LA Times Crossword 24 Jan 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Dylan Schiff
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Metamorphosis

Themed answers each include a SHAPE as a hidden word, although the order of the letters has been SHIFTED:

  • 120A Sci-fi creatures who arranged each set of circled letters? : SHAPESHIFTERS
  • 23A Quadrennial victory determinant : ELECTORAL VOTE (hiding “OVAL” shifted)
  • 39A Solar panel components : PHOTOELECTRIC CELLS (hiding “CIRCLE” shifted)
  • 57A Source of narrowly focused thinking : SINGLE-TRACK MIND (hiding “TRIANGLE” shifted)
  • 83A Virgil’s optimistic sentiment : LOVE CONQUERS ALL (hiding “SQUARE” shifted)
  • 98A Wrap up : BRING TO A CONCLUSION (hiding “OCTAGON” shifted)

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

1 Frozen snack : ICE POP

The term “ice pop” has largely been supplanted in the US by “popsicle”, as the Popsicle brand of ice pop became so popular. We still use “ice pop” in Ireland, and in the UK the same thing is called an “ice lolly”, and in Australia it’s an “ice block”.

7 Ford failure : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

12 Promising Hold ’em holding : TOP PAIR

The official birthplace of the incredibly popular poker game of Texas hold ’em is Robstown, Texas where the game dates back to the early 1900s. The game was introduced into Las Vegas in 1967 by a group of Texan enthusiasts including Doyle Brunson, a champion often seen playing on TV today. Doyle Brunson published a poker strategy guide in 1978, and this really helped increase the popularity of the game. But it was the inclusion of Texas hold ‘em in the television lineup that really gave the game its explosive surge in popularity, with the size of the prize money just skyrocketing.

22 ’30s-’40s period : WWII ERA

World War II started on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, falsely claiming that Poland had invaded German territory. Two days later, France and the UK declared war on Germany as a reprisal. The former British dominions of Australia, India and New Zealand followed suit within hours.

23 Quadrennial victory determinant : ELECTORAL VOTE (hiding “OVAL” shifted)

According to Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 of the US Constitution, each elector in the electoral college cast two votes for US president, and none for vice president. The candidate receiving the most votes became president, and the candidate receiving the second-most votes became vice president. Since the Twelfth Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified in 1804, each elector has cast one vote for president and one vote for vice president.

27 Mario Bros. console : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

28 Mexican month : ENERO

In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).

30 Indian wrap : SARI

The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that it is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

31 Biopic about Charles : RAY

Ray Charles came up with his stage name by dropping the family name from his real moniker “Ray Charles Robinson”. His life was a wild ride, and was well-represented in the excellent 2004 biopic called “Ray” starring Jamie Foxx in the title role. Ray Charles was married twice and fathered 12 children with nine different women. As I said, a wild ride …

36 Champs-Élysées feature : CAFE

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world. It is the main thoroughfare in Paris, home to the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. The name “Champs-Élysées” is French for Elysian Fields, a place where the righteous went after death, according to Greek mythology.

39 Solar panel components : PHOTOELECTRIC CELLS (hiding “CIRCLE” shifted)

Solar panels are arrays of solar cells that make use of what’s known as the photovoltaic effect. We are more likely to have learned about the photoelectric effect in school, in which electrons were ejected from the surface of some materials when it was exposed to light or other forms of radiation. The photovoltaic effect is related but different. Instead of being electrons ejected from the surface, in the photovoltaic effect electrons move around in the material creating a difference in voltage.

43 Dance studio fixture : BARRE

A barre is a handrail used by ballet dancers for warm-up exercises and to provide support when practicing certain moves.

46 Smart : CHIC

“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

52 Ingenuous : NAIVE

Here are some words, the spelling of which I find easy to confound. Someone who is “ingenious” is clever and inventive, exhibits “ingenuity”. Someone who is “ingenuous” is innocent and unsuspecting, like an “ingenue”. Someone who is “disingenuous” is the opposite, lacks candor and is insincere.

55 Capital NE of Buffalo : OTTAWA

Ottawa is the second-largest city in the Province of Ontario (after Toronto) and is the capital city of Canada. The name “Ottawa” comes from an Algonquin word “adawe”, which means “to trade”.

Buffalo is the second-most populous city in the state of New York. The city takes its name from Buffalo Creek that runs through the metropolis (although the waterway is called Buffalo River within the city). The source of the name Buffalo Creek is the subject of much speculation, but one thing is clear, there were never any bison in the area.

61 Slightly drunk : TIPSY

The term “tipsy” comes from the verb “to tip” meaning “to overturn, knock over”, and has been meaning “drunk” since the late 1500s.

62 Nabisco offering : OREO

If you take a close look at the embossed design on the front and back of an Oreo cookie, you’ll spot the main elements of the Nabisco logo. Those elements are an oval with a cross on top, a cross with two bars. Usually the company name “Nabisco” is inside the oval, but for the cookie it’s the brand name “Oreo”. The current embossed design was introduced in 1952.

64 Tokyo, long ago : EDO

“Edo” is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo Castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

67 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, __ Bouvier : NEE

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was born into a privileged family, the daughter of Wall Street stockbroker John Vernou Bouvier III. Ms. Bouvier moved in the same social circles as the Kennedy clan, and first met the then-US Representative John Kennedy at a dinner party hosted by mutual friends. Years later, after she saw her husband assassinated and then her brother-in-law (Bobby Kennedy) suffer the same fate, Jackie declared that she feared for the life of her children as they bore the Kennedy name. She left the country, eventually meeting and marrying Aristotle Onassis. Reportedly she was very satisfied that the Greek shipping magnate was able to provide privacy and security for her children.

68 Dennis, e.g. : MENACE

“Dennis the Menace” is a comic strip that first appeared in 1951, and was originally drawn by Hank Ketcham. The strip made the jump over the years from the newspaper to television and the silver screen. Dennis’s full name is Dennis Mitchell, and his parents are Henry and Alice (Johnson) Mitchell. Dennis’s nemesis is his neighbor, Mister George Everett Wilson. Hank Ketcham drew his inspiration for the story from his real life. When he introduced the strip he had a 4-year-old son called Dennis, and a wife named Alice.

70 Like vision dimmed from fatigue : BLEARY

To blear is to dim the vision, usually with watery eyes.

75 The Arno runs through it : 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 …

76 Kitchenware brand : OXO

The OXO line of kitchen utensils and housewares is designed to be ergonomically superior to the average household tools. The intended user of OXO products is someone who doesn’t have the normal range of motion or strength in the hands e.g. someone suffering from arthritis.

78 Man, for example : ISLE

The Isle of Man is a large island located in the middle of the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. I used to spend a lot of time there in my youth, and a very interesting place it is indeed. The Isle of Man is classed as a British Crown Dependency and isn’t part of the United Kingdom at all. It is self-governing and has its own parliament called the Tynwald. The Tynwald was created in AD 979 and is arguably the oldest continuously-running parliament in the world. The inhabitants of the island speak English, although they do have their own language called Manx, which is very similar to Irish Gaeilge and Scottish Gaelic. And then there are those Manx cats, the ones without any tails. I’ve seen lots of them, and can attest that they are indeed found all over the island.

83 Virgil’s optimistic sentiment : LOVE CONQUERS ALL (hiding “SQUARE” shifted)

“Omnia vincit amor” is a line from Eclogue X, one of the major works of the Latin poet Virgil. We know the phrase in English as “love conquers all”.

87 One placed near a gutter : TEN-PIN

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

91 Surfer’s destination? : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

92 Small salamander : NEWT

Salamanders are lizard-like amphibians found all across the northern hemisphere. They are the only vertebrate animals that can regenerate lost limbs.

104 Sushi go-with : SAKE

We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

110 Help badly? : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (literally “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

115 Alberta speed meas. : KPH

Kilometres per hour (kph)

Alberta (Alta.) is a big province, one about the size of Texas. Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Princess Louise also donated her name to Lake Louise, the large glacial lake in the province, now within the bounds of Banff National Park.

116 Mötley __ : CRUE

Mötley Crüe is an American rock band from Los Angeles. They’ve been around since 1981, co-founded by the famous drummer Tommy Lee. Tommy Lee is also known for his two celebrated marriages, the first with Heather Locklear and the second with Pamela Anderson. The name “Mötley Crüe” was chosen as someone once described the band members as a “motley looking crew”. The spelling was made to look a little more exotic, with the umlauts added over the “o” and “u” one day, as the band were drinking bottles of “Löwenbräu” beer!

120 Sci-fi creatures who arranged each set of circled letters? : SHAPESHIFTERS

A mythical creature that can shapeshift has the ability to change its physical form.

124 Spud : TATER

The word “spud”, used as a slang term for “potato”, was first recorded in the mid-1800s in New Zealand would you believe?

127 Shorthand pro : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

128 Emmy-winning “Lou Grant” actress Linda : KELSEY

Actress Linda Kelsey is perhaps best known for playing reporter Billie Newman on the sitcom “Lou Grant”.

Down

2 Eyelashes : CILIA

“Cilia” (singular “cilium”) is Latin for “eyelashes”.

3 Hamilton, to Burr : ENEMY

Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s Founding Fathers, chief of staff to General George Washington and the first Secretary of the Treasury. It was Hamilton who established the nation’s first political party, the Federalist Party. He is also famous for fighting a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, which resulted in Hamilton’s death a few days later.

Aaron Burr was the third vice-president of the US, and served under Thomas Jefferson from 1801 to 1805. In the final year of his term in office, Burr fought an illegal duel and killed his political rival Alexander Hamilton. Burr was charged with several crimes as a result, but those charges were eventually dropped. The Democratic-Republican Party had already decided not to nominate Burr as candidate for vice president to run alongside Jefferson in the 1804 election, largely because the relationship between Vice President Burr and President Jefferson was so poor. The subsequent fallout resulting from the killing of Alexander Hamilton effectively ended Burr’s political career.

4 Muscle Beach display : PECS

The original Muscle Beach was located on the south side of Santa Monica Pier in Southern California. Bodybuilders started working out on the beach back in the 1930s when exercise equipment was installed there as part of the WPA program. Some of the equipment was removed in the fifties, so the bodybuilding community shifted to the Venice Beach Weight Pen. That area was developed and is now known as Muscle Beach Venice.

6 “Now!” : PRONTO!

The Spanish and Italian (and now English) word “pronto” is derived from the Latin “promptus” meaning “ready, quick”.

8 Humor columnist Barry : DAVE

Dave Barry is a very humorous guy, an author and columnist. Barry also plays lead guitar in a rock band called The Rock Bottom Remainders. Also included in the band are noted authors Stephen King, Amy Tan and Scott Turow.

9 Boston cream pie component : SPONGE CAKE

The Boston cream pie was declared the official dessert of Massachusetts in 1996. And, it’s actually a cake, and not a pie at all.

10 Non-acidic vitamin brand : ESTER-C

As far as I can tell, the brand Ester-C is just vitamin C.

12 Pan Am rival : TWA

Trans World Airlines (TWA) was a big carrier in the US, but was perhaps even more recognized for its extensive presence in Europe and the Middle East. For many years, especially after the collapse of Pan Am and TWA’s purchase by Howard Hughes, TWA was considered the unofficial flag carrier for the US. The company started in 1930, the product of a forced merger of Transcontinental Air Transport and Western Air Express. The Transcontinental and Western Air that resulted (the original meaning of the initialism “TWA”) was what the Postmaster General wanted, a bigger airline to which the Postal Service could award airmail contracts.

Pan American World Airways (usually just “Pan Am”) started out as a mail and passenger service between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba in 1927. From very early in the company’s life it was the de facto representative air carrier of the United States. For many years, Pan Am’s fleet was built around the Boeing 314 Clipper, a long-range flying boat that was one of the largest aircraft around at the time. Pan Am adopted the Clipper as part of its image, even using “clipper” as the call sign for its flights.

13 Rowling’s Hedwig and Lewis’ Glimfeather : OWLS

Hedwig is the owl belonging to Harry Potter in the J. K. Rowling series of fantasy novels. Hedwig is a female owl, although she is played in the movies by male snowy owls. Male snowy owls are completely white, whereas females have dark patches on their plumage.

Glimfeather is a white owl who plays a role in two books in the series “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis.

14 Hummus go-with : PITA

The lovely dip/spread called hummus usually contains mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. The name “hummus” is an Arabic word for “chickpeas”.

15 He played James in the four films before Daniel : PIERCE

Pierce Brosnan is an Irish actor from Drogheda, a town north of Dublin. Brosnan’s big break in the US came when he was given the title role in the eighties television show “Remington Steele”. Famously, he also played James Bond on the big screen. Brosnan’s first appearance as Bond was in 1995’s “GoldenEye”. He was asked to take the role much earlier, in 1987, but Brosnan couldn’t get out of his contract for “Remington Steele”. Brosnan was the fifth actor to play Bond, after Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton.

English actor Daniel Craig rocketed to fame in 2005 when he was chosen to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in the series of films based on Ian Fleming’s character. One of Craig’s most famous appearances as Bond was alongside Queen Elizabeth II in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Craig married actress Rachel Weisz in 2011.

18 “Tubular!” : RAD!

“Tubular!” is surfing slang for “cool, awesome”. The term comes from a surfer tube riding, riding inside the barrel of a large breaking wave.

24 NBA part: Abbr. : ASSOC

National Basketball Association (NBA)

29 “Nineteen Eighty-Four” foe of Winston and Julia : O’BRIEN

O’Brien is the main antagonist in George Orwell’s 1949 classic novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. In the 1984 movie adaptation, O’Brien is played by the great Welsh actor Richard Burton. It was the last role that Burton played before his death.

33 Bit of a “Beavis and Butt-Head” chuckle : HEH

“Beavis and Butt-Head” is an adult cartoon television show and film. The show ran on MTV. I’ve never seen it …

35 Grauman of Chinese Theatre fame : SID

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles is famous for its celebrity hand and footprints preserved in cement in the forecourt. This tradition started by accident in the mid-twenties when the theater was still under construction. The story is that the actress Mary Pickford (although some say it was Norma Talmadge) stepped in wet cement by mistake. Grauman decided to invite other stars to leave their prints as a permanent record of their celebrity.

38 Many an op-ed piece : ESSAY

“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.

39 Ragú rival : PREGO

The Prego brand of pasta sauce is owned by the Campbell Soup Company. It is actually based on the family recipe of one of the company’s chefs. “Prego” literally means “I pray” in Italian, but it translates best in English as “you’re welcome” when it is used after a “thank you” (“grazie”, in Italian).

40 “The Mod Squad” role : LINC

“The Mod Squad” is a crime drama series that originally ran in the late sixties and early seventies. The title characters (played by Clarence Williams III, Peggy Lipton and Michael Cole) are a trio of rebellious social outcasts recruited to work as undercover cops.

41 Co. bigwig : CEO

Chief executive officer (CEO)

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

43 Yellowstone sight : BISON

There are two species of bison left (four species are extinct). We are most familiar with the American bison (commonly called the American buffalo), but there is also a European bison, which is sometimes called a “wisent”.

Yellowstone was the first National Park to be established in the world, when it was designated as such by President Grant in 1872. What a great tradition it started! The American National Parks truly are a treasure.

45 “Chicago” actress Zellweger : RENEE

Renée Zellweger’s big break came in the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire”. A few years later, Zellweger followed that up with a string of successes in “Bridget Jones’ Diary” (2001), “Chicago” (2002) and “Cold Mountain” (2003). My wife and I love watching her play Bridget Jones, and as someone coming from Britain and Ireland, I have to say that Zellweger does a remarkable job with the accent. She worked hard to perfect that accent, and of course she had a voice coach. She also went “undercover” and worked as a temp in an office for three weeks fine-tuning her skills.

The 2002 musical film “Chicago” is based on the 1975 stage musical of the same name, which in turn is based on a 1926 play, also of the same name. 2002’s “Chicago” was a big hit, and was the first musical to win the Best Picture Oscar since “Oliver!” in 1968.

53 Website with film profiles : IMDB

The website called the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) was launched in 1990, and is now owned by Amazon.com. It’s a great site for answering questions one has about movies and actors.

54 “The Four Seasons” solo instrument : VIOLIN

“The Four Seasons” is the most famous work by Italian Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi. It is a collection of four violin concerti that evoke the seasons of the year. Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” is a favorite choice for background music in elevators and elevators. Personally, my favorite use of the piece is as a backdrop to the 1981 romantic comedy film “The Four Seasons”, starring Alan Alda and Carol Burnett.

56 What pewter is, mostly : TIN

Pewter is a relatively soft alloy that is made up mostly of tin, with some copper, antimony, bismuth and lead.

58 Narrow inlet : RIA

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, and both are formed as sea levels rise. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

60 Broadband predecessor : DIAL-UP

In Internet terms, the word “broadband” is used to describe Internet access that is faster than dialup. In more broad (pun!) telecommunication terms, “broadband” is used to describe “bandwidth” data transmission that is “broad” enough to carry several signals and several different types of traffic at the same time.

66 Angler’s basket : CREEL

A creel is a basket used for catching sea creatures (lobsters, for example). Creel is also the name given to the small wicker basket used to hold fish that have been caught by an angler. “Creel” is originally a Scottish word.

71 Attorney’s letters : ESQ

The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank, say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

72 “Thrown” criticism : SHADE

To throw shade is to show disrespect to someone publicly using insults or criticisms.

75 Angel dust, initially : PCP

Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as “PCP” or “angel dust”.

77 New England nickname : OCEAN STATE

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, and is the second-most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State (and more informally “Little Rhody”), largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

79 Bolt on the track : USAIN

Usain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter who won the 100m and 200m race gold medals in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. Back in Jamaica, Bolt was really into cricket, and probably would have been a very successful fast bowler had he not hit the track instead.

81 __ firma : TERRA

“Terra firma” is Latin for “solid ground”.

84 White and black pawns, e.g. : OCTADS

In the game of chess, the pawns are the weakest pieces on the board. A pawn that can make it to the opposite side of the board can be promoted to a piece of choice, usually a queen. Using promotion of pawns, it is possible for a player to have two or more queens on the board at one time. However, standard chess sets come with only one queen per side, so a captured rook is often used as the second queen by placing it on the board upside down.

95 Inc. cousin : LLC

A limited liability company (LLC) has a structure that limits the liability of the owner or owners. It is a hybrid structure in the sense that it can be taxed as would an individual or partnership, while also maintaining the liability protection afforded to a corporation.

A company that has incorporated uses the abbreviation “Inc.” after its name. By incorporating, a company forms a corporation, which is a legal entity that has legal rights similar to those of an individual. For example, a corporation can sue another corporation or individual. However, a corporation does not have all the rights of citizens. A corporation does not have the Fifth Amendment right of protections against self-incrimination, for example. It is perhaps understandable that the concept of “corporations as persons” is a frequent subject for debate.

99 Crab in space : NEBULA

The Crab Nebula is located in the constellation of Taurus. It was discovered in 1731 by English astronomer John Bevis, although it appears to correspond to a bright supernova reported by Chinese astronomers in 1054.

In astronomical terms, a nebula is a cloud of dust and ionized gases (“nebula” is the Latin for “cloud”). Many nebulae form as gases collapse in on themselves under the influence of enormous gravitational forces. Ultimately these collapses can result in the creation of new stars.

102 Last year’s frosh : SOPHS

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

“Frosh” is a slang term for a college freshman. We call such a person a “fresher” back in Ireland …

107 Bars on necks : FRETS

A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.

108 Saintly glows : AURAE

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

109 Short-tempered : TESTY

Somebody described as testy is touchy, irritably impatient. The term “testy” comes into English from Old French, ultimately deriving from “testu” meaning “stubborn, headstrong”, literally “heady”. So, our word “testy” comes from the same root as the French word “tête” meaning “head”.

111 Outback runners : EMUS

In Australia, the land outside of urban areas is referred to as the outback or the bush. That said, I think that the term “outback” is sometimes reserved for the more remote parts of the bush.

112 French crown? : TETE

In French, the “tête” (head) is the top of “le corps” (the body).

116 Key used in combinations : CTRL

The Control (CTRL) key on a PC keyboard is used to modify the function of other keys. For example, pressing CTRL+C copies a selection to the clipboard, and CTRL+V pastes the contents of the clipboard to a location defined by the cursor. Control keys were introduced on teletypewriters to generate “control characters”, which are non-printing characters that instruct a computer to do something like print a page, ring a bell etc.

117 Instagram, e.g. : APP

Instagram (often abbreviated to “Insta”) is a photo-sharing application, one that is extremely popular. Instagram started in San Francisco in 2010. Facebook purchased Instagram two years later, paying $1 billion. The billion-dollar Instagram company had just 13 employees at the time of the sale …

118 Online outburst : LOL!

Laugh out loud (LOL)

119 Homer’s TV neighbor : NED

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer Simpson on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer, and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

121 Ranch extension? : -ERO

A ranchero is someone who owns, operates or is employed on a ranch. The term “ranchero” has Spanish roots.

122 The Red Baron, to Snoopy : FOE

Snoopy, the famous beagle in the “Peanuts” comic strip, has a number of alter-egos and is sometimes depicted as a World War I flying ace. Snoopy’s arch-enemy in the air is Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, and Snoopy can often be seen shaking his fist and crying out, “Curse you, Red Baron!”

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Frozen snack : ICE POP
7 Ford failure : EDSEL
12 Promising Hold ’em holding : TOP PAIR
19 Painting, e.g. : FINE ART
21 Slip : LAPSE
22 ’30s-’40s period : WWII ERA
23 Quadrennial victory determinant : ELECTORAL VOTE (hiding “OVAL” shifted)
25 Tinkered with like a tailor : ALTERED
26 Prepares to fire : AIMS
27 Mario Bros. console : NES
28 Mexican month : ENERO
30 Indian wrap : SARI
31 Biopic about Charles : RAY
32 Hidden stockpile : STASH
34 Up for __ : GRABS
36 Champs-Élysées feature : CAFE
39 Solar panel components : PHOTOELECTRIC CELLS (hiding “CIRCLE” shifted)
43 Dance studio fixture : BARRE
46 Smart : CHIC
47 Light bulb generator? : IDEA
48 Calendar pgs. : MOS
49 Casual “Same here” : I FEEL YA
52 Ingenuous : NAIVE
55 Capital NE of Buffalo : OTTAWA
57 Source of narrowly focused thinking : SINGLE-TRACK MIND (hiding “TRIANGLE” shifted)
61 Slightly drunk : TIPSY
62 Nabisco offering : OREO
63 Earth : SOIL
64 Tokyo, long ago : EDO
65 Clickable image : ICON
67 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, __ Bouvier : NEE
68 Dennis, e.g. : MENACE
70 Like vision dimmed from fatigue : BLEARY
72 Total : SUM
75 The Arno runs through it : PISA
76 Kitchenware brand : OXO
78 Man, for example : ISLE
79 “Hmm … doubt it” : UH … NO
80 Baffled : STUCK
83 Virgil’s optimistic sentiment : LOVE CONQUERS ALL (hiding “SQUARE” shifted)
87 One placed near a gutter : TEN-PIN
89 Surrendered : CEDED
90 Made one’s case : PLEADED
91 Surfer’s destination? : URL
92 Small salamander : NEWT
94 Troubles : AILS
97 Ways to lose : DIETS
98 Wrap up : BRING TO A CONCLUSION (hiding “OCTAGON” shifted)
104 Sushi go-with : SAKE
105 Scents : ODORS
106 Coagulates : CLOTS
107 Lucrative, contractually : FAT
110 Help badly? : ABET
113 Dealt with : SAW TO
115 Alberta speed meas. : KPH
116 Mötley __ : CRUE
117 Yolk’s counterpart : ALBUMEN
120 Sci-fi creatures who arranged each set of circled letters? : SHAPESHIFTERS
123 Litter, say : POLLUTE
124 Spud : TATER
125 Show disdain for : SNORT AT
126 Over the moon, so to speak : PLEASED
127 Shorthand pro : STENO
128 Emmy-winning “Lou Grant” actress Linda : KELSEY

Down

1 “What concerns me is … ” : I FEAR …
2 Eyelashes : CILIA
3 Hamilton, to Burr : ENEMY
4 Muscle Beach display : PECS
5 Feedbag morsel : OAT
6 “Now!” : PRONTO!
7 Building extension : ELL
8 Humor columnist Barry : DAVE
9 Boston cream pie component : SPONGE CAKE
10 Non-acidic vitamin brand : ESTER-C
11 Eye lustfully : LEER AT
12 Pan Am rival : TWA
13 Rowling’s Hedwig and Lewis’ Glimfeather : OWLS
14 Hummus go-with : PITA
15 He played James in the four films before Daniel : PIERCE
16 Satellite imaging product : AERIAL MAP
17 Wrath : IRE
18 “Tubular!” : RAD!
20 Pay for : TREAT
24 NBA part: Abbr. : ASSOC
29 “Nineteen Eighty-Four” foe of Winston and Julia : O’BRIEN
32 Seashore souvenir : SHELL
33 Bit of a “Beavis and Butt-Head” chuckle : HEH
35 Grauman of Chinese Theatre fame : SID
37 Proceeds smoothly : FLOWS
38 Many an op-ed piece : ESSAY
39 Ragú rival : PREGO
40 “The Mod Squad” role : LINC
41 Co. bigwig : CEO
42 Ball of yarn, perhaps : CAT TOY
43 Yellowstone sight : BISON
44 Burning : AFIRE
45 “Chicago” actress Zellweger : RENEE
50 Votes for : YESES
51 Without a key : ATONAL
53 Website with film profiles : IMDB
54 “The Four Seasons” solo instrument : VIOLIN
56 What pewter is, mostly : TIN
58 Narrow inlet : RIA
59 Breakfast area : ALCOVE
60 Broadband predecessor : DIAL-UP
66 Angler’s basket : CREEL
68 Providing amplification for, as a speaker : MIKING
69 Crossed (out) : EXED
71 Attorney’s letters : ESQ
72 “Thrown” criticism : SHADE
73 Not rented : UNLET
74 Chocolatier’s array : MOLDS
75 Angel dust, initially : PCP
77 New England nickname : OCEAN STATE
79 Bolt on the track : USAIN
80 Hard pencils to sharpen : STUBS
81 __ firma : TERRA
82 Far from charming : UNLIKABLE
84 White and black pawns, e.g. : OCTADS
85 Lyrical : ODIC
86 Second chances : REDOS
88 Trawler’s tool : NET
93 Court : WOO
95 Inc. cousin : LLC
96 Grouchy moods : SULKS
99 Crab in space : NEBULA
100 Progresses with ease : COASTS
101 “And if I don’t?” : OR WHAT?
102 Last year’s frosh : SOPHS
103 Start of a view : I THINK …
107 Bars on necks : FRETS
108 Saintly glows : AURAE
109 Short-tempered : TESTY
111 Outback runners : EMUS
112 French crown? : TETE
114 Welcoming sign : OPEN
116 Key used in combinations : CTRL
117 Instagram, e.g. : APP
118 Online outburst : LOL!
119 Homer’s TV neighbor : NED
121 Ranch extension? : -ERO
122 The Red Baron, to Snoopy : FOE

9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 Jan 21, Sunday”

  1. 26:29, no errors. Grokked the theme only after finishing the solve. Not sure it would have helped much to get it earlier. A decent puzzle, in any case … 😜

  2. 1:02:20 with 2 errors..I had PRESTO for PRONTO.
    Stay safe.😀
    Get your shot if you’re lucky enough to get an appointment 👍

  3. No errors.. typical 1 hour range.. never heard ALBUMEN but I looked it up so I’m sure I won’t embarrassed myself next time. I also never heard of ESTER C. Looked it up and still don’t recall it. I see BLEARY made it in. Never heard anyone use that word. Along with “throw SHADE”. Glad I am not a politician so I don’t have throw SHADE.. never heard of it.

    Oh, got the theme early but didn’t really help to solve because the letters are all mixed up. Cute, but no help.

  4. 31:36 3 errors

    I had already filled in the circles when I figured out the theme clue. At least that helped me confirm those were right. But there were plenty of other places I slipped up.

  5. No errors after a few re-dos. I had never heard of “shade” as a criticism but
    that’s what I had because of crossing squares.

  6. Thank you Bill, for your always erudite comments on various clues of the puzzle !

    I tried to do a Sunday puzzle, and the trickiest clues, I found were

    Throw shade ,,,, which you so kindly, explained.
    means to disregard or ignore or quietly insult … someone you dont like …

    Apparently, from an old novel, it is now used as a slang among the drag and other ;mod’ and young communities. ( per Wiki ).

    Also I learnt the difference bewteen
    Ingenious … meaning clever
    ingenuous …. meaning simple, naive

    and disingenuous …. meaning affected, not simple … and a euphemism for ‘lying’ … not telling the truth, or twisting the truth.

    Thank you Mr. Butler, for all you do !

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