LA Times Crossword 25 Apr 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Joe Deeney
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Director’s Cut

Themed answers come in pairs, side-by-side in the grid. Each pair contains the hidden name of a film DIRECTOR, CUT by the black square separating the answers:

  • 21A *Marvel hero with a red-white-and-blue costume : CAPTAIN AMERICA
  • 23A *Former Soviet newspaper : PRAVDA (“CA-PRA” CUT)
  • 34A *Hunk : STUDMUFFIN
  • 36A *Take only the best : CHERRY-PICK (“FIN-CHER” CUT)
  • 49A *Instrument played with mallets : GLOCKENSPIEL
  • 53A *Citrus used to flavor tea : BERGAMOT (“SPIEL-BERG” CUT)
  • 71A *Turkey’s area : NEAR EAST
  • 72A *Symbol of worthlessness : WOODEN NICKEL (“EAST-WOOD” CUT)
  • 86A *Camper’s knot : CLOVE HITCH
  • 89A *Ridiculous, as an excuse : COCKAMAMIE (“HITCH-COCK” CUT)
  • 103A *”Walk This Way” rap trio : RUN-DMC
  • 104A *Oscar-winning role for Judi Dench : QUEEN ELIZABETH (“MCQUEEN” CUT)

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

Bill’s time: 20m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Iraq port city : BASRA

Basra is Iraq’s main port, and is located in the southeast of the country, just 34 miles from the Persian Gulf. Access to the gulf is via the Shatt al-Arab waterway, a river that discharges into the gulf in the port city of Umm Qasr.

13 Knighted English composer : ELGAR

Sir Edward Elgar was the quintessential English composer. He is inextricably associated with his “Pomp and Circumstance Marches” (including “Land of Hope and Glory”) and the “Enigma Variations”.

18 Bust of Pope Paul V sculptor : BERNINI

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was an Italian sculptor and architect, one generally regarded as the successor to Michelangelo. Bernini’s most famous work perhaps is the design for the Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter’s Square) that is located in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

19 Language family including Finnish and Hungarian : URALIC

The Uralic (also “Uralian”) languages are those that probably originated in the area in and around the Ural Mountains. The most widely spoken Uralic languages are Hungarian, Finnish and Estonian.

20 “I Hope You Dance” singer Womack : LEE ANN

Lee Ann Womack is a country music singer and songwriter from Jacksonville, Texas.

21 *Marvel hero with a red-white-and-blue costume : CAPTAIN AMERICA

Captain America is a fictional superhero in comics published by Marvel Comics. He is the alter ego of a weak man called Steve Rogers who was given an experimental serum by the US Government during WWII.

23 *Soviet newspaper : PRAVDA (“CA-PRA” CUT)

The political newspaper “Pravda” has for about a century been associated with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and now of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. “Pravda” was founded just before WWI by Russian revolutionaries. It was closed down after the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was banned by President Boris Yeltsin in 1991, although a group of journalists opened a new paper with the same title just a few weeks later. Eventually, the new “Pravda” was purchased by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation when it emerged as a political force starting in 1996. “Pravda” is Russian for “truth”.

I can’t tell you how many of Frank Capra’s movies are on my list of all-time favorites. He directed such classics as “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town”, “Lost Horizon”, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, “Meet John Doe”, “Arsenic and Old Lace” and the holiday favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Capra was the first person to win three directorial Oscars: for “It Happened One Night”, “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” and “You Can’t Take It With You”. Capra also did his bit during WWII, enlisting just a few days after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Given his great talent, and the fact that he enlisted at the relatively advanced age of 44, the US Army put him to work directing 11 documentary war films in the “Why We Fight” series, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

25 Apple pie order : A LA MODE

In French, “à la mode” simply means “fashionable”. In America, the term has also come to describe a way of serving pie. Pie served à la mode includes a dollop of cream or ice cream, or as I recall from my time living in Upstate New York, with a wedge of cheddar cheese.

26 Last-second online auction bids : SNIPES

Auction sniping is a relatively new phenomenon, a phenomenon that is associated with online auctions. A sniper waits until the final seconds of an auction and drops in a slightly higher bid, winning the auction as other bidders have no time to respond. Auction sniping is often executed with the help of a software application, or by using an online service.

27 OXO tool : PEELER

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

29 Comet, to some : OMEN

Comets and asteroids are similar, both being relatively small celestial bodies orbiting the sun. Comets differ from asteroids in that they have a coma or tail, especially when they are close enough to the sun. The coma and tail are temporary fuzzy atmospheres that develop due to the presence of solar radiation. Comets are sometimes referred to as “dirty snowballs”, a reference to their composition: rock, dust, water ice and frozen gases.

30 Summer hrs. along the Mississippi : CDT

Central Daylight Time (CDT)

32 Humdingers : LULUS

We call a remarkable thing or a person a lulu. The term “lulu” was coined in honor of Lulu Hurst, the Georgia Wonder, who was a stage magician active in the 1880s.

36 *Take only the best : CHERRY-PICK (“FIN-CHER” CUT)

Director David Fincher started his career directing music videos, before he took on the 1992 movie “Alien 3”. Since then, he has directed many hit movies, including “Seven” (1995), “The Game” (1997), “Fight Club” (1999), “Panic Room” (2002), “The Social Network” (2010), “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011) and “Gone Girl” (2014).

38 Android alternative : IOS

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

39 Halloween decoration : BAT

All Saints’ Day is November 1st each year. The day before All Saints’ Day is All Hallows’ Eve, better known by the Scottish term “Halloween”.

40 “Family Guy” kid with a football-shaped head : STEWIE

“Family Guy” is a very successful animated television show. It was created by Seth MacFarlane, the same guy who came up with “American Dad!”. My kids love them both. Me, I can’t stand ‘em …

41 __ Beta Kappa : PHI

Phi Beta Kappa was the first collegiate Greek fraternity in the US, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The organization served as a model for future collegiate fraternities and sororities, although in the 19th century Phi Beta Kappa distanced itself from the fraternal focus and transformed into the honor society that it is today, recognizing academic excellence. The initials Phi Beta Kappa stand for “philosophia biou kybernētēs”, which translates into “philosophy is the guide of life”. The symbol of the Phi Beta Kappa Society is a golden key.

42 Diva’s numbers : SOLI

“Soli” (the plural of “solo”) are pieces of music performed by one artist, whereas “tutti” are pieces performed by all of the artists.

44 Base-level rideshare option : UBERX

The basic service offered by ride-hailing company Uber is known as UberX. The service provides a private ride for up to four passengers in a standard car. UberXL provides a minivan or SUV with room for up to 6 passengers.

46 Host before Carson : PAAR

Jack Paar was most famous as the host of “The Tonight Show”, from 1957 to 1962. When he died in 2004, “Time” magazine wrote that Paar was “the fellow who split talk show history into two eras: “Before Paar and Below Paar”. Very complimentary …

49 *Instrument played with mallets : GLOCKENSPIEL

The glockenspiel and xylophone are similar instruments, the main difference being the material from which the keys are made. Xylophone keys are made from wood, and glockenspiel keys are made from metal.

53 *Citrus used to flavor tea : BERGAMOT (“SPIEL-BERG” CUT)

The Earl Grey blend of tea is supposedly named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1830 to 1834. Earl Grey tea has a distinctive flavor that is largely due to the addition of oil from the rind of the bergamot orange.

Director Steven Spielberg has had so many hit movies. Spielberg won two Best Director Oscars, one being “Schindler’s List” from 1993 and “Saving Private Ryan” from 1998. Three Spielberg films broke box office records: “Jaws” (1975), “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) and “Jurassic Park” (1993). That’s quite a portfolio of movies …

58 Cantina fare : TAPAS

“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”. There is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

59 ’60s-’70s epithet based on a 21st-century Emmy-winning drama : MAD MEN ERA

“Mad Men” was the flagship show on the AMC television channel for several seasons. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

An epithet is a word or phrase used in a name to describe the quality of the person or thing bearing that name. For example, King Richard I was also known as Richard the Lionheart. The term “epithet” can also describe a word that is disparaging or abusive.

60 Appliance found in Provence? : OVEN

The word “oven” is found in the middle of the word “Provence”.

61 Survivalist Stroud : LES

Les Stroud is a survival expert from Ontario, Canada. He is best known as the man in front of and behind the camera for the reality TV show “Survivorman”.

62 Okra or orca unit : POD

The plant known as okra is mainly grown for its edible green pods. The pods are said to resemble “ladies’ fingers”, which is an alternative name for the plant. Okra is known as “ngombo” in Bantu, a name that might give us the word “gumbo”, the name for the name of the southern Louisiana stew that includes okra as a key ingredient.

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

63 “Dracula” author Stoker : BRAM

Bram Stoker was an Irish writer best known for the 1897 novel “Dracula”. Stoker’s fame as an author came after his death. During his lifetime he was better known as the personal assistant of renowned English actor Henry Irving. It is believed that Stoker used Irving as his inspiration for the title character in “Dracula”.

64 Phisher’s crime : WIRE FRAUD

Phishing is the online practice of stealing usernames, passwords and credit card details by creating a site that deceptively looks reliable and trustworthy. Phishers often send out safe-looking emails or instant messages that direct someone to an equally safe-looking website where the person might inadvertently enter sensitive information. “Phishing” is a play on the word “fishing”, as in “fishing for passwords, PINs, etc.”

70 Grand Canyon sights : CACTI

The Grand Canyon is in Arizona. The canyon continues to be carved out of layers of rock by the Colorado River. It is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and over a mile deep.

71 *Turkey’s area : NEAR EAST

In geographical terms there are three “Easts”. “Near East” and “Middle East” are terms that are often considered synonymous, although “Near East” tends to be used when discussing ancient history and “Middle East” when referring to the present day. The Near/Middle East encompasses most of Western Asia and Egypt. The term “Far East” describes East Asia (including the Russian Far East), Southeast Asia and South Asia.

72 *Symbol of worthlessness : WOODEN NICKEL (“EAST-WOOD” CUT)

Actor and director Clint Eastwood is a native of San Francisco, California. As many of us perhaps remember, Eastwood’s big break was playing the supporting role of Rowdy Yates in the TV show “Rawhide” in the late fifties and early sixties. He then became the face of the spaghetti western genre of movie in the sixties, most notably in the classic “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. In later years Eastwood has branched out into directing and producing with remarkable success. And of course in the late eighties he also served as mayor of his hometown, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

74 Cravings : YENS

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

75 Slightly lit : TIPSY

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

76 Kindle technology : E INK

E Ink Corporation manufactures what is known as “electronic paper”, a material that is integrated into electronic displays used mainly in e-readers and smartphones. An example is the excellent display that comes with the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-reader.

80 Gem weight units : CARATS

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg (0.2 grams). It is used in sizing gemstones.

82 Water source : TAP

The common “faucet” in an American house is almost always referred to as a “tap” on the other side of the pond.

86 *Camper’s knot : CLOVE HITCH

A clove hitch is one of the most important knots used by professionals. It is sometimes called a “double hitch” as it comprises two half hitches back to back.

89 *Ridiculous, as an excuse : COCKAMAMIE (“HITCH-COCK” CUT)

“Cockamamy” (sometimes “cockamamie”) is a slang term meaning “ridiculous, incredible”. The term goes back at least to 1946, but may have originated as an informal term used by children in New York City in the 1920s.

Alfred Hitchcock was an English film director from Leytonstone, just outside London. A very good friend of mine is a close friend of one of his granddaughters, and met “Hitch” many times in her youth. She tells a very nice story of sitting in a restaurant with the family when someone came over to the table to say “hi”. That was Jimmy Stewart …

93 Worked on a Royal : TYPED

Back in the day, the Royal Typewriter Company was the world’s largest supplier of typewriters.

95 Giants manager Kapler : GABE

Gabe Kapler was an MLB outfielder who played professional ball for 13 seasons. He also spent one season playing in Japan, and in 2013 coached the Israeli national baseball team.

97 SoFi Stadium team : LA RAMS

The Los Angeles Rams are the only franchise to have won NFL championships in three different cities, i.e. Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951) and St. Louis (1999). The Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945, in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1994, in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, and returned to Los Angeles in 2016.

SoFi Stadium is an arena in Inglewood, California just a few miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It is the home of two NFL teams: the LA Rams and the LA Chargers.

99 Family planning topic, familiarly : THE PILL

“The Pill” is more correctly called “the combined oral contraceptive pill”. The formulation is a combination of an estrogen called estradiol and a progestogen called progestin.

103 *”Walk This Way” rap trio : RUN-DMC

“Walk This Way” is a 1975 song by Aerosmith that was famously covered by rap trio Run-DMC in 1986. The latter recording sparked a resurgence in popularity for the Aerosmith. Aerosmith and Run-DMC appeared together in a hit music video featuring “Walk This Way”.

104 *Oscar-winning role for Judi Dench : QUEEN ELIZABETH (“MCQUEEN” CUT)

I found the 1998 movie “Shakespeare in Love” to be an entertaining romantic comedy. It is a fictional account of Shakespeare having a love affair while in the middle of writing his famous “Romeo and Juliet”. The great cast includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Colin Firth and Judi Dench, with Joseph Fiennes in the title role.

Dame Judi Dench is an outstanding English actress who has appeared for decades in her home country on stage and screen. Dench’s film career took off in the nineties with a relatively trivial role as “M” in the James Bond series of films. Since then she has played leading roles in several excellent movies including “Shakespeare in Love”, “Mrs. Brown”, “Notes on a Scandal” and “Philomena”.

Steve McQueen is a film director from England who is best known for the 2013 movie “12 Years a Slave”. That movie won the Best Picture Oscar.

108 Seventh of eight : URANUS

One of the unique features of the planet Uranus is that its north and south poles lie where most other planets have their equators. That means that Uranus’ axis of rotation is almost in its solar orbit.

112 Rock’s Lynyrd __ : SKYNYRD

Lynyrd Skynyrd is a southern rock band that formed in 1964 in Jacksonville, Florida as My Backyard. The name was changed to “Leonard Skinnerd” in 1969, and then to “Lynyrd Skynyrd” a few months later. The chosen name was a wry tribute to the member’s phys-ed teacher at high school, one Leonard Skinner. Lynyrd Skynyrd were most successful in the 1970s, when they recorded their two biggest hits: “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird”. Sadly, three of the original band members were killed in a plane crash in 1977.

Down

1 Ottawa-based media org. : CBC

“CBC” stands for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada’s national public radio and television broadcaster. In terms of financing and structure, CBC is akin to the BBC in Britain. But as commercial advertising is permitted, it perhaps more akin to RTE, the national broadcasting company in my homeland of Ireland.

3 Mythological lyrist : ORPHEUS

Orpheus is a figure from Greek mythology, very often associated with poetry, singing, music and the lyre in particular. In ancient Greece there was even an Orphic cult that in effect adopted the poetry ascribed to Orpheus as central to the cult’s belief system. The adjectives “Orphic” and “Orphean” describe things pertaining to Orpheus, and because of his romantic, musical bent, the term has come to describe anything melodious or enchanting. One of the more famous stories about Orpheus describes his attempts to rescue his wife Eurydice from the underworld.

5 Jeweled headgear : DIADEM

A diadem is a type of crown that is worn as a sign of royalty. The original diadem wasn’t made of metal and was simply an embroidered silk ribbon that was worn by a king as a symbol of his authority.

6 Oxford, to Oxonians : UNI

In Australia (Down Under), and in Britain and Ireland, the term “uni” is used routinely for “university”.

7 Fruta en una colada : PINA

“Piña colada” is a Spanish term that translates into “strained pineapple”. The piña colada cocktail was introduced in the Caribe Hilton San Juan in 1954, and since 1978 it has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico. Yum …

8 City in NW Germany : BREMEN

Bremen is an industrial port city in northwestern Germany. The city actually lies almost 40 miles inland on the River Weser, with the relatively young city of Bremerhaven (literally “Bremen’s Harbour”) lying at the river’s mouth. Together, Bremen and Bremerhaven comprise the German state known as the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.

9 “Breaking Bad” actor __ Paul : AARON

Actor Aaron Paul is best known for playing Jesse Pinkman in the incredibly successful drama “Breaking Bad”. Paul got himself a “Breaking Bad” tattoo on the last day of filming of the series, as did fellow cast member Bryan Cranston.

10 Arrived headfirst, perhaps : SLID

That might be baseball.

11 General Mills cereal : RICE CHEX

The original Chex cereal was introduced in 1937 by Ralston Purina, although it is now produced by General Mills. Ralston Purina had a logo with a checkerboard square on it, which gave the pattern to the cereal as well as its name. Chex used characters from the “Peanuts” comic strip in its advertising for many years.

12 Landmark health legislation, briefly : ACA

The correct name for what has been dubbed “Obamacare” is the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA).

13 À la King? : EERILY

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

17 Transfer __ : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

19 Fish sauce taste : UMAMI

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1985 that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

20 Health care provider: Abbr. : LPN

Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

26 Like Waldo’s shirt, in kids’ books : STRIPED

The series of children’s illustrated books called “Where’s Waldo?” were originally titled “Where’s Wally?” in Britain, where the books originated. The book contains page after page of illustrations with crowds of people surrounding famous landmarks from around the world. The challenge is to find Waldo/Wally, who is hidden in the crowd.

27 Inflation meas. : PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

28 Russian cabbage? : RUBLE

The ruble (also “rouble”) is the unit of currency in Russia, as well as in several other countries in the former Soviet Union. One ruble is divided into one hundred kopecks (also “kopeks”).

31 MTN __ : DEW

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

36 __-Alt-Del : CTRL

Ctrl-Alt-Delete is a keyboard command on IBM PC compatible systems used for a soft reboot, or more recently to bring up the task manager in the Windows operating system. Bill Gates tells us that the command was originally just a device to be used during development and was never meant to “go live”. He once said that “Ctrl+Alt+Delete” was a mistake, and that he would have preferred a dedicated key on the keyboard that carried out the same function.

37 Heat up again? : REARM

“Packing” and “packing heat” are underworld slang for “carrying a gun”.

50 Houston Texans coach Smith : LOVIE

Lovie Smith was the head coach for the Chicago Bears football team from 2004 to 2012, and was named NFL Coach of the Year for 2005.

51 “Carmen,” e.g. : OPERA

When Georges Bizet wrote his famous opera “Carmen”, he used the melody of what he thought was an old folk song as a theme in the lovely aria “Habanera”. Not long after he finished “Carmen”, he discovered that the folk song was in fact a piece that had been written by another composer, who had died just ten years before “Carmen” was published. Fittingly, Bizet added a note to the score, declaring the original source.

52 Henri’s “Hi” : SALUT

In French, “salut” means “hi”, and is less formal than “bonjour”. The former term can also be used as a friendly toast.

54 Pfizer rival : MERCK

Merck & Co., Inc. is a US company, once a subsidiary of the German company known today as Merck KGaA. The US subsidiary of the German firm was confiscated in 1917 during WWI, and set up as an independent company that grew into the giant that it is today.

56 Language of southern India : TAMIL

Tamils are a large ethnic group of almost 80 million people who speak Tamil as their mother tongue. Despite the large Tamil population, there is no Tamil state. The highest concentration of Tamils is in Sri Lanka, where they make up about 25% of the population.

66 French alternative : RANCH

Ranch dressing has been the best-selling salad dressing in the country since 1992. The recipe was developed by Steve Henson who introduced it in the fifties to guests on his dude ranch, the Hidden Valley Ranch in Northern California. His ranch dressing became so popular that he opened a factory to produce packets of ranch seasoning that could be mixed with mayonnaise and buttermilk. Henson sold the brand for $8 million in 1972.

70 Bengals, on scoreboards : CIN

The NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals team was founded in 1966 as a member of the American Football League (AFL). There was an earlier team called the Bengals in the city that played from 1937 to 1941. That team used the “Bengal” name because Cincinnati Zoo was home to a very rare Bengal tiger.

75 Tight-lipped : TACITURN

Someone described as taciturn is disposed to be silent. The term “taciturn” comes from the Latin “tacitus” meaning “silent”.

81 U.S. __ 1, East Coast hwy. : RTE

US Route 1 runs from Fort Kent in Maine right down to Key West in Florida.

82 Immune system component : T CELL

T cells are a group of white blood cells that are essential components of the body’s immune system. T cells are so called because they mature in the thymus, a specialized organ found in the chest.

84 English church honorific : MINSTER

There are quite a few churches and cathedrals in Britain that retain the honorific name “minster”, most notably perhaps York Minster, the cathedral in the city of York. Even though the term “minster” has been dropped for several structures, it persists in some place names, e.g. Westminster and Axminster.

87 WWI battle city : VERDUN

Verdun-sur-Meuse is a city in northeastern France. The WWI Battle of Verdun took place just north of the city, and lasted for almost the whole of the year 1916. The battle was fought between the French and Germans, with loss of life being about equal between the two factions, the total death toll being about 700,000 men. The Battle of Verdun was primarily an artillery engagement, and some of those overlapping artillery craters are still visible today.

88 One of a quartet of ’50s singing siblings : ED AMES

The Ames Brothers were a singing quartet who were active in the 1950s. The “Ames” brothers were actually the “Urick” brothers, and used “Ames” as a stage name. They had started out as an act called the Amory Brothers. After the quartet disbanded in 1961, Ed Ames went on to have a successful solo singing career, and became a familiar television actor. Ed played Mingo, the sidekick to the title character on the TV show “Daniel Boone” that ran in the sixties.

90 Relatives of Tonys : OBIES

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. The Obies have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

91 Polite two-word English term of address : MY LADY

Our term of address “madam” came into English from the Old French “ma dame”, meaning “my lady”.

92 Oranjestad native : ARUBAN

Oranjestad is the capital city of the island of Aruba in the Caribbean. Aruba is a constituent country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Oranjestad translates as “Orange Town”, and was named for the first King William of Orange-Nassau.

95 Actress Davis : GEENA

As well as being a successful Hollywood actress, Geena Davis is an accomplished archer and came close to qualifying for the US archery team for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Davis is also a member of American Mensa. She is quite the lady …

98 Fast-food NYSE ticker symbol : MCD

The original McDonald’s restaurant was opened in 1940 by Richard and Maurice McDonald as a barbecue restaurant. The brothers then moved into fast food hamburgers, eventually selling out to one of their franchise agents, Ray Kroc. It was Ray Kroc who really led the company to its worldwide success. He was played by Michael Keaton in the movie about Ray Kroc’s business life called “The Founder”.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) can give some quite descriptive ticker symbols to companies, for example:

  • Anheuser-Busch (BUD, for “Budweiser”)
  • Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP, as in “beer tap”)
  • Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB, for “Ludwig van Beethoven”)
  • Sotheby’s (BID, for the auction house)

101 Mad __: word game : LIBS

Mad Libs is a word game, one mostly played by children in America. The idea is that one player provides a list of words which are then inserted into blank spots in a story, usually with hilarious results (they say!).

103 Rule that Gandhi opposed : RAJ

The period of colonial rule by the British in South Asia from 1858 to 1947 is referred to as the British Raj. Prior to 1858, the area was ruled by a private enterprise, the British East India Company. “Raj” is the Hindi word for “reign”.

Mohandas Gandhi was a political and spiritual leader in India in the first part of the 20th century, as the country sought independence from Britain. He was also referred to as “Mahatma”, meaning “great soul”. His remarkable philosophy of nonviolence and living a modest lifestyle was a great inspiration to the Indian people. India (and Pakistan) was granted independence in 1947. Tragically, Gandhi was assassinated the very next year.

104 “¿__ pasa?” : QUE

In Spanish, ¿Qué pasa? translates literally as “what’s happening?” It is used to mean “how are things going for you?”.

105 __ Starkey, longtime drummer for The Who : ZAK

Zak Starkey is an English drummer just like his Dad Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr. Zak has performed with the Who and with Oasis.

The Who were an English rock band formed in 1964, bringing together famed musicians Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. According to “Rolling Stone” magazine, the Who were the third arm of the holy trinity of British rock, alongside the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Get gray, say : CLOUD UP
8 Iraq port city : BASRA
13 Knighted English composer : ELGAR
18 Bust of Pope Paul V sculptor : BERNINI
19 Language family including Finnish and Hungarian : URALIC
20 “I Hope You Dance” singer Womack : LEE ANN
21 *Marvel hero with a red-white-and-blue costume : CAPTAIN AMERICA
23 *Soviet newspaper : PRAVDA (“CA-PRA” CUT)
24 Like a racehorse’s hooves : SHOD
25 Apple pie order : A LA MODE
26 Last-second online auction bids : SNIPES
27 OXO tool : PEELER
29 Comet, to some : OMEN
30 Summer hrs. along the Mississippi : CDT
32 Humdingers : LULUS
34 *Hunk : STUDMUFFIN
36 *Take only the best : CHERRY-PICK (“FIN-CHER” CUT)
38 Android alternative : IOS
39 Halloween decoration : BAT
40 “Family Guy” kid with a football-shaped head : STEWIE
41 __ Beta Kappa : PHI
42 Diva’s numbers : SOLI
44 Base-level rideshare option : UBERX
46 Host before Carson : PAAR
49 *Instrument played with mallets : GLOCKENSPIEL
53 *Citrus used to flavor tea : BERGAMOT (“SPIEL-BERG” CUT)
57 Cattle catchers : ROPES
58 Cantina fare : TAPAS
59 ’60s-’70s epithet based on a 21st-century Emmy-winning drama : MAD MEN ERA
60 Appliance found in Provence? : OVEN
61 Survivalist Stroud : LES
62 Okra or orca unit : POD
63 “Dracula” author Stoker : BRAM
64 Phisher’s crime : WIRE FRAUD
68 Throat problems : FROGS
70 Grand Canyon sights : CACTI
71 *Turkey’s area : NEAR EAST
72 *Symbol of worthlessness : WOODEN NICKEL (“EAST-WOOD” CUT)
74 Cravings : YENS
75 Slightly lit : TIPSY
76 Kindle technology : E INK
77 Back on a ship : AFT
80 Gem weight units : CARATS
82 Water source : TAP
83 Little terror : IMP
86 *Camper’s knot : CLOVE HITCH
89 *Ridiculous, as an excuse : COCKAMAMIE (“HITCH-COCK” CUT)
93 Worked on a Royal : TYPED
94 Fragrant neckwear : LEI
95 Giants manager Kapler : GABE
96 Cruel boss : TYRANT
97 SoFi Stadium team : LA RAMS
99 Family planning topic, familiarly : THE PILL
102 Big apes : LUGS
103 *”Walk This Way” rap trio : RUN-DMC
104 *Oscar-winning role for Judi Dench : QUEEN ELIZABETH (“MCQUEEN” CUT)
107 Made a case : ARGUED
108 Seventh of eight : URANUS
109 Part of town to avoid : BAD AREA
110 They may be skinny : JEANS
111 Finish by : END AT
112 Rock’s Lynyrd __ : SKYNYRD

Down

1 Ottawa-based media org. : CBC
2 Take on, as tenants : LEASE TO
3 Mythological lyrist : ORPHEUS
4 Boundless : UNTOLD
5 Jeweled headgear : DIADEM
6 Oxford, to Oxonians : UNI
7 Fruta en una colada : PINA
8 City in NW Germany : BREMEN
9 “Breaking Bad” actor __ Paul : AARON
10 Arrived headfirst, perhaps : SLID
11 General Mills cereal : RICE CHEX
12 Landmark health legislation, briefly : ACA
13 À la King? : EERILY
14 Jump to one’s feet : LEAP UP
15 Talked back to : GAVE LIP
16 List-shortening words : … AND SUCH
17 Transfer __ : RNA
19 Fish sauce taste : UMAMI
20 Health care provider: Abbr. : LPN
22 Floating above, say : ALOFT
26 Like Waldo’s shirt, in kids’ books : STRIPED
27 Inflation meas. : PSI
28 Russian cabbage? : RUBLE
31 MTN __ : DEW
33 Mountain footwear, maybe : SKI
35 Pass out : FAINT
36 __-Alt-Del : CTRL
37 Heat up again? : REARM
40 Matches, as a bet : SEES
42 Stage backdrop : SCENERY
43 Gives a thumbs-up : OKS
44 Raised : UPPED
45 Leaning : BIAS
47 Spend time in a cellar, perhaps : AGE
48 Returned, as a football kick : RAN BACK
49 Cultivated : GROWN
50 Houston Texans coach Smith : LOVIE
51 “Carmen,” e.g. : OPERA
52 Henri’s “Hi” : SALUT
53 Symbol of authority : BADGE
54 Pfizer rival : MERCK
55 More than just talk : ORATE
56 Language of southern India : TAMIL
59 Temperamental : MOODY
62 (The) big leagues : PROS
65 Bank charge : FEE
66 French alternative : RANCH
67 Has at : ASSAILS
68 Dandy fellows : FOPS
69 Move surreptitiously : SNEAK
70 Bengals, on scoreboards : CIN
72 Accompanying : WITH
73 Bite like a puppy : NIP AT
75 Tight-lipped : TACITURN
77 Do something : ACT
78 Bit of fishing tackle : FLY LURE
79 Santa Monica Mountains’ __ Canyon : TOPANGA
81 U.S. __ 1, East Coast hwy. : RTE
82 Immune system component : T CELL
83 Picturesque language : IMAGERY
84 English church honorific : MINSTER
85 Furry friend : PET
87 WWI battle city : VERDUN
88 One of a quartet of ’50s singing siblings : ED AMES
89 Domed top for a threaded fastener : CAP NUT
90 Relatives of Tonys : OBIES
91 Polite two-word English term of address : MY LADY
92 Oranjestad native : ARUBAN
95 Actress Davis : GEENA
98 Fast-food NYSE ticker symbol : MCD
100 Beer foam : HEAD
101 Mad __: word game : LIBS
103 Rule that Gandhi opposed : RAJ
104 “¿__ pasa?” : QUE
105 __ Starkey, longtime drummer for The Who : ZAK
106 Once possessed : HAD

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Apr 21, Sunday”

  1. 25:36 6 errors, 1 lookup

    I had totally the wrong language family for 19A, ALTAIC instead of URALIC. That left me so messed up in that quadrant, by the time I fixed it, I didn’t even think to figure out the theme. Thank you for explaining it!

  2. 1:36:26 no errors but this was a struggle from clue one👎
    Stay safe😀
    Maybe the Orioles will score more than 1 run today (doubtful)

  3. Finished but it wasn’t easy. The theme was too obscure for me, didn’t have a clue until Bill’s explanation.

  4. Just wanted to say thank you for bringing me such joy each morning. I learn new things every day. Much appreciated.

  5. 30:58, and DNF with the trio of LEANN/ELGAR/RNA being errors.
    Just could not see TRANSFER RNA (excuse me for not being a geneticist!!) and was not expecting an abbreviation; and with two proper names, well, they could be anything. Putting all three of those in the same quadrant was just unconscionable. It ruined an otherwise interesting puzzle.

  6. The theme was completely beyond me. Nevertheless I finished with
    two dumb error boxes. .which if I had rechecked might have been
    corrected, but by the time I “finished” I was pretty sick of it.

  7. Same here. Theme was worthless.

    1 error.. an all time personal groaner great.
    99A. I had THE WILL. It was THE PILL. haha!! I burst out laughing. Of course I was ADDLED about 89D and went with COW NUT!!!

  8. Kind of a tough Sunday; took 51:39 with I forget how many errors: 8 or so. Most of the problems were in the NE corner, but also STE_IE/DE_ , BERGAMOT (?) and EINK.

    The rest was mostly fun. Didn’t figure out the theme at all, at least until I got here.

    *Gabe* Kapler – doing a great job!!

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