LA Times Crossword 26 Sep 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Michael Lieberman
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Elongation

Themed answers are common phrases ELONGATED by inserting the letter sequence “E-L”:

  • 23A Censor of controversial parts of “Messiah”? : HANDEL SANITIZER (from “hand sanitizer”)
  • 42A Cause of restaurant complaints? : SALAD DELAYS (from “salad days”)
  • 48A Conventional rubies? : ORTHODOX JEWELS (from “Orthodox Jews”)
  • 69A Sign of a cat burglar? : FELINE PRINT (from “fine print”)
  • 90A What people and leopards have in common? : VOWEL OF SILENCE (from “vow of silence”)
  • 98A Stallone hero putting more film in his camera? : “ROCKY” RELOAD (from “rocky road”)
  • 119A Enjoy the track meet? : CATCH A FEW RELAYS (from “catch a few rays”)

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

Bill’s time: 17m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Beetle in Egyptian hieroglyphs : SCARAB

Scarabs were amulets in ancient Egypt. Scarabs were modeled on the dung beetle, as it was viewed as a symbol of the cycle of life.

14 Old Eurasian rulers : TSARS

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

21 Brother of Scar : MUFASA

In the 1994 movie “The Lion King”, the protagonist is Simba, a lion cub born to Mufasa and Sarabi. The main antagonist is Scar, Simba’s uncle and Mufasa’s brother. Simba is voiced by Matthew Broderick, and Scar is voiced by Jeremy Irons. “Simba” is Swahili for “lion, king, strong”.

23 Censor of controversial parts of “Messiah”? : HANDEL SANITIZER (from “hand sanitizer”)

“Messiah” is a famous oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel that was first performed in Dublin, Ireland in 1742. The libretto is a text from the King James Bible that was compiled by Handel’s friend Charles Jennens. Not long after he received the libretto from Jennens, Handel took just 24 days to compose the full oratorio. He was obviously on a roll, because Handel started into his next oratorio, “Samson”, just one week after finishing “Messiah”. He completed the first draft of “Samson” within a month.

27 “Top Chef” host Lakshmi : PADMA

Padma Lakshmi is a model from India. She is very much into cooking and has published an award-winning cookbook. Lakshmi is now the host of the American TV show “Top Chef”.

28 Knish seller : DELI

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.

29 __ Morris, “Saved by the Bell” protagonist : ZACK

The sitcom “Saved by the Bell” originally aired from 1989 to 1993. It was based on an earlier sitcom “Good Morning, Miss Bliss”, which was later renamed to “Saved by the Bell: The Junior Years”. There were also two spin-offs: “Saved by the Bell: The college Years” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class”.

31 Award for good plays : OBIE

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

32 Bagel feature : HOLE

The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

42 Cause of restaurant complaints? : SALAD DELAYS (from “salad days”)

One’s salad days are the days of one’s youth, days of carefree exuberance and idealism. The expression “salad days” originated in William Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” as Cleopatra refers to her youthful indiscretions saying:

…My salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood…

45 Intraoffice IT system : LAN

Local area network (LAN)

46 Memo start : IN RE

The term “in re” is Latin, and is derived from “in” (in) and “res” (thing, matter). “In re” literally means “in the matter”, and is used to mean “in regard to” or “in the matter of”.

48 Conventional rubies? : ORTHODOX JEWELS (from “Orthodox Jews”)

Ruby is a precious stone made from the mineral corundum, also called aluminium oxide. The corundum includes some of the element chromium, which results in the red or pink color.

57 20th-century Argentine leader : PERON

Nowadays, President Juan Perón of Argentina is perhaps less well-known than his second wife, Eva Perón of “Evita” fame. Juan and Eva Perón were overthrown in a military coup in 1955, although Juan Perón was returned to power in 1973 after which he served for only nine months before he passed away. Juan was succeeded in office by his third wife, Isabel Perón.

58 Room in Clue : STUDY

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

59 Original “Star Trek” actor : TAKEI

Mr. Hikaru Sulu was played by George Takei in the original “Star Trek” series. Takei has played lots of roles over the years, and is still very active in television. Did you know that he appeared in the 1963 film, “Pt-109”? He played the helmsman steering the Japanese destroyer that ran down John F. Kennedy’s motor torpedo boat. From destroyer helmsman to starship helmsman …

62 Nice way to say yes? : OUI

The French city of Nice is on the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of the country. Although Nice is only the fifth most populous city in France, it is home to the busiest airport outside of Paris. That’s because of all the tourists flocking to the French Riviera. Something described as “à la niçoise” is “of Nice”.

67 A, in Aachen : EINE

Aachen is a city in the very west of Germany, right on the border with Belgium and the Netherlands. In English, we quite often refer to this city by its French name, Aix-la-Chapelle.

74 Shoppe modifier : OLDE

The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc. as in “Ye Olde Shoppe”.

75 Brand mentioned in the Beatles’ “Come Together” : COCA-COLA

“Come Together” is the first track on the 1969 album “Abbey Road”, by the Beatles. John Lennon basically wrote the song at the request of writer Timothy Leary, who wanted a song for his campaign to replace Ronald Reagan as Governor of California. The song lost its sponsor when Leary was imprisoned for possession of marijuana.

78 “I pity the fool” speaker : MR T

Mr. T’s real name is Laurence Tero Tureaud. Mr. T is famous for many things, including the wearing of excessive amounts of jewelry. He started this habit when he was working as a bouncer, wearing jewelry items that had been left behind by customers at a nightclub so that the items might be recognized and claimed. It was also as a bouncer that he adopted the name Mr. T. His catch phrase comes from the movie “Rocky III”. In the film, before he goes up against Rocky Balboa, Mr. T says, “No, I don’t hate Balboa, but I pity the fool”. He parlayed that line into quite a bit of success. He had a reality TV show called “I Pity the Fool”, and produced a motivational video called “Be Somebody … or Be Somebody’s Fool!”.

85 BILLY bookcase sellers : IKEAS

BILLY is a line of bookcases supplied by IKEA since 1979. As of 2017, over 60 million BILLY bookcase units had been sold. The line was named for an IKEA advertising manager, Billy Liljedhal. Liljedhal had made the request for the design of “a proper bookcase just for books”.

96 __ top : TANK

“Tank top” is another one of those terms that always catches me out, as it has a different meaning on each side of the Atlantic. In the US, a tank top is a sleeveless shirt, something we would call a “vest” back in Ireland (and the US “vest” is what we call a “waistcoat”). A tank top in Ireland is a sleeveless sweater, which further adds to the confusion. The name “tank top” is derived from “tank suit”, an old name for a woman’s one-piece bathing suit. The use of “tank” for the bathing suit came from “swimming tank”, an obsolete term used in the 1920s for a swimming pool.

97 Kinshasa’s country, briefly : DRC

Kinshasa is the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The city was formerly known as Léopoldville. Kinshasa is the third largest city in Africa, after Cairo in Egypt and Lagos in Nigeria.

98 Stallone hero putting more film in his camera? : “ROCKY” RELOAD (from “rocky road”)

If ever there was a movie that defined a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing the title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

The flavor of ice cream known as rocky road is made using chocolate ice cream mixed with nuts and marshmallows. The exact origin of the flavor seems to be disputed, but one story is that William Dreyer invented it in 1929, chopping up walnuts and marshmallows with sewing scissors belonging to his wife.

104 Sister of Laertes : OPHELIA

In William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet”, Laertes is the son of Polonius and brother of Ophelia. It is Laertes who kills Hamlet using a poisoned sword..

105 Like yellow bananas : RIPE

The banana is actually a berry, botanically speaking. And, bananas don’t really grow on trees. The “trunk” of the banana plant is in fact a pseudostem. The pseudostem is a false stem comprising rolled bases of leaves, and it can grow to 2 or 3 meters tall.

112 Greenish-blue : TEAL

The beautiful color teal takes its name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

114 Allow to fluctuate, as a currency : UNPEG

When an exchange rate is unpegged, the currencies in question float freely on the market with the rate of exchange being determined by demand for one currency over another. A government might choose to peg its currency with another, fixing the exchange rate. The US dollar is often chosen as the currency to which others are pegged.

117 Type of navel : INNIE

The navel is basically the scar left behind when the umbilical cord is removed from a newborn baby. One interesting use of the umbilicus (navel, belly button) is to differentiate between identical twins, especially when they are very young.

124 Bible book read during Purim : ESTHER

Purim is a festival commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to wipe them out by Haman the Agagite, as recorded in the Book of Esther.

126 Neutral shade : ECRU

The color ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

128 What a broken escalator can serve as, aptly : STAIRS

Escalators have an advantage over elevators in that they can move larger numbers of people in the same time frame. They can also be placed in just about the same physical space that would be needed for a regular staircase. Patents for escalator-type devices were first filed in 1859, but the first working model wasn’t built until 1892 by one Jesse Reno. It was erected alongside a pier in Coney Island, New York, with the second escalator being placed at an entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. Soon after, the Otis elevator company purchased the necessary patents and went into the business.

130 Loafer, e.g. : SHOE

The loafer slip-on shoe dates back to 1939. “Loafer” was originally a brand name introduced by Fortnum and Mason’s store in London. The derivative term “penny loafer” arose in the late fifties or early sixties, although the exact etymology seems unclear.

Down

1 “This can’t be,” in texts : SMH

Shaking my head (SMH)

2 Faithful spring? : LEAP

That would be a leap of faith.

3 Actress Kendrick : ANNA

Anna Kendrick is a marvelous actress whose big break came when she played the sidekick to George Clooney’s character in the very interesting 2009 film “Up in the Air”. Kendrick can sing as well as act, and played a student a cappella singer in the 2012 movie “Pitch Perfect”.

4 Founder of an Eastern religion : BUDDHA

Gautama Buddha was the sage on whose teachings the Buddhist tradition was founded. It is generally believed that the Buddha was born as Siddhartha Gautama in Kapilavastu in present-day Nepal, in about 563 BCE.

5 Euphoria : LA-LA LAND

“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness or a dreamworld.

6 Providers of liquid assets? : IVS

Intravenous (IV) drip

8 Cheese alternative? : SMILE

Photographers often instruct us to say “cheese” to elicit a smile-like expression. Even Japanese photographers use the word “cheese” to achieve the same effect. Bulgarians use the word “zele” meaning “cabbage”. The Chinese say “eggplant”, the Danish “orange”, the Iranians “apple” and many Latin Americans say “whiskey”.

10 “100 Years… 100 Movies” org. : AFI

The American Film Institute (AFI) was founded in 1967 by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). One of the AFI’s more visible programs is the “100 Year Series”, including lists of Best Movies in several categories and a list of the Best Movie Quotes in 100 years of movie-making.

11 Heckle : RAZZ

Originally, the verb “to heckle” meant “to question severely”, and for many years was associated with the public questioning of parliamentary candidates in Scotland. In more recent times, the meaning has evolved into questioning that is less polite and that is directed at stand-up comics.

12 On the briny : ASEA

The briny is the sea, with “brine” meaning “salty water”. The term “briny” was originally used for “tears”.

13 Chain of pubs with beer and video games : BARCADE

Barcade is a chain of bars that provide classic video games and pinball machines for the patrons. “Barcade” is a portmanteau of “bar” and “arcade”.

14 General on a menu : TSO

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

15 Tot toter : STROLLER

The baby carriages that we know as “strollers” over here in North America are more usually referred to “pushchairs” or “buggies” in Britain and Ireland.

16 Peninsula between the Red Sea and Persian Gulf : 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.

24 Personified things in Pixar’s “Inside Out” : EMOTIONS

“Inside Out” is a 2015 Pixar animated feature film. It’s all about a young girl who relocates with her family from Minnesota to San Francisco. The movie’s action is actually set inside the girl’s head, as five personified emotions deal with the changes she has to face. Those emotions are voiced by:

  • Amy Poehler (Joy)
  • Phyllis Smith (Sadness)
  • Lewis Black (Anger)
  • Bill Hader (Fear)
  • Mindy Kaling (Disgust)

33 Money in Münster : EUROS

Münster is a city in the northwestern part of Germany, in the Westphalia region. Münster is noted for being the most bicycle-friendly city in the country with almost 40% of all traffic in the city being cyclists.

38 Zero-star fare : GLOP

Glop is food that’s deemed unappetizing. “Glop” is imitative of the sound of inferior food hitting the plate.

44 “Master of None” co-creator Aziz __ : ANSARI

Aziz Ansari is an actor and comedian from Columbia, South Carolina who is best known for playing Tom Haverford on the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”. Ansari also stars in the Netflix comedy-drama series “Master of None”.

49 Book after Daniel : HOSEA

Hosea was one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible. The Twelve Prophets are also known as the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.

50 Dame Dench : JUDI

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

51 First place : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

52 Musical Lynn contemporary : WYNETTE

Tammy Wynette was a country music singer and songwriter who is perhaps best known for her 1968 hit record “Stand by Your Man”. The following year, Wynette married fellow country artist George Jones, although the couple divorced in 1975.

Singer Loretta Lynn is sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Country Music. Lynn was born in 1932 in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky to a coal miner and his wife, and so famously is also referred to as “the Coal Miner’s Daughter”. Her much younger sister (by 19 years) is the singer Crystal Gayle.

54 Commits a hoops violation : GOALTENDS

Basketball is truly a North American sport. It was created in 1891 by Canadian James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

55 “__ Lang Syne” : AULD

The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve (well, actually in the opening minutes of New Year’s Day). The words were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

56 River to the Mediterranean : NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

60 “The Masked Singer” panelist Jeong : KEN

Ken Jeong is an actor from Detroit who is perhaps best known for playing the gangster Leslie Chow in the “The Hangover” series of films. Jeong isn’t only an actor; he has an M.D. degree and is a licensed physician in California.

“The Masked Singer” is a reality TV show in which masked celebrities compete anonymously in a singing competition. Contestants reveal their identities when they are voted off the show by the audience and a panel of judges. The American version of the show is part of an international “Masked Singer” franchise that originated in South Korea.

61 Able, facetiously : EPT

If one is capable, one might jokingly be described as “ept”, the ostensible opposite of “inept”.

66 Radiohead lead singer/songwriter Thom : YORKE

Radiohead is an alternative rock band from England that formed in 1985. When the band self-released their 2007 studio album “In Rainbows”, it was a big deal for the music industry. Radiohead offered a digital version of the album using a pay-what-you-want pricing model. Reportedly, most fans paid what would be a normal retail price for the download version of the album. That’s not bad, considering the relatively low cost to produce a download compared to the cost of producing a CD.

68 Field of Dreams setting : IOWA

“Field of Dreams” is a fantasy drama about baseball, released in 1989 and starring Kevin Costner. The movie is an adaptation of a 1982 novel titled “Shoeless Joe” by Canadian author W. P. Kinsella. Shoeless Joe Jackson was a real baseball player, and someone associated with the Black Sox Scandal that allegedly affected the outcome of the 1919 World Series. Jackson was portrayed by Ray Liotta in the movie. “Field of Dreams” was also the last film in which Burt Lancaster made an appearance. The baseball stadium that was built for the movie can be visited in Dubuque County, Iowa.

69 Nemesis, e.g. : FOE

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.

70 Late philanthropist Broad : ELI

Eli Broad made his fortune in real estate and was one of the founders of Kaufman and Broad, a construction company that we know these days as KB Homes. Broad is the only person to have created two companies that made the Fortune 500 list (KB Homes and SunAmerica).

71 Like tadpoles : LARVAL

A tadpole is an intermediate stage in the life cycle of some amphibians (like frogs and toads), between embryo and adult. Tadpoles are also known as pollywogs. The term “tadpole” comes from “tadde” meaning “toad” and “pol” meaning “head”.

73 A.G. under Clinton : RENO

Janet Reno was Attorney General (AG) of the US from 1993 to 2001, and part of the Clinton administration. Reno was the second-longest holder of the office, and our first female Attorney General. In 2002, Reno ran for Governor of Florida but failed to win the Democratic nomination. Thereafter she retired from public life, and passed away at the end of 2016.

76 “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actress Hines : CHERYL

Cheryl Hines is perhaps best known for playing Larry David’s wife on the excellent sitcom “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. In 2004, Hines married Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of Robert and Ethel Kennedy.

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” is an improv comedy show aired by HBO that was created and stars Larry David, the creator of “Seinfeld”. As an aside, Larry David sat a few feet from me at the next table in a Los Angeles restaurant a few years ago. I have such a huge claim to fame …

78 Biscuit whose name describes its shape : MILK-BONE

Milk-Bone is a brand of dog biscuit that was introduced in 1908 as “Maltoid”. The treat was renamed to reflect its high content of cow’s milk.

83 Men’s grooming brand : AFTA

Afta is a brand of shaving products in the Mennen range, which is owned by Colgate-Palmolive.

84 Exams for future attys. : LSATS

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

86 Decent-sized lot : ACRE

One acre is equivalent to 43,560 square feet.

92 Racing the deadline : IN A HURRY

Our use of the term “deadline”, to mean “point in time before something must be done”, arose as jargon in the American newspaper industry in the 1920s. During the Civil War, a deadline was a do-not-cross line drawn on the ground in Confederate prisons.

94 Chamber music work : TRIO

In the world of chamber music, a trio often includes a piano. Common forms are:

  • Clarinet-cello-piano
  • Clarinet-viola-piano
  • Clarinet-violin-piano

Chamber music is a style of classical musical that is written for a small group of instruments, as opposed to a full orchestra. That number of players should be able to stage a performance in a “chamber”, traditionally a large room in a palace or other grand residence.

95 Spirited events? : SEANCES

“Séance” is a French word meaning “sitting”. We use the term in English for a sitting in which a spiritualist tries to communicate with the spirits of the dead.

98 Corkscrew pasta : ROTINI

Rotini is a corkscrew-shaped pasta that is often used in pasta salads. Even though “rotini” sounds like it comes from a word meaning “twist, rotate”, the word “rotini” doesn’t exist in Italian other than as the name for the pasta.

100 French fashion house : CHANEL

Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer. I’m no fashionista, but if I had to pick a designer whose clothes I really liked, it would be Chanel. She had a way of creating simpler designs that look so elegant on a woman.

102 Like Beethoven, late in life : DEAF

Famously, and tragically, composer Ludwig van Beethoven started to lose his hearing in his late 20s, and was basically deaf for the last ten years of his life. As a result of his deafness, Beethoven was forced to use conversation books in which others communicated to the composer, while he generally responded verbally. 136 of those books survive, and provide some detailed insight into Beethoven’s life.

110 Ones getting a lot of props? : CAST

We use the word “props” for objects that are used by actors on stage during a play. The term is a shortening of the older term “properties”, which was used with the same meaning up through the 19th century.

111 “At Last” singer James : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

116 Halal cart offering : GYRO

A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).

“Halal” is a term describing an action or object that is permissible under Islamic Law. In particular “halal” is used to describe food that can be consumed. Anything that is not allowed is described as “haram”.

118 Supergirl symbol : ESS

Kara Zor-El is Superman’s cousin, and is also known as Supergirl. Supergirl’s father and Superman’s father were brothers. On Earth, Supergirl uses the name “Linda Lee”.

120 Greek X : CHI

The Greek letter chi is the one that looks like our Roman letter X.

121 Tolstoy title word : WAR

I have to confess that I have tried to read Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” twice in my life, and failed both times (it is l-o-n-g; 1,225 pages in the first published edition). Even though the 1956 movie adaptation runs for 3 1/2 hours, it’s still the easy way out! The film version stars Audrey Hepburn as Natasha Rostova and Henry Fonda as Count Pierre Bezukhov.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Chunk : SLAB
5 Spill stopper : LID
8 Beetle in Egyptian hieroglyphs : SCARAB
14 Old Eurasian rulers : TSARS
19 Many a restaurant website page : MENU
20 Addr. line ending : AVE
21 Brother of Scar : MUFASA
22 Juice box go-with : STRAW
23 Censor of controversial parts of “Messiah”? : HANDEL SANITIZER (from “hand sanitizer”)
26 Hold forth : ORATE
27 “Top Chef” host Lakshmi : PADMA
28 Knish seller : DELI
29 __ Morris, “Saved by the Bell” protagonist : ZACK
31 Award for good plays : OBIE
32 Bagel feature : HOLE
34 Spots : SEES
36 Emergency delivery method : AIRLIFT
38 Family tree woman : GREAT-AUNT
42 Cause of restaurant complaints? : SALAD DELAYS (from “salad days”)
45 Intraoffice IT system : LAN
46 Memo start : IN RE
47 Get around : FINESSE
48 Conventional rubies? : ORTHODOX JEWELS (from “Orthodox Jews”)
53 Choir accompaniment : ORGAN
57 20th-century Argentine leader : PERON
58 Room in Clue : STUDY
59 Original “Star Trek” actor : TAKEI
62 Nice way to say yes? : OUI
63 Stubborn animal : ASS
64 Family room : DEN
65 Group email function : REPLY ALL
67 A, in Aachen : EINE
69 Sign of a cat burglar? : FELINE PRINT (from “fine print”)
74 Shoppe modifier : OLDE
75 Brand mentioned in the Beatles’ “Come Together” : COCA-COLA
77 Golf club part : TOE
78 “I pity the fool” speaker : MR T
79 Word that’s a homophone of its first letter : OWE
80 Willing subjects : HEIRS
82 Melodious : TONAL
85 BILLY bookcase sellers : IKEAS
88 Big dipper : LADLE
90 What people and leopards have in common? : VOWEL OF SILENCE (from “vow of silence”)
93 Gallery event : ART SALE
96 __ top : TANK
97 Kinshasa’s country, briefly : DRC
98 Stallone hero putting more film in his camera? : “ROCKY” RELOAD (from “rocky road”)
102 Research staples : DATABASES
104 Sister of Laertes : OPHELIA
105 Like yellow bananas : RIPE
107 Look for gifts, say : SHOP
108 Green and white : TEAS
109 Almost never : ONCE
112 Greenish-blue : TEAL
114 Allow to fluctuate, as a currency : UNPEG
117 Type of navel : INNIE
119 Enjoy the track meet? : CATCH A FEW RELAYS (from “catch a few rays”)
123 Can’t live without : NEEDS
124 Bible book read during Purim : ESTHER
125 Hardly walking distance : FAR
126 Neutral shade : ECRU
127 Doesn’t do much : IDLES
128 What a broken escalator can serve as, aptly : STAIRS
129 “Go for it!” : TRY!
130 Loafer, e.g. : SHOE

Down

1 “This can’t be,” in texts : SMH
2 Faithful spring? : LEAP
3 Actress Kendrick : ANNA
4 Founder of an Eastern religion : BUDDHA
5 Euphoria : LA-LA LAND
6 Providers of liquid assets? : IVS
7 Out of juice : DEAD
8 Cheese alternative? : SMILE
9 Adorable ones : CUTIES
10 “100 Years… 100 Movies” org. : AFI
11 Heckle : RAZZ
12 On the briny : ASEA
13 Chain of pubs with beer and video games : BARCADE
14 General on a menu : TSO
15 Tot toter : STROLLER
16 Peninsula between the Red Sea and Persian Gulf : ARABIA
17 Sanction : RATIFY
18 Candy store buys : SWEETS
24 Personified things in Pixar’s “Inside Out” : EMOTIONS
25 Sticky home? : NEST
30 Isn’t serious : KIDS
33 Money in Münster : EUROS
35 It may be cracked : SAFE
37 Prepare for new planting, as a garden : RESOIL
38 Zero-star fare : GLOP
39 Not seen often : RARE
40 Spellbound : ENTRANCED
41 On deck : NEXT
43 Upbeat melody : LILT
44 “Master of None” co-creator Aziz __ : ANSARI
49 Book after Daniel : HOSEA
50 Dame Dench : JUDI
51 First place : EDEN
52 Musical Lynn contemporary : WYNETTE
54 Commits a hoops violation : GOALTENDS
55 “__ Lang Syne” : AULD
56 River to the Mediterranean : NILE
60 “The Masked Singer” panelist Jeong : KEN
61 Able, facetiously : EPT
66 Radiohead lead singer/songwriter Thom : YORKE
67 Subj. including the study of extinctions : ECOL
68 Field of Dreams setting : IOWA
69 Nemesis, e.g. : FOE
70 Late philanthropist Broad : ELI
71 Like tadpoles : LARVAL
72 Combine : POOL
73 A.G. under Clinton : RENO
76 “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actress Hines : CHERYL
78 Biscuit whose name describes its shape : MILK-BONE
81 Part for one : SOLO
83 Men’s grooming brand : AFTA
84 Exams for future attys. : LSATS
86 Decent-sized lot : ACRE
87 Brief periods : SECS
89 Summer cabin site : LAKESIDE
91 Sport : WEAR
92 Racing the deadline : IN A HURRY
94 Chamber music work : TRIO
95 Spirited events? : SEANCES
98 Corkscrew pasta : ROTINI
99 Warmed up the crowd : OPENED
100 French fashion house : CHANEL
101 Agitated state : DITHER
102 Like Beethoven, late in life : DEAF
103 Pie fruit : APPLES
106 Pie fruit : PEARS
110 Ones getting a lot of props? : CAST
111 “At Last” singer James : ETTA
113 Split : LEFT
115 A pop : EACH
116 Halal cart offering : GYRO
118 Supergirl symbol : ESS
120 Greek X : CHI
121 Tolstoy title word : WAR
122 Refuse to settle : SUE

23 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 Sep 21, Sunday”

  1. 1 dumb error on 6D… IVS.. Couldn’t see it.

    Started out very slow until I figured out the “EL” routine. My first encounter was HANDEL and of course I didn’t know he was the composer. But I pushed on and the other ELs revealed themselves!!

    Then there was the EPT thing?????

  2. 35:53

    Very slow to catch on to the theme. ORTHODOXJEW(EL)S helped me figure it out. Eventually, the theme helped me figure out VOW(EL)OFSILENCE.

    Lots of changes but the silliest was trying to fit FUSILLI into ROTINI,s space by dropping an L.

  3. 1:16:30 no errors but dead last as usual.
    Not a fan of the clueing in this one…for instance what does a gyro have to do with Islamic food?
    Stay safe😀

    1. Jack, you are not dead last. It took me one hour, twenty-four minutes. Many things I had no idea what the clue even meant or they wanted somebody who starred in something that I’d also never heard of. Yecch.

  4. @Glenn – thanks so much for your complete and encouraging reply!

    Perhaps your best advice (for me, at least) would be NOT to keep looking things up after I’ve looked up one or two. I fall prey to this because I allow myself to get discouraged to easily sometimes. Right now, Saturdays are just too much for me most of the time. I guess I’ll keep hacking away at them …

    Most of the time it’s not the misdirection that gets me (I can usually figure them out), it’s stuff I just don’t know. Perhaps it will just take time.

    I’ve also tried (with some success) “asking” for one letter, rather than looking up a word. Having the entire word is sometimes too much help and one letter sometimes turns the tide for me. I’m not trying to get the “perfect score”, I’m just trying to learn. Do you think this is a workable strategy?

    Again, I really appreciate your taking the time to share.

    Be Well

    1. Sounds good. What I usually do is if I notice nothing’s moving on a puzzle after I try a while, I’ll check the puzzle I have so far and then maybe give myself one clue if I’m not completely off on something. Experience is a good factor on this, so you’ll be surprised if you keep trying at how things start to fall in place. As for stuff I don’t know (you’d be surprised how much I really “don’t know” in these puzzles), you’ll figure out other ways to get there. A lot of times, it’s been me learning little tricks outside of the cluing to get cues as to what things could be.

  5. took me most of the day and still had a glaring error: i.e. instead
    or “replyall” I had “rollcall” which gave me a lot of additional
    boo-boos. Caught onto the theme quite early in the game with
    Handel sanitizer but it didn’t prevent my errors. Dumb!!!

  6. Late to the party with 44:28. Had several redos along the way: LAP>LID, ZACH>ZACK, TEKAI>TAKEI (should’ve known better right off), MELD>POOL, ATRA>AFTA, FLOAT>UNPEG, PEACH>PEARS (pretty sure I’ve never had pears in a pie, but yes to peaches!).

    Clued in to the theme with 48A ORTHODOXJEWELS, and it helped overall due to the large number of themed answers. The near NE corner was the last, and toughest, section to solve with SALADDELAYS running through it. BARCADE is a new concept to me. Took a while to see how VOW(EL)OFSILENCE applied to people and leopards. I was considering the objects, themselves, taking a vow, instead of the word spellings.

  7. I am writing about the Thursday LA Times Crossword that was published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Friday, Sept. 17th.
    *** # 34 Down clue: Silent Speech System: Answer : ASL
    *** Please noted: Speech is NOT equivalent to LANGUAGE. American Sign Language is a bona fide World Language.
    Please respect Deaf culture and its unique language.

    Thank you.

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