LA Times Crossword 17 Oct 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Robert E. Lee Morris
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Scrapper’s Delight

Themed answers each include a METAL as a hidden word, although the name of that metal has been RECYCLED, anagrammed:

  • 104A Scrapyard commodity … and what’s hidden in the nine other longest puzzle answers : RECYCLED METAL
  • 23A Attorneys’ firm offering : LEGAL SERVICES (hiding recycled “SILVER”)
  • 29A With no one behind you : DEAD LAST (hiding recycled “LEAD”)
  • 38A Potential soldier : ARMY RECRUIT (hiding recycled “MERCURY”)
  • 54A Drumstick : CHICKEN LEG (hiding recycled “NICKEL”)
  • 72A Provider of much change : COIN RETURN (hiding recycled “IRON”)
  • 87A Chatty Cathy is one : TALKING DOLL (hiding recycled “GOLD”)
  • 95A Mid-20th-century First and Second Lady : PAT NIXON (hiding recycled “TIN”)
  • 37D NWA’s debut single : PANIC ZONE (hiding recycled “ZINC”)
  • 50D Coal train component : HOPPER CAR (hiding recycled “COPPER”)

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

Bill’s time: 14m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Check alternative : PAYPAL

PayPal is an e-commerce business that has been around since the year 2000, born out of a merger of two older companies: Confinity and X.com. PayPal performs payment processing for online vendors. The company was so successful that it was the first of the beleaguered dot.com companies to successfully complete an IPO after the attacks of 9/11. Then in 2002, PayPal was bought by eBay for a whopping $1.5 billion.

7 Sacred beetle : 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.

13 Tijuana pair : DOS

In Spanish, “uno y uno” (one plus one) makes “dos” (two).

Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

16 It can be natural : GAS

Natural gas that is piped into our homes is naturally odorless. A tiny amount of odorant is added to assist in the detection of leaks. A common additive is tert-Butylthiol, which is said to impart the smell of rotten eggs.

19 Creed in Rocky films : APOLLO

In the “Rocky” series of films, Rocky Balboa was given the ring name “The Italian Stallion”. Rocky’s first real opponent was Apollo Creed, who was known in the ring as “The Master of Disaster” and “The Count of Monte Fisto”.

20 Winter melon : CASABA

A casaba is a type of honeydew melon that ripens relatively late in the season, and so is classed as a winter melon. The casaba takes its name from the Turkish city of Kasaba, from where the fruit was imported into America in the late 1800s.

21 MPG-testing org. : EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) routinely estimates the expected miles per gallon (mpg) for vehicles.

22 Wordsworth work : ODE

The great English poet William Wordsworth is intrinsically linked with the Lake District in the north of England, where he lived from much of his life. The Lake District is a beautiful part of the country, and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere a couple of times, where Wordsworth lived with his sister Dorothy …

23 Attorneys’ firm offering : LEGAL SERVICES (hiding recycled “SILVER”)

The chemical symbol for the element silver is “Ag”, which comes from the Latin word for silver “argentum”.

25 “Day __”: 1965 hit : TRIPPER

The Beatles released the song “Day Tripper” at the end of 1965 for the Christmas market. The flip-side featured the song “We Can Work It Out”, and the record was the first one ever to be described as “double A-side”.

29 With no one behind you : DEAD LAST (hiding recycled “LEAD”)

Lead is a heavy metallic element with the symbol Pb (standing for “plumbum”, Latin for “lead”). Although lead proves to be a very useful metal, it is very toxic and is poisonous if absorbed into the body.

30 Capital NW of Boston : OTTAWA

Ottawa is the second-largest city in the Province of Ontario (after Toronto) and is the capital city of Canada. The name “Ottawa” comes from an Algonquin word “adawe”, which means “to trade”.

34 Pooch in pictures : ASTA

Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing Up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

38 Potential soldier : ARMY RECRUIT (hiding recycled “MERCURY”)

Mercury is the only metallic element that is a liquid at room temperature. Mercury used to be known as “hydrargyrum”, from the Greek “hydr-” meaning “water” and “argyros” meaning “silver”. As a result, Mercury’s modern chemical symbol is “Hg” (for “Hydrargyrum”).

42 Storage unit : BYTE

In the world of computing, a bit is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of “bits” (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. The prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, and so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and gigabyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.

45 Prefix with gender : TRANS-

A transgender person is someone with a gender identity that is different from that assigned at birth.

46 Sorento or Soul : KIA

The Sorento is an SUV made by Kia since 2002. I’ve always assumed that the car is named for the Italian city, although the spelling is different (“Sorrento”).

The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …

47 Cocktail party snacks : CANAPES

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

48 Tommy who teamed with Cheech : CHONG

The comedy duo Cheech & Chong are made up of Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong. Cheech and Chong worked together from 1971 to 1985, and have been back working together again since 2002. A lot of the duo’s comedy was based on their being stoned on cannabis.

49 Queen’s “__ One Bites the Dust” : ANOTHER

“Another One Bites the Dust” is a hit song released in 1980 by Queen. Written by bass guitarist John Deacon, it was destined to become the band’s best-selling single.

53 “Cool, dude!” : I DIG IT

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

54 Drumstick : CHICKEN LEG (hiding recycled “NICKEL”)

The whitish metal we know as “nickel” was given its name by Swedish mineralogist Axel von Cronstedt in 1754. The name he chose was an abbreviated version of “kopparnickel”, the Swedish for “copper-colored ore”.

56 Buckeyes of the Big Ten : OSU

Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus was founded back in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The athletic teams of OSU are called the Buckeyes, named after the state tree of Ohio. In turn the buckeye tree gets its name from the appearance of its fruit, a dark nut with a light patch thought to resemble a “buck’s eye”.

58 Sham sawbones : QUACK

A quack is a person who pretends to have knowledge that he or she does not in fact possess. The term especially applies to someone fraudulently pretending to have medical skills. Our modern word is an abbreviation of “quacksalver”, an archaic term with Dutch roots that translates as “hawker of salve”, Back in the Middle Ages, quacksalvers would shout out (quack) as they sold their pseudo-medical wares.

“Sawbones” is a slang term meaning “surgeon”.

60 Church recess : APSE

The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

61 Bird voiced by Rowan Atkinson in “The Lion King” : ZAZU

In “The Lion King” series of movies, Zazu is a bird, a red-billed hornbill. From movie to movie, the voice actors portraying Zazu have changed. Rowan Atkinson played Zazu in the original film.

Rowan Atkinson is an English comedian and actor who is most famous for playing the title role in the comedy shows “Mr. Bean” and “Blackadder”. In the world of movies, Atkinson had memorable supporting performances (in my opinion) in the Bond film “Never Say Never Again”, and in the romcoms “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Love Actually”. A very talented man …

66 Navy NCOs : CPOS

A Chief Petty Officer (CPO) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the Navy (USN) and Coast Guard (USCG). The “Petty” is derived from the French word “petit” meaning “small”.

67 Oodles : A LOT

It’s thought that the term “oodles”, meaning “a lot”, comes from “kit and caboodle”.

68 Thor Heyerdahl craft : RA I

Thor Heyerdahl made voyages on vessels called “Ra” and “Ra II”. There really wasn’t a “Ra I” as such …

Thor Heyerdahl was a noted Norwegian adventurer famous for his Kon-Tiki expedition in which he sailed a raft over 4,000 miles from South America to the Tuamotu Archipelago in the South Pacific. He also sailed a boat made from papyrus called Ra II, from Morocco across the Atlantic Ocean to Barbados.

69 Auspices : AEGIS

Someone is said to be under the aegis (also “egis”) of someone else if that other person provides protection, or perhaps sponsorship. The word “aegis” comes from the Greek word for a goat (“aigis”). The idea is that the goatskin shield or breastplate, worn by both Zeus and Athena, gave some measure of protection.

71 “Little Birds” author Anaïs : NIN

“Little Birds” is a collection of erotic short stories by Anaïs Nin that was published in 1979, two years after the author died. The stories were written in the 1940s for a private collector of erotica.

72 Provider of much change : COIN RETURN (hiding recycled “IRON”)

The Latin word for “iron” is “ferrum”, which gives us “Fe” as the metal’s chemical symbol.

75 Cracker-__: homespun : BARREL

The adjective “cracker-barrel” means “simple, homely”. There’s a lot of speculation online about the etymology of the term. One suggested derivation is soda crackers in a barrel that were up for sale in country stores in the late 1800s. The idea is that locals would gather round the barrel to shoot the breeze. I guess that gathering evokes a simple, homely image.

80 Deliver a stem-winder, say : ORATE

A stem-winder is a type of watch, one that was very desirable in days gone by. The term became associated with “excellence” over the years, and especially with a rousing speech.

81 Snake oil, allegedly : PANACEA

Panacea was the Greek goddess of healing. She lent her name to the term “panacea” that was used by alchemists to describe the beguiling remedy that could cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely.

There is actually a real snake oil, a Chinese medicine made from fat extracted from snakes. You can buy snake oil at traditional Chinese pharmacies and it is supposed to be very efficacious in the treatment of joint pain. Snake oil was introduced into the US by Chinese laborers working on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Medicine salesmen started to ridicule the snake oil as it competed with their own remedies, and in time the term “snake oil” became associated with any cure-all potion.

82 Multivolume set in the reference sect. : OED

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

83 African capital : 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”.

84 Veteran on the briny : OLD SALT

“Sea dog” and “old salt” are familiar terms describing a sailor, especially one that has lots of experience.

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

85 Green Bay Packers coach LaFleur : MATT

Matt LaFleur was appointed head coach for the Green Bay Packers in early 2019. Matt’s younger brother Mike also works as a coach in the NFL.

87 Chatty Cathy is one : TALKING DOLL (hiding recycled “GOLD”)

Chatty Cathy is a doll that was produced by Mattel from 1959 to 1965. Chatty Cathy could utter eleven phrases when a ring on a cord was pulled at the back of the doll. The speech was generated by a tiny phonograph record that was housed in the doll’s abdomen.

Gold is a metallic chemical element with the symbol Au. Gold is extremely unreactive. Silver and other base metals dissolve in nitric acid, and so testing an unknown sample with nitric acid can confirm the presence of gold. This assaying practise gave rise to the figurative use of the term “acid test” to describe any definitive test.

92 “National Velvet” author Bagnold : ENID

Enid Bagnold was a British author who is best known for her 1935 novel “National Velvet”, which famously was adapted into a very successful film starring Elizabeth Taylor.

“National Velvet” is a novel by Enid Bagnold that was first published in 1935. The story centers on Velvet Brown, a 14-year-old girl who rides her own horse to victory in the most celebrated of English horse races, the Grand National steeplechase. A famous film adaptation of the story was released in 1944 starring a young Mickey Rooney and 12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor in the title role. After filming was completed, Taylor was given the horse that she rode as a gift for her birthday.

93 Site of a major part of the Bible? : RED SEA

The Red Sea (sometimes “Arabian Gulf”) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to the north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.

95 Mid-20th-century First and Second Lady : PAT NIXON (hiding recycled “TIN”)

Pat Nixon was the First Lady of the US from 1969 to 1974. Nixon was born in Ely, Nevada and named Thelma Catherine Ryan. The future First Lady’s Irish father gave her the nickname “Pat” because she was born on March 16th, the day before St. Patrick’s Day.

The Latin word for tin is “stannum”, and so tin’s atomic symbol is “Sn”. One of the ores used as a source of tin is “stannite”.

110 Alphabetically first U.S. national park : ACADIA

Acadia National Park in Maine was created in 1919, although back then it was called Lafayette National Park in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette who famously supported the American Revolution. The park was renamed to Acadia in 1929.

The great explorer Verrazzano gave the name “Arcadia” to the coastal land that stretched from north of present day Virginia right up the North American continent to Nova Scotia. The name Arcadia was chosen as it was also the name for a part of Greece that had been viewed as idyllic from the days of classical antiquity. The “Arcadia” name quickly evolved into the word “Acadia” that was used locally here in North America. Much of Acadia was settled by the French in the 1600s, and then in 1710 Acadia was conquered by the British. There followed the French and Indian War after which there was a mass migration of French Acadians, often via the French colony of Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) to the French colony of Louisiana. The local dialectic pronunciation of the word “Acadian” was “Cajun”, giving the name to the ethnic group for which Louisiana has been home for about 300 years.

111 Catholic devotion : NOVENA

In the Roman Catholic tradition, a novena is a set of prayers or services that are repeated over nine successive days. “Novena” derives from the Latin “novem” meaning “nine”.

112 OTC drug agency : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t need a prescription (Rx).

113 __ Plaines: Chicago suburb : DES

Des Plaines is a suburb of Chicago that is located next to O’Hare International Airport. The city is named for the Des Plaines river that runs through the area.

115 Tarzan, e.g. : APEMAN

In the stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes was actually Englishman John Clayton, Viscount Greystoke.

Down

3 “Smarter than the average bear” bear : YOGI

Yogi Bear made his debut for Hanna-Barbera in 1958, on “The Huckleberry Hound Show” before he was given his own series. Do you remember that collar that Yogi wore around his neck? That was a little trick from the animators. By using the collar, for many frames all they had to do was redraw everything from the collar up, saving them lots and lots of time. Yogi and Boo-Boo lived in Jellystone Park, and made Ranger Smith’s life a misery.

4 “Republic” philosopher : PLATO

The greatest work of the Greek philosopher Plato is said by most to be his treatise called “The Republic”. The work takes the form of a Socratic dialogue, meaning that it features Plato’s teacher Socrates in dialogue with others discussing the subject matter. Much of the text deals with justice and various forms of government.

8 Pricey delicacy : CAVIAR

Caviar is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, which is found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

10 Risqué : RACY

“Risqué” is a French word, the past participle of the verb meaning “to risk”. So in English we use “risqué” to mean “racy”, but in French it means “risky”.

11 Former Japanese prime minister : ABE

Shinzo Abe first became Prime Minister of Japan in 2006, at which time he was the youngest person to hold the post since WWII and was the first PM born after the war. Abe was in office for less than a year, but was voted in again in 2012. At the end of 2019, Abe became the longest-serving Prime Minister in the history of Japan. He resigned from office in 2020, citing medical issues.

12 __-relief : BAS

In bas-relief, an image projects just a little above the background, as in perhaps a head depicted on a coin.

14 Part of OWN : OPRAH

Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)

17 “__ Fideles” : ADESTE

The lovely Christmas hymn “Adeste Fideles” (entitled “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in English) was written by one John Francis Wade in the 13th century. Well, he wrote the original four verses, with four more verses being added over time. A kind blog reader pointed out to me that the English translation is in fact a little “off”. The term “adeste” best translates from Latin as “be present, attend”, rather than “come”. The verb “come” appears later in the lyrics in “venite adoremus”, meaning “come, let us worship”.

18 Maker of iComfort mattresses : SERTA

Serta was founded in 1931 when a group of 13 mattress manufacturers came together, essentially forming a cooperative. Today, the Serta company is owned by eight independent licensees in a similar arrangement. Serta advertisements feature the Serta Counting Sheep. Each numbered sheep has a different personality, such as:

  • #1 The Leader of the Flock
  • #½ The Tweener
  • #13 Mr. Bad Luck
  • #53 The Pessimist
  • #86 Benedict Arnold

24 Mingo portrayer on “Daniel Boone” : ED AMES

In the 1960s Western TV show “Daniel Boone”, the title character’s friend Mingo was played by actor/singer Ed Ames. Around the same time that appeared on “Daniel Boone”, Ames was also enjoying a successful singing career as a solo artist. Back in the fifties, he was one of a quarter of singing brothers who recorded as the Ames Brothers. The “Ames” was a stage name, as the siblings were born with the family name “Urick”.

29 Where many speeches come from : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

31 La Brea attraction : TAR PIT

The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirst. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

32 Brand similar to Spam : TREET

Treet is a canned meat that was introduced in 1939 as a competitor to Spam, which was introduced two years earlier.

35 ’60s White House daughter : LUCI

Luci Baines Johnson is the youngest daughter of President Lyndon Johnson. Luci married Patrick Nugent in Washington, D.C. in 1966, while her father was still in the White House. The Nugents had their marriage annulled by the Catholic Church in 1979 and Luci remarried in 1984, to Ian J. Turpin.

36 Apple offering : IPAD

The iPad wasn’t Apple’s first foray into the world of tablet computing. Apple created great buzz by introducing the Newton MessagePad way back in 1993. This innovative machine was fraught with problems and really died a very slow death, finally being withdrawn from the market in 1998.

37 N.W.A’s debut single : PANIC ZONE (hiding recycled “ZINC”)

NWA was a hip hop group from Compton, California. The original five group members included rappers who have made a name for themselves as solo acts, including: Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. The story of NWA is told in a 2015 film, also called “Straight Outta Compton”. I hear that the movie was well received, although hip hop is not my cup of tea. I’m just too old …

Zinc is the chemical element with the atomic number 30 and the element symbol “Zn”. Zinc is a metal that can form pointed crystals after smelting. It is probably these crystals that gave the element its name, which comes from the Old High German “zint” meaning “point”.

40 Bit of stoneware : CROCK

In the history of ceramic materials, earthenware (also “terra cotta”) is a relatively old material. It is porous, and needs a ceramic glaze to make it impervious to liquids. Stoneware was developed later, and is impervious to liquids in its own right due to the higher firing temperature. Porcelain came later still, and is fired at even higher temperatures to produce a stronger, harder and finer material.

44 Retire at home, say? : TAG OUT

That would be baseball.

46 Solemn sound : KNELL

The word “knell” is used for a solemn ring from a bell, often associated with death or a funeral. “Knell” comes from the Old English “cnell” and is probably imitative in origin, sounding like a peal from a large bell.

48 Lad : CHAP

“Chap” is an informal term meaning “lad, fellow” that is used especially in England. The term derives from “chapman”, an obsolete word meaning “purchaser” or “trader”.

50 Coal train component : HOPPER CAR (hiding recycled “COPPER”)

Hopper cars are freight cars used to transport bulk commodities by rail. Covered hopper cars are used to transport materials such as grain, sugar, fertilizer and other materials that need to be protected from the weather. Open hopper cars transport materials such as coal and ore.

Copper metal was mined by the ancient Romans, mainly in Cyprus. Because of its origin, the Romans called the metal “aes cyprium” (metal of Cyprus), a term that evolved into the Latin “cuprum”, which in turn became our “copper”. Copper’s element symbol “Cu” comes from the Latin “cuprum”.

51 Exxon, once : ESSO

The Esso brand has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

54 Seasoning in Indian cuisine : CUMIN

Cumin is a flowering plant native to the region stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to East India. Cumin spice is made from the dried seeds and is the second most common spice used in the world (only black pepper is more popular). Cumin is particularly associated with Indian cuisine and is a key ingredient in curry powder. Lovely stuff …

58 California state bird : QUAIL

“Quail” is a name used for several chicken-like wild birds. Quail are common prey for hunters.

60 TLX autos : ACURAS

Acura is the luxury brand of the Honda Motor Company. As an aside, Infiniti is the equivalent luxury brand for the Nissan Motor Company, and Lexus is the more luxurious version of Toyota’s models.

61 Western writer Grey : ZANE

Zane Grey certainly did hit on the right niche. He wrote romanticized western novels and stories that really lent themselves to the big screen in the days when westerns were very popular movies. Incredibly, 110 films were made based on his work.

64 Ancient German : TEUTON

The Germanic peoples of Northern Europe are often called Teutonic, a term which originated with the Teutons, one of the Germanic tribes that lived in the region in the days of ancient Greece and Rome.

69 Vintage video game name : ATARI

Founded in 1972, electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was once the fastest-growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

70 Symbol of a year, perhaps : CANDLE

That would be a candle on a birthday cake.

72 Tech news site : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

73 Explorer Amundsen : ROALD

Roald Amundsen was an explorer of the polar regions from Norway. Most notably perhaps, he was the leader of the first team to reach the South Pole, doing so in 1911. Amundsen was also one of the first humans to reach the North Pole. He did this in an airship in 1926 with a team of fifteen. Amundsen disappeared while participating in the attempted rescue of the crew of another airship exploring the North Pole. His remains were never recovered.

74 Estrada of “CHiPs” : ERIK

Actor Erik Estrada’s big break came with the movie “Airport 1975”, in which he played the doomed flight engineer of a Boeing 747. A couple of years later, Estrada began a six-year gig, co-starring on the television show “CHiPs” as motorcycle police officer Poncherello.

The TV cop show “CHiPs” ran from 1977 until 1983. Stars of the show were Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada, who played two California HIghway Patrol (CHP) motorcycle officers. I find it interesting that the storylines never once called for the officers to draw their firearms over the six seasons (how shows have changed!). Erik Estrada had to learn how to ride a motorcycle for the show, but wasn’t licensed to drive one during the entire run of the series. He eventually qualified, but only after three attempts to pass the test.

75 Calls at home : BALLS

That would be baseball.

79 Helix-shaped 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.

81 Curly-haired pet : POODLE

The standard poodle breed of dog is considered by many to be the second-most intelligent breed, after the border collie. The name “poodle” comes from a Low German word meaning “to splash about”, reflecting the original use of the breed as a water retriever.

83 Genesis brother : CAIN

As Cain was the first murderer according to the Bible, he is associated with evil or trouble. The idiom “raise Cain” is the equivalent of “raise Hell” and “raise the Devil”. In all cases, the meaning is to bring back evil or to cause trouble.

86 Tennis great Gibson : ALTHEA

Althea Gibson was known as “the Jackie Robinson of tennis” as she broke the “color barrier” and became the first African-American woman to win a Grand Slam title, in France in 1956. She was quite the athlete and was a great golfer as well as a great tennis player. She was the first African-American woman to play in the Ladies PGA tour, although she never had a win. Outside of sport, she sang a little and recorded an album, and even appeared in a movie (“The Horse Soldiers”) with John Wayne and William Holden. Sadly, towards the end of her life she ended up destitute and on welfare. When her plight was made known in a tennis magazine, well-wishers from all over the world sent her gifts of money, a total of nearly one million dollars. Quite a story …

87 Govt. securities : T-NOTES

A Treasury note (T-note) is a government debt that matures in 1-10 years. A T-note has a coupon (interest) payment made every six months. The T-note is purchased at a discount to face value, and at the date of maturity can be redeemed at that face value. A Treasury bill (T-bill) is a similar financial vehicle, but it matures in one year or less, and a T-bond matures in 20-30 years.

88 __ Mansion, NYC mayor’s residence : GRACIE

Gracie Mansion in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan is the official residence of the Mayor of the City of New York. The mansion was built by Scottish-born shipping magnate Archibald Gracie. Gracie sold his New York estate in 1823 to pay off debts, and the city picked up the property in 1891.

89 Lizard feature : DEWLAP

A dewlap is a flap of skin that hangs below the neck of some creatures. Dewlaps are found on anything from dogs to iguanas.

91 Calvin’s spaceman alter ego, in comics : SPIFF

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes, a 17th century English political philosopher.

94 Motrin alternative : ALEVE

“Aleve” is a brand name used for the anti-inflammatory drug Naproxen sodium.

96 Footnote abbr. : IBID

Ibid. is short for the Latin word “ibidem” and is typically found in footnotes and bibliographies. Ibid. is used to refer the reader to the prior citation, instead of giving the same information all over again (title, author etc.).

97 Whole bunch : SCAD

The origin of the word “scads”, meaning “lots and lots”, is unclear. That said, “scads” was used to mean “dollars” back in the mid-1800s.

98 “Nothing lived in him but fear and hatred” : HYDE

Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was published in 1886. There are many tales surrounding the writing of the story, including one that the author wrote the basic tale in just three to six days, and spent a few weeks simply refining it. Allegedly, Stevenson’s use of cocaine stimulated his creative juices during those few days of writing.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Check alternative : PAYPAL
7 Sacred beetle : SCARAB
13 Tijuana pair : DOS
16 It can be natural : GAS
19 Creed in Rocky films : APOLLO
20 Winter melon : CASABA
21 MPG-testing org. : EPA
22 Wordsworth work : ODE
23 Attorneys’ firm offering : LEGAL SERVICES (hiding recycled “SILVER”)
25 “Day __”: 1965 hit : TRIPPER
27 Way out : EXIT
28 Put on a pedestal : DEIFY
29 With no one behind you : DEAD LAST (hiding recycled “LEAD”)
30 Capital NW of Boston : OTTAWA
33 Secure at the pier : LASH
34 Pooch in pictures : ASTA
35 Backtalk : LIP
38 Potential soldier : ARMY RECRUIT (hiding recycled “MERCURY”)
42 Storage unit : BYTE
43 In hot water : UP A TREE
45 Prefix with gender : TRANS-
46 Sorento or Soul : KIA
47 Cocktail party snacks : CANAPES
48 Tommy who teamed with Cheech : CHONG
49 Queen’s “__ One Bites the Dust” : ANOTHER
53 “Cool, dude!” : I DIG IT
54 Drumstick : CHICKEN LEG (hiding recycled “NICKEL”)
56 Buckeyes of the Big Ten : OSU
57 Handy sack : COT
58 Sham sawbones : QUACK
59 Lubricate : OIL
60 Church recess : APSE
61 Bird voiced by Rowan Atkinson in “The Lion King” : ZAZU
63 Road annoyances : BUMPS
64 Complete : TOTAL
66 Navy NCOs : CPOS
67 Oodles : A LOT
68 Thor Heyerdahl craft : RA I
69 Auspices : AEGIS
70 Pool tool : CUE
71 “Little Birds” author Anaïs : NIN
72 Provider of much change : COIN RETURN (hiding recycled “IRON”)
75 Cracker-__: homespun : BARREL
78 Everlasting : ETERNAL
80 Deliver a stem-winder, say : ORATE
81 Snake oil, allegedly : PANACEA
82 Multivolume set in the reference sect. : OED
83 African capital : CAIRO
84 Veteran on the briny : OLD SALT
85 Green Bay Packers coach LaFleur : MATT
87 Chatty Cathy is one : TALKING DOLL (hiding recycled “GOLD”)
90 Deli choice : RYE
91 Many opera highlights : SOLI
92 “National Velvet” author Bagnold : ENID
93 Site of a major part of the Bible? : RED SEA
95 Mid-20th-century First and Second Lady : PAT NIXON (hiding recycled “TIN”)
97 Shoulder wrap : SHAWL
99 Snippet of dialogue : LINE
103 Hold back : INHIBIT
104 Scrapyard commodity … and what’s hidden in the nine other longest puzzle answers : RECYCLED METAL
108 Charge : FEE
109 Infant suffix : -ILE
110 Alphabetically first U.S. national park : ACADIA
111 Catholic devotion : NOVENA
112 OTC drug agency : FDA
113 __ Plaines: Chicago suburb : DES
114 Homer, in baseball lingo : GO DEEP
115 Tarzan, e.g. : APEMAN

Down

1 Ashen : PALE
2 High point : APEX
3 “Smarter than the average bear” bear : YOGI
4 “Republic” philosopher : PLATO
5 Word with caps or clear : ALL …
6 Spanish article : LOS
7 Off-the-wall : SCREWY
8 Pricey delicacy : CAVIAR
9 “Keep dreaming” : AS IF
10 Risqué : RACY
11 Former Japanese prime minister : ABE
12 __-relief : BAS
13 Abhor : DETEST
14 Part of OWN : OPRAH
15 Common word in a novel’s dialogue : SAID
16 Overtake : GO PAST
17 “__ Fideles” : ADESTE
18 Maker of iComfort mattresses : SERTA
24 Mingo portrayer on “Daniel Boone” : ED AMES
26 Dabble in : PLAY AT
29 Where many speeches come from : DAIS
31 La Brea attraction : TAR PIT
32 Brand similar to Spam : TREET
33 Fencing maneuver : LUNGE
35 ’60s White House daughter : LUCI
36 Apple offering : IPAD
37 N.W.A’s debut single : PANIC ZONE (hiding recycled “ZINC”)
39 Focus of some committees : ETHICS
40 Bit of stoneware : CROCK
41 Arrange in sequence : RANK
42 Library sect. : BIOG
44 Retire at home, say? : TAG OUT
46 Solemn sound : KNELL
48 Lad : CHAP
49 Bit of checkpoint deception : ALIAS
50 Coal train component : HOPPER CAR (hiding recycled “COPPER”)
51 Exxon, once : ESSO
52 Feels bad about : RUES
54 Seasoning in Indian cuisine : CUMIN
55 At lunch, say : NOT IN
58 California state bird : QUAIL
60 TLX autos : ACURAS
61 Western writer Grey : ZANE
62 Came down : ALIT
63 In __ daylight : BROAD
64 Ancient German : TEUTON
65 Storybook fiend : OGRE
69 Vintage video game name : ATARI
70 Symbol of a year, perhaps : CANDLE
72 Tech news site : C|NET
73 Explorer Amundsen : ROALD
74 Estrada of “CHiPs” : ERIK
75 Calls at home : BALLS
76 Hard to grasp : EELY
77 Running behind : LATE
79 Helix-shaped pasta : ROTINI
81 Curly-haired pet : POODLE
83 Genesis brother : CAIN
85 Sounded like the wind : MOANED
86 Tennis great Gibson : ALTHEA
87 Govt. securities : T-NOTES
88 __ Mansion, NYC mayor’s residence : GRACIE
89 Lizard feature : DEWLAP
91 Calvin’s spaceman alter ego, in comics : SPIFF
92 Force to leave : EXILE
94 Motrin alternative : ALEVE
96 Footnote abbr. : IBID
97 Whole bunch : SCAD
98 “Nothing lived in him but fear and hatred” : HYDE
100 List member : ITEM
101 Family nickname : NANA
102 Flair : ELAN
104 Common cleaning supply : RAG
105 Tourism opening : ECO-
106 Target of a cheek swab : DNA
107 Common cleaning supply : MOP

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Oct 21, Sunday”

  1. Theme didn’t help me. I realized what it was but I wasn’t going to spend time unraveling the letters.
    How is a COT a handy sack? A place to sack out into a bed???
    Messed up on 17D. IDESTE instead of ADESTE. That gave me GIS for 16A.. as in natural GIS… hmmm. Why couldn’t i see that.

    1. “sack” is slang for “bed” as in “I’m going to go hit the sack.” I don’t get the “handy” part, but I assume that it was something that could be carried that was meant. I guess it could mean something that was close by and ready, too.

      A lot of weird stuff in this one in comparison to what’s been running lately. I have my thoughts on why that is, but I won’t go into it.

      1. Wow. Just WOW. If this isn’t a completely underhanded, cynical clue, I don’t know what is. There is NOTHING; absolutely NOTHING “handy” about a bed. You could make a BIG stretch and say a COT was a “handy bed”, or a FUTON, or even a SLEEPING BAG. But not a bed.

        This kind of “tricksy” (to borrow from Gollum in the Lord of the Rings) clueing is the main reason why quality is getting to be so LOW across all of these so-called “leading” crossword puzzles.

        I’m waiting for the day when one constructor’s idea of “clever” is to, say, provide a set of clues that don’t pertain to the fills, (all the Across clues are the Down clues, and vice versa), but you’re somehow supposed to “figure it out”.

  2. 50:55 no errors…the theme was an afterthought and I found a couple of the metals but I was more concerned with looking for mistakes ( and I found several).
    Stay safe😀

  3. 40 minutes. I saw homer, in baseball lingo and immediately put in dinger, which I’d never heard of before the puzzle a couple of days ago. Wrong of course.

  4. 18:40

    A decent puzzle on its own. Once I realized that I was supposed to unscramble unknown metals, I knew I wasn’t going to get anything from the theme. I really appreciate being able to come here and find the metals.

    Thanks!

  5. 26 minutes even and DNF, with 14 -16 left unfilled. My downfall was my “reading” of certain clue phrasing: for example 114A: I read that as a NOUN, not a verb, so I’m thinking only “DINGER” can fit there. I’m nowhere near “GO DEEP”… most of the crosses (GRACIE, DEWLAP, HYDE) were pure naticks to me. Same with 44 DOWN: I’m not “seeing” baseball in that clue at all (despite being a still-suffering SF Giants fan).

  6. I thought the handy bed referring to a cot was because in situations like storm evacuees or fire evacuees are “housed” in a gym or an arena they sleep on beds that are “on hand” that can be brought in and set up in very little time. Hence, handy beds. YMMV

  7. FWIW: “Handy sack” for “COT” was a gimme – a very typical bit of crossword wordplay – and the puzzle was pretty easy. (I think I spent more time finding all the metals than I did doing the puzzle.)

  8. Had everything except the middle W section with P____ZONE, ___OUT, EDAM__, __T. I just had LIP, TARPIT, ZAZU (guessed at). I probably should have gotten LUCI and CANAPES, and I didn’t really know ED AMES.

    Oh well, what I did have I finished in 41:41 with about 10 minutes working on the above stuff.

  9. Much better than Saturday – 30:54 with no errors or lookups. I also found all 9 metals, with iron being the last one. A pretty good theme, especially to get 9 theme answers worked in when there are typically up to 7 of them.

    The upper middle section threw me at first, because I had 4 down answers filled in before working the crosses that told me all 4 were wrong! 39D, 40D, 41D, and 32D were AGENDA>ETHICS, SHARD>CROCK, SORT>RANK, PARRY>LUNGE. 48A being CHONG threw them all out! Also had to change CURRY>CUMIN and LUCY>LUCI.

    Learned a bit about a novena today; along with yet another term for a home run in baseball, although it sounds like a football term to me.

  10. I went with looking for the metals’ elemental abbreviations and there were only a couple. Should have figured names were scrambled, but I do think it’s a stretch.

  11. For those of us puzzle workers who take days to solve and not minutes we rely on the theme and the clue that supports the theme. I got the nine longest with no help whatsoever. Having arm and leg in two of the nine didn’t help. Please don’t make it harder than it is.
    Still enjoyable and fun to try and figure out.

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