LA Times Crossword 4 Apr 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Key Characters

Themed answers each include a CHARACTER found on a KEYboard:

  • 23A Was in the running for : HAD A SHOT AT (hiding “DASH”)
  • 42A City planner’s concern : URBAN GROWTH (hiding “BANG”)
  • 50A Like much jewelry, in ads : FINE QUALITY (hide “EQUAL”)
  • 68A Ball of fire : HUMAN DYNAMO (hiding “AND”)
  • 77A Prom invitation : CARE TO DANCE? (hiding “CARET”)
  • 100A Colorful top : ALOHA SHIRT (hiding “HASH”)
  • 17D Monets, Manets, etc. : IMPRESSIONIST ART (hiding “STAR”)
  • 36D Marriage phrase from the Book of Common Prayer : ‘TIL DEATH DO US PART (hiding “TILDE”)

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

Bill’s time: 18m 49s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Oz traveler : LION

The Cowardly Lion in L. Frank Baum’s “Land of Oz” books was portrayed by Bert Lahr in the celebrated 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”. The costume that Lahr wore in the film was made from real lion fur, and weighed a whopping 60 pounds.

20 Hybrid citrus fruit : CLEMENTINE

The clementine citrus fruit is a hybrid between mandarin orange and a sweet orange. The hybrid was developed by a French missionary in Algeria named Brother Clément Rodier, hence the fruit’s name.

21 Edmonton NHLer : OILER

The National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers are so called because they are located in Alberta, Canada … oil country.

25 Compressed video format : MPEG

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was established in 1988 to set standards for audio and video compression. The standards they’ve come up with use the acronym “MPEG”.

31 Reps’ rivals : DEMS

The modern-day Democratic Party was founded in 1828 when supporters of Andrew Jackson broke away from the former Democratic-Republican Party during the presidency of John Quincy Adams. That date makes the Democratic Party the oldest voter-based political party in the world. Andrew Jackson became the first Democratic US president, in 1829.

The modern-day Republican Party was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery activists. The party’s name was chosen as a homage to Thomas Jefferson’s Republican Party, which had been subsumed into the Democratic-Republican Party led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Abraham Lincoln became the first Republican US president, in 1861. Since then, there have been more US presidents from the Republican party than from any other.

32 Girl in Byron’s “Don Juan” : LEILA

Lord Byron wrote the poem “Don Juan” based on the legend of Don Juan the libertine. For the poem, Byron created the character Leila, a 10-year-old Muslim orphan girl whom Juan rescues from the city of Ismail.

33 Steak __ : DIANE

Steak Diane is pan-fried filet mignon served in a flambéed sauce made from the juices in the pan along with butter, shallots, cream and brandy. The dish is named after Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt.

42 City planner’s concern : URBAN GROWTH (hiding “BANG”)

An exclamation mark is sometimes referred to as a bang. The term “bang”, in this context, comes from printers’ jargon.

44 Muppet chimp __ Minella : SAL

Sal Minella is a Muppet character. He is the bodyguard for fellow muppet Johnny Fiama who is modeled after Frank Sinatra.

47 Snack often eaten inside-out : OREO

Nabisco launched an ad campaign for the Oreo brand in 2012, telling us that the cookie is “wonderfilled”, that the modest little Oreo cookie can bring about a positive change of perspective and create a sense of wonder. I think that’s the idea …

48 City with a notable tower : PISA

The city of Pisa sits right on the Italian coast, at the mouth of the River Arno. The city is perhaps most famous for its Leaning Tower. The tower is actually the campanile (bell tower) of the city’s cathedral, and it has been leaning since it was completed in 1173. Just shows you how important good foundations are …

55 Like some FBI security scans : RETINAL

An iris scan is a method of biometric identification. It relies on the fact that the complex patterns in the irises are unique to an individual. Not that an iris scan differs from a retinal scan. The latter uses technology that scans the unique pattern of blood vessels in an individual’s retina.

58 Miley’s Montana : HANNAH

Miley Cyrus became famous playing the Disney Channel character “Hannah Montana”. Miley is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. When she was born, Billy Ray and his wife named their daughter “Destiny Hope”, but soon they themselves calling her “Smiley” as she was always smiling as a baby, and this got shortened to Miley over time. Cute …

59 Falcon’s nest : AERIE

An aerie (sometimes “eyrie”) is an eagle’s nest. The term “aerie” can also more generally describe any bird’s nest that is located on a cliff or a mountaintop.

There are about 40 species of the birds of prey classed as falcons, with examples being several species of kestrel. Falcons differ from hawks and eagles in that they kill their prey with their beaks, as opposed to their talons. Famously, falcons swoop down on their prey at great speed. Peregrine falcons have been clocked at well over 200 miles per hour, making them the fastest-moving creatures on the planet.

60 “Congrats!” : KUDOS!

Our word “kudos” means “acclaim given for an exceptional achievement”. “Kudos” is both a singular and plural noun, and comes from the Greek “kyddos” meaning “glory, fame”.

61 Prefix with grade : CENTI-

Anders Celsius was a Swedish astronomer. The temperature scale that Celsius created was the reverse of that used today, with “zero” representing the boiling point of water and “100” representing water’s freezing point. This scale was “upended” (in 1744) just after Celsius died, by the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus. The resulting temperature scale then became known as the “centigrade” scale for over 200 years, until in 1948 it was decided to adopt the degree “celsius”. So, anyone still using “degrees centigrade” is actually way behind the times …

67 Old-time anesthetic : ETHER

Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.

68 Ball of fire : HUMAN DYNAMO (hiding “AND”)

Back in the day, when reciting the alphabet, it was common to emphasize that some letters could be used as a word in itself. One would say “A per se A, B, C, D … I per se I, J, K, L … denoting that the letters A and I are also their own words. It was common to add the & symbol at the end of the recitation, as if it were a 27th letter. So the alphabet ended with “X, Y, Z, & (and) per se and”. This “and per se and” statement was slurred to “ampersand”, giving the name that we use today for the & symbol.

70 Longtime Cracker Jack prize : TOY

Cracker Jack snack food was introduced to the public at the 1893 Chicago World Fair. It didn’t get the name “Cracker Jack” until a few years later when someone declared to the producers that the candied snack was “crackerjack!”. Prizes were introduced into each box starting in 1912. The list of toy surprises included rings, plastic figurines, temporary tattoos and decoder rings.

76 Gaza Strip gp. : PLO

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. The PLO’s early stated goal was the liberation of Palestine, with Palestine defined as the geographic entity that existed under the terms of the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations back in 1923. The PLO was granted observer status (i.e. no voting rights) at the United Nations in 1974.

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the boundaries of the strip of land on the Mediterranean around Gaza were fixed in the Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement. The boundaries were specifically defined but were not to be recognized as an international border. From 1948, the Gaza Strip was occupied and administered by Egypt, until 1967 when Israel took over occupation following the Six-Day War. In 1993, Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords which handed over administration to the Palestinian Authority, but with Israel retaining control of the Gaza Strip’s airspace, some land borders and its territorial waters. The intent was to further this agreement, but discussions between the parties broke down. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

77 Prom invitation : CARE TO DANCE? (hiding “CARET”)

The character known as a caret (^) was originally a proofreading mark, one used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

81 Canal that roughly parallels I-90 in New York : ERIE

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had an immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

I-90 runs in an east-west direction from Seattle to Boston, and is the longest interstate in the US. When I-90 was built, it made use of several existing roads, including the Massachusetts Turnpike, New York State Thruway, Ohio Turnpike, Indiana Toll Road, Chicago Skyway, and the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.

84 “Merci,” in Mainz : DANKE

“Thank you” translates to “merci” in French, “gracias” in Spanish, and “danke” in German.

Mainz is the capital city of the German state Rhineland-Palatinate located in the western part of the country. One of the claims to fame of Mainz is that it was home to Johannes Gutenberg, who invented the movable-type printing press. It was in Mainz that he printed the celebrated Gutenberg Bible.

87 Delta deposits : SILTS

A river delta is a triangular landform at the mouth of a river created by the deposition of sediment. The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is one of the world’s largest river deltas, and covers 150 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean. The most famous “delta” in the United States isn’t actually a delta at all. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that lies 300 miles north of the river’s actual delta, yet it is known as the “Mississippi River Delta”. Very confusing …

88 __ Ababa : ADDIS

Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia. The city is relatively young, having been founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II. Addis Ababa holds an important position within the nations of Africa as it is home to many international organizations that are focused on the continent.

89 Spam holders : TINS

Spam is a precooked meat product that is sold in cans. It was introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937. The main meat ingredients are pork shoulder meat and ham. The name “Spam” was chosen as the result of a competition at Hormel, with the winner earning himself a hundred dollars. According to the company, the derivation of the name “Spam” is a secret known by only a few former executives, but the speculation is that it stands for “spiced ham” or “shoulders of pork and ham”. Spam is particularly popular in Hawaii, so popular that it is sometimes referred to as “the Hawaiian steak”.

90 Incendiary fuel : NAPALM

Napalm is an incendiary compound used in weapons that is made from petroleum mixed with a thickening agent. Napalm was developed in a secret program at Harvard during WWII. It was initially used in incendiary bombs and flamethrowers. The thickening agent in napalm causes the burning material to stick to skin causing severe burns. Because of this, the UN declared the use of napalm in civilian areas a war crime in 1980.

93 One of Nolan Ryan’s seven : NO-HITTER

Nolan Ryan is famous for having more career strikeouts that any other baseball pitcher. However, he also holds the record for the most career walks and wild pitches. Another record that Ryan holds is the most no-hitters, a total of seven over his career.

97 Rights activist Clooney : AMAL

Amal Alamuddin married celebrated Hollywood actor George Clooney in 2014. Alamuddin was born in Beirut, Lebanon and moved with her family to London when she was a toddler. She is a lawyer specializing in international law, with one of her more renowned clients being the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.

100 Colorful top : ALOHA SHIRT (hiding “HASH”)

The # symbol is usually referred to as the “number sign”, but here in the US the name “pound sign” is very common as well, as is “hash mark”.

102 Paltry : MERE

The adjective “paltry” comes from an older use of “paltry” as a noun meaning a “worthless thing”.

103 “I Am the Walrus” was one : SIDE B

“I Am the Walrus” is a Beatles song released in 1967. It was written by John Lennon, with the “Walrus” being a reference to the poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking-Glass”.

105 Abbr. on a cornerstone : ESTD

Established (“est.” or “estd.”)

106 Crofts’ partner : SEALS

Seals and Crofts was a soft rock duo made up of Jim Seals and Dash Crofts, two musicians from Texas. Seals and Crofts were most active in the 1970s.

Down

1 Seis y dos : OCHO

In Spanish, “seis y dos” (six and two) ads up to “ocho” (eight).

4 Trout __: nutty fish dish : AMANDINE

A dish prepared in the amandine style is usually cooked in butter and seasonings, and then sprinkled with toasted almonds. Note the correct spelling “amandine”. You might notice the misspelling “almondine” on a menu, but don’t say anything. Just sit there with a smug look on your face …

5 Group of geese a-laying : SESTET

The fabulous Christmas carol called “The Twelve Days of Christmas” dates back at least to 1780 when it was first published in England, though it may be French in origin. The concept of twelve days of Christmas comes from the tradition that the three kings came to visit the Christ Child twelve days after he was born. This same tradition is the origin of the title to Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”.

7 Great Plains natives : OTOES

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.

9 Santa __ winds : ANA

The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. Because these air currents are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, that air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and basically “falls” down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the air falls it becomes drier and heats up so that relative humidity can fall to below 10% by the time it hits the coast.

10 Prynne’s scarlet stigma : LETTER A

The main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” is Hester Prynne. After the birth of her illegitimate daughter Pearl, she is convicted by her puritanical neighbors of the crime of adultery. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet “A” (for “adultery”) on her clothing for the rest of her life, hence the novel’s title “The Scarlet Letter”.

11 Parlor furniture support : SOFA LEG

Back in the early 13th century, a “parlur” was a window through which someone could confess to a priest, and also a room in a monastery that was used by the monks for conversations with visitors. The term “parlur” arose from the French “parler” meaning “to speak”. Today, we sit in the “parlor” to enjoy our conversations.

12 Climbing vine : LIANA

Liana (also “liane”) is a vine that generally grows in moist areas such as rain forests. Lianas grow using the trees in the forest as structural support. My bet is that Tarzan swung from tree to tree on liana vines …

14 Mario Bros. console : NES

Mario Bros. started out as an arcade game back in 1983, developed by Nintendo. The more famous of the two brothers, Mario, had already appeared in an earlier arcade game “Donkey Kong”. Mario was given a brother called Luigi, and the pair have been around ever since. In the game, Mario and Luigi are Italian American plumbers from New York City.

16 Former midsize Chevy : LUMINA

“Lumina” is a model name that Chevrolet has used on varying vehicles since the early 1990s. The Lumina sedan replaced the Celebrity, the Lumina coupé was renamed to Monte Carlo, and Lumina minivan was a replacement for the Celebrity station wagon.

17 Monets, Manets, etc. : IMPRESSIONIST ART (hiding “STAR”)

French artist Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionist movement, and indeed the term “Impressionism” comes from the title of his 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise”. That work depicts the port of Le Havre, which was Monet’s hometown. Later in his life, Monet purchased a house in Giverny, and famously installed lily ponds and a Japanese bridge in the property’s extensive gardens. He spent two decades painting the water lily ponds, producing his most famous works.

Édouard Manet was a French painter whose works are mainly classified as Realist and Impressionist. Manet was friends with Impressionists masters like Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir and greatly influenced the Impressionist movement. The list of Manet’s marvelous paintings includes “Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe”, “Le Repose” and “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère”.

18 Having only length, for short : ONE-D

The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. Therefore, a line is one-dimensional, as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

32 Pride initialism : LGBTQ

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ)

33 1948 also-ran : DEWEY

As well as being three-term governor of New York, Thomas E. Dewey twice ran as Republican candidate for president. He was defeated in both races, in 1944 and 1948. In 1944, Dewey lost to incumbent President Roosevelt, and in 1948 he lost to incumbent President Truman. “The Chicago Tribune” called the latter incorrectly and ran that famous headline “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”. Dewey didn’t run for president in 1952 but did help General Eisenhower get the nomination, and ultimately secure the White House. If you drive along the New York State Thruway, you’ll see Dewey’s name a lot, as the highway is named in his honor.

36 Marriage phrase from the Book of Common Prayer : ‘TIL DEATH DO US PART (hiding “TILDE”)

The tilde diacritical mark (~) is very much associated with the Spanish language. We use the name “tilde” in English, taking that name from Spanish. Confusingly, the word “tilde” in Spanish is used more generally to mean “accent mark, diacritic”, of which a “~” is just one. What we call a “tilde” in English is usually referred to as a “virgulilla” or “tilde de la eñe” in Spanish.

37 Animated film mermaid : ARIEL

“The Little Mermaid” is a 1989 animated feature from Disney that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. It tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric. Ariel’s father is chief merman King Triton. Her best friend is Flounder, who despite his name is not a flounder at all and is actually a tropical fish. Ariel is also friends with Sebastian, a red Jamaican crab whose full name is Horatio Thelonious Ignacious Crustaceous Sebastian.

42 Radii neighbors : ULNAE

The radius and ulna are bones in the forearm. If you hold the palm of your hand up in front of you, the radius is the bone on the “thumb-side” of the arm, and the ulna is the bone on the “pinky-side”.

46 End of the Tour de France : FINIS

Back in the late 1800s, long-distance cycle races were used as promotional events, traditionally to help boost sales of newspapers. These races usually took place around tracks, but in 1902 the backers of the struggling sports publication “L’Auto” decided to stage a race that would take the competitors all around France. That first Tour de France took place in 1903, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes and then back to Paris.

48 Uruguay’s __ del Este : PUNTA

Punta del Este is a resort city in southeastern Uruguay that is located about 85 miles east of Montevideo, the nation’s capital.

51 Soft palate extension : UVULA

The uvula is a conical fleshy projection hanging down at the back of the soft palate. The uvula plays an important role in human speech, particularly in the making of “guttural” sounds. The Latin word for “grape” is “uva”, so “uvula” is a “little grape”.

52 Quinn of “Elementary” : AIDAN

Aidan Quinn is an Irish-American actor. Quinn was born in Chicago but spent some years growing up in Ireland. Mainly known as a movie actor, Quinn is currently playing the role of Captain Tommy Gregson on the excellent TV series “Elementary” that is centered on a modern-day Sherlock Holmes.

53 Architecture middle name : LLOYD

The architect Frank Lloyd Wright embraced the philosophy of designing structures that were in harmony with the environment. One of his most famous works is an elaborate home in rural Pennsylvania known as Fallingwater, which is partially built over a waterfall.

54 Baccarat call : BANCO!

Baccarat, in all of its three variants, is a relatively simple casino card game. Baccarat is the favored game of chance for James Bond 007, and it looks so cool when he plays it! Banco!

58 Whalers’ wheels : HELMS

In its broadest sense, the term “helm” describes the whole of a ship’s steering mechanism, including the rudder and tiller. In a more specific sense, the helm is the handle, tiller or wheel that is used to control the steering gear.

60 Rarely used antonym of disheveled : KEMPT

The word “unkempt” means “disheveled, not well-combed”. It derives from the Old English word “cemban” meaning “to comb”. The opposite to the more common “unkempt” is … “kempt”.

61 Limerick neighbor : CLARE

One of my favorite counties in Ireland is Clare. Clare is home of the Burren, a beautiful and desolate landscape, as well as the world-famous Cliffs of Moher that greet the Atlantic Ocean.

62 Quantum events? : LEAPS

In the world of quantum theory, a quantum jump is the abrupt transition, of say an atom, from one quantum state to another. The concept was introduced by Niels Bohr, and the term “quantum jump” was coined around 1920. The use of “quantum leap” appears around 1930, in the same context of quantum theory. Today, “quantum jump” is used exclusively in the world of physics, whereas “quantum leap” is used figuratively to describe any abrupt change.

66 Mandel of “America’s Got Talent” : HOWIE

Howie Mandel is a Canadian comic. He was a regular on TV a few years ago as host of “Deal or No Deal”, and more recently as a judge on “America’s Got Talent”. I remember Mandel from “St. Elsewhere” in the eighties, which was the first American TV show that I watched regularly when I moved to the US …

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” is part of a global franchise based in the UK. The original show is called “Britain’s Got Talent”, and the whole franchise is owned by Simon Cowell. The first host of “America’s Got Talent” was Regis Philbin (2006), followed by Jerry Springer, Nick Cannon, Tyra Banks and Terry Crews.

71 1914 Belgian battle river : YSER

The Yser is a river that originates in northern France and flows through Belgium into the North Sea. The Yser is often associated with WWI as it figured in a major battle early in the conflict. In the first three months of the war, the German Army pushed almost completely through Belgium, inflicting heavy losses on the Belgian Army as the defenders were forced to fight a fast-moving rearguard action. The Germans were intent on pushing right through Belgium and across France in a “race to the sea”. But the Belgians, with the help of their Allies, decided to make a final stand at the Yser Canal in an effort to prevent the Germans reaching the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. The 22-mile long defensive line was chosen at the Yser because the river and canal system could be flooded to create a barrier that might be defended. The plan was successful and the front was “stabilized”. As we now know, millions of lives were lost over the coming years with very little movement of that battle line.

80 Ark passengers, mostly : ANIMALS

Genesis 6:19-20 states that Noah was instructed to take two animals of every kind into the ark. Later, in Genesis 7:2-3 Noah was instructed to take on board “every clean animal by sevens … male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth”. Apparently, “extras” (7 rather than 2) were needed for ritual sacrifice.

83 Like most 20th-century phone calls : DIALED

The first patent for a rotary dial mechanism for a phone was granted in 1898, and the familiar rotary dial phones (with holes for the finger) were introduced by the Bell System in 1919. This form of dialing was called “pulse dialing”. When you dialed the number 5 say, the dial would rotate back to the start position, opening and closing electrical contacts five times and sending five pulses over the telephone line. I used to love rotary dial phones when I was a kid. My grandfather was a telephone engineer and he showed me how to “tap out” the pulses on the “hook” at the top of a pay phone. I was able to make free calls that way. He definitely contributed to the delinquency of a minor …

85 Sacred struggles : JIHADS

In the Islamic tradition, jihad is a duty, and either an inner spiritual struggle to fulfill religious obligations or an outward physical struggle to defend the faith. Someone engaged in jihad is called a “mujahid” with the plural being “mujahideen”. The term “jihad” translates as “striving, struggle”.

88 Adams of photography : ANSEL

As an avid amateur photographer, I have been a big fan of the work of Ansel Adams for many years and must have read all of his books. Adams was famous for clarity and depth in his black and white images. Central to his technique was the use of the zone system, his own invention. The zone system is a way of controlling exposure in an image, particularly when there is a high contrast in the subject. Although the technique was developed primarily for black & white film, it can even apply to digital color images. In the digital world, the main technique is to expose an image for the highlights, and one or more images for the shadows. These images can then be combined digitally giving a final photograph with a full and satisfying range of exposures.

89 “I’ve Grown Accustomed __ Face”: “My Fair Lady” song : TO HER

George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” was adapted by Lerner and Loewe to become the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. The musical spun off the wonderful 1964 film of the same name starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. To cockney Eliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins was “‘Enry ‘Iggins”.

91 Iowa college town : AMES

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

92 Fed. food overseer : USDA

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) dates back to 1862, when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the “people’s department” as our economy had such a vast agrarian base back then.

93 Bright star : NOVA

A nova (plural “novae”) is basically a star that suddenly gets much brighter, gradually returning to its original state weeks or even years later. The increased brightness of a nova is due to increased nuclear activity causing the star to pick up extra hydrogen from a neighboring celestial body. A supernova is very different from a nova. A supernova is a very bright burst of light and energy created when most of the material in a star explodes. The bright burst of a supernova is very short-lived compared to the sustained brightness of a nova.

95 Bits of work : ERGS

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. It has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

96 Lines on Google Maps: Abbr. : RTES

Route (rte.)

Google Maps was developed as a web mapping service for desktops. The (wonderful!) Google Maps mobile app was released in 2008, and is now the most popular smartphone app in the world.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Happening now and then : OCCASIONAL
11 Support for an injured limb : SLING
16 Oz traveler : LION
20 Hybrid citrus fruit : CLEMENTINE
21 Edmonton NHLer : OILER
22 Terse rejection : UM, NO!
23 Was in the running for : HAD A SHOT AT (hiding “DASH”)
24 Like some prophets : FALSE
25 Compressed video format : MPEG
26 They show off pedicures : OPEN-TOES
27 Part of 32-Down : TRANS
29 Oddball : WEIRDO
31 Reps’ rivals : DEMS
32 Girl in Byron’s “Don Juan” : LEILA
33 Steak __ : DIANE
34 Small size : PETITE
37 Have a meeting of the minds : AGREE
38 Boxes for drawers? : PEN CASES
41 Drops from the sky : RAIN
42 City planner’s concern : URBAN GROWTH (hiding “BANG”)
44 Muppet chimp __ Minella : SAL
45 Gawk at : OGLE
46 Move lightly : FLIT
47 Snack often eaten inside-out : OREO
48 City with a notable tower : PISA
49 Bring together : WED
50 Like much jewelry, in ads : FINE QUALITY (hide “EQUAL”)
54 Anchored floats : BUOYS
55 Like some FBI security scans : RETINAL
57 Country house : VILLA
58 Miley’s Montana : HANNAH
59 Falcon’s nest : AERIE
60 “Congrats!” : KUDOS!
61 Prefix with grade : CENTI-
62 Bowl-making tools : LATHES
64 Pass on : RELAY
65 Kind of offer that avoids financing : ALL-CASH
67 Old-time anesthetic : ETHER
68 Ball of fire : HUMAN DYNAMO (hiding “AND”)
70 Longtime Cracker Jack prize : TOY
72 Second : AIDE
73 Critical juncture : CUSP
74 Broadcasts : AIRS
75 Bar codes? : LAWS
76 Gaza Strip gp. : PLO
77 Prom invitation : CARE TO DANCE? (hiding “CARET”)
81 Canal that roughly parallels I-90 in New York : ERIE
82 Ones who have class : STUDENTS
84 “Merci,” in Mainz : DANKE
85 Palace prankster : JESTER
87 Delta deposits : SILTS
88 __ Ababa : ADDIS
89 Spam holders : TINS
90 Incendiary fuel : NAPALM
92 Fix, as a printer : UNJAM
93 One of Nolan Ryan’s seven : NO-HITTER
97 Rights activist Clooney : AMAL
98 “__ you!”: fashion compliment : IT’S SO
100 Colorful top : ALOHA SHIRT (hiding “HASH”)
102 Paltry : MERE
103 “I Am the Walrus” was one : SIDE B
104 Emulated the wealthy : LIVED LARGE
105 Abbr. on a cornerstone : ESTD
106 Crofts’ partner : SEALS
107 Meager characteristic : SPARSENESS

Down

1 Seis y dos : OCHO
2 Small part of a big hand : CLAP
3 Turn over : CEDE
4 Trout __: nutty fish dish : AMANDINE
5 Group of geese a-laying : SESTET
6 Like some medical care : IN-HOME
7 Great Plains natives : OTOES
8 Small grievances : NITS
9 Santa __ winds : ANA
10 Prynne’s scarlet stigma : LETTER A
11 Parlor furniture support : SOFA LEG
12 Climbing vine : LIANA
13 Ailments : ILLS
14 Mario Bros. console : NES
15 Got big enough for, as oversized clothes : GREW INTO
16 Former midsize Chevy : LUMINA
17 Monets, Manets, etc. : IMPRESSIONIST ART (hiding “STAR”)
18 Having only length, for short : ONE-D
19 Aborted, at NASA : NO-GO
28 It means nothing to the French : RIEN
30 “To __ his own” : EACH
32 Pride initialism : LGBTQ
33 1948 also-ran : DEWEY
34 Figurehead spot : PROW
35 Champing at the bit : EAGER
36 Marriage phrase from the Book of Common Prayer : ‘TIL DEATH DO US PART (hiding “TILDE”)
37 Animated film mermaid : ARIEL
38 Potty opening? : PORTA-
39 Gut course : EASY A
40 Date component : SLASH
42 Radii neighbors : ULNAE
43 Churns up : ROILS
46 End of the Tour de France : FINIS
48 Uruguay’s __ del Este : PUNTA
50 One wielding an ax? : FIRER
51 Soft palate extension : UVULA
52 Quinn of “Elementary” : AIDAN
53 Architecture middle name : LLOYD
54 Baccarat call : BANCO!
56 Quiet laugh : TE-HEE
58 Whalers’ wheels : HELMS
60 Rarely used antonym of disheveled : KEMPT
61 Limerick neighbor : CLARE
62 Quantum events? : LEAPS
63 Not quite true? : ATILT
64 Artful dodges : RUSES
65 “Have __ day!” : A NICE
66 Mandel of “America’s Got Talent” : HOWIE
68 Causes pain : HURTS
69 Bosox rivals : YANKS
71 1914 Belgian battle river : YSER
73 Surefire : CAN’T MISS
75 Not as much as : LESS THAN
77 Spreadsheet unit : CELL
78 Honey-do list components : ODD JOBS
79 Word new fathers love to hear : DADA
80 Ark passengers, mostly : ANIMALS
83 Like most 20th-century phone calls : DIALED
85 Sacred struggles : JIHADS
86 Maroon, in a way : ENISLE
88 Adams of photography : ANSEL
89 “I’ve Grown Accustomed __ Face”: “My Fair Lady” song : TO HER
90 First blank on many forms : NAME
91 Iowa college town : AMES
92 Fed. food overseer : USDA
93 Bright star : NOVA
94 One that’s worn on road trips : TIRE
95 Bits of work : ERGS
96 Lines on Google Maps: Abbr. : RTES
99 Secure, with “down” : TIE …
101 Sass : LIP

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Apr 21, Sunday”

  1. 16:27, no errors. No real complaints.

    Given yesterday, thought I’d mention that something being fun isn’t necessarily related to difficulty. I’ve seen a lot harder puzzles than that one (including the Newsday one I did right after) that was a lot more fun too. And easier stuff than that one that was completely boring. Two different measures.

  2. It wasn’t very hard, but I had it all filled in and couldn’t find my mistake. Finally gave up and did a grid check. I had retinas instead of retinal.

  3. 1:09:30 no errors…I spent a very long time in the NE corner ( as I usually do in one corner or another).
    Very happy Easter to one and all😀😀😀

  4. No errors, no lookups. I figured out the theme, but couldn’t quite
    reconcile “bang” in a keyboard setting. Bill set me straight. Thought it
    was easier than yesterday’s puzzle.

  5. Straightforward puzzle with some clever clues but I didn’t notice the theme until Bill’s explanation.
    Happy Easter indeed !!

  6. Bill… My son and I plan to visit Ireland for a month come July/August and will spend a large percentage of our time in Munster. Naturally, the pubs and Blarney Castle are already among our “must enjoy” spots but we sure would appreciate a tip or two if you have the time to respond. By the way, thanks for a fantastic blog that I use to greet the day.

    1. Favorite things for me that aren’t on the usual lists for Munster, in no particular order:
      1. The medieval banquet in Knappogue Castle is touristy, but enjoyable.
      2. The Burren National Park is a spectacularly barren part of the Emerald Isle. Sheepdog trials at Caherconnell Fort are fun, and worth a look.
      3. Midleton (now Jameson) Distillery tour. Be sure to volunteer for the tasting.
      4. Mitchelstown Cave is privately owned, so the tour isn’t very “smooth”. But, best cave complex in Ireland, IMHO.

      1. Thank you Bill for your tips. Burren National Park was already on our list but not Caherconnell Fort. My son is really proud of his bird-dogs so he’ll be interested in the sheepdog trials. Knappogue Castle sounds interesting so we’ll look into that as well. A Jameson tour was always a no-brainer so we’ll definitely be tasting. We’re also considering Mitchelstown Cave. Does it compare to Carlsbad Caverns here in the States? Again, thanks for taking time from your busy schedule to respond.

  7. 24:48 3 errors, due to knowing nothing about baccarat.

    I found the keys fairly quickly, but couldn’t figure out where the AND key was, until I finished & read the explanations. Thanks!

  8. ~31 mins, and DNF: 8 went unfilled. The clues in this one just weren’t working for me. When I saw the finished grid, I *should’ve* been able to get most of these. But HUMAN DYNAMO just hid in plain sight. As did BANCO, since I know nothing about Baccarat.

  9. Hmm. And here I always thought the ampersand was a symbol created by the pioneering printer Thomas Horatio Amper and used to represent the word “and”.

    (Amper’s “and”, don’t you see … tehee … 😜.)

  10. Fun Sunday for me; took 39:53 with no errors or peeks. I tootled around in the middle section for a bit before finally nailing down KEMPT, AIDAN and HUMAN DYNAMO to finish. I must of still had that Casino Royale scene in my head to remember BANCO.

    re Mainz – Besides Gutenberg and his press, Mainz is currently famous for being the headquarters of BioNTech.

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