LA Times Crossword 5 Sep 21, Sunday

Note about the today’s puzzle (including a spoiler!):
Constructor Brad Wiegmann’s wife Theresa is the granddaughter of Betty Bronson, a silent movie actress who played Peter Pan in the 1924 silent film. Betty settled in Los Angeles and her son Larry became an avid LA Times crossword solver. He passed away last year and this puzzle is in his memory.

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Constructed by: Brad Wiegmann
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Parting Company

Circled letters in themed answers spell out the name of the author JM BARRIE. Themed answers come in pairs. The first PART of one pair element gives the beginning of the name of a JM BARRIE character, and the second part of the other element gives the finish of that name:

  • 23A Longtime ABC News anchor [Hero, 1] : PETER JENNINGS
  • 122A One-hit wonder [Hero 2] : FLASH IN THE PAN (giving PETER PAN)
  • 41A Marvel supersoldier [Villain, 1] : CAPTAIN AMERICA
  • 98A Ineffective pitcher’s fate, in baseball lingo [Villain 2] : GETTING THE HOOK (giving CAPTAIN HOOK)
  • 82A Kids’ building materials [Sidekick 1] : TINKERTOYS
  • 58A Santa signal [Sidekick 2] : SLEIGH BELL (giving TINKER BELL)
  • 85A Groups of problem-solving specialists [Princess 1] : TIGER TEAMS
  • 60A Biblical bloomer [Princess 2] : EASTER LILY (giving TIGER LILY)

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

Bill’s time: 20m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Nuts seen in bars : CASHEWS

The cashew is the seed of the cashew tree. The pulp of the cashew tree fruit (the cashew apple) is also consumed, and is usually processed into a fruit drink or distilled as a liquor.

21 Direct approach : BEELINE

To make a beeline for somewhere or something, one takes a direct route. The term derives from the excellent homing instinct of bees.

23 Longtime ABC News anchor [Hero, 1] : PETER JENNINGS

Peter Jennings carved out a respected and successful career as a broadcast journalist, despite having dropped out of high school. He was a Canadan, born in Toronto, but became the youngest network anchor in US history when he presented “Peter Jennings with the News” on ABC at 26 years of age.

25 “The Odd Couple” couple, e.g. : ROOMIES

“The Odd Couple” is a play by the wonderfully talented Neil Simon that was first performed on Broadway, in 1965. This great play was adapted for the big screen in 1968, famously starring Jack Lemmon (as Felix Unger) and Walter Matthau (as Oscar Madison). The success of the play and the film gave rise to an excellent television sitcom that ran from 1970-1975, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. In 1985, Neil Simon even went so far as to adapt the play for an all-female cast, renaming it “The Female Odd Couple”. I’d like to see that one …

26 Menu selections : ENTREES

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

27 Old Tokyo : EDO

“Edo” is the former name of the Japanese city of Tokyo. Edo was the seat of the Tokugawa shogunate, a feudal regime that ruled from 1603 until 1868. The shogun lived in the magnificent Edo Castle. Some parts of the original castle remain and today’s Tokyo Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan, was built on its grounds.

28 Per __ : ANNUM

The Latin word for year is “annus”. We often see it used in Latin phrases, but usually with a different spelling. In “anno Domini”, the “anno” is the ablative case of “annus” as the phrase means “in the year of the Lord”. Another example is “per annum”, in which “annum” is the accusative case as the literal translation of the phrase is “during the year”.

29 One of eight Yankee World Series victories : SWEEP

Today’s New York Yankees baseball team started out in Baltimore in 1901 as the Orioles. The Orioles moved to New York in 1903 and became the New York Highlanders. The “Yankees” name was adopted officially in 1913.

32 P.O. box item : LTR

Letter (ltr.)

34 Final Four game : SEMI

In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:

  • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
  • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
  • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

37 “Ready Player One” hero Wade __ : WATTS

“Ready Player One” is a 2018 film based on a 2011 sci-fi novel of the same name by Ernest Cline. The movie was directed by Steven Spielberg, and is about a future world in which many humans choose to live life in a virtual reality simulation.

41 Marvel supersoldier [Villain, 1] : CAPTAIN AMERICA

Captain America is a fictional superhero in comics published by Marvel Comics. He is the alter ego of a weak man called Steve Rogers who was given an experimental serum by the US Government during WWII.

47 Asteroids producer : ATARI

I remember being quite addicted to the Atari video arcade game called Asteroids back in the early eighties. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, as Asteroids was Atari’s best selling game of all time.

48 Byzantine architecture features : DOMES

Byzantium was a Greek colony that was centered on what was to become Constantinople, now Istanbul. Legend suggests that there was a king Byzas, who gave his name to the city and later the Byzantine Empire. The Eastern Roman Empire later became known as the Byzantine Empire, right up until the Middle Ages.

49 Mardi Gras city, informally : NOLA

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has the nickname “The Big Easy”. This name might come from the early 1900s when musicians found it relatively “easy” to find work there. The city is also known by the acronym NOLA, standing for New Orleans (NO), Louisiana (LA).

“Mardi Gras” translates from French as “Fat Tuesday”, and gets its name from the practice of eating rich foods on the eve of the fasting season known as Lent. Lent starts on the next day, called Ash Wednesday.

50 Jaye’s “The Crying Game” role : DIL

Jaye Davidson rocketed to fame as an actor when he portrayed transgender woman “Dil” in the excellent 1992 thriller “The Crying Game”. Davidson then had a leading role in 1994’s “Stargate”, playing an alien posing as a god named Ra. He quickly came to hate the celebrity that accompanied his acting career and so retired as an actor and turned to modeling.

53 Third of eight : EARTH

There are several mnemonics used to remember the planets and the order in which they are found in the Solar System. One example is “My Very Easy Method Just Shows Us Nine Planets”, but that doesn’t really work since Pluto was relegated from “planethood” in 2006. The most oft-quoted mnemonic for the eight planets is “My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos”. Given the relegation of Pluto, I kind of like “Many Very Educated Men Just Screwed Up Nature”.

58 Santa signal [Sidekick 2] : SLEIGH BELL (giving TINKER BELL)

The notion of Santa landing in his sleigh on the roofs of houses originated in the celebrated 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

Tinker Bell is a fairy in the “Peter Pan” story by J. M. Barrie. “Tink” is a minor character in the original play and novel, but evolved into a major character in the many, many film and television adaptations of the tale.

60 Biblical bloomer [Princess 2] : EASTER LILY (giving TIGER LILY)

The Easter lily has distinctive trumpet-shaped, white flowers. The plant gets its name from its use as a symbol in Christian traditions, synbolizing the resurrection of Christ at Easter.

Tiger Lily is a character appearing in the 1904 play “Peter Pan” by JM Barrie. She is the daughter of the chief of the Piccanniny tribe of Native Americans who live in Neverland. Tiger Lily is besotted with Peter, and jealous of Wendy and Tinker Bell.

62 Physical exam letters : LDL

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is one of the compounds responsible for transporting fats around the body. When LDL is combined with cholesterol it can be referred to as “bad cholesterol”. This is because LDL actually transports cholesterol into the inner walls of blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis.

64 Org. for netmen : ATP

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is an organization that looks out for the interests of male tennis professionals. The equivalent organization for women is the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

66 Regional flora and fauna : BIOTA

The biota of a region is the total collection of flora and fauna found there.

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

74 Blowup aid : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

79 Sch. with the mascot SuperFrog : TCU

The sports teams of Texas Christian University (TCU) are known as the Horned Frogs. The name is a reference to the Texas horned lizard, which is also known as the “horned frog”. The school mascot used to be called “Addy the All-American Frog, but in 1979 was renamed to “SuperFrog”.

82 Kids’ building materials [Sidekick 1] : TINKERTOYS

The Tinkertoy Construction Set was introduced in 1914. You can buy plastic and wooden Tinkertoy sets to this day.

88 Film noir plot device : AMNESIA

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

92 Robin Roberts’ show, initially : GMA

Robin Roberts has been the anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” (GMA) since 2005, prior to which she was a sportscaster on ESPN for 15 years.

97 Toast starter : HERE’S …

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

98 Ineffective pitcher’s fate, in baseball lingo [Villain 2] : GETTING THE HOOK (giving CAPTAIN HOOK)

To get the hook is to be pulled off a particular job or task.

Captain Hook is the bad guy in “Peter Pan”, the famous play by J. M. Barrie. Hook is Peter Pan’s sworn enemy, as Pan had cut off Hook’s hand causing it to be replaced by a “hook”. It is implied in the play that Hook attended Eton College, just outside London. Hook’s last words are “Floreat Etona”, which is Eton College’s motto. Barrie openly acknowledged that the Hook character is based on Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab from the novel “Moby Dick”.

104 Org. concerned with flight risks : TSA

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

108 Yankee quipper? : BERRA

Yogi Berra is regarded by many as the greatest catcher ever to play in Major League Baseball, and has to be America’s most celebrated “author” of malapropisms. Here are some greats:

  • It ain’t over till it’s over.
  • 90% of the game is half mental.
  • Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.
  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • It’s déjà vu all over again.
  • Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.
  • A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

111 Old AT&T rival : GTE

GTE was a rival to AT&T, the largest of the independent competitors to the Bell System. GTE merged with Bell Atlantic in 2000 to form the company that we know today as Verizon. Verizon made some high-profile acquisitions over the years, including MCI in 2005 and AOL in 2015.

122 One-hit wonder [Hero 2] : FLASH IN THE PAN (giving PETER PAN)

The flash pan of a muzzle-loaded gun is a small shelf found right next to the touch hole. Gunpowder placed on the flash pan is ignited, and the resulting flame passes through the touch hole to set off the propellant in the barrel, hence firing the gun. Sometimes the ignition fails to create sufficient flame into the touch hole, resulting in just a “flash in the pan”. By the late 1800s, the term “flash in the pan” came to describe any failure after a showy start.

125 Pip’s love interest in “Great Expectations” : ESTELLA

The novel “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens is written in the first person through the eyes of the hero of the piece, a young orphan boy named Pip. Pip’s love interest is Estella Haversham, an orphan who was raised in a wealthy family.

127 Nancy Drew series author : KEENE

The “Nancy Drew” mystery stories were produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. The founder of the Syndicate hired a team of writers to produce the “Nancy Drew” novels, but listed the author of each book as the fictional Carolyn Keene.

130 Oscar winner Redmayne : EDDIE

English actor Eddie Redmayne played mainly supporting roles, such as Marius Pontmercy in 2012’s “Les Misérables”, until he wowed the world portraying Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything”. A few years later, Redmayne played Lili Elbe in “The Danish Girl”, and then Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.

Down

1 Darth Vader accessory : CAPE

Darth Vader is (to me) the most colorful antagonist in the “Star Wars” universe. Born as Anakin “Ani” Skywalker, he was corrupted by the Emperor Palpatine, and turned to “the Dark Side”. In the original films, Darth Vader was portrayed by English bodybuilder David Prowse, and voiced by actor James Earl Jones. Jones asked that he go uncredited for the first two “Star Wars” films, feeling that his contributions were insufficient to warrant recognition. I disagree …

2 John Irving’s “A Prayer for __ Meany” : OWEN

“A Prayer for Owen Meany” is a novel by John Irving that was first published in 1989. Although Irving’s work is an independent story, it is written as a homage to “The Tin Drum” by Günter Grass.

3 “The Simpsons” creator Groening : MATT

Matt Groening is a cartoonist. He created two successful animated shows for television, namely “The Simpsons” and “Futurama” (neither of which I really appreciate!).

4 Oktoberfest quaff : BIER

Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival in Munich that actually starts in September. About six million people attend every year, making it the largest fair in the world. I’ve attended twice, and it really is a remarkable party …

8 Messi’s uniform number : TEN

Lionel “Leo” Messi is a soccer player from Argentina. Messi was awarded FIFA’s Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) award from 2009 to 2013. The Ballon d’Or is presented to the player who is considered the best in the world in the prior year.

9 Nastase of tennis : ILIE

I think that Ilie Nastase was the most entertaining tennis player of the 1970s, the days of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. No matter how much pressure there was in a match, Nastase always had time to share a joke with the crowd. After retiring from the sport, he had a few novels published (in French) during the eighties. Then Nastase went into politics, making an unsuccessful run for the mayorship of Bucharest in 1996. He made a successful run for the Romanian Senate though, and was elected senator in 2014.

11 Luanda’s land : ANGOLA

Luanda is the capital city of Angola. It is a large seaport that was founded by the Portuguese in 1576. For centuries, Luanda served as the main center of the slave trade from Africa to the Portuguese colony of Brazil.

12 Guitarist Paul : LES

Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

13 Food wrapped in silk : CORN

The thread-like fibers that make up the tuft on an ear of corn is known as “corn silk”. The fibers are the female parts of the plant. Pollen from the tassel at the top of the plant lands on the fibers, which are actually fine tubes. The pollen travels down the tube, where fertilization occurs. Each fertilization results in the development of a kernel of corn.

14 Soon, to a bard : ANON

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

16 Rapper Stanley Burrell, familiarly : HAMMER

Rapper MC Hammer (aka Hammer and Hammertime) was born Stanley Kirk Burrell, and was very popular in the 80s and 90s. Being around that early, MC Hammer is considered to be one of the forefathers of rap. Nowadays, MC Hammer is a preacher, and uses the initials MC to stand for “Man of Christ”. If you are so inclined, you can learn a little about Hammer and his family life by watching past episodes of the reality TV show “Hammertime”, which aired in 2009.

17 Prefix with Pen : EPI-

EpiPen is a brand of epinephrine auto-injector. An EpiPen delivers a measured dose of epinephrine, which is a common treatment for an extreme allergic reaction.

19 H.S. bigwigs : SRS

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

24 Yeshiva grad : JEW

In the Jewish tradition, a yeshiva is an educational institution focusing on the study of sacred texts.

28 Florence’s river : ARNO

The Arno is the principal river in the Tuscany region of Italy, and passes through the cities of Florence and Pisa. Famously the Arno flooded in 1966, the worst flood in the region for centuries. There were numerous deaths and extensive destruction of priceless art treasures, particularly in Florence.

Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region in Italy. Something from or related to Florence is described as “Florentine”. The city is known as “Firenze” in Italian.

31 Violinist __ Frank : PAMELA

Pamela Frank is a violinist from New York City. She comes from an extremely talented musical family, and is the daughter of pianists Claude Frank and Lilian Kallir.

33 Soldier’s helmet : TIN HAT

The helmet worn by British and American soldiers for much of WWI was known colloquially as a “tin hat”, and more formally as a “Brodie helmet”. Inventor John Leopold Brodie patented the design in 1915 in London. The helmet was pressed from a single sheet of steel, lined with leather and included a leather chin strap.

35 Place for a slam dunk : MIDAIR

In basketball, a player makes a slam dunk by jumping up and powering the ball downward into the basket with his or her hands over the rim. The term “slam dunk” was coined by Chick Hearn, an announcer for the L.A. Lakers. The NBA even holds an annual Slam Dunk Contest.

37 Cola __ : WARS

“Cola Wars” is a phrase used to describe the competing marketing campaigns of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Coke is winning …

38 Reef formation : ATOLL

An atoll is a coral island that is shaped in a ring that encloses a lagoon. There is still some debate as to how an atoll forms, but a theory proposed by Charles Darwin while on his famous voyage aboard HMS Beagle still holds sway. Basically, an atoll was once a volcanic island that had subsided and fallen into the sea. The coastline of the island is home to coral growth which persists even as the island continues to subside inside the circling coral reef.

42 Sounds of thunder : PEALS

The word “thunder” precedes the word “lightning” in the phrase “thunder and lightning”. However, thunder comes after lighting in reality, at least to the observer. The observer sees the flash of lightning and then seconds later hears the crash of thunder. That’s because light travels faster than sound.

43 Original Dungeons & Dragons co. : TSR

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a complex role-playing game (RPG) introduced in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules Incorporated (TSR). Dungeons & Dragons was probably the first of the modern role-playing games to be developed, and the most successful. It is still played by lots of people today, including my youngest son …

45 Nutmeg spice : MACE

The fruit of the nutmeg tree yields two very different spices. What we call “nutmeg” comes from the seed of the tree. “Mace” is the dried covering of the seed.

46 Synthetic resin used in paint : ALKYD

Alkyd paints are also known as “oil-based” paints. They are an alternative to “latex-based” paints.

48 Budding star’s big moment : DEBUT

“Début” is a French word meaning “first appearance”. It was originally used to describe the first stroke in a game of billiards, before entering the language in a more general sense.

52 Former Labor secretary Elaine : CHAO

When President George W. Bush appointed Elaine Chao as Secretary of Labor, he made a bit of history as Chao became the first Chinese American in history to hold a cabinet post. It turned out that Chao became the only cabinet member to hold her post for President Bush’s full eight years in office. In 1993, Chao married Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader of the US Senate.

54 Something for two, in song : TEA

“Tea for Two” is a 1924 song that became popular when it was included in the 1925 stage musical “No, No, Nanette”. The phrase “tea for two” dates back to the 1700s when it was used by street vendors touting the price of tea, and was not a reference to “tea, enough for two people”. The original “tea for two” was a reference to a price reduction for a cup of tea, from thrupence (three pence) to tuppence (two pence).

56 53-Across, to Merkel : ERDE
(53A Third of eight : EARTH)

The formidable politician Angela Merkel was first elected Chancellor of Germany, the country’s head of state, in 2005. She is the first female German Chancellor. When she chaired the G8 in 2007 she became only the second woman to do so, after the UK’s Margaret Thatcher. Merkel grew up in East Germany under Communist rule.

59 Terpsichore : dance :: __ : love poetry : ERATO

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

61 Julep garnish : SPRIG

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

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

67 Model Sastre : INES

Inés Sastre is a supermodel and actress from Spain. She is a smart cookie, having studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, and speaking French , English and Italian, as well as her native Spanish.

69 NBAer-cum-rap star : O’NEAL

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality shows: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

70 __ libre: poetry form : VERS

Vers libre is poetry with an open form, a style that tends to follow the natural rhythm of speech. The style originated in 19th-century France, with “vers libre” translating as “free verse”.

71 Immortal football coach Amos Alonzo __ : STAGG

Amos Alonzo Stagg was an athlete and coach whose talents extended across a number of sports. He was inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Basketball Hall of Fame.

72 Last Oscars host (2018) : KIMMEL

Jimmy Kimmel is the host of the late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Kimmel also co-hosted “The Man Show” and my personal favorite, “Win Ben Stein’s Money”. Kimmel appeared on the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” in 2020, when he discovered that he was a cousin of Martha Stewart!

75 Lorelei et al. : NYMPHS

Lorelei is the name of a legendary mermaid or nymph who lured fishermen by singing a beautiful song. Lorelei’s aim was to have the fishermen steer their boats onto rocks lurking beneath the water’s surface.

76 Chinese culinary general : 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.

77 Note taker : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

80 Capital on the Nile : CAIRO

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.

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.

81 Brown shade : UMBER

Umber is an earthy, brown shade. The word “umber” originally described a pigment made from earth found in Umbria, a region in central Italy. In its natural form, the pigment is referred to as “raw umber”. The heated form of the pigment has a more intense color and is known as “burnt umber”.

83 “Knives Out” filmmaker Johnson : RIAN

Filmmaker Rian Johnson wrote and directed quite a few major films, including “Looper” (2012), “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) and “Knives Out” (2019).

“Knives Out” is an intriguing murder mystery film released in 2019. There’s a great cast including Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette and Christopher Plummer. I really enjoyed this one, partly because it’s a clever, contemporary take on a classic whodunit movie …

84 Blue __: Dory’s species : TANG

Pixar’s 2016 animated feature “Finding Dory” is a sequel to the megahit film “Finding Nemo”. “Finding Dory” seems to have built on the success of its predecessor and had the highest-grossing opening weekend ever in North America for an animated movie.

86 Knickknack : TCHOTCHKE

“Tchotchke” is a slang term meaning “cheap, showy trinket”. It came into English from a Slavic source via Yiddish.

96 ’50s prez : IKE

When the future president was growing up, the Eisenhowers used the nickname “Ike” for all seven boys in the family, as “Ike” was seen as an abbreviation for the family name. “Big Ike” was Edgar, the second oldest boy. “Little/Young Ike” was Dwight, who was the third son born. Dwight had no sisters.

101 “Peaceful Easy Feeling” group, with “The” : EAGLES

The Eagles band formed in 1971, with the founding members being Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. Frey and Henley were hired as session musicians by Linda Ronstadt. The four then played live together backing Ronstadt in a gig at Disneyland in 1971, and recorded their debut album together in England the following year.

106 Ed with Emmys : ASNER

Ed Asner is most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and on the spin-off drama “Lou Grant”. Off-screen Asner is noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When “Lou Grant” was cancelled in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact, one of Asner’s activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever) found that his show “WKRP in Cincinnati” was also canceled … on the very same day.

110 Old cereal box stats : RDAS

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

113 __ perpetua: Idaho motto : ESTO

“Esto perpetua” is the Latin phrase meaning, “Let it be perpetual”. It is used as the motto of a number of groups, as well as the state of Idaho. The words are attributed to the theologian Paolo Sarpi (Fra Paolo), his last words, a wish for his native Venice, “let it be perpetual”.

115 Ready to drive : TEED

That would be golf.

116 Slanted page : OP-ED

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

117 Hindu princess : RANI

A ranee (also “rani”) is an Indian queen or princess, and the female equivalent of a raja.

Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.

118 Old dagger : SNEE

“Snick or snee” is the name given to cut and thrust while fighting with a knife. The phrase is rooted in a pair of Dutch words. The expression gave its name to “snickersnee” (sometimes just “snee”), a term describing a light sword-like knife.

119 Eldest of the “Little Women” : MEG

“Little Women” is a novel written by American author Louisa May Alcott. The quartet of “little women” comprises Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March. Jo is a tomboy, the main character in the story, and is based on Alcott herself.

120 El Al’s home: Abbr. : ISR

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. El Al is known for its high levels of security, both on the ground and in the air. Reportedly, the airline’s passenger aircraft have been operating with anti-missile technology for several years.

121 Metro stop: Abbr. : STA

The Paris Métro is the busiest underground transportation system in western Europe. The network carries about 4.5 million passengers a day, which is about the same ridership as the New York City Subway. The system took its name from the company that originally operated it, namely “La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris”, which was shortened to “Métro”. The term “Metro” was then adopted for similar systems in cities all over the world.

122 Renaissance artist __ Angelico : FRA

Fra Angelico was an Italian Renaissance artist. The name we use for him in English translates as “Angelic friar”. His birth name was Guido di Pietro.

123 __ lane : HOV

In some parts of the country, one sees high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. Out here in California we refer to them as carpool lanes.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Gadgets with teeth : COMBS
6 Most favorable : OPTIMAL
13 Nuts seen in bars : CASHEWS
20 Look forward to : AWAIT
21 Direct approach : BEELINE
22 Theoretically : ON PAPER
23 Longtime ABC News anchor [Hero, 1] : PETER JENNINGS
25 “The Odd Couple” couple, e.g. : ROOMIES
26 Menu selections : ENTREES
27 Old Tokyo : EDO
28 Per __ : ANNUM
29 One of eight Yankee World Series victories : SWEEP
32 P.O. box item : LTR
34 Final Four game : SEMI
37 “Ready Player One” hero Wade __ : WATTS
41 Marvel supersoldier [Villain, 1] : CAPTAIN AMERICA
47 Asteroids producer : ATARI
48 Byzantine architecture features : DOMES
49 Mardi Gras city, informally : NOLA
50 Jaye’s “The Crying Game” role : DIL
51 Novel category : ROMANCE
53 Third of eight : EARTH
55 Basic bruise treatment : ICE PACK
58 Santa signal [Sidekick 2] : SLEIGH BELL (giving TINKER BELL)
60 Biblical bloomer [Princess 2] : EASTER LILY (giving TIGER LILY)
62 Physical exam letters : LDL
63 Mystiques : AURAS
64 Org. for netmen : ATP
65 Had the nerve : DARED
66 Regional flora and fauna : BIOTA
68 Wanders about : ROVES
71 Convenient, like some winter resorts : SKI-IN
74 Blowup aid : TNT
77 Courage : SPINE
79 Sch. with the mascot SuperFrog : TCU
82 Kids’ building materials [Sidekick 1] : TINKERTOYS
85 Groups of problem-solving specialists [Princess 1] : TIGER TEAMS
88 Film noir plot device : AMNESIA
89 Types : MODES
91 Attribute : ASCRIBE
92 Robin Roberts’ show, initially : GMA
93 Take __: snooze : A NAP
95 Up to : UNTIL
97 Toast starter : HERE’S …
98 Ineffective pitcher’s fate, in baseball lingo [Villain 2] : GETTING THE HOOK (giving CAPTAIN HOOK)
102 Nose wrinklers : ODORS
103 Common stained glass element : LEAD
104 Org. concerned with flight risks : TSA
105 “… to say the __” : LEAST
108 Yankee quipper? : BERRA
111 Old AT&T rival : GTE
114 Economic divisions : SECTORS
119 Lost for now : MISLAID
122 One-hit wonder [Hero 2] : FLASH IN THE PAN (giving PETER PAN)
125 Pip’s love interest in “Great Expectations” : ESTELLA
126 Put back : RESTORE
127 Nancy Drew series author : KEENE
128 Rice and wheat : GRASSES
129 Invite to one’s home : ASK OVER
130 Oscar winner Redmayne : EDDIE

Down

1 Darth Vader accessory : CAPE
2 John Irving’s “A Prayer for __ Meany” : OWEN
3 “The Simpsons” creator Groening : MATT
4 Oktoberfest quaff : BIER
5 Freaking out : STRESSING
6 Too big for one’s own good : OBESE
7 Script writer : PEN
8 Messi’s uniform number : TEN
9 Nastase of tennis : ILIE
10 It’s often made up in advance : MIND
11 Luanda’s land : ANGOLA
12 Guitarist Paul : LES
13 Food wrapped in silk : CORN
14 Soon, to a bard : ANON
15 Union member? : SPOUSE
16 Rapper Stanley Burrell, familiarly : HAMMER
17 Prefix with Pen : EPI-
18 Like a few hours after midnight : WEE
19 H.S. bigwigs : SRS
24 Yeshiva grad : JEW
28 Florence’s river : ARNO
30 Friendly opening? : ECO-
31 Violinist __ Frank : PAMELA
33 Soldier’s helmet : TIN HAT
35 Place for a slam dunk : MIDAIR
36 Result of a drip, at times : ICICLE
37 Cola __ : WARS
38 Reef formation : ATOLL
39 Got under control : TAMED
40 Off-road vehicle : TRAIL BIKE
42 Sounds of thunder : PEALS
43 Original Dungeons & Dragons co. : TSR
44 Touched down : ALIT
45 Nutmeg spice : MACE
46 Synthetic resin used in paint : ALKYD
48 Budding star’s big moment : DEBUT
52 Former Labor secretary Elaine : CHAO
54 Something for two, in song : TEA
56 53-Across, to Merkel : ERDE
57 Wasted : PLASTERED
59 Terpsichore : dance :: __ : love poetry : ERATO
61 Julep garnish : SPRIG
67 Model Sastre : INES
69 NBAer-cum-rap star : O’NEAL
70 __ libre: poetry form : VERS
71 Immortal football coach Amos Alonzo __ : STAGG
72 Last Oscars host (2018) : KIMMEL
73 Like talent, many say : INNATE
75 Lorelei et al. : NYMPHS
76 Chinese culinary general : TSO
77 Note taker : STENO
78 Energetic type : PISTOL
80 Capital on the Nile : CAIRO
81 Brown shade : UMBER
83 “Knives Out” filmmaker Johnson : RIAN
84 Blue __: Dory’s species : TANG
86 Knickknack : TCHOTCHKE
87 Cong. meeting : SESS
90 “Boy, am I dumb!” : DUH!
94 Encouraging word? : ATTA
96 ’50s prez : IKE
99 They may be reserved : TABLES
100 Core values : IDEALS
101 “Peaceful Easy Feeling” group, with “The” : EAGLES
106 Ed with Emmys : ASNER
107 Matching pair : SET
109 Infuriate : RILE
110 Old cereal box stats : RDAS
112 Piece of work : TASK
113 __ perpetua: Idaho motto : ESTO
115 Ready to drive : TEED
116 Slanted page : OP-ED
117 Hindu princess : RANI
118 Old dagger : SNEE
119 Eldest of the “Little Women” : MEG
120 El Al’s home: Abbr. : ISR
121 Metro stop: Abbr. : STA
122 Renaissance artist __ Angelico : FRA
123 __ lane : HOV
124 Wrath : IRE

31 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Sep 21, Sunday”

  1. Fun puzzle with a good theme, and challenging without being frustrating.

    I was left with one blank square though, because I just couldn’t remember the name of the “Crying Game” character, and I had no idea about the synthetic paint resin.

  2. This puzzle would’ve been fun if its answers had included a MUCH greater number of people, places, products and other proper nouns. Too many (yawn) words and not nearly enough names, if you ask me.

  3. Just too many names of people I never heard of. 26:27, DNF: about 14 left unfilled, mostly in the center left.

    Just POOR.

  4. Not familiar with Tiger Teams. Messed that whole area up. Spunk instead of spine. Syrup instead of Sprig, etc. Frustrating!

  5. 45:19 2 lookups, 1 error because ONTIL seemed like a perfectly reasonable cross with DOH!

    I figured out the Peter Pan characters, but only got as far as BERRIJAM before giving up on the anagram. So close!

  6. Yesterday’s puzzle 3D used the wrong word. Biannual means twice a year. Biennial means every other year. Can you imagine a senate race twice a year?

  7. 29ish minutes, 6 (!) errors, had ROAMS instead of ROVES (I should have caught that the M was incorrect but didn’t bother reading the down clue) & GTI instead of GTE.
    A cool theme but wasted in this puzzle I think – not too many people will actually make use of the theme.

  8. A quick solve for Sunday – 26:10 with no errors or lookups. Rather close to Bill’s time!

    Had no trouble with the theme once I focused on the annotated clues’ structures with answers like BELL, HOOK, and LILY.

    Had to change GEARS>COMBS, MASK>CAPE, EFF>ECO, ONEIL>ONEAL, OPUS>TASK. The SE corner was the last area to fill in, largely due to TCHOTCHKE.

  9. Took a while. No errors. The theme, though cute , didn’t seem to add to the solve for me anyway. I’m sure the crossword writer had a tough time putting it together but it doesn’t seem to add value to solving anything.

    I’ve never heard a sportscaster use the phrase “getting the hook”???

  10. I was stuck for an inordinate amount of time in the NE corner for no particularly good reason. Just couldn’t see what the clues were trying to point me to. Finally got “spouse” for 15 Down and that unlocked the rest of that section. No final errors but it’s a good thing I never time myself because I’d have need a Geologic clock that measures in eons.

  11. Tough Sunday for me; took 1:04:21 with several errors in the NE and the W section with STAGG, KIMMEL and RIAN (none of which I knew). Didn’t know HAMMER (although I know of him, just not his given name) and SPOUSE just didn’t come to me. Also didn’t know the W in WATTS/WAR.

    Other than that it was kind of fun…

    And, your MLB update: The Giants played some team (??) dressed like movers or maybe smurfs 🙂 and retook the lead in all of baseball. I had them lift my couch out to the curb after they lost the game. Next stop: Denver, against Nonny’s team!!

  12. re Messi’s uniform number – It’s true he wears the #10 when playing for Argentina. But on his club uniform he switched from the #10 he wore at Barcelona to #30 now that he plays for Paris Saint-Germain, where his friend Neymar wears the #10.

  13. This one had some really hard sections. I couldn’t finish it. Examples: 71A SKIIN ? And 66A BIUTA (new word to me). Also 68A had ROAMS instead of ROVES. Did not know 70D VERS and had never heard of TIGER TEAMS before. Also 35D MIDAIR was a weird clue and 50A is obscure name. I felt like the puzzle was trying too much to be difficult.

  14. Didn’t do this one until Monday. Had one error box i.e. 2 error
    words. Had Batts and Bars for 37A and 37D. I did look up
    Hammer…it was either that or give up the whole thing.

  15. The band is actually named “Eagles”, not “The Eagles”. Band members have repeatedly said in interview there’s no “The” because that would be pretentious.

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