LA Times Crossword 20 Sep 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Dan Margolis
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Additionally

Themed answers are each common phrases with “-LY” ADDED to the end of one word:

  • 23A Like a three-year-old after a tough year, to Mom? : FINALLY FOUR (from “final four”)
  • 107A Peacock, say? : STATELY BIRD (from “state bird”)
  • 12D Singer Simon, refusing to take a limo? : SELF-DRIVING CARLY (from “self-driving car”)
  • 16D Part-time lawyer? : ATTORNEY, GENERALLY (from “attorney general”)
  • 34D Hospital worker on trial? : ORDERLY IN THE COURT (from “order in the court”)
  • 39D Paul Simon song about a budding international union? : YOU CAN CALL ME ALLY (from “You Can Call Me Al”)

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 18m 52s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • COLECO (Toleco)
  • COASTER (toaster)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Chums, in slang : PEEPS

“Peeps” is a slang term for one’s associates or friends, one’s “people”.

21 “__ we forget” : LEST

“Lest we forget” is an oft-quoted phrase, one that comes from a poem by Rudyard Kipling called “Recessional”. Kipling wrote the piece on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 and used it to express sadness at the waning of the British Empire. The phrase “lest we forget” is used in this context, a warning that the empire will decline. Ever since WWI we’ve been using the words on memorials as a plea not to forget the sacrifices made by others in the past.

23 Like a three-year-old after a tough year, to Mom? : FINALLY FOUR (from “final four”)

In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:

  • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
  • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
  • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

25 Ice formation : FLOE

An ice floe is a sheet of ice that has separated from an ice field and is floating freely on the surface of the ocean.

26 Old Fords : LTDS

There has been a lot of speculation about what the abbreviation “LTD” stands for in the car model known as “Ford LTD”. Many say it is an initialism standing for “Luxury Trim Decor”, and others say that it is short for “limited”. Although the car was produced in Australia with the initialism meaning “Lincoln Type Design”, it seems that “LTD” was originally chosen as just three meaningless letters that sound well together.

27 Noodle : BEAN

“Noodle” and “bean” are slang terms for the head.

28 “Unleaded” drink : DECAF

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.

30 Response to a crash : REBOOT

The verb “to boot”, as used in the world of computers, comes from the phrase “pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps”. The idea is that the software that has to be loaded before a computer can do anything useful is called a “bootstrap load”.

32 Quarantine : ISOLATE

The original use of our word “quarantine”, back in the 1500s, was as a legal term. A quarantine was the 40 days in which a widow had the legal right to reside in her dead husband’s house.

36 Key of Brahms’ First Piano Concerto : D MINOR

Johannes Brahms finished his “Piano Concerto No. 1” in 1858. When it premiered the following year, it was his first-performed orchestral work.

38 Beat the wheat : THRESH

Years ago I was taking a tour of a beautiful Elizabethan manor house in England, and was told a little “threshing” story by the guide as we stood in one of the rooms. She reminded us that threshing was the removal of seeds from chaff, and told us that back in the day the “chaff” was sometimes called the “thresh”. Thresh would be used on the floors, particularly in the kitchen areas where it would soak up spills and provide some thermal insulation, much as sawdust was used in my favorite pubs many moons ago. She pointed to two slots at the bottom of the door jambs where she said a low board was placed upright on the floor, to “hold” the “thresh” in the room. The board was called a “thresh-hold”, giving us our contemporary word “threshold”. I am not sure if all of that is really true, but it makes a nice story …

39 Gossipy type : YENTA

“Yenta” (also “Yente”) is actually a female Yiddish name. In Yiddish theater “yenta” came to mean a busybody, a gossip.

47 Daybreak deity : EOS

In Greek mythology, Eos was the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos was Aurora. Rather delightfully, Homer referred to Eos as “rosy-fingered dawn” in both “Iliad” and “Odyssey”.

49 West Yorkshire city : LEEDS

I went to school for a while not far from Leeds in West Yorkshire in the north of England. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, Leeds was a major center for the production and trading of wool, and then with the onset of mechanization it became a natural hub for manufacture of textiles. These days Leeds is noted as a shopping destination and so has been dubbed “the Knightsbridge of the North”.

53 “His Dark Materials” protagonist : LYRA

“His Dark Materials” is a fantasy television series based on the epic trilogy of novels of the same name by Philip Pullman. Not for me …

55 __ drop : MIC

A mic drop takes place when a performer has done particularly well and decides to celebrate by throwing or dropping the microphone to the floor. That doesn’t seem to happen at the performances I tend to frequent …

56 Business casual choice : KHAKIS

“Khaki” is an Urdu word that translates literally as “dusty”. The word was adopted for its current use as the name of a fabric by the British cavalry in India in the mid-1800s.

59 Result of a three-putt, maybe : BOGEY

The golfing term “bogey” originated at the Great Yarmouth Golf Club in England in 1890, and was used to indicate a total round that was one-over-par (and not one-over-par on a particular hole, as it is today). The name “bogey” came from a music hall song of the time “Here Comes the Bogeyman”. In the following years it became popular for players trying to stay at par to be “playing against Colonel Bogey”. Then, during WWI, the marching tune “Colonel Bogey” was written and named after the golfing term. If you don’t recognize the name of the tune, it’s the one that’s whistled by the soldiers marching in the great movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”.

60 Thin coating : LAMINA

A lamina is a layer, plate or scale. “Lamina” is Latin for “thin slice”.

62 Collegian’s diet staple : RAMEN

Ramen is a noodle dish composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish broth flavored with soy or miso sauce. Ramen is usually topped with sliced pork and dried seaweed. The term “ramen” is also used for precooked, instant noodles that come in single-serving, solid blocks.

64 Poet contemporary of Milton : DRYDEN

John Dryden was a highly influential poet and playwright in the late 1600s. He came from good literary stock, and was a cousin once-removed of Jonathan Swift. Dryden was made England’s first Poet Laureate, in 1668.

English poet John Milton is best known for his epic poem “Paradise Lost”. Milton also wrote several sonnets, the most famous of which is probably “On His Blindness”. The poet developed glaucoma which rendered him completely blind so he had to dictate a lot of his work, including the whole of “Paradise Lost”.

68 Start of a classic JFK challenge : ASK NOT …

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” is a passage from the famous inaugural address delivered by President John F. Kennedy in January 1961. Although it is generally regarded as one of the best inaugural addresses, it is the fourth shortest, taking just 13m 59s to deliver from start to finish.

69 Cereal fruit : RAISIN

“Raisin” is the French word for “grape”. The French for “raisin” is “raisin sec”, which translates literally as “dried grape”.

71 It’s often said with a smile : CHEESE

Photographers often instruct us to say “cheese” to elicit a smile-like expression. Even Japanese photographers use the word “cheese” to achieve the same effect. Bulgarians use the word “zele” meaning “cabbage”. The Chinese say “eggplant”, the Danish “orange”, the Iranians “apple” and many Latin Americans say “whiskey”.

74 Santana with 10 Grammys : CARLOS

Carlos Santana is a Mexican-American rock guitar player, famous for heading the band called Santana who melded rock music with Latin and African themes.

75 Chicago’s __ Center : AON

The Aon Center in Chicago is the third-tallest building in the city. There is also an Aon Center in Los Angeles that is the second-tallest building in that city.

76 TV drama settings : ERS

Emergency room (ER)

78 First name in blues : ETTA

Etta James was best known for her beautiful rendition of the song “At Last”. Sadly, as she disclosed in her autobiography, James lived a life that was ravaged by drug addiction leading to numerous legal and health problems. Ms. James passed away in January 2012 having suffered from leukemia.

79 Baba in a cave : ALI

In the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, the title character is a poor woodcutter who discovers the magic phrase “open sesame” that opens the thieves’ den.

80 “__ Miniver” : MRS

“Mrs. Miniver” is a 1942 movie starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon that is based on a 1940 book of the same name by Jan Struther. The book itself is actually a compilation of newspaper columns that Struther wrote for “The Times” of London. The columns were reflections of daily life in the run up to WWII as seen through the eyes of the fictional “Mrs. Miniver”. When the film was completed, President Roosevelt stepped in and had it rushed to theaters as he believed it would help convince the American people that the US needed to intervene in the war raging in Europe.

81 Qualifying races : HEATS

The term “heat”, meaning “qualifying race”, dates back to the 1660s. Originally, a heat was a run given to a horse to prepare it for a race, to “heat” it up.

84 Short program : APPLET

“Applet” is the name given to a small application that runs within another larger computer program.

87 1980s Cabbage Patch Kids producer : COLECO

The company that we now know as Coleco was founded in 1932 as the Connecticut Leather Company (which became abbreviated to “Coleco”). Coleco’s most famous products are probably video game consoles and Cabbage Patch Kids.

The dolls known as the Cabbage Patch Kids were introduced in 1978, and were a huge fad through most of the eighties.

89 NASA vehicle : LEM

In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

90 Spot for a spot : TEAROOM

I guess the reference here is to the oft-quoted British phrase “a spot of tea”. Mind you, I’ve only ever heard that said in jest …

94 2001 French title heroine : AMELIE

“Amélie” is a 2001 French film, a romantic comedy about a shy waitress in Montmartre, Paris played by Audrey Tautou (who also played the female lead in “The Da Vinci Code”). The movie was originally released under the French title, “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain” (“The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain”).’

96 Carnival ride? : CRUISE

The Carnival Cruise Line was founded in 1972, and had over 20 vessels in operation at the height of its success. Three of those Carnival ships were chartered by the US government in the wake of Hurricane Katrina so that they could provide temporary housing for families displaced by the storm.

97 Bar request : NEAT

A drink served neat is served without ice, not on the rocks.

98 It relieves pain : ANODYNE

Something described as “anodyne” is analgesic, capable of removing pain. “Anodyne” comes from the Greek “an-” meaning “without” and “odyne” meaning “pain”.

99 Summer ermines : STOATS

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.

101 Auspices : AEGIS

Someone is said to be under the aegis (also “egis”) of someone else if that other person provides protection, or perhaps sponsorship. The word “aegis” comes from the Greek word for a goat (“aigis”). The idea is that the goatskin shield or breastplate, worn by both Zeus and Athena, gave some measure of protection.

To be under the auspices of someone is to be enjoying that person’s patronage and guidance.

103 Bit of handiwork? : MANI

Manicure (mani)

105 Earthenware pot : OLLA

An olla is a traditional clay pot used for the making of stews. “Olla” was the Latin word used in ancient Rome to describe a similar type of pot.

107 Peacock, say? : STATELY BIRD (from “state bird”)

The male peafowl is known as a peacock, and the female a peahen. The peafowl’s young are sometimes called peachicks.

113 Pearl Mosque locale : AGRA

The Moti Masjid in Agra, India is also known as the Pearl Mosque, reflecting the fact that the building’s beautiful white facade shines like a pearl. The Moti Masjid was built by the Shah Jahan, the same emperor who built Agra’s most famous structure, the Taj Mahal.

114 Guitarist Lofgren : NILS

The musician Nils Lofgren was a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band for over 25 years. Lofgren provided vocals and played guitar, and was hired as the replacement for Steven Van Zandt.

116 MGM Resorts reward program : M LIFE

MGM Resorts International is the name given to a chain of hotel resorts and casinos, including the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The MGM Grand Las Vegas was the largest hotel in the world when it opened in 1993.

117 Damon or Dillon : MATT

Matt Damon is an actor and screenwriter from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Damon’s big break came with the 1997 movie “Good Will Hunting”, in which he starred. He co-wrote the screenplay with his childhood friend Ben Affleck.

Matt Dillon is a Hollywood actor who came to prominence as a teen idol in the eighties. Dillon’s most lauded performance might be the supporting role he played in the 2004 film “Crash”, as LAPD officer John Ryan. Matt’s brother is Kevin Dillon, who plays Johnny “Drama” Chase on HBO’s “Entourage”.

118 Eyelid problem : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

120 Fancy watch brand : SEIKO

Watch manufacturer Seiko was founded as a watch and jewelry shop in Tokyo in 1881. The store was opened by one Kintaro Hattori, who started to produce clocks under the name Seikosha, which can be translated as “House of Exquisite Workmanship”. The first Seiko watches went on sale in 1924, and today the company suggests that the name “Seiko” is Japanese for “exquisite” and “success”.

Down

1 Whistler, at times : REF

Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

2 Israeli weapon : UZI

The first Uzi submachine gun was designed in the late 1940s by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal of the Israel Defense Forces, who gave his name to the gun.

3 Pulitzer winner __-Manuel Miranda : LIN

Lin-Manuel Miranda is a composer and playwright from New York City, and the creator and star of the hit Broadway musicals “Hamilton” and “In the Heights”. Miranda also co-wrote the songs for the 2016 Disney animated feature “Moana”. He started composing early, and wrote jingles as a child. One of those jingles was later used by Eliot Spitzer in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

5 Paramount issues? : RELEASES

Paramount Pictures is one of the oldest surviving film studios, and is the last major studio that still has its headquarters in Hollywood. Paramount was founded in 1912 as the Famous Players Film Company by Adolph Zukor, with partners Daniel and Charles Frohman. Paramount is now owned by Viacom.

6 Alexander who directed “Nebraska” and “Sideways” : PAYNE

Alexander Payne is a film director from Omaha, Nebraska. Payne’s most famous movies would be “Election” (1999), “About Schmidt” (2002) and “Sideways” (2004), all of which I would recommend. Payne was married for a few years to actress Sandra Oh, whom he directed in the film “Sideways”.

“Nebraska” is a really interesting 2013 movie starring Bruce Dern as an elderly man who heads to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect a million-dollar sweepstakes prize that is clearly a scam. This one is filmed in black & white, which adds to the mood nicely. I noticed that a local movie theater here did a one-day showing of a color version.

“Sideways” is a marvelous 2004 film that is an adaptation of a 2004 novel of the same name. In fact, “Sideways” is the first in a trilogy of comedic wine-themed novels by Rex Pickett, and was followed by “Vertical” (2010) and “Sideways 3 Chile” (2015). The “Sideways” movie stars Paul Giamatti as a depressed teacher and writer accompanying his friend on trip through wine country prior to that friend’s upcoming wedding. Great stuff …

8 Fair-hiring abbr. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

9 “Immortal word” in a Bush 41 quote of Dana Carvey : PRUDENT

When Dana Carvey performed his famous impression of President Geroge H. W. Bush, one of his favored lines was:

Wouldn’t be prudent, wouldn’t be prudent at this juncture.

10 Main follower? : STREET

The most common street name in the US is “Second Street”. “First Street” comes in only at number three, and this is because many cities and towns forgo the use of “First” and instead go with “Main” or something more historical in nature. The spooky “Elm Street” appears on the list at number fifteen.

11 Code word for “A” : ALFA

The NATO phonetic alphabet is also called the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet. It goes Alfa, Bravo, Charlie … X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

12 Singer Simon, refusing to take a limo? : SELF-DRIVING CARLY (from “self-driving car”)

Carly Simon is a fabulous singer-songwriter who had her break in the 1970s with a series of hit records including “You’re So Vain” and “Nobody Does It Better”. Simon was married for over ten years to fellow singer-songwriter James Taylor.

13 Prefix with -bar : ISO-

An isobar is a line on a weather map connecting points of equal barometric pressure.

15 Fictional boxer’s surname : BALBOA

If ever there was a movie that defines a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing the title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

16 Part-time lawyer? : ATTORNEY, GENERALLY (from “attorney general”)

Attorneys General (AGs) head up the Department of Justice (DOJ). When the office of the Attorney General was created in 1789 it was a part-time job, with no departmental support. The Department of Justice came into being in 1870.

18 Catbird seat? : NEST

The idiomatic phrase “the catbird seat” is used to describe an enviable position in which one has the upper hand. The first documented use of the expression is in a 1942 story by James Thurber called “The Catbird Seat”.

24 Wooden slats : LATHS

The words “lath” and “lattice” have the same root in Old French. Laths are thin strips of wood that are nailed across a frame forming a backing to which plaster can be applied to finish a wall. The term is also used for the main elements in a trellis, or the lengths of wood in a roof to which shingles are nailed.

31 Lover of Geraint : ENID

Enid is a Welsh name, from “einit” an old Welsh word meaning “purity”. Enid was the wife of Geraint, one of King Arthur’s knights. Enid is described as “the personification of spotless purity”.

39 Paul Simon song about a budding international union? : YOU CAN CALL ME ALLY (from “You Can Call Me Al”)

“You Can Call Me Al” is a song by Paul Simon that leads off his 1986 “Graceland” album.

41 Whom picadors assist : TORERO

“Toreador” is an old Spanish word meaning “bullfighter”, but it’s a term not used any more in Spain nor in Latin America. In English we use the term “toreador”, but in Spanish a bullfighter is a “torero”. A female bullfighter in a “torera”.

In Spanish bullfighting, picadors are horsemen that take on a bull in pairs, using lances to jab the poor creature. The picadors have a specific job, to lacerate the muscle on the back of the bull’s neck and to fatigue him before the toreros (bullfighters) are let loose.

46 Idol whose fans are called Claymates : AIKEN

Clay Aiken is one of the singing stars discovered on “American Idol”. Aiken had filled out an application to appear on the show “Amazing Race”, but a friend persuaded him to try out for “American Idol” instead. Fans of Clay Aiken call themselves “Claymates”. Aiken ventured into politics in 2014, winning the Democratic primary in the race for House Representative in the second congressional district of North Carolina. Aiken ultimately lost the race to the Republican incumbent.

50 Waters near Jericho : DEAD SEA

The Middle East’s Dead Sea lies more than 1,400 feet below sea level, making it the lowest point on the Earth’s landmass. It is also one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, with a salt content that is almost ten times that of most oceans.

Jericho is a city located in the West Bank in the Middle East. The celebrated Wall of Jericho is believed to be the oldest city wall in the world, dating back to about 8000 BCE.

53 Gander : LOOK-SEE

To take a gander is to take a long look. “Gander” is a term we’ve been using in this sense since the 1880s, coming from the idea that in taking a long look one might be craning one’s neck like a goose (or gander).

55 Twins’ home: Abbr. : MINN

The Minnesota Twins baseball team started out life as the Kansas City Blues in 1894, before becoming the Washington Senators in 1901. The team arrived in Minneapolis in 1961.

56 Whale food : KRILL

Krill are small, shrimp-like crustaceans that live in the oceans. Krill feed on plankton, and in turn, krill are the main part of the diet of larger animals such as whales, seals and penguins. There’s an awful lot of krill in the world, an estimated 500,000,000 tonnes of it. That’s about twice the biomass of humans on the planet!

57 Winnie-the-Pooh greeting : HALLO

Before the 1880s, the most popular greeting in English was “hallo” or “hullo”. The use of “hello” became popular along with the proliferation of telephones. When the telephone was invented, Alexander Graham Bell suggested that the greeting “Ahoy” be used when answering. Thomas Edison preferred “Hello”, which won out. By the end of the 1880s, telephone operators were being referred to as “hello-girls”.

59 Big name in audio systems : BOSE

Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Amar G. Bose, and is a company that specializes in manufacture of audio equipment.

61 Israel’s Iron Lady : MEIR

Golda Meir was known as the “Iron Lady” when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before that sobriquet came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson, at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921, when she was in her twenties. Meir had been active in politics in the US, and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII, and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the state of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country, Meir had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974, saying that was what the people wanted.

63 Battle of Normandy city : CAEN

Caen, on the River Orne, lies in the Calvados department of France in the northwest of the country. Caen is famous for the WWII Battle of Caen that left the town practically destroyed. Caen is also the burial place of Norman King William I of England, also known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

64 Martini comparative : DRIER

The term “martini” probably takes its name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis, and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noël Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

67 Home with a view : AERIE

An aerie is an eagle’s nest, and is also known as an “eyrie”. The term “aerie” more generally describes any bird’s nest that is located on a cliff or a mountaintop.

72 Stockings : HOSE

The word “hose” meaning “covering for the leg” has the same roots as the contemporary German word “Hose” meaning “trousers, pants”.

74 Guitar accessories : CAPOS

A capo is a clamp-like device that is placed around the neck of a guitar or other stringed instrument to shorten the strings, and hence raise the pitch. The full name, rarely used these days, is “capo tasto”, which is Italian for “head tie”.

77 Draft holder : STEIN

A stein is a type of beer glass. The term is German in origin, and is short for “Steinkrug” meaning “stone jug”. “Stein” is German for “stone”.

80 Chamonix peak : MONT

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is on the eastern border of France, in the Alps. Famously it was the site of the 1924 Winter Olympics, the first ever Winter Games.

81 Common features of wordplay : HOMONYMS

Homophones are words that are pronounced in the same way (e.g., ere, air, err and heir). Homonyms are a subset of homophones, and are words that have the same spelling and the same pronunciation but different meanings, for example, skate (a fish) and skate (worn on the foot).

82 Bob Hoskins’ role in “Hook” : SMEE

“Hook” is a very enjoyable 1991 movie directed by Steven Spielberg that is based on J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel “Peter and Wendy”. Spielberg elicited great performances from a great cast in “Hook”. Included in the cast are Robin Williams as Peter, Dustin Hoffman as Hook, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, Bob Hoskins as Smee and Maggie Smith as a mature Wendy.

Bob Hoskins was an English actor who is perhaps best remembered for playing the male lead in “Mona Lisa” (1986), Mario Mario in “Super Mario Bros.” (1993) and Mr. Smee in “Hook” (1991).

87 “The drink’s on me” speaker? : COASTER

A coaster is a small mat or plate that goes under a glass or cup. Back in the late 1800s, the original coaster was a small drink-stand that sat on a table. As the drink-stand “coasted” around from guest-to-guest, it earned the name “coaster”.

88 Lock site : CANAL

A lock is a structure that is used to raise and lower watercraft between stretches of a canal that are at different water levels. Locks are included in canals so that the waterway can cross land that is not level.

91 Turkey’s highest peak : ARARAT

Mount Ararat is in Turkey. It is a snow-capped, dormant volcano with two peaks. The higher of the two, Greater Ararat, is the tallest peak in the country. Ararat takes its name from a legendary Armenian hero called Ara the Beautiful (or “Ara the Handsome”). According to the Book of Genesis, Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat as the Great Flood subsided.

93 Performer with many fans? : GEISHA

The Japanese term “geisha” best translates as “artist” or “performing artist”.

98 Add a rider to, say : AMEND

The verb “to amend” means “to change for the better, put right, alter by adding”. The related verb “to emend” is used more rarely, and mainly in reference to the editing of professional writing. Both terms are derived from the Latin “emendare” meaning “to remove fault”.

99 Cybernuisance : 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 …

100 When repeated, “Animal House” chant : TOGA!

The very funny 1978 movie “Animal House” has the prefix “National Lampoon’s …” because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in “National Lampoon” magazine. “Animal House” was to become the first in a long line of successful “National Lampoon” films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent “Amadeus”, and Stephen Furst (Flounder), who later played a regular role on television’s “Babylon 5”.

106 Blitzed : LIT

“Blitzed” and “lit” are slang terms for “drunk”.

108 “Better Call Saul” network : AMC

AMC, formerly known as “American Movie Classics”, is one of my favorite television channels. Although the channel’s focus has shifted from airing classic movies to including other programming, there’s still a lot of quality output. AMC’s flagship shows are “Mad Men”, “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”.

The AMC drama “Breaking Bad” is a well-written show about a high school teacher stricken by lung cancer who turns to a life of crime to make money. It turns out that the teacher has a talent for making high-quality crystal meth. The show was created by Vince Gilligan who had spent many years as a producer and writer of “The X-Files”. There is a “Breaking Bad” spin-off show running on AMC called “Better Call Saul” that focuses on the life of lawyer Saul Goodman. To be honest, I enjoyed “Better Call Saul” even more than the original show …

110 George __, first king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland : III

George III was King of Great Britain and Ireland until 1801, at which time he became the first king of the new state known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. George III was on the throne during turbulent times. He saw Britain defeat France in the Seven Years’ War, Britain lose in the American War of Independence, and the defeat of Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo. Famously, George became quite mad towards the end of his life. During that period, his eldest son George ruled as Prince Regent.

111 What D.C. Stadium was renamed in 1969 : RFK

Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Memorial Stadium opened in 1961 as the District of Columbia Stadium, and is actually owned by the District of Columbia. The stadium was renamed in 1969, a few months after Robert Kennedy was assassinated. Kennedy had been instrumental in the racial integration of the Washington Redskins who played in the stadium for 36 seasons. As Attorney General, Kennedy threatened to oust the Redskins from the federally-owned stadium unless the team agreed to sign African-American players.

112 __ volente : DEO

“Deo volente” is Latin for “God willing”. If you read letters or emails from Ireland, you might come across “D.V.” in the text, as it is an abbreviation that we Irish commonly use to mean “God willing” or “Please God”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Help in drawing the line : RULER
6 Chums, in slang : PEEPS
11 Garage sale caution : AS IS
15 Classic square-dancing site : BARN
19 Web mag : E-ZINE
20 Not missing a trick : ALERT
21 “__ we forget” : LEST
22 Suit to __ : A TEE
23 Like a three-year-old after a tough year, to Mom? : FINALLY FOUR (from “final four”)
25 Ice formation : FLOE
26 Old Fords : LTDS
27 Noodle : BEAN
28 “Unleaded” drink : DECAF
30 Response to a crash : REBOOT
32 Quarantine : ISOLATE
35 Dog command : HEEL!
36 Key of Brahms’ First Piano Concerto : D MINOR
38 Beat the wheat : THRESH
39 Gossipy type : YENTA
40 Counting (on) : RELIANT
42 Was in front : LED
43 Accompanist? : ESCORT
45 Provided service for, as tables : WAITED
47 Daybreak deity : EOS
49 West Yorkshire city : LEEDS
51 Color distinction : HUE
52 What may be added to impress? : -IVE
53 “His Dark Materials” protagonist : LYRA
54 Before, before : PRE-
55 __ drop : MIC
56 Business casual choice : KHAKIS
59 Result of a three-putt, maybe : BOGEY
60 Thin coating : LAMINA
62 Collegian’s diet staple : RAMEN
63 Doves and loves : COOERS
64 Poet contemporary of Milton : DRYDEN
66 Sticking, as a landing : NAILING
68 Start of a classic JFK challenge : ASK NOT …
69 Cereal fruit : RAISIN
70 Spreadsheet units : CELLS
71 It’s often said with a smile : CHEESE
73 Personal : INNER
74 Santana with 10 Grammys : CARLOS
75 Chicago’s __ Center : AON
76 TV drama settings : ERS
78 First name in blues : ETTA
79 Baba in a cave : ALI
80 “__ Miniver” : MRS
81 Qualifying races : HEATS
83 Rallying word : RAH!
84 Short program : APPLET
87 1980s Cabbage Patch Kids producer : COLECO
89 NASA vehicle : LEM
90 Spot for a spot : TEAROOM
92 Torment : AGONY
94 2001 French title heroine : AMELIE
96 Carnival ride? : CRUISE
97 Bar request : NEAT
98 It relieves pain : ANODYNE
99 Summer ermines : STOATS
101 Auspices : AEGIS
103 Bit of handiwork? : MANI
104 Come down hard : POUR
105 Earthenware pot : OLLA
107 Peacock, say? : STATELY BIRD (from “state bird”)
113 Pearl Mosque locale : AGRA
114 Guitarist Lofgren : NILS
115 Surround : HEM IN
116 MGM Resorts reward program : M LIFE
117 Damon or Dillon : MATT
118 Eyelid problem : STYE
119 Like horseshoes : ARCED
120 Fancy watch brand : SEIKO

Down

1 Whistler, at times : REF
2 Israeli weapon : UZI
3 Pulitzer winner __-Manuel Miranda : LIN
4 Pave the way for : ENABLE
5 Paramount issues? : RELEASES
6 Alexander who directed “Nebraska” and “Sideways” : PAYNE
7 Little helper : ELF
8 Fair-hiring abbr. : EEO
9 “Immortal word” in a Bush 41 quote of Dana Carvey : PRUDENT
10 Main follower? : STREET
11 Code word for “A” : ALFA
12 Singer Simon, refusing to take a limo? : SELF-DRIVING CARLY (from “self-driving car”)
13 Prefix with -bar : ISO-
14 Unproductive : STERILE
15 Fictional boxer’s surname : BALBOA
16 Part-time lawyer? : ATTORNEY, GENERALLY (from “attorney general”)
17 Make over : REDO
18 Catbird seat? : NEST
24 Wooden slats : LATHS
29 Shellfish serving : CLAW
31 Lover of Geraint : ENID
32 “__ never work” : IT’LL
33 Easily led sorts : SHEEP
34 Hospital worker on trial? : ORDERLY IN THE COURT (from “order in the court”)
35 “Come __!” : HERE
37 Allots, with “out” : METES …
39 Paul Simon song about a budding international union? : YOU CAN CALL ME ALLY (from “You Can Call Me Al”)
41 Whom picadors assist : TORERO
44 __ music: idle talk : CHIN
46 Idol whose fans are called Claymates : AIKEN
48 “What __ thou?” : SAYST
50 Waters near Jericho : DEAD SEA
53 Gander : LOOK-SEE
55 Twins’ home: Abbr. : MINN
56 Whale food : KRILL
57 Winnie-the-Pooh greeting : HALLO
58 Out of whack : AMISS
59 Big name in audio systems : BOSE
61 Israel’s Iron Lady : MEIR
63 Battle of Normandy city : CAEN
64 Martini comparative : DRIER
65 Go off on : RANT AT
67 Home with a view : AERIE
72 Stockings : HOSE
74 Guitar accessories : CAPOS
77 Draft holder : STEIN
80 Chamonix peak : MONT
81 Common features of wordplay : HOMONYMS
82 Bob Hoskins’ role in “Hook” : SMEE
84 Stuck, after “in” : … A RUT
85 Contaminates : POISONS
86 Zest : TANG
87 “The drink’s on me” speaker? : COASTER
88 Lock site : CANAL
91 Turkey’s highest peak : ARARAT
93 Performer with many fans? : GEISHA
95 Fit to serve : EDIBLE
98 Add a rider to, say : AMEND
99 Cybernuisance : SPAM
100 When repeated, “Animal House” chant : TOGA!
102 Facilitate : EASE
106 Blitzed : LIT
108 “Better Call Saul” network : AMC
109 20-20, e.g. : TIE
110 George __, first king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland : III
111 What D.C. Stadium was renamed in 1969 : RFK
112 __ volente : DEO

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Sep 20, Sunday”

  1. Like most Sunday puzzles it was enjoyable to solve. Clever theme which I caught onto early enough to help me to the finish line. Interesting that constructor had clues for Paul Simon and Carly Simon.

  2. Took nearly an hour and a half and then when I did a check grid I still had 10 mistakes. Why didn’t I just give up? Too many I didn’t like to mention.

  3. 21:48, 2 errors. At least I can say today’s batch was a lot more tolerable…though I can’t say I’m happy with how I did with them all.

  4. 32:08. Like Bill, had TOASTER, moved on to ROASTER, finalLY (see how I also snuck in that LY) COASTER. 8D – Never sure if it’s EEO or EOE (Equal opportunity employer). Always need crosses. The first down for Simon (12D), I thought of Paul Simon – even tho he’s explicitly called out in 39D and couldn’t shake that until the end when the light went on. THRESH before THRASH, RELYING before RELIANT, PATINA before LAMINA, and more.

  5. One wrong letter leading to two incorrect answers. I had “ave.” for 52 Across rather than “ive” so that gave me a wrong ending going across and a wrong name “Aaken” rather than the correct “Aiken” for 46 Down. D’oh!

  6. Had an “a” when I should have had an “i” in 52 Across giving two incorrect answers (including an answer of “Aaken” instead of “Aiken” for 46 Down, leading to me saying “D’oh!”).

  7. 31 minutes 25 seconds and DNF. A section in the low middle area that was just one big natick. So many of these clues were nonsensical, and the theme just idiotic.

    Starting to think I need a break from this puzzle…

      1. Amen! But … one learns to cherish those precious moments when Allen actually has something good to say about a puzzle … 😜.

  8. This mostly a test to see if posting here has recovered from its malaise.

    I spent the last couple of hours walking and, among other things, collecting seeds from a plant that my iPad app “PictureThis” tells me is a kind of bee balm. I’m unfamiliar with it, but it’s been blooming all summer long and, indeed, the bees seem to love it, so, if I can get some going in my measly little yard, I will have many sweet companions there … 😜.

    1. What’s a natick?

      A way too obscure crossword puzzle answer based on the example of a word used in crosswordese, coined by blogger Rex Parker, meaning two crossing words/clues that very very few people would know. As an example, one clue would be “A town in the eighth mile of the Bostom marathon” Answer-Natick

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