman show, and also watched parts of it:

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BLpMwlYkh5U

      (The video seems to bounce around and repeat itself. There may be better options out there on You Tube.)

      Hilarious, yes, but also a bit “cringe-worthy”, to use a word I (we all?) saw in a crossword puzzle recently. I ended up feeling more than a bit sorry for Ms. Kinski.

  9. 28:40. Like several others re 74 D, I put the “em fass iss” on the wrong “sill ab ill” – emphasis on the wrong syllable. Once I figured that out it helped clear up that whole section.

    1. Not to worry! Your reaction was a natural one (and probably the same reaction I’d have had at the time), but I can see the other side of it, too (maybe because of my age). The interview was certainly awkward.

      My reading convinces me that growing up with Klaus Kinski for a father might not have been an optimal situation … 😜.

  10. I finally gave up. Elm Street and too many of its crosses eluded me. Usually I’ll let it rest and reattack, but… I was done. Two hours plus.

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