LA Times Crossword 23 Aug 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Tutti Frutti

Themed answers sound like common phrases, and each refers to a fruit:

  • 22A Prime growing month for a citrus fruit? : KUMQUAT MAY (sounds like “come what may”)
  • 30A Song sung by a French fruit lover? : MY CHERRY AMOUR (sounds like “My Cherie Amour”)
  • 47A “No juice in my mojito, please”? : HOLD THE LIME (sounds like “hold the line”)
  • 62A Vintner’s prospects? : GRAPE EXPECTATIONS (sounds like “Great Expectations”)
  • 79A One removing fuzz from fuzzy fruit? : PEACH COMBER (sounds like “beachcomber”)
  • 91A Fruit farm’s cash flow? : CURRANT INCOME (sounds like “current income”)
  • 107A Write-up on a fruit? : PEAR REVIEW (sounds like “peer review”)

Bill’s time: 14m 51s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Tolkien monsters : ORCS

According to Tolkien, Orcs are small humanoids that live in his fantasy world of Middle-earth (also called “Mordor”). They are very ugly and dirty, and are fond of eating human flesh.

9 One hanging in a 2000 election : CHAD

We are all familiar with “hanging chads” after the famous Florida election recounts of 2000. A chad is any piece of paper punched out from a larger sheet. So, those round bits of paper we’ve all dropped over the floor when emptying a hole punch, they’re chads.

17 Leaking slowly, as a faucet : ADRIP

The common “faucet” in an American house is almost always referred to as a “tap” on the other side of the pond.

19 Pacific salmon : COHO

The Coho salmon is dark blue with silver along the side of its body, but only during the phase of its life while it is in the ocean. When spawning and heading up into a freshwater river, the Coho has bright red sides.

20 Juno’s Greek counterpart : HERA

In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth. She was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.

21 Sassy “Cheers” waitress : CARLA

Rhea Perlman’s most famous role has to be Carla Tortelli, the irascible waitress in the long-running sitcom “Cheers”. Perlman is also a successful children’s author, and has published a series of six books called “Otto Undercover”. She is married to Hollywood actor Danny DeVito, and has been so since 1982.

22 Prime growing month for a citrus fruit? : KUMQUAT MAY (sounds like “come what may”)

The kumquat tree bears fruit that looks like a small orange, about the size of an olive. The rind of a kumquat is sweet, and the center sour, so often it is only the rind that is eaten.

27 Recon pro : SCOUT

A reconnaissance (recon) is a preliminary survey carried out to gather information. The term “reconnaissance” came into English in the early 19th century from French, from which language it translates literally as “recognition”.

29 Belgrade resident : SERBIAN

Belgrade is the capital city of Serbia. The name “Belgrade” translates into “White City”.

30 Song sung by a French fruit lover? : MY CHERRY AMOUR (sounds like “My Cherie Amour”)

Stevie Wonder wrote “My Cherie Amour” way back in 1966, but it wasn’t released until 1969. The song tells of Stevie’s infatuation with a real woman whom he encountered in the Michigan School for the Blind.

33 First fruit site : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

35 Fields for fillies : LEAS

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

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

36 New Balance rival : AVIA

The “Avia” brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

37 Fast-food chain with a cowboy hat logo : 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.

43 Gulf of __: Arabian Sea arm : ADEN

The Gulf of Aden is the body of water that lies south of the Red Sea, and just north of the Horn of Africa.

47 “No juice in my mojito, please”? : HOLD THE LIME (sounds like “hold the line”)

A mojito is a Cuban cocktail, although the exact origins appear to be unclear, as does the derivation of the name. Want one? Put 4 mint leaves in a glass, and add the juice of half a lime and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Muddle the ingredients, smashing them together with a muddler or a spoon. Add some crushed ice, two ounces of white rum and stir. Top with a couple of ounces of club soda, and garnish with a sprig of mint and/or a slice of lime. Cheers!

50 Duck Hunt console, briefly : NES

“Duck Hunt” is a video game. Not for me though …

51 Trait carrier : GENE

A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

52 Chef lead-in : SOUS-

The “sous-chef de cuisine” is the “under-chef of the kitchen”, the second-in-command.

53 Midwest native : OTOE

The Otoe (also “Oto”) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestward, ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

54 Mideast potentate : EMIR

An emir is a prince or chieftain, one most notably from the Middle East in Islamic countries. In English, “emir” can also be written variously as “emeer, amir, ameer” (watch out for those spellings in crosswords!).

59 Mosquito mating maneuver : SWARM

Mosquitoes have a relatively short life cycle. Males live a matter of days, and females just a few weeks. In order to reproduce, male mosquitoes form large swarms, usually late in the day. Female mosquitoes fly into the swarm when ready to mate.

62 Vintner’s prospects? : GRAPE EXPECTATIONS (sounds like “Great Expectations”)

The novel “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens is written in the first person through the eyes of the hero of the piece, a young orphan boy named Pip.

68 Toy line? : LEASH

The Maltese breed of dog falls into the toy group, as adults weigh just 3-10 pounds. The breed is an old one. Indeed, ancient Greek geographer Strabo suggested in the first century CE that the breed originated on the Mediterranean island of Malta. He also noted that Maltese dogs were favored by noble women.

70 Styron protagonist Turner : NAT

“The Confessions of Nat Turner” is a 1976 novel by William Styron. It is written as a first-person narrative by slave and rebellion leader Nat Turner, and is based on a real document, a “confession” told by Turner to attorney Thomas Gray while he awaited trial.

74 1987 Best New Artist Grammy winner Watley : JODY

Jody Watley is a singer who got her start in show business as a featured dancer on the show “Soul Train” in the 1970s. That gig led to her becoming part of the original lineup of the R&B vocal group Shalamar. Watley’s solo career took off in 1987, after 2-3 years living and performing in England.

75 Tortilla dough : MASA

“Masa” is the Spanish word for “dough”, with the term often used as an abbreviated form of “masa de maíz”. Masa is used to make tortillas and tamales, for example.

“Tortilla” translates literally from Spanish as “little cake”.

76 “Carpe diem,” in textspeak : YOLO

You only live once (YOLO)

“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”. The satirical motto of a procrastinator is “carpe mañana”, “translating” as “seize tomorrow”.

78 Paul on guitar : LES

Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

79 One removing fuzz from fuzzy fruit? : PEACH COMBER (sounds like “beachcomber”)

There are two broad categories of peaches: freestones and clingstones. Clingstones (also “cling peaches”) have flesh that clings tightly to the pit. Freestones are easier to consume as the flesh separates easily from the pit.

82 Leadoff double? : EFS

There is a double-F sequence of letters in the word “leadoff”.

83 Bit of power : WATT

James Watt was a Scottish inventor. He figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, and was named in his honor.

85 Explorer da Gama : VASCO

Vasco da Gama left on his first voyage of discovery in 1497. da Gama journeyed around the Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost tip of Africa, and across the Indian Ocean making landfall in India. Landing in India, his fleet became the first expedition to sail directly from Europe to the sub-continent. Vasco da Gama was well known for acts of cruelty, especially on local inhabitants. One of his milder atrocities was inflicted on a priest whom he labelled as a spy. He had the priest’s lips and ears cut off, and sent him on his way after having a pair of dog’s ears sewn onto his head.

86 Sorority letters : PHIS

Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

87 Intangible quality : AURA

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

88 Drink brand with a lizard logo : SOBE

The brand name “SoBe” can be found on teas, juices and bottled waters. SoBe is an abbreviation for South Beach, the neighborhood in Miami Beach, Florida.

96 “Little Shop of __” : HORRORS

“Little Shop of Horrors” is a 1982 rock musical based on the cult 1960 film “The Little Shop of Horrors”. The stage musical was adapted into a 1986 film of the same name, directed by Frank Oz. Not my cup of tea …

101 First African-American major-league coach Buck : O’NEIL

Buck O’Neil was a first baseman and manager with the Kansas City Monarchs, a team in the Negro American League. He was appointed as a coach with the Chicago Cubs in 1962, making him the first African-American coach in the major leagues.

103 Hip-hop label co-founded by Jay-Z : ROC-A-FELLA

Roc-a-Fella Records was founded in 1996 by three rap artists: Jay-Z, Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke.

105 Barrel component : STAVE

The word “stave” was originally the plural of “staff”, a word describing a wooden rod. To “stave off” originated with the concept of holding off with a staff. In the world of barrel-making, a stave is a narrow strip of wood that forms part of a barrel’s side.

106 Painter Nolde : EMIL

Emil Nolde was a German expressionist painter. He was actually born Emil Hansen, near the village of Nolde in the Prussian Duchy of Schleswig in 1867. Hansen officially changed his name to Nolde on the occasion of his marriage in 1902.

108 Solution strength : TITER

Remember those titrations we did in the chemistry lab at school? They were to measure the concentration of solutions, also known as the solution’s titer.

109 Busy as __ : A BEE

A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

110 Cream color : ECRU

The color ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

111 Kirsten of “Spider-Man” : DUNST

Kirsten Dunst is a Hollywood actress from Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Dunst is perhaps best known for playing the love interest and female lead in the “Spider-Man” series of movies opposite Tobey Maguire. Personally, my favorite Dunst films are “Wimbledon” and “Marie Antoinette”. Dunst is a dual citizen of the US and Germany, as her father is from Hamburg.

“Spider-Man” is a 2002 film directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire in the title role. This was to be the first in a series of “Spider-Man” films. The bad guy this time is the Green Goblin, portrayed by Willem Dafoe.

114 VA concern : PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was formed in 1930 to manage pre-existing government benefits for war veterans. Some of those benefits dated back to the Continental Congress. Today, the most visible benefit is probably the network of VA medical centers that provide comprehensive healthcare services to veterans.

115 Chile money : PESO

The peso is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

The nation of Chile has a very distinctive shape. It is a narrow strip that runs up the west coast of South America. The average width of the country is only a little over 100 miles, and yet its length is about 2,700 miles. Chile is touted as the longest country in the world, although I am not so sure what that means exactly. I mean, Russia extends about 4,800 miles from east-to west, so maybe “longest” implies long in the north-south direction?

Down

1 Mighty sharks : MAKOS

The shortfin mako shark can appear on restaurant menus, and as a result the species is dying out in some parts of the world. The mako gets its own back sometimes though, as attacks on humans are not unknown. It is the fastest-swimming shark, and has been clocked at speeds of over 40 miles/hour. And the shark in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”, that’s a mako. “Mako” is the Maori word for “shark” or “shark tooth”.

3 Emmy-winning producer of “The Fugitive” Alan __ : ARMER

Alan Armer was a TV producer who is perhaps best known for his work with QM Productions. He produced the first year of the detective show “Cannon”, and the whole run of the incredibly successful series “The Fugitive”.

If you recall the beginning of each episode of “The Fugitive” television series, there was a narration that summarized the background to the show. It started off “The Fugitive, a QM Production — starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble: an innocent victim of blind justice, falsely convicted for the murder of his wife …” Those words were read by actor William Conrad, who made a name for himself in his detective series playing the portly “Cannon”.

4 Muslim face covering : NIQAB

Some Muslim women wear a hijab in the presence of males outside of their immediate family. A hijab is a veil covering the head and chest. Some also wear a niqab as part of the hijab, which is a cloth that covers the face. Other Muslim women wear a burqa, which covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground.

5 Pump figure : OCTANE

The difference between a premium and regular gasoline is its octane rating. The octane rating is a measure of the resistance of the gasoline to auto-ignition i.e. its resistance to ignition just by virtue of being compressed in the cylinder. This auto-ignition is undesirable as multiple-cylinder engines are designed so that ignition within each cylinder takes place precisely when the plug sparks, and not before. If ignition occurs before the spark is created, the resulting phenomenon is called “knocking”. We sometimes use the adjective “high-octane” to mean “intense, dynamic, high-powered”

8 Vegan protein source : SOY

What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.

A vegan is someone who stays away from animal products. A dietary vegan eats no animal foods, not even eggs and dairy that are usually eaten by vegetarians. Ethical vegans take things one step further by following a vegan diet and also avoiding animal products in other areas of their lives e.g. items made from leather or silk.

9 Dances with shuffle steps : CHA-CHAS

The cha-cha-cha (often simplified to “cha-cha”) is a Latin dance with origins in Cuba, where it was introduced by composer Enrique Jorrin in 1953.

11 Keyboard contemporary of Vladimir : ARTUR

The great Arthur (sometimes “Artur”) Rubinstein was a classical pianist from Poland who became a naturalized American citizen in 1946. Rubenstein was particularly respected as a performer of Chopin’s repertoire.

Vladimir Horowitz was a classical pianist from Kiev who escaped to the West in 1925, and then settled in the US. Horowitz was married to Wanda Toscanini, daughter of the famed Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini.

12 Market speculator : DAY TRADER

Day trading is the buying and selling of financial instruments within the same day, with all trades being settled by the closing bell. This used to be the realm of professional investors and speculators, but day-trading has become a big fad for at-home traders since the Internet made buying and selling transactions so easy and rapid.

13 Hat that originated in Ecuador, strangely : PANAMA

Panama hats are traditional headgear from Ecuador, and have never been made in Panama. The “panama” moniker came about as many of the hats were shipped to the Isthmus of Panama for transportation by sea to the rest of the world. Authentic panama hats are made from the leaves of a palm-like plant known locally as the jipijapa palm.

14 Keats’ Muse : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry. She is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses, and playing a lyre.

English poet John Keats died in Rome in 1821, and is buried there in the Protestant Cemetery. His last wish was that his grave be marked with a tombstone bearing just the words “”Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water”, and no name nor a date. Keats’ friends honored his request to some extent, as the words were included on the stone and no name is given. The full epitaph reads:

This Grave
contains all that was Mortal
of a
Young English Poet
Who
on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart
at the Malicious Power of his Enemies
Desired
these Words to be
engraven on his Tomb Stone:
Here lies One
Whose Name was writ in Water.
24 February 1821

15 Yale of Yale fame : ELIHU

Elihu Yale was a wealthy merchant born in Boston in 1649. Yale worked for the British East India Company, and for many years served as governor of a settlement at Madras (now Chennai) in India. After India, Yale took over his father’s estate near Wrexham in Wales. It was while resident in Wrexham that Yale responded to a request for financial support for the Collegiate School of Connecticut in 1701. He sent the school a donation, which was used to erect a new building in New Haven that was named “Yale” in his honor. In 1718, the whole school was renamed to “Yale College”. To this day, students of Yale are nicknamed “Elis”, again honoring Elihu.

21 Kurt of Nirvana : COBAIN

Kurt Cobain was famous as the lead singer of the band Nirvana. Cobain was constantly in the spotlight for the last few years of his short life. The media was fascinated with his marriage to fellow rock star Courtney Love, and continually reported on Cobain’s heroin addiction. He finally succumbed to the pressure and committed suicide by inflicting a gunshot wound to his head in 1994, at only 27 years of age.

31 Primordial substance, in physics : YLEM

Back in the 1940s, cosmologists George Gamow and Ralph Alpher used the term “ylem” to describe the primordial plasma that was presumed to exist right after the Big Bang.

32 Designer __ Saint Laurent : YVES

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was an Algerian-born French fashion designer. Saint Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

37 “I get it” : AHSO

The slang term “ahso” is used in American English to mean “I see”. The term derives from the Japanese expression “Ah so desu ka” meaning “Oh, that’s how it is”.

38 Crucifix : ROOD

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

In many of the Christian traditions, a crucifix is a representation of Jesus on the cross. The term “crucifix” comes from the Latin “cruci fixus” meaning “fixed to a cross”.

39 Lawn choice : BLUEGRASS

Poa is a genus in the grass family. Poa grass can be called meadow grass, bluegrass, tussock and speargrass. “Poa” is a Greek word meaning “fodder”.

40 Abbr. on a teeing ground sign : YDS

That would be golf.

48 Court game : HOOPS

Basketball is truly a North American sport. It was created in 1891 by Canadian James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

55 “I pity the fool” speaker : MR T

Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

56 Billiards type : POOL

The more correct name for the game of pool is “pocket billiards”. The designation “pool” arose after pocket billiards became a common feature in “pool halls”, places where gamblers “pooled” their money to bet on horse races.

59 Do a vet’s job : SPAY

Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

60 Jazz guitarist Montgomery : WES

Wes Montgomery was a jazz guitarist from Indianapolis.

61 Purple hue : LILAC

The ornamental flowering plant known as lilac is native to the Balkans, and is a member of the olive family.

63 Wreck with a ball : RAZE

To raze (“rase”, in UK English) is to level to the ground. I’ve always thought it a little quirky that “raise”, a homophone of “raze”, means “build up”.

64 Marked on a ballot : XED

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

65 Behind : TUSH

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

67 Letters for one with weekend plans : TGIF

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote to me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.

71 Knighted Guinness : ALEC

Sir Alec Guinness played many great roles over a long and distinguished career, but nowadays is best remembered (sadly, I think) for playing the original Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”.

72 Snowblower maker : TORO

Toro is a manufacturer of lawn mowers and snow removal equipment that is based in Bloomington, Minnesota. The company was founded in 1914 to build tractor engines.

74 So-called “river of wind” : JET STREAM

Jet streams are narrow air currents high in the atmosphere that move very quickly around the earth. The major jet streams surrounding our planet move in a westerly direction.

75 “Little Red Book” writer : MAO

During China’s Cultural Revolution, the Communist Party published a book of statements and writings from Chairman Mao Zedong. Here in the West the publication was usually referred to as “The Little Red Book”.

76 Vocalist Sumac : YMA

Yma Sumac was a Peruvian soprano. Sumac had a notable vocal range of five octaves.

79 Compulsive fire starters, informally : PYROS

“Pyro-” is the combining form of the Greek word for “fire”. “Pyrotechnics” is the art of making and using fireworks. “Pyromania” is a strong desire to light fires.

80 Jack of old oaters : ELAM

Jack Elam was a movie actor noted for playing the bad guy in Westerns. When Elam was a Boy Scout, he was accidentally stabbed in the eye with a pencil. The incident left him blind in that eye, and the iris remained skewed to the outside of his face. This gave him a crazed, wide-eyed look that helped add a sense of menace to the characters Elam played.

83 Pequod, for one : WHALER

The most famous whale-hunting ship in fiction has to be Herman Melville’s Pequod, which is featured in his novel “Moby Dick”. The Pequod is skippered by the maniacal Captain Ahab, and the young chief mate is the thoughtful and intellectual Starbuck. Starbuck’s name was lifted and used by the Seattle-based coffee company.

86 Ornamental hedge shrub : PRIVET

Flowering plants in the genus Ligustrum are generally referred to as privets. Privets are often used to create ornamental and privacy hedges.

87 “__ Song”: John Denver hit : ANNIE’S

John Denver wrote “Annie’s Song” in just over ten minutes, as he was travelling up a ski lift in Aspen, Colorado. The song is a tribute to his then wife Annie Martell Denver.

Singer John Denver’s real name was Henry John Deutchendorf, Jr. Denver was a great singer, and he had many other passions. He was an excellent photographer, and an avid skier and golfer. He also loved flying and collected vintage biplanes. He flew himself to concerts in his own Learjet, and had a handful of other planes that he would take out for spin when he could. One of his planes was an Experimental Rutan Long-EZ, a home-built aircraft noted for its fuel efficiency and tremendous range. Denver took the Rutan Long-EZ up in the middle of October 1997. He hadn’t had much experience with the plane, even though he had logged over 2,700 hours of flying time in other aircraft. The plane crashed into the ocean near Pacific Grove, California in an accident that Denver did not survive.

93 Spanish lasso : REATA

A riata is a lariat or a lasso. “Riata” comes from “reata”, the Spanish word for “lasso”.

94 Poetic pairs : IAMBI

An iamb is a metrical foot containing an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The lines in William Shakespeare’s “Sonnet 18” use five sequential iambs, e.g. “Shall I / compare / thee to / a sum- / -mer’s day?” With that sequence of five iambs, the poem’s structure is described as iambic pentameter.

98 NFL pass blockers as a unit, in football lingo : O-LINE

Offensive line (O-line)

99 Like “Harvard Yard,” as spoken by some locals : R-LESS

The Boston accent is noted for its broad letter A, and dropping of the letter R.

Harvard Yard is a large grassy area at the very center of Harvard University.

104 Scull crew : OARS

A scull is a boat used for competitive rowing. The main hull of the boat is often referred to as a shell. Crew members who row the boat can be referred to as “oars”. And, a scull is also an oar mounted on the stern of a small boat. It’s all very confusing …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 More than a little unkind : MEAN
5 Tolkien monsters : ORCS
9 One hanging in a 2000 election : CHAD
13 Tiny tweet : PEEP
17 Leaking slowly, as a faucet : ADRIP
19 Pacific salmon : COHO
20 Juno’s Greek counterpart : HERA
21 Sassy “Cheers” waitress : CARLA
22 Prime growing month for a citrus fruit? : KUMQUAT MAY (sounds like “come what may”)
24 Culturally affected : ARTY
25 Broadcast booth sign : ON AIR
26 Sources of current information : OCEAN MAPS
27 Recon pro : SCOUT
28 Take a dip : BATHE
29 Belgrade resident : SERBIAN
30 Song sung by a French fruit lover? : MY CHERRY AMOUR (sounds like “My Cherie Amour”)
33 First fruit site : EDEN
35 Fields for fillies : LEAS
36 New Balance rival : AVIA
37 Fast-food chain with a cowboy hat logo : ARBY’S
41 Starts the show : OPENS
43 Gulf of __: Arabian Sea arm : ADEN
44 Comics impact : BAM!
47 “No juice in my mojito, please”? : HOLD THE LIME (sounds like “hold the line”)
50 Duck Hunt console, briefly : NES
51 Trait carrier : GENE
52 Chef lead-in : SOUS-
53 Midwest native : OTOE
54 Mideast potentate : EMIR
56 Masters of allusion : POETS
57 Verse sometimes sung : ODE
58 Kid’s punishment : NO TV
59 Mosquito mating maneuver : SWARM
61 Not too sharp, as an image : LOW-RES
62 Vintner’s prospects? : GRAPE EXPECTATIONS (sounds like “Great Expectations”)
66 Lack on some gowns : STRAPS
68 Toy line? : LEASH
69 Temporary pause : LULL
70 Styron protagonist Turner : NAT
73 Visually rapt : AGAZE
74 1987 Best New Artist Grammy winner Watley : JODY
75 Tortilla dough : MASA
76 “Carpe diem,” in textspeak : YOLO
77 Wood shop tool : VISE
78 Paul on guitar : LES
79 One removing fuzz from fuzzy fruit? : PEACH COMBER (sounds like “beachcomber”)
82 Leadoff double? : EFS
83 Bit of power : WATT
84 How some items are auctioned : BY LOT
85 Explorer da Gama : VASCO
86 Sorority letters : PHIS
87 Intangible quality : AURA
88 Drink brand with a lizard logo : SOBE
91 Fruit farm’s cash flow? : CURRANT INCOME (sounds like “current income”)
96 “Little Shop of __” : HORRORS
101 First African-American major-league coach Buck : O’NEIL
102 General and private : RANKS
103 Hip-hop label co-founded by Jay-Z : ROC-A-FELLA
105 Barrel component : STAVE
106 Painter Nolde : EMIL
107 Write-up on a fruit? : PEAR REVIEW (sounds like “peer review”)
108 Solution strength : TITER
109 Busy as __ : A BEE
110 Cream color : ECRU
111 Kirsten of “Spider-Man” : DUNST
112 Reserved __ : SEAT
113 Fail to make contact with : MISS
114 VA concern : PTSD
115 Chile money : PESO

Down

1 Mighty sharks : MAKOS
2 Draw out : EDUCE
3 Emmy-winning producer of “The Fugitive” Alan __ : ARMER
4 Muslim face covering : NIQAB
5 Pump figure : OCTANE
6 Runaway victory : ROMP
7 Deep fissure : CHASM
8 Vegan protein source : SOY
9 Dances with shuffle steps : CHA-CHAS
10 Medal awardees : HEROES
11 Keyboard contemporary of Vladimir : ARTUR
12 Market speculator : DAY TRADER
13 Hat that originated in Ecuador, strangely : PANAMA
14 Keats’ Muse : ERATO
15 Yale of Yale fame : ELIHU
16 Fruit lover’s gadget : PARER
18 Most weak : PUNIEST
21 Kurt of Nirvana : COBAIN
23 Make __ dash : A MAD
27 Play setting : SCENE
31 Primordial substance, in physics : YLEM
32 Designer __ Saint Laurent : YVES
34 Bad blood : NO LOVE LOST
37 “I get it” : AHSO
38 Crucifix : ROOD
39 Lawn choice : BLUEGRASS
40 Abbr. on a teeing ground sign : YDS
42 Fruit-filled dessert, often : PIE
43 Circus highlights : ANIMAL ACTS
44 Self-appointed pub experts : BEER SNOBS
45 Pay to play : ANTE
46 It calls for sweeping action : MESS
48 Court game : HOOPS
49 Kitchen add-on? : -ETTE
51 One may come with a train : GOWN
54 Apiece : EACH
55 “I pity the fool” speaker : MR T
56 Billiards type : POOL
58 It’s at one end of the back : NAPE
59 Do a vet’s job : SPAY
60 Jazz guitarist Montgomery : WES
61 Purple hue : LILAC
63 Wreck with a ball : RAZE
64 Marked on a ballot : XED
65 Behind : TUSH
66 File menu option : SAVE
67 Letters for one with weekend plans : TGIF
71 Knighted Guinness : ALEC
72 Snowblower maker : TORO
74 So-called “river of wind” : JET STREAM
75 “Little Red Book” writer : MAO
76 Vocalist Sumac : YMA
78 Placed : LAIN
79 Compulsive fire starters, informally : PYROS
80 Jack of old oaters : ELAM
81 Like plump pets, perhaps : OVERFED
83 Pequod, for one : WHALER
84 Belt parts : BUCKLES
86 Ornamental hedge shrub : PRIVET
87 “__ Song”: John Denver hit : ANNIE’S
89 “Dang it!” : OH CRUD!
90 Dull-sounding critter : BOAR
91 Runs, moneywise : COSTS
92 Let loose : UNTIE
93 Spanish lasso : REATA
94 Poetic pairs : IAMBI
95 Build : ERECT
97 Gun, as an engine : REV UP
98 NFL pass blockers as a unit, in football lingo : O-LINE
99 Like “Harvard Yard,” as spoken by some locals : R-LESS
100 Took care of : SAW TO
104 Scull crew : OARS
107 Get-up-and-go : PEP

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

  1. About an hour.. Some very strange cluing and “out there” answers.. YLEM NAT TITER STAVE …. Even some of the fruit answers were a stretch.. Not sure I even recognize the references. Thank goodness for Bills explanations.. I sort of enjoyed it..

  2. I could very well be wrong, but shouldn’t 78 down “Placed” (8/23/20) be “laid” (which, I realize, wouldn’t fit).
    Place: lay; laid; have laid
    Recline: lie, lay, have lain

    Can anybody explain for me? That one was skipped in the explanations. 🤷‍♀️ Thanks!

    1. “lay” is the transitive verb, “lie” is the intransitive verb, they both mean the same thing, but just have different usages.

      Lay: She had laid the blanket down before she left.
      Lie: I had lain there for some time before getting up.

      https://www.britannica.com/story/lay-lie-lied-lain-when-do-we-use-which

      The usual test for saneness in such a clue the way it was written is if you can interchange them and have it make sense:

      Lay: She had placed the blanket down before she left.
      Lie: I had placed there for some time before getting up.

      “Laid” makes far more sense than “Lain” for this clue.

      Unfortunately, as I’ve bemoaned in here several times, crossword “clues” are often very far from accurate. At least this was a better clue than most of them that I’ve complained about though.

    2. Laura, yes you’re right! “Place” is a transitive verb, meaning it has an object, while “lie” is intransitive. Here, giving placed as a clue for lain is like saying “I’ve lain my coat on the table,” which is incorrect. You would say “I’ve laid my coat on the table,” which means “I’ve placed my coat on the table” (‘coat’ being the object.) Too much info, I know!!🤗

  3. I had laid before lain, rout before romp and Cody before Jody. I guess that’s why they invented erasers. I thought the puzzle was challenging, clever and enjoyable. It’s what I expect from a Sunday puzzle and it didn’t disappoint.

  4. 18:42, no errors, no complaints, though I briefly had ROUT before ROMP, SCENE before STAGE before SCENE, RASP before VISE, and JOHN before JODY.

    @Laura … I forgot to go back and check it out, but I was also bothered by 78-Down. Maybe there’s an explanation, but it certainly looks to me like you’re right. (Is it possible that setters and editors are human?! 😜)

  5. 49:41 no errors…a lot of easy clues but just enough toughies to slow me down especially in the SW corner…I don’t get 56A.
    @Laura…whatever fits seems to be the crossword rule.
    Stay safe😀

  6. @Laura …

    I did find this:

    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/lain

    Under the heading “EXAMPLE SENTENCES FROM THE WEB FOR LAIN”, I see the following:

    “But the sins of the 20th century, as devastating as they were, cannot be lain entirely at the feet of its artists.”

    This example would seem to indicate that perhaps the usage of “laid” and “lain” are changing (or other writers are human, as well … Heaven forfend! 😜)

  7. As usual, we did not try today. Our lawyer son-in-law came over
    yesterday and solved the Saturday puzzle. I settled for the Jumble
    words and my oldest daughter got the answer. I also got the
    Wonderword. Today, I got the Jumble answer before any words!
    Different strokes, but it still felt very good. It is just good fun.

    We are waiting for the two Gulf storms, due in a day or so, and not
    knowing where they will hit. This is always the case and I am hoping
    for a good West wind to blow them to the East. Sorry. neighbors. I am
    sure we will see enough rain for a while. Always the case, too.

    Stay safe and well, everybody.

  8. No errors at the end, but I gave up and looked up the Jay-Z answer and
    that helped me complete the pesky SE corner. I started out with “rout”
    instead of “romp” too. The theme answers were fun and some of the
    easiest clues for me. All in all a satisfying and enjoyable puzzle.

  9. 33:38 1 error because I got EDUCE and TITER, but I don’t know how to spell COBAIN.

    I like the fruits, even if GRAPEEXPECTATIONS is an oldie.

    That whole bottom half was tough for me.

  10. A couple more comments about English: Irregular verbs, like irregular plurals, are subject to change over time, and sometimes there are competing forms. Even in my few years on this earth, I have seen some interesting shifts (though I’m certainly no expert). Examples that come readily to mind are “shone vs shined” and “pled vs pleaded”, but I think I could easily find others. Here’s a link to an interesting article on the topic:

    https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/the-evolution-of-the-past-tense-how-verbs-change-over-time

  11. One wrong letter (thereby giving me two errors) which I got for not checking my work (so well deserved). Instead of “sous” for the clue of chef lead-in for 52 Across I had a “g” on the end because I filled in “ydg” for 40 Down “Abbrv. on a teeing ground sign”. D’oh!

    1. @Nell (and others) …
      I would certainly have agreed with you, had I been the one to write the clue. The contrary example I gave above came from an article written by one David Freedlander, who makes his living by writing such things, and it was published in “The Daily Beast” (about which I know little, though it seems a bit right-wing for my taste). So I’m not entirely sure what the principal lesson is here – that even professional writers can be led astray, or that language can and does change with time. In any case, the mistake in the clue (if that’s what it was) caused little trouble.

  12. Laura here… Thank you to everyone who replied on the whole “laid” vs “lain” thing! 😁 I LEARN from the puzzles, and I’m getting old. So I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t “losing it” 🤪, with that one! 🤗

    Doing the daily puzzles is one of the highlights of my day, and the Sunday ones are a special treat! I can’t imagine what it’s like to have the kind of mind that can create some of those ingenious clues! Thanks! And carry on! 👍 😊

  13. 26 minutes, 38 seconds and 4 incorrect fills in the bottom left corner. Just had nothing on those naticks, and couldn’t conjure up a reference for Pequod past a nagging idea that “I should know that”. The fruit puns were mostly highly annoying, and some of the clues were also a bit too “cute”.

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