LA Times Crossword 11 Oct 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: John Lampkin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Yes, But Is It Art?

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted with reference to the world of art:

  • 23A Molding okra likenesses? : POD CASTING
  • 25A Accumulation after many oil changes? : BRUSH PILES
  • 35A Housekeeper-artist barter agreement? : DUSTING FOR PRINTS
  • 56A Asset for sketching the human body? : A HEAD FOR FIGURES
  • 80A Traditional Western song to sing while cleaning up the atelier? : GOODBYE, OLD PAINT
  • 98A Sculpting painstakingly, as ice? : LICKING INTO SHAPE
  • 115A Foundation for nude sketches? : BOTTOM LINE
  • 117A Color for a “Starry” Dutch classic? : NIGHT SHADE

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

Bill’s time: 20m 23s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • PESTY (pests!)
  • YU-GI-OH! (Su-gi-oh!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 They often offer free Wi-Fi : CAFES

“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

6 Julie’s “East of Eden” role : ABRA

Abra Bacon is a character in John Steinbeck’s novel “East of Eden”. She was played by Julie Harris in the 1955 big-screen adaptation of the novel.

Julie Harris was an actress best-known for her work on the stage, and the winner of five Best Actress in a Play Tony Awards. She is best-known to movie audiences probably for playing the female lead in 1955’s “East of Eden”, opposite James Dean in his first major film role. On the small screen, Harris played country singer Lilimae Clements on “Knots Landing” in the 1980s.

10 Bygone Swedish wheels : SAAB

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

14 Suit material : LIBEL

The word “libel” describes a published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation. It comes into English from the Latin “libellus”, the word for a small book. Back in the 1500s, libel was just a formal written statement, with the more damaging association arising in the 1600s. The related concept of slander is defamation in a transient form, such as speech, sign language or gestures.

20 Fruity commercial prefix : CRAN-

When early European settlers came across red berries growing in the bogs of the northern part of America, they felt that the plant’s flower and stem resembled the head and bill of a crane. As such, they called the plant “craneberry”, which evolved into “cranberry”.

21 Up-in-the-air bear : URSA

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

23 Molding okra likenesses? : POD CASTING

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for its edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

A podcast is basically an audio or video media file that is made available for download. The name comes from the acronym “POD” meaning “playable on demand”, and “cast” from “broadcasting”. So, basically a podcast is a broadcast that one can play on demand, simply by downloading and opening the podcast file.

27 Therefore : ERGO

“Ergo” is a Latin word meaning “hence, therefore”, and one that we absorbed directly into English.

30 Singer? : STOOLIE

Stoolies, also called “canaries”, will sing to the cops given the right incentive. “Stoolie” is short for “stool pigeon”. A stool pigeon was a decoy bird tied to a stool so as to lure other pigeons. Originally a stoolie was a decoy for the police, rather than an informer, hence the name.

31 Cube-ic Rubik : ERNO

What was originally called the “Magic Cube” became better known as “Rubik’s Cube”, and was named for its inventor Ernő Rubik. Rubik’s Cube is the world’s biggest selling puzzle game, with over 350 million sold in just over 30 years.

33 “__ Rebel”: 1962 hit : HE’S A

Gene Pitney wrote the sixties hit song “He’s a Rebel”, and he intended it to be recorded by the Shirelles. The Shirelles passed on the song, and so producer Phil Spector gave the song to the Crystals. At the time the song’s recording was scheduled, the Crystals were on tour so Spector had Darlene Love perform the song in the studio, backed by the Blossoms. But when the recording was released, the song was credited to the Crystals and they had to add it to their concert repertoire. So, the Crystals had a number one hit that they didn’t even record!

40 Dirty Harry’s org. : SFPD

The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is the 11th largest police department in the country. The SFPD dates back to the days of the Gold Rush, being founded in 1849 as a force of 35 officers. SFPD has featured a lot in movies and on television. The most famous films are probably “Bullitt”, the “Dirty Harry” series and “48 Hrs.” On television there was “Ironside”, “The Streets of San Francisco” and “Monk”.

“Dirty Harry” Callahan was the protagonist in a series of five movies starring Clint Eastwood:

  • “Dirty Harry” (1971)
  • “Magnum Force” (1973)
  • “The Enforcer” (1976)
  • “Sudden Impact” (1983)
  • “The Dead Pool” (1988)

44 Classic pops : NEHIS

Claude A. Hatcher ran a grocery store in Columbus, Georgia. He decided to develop his own soft drink formula when he balked at the price his store was being charged for Coca-Cola syrup. Hatcher launched the Union Bottling Works in his own grocery store, and introduced Royal Crown Ginger Ale in 1905. The Union Bottling Works was renamed to Chero-Cola in 1910, the Nehi Corporation in 1925, and Royal Crown Company in the mid-fifties. The first RC Cola hit the market in 1934.

45 Like no-see-ums : PESTY

“No-see-um” is a familiar term used in North America for the small flies known as biting midges. We call them “midgies” in Ireland …

47 Schwarz of toys : FAO

FAO Schwarz was perhaps the most famous, and certainly the oldest, toy store in the United States. The FAO Schwarz outlet on Fifth Avenue in New York City closed in 2015. This store was famously used in several Hollywood movies. For example, it was home to the Walking Piano that Tom Hanks played in the movie “Big”.

60 Two-handed tool : SLEDGE

A sledgehammer is a big hammer, one used to apply a lot of force. The word “sledgehammer” comes from the Anglo Saxon “Slaegan” meaning “to strike violently”. “Slaegan” is also the root of the words “slag”, “slay” and “slog”.

68 Philippines’ highest peak: Abbr. : MT APO

Mount Apo is on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. “Apo” means “master” or “grandfather”, which is an appropriate name for the highest mountain in the country. Mount Apo has been a national park since 1936.

72 Very little, to Vivaldi : POCO

“Poco” is an Italian word for “little”, and is used in musical notation to mean “a little, slightly”.

Antonio Vivaldi was one of the great composers of the Baroque period. He achieved fame and success within his own lifetime, notoriety that faded soon after he died. Vivaldi’s music has reemerged in recent decades and I am sure everyone is familiar with at least part of his most famous composition, the violin concerto called “The Four Seasons”. Vivaldi was nicknamed “The Red Priest” because he was indeed a priest, and he had red hair.

80 Traditional Western song to sing while cleaning up the atelier? : GOODBYE, OLD PAINT

“Goodbye, Old Paint” is a traditional Western song that dates back at least to the early 1920s. It’s not clear who wrote the song, but it is associated with cattle drives.

84 Flu symptom : AGUE

An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.

87 High-level banking aids : AILERONS

In traditional aircraft designs, pitch is controlled by the elevator and roll is controlled by the aileron. On some newer aircraft these two functions are combined into control surfaces called “elevons”.

91 Augustus’ devious wife : LIVIA

Livia Drusilla (aka “Julia Augusta”) was the third wife of the Emperor Augustus, and a powerful woman in the Roman Empire. In the exceptional fictional work “I, Claudius” by Robert Graves, Livia doesn’t come across at all well. She is portrayed as quite the schemer, and very much the key individual who led to her grandson Claudius winning the imperial throne.

Gaius Octavius Thurinus (often called “Octavian”) was the adopted son of Gaius Julius Caesar. After Julius Caesar was assassinated, Octavian came to power in Rome and teamed up with Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus in what was called the Second Triumvirate. When the triumvirate fell apart, especially after Antony’s defeat at Actium, Octavian became more powerful within the Roman Republic. Several years later he wrested sufficient power from the Roman Senate to end the Republic and begin the Roman Empire. As the first Emperor of Rome, Octavian was given the name Caesar Augustus. The month of August, originally called “Sextilis” in Latin, was renamed in honor of Augustus.

95 Conservatory subj. : MUS

Music (mus.)

96 Bucolic lines : IDYL

An idyll (also “idyl”) is a short poem with a pastoral theme, usually depicting the scene in romantic and idealized terms. The word “idyl” comes from the Greek “eidyllion”, which literally translates to “little picture” but was a word describing a short poem with a rustic theme.

The word “bucolic”, meaning “rustic, rural”, comes to us from the Greek word “boukolos” meaning “cowherd”.

103 Precepts : TENETS

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

105 Pickle pick : DILL

Dill is a herb in the celery family. Dill seeds can be used for flavoring food, as can dill leaves. In this sense, dill “leaves” are sometimes referred to as dill “weed”.

Often, a dill pickle is actually a pickled gherkin, as the gherkin and cucumber are different cultivars within the same species. Here in the US, dill is commonly added to the pickling vinegar or brine, but this wasn’t the case when I used to eat them back in Ireland (I can’t stand dill!). You might see jars labeled as “cornichons”, but they’re gherkins. “Cornichon” is the French word for “gherkin”.

109 Introspective Randall Thompson choral work with a joyous title : ALLELUIA

Randall Thompson’s choral piece “Alleluia” premiered in 1940 at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood in western Massachusetts. It was destined to become Thompson’s most popular work, and regularly opens the annual Tanglewood Festival.

112 Jr.’s exam : PSAT

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

117 Color for a “Starry” Dutch classic? : NIGHT SHADE

“The Starry Night” is a Van Gogh masterpiece depicting what the artist could see from the window of his room in a sanitarium near the village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It is a lovely piece …

121 Boxer Oscar __ Hoya : DE LA

Oscar De La Hoya is a boxer from East Los Angeles who won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. As a professional, De La Hoya won ten world titles in varying weight classes from super-featherweight to middleweight.

122 Sister of Goneril : REGAN

“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the story line. The three are, in order of age:

  • Goneril
  • Regan
  • Cordelia

123 “I think of slaying Holmes … He takes my mind from better things” writer : DOYLE

According to author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, his character Sherlock Holmes was based on a Dr. Joseph Bell for whom Doyle worked in Edinburgh. That said, Bell actually wrote a letter to Doyle in which he said “you are yourself Sherlock Holmes and well you know it”.

125 Like Florida scrub : ARID

Florida scrub is a subtropical forest ecoregion located in Florida, most notably in and around the Ocala National Forest. Shrubs and dwarf oaks thrive in the ecosystem, despite the soil being dry, sandy and low in nutrients.

Down

1 Batgirl garb : CAPE

Yvonne Craig played Batgirl in the television series “Batman” from the sixties. Batgirl’s alter ego was Barbara Gordon, the librarian daughter of Commissioner Gordon.

6 All of Albee’s “The Zoo Story,” essentially : ACT I

Edward Albee’s most famous play is “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Albee’s first play, a one-acter, was “The Zoo Story”.

7 French wheel : BRIE

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.

8 Spanish spreads : RANCHOS

“Rancho” is Spanish for “ranch, farm”.

9 One catching with flies, maybe : ANGLER

We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” is an Old English word meaning “hook”.

11 LAX touchdowns : ARRS

Arrival (arr.)

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

12 Sun Devils’ sch. : ASU

Arizona State University (ASU) has a long history, and was founded as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory in 1885. The athletic teams of ASU used to be known as the Normals, then the Bulldogs, and since 1946 they’ve been called the Sun Devils.

13 Short-legged hounds : BASSETS

The basset hound wouldn’t be my favorite breed of dog, to be honest. Basset hounds have a great sense of smell with an ability to track a scent that is second only to that of the bloodhound. The name “basset” comes from the French word for “rather low”, a reference to the dog’s short legs.

14 Slimming procedures, informally : LIPOS

Liposuction (lipo) dates back to the 1920s when it was developed by a surgeon in France. However, the procedure quickly lost favor when a French model developed gangrene after surgery. As a result, it wasn’t until the mid-seventies that modern liposuction took off, after being popularized by two Italian-American surgeons in Rome.

15 Some how-to book targets? : IDIOTS

“Complete Idiot’s Guides” is a series of how-to reference books published by DK, the British publishing house. The series competes with the “For Dummies” line published by Wiley.

17 “__ Went Mad”: Riley poem : ERE I

James Whitcomb Riley spent most of his life in Indianapolis, and earned for himself the moniker “The Hoosier Poet”. Two of his more famous works are “Little Orphant Annie” and “The Raggedy Man”. The former was the inspiration for the character Little Orphan Annie, and the latter the inspiration for the Raggedy Ann doll.

18 __-majesté : LESE

“Lese-majesty” is the crime of offending the dignity of the “majesty” or sovereign, or the state. The term “lèse-majesté” is from French Law, and comes from the law of ancient Rome. In Latin “laesa maiestas” means “injured majesty”. The term has no relevance in the United States, but the law is occasionally cited in other countries, including many in Europe.

26 It’s a blast : H-TEST

The first successful detonation of a hydrogen bomb (H-bomb) was in a test (H-test) codenamed “Ivy Mike”. The test was conducted by the US on an atoll in the Pacific Ocean named Enewetak.

29 MSN, for one : ISP

The Microsoft Network (MSN) used to be an Internet service provider (ISP). These days, MSN is mainly a web portal.

32 El __ : NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more than half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

36 Type of eye layer : UVEAL

The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The outer layer is called the fibrous tunic, and the inner layer is the retina.

37 Karmann __: sports car : GHIA

Volkswagen made the Karmann Ghia sports car from 1955 to 1974. The original model was built on the VW Beetle chassis, was styled by the Italian automobile design house Ghia, and the bodywork was hand-built by the German coach-builder Karmann.

39 __ facto : IPSO

“Ipso facto” is Latin, meaning “by the fact itself”. Ipso facto describes something that is a direct consequence of a particular act, as opposed to something that is the result of some subsequent event. For example, my father was born in Dublin and was an Irish citizen, ipso facto. My son was born in California and is an Irish citizen by virtue of being the son of an Irish citizen (i.e. “not” ipso facto).

41 Philatelist’s buys : PANES

Stamp collectors (philatelists) might purchase a whole pane of stamps.

Philately is the practice of collecting postage stamps. The term “philately” was coined (in French, as “philatélie) in 1864 by French collector Georges Herpin. He came up with it from the Greek “phil-” meaning “loving” and “ateleia” meaning “exemption from tax”. Apparently “exemption from tax” was the closest thing Herpin could find to “postage stamp”.

46 Manga series about gaming : YUGIOH

“Yu-Gi-Oh!” is a series of Japanese manga about a young gamer named Yugi Mutou. Yugi solves an ancient puzzle, which results in his body being occupied by a spirit gambler.

49 Retinal receptor : ROD

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

50 Lao Tzu’s “way” : TAO

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

51 Text changers, for short : EDS

Editor (ed.)

52 Back in a shell : AFT

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 …

54 Big __ : SUR

Big Sur is a lovely part of the California Coast located south of Monterey and Carmel. The name “Big Sur” comes from the original Spanish description of the area as “el sur grande” meaning “the big south”.

57 Scullers’ pair? : ELS

There is a pair of letters L (els) in the words “sculler”.

58 OTC drug agency : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t need a prescription (Rx).

59 Rapscallions : IMPS

We might call a little imp a “rapscallion”, an evolution from “rascallion” that in turn comes from “rascal”.

68 Reply of feigned innocence : MOI?

“Moi” is the French word for “me”. One might say “Moi?” when feigning innocence.

69 Prepared, as apples for strudel : CORED

Strudel is a layered pastry that is usually sweet. The word “strudel” means “whirlpool, eddy” in German.

70 Copacetic, in slang : HOTSY-TOTSY

“Hotsy-totsy” is a slang term that means “perfect”.

Something described as “copacetic” is very fine, very acceptable.

71 Thomas Gray’s “The Bard,” e.g. : ODE

“The Bard. A Pindaric Ode” is a 1757 work by English poet Thomas Gray. The title character is as Welsh bard who curses King Edward I as he marches with his army to conquer Wales.

72 Smooching on a plane, for short : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

74 Tractor brand, familiarly : CAT

Back in the early 1900s, Benjamin Holt invented a steam tractor that was able to move over soggy land. The new vehicle crawled over the ground using wheels that drove tracks. Someone apparently noted that the tractor moved along like a caterpillar, and so the enterprise that was to be known as the Caterpillar Tractor Company was born.

76 Vibration sensor : EAR

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

79 “Demian” author : HESSE

“Demían: The Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth” is a coming-of-age novel by Hermann Hesse. When first published in 1919, Hesse used the pen name “Emil Sinclair”, the name of the story’s narrator.

80 Mongolian dry spot : GOBI

The Gobi, the large desert in Asia, 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”.

82 Pakistani bread : NAAN

Naan (also “nan”) bread is very popular in Indian restaurants, as well as in other West, Central and South Asian cuisines. Indian Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven known as a tandoor.

The suffix “-stan” in many place names is Persian for “place of”. One example is “Pakistan”, the Place of the Pure. “Pakistan” is a relatively recent name, first coined in 1933. It comes from the abbreviation PAKSTAN, standing for Punjab – Afghan Province – Kashmir – Sindh – BaluchisTAN, all regions in the north of India. The “I” was added to Pakistan to make it easier to pronounce, and to fit the translation “Land of the Pure”.

89 Bay State motto opener : ENSE …

The motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem”, a Latin phrase that can be translated as “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty”. The quotation is from a passage written by English politician Algernon Sidney who was executed for treason by King Charles II.

“The Bay State” is one of the nicknames of Massachusetts. Other nicknames for Massachusetts are “The Old Colony State” and “The Codfish State”.

92 Intestinal tract division : ILEUM

The human ileum (plural “ilea”) is the lowest part of the small intestine, and is found below the jejunum and above the cecum of the large intestine.

93 Grub : VITTLES

“Victuals” is a term for food that is fit for consumption. We tend to pronounce “victuals” as “vittles”, and we use the term “vittles” and “victuals” interchangeably.

97 Legume family bean : LENTIL

The Latin name for the lentil plant is “lens”. Because the first lenses were double-convex shaped like a lentil, the glass structures were given the name “lens”.

100 Zilch : NIL

We use the term “zilch” to mean “nothing”. Our current usage evolved in the sixties, before which the term was used to describe “meaningless speech”. There was a comic character called Mr. Zilch in the 1930s in “Ballyhoo” magazine. Mr. Zilch’s name probably came from the American college slang “Joe Zilch” that was used in the early 1900s for “an insignificant person”.

101 British actress-politician Jackson : GLENDA

Glenda Jackson is an outstanding retired actress from England. Jackson won two Oscars for performances in two wonderful films: “Women in Love” (1970) and “A Touch of Class” (1973). Jackson left her acting career behind in 1992 when she became a Member of Parliament, a job she has been doing ever since then. She was a junior minister for a while in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government, and also ran an energetic but unsuccessful campaign to be elected Mayor of London.

102 Wi-Fi connection? : HYPHEN

“Hyphen” is a Greek word that came into English via Latin while retaining the meaning “mark joining two syllables or words”. It is speculated that the mark was introduced to indicate how a word should be sung. The term comes from the Greek “hypo” and “hen” and translates literally as “under one”.

107 Kin of op. cit. : IBID

Ibid. is short for the Latin word “ibidem” and is typically found in footnotes and bibliographies. Ibid. is used to refer the reader to the prior citation, instead of giving the same information all over again (title, author etc.).

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

108 __-Rooter : ROTO

The Roto-Rooter is an invention of Samuel Oscar Blanc. Blanc came up with the idea in 1933 after having to deal with a sewer line in his son’s apartment that was blocked with roots from a tree, a common problem. He put together his first version of the device using a washing machine motor, roller skate wheels and a steel cable. The “rotating rooter” snaked down the sewer line, and rotating blades at the tip of the cable cut through the troublesome roots. Blanc sold his machine for decades to people who set up their own drain clearing businesses. In 1980 the Blanc family sold the Roto-Rooter company to a Cincinnati concern that started buying up independent franchises that used the Roto-Rooter and created the national service with which we are familiar today. Oh, and my advice is, save yourself the cost of the service call and just rent a machine. That’s what I do …

110 Jamaican 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.

The island nation of Jamaica is located just under 100 miles south of Cuba in the Carribean Sea. Christopher Columbus first visited the island in 1494, and he and his crew were stranded there for over a year from 1503-1504. Spanish rule devastated the local population, though violence and disease. As a result, the Spanish transplanted African slaves to Jamaica to work as labourers. Spain lost Jamaica to the English in 1655. Given the turbulent history, most Jamaicans today are of African descent, and Jamaica is the third-most populous English-speaking country in the Americas (after the US and Canada).

113 29-day Hebrew month : ADAR

Adar is the twelfth month of the Hebrew ecclesiastical calendar. Adar is equivalent to February-March in the Gregorian calendar.

118 Indian title : SRI

“Sri” is a title of respect for a male in India.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 They often offer free Wi-Fi : CAFES
6 Julie’s “East of Eden” role : ABRA
10 Bygone Swedish wheels : SAAB
14 Suit material : LIBEL
19 Tickle : AMUSE
20 Fruity commercial prefix : CRAN-
21 Up-in-the-air bear : URSA
22 “Do __?” : I DARE
23 Molding okra likenesses? : POD CASTING
25 Accumulation after many oil changes? : BRUSH PILES
27 Therefore : ERGO
28 Clotheshorse’s collection : TIE CLIPS
30 Singer? : STOOLIE
31 Cube-ic Rubik : ERNO
33 “__ Rebel”: 1962 hit : HE’S A
34 Handles : SEES TO
35 Housekeeper-artist barter agreement? : DUSTING FOR PRINTS
40 Dirty Harry’s org. : SFPD
43 Lab eggs : OVA
44 Classic pops : NEHIS
45 Like no-see-ums : PESTY
47 Schwarz of toys : FAO
48 Therapist’s concern : NEUROSIS
50 Bait : TEASE
53 Employing : USING
55 Stuffed shell? : TACO
56 Asset for sketching the human body? : A HEAD FOR FIGURES
60 Two-handed tool : SLEDGE
63 Unable to find the way : LOST
64 Rates highly : ADMIRES
65 Stand-up’s goals, informally : LAFFS
68 Philippines’ highest peak: Abbr. : MT APO
69 Decision maker : CHOOSER
72 Very little, to Vivaldi : POCO
75 “Yikes!” : SHEESH!
80 Traditional Western song to sing while cleaning up the atelier? : GOODBYE, OLD PAINT
84 Flu symptom : AGUE
85 “Coffee __?” : OR TEA
86 Minimal : LEAST
87 High-level banking aids : AILERONS
90 Wanna-__ : BES
91 Augustus’ devious wife : LIVIA
94 Place to make waves : SALON
95 Conservatory subj. : MUS
96 Bucolic lines : IDYL
98 Sculpting painstakingly, as ice? : LICKING INTO SHAPE
103 Precepts : TENETS
105 Pickle pick : DILL
106 They’re depressed during recitals : KEYS
107 Resolve : IRON OUT
109 Introspective Randall Thompson choral work with a joyous title : ALLELUIA
112 Jr.’s exam : PSAT
115 Foundation for nude sketches? : BOTTOM LINE
117 Color for a “Starry” Dutch classic? : NIGHT SHADE
119 Golfer’s cry after holing a long putt : IT’S IN!
120 Unceasingly : EVER
121 Boxer Oscar __ Hoya : DE LA
122 Sister of Goneril : REGAN
123 “I think of slaying Holmes … He takes my mind from better things” writer : DOYLE
124 Stitches : SEWS
125 Like Florida scrub : ARID
126 Immobile : INERT

Down

1 Batgirl garb : CAPE
2 Love in Spain : AMOR
3 Thick dessert topping : FUDGE SAUCE
4 Source of protection : ESCORT
5 It has a watery bed : SEA
6 All of Albee’s “The Zoo Story,” essentially : ACT I
7 French wheel : BRIE
8 Spanish spreads : RANCHOS
9 One catching with flies, maybe : ANGLER
10 Good in golf … otherwise, not so much : SUBPAR
11 LAX touchdowns : ARRS
12 Sun Devils’ sch. : ASU
13 Short-legged hounds : BASSETS
14 Slimming procedures, informally : LIPOS
15 Some how-to book targets? : IDIOTS
16 Unusually energetic sort : BALL OF FIRE
17 “__ Went Mad”: Riley poem : ERE I
18 __-majesté : LESE
24 Gems : STONES
26 It’s a blast : H-TEST
29 MSN, for one : ISP
32 El __ : NINO
34 Show disdain for : SNEER AT
35 Prohibitions : DON’TS
36 Type of eye layer : UVEAL
37 Karmann __: sports car : GHIA
38 It might be caught with a fly : FISH
39 __ facto : IPSO
41 Philatelist’s buys : PANES
42 Hounds, e.g. : DOGS
46 Manga series about gaming : YUGIOH
49 Retinal receptor : ROD
50 Lao Tzu’s “way” : TAO
51 Text changers, for short : EDS
52 Back in a shell : AFT
54 Big __ : SUR
57 Scullers’ pair? : ELS
58 OTC drug agency : FDA
59 Rapscallions : IMPS
61 All-encompassing : GLOBAL
62 __ chair : EASY
66 Ante, e.g. : FEE
67 Romps : FROLICS
68 Reply of feigned innocence : MOI?
69 Prepared, as apples for strudel : CORED
70 Copacetic, in slang : HOTSY-TOTSY
71 Thomas Gray’s “The Bard,” e.g. : ODE
72 Smooching on a plane, for short : PDA
73 Photo possibilities : OPS
74 Tractor brand, familiarly : CAT
76 Vibration sensor : EAR
77 Flattery : EGO MASSAGE
78 First light : SUNUP
79 “Demian” author : HESSE
80 Mongolian dry spot : GOBI
81 Fail to be kept private : LEAK
82 Pakistani bread : NAAN
83 Slant : TILT
88 Carefully consider : LOOK AT
89 Bay State motto opener : ENSE …
92 Intestinal tract division : ILEUM
93 Grub : VITTLES
94 More over the top : SILLIER
97 Legume family bean : LENTIL
99 Ones just hanging out : IDLERS
100 Zilch : NIL
101 British actress-politician Jackson : GLENDA
102 Wi-Fi connection? : HYPHEN
104 Very disappointing turnout : NO ONE
107 Kin of op. cit. : IBID
108 __-Rooter : ROTO
109 Over : ANEW
110 Jamaican citrus : UGLI
111 “__ no idea” : I HAD
113 29-day Hebrew month : ADAR
114 Traveling carnival sight : TENT
116 “__ been thinking … ” : I’VE
118 Indian title : SRI

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 11 Oct 20, Sunday”

  1. 25:40, 3 errors. Hardest of the Sunday lot for me and that includes the Kwong NYT (0906) that was getting raved about five weeks ago. No giant complaints on this one outside of the usual (me making dumb errors for this one) except for 6D, which is a particularly good example of shifty inaccurate language. Walled out two of the others (for me), but still wonder how people can manage to write 21x21s quicker than the 18 minutes I do.

  2. 24:24, no errors, no complaints, and I got a good laugh out of 6D, which is undeniably accurate (loosen up, Glenn! … 😜).

  3. Disappointing for a Sunday. The theme was so-so at best. That’s what happens when you get the long answers via the crosses and then roll your eyes. Some words I didn’t know; ailerons…. yugioh…. pesty. The clue for 6D was weak but I thought the clue for subpar was very clever.

  4. 1:33:40 no errors…gone are the days of the LAT always being the easier of the NYT and LAT…you know the clues are “off the wall” when Bill misses one…not my favorite by a long shot👎👎.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens😀

    1. for “oil”, think artistic painting. You’ll wash out your brushes eventually if you’re painting a picture but you generally use multiple brushes when you change color (“oil changes”) so you don’t have any bleed and get the color you want on the canvas. So you’re going to have a “brush pile” or “pile of brushes” accumulate after you make changes (“oil changes”) in the colors you use for your painting.

  5. 34:34 1 error, 1 lookup

    The theme helped a little, but this felt difficult. I needed the lookup to break into the NE corner. I like DUSTINGFORPRINTS.

  6. No errors, but did have to look up the Yugioh answer because I’d never
    heard of it. I also had “pesky” for the no-see-ums answer until I saw I had
    to change it to accommodate “Htest”. The rest of the answers just came
    one slow letter after another.

      1. @Anonymous …

        No, it’s not just you … all posts have been subjected to a serious time lag for a week or three now … quite frustrating for everyone … 😳

  7. 37 minutes, 54 seconds, and two errors. What the HELL is “LICKING INTO SHAPE”??? Makes ZERO sense. And the YUGIOH/PESTY cross: **inexcusable**. Overall, I suppose it was OK, but, all it takes is a few real eye-rollers to ruin an entire grid.

  8. Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who REALLY, REALLY, didn’t like this puzzle. I finally gave up when I realized how not clever it was becoming and I wasn’t having fun. I certainly can’t design crossword puzzles myself, but I think someone as obviously intelligent as Mr. Lampkin would want to entertain his solvers with something a bit more witty.

  9. Late to the conversation, but we did have a quibble with a couple of the clues/words. We don’t like “brushpiles” at all. We don’t rake leaves, but one of us actually paints, and she doesn’t throw brushes in a pile. However, the clue talks about oil changes, which suggests “miles” as well as the distance one might paint. Just saying.

    The other: “htest”. Harrumph!

    Thank you!

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