LA Times Crossword 17 Jan 21, Sunday

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

Today’s Theme: Hitting the Big Leagues

Themed answers each include the letter sequence PRO, but TURNED around:

  • 119A Leaving the amateur ranks, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : TURNING PRO
  • 21A *Discount ticket based on age : SENIOR PASS
  • 23A *Raffle rewards, perhaps : DOOR PRIZES
  • 45A *Avocado misnomer : ALLIGATOR PEAR
  • 69A *Cause of some back pain : POOR POSTURE
  • 91A *Pre-wedding bash : BACHELOR PARTY
  • 116A *It’s not 112-Across : MINOR POINT
  • 38D *Building diagram : FLOOR PLAN
  • 53D *Workforce : LABOR POOL

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

Bill’s time: 17m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

17 Superlative prefix : UBER-

“Über” is the German word for “over, across, above”. We have absorbed “uber-” into English as a prefix meaning “very”.

19 Causing the willies : EERIE

A fit of the willies is a spell of nervousness. The expression is probably a derivative of “the woollies”, a colloquial expression meaning “nervous” that is likely to be a reference to itchiness caused by wool garments.

20 Malek of “Mr. Robot” : RAMI

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.

21 *Discount ticket based on age : SENIOR PASS

Gotta love those senior passes …

23 *Raffle rewards, perhaps : DOOR PRIZES

A raffle is a game of chance in which the prize can be won by numerous people who buy into the draw. Back in the 14th century, in Old French, a “rafle” was a dice game.

25 Sonata producer : HYUNDAI

The Sonata is one of Hyundai’s most successful models, having been introduced in 1985 and still being sold today. The original model didn’t make it to the North American market as it had problems meeting emission standards. The first Sonatas hit this side of the Pacific in 1988, and were assembled in Bromont, Quebec.

26 Downed with an ax : HEWN

“To hew” means “to cut down”, perhaps a tree. The verb “hew” comes from an Old English word meaning the same thing.

29 Grain in granola : OAT

The names “Granola” and “Granula” were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

30 Piece of cake : CINCH

The term “cinch” was absorbed into American English from Spanish in the mid-1800s, when it was used to mean a “saddle-girth”. “Cincha” is the Spanish for “girdle”. In the late 1800s, “cinch” came to mean a ‘sure thing”, in the sense that a saddle-girth can provide a “sure hold”.

34 Pretender : PHONY

Something or someone described as phony (sometimes “phoney”) is not genuine or real. There is a suggestion that the term “phony” comes from “fawney”, which was a gold-plated brass ring used by swindlers in place of a one made of pure gold.

39 Mo. with dog days : AUG

“Dog Days” is the term given to the warmest and most humid days of summer. The term derives from the ancient belief that hot weather was caused when Sirius (the Dog Star) was in close proximity to the sun.

45 *Avocado misnomer : ALLIGATOR PEAR

The wonderful avocado comes from a tree that is native to Mexico and Central America. The avocado fruit is sometimes called an avocado pear, because of its shape, even though it is not related to the pear at all. The fruit might also be referred to as an alligator pear, due to the roughness of the green skin of some avocado cultivars.

60 Beer with a black eagle in its logo : 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.

62 Waze option: Abbr. : RTE

Waze is a navigation app that is similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps. Waze was developed in Israel, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

65 Mexican buffet feature : SALSA BAR

Our word “buffet” comes from the French “bufet” meaning “bench, sideboard”. So, a buffet is a meal served from a “bufet”.

67 Trio for A-Rod and Trout : MVPS

MVP (most valuable player)

Professional baseball player Alex Rodriguez earned more nicknames than just “A-Rod”. He has been called “the Cooler” by some players as there was a perception that teams went cold when he joined them and hot when he left. He has also been called “A-Fraud” by teammates because of another perception, that he is over-demanding. Rodriguez was in a world of hurt not so long ago, for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. He retired from baseball in 2016.

Mike Trout debuted as a professional baseball player for the Los Angeles Angels in 2011. Trout’s nickname is “the Millville Meteor”, as he grew up in Millville, New Jersey.

72 Garden rodent : VOLE

Vole populations can increase very rapidly. Mama vole is pregnant for just three weeks before giving birth to litters of 5-10 baby voles. Then, the young voles become sexually mature in just one month! If you have one pregnant vole in your yard, within a year you could have over a hundred of the little critters.

73 Lea Salonga, e.g. : FILIPINA

Lea Salonga is a singer and actress from the Philippines who is known for originating the lead role in the musical “Miss Saigon” in both the West End and on Broadway. Salonga also provided the singing voice for the Disney princesses Jasmine (in “Aladdin”) and Fa Mulan (in “Mulan”). She was the first Asian woman to win a Tony Award, for her performance in “Miss Saigon”.

75 Publisher Larry __, portrayal for which Woody Harrelson received an Oscar nomination : FLYNT

Larry Flynt is a publisher who is most associated with the pornographic magazine “Hustler”. Before Flynt went into publishing, he served in the US Navy as a radar operator. In fact, he was on duty on the USS Enterprise as the ship picked up John Glenn from his Friendship 7 space capsule.

76 IOC country code three before Qatar : POR

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) uses its own set of three-letter abbreviations for country names, e.g. HUN (Hungary), ECU (Ecuador), ESP (Spain) and CRO (Croatia).

Portugal is the most westerly country in Europe, and is located in the west of the Iberian Peninsula alongside Spain. The name “Portugal” comes from the Latin “Portus Cale”, the name used by ancient Romans for Porto, now the country’s second largest city. Portugal was a far-reaching power in the 15th and 16th centuries, at the center of the world’s first truly global empire. A legacy of the Portuguese Empire is that today there are more than 240 million Portuguese speakers across the world.

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

77 Virtual alter ego : AVATAR

The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of online presences one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

81 Everest expert : SHERPA

In the Tibetan language, “Sherpa” means “eastern people” (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.

Mount Everest was first summited in 1953 by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese-Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hillary and Norgay were part of an expedition from which two pairs of climbers were selected to make a summit attempt. The first pair were Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, and they came within 330 feet of their goal but had to turn back. The expedition sent up the second pair two days later, and history was made on 29 May 1953.

84 __ Diego Padres : SAN

The San Diego Padres baseball team was founded in 1969, and immediately joined the ranks of Major League Baseball as an expansion team. The Padres took their name from a Minor League team that had been in the city since 1936. The name is Spanish for “fathers” and is a reference to the Franciscan Friars from Spain who founded San Diego in 1769.

85 “The Irishman” Oscar nominee : PACINO

Al Pacino seems to be best known for playing characters on both sides of the law. Pacino’s big break in the movies came when he played Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”, a role that grew for him as the series of films progressed. But his Oscar-winning role was that of a blind ex-military officer in “Scent of a Woman”.

“The Irishman” is a 2019 Martin Scorsese crime movie starring the usual Scorsese suspects, namely Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. Interestingly, comic actor Ray Romano has a significant supporting role in this film. “The Irishman” follows the life of a truck driver (De Niro) and his interaction with a mobster (Pesci) and Teamster kingpin Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino).

89 Many Oscar nominees : ACTORS

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

97 Brouhaha : ADO

“Brouhaha”, meaning “ado, stir”, was a French word that back in the 1550s meant “the cry of the devil disguised as clergy” . Wow!

98 Sweetie, in slang : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”, although I’ve also read that it is an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

99 Twitch stream annoyance : DELAY

Twitch is a live streaming platform used primarily by gamers. Folks playing games can broadcast their game play live to an audience.

101 Civil War general : MEADE

George Meade was a career army officer with a depth of experience in civil and military operations even before the onset of the Civil War. During the war he rose to the level of Commander of the Army of the Potomac, and is best remembered for leading the Union forces that defeated General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg in 1863.

102 Cried in the cornfield : CAWED

A caw is the harsh cry of a crow, and crows might be found in fields of corn …

104 Aficionado : MAVEN

I’ve always loved the term “maven”, which is another word for “expert”. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” describing someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.

An aficionado is an enthusiast. Imported from Spanish, “aficionado” was originally used in English to describe a devotee of bullfighting.

106 Squid’s squirt : INK

Octopodes and squid have the ability to release a dark pigment into the water as a means of escape. The dark pigment is called cephalopod ink (the squid and octopus belong to the class cephalopoda) and is stored in an ink sac. The dark color is created by melanin, the same substance that acts as a pigment in human skin.

121 B-school subject : ECON

A business major (maj.) probably studied economics (econ.).

A B-school is a business school.

122 Autobahn autos : AUDIS

The predecessor to today’s Audi company was called Auto Union. Auto Union was formed with the merger of four individual entities: Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer. The Audi logo comprises four intersecting rings, each representing one of the four companies that merged.

The federal highway system in Germany is known as the Autobahn (plural “Autobahnen” in German). Famously, there are no federally mandated speed limits on the autobahn, although many, many stretches of the highway do indeed have posted and enforced limits. Where there is no speed limit posted, there is an advisory speed limit of 130 km/hr (81 mph). It is not illegal to travel over this speed limit, but legal liability may increase at higher speeds if that speed contributes to an accident.

123 Layered veggie : ONION

I hear that there’s a rumor going around that an onion is a fruit. Well, a fruit, by definition, bears a seed or multiple seeds. Onion bulbs have no seeds. Onions are vegetables.

124 __ Millions : MEGA

The Mega Millions lottery game is available in most states of the US, as is its major rival called Powerball.

127 Golf great Karrie : WEBB

Karrie Webb is a professional golfer, the most successful female golfer from Australia. Webb has more wins on the LPGA tour than any other golfer still playing.

128 Asian laptop brand : ACER

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I visited a couple of times when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

Down

4 Hamlet, for one : PRINCE

The full title of William Shakespeare’s play that we tend to call “Hamlet” is “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”. It is the most performed of all Shakespeare’s plays and it is also his longest, the only one of his works comprising over 4,000 lines. That’s about a 4-hour sitting in a theater …

5 Like salves : TOPICAL

Our adjective “topical” can be used to mean “designed for local application on the body”. Back in the late 16th century, “topical” meant “pertaining to a place”. By the late 19th century, the meaning of “topical” had extended to “pertaining to a ‘place’ on the body”.

6 “For You” co-singer Rita : ORA

Rita Ora is a British singer who was born Rita Sahatçiu in Pristina, Yugoslavia to Albanian parents. The family name “Sahatçiu” comes from a Turkish word meaning “watchmaker”. Rita’s parents changed their name to make it easier to pronounce. So, the family name morphed from “watchmaker” to “time”, which is “ora” in Albanian.

“For You” is a 2018 song recorded by Liam Payne (of One Direction) and Rita Ora. It was used as the lead single from the soundtrack of the movie “Fifty Shades Freed”, the third installment in the “Fifty Shades” trilogy.

8 Wall St.’s “Big Board” : NYSE

The roots of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) go back to 1792 when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement. Today, the NYSE is located in a National Historic Landmark building with the address 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

9 Nat __ Wild: cable channel : GEO

The National Geographic Channel (Nat Geo) is jointly owned by Fox and the National Geographic Society, and was launched in 2001. Nat Geo has a sister channel known as National Geographic Wild (Nat Geo Wild) that focuses on programming about wildlife.

13 Hindu honorific : SRI

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

14 Easy-to-play instruments : KAZOOS

The modern instrument we know today as the kazoo was invented by one Alabama Vest of Macon, Georgia in the 1800s. The kazoo first came to the public’s attention at the Georgia State Fair of 1852, when it was known as the “Down-South Submarine” (because of its shape, I would imagine).

18 Hall of Fame quarterback Tarkenton : FRAN

Fran Tarkenton is a former football player who played for the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants. Tarkenton has had quite the life after retiring from football in 1978. He co-wrote a murder-mystery novel, several self-help books and started his own software company.

19 Sitcom sewer worker : ED NORTON

Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton are two characters in “The Honeymooners”, played by Jackie Gleason and Art Carney. Kramden is a bus driver, and Norton works with the New York City sewer department.

22 Garfield’s frenemy : ODIE

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

A frenemy is someone who feigns friendship but who is actually an enemy or competitor.

27 Dallas Wings’ org. : WNBA

The Shock were the professional WNBA team based in Tulsa from 2010 to 2015. The team was founded as the Detroit Shock in 1998, and became the Dallas Wings after leaving Tulsa in 2016.

31 Grass-skirt dance : HULA

The hula is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a noho dance) or while standing (a luna dance).

36 Neighbor of Den. : NOR

Norway has been ranked as the country in the world with the highest standard of living almost every year since 2001. Norway is rich in natural resources and has a relatively low population. The people benefit from a comprehensive social security system, subsidized higher education for all citizens and universal health care. And Norway is famous for her success at the Winter Olympic Games, having won more gold medals than any other nation in the world.

The flag of Denmark comprises a white Scandinavian cross on a red background. The Danish flag appears in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest continuously-used national flag, having been adopted in 1625. The flag is known in Denmark as the “Dannebrog”, meaning “Danish cloth”.

43 Ladybug or weevil : BEETLE

The insect we know as a ladybug (also “ladybird”) has seven spots on its wing covers. These seven spots gave rise to the common name “ladybug”, as in the Middle Ages the insect was called the “beetle of Our Lady”. The spots were said to symbolize the Seven Joys and Seven Sorrows, events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary called out in the Roman Catholic tradition.

A weevil is a small beetle known for the damage that it can do to crops. The boll weevil damages cotton plants by laying eggs inside cotton bolls. The young weevils then eat their way out. Some weevils have snouts that are as long as their body.

47 Feature of Japan’s flag : RED SUN

The Japanese flag is white, with a red disc in the center that represents the sun. Japan has been referred to as the land of the rising sun at least since the 12th century.

55 “Chicago” star : GERE

Richard Gere has played such great roles on the screen, and I find him to be a very interesting character off the screen. Gere has been studying Buddhism since 1978 and is a very visible supporter of the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet. Gere has been married twice; to supermodel Cindy Crawford from 1991 to 1995, and to model/actress Carey Lowell from 2002 until 2016. Gere’s breakthrough role was as the male lead in the 1980 film “American Gigolo”.

The wonderful 1975 musical “Chicago” is based on a 1926 play of the same name written by a news reporter called Maurine Dallas Watkins. Watkins had been assigned to cover the murder trials of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner for the “Chicago Tribune”, and used the story that unfolded as the basis for her play. Annan became the character Roxie Hart, and Gaertner became Velma Kelly. I’ve only ever seen the movie version of “Chicago” and never a live performance …

57 Unstable subatomic particle : KAON

“Pion” is short for “pi meson”, and “kaon” is short for “K meson”.

64 Amp carrier : ROADIE

A “roadie” is someone who loads, unloads and sets up equipment for musicians on tour, on the “road”.

67 Degs. for playwrights : MFAS

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

68 Bounty rival : VIVA

VIVA is a Kimberly-Clark brand of paper towels.

70 Dry spell at the plate : SLUMP

That could be baseball.

71 Blood bank category : TYPE AB

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

74 Chicago NFL team’s founder : PAPA BEAR

The NFL’s George Stanley Halas, Sr. was nicknamed “Papa Bear”. He also earned the well-deserved nickname of “Mr Everything” as he was a player, coach, inventor, jurist, producer, philanthropist, philatelist and NFL owner. He led the Chicago Bears from 1921 to 1967.

76 Push-up target : PEC

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

80 Alton Brown cooking show “Reloaded” in 2018 : GOOD EATS

Alton Brown is a celebrity chef who is behind the Food Network show “Good Eats”, and is the host of “Iron Chef America”.

82 Monetary trifle, in slang : HAY

The word “hay” can be in the slang sense of “small amount of money”, as in “Getting paid five hundred bucks for five minutes of work certainly ain’t hay!”

83 La Scala highlight : ARIA

La Scala Opera House opened in 1778. It was built on the site of the church of Santa Maria della Scala, which gave the theater its Italian name “Teatro alla Scala”.

88 Disneyland shuttle : TRAM

Walt Disney came up with the idea of building Disneyland after visiting other theme parks with his daughters in the thirties and forties. He started building the park at Anaheim, California in 1954, and the facility opened just one year and one day later. The total cost of construction was $17 million. Opening day did not go smoothly, largely because over 28,000 people visited the park compared to the 11,000 people expected at the invitation-only event. The opening day went so badly that for years Disney executives referred to it as “Black Sunday”.

92 Engine parts : RODS

In an internal combustion engine, it is the (connecting) rods that connect the pistons to the crankshaft.

93 One who scoffs at bagged pekoe, perhaps : TEA SNOB

A pekoe (or more commonly “orange pekoe”) is a medium-grade black tea. There is no orange flavor in an orange pekoe tea. The “orange” name most likely derived from the name of the trading company that brought the tea to Europe from Asia.

99 Laura of “Big Little Lies” : DERN

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura Dern played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

“Big Little Lies” is a 2017 TV miniseries that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name. It stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley as three women who, while dealing with their own emotional problems, find themselves involved in a murder investigation. I haven’t seen this one, but hear very good things …

105 Blood line : VEIN

Arteries are vessels that carry blood away from the heart, and veins are vessels carrying blood to the heart.

108 Retreats with peels : SPAS

A chemical peel is a technique used to improve the look and feel of the skin. It involves using a chemical to deliberately injure the outermost layer of the skin. The damaged skin dies and peels off, revealing regenerated skin below.

113 Crude cartel : OPEC

The OPEC cartel was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn’t in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

120 Celery piece : RIB

There’s an urban myth that eating celery burns more calories than the body can obtain from the vegetable through digestion. While celery is indeed a low-calorie food, eating it does provide a net-positive number of calories.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Splendid display : POMP
5 Unable to decide : TORN
9 Stare in wonder : GAWK
13 Leaf through : SKIM
17 Superlative prefix : UBER-
18 Quick attack : FORAY
19 Causing the willies : EERIE
20 Malek of “Mr. Robot” : RAMI
21 *Discount ticket based on age : SENIOR PASS
23 *Raffle rewards, perhaps : DOOR PRIZES
25 Sonata producer : HYUNDAI
26 Downed with an ax : HEWN
28 Ration (out) : METE
29 Grain in granola : OAT
30 Piece of cake : CINCH
32 Acknowledge surreptitiously, maybe : NOD AT
34 Pretender : PHONY
36 Checking account lure : NO FEE
39 Mo. with dog days : AUG
41 Winter’s day outburst : BRR!
42 Most capable : ABLEST
44 One who gives a hoot : OWL
45 *Avocado misnomer : ALLIGATOR PEAR
48 Investigate again, as a cold case : REOPEN
51 Itinerary abbr. : ARR
52 “Gimme a minute” : ONE SEC
53 Part of a journey : LEG
56 Gets by : DOES OK
58 Downright or outright : DARNED
60 Beer with a black eagle in its logo : TECATE
62 Waze option: Abbr. : RTE
63 Playground response : ARE SO!
65 Mexican buffet feature : SALSA BAR
67 Trio for A-Rod and Trout : MVPS
69 *Cause of some back pain : POOR POSTURE
72 Garden rodent : VOLE
73 Lea Salonga, e.g. : FILIPINA
75 Publisher Larry __, portrayal for which Woody Harrelson received an Oscar nomination : FLYNT
76 IOC country code three before Qatar : POR
77 Virtual alter ego : AVATAR
78 Finds : DIGS UP
81 Everest expert : SHERPA
84 __ Diego Padres : SAN
85 “The Irishman” Oscar nominee : PACINO
87 Encountered : MET
89 Many Oscar nominees : ACTORS
91 *Pre-wedding bash : BACHELOR PARTY
94 Olive extract : OIL
95 “See ya!” : BYE-BYE!
97 Brouhaha : ADO
98 Sweetie, in slang : BAE
99 Twitch stream annoyance : DELAY
101 Civil War general : MEADE
102 Cried in the cornfield : CAWED
104 Aficionado : MAVEN
106 Squid’s squirt : INK
107 Inquires : ASKS
109 Exec’s aide : ASST
112 Having significant consequences : SERIOUS
116 *It’s not 112-Across : MINOR POINT
119 Leaving the amateur ranks, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : TURNING PRO
121 B-school subject : ECON
122 Autobahn autos : AUDIS
123 Layered veggie : ONION
124 __ Millions : MEGA
125 Puts in stitches : SEWS
126 Part of a process : STEP
127 Golf great Karrie : WEBB
128 Asian laptop brand : ACER

Down

1 Promotional campaign : PUSH
2 Follow : OBEY
3 Channel guide, say : MENU
4 Hamlet, for one : PRINCE
5 Like salves : TOPICAL
6 “For You” co-singer Rita : ORA
7 Impulsive : RASH
8 Wall St.’s “Big Board” : NYSE
9 Nat __ Wild: cable channel : GEO
10 Pizzeria allure : AROMA
11 Bugs in cop shows : WIRETAPS
12 Held on to : KEPT
13 Hindu honorific : SRI
14 Easy-to-play instruments : KAZOOS
15 “To clarify … ” : I MEANT …
16 Not quite foggy : MISTY
18 Hall of Fame quarterback Tarkenton : FRAN
19 Sitcom sewer worker : ED NORTON
22 Garfield’s frenemy : ODIE
24 Supersedes : REPLACES
27 Dallas Wings’ org. : WNBA
31 Grass-skirt dance : HULA
33 Monotonous sound : DRONE
35 Yachter’s pronoun : HER
36 Neighbor of Den. : NOR
37 Had to pay : OWED
38 *Building diagram : FLOOR PLAN
40 Building beam : GIRDER
43 Ladybug or weevil : BEETLE
45 “I’ll take that as __” : A NO
46 Understanding : GRASP
47 Feature of Japan’s flag : RED SUN
49 Watch dogs? : PET-SIT
50 L.A.-to-Tucson dir. : ESE
53 *Workforce : LABOR POOL
54 List-ending abbr. : ET AL
55 “Chicago” star : GERE
57 Unstable subatomic particle : KAON
59 Spots for ski racks : ROOFS
61 Romp : CAVORT
64 Amp carrier : ROADIE
66 Language __ : ARTS
67 Degs. for playwrights : MFAS
68 Bounty rival : VIVA
69 High seas concern : PIRACY
70 Dry spell at the plate : SLUMP
71 Blood bank category : TYPE AB
74 Chicago NFL team’s founder : PAPA BEAR
76 Push-up target : PEC
79 Marriage acquisition : IN-LAW
80 Alton Brown cooking show “Reloaded” in 2018 : GOOD EATS
82 Monetary trifle, in slang : HAY
83 La Scala highlight : ARIA
86 Borrow from a library : CHECK OUT
88 Disneyland shuttle : TRAM
90 Sneaky : SLY
91 Nap site : BED
92 Engine parts : RODS
93 One who scoffs at bagged pekoe, perhaps : TEA SNOB
95 “No fighting!” : BE NICE!
96 Informal “Get me?” : YA KNOW?
99 Laura of “Big Little Lies” : DERN
100 Total mystery : ENIGMA
101 Silent performers : MIMES
103 Line to the audience : ASIDE
105 Blood line : VEIN
108 Retreats with peels : SPAS
110 Pack away : STOW
111 Adjust for pitch : TUNE
113 Crude cartel : OPEC
114 Implore : URGE
115 Go sky-high : SOAR
117 Walk-__: small roles : ONS
118 Quick drink : NIP
120 Celery piece : RIB

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Jan 21, Sunday”

  1. 55:29 no errors…I actually used the theme to open up a few answers which doesn’t happen that often for me…changed sip to nip and mole to vole in review.
    Stay safe.😀
    Go Browns (didn’t think I’d ever say that)😥

  2. 20:43, with a one-square error due to inattention to a crossing entry.

    @Anonymous (re “hay” for “small amount of money”) … Your speculation that it may have come from a slang version of “half penny” is interesting. I spent a few minutes looking for online information about the usage and the only thing I found was that it seems to have become common in the early 1900’s.

    Curiously, Abbott and Costello were in a movie called “It Ain’t Hay” that came out in 1943 (the year I was born). (It’s available on YouTube, so maybe I’ll take some time off from crosswords and watch it … 😜)

  3. No errors but looked up the beer name. Do you know how hard it is
    to type with a band-aid on your index finger? Ouch!

  4. 23 minutes, 30 seconds, 2 errors, where MVPS and VIVA cross. The A-Rod/Trout clue was incredibly clumsy, bordering on cynical. Lots of ways to phrase that one better.

    1. @EDW …

      “C. C.” and “Zhouqin” Burnikel are the same person. I found a explanation of this in a post on another LAT blog from March 9, 2019:

      This week someone linked us to a C.C. puzzle in USA Today and I solved her light and breezy puzzle. However I noticed as the constructor she was listed as Zhouqin Burnikel and not C. C. I wrote and asked her why that was so and she replied all the other sites require her legal name. She further told me “I use C. C. in real life. Zhouqin is just so tricky and hard to pronounce and write. Most people just add an U after the Q.”

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