LA Times Crossword 12 Sep 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Mark Feldman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Sounds Familiar

Themed answer feature triple alliteration:

  • 22A Place for reading recipes? : COOKBOOK NOOK
  • 28A Ink on a billionaire? : FAT CAT TAT
  • 34A City center street performer? : DOWNTOWN CLOWN
  • 62A Bit of carelessness at cocktail hour? : CHIP DIP DRIP
  • 85A Postal mishap? : SNAIL MAIL FAIL
  • 97A Starter for a noncompetitive race? : FUN RUN GUN
  • 104A Reality TV believer? : BOOB TUBE RUBE
  • 42D Hanks sobriquet for films like “You’ve Got Mail”? : ROMCOM TOM
  • 44D Fashionista dog? : JET SET PET

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

Bill’s time: 14m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Only astronaut to fly in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs : SCHIRRA

Wally Schirra was one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, and the only astronaut who flew in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Programs. Schirra retired after commanding the Apollo 7 mission, and took the seat beside Walter Cronkite for the TV coverage for the seven moon landings. Schirra was a naval officer. After he passed away in 2007, his body was cremated and his ashes were committed to the deep in a burial at sea ceremony on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

8 Sushi order : AHI

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

11 Short blue person? : DEM

On political maps, red states are usually Republican and blue states usually Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.

14 Exile of 1979 : SHAH

The last Shah of Iran was Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was overthrown in the revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The post-revolution government sought the extradition of the Shah back to Iran while he was in the United States seeking medical care (he had cancer). His prolonged stay in the United States, recovering from surgery, caused some unrest back in Iran and resentment towards the United States. Some say that this resentment precipitated the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and the resulting hostage crisis.

19 Easter lead-in : NOR-

A nor’easter is a storm that blows from the northeast.

20 “Xanadu” rock gp. : ELO

The title song of the 1980 movie “Xanadu” was performed by the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Olivia Newton-John (who starred in the film). Despite the popularity of ELO around the world, the song “Xanadu” was the band’s only number-one hit back in their homeland of the UK.

21 Aqua __: U.K. mineral water brand : PURA

The name of the Aqua Pura brand of bottled water translates from Latin as “Pure Water”. Aqua Pura is the biggest-selling British bottled water in the UK.

24 Fragrant tea-flavoring shrubs : JASMINES

Jasmines are shrubs that are mainly grown for their fragrant flowers. Those flowers can be used to make jasmine tea, or to provide pleasant-smelling ingredients used in the perfume industry.

26 Quakers in forests? : ASPENS

The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

31 Madrid mama bear : OSA

In Spanish, “osa” is a female bear, and “oso” is a male. An “oso” might be found in “un zoológico” (a zoo).

Madrid is the most populous city in Spain, and is the nation’s capital. It is located very close to the geographical center of the country. Madrid is the second-largest city in the European Union by population, after Berlin. People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

33 “The Bald Soprano” playwright : IONESCO

Eugène Ionesco was a Romanian and French playwright who was very active in the Avant-garde and Theater of the Absurd movements.

38 Flash __ : MOB

A flash mob is a group of people who gather to perform a sudden, brief act in a public location and then quickly disperse. Flash mobs originated in Manhattan in 2003, as a social experiment by an editor of “Harper’s Magazine” called Bill Wasik. Wasik’s first attempt to form a flash mob was unsuccessful, but the second attempt worked. The first successful flash mob was relatively tame by today’s elaborate standards, and consisted of about 130 people gathered on the 9th floor of Macy’s department store pretending to be shopping en masse for a “love rug”.

39 Third-party accounts : ESCROWS

One type of escrow account is held by a trusted third party for two parties who have some contractual arrangement, an arrangement that is often in dispute. The third party only releases the funds when both parties have fulfilled their contractual obligations.

44 Green stone : JADE

“Jade” is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.

45 Where one trying to score may be out : AT HOME

That would be baseball.

46 U.S. Army medal : DSC

The Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) is the second-highest honor awarded to members of the US Army. The DSC is equivalent to the Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross.

48 Classic Pontiac : GTO

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later founded the DeLorean Motor Company.

49 __ pool : GENE

The set of all genes in a particular population is known as the “gene pool”, a term coined in Russian by geneticist Aleksandr Sergeevich Serebrovskii in the 1920s. In general, the larger the gene pool, the more diverse and robust the population.

51 Congers : EELS

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

56 Native Alaskans : ALEUTS

The Aleuts live on the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific, and on the Commander Islands at the western end of the same island chain. The Aleutian Islands are part of the United States, and the Commander Islands are in Russia.

66 They’re usually unbeatable : 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.

69 Storied building material : STRAW

The fairy tale about “The Three Little Pigs” has been around for centuries, although it first appeared in print in the 1840s. One little pig built a house using straw and another built one using wood. The cleverest little pig built its house using bricks.

71 Feds under Ness : T-MEN

A T-man is a law-enforcement agent of the US Treasury (“T” stands for “Treasury”).

Eliot Ness was the Treasury agent charged with the task of bringing down the notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone. When Ness took on the job in 1930, Chicago law-enforcement agents were renowned for being corrupt, for being on the take. Ness handpicked 50 prohibition agents who he thought he could rely on, later reducing the group to a cadre of 15 and ultimately just 11 trusted men. That group of 11 earned the nickname “The Untouchables”, the agents who couldn’t be bought.

72 Current amount : AMPERE

The unit of electric current is the ampere, which is abbreviated correctly to “A” rather than “amp”. It is named after French physicist André-Marie Ampère, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.

73 Mail ctrs. : GPOS

General post office (GPO)

80 Bath buggy : PRAM

Another word used in the UK that’s rarely used over here is “pram”, which in my day was the most common term for what is called a “baby carriage” in the US. “Pram” is short for “perambulator”.

Bath is a beautiful city in South West England of which I have very fond memories. It is an old Roman spa town, and the city’s name comes from the Roman baths that have been excavated and restored.

83 Corn syrup component : MALTOSE

Maltose, also known as malt sugar, is a disaccharide made up of two glucose units.

The sugar we consume as “table sugar” is mainly sucrose that is extracted from sugarcane and sugar beet. We also consume lactose, naturally occurring in milk, and fructose, naturally occurring in fruit. But most of the sugar we eat or drink tends to be prepared commercially, the most famous being high-fructose corn syrup, which is glucose that is industrially processed into a glucose/fructose mix. Don’t get me started on the politics of food …

84 Joplin’s “Maple Leaf __” : RAG

Scott Joplin was a great American composer and pianist, the “King of Ragtime”. Joplin was born poor, into a laboring family in Texas. He learned his music from local teachers and started out his career as an itinerant musician, traveling around the American South. He found fame with the release of his 1899 composition “Maple Leaf Rag”, regarded as the foundation stone on which ragtime music was built. Joplin’s music, and ragtime in general, was rediscovered by the populace in the early seventies when it was used in the very successful movie “The Sting”.

85 Postal mishap? : SNAIL MAIL FAIL

Snail mail is regular mail delivered by the postal service. The term “snail mail” arose as email gained in popularity, and is a reference to the difference in speed between email and paper mail.

93 Cleaning tools, for short : VACS

The first practical portable vacuum cleaner was invented by James Spangler in 1907. Spangler sold the patent for the design to his cousin’s husband, William Henry Hoover. Hoover then made his fortune from manufacturing and selling vacuum cleaners. Hoover was so successful in my part of the world that back in Ireland we don’t use the verb “to vacuum” and instead say “to hoover”. Also, “hoover” is what we call a vacuum cleaner, regardless of who makes it.

101 Formed with the tip of the tongue, like the letter L : APICAL

“Apical” is the adjective associated with the noun “apex”, the highest point. An apical consonant is a speech sound produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex (tip) of the tongue.

103 Property receivers, at law : ALIENEES

An alienee is one to whom ownership of property is transferred, is “alienated”.

104 Reality TV believer? : BOOB TUBE RUBE

“Idiot box” and “boob tube” are nicknames for television.

108 “The Ice Storm” director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

“The Ice Storm” is a 1997 drama film based on a 1994 novel of the same name by Rick Moody. Set in the seventies, it’s the story of two dysfunctional families celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. The film was a flop at the box office, despite having a fabulous cast and positive reviews from the critics. The cast includes Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood. Based on that alone, I am putting “The Ice Storm” on my “to see” list ..

110 Most massive known dwarf planet : ERIS

Eris is the largest known dwarf planet in our solar system. It is also the ninth largest body orbiting the sun, a fact that helped relegate Pluto (the tenth largest body) from its status of planet in 2006. Eris was discovered in 2005, and named for the goddess of discord.

111 Rehab hurdle : DTS

The episodes of delirium that can accompany withdrawal from alcohol are called delirium tremens (the DTs). The literal translation of this Latin phrase is “trembling madness”.

112 Screening org. : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

113 Western movie threat : RATTLER

The scales covering the tip of a rattlesnake’s tail are made of keratin, the same structural protein that makes up the outer layer of human skin, as well as our hair and nails. The rattlesnake shakes its tail vigorously to warn off potential predators, causing the hollow scales to vibrate against one another and resulting in that scary “rattle” sound. The rattler’s tail muscles “fire” an incredible fifty times a second to achieve that effect, demonstrating one of the fastest muscular movements in the whole animal kingdom.

Down

3 Cod relatives : HAKES

Hake is a commonly eaten fish in Europe, with half of all the hake consumed in Spain.

4 Library vol. ID : ISBN

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) was invented by one Gordon Foster who was a professor at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. The code was originally developed for booksellers, so that they had a unique number (and now a barcode) for each publication. ISBNs are ten digits long if assigned before 2007. Since the start of 2007, ISBNs have been thirteen digits long.

5 Letters after pis : RHOS

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

6 1906 Runabout, e.g. : REO

In the early 1900s, the term “runabout” was used to describe relatively simple cars that had no windshield, no doors and a single row of seats. The use of “runabout” died out in the US, especially when roadsters became popular around 1920. The term “runabout” is still used in the UK though, describing a small car used for short journeys.

8 Before long, to Shakespeare : ANON

“Anon” originally meant “at once”, but the term’s meaning evolved into “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

9 Bird named for its cry : HOOT OWL

“Hoot owl” is an informal name for the barred owl. Barred owls have dark stripes running up and down the underside of their bodies, hence the name “barred”. They also have a very distinctive two-phrase vocalization, hence the name “hoot”.

11 “This seems familiar” word : DEJA

“Déjà vu” is French for “already seen”.

13 University of Idaho city : MOSCOW

In its early days, the city of Moscow, Idaho was known as Paradise Valley, with the name change taking place in 1875. The choice of “Moscow” seems unexplained, but it is more likely related to Moscow, Pennsylvania than Moscow, Russia. Moscow is home to the University of Idaho.

15 Spider that stalks its prey : HUNTSMAN

The huntsman spider is so named because of the way they catch their prey. They do not use webs, and instead “hunt down” their meals. Most huntsman spiders have leg spans of up to 5 inches. However, the giant huntsman spider has a leg span of up to 12 inches (!), making it the largest spider by diameter on the planet.

16 Opening number? : AREA CODE

Area codes were introduced in the 1940s. Back then, the “clicks” one heard when dialling a number led to mechanical wear on various pieces of equipment. In order to minimize overall mechanical wear, areas with high call volumes were given the most efficient area codes (lowest number of clicks). That led to New York getting the area code 212, Los Angeles 213 and Chicago 313.

25 “Death in Venice” author : MANN

Thomas Mann was a German novelist whose most famous work is probably his novella “Death in Venice”, which was published originally in German in 1912 as “Der Tod in Venedig”. The story was famously adapted for the big screen in 1971, in a movie starring Dirk Bogarde.

30 Bugs with brakes : VWS

“VW” stands for “Volkswagen”, which translates from German into “people’s car”. The original Volkswagen design was the Beetle and was built under a directive from Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap car built that ordinary people could afford to purchase. Hitler awarded the contract to engineer Ferdinand Porsche, whose name (paradoxically) would forever be associated with high performance, expensive cars. The Beetle was the official name of the VW model released in North America, but it was usually referred to as a “Bug” here in the US, and a “Beetle” elsewhere in the world.

34 Mosque toppers : DOMES

The largest mosque in the world is Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Mecca, sometimes referred to in English as the Sacred Mosque or the Grand Mosque. Al-Masjid Al-Haram is home to the Kaaba, the most sacred location in Islam. Muslims face in the direction of the Kaaba when performing formal worship known as Salat.

37 Award-winning Mark Tatulli comic strip : LIO

“Liō” is a comic strip drawn by Mark Tatulli that has been distributed since 2006. Liō is a little boy who lives with his widowed father and his pets, including Fido (a spider), Cybil (a cat), Frank (a cobra), Ishmael (a squid) and Mittens (a lobster).

41 Lawn chair : CHAISE

A “chaise longue” (sometimes just “chaise”) is an elongated, upholstered, sofa-like chair that is long enough to support the legs. “Chaise longue” is French for “long chair”. And, the term has nothing to do with a “lounge” … it’s a “longue” (long) chair, not a “lounge” chair.

42 Hanks sobriquet for films like “You’ve Got Mail”? : ROMCOM TOM

Tom Hanks is such a great actor. He has played so many iconic roles in a relatively short career. Hanks is from California, and studied theater for a couple of years in Hayward, California not far from here. Tom’s son Colin Hanks is one of the stars of the TV comedy “Life in Pieces”. Hanks is married to the talented actress Rita Wilson.

“You’ve Got Mail” is a 1998 romantic comedy film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, and directed by Nora Ephron. The film is an adaptation of the Miklos Laszlo play “Parfumerie”. The storyline of “Parfumerie” was also used for the movies “The Shop Around the Corner” (from 1940 starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan) and “In the Good Old Summertime” (from 1949 starring Van Johnson and Judy Garland).

44 Fashionista dog? : JET SET PET

The jet set comprises wealthy individuals who frequent the fashionable resorts around the world. The term “jet set” was coined in 1951, and actually predated (slightly) the introduction of jet planes for commuter flights.

The Spanish suffix “-ista” indicates a supporter or follower. Examples would be “fashionista” (a follower of fashion) and “Sandinista” (member of a Nicaraguan political party named for revolutionary Augusto César Sandino).

46 Knish sellers : DELIS

A knish is a snack food from Germany and Eastern Europe that was made popular in the US by Jewish immigrants. A knish has a filling, often made of mashed potato and ground meat, covered by a dough that is baked or fried.

49 Oxlike antelope : GNU

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

53 Letters before chi : PHIS

Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.

54 Duchamp contemporary : ARP

Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose works are associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. One of his most celebrated “works” is simply what he called “readymade” art, a urinal which he titled “Fountain”. Even though this work is considered to be “a major landmark in 20th century art”, the original that was submitted for exhibition was never actually displayed and had been lost forever. Replicas were commissioned by Duchamp, and are on display in many museums around the world. I have no further comment …

57 Layered Italian dessert : SPUMONI

Spumone (plural “spumoni”) is an Italian dessert, one made with a mixture of three ice cream flavors and containing candied fruit and nuts.

59 Bullfight figure : TORERO

The term “torero” is used to describe all bullfighters. The term “matador” is reserved for the bullfighter whose job is to make the final kill. Aptly enough, “matador” is Spanish for “killer”.

62 Long-running forensic series : CSI

The “CSI” TV show franchise uses hits from the Who as theme music:

  • “Who Are You” … “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”
  • “Baba O’Riley” … “CSI: New York”
  • “Won’t Get Fooled Again” … “CSI: Miami”
  • “I Can See for Miles” … “CSI: Cyber”

63 First name in an 1857 case : DRED

The landmark case of Dred Scott vs. Sandford came before the US Supreme Court in 1857. Scott had been born a slave, but lived with his owner in a free state for several years before returning to the slave state of Missouri. Scott’s argument was that living in a free state entitled him to emancipation. A divided US Supreme Court sided with Scott’s owner John Sandford. The decision was that no African American, free or enslaved, was entitled to US citizenship and therefore Scott was unable to petition the court for his freedom. The decision heightened tensions between the North and South, and the American Civil War erupted just three years later.

65 Activist Greta Thunberg, e.g. : SWEDE

Greta Thunberg is an environmental activist from Sweden who came to national attention in her homeland when she was just 15 years old. In 2018, she went on strike from school and paraded with placards in front of the Swedish parliament to pressure the government to take stronger action to address climate change. She then took part in demonstrations across Europe, and became a regular speaker at such events. She addressed the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit at the UN headquarters, opting to sail to New York from Sweden, rather than fly. When she was named “Time” Person of the Year in 2019 at 16 years old, Thunberg was the youngest person ever to be so honored.

72 End of a ball game? : ALAI

The essential equipment in the game of jai alai is the pelota (ball) and the cesta (wicker scoop).

74 Composer of solo violin études : PAGANINI

Niccolò Paganini was a famed Italian violinist and composer. Paganini was perhaps the most celebrated violinist of the 19th century. His most famous composition has to be his Caprice No. 24 in A minor, Op. 1. This work is the basis for many derivative masterpieces by other composers, including the wonderful “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” by Rachmaninoff, and the “Variations on a Theme of Paganini” by Brahms.

75 “Vive le __!” : ROI

“Vive le roi!” is French for “Long live the king!” “À bas le roi!” is French for “Down with the king!”, which was a phrase often heard during the French Revolution.

76 Karen of “Starman” : ALLEN

Actress Karen Allen is best known for playing Marion Ravenwood in the “Indiana Jones” series of films, opposite Harrison Ford in the title role. Some might remember her film debut, in the madcap 1978 comedy “National Lampoon’s Animal House”. Off screen, she loves knitting and has her own textile company called Karen Allen Fiber Arts. And, she also teaches yoga.

“Starman” is a 1984 sci-fi film about an alien who takes over the body of a human clone (played by Jeff Bridges). The clone was formed from a lock of hair belonging to the deceased husband of a woman (played by Karen Allen) who witnesses the cloning process. It sounds creepy, but the movie can actually be categorized as a romance.

80 Introduction : PREFACE

A “preface” is a book’s introduction that is written by the author himself or herself. A “foreword” is an introduction written by a different person, and precedes the author’s preface. Note the spelling of “foreword”, as opposed to the spelling of the relative direction “forward”. A book may also have an “afterword”, a commentary that may or may not be written by the author.

81 Portraitist John Singer __ : SARGENT

John Singer Sargent was an American artist, one best known for his portrait painting. Sargent trained as an artist mainly in Paris, although he found that he had to leave the city after one of his paintings was deemed “scandalous” by French society. The work was “Portrait of Madame X” (1884), a painting of a noted lady in society that was considered too risque and sensual. After the painting was exhibited, his commissions dried up and Sargent moved to London in order to continue his career. Today the “Portrait of Madame X” is considered by many to be Sargent’s best work.

82 Long-vowel symbols : MACRONS

A macron is a diacritical mark placed above a vowel. It is a horizontal line and is used to indicate that the vowel is long.

83 Tatami, e.g. : MAT

A tatami is a traditional mat used on floors in Japan. The term “tatami” comes from the Japanese word “tatamu” meaning “to fold”, reflecting the fact that the mat is designed to be folded up for storage.

87 “Stay” singer Lisa seen in GEICO ads : LOEB

Singer Lisa Loeb was discovered by actor Ethan Hawke, who lived just across the street from her in New York City. Hawke took a demo of her song “Stay (I Missed You)” and gave it to director Ben Stiller, who in turn used it over the ending credits of his 1994 movie “Reality Bites”. The movie was a hit, the song went to number one, and Loeb became the first artist ever to hit that number one spot without having signed up with a record label. Good for her!

GEICO was founded in 1936 with a very specific mission, to provide auto insurance for employees of the federal government and their families, hence the name Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO). GEICO is a private company, despite the word “government” in its name. The founders’ idea was to focus on government employees as they believed such a group represented a lower risk profile than the rest of the population. Nowadays any qualifying person can take out a policy with GEICO.

90 Salad green : CRESS

Garden cress is a leafy vegetable that is closely related to watercress and mustard. Cress is particularly popular in the UK where it is a common ingredient in sandwiches.

95 Pole tossed by a Scot : CABER

The caber toss must be the most recognizable event in the Scottish Highland Games. The tall pole is 19’ 6” long and weighs a whopping 175 pounds. The event may have originated with the practice of tossing large logs across chasms in order to cross them.

102 Hide : PELT

A pelt is the skin of a furry animal.

104 Cricket club : BAT

Cricket is the national game of England. The term “cricket” apparently comes from the Old French word “criquet” meaning “goalpost, stick”.

105 Thurman of “Pulp Fiction” : UMA

Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in the movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

I’m not a big fan of director Quentin Tarantino. His movies are too violent for me, and the size of his ego just turns me right off. Having said that, I think “Pulp Fiction” is a remarkable film. If you can look past the violence, it’s really well written. And what a legacy it has. John Travolta’s career was on the rocks and he did the film for practically no money, and it turned out to be a re-launch for him. Uma Thurman became a top celebrity overnight from her role. Even Bruce Willis got some good out of it, putting an end to a string of poorly-received performances.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Only astronaut to fly in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs : SCHIRRA
8 Sushi order : AHI
11 Short blue person? : DEM
14 Exile of 1979 : SHAH
18 Small bits of color : SPLASHES
19 Easter lead-in : NOR-
20 “Xanadu” rock gp. : ELO
21 Aqua __: U.K. mineral water brand : PURA
22 Place for reading recipes? : COOKBOOK NOOK
24 Fragrant tea-flavoring shrubs : JASMINES
26 Quakers in forests? : ASPENS
27 Emailed : SENT
28 Ink on a billionaire? : FAT CAT TAT
29 Extreme disorder : MESS
30 Through : VIA
31 Madrid mama bear : OSA
33 “The Bald Soprano” playwright : IONESCO
34 City center street performer? : DOWNTOWN CLOWN
38 Flash __ : MOB
39 Third-party accounts : ESCROWS
43 Provide with the latest : CLUE IN
44 Green stone : JADE
45 Where one trying to score may be out : AT HOME
46 U.S. Army medal : DSC
48 Classic Pontiac : GTO
49 __ pool : GENE
50 Like some stockings : SEAMED
51 Congers : EELS
53 React to a sprint : PANT
55 A montage of them was presented at the 2006 Oscars : EPICS
56 Native Alaskans : ALEUTS
58 Fencing moves : THRUSTS
61 Nothing special : SO-SO
62 Bit of carelessness at cocktail hour? : CHIP DIP DRIP
64 Long stretches : EONS
66 They’re usually unbeatable : NEMESES
68 Accustoms (to) : ENURES
69 Storied building material : STRAW
70 Fit : TRIM
71 Feds under Ness : T-MEN
72 Current amount : AMPERE
73 Mail ctrs. : GPOS
75 Stadium cheer : RAH!
78 Offbeat : ODD
79 Eyed impolitely, with “at” : LEERED …
80 Bath buggy : PRAM
81 Not at all light : SOLEMN
83 Corn syrup component : MALTOSE
84 Joplin’s “Maple Leaf __” : RAG
85 Postal mishap? : SNAIL MAIL FAIL
89 Legislative group, e.g. : ENACTOR
91 Backing-up key : ESC
92 Bit in a horse’s mouth : OAT
93 Cleaning tools, for short : VACS
97 Starter for a noncompetitive race? : FUN RUN GUN
99 Deli stock : RYES
101 Formed with the tip of the tongue, like the letter L : APICAL
103 Property receivers, at law : ALIENEES
104 Reality TV believer? : BOOB TUBE RUBE
106 Axes : CANS
107 KC-to-NYC dir. : ENE
108 “The Ice Storm” director Lee : ANG
109 Acted like : EMULATED
110 Most massive known dwarf planet : ERIS
111 Rehab hurdle : DTS
112 Screening org. : TSA
113 Western movie threat : RATTLER

Down

1 Imagine, colloquially : ‘SPOSE
2 Horse-and-buggy ride sounds : CLOPS
3 Cod relatives : HAKES
4 Library vol. ID : ISBN
5 Letters after pis : RHOS
6 1906 Runabout, e.g. : REO
7 Shows hospitality toward, as a visitor : ASKS IN
8 Before long, to Shakespeare : ANON
9 Bird named for its cry : HOOT OWL
10 Annoy : IRK
11 “This seems familiar” word : DEJA
12 Jubilance : ELATION
13 University of Idaho city : MOSCOW
14 Malice : SPITE
15 Spider that stalks its prey : HUNTSMAN
16 Opening number? : AREA CODE
17 Surely is : HAS TO BE
18 Con job : SCAM
23 Bar specification : NEAT
25 “Death in Venice” author : MANN
28 Aspect : FACET
30 Bugs with brakes : VWS
32 Wrapped in a blanket, say : SNUG
34 Mosque toppers : DOMES
35 Due : OWED
36 Block off : OCCLUDE
37 Award-winning Mark Tatulli comic strip : LIO
39 Relaxes : EASES
40 Apply, as a brake : STEP ON
41 Lawn chair : CHAISE
42 Hanks sobriquet for films like “You’ve Got Mail”? : ROMCOM TOM
44 Fashionista dog? : JET SET PET
46 Knish sellers : DELIS
47 Ooze : SEEP
49 Oxlike antelope : GNU
52 Stretch : STINT
53 Letters before chi : PHIS
54 Duchamp contemporary : ARP
56 “What about me?!” : AHEM!
57 Layered Italian dessert : SPUMONI
58 General direction : TREND
59 Bullfight figure : TORERO
60 Traps : SNARES
62 Long-running forensic series : CSI
63 First name in an 1857 case : DRED
65 Activist Greta Thunberg, e.g. : SWEDE
67 Hosp. units : ERS
69 Suspect : SMELL
72 End of a ball game? : ALAI
73 Like table salt : GRANULAR
74 Composer of solo violin études : PAGANINI
75 “Vive le __!” : ROI
76 Karen of “Starman” : ALLEN
77 Fashion lines : HEMS
80 Introduction : PREFACE
81 Portraitist John Singer __ : SARGENT
82 Long-vowel symbols : MACRONS
83 Tatami, e.g. : MAT
85 Leave speechless : STUN
86 “Thanks, it’s already done” : NO NEED
87 “Stay” singer Lisa seen in GEICO ads : LOEB
88 “Get a move on!” : FASTER!
90 Salad green : CRESS
93 Like some popular videos : VIRAL
94 Perceptive : ACUTE
95 Pole tossed by a Scot : CABER
96 Downhill traveler : SLED
98 Applications : USES
100 Discipline with stretches : YOGA
101 Lie next to : ABUT
102 Hide : PELT
104 Cricket club : BAT
105 Thurman of “Pulp Fiction” : UMA

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 12 Sep 21, Sunday”

  1. From yesterday, I’m wondering how Glenn is going to fix getting older — plastic surgery? Fountain of youth? Let us know if you find it!

  2. 21:45, no errors today. I could probably say again what I said yesterday, but a lot of that time was in the nest of proper nouns in the upper right and finally WAGed something to make it work.

    @Corky
    I’ve had the opportunity in the last couple of weeks to do some things to take care of myself that have been neglected for quite some time. Friday, I got a new pair of glasses after about 15 years and have been sort-of disoriented by the difference both from my prescription change and how shoddy my old pair has gotten. The fact I discovered I would have probably been better off with bifocals is kinda where I’m joking about “getting older” and it hopefully getting fixed once I get used to the new glasses. Overall, I’ll say the whole set of issues on the list have been an adventure, especially getting to see how so many things have changed, but quite a welcome diversion from the usual that my life has been the last few years.

  3. No errors after at least two “lookups” i.e. Karen of “Starman”
    and the dwarf planet name. Wasn’t an easy one, but the theme
    helped me through it.

    1. Hi Anon. Alliteration can be the same letter for each word. But it can also be the same sound, as we see in this case.

      ‘the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words.
      “the alliteration of “sweet birds sang””

  4. Messed up 73D but I couldn’t get 73A… had APOS. PPOS. couldn’t come up with GPOS… but I also couldn’t come up with GRANULAR.. couldn’t get ENACTOR on 89A.. it was my last fill and guess I just got tired..
    How is a DEM a “SMALL ” blue person. The small threw me even though I still got it..

    1. @Anon Mike …

      The clue is actually “Short blue person?”. The word “short” is there to tell you that the answer is an abbreviation (“DEM” instead of “DEMOCRAT”). (And the question mark warns you to expect a bit of fanciful word play.)

  5. 30:52 with no erors or lookups. The theme was quite helpful. New to me were PURA, IONESCO, MALTOSE, ALIENEES, ERIS, HUNTSMAN.

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