LA Times Crossword 14 Feb 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Jake Braun
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Love Is …

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Themed answers are famous people who suggested what “LOVE IS …” with words cited in the corresponding clue:

  • 24A “… the beauty of the soul” : SAINT AUGUSTINE
  • 55A “… a fruit in season at all times” : MOTHER TERESA
  • 70A “… an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired” : ROBERT FROST
  • 89A “… an act of endless forgiveness” : PETER USTINOV
  • 119A “… eternal, infinite … equal and pure” : HONORE DE BALZAC
  • 5D “… a flower, you got to let it grow” : JOHN LENNON
  • 80D “… the truth more first than sun, more last than star” : EE CUMMINGS

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

Bill’s time: 13m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Honshu high pt. : MT FUJI

Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest and most famous mountain. Located just west of Tokyo, Mount Fuji is an active volcano, although its last eruption took place in 1707/1708.

Honshu is the largest island in Japan, and the seventh largest island in the world. The name “Honshu” translates as “Main Island”.

7 King of Maine : STEPHEN

Stephen King is a remarkably successful author. He has sold well over 350 million copies of his books, with many of them made into hit movies. I’ve tried reading two or three of the novels, and didn’t get too far. I really don’t do horror …

21 Former SAG president Gilbert : MELISSA

Actress Melissa Gilbert is probably best known for playing Laura Ingalls Wilder, a daughter of Charles Ingalls in the long-running TV drama “Little House on the Prairie” in the seventies and eighties. Gilbert was President of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) from 2001 to 2005, and ran for the US Congress as a Democrat in Michigan in 2016.

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) was formed back in 1933, at a time when Hollywood stars were really being exploited by the big movie studios, especially the younger and less inexperienced performers. Early supporters of the Guild included famous names like Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney (you could imagine them in a negotiation!). Past presidents of SAG were also big names, such as Eddie Cantor, James Cagney, Ronald Reagan, Howard Keel, Charlton Heston, Ed Asner and Melissa Gilbert. SAG merged with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) in 2012 to create SAG-AFTRA.

23 Discipline involving slow movement : TAI CHI

More correctly called “t‘ai chi ch‘uan”, tai chi is a martial art that is mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.

24 “… the beauty of the soul” : SAINT AUGUSTINE

Saint Augustine was the bishop of Hippo, the modern-day city of Annaba in Algeria, in the 4th and 5th centuries CE. He was canonized in 1298 by Pope Boniface VIII. Today, he is considered the patron saint of brewers, printers and theologians.

26 Equivalent wd. : SYN

Synonym (syn.)

29 Spam-spreading program : BOT

Spambots are nasty little computer programs that send out spam emails and messages, often from fake accounts. This blog gets about 300 spam comments a day that I have to delete, almost all of which are written by spambots.

30 Games gp. that added a “P” to its initials in 2019 : USOC

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has a federal charter but it doesn’t receive any funds from the US government. As such, it has to engage in fundraising just like any other charitable organization. The USOPC was founded in 1894 as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), and is headquartered in Colorado Springs. The committee renamed itself to the USOPC in 2019.

31 Frank behind a bookcase : ANNE

Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in rooms concealed behind a bookcase in Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.

32 Colosseum warrior : GLADIATOR

The term “gladiator” means “swordsman”, and comes from “gladius”, the Latin word for “sword”.

The Colosseum of Rome was the largest amphitheater in the whole of the Roman Empire in its day, and could seat about 50,000 people. The structure was originally called the “Amphitheatrum Flavium” but the name changed to “Colosseum” after a colossal statue of Emperor Nero was located nearby.

35 Sommer of cinema : ELKE

Elke Sommer is a German-born actress who was at the height of her success on the silver screen in the sixties. Sommer won a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer Actress for her role opposite Paul Newman in 1964’s “The Prize”. She also sings and has released several albums. Now Sommer focuses on painting, producing artwork that is strongly influenced by the work of Marc Chagall.

37 Literally, the sci. of women : GYN

“Gyneco-” is a prefix meaning female, as in “gynecology”. “Andro-” is a prefix meaning male, as in “androgen”, a steroid hormone that controls the development of masculine characteristics.

38 Origami bird : CRANE

Origami is the traditional Japanese art form of paper folding. The best-known example of the craft is the paper crane. The word “origami” is derived from “ori“ (folding) and “kami” (paper).

41 Manhattan, e.g.: Abbr. : ISL

The island we know as Manhattan was inhabited by the Lenape Indians when the first Europeans explorers arrived in the area. According to the logbook of one of the officers on explorer Henry Hudson’s yacht, the island was called “Manna-hata” in the local language, from which the modern name derives.

45 Airport not far from the Common : LOGAN

Boston’s Logan Airport (BOS) is named for General Edward Lawrence Logan, a military officer from South Boston who fought in the Spanish-American War.

Boston Common was built in 1634, making it the oldest city park in the country.

46 Native ceremonial pipe : CALUMET

A calumet was a ceremonial pipe originally used by Native Americans in the Upper Midwest in Catholic conversion ceremonies. The term “calumet” was used by Norman-French settlers in the 17th century.

49 Emphatic type : ITALIC

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

55 “… a fruit in season at all times” : MOTHER TERESA

Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in the city that is now called Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia. At birth she was given the name Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (“Gonxha” means “little flower” in Albanian). She left home at the age of 18 and joined the Sisters of Loreto, and headed to Loreto Abbey in Rathfarnham in Dublin, Ireland in order to learn English. Her goal was to teach in India, and English was the language used there for instruction by the nuns. After Mother Teresa passed away in 1997 she was beatified by Pope John Paul II. She was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016, and is now known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

58 Leopardlike cats : OCELOTS

The ocelot is a wildcat found mainly in South and Central America, although there have been sightings as far north as Arkansas. An ocelot doesn’t look too different from a domestic cat, and some have been kept as pets. Perhaps most famously, Salvador Dali had one that he carried around everywhere with him.

60 German coal valley : RUHR

The Ruhr is a river in Germany that flows into the lower Rhine. The river gives its name to the Ruhr River Valley and the Ruhr district, the largest urban agglomeration in the country.

61 Author Rand : AYN

Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist born “Alisa Rosenbaum”. Her two best known works are her novels “The Fountainhead” published in 1943 and “Atlas Shrugged” from 1957. Back in 1951, Rand moved from Los Angeles to New York City. Soon after, she gathered a group of admirers around her with whom she discussed philosophy and shared drafts of her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged”. This group called itself “The Collective”, and one of the founding members was none other than future Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan. Rand described herself as “right-wing” politically, and both she and her novel “Atlas Shrugged” have become inspirations for the American conservatives, and the Tea Party in particular.

62 Suffix with salt : -INE

F. L. Sommer & Company of St. Joseph, Missouri started to produce wafer thin soda crackers in 1876. The crackers were later marketed as “Saltines”, due to the baking salt that was a key ingredient. The company subsequently lost trademark protection of the term “saltine”.

63 “Yes!” : AMEN!

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

65 WWI Belgian battle site : YPRES

Ypres is a Belgian city located close to the French border. In WWI, Ypres was the scene of three devastating battles that resulted in almost a million casualties, including many who suffered in gas attacks.

70 “… an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired” : ROBERT FROST

The wonderful poet Robert Frost was a native of San Francisco, but lived most of life in New England. He also spent a few years in England, just before WWI. Frost was well recognized for his work during his lifetime, and received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He was also Vermont’s first Poet Laureate, a position that he held from 1961 until his death in 1963.

75 Sky blue : AZURE

The term “azure” came into English from Persian via Old French. The French word “l’azur” was taken from the Persian name for a place in northeastern Afghanistan called “Lazhward” which was the main source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. The stone has a vivid blue color, and “azure” has been describing this color since the 14th century.

77 Audio units: Abbr. : DBS

In the world of acoustics, one bel is equal to ten decibels (dBs). The bel is named in honor of the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell.

81 TD scorers : RBS

Running back (RB)

89 “… an act of endless forgiveness” : PETER USTINOV

Peter Ustinov was a fabulous actor from England. Above and beyond acting, he was multi-talented and I remember him as a great guest on the talk show circuit.

92 Bleachers critiques : CATCALLS

Back in the 1700s, a catcall was a noise-making device, one that emitted a squeak resembling that of an angry cat, hence the name. The device was used by unhappy audiences in play-houses to express dissatisfaction at the performers.

At a sports event one might sit in the bleachers. “Bleachers” is a particularly American term used to describe the tiered stands that provide seating for spectators. These seats were originally wooden planks, and as they were uncovered they would be bleached by the sun, giving them the name we use today. Sometimes the fans using the bleachers might be referred to as “bleacherites”.

93 First U.S. space station : SKYLAB

Skylab was sent into orbit by NASA in 1973 and continued to circle the Earth there until 1979. Although it was in orbit for many years, Skylab was only occupied by astronauts for 171 days, in three missions in 1973-1974. Skylab burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere a lot earlier than expected, showering some huge chunks of debris on our friends in Australia.

96 Bay State sch. : UMASS

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is the largest public university in New England. UMass was founded back in 1863, although it took a while to get the school into service. Construction work was delayed and the college went through two presidents before William S. Clark took charge. He cracked the whip, completed the construction and enrolled the first students in the same year that he took over the reins, in 1867. As a result, although Clark was the third President of UMass, he is regarded by most as the school’s founding father.

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

100 Tats : INK

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

101 Used for a tryst : MET AT

In the most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a pre-arranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a nooner.

102 AOL, e.g. : ISP

AOL was a leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the 1980s and 1990s. The company does still provide dial-up access to the Internet for some subscribers, but most users now access AOL using faster, non-AOL ISPs.

106 Elite tactical units : SWAT TEAMS

“SWAT” is an acronym standing for Special Weapons and Tactics. The first SWAT team was pulled together in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968.

112 Pitch-raising guitar device : CAPO

A capo is a clamp-like device that is placed around the neck of a guitar or other stringed instrument to shorten the strings, and hence raise the pitch. The full name, rarely used these days, is “capo tasto”, which is Italian for “head tie”.

114 Payroll service co. : ADP

Automatic Data Processing (ADP) is an enterprise based in Roseland, New Jersey that provides business services to companies. The company was founded back in 1949 by Henry Taub as Automatic Payrolls, Inc.

115 Agnus __ : DEI

“Agnus Dei” is Latin for “Lamb of God”, The expression is used in Christian traditions to describe Jesus Christ, hence symbolizing his role as a sacrificial offering (sacrificial lamb) to atone for the sins of man.

116 Response to overhearing? : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

119 “… eternal, infinite … equal and pure” : HONORE DE BALZAC

Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright from the 19th century. Balzac wrote a huge collection of related novels called “La Comédie humaine” (The Human Comedy). The work includes 91 stories, novels and essays, written from 1815 to 1848. Balzac also left 46 unfinished works as part of the collection.

126 Oakley skill : RIFLERY

Many regard Annie Oakley as the first American female superstar, given her celebrity as a sharpshooter in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. She toured with the show all over Europe, and performed her act for the likes of Queen Victoria of England and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. Supposedly, using a .22 caliber rifle from 90 feet away, Oakley could split a playing card edge-on, and shoot five or six holes in the card before it hit the ground!

Down

1 Yoga needs : MATS

In the West, we tend to think of yoga as just a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

3 Sinn __ : FEIN

Sinn Féin is a political party in Ireland, and one of the largest parties in both the Northern Ireland Assembly and in the Oireachtas (the parliament of the Republic of Ireland). The party has the stated aim of uniting Ireland north and south. “Sinn Féin” is Irish for “we ourselves”.

5 “… a flower, you got to let it grow” : JOHN LENNON

John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a very public honeymoon in a hotel in Amsterdam and then Montreal, when they staged their famous “bed-in” for peace. In answering questions from reporters Lennon found himself often repeating the words “give peace a chance”. While still in bed, he composed his famous song “Give Peace a Chance” and even made the original recording of the song in the Montreal hotel room, with reporters present, and with a whole bunch of friends. The song was released later in 1969 and became a smash hit. Writing credit was initially given to Lennon-McCartney, as was the agreement between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Later versions of the song were credited just to Lennon, even though Lennon stated that Yoko Ono actually wrote the song with him.

6 Rock memoir : I, TINA

“I, Tina” is a 1986 autobiography by Tina Turner. The book was so successful it was adapted into a movie called “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” The film version was released in 1993 and stars Angela Bassett as Tina Turner.

7 Texting format, briefly : SMS

Short Message Service (SMS) is the name for the text messaging service that many of us still use on our cell phones to contact friends and family.

8 Perforated orb holding leaves : TEA BALL

A tea ball or tea egg is a tea infuser. It is basically a ball, made of perforated metal or mesh, into which loose tea is placed. It has been superseded by the modern tea bag. I drink an awful lot of tea, and do have a tea ball here at the house. But, life is a lot easier using tea bags …

9 “Cats” poet : ELIOT

“Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” is a 1939 collection of poems by T. S. Eliot (TSE). The collection of whimsical poetry was a favorite of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber when he was a child. Webber used Eliot’s poems as inspiration for his megahit musical “Cats”.

10 Spotted horse : PINTO

A paint horse is a breed of horse. The coloring of a paint horse is known as “pinto”. That said, the term “paint” and “pinto” are often used interchangeably.

11 Post-WWII pres. : HST

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

12 Genesis twin : ESAU

Esau was the grandson of Abraham and the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When Esau was born to Isaac and Rebekah, the event was described with “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment”. Esau is portrayed later in life as being very different from his brother Jacob, as a hunter and someone who loves the outdoor life.

15 Elec. units : KWS

Kilowatt (kW)

16 Greek “i” : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

25 Top medal : GOLD

In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

33 “By Jove!” : I SAY!

“By Jove!” is a mild oath that calls on the Roman god Jove, who was also known as Jupiter.

34 Bonnie Blue’s dad : RHETT

In the original story of “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler have just one child together. The child, Eugenie Victoria, is nicknamed “Bonnie Blue” after the Bonnie Blue Flag of the Confederacy. In the novel, the baby is given the name by Scarlett’s sister-in-law and eventual best friend Melanie Hamilton Wilkes. In the 1939 movie, the baby is given the nickname by her father Rhett.

38 Queen of the Nile, familiarly : CLEO

Cleopatra was the last pharaoh to rule Egypt. After she died, Egypt became a province in the Roman Empire.

39 Campus mil. unit : ROTC

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.

40 Screenwriter James : AGEE

James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

43 Horn of Africa country: Abbr. : ETH

Ethiopia is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation on the continent (after Nigeria) and, with 90 million inhabitants, the most populous landlocked country in the world. Most anthropologists believe that our Homo sapiens species evolved in the region now called Ethiopia, and from there set out to populate the planet.

The Horn of Africa is that horn-shaped peninsula at the easternmost tip of the continent, containing the countries Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia as well as Somalia. The Horn of Africa is also known as the Somali Peninsula.

47 “Burnt” pigment : UMBER

Umber is an earthy, brown shade. The word “umber” originally described a pigment made from earth found in Umbria, a region in central Italy. In its natural form, the pigment is referred to as “raw umber”. The heated form of the pigment has a more intense color and is known as “burnt umber”.

48 Oregon’s highest point : MOUNT HOOD

Mount Hood is a volcanic peak in northern Oregon. It is the highest peak in the state, and is located about 50 miles southeast of Portland. There are six ski areas on the mountain, including a resort called Timberline that has North America’s only lift that operates year-round for skiing.

54 Road to the Forum : ITER

“Iter” is Latin for “road”.

The Latin “forum” (plural “fora”) translates as “marketplace, town square”. “The Roman Forum” is the most famous example of such a space. The Forum at the heart of the city of Rome is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings, and has been referred to as the most celebrated meeting place in the world.

56 Goof or gaffe : ERROR

Our word “gaffe”, meaning “social blunder”, comes from the French “gaffe” meaning “clumsy remark”, although it originally was a word describing a boat hook. The exact connection between a boat hook and a blunder seems to be unclear.

57 Tamblyn of “West Side Story” (1961) : RUSS

Russ Tamblyn is an actor from Los Angeles who I know best from his performance in 1961’s “West Side Story” in which he played Riff, the leader of the Jets gang. More recently, Tamblyn played Dr. Lawrence Jacoby on the TV series “Twin Peaks”. Russ’s daughter is actress Amber Tamblyn, who plays the lead on the TV show “Joan of Arcadia”.

Leonard Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story” is based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. The musical is set in New York City and features two rival gangs: the Sharks from Puerto Rico and the Jets with working-class, Caucasian roots. Tony from the Jets (played by Richard Beymer) falls in love with Maria (played by Natalie Wood) from the Sharks. All this parallels Romeo from the House of Montague falling for Juliet from the House of Capulet in the Italian city of Verona. The stage musical was adapted into a very successful 1961 movie with the same title.

59 Iowa State city : AMES

The Iowa city of Ames was founded as a stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad in 1864. It was named for US Congressman Oakes Ames from the state of Massachusetts in honor of the role that Ames played in the building of the transcontinental railroad.

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable milestones, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

68 Turkic native : UZBEK

The Republic of Uzbekistan is a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). Uzbekistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia, and is in fact surrounded by countries which are also landlocked. This means that to reach a coastline from Uzbekistan, you have to cross at least two international borders. There are only two “doubly landlocked” countries in the world: Uzbekistan in Central Asia, and Liechtenstein in Central Europe.

72 Raoul Dufy, stylistically : FAUVE

Raoul Dufy was a French painter active in the first half of the 20th century. He was classed as a “fauve”, one of the group of artists known as the “wild beasts”, who emphasized strong color over realism in their works.

73 Silly goose : TWIT

“Twit” is a word not used very often here in America. It’s a slang term that used to be quite common in England where it was used for “someone foolish and idiotic”.

76 Continental travel pass : EURAIL

In my days as a student, the way to backpack around Europe was using a Europass. Nowadays that is known as a Eurail pass. The Eurail pass gives you access to most trains (and some shipping lines) right across the continent.

80 “… the truth more first than sun, more last than star” : EE CUMMINGS

The American poet Edward Estlin Cummings was fond of ignoring accepted English syntax and punctuation in his poems. He also left some of his poems untitled so that they are known by just their first lines (e.g. “anyone lived in a pretty how town”). Because of the Cummings “style”, he was quite often referred to as e.e. cummings, with all the letters of his name written in lower case.

83 Limelight : PUBLIC EYE

Limelight was an early form of stage lighting that was also known as Drummond Light. The illumination came from the burning of quicklime (calcium hydroxide), hence the name. Although limelights are a thing of the past, the term “in the limelight” is still used when describing someone in the public eye.

86 Line above the equator: Abbr. : NLAT

Northern latitude (nlat.)

Lines of latitude are imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:

  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle

87 “Sing it, Sam” speaker : ILSA

There is a famous exchange in the movie “Casablanca” that results in the piano player Sam singing “As Time Goes By”.

Ilsa: Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake.
Sam: I don’t know what you mean, Miss Ilsa.
Ilsa: Play it, Sam. Play “As Time Goes By.”
Sam: Oh, I can’t remember it, Miss Ilsa. I’m a little rusty on it.
Ilsa: I’ll hum it for you. Da-dy-da-dy-da-dum, da-dy-da-dee-da-dum…
Ilsa: Sing it, Sam.

88 DA’s aide : ASST

District attorney (DA)

90 “Xanadu” rock gp. : ELO

The title song of the 1980 movie “Xanadu” was performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John (who starred in the film). Despite the popularity of ELO around the world, the song “Xanadu” was the band’s only number one hit back in their homeland of the UK.

92 Jargon : CANT

Cant is insincere language, or the language associated with a particular group. Back in the 1600s, the term described the whining of beggars.

99 Ad astra per __: Kansas motto : ASPERA

The motto of the State of Kansas is “ad astra per aspera”, a Latin expression meaning “to the stars through difficulties”. Kansas shares the same motto with quite a few other institutions, including an English grammar school, an Australian high school, and even Starfleet, the service to which the USS Enterprise belongs in the “Star Trek” series.

102 Phased-out Apple messaging tool : ICHAT

iChat was introduced in 2002, and was Apple’s “instant messaging” application that integrated with the Mac Operating System. iChat was replaced by the Messages app.

104 Florence’s __ Vecchio : PONTE

The Ponte Vecchio is the oldest bridge that spans the Arno river in Florence, Italy. The bridge dates back to medieval times, and indeed the name “Ponte Vecchio” translates as “Old Bridge”. Famously, there are two rows of shops built on either side of the roadway crossing the bridge.

107 Pixar title robot : WALL-E

“WALL-E” is a very cute Pixar movie that was released in 2008. The hero of the piece is a robot named WALL-E, who loves his “Hello Dolly”, and who also falls in love with a robot named EVE.

108 Wood shapers : ADZES

An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe blade is set in line with the shaft.

109 Half-serious sequence? : A-E-I-O-U

The vowels appear in alphabetical order in the term “half-serious”.

113 Final notice : OBIT

Our word “obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”. The Latin term was used for “record of the death of a person”, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.

117 Christmas trio : MAGI

“Magi” is the plural of the Latin word “magus”, a term applied to someone who was able to read the stars. Hence, “magi” is commonly used with reference to the “wise men from the East” who followed the star and visited Jesus soon after he was born. In Western Christianity, the three Biblical Magi are:

  • Melchior: a scholar from Persia
  • Caspar: a scholar from India
  • Balthazar: a scholar from Arabia

118 Fingered : IDED

Identity document (ID)

122 Hall of Famer Young et al. : CYS

Cy Young was a pitcher in the major leagues from 1890-1911. Young is remembered for pitching the first perfect game of baseball’s modern era. Soon after he died in 1955, the Cy Young Award was created and is presented to the best pitcher in each baseball season.

124 Issa of “Insecure” : RAE

Issa Rae is a Stanford University graduate who created a YouTube web series called “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”. Rae also plays the title role in the series, a young lady named “J”. “Awkward Black Girl” was adapted into an HBO comedy-drama called “Insecure”, in which Issa Rae stars.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Honshu high pt. : MT FUJI
7 King of Maine : STEPHEN
14 Alpine Olympics event : SKIING
20 Playground denial : ARE NOT!
21 Former SAG president Gilbert : MELISSA
22 Like many garages : TWO-CAR
23 Discipline involving slow movement : TAI CHI
24 “… the beauty of the soul” : SAINT AUGUSTINE
26 Equivalent wd. : SYN
27 22.5 deg. : NNE
29 Spam-spreading program : BOT
30 Games gp. that added a “P” to its initials in 2019 : USOC
31 Frank behind a bookcase : ANNE
32 Colosseum warrior : GLADIATOR
35 Sommer of cinema : ELKE
37 Literally, the sci. of women : GYN
38 Origami bird : CRANE
41 Manhattan, e.g.: Abbr. : ISL
42 Progress : HEADWAY
45 Airport not far from the Common : LOGAN
46 Native ceremonial pipe : CALUMET
49 Emphatic type : ITALIC
53 Forever, with “an” : … ETERNITY
55 “… a fruit in season at all times” : MOTHER TERESA
58 Leopardlike cats : OCELOTS
59 Touch : ABUT
60 German coal valley : RUHR
61 Author Rand : AYN
62 Suffix with salt : -INE
63 “Yes!” : AMEN!
64 Med. office titles : DRS
65 WWI Belgian battle site : YPRES
67 Very big : HUGE
70 “… an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired” : ROBERT FROST
74 Inner: Pref. : ENTO-
75 Sky blue : AZURE
77 Audio units: Abbr. : DBS
78 Word with cut or pin : HAIR-
79 Dripping __ : WET
81 TD scorers : RBS
82 High style : UPDO
84 Dish put away with a spoon : SOUP
85 Two-year periods : BIENNIA
89 “… an act of endless forgiveness” : PETER USTINOV
92 Bleachers critiques : CATCALLS
93 First U.S. space station : SKYLAB
94 Court conference the jury doesn’t hear : SIDEBAR
96 Bay State sch. : UMASS
97 Source of emergency light : OIL LAMP
100 Tats : INK
101 Used for a tryst : MET AT
102 AOL, e.g. : ISP
105 Makes stuff up : LIES
106 Elite tactical units : SWAT TEAMS
110 Congeal : CLOT
112 Pitch-raising guitar device : CAPO
114 Payroll service co. : ADP
115 Agnus __ : DEI
116 Response to overhearing? : TMI
119 “… eternal, infinite … equal and pure” : HONORE DE BALZAC
123 Hostile advance : INROAD
125 Bad way to be led : ASTRAY
126 Oakley skill : RIFLERY
127 Model railroad scale : O GAUGE
128 Ideal partner : THE ONE
129 Swears to : ATTESTS
130 Password partner : USER ID

Down

1 Yoga needs : MATS
2 Cafeteria convenience : TRAY
3 Sinn __ : FEIN
4 Auntie’s hubby : UNC
5 “… a flower, you got to let it grow” : JOHN LENNON
6 Rock memoir : I, TINA
7 Texting format, briefly : SMS
8 Perforated orb holding leaves : TEA BALL
9 “Cats” poet : ELIOT
10 Spotted horse : PINTO
11 Post-WWII pres. : HST
12 Genesis twin : ESAU
13 Whale-watching woe : NAUSEA
14 Wouldn’t go back on : STUCK WITH
15 Elec. units : KWS
16 Greek “i” : IOTA
17 Cake topping : ICING
18 Childcare employee : NANNY
19 Place to putt : GREEN
25 Top medal : GOLD
28 Orders from on high : EDICTS
32 Way more cool : GNARLIER
33 “By Jove!” : I SAY!
34 Bonnie Blue’s dad : RHETT
36 Place to have a meal : EATERY
38 Queen of the Nile, familiarly : CLEO
39 Campus mil. unit : ROTC
40 Screenwriter James : AGEE
43 Horn of Africa country: Abbr. : ETH
44 Pirate’s cry : YAR!
47 “Burnt” pigment : UMBER
48 Oregon’s highest point : MOUNT HOOD
50 Absorb in class : LEARN
51 “… __ to come” : IS YET
52 Kid’s assertion : CAN SO!
54 Road to the Forum : ITER
56 Goof or gaffe : ERROR
57 Tamblyn of “West Side Story” (1961) : RUSS
59 Iowa State city : AMES
63 Monastery VIP : ABBOT
64 Sign of a slow leak : DRIP
66 Honey and Sugar : PET NAMES
67 80-pound concert instruments : HARPS
68 Turkic native : UZBEK
69 Like winds in storms : GUSTY
71 Gambler’s calculation : ODDS
72 Raoul Dufy, stylistically : FAUVE
73 Silly goose : TWIT
76 Continental travel pass : EURAIL
80 “… the truth more first than sun, more last than star” : EE CUMMINGS
83 Limelight : PUBLIC EYE
84 Salon cuts : SNIPS
85 Warned one’s master, perhaps : BARKED
86 Line above the equator: Abbr. : NLAT
87 “Sing it, Sam” speaker : ILSA
88 DA’s aide : ASST
90 “Xanadu” rock gp. : ELO
91 Suffix with Catholic : -ISM
92 Jargon : CANT
95 Very small role : BIT PART
98 Starring role : LEAD
99 Ad astra per __: Kansas motto : ASPERA
102 Phased-out Apple messaging tool : ICHAT
103 Wade noisily : SLOSH
104 Florence’s __ Vecchio : PONTE
107 Pixar title robot : WALL-E
108 Wood shapers : ADZES
109 Half-serious sequence? : A-E-I-O-U
111 Spanish bull : TORO
113 Final notice : OBIT
116 Sightseeing trip : TOUR
117 Christmas trio : MAGI
118 Fingered : IDED
120 Operated : RAN
121 Back at sea : AFT
122 Hall of Famer Young et al. : CYS
124 Issa of “Insecure” : RAE

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Feb 21, Sunday”

  1. 20:08, no errors. Knew some of these poets, surprisingly. But enough goofiness in the fill and having to cross the themers really didn’t make this one too smooth.

  2. 19:55, no errors. A decent puzzle and a bright spot during an evening when Murphy saw fit to interfere with my life. (Nothing serious, just an annoying sequence of events … 🤨.)

  3. 22:28 Much easier solve than the NYT for me today. Did not know the quotes but easy enough to figure out the authors.

    Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

  4. Thought I had no errors, but had “uchat” instead of “iChat” which gave me
    two errors. Shoot!
    Hope everybody has a Happy Valentine’s Day.

  5. 26 minutes, 54 seconds, no errors. A few fills were a bit dodgy, like “YAR”, but for the most part pretty straightforward.

  6. Mostly easy Sunday for me; took 37:28 with a “check-grid” at the end to reveal 2 errors. I had aMBER instead of UMBER and eNE instead of INE.

    It’s a bit strange seeing e.e. cummings all in CAPITAL letters 🙂

    When I was between 3-5 I lived in CALUMET, Yukon…A gold mining company town, waaaay up in about the middle of the Yukon, near Mayo Landing. It used to get down to -40C/-40F (same) in the Winter occasionally.

  7. I didn’t care for the theme of the puzzle as the answers were from random poets, people, song writers, etc. If you are not familiar with these love quotes, you will find the puzzle pretty hard.

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