LA Times Crossword 19 Sep 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Support Groups

Themed answers include the name of a BAND, and that name is written BACK and UP in the grid in circled letters:

  • 118A Miami Sound Machine and others, and a hint to this puzzle’s circled letters : BACKUP BANDS
  • 23A *Hotel convenience : PARKING GARAGE (giving “garage band”)
  • 40A *Address essential details : GET DOWN TO BRASS TACKS (giving “brass band”)
  • 56A *Wannabe lawyer’s milestone : PASSING THE BAR (giving “bar band”)
  • 85A *Keep one’s identity secret, say : STAY UNDER COVER (giving “cover band”)
  • 96A *Prepare emotionally for, as something unpleasant : STEEL ONESELF AGAINST (giving “steel band”)

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

Bill’s time: 18m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Part of a sea urchin’s diet : KELP

Kelps are large seaweeds that grow in kelp forests underwater. Kelps can grow to over 250 feet in length, and do so very quickly. Some kelps can grow at the rate of 1-2 feet per day.

Sea urchins are globular, spiny creatures found just about everywhere in the ocean. The “roe” of a sea urchin is eaten as a delicacy in several cuisines around the world. In a sushi restaurant, the sea urchin roe is called “uni”. The term “roe” normally means “fish eggs”, but in the case of the sea urchin it refers to the gonads of both the male and female.

5 Rest of the afternoon : SIESTA

We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, and imported the word into English from Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at the sixth hour after dawn.

19 Wellsian race : ELOI

In the 1895 novella by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounters in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

The full name of the English author known as H. G. Wells was Herbert George Wells. Wells is particularly well known for his works of science fiction, including “The War of the Worlds”, “The Time Machine”, “The Invisible Man” and “The Island of Doctor Moreau”. He was a prolific author, and a prolific lover as well. While married to one of his former students with whom he had two sons, he also had a child with writer Amber Reeves, and another child with author Rebecca West.

20 “Life of Pi” director : ANG LEE

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 2012 movie “Life of Pi” is based on a 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel. The “Pi” in the title is an Indian boy named Pi Patel who finds himself adrift for 227 days in a small boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

21 “Boo’d Up” singer __ Mai : ELLA

Ella Mai is an R&B singer from England who went to high school in New York City before returning to Britain.

28 George who plays Stokes on “CSI” : EADS

George Eads is an actor from Fort Worth, Texas. He is best known for playing the investigator Nick Stokes on the CBS show “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, and more recently for playing Jack Dalton on the show “MacGyver”.

30 Minneapolis’ Target Center, e.g. : ARENA

The Target Center is an arena in Minneapolis that is home to the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. It opened for business in 1990, with Target purchasing the naming rights from day one.

31 Roger of “Cheers” : REES

Roger Rees was a Welsh actor. Rees played the character Robin Colcord on “Cheers”, the posh love interest for Rebecca Howe played by Kirstie Alley. Rees also appeared periodically on “The West Wing” as the marvelously flamboyant and eccentric Lord John Marbury, the British Ambassador.

40 *Address essential details : GET DOWN TO BRASS TACKS (giving “brass band”)

What we know as a thumb tack here in North America is called a drawing pin in British English. Thumbtacks made from brass might be referred to as “brass tacks”, giving us the expression “getting down to brass tacks” meaning “getting down to the finer details”.

45 Caspian feeder : URAL

The Ural River rises in the Ural Mountains in Russia and flows for half its length through Russian territory until it crosses the border into Kazakhstan, finally emptying into the Caspian Sea. It is the third-longest river in Europe, after the Volga and Danube. The Ural is often cited as defining a long stretch of the border between Europe and Asia, although the exact position of that border is open to debate.

The Caspian Sea is a landlocked body of water lying between Asia and Europe. By some definitions, the Caspian is the largest lake on the planet. The name “Caspian” comes from the Caspi people who lived to the southwest of the sea in the South Caucasus.

47 Novelist Rita __ Brown : MAE

Rita Mae Brown is an American author who is best known for her 1973 novel “Rubyfruit Jungle”. Brown was the domestic partner of tennis champion Martina Navratilova in the late seventies and early eighties.

48 Pitcher John on three different MLB championship teams : LACKEY

John Lackey is a retired MLB pitcher. Lackey played for three World Series winning teams: the Anaheim Angels in 2002, the Boston Red Sox in 2013, and the Chicago Cubs in 2016.

49 Bonanza find : ORE

A bonanza is a mine with a rich pocket of ore that can be exploited. “Bonanza” is the Spanish word for a rich lode, and we imported the term into English. “Bonanza” originally meant “fair weather at sea”, and from that came to mean “prosperity, good fortune”. Ultimately, “bonanza” comes from the Latin “bonus” meaning “good”.

50 Scholars : LITERATI

Literati are men and women of letters, learned people. The Latin “literatus” means “lettered”.

54 Roofing support : RAFTER

Rafters are the beams that slope from the ridge of a roof down to the tops of the supporting walls.

56 *Wannabe lawyer’s milestone : PASSING THE BAR (giving “bar band”)

“The bar” is a term often used for “the legal profession”. It is a reference to the “bar” that separates spectators from participants in a courtroom.

61 Brian of rock : ENO

Brian Eno is a musician, composer and record producer from England who first achieved fame as the synthesizer player with Roxy Music. As a producer, Eno has worked with David Bowie, Devo, Talking Heads and U2.

62 Evening affairs : SOIREES

“Soir” is the French word for “evening” and a soirée is an evening party. The French word “soirée” has an acute accent over the first “e”, but we tend to drop this when using the word in English.

63 NYC congresswoman, in headlines : AOC

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a politician who is often referred to by her initials “AOC”. A Democrat, she was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 2018, representing part of the Bronx, Queens and Rikers Island in New York City. When she took office in 2019 at the age of 29, AOC became the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress.

64 Saint-Saëns’s “__ Macabre” : DANSE

“Danse macabre” is an 1874 tone poem by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The title refers to a symbolic dance that dates back to late-medieval times. Known in English as “Dance of Death”, it features the devil in the form of a skeleton, leading people or other skeletons to their graves.

66 Paid informer : FINK

A fink is an informer, someone who rats out his or her cohorts.

67 EPA-banned chemicals : PCBS

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were banned with good reason. Apart from their link to cancer and other disorders in humans and animals, they are extremely persistent in the environment once contamination has occurred. Among other things, PCBs were used as coolants and insulating fluids in electrical gear such as transformers and large capacitors, as well as a transfer agent in carbonless copy paper.

75 RN workplaces : ERS

One might find a registered nurse (RN) and a medical doctor (MD) in an emergency room (ER).

77 Nantucket arrivals : FERRIES

Nantucket is an island lying about 30 miles south of Cape Cod off the coast of Massachusetts. It has a population of about 14,000 permanent residents, but the numbers usually swell to over 50,000 during the summer months due to tourism.

79 “… __ he drove out of sight”: Moore : ERE

Here are the closing lines to the Christmas poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was published anonymously in 1823, and is better known today by its first line “‘Twas the night before Christmas”. Most scholars believe that the poem was written by Clement Clarke Moore, a theologian from New York City. Others say that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr., a poet from Upstate New York.

87 Big name in chips : LAY’S

Lay’s potato chips were introduced in 1938 by Herman W. Lay. Lay started selling his chips out the trunk of his car, travelling all over the US. In those days the chips were pretty much handmade, but Lay put an end to that in 1942. He invented the first continuous potato processor in 1948, and chips started to take over the world!

91 Denver-to-Omaha dir. : ENE

Denver, Colorado is nicknamed “Mile-High City” because its official elevation is listed as exactly one mile. Denver City was founded in 1858 as a mining town. The name was chosen in honor of the Kansas Territorial Governor at the time, James W. Denver.

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

92 Eyepiece : OCULAR

The ocular lens is the eyepiece of many optical devices, e.g. telescopes and microscopes. In those same devices, light from the observed object is gathered by the objective lens.

104 Consort of Psyche : EROS

In the myth of Cupid (aka “Eros”) and Psyche, the two title characters must overcome many obstacles to fulfill their love for each other. Overcome them they do, and the pair marry and enjoy immortal love.

105 Yours, to Yvette : A TOI

“À toi” is the French term for “yours”, when talking to someone with whom one is familiar. “À toi” literally means “to you”.

109 Biblical scribe : EZRA

Ezra the Scribe, also called “Ezra the Priest”, is the central character in the Book of Ezra in the Hebrew Bible.

118 Miami Sound Machine and others, and a hint to this puzzle’s circled letters : BACKUP BANDS

Miami Sound Machine was a band that was founded as the Miami Latin Boys in 1975. Gloria García (now “Estefan”) joined as a vocalist in 1977, by which time the band had changed its name to Miami Sound Machine. A further name change came in 1987, to Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine.

122 High-tech workers : BOTS

Karel Čapek was a Czech writer noted for his works of science fiction. Čapek’s 1921 play “R.U.R.” is remembered in part for introducing the world to the word “robot”. The words “automaton” and “android” were already in use, but Capek gave us “robot” from the original Czech “robota” meaning “forced labor”. The acronym “R.U.R.”, in the context of the play, stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots”.

124 Blue hue : CYAN

“Cyan” is short for “cyan blue”. The term comes from the Greek word “kyanos” meaning “dark blue, the color of lapis lazuli”.

126 Acronym on a protective vest : SWAT

“SWAT” is an acronym standing for Special Weapons and Tactics. The first SWAT team was pulled together in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968.

127 Battery terminals : ANODES

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A simple battery is made up of three parts: a cathode, an anode and a liquid electrolyte. Ions from the electrolyte react chemically with the material in the anode producing a compound and releasing electrons. At the same time, the electrolyte reacts with the material in the cathode, absorbing electrons and producing a different chemical compound. In this way, there is a buildup of electrons at the anode and a deficit of electrons at the cathode. When a connection (wire, say) is made between the cathode and anode, electrons flow through the resulting circuit from the anode to cathode in an attempt to rectify the electron imbalance.

Down

1 Visored French cap : KEPI

A kepi is a circular cap with a visor, one that’s particularly associated with the French military.

2 Brio : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

“Brio” is borrowed from Italian, in which language the term means “vigor and vivacity”. “Con brio” is a musical direction often found on a score, instructing the musicians to play “with energy, vigor”.

3 Byron’s title : LORD

George Gordon Byron, known simply as “Lord Byron”, was an English poet active in the early 1800s. Byron was equally as famous for his poetry as he was for the wild excesses in his personal life. Byron lived much of that life outside of England, and fought for revolutionaries in both Italy and Greece. He died from a fever contracted while fighting for the Greeks against the Ottomans.

4 Stingy sort : PIKER

A piker is a cautious gambler, and in more general terms can be a miser, someone very stingy.

5 Important coastal drainage river in South Carolina : SANTEE

South Carolina’s Santee River was named by English settlers for the Santee tribe that lived along its banks. The Santee River was dammed in the late 1930s and early 1940s to form Lake Marion reservoir as part of a WPA (Work Progress Administration) project.

8 35mm camera type : SLR

Single-lens reflex (SLR) camera

At the beginning of the 20th century, 35mm was chosen as a standard size for film used in still cameras. 35mm was selected as it was already the standard film size used in motion pictures.

10 Sea at one end of the Dardanelles : AEGEAN

The Aegean Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and Turkey. Within the Aegean Sea are found the Aegean Islands, a group that includes Crete and Rhodes.

The Dardanelles is one of the two Turkish Straits, the other being the Bosphorus (also “Bosporus”). The Bosphorus and the Dardanelles lie either side of the Sea of Marmara, allowing continuous navigation from the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea. The Turkish Straits also form the boundary between Europe and Asia.

13 “Aladdin” prince : ALI

In Disney’s version of the “Aladdin” story, released in 1992, the street urchin Aladdin uses one of three wishes to become a prince so that he can get near Princess Jasmine, with whom he has become besotted. With the genie’s help, Aladdin takes on the persona of “Prince Ali of Ababwa”.

14 1960s chess champ Mikhail : TAL

Mikhail Tal truly was a chess legend. Tal holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak in competition chess. And the second longest winning streak? Well, that also was by Tal.

15 Ornamental shrub : SPIREA

Spirea, also known as Meadowsweet, is too woody to be considered as a food plant, although it has long been used by Native Americans as a herbal tea. Spirea is chock full of salicylates, chemicals that have properties similar to aspirin.

16 Astronomer’s tool : TELESCOPE

The first patent application for a telescope was filed in 1608 in the Netherlands, to eyeglass maker Hans Lippershey. However, research has shown that there is some evidence that telescopes were built before 1608, perhaps as early as the mid-1500s. But it is clear that reports of Lippershey’s design spread quickly around Europe. By 1609, Galileo had built his own telescope and started to explore the night sky.

17 Fall place : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

18 Galileo’s birthplace : PISA

Galileo Galilei may be the most famous son of the city of Pisa in Italy and was considered by many to have been the father of modern science. In the world of physics, Galileo postulated that objects of different masses would fall at the same rate provided they did so in a vacuum (so there was no air resistance). There is a story that he dropped two balls of different masses from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate this, but this probably never happened. Centuries later, Astronaut David Scott performed Galileo’s proposed experiment when he dropped a hammer and feather on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission and we all saw the objects hit the moon surface, at exactly the same time.

33 Dolly, for one : EWE

Dolly was the most famous sheep in the world. She was a clone, and was born in 1996 near Edinburgh in Scotland, grown from a cell taken from the mammary gland of a healthy donor sheep. When asked why she was called Dolly, the scientist responsible said, and I quote:

“Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s”.

35 “Family Matters” nerd : URKEL

Steve Urkel is a character on the TV show “Family Matters” that originally aired in the late eighties and nineties. The Urkel character was the archetypal “geek”, played by Jaleel White. Urkel was originally written into the show’s storyline for just one episode, but before long, Urkel was the show’s most popular recurring character.

36 Spain’s peninsula : IBERIA

The Iberian Peninsula in Europe is largely made up of Spain and Portugal. However, also included is the Principality of Andorra in the Pyrénées, a small part of the south of France, and the British Territory of Gibraltar. Iberia takes its name from the Ebro, the longest river in Spain, which the Romans named the “Iber”.

38 Grande dame of pop : ARIANA

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four seasons on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

39 Doyle’s narrator : WATSON

In the marvelous Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes’ sidekick Dr. Watson is referred to only by his family name, except for two occasions when it is revealed that his first name is John. However, in a third and final mention, Dr. Watson is called “James” by his wife, perhaps indicating a lapse in memory on the part of the author.

41 Composer Shostakovich : DMITRI

Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer, producing works in the Soviet period. He had a difficult relationship with the Communist Party and twice was officially denounced by the party.

42 Big galoot : OAF

“Galoot” is an insulting term describing an awkward or boorish man, an ape. “Galoot” comes from the nautical world, where it was originally what a sailor might call a soldier or marine.

43 Singer Kristofferson : KRIS

Singer Kris Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas and was the son of a USAF Major General. Indeed, Kristofferson’s paternal grandfather was also a military officer, but in the Swedish Army. Kristofferson himself went into the US Army and served in West Germany, achieving the rank of Captain.

46 Arles article : LES

Quite a few years ago now, I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and was where he painted many of his most famous works, including “Cafe Terrace at Night” and “Bedroom in Arles”.

52 Mayo is in it : ANO

In Spanish, “mayo” (May) is one of the months of the “año” (year).

53 “Hooray, the weekend!” : TGIF!

“Thank God It’s Friday” (TGIF) is a relatively new expression that apparently originated in Akron, Ohio. It was a catchphrase used first by disk jockey Jerry Healy of WAKR in the early seventies. That said, one blog reader wrote to me to say that he had been using the phrase in the fifties.

54 Dorm figs. : RAS

A resident assistant/adviser (RA) is a peer leader found in a residence hall, particularly on a college campus.

55 Big name in kitchenware : EKCO

The EKCO brand of kitchenware dates back to 1888 when Edward Katzinger founded his company in Chicago to make baking pans. The acronym “EKCO” stands for “Edward Katzinger Co”.

60 Thickets : COPSES

A copse is a small stand of trees. The term “copse” originally applied to a small thicket that was specifically grown for cutting.

69 Asian sultanate : BRUNEI

The official name of Brunei is the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace. Brunei is situated on the island of Borneo, almost completely surrounded by Malaysia. Brunei’s government is dictated by the constitution adopted in 1959, and is ruled by a sultan with full executive authority. The main language spoken in the country is “Melayu Brunei” (Brunei Malay), with the official language being Malay. Apparently Malay and Brunei Malay are quite different from each other, with native speakers finding it difficult to understand each other.

70 Cosecant’s reciprocal : SINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

72 Overhaul : REVAMP

The vamp is that part of a shoe upper that extends from behind the toe to the back of the heel. Prior to the 1650s, the verb “new-vamp” was used to describe the replacement of the vamp, in order to extend the life of a show. After 1650, the verb evolved into “revamp”. We now use “revamp” figuratively, to mean “remake, renovate”.

73 Game stick with a net : CROSSE

A lacrosse stick is also known as a crosse.

74 Jamie of “Bosch” : HECTOR

“Bosch” is a well-written police drama series produced by Amazon Studios. The title character, detective Harry Bosch, is portrayed by Titus Welliver. Harry Bosch features in a series of novels by Michael Connelly, who is also the TV show’s creator.

Actor Jamie Hector is best known for playing gangster Marlo Stanfield on “The Wire” and Detective Jerry Edgar on “Bosch”.

76 “In the Bedroom” Oscar nominee : SPACEK

Actress Sissy Spacek got her big break in the movies when she played the title role in the 1976 horror movie “Carrie”, which is based on a Stephen King novel. Her most acclaimed role is the lead in the 1980 biopic about Loretta Lynn called “Coal MIner’s Daughter”, for which she won an Oscar. Spacek’s first cousin was the actor Rip Torn.

“In the Bedroom” is a thought-provoking film released in 2001, set in a small community on the coast of Maine. The “bedroom” in the title refers to the inner compartment of a lobster trap (in Ireland we call them lobster pots). The outer chamber of the trap is baited and the lobster lured in. When the lobster enters the small “bedroom” at the rear of the trap, it cannot escape.

77 Some mil. bases : FTS

Fort (ft.)

78 One of eight Eng. kings : EDW

There have been eight kings of England named Edward. Edward I was on the throne from 1272 to 1307 and was also known as Edward Longshanks. The “Longshanks” name came from Edward’s exceptional height. Edward VIII was on the British throne for less than a year. Famously, Edward abdicated in 1936 in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

84 Alexandria’s area : NILE DELTA

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 …

Alexandria is the largest seaport in Egypt. As one might tell from its name, the city was founded by Alexander the Great, in about 331 BC. Alexandria was the capital city of Egypt for almost a thousand years and was one of the most famous cities in the ancient world. It was also famous for its lighthouse, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The lighthouse was located on the island of Pharos, just off the coast of Alexandria, an island which gave its name to the lighthouse.

89 __ de mer : MAL

Here are some French terms for some unpleasant conditions:

  • Mal de tête (headache)
  • Mal de mer (seasickness)
  • Mal de pays (homesickness)

98 World’s largest peninsula : ARABIA

The Arabian Peninsula (also “Arabia”) is part of Western Asia that is located just north-east of Africa. The peninsula is bordered to the west by the Red Sea, to the northeast by the Persian Gulf, and to the southeast by the Indian Ocean. Most of the Arabian Peninsula is taken up by Saudi Arabia, but also included are Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen. And, it’s the largest peninsula in the world, covering about 1¼ million square miles.

100 Middle ear bone : STAPES

The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles’ job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their names: the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes).

101 Archaeological find : TOMB

“Archaeology” is a word that looks like it’s British English, and one might be forgiven for using the spelling “archeology” in American English. Even though the latter spelling has been around for a couple of hundred years, the former is the standard spelling on both sides of the Atlantic.

106 Apple varieties : IMACS

The iMac is a desktop computer platform that Apple introduced in 1998. One of the main features of the iMac is an “all-in-one” design, with the computer console and monitor integrated. The iMac also came in a range of colors that Apple marketed as “flavors”, such as strawberry, blueberry and lime.

108 Three-time WNBA MVP __ Leslie : LISA

Lisa Leslie is a former professional basketball player who played in the WNBA with the Los Angeles Sparks. Leslie is rather tall, and was the first player to dunk the ball in a WNBA game.

110 Gusto : ZEST

“Gusto” is an Italian word meaning “taste”. We use it in English in the phrase “with gusto” meaning “with great enjoyment”.

111 List of appts. : SKED

Schedule (sked)

112 “Only Time” songwriter : ENYA

“Only Time” is a song written and recorded by Irish singer Enya. Released in 2000, “Only Time” is the biggest solo hit for Enya in the US.

113 Old food label nos. : RDAS

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

114 IRS IDs : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So starting in 1986, the IRS made it a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

119 Taylor of fashion : ANN

There was no actual person named “Ann Taylor” associated with the Ann Taylor line of clothes. The name was chosen by the marketing professionals because “Ann” was considered to be “very New England” back in 1954 when the stores first opened, and “Taylor” suggested that clothes were carefully “tailored”.

120 Sulu portrayer John : CHO

John Cho is an actor and musician who was born in Seoul, South Korea but has lived in the US since he was a young boy. Cho’s break in movies came in playing Harold Lee in the ”Harold & Kumar” films. He then made a name for himself playing Mr. Sulu in recent “Star Trek” movies.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Part of a sea urchin’s diet : KELP
5 Rest of the afternoon : SIESTA
11 “Beat it!” : SCAT!
15 Big first for babies : STEP
19 Wellsian race : ELOI
20 “Life of Pi” director : ANG LEE
21 “Boo’d Up” singer __ Mai : ELLA
22 Mani mate : PEDI
23 *Hotel convenience : PARKING GARAGE (giving “garage band”)
25 Manicurist’s assortment : NAIL FILES
27 Beholden : INDEBTED
28 George who plays Stokes on “CSI” : EADS
30 Minneapolis’ Target Center, e.g. : ARENA
31 Roger of “Cheers” : REES
32 Stand : BEAR
34 Hotel offerings : SUITES
37 Cat’s attention-getter, maybe : PAW
40 *Address essential details : GET DOWN TO BRASS TACKS (giving “brass band”)
45 Caspian feeder : URAL
47 Novelist Rita __ Brown : MAE
48 Pitcher John on three different MLB championship teams : LACKEY
49 Bonanza find : ORE
50 Scholars : LITERATI
54 Roofing support : RAFTER
55 Really cool : EPIC
56 *Wannabe lawyer’s milestone : PASSING THE BAR (giving “bar band”)
59 Most clever : SLICKEST
61 Brian of rock : ENO
62 Evening affairs : SOIREES
63 NYC congresswoman, in headlines : AOC
64 Saint-Saëns’s “__ Macabre” : DANSE
66 Paid informer : FINK
67 EPA-banned chemicals : PCBS
71 Swing site : PORCH
75 RN workplaces : ERS
77 Nantucket arrivals : FERRIES
79 “… __ he drove out of sight”: Moore : ERE
80 Board game bonus : FREE SPIN
85 *Keep one’s identity secret, say : STAY UNDER COVER (giving “cover band”)
87 Big name in chips : LAY’S
88 Enmity : ANIMUS
90 Place for an anchor : NEWSCAST
91 Denver-to-Omaha dir. : ENE
92 Eyepiece : OCULAR
93 Reverence : AWE
95 Kid’s retort : AM SO!
96 *Prepare emotionally for, as something unpleasant : STEEL ONESELF AGAINST (giving “steel band”)
102 What “/” may mean : PER
103 Prepared for cooking, as corn : HUSKED
104 Consort of Psyche : EROS
105 Yours, to Yvette : A TOI
107 Carry away : ELATE
109 Biblical scribe : EZRA
111 Exhibits unease, maybe : STAMMERS
115 Harbormaster’s chart : TIDE TABLE
118 Miami Sound Machine and others, and a hint to this puzzle’s circled letters : BACKUP BANDS
121 On deck, perhaps : ASEA
122 High-tech workers : BOTS
123 Words from behind a door, maybe : IN HERE!
124 Blue hue : CYAN
125 Go on : LAST
126 Acronym on a protective vest : SWAT
127 Battery terminals : ANODES
128 Back talk : SASS

Down

1 Visored French cap : KEPI
2 Brio : ELAN
3 Byron’s title : LORD
4 Stingy sort : PIKER
5 Important coastal drainage river in South Carolina : SANTEE
6 Swallow : INGEST
7 “Good grief!” : EGAD!
8 35mm camera type : SLR
9 Leaves in a cup : TEA
10 Sea at one end of the Dardanelles : AEGEAN
11 Texter’s button : SEND
12 Stand-up types : CLASS ACTS
13 “Aladdin” prince : ALI
14 1960s chess champ Mikhail : TAL
15 Ornamental shrub : SPIREA
16 Astronomer’s tool : TELESCOPE
17 Fall place : EDEN
18 Galileo’s birthplace : PISA
24 “__ your pardon” : I BEG
26 Like many rich foods : FATTY
29 School room encouraging creativity : ART LAB
32 Fancy neckwear : BOA
33 Dolly, for one : EWE
35 “Family Matters” nerd : URKEL
36 Spain’s peninsula : IBERIA
37 Mashed, as oranges : PULPED
38 Grande dame of pop : ARIANA
39 Doyle’s narrator : WATSON
41 Composer Shostakovich : DMITRI
42 Big galoot : OAF
43 Singer Kristofferson : KRIS
44 Breakaway group : SECT
46 Arles article : LES
51 Choir supports : RISERS
52 Mayo is in it : ANO
53 “Hooray, the weekend!” : TGIF!
54 Dorm figs. : RAS
55 Big name in kitchenware : EKCO
57 Chick magnet? : HEN
58 Distressed cry : EEK!
60 Thickets : COPSES
65 Goes out with : SEES
67 One in a pod : PEA
68 Call out : CRY
69 Asian sultanate : BRUNEI
70 Cosecant’s reciprocal : SINE
72 Overhaul : REVAMP
73 Game stick with a net : CROSSE
74 Jamie of “Bosch” : HECTOR
76 “In the Bedroom” Oscar nominee : SPACEK
77 Some mil. bases : FTS
78 One of eight Eng. kings : EDW
80 Beat it : FLEE
81 Carry on : RANT
82 Antiglare wear : EYESHADES
83 Occupied : IN USE
84 Alexandria’s area : NILE DELTA
85 One often seen in curls : SURFER
86 TV pioneer : RCA
89 __ de mer : MAL
92 Attack : ONSET
93 Back : AGO
94 Is no longer : WAS
97 Best at putting things away? : OUTEAT
98 World’s largest peninsula : ARABIA
99 Mother of note : NATURE
100 Middle ear bone : STAPES
101 Archaeological find : TOMB
106 Apple varieties : IMACS
107 List-ending abbr. : ET AL
108 Three-time WNBA MVP __ Leslie : LISA
110 Gusto : ZEST
111 List of appts. : SKED
112 “Only Time” songwriter : ENYA
113 Old food label nos. : RDAS
114 IRS IDs : SSNS
116 Sit-up targets : ABS
117 Fiddle stick : BOW
119 Taylor of fashion : ANN
120 Sulu portrayer John : CHO

30 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Sep 21, Sunday”

  1. @Glen. Thanks for the reality check on “BIG” data. My son worked on his computer science masters degree at UNL he had the opportunity to work with data from the HADRON COLLIDER. The data from that was on a whole new level and the science to deal with it was way beyond what I was familiar with. A quantum leap in how to handle large amount of data that can’t be processed with conventional methods. Way out of the box thinking.

    For today’s puzzle, NONERRORS. that was a treat considering where my head was at during the solve. I started at the top left and saw the PARKING GARAGE trick so I went to the bottom to reveal the trick. I got BACKUP BANDS and moved up to 96A and I struggled with STEEL ONE SELF AGAINST.. and I never heard of that and questioned my solve. I moved on and the others made sense.

  2. This was a stupid puzzle and I hated it. The misspellings made no sense and I will NEVER do another one by Paul Coulter. Please put puzzles by a person who uses REAL WORDS in the paper so people can enjoy them, not ones that use idiot misspellings that make it necessary to look the words up, or guess what was meant.

    1. Lighten up, please. My wife and I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this puzzle (and we determined the theme rather quickly). All in all, this was a fun puzzle. It’s unfortunate that you didn’t care for it …

    2. Bravo!! Coulter’s stuff isn’t puzzling or challenging OR EVER just rewarding. It’s just stupid, NEVER clever and just pointless. Doing a Coulter puzzle is like trying to figure what a two-year–old is spelling out with his toy blocks. Spare us! Mike Stoken

  3. @Glenn (from Friday) …

    … they don’t want to feel tricked …

    I also sometimes feel that a puzzle has tricked me, but I can only repeat what I’ve said before: that’s a huge part of what crosswords are all about. Eventually, one learns to see past (and perhaps even enjoy) the “trickery”. Until then, I see no point in reacting to a subjective evaluation of a puzzle as if it had objective reality. And, again, I take into account that, if others are managing to see past the “trickery”, perhaps I can, too. (And, if not, well, there are more important things in this crazy world to get upset about … 😜.)

    1. @A Nonny Muss
      What is subjective to one is objective to another, especially when it comes to something like a puzzle and their experiences.

      You have to remember a lot of people are more casual solvers that don’t get exposed to the kinds of things we typically do and just want something basic and fun. They may be able to see whatever device in it and adapt but most likely they’ll see whatever deceit is involved in such a “trick puzzle” (like a rebus) and then just see it as over their head or something.

      You can kind of even see that in these comments here (one above yours) about the trick in this puzzle. Personally, I adapted to it towards the end once I began to see what was going on via the crosses, but that was largely just a result of simple practice having seen dozens of these things. Also, since I’ve done hundreds of these things, I can learn the strengths/weaknesses of the constructors and get a pretty good idea of what I’m about to see (Coulter’s skills as a setter aren’t really suited to casual solvers, tbh, so there’s that factor in this puzzle too). A person encountering a rebus the first time or something like this is indeed going to feel tricked and be rather upset about it in the end, especially when they don’t know something like this exists in the first place going on. “Fair” is a subjective thing, too, and what is fair to you or me might not be to someone else.

      But like I said, I’ll tend to complain if I feel the need to, but often there’s the next puzzle to be concerned about and I’m not going to get too stewed about the last one I did. For others, that may not be the case and the puzzle that they looked to do to relax them while they have their morning coffee will cast a pall over the rest of their day because they felt it was unfair or they got tricked.

      1. A subjective statement is, “I thought this puzzle was awful!” I have no quarrel with that. But when someone simply says, “This puzzle was awful!”, I feel the need to say, “That’s demonstrably false!” Why? Because others do not agree with the assessment. I try to insert the appropriate IMO’s and IMHO’s, but some of the comments I see here are so angry and overwrought that it doesn’t help much. I understand that people want to blow off steam, but I have to wonder what it accomplishes. A lot of puzzles are (and will continue to be) puzzling, no matter how many capital letters and asterisks are expended on comments vilifying them.

    2. So true. I really don’t get the post before yours. I thought today’s puzzle was really fun..just the kind I enjoy. I didn’t figure out the twist right away…I was PUZZLED for a while..how ‘bout that! 🙂

  4. 22:34

    I enjoyed this one. The backed up letters meant that once I figured out BACKUPBANDS, I had lots of spaces to fill in with words I knew were there but didn’t see where they were going.

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen ELOI or ANODES.

    Mayo being part of el AÑO is a real groaner.

  5. Trickier than usual for a Sunday, at least for me, but I got it in the end. Figured out the “back up” trick early enough, although I didn’t realize they were all types of “band” until I came here. And I was irked at “outeat” for being the wrong part of speech for a while, until I finally remembered that “best” can also be a verb!

    @Joan Pauline North, the blank version can be found on the LA Times website.

  6. 38 mins 30 seconds, and needed Check Grid on maybe 12 fills to correct a few errors. Mostly dealing with the “back-up” visual gag, which was not appreciated at all. I kind of “got it” but it was clumsily applied. I misread the clue to 40A, reading ‘Address’ as a noun rather than a verb…

  7. No errors, but had to do some google lookups. I realized where
    the theme was going but didn’t get the connection between
    the backup bands and the “back and up” words that were inserted
    in the long answers until explained by Bill as being types of bands.
    This one took me a long time to fill in all the boxes, but I sort of
    enjoyed the puzzle. Of course the answer “backup bands” didn’t
    appear until pretty far down the puzzle grid.

  8. The “where is the blank version of the crossword” question has been asked several times over the last couple of weeks. It’s also been answered several times. Again, there are numerous sources one can get the LA Times Crossword from, for free. Here is the one I posted the last time I answered this:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/crossword-puzzles/daily/?utm_term=.f7772db2fb96

    Please read the responses to what you write before you keep asking again.

  9. ALL’s fair in love, war and crossword puzzles. Some clues/answers seem to be a stretch and some themes quite odd, but I can’t imagine getting upset about them. The whole idea is to provide a challenge.

  10. I am beginning to think that Joan doesn’t realize this is a blog about the solution. That, or she is just a troll and will keep posting her question several times per day.

    I didn’t get why ‘Mayo’ was in ‘ano’. Aha. I thought it was clever. I’m more disappointed that even when I had the letters in from the across clues, I still didn’t know what it was. I never studied Spanish, however.

  11. 37:52 is pretty good for me for a Sunday – no errors or lookups. Was busy yesterday, so couldn’t work this one until Monday.

    The theme helped with a few answers. Had many names I did not know but was able to figure out either with the intersections (e.g., ELLA/TAL, MAE, LACKEY, LISA, HECTOR) or eventually recognizing who/what it is with just some of the letters (e.g., AEGEAN, SPACEK, ENYA).

    I think 96A is missing an ‘S’, as in “steel one’S self against.” Didn’t like ONSET for “Attack” due to such an archaic usage (SET ON would be better).

    For those who don’t like difficulty in deciphering the clues, you should perhaps just work the Monday-Wednesday puzzles. Simply writing down what you already know or is otherwise “obvious” in a crossword grid is a minor challenge and of little mental benefit. For me, time to complete becomes the challenge on those; otherwise, the time is just the time it took. I admire constructors who come up with grids like this one’s theme.

  12. Did not enjoy this one totally missed the back- up connection until I checked this blog. I guess it’s called being clever and I just didn’t pick up on it. I love being challenged but this was frustrating to me. Crossword puzzles always make you think outside the box and I even came back to this for three days and still missed it …so I guess kudos to author for such a clever puzzle and reminding myself to you step back and look outside the “boxes”, lol.

  13. I agree Laura, I didn’t get the trick either. I don’t feel particularly bad for disliking it, as this type of puzzle isn’t the reason I enjoy crosswords. It adds as odd spacial element and I’d probably skip this one if I’d known what these circles signified. I did learn a lot, but I agree with what others have mentioned were clunker clues. My personal irritation was “husked” for preparing corn.

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