LA Times Crossword 21 Mar 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Gary Larson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Oh, That Changes Things!

Themed answers sound like common phrases with an “O” sound added at the end:

  • 25A Sketching an infamous emperor? : DRAWING NERO (drawing near + O)
  • 27A Outdoor barbecue area for wings? : CHICKEN PATIO (chicken patty + O)
  • 48A iPad, iPod and iPhone? : APPLE TRIO (apple tree + O)
  • 71A Theme park beast, perhaps? : ARTIFICIAL HIPPO (artificial hip + O)
  • 97A Intoxicated to the point at which getting a tattoo sounds like a good idea? : INK BLOTTO (ink blot + O)
  • 121A 100 centavos? : CHANGE OF PESO (change of pace + O)
  • 123A Twin peaks? : MOUNTAIN DUO (Mountain Dew + O)
  • 3D On one’s own? : LIVING SOLO (living soul + O)
  • 80D Spur-of-the-moment Tinder profile? : IMPULSE BIO (impulse buy + O)
  • Read on, or jump to …
    … a complete list of answers

    Bill’s time: 14m 17s

    Bill’s errors: 0

    Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

    Across

    1 Gretchen of “Boardwalk Empire” : MOL

    Gretchen Mol is the actress who plays Gillian Darmody on the HBO drama series “Boardwalk Empire”. Mol also played the title role in the 2005 film “The Notorious Bettie Page”.

    “Boardwalk Empire” is an HBO drama series set in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The storyline is set in the 1920s and 1930s during the Prohibition Era. Star of the show is Steve Buscemi.

    18 Dr. __ Skoda, J.K. Simmons’ “Law & Order” role : EMIL

    Emil Skoda, M.D. is a character who has turned up on several crime shows on television: “Law & Order”, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “New York Undercover”. Skoda is a psychiatrist who works with the NYPD, and is portrayed by actor J. K. Simmons (the guy in the Farmers Insurance TV ads … and other great roles!).

    20 Dory, e.g. : BOAT

    A dory is a small boat that’s around 20 feet long with a shallow draft, a flat bottom and a sharp bow. Dories are commonly used for fishing.

    22 Whiskey cocktail : SOUR

    A whiskey sour is made from whiskey, lemon juice and sugar, and is usually garnished with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

    24 Cheese with an edible rind : BRIE

    Brie is a soft cheese that is named for the French region in which it originated. Brie is similar to the equally famous (and delicious) Camembert. Brie is often served baked in puff pastry.

    25 Sketching an infamous emperor? : DRAWING NERO (drawing near + O)

    The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home upon hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

    31 Yemen’s capital : SANA’A

    Sana (also “Sana’a”) is the capital city of Yemen. Sitting at an elevation of 7,380 feet, Sana is one of the highest capital cities in the world. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana, where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site. According to legend, Sana was founded by Shem, the son of Noah.

    32 Conger catchers : EELERS

    Conger eels can grow to be very, very large, perhaps up to 10 feet in length.

    33 Georgia et al., once : SSRS

    The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

    38 Big brand in card collections : TOPPS

    Topps was a relaunch of an older company called American Leaf Tobacco, with the Topps name used from 1938. The earlier company was in trouble because it could not get supplies of its Turkish tobacco, so it moved into another chewy industry, making bubblegum. Nowadays, Topps is known for including (mainly) sports-themed trading cards in the packs of gum.

    45 Albany is its cap. : NYS

    New York’s state capital of Albany was founded as a Dutch trading post called Fort Nassau in 1614. The English took over the settlement in 1664 and called it Albany, naming it after the future King of England James II, whose title at the time was the Duke of Albany. It became the capital of New York State in 1797.

    46 Brave opponent : RED

    The Red Scare (i.e. anti-communist sentiment) following WWII had such an effect on the populace that it even caused the Cincinnati baseball team to change its name from the Reds. The team was called the Cincinnati Redlegs from 1953-1958, as the management was fearful of losing money due to public distrust of any association with “Reds”.

    The Atlanta Braves are the only team to have won baseball’s World Series in three different home cities. They won as the Boston Braves in 1914, the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 and the Atlanta Braves in 1995.

    55 Funny Fey : TINA

    Comedian and actress Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Fey is perhaps best known to television viewers as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1997-2006), and as the creator and star of the sitcom “30 Rock” (2006-2013).

    56 Shirt named for a game : POLO

    René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing.

    66 Ragout, e.g. : STEW

    A ragout is a dish from French cuisine, and is a highly-seasoned stew of either meat or fish. The name “ragout” comes from the verb “ragouter”, “to revive the taste”. The Italian “ragù” is a term borrowed from the French that describes a meat-based sauce served with pasta.

    69 Leaves alone : STETS

    “Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

    71 Theme park beast, perhaps? : ARTIFICIAL HIPPO (artificial hip + O)

    The name “hippopotamus” comes from the Greek for “river horse”. Hippos are the third-largest land mammals, after elephants and rhinos. The closest living relatives to hippos don’t even live on land. They are the whales and porpoises of the oceans.

    75 Actress Woodard : ALFRE

    Alfre Woodard is an actress from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Woodard was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the 1983 film “Cross Creek”. Off the stage and screen, she is very active in the Democratic Party.

    78 Spot in the Senate : SEAT

    The US Senate comprises 100 senators, with each of the fifty states being represented by two popularly elected senators. US senators were appointed by their state legislators from 1798 through 1913, until the Seventeenth Amendment called for popular elections.

    79 Tattoo target : BARE SKIN

    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”.

    83 Great Lakes’ __ Canals : SOO

    In the summer of 2010, I spent a very interesting afternoon watching ships make their way through the Soo Locks and Soo Canals between Lake Superior and the lower Great lakes. The name “Soo” comes from the US and Canadian cities on either side of the locks, both called Sault Ste. Marie.

    88 Gym site : YMCA

    The YMCA (the Y) is a worldwide movement that has its roots in London, England. There, in 1844, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded with the intent of promoting Christian principles through the development of “a healthy spirit, mind and body”. The founder, George Williams, saw the need to create YMCA facilities for young men who were flocking to the cities as the Industrial Revolution flourished. He saw that these men were frequenting taverns and brothels, and wanted to offer a more wholesome alternative.

    90 Scarlett’s plantation : TARA

    In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker game. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland. Rhett’s rival for the affections of Scarlet is Ashley Wilkes who lives at the nearby Twelve Oaks plantation.

    92 Windpipe : TRACHEA

    The windpipe (also “trachea”) connects the lungs to the pharynx, the cavity of the mouth. The trachea is lined with special cells that secrete mucus which is then moved upwards by tiny hairs (cilia). The mucus traps dirt and dust particles inhaled with the air and cilia move the mucus contaminant away from the lungs’ delicate air sacs, into the mouth. Cigarette smoke overwhelms the mucus and cilia, so that smoke particles make it all the way into the lungs. Not a good thing …

    95 Woodlouse, e.g. : ISOPOD

    Isopods are small crustaceans with seven pairs of legs. Examples would be woodlice and pill bugs. The name “isopod” comes from the Greek “iso” (same) and “pod” (foot). All isopods have seven pairs of jointed limbs.

    97 Intoxicated to the point at which getting a tattoo sounds like a good idea? : INK BLOTTO (ink blot + O)

    The term “blotto” meaning “drunk” dates back to the early 1900s. It supposedly is derived from the word “blot”, in the sense that being drunk one must have soaked up a whole load of booze.

    99 Blog feed letters : RSS

    Many websites and blogs publish content in a format known as Rich Site Summary (RSS). The “feed” can be read using an RSS reader. The advantage of using an RSS reader, is that the user doesn’t have to check the website for new content. That new material is fed to the RSS reader as soon as it is published.

    102 Play for a sap : USE

    “Sap” is slang for “fool, someone easily scammed”. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain when it was used in “saphead” and “sapskull”. All these words are derived from “sapwood”, which is the softwood found in tree trunks between the bark and the heartwood at the center.

    103 Martini go-with? : ROSSI

    The company that is today known as Martini & Rossi was started in the mid-1800s in Italy, by Alessandro Martini and Luigi Rossi (and a third partner who sold out years later). From day one it was focused on bottling the fortified wine known as vermouth. Nowadays, the company is also famous for its sparkling wines, and its sponsorship of Grand Prix racing teams. And yes, the famous cocktail is probably named for Mr. Martini.

    106 Former New Mexico senator with an Uncle Mo : TOM UDALL

    Tom Udall served as US Senator for New Mexico from 2009 until he retired in 2021. Tom’s father was Stewart Udall, who was Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969 in the Kennedy/Johnson administrations.

    Morris “Mo” Udall was a US Representative from Arizona. Prior to entering politics, Udall played professional basketball with the Denver Nuggets. In 1976, Udall made a run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. He lost to then-Governor Jimmy Carter.

    109 Chowder morsel : CLAM

    The type of soup known as “chowder” is possibly named for the pot in which it used to be cooked called a “chaudière”, a French term.

    112 Iced pastry : ECLAIR

    The name for the pastry known as an “éclair” is clearly French in origin. The French word for lightning is “éclair”, but no one seems to be too sure how it came to be used for the rather delicious bakery item.

    114 Dukes seen in fights : FISTS

    “Dukes” is a slang term meaning “fists, hands”. The route taken by “dukes” to become fists seems very tortuous, but might just be true. The term “fork” was slang for “hand” for centuries (and gives rise to “fork out” meaning “hand over”). The slang term “fork” is expressed in Cockney rhyming slang as “Duke of York”, which is shortened to “duke”. As I said, tortuous …

    117 Paradise : ELYSIUM

    In Greek mythology, Elysium was part of the Underworld where heroic and virtuous souls were laid to rest. Nowadays we use the word “Elysium” to mean a place or condition of ideal happiness, a Garden of Eden.

    121 100 centavos? : CHANGE OF PESO (change of pace + O)

    “Centavo” is a Spanish and Portuguese word, and is used for the coin that represents 1/100 of the basic monetary unit of quite a few countries, including Cuba. “Centavo” comes from the Latin “centum” meaning “one hundred” and “-avo” meaning “portion, fraction”.

    123 Twin peaks? : MOUNTAIN DUO (Mountain Dew + O)

    If you check the can, you’ll see that “Mountain Dew” is now marketed as “Mtn Dew”.

    126 Genetic lab samples : DNAS

    The two most common nucleic acids are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA), both of which play crucial roles in genetics. The DNA contains the genetic instructions used to keep living organisms functioning, and RNA is used to transcribe that information from the DNA to protein “generators” called ribosomes.

    128 Stallion’s mate : MARE

    There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

    • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
    • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
    • Filly: female horse under the age of four
    • Colt: male horse under the age of four
    • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
    • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
    • Mare: female horse four years or older

    129 Indy racing family : UNSERS

    The Unser family seems to have auto racing in their blood. Al Unser, Sr. won the Indy 500 on four occasions. Al’s brother Jerry was the first of the Unsers to compete at Indianapolis. Al’s other brother Bobby, won the Indy three times. Al’s son, Al Junior, won the Indy twice. Al Junior’s son is also a racing driver who competes at the Indy Speedway.

    130 Notes after fa : … SO, LA

    The sol-fa syllables are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti.

    131 Tabloid fodder : DIRT

    “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.

    133 Navy builder : SEABEE

    The Seabees are members of the Construction Battalions (CB) of the US Navy, from which the name “Seabee” originates. There’s a great 1944 movie called “The Fighting Seabees” starring John Wayne that tells the story of the birth of the Seabees during WWII. The Seabees’ official motto is “Construimus. Batuimus”, Latin for “We build. We fight.” The group’s unofficial motto is “Can Do!”

    135 WWII spy org. : OSS

    The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

    Down

    1 Former Ford autos, briefly : MERCS

    The Mercury brand of car was made by Ford from 1938 until 2011. Mercury was introduced by Henry Ford’s son Edsel Ford. Mercury vehicles were positioned as being more luxurious that the regular Ford models, and more economical than Ford’s high-end Lincoln models.

    2 City on the Missouri : OMAHA

    Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska. It is located on the Missouri River, about 10 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River. When Nebraska was still a territory Omaha was its capital, but when Nebraska achieved statehood the capital was moved to the city of Lincoln.

    4 French cleric : ABBE

    In French, an “abbé” (abbot) is in charge of “une abbaye” (an abbey).

    5 Trumpet kin : CORNETS

    The cornet is a brass instrument that resembles the trumpet, although it is quite a bit shorter. Despite the difference in length, the cornet and the trumpet have about the same length of tubing. The trumpet’s tube is coiled once, and the cornet is coiled twice.

    6 Where Chiang ruled from 1950 on : TAIPEI

    Chiang Kai-Shek was the leader of the Nationalist Movement in China right through to the end of WWII. The Nationalists lost out in a Civil War to the Communists backed by the Soviet Union after the war, and Chiang Kai-Shek and his government were forced to flee to Taiwan. Chiang Kai-shek claimed rule over China from Taiwan until his death in 1975.

    8 Rock bottom : NADIR

    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.

    10 Coastal inlet : RIA

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

    12 Vaping products, briefly : E-CIGS

    An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

    13 Man of La Mancha : SENOR

    La Mancha is a region in Spain, a plateau lying south of Madrid. The area became famous after publication of the novel “Don Quixote de La Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes.

    14 IRS ID’s : SSNS

    Social Security number (SSN)

    15 Hardy work : POEM

    Thomas Hardy was a novelist and poet from Dorset in England. Hardy thought of himself mainly as a poet, but he is best remembered for some very fine novels, such as “Far from the Madding Crowd”, “The Mayor of Casterbridge”, “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” and “Jude the Obscure”.

    16 Certain something : AURA

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

    19 Aptly named Renault : LE CAR

    French automaker Renault made the “mini-like” Renault 5 and sold it as the Renault Le Car in North America. My Dad had a Renault 5 in Ireland, back in the day …

    26 Chansons de __: medieval French poems : GESTE

    A “chanson de geste” is a medieval epic poem. The title of the genre translates from Old French as “song of heroic deeds”.

    28 Clinton running mate : KAINE

    Tim Kaine took office as US Senator for Virginia in 2013, having served as the state’s governor from 2006 to 2010. He was also chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 until 2011. Famously, Senator Kaine ran as vice presidential running mate in Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2016.

    29 Revered 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.

    35 Coup target, perhaps : TYRANT

    A coup d’état (often just “coup”) is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French for “stroke of state”. The Swiss-German word “putsch” is sometimes used instead of “coup”, with “Putsch” translating literally as “sudden blow”. We also use the abbreviated “coup” to mean “sudden, brilliant and successful act”.

    37 Charlotte of “The Facts of Life” : RAE

    Charlotte Rae was an American actress best known for playing the character Edna Garrett on two sitcoms from the seventies and eighties: “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life”. Towards the end of the series, the Edna Garrett character operated her own gourmet food shop called “Edna’s Edibles”.

    39 Six-time N.L. home run champ : OTT

    At 5′ 9″, baseball legend Mel Ott weighed just 170 lb (I don’t think he took steroids!) and yet he was the first National League player to hit over 500 home runs. Sadly, Ott died in a car accident in New Orleans in 1958 when he was only 49 years old. And, according to Wikipedia, “Ott’s name frequently appears in crossword puzzles, on account of its letter combination and brevity.” True that …

    41 __ noir : PINOT

    The Pinot noir wine grape variety takes its name from the French for “pine” and “black”. The grapes grow in tight clusters shaped like pine cones, and are very dark in color. The Pinot noir grape is most closely associated with Burgundy wines in France, although in recent years the popularity (and price) of California Pinot noir wine has soared after it featured so prominently in the wonderful, wonderful 2004 movie “Sideways”. Grab a bottle of Pinot, and go rent the movie …

    42 Bars not for drinking : SOAPS

    Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

    43 Swiss peak : ALP

    There are eight Alpine countries:

    • Austria
    • Slovenia
    • France
    • Switzerland
    • Liechtenstein
    • Germany
    • Monaco
    • Italy

    47 One watching a shepherd, say : DOGSITTER

    The lovely German shepherd breed of dog isn’t one of the older breeds, and only dates back to 1899. German shepherds are the second-most popular breed in the US, after the Labrador retriever.

    50 Cleaning chemical : LYE

    What we call “lye” is usually sodium hydroxide, although historically the term “lye” was used for potassium hydroxide. Lye has many uses, including to cure several foodstuffs. Lye can make olives less bitter, for example. The chemical is also found in canned mandarin oranges, pretzels and Japanese ramen noodles. More concentrated grades of lye are used to clear drains and clean ovens. Scary …

    52 Renewable energy choice : SOLAR

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

    54 Physical opening : META-

    The word “metaphysics” comes from the Greek “meta” (beyond) and “physika” (physical). Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that investigates reality beyond the principles of science. Not something I would understand …

    58 Some Hollywood FX : CGI

    Computer-generated imagery (CGI)

    59 Court arbiters : REFS

    Back in the early 17th century, a referee was someone who examined patent applications. We started using the same term for a person presiding over a sporting event in the 1820s. “Referee” is a derivative of the verb “to refer”, and literally describes someone who has the authority to make a decision by “referring to” a book, archive etc.

    60 Toledo’s 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.

    62 Snakes in hieroglyphics : ASPS

    The prefix “hiero-” comes from the Greek word “hieros” meaning sacred or holy. The classic use of the prefix is in the term “hieroglyphics” (meaning “sacred carving”), the writing system that uses symbols and pictures.

    67 River to the North Sea : ELBE

    The River Elbe rises in the Czech Republic and travels over a thousand kilometers before emptying into the North Sea near the port of Hamburg in Germany.

    70 Ginza locale : TOKYO

    Ginza is a district in Tokyo that is noted for its western shops, and especially the leading fashion stores.

    74 J.R.R. Tolkien feature : PERIOD

    J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien was an English author best known by far for his fantasy novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”. Although Tolkien lived in England and was a professor at Oxford, he served for many years as an external examiner at my old school, University College Dublin in Ireland.

    76 Peruvian plain : LLANO

    “Llano” is the Spanish word for “plain, flat region”.

    80 Spur-of-the-moment Tinder profile? : IMPULSE BIO (impulse buy + O)

    Tinder is a matchmaking app that uses Facebook profiles. Users “swipe” photos of potential matches, either to the right (“like”) or to the left (“not interested”). Users who “match” each other can then chat within the app.

    81 Sgts. and such : NCOS

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

    84 Plains tribe : OTO

    The Otoe (also “Oto”) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestward, ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

    87 California locale where “Maria Maria” fell in love, in a Santana hit : EAST LA

    East Los Angeles (usually “East LA”) is the most populous census-designated place in California, and is home to over 125,000 people.

    Santana is a Latin rock band formed by guitarist Carlos Santana in San Francisco in 1967. Santana’s big break came with a well-received performance at Woodstock in 1969, before which the band was completely unknown.

    89 Vitamin C source : ADE

    The essential nutrient referred to as vitamin C is also known as L-ascorbic acid or ascorbate. A lack of vitamin C causes the disease scurvy.

    94 Legendary fire starter : COW

    The Great Chicago Fire blazed for almost three full days in October of 1871. By the time it was extinguished, hundreds of people had died and four square miles of the city had been destroyed. It is known that the fire started in or near a small barn owned by an Irish immigrant, a Mrs. Catherine “Cate” O’Leary. A reporter called Michael Ahern wrote in the “Chicago Tribune” that the fire was ignited when a cow in the barn kicked over a lantern. Years later, Ahern admitted that he made up the story about the cow and the lantern, as he felt it made for colorful copy. Supposedly, Mrs. O’Leary died a heartbroken woman, as she spent the rest of her life with the public blaming her for the tragic loss of life and property.

    107 Filet __ : MIGNON

    The filet mignon cut of beef is taken from muscle in the back of the cow. That muscle is not load-bearing and contains very little connective tissue, which makes it more tender as meat. The name “filet mignon” translates as “tender/delicate fillet”.

    108 Fat, say : LIPID

    Lipids are a group of naturally occurring molecules including fats, waxes and fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D and E). Sometimes we use the words “fat” and “lipid” interchangeably but fats are a subgroup of lipids, specifically a group best called triglycerides.

    110 Hawaiian feasts : LUAUS

    The Hawaiian party or feast known as a “luau” really dates back to 1819, when King Kamehameha II removed religious laws that governed the eating of meals. These laws called for women and men to eat separately. At the same time as he changed the laws, the king initiated the luau tradition by symbolically eating with the women who moved in his circle.

    111 Nitrogen compound : AMINE

    The chemical compounds known as amines are derivatives of ammonia.

    115 Rulers before the Bolsheviks : TSARS

    At the second party congress of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903, a split developed. The faction with the most support was led by Vladimir Lenin. As they were in the majority, the group became known as the Bolsheviks, a term derived from the Russian word for “more” or “majority”. Lenin and the Bolsheviks led the October Revolution of 1917, as a result of which Lenin came to power. He headed the new Soviet State during its formative years.

    117 Jane Austen novel : EMMA

    Jane Austen’s novel “Emma” is the tale of Emma Woodhouse and the wonderful George Knightley. At the end of the story, Emma marries Knightley and her young friend Harriet marries Robert Martin, who had been trying to get Harriet’s attention practically from page one of the novel. Emma interfered in that troubled courtship.

    119 Mongolian tent : YURT

    A yurt is a wood-framed dwelling that is used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Although a yurt is a substantial structure, it is also extremely portable.

    120 “The Mikado” weapon, briefly : SNEE

    “Snick or snee” is the name given to cut and thrust while fighting with a knife. The phrase is rooted in a pair of Dutch words. The expression gave its name to “snickersnee” (sometimes just “snee”), a term describing a light sword-like knife.

    “The Mikado” is a wonderful comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan, set in the exotic location of Japan. “Mikado” is a former term for the “Emperor of Japan”. In the opera, Ko-Ko is the name of the Lord High Executioner of Titipu.

    122 Anthem opener : O SAY …

    “O say can you see by the dawn’s early light” is the opening line of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key. The song was adopted as the US national anthem in 1931, although it had been used officially by the US Navy since 1889, played when raising the flag.

    124 Eavesdropping org. : NSA

    National Security Agency (NSA)

    To eavesdrop is to listen in on someone else’s conversation without being invited to do so. The term comes from the practice of spies loitering in the area just outside the walls of a house, particularly in the “eavesdrip”, the ground close to a house that catches the drips of rainwater falling from the eaves of the roof.

    125 Young socialite : DEB

    “Deb” is short for “debutante”, which translates from French as “beginner” when referring to a female.

    Complete List of Clues/Answers

    Across

    1 Gretchen of “Boardwalk Empire” : MOL
    4 Takes steps : ACTS
    8 Takes time drinking : NURSES
    14 Tiff : SPAT
    18 Dr. __ Skoda, J.K. Simmons’ “Law & Order” role : EMIL
    20 Dory, e.g. : BOAT
    21 Pricing word : APIECE
    22 Whiskey cocktail : SOUR
    23 “Must-see” review : RAVE
    24 Cheese with an edible rind : BRIE
    25 Sketching an infamous emperor? : DRAWING NERO (drawing near + O)
    27 Outdoor barbecue area for wings? : CHICKEN PATIO (chicken patty + O)
    30 Loses it : GOES MAD
    31 Yemen’s capital : SANA’A
    32 Conger catchers : EELERS
    33 Georgia et al., once : SSRS
    34 More coarse, as sandpaper : GRITTIER
    36 Named time span : ERA
    38 Big brand in card collections : TOPPS
    43 Stubborn equine : ASS
    45 Albany is its cap. : NYS
    46 Brave opponent : RED
    48 iPad, iPod and iPhone? : APPLE TRIO (apple tree + O)
    51 More relaxed : LOOSER
    53 “Word on the street is … ” : SOME SAY …
    55 Funny Fey : TINA
    56 Shirt named for a game : POLO
    57 Land : ACREAGE
    61 Grassy plain : LEA
    63 Admit, with “to” : … COP
    64 Never again : NO LONGER
    66 Ragout, e.g. : STEW
    69 Leaves alone : STETS
    71 Theme park beast, perhaps? : ARTIFICIAL HIPPO (artificial hip + O)
    75 Actress Woodard : ALFRE
    78 Spot in the Senate : SEAT
    79 Tattoo target : BARE SKIN
    82 Road sign caution : SLO
    83 Great Lakes’ __ Canals : SOO
    86 More inclined : STEEPER
    88 Gym site : YMCA
    90 Scarlett’s plantation : TARA
    92 Windpipe : TRACHEA
    95 Woodlouse, e.g. : ISOPOD
    97 Intoxicated to the point at which getting a tattoo sounds like a good idea? : INK BLOTTO (ink blot + O)
    99 Blog feed letters : RSS
    101 Simple sack : COT
    102 Play for a sap : USE
    103 Martini go-with? : ROSSI
    104 Cries of pain : OWS
    106 Former New Mexico senator with an Uncle Mo : TOM UDALL
    109 Chowder morsel : CLAM
    112 Iced pastry : ECLAIR
    114 Dukes seen in fights : FISTS
    117 Paradise : ELYSIUM
    121 100 centavos? : CHANGE OF PESO (change of pace + O)
    123 Twin peaks? : MOUNTAIN DUO (Mountain Dew + O)
    126 Genetic lab samples : DNAS
    127 Support beam : I-BAR
    128 Stallion’s mate : MARE
    129 Indy racing family : UNSERS
    130 Notes after fa : … SO, LA
    131 Tabloid fodder : DIRT
    132 Start to build a pot : ANTE
    133 Navy builder : SEABEE
    134 __ child : ONLY
    135 WWII spy org. : OSS

    Down

    1 Former Ford autos, briefly : MERCS
    2 City on the Missouri : OMAHA
    3 On one’s own? : LIVING SOLO (living soul + O)
    4 French cleric : ABBE
    5 Trumpet kin : CORNETS
    6 Where Chiang ruled from 1950 on : TAIPEI
    7 Thief : STEALER
    8 Rock bottom : NADIR
    9 Revolted : UPROSE
    10 Coastal inlet : RIA
    11 Work on a seam, say : SEW
    12 Vaping products, briefly : E-CIGS
    13 Man of La Mancha : SENOR
    14 IRS ID’s : SSNS
    15 Hardy work : POEM
    16 Certain something : AURA
    17 Walked over : TROD
    19 Aptly named Renault : LE CAR
    26 Chansons de __: medieval French poems : GESTE
    28 Clinton running mate : KAINE
    29 Revered Mother : TERESA
    33 Weakens : SAPS
    35 Coup target, perhaps : TYRANT
    37 Charlotte of “The Facts of Life” : RAE
    39 Six-time N.L. home run champ : OTT
    40 Number on a tag : PRICE
    41 __ noir : PINOT
    42 Bars not for drinking : SOAPS
    43 Swiss peak : ALP
    44 In a bit : SOON
    47 One watching a shepherd, say : DOGSITTER
    49 Amigo : PAL
    50 Cleaning chemical : LYE
    52 Renewable energy choice : SOLAR
    54 Physical opening : META-
    58 Some Hollywood FX : CGI
    59 Court arbiters : REFS
    60 Toledo’s lake : ERIE
    62 Snakes in hieroglyphics : ASPS
    65 Valuable rocks : ORES
    67 River to the North Sea : ELBE
    68 Hard-hitting sound : WHAP!
    70 Ginza locale : TOKYO
    72 Wallet contents : CASH
    73 Wrath : IRE
    74 J.R.R. Tolkien feature : PERIOD
    75 Up : ASTIR
    76 Peruvian plain : LLANO
    77 Travelers’ decision points : FORKS
    80 Spur-of-the-moment Tinder profile? : IMPULSE BIO (impulse buy + O)
    81 Sgts. and such : NCOS
    84 Plains tribe : OTO
    85 Leftover morsel : ORT
    87 California locale where “Maria Maria” fell in love, in a Santana hit : EAST LA
    89 Vitamin C source : ADE
    91 Six-pack contents? : ABS
    93 Speck : ATOM
    94 Legendary fire starter : COW
    96 Office group : STAFF
    98 Permissible : LICIT
    100 Son-of-a-gun : SO-AND-SO
    101 It makes everything better, purportedly : CURE-ALL
    105 Safe and sound : SECURE
    107 Filet __ : MIGNON
    108 Fat, say : LIPID
    110 Hawaiian feasts : LUAUS
    111 Nitrogen compound : AMINE
    113 Selected : CHOSE
    115 Rulers before the Bolsheviks : TSARS
    116 Gets ready to file : SORTS
    117 Jane Austen novel : EMMA
    118 Student __ : LOAN
    119 Mongolian tent : YURT
    120 “The Mikado” weapon, briefly : SNEE
    122 Anthem opener : O SAY …
    124 Eavesdropping org. : NSA
    125 Young socialite : DEB

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

    1. 1:06:00 no errors..how can 130A be SO LA when the notes are SOL LA?
      First puzzle this weekend that was error free😀😀😀
      Stay safe😀
      Play ball!!!

      1. @Jack …

        “Sol” and “so” are acceptable alternate spellings. See :

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solfège

        FWIW, I only discovered this recently, as the result of (what else? 😜) doing another crossword puzzle. And, no (anticipating a logical reaction to my post 🤪), crossword setters didn’t create the alternate spellings; they’re just happy to make use of them.

    2. I agree with Jack. I first put in lala, which made sense. Fa la la…. so la is just wrong.
      Lots of things in this puzzle I didn’t know. Once again I learned the capital of Yemen. Maybe I’ll finally remember it!

      1. The capital of Yemen has several acceptable spellings, including (but not necessarily limited to) Sanaa, Sana’a, and Sana.

    3. Would have been error-free if I had put the “o” in mignon. Once
      again, I didn’t check over my work. Will I never learn???Looked
      up the Yemen capital, because it has a couple of different spellings and I wanted the spelling that fit the space.

      1. @Miles …

        I think you mean 74D … and I also think your interpretation is correct.

        BTW, I did get your email and I’ve been trying to find time to respond. Sorry for the delay … 😳.

    4. 22:04 1 lookup, 1 error

      Fun theme!

      Had to look up Boardwalk Empire cast to get MOL.

      Went through the whole thing looking for my mistakes, thinking “Soo Canal?” “Alfre?”, but I managed to misspell STEEPER, of all things. D’oh!

    5. Shouldn’t 82A be noted as an abbr? A Google image search for a road warning sign “ SLO” yields nothing save signs for San Luis Obispo. “SLOW,” of course, shows up repeatedly. Small nit in otherwise fine puzzle.

    6. 29:48 and DNF, with 12 left unfinished. The groaner puns were at the root of most of them. Of the words I might have been able to work out, but couldn’t “LICIT” was the most arcane.

    7. Overall typical Sunday for me anyway. I’m more relaxed with the LATIMES Sunday versus NYTIMES.
      Messed up spelling in a few places. Theme fell quick.
      Got stuck on CHICKEN PATTY for a while. Never heard of it.. is that like a turkey patty?

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