LA Times Crossword 8 Aug 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Bryant White
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Split Decisions

Themed answers come in pairs. Hidden within each pair is an ANIMAL that has been SPLIT/CRACKED by a black square:

  • 66A Product with lots of shapes … or what each of four black squares effectively is? : ANIMAL CRACKER
  • 28A *Wine ingredient? : LONG I
  • 29A *Sarah of “Suits” : RAFFERTY (G I-RAFFE)
  • 49A *Slip through the cracks : OOZE
  • 50A *Traffic stoppers : BRAKES (ZE-BRA)
  • 86A *Take by force : HIJACK
  • 88A *”A Clockwork Orange” antihero : ALEX (JACK-AL)
  • 104A *Closely match : PARALLEL
  • 109A *Aconcagua’s range : ANDES (EL-AND)
  • 11D *Biblical possessive : THY
  • 33D *Put on the books : ENACT (HY-ENA)
  • 20D *Gene variant : ALLELE
  • 56D *Ghost : PHANTASM (ELE-PHANT)
  • 80D *Dangerous strain, in brief : E COLI
  • 116D *It’s next to nothing : ONE (LI-ON)
  • 38D *Norse mythology battle used as the subtitle of a 2017 “Thor” film : RAGNAROK
  • 92D *Place abuzz with activity : APIARY (OK-API)

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

Bill’s time: 21m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Race distance : MILE

The 4-minute barrier for the mile run was first broken in 1954 by Roger Bannister, when he finished in just over 3m 59s. If you plan on running a 4-minute mile, you should probably be warned that this means you have to run the whole race at an average speed of over 15 mph (do the math!).

12 Traditional koa wood product : UKULELE

The flowering tree known as koa grows in the wild only on the Hawaiian Islands. Koa wood is prized for the construction of dugout canoes, surfboards and guitars.

19 “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” author Loos : ANITA

Anita Loos was an American screenwriter and author who was most famous for her novel “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” that was first published in 1925. “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was originally published as a series of short stories in “Harper’s Bazaar”. The heroine of the story was Lorelei Lee, a “flapper” who was less interested in marriage than she was in collecting expensive gifts from her many gentleman admirers.

24 Bishopric cousin : CANONRY

In ecclesiastical circles, “canon” is a title given to certain priests. In some disciplines, “canon” is an honorary title used to indicate seniority. The original use of “canon” was to describe a clergyman living according to a set of rules/canons.

26 1994 A.L. batting champ Paul : O’NEILL

Baseball professional Paul O’Neill has the distinction of being the only player to have been on the winning team in three perfect games. The first was pitched by Tom Browning in 1988 for the Cincinnati Reds; the second was pitched by David Wells in 1998 for the New Yankees (in which O’Neill caught the final out); and the third was pitched by David Cone for the Yankees in 1999.

28 *Wine ingredient? : LONG I

The word “wine” includes a long letter I.

29 *Sarah of “Suits” : RAFFERTY

Actress Sarah Rafferty is best known for portraying the strong female character Donna Paulsen on the legal drama “Suits”. As Meghan Markle also played one of the main characters on “Suits”, Rafferty was invited to Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry in Windsor Castle in 2018.

30 Pigment used in rustproof primer paints : RED LEAD

Red lead is an oxide of lead that is used primarily as a pigment and ingredient in rustproof primer paints. Although it is insoluble in alcohol and water, it is soluble in hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is found in gastric juices, and so red lead is highly toxic when ingested.

32 Blood lines : VEINS

Arteries are vessels that carry blood away from the heart, and veins are vessels carrying blood to the heart.

34 Bananas or nuts : LOONY

Something described as loony is insane, crazy. “Loony” is short for “lunatic”, an adjective that is now considered offensive. The term arose in the late 1400s when it meant “affected with periodic insanity”, insanity attacks brought on by the cycles of the moon. “Lunatic” comes from the Latin “luna” meaning “moon”.

The expression “to go bananas” is one that I would have imagined had a clear etymology but that doesn’t seem to be the case. A further surprise is that we’ve only been “going bananas” since the sixties, in the days of flower power. One apt theory about the hippy roots of the phrase is that there was an unfounded belief that ingesting roasted banana peels had a similar hallucinogenic effect as magic mushrooms.

37 Monetary “p” : PENCE

I remember the days when there were 240 “pence” (pennies) in an Irish/British pound. Life became so much easier when that was changed to 100 “new pence” in 1971.

46 Oval-shaped wind : OCARINA

An ocarina is an ancient wind-instrument that sounds like and is played like a flute. Usually an ocarina has an egg-shaped body with a number of finger holes cut into the material making up the instrument (usually ceramic). There is a tube protruding from the body through which one blows to make sounds. The air vibrates within the body of the instrument, and the pitch of the vibrations is changed by covering and uncovering the finger-holes. Ocarinas date back as far as 12,000 years ago when they were used both in China and Central America. The ocarina was brought to Italy in the 1800s where it became popular as a child’s toy, but also as a serious instrument. It was given the name “ocarina” as its shape resembles that of a goose, and “ocarina”is a diminutive word stemming from “oca”, the Italian word for “goose”.

50 *Traffic stoppers : BRAKES

Automobiles tend to use hydraulic brakes, a system in which hydraulic fluid transfers pressure from the brake pedal to the brake shoes. Heavy vehicles, like trucks and buses, typically use air brakes, a system in which the braking pressure is transferred by compressed air.

51 Junk bond rating : CCC

Financier Michael Milken is the man most associated with the founding of the “junk bond” market in the 1980s. Milken made a personal fortune, but ended up spending two years in jail after being found guilty of securities fraud in 1989.

54 Yitzhak’s predecessor : GOLDA

Golda Meir was known as the “Iron Lady” when she was Prime Minister of Israel, long before that sobriquet came to be associated with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Golda Meir was born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev (in modern-day Ukraine), and when she was a young girl she moved with her family to the United States and settled in Milwaukee. As a teenager she relocated to Denver where she met and married Morris Meyerson, at the age of 19. She and her husband joined a kibbutz in Palestine in 1921, when she was in her twenties. Meir had been active in politics in the US, and continued her political work in Palestine. She was very influential during WWII, and played a leading role in negotiations after the war leading to the setting up of the state of Israel. By the time she was called on to lead the country, Meir had already retired, citing exhaustion and ill health. But serve she did, and led Israel during turbulent times (e.g. the massacre at the Munich Olympics, and the Yom Kippur War). She eventually resigned in 1974, saying that was what the people wanted.

Yitzhak Rabin was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, and the first Prime Minister to have been born in the relatively young state of Israel. Rabin was a signatory of the Oslo Accords in 1993, along with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, and US President Bill Clinton. Sadly, this led to his death as he was assassinated two years later by a right-wing radical who opposed the Accords.

57 Umbrella component : RIB

Our term “umbrella” ultimately derives from the Latin “umbra” meaning “shade, shadow”.

60 Gas pump fractions : TENTHS

The gas pump was actually around before there were cars on the road. The first gas pump was the invention of one Sylvanus Bowser from Fort Wayne, Indiana. His first pump was designed to pump kerosene for lamps and stoves, and was introduced in 1885. As automobiles became popular, he modified the design to pump gasoline. He introduced the Self-Measuring Gasoline Storage Pump in 1905. He marketed his devices all around the world, and in some parts the name “bowser” is still used sometimes to refer to fuel pumps, and indeed some fuel tankers.

61 Fermented honey drink : MEAD

Mead is a lovely drink that’s made from fermented honey and water.

64 Mountain nymph : OREAD

The Oreads were the mountain nymphs that accompanied the ancient Greek goddess Artemis on her hunting expeditions. Each Oread dwelled on a different mountain, for example:

  • Daphnis (on Mount Parnassos)
  • Echo (on Mount Cithaeron)
  • Ida (on Mount Ida)

65 World Cup “Way to go!” : OLE!

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the sport of soccer. The competition has been held every four years (excluding the WWII years) since the inaugural event held in Uruguay in 1930. The men’s World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, even outranking the Olympic Games. And, the women’s World Cup is fast catching up …

66 Product with lots of shapes … or what each of four black squares effectively is? : ANIMAL CRACKER

Animal crackers have been around in the US since the late 1800s, with the recipe/design being imported from England. The first really successful commercially-produced animal crackers were produced by Nabisco and marketed as “Barnum’s Animals”. Nabisco animal cracker cookies were first sold in the famous “circus wagon” box in 1902, as a christmas promotion. Over 40 million packages are now sold every year.

70 Poli-__ : SCI

Political science (poli sci)

73 Absinthe flavoring : ANISE

Absinthe is an alcoholic spirit that is distilled from various plants and herbs, including wormwood, anise and fennel. Absinthe was banned in the US in 1915 as it was deemed to be an addictive psychoactive drug. However, the accepted opinion today seems to be that absinthe is no more addictive or dangerous than any other spirit.

74 A-line line : SEAM

An A-line skirt is one that fits snugly at the hips and flares towards the hem. The term “A-line” was first used in fashion by French designer Christian Dior in his 1955 spring collection.

77 Stone set alone : SOLITAIRE

In the world of jewelry, a solitaire is a single gem set alone.

81 Basic card game : WAR

War is a card game, one played mainly by children.

83 1994 Olympic gold medalist skater Baiul : OKSANA

Oksana Baiul is a Ukrainian figure skater, and the 1994 Olympic champion. Baiul had a rough start to her life as her father deserted her and her mother when she was just two years old, and then her mother died when she was thirteen. Her grandparents had died earlier so she was left as an orphan, sleeping on a cot in her hometown ice rink.

84 __ donna : PRIMA

The Italian operatic term “prima donna” is used for the lead female singer in an opera company. “Prima donna” translates from Italian as “first lady”. The lead male singer is known as the “primo uomo”. The term “prima donna assoluta” is reserved for a prima donna who is generally accepted as being an outstanding performer. We tend to use “prima donna” for a female performer who has an inflated ego.

85 Triple __: liqueur : SEC

Triple sec is liqueur made from the dried peels of bitter and sweet oranges. I tend to use it in cocktails calling for Grand Marnier or Cointreau, as it is a cheaper alternative and tastes very similar …

86 *Take by force : HIJACK

The verb “to hijack” dates back to the 1920s when it applied to the robbing of a bootlegger or smuggler while he or she was traveling. The term probably comes from “highway” and “jack”, with the latter meaning “to hold up, rob”.

88 *”A Clockwork Orange” antihero : ALEX

“A Clockwork Orange” is a novella by Anthony Burgess that was first published in 1962. The story is about a young teenager named Alex who leads a small gang on violent rampages each night. The story has been adapted for the big and small screens, most famously in a 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick. It’s way too violent for me …

89 Keys : ISLES

A key (also “cay”) is a low offshore island, as in the Florida “Keys”. Our term in English comes from the Spanish “cayo” meaning “shoal, reef”.

90 South American river with a crocodile namesake : ORINOCO

The Orinoco is a major river in South America that flows through Venezuela and Colombia.

92 Clumsy boats : ARKS

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

93 Tribal emblem : TOTEM

“Totem” is a word used to describe any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature, and often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.

94 Minty cocktail : JULEP

A mint julep is a bourbon-based cocktail that is associated with the American South, and with the Kentucky Derby in particular. If you’d like to make yourself a mint julep, one recipe is:

  • 3 oz of Bourbon
  • 4-6 sprigs of mint
  • granulated sugar to taste

109 *Aconcagua’s range : ANDES

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

114 Conditionally let out : PAROLE

“Parole” is a French word that we use in English, with the French “parole” meaning “word, speech”. Of particular interest is the French phrase “parole d’honneur” which translates as “word of honor”. In the early 1600s we started using “parole” to mean a promise by a prisoner of war not to escape, as in the prisoner giving his “word of honor” not to run off. Over time, parole has come to mean conditional release of a prisoner before he or she has served the full term of a sentence.

116 They’re seen among the reeds : OBOISTS

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

118 Samurai lacking a master : RONIN

In feudal Japan, a samurai who lost his master, perhaps through death or loss of favor, was known as a ronin. The term “ronin” is also used in contemporary Japan for a salaried worker between jobs.

120 Superheroes always have them : NEMESES

Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis (plural “nemeses”) is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.

121 They come with strings attached : YO-YOS

Would you believe that the first yo-yos date back to 500 BC? There is even an ancient Greek vase painting that shows a young man playing with a yo-yo. Centuries later Filipinos were using yo-yos as hunting tools in the 1500s. “Yo-yo” is a Tagalog (Filipino) word meaning “come-come” or simply “return”.

123 Krypton, but not Tatooine : ELEMENT

Krypton was discovered in 1898 by two British chemists Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers. They chilled a sample of air, turning it into a liquid. They then warmed that liquid and separated out the gases that boiled off. Along with nitrogen, oxygen and argon (already known), the pair of scientists discovered two new gases. The first they called “krypton” and the second “neon”. “Krypton” is Greek for “the hidden one” and “neon” is Greek for “new”.

Superman was sent to Earth in a rocket as a child by his parents, who remained on the doomed planet of Krypton. On Earth, the child was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent, farmers who lived near the fictional town of Smallville. The Kents raised the infant as their own, giving him the name Clark, which was Ma Kent’s maiden name.

Tatooine is the desert planet that features in almost every “Star Wars” movie. It is the home planet of Anakin and Luke Skywalker, and is also where Obi-Wan Kenobi first met Han Solo.

124 Canapé spread : PATE

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

A canapé is a finger food, something small enough to eat in just one bite. In French, “canapé” is actually the word for a couch or a sofa. The name was given to the snack as the original canapés were savories served on toasted or stale bread that supposedly resembled a tiny couch.

Down

1 Bruce Wayne lives in one : MANOR

Wayne Manor is the home of Bruce Wayne, the alter-ego of Batman. It is a huge manor that lies just outside Gotham City. Looking after the house is the Wayne family servant, Alfred. Beneath the grounds of the manor is an extensive cave system where Bruce Wayne put together his Batcave. Access to the cave is via a staircase behind a hidden door. The door is opened by moving the hands of a non-functioning grandfather clock to 10:47, the time at which Wayne’s parents were murdered. It is the murder of his parents that sets Bruce off on his journey of crime fighting.

Bruce Wayne is the secret identity of Batman in the comic series created by DC Comics. The first name of Bruce was chosen as a homage to the Scottish king and heroic figure, Robert the Bruce. The family name was a nod to “Mad Anthony” Wayne, the US Army general and statesman who rose to prominence in the Revolutionary War.

2 Pointless : INANE

Our word “inane” meaning “silly, lacking substance” comes from the Latin “inanitis” meaning “empty space”.

4 Business for many Amazon explorers? : ETAIL

Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. It is also the largest Internet company in the world by revenue. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

5 Agatha Christie’s “The __ Murders” : ABC

“The A.B.C. Murders” is a 1936 novel by Agatha Christie that features her famous detective Hercule Poirot. I recently saw a comic adaptation of the book, a 1965 film called “The Alphabet Murders” starring Tony Randall as Hercule Poirot. Soon after, I watched a much darker BBC television miniseries adaptation titled “The ABC Murders” starring John Malkovitch as the famous Belgian detective. I’d recommend both to Hercule Poirot fans, but be ready for two very different viewing experiences …

6 “The Day the Earth Stood Still” actress Patricia : NEAL

Patricia Neal won her Best Actress Oscar relatively late in her career, for playing a middle-aged housekeeper in 1963’s “Hud”. A few years’ later, she was offered the role of Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate” but turned it down. Famously, Neal had an affair with Gary Cooper who was married at the time. She became pregnant with his child, but he persuaded her to have an abortion. Not long afterwards Neal married British writer Roald Dahl (of “Willy Wonka” fame) and the couple had five children together before divorcing in 1983.

“The Day the Earth Stood Still” is a classic sci-fi movie from 1951 starring Michael Rennie as Klaatu, a humanoid alien who lands a flying saucer in Washington, DC. The film’s all about distrust, suspicion and misunderstandings.

7 Part of A.D. : ANNO

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

8 Musician Redbone : LEON

Leon Redbone is a singer-songwriter from Canada. One of Redbone’s claims to fame is that he sang the theme song for the sitcom “Mr. Belvedere”.

9 Half the taijitu symbol : YANG

The taijitu is the Chinese symbol for the concept of yin and yang. It is the familiar symbol of a circle divided equally by an s-shaped line, with one side dark and the other side light.

12 Polished : URBANE

We use “urbane” today to describe something courteous or refined. Back in the 1500s, the term was used in the same way that we now use “urban”. Those townsfolk thought they were more sophisticated than the country folk, and so the usage evolved.

13 Grooves made by a saw : KERFS

A kerf is a groove made by a saw or an axe. The term “kerf” comes from the Old English “cyrf” meaning “cutting off” or “cutting instrument”.

14 Sky-high gp. : USAF

The US Air Force (USAF) is the youngest of the seven uniformed services in this country, having been formed in 1947. Today’s USAF was preceded by:

  • Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps (1907-1914)
  • Aviation Section, Signal Corps (1914-1918)
  • Division of Military Aeronautics (1918)
  • US Army Air Service (1918-1926)
  • US Army Air Corps (1926-1941)
  • US Army Air Forces (1941-1947)

15 Time co-founder : LUCE

Henry Luce was a publisher, mainly of magazines. He was responsible for launching such iconic publications as “Time”, “Life”, “Fortune” and “Sports Illustrated”.

17 Fast time : LENT

In Latin, the Christian season that is now called “Lent” was termed “quadragesima” (meaning “fortieth”), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term “Lent” was introduced. “Lent” comes from “lenz”, the German word for “spring”.

20 *Gene variant : ALLELE

A gene is a section of a chromosome that is responsible for a particular characteristic in an organism. For example, one gene may determine eye color and another balding pattern. We have two copies of each gene, one from each of our parents, with each copy known as an allele.

27 Vientiane native : LAO

Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, and is situated on the Mekong River. The city was originally called the “city of sandalwood” by Buddhist monks, naming it after the valued trees that grew in the area. The French took the Pali words for “city of sandalwood” and rewrote it as the French-sounding “Vientiane”.

29 Ocasek of the Cars : RIC

Ric Ocasek was an American musician of Czech heritage. He was the lead vocalist of the rock band known as the Cars.

35 Elon University st. : NCAR

Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina located close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

36 Washington city where Olympic skiers Phil and Steve Mahre were born : YAKIMA

The city and county of Yakima lie southeast of Mount Rainier in the state of Washington. The Yakima Valley is recognized as one of the best apple-producing regions in the world, and it also produces three quarters of all the hops grown in the US.

Phil Mahre is one of the great alpine ski racers, and is a native of Yakima, Washington. Phil’s twin brother Steve was also a skier on the World Cup circuit.

37 Circle ratios : PIS

By definition, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is the mathematical constant known as pi. The same constant shows up as the ratio of a circle’s area to its radius squared.

38 *Norse mythology battle used as the subtitle of a 2017 “Thor” film : RAGNAROK

“Thor: Ragnarok” is a 2017 superhero film in the “Thor” series. Not my cup of tea …

“Ragnarök” is the name given to a set of events in Norse mythology that resulted in the deaths of many famous gods, including Odin and Thor.

40 Racer Yarborough : CALE

Cale Yarborough is a former NASCAR driver and owner. Yarborough was the first NASCAR driver to appear on the cover of “Sports Illustrated”.

43 Brando role in 1978’s “Superman” : JOR-EL

Jor-El was a scientist on the planet Krypton who was married to Lara. Jor-El and Lara had an infant son named Kal-El who they were able to launch into space towards Earth just before Krypton was destroyed. Kal-El became Superman. In the 1978 movie “Superman”, Jor-El was played by Marlon Brando, Lara was played by Susannah York, and Kal-El/Superman was played by Christopher Reeve.

44 Critical layer : OZONE

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

49 Ringling Brothers brother : OTTO

The Ringling Brothers started their circus in 1884 when Barnum & Bailey already had a popular circus that was touring the Midwest. There were six Ringling Brothers in all, and they grew their business at a phenomenal rate. The circus moved from town-to-town by train, extending their reach to the eastern seaboard. So great was their success that the Ringling Brothers purchased the Barnum & Bailey operation in 1907. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus eventually closed down in 2017.

50 Half a Balkan country : BOSNIA

Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of six federal units in former Yugoslavia that gained independence after the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. There are three main ethnic groups in Bosnia. The largest group are the Bosniaks, the second the Bosnian Serbs, and the third the Bosnian Croats.

The Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe is usually referred to as “the Balkans”. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains located in present-day Bulgaria and Serbia. “Balkan” is Bulgarian for “mountain”.

53 Magnum stopper : CORK

The list of standard sizes for wine bottles is quite long. The main ones encountered would be:

  • 187.5 ml: a “split”, often used for a single serving of champagne
  • 375 ml: a “half”
  • 750 ml: the standard size
  • 1.5 L: a “magnum”, double the standard size
  • 3.0 L: a “double magnum”, and also a “standard size” for boxes of wine

59 Boston-based sportswear giant : REEBOK

The brand name Reebok was adopted as the new company name for Foster Shoes of the UK in 1960. The name Reebok (more commonly “Rhebok”) is an Afrikaans word for an antelope, and comes from the term “roe buck”.

67 Goddess with a throne headdress : ISIS

Isis was the ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility, as well as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children. She was the personification of the pharaoh’s power. The name “Isis” translates as “throne”, and she is usually depicted with a headdress shaped like a throne.

69 Key of Schubert’s “Trout Quintet” : A MAJOR

Schubert’s famous “Trout Quintet” is named for an earlier Schubert Lied called “The Trout”, variations of which are used in the fourth movement.

71 Sundae alternatives : CONES

There’s a lot of speculation about how the dessert called a sundae got its name, but there seems to be agreement that it is an alteration of the word “Sunday”.

72 Big name in movies? : IMAX

The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

73 Mann of ‘Til Tuesday : AIMEE

Aimee Mann is a rock singer and guitarist from Virginia. Mann is married to Michael Penn, the brother of actor Sean Penn.

‘Til Tuesday was a New Wave band from Boston that performed and recorded from 1982 to 1988. Aimee Mann got her start with “Til Tuesday, as a bass player and vocalist. The band’s best-known song is the hit “Voices Carry”, released in 1985.

76 Winter Palace resident : TSAR

The Winter Palace is a magnificent building in St. Petersburg in Russia that was home to the Russian tsars (and tsarinas). Today, the Winter Palace houses the famous Hermitage Museum. I was lucky enough to visit the Palace and museum some years ago, and I have to say that I have rarely been more impressed by a historical building.

80 *Dangerous strain : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

82 Derby, perhaps : RACE

Our use of the word “derby” to mean a race started in 1780 with the English Derby horse race, which was founded then by the 12th Earl of Derby. Ultimately, the term “derby” derives from the old English shire of “Deorby”, a word meaning “deer village”.

87 Anchorage for a galleon : COVE

Galleons were large sailing ships found in major fleets in Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries. They were huge vessels with multiple decks and at least three masks.

92 *Place abuzz with activity : APIARY

An apiary is an area where bees are kept, apiculture is beekeeping, and an apiphobe has a fear of bees. The Latin word for “bee” is “apis”.

94 Sent raspberries to? : JEERED

Not so much here in America, but over in Britain and Ireland “blowing a raspberry” is a way of insulting someone (I think that it’s usually called “a Bronx cheer” in the US). The verb “to razz” comes from a shortened form of “raspberry”.

95 Text letters often in blue : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

97 Diamond pro : UMP

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

101 1994 rival of Nancy : TONYA

Tonya Harding won the US Figure Skating Championships in 1991. Harding’s reputation was greatly tarnished in the run up to the 1994 Olympics, when her former husband and her bodyguard contracted someone to attack Harding’s main competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. During a practice session for the US Championship, a hired thug assaulted Kerrigan with a police baton, attempting to break her leg. Kerrigan was forced to withdraw, and Harding won the championship. Both Harding and Kerrigan were selected for the Olympic team, and despite attempts to get Harding removed, both skated at the Games in Lillehammer. Harding finished in eighth place, and Kerrigan won the silver medal. Harding admitted that she helped cover up the attack when she found out about it, and was stripped of her US Championship title.

102 “The Cocktail Party” playwright : ELIOT

“The Cocktail Party” is a 1949 play by T. S. Eliot (TSE). During Eliot’s lifetime, it was the most popular of the seven plays that Eliot penned. Today, Eliot’s most celebrated work for the stage is his 1935 play “Murder in the Cathedral”.

104 Red dessert wine : PORT

Portugal’s city of Oporto (“Porto” in Portuguese) gave its name to port wine in the late 1600s. Oporto was the seaport through which most of the region’s fortified red wine was exported.

107 Cutting-edge brand? : ATRA

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

110 Iditarod terminus : NOME

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race covers an incredible 1,161 miles, from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska. The race starts every year on the first Saturday in March, with the first race having been held in 1973. Finishing times range from over 8 days to 15 days or more. The first few races only used a northern route, but then a southern route was added to the roster every second year. It’s kind of a good thing, because when the racers take the northern route they don’t even pass through the town of Iditarod!

111 Carpe __ : DIEM

“Carpe diem” is a quotation from Horace, one of ancient Rome’s leading lyric poets. “Carpe diem” translates from Latin as “seize the day” or “enjoy the day”. The satirical motto of a procrastinator is “carpe mañana”, “translating” as “seize tomorrow”.

112 “__ quam videri”: 35-Down motto : ESSE
(35D Elon University st. : NCAR)

The North Carolina motto “Esse quam videri” translates from Latin as “to be, rather than to seem to be”.

113 WWII weapon : STEN

The STEN gun is an iconic armament that was used by the British military. The name STEN is an acronym. The letters S and T come from the name of the gun’s designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The letters EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.

117 JFK arrival, once : SST

The most famous supersonic transport (SST) was the Concorde, a plane that’s no longer flying. Concorde had that famous “droop nose”. The nose was moved to the horizontal position during flight to create the optimum aerodynamic shape thereby reducing drag. It was lowered during taxi, takeoff and landing, so that the pilot had better visibility. The need for the droop nose was driven largely by the delta-shaped wings. The delta wing necessitates a higher angle of attack at takeoff and landing than conventional wing designs, so the pilot needed the nose lowered so that he or she could see the ground.

The Idlewild Golf Course was taken over by the city of New York in 1943 and construction started on a new airport to serve the metropolis and relieve congestion at LaGuardia. The Idlewild name still persists, even though the airport was named after Major General Alexander E. Anderson from the first days of the project. When the facility started operating in 1948 it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field. It was renamed to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in 1963, one month after the President was assassinated.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Race distance : MILE
5 Shrink : ANALYST
12 Traditional koa wood product : UKULELE
19 “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” author Loos : ANITA
21 Unworthy of : BENEATH
22 Started up again : RESUMED
23 __ officer : NAVAL
24 Bishopric cousin : CANONRY
25 Like aftershave after a shave : BRACING
26 1994 A.L. batting champ Paul : O’NEILL
28 *Wine ingredient? : LONG I
29 *Sarah of “Suits” : RAFFERTY
30 Pigment used in rustproof primer paints : RED LEAD
32 Blood lines : VEINS
34 Bananas or nuts : LOONY
37 Monetary “p” : PENCE
38 Diamonds, in slang : ROCKS
43 Rib-tickler : JOKE
46 Oval-shaped wind : OCARINA
48 Benefit : AVAIL
49 *Slip through the cracks : OOZE
50 *Traffic stoppers : BRAKES
51 Junk bond rating : CCC
54 Yitzhak’s predecessor : GOLDA
55 Allegro non __: fast, but not too fast : TROPPO
57 Umbrella component : RIB
58 Problematic to the max : THORNIEST
60 Gas pump fractions : TENTHS
61 Fermented honey drink : MEAD
64 Mountain nymph : OREAD
65 World Cup “Way to go!” : OLE!
66 Product with lots of shapes … or what each of four black squares effectively is? : ANIMAL CRACKER
70 Poli-__ : SCI
73 Absinthe flavoring : ANISE
74 A-line line : SEAM
75 Bench warmer? : BOTTOM
77 Stone set alone : SOLITAIRE
81 Basic card game : WAR
83 1994 Olympic gold medalist skater Baiul : OKSANA
84 __ donna : PRIMA
85 Triple __: liqueur : SEC
86 *Take by force : HIJACK
88 *”A Clockwork Orange” antihero : ALEX
89 Keys : ISLES
90 South American river with a crocodile namesake : ORINOCO
92 Clumsy boats : ARKS
93 Tribal emblem : TOTEM
94 Minty cocktail : JULEP
96 Gun : REV UP
98 Daredevil’s stock-in-trade : PERIL
99 Put out : EMITTED
104 *Closely match : PARALLEL
109 *Aconcagua’s range : ANDES
114 Conditionally let out : PAROLE
115 Winning game after game : ON A TEAR
116 They’re seen among the reeds : OBOISTS
118 Samurai lacking a master : RONIN
119 Go back over : RETRACE
120 Superheroes always have them : NEMESES
121 They come with strings attached : YO-YOS
122 Fine-tuned : TWEAKED
123 Krypton, but not Tatooine : ELEMENT
124 Canapé spread : PATE

Down

1 Bruce Wayne lives in one : MANOR
2 Pointless : INANE
3 Stayed : LIVED
4 Business for many Amazon explorers? : ETAIL
5 Agatha Christie’s “The __ Murders” : ABC
6 “The Day the Earth Stood Still” actress Patricia : NEAL
7 Part of A.D. : ANNO
8 Musician Redbone : LEON
9 Half the taijitu symbol : YANG
10 Tried hard : STRIVEN
11 *Biblical possessive : THY
12 Polished : URBANE
13 Grooves made by a saw : KERFS
14 Sky-high gp. : USAF
15 Time co-founder : LUCE
16 Mideast leader : EMIR
17 Fast time : LENT
18 On pins and needles : EDGY
20 *Gene variant : ALLELE
27 Vientiane native : LAO
29 Ocasek of the Cars : RIC
31 Means of access : DOOR
33 *Put on the books : ENACT
35 Elon University st. : NCAR
36 Washington city where Olympic skiers Phil and Steve Mahre were born : YAKIMA
37 Circle ratios : PIS
38 *Norse mythology battle used as the subtitle of a 2017 “Thor” film : RAGNAROK
39 Egg-shaped : OVOID
40 Racer Yarborough : CALE
41 Roasts, in a way : KIDS
42 Blind segment : SLAT
43 Brando role in 1978’s “Superman” : JOR-EL
44 Critical layer : OZONE
45 Fulfilled : KEPT
47 Defies authority : REBELS
49 Ringling Brothers brother : OTTO
50 Half a Balkan country : BOSNIA
52 Prefix with -aholic : CHOC-
53 Magnum stopper : CORK
56 *Ghost : PHANTASM
59 Boston-based sportswear giant : REEBOK
62 Hotshot : ACE
63 Attract : DRAW IN
67 Goddess with a throne headdress : ISIS
68 Insignificant : MERE
69 Key of Schubert’s “Trout Quintet” : A MAJOR
70 Cornfield sight : STALK
71 Sundae alternatives : CONES
72 Big name in movies? : IMAX
73 Mann of ‘Til Tuesday : AIMEE
76 Winter Palace resident : TSAR
77 Roasting rod : SPIT
78 Rounding phrase : OR SO
79 Merry-go-round tune : LILT
80 *Dangerous strain : E COLI
82 Derby, perhaps : RACE
86 Cool : HIP
87 Anchorage for a galleon : COVE
91 Mark down, maybe : RELABEL
92 *Place abuzz with activity : APIARY
94 Sent raspberries to? : JEERED
95 Text letters often in blue : URL
97 Diamond pro : UMP
98 Location : PLACE
100 Body with arms? : TROOP
101 1994 rival of Nancy : TONYA
102 “The Cocktail Party” playwright : ELIOT
103 Fog modifier : DENSE
104 Red dessert wine : PORT
105 From square one : ANEW
106 Appraise : RATE
107 Cutting-edge brand? : ATRA
108 Security problem : LEAK
110 Iditarod terminus : NOME
111 Carpe __ : DIEM
112 “__ quam videri”: 35-Down motto : ESSE
113 WWII weapon : STEN
116 *It’s next to nothing : ONE
117 JFK arrival, once : SST

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Aug 21, Sunday”

  1. 1:40:00 with no errors…I got the theme early on (an hour or so) and it helped but I think I have developed a case of permanent brain freeze when it comes to crosswords…oh well!
    Stay safe😀

  2. 4 errors (I had STRIVED and ESAF – the latter because I’m an idiot & don’t know how to spell ukulele). I definitely made use of the theme, probably because I got ANIMAL CRACKER right off the bat. Took a while but was enjoyable.

  3. Ended up with all the correct answers, but didn’t catch on to the
    theme. Had to look up some words in the dictionary to make
    sure I was on the right track i.e. “allele” and “canonry”. Never
    heard of “ragnarock” but got it through cross letters.

    This one took me a long time!

  4. 27:19

    The theme helped a bit, it was fun filling in the animals.

    I remember Oksana Baiul. Her skating was stunning.

    Today, I learned the word KERF. So if you sawed a frame for pouring the concrete at a curb cut, is the wood filled with kerf cuts?

  5. After wasting 3/4 of an hour on the impossible-unless-you’re-a-mind-reader LA Times grid, I hoped to have better luck here. Wasn’t to be.

    26 mins, 15 seconds, and 25 entries were left unfilled. The top third was just one big, hairy NATICK for me. Fills like “LONG-I” “NCAR” and such are just dirty pool; grouped closely or crossing, they can make the difference between finishing and throwing up one’s hands in defeat.

  6. A head-scratcher to get many answers – 46:30 with one miss at BRAdING/LUdE. Would’ve helped if I knew some history of Time mag or recalled Skin Bracer by Mennen!

    Had a LOT of re-thinks and erasures in the top half. Had to change PEACE>NAVAL, DADOS>KERFS, ENTER>ENACT, TACOMA>YAKIMA, HEIRS>VEINS, OVATE>OVOID, WORK/SHOP>CHOC, DRAWTO>DRAWIN.

    Couldn’t figure out what was going on at “each of four black squares” until it was all filled in and I could look them over. Still, all’s well that ends well!

  7. This was really hard. Don’t understand the Asterisks. Clues left a lot to be desired. Had to look up the theme and some of the answers. After completing the last three weeks puzzles on my own this was not enjoyable.

  8. The clue for “CHOC” at 52 down (“Prefix with aholic”) was distressingly illiterate. Simply look at the two words being blended and it is clear that CHOCOHOLIC is the only acceptable spelling. The error may be a common one, but that does not render it virtuous.

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