LA Times Crossword 4 Oct 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: Mike Peluso
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Mistaken Identity

Themed answers are each common phrases that include one name of a celebrated duo, but that name has been replaced with that of the other member of the duo:

  • 22A Banking convenience with the wrong comic magician? : AUTOMATIC PENN (from “automatic teller” and “Penn & Teller”)
  • 34A Builder with the wrong surveyor? : STONEDIXON (from “stonemason” and “Mason and Dixon”)
  • 50A Feeling blue with the wrong publisher? : IN A WAGNALLS (from “in a funk” and “Funk & Wagnalls”)
  • 68A Metalworker with the wrong gun manufacturer? : BLACKWESSON (from “blacksmith” and “Smith & Wesson”)
  • 84A Cheap knockout with the wrong puppet? : SUCKER JUDY (from “sucker punch” and “Punch and Judy”)
  • 102A African currency with the wrong mapmaker? : KRUGERMCNALLY (from “Krugerrand” and “Rand McNally”)
  • 2D Louvre sculpture of the wrong sister? : SERENA DE MILO (from “Venus de Milo” and “Serena and Venus Williams”)
  • 56D Intel product with the wrong toon rodent? : COMPUTER DALE (from “computer chip” and “Chip ‘n’ Dale”)

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

Bill’s time: 15m 54s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

12 Lucy’s neighbor of old TV : ETHEL

In the hit television show “I Love Lucy”, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz play Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. The Ricardos’ best friends are also their landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz. The Mertzes are played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance.

22 Banking convenience with the wrong comic magician? : AUTOMATIC PENN (from “automatic teller” and “Penn & Teller”)

To tell can mean to count, as in “telling one’s blessings” and “there are 16, all told”. This usage of the word “tell” gives us the term “bank teller”.

24 Prince Valiant’s love : ALETA

In the comic strip “Prince Valiant”, Arn is the eldest son of the title character, and Aleta is his wife. Edward, Duke of Windsor, once declared that “Prince Valiant” comic strip the “greatest contribution to English Literature in the past one hundred years”. I’m not so sure …

28 Org. once led by Bush 41 : CIA

The CIA headquarters is located in Langley, Virginia in a complex called the George Bush Center for Intelligence. The facility was named for former Director of the CIA and US President George H. W. Bush.

29 Hereditary unit : GENE

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

30 Les États-__ : UNIS

“Les États-Unis” is what French speakers call “the United States”.

31 DEA agent : NARC

“Narc” and “narco” are slang terms describing a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. Both words are short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

32 Editor’s “On second thought” decision : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

33 That, in Santiago : ESA

Santiago is the capital of Chile. The city was founded in 1541 by the Spanish as Santiago de Nueva Extremadura. The name was chosen in honor of Saint James and the community of Extremadura in western Spain.

34 Builder with the wrong surveyor? : STONEDIXON (from “stonemason” and “Mason and Dixon”)

The original Mason-Dixon line was surveyed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the 1760s. The line was used to resolve a border dispute between some of the original British colonies. The Mason-Dixon now forms part of the state lines of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia. The line has come to symbolize the cultural boundary between the Northern and Southern United States.

38 “The Age of Reason” writer : PAINE

Thomas Paine’s pamphlet known as “The Age of Reason” (published in three parts, in 1794, 1795 and 1807) is critical of mainstream religion and also challenges the legitimacy of the Bible.

41 CPR pro : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

42 Hosp. triage specialists : ER DOCS

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

48 Big Apple paper, for short : NYT

“The New York Times” (NYT) has been published since 1851, and is sometimes referred to as “the Gray Lady”. These days a viable alternative to buying the paper is to read the news online. NYTimes.com is the most popular online newspaper website in the country.

Apparently, the first published use of the term “Big Apple” to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book “The Wayfarer in New York”:

Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.

Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

50 Feeling blue with the wrong publisher? : IN A WAGNALLS (from “in a funk” and “Funk & Wagnalls”)

Funk is ill-humor, and is a word that dates back to the mid-1700s. “Funk” is probably a term that came from Scottish and northern English.

Funk & Wagnalls was a publishing house founded in 1875 by Isaac Funk as I.K. Funk & Company. Adam Wagnalls joined as a partner two years later, resulting in the name change. The company’s most famous publication was the “Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia”.

53 Seed cover : ARIL

The casing surrounding many seeds is called the aril, and it may be quite fleshy. This fruit-like characteristic makes it desirable as a food and hence aids in the dispersion of the seeds.

54 Sean of “Stranger Things” : ASTIN

Sean Astin is best known for playing the title role in the 1993 film “Rudy” and the character Samwise Gamgee in “The Lord of the Rings” movies. You might also have seen him playing Lynn McGill in the 5th season of “24”. Astin is the son of actress Patty Duke, and the adopted son of actor John Astin (of “The Addams Family” fame).

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror, and so haven’t seen it …

55 Miami suburb with a Seminole-derived name : OPA-LOCKA

Opa-Locka is a rather interesting city in Florida. Located near Miami, Opa-Locka has a themed city plan that is based on “One Thousand and One Nights”. The city hall has a very Arabian look, and some examples of street names are Ali Baba Avenue and Sesame Street.

The Seminole people originally came from what is now called Florida. Increasing migration of European Americans into Seminole lands led to the three Seminole Wars, the first starting in 1818, the last ending in 1858. The basic outcome of the wars was the relocation of the vast majority of Seminoles to reservations in Oklahoma. So, today there is a Seminole Nation of Oklahoma as well as a Seminole Nation of Florida.

59 Timbuktu’s land : MALI

The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa located south of Algeria. Formerly known as French Sudan, the nation’s most famous city is Timbuktu. Mali is the third-largest producer of gold on the continent, after South Africa and Ghana.

60 Type of card or watch : SMART

Smart payment cards are credit and debit cards that include an integrated circuit chip for security. Smart cards can be categorized into two main types. Here in the US, we use chip and signature cards, meaning that we use a signature to identify the bearer of the card. Most Europeans use chip and PIN cards, which require the bearer to provide a PIN instead of a signature.

A smartwatch is a computer device that is worn on the wrist as a watch.

61 “My Cousin Vinny” Oscar winner : TOMEI

Marisa Tomei’s first screen role was in the daytime soap “As the World Turns”, but her break came with a recurring role in “The Cosby Show” spin-off “A Different World”. Tomei won an Oscar for her delightful performance in “My Cousin Vinny” in 1992.

“My Cousin Vinny” is a really fun film from 1992 starring Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei. In 2008, the American Bar Association rated “My Cousin Vinny” as the #3 Greatest Legal Movie of all time, after “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “12 Angry Men”!

63 Dom Pérignon maker, familiarly : MOET

Moët & Chandon is a French winery, and one of the world’s largest producers of champagne. The company was founded by wine trader Claude Moët in 1743. The name was changed to Moët & Chandon in the 1830s when Pierre-Gabriel Chandon, an in-law to the Moët family, was given co-ownership. Moët & Chandon owns the famous Dom Pérignon brand name, honoring the Benedictine monk who did so much to improve the quality of champagne.

Dom Pérignon is a prestige label of champagne from Moët et Chandon, the French winery. The label’s name honors the Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, who helped to improve the quality and production of champagne in the early 18th century. Although Dom Pérignon made major contributions to champagne production, many of the stories in which he figures are just myths. He did not “invent” champagne, nor sparkling wine in general. Nor did he say the famous words, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!”. That lovely line first appeared in a print advertisement in the late 1800s!

64 Narcissism : EGOMANIA

Narcissus was a proud and vain hunter in Greek mythology. He earned himself a fatal punishment, being made fall in love with his own reflection in a pool. So, take was he by his own image, that he could not leave it and wasted away and died by the pool. Narcissus gives us our term “narcissism” meaning “excessive love of oneself”.

66 Underworld : HADES

In classical mythology, the god of the underworld was named Hades. Over time, “Hades” came to mean the underworld itself and the name for the god became “Pluto”. Pluto’s character was more positive than the god Hades, and he represented a more rewarding afterlife compared to that offered by the darker Hades.

68 Metalworker with the wrong gun manufacturer? : BLACKWESSON (from “blacksmith” and “Smith & Wesson”)

A blacksmith is someone who forges and shapes iron, perhaps to make horseshoes. A farrier is someone who fits horseshoes onto the hooves of horses. The term “blacksmith” is sometimes used for one who shoes horses, especially as many blacksmiths make horseshoes and fit them as well.

Smith & Wesson is the largest manufacturer of handguns in the US. The company was founded in 1852 by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson.

76 Chicago-based grocery franchise : IGA

The initialism “IGA” stands for “Independent Grocers Alliance”, and is a chain of supermarkets that extends right around the world. IGA’s headquarters is in Chicago. The company uses the slogan “Hometown Proud Supermarkets”.

78 Saturn, to Greeks : CRONUS

In Greek mythology, Cronus (also “Kronos”) was one of the Titans. Cronus overthrew his father Uranus and took over rule of the Titans. Eventually, Cronus was ousted by his own son Zeus. The Roman equivalent of Cronus was the deity Saturn.

81 “Smell Ready” deodorant brand : AXE

Axe is a brand of male grooming products. Axe is sold under the name Lynx in some parts of the world.

83 In __: unborn : UTERO

“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. “Uterys” comes from the Greek “hystera” that also means “womb”, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

84 Cheap knockout with the wrong puppet? : SUCKER JUDY (from “sucker punch” and “Punch and Judy”)

Punch and Judy puppets date back to the 17th century, with roots in Italy, The manifestation familiar to the English-speaking world feature Punch wearing a jester’s outfit and carrying a stick. Punch is very violent, and tends to use his stick to wallop his wife Judy.

89 Corner key that may get you out of a corner : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used just to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

93 First baseman Wally most famous for being replaced by Lou Gehrig : PIPP

Wally Pipp was a first baseman who played Major League Baseball from 1913 to 1928. While playing with the New York Yankees, Pipp lost his starting first baseman role to Lou Gehrig. It was after replacing Pipp that Gehrig started on his famous streak of 2,130 consecutive games.

96 Mex. miss : SRTA

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

97 Intl. commerce group : WTO

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The stated aim of the WTO is to liberalize international trade. The organization was founded in 1995 when an international agreement on trade was reached that effectively replaced the existing General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that was laid down in 1949.

98 “¿Quién __?” : SABE

“Quién sabe?” is Spanish for “who knows?”

101 Tracking device : RADAR

Scientists have been using radio waves to detect the presence of objects since the late 1800s, but it was the demands of WWII that accelerated the practical application of the technology. The British called their system RDF standing for Range and Direction Finding. The system used by the US Navy was called “Radio Detection And Ranging”, which was shortened to the acronym RADAR.

102 African currency with the wrong mapmaker? : KRUGERMCNALLY (from “Krugerrand” and “Rand McNally”)

The Krugerrand is a gold coin minted in South Africa. The coin takes its name from the Rand, the South African unit of currency, and Paul Kruger, the President of the South African Republic whose face appears on the obverse of the coin. The Krugerrand is made from a gold alloy that is almost 92% pure i.e. 22 karats.

Rand McNally is a company long associated with the city of Chicago. Its roots go back to 1856 when William Rand opened a printing shop in the city. Two years later he hired an Irish immigrant named Andrew McNally and the pair turned to printing tickets and timetables for the railroad industry. They diversified into “railroad guides” in 1870, including the first Rand McNally map in the December 1872 edition. When automobile travel started to become significant, Rand and McNally turned their attention to roads and they published their first road map in 1904, a map of New York City. Rand and McNally popularized the use of highway numbers, and indeed erected many roadside highway signs themselves, long before the state and federal authorities adopted the idea.

107 Watergate judge John : SIRICA

Judge John Sirica came to national attention when he presided over the trial of the Watergate burglars. It was Judge Sirica who issued the order for President Richard Nixon to hand over the tape recordings of conversations in the Oval Office, the so-called “Watergate tapes”.

110 Exams for sophs and jrs. : PSATS

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

111 Hindu life lesson : SUTRA

The word “sutra” is used in Hinduism for a learned text, one usually meant to be studied by students.

Down

1 Reunion arrivals : UNCLES

2 Louvre sculpture of the wrong sister? : SERENA DE MILO (from “Venus de Milo” and “Serena and Venus Williams”)

The famous “Venus de Milo” is so named as she was discovered in the ruins of the ancient city of Milos, on the Aegean island of the same name. I’ve been lucky enough to see the statue, in the Louvre in Paris, and was surprised at how tall it is (6 ft 8 in tall).

Serena Williams is the younger of the two Williams sisters playing professional tennis. Serena has won more prize money in her career than any other female athlete.

4 __ Nui: Easter Island : RAPA

“Rapa Nui” is the Polynesian name for what we are more likely to call “Easter Island”. The European name was coined by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who came across the island on Easter Sunday in the year 1722. Chilean-owned Easter Island is inhabited and is a location that is remarkably distant from neighboring civilization. The nearest inhabited island is Pitcairn Island, which is almost 1300 miles away.

6 Ancestry.com datum: Abbr. : DESC

A descendant (desc.) is found in a family (fam.) tree.

Ancestry.com is the largest commercial genealogy company in the world. It operates out of Provo, Utah.

8 ’60s dance craze : WATUSI

The dance called the Watusi was almost as popular as the twist in the early sixties. The Watusi took its name from the Batutsi tribe in Rwanda.

10 Silent : MUM

The phrase “mum’s the word” has been around since the early 1700s. “Mum” has been used to mean “silent” for centuries, the idea being that “mum” is the sound made when the lips are tightly sealed.

12 ’40s-’50s “Giant Brain” : ENIAC

The acronym ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (although many folks insist that the C was for “Computer”). ENIAC was introduced at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946, at which time it was the first general-purpose electronic computer, and dubbed “Giant Brain” by the press. Its original purpose was the calculation of artillery firing tables, but it ended up being used early on to make calculations necessary for the development of the hydrogen bomb. Given its uses, it’s not surprising to hear that development of ENIAC was funded by the US Army during WWII.

13 Stable supplies : TACK

“Tack” is the term used for equipment used in riding or working horses. Examples of tack are saddles, stirrups, bridles, reins, bits and halters.

17 Missouri tributary : OSAGE

Much of the Osage River in Missouri is now taken up by two large reservoirs created behind two dams that provide power for St. Louis and the surrounding area. The two reservoirs are the Truman Reservoir and the Lake of the Ozarks.

18 River to Lyon : SAONE

The Saône is a river in eastern France that joins up with the Rhône in Lyon.

20 Modern crime-solving aid : DNA TEST

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relatives.

23 Blue Jays, in crawls : TOR

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

31 Chinese menu assurance : NO MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

34 Arrived in a cloud of dust, maybe : SLID

That might be baseball.

36 CIA predecessor : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

37 TV warrior princess : XENA

The Xena character, played by New Zealander Lucy Lawless, was introduced in a made-for-TV movie called “Hercules and the Amazon Women”. Lawless reprised the role in a series called “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”. Xena became so popular that a series was built around her character, with Lawless retained for the title role. The fictional Xena supposedly came from the “non-fictional” Greek city of Amphipolis.

38 Green shampoo : PRELL

Prell shampoo was introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1947. Back then it was a clear green concentrate sold in a tube (like toothpaste).

42 China’s Zhou __ : ENLAI

Zhou Enlai (also “Chou En-lai”) was the first government leader of the People’s Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. Zhou Enlai ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, with both deaths leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.

43 Biker’s headgear, perhaps : DO-RAG

Hip-hoppers might wear do-rags (also “durags”) today, but they have been around for centuries. The etymology of “do-rag” is pretty evident, i.e. a piece of cloth (rag) to hold a hairstyle (do) in place.

44 Kind of vb. : INTR

Transitive verbs are those that can take direct objects, and intransitive verbs are those that do not. Examples of transitive verbs are “throw (the ball)” and “injure (a leg)”. Examples of intransitive verbs are “fall” and “sit”.

45 “I Am __”: Jenner reality show : CAIT

“I Am Cait” is a documentary series that follows Caitlyn Jenner after she changed her gender and identification from Bruce Jenner.

Caitlyn Jenner is a former Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon. Caitlyn competed as Bruce Jenner, and made an official gender change in September 2015. Bruce was married for 23 years to Kris Kardashian, the mother of the TV personality Kim Kardashian.

50 Crooner Chris : ISAAK

Chris Isaak is not only a rock musician, but also has had a lot of acting parts. Isaak had small roles in movies like “Married to the Mob” and “The Silence of the Lambs”, but I remember him as astronaut Ed White in the fabulous HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”.

54 Genoa gal pal : AMICA

“Amici” is the Italian word for “friends” (singular “amico, amica”).

56 Intel product with the wrong toon rodent? : COMPUTER DALE (from “computer chip” and “Chip ‘n’ Dale”)

Chip ‘n’ Dale are two chipmunk characters created by Disney in 1943. The characters’ names are a pun on “Chippendale”, the family name of noted English furniture designer Thomas Chippendale.

60 Hosiery headaches : SNAGS

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

61 Subdue with a shock : TASE

To tase is to use a taser, a stun gun.

65 Gorsuch colleague : ALITO

Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme court by the Trump administration, and assumed office in 2017. Gorsuch took the seat on the court that was left vacant with the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. Gorsuch is the first Supreme Court justice to serve alongside another justice for whom he once clerked, doing so for Anthony Kennedy from 1993 to 1994.

66 Marshall Plan pres. : HST

The letter “S” in the middle of the name Harry S. Truman (HST) doesn’t stand for anything. The future-president was named “Harry” in honor of his mother’s brother Harrison “Harry” Young. The initial “S” was chosen in honor of young Harry’s two grandfathers: Anderson S-hipp Truman and S-olomon Young.

The official name of the Marshall Plan was the “European Recovery Program”. It was named after Secretary of State George Marshall, who served under President Harry S. Truman. The overt goal of the plan was to rebuild the European economy, with the subplot being to resist the spread of communism throughout Europe after WWII.

69 Dental office simulation : WAX-UP

A diagnostic wax-up is an interim step used by dentists working to improve the esthetics of a patient’s smile. The wax-up simulates the final result.

72 Like some orders : HOLY

“Holy orders” is the name given in some Christian traditions for the rite used to ordain a priest, deacon, etc.

78 Wine label word : CRU

“Cru” is a term used in the French wine industry that means “growth place”. So, “cru” is the name of the location where the grapes are grown, as opposed to the name of a specific vineyard. The terms “premier cru” and “grand cru” are also used, but the usage depends on the specific wine region. Generally it is a classification awarded to specific vineyards denoting their potential for producing great wines. “Grand cru” is reserved for the very best vineyards, with “premier cru” the level just below.

80 Texter’s “My bad” : SRY

Sorry (sry)

87 One-named Swedish singer with the 1997 hit “Show Me Love” : ROBYN

“Robyn” is the stage name of Swedish singer Robin Miriam Carlsson. Never heard of her outside of crosswords …

93 Law office helpers : PARAS

A paralegal (sometimes just “para”) is a person who is trained sufficiently in legal matters to assist a lawyer. A paralegal cannot engage in the practice of law and must be supervised by a qualified lawyer.

94 “Big Blue” : IBM

The origin of the IBM nickname “Big Blue” seems to have been lost in the mists of time. That said, maybe it has something to do with the fact that the IBM logo is blue, and almost every mainframe they produced was painted blue. I remember visiting IBM on business a few times in my career, and back then we were encouraged to wear white shirts and blue suits “to fit in” with our client’s culture.

99 John was one: Abbr. : BAPT

John the Baptist is regarded by some Christians as the forerunner of Jesus. Early in his life, Jesus was a disciple or follower of John, and it was John who baptized Jesus.

100 Himalayan denizens : YAKS

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in the Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

Nowadays we use “denizen” to mean simply “resident”, but historically a denizen was an immigrant to whom certain rights had been granted, somewhat like today’s resident alien.

101 “Lovely” citation issuer of song : RITA

“Lovely Rita” is a Beatles song on the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. When the album was released in 1967, the term “meter maid” wasn’t used in the UK, although it was a slang term used in the US. The song helped spread the usage of “meter maid” all around the English-speaking world. Apparently the inspiration for the song was McCartney getting a parking ticket one day outside the Abbey Road Studios. He accepted the ticket with good grace, from a warden named Meta Davis. McCartney felt that Meta “looked like a Rita”, so that was the name she was given in the song.

103 Actress Scala : GIA

Gia Scala’s most famous role was the mute resistance fighter in “The Guns of Navarone”. Scala was born in Liverpool, England to an Irish mother and Italian father. She lived some years in Italy before moving to New York City. It’s probably good that she played a mute character in “The Guns of Navarone”, as who knows what her accent was like!

104 Manhattan sch. : NYU

The main campus of the private New York University (NYU) is located right in Manhattan, in Washington Square in the heart of Greenwich Village. NYU has over 12,000 resident students, the largest number of residents in a private school in the whole country. NYU’s sports teams are known as the Violets, a reference to the violet and white colors that are worn in competition. Since the 1980s, the school’s mascot has been a bobcat. “Bobcat” had been the familiar name given to NYU’s Bobst Library computerized catalog.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 It often involves a password : USER ID
7 Really wet spot : SWAMP
12 Lucy’s neighbor of old TV : ETHEL
17 Narrow, roadwise : ONE-LANE
18 Town square art : STATUE
19 Aced : NAILED
21 Abrasions : SCRAPES
22 Banking convenience with the wrong comic magician? : AUTOMATIC PENN (from “automatic teller” and “Penn & Teller”)
24 Prince Valiant’s love : ALETA
25 Appear suddenly : CROP UP
27 Prepare for cooking, as beans : SOAK
28 Org. once led by Bush 41 : CIA
29 Hereditary unit : GENE
30 Les États-__ : UNIS
31 DEA agent : NARC
32 Editor’s “On second thought” decision : STET
33 That, in Santiago : ESA
34 Builder with the wrong surveyor? : STONEDIXON (from “stonemason” and “Mason and Dixon”)
38 “The Age of Reason” writer : PAINE
39 Gives sparingly : DOLES
41 CPR pro : EMT
42 Hosp. triage specialists : ER DOCS
43 Refuses to concede : DENIES
44 Small file folders, e.g. : ICONS
47 San Antonio-to-Dallas dir. : NNE
48 Big Apple paper, for short : NYT
49 Wanderers : NOMADS
50 Feeling blue with the wrong publisher? : IN A WAGNALLS (from “in a funk” and “Funk & Wagnalls”)
53 Seed cover : ARIL
54 Sean of “Stranger Things” : ASTIN
55 Miami suburb with a Seminole-derived name : OPA-LOCKA
59 Timbuktu’s land : MALI
60 Type of card or watch : SMART
61 “My Cousin Vinny” Oscar winner : TOMEI
63 Dom Pérignon maker, familiarly : MOET
64 Narcissism : EGOMANIA
66 Underworld : HADES
67 Part of 41-Acr. : EMER
68 Metalworker with the wrong gun manufacturer? : BLACKWESSON (from “blacksmith” and “Smith & Wesson”)
71 Like rough seas : CHOPPY
73 Sty wallower : SOW
76 Chicago-based grocery franchise : IGA
77 Amend : ALTER
78 Saturn, to Greeks : CRONUS
79 Serious searches : QUESTS
81 “Smell Ready” deodorant brand : AXE
82 Rent again : RELET
83 In __: unborn : UTERO
84 Cheap knockout with the wrong puppet? : SUCKER JUDY (from “sucker punch” and “Punch and Judy”)
89 Corner key that may get you out of a corner : ESC
92 Pallid : ASHY
93 First baseman Wally most famous for being replaced by Lou Gehrig : PIPP
95 “Was __ harsh?” : I TOO
96 Mex. miss : SRTA
97 Intl. commerce group : WTO
98 “¿Quién __?” : SABE
99 Liable to sing? : BLABBY
101 Tracking device : RADAR
102 African currency with the wrong mapmaker? : KRUGERMCNALLY (from “Krugerrand” and “Rand McNally”)
105 “You didn’t start yet, did you?” : AM I LATE?
107 Watergate judge John : SIRICA
108 Enter : TYPE IN
109 Tea prep vessels : KETTLES
110 Exams for sophs and jrs. : PSATS
111 Hindu life lesson : SUTRA
112 Influenced : SWAYED

Down

1 Reunion arrivals : UNCLES
2 Louvre sculpture of the wrong sister? : SERENA DE MILO (from “Venus de Milo” and “Serena and Venus Williams”)
3 Really tickle : ELATE
4 __ Nui: Easter Island : RAPA
5 Having four sharps : IN E
6 Ancestry.com datum: Abbr. : DESC
7 Exasperating, like a car that won’t start : STUPID
8 ’60s dance craze : WATUSI
9 Sitting on : ATOP
10 Silent : MUM
11 Type of blouse : PEASANT
12 ’40s-’50s “Giant Brain” : ENIAC
13 Stable supplies : TACK
14 Cool : HIP
15 Formal choice : ELECTION
16 Judge’s choice : LENIENCY
17 Missouri tributary : OSAGE
18 River to Lyon : SAONE
20 Modern crime-solving aid : DNA TEST
23 Blue Jays, in crawls : TOR
26 Vie for office : RUN
31 Chinese menu assurance : NO MSG
32 Blue : SAD
34 Arrived in a cloud of dust, maybe : SLID
35 Golfer’s pocketful : TEES
36 CIA predecessor : OSS
37 TV warrior princess : XENA
38 Green shampoo : PRELL
40 Where it’s risky to be out : ON A LIMB
42 China’s Zhou __ : ENLAI
43 Biker’s headgear, perhaps : DO-RAG
44 Kind of vb. : INTR
45 “I Am __”: Jenner reality show : CAIT
46 Dominate : OWN
47 Barbers trim them : NAPES
49 Identify : NAME
50 Crooner Chris : ISAAK
51 Certain club restriction : NO MEN
52 “Can __ help me?” : SOMEONE
54 Genoa gal pal : AMICA
56 Intel product with the wrong toon rodent? : COMPUTER DALE (from “computer chip” and “Chip ‘n’ Dale”)
57 Hangs on to : KEEPS
58 “Give it __!” : A TRY
60 Hosiery headaches : SNAGS
61 Subdue with a shock : TASE
62 Telltale warning, maybe : ODOR
65 Gorsuch colleague : ALITO
66 Marshall Plan pres. : HST
69 Dental office simulation : WAX-UP
70 Power co. output : ELEC
71 Street __ : CRED
72 Like some orders : HOLY
73 Gripes : SQUAWKS
74 Exceed : OUTSTRIP
75 Time for night owls : WEE HOURS
78 Wine label word : CRU
80 Texter’s “My bad” : SRY
81 Ways of looking at an issue : ASPECTS
85 Impressive, as a deal : KILLER
86 Latin catchall : ET ALIA
87 One-named Swedish singer with the 1997 hit “Show Me Love” : ROBYN
88 __ fair : JOB
90 Specified : STATED
91 Shows concern : CARES
93 Law office helpers : PARAS
94 “Big Blue” : IBM
96 Language description derived from sailors’ chatter : SALTY
98 Breakaway group : SECT
99 John was one: Abbr. : BAPT
100 Himalayan denizens : YAKS
101 “Lovely” citation issuer of song : RITA
103 Actress Scala : GIA
104 Manhattan sch. : NYU
106 Contribution from the kitty : MEW

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Oct 20, Sunday”

  1. Terrific puzzle. Creative, enjoyable theme. The Sunday puzzle is what got me to do the rest of the week’s crosswords and it never fails to deliver. Got the theme early on with stone dixon and it was pretty much smooth sailing from there. Of course I had pig before sow, omen before odor and yeti ( I thought it could be plural) before yaks. One minor complaint; the clue for 7D (stupid) was, well, kind of stupid.

  2. 1:16:45 no errors…once I got the theme it actually helped me for a change.
    For 13D I was trying to make oats work but that wasn’t to be…I didn’t know what tack was until now. Thanks Bill.
    Go Ravens.👍👍👍
    Stay safe.

  3. 20:23, 2 dumb errors.

    I thought of a comment on Friday and thought I’d make a response to that. As to “don’t even understand the physical possibility of doing a Sunday grid in something like 14 minutes”, I notice a lot of it is how perfectly and quickly things go and how quick you are. Gold competitive standard for these is in the 7-9 minute range (Sat NYT being about 5-7 minutes) – and that’s writing not typing.

    I’ll definitely say that doing these proves that I don’t know how to do crosswords right in some way most of the time. My Sunday LAT PR (11:28, online) happened when things went mostly perfect, but they usually don’t. Like this one, there was the goofy inane theme I had to get crosses on to figure out and still had to work to get some of the other references I didn’t know as some of these are OLD. I’m guessing most people that do these well can just look at the title and figure out whatever trick there is behind the themers.

    Then there’s always the communication gaps I rant on (the more of these you get just off the clues the better, but if you don’t get clear communication off of those to even understand the clue then you pretty much have to get them via other tricks or just WAG) and then there’s the nebulous things. Like with this one, two or three minutes got taken on 73A as I had PIG and HOG before finally setting on SOW – that corner was most of the problem with this one.

    Then for doing printed ones, there’s scanning and finding the clues. I understand a lot of the top solvers scan ahead and memorize those, but I’m not so good at that and always have to revisit. I’m guessing when you can just knock down answers in sequence things go a lot more swimmingly, too.

    Like I said yesterday, not really sure I’m doing these entirely the right way.

    1. Re 73A: Are you insisting that every single clue in a crossword puzzle should unequivocally specify only one possible answer?! If so, then, IMO, you definitely don’t understand what crossword puzzles are all about!

  4. Took a long time today, even after I realized the theme. Had to look up
    Pipp (first baseman) because I had not heard of him. Theme was fun and
    different. A lot of answers were only possible because of the crossed words.

  5. 33:26, no errors. A very cute idea, and a straightforward solve, albeit a tad halting (for me – something about the mental gymnastics required made me stop and scratch my head a lot 😜).

  6. Like most of you, I caught the theme relatively early but Southwest corner of the puzzle had me stumped. I didn’t know the African currency and Rand McNally never came to mind. Showing my age, I was trying to think of all of the puppets that would fit in 84 across and I couldn’t get Kukla, Fran & Ollie out of my brain. And I agree that the clue for 7D was “stupid”.

  7. 3007. Also went the PIG, HOG, SOW route on 73A; same with OMEN before ODOR and STONE DIXON also helped me with the theme. Like @Nonny, had to think a bit about what the pair was to come up with the pair’s complement.

  8. 44:52 1 error, 2 lookups

    This was tough, even though I understood the theme early on. I just couldn’t think of any publishers! My favorite answer was SERENADEMILO.

  9. 31 mins 44 sec and 11 unfilled; DNF. These theme answers were just too many, and too stupid not to form the lynchpin of a naticky section I couldn’t complete. Caught up to me at the bottom center.

  10. Thank you so much for explaining about Hades. I read Greek and Roman myths as a kid and later I was confused about whether Hades was a person or a place – maybe I had read different stories where it was used each way.

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