LA Times Crossword 14 Mar 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Pi Day

The first three digits of the mathematical constant pi are 3.14. Pi Day has been celebrated on March 14th (3/14) every year since 1988, when it was inaugurated at the San Francisco Exploratorium. In countries where the day is usually written before the month, Pi Day is July 22nd, reflecting the more accurate approximation of pi as 22/7. Interestingly, March 14th is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.

Themed answers are common phrases with PI inserted:

  • 24A Shrimp dish ordered online? : INTERNET SCAMPI (from “Internet scam”)
  • 34A Not someone you’d want in the cockpit? : VACANT PILOT (from “vacant lot”)
  • 45A Candidate’s concern after the latest poll? : OPINION DIP (from “onion dip”)
  • 68A Hook during a typically slow period? : OFF-SEASON PIRATE (from “off-season rate”)
  • 93A Physician for longshoremen? : PIER DOCTOR (from “ER doctor”)
  • 99A No-brainer card game? : STUPID POKER (from “stud poker”)
  • 117A Like most clouds, compared to cirrus clouds? : NONE THE WISPIER (from “none the wiser”)

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

Bill’s time: 23m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Yellow smoothie fruit : PAPAYA

The papaya is the fruit of the Carica papaya, a large tree-like plant that is native to southern Mexico and Central America. One traditional use of papaya is as a meat tenderizer. The fruit and sap contain the enzyme papain that breaks down meat fibers. Papain is used today as a component in powdered meat tenderizers.

11 Turin-based automaker : FIAT

Fiat is the largest car manufacturer in Italy, and is headquartered in Turin in the Piedmont region in the north of the country. Fiat was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Agnelli, when the company’s name was “Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino” (FIAT). A few years ago, Fiat became the majority shareholder in Chrysler.

19 Anthology compiler : EDITOR

Strictly speaking, an anthology is a collection of poetic works, although the meaning of “anthology” has broadened over time to cover any literary collection, or even a collection of ideas, comments, complaints etc. The term derives from the Greek “anthologia”, a word for a collection of short poems by several authors. The literal meaning is “flower collection” from “anthos” and “logia”, so an anthology is a book containing “flowers” of verse.

24 Shrimp dish ordered online? : INTERNET SCAMPI (from “Internet scam”)

The Italian dish known as “scampi” is a serving of shrimp in garlic butter and dry white wine.

28 Sticks in a parlor : CUES

The name of the game billiards comes from the French word “billiard” that originally described the wooden cue stick. The Old French “bille” translates as “stick of wood”.

29 Gulf of California state : SONORA

Sonora is the state in Mexico that lies just south of Arizona and New Mexico. Sonora is the second-largest state in the country, after Chihuahua.

The Gulf of California is also known as the Sea of Cortez. It is the body of water that separates the peninsula of Baja, California from the Mexican mainland.

30 Simile words : AS A

A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

33 Mumbai apparel : SARIS

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.

Mumbai is the most populous city in India, and the second most populous city in the world (after Shanghai). The name of the city was changed from Bombay to Mumbai in 1995.

34 Not someone you’d want in the cockpit? : VACANT PILOT (from “vacant lot”)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the original “cockpit” was a “pit” used for fighting “cocks”. The term was then applied nautically, as the name for the compartment below decks used as living quarters by midshipmen. The cockpit of a boat today, usually on a smaller vessel, is a sunken area towards the stern in which sits the helmsman and others (who can fit!). The usage extended to aircraft in the 1910s and to cars in the 1930s.

39 NYSE events : IPOS

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

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

51 Lows : NADIRS

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.

55 French region associated with an eggy dish : LORRAINE

The historical region of Lorraine is in the northeast of France, where it borders Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. The largest city in Lorraine is Nancy, although the region’s capital is Metz.

The classic dish called quiche is made with eggs (“oeufs” in French). Even though the quiche is inextricably linked to French cuisine, the name “quiche” comes from “Kuchen”, the German word for “cake”. The variant called “quiche lorraine” includes bits of smoked bacon as an ingredient.

58 Hurl insults (at) : SNIPE

To snipe is to attack with snide criticism, especially from a safe distance. This usage of the term is an extension of the older meaning, to take a shot from a hidden position (as in “sniper”). Such a shot was originally taken when hunting the game birds called “snipes”.

60 Ricoh rival : NIKON

The Japanese company Nikon was founded in 1917 with the merger of three manufacturers of various optical devices. After the merger, Nikon’s main output was lenses (including the first lenses for Canon cameras, before Canon made its own). During the war, Nikon sales grew rapidly as the company focused on (pun!) equipment for the military including periscopes and bomb sights.

Ricoh is a Japanese company that started out in 1936 and by the year 2000 was the biggest manufacturer of copiers in the world. The company is also well known as a supplier of cameras. The most successful of Ricoh’s lines of cameras is the compact model called a Caplio.

61 Retired jet : SST

The most famous supersonic transport (SST) is the retired Concorde. Concorde was developed and produced under an Anglo-French treaty by France’s Aérospatiale and the UK’s British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Concordes were mainly operated by Air France and British Airways, with both companies buying the planes with substantial subsidies from the French and British governments. The final Concorde flight was a British Airways plane that landed in the UK on 26 November 2003.

68 Hook during a typically slow period? : OFF-SEASON PIRATE (from “off-season rate”)

Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan had cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto. Barrie openly acknowledged that the Hook character is based on Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab from the novel “Moby Dick”.

72 Russian milk drink : KEFIR

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus region of Eurasia.

76 Punctilious to the extreme : ANAL

The use of the word “anal” to mean “stiffly conventional” is an abbreviated form of “anal-retentive”, a term derived from Freudian psychology. Regardless, I’m not a big fan of the term …

Someone who is punctilious observes all the rules and formalities, dots the Is and crosses the Ts.

77 Shakespearean “Shake a leg!” : HIE!

“To shake a leg” can mean “to dance”, but also “to hurry up”.

86 Toledo is on it : LAKE ERIE

Toledo, Ohio lies in the northwest of the state, at the western end of Lake Erie. Toledo was founded as a result of the prosperity that hit the area when the Miami and Erie Canal was constructed in the 19th century connecting Cincinnati to the Great Lakes. Toledo is known as the Glass City as several glass companies originated there, including Owens Corning and Pilkington North America. There is a large exhibition of glass art at the Toledo Museum of Art.

89 Ukase : EDICT

In Imperial Russia, a ukase was a proclamation issued by the government or the tsar. We now use the term to describe any order issued by an absolute authority.

92 Defensive castle feature : TURRET

A turret is a small tower, with the word “turret” coming to us from Latin via French. The French word is “tourette” meaning “small tower” (small “tour”).

93 Physician for longshoremen? : PIER DOCTOR (from “ER doctor”)

A stevedore, or longshoreman, is someone employed in the loading and unloading of ships at a port. The word “stevedore” comes from the Spanish “estibador”, meaning “one who loads cargo”, with the verb “to steeve” meaning to load cargo in a hold. The word “longshoreman”, is simply from a man who works “alongshore”.

99 No-brainer card game? : STUPID POKER (from “stud poker”)

“Stud poker” is the name given to many variants of poker, all of which are characterized by the dealer giving each player a mix of cards face-down and face-up. The cards facing upwards are called “upcards”. The cards facing downwards are called “hole cards”, cards only visible to the individual who holds that particular hand. This gives rise to the phrase “ace in the hole”, a valuable holding that only the player with the ace is aware of.

108 Discernment meas., in meteorology : VIS

Visibility (vis.)

109 Tolerates : ABIDES

“To brook” and “to abide” both mean “to tolerate, to put up with”.

117 Like most clouds, compared to cirrus clouds? : NONE THE WISPIER (from “none the wiser”)

Cirrus (plural “cirri”) clouds are those lovely wispy, white strands that are often called “mare’s tails”.

123 Prayer wheel spinner : LAMA

“Lama” is a Tibetan word meaning “chief, high priest”.

Prayer wheels are cylindrical wheels that rotate on a spindle with a mantra written on the outside of the wheel itself. They are most closely associated with the Buddhist tradition.

126 Like venison : GAMY

The term “game” can be used for wild animals that are hunted for food or sport. The associated adjective “gamey” (sometimes “gamy”) can be used to describe the taste of meat from a game animal, especially if the meat is close to going bad.

127 “The Killing” actress Mireille __ : ENOS

Mireille Enos is an actress from Kansas City. Enos is perhaps best known for her TV work, playing Sarah Linden on “The Killing” and for playing twins Kathy and JoDean Marquart on “Big Love”. Enos is married to actor Alan Ruck, who I mainly remember playing Cameron Frye in the great movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.

Down

1 One in cuffs, maybe : PERP

Perpetrator (perp)

2 Month after Shevat : ADAR

Adar is the twelfth month of the Hebrew ecclesiastical calendar. Adar is equivalent to February-March in the Gregorian calendar.

Shevat is a winter month of the Hebrew Calendar. Shevat usually occurs in January-February of the Gregorian calendar.

3 Filled food truck buy : PITA

Pita is a lovely bread from Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.

7 Puritan : PRIG

“Puritan” was a pejorative term used in the 1560s to describe a Protestant extremist who was not satisfied with the extent of the reformation of the Church of England. The Puritans advocated further reforms, believing that the Church of England still harbored a lot of corruption. Facing staunch resistance to their ideals in Britain, many of the Puritans emigrated, the first wave to the Netherlands, with later emigrants moving to New England.

8 Very long time : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

12 Supermodel Sastre : INES

Inés Sastre is a supermodel and actress from Spain. She is a smart cookie, having studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, and speaking French , English and Italian, as well as her native Spanish.

13 FBI figure : AGT

Agent (agt.)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was set up in 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation (BOI), with the name changing in 1935. The Bureau was set up at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was largely moved to do so after the 1901 assassination of President McKinley, as there was a perception that anarchists were threatening law and order. The FBI’s motto uses the organization’s initialism, and is “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”.

14 Hardy title teenager : TESS

The full name of Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is “Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented”. When it was originally published, “Tess …” received very mixed reviews, largely because it addressed some difficult sexual themes including rape, and sexual double standards (attitudes towards men vs women). I suppose the most celebrated screen adaptation is Roman Polanski’s “Tess” released in 1979. Polanski apparently made “Tess” because his wife, Sharon Tate, gave him Hardy’s novel as her last act before she was murdered by the Manson family. There is a dedication at the beginning of the movie that just says “To Sharon”.

15 CNN medical analyst Wen : LEANA

Leana Wen is a physician, author and television contributor. Wen also served as health commissioner for the city of Baltimore from 2014 to 2018, and President of Planned Parenthood from 2018 to 2019.

17 Blue Grotto isle : CAPRI

The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight that’s colored blue as it passes through the seawater into the cave.

18 Sewing machine inventor Howe : ELIAS

Elias Howe was an American inventor. Howe wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of a sewing machine, but he was the first to develop one that was functional.

22 Army sgts., e.g. : NCOS

A non-commissioned officer (NCO) might be a sergeant (sgt.) or a corporal (cpl.).

27 Valley known for viticulture : NAPA

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

Viticulture is the branch of horticulture dealing with the cultivation and harvesting of grapes, especially for wine production.

34 HVAC system openings : VENTS

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)

35 Nin of literature : ANAIS

Anaïs Nin was a French author who was famous for the journals that she wrote for over sixty years from the age of 11 right up to her death. Nin also wrote highly regarded erotica and cited D. H. Lawrence as someone from whom she drew inspiration. Nin was married to banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in 1923. Decades later in 1955, Nin married former actor Rupert Pole, even though she was still married to Guiler. Nin and Pole had their marriage annulled in 1966, but just for legal reasons, and they continued to live together as husband and wife until Nin passed away in 1977.

38 Terre Haute sch. : ISU

Indiana State University (ISU) was established in Terre Haute in 1865, as the Indiana State Normal School. ISU’s sports teams are called the Sycamores.

Terre Haute, Indiana is a city close to the state’s western border with Illinois. The city is home to a state prison which in turn is home to the state’s death row. The name “Terre Haute” was chosen by French explorers in the 18th century to describe the location, as “terre haute” is French for “high ground”.

40 Enters en masse : PILES IN

“En masse” is a French term, one that best translates as “as a group”

41 Tokyo-born peace activist : ONO

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 in Tokyo into a prosperous Japanese family, and is actually a descendant of one of the emperors of Japan. Yoko’s father moved around the world for work, and she lived the first few years of her life in San Francisco. The family returned to Japan, before moving on to New York, Hanoi and back to Japan just before WWII, in time to live through the great firebombing of Tokyo in 1945. Immediately after the war the family was far from prosperous. While Yoko’s father was being held in a prison camp in Vietnam, her mother had to resort to begging and bartering to feed her children. When her father was repatriated, life started to return to normal and Yoko was able to attend university. She was the first woman to be accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University.

42 Newton honorific : SIR

Sir Isaac Newton was one of the most influential people in history, and the man who laid the groundwork for all of classical mechanics. The story about an apple falling on his head, inspiring him to formulate his theories about gravity, well that’s not quite true. Newton often told the story about observing an apple falling in his mother’s garden and how this made him acutely aware of the Earth’s gravitational pull. However, he made no mention of the apple hitting him on the head.

45 Betelgeuse’s constellation : ORION

The very recognizable constellation of Orion is named for the Greek god Orion, the Hunter. If you take a look at the star in Orion’s “right shoulder”, the second brightest star in the constellation, you might notice that it is quite red in color. This is the famous star called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, a huge star that is on its way out. Betelgeuse is expected to explode into a supernova within the next thousand years or so. You don’t want to miss that …

48 Water container? : DIKE

A dike is an embankment that is used to prevent floods. It is usually made of earth and rock.

57 Figure (out) : SUSS

The verb “to suss” means “to figure out”. The term originated in the 1950s as police slang, and is a shortening of “to suspect”.

59 Part of a moth’s life cycle : PUPA

A pupa is a stage in the life of some insects. All four stages are embryo, larva, pupa and imago. Pupae can look like little dolls, hence the name. “Pupa” is the Latin for “doll”.

64 March __ : HARE

The March Hare is a character in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. It was the March Hare who hosted the tea party near the start of the story, in which we are introduced to another famous character, the Mad Hatter.

68 NFL Titan, when in Houston : OILER

The Tennessee Titans are a football team based in Nashville. The team relocated to Nashville from Houston in 1997. They were called the Tennessee Oilers for two seasons, before adopting the “Titans” moniker.

72 Growth in a wet forest : KELP

Kelps are large seaweeds that grow in kelp forests underwater. Kelps can grow to over 250 feet in length, and do so very quickly. Some kelps can grow at the rate of 1-2 feet per day.

73 Actor Morales : ESAI

Actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

77 Impresario Sol : HUROK

Sol Hurok was an impresario who worked with so many of the great performing artists, including Katherine Dunham, Marian Anderson, Isadora Duncan, Margot Fonteyn, Daniel Heifitz, Anna Pavlova, Arthur Rubinstein, Isaac Stern and Efram Zimbalist.

An impresario is a stage-art equivalent of television or movie producer. He or she organizes and perhaps finances concerts, plays and operas.

78 Goddess of peace : IRENE

Eirene (also “Irene”) was the Greek goddess of peace, with “eirene” being the Greek word for “peace”. The Roman equivalent to Eirene was the goddess Pax.

79 Shift key neighbor : ENTER

The shift key on a modern keyboard is used primarily to type uppercase letters. The term “shift” is a hangover from typewriter keyboards. The shift keys on a typewriter are held down to “shift” either the type bar or the paper-bearing carriage in order to cause a capital version of the letter to imprint on the inked ribbon.

85 Nabisco brand : 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.

90 Game that might end in a library : CLUE

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

101 Pioneering decaf brand : SANKA

The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let’s hope they are safer …

102 Orchestral pair, at a minimum : OBOES

When you hear an orchestra tuning before a performance, you’ll note (pun!) that the oboe starts off the process by playing an “A”. The rest of the musicians in turn tune to that oboe’s “A”.

107 __ stop : BUS

We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation as it is an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

110 Chase, as flies : SHAG

To shag (I am reliably informed, never having played a game of baseball in my life!) is to chase and catch a fly ball.

112 Bali products : BRAS

The Bali brand of lingerie started out as Fay-Miss in 1927, before becoming the Bali Brassiere Company in 1969.

116 Avant-garde : EDGY

Someone or something described as avant-garde is especially innovative. “Avant-garde” is French for “advance guard”.

119 Holm of “The Hobbit” : IAN

English actor Sir Ian Holm was very respected on the stage in the UK, but is better known for his film roles here in the US. He played the hobbit Bilbo Baggins in two of the “Lord of the Rings” movies, and also played the character who is revealed as an android in the film “Alien”.

“The Hobbit” is a series of three films based on the 1937 novel of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien. “The Hobbit” trilogy was very successful at the box office, even outstripping “The Lord of the Rings” collection of films.

120 Punk subgenre : EMO

The emo musical genre originated in Washington, D.C. in the 80s, and takes its name from “emotional hardcore”. “Emo” is also the name given to the associated subculture. Not my cup of tea …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Yellow smoothie fruit : PAPAYA
7 Chick’s sound : PEEP
11 Turin-based automaker : FIAT
15 One going through an eyelet : LACE
19 Anthology compiler : EDITOR
20 Loud sound : ROAR
21 For the most part : IN GENERAL
23 Squeal on : RAT OUT
24 Shrimp dish ordered online? : INTERNET SCAMPI (from “Internet scam”)
26 Equestrian action : PRANCING
28 Sticks in a parlor : CUES
29 Gulf of California state : SONORA
30 Simile words : AS A
31 Divert : SHUNT
33 Mumbai apparel : SARIS
34 Not someone you’d want in the cockpit? : VACANT PILOT (from “vacant lot”)
39 NYSE events : IPOS
43 Effect, as a law : ENACT
44 In its current condition : AS IS
45 Candidate’s concern after the latest poll? : OPINION DIP (from “onion dip”)
51 Lows : NADIRS
53 Complete : UTTER
55 French region associated with an eggy dish : LORRAINE
56 Decorates tees : TIE-DYES
58 Hurl insults (at) : SNIPE
60 Ricoh rival : NIKON
61 Retired jet : SST
62 Fertile : LUSH
65 Hit with a water balloon, say : DOUSE
67 Restaurant kitchen array : OVENS
68 Hook during a typically slow period? : OFF-SEASON PIRATE (from “off-season rate”)
72 Russian milk drink : KEFIR
75 Driver’s target : SCREW
76 Punctilious to the extreme : ANAL
77 Shakespearean “Shake a leg!” : HIE!
80 Online exchange : E-SALE
81 Carouse : REVEL
83 Temporary stay : SOJOURN
86 Toledo is on it : LAKE ERIE
89 Ukase : EDICT
92 Defensive castle feature : TURRET
93 Physician for longshoremen? : PIER DOCTOR (from “ER doctor”)
95 National symbol : FLAG
97 See 96-Down : … ME ONE
98 Bawl : WEEP
99 No-brainer card game? : STUPID POKER (from “stud poker”)
101 Soft drink options : SODAS
106 Humiliate : ABASE
108 Discernment meas., in meteorology : VIS
109 Tolerates : ABIDES
111 Fish tank buildup : SCUM
112 Optimal : BEST-CASE
117 Like most clouds, compared to cirrus clouds? : NONE THE WISPIER (from “none the wiser”)
121 Carried with effort : HAULED
122 Doesn’t give up : KEEPS AT IT
123 Prayer wheel spinner : LAMA
124 Missing the mark : ERRING
125 CEO’s helper : ASST
126 Like venison : GAMY
127 “The Killing” actress Mireille __ : ENOS
128 Exclusive date : STEADY

Down

1 One in cuffs, maybe : PERP
2 Month after Shevat : ADAR
3 Filled food truck buy : PITA
4 Very much : A TON
5 “Take a shot at it” : YOU CAN TRY
6 Con __ : ARTIST
7 Puritan : PRIG
8 Very long time : EON
9 Celebrate an anniversary, say, with “out” : EAT …
10 Like veggies in platters : PRECUT
11 Marker choice : FINE-TIP
12 Supermodel Sastre : INES
13 FBI figure : AGT
14 Hardy title teenager : TESS
15 CNN medical analyst Wen : LEANA
16 Protective suit : ARMOR
17 Blue Grotto isle : CAPRI
18 Sewing machine inventor Howe : ELIAS
22 Army sgts., e.g. : NCOS
25 Flee : RUN
27 Valley known for viticulture : NAPA
31 Small opening : SLIT
32 Talk show VIPs : HOSTS
34 HVAC system openings : VENTS
35 Nin of literature : ANAIS
36 Officer trainee : CADET
37 Etching supply : ACID
38 Terre Haute sch. : ISU
40 Enters en masse : PILES IN
41 Tokyo-born peace activist : ONO
42 Newton honorific : SIR
45 Betelgeuse’s constellation : ORION
46 Negative afterthought : … OR NOT
47 Unworldly : NAIVE
48 Water container? : DIKE
49 Aware of : IN ON
50 Bank conveniences : PENS
52 Word with interest : SELF-
54 Gave money for : ENDOWED
57 Figure (out) : SUSS
59 Part of a moth’s life cycle : PUPA
63 Hide : SECRETE
64 March __ : HARE
66 Significant times : ERAS
68 NFL Titan, when in Houston : OILER
69 Let go : FREED
70 Break, as ties : SEVER
71 Very much : A LOT
72 Growth in a wet forest : KELP
73 Actor Morales : ESAI
74 Expert’s discovery : FAKE
77 Impresario Sol : HUROK
78 Goddess of peace : IRENE
79 Shift key neighbor : ENTER
82 Elevates : LIFTS
84 Give fresh energy to : JUMP-START
85 Nabisco brand : OREO
87 Noisy disturbance : ROW
88 Bar supply : ICE
90 Game that might end in a library : CLUE
91 Dance genre : TAP
94 Murkiness : OPACITY
96 With 97-Across, words before “good reason” : GIVE …
99 Free thing to try : SAMPLE
100 Something done after a meal : DISHES
101 Pioneering decaf brand : SANKA
102 Orchestral pair, at a minimum : OBOES
103 Enjoys an elegant meal : DINES
104 Skillful : ADEPT
105 Drill bit purchases : SETS
107 __ stop : BUS
110 Chase, as flies : SHAG
111 Exercise activity : SWIM
112 Bali products : BRAS
113 Medical breakthrough : CURE
114 Et __: and others : ALIA
115 Transmit : SEND
116 Avant-garde : EDGY
118 Touchdown hr. calculation : ETA
119 Holm of “The Hobbit” : IAN
120 Punk subgenre : EMO

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 14 Mar 21, Sunday”

  1. Messed up on 48D. Had LAKE. But I knew 55A had to be LORRAINE and couldn’t get to DIKE . I left 45A as OPINION LIP. Ha!!

    Typical hour for me. Nice run. Especially for a Wechsler.

    Lots of rain last night and this morning.

    1. Hi Mary, I found this regarding et alii vs. et alia and found it interesting:

      et alii (et al.)
      “and others” Used similarly to et cetera (“and the rest”) to denote names that, usually for the sake of space, are unenumerated/omitted. Alii is masculine, and therefore it can be used to refer to men, or groups of men and women.

      Et alia is neuter plural and thus in Latin text is properly used only for inanimate, genderless objects.

  2. If I can beat (Bill’s time x 2), I’m satisfied. And so it was today.
    I finally got somewhere after I took out banana and put in papaya. Duh.

  3. 1:22:43 no errors…I finished most of this puzzle relatively quickly (for me) and then spent a very long time on 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50D which is also typical for me. GRR 👎
    Stay safe😀
    Come on baseball season👍

  4. Stumped by 110D, “Chase, as flies”. Swat didn’t fit. Finally my husband clued me in. Shag flies? It’s a baseball thing? News to me.

  5. 29:49

    I much prefer bananas to papayas, so I tried that first. Also had to change a lot of other entries as I went. Mentally removing the PIs and trying to figure out what made sense actually helped several times. I like OFF SEASON PIRATE, but NONE THE WISPIER seems like a long walk off a short plank.

  6. 28 minutes, 43 seconds, no errors. Had trouble in a few spots, mostly because of the forced, strained puns and the “pi” theme. Really tiresome to try to figure out these verbal gymnastics. It’s not “clever”, it’s just enervating.

  7. 22/7 is an adequate approximation for pi, but it loses its accuracy in the third digit to the right of the decimal point.
    pi = 3.141 592 653 589 793 238 462 643 383 279 502 884 197 169 399 375 10…
    22 / 7 = 3.142 857 142 86…

    1. Years ago I learned that a pretty close approximation to Pi and easy to remember is 355 / 113 -> 3.14159292 . Think 11, 33, 55 and the first three numbers are in the denominator, and the rest in the numerator. Works pretty well

      1. @Ron … I like your way of remembering this! In the past, I’ve had a good memory for numbers, but it’s beginning to fail me. Earlier, I was working on my tax return and found that my social security number had slipped away. A bad sign, that … 😳.

  8. No errors, but looked up the month before Shevat. Good puzzle!
    (I used to reply as “Mary”, but since there is now another Mary, I will
    use Mary S.

  9. Tricky Sunday for me; took 58:44 with almost everything finished except parts of the E and W. Finally used two “check grids” to help out and finished in another 3 minutes.

    Fun theme 🙂

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