LA Times Crossword 29 Nov 20, Sunday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: History Lesson

Themed answers each end with a word that often takes the adjective SOCIAL:

  • 125A Field including history, and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues : SOCIAL STUDIES
  • 22A *Cuddly toy : STUFFED ANIMAL (giving “social animal”)
  • 37A *Layered lunch : TURKEY CLUB (giving “social club”)
  • 60A *Braves outfielder who was the 1990 N.L. Rookie of the Year : DAVID JUSTICE (giving “social justice”)
  • 83A *Webmaster’s concern : DATA SECURITY (giving “Social Security”)
  • 106A *Cuts a school period : SKIPS CLASS (giving “social class”)
  • 15A *Jackson or Lincoln : STATE CAPITAL (giving “social capital”)
  • 63A *”We’ll need a better solution” : THAT WON’T WORK (giving “social work”)

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

Bill’s time: 16m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Arabian Peninsula natives : OMANIS

The Arabian Peninsula (also “Arabia”) is part of Western Asia that is located just north-east of Africa. The peninsula is bordered to the west by the Red Sea, to the northeast by the Persian Gulf, and to the southeast by the Indian Ocean. Most of the Arabian Peninsula is taken up by Saudi Arabia, but also included are Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen. And, it’s the largest peninsula in the world, covering about 1¼ million square miles.

20 1998 Winter Games city : NAGANO

Nagano is a city on Japan’s largest island, Honshu. Nagano hosted the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.

21 Place for retiring? : PIT STOP

A contestant in a car race might make a pit stop to change tires, for “retiring”.

25 April 4, in 2021 : EASTER

In the Christian tradition, it is believed that three days after Jesus was put to death, he rose from the dead. Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday, and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, two days later.

26 “99 Luftballons” singer whose name is an anagram of two of Henry VIII’s wives : NENA

Nena is a German singer (“Nena” became the name of her band as well) who had a big hit with one of my favorite songs of the eighties “99 Luftballons”. The English translation of the German title (“99 Red Balloons”) isn’t literal, with the color “red” added just so that the title had the right number of syllables for the tune. “Luftballon” is the name given to a child’s toy balloon in German.

Here’s a 2002 list of one-hit wonders that VH1 dubbed the top-10 greatest of all time:

  1. “Macarena” – Los del Río (1996)
  2. “Tainted Love” – Soft Cell (1982)
  3. “Come on Eileen” – Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)
  4. “I’m Too Sexy” – Right Said Fred (1991)
  5. “Mickey” – Toni Basil (1982)
  6. “Who Let the Dogs Out?” – Baha Men (2000)
  7. “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice (1990)
  8. “Take On Me” – A-ha (1985)
  9. “Rico Suave” – Gerardo (1990)
  10. “99 Luftballons” – Nena (1984)

“Nena” is an anagram of “Anne”.

Anne Boleyn was the second wife of Henry VIII of England. Anne was found guilty of high treason after about a thousand days of marriage to Henry, accused of adultery and incest (probably trumped-up charges). She was executed, but perhaps her legacy lived on in her only child, as her daughter reigned for 45 very prosperous years as Queen Elizabeth I.

Anne of Cleves was the fourth wife of King Henry VIII. It seems that Anne’s arranged marriage to Henry was doomed from the day the two met soon after she arrived in England. Henry just wasn’t attracted to her, but the couple went ahead with the wedding. The marriage was annulled six months later on the grounds that it had not been consummated. Anne lived the rest of her life in England, and in fact outlived Henry’s five other wives.

27 Texter’s “If you ask me” : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

28 Q’s value in Scrabble : TEN

The game of Scrabble has been around since 1938, the invention of an architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. Butts determined how many tiles of each letter, and the point value of each tile, by analyzing letter distributions in publications like “The New York Times”.

29 “Solve for x” subj. : ALG

Algebra (alg.) is a branch of mathematics in which arithmetical operations are performed on variables rather than specific numbers (x,y etc). The term “algebra” comes from the Arabic “al jebr” meaning “reunion of broken parts”.

33 Feudal workers : SERFS

A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord. “Serf” comes from the Latin “servus”, meaning “slave”.

35 Pieces with views : OP-EDS

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

37 *Layered lunch : TURKEY CLUB (giving “social club”)

The club sandwich is a double-decker affair with three layers of bread and two layers of filling. This style of sandwich has been around since the end of the 19th century, and some say it was invented at an exclusive gambling “club” in Saratoga Springs, New York.

43 Hunter seen at night : ORION

According to Greek mythology, Orion was a giant hunter who was placed in the night sky by Zeus, the king of the gods. Orion is very recognizable as a constellation, especially with the three bright stars known as “Orion’s Belt”. The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, is said to be Orion’s hunting dog, and this star sits at Orion’s “foot”.

44 Rami’s role on “Mr. Robot” : ELLIOT

“Mr. Robot” is an engaging drama series about an anxious and clinically depressed computer hacker. Said hacker joins an anarchic group of hackers known as “Mr. Robot” who are intent on taking down the largest conglomerate in the world. I binge-watched the first two series, and really enjoyed the experience …

Actor Rami Malek’s big break came with the leading role in the television series “Mr. Robot”. In 2018, Malik gave an Oscar-winning performance playing Freddie Mercury in the hit biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. That marked the first time that an actor of Egyptian descent won an Academy Award for Best Actor.

47 Sch. with a Lima campus : OSU

Ohio State Lima is a regional campus that was founded in 1960. The OSU campus is shared with Rhodes State College, a community college founded in 1971.

51 Attend to a boxer, maybe : PET-SIT

The boxer breed of dog (one of my favorites) originated in Germany. My first dog was a boxer/Labrador mix, a beautiful combination. Our current family dog is a boxer/pug mix, and is another gorgeous animal.

55 Irrefutable truth : GOSPEL

“Gospel” is a term that came to us via Old English. The Old English term is “godspel” meaning “good story”, and referred to the glad tidings announced by Jesus. There are four Gospels in the Christian New Testament: the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

60 *Braves outfielder who was the 1990 N.L. Rookie of the Year : DAVID JUSTICE (giving “social justice”)

David Justice is a retired Major League Baseball player who left the game after a 13-year professional career. Justice was married for several years to film actress Halle Berry.

62 “Ex on the Beach” channel : MTV

“Ex on the Beach” is a franchise of reality TV shows made for MTV. The basic premise is that cast members are filmed in a resort setting where they develop relationships. Those relationships are interrupted by exes arriving at some point in the series.

64 Actress Hatcher : TERI

Teri Hatcher’s most famous role is the Susan Mayer character on the TV comedy-drama “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”. More recently, she portrayed Lois Lane on the show “Lois & Clark”.

66 Half a film genre portmanteau : ROM-

That would be “romcom”.

A portmanteau was a large suitcase, one that could be taken apart into two separate pieces. The word “portmanteau” is French for a “travelling bag”, from “porter” (to carry) and “manteau” (a coat, cloak). We also use “portmanteau” to mean a word that has been melded together from two parts (just as the suitcase comprised two parts). This usage was introduced to the world by Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. He explained to Alice that the nonsense words in the “Jabberwocky” poem were actually portmanteau words. For example “slithy” comes from “slimy” and “lithe”.

67 Workplaces for RNs : ORS

Registered nurses (RNs) might be found in an operating room (OR) or emergency room (ER).

70 __-free: cleaning cloth term : LINT

“Lint”, meaning “fluff”, is one of those terms that I had to learn when I moved to the US. We call the same thing “fuzz” on the other side of the Atlantic.

74 Bowlers, e.g. : HATS

I think that a bowler hat is usually called a derby here in the US. The bowler was first produced in 1849 in London by hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, hence the name. The alternative name of “derby” comes from the tradition of wearing bowler hats at the Derby horse race (a major race held annually in England).

75 Menu preposition : A LA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated as “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

76 Palais pal : AMI

In French, a “roi” (king) might be found in a “palais” (palace).

78 Aides for profs : TAS

Teaching assistant (TA)

82 __ Miss : OLE

“Ole Miss” is the nickname for the University of Mississippi. The name “Ole Miss” dates back to 1897, the first year a student yearbook was published. The graduating class held a competition to name the yearbook and “Ole Miss” emerged as the winner. The name stuck to the yearbook, and also as a nickname for the school itself. The University of Mississippi sports teams have been known as the Rebels since 1936. Prior to 1936, they were known as the Mississippi Flood.

83 *Webmaster’s concern : DATA SECURITY (giving “Social Security”)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) was set up as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first person to receive a monthly retirement benefit was Ida May Fuller of Vermont who received her first check for the sum of $22.54 after having contributed for three years through payroll taxes. The New Deal turned out to be a good deal for Ms. Fuller, as she lived to be 100 years of age and received a total benefit of almost $23,000, whereas her three years of contributions added up to just $24.75.

90 Performed a concerto’s cadenza : SOLOED

The musical term “cadenza” describes a passage that is sung or played by a soloist. A cadenza is often encountered in a concerto, when the orchestra stops playing and the soloist performs alone. The soloist’s performance can be improvised or written, at the composer’s discretion.

97 __ de parfum : EAU

In the world of perfumery, eau de parfum (EdP) is generally more concentrated than eau de toilette (EdT), which in turn is generally more concentrated than eau de cologne (EdC).

99 Beaux of old : SWAINS

A swain is a country lad, or a beau. Back in the 12th century, a swain was a young man who attended a knight.

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

102 Civil rights icon John : LEWIS

John Lewis was a civil rights leader, and a prominent leader in the 1963 March on Washington in which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Lewis also suffered a fractured skull as he walked at the head of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on Bloody Sunday. Lewis was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1987, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 by President Obama. Lewis passed away in 2020.

103 “Close, but no cigar” : NICE TRY

The idiomatic phrase “close, but no cigar” means “nice try, but not good enough”. There is a suggestion that this expression originated in the mid-20th century with fairground stalls, at which cigars were routinely given out as prizes.

110 Some video files : MPEGS

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was established in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. The standards they’ve come up with use the acronym “MPEG”.

113 Israeli statesman Abba : EBAN

Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician. He was born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town, South Africa. While working at the United Nations after WWII, Eban changed his given name to “Abba”, the Hebrew word for “father”. Reportedly, he made this change as Eban saw himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

114 Washington MLBer : NAT

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats.

116 Global fiscal org. : IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was established at the end of 1945 with 29 major economies supporting and funding an effort to stabilize economies across the globe after WWII. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., today the IMF has 187 member countries.

123 Sweetums : POOPSIE

My wife would leave me if I called her “Poopsie” …

129 Poland neighbor : UKRAINE

Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe that was a Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) before the dissolution of the USSR. In English, we often call the country “the Ukraine”, but I am told that we should say just “Ukraine”.

134 Topples (over) : KEELS

To keel over is to capsize, to turn a boat over so that her keel lies up from the surface. We also use the phrase “keel over” figuratively to mean “collapse, faint”.

Down

3 2010 Coen brothers remake : TRUE GRIT

The classic 1969 Western movie “True Grit” starring John Wayne is a screen adaptation of a 1968 novel by Charles Portis. The Coen brothers released another big screen adaption of the novel using the same title in 2010 starring Jeff Bridges in the Rooster Cogburn role previously played by John Wayne.

4 __ Romeo : ALFA

The “Alfa” in “Alfa Romeo” is actually an acronym, one standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (“Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company”). ALFA was an enterprise founded in 1909 and which was taken over by Nicola Romeo in 1915. In 1920 the company name was changed to Alfa Romeo.

5 Some downloaded docs : PDFS

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. PDF documents can be shared between users and read using many different applications and platforms, making them more universally accessible than documents saved by one particular program.

10 Cockamamie : INANE

“Cockamamy” (sometimes “cockamamie”) is a slang term meaning “ridiculous, incredible”. The term goes back at least to 1946, but may have originated as an informal term used by children in New York City in the 1920s.

11 Discontinued Camry model : SOLARA

The Solara is a sporty version of the Toyota Camry that was produced from 1998 until 2008.

12 “The King and I” kingdom : SIAM

“The King and I” is a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on a book by Margaret Landon called “Anna and the King of Siam” first published in 1944. Landon’s book is based on a true story, told in the memoirs of Anna Leonowens. Leonowens was the governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the 1860s, and she also taught the king’s wives.

13 When two hands come together? : AT NOON

Our word “noon”, meaning “midday”, comes from the Latin “nona hora” that translates as “ninth hour”. Back in ancient Rome, the “ninth hour” was three in the afternoon. Over the centuries, traditions such as church prayers and “midday” meals shifted from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m., and so “noon” became understood as 12 noon.

14 Luxury bag monogram : YSL

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

15 *Jackson or Lincoln : STATE CAPITAL (giving “social capital”)

Jackson is the capital of the state of Mississippi. The city was founded in 1821 as a new state capital, and was named for future US president General Andrew Jackson.

The city of Lincoln is the second-largest in Nebraska, and is the state capital. In the days of the Nebraska Territory, the capital was the larger city of Omaha. When the territory was being considered for statehood, most of the population (which lived south of the River Platte) was in favor of annexation to Kansas. The pro-statehood legislature voted to move the capital nearer to that population in a move intended to appease those favoring annexation. As this conflict was taking place just after the Civil War, a special interest group in Omaha arranged for the new capital to be named Lincoln, in honor of the recently-assassinated president. The thought was that the populace south of the River Platte had been sympathetic to the Confederate cause and so would not pass the measure to move the capital if the Lincoln name was used. But the measure passed, the capital was moved, and Nebraska became the thirty-seventh State of the Union in 1867.

21 Beam benders : PRISMS

When light passes through a prism, it splits up (disperses) into differing wavelengths. It then becomes clear that white light is actually a mixture of different colors, which show up as a beautiful spectrum.

23 Court tie : DEUCE

In tennis, if the score reaches deuce (i.e. when both players have scored three points), then the first player to win two points in a row wins the game. The player who wins the point immediately after deuce is said to have the advantage. If the player with the advantage wins the next point then that’s two in a row and that player wins the game. If the person with the advantage loses the next point, then advantage is lost and the players return to deuce and try again. The player calling out the score announces “ad in”, or more formally “advantage in”, if he/she has the advantage. If the score announcer’s opponent has the advantage, then the announcement is “ad out” or “advantage out”. Follow all of that …?

32 Festive time : YULE

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

34 Name on the 1979 album “The Wall” : FLOYD

Pink Floyd was an English rock band founded in 1965. The band’s most famous albums are probably “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall”.

36 MillerCoors rival : PABST

Frederick Pabst was a brewer from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area who had immigrated to the US from Prussia with his parents. Pabst bought himself into his father-in-law’s small brewery and over the years grew the enterprise into a public company. The most famous beer from Pabst is Pabst Blue Ribbon.

38 Part of the former Yugoslavia : KOSOVO

The country name “Kosovo” is an adjectival form of the Serbian word “kos” meaning “blackbird”. The name commemorates the “field of the blackbirds” the site of a 1389 battle between Serbia and the Ottoman Empire. The dispute over Kosovo technically dates back to the implosion of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The capital of Kosovo is Pristina.

39 City west of Tulsa : ENID

Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because it has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.

Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma (after Oklahoma City). Tulsa started out as a settlement established by the Loachapoka and Creek Native American tribes in 1836. These early settlers called their new home “Tallasi” meaning “old town”, and this name morphed into “Tulsa” that we use today.

42 Portend : AUGUR

The verb “to augur” means “to bode, serve as an omen”. The term comes from the name of religious officials in ancient Rome called augurs whose job it was to interpret signs and omens.

45 “The Wire” antihero __ Little : OMAR

The character Omar Little is played by Michael K. Williams on the HBO series “The Wire”.

46 Saves for later viewing : TIVOS

TiVo was introduced in 1999 and was the world’s first commercially successful digital video recorder (DVR).

49 Mexican town known for its beer, which is now a Heineken brand : TECATE

Tecate is a Mexican beer that takes its name from the city of Tecate in Baja California. Tecate is a brand produced by Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery, along with beers such as Dos Equis, Bohemia and Carta Blanca.

56 Spy org. created by FDR : 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.

59 Asian honorific : SRI

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

61 “Maleficent” actress : JOLIE

Angelina Jolie is a remarkably successful Hollywood actress from Los Angeles, California. Jolie has acting in her blood as her father is actor Jon Voight. Her godparents are actors Jacqueline Bisset and Maximilian Schell. Jolie’s first marriage was to British actor Jonny Lee Miller, who plays Sherlock Holmes on the TV show “Elementary”. Her second marriage was to actor Billy Bob Thornton, and the third to actor Brad Pitt.

“Maleficent” is a 2014 movie starring Angelina Jolie in the title role, the evil queen from “Sleeping Beauty”. “Maleficent” is loosely based on the fairy tale, and is told from the perspective of the evil queen.

62 City west of Venezia : MILANO

Milan (“Milano” in Italian) is Italy’s second largest city, second only to Rome. Milan is a European fashion capital, the headquarters for the big Italian fashion houses of Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Armani, Prada and others. Mario Prada was even born in Milan, and helped establish the city’s reputation in the world of fashion.

The city of Venice (“Venezia” in Italian) in northeast Italy is built in a saltwater lagoon on the Adriatic Coast, on 117 small islands. The classic transportation along the waterways is the gondola, but this is really only used for tourists these days, as well as on ceremonial occasions. The locals rely on the motorized water-buses.

71 Flip sides? : TAILS

The two sides of a coin are known as the “obverse” and the “reverse”. The obverse is commonly referred to as “heads”, as it often depicts someone’s head. The reverse is commonly called “tails”, as it is the opposite of “heads”.

76 __ interpreter: press conference figure : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

77 Fighting word from the French for “mixture” : MELEE

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

81 “The Good Place” network : NBC

“The Good Place” is a fantasy-comedy TV show about a woman who wakes up in the afterlife. The woman is played by Kristen Bell, and the afterlife is a heaven-like utopia designed by Michael, an immortal architect portrayed by Ted Danson. I haven’t seen this one …

84 EagleCam spot : AERIE

An aerie (sometimes “eyrie”) is an eagle’s nest. The term “aerie” can more generally describe any bird’s nest that is located on a cliff or a mountaintop.

85 Seize illegally : USURP

To usurp is to seize and hold by force. The term “usurp” comes to us from Latin via French, from “usus” (a use) and “rapere” (to seize).

88 Poolroom powder : TALC

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

91 What Brinker’s boy plugged with a finger : DIKE

“Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates” is a children’s novel written by American author Mary Mapes Dodge, and first published in 1865. The novel is famous for introducing a story, told within the novel’s own storyline, the tale of the little Dutch boy who put his finger in the leaking dike. I always thought the tale of the boy and the dike was a Dutch legend but no, it was a literary invention of Mary Mapes Dodge …

93 Graceful vertical entrance : SWAN DIVE

A swan dive is one in which the diver holds the arms outspread until just before hitting the water. Over on the other side of the Atlantic, the same dive is often called a swallow dive. Sometimes we use the verb “to swan-dive” to describe something that plummets, suddenly decreases. The stock markets swan-dives every so often …

94 Birthplace of Galileo : PISA

The city of Pisa sits right on the Italian coast, at the mouth of the River Arno. The city is perhaps most famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …

Galileo Galilei may be the most famous son of the city of Pisa in Italy and was considered by many to have been the father of modern science. In the world of physics, Galileo postulated that objects of different masses would fall at the same rate provided they did so in a vacuum (so there was no air resistance). There is a story that he dropped two balls of different masses from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate this, but this probably never happened. Centuries later, Astronaut David Scott performed Galileo’s proposed experiment when he dropped a hammer and feather on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission and we all saw the objects hit the moon surface, at exactly the same time.

105 Private agreement? : YES, SIR!

The lowest military rank of soldier is often called “private” (pvt.). The term comes from the Middle Ages when “private soldiers” were hired or conscripted by noblemen to form a private army. The more generic usage of “private” started in the 1700s.

108 Two cents : INPUT

To put in one’s two cents is to add one’s opinion. The American expression derives from the older English version, which is “to put in one’s two pennies’ worth”.

111 Grimm creature : GNOME

In English folklore, the fairy’s anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Although the charastics of gnomes vary in folklore, typically they are described as diminutive humanoids who live underground. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable. We now have garden gnomes, and even the Travelocity Gnome.

The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

112 Actor __ Baron Cohen : SACHA

Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedian and comic actor from England. Baron Cohen is perhaps most famous for playing the characters Borat and Ali G on the small and large screens. I’m not a fan …

117 Stole stuff : MINK

There are two species of mink extant: the European Mink and the American Mink. There used to be a Sea Mink which was much larger than its two cousins, but it was hunted to extinction (for its fur) in the late 1800s. American Minks are farmed over in Europe for fur, and animal rights activists have released many of these animals into the wild when raiding mink farms. As a result the European Mink population has declined due to the presence of its larger and more adaptable American cousin.

A stole is a narrow shawl. It can be made of quite light decorative material, but also can be heavier if made of fur.

122 “Nurse Jackie” star Falco : EDIE

“Nurse Jackie” is a comedy-drama series centered on an emergency room nurse at a hospital in New York City. The lead character is played by Edie Falco, who also played Tony Soprano’s wife on “The Sopranos”. I binge-watched “Nurse Jackie” a while back and found it to be a very well-written show …

127 Fish in unadon : EEL

“Unadon” is the Japanese word for “eel bowl”. “Unadon” is actually a contraction of “unagi no kabayaki” (grilled eel) and “donburi” (rice bowl dish).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Readily available : ON TAP
6 Arabian Peninsula natives : OMANIS
12 Declines : SAYS NO
18 __ apart : WORLDS
20 1998 Winter Games city : NAGANO
21 Place for retiring? : PIT STOP
22 *Cuddly toy : STUFFED ANIMAL (giving “social animal”)
24 Was behind : RAN LATE
25 April 4, in 2021 : EASTER
26 “99 Luftballons” singer whose name is an anagram of two of Henry VIII’s wives : NENA
27 Texter’s “If you ask me” : IMO
28 Q’s value in Scrabble : TEN
29 “Solve for x” subj. : ALG
31 Harbor bobber : BUOY
33 Feudal workers : SERFS
35 Pieces with views : OP-EDS
37 *Layered lunch : TURKEY CLUB (giving “social club”)
41 Popular fact source : ALMANAC
43 Hunter seen at night : ORION
44 Rami’s role on “Mr. Robot” : ELLIOT
47 Sch. with a Lima campus : OSU
48 Swingers’ tools : BATS
51 Attend to a boxer, maybe : PET-SIT
53 Ill will : ENMITY
55 Irrefutable truth : GOSPEL
57 Litter box emanations : ODORS
60 *Braves outfielder who was the 1990 N.L. Rookie of the Year : DAVID JUSTICE (giving “social justice”)
62 “Ex on the Beach” channel : MTV
64 Actress Hatcher : TERI
66 Half a film genre portmanteau : ROM-
67 Workplaces for RNs : ORS
68 Tiny bit : TAD
69 Cheery greeting : HI-HO!
70 __-free: cleaning cloth term : LINT
72 Market : SELL
74 Bowlers, e.g. : HATS
75 Menu preposition : A LA
76 Palais pal : AMI
78 Aides for profs : TAS
80 Check, with “in” : REIN …
82 __ Miss : OLE
83 *Webmaster’s concern : DATA SECURITY (giving “Social Security”)
87 Financial liabilities : DEBTS
89 Ailing : UNWELL
90 Performed a concerto’s cadenza : SOLOED
92 Where kitties get pampered : CAT SPA
96 Substandard : POOR
97 __ de parfum : EAU
99 Beaux of old : SWAINS
102 Civil rights icon John : LEWIS
103 “Close, but no cigar” : NICE TRY
106 *Cuts a school period : SKIPS CLASS (giving “social class”)
108 Prefix with league : INTER-
110 Some video files : MPEGS
113 Israeli statesman Abba : EBAN
114 Washington MLBer : NAT
115 “Right this instant!” : NOW!
116 Global fiscal org. : IMF
118 Piece of cake : SNAP
120 Paid off : BRIBED
123 Sweetums : POOPSIE
125 Field including history, and a hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues : SOCIAL STUDIES
129 Poland neighbor : UKRAINE
130 Entering words : I’M HERE
131 Thin piece : SLIVER
132 “Shame on you!” : TSK TSK!
133 Raised : REARED
134 Topples (over) : KEELS

Down

1 Cries of pain : OWS
2 “Just kidding!” : NOT!
3 2010 Coen brothers remake : TRUE GRIT
4 __ Romeo : ALFA
5 Some downloaded docs : PDFS
6 Hot : ON A ROLL
7 Superhero suffix : -MAN
8 Opposin’ : AGIN
9 Identifies : NAMES
10 Cockamamie : INANE
11 Discontinued Camry model : SOLARA
12 “The King and I” kingdom : SIAM
13 When two hands come together? : AT NOON
14 Luxury bag monogram : YSL
15 *Jackson or Lincoln : STATE CAPITAL (giving “social capital”)
16 Prominent : NOTED
17 Warms up the crowd : OPENS
19 Hold in reserve : SET BY
21 Beam benders : PRISMS
23 Court tie : DEUCE
29 Straddling : ATOP
30 Tempt : LURE
32 Festive time : YULE
34 Name on the 1979 album “The Wall” : FLOYD
36 MillerCoors rival : PABST
38 Part of the former Yugoslavia : KOSOVO
39 City west of Tulsa : ENID
40 Tough situation : BIND
42 Portend : AUGUR
45 “The Wire” antihero __ Little : OMAR
46 Saves for later viewing : TIVOS
49 Mexican town known for its beer, which is now a Heineken brand : TECATE
50 Winter hillside sights : SLEDS
52 Kid : TOT
54 Track official : TIMER
56 Spy org. created by FDR : OSS
58 Dig find : RELIC
59 Asian honorific : SRI
61 “Maleficent” actress : JOLIE
62 City west of Venezia : MILANO
63 *”We’ll need a better solution” : THAT WON’T WORK (giving “social work”)
65 Opening remarks : INTRO
69 Invited to the skybox : HAD UP
71 Flip sides? : TAILS
73 Was in charge of : LED
74 Low-cost stopover : HOSTEL
76 __ interpreter: press conference figure : ASL
77 Fighting word from the French for “mixture” : MELEE
79 Store : STOW
81 “The Good Place” network : NBC
84 EagleCam spot : AERIE
85 Seize illegally : USURP
86 Passing words? : YEAS
88 Poolroom powder : TALC
91 What Brinker’s boy plugged with a finger : DIKE
93 Graceful vertical entrance : SWAN DIVE
94 Birthplace of Galileo : PISA
95 Mgr.’s helper : ASST
98 Cost of withdrawal : ATM FEE
100 Ate in small bits : NIBBLED
101 Exchanges verbal jabs : SPARS
104 Tense situation : CRISIS
105 Private agreement? : YES, SIR!
107 Agitated states : SNITS
108 Two cents : INPUT
109 Partners of crannies : NOOKS
111 Grimm creature : GNOME
112 Actor __ Baron Cohen : SACHA
117 Stole stuff : MINK
119 Docking place : PIER
121 Cheapest way to buy, with “in” : BULK
122 “Nurse Jackie” star Falco : EDIE
124 Gentle touch : PAT
126 Exist : ARE
127 Fish in unadon : EEL
128 Yearbook gp. : SRS

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 29 Nov 20, Sunday”

  1. fairly easy go of it… i messed up on DAVID JUSTICE.. couldn’t find the JUSTICE in it. Had ERS for 67A so i didn’t see JOLIE and didn’t know the movie MALEFICIENT. .. and i didn’t know TECATE.. pretty obvious now..

  2. 11:21, no errors. Interesting contrast with several of the other puzzles I did last night/this morning given the usual language problems that those others exhibited.

  3. 51:55 no errors…started out like an overgrown Monday puzzle but bogged down in the middle with Tecate, David Justice and others but like the tortoise I plugged away.
    Stay safe😀

  4. Had it filled in at 32 minutes. Spent 8 more minutes trying to find my mistake, but couldn’t. Did a grid check and found I had nene and solera instead of nena and solara. Don’t much care. Fun puzzle.

  5. I am curious as to why the numbers on the answers to the puzzle are now very blurry. I know the creator can’t answer that but the original puzzle is fine, the answer page is hard to match the numbers.

  6. The numbers on the puzzle are distorted. Can’t read them even if I make it larger. This has happened the last 2 weeks. No, it’s not my eyes
    Or glasses.

  7. 22:05 2 errors

    It was nice to have lots of themed answers, to help figure out the reveal, and then the rest of the themes.

  8. No problems with puzzle, but puzzled by “Social Capital” Bob explained the two state capitals, but doesn’t touch on the meaning of “Social Capital?” I suppose I could Google it, but I’m sure some poster will be able to help…

    1. _Social Capital_ is just some bullshit term only used by professors of sociology that involves the potential of individuals to secure benefits and invent solutions to problems through membership in social networks.

  9. Forgot to put the “m” in ATMfee so missed mpegs too. Actually was not
    sure of that letter, but the rest of the puzzle was all correct.

    The grid on the answer page in my newspaper has no numbers at all,
    but I’m not sure the above complaints are about printed or on-line answers/

  10. 22 minutes, 47 seconds, no errors. Pretty straightforward, although the theme never really made any sense, or helped or hindered. Pretty much useless, as they often are.

    1. @Joe … Probably … if … this were anything but a crossword puzzle. But it is a crossword puzzle, and the clue has a question mark on the end of it (“Place for retiring?”), which is usually a broad hint that a pun might be involved.

  11. My wife and I can’t imagine why you would blur the answers page puzzle image.
    Really?
    Why make life more difficult and your puzzle less-regarded?
    Returning proper focus to your puzzle’s answers image would be greatly appreciated.

  12. Haha! I had trouble getting the theme, and saw Club, Animal, Security, Class, Work…. and thought it was about dog shows! Club was AKC(American kennel club), animal was dog, Class referred to the judging divisions, which include Working dogs! And there are Security dogs too… though not a judged group in the shows so that gave me pause …and I didn’t know Justice, so, that didn’t put me off till I read your piece this morning. Thanks for doing these reports, so informative and fun.

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