LA Times Crossword 7 Feb 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Gary Larson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Work Place

Themed answers are common phrases reinterpreted as FACILITIES specified in the clue:

  • 22A Facility for processing vacation requests? : LEAVE OFFICE
  • 24A Facility where the higher-ups do business? : STATUS BAR
  • 44A Facility for researching cocoa-based goodies? : CHOCOLATE LAB
  • 69A Facility for baking custard-filled pastries? : NAPOLEON COMPLEX
  • 97A Facility for purchasing the latest fad items? : WHAT’S IN STORE
  • 121A Facility for a matchmaker? : SETUP SHOP
  • 124A Facility for cloning research? : DOUBLE SPACE
  • 3D Facility for recycling old batteries? : DEAD CENTER
  • 79D Facility for manufacturing homes? : HOUSE PLANT

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

Bill’s time: 17m 55s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 She plays Niobe in “The Matrix” sequels : JADA

Jada Pinkett Smith is an actress from Baltimore, Maryland. Pinkett Smith’s most famous role is the human rebel Niobe in “The Matrix” series of movies. Back in 1990, she auditioned for the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, to play the girlfriend of the character played by Will Smith. She didn’t get the role but did get Will Smith, as the couple were married in 1997.

The 1999 movie sensation “The Matrix” was meant to be set in a nondescript urban environment. It was actually shot in Australia, as one of the co-producers of the film was the Australian company, Village Roadshow Pictures. You can pick up all sorts of clues about the location when watching the film, including a view of Sydney Harbour Bridge in a background shot. Also, traffic drives along on the left and there are signs for the “lift” instead of an “elevator”.

5 ’70s Connecticut governor Ella : GRASSO

Ella Grasso was Governor of Connecticut from 1975 to 1980, and was the first woman to hold that office. Prior to being elected governor, Grasso served as a member in the US House of Representatives from 1971 to 1975.

19 Pitcher Hershiser : OREL

Orel Hershiser is big into poker now that he has retired from Major League Baseball. Hershiser lives in Las Vegas and when he isn’t working for ESPN, apparently he is at the poker tables, playing professionally. When Hershiser is eliminated in a poker tournament, he is in the habit of presenting the person who ousts him with an autographed baseball.

21 Apparent displacement due to observer movement : PARALLAX

Parallax is a perceived change in the position of an object when it is viewed from two different places. An oft-cited example (from days past!) uses the speedometer in a car. A speedometer that has a needle sitting on top of a scale is designed to show the driver the correct speed. However, a passenger viewing the same speedometer can see the needle sitting over a different point in the speed scale, due to the difference in viewing angle. That phenomenon is known as parallax.

26 Puts on cargo : LADES

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

Cargo is freight carried by some vehicle. The term “cargo” comes into English via Spanish, ultimately deriving from the Latin “carricare” meaning “to load on a cart”.

28 ORD postings : ETAS

O’Hare International was the world’s busiest airport from 1963 to 1998. The original airport was constructed on the site between 1942 and 1943, and was used by the Douglas Aircraft Company for the manufacture of planes during WWII. Before the factory and airport were built, there was a community in the area called Orchard Place, so the airport was called Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field. This name is the derivation of the airport’s current location identifier: ORD (OR-chard D-ouglas). Orchard Place Airport was renamed to O’Hare International in 1949 in honor of Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare who grew up in Chicago. O’Hare was the US Navy’s first flying ace and a Medal of Honor recipient in WWII.

30 English race place : ASCOT

Ascot Racecourse is used for thoroughbred horse racing, and is located in the town of Ascot, Berkshire in England. The course is located just six miles from Windsor Castle, and is often visited by members of the royal family. Royal Ascot is the name given to the most famous race meeting in the year, at which members of the royal family attend each day, arriving in horse-drawn carriages amidst great ceremony.

35 Reagan secretary of state : SHULTZ

George P. Shultz served as US Secretary of State in the Reagan administration, from 1982 to 1989. Shultz is one of only two individuals to have held four US Cabinet posts (the other being Elliot Richardson). As well as being Secretary of State under President Reagan, Shultz was Secretary of the Treasury, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Secretary of Labor in the Nixon administration.

37 Click beetles : ELATERS

The click beetle belongs to the family Elateridae, and is also called an “elater”. The click beetle is so called because it can snap a spine on its back into a notch creating a “click” that launches the beetle into the air. This click serves as a means of escape from predators, and also allows the beetle to right itself should it end up on its back.

39 Wyoming natives : ARAPAHOS

The Arapaho tribe lived on the eastern plains of Colorado and Wyoming. The Arapaho traditionally wintered in small camps in the foothills of the Rockies, and then relocated to plains in the spring where they hunted the buffalo that were gathering to give birth to their young.

42 Peak : ZENITH

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

44 Facility for researching cocoa-based goodies? : CHOCOLATE LAB

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814, and the chocolate Labrador appeared over a century later in the 1930s. The name “Labrador Retriever” is simply a reference to the breed’s origin and behavior. Labs originally “retrieved” from the “Labrador Sea”.

48 Muesli morsel : OAT

“Muesli” is a Swiss-German term describing a breakfast serving of oats, nuts, fruit and milk. “Muesli” is a diminutive of the German word “Mues” meaning “puree”. Delicious …

A morsel is a small bite, a mouthful of food. The term “morsel” comes from the Latin “morsus” meaning “bite”.

49 City NNW of San Francisco : EUREKA

Eureka, California is the largest city on the West Coast between San Francisco and Portland. It is a port city lying on Humboldt Bay that was settled by Europeans in 1850. Gold was discovered nearby, and this led to the settlement taking the name “Eureka”, which means “I’ve found it!” in Greek.

53 __-Ball: arcade game : SKEE

Skee-Ball is the arcade game in which you roll balls up a ramp trying to “bounce” it into rings for varying numbers of points. The game was first introduced in Philadelphia, in 1909.

54 Place for a hero : DELI

A hero is a submarine sandwich. The hero originated in New York City in the 1800s among Italian immigrants who wanted an Italian sandwich that reminded them of home. The name “hero” was coined in the 1930s, supposedly by a food critic in the “New York Herald Tribune” when he wrote that “one had to be a hero” to finish the gigantic sandwich. Hero is a prevalent term to this day in New York City, reserved for a submarine sandwich with an Italian flavor.

59 Last of a series : OMEGA

Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and is the one that looks like a horseshoe when in uppercase. The lowercase omega looks like a Latin W. The word “omega” literally means “great O” (O-mega). Compare this with the Greek letter Omicron, meaning “little O” (O-micron).

63 Red Cross supply : SERUM

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

Back in 1859, a Swiss businessman called Henri Dunant went to meet French emperor Napoleon III, to discuss making it easier to conduct commerce in French-occupied Algeria. The Emperor was billeted at Solferino, where France and Austria were engaged in a major battle. In one day, Dunant witnessed 40,000 soldiers die in battle and countless wounded suffering on the battlefield without any organized medical care. Dunant abandoned his business agenda and instead spent a week caring for the sick and wounded. Within a few years he had founded the precursor to the Red Cross, and in 1901 he was awarded the first ever Nobel Peace Prize.

69 Facility for baking custard-filled pastries? : NAPOLEON COMPLEX

A Napoleon is a French layered pastry that is often called a “mille-feuille” on the other side of the Atlantic. “Mille-feuille” is French for “thousand-leaf”. The origin of the “Napoleon” name is unclear, but is thought to derive from the French “napolitain” meaning “from Naples”. The shift to “Napoleon” perhaps took place during the reign of Napoleon I, although there is no direct connection to the emperor.

77 Composer Prokofiev : SERGEI

Sergei Prokofiev was a great Russian composer and pianist, certainly one of the most admired of the 20th century composers. Prokofiev left Russia not long after the October Revolution of 1917, with his first port of call being San Francisco. He spent a couple of years in America, but never settled. He moved to Paris next, then to Bavaria, and back to Paris where he lived for many years. However, when things calmed down in the Soviet Union, and the attitudes towards the arts made favorable changes, he moved back home permanently. He ended up residing in Moscow, very close to Red Square. He had the misfortune to die on the very same day as Josef Stalin. His funeral had to be delayed as family and friends could not get Prokofiev’s body out of his apartment due to the throngs of mourners for Stalin.

78 Master, in Hindi : SAHIB

“Sahib” is most recognized as a term of address used in India, where it is used in much the same way as we use “mister” in English. The term was also used to address male Europeans in the days of the British Raj. The correct female form of address is “sahiba”, but in the colonial days the address used was “memsahib”, a melding of “ma’am” and “sahib”

82 Zero deg. at the equator, say : LAT

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 Put (away) : SALTED

To salt away is to put aside safely for the future, and usually refers to something of value like money. The use of “salt” here is a figurative usage of the verb in the sense of preserving, as in salting meat for a future meal.

89 California lake near the Nevada border : MONO

Mono Lake is a spectacular desert lake located east of Yosemite National Park in California. The water in the lake is extremely alkaline, which has resulted in the formation of limestone columns (known as tufa towers) that rise above the surface.

92 Donor drive target : ALUM

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

96 Tabloid topic : UFO

Unidentified flying object (UFO)

“Tabloid” is the trademarked name (owned by Burroughs Wellcome) for a “small tablet of medicine”, a name that goes back to 1884. The word “tabloid” had entered into general use to mean a compressed form of anything, and by the early 1900s was used in “tabloid journalism”, which described newspapers that had short, condensed articles and stories printed on smaller sheets of paper.

103 Indian cooking style : TANDOORI

A tandoor is a cylindrical clay or metal oven used in cuisines from several Asian locales, including India.

104 Michelin product : CAR TIRE

Michelin is a manufacturer of tires that is based in France. The company was founded by brothers Édouard and André Michelin in 1888. The brothers were running a rubber factory at the time, and invented the world’s first removable pneumatic tire, an invention that they used to launch their new company. Michelin is also noted for rating restaurants and accommodation in its famous Michelin Travel Guides, awarding coveted Michelin stars.

115 Super Bowl LIV halftime performer : JLO

“J.Lo” is the nickname of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. “J.Lo” is also the title of her second studio album, which was released in 2001.

116 Ph.D. hurdle : DISS

Dissertation (diss.)

119 Kind of 1940s suit : ZOOT

A zoot suit has pants that are fairly loose fitting, except around the cuff at the bottom of the leg. The pants also have a high waist. The jacket of the suit has wide lapels and wide padded shoulders. Zoot suits were popular in the US in the thirties and forties, and were often associated with the African American, Latino American and Italian American ethnic groups. Over in the UK, the zoot suit was worn by the “Teddy boys” of the fifties and sixties. “Zoot” is probably just a slang iteration of the word “suit”.

120 Gown fabric : TULLE

Tulle is a lightweight net fabric that is often used in veils, wedding gowns and ballet tutus.

127 Start a paragraph, maybe : INDENT

To indent a line of text is to move it to the right (assuming one is writing in English).

128 Writer Bagnold : ENID

Enid Bagnold was a British author who is best known for her 1935 novel “National Velvet”, which famously was adapted into a very successful film starring Elizabeth Taylor.

129 Many kilt wearers : SCOTSMEN

The Scottish skirt called a “kilt” takes its name from the Middle English word “kilten” meaning “to tuck up”. The idea is that the kilt can be tucked up around the body to give freedom to the legs.

Down

1 La __, San Diego neighborhood that’s home to Scripps Research : JOLLA

The name of the city of La Jolla is often said to be a corruption of the Spanish “La Joya” meaning “The Jewel”, giving rise to the city’s nickname “Jewel City”. Scholars dispute this etymology, but it makes for good marketing.

4 Lung air sacs : ALVEOLI

The alveoli are the air sacs in the lungs, and as such are the basic units of respiration. They are hollow cavities around which the alveolar membranes perform the gas-exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. That gas exchange surface is about 800 sq. ft. (!) in the average human.

5 Miracle-__ : GRO

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded in 1868 by one Orlando Scott, and initially sold seed to the agricultural industry. In the early 1900s, Scotts started to sell to homeowners, and mainly supplied lawn seed. The company merged with the gardening company Miracle-Gro in 1955, and then with TruGreen in 2016.

9 Shakers and others : SECTS

“Shakers” is the common name for the religious sect more properly called the “United Society of Believer in Christ’s Second Appearing”. The sect’s doctrine was based on the teachings of Ann Lee.

10 Keats’ “To Autumn,” e.g. : ODE

Here’s the first verse from John Keats’ ode “To Autumn” …

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

11 Black __ : OPS

Black ops are covert operations, activities that are usually outside of standard military protocol and may even be against the law. Funding for black ops is usually provided by a secret “black budget”.

12 Toast topping : PATE

Pâté is a rich spreadable paste made from a mixture of ground meat and fat, to which various vegetables, herbs and spices may be added. The most famous version of the paste is pâté de foie gras, which is made from the fattened livers of geese (“foie gras” means “fat liver” in French).

13 Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT

The initialism “QED” is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. QED stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.

14 Foe of Rocky and Bullwinkle : NATASHA

Fearless Leader, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale are all characters in the cartoon show “Rocky and Bullwinkle”. Fearless Leader is the dictatorial ruler of Pottsylvania, and Boris and Natasha are two of his minions, two inept government agents.

15 Frequent subject in recent headlines : FLU SHOT

Influenza (the “flu”) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks … and other virus pandemics …

16 Green and Yankovic : ALS

Al Green is a gospel and soul music singer. Green was born in Arkansas, where he started out as a gospel singer and moved into R&B. In 1974, he was assaulted by a girlfriend who burned him badly on much of his body by pouring boiling grits over him (and then she committed suicide). The incident changed Green’s life and he turned to the church, becoming a pastor in Memphis in 1976. He continued to record music, but never really enjoyed the same success that he had in the early seventies with hits like “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still In Love With You”.

“Weird Al” Yankovic is a singer-songwriter who is noted for writing and performing parodies of popular songs. Of the 150 or so such songs, the best known are probably “Eat It” (parodying “Beat It” by Michael Jackson) and “Like a Surgeon” (parodying “Like a Virgin” by Madonna).

17 Conspiring group : CABAL

A cabal is a small group of plotters acting in secret, perhaps scheming against a government or an individual.

25 __-de-chaussée: ground floor : REZ

In France, the “rez-de-chaussée” is the ground level of a building. The floor above, the “premier étage” (first floor), is what we’d called the “second floor”. Very confusing …

33 Suit in a Spanish deck of cards : OROS

The four suits in a deck of Spanish playing cards are:

  • bastos (clubs)
  • oros (golds, golden coins)
  • copas (cups)
  • espadas (swords)

40 Work with feet : POEM

In poetry, a foot is the natural unit of stressed and unstressed syllables which make up the work. For example, an iambic foot consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

41 Toward the sheltered side : ALEE

Alee is the direction away from the wind. If a sailor points into the wind, he or she is pointing aweather.

42 Attractions in San Diego and the Bronx : ZOOS

The world-famous San Diego Zoo opened its doors to visitors for the first time in 1916. The zoo was founded in the Balboa Park area of the city, on the site of the Panama-California Exposition that was held the prior year. The zoo was needed to care for the abandoned exotic animal exhibits from the exposition.

The Bronx Zoo in New York City is the largest metropolitan zoo in the country, and is located right on the Bronx River.

44 Privia Pro Stage pianos, e.g. : CASIOS

Privia is a line of digital pianos made by Casio that was launched in 2003. Competing against instruments made by Yamaha, Roland and Kawai, the Privia line is designed for the masses, and is sold at affordable prices.

45 Cordelia’s father : LEAR

“King Lear” is one of William Shakespeare’s tragedies. Lear’s three daughters figure prominently in the story line. The three are, in order of age:

  • Goneril
  • Regan
  • Cordelia

47 Bridge actions : BIDS

The version of the card game bridge that is played mostly today is contract bridge. Auction bridge is a similar game, and is a precursor to contract bridge.

50 Seized vehicle : REPO

Repossession (repo)

51 Its planes have missile defense systems : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. El Al is known for its high levels of security, both on the ground and in the air. Reportedly, the airline’s passenger aircraft have been operating with anti-missile technology for several years.

60 Liquid meas. : GAL

The name of our fluid measure called a “gallon” ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin term “galleta” meaning “bucket, pail”.

61 They may be bitter : ALES

What’s known as “bitter ale” in the UK corresponds to “pale ale” in the US. I’m a fan …

64 Gym equipment : MATS

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

70 Weasel report? : POP!

“Pop! Goes the Weasel” is an English nursery rhyme, and a relatively young one that probably dates back only to the mid-1800s. No one really knows for certain the significance of the “pop” or the “weasel”.

74 Leaves on a dog : SLAW

The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.

76 Peak seen from Messina : ETNA

Messina is a port, and the third largest city, on the Italian island of Sicily. The city’s natural harbor has a curved shape like that of a scythe. When founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, the settlement’s first name was “Zancle”, from the Greek word for “scythe”. The port gives its name the Strait of Messina, the narrow passage between the island of Sicily and the Italian mainland.

80 Skinny : INFO

The use of the word “skinny”, meaning “information”, comes from WWII military slang for “the truth”. The term is probably a derivative of the expression “the naked truth”, which is evocative of “skinny-dipping”.

88 Flier with a flight : DART

Darts is a wonderful game that’s often played in English and Irish pubs, even over here in America. The scoring in a traditional game of darts is difficult to describe in a sentence or two, but the game of darts called “Round the Clock” is simply hitting the numbers 1 through 20 on the dartboard in sequence.

91 Jazz diva Jones : ETTA

Etta Jones was a jazz singer who was sometimes known as the “jazz musician’s jazz singer”. Because she has a similar name to Etta James, Jones was often confused with the more famous singer. Jones never really had any huge commercial success though, despite the respect that she engendered within the inner sanctums of the jazz world.

102 Thespian companies : TROUPES

“Troupe” is a French word meaning “company, band”.

A thespian is an actor. The term “thespian” derives from the name of the Greek poet of the 6th century Thespis, who is known as the father of Greek tragedy.

104 “Feather canyons everywhere,” to Joni Mitchell : CLOUDS

“Both Sides, Now” is a very successful 1968 song written by Joni Mitchell, and most famously recorded by Judy Collins. It has been recorded many times by many different artists, including Leonard Nimoy would you believe?

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

105 Building blocks : ADOBES

The building material known as adobe has been around a long time, and has been used in dry climates all over the world. The original form of the word “adobe” dates back to Middle Egyptian times, about 2000 BC. The original spelling is “dj-b-t”, and translates as mud (sun-dried) brick.

106 Givens in the “Wheel of Fortune” bonus round : R-S-T-L-N-E

In the bonus round of the game show “Wheel of Fortune”, players are given the letters R, S, T, L, N & E when guessing the hidden word or phrase. The contestant then selects four more letters before trying to come up with the answer.

107 Drinks in the a.m. : OJS

Orange juice (OJ)

108 Like non-oyster months, traditionally : R-LESS

There is a traditional warning that one shouldn’t eat shellfish in a month without an R i.e. May through August. That’s because these are the warmer months here in the northern hemisphere when algae blooms can spread toxins that are soaked up by clams, mussels and oysters. Personally, I only eat shellfish in months containing a Q … that would be never …

111 __ layer : OZONE

Ozone gets its name from the Greek word “ozein” meaning “to smell”. It was given this name as ozone’s formation during lightning storms was detected by the gas’s distinctive smell. Famously, there is a relatively high concentration of the gas in the “ozone layer” in the Earth’s stratosphere. This ozone layer provides a vital function for animal life on the planet as it absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation. A molecule of ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms (O3), whereas a “normal” oxygen (O2) has just two atoms.

113 Heston title role : EL CID

“El Cid” is an epic film released in 1961 that tells the story of the Castilian knight who was known as El Cid. The two big names at the top of the cast were Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren, but just who was the biggest star? When Loren discovered that a huge billboard promoting the movie in Times Square showed that her name was below Heston’s, she sued the movie’s producers.

118 “The Usual Suspects” crime lord Keyser __ : SOZE

“The Usual Suspects” is somewhat of a cult film now, released in 1995. The cast is amazing, including Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak and Kevin Spacey. The title comes from one of the most memorable lines in movie history, from the film “Casablanca”. In that 1942 movie, Captain Renault (played by Claude Rains) pronounces, “Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects.”

122 108-card game : UNO

UNO is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the shedding family of card games, meaning that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

123 Montblanc product : PEN

Montblanc is a manufacturer of luxury goods, notably high-end pens, that is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany.

125 Sci-fi beings : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 She plays Niobe in “The Matrix” sequels : JADA
5 ’70s Connecticut governor Ella : GRASSO
11 Requiring utensils, as some sandwiches : OPEN-FACE
19 Pitcher Hershiser : OREL
20 Searched roughly : RIFLED
21 Apparent displacement due to observer movement : PARALLAX
22 Facility for processing vacation requests? : LEAVE OFFICE
24 Facility where the higher-ups do business? : STATUS BAR
26 Puts on cargo : LADES
27 “It’s a __!” : FACT
28 ORD postings : ETAS
29 Expert : ACE
30 English race place : ASCOT
31 Hides : LIES LOW
35 Reagan secretary of state : SHULTZ
37 Click beetles : ELATERS
39 Wyoming natives : ARAPAHOS
42 Peak : ZENITH
44 Facility for researching cocoa-based goodies? : CHOCOLATE LAB
48 Muesli morsel : OAT
49 City NNW of San Francisco : EUREKA
53 __-Ball: arcade game : SKEE
54 Place for a hero : DELI
55 Pizzeria fixture : OVEN
57 “Yum!” : DELISH!
59 Last of a series : OMEGA
62 Help : AID
63 Red Cross supply : SERUM
65 Deck alternatives : PATIOS
67 Advisories : ALERTS
69 Facility for baking custard-filled pastries? : NAPOLEON COMPLEX
74 Minds : SEES TO
77 Composer Prokofiev : SERGEI
78 Master, in Hindi : SAHIB
82 Zero deg. at the equator, say : LAT
83 Impact sound : SPLAT!
87 Put (away) : SALTED
89 California lake near the Nevada border : MONO
90 Unpopular spots : ACNE
92 Donor drive target : ALUM
94 Eye : PEER AT
96 Tabloid topic : UFO
97 Facility for purchasing the latest fad items? : WHAT’S IN STORE
101 Fingers : RATS ON
103 Indian cooking style : TANDOORI
104 Michelin product : CAR TIRE
107 Some are vital : ORGANS
110 Shapes again : REMOLDS
112 Slangy denials : NOPES
115 Super Bowl LIV halftime performer : JLO
116 Ph.D. hurdle : DISS
119 Kind of 1940s suit : ZOOT
120 Gown fabric : TULLE
121 Facility for a matchmaker? : SETUP SHOP
124 Facility for cloning research? : DOUBLE SPACE
126 Disinfect : SANITIZE
127 Start a paragraph, maybe : INDENT
128 Writer Bagnold : ENID
129 Many kilt wearers : SCOTSMEN
130 Pickles : MESSES
131 Yardsticks: Abbr. : STDS

Down

1 La __, San Diego neighborhood that’s home to Scripps Research : JOLLA
2 Neighborhoods : AREAS
3 Facility for recycling old batteries? : DEAD CENTER
4 Lung air sacs : ALVEOLI
5 Miracle-__ : GRO
6 Thumb (through) : RIFFLE
7 Fling : AFFAIR
8 Pizzeria offerings : SLICES
9 Shakers and others : SECTS
10 Keats’ “To Autumn,” e.g. : ODE
11 Black __ : OPS
12 Toast topping : PATE
13 Part of Q.E.D. : ERAT
14 Foe of Rocky and Bullwinkle : NATASHA
15 Frequent subject in recent headlines : FLU SHOT
16 Green and Yankovic : ALS
17 Conspiring group : CABAL
18 Strict : EXACT
23 It’s often divided : ESTATE
25 __-de-chaussée: ground floor : REZ
32 “Well, __-di-dah!” : LAH
33 Suit in a Spanish deck of cards : OROS
34 Off-the-wall : WACKO
36 Worn : USED
38 Sound of an impact : THUD
40 Work with feet : POEM
41 Toward the sheltered side : ALEE
42 Attractions in San Diego and the Bronx : ZOOS
43 Icicle’s locale : EAVE
44 Privia Pro Stage pianos, e.g. : CASIOS
45 Cordelia’s father : LEAR
46 Touched down : ALIT
47 Bridge actions : BIDS
50 Seized vehicle : REPO
51 Its planes have missile defense systems : EL AL
52 Toy with a tail : KITE
56 Women with habits : NUNS
58 Sharpens : HONES
60 Liquid meas. : GAL
61 They may be bitter : ALES
64 Gym equipment : MATS
66 Tough spot : SCRAPE
68 Physical, say : EXAM
70 Weasel report? : POP!
71 Stare at in a creepy way : OGLE
72 Distribute, with “out” : METE …
73 Waterfront sight : PIER
74 Leaves on a dog : SLAW
75 A head : EACH
76 Peak seen from Messina : ETNA
79 Facility for manufacturing homes? : HOUSE PLANT
80 Skinny : INFO
81 Godsend : BOON
84 Arrive, in a way : LAND
85 Plus : ALSO
86 Pre-test helper : TUTOR
88 Flier with a flight : DART
91 Jazz diva Jones : ETTA
93 Seconds, say : MORE
95 Contaminates : TAINTS
98 Excavation site : SANDPIT
99 Isn’t at all wishy-washy : INSISTS
100 Glass lip : RIM
102 Thespian companies : TROUPES
104 “Feather canyons everywhere,” to Joni Mitchell : CLOUDS
105 Building blocks : ADOBES
106 Givens in the “Wheel of Fortune” bonus round : R-S-T-L-N-E
107 Drinks in the a.m. : OJS
108 Like non-oyster months, traditionally : R-LESS
109 Did okay in class : GOT A C
111 __ layer : OZONE
113 Heston title role : EL CID
114 Sprouts-to-be : SEEDS
117 Mason’s wedge : SHIM
118 “The Usual Suspects” crime lord Keyser __ : SOZE
122 108-card game : UNO
123 Montblanc product : PEN
124 Hard to see in : DIM
125 Sci-fi beings : ETS

26 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Feb 21, Sunday”

  1. @A Nonny Muss
    Like anything, cryptics are an acquired skill. Learning something always takes patience. I’ll admit it’s something I don’t have, so I don’t do incredibly well the times I’ve tried cryptics. But the amazing part to me is how many abbreviations are out there that get used in cryptics that I’ve never heard of before (there’s a dictionary full of them you can find online if you look). The one you posted is a “charade” type, but to have that many abbreviations is an odd thing to me and makes me wonder if I did get the interpretation right. But I’m relatively sure I did.

    I will probably try to finish out all the crossword sets I ended up with (doing a Ries set right now) before I try to work through all the cryptics sets I’ve been saving.

    Since I’m here, 23:44 no errors on this one. I’ve been pretty computer-averse lately and probably will continue to be in the near future.

    1. @Glenn …

      I did half a dozen easy cryptics before deciding that I wasn’t enjoying them all that much. It seemed that, to do them well, I’d have to learn a whole new, rather specialized, vocabulary. (And, at 78, I’m not sure I have that much time left.) Maybe I’ll give them another chance at some point.

      Meanwhile, back in November, I did my first “Marching Bands” puzzle (sent to me by Brendan Emmett Quigley as a thank-you for a donation) and, since then, I’ve become absolutely addicted to them. As you probably know, they involve filling all but the middle square of an nxn grid (where “n” is usually 13 or 15) with letters (no black squares) that spell out entries dictated by clues for each horizontal row and each of a set of (n-1)/2 concentric bands. So, they require you to recognize words not only written from left to right, but from right to left, top to bottom, and bottom to top, not to mention bending around corners (depending on where you are in a band). Each time I do one, I’m amazed that it’s possible to construct such a thing. As a side effect of doing them, I’ve gotten much better at seeing typos and “write-ohs” in vertical entries in ordinary crossword puzzles (always a problem for me).

    2. One more comment about “FUSSPOT”: I just checked two or three dictionaries and found no support for the notion that, even across the pond, it implies a particular age or gender, so the “Old woman” part of the cryptic clue seems inappropriate (not to mention a bit offensive 😳). Perhaps I should check more dictionaries … 🤨.

  2. Took over an hour and I had to do a word check at the end (couldn’t get the J at square 1). But still, it was a fun puzzle.

  3. 1:13:50 no errors…this one was loaded with “never heard ofs” for me anyway. I had to reread many clues over and over to try and understand them…not a lot of fun but it’s done.
    Stay safe😀

  4. One error box; forgot to put the “z” on Shultz. Had a lot of problems with
    the southwest quarter today until I finally looked up the Keyser name and
    found it was Soze. Then it wasn’t too long before I had all boxes filled.

    It’s 11:30 with sunshine here and still 10 degrees below zero!

  5. 29:27 2 errors

    Theme was mildly amusing. I’m not convinced that many Ph.D candidates refer to their dissertation as a “diss”, but I love that click beetles are ELATERS.

  6. 30 minutes, 24 seconds, no errors, although I needed Check Grid to ferret out the odd missed square and a few to correct (like changing CHOCOLATE BAR to CHOCOLATE LAB). This one was challenging, clever and fun.

  7. Mostly easy Sunday for me; took 46:36 with a “check grid” at the end to discover I had JAlA/lEADBATTERIES or 1 error. Did struggle in a few places: REZ, SOZE, RSTLNE and SLAW, which I still do not understand??

    I googled “leaves on a dog” and that didn’t help and I’m not seeing the pun mentioned above…anyone??

    Still, the puzzle was quite fun and the theme helped…well except for the first one.

  8. @Dirk … Think cole slaw (made from cabbage leaves) on a hot dog. (I paused for a moment over it, too; I think it may be a regional thing.)

  9. The theme was pretty fun, but I found some of the clues frustrating. For example, in the lower left corner:
    108D: (Like non-oyster months) RLESS
    109D: (Did okay in class) GOTAC
    116A: (Ph.D. hurdle) DISS

    I guess I get frustrated when there is no hint to use abbreviations or combine words.

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