LA Times Crossword 9 Aug 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Pam Amick Klawitter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Opening Act

Themed answers each start with a band’s name that overlaps a common phrase:

  • 23A Appreciative freeloaders? : GRATEFUL DEADBEATS (Grateful Dead & deadbeats)
  • 37A World conference participants? : TALKING HEADS OF STATE (Talking Heads & heads of state)
  • 65A “There’s snowplace like home” or “I only have ice for you”? : COLD PLAY ON WORDS (Coldplay & play on words)
  • 74A Writing that’s both flowery and thoughtful? : DEEP PURPLE PROSE (Deep Purple & purple prose)
  • 102A Time anticipated by environmentalists? : GREEN DAY OF RECKONING (Green Day & day of reckoning)
  • 123A Bad dream about Cerberus? : THREE-DOG NIGHTMARE (Three Dog Night & nightmare)

Bill’s time: 14m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Savvy : SHREWD

The term “savvy”, meaning “understanding”, comes from the French “savez-vous?”. The French phrase translates as “do you know?”

7 Degrees for corp. execs : MBAS

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

11 Grates on : GALLS

Today, we use the verb “to gall” to mean “to vex, irritate”. This is a figurative usage of the same verb that arose mid-1400s, when it meant “to make sore by chafing”. Back then, a gall was a sore on the skin caused by rubbing or chafing.

16 Couples’ refuge? : ARK

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

23 Appreciative freeloaders? : GRATEFUL DEADBEATS (Grateful Dead & deadbeats)

The Grateful Dead were a rock band from the San Francisco Bay Area that was founded in 1965. “The Dead” disbanded in 1995 following the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia. Grateful Dead fans (the ranks of whom include my wife) refer to themselves as “Deadheads”.

26 English cathedral town : ELY

Ely Cathedral is a famous and beautiful church in the city of Ely in the county of Cambridgeshire. There is a Gothic door on the north face of the cathedral that was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the man famous as the architect of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Christopher Wren had a personal link to the church, as his uncle was the Bishop of Ely.

27 Early mobile home? : TEPEE

A tepee (also written as “tipi” and “teepee”) is a cone-shaped tent traditionally made from animal hides that is used by the Great Plains Native Americans. A wigwam is a completely different structure and is often a misnomer for a tepee. A wigwam is a domed structure built by Native Americans in the West and Southwest, intended to be a more permanent dwelling. The wigwam can also be covered with hides but more often was covered with grass, reeds, brush or cloth.

28 Merged telecom co. : GTE

GTE was a rival to AT&T, the largest of the independent competitors to the Bell System. GTE merged with Bell Atlantic in 2000 to form the company that we know today as Verizon. Verizon made some high-profile acquisitions over the years, including MCI in 2005 and AOL in 2015.

29 Brie coverings : RINDS

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

37 World conference participants? : TALKING HEADS OF STATE (Talking Heads & heads of state)

Talking Heads was a New Wave band from New York City that formed in 1974 and was active until 1991. To be honest, I couldn’t name one of their songs …

43 Platte River valley native : PAWNEE

The Pawnee people, now of Oklahoma, refer to themselves in the Pawnee language as “Chaticks si Chaticks” meaning “Men of Men”.

45 Spherical opening? : HEMI-

Ever wonder what the difference is between the prefixes “hemi-”, “demi-” and “semi-”, all of which mean “half”? Well, the general observation is that words using the “demi-” prefix date back to the days of Norman influence over the English language. As a result, “demi-” turns up in the world of period costume and coats of arms. Words using “hemi-” tend to have Greek roots, and are prevalent in the world of the sciences and the medical field. Words with “semi-” tend to have Latin roots, and are most often found in music and the arts, and mathematics.

46 Crews of “America’s Got Talent” : TERRY

Terry Crews is a former football player who became a very successful actor and comedian after retiring from the sport. Crews is a multi-talented person. He is a very capable flute player, and quite the portrait artist. Crews took over as host of “America’s Got Talent” in 2019.

56 Garfield’s foil : ODIE

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

57 1993 Oscar nominee Rosie : PEREZ

Rosie Perez is an American actress born in New York City of Puerto Rican descent. As well as pursuing her acting career, Perez is an activist promoting Puerto Rican rights, and was arrested in 2000 at a rally to protest US Navy weapons-training off the coast of Puerto Rico.

59 Longtime SeaWorld star : SHAMU

Shamu was the name of the third orca (aka “killer whale”) ever to be featured in a public exhibition. Shamu starred in a popular SeaWorld show in San Diego in the sixties. After she died in 1971, her name lived on as the “stage name” of orca shows in different SeaWorld parks. That original Shamu was retired after she grabbed and refused to let go of the leg of one of her trainers.

65 “There’s snowplace like home” or “I only have ice for you”? : COLD PLAY ON WORDS (Coldplay & play on words)

Coldplay is a rock band that was formed in London in 1996 by Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland. Chris Martin was married to the American actress Gwyneth Paltrow for twelve years.

69 FedEx alternative : UPS

United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.

71 NFL’s Gronk and others : TES

Tight end (TE)

Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski is an NFL tight end who was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2010. Gronk is one of five brothers, all of whom have played professional sports.

73 Vietnam holiday : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

74 Writing that’s both flowery and thoughtful? : DEEP PURPLE PROSE (Deep Purple & purple prose)

Purple prose is writing that is overly ornate and flowery, so much so that it draws attention to itself, and detracts from the narrative.

English rock band Deep Purple were active from 1968 to 1976, and reformed in 1984. One of the group’s claims to fame is a 1975 “Guinness Book of World Records” listing as the “loudest band” in the world following a 1972 concert. Reportedly, three members of the audience were carried out of the concert unconscious due to noise level.

80 Sketch starter : ETCH A …

Etch A Sketch was introduced in 1960. The toy was developed in France by inventor André Cassagnes.

84 U.K. locale : EUR

The continent of Europe was named for Europa, a Phoenician princess of Greek mythology.

85 Tolstoy title name : ANNA

I have to admit to not having read Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”, but I did see the excellent 1977 British television adaptation starring Nicola Pagett. I also saw the 2012 film adaptation with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard and found that to be far from excellent, awful in fact. I am no Stoppard fan …

87 B in chemistry : BORON

Here is a list of all the single-letter element symbols:

  • B = boron
  • C = carbon
  • F = fluorine
  • H = hydrogen
  • I = Iodine
  • K = potassium
  • N = nitrogen
  • O = oxygen
  • P = phosphorus
  • S = sulfur
  • U = uranium
  • V = vanadium
  • W = tungsten
  • Y = yttrium

90 “Nausea” novelist : SARTRE

Jean-Paul Sartre was a leading French philosopher, as well as a writer and political activist. Sartre also served with the French army during WWII and spent nine months as a prisoner of war having been captured by German troops. He was one of the few people to have been awarded a Nobel Prize and to have then refused to accept it. Sartre was named winner of the prize for Literature in 1964, for his first novel “Nausea”. Before his win, Sartre knew that his name was on the list of nominees so he wrote to the Nobel Institute and asked to be withdrawn from consideration. The letter somehow went unread, so he found himself having to refuse the award after he had been selected.

93 Court cry : OYEZ!

“Oyez” is an Anglo-French word, traditionally called out three times, with the meaning “hear ye!”

96 Sunset dirección : OESTE

“Oeste” (west) is a “dirección” (direction), in Spanish.

98 Fictional captain with the middle name Tiberius : KIRK

According to the storyline in “Star Trek”, Captain James Tiberius Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa. The town of Riverside displays a plaque, noting Riverside as the “future birthplace of James T. Kirk.”

100 Hebrew prophet : ISAIAH

The Book of Isaiah is part of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. Isaiah is not mentioned in the Qur’an, but many Muslim scholars consider Isaiah a prophet. Isaiah is widely regarded as the most eloquent of the prophets, earning him the moniker “Shakespeare of the Prophets”.

102 Time anticipated by environmentalists? : GREEN DAY OF RECKONING (Green Day & day of reckoning)

Green Day is a punk rock band from just down the road here, from Berkeley, California. The name “Green Day” was chosen by the band to reflect their fondness for marijuana. “Green day” is a slang term used to describe a day spent smoking the drug.

111 Much junk mail : SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

114 WWI battle river : SOMME

WWI’s Battle of the Somme took place between July and November 1916, and was fought in the upper reaches of the River Somme in France. The first day of the Somme offensive marked the worst day in the history of the British Army, suffering 57,470 casualties. The Somme was also the first battle in which tanks were used.

122 Old Mideast alliance: Abbr. : UAR

The United Arab Republic (UAR) was a union between Egypt and Syria established in 1958. The UAR dissolved in 1961 when Syria pulled out of the arrangement.

123 Bad dream about Cerberus? : THREE-DOG NIGHTMARE (Three Dog Night & nightmare)

Cerberus is a dog with three heads that appears in both Greek and Roman mythology. Cerberus had the job of guarding the gates of Hades and preventing those who had crossed the River Styx from ever escaping. A sop is a piece of food that has been dipped in some liquid, as one might sop a piece of bread in soup. There is an idiomatic expression, “to give a sop to Cerberus”, which means “to give someone a bribe, pay someone off”. The idea is that if one could bribe Cerberus, give him a sop to eat, then he would let you pass and escape from Hades.

The rock band Three Dog Night had its first and biggest success back in 1969 with the Harry Nilsson song “One”. The song is perhaps best known for its opening words, “One is the loneliest number …” Three Dog Night took their name from an Australian expression. Apparently, indigenous Australians would sleep in a hole in the ground alongside their tame dingoes. On a cold night, they would huddle up to two dingos, and if it was really, really cold, it was a “three-dog night”.

127 USMA part, briefly : MIL

The US Military Academy (USMA) houses two Army Mules that serve as mascots. The tradition of using mules as mascots started in 1899 when it was decided that the USMA needed something to counter the Navy’s mascot, a goat.

128 Beloved 1981 bride : DIANA

Charles, Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The wedding was a huge television event, with about 750 million people tuning in worldwide. Although the event was billed as a fairytale wedding, the couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996. Famously, Lady Diana died in a car crash in Paris the following year.

129 Memo letters : ATTN

Attention (attn.)

130 Silver State NFLer : RAIDER

The Las Vegas Raiders football team was founded in 1960, and was originally intended to play in Minnesota. Instead, the team played in Oakland from 1960 to 1981 and then spent 12 years in Los Angeles before returning to Oakland in 1995. In 2017, the Raiders announced their plan to relocate to Las Vegas starting in 2020.

131 Sign of a hit : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

132 Bier holder : STEIN

In Germany, one might order a “bier” (beer).

133 Aussie hoppers : ROOS

The word “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “Kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

134 Dakota del Norte, por ejemplo : ESTADO

In Spanish, examples of an “estado” (state) are “Nueva York” (New York) and “Dakota del Norte” (North Dakota).

Down

1 Marines NCO : SSGT

A staff sergeant (SSgt.) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO).

4 Major suffix : -ETTE

A drum major is a leader of a marching band, and is a position that originated in the British Army Corp of Drums in 1650. The drum major’s job is to lead the group and ensure that the whole ensemble keeps time. To help him do so, a drum major often uses a large baton. Over time, it became customary for the baton to be twirled and tossed in an elaborate display. The drum major tradition was embraced by high school marching bands in America. Drum-majorettes became popular in the 1930s, with groups of females taking up baton-twirling and marching with bands. According to an article in “Life” magazine published on October 10th, 1938, “the perfect majorette is a pert, shapely, smiling extrovert, who loves big, noisy crowds and knows how to make those crowds love her.” It was a different time …

5 Cajole : WHEEDLE

To wheedle is to influence by flattery for one’s gain. “Wheedle” is such a lovely verb, I think …

6 Rapper Mos __ : DEF

“Mos Def” is the former stage name of actor and rapper Dante Terrell Smith-Bay, now known as Yasiin Bey. Mos Def is one of the few rap stars who is really making a name for himself in the world of movies. He received critical acclaim for roles in 2003’s “The Italian Job” , 2005’s “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, and for a featured role in an episode of television’s “House”.

10 Doo-wop syllable : SHA

Doo-wop developed in the 1940s and can be described as a vocal-based R&B music. Even though the style has been around since the forties, the name doo-wop wasn’t introduced until the early sixties.

11 Silk Road desert : GOBI

The large desert in Asia called the Gobi lies in northern China and southern Mongolia. The Gobi desert is growing at an alarming rate, particularly towards the south. This “desertification” is caused by increased human activity. The Chinese government is trying to halt the desert’s progress by planting great swaths of new forest, the so-called “Green Wall of China”. The name “Gobi” is Mongolian for “waterless place, semidesert”.

The Silk Road was a network of trading routes that crossed North Africa and Asia, connecting Europe to West Asia. The routes get the name from the lucrative trade in silk from China.

17 __ of thumb : RULE

The exact origin of the phrase “rule of thumb” appears to be unclear. However, the expression does exist in languages other than English, although the wording can vary. In Finnish and German the equivalent is “rule of fist”, and in Hebrew the phrase is “rule of finger”.

18 Florida attraction : KEYS

The Florida Keys are a chain of low islands that stretch from the tip of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles south of Miami. The westernmost inhabited island is Key West, and the westernmost uninhabited island is Dry Tortugas. Most of the inhabited islands are connected by US Highway 1, which traverses several impressive bridges.

24 Hybrid citrus : UGLI

The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine that was first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today. “UGLI” is a trademark name that is a variant of “ugly”, a nod to the fruit’s unsightly wrinkled rind.

36 Winter setting in the Rockies: Abbr. : MST

Mountain Standard Time (MST)

North America’s Rocky Mountains stretch from the very north of British Columbia in Canada to New Mexico in the US. The length of the range is over 3,000 miles. The highest point is Mount Elbert in Colorado, which has an elevation of 14,440 feet.

43 Lollapaloozas : PIPS

A “lollapalooza” is something outstanding, one of a kind, as is a “dilly”.

44 In the Black? : ASEA

There are four seas named in English for colors:

  • the Yellow Sea
  • the Black Sea
  • the Red Sea
  • the White Sea.

50 Had success on the links : SHOT PAR

The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.

51 Clark Kent, on Krypton : KAL-EL

Jor-El was a scientist on the planet Krypton who was married to Lara. Jor-El and Lara had an infant son named Kal-El who they were able to launch into space towards Earth just before Krypton was destroyed. Kal-El became Superman. In the 1978 movie “Superman”, Jor-El was played by Marlon Brando, Lara was played by Susannah York, and Kal-El/Superman was played by Christopher Reeve.

53 Post-Trojan War epic : ODYSSEY

“Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that is attributed to Homer. “Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic “Iliad”. “Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy. We now use the term “odyssey” to describe any long series of adventures.

54 Prefix with con : NEO-

By definition, a neoconservative (neocon) is a formerly left-aligned politician who has moved to the right, and who now supports the use of American power and military might to bring democracy, liberty, equality and human rights to other countries.

58 Frank of avant-garde rock : ZAPPA

Frank Zappa was an American composer and guitarist. He was a solo artist as well as the founding member of the rock band Mothers of Invention. You might like to meet his four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

60 Whse. inventory : MDSE

Merchandise (“mdse.” or “merch.”)

62 Geeky sort : DWEEB

“Dweeb” is relatively recent American slang that came out of college life in the late sixties. Dweeb, squarepants, nerd; they’re all not-nice terms that mean the same thing, i.e. someone excessively studious and socially inept.

66 Voldemort’s title : LORD

Lord Voldemort (born Tom Marvolo Riddle) is the main “bad guy” in the “Harry Potter” series of books. I heard the author, J. K. Rowling, on the radio some time back and she tells us that “Voldemort” is supposed to be pronounced with a silent “t” on the end, so it sounds kind of French. But when the movies came out the actors went with the hard “t”, and that’s the pronunciation that seems to prevail now. It seems to be generally accepted that Rowling chose the name from the French “vol de mort” meaning “flight of death”.

67 Skating gold medalist 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”.

68 Certain footrest : OTTOMAN

The piece of furniture known as an ottoman can be a couch, usually one with a head but no back or sides. Here in the US, the term more commonly applies to a padded and upholstered seat or bench that can also be used as a footrest. The original ottoman couch came from the Ottoman Empire, hence the name.

70 Pacific Division NBA team : SUNS

The Phoenix Suns NBA team are in the Pacific Division, and are the only team in that division not based in California.

75 Calculus pioneer : EULER

Leonhard Euler was a brilliant Swiss mathematician and physicist, and a pioneer in the fields of logarithms and graph theory. Euler’s eyesight deteriorated during his working life, and eventually became almost totally blind.

77 Genetic material : RNA

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

78 Curie or Cardin : PIERRE

Pierre Curie was a French physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903, sharing the award with his wife Marie and Henri Becquerel. Pierre and Marie spent most of their working lives researching radioactivity. Marie eventually died as a result of prolonged exposure to radiation. Pierre would likely have had the same fate, if he hadn’t been killed in a street accident when he was 46 years old.

Pierre Cardin is an Italian-born French fashion designer. Cardin founded his fashion house in 1950.

81 Restaurant critic Claiborne : CRAIG

Craig Claiborne was a restaurant critic based in New York City. Famously, or perhaps infamously, Claiborne and a guest dined on a meal in 1975 that cost $4,000. Claiborne won the no-price-limit dinner in a charity auction, paying just $300. The couple spent five hours dining in Chez Denis in Paris, eating 31 courses and drinking several rare wines.

82 Raised-chair dance : HORA

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

83 Sarcophagus symbol : ANKH

The ankh was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character for “eternal life”. The ankh wasn’t just used in inscriptions but was often fashioned into amulets and as surrounds for mirrors (perhaps symbolizing a view into another world). The ankh is also known as “the key of the Nile” and “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

A sarcophagus is a stone or wooden box in which a body is interred. “Sarcophagus” is Greek for “flesh-eating stones”. The name was applied as a sarcophagus was often made from a kind of limestone that was believed to cause the flesh of corpses to decompose.

89 Second-stringers : B-TEAM

We’ve been using the phrases “first string” and “second string” in athletics since the mid-19th century. The expressions come from archery, in which a competitor would carry a second bowstring in case the first broke.

91 Ring ref’s decision : TKO

Technical knockout (TKO)

94 #30 on a table : ZINC

Zinc is the chemical element with the atomic number 30 and the element symbol “Zn”. Zinc is a metal that can form pointed crystals after smelting. It is probably these crystals that gave the element its name, which comes from the Old High German “zint” meaning “point”.

99 Author Kesey : KEN

Ken Kesey wrote the novels “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Sometimes a Great Notion”. Kesey was one of a group of friends who called themselves the “Merry Pranksters”, a bunch of guys who were associated with the likes of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary, all icons of the Beat Generation.

101 Tabasco time-outs : SIESTAS

We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, and imported the word into English from Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at the sixth hour after dawn.

Tabasco is one of Mexico’s 31 “estados” (states), and is located in the very southeast of the country.

104 Greek markets : AGORAE

In early Greece, an agora was a place of assembly. The assemblies held there were often quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a marketplace. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

105 Mocha native : YEMENI

Mocha is a port city in Yemen on the Red Sea and was once the principal port for the capital city of Sana’a. Mocha was the major marketplace in the world for coffee until the 1600s, and gave its name to the Mocha coffee bean, which in turn gave its name to the mocha brown color, and the flavor of coffee infused with chocolate.

106 Grado de examen perfecto : CIENTO

In Spanish, a “grado de examen perfecto” (perfect exam grade) might be “ciento” (hundred).

107 Bacon and Smith : KEVINS

Kevin Bacon is an actor from Philadelphia who appeared first on the big screen in the 1978 comedy “National Lampoon’s Animal House”. That wasn’t to be the big break that Bacon needed though, which came with “Footloose” in 1984. A fun fact about him is that he is the subject of a popular trivia game called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” in which players have to show that a particular actor can be related to Kevin Bacon in fewer than six links, with each link being a movie in which two actors appear together.

Kevin Smith is a filmmaker from New Jersey. Smith’s list of films includes “Clerks” (1994), “Mallrats” (1995), “Chasing Amy” (1997” and “Jersey Girl” (2004). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Kevin Smith movie, to be honest …

113 1968 self-named folk album : ARLO

Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for singing protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

121 Roman ruler of ill repute : NERO

The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home upon hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

123 NFL scores : TDS

Touchdown (TD)

124 Dinghy mover : OAR

Our term “dinghy” comes from the Hindi “dingi”, a word meaning “small boat”.

125 Muscle car in a ’60s hit : GTO

The 1964 song “G.T.O” was the debut recording for the surf rock group from the sixties known as Ronny & the Daytonas.

126 Where Charlemagne reigned: Abbr. : HRE

Charlemagne was the first king to use the title “Holy Roman Emperor”, even though the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) was not actually founded until over a century later when Otto I was crowned Emperor. Otto was the first of an unbroken line of Holy Roman Emperors who ruled Central Europe from 962 until 1806.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Savvy : SHREWD
7 Degrees for corp. execs : MBAS
11 Grates on : GALLS
16 Couples’ refuge? : ARK
19 Come to a boil : SEETHE
20 __ of office : OATH
21 They have Mystery and Birthday Cake varieties : OREOS
22 It’s tipped in a parlor : CUE
23 Appreciative freeloaders? : GRATEFUL DEADBEATS (Grateful Dead & deadbeats)
26 English cathedral town : ELY
27 Early mobile home? : TEPEE
28 Merged telecom co. : GTE
29 Brie coverings : RINDS
30 Poems that glorify : ODES
31 Entrust, as authority : DELEGATE
35 Little bitty bits : ATOMS
37 World conference participants? : TALKING HEADS OF STATE (Talking Heads & heads of state)
43 Platte River valley native : PAWNEE
45 Spherical opening? : HEMI-
46 Crews of “America’s Got Talent” : TERRY
47 “__ something I said?” : IS IT
48 __ set : DESK
52 Bad way to come on : STRONG
56 Garfield’s foil : ODIE
57 1993 Oscar nominee Rosie : PEREZ
59 Longtime SeaWorld star : SHAMU
61 Proof of ownership : DEED
63 ‘Neath opposite : O’ER
64 Taco topping : SALSA
65 “There’s snowplace like home” or “I only have ice for you”? : COLD PLAY ON WORDS (Coldplay & play on words)
69 FedEx alternative : UPS
71 NFL’s Gronk and others : TES
72 Special __ : OPS
73 Vietnam holiday : TET
74 Writing that’s both flowery and thoughtful? : DEEP PURPLE PROSE (Deep Purple & purple prose)
80 Sketch starter : ETCH A …
84 U.K. locale : EUR
85 Tolstoy title name : ANNA
86 Goofs around : IDLES
87 B in chemistry : BORON
88 Spare tire, perhaps : FLAB
90 “Nausea” novelist : SARTRE
93 Court cry : OYEZ!
95 Grade : MARK
96 Sunset dirección : OESTE
98 Fictional captain with the middle name Tiberius : KIRK
100 Hebrew prophet : ISAIAH
102 Time anticipated by environmentalists? : GREEN DAY OF RECKONING (Green Day & day of reckoning)
109 Time-honored words : ADAGE
110 It may be requested before a sentence : LENIENCE
111 Much junk mail : SPAM
114 WWI battle river : SOMME
116 Time of preparation : EVE
117 Take effect : SET IN
122 Old Mideast alliance: Abbr. : UAR
123 Bad dream about Cerberus? : THREE-DOG NIGHTMARE (Three Dog Night & nightmare)
127 USMA part, briefly : MIL
128 Beloved 1981 bride : DIANA
129 Memo letters : ATTN
130 Silver State NFLer : RAIDER
131 Sign of a hit : SRO
132 Bier holder : STEIN
133 Aussie hoppers : ROOS
134 Dakota del Norte, por ejemplo : ESTADO

Down

1 Marines NCO : SSGT
2 “Over __!” : HERE
3 Gather : REAP
4 Major suffix : -ETTE
5 Cajole : WHEEDLE
6 Rapper Mos __ : DEF
7 Like lava : MOLTEN
8 Troublemaker : BAD EGG
9 Absorbed, as a cost : ATE
10 Doo-wop syllable : SHA
11 Silk Road desert : GOBI
12 Big sporting spots : ARENAS
13 Bring about : LEAD TO
14 Much : LOTS OF
15 Sound from a flat : SSS
16 Breezed through : ACED
17 __ of thumb : RULE
18 Florida attraction : KEYS
24 Hybrid citrus : UGLI
25 Fantasized : DREAMT
30 Bony prefix : OSTEO-
32 Just managed, with “out” : EKED …
33 “This is so relaxing!” : AHH!
34 Gets ready to drive : TEES UP
36 Winter setting in the Rockies: Abbr. : MST
37 Show off a new outfit, say : TWIRL
38 Pays to play : ANTES UP
39 Film set VIP : DIR
40 Passion : ARDOR
41 Gave it a whirl : TRIED
42 Watchful ones : EYERS
43 Lollapaloozas : PIPS
44 In the Black? : ASEA
49 Top row keyboard key : ESC
50 Had success on the links : SHOT PAR
51 Clark Kent, on Krypton : KAL-EL
53 Post-Trojan War epic : ODYSSEY
54 Prefix with con : NEO-
55 Fellow : GENT
58 Frank of avant-garde rock : ZAPPA
60 Whse. inventory : MDSE
62 Geeky sort : DWEEB
66 Voldemort’s title : LORD
67 Skating gold medalist Ohno : APOLO
68 Certain footrest : OTTOMAN
70 Pacific Division NBA team : SUNS
74 Clear, as a windshield : DEFOG
75 Calculus pioneer : EULER
76 Clear the board : ERASE
77 Genetic material : RNA
78 Curie or Cardin : PIERRE
79 Houston-to-Miami dir. : ESE
81 Restaurant critic Claiborne : CRAIG
82 Raised-chair dance : HORA
83 Sarcophagus symbol : ANKH
89 Second-stringers : B-TEAM
91 Ring ref’s decision : TKO
92 Ransacked : RIFLED
94 #30 on a table : ZINC
97 Last word, say : END
99 Author Kesey : KEN
101 Tabasco time-outs : SIESTAS
103 Brit’s rats? : DASH IT
104 Greek markets : AGORAE
105 Mocha native : YEMENI
106 Grado de examen perfecto : CIENTO
107 Bacon and Smith : KEVINS
108 10 C-notes : ONE G
111 Adding results : SUMS
112 Couple : PAIR
113 1968 self-named folk album : ARLO
115 Have in mind : MEAN
118 Send out : EMIT
119 “Done!” : TA-DA!
120 Ticked off : IRED
121 Roman ruler of ill repute : NERO
123 NFL scores : TDS
124 Dinghy mover : OAR
125 Muscle car in a ’60s hit : GTO
126 Where Charlemagne reigned: Abbr. : HRE

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Aug 20, Sunday”

  1. 12:23, no errors. Overall, much happier with how all the puzzles went. Definitely wondering how much mental state plays into doing these things, as I definitely noticed that to be different this time. Especially, since what amazes me is that sometimes I can spin on a puzzle for 20 minutes with a small handful of answers and then knock out the rest of the thing in 7 minutes and change (how the last Sat NYT went). Or spend 10 minutes on yesterday’s grid before I had enough to have broken into the puzzle.

    About have a book named “Crossworld” by Marc Romano read. More or less it’s his chronicle of a trip to the ACPT, along with some interviews of Shortz and some others. Random observation is that it’s amazing how many of these different books I’ve obtained that BEQ somehow ends up in in some way or another. Interesting is how many ACPT sets I pick up in reading these – this book had another, making it four.

  2. No errors. About an hour. WHEEDLE had me stuck for a while. The theme wasn’t clear until I read Bills comments. Were these bands opening acts? I guess maybe they were at some time??
    I started down in the SE corner and thought this was going to be tough with an uncommon number of spanish references so close together. I was stuck for a bit down there.
    Interesting read on Craig Claiborne. Now that’s what I call pigging out!!
    Be safe

    1. >Were these bands opening acts? I guess maybe they were at some time??

      The title “Opening Act” refers to the position of the band in each theme answer more than anything about the band. One thing to remember about crosswords (moreso British-style cryptics than American-style quick crosswords, but true in both) is that words will often key position or action of a word in another as much or more than describe another word.

      The major difference in the two kinds of puzzles is that the British cryptics will emphasize these kind of meanings in words more – for instance “Guy from Charlottesville” (yesterday) doesn’t refer to a guy that came from Charlottesville, but a guy *in the word* (e.g. that “comes from the word”) Charlottesville. Naturally, if one does full-on cryptics, you’ll see lots more complex clues than that one. But I gather enough are picking up cryptics as a sideline that I wouldn’t be surprised to see more simple cryptic elements appear in the American kind of crosswords in the future.

      1. The human mind can be a very strange device, and I’m becoming increasingly concerned about mine (though I’m convinced that I can still equal Mr. T on that test he was so proud of “acing” 😜). There were two comic strips in yesterday’s paper that I just couldn’t get, so I sent emails to an old friend and got back explanations so obvious that I can’t imagine what my problem was. Then, later in the day, I got to thinking about a distant ancestor of mine who didn’t go along with this wild notion of breaking away from Mother England, so he went off to Canada and became a … person who cuts down trees in the forest for a living … a person with an ax … and a saw … and maybe a plaid shirt … a … a … what? I finally had to turn to Google to find the word “lumberjack”! Weird.

        I am sometimes interrupted by phone calls while doing hard puzzles, and it always irritates me, but, realistically, I should be grateful, because stepping away from the puzzle for a few minutes almost always breaks me out of whatever circular rut I’ve gotten stuck in. Often, all that’s needed is to reformulate whatever question you’re posing to yourself in a different, less restrictive, way.

  3. I solve puzzles for enjoyment and relaxation and this puzzle, like most of the Sunday crosswords, was enjoyable to do. Once I realized the theme it was just a matter of time before finishing. Good job by the constructor.

  4. 1:09:22 no errors despite the cluster of foreign crap
    Some of us were never fortunate enough to earn two or three degrees and speak five or six languages.
    Stay safe😀

  5. 21:46, no errors, no complaints. Well … actually … I didn’t get enough sleep last night … and my arthritic thumbs are acting up … and I’ve got a touch of tendonitis in my heels from walking too much … and I want to go and climb Longs Peak one last time, but I’m afraid it might turn into a one-way trip … and it’s predicted to hit 96 in Denver today … but … what the heck … I’m alive … 😜.

  6. No errors but took awhile. The only thing I confess to looking up
    was the Gronk clue because I’m not in the know about football at
    least about players positions.

  7. Easy for a Sunday, but a good puz with a fun theme, and straightforward clues and answers, for the most part. (But “Brit’s rats”? That’s DA SHIT).

  8. OMG! Instead of being the “bug” (as usual), I was the windshield today — 35 minutes! A personal best for a Sunday. Rock on everyone!!

  9. 20:21 Great time for me! I got the theme early but was looking for what the trailer word to the band’s name was rather than the first word of the band name fronting a “common phrase’ or word. Regardless, I seemed to zip thru this one.

    I also thought there was a lot of Spanish, and not all the “usual Spanish”. For the sunset direction I wanted to put in “ouest”, but that is French, so I needed all the crosses, for example.

  10. 26:12 1 error, 1 lookup, 2 squares where I cycled through the alphabet looking for a fit that made sense.

    Pam Amick Klawitter must be a constructor of a certain age because I recognized all the bands. Zappa, too!

  11. 24:50 and DNF: 3 in the very top right quadrant were my bane today.

    Liked the band pun themes, but found the clueing overall suspect.

    Like “Couples’ refuge?” I couldn’t help thinking Freddy Couples, the golfer. ARK just never entered my thinking. ELY, I never heard of that English town. So it goes, I guess…

  12. Bill, are you sure the first word of the answer to 103 Down shouldn’t “Da”? ;-D>

    Some strike overs but finished without final error. I did have quite a bit of mulling over time with 107 Down. I should have remembered 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon.

  13. Mostly easy Sunday for me; took 42:53 with, I guess one error – I accidentally typed in a 0 instead of O. Nice theme which helped a bit once I got all the easy fill in place.

    In Mexico at least, they seem to use mainly Occidental instead of Oeste, especially in names like for a university.

    I think it’s off the market now but the Greatful Dead’s pad in Palo Alto, when they were still the Warlocks, was on sale just two years ago for only $2.4 million…what a deal:
    https://thesixfifty.com/the-palo-alto-home-where-the-grateful-dead-chose-their-iconic-name-is-up-for-sale-b171183e8afc

    @Carrie – Well I’m still not committed to the season yet, although I did read the Western teams are mostly playing safely, even the ALers. I didn’t see the Cueto game until you mentioned it and watched it on hi (low) lites…yikes!

  14. Aloha y’all!!🦆

    No errors. Easy for a Sunday, and the theme answers were fun.🤗 Took me awhile to get ARK. I also thought of the golfer, tho I know exactly nothing about golf and wouldn’t recognize the guy if he hit me in the head with a club. 😯 Wow that’s a violent picture!! Point made, I guess.

    FWIW– I don’t know why people refer to Green Day as punk – (no
    shade on Bill- it’s a common designation) – they’re pretty mainstream, IMO. I confess I rather like them. Solid band.

    Dirkster- yes, the western division teams seem either careful or lucky….!!

    Be well~~⚾️

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