LA Times Crossword 31 Oct 21, Sunday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Paul Coulter
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: A&E Network

Themed answers are common phrases in which one word has letters A and E switched:

  • 23A Govern in Austin? : DIRECT TEXAS (from “direct taxes”)
  • 25A Set of rules for a jury? : PANEL CODE (from “penal code”)
  • 38A Volume subtitled “100 Good Excuses”? : BOOK OF DENIAL (from “Book of Daniel”)
  • 60A Party garb for one going as a pollution inspector? : EPA COSTUME (from “ape costume”)
  • 65A Historic period with a lot of risks? : CHANCES ERA (from “chances are”)
  • 90A Cube-shaped stones for a fireplace shelf? : MANTEL BLOCKS (from “mental blocks”)
  • 105A Wizard’s communications device? : MAGE PHONE (from “megaphone”)
  • 107A Braided Greek cheese? : TWIST OF FETA (from “twist of fate”)

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

Bill’s time: 18m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Leader who succeeded Muhammad : CALIPH

“Caliph” is an Arabic word meaning “successor”. In the Islamic tradition, a caliph is a leader who is deemed to be a successor of Muhammad.

7 Tried to get home, say : SLID

That would be baseball.

18 Keys on a piano : ALICIA

“Alicia Keys” is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

19 100 cents : EURO

The euro is divided into 100 cents, sometimes referred to as “euro cents”. Some countries within the European Union (Ireland, for example) have taken steps to withdraw the 1-cent and 2-cent coins from circulation by allowing cash transactions to be rounded to the nearest five cents. I found it a little odd when buying something in Ireland recently that was priced at 99 cents, and getting no change after handing over a euro coin …

20 “I, Claudius” role : NERO

Nero was Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 CE, and he had quite the family life. When he was just 16-years-old Nero married his step-sister Claudia Octavia. He also had his mother and step-brother executed.

“I, Claudius” is a 1934 novel penned by Robert Graves, written in the form of an autobiography of Emperor Claudius of Rome. Graves wrote a sequel in 1935 called “Claudius the God”. Both books were adapted by the BBC into a fabulous television series that went by the name of the first book “I, Claudius”.

22 Texter’s “Then again … ” : OTOH …

On the other hand (OTOH)

23 Govern in Austin? : DIRECT TEXAS (from “direct taxes”)

Austin is the capital of the state of Texas. When the area was chosen to be the capital of the Republic of Texas, it was known as Waterloo. The name was changed in honor of Stephen F. Austin, a native of Virginia who was raised in Missouri and led the first successful colonization of Texas.

27 Sault __ Marie : STE

Sault Ste. Marie is the name of two cities on either side of the Canada-US border, one in Ontario and the other in Michigan. The two cities were originally one settlement in the 17th century, established by Jesuit Missionaries. The missionaries gave the settlement the name “Sault Sainte Marie”, which can be translated as “Saint Mary’s Falls”. The city was one community until 1817, when a US-UK Joint Boundary Commission set the border along the St. Mary’s River.

30 Anthem contraction : O’ER

The words “o’er the land of the free” come from the US national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

The word “anthem” used to describe a sacred song, especially one with words taken from the Scriptures. The British national anthem (“God Save the Queen/King”) technically is a hymn, and so it came to be described as “the national hymn” and later “the national anthem”. The use of the word “anthem” extended from there to describe any patriotic song.

31 Group name derived from the Dutch for “farmer” : BOERS

“Boer” is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for “farmer”, a word that was used to describe the Dutch-speaking people who settled parts of South Africa during the 1700s.

32 __ blanche : CARTE

The phrase “carte blanche” was imported from French in the early 1700s, when it was used to mean “blank paper” (in French it means “white paper”). Later in the century, the term came to mean “full discretionary power”, which is how we use the phrase today.

35 Graceful antelopes : IMPALAS

“Impala” is the Zulu word for “gazelle”. When running at a sustained speed, gazelles can move along at 30 miles per hour. If needed, they can accelerate for bursts up to 60 miles per hour.

40 Car bar : TIE-ROD

Tie rods are part of a rack and pinion steering mechanism in a car.

The modern car uses a rack and pinion steering system. The turning motion of the steering wheel turns the pinion gear. This pinion gear meshes with a linear gear called a rack, so the torque is converted to linear motion, side-to-side. This side-to-side motion turns the wheels at either end of the axle via tie rods and the steering arm.

43 Mercury Theatre co-founder Welles : ORSON

The Mercury Theatre was a repertory company founded in 1937 by Orson Welles and John Houseman. While the company staged many productions on Broadway, it is most famous for its live dramas that aired on the radio as “The Mercury Theatre on the Air”, mainly in the late 1930s. The most famous, and perhaps infamous, of these productions was 1938’s broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” that led to panic among some in the listening audience.

45 Lawyer’s filing : BRIEF

The term “brief”, in the context of the law, applies to a written legal document presented in court as an argument in a legal process. “Brief” comes from the Latin “brevis” meaning “short”. So, I guess those arguments were originally meant to be short, concise.

46 “The Texan” star Calhoun : RORY

Rory Calhoun was a film and TV actor from Los Angeles. Calhoun really carved out a nice career for himself after a very ignominious start in life. Calhoun served three years in federal prison for robbing jewelry stores and cars while in his teens.

“The Texan” is a Western TV show that originally aired on CBS in the late 1960s. Rory Calhoun plays the title role, a “Robin Hood of the West” named Bill Longley. The show was dropped after two seasons as Calhoun decided not to renew his contract, opting instead to focus on movies.

48 The Eagle, e.g. : LEM

In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

We always seem to remember the phrase “The Eagle has landed”, historic words spoken by Neil Armstrong when he put down Apollo 11’s Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) on the surface of the moon. Looking back I have to say that the words preceding “The Eagle has landed” seem to have even more impact. During the descent to the moon’s surface Armstrong used the call sign “Eagle”, indicating that he was communicating from the LEM. After he killed the engines on touching down, Armstrong’s first words home to Earth were “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” That switch of call sign from “Eagle” to “Tranquility Base” always sends shivers down my spine …

51 Eric the Red’s son : LEIF

Leif Erikson was a Norse explorer and the first European to land in North America, some 500 years before Christopher Columbus’s landing in 1492. The Norsemen named the area they discovered “Vinland”, which might translate as “Wine Land” or “Pasture Land”. Erikson built a small settlement called Leifsbudir, which archaeologists believe they have found in modern day Newfoundland, at L’Anse aux Meadows. The settlement discovered in Newfoundland is definitely Norse, but there is some dispute over whether it is actually Erikson’s Leifsbudir.

According to Icelandic tradition, Erik the Red was the man responsible for founding the first Norse settlement in Greenland. Erik had a famous son: the explorer Leif Ericson.

52 Comedian Shecky : GREENE

Shecky Greene is a nightclub comedian and actor from Chicago who was a Las Vegas headliner in the fifties and sixties.

53 Currency exchange abbr. : USD

The dollar sign ($) was first used for the Spanish-American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become a model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the dollar sign.

54 Mozart’s “__ Kleine Nachtmusik” : EINE

Mozart’s ”Serenade No. 13 for Strings in G major” is better known as “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, which translates into “a little serenade”, but the more literal English translation of “a little night music” is often used. It is a delightful piece in four, very recognizable movements, although there is much debate about a “lost” fifth movement.

55 17.2-million-square-mile area : ASIA

Most of the world’s population lives in Asia (60%), and Asia is the largest continent in terms of landmass (30% of the world). Asia also has the highest population density (246 people per square mile), and the most populous city on the continent is Shanghai, China.

60 Party garb for one going as a pollution inspector? : EPA COSTUME (from “ape costume”)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

68 Bob of “Fuller House” : SAGET

Bob Saget is a real enigma to me. Saget made a name for himself playing very sugary roles in TV shows like “Full House” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, and yet in the world of stand-up comedy he is known for very blue and raunchy routines.

73 Animation frame : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

83 Name of two presidents : ADAMS

John Adams was the second President of the United States. I must admit that I learned much of what I know about President Adams in the excellent, excellent HBO series “John Adams”, which is based on David McCullough’s 2001 biography of the same name. Having said that, I have also visited the Adams home in Quincy, Massachusetts several times. He was clearly a great man with a great intellect …

John Quincy Adams, the son of John Adams, was the 6th US president. Like his father, John Quincy worked for many years as a diplomat representing the young United States. After leaving office, Adams served in Congress as Representative from Massachusetts, becoming the only president ever to enter the House after leaving the office of president.

88 A lot : SCADS

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.

89 State bordering Baja : SONORA

Sonora is the state in Mexico that lies just south of Arizona and New Mexico. Sonora is the second-largest state in the country, after Chihuahua.

95 “Chicago Med” pro : ER DOC

“Chicago Med” is a medical drama TV show that started airing in 2015. It is part of what’s known as the “Chicago” franchise, which also includes “Chicago Fire”, “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Justice”.

96 Location : SITUS

“Situs” is the Latin word for “position, situation” that we use in English with the same meaning, particularly in the law.

98 Color TV pioneer : RCA

Early television programming was broadcast in monochrome, i.e. black-and-white or grayscale. The introduction of color television built on the technology behind monochrome TV in the sense that color television images are a combination of three monochrome images. The colors of these three monochrome signals are red, green and blue (RGB).

99 H.S. exam for college credit : AP TEST

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

101 Brownish gray : TAUPE

Taupe is a dark, gray-brown color. The word “taupe” comes from the Latin name of the European Mole, which has skin with the same color.

102 Cacophony : DIN

“Cacophony” is such a lovely word, a word used to describe a harsh or jarring sound. The term arises from the Greek “kakos” (bad) and “phone” (voice).

105 Wizard’s communications device? : MAGE PHONE (from “megaphone”)

“Mage” is an archaic word meaning “magician, wizard”.

A megaphone is also known as a loudhailer or bullhorn. It was probably Thomas Edison who coined, or at least popularized, the term “megaphone” in 1878. He created a megaphone that was intended to benefit those who were hard of hearing. Edison’s device was relatively clumsy, and far from portable. However, it allowed a person speaking in a normal voice to be heard about two miles away!

107 Braided Greek cheese? : TWIST OF FETA (from “twist of fate”)

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. The cheese is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months before it is eaten.

110 Biblical plot : 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.

111 Blood type, briefly : O-NEG

In general, a person with type O-negative blood is a universal donor, meaning that his or her blood can be used for transfusion into persons with any other blood type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive (although there are other considerations). Also in general, a person with type AB-positive blood is a universal recipient, meaning that he or she can receive a transfusion of blood of any type: A, B, AB or O, negative or positive.

115 Classified ad abbr. : EEO

“Equal Employment Opportunity” (EEO) is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was set up by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of the Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion.

117 Slow-moving mammals : SLOTHS

All four of the extant species of three-toed sloths are native to South and Central America. Cousins of the three-toed sloths are the two-toed sloths, of which there are two species still living.

Down

1 Bounders : CADS

Our word “cad”, meaning “person lacking in finer feelings”, is a shortening of the word “cadet”. “Cad” was first used for a servant, and then students at British universities used “cad” as a term for a boy from the local town. “Cad” took on its current meaning in the 1830s.

A bounder is a man deemed to be ill-bred and obtrusive. The term “bounder” was originally slang in England, and probably came from the sense of someone acting outside the bounds of acceptable behavior.

3 Euros replaced them : LIRE

The word “lira” is used in a number of countries for currency. “Lira” comes from the Latin for “pound” and is derived from the British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. For example, the lira (plural “lire”) was the official currency of Italy before the country changed over to the euro in 2002.

5 Winds also called ottavinos : PICCOLOS

The piccolo is a woodwind instrument that looks like a small flute. Piccolos play one octave higher than flutes, and so the instrument is known by Italian musicians as an “ottavino”, Italian for “little octave”. “Piccolo” is Italian for “small”.

8 Elegance : LUXE

“Luxe” is another word for “luxury”. The term came into English via French from the Latin “luxus” meaning “luxury”.

9 401(k) alternative : IRA

A 401(k) account resembles an IRA in that contributions can be made from a paycheck prior to the deduction of income taxes. A 401(k) differs from an IRA in that it is an employer-sponsored plan, with payments taken by the employer directly from an employee’s paycheck. Additionally, contributions can be fully or partially matched by an employer.

13 “Sixteen Tons” singer whose nickname is his birth state : ERNIE FORD

Tennessee Ernie Ford was mainly a country singer, whose most famous recording was “Sixteen Tons”. “Sixteen Tons” is a song about life as a coal miner, with the title being a reference to sixteen tons of coal.

14 Games gp. : IOC

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894, and has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

16 Roadster in the Henry Ford Museum : MODEL A

The Ford Model A was the original car produced by the Ford Motor Company. The first production run lasted from 1903 to 1904, when it was replaced by the Model C. The name “Model A” was brought back in 1927 and used for the successor to the Model T.

17 Crow with Grammys : SHERYL

Famously, Sheryl Crow dated cyclist Lance Armstrong from 2003-2006. Armstrong has stated publicly more than once that Crow’s music cured his cancer.

21 Brit. lexicon : OED

A lexicon was originally just a dictionary, but we tend nowadays to use the term more to mean a vocabulary that relates to some specific area of activity.

24 High spots : TORS

A tor is a high, rocky hill. “Tor” comes from the Old English “torr”, the word for a tower or rock, which in turn comes from the Old Welsh “twrr” meaning a heap or a pile.

26 Metal-threaded fabrics : LAMES

Lamé is a fabric that has metallic yarns included in the weave. It is a popular fabric for stylish evening wear, and also in the sport of fencing. The metallic threads are conductive and so help register a touch by an épée.

29 Golden Triangle country : LAOS

“Golden Triangle” is the name given to one of the main opium-producing areas in Asia. The triangular area includes part of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

32 Eye-opening cupful : COFFEE

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.

34 Spanish span : ANO

In Spanish, an “año” (year) comprises 52 “semanas” (weeks), and a week comprises 7 “dias” (days).

35 Emphatic type: Abbr. : ITAL

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

37 “Frasier” actress Gilpin : PERI

Peri Gilpin is an actress best known for playing Roz Doyle on the hit sitcom “Frasier”. “Frasier” was a spinoff of “Cheers”. Gilpin actually made an appearance on “Cheers”, albeit playing a completely different character.

39 Cocktail order : DRY

The term “martini” probably takes its name from the “Martini & Rossi” brand of dry vermouth, although no one seems to be completely sure. What is clear is that despite the Martini name originating in Italy, the martini drink originated in the US. The original martini was made with gin and sweet vermouth, but someone specifying a “dry” martini was given gin and dry vermouth. Nowadays we use dry vermouth for all martinis, and the term “dry” has become a reference to how little vermouth is included in the drink. Famously, Noël Coward liked his drink very dry and said that a perfect martini is made by “filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy”. The German-American journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken referred to the martini as “the only American invention as perfect as a sonnet”.

41 Coll. senior’s test : GRE

Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

42 One-eighty : UIE

Hang a “uey” or “uie”, make a u-turn, make a 180.

45 Cookout choice : BRAT

A bratwurst (sometimes “brat” in the US) is a German sausage. The name comes from “brät-” meaning “finely chopped meat”, and “Wurst” meaning “sausage”.

46 Babe with a bat : RUTH

Baseball legend George Herman Ruth, Jr. had several nicknames, the best known being “Babe”. He was also called “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat”.

47 Dept. of Labor arm : OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

49 Tech sch. alumnus : ENGR

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

50 Big butte : MESA

“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, and taller than it is wide.

52 Base figs. : GIS

The initialism “GI” stands for “Government Issue”, and not “General Infantry” as is widely believed. “GI” was first used in the military to denote equipment made from Galvanized Iron and during WWI, incoming German shells were nicknamed “GI cans”. Soon after, the term GI came to be associated with “Government Issue” and eventually became an adjective to describe anything associated with the Army.

54 Fast bucks : EASY MONEY

“Buck” is a slang word meaning “dollar”. The term has been around at least since 1856, and is thought to derive from the tradition of using buckskin as a unit of trade with Native Americans during the frontier days.

56 Barfly : SOT

Our word “sot” comes from the Old English “sott”, meaning “fool”. The word “sot” started to be associated with alcohol and not just foolery in the late 1500s. The derivative term “besotted” means “muddled with drunkenness”, or more figuratively “infatuated”.

59 Casbah headgear : FEZ

A fez is a red, cylindrical hat worn mainly in North Africa, and by Shriners here in the US. The fez used to be a very popular hat across the Ottoman Empire. The etymology of “fez” is unclear, although it may have something to do with the Moroccan city named Fez.

“Casbah” is the Arabic word for a “citadel”. “Casbah” usually refers to the citadel in the city of Algiers and the area surrounding it.

60 Morales of “NYPD Blue” : ESAI

Actor Esai Morales is best known in the world of film for the 1987 movie “La Bamba”, which depicted the life of Ritchie Valens and his half-brother Bob Morales (played by Esai). On the small screen, Morales plays Lt. Tony Rodriguez on “NYPD Blue” and Joseph Adama on “Caprica”.

“NYPD Blue” is a police drama that was originally aired from 1993 until 2005. Stars of the show are Dennis Franz, David Caruso, Jimmy Smits and Rick Schroder. The show created a bit of a fuss back in the nineties, as it featured a relatively large amount of nudity for broadcast television.

63 Lyft rival : UBER

The basic service offered by ride-hailing company Uber is known as UberX. The service provides a private ride for up to four passengers in a standard car. UberXL provides a minivan or SUV with room for up to 6 passengers.

64 Paragon of stubbornness : MULE

A paragon is a model of excellence, a peerless example. Ultimately the term derives from the Greek “para-” meaning “on the side” and “akone” meaning “whetstone”. This derivation comes from the ancient practice of using a touchstone to test gold for its level of purity by drawing a line on the stone with the gold and comparing the resulting mark with samples of known purity.

73 Street edging piece : CURBSTONE

“Curb” is another of those words that I had to learn when I came to the US. We park by the “kerb” on the other side of the Atlantic. Oh, and the “pavement”, that’s what we call the “footpath” (because the footpath is “paved”!). It’s very confusing when you arrive in this country from Ireland, and a little dangerous, when one has been taught to “walk on the pavement” …

76 Royal Navy initials : HMS

The ship prefix “HMS” is used by the warships of the Royal Navy, and stands for “Her/His Majesty’s Ship/Submarine”. The prefix “RMS” is used by ships of the merchant navy, and stands for “Royal Mail Ship/Steamer”.

78 Pizzeria chain, familiarly : UNOS

The chain of pizza parlors known today as Uno Chicago Grill used to be called Pizzeria Uno, or just “Uno’s”. Apparently, Uno’s created the world’s first deep-dish pizza.

80 Donnybrook : FRAY

A donnybrook is a free-for-all, a melee. It is named for a famous historic fair in Donnybrook, a district in Dublin, Ireland. Donnybrook Fair had the reputation as a place where there was lots of drinking and fighting. I used to hang out a lot in Donnybrook in my student days and didn’t see any fighting. Lots of drinking, but no fighting …

82 Frites seasoning : SEL

In French, one might put “sel” (salt) on “pommes frites” (French fries).

86 1995 court VIP : ITO

Judge Lance Ito came in for a lot of criticism for his handling of the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial. The lead prosecutor in that trial was Marcia Clark, you might recall. I read the book that Clark wrote about the trial called “Without a Doubt”, and she pointed out one trait of Judge Ito that I think is quite telling. Ito would almost always refer to the prosecutor as “Marcia”, while addressing the men on both sides of the case with the honorific “Mister”.

88 Cottontail’s tail : SCUT

A scut is a short erect tail, like that on a rabbit or a deer.

90 Mythical males with tails : MERMEN

The mythological creatures named mermaids are usually depicted with the head and upper body of a human female, and with the tail of a fish. The term “mermaid” comes from the Old English “mere” meaning “sea, lake” and “maid” meaning “young woman”. The original mermaids were probably tail-less, with that “fishy” addition likely coming with comparison to classical sirens. The male equivalent of a mermaid is “merman”.

91 Game keeper? : ARCADE

Our word “arcade” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “arc”. The first arcades were passages made from a series of arches. This could be an avenue of trees, and eventually any covered avenue. I remember arcades lined with shops and stores when I was growing up on the other side of the Atlantic. Arcades came to be lined with lots of amusements, resulting in amusement arcades and video game arcades.

92 Homeowner, vis-à-vis the bank : LIENEE

A lien is a right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

We can use the French phrase “vis-à-vis” as a preposition meaning “compared with”. When used as an adverb or adjective, it means “face-to-face”, which is a more literal translation from French.

93 Cooperstown’s lake : OTSEGO

Otsego Lake is located in Upstate New York. It is geologically related to the Finger Lakes, although it is not regarded as one of them. The village of Cooperstown, home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, sits at the southern end of Otsego Lake.

100 Saigon soup : PHO

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a noodle soup from Vietnam that is a popular street food.

Hanoi (“Hà Nội” in Vietnamese) was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.

104 Dundee disagreements : NAES

The city of Dundee lies on the north bank of the Firth of Tay in Scotland. The origins of the name “Dundee” are a little obscure, although the omnipresent “dùn” in place names all over Scotland and Ireland is the Celtic word for “fort”.

106 Tolkien creature : ENT

Ents are tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

108 Information source, with “the” : … WEB

In essence, the World Wide Web (WWW) is a vast collection of documents that is accessible using the Internet, with each document containing hyperlinks which point to other documents in the collection. So the “Web” is different from the Internet, although the terms are often used interchangeably. The Web is a collection of documents, and the Internet is a global network of computers on which the documents reside. The Web was effectively the invention of British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. The key to Berner-Lee’s invention was bringing together two technologies that already existed: hypertext and the Internet. I, for one, am very grateful …

109 __ Schwarz : FAO

FAO Schwarz was perhaps the most famous, and certainly the oldest, toy store in the United States. The FAO Schwarz outlet on Fifth Avenue in New York City closed in 2015. This store was famously used in several Hollywood movies. For example, it was home to the Walking Piano that Tom Hanks played in the movie “Big”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Leader who succeeded Muhammad : CALIPH
7 Tried to get home, say : SLID
11 Boiling state : IRE
14 Beliefs : ISMS
18 Keys on a piano : ALICIA
19 100 cents : EURO
20 “I, Claudius” role : NERO
22 Texter’s “Then again … ” : OTOH …
23 Govern in Austin? : DIRECT TEXAS (from “direct taxes”)
25 Set of rules for a jury? : PANEL CODE (from “penal code”)
27 Sault __ Marie : STE
28 Throttle : CHOKE
29 Pretentious : LA-DI-DA
30 Anthem contraction : O’ER
31 Group name derived from the Dutch for “farmer” : BOERS
32 __ blanche : CARTE
33 Like crazy : MADLY
35 Graceful antelopes : IMPALAS
38 Volume subtitled “100 Good Excuses”? : BOOK OF DENIAL (from “Book of Daniel”)
40 Car bar : TIE-ROD
41 Bodies usually bigger than bays : GULFS
43 Mercury Theatre co-founder Welles : ORSON
44 Farm units : ACRES
45 Lawyer’s filing : BRIEF
46 “The Texan” star Calhoun : RORY
48 The Eagle, e.g. : LEM
51 Eric the Red’s son : LEIF
52 Comedian Shecky : GREENE
53 Currency exchange abbr. : USD
54 Mozart’s “__ Kleine Nachtmusik” : EINE
55 17.2-million-square-mile area : ASIA
57 __ metal: dark ’80s-’90s music genre : DEATH
59 Snakes’ weapons : FANGS
60 Party garb for one going as a pollution inspector? : EPA COSTUME (from “ape costume”)
65 Historic period with a lot of risks? : CHANCES ERA (from “chances are”)
68 Bob of “Fuller House” : SAGET
69 Explode : BURST
71 Full of slime : OOZY
72 Breezed through : ACED
73 Animation frame : CEL
74 Family reunion attendee : NEPHEW
77 Botch : MUFF
81 “__ so you!” : IT’S
82 “No problem!” : SURE!
83 Name of two presidents : ADAMS
84 Privilege : HONOR
85 Broadcaster : AIRER
88 A lot : SCADS
89 State bordering Baja : SONORA
90 Cube-shaped stones for a fireplace shelf? : MANTEL BLOCKS (from “mental blocks”)
94 Overly optimistic : BLUE-SKY
95 “Chicago Med” pro : ER DOC
96 Location : SITUS
97 Clamorous : NOISY
98 Color TV pioneer : RCA
99 H.S. exam for college credit : AP TEST
101 Brownish gray : TAUPE
102 Cacophony : DIN
105 Wizard’s communications device? : MAGE PHONE (from “megaphone”)
107 Braided Greek cheese? : TWIST OF FETA (from “twist of fate”)
110 Biblical plot : EDEN
111 Blood type, briefly : O-NEG
112 Lash mark : WELT
113 Shade : NUANCE
114 Fit together compactly : NEST
115 Classified ad abbr. : EEO
116 Comply with : OBEY
117 Slow-moving mammals : SLOTHS

Down

1 Bounders : CADS
2 Settled (on) : ALIT
3 Euros replaced them : LIRE
4 Coolers? : ICE
5 Winds also called ottavinos : PICCOLOS
6 Result of keeping a cap on too long : HAT HEAD
7 Goes after : SEEKS
8 Elegance : LUXE
9 401(k) alternative : IRA
10 Big affairs : DOS
11 Out of gear : IN PARK
12 Entertain at bedtime, as a tot : READ TO
13 “Sixteen Tons” singer whose nickname is his birth state : ERNIE FORD
14 Games gp. : IOC
15 Waited, not always patiently : STOOD IN LINE
16 Roadster in the Henry Ford Museum : MODEL A
17 Crow with Grammys : SHERYL
21 Brit. lexicon : OED
24 High spots : TORS
26 Metal-threaded fabrics : LAMES
29 Golden Triangle country : LAOS
31 Shameless : BAREFACED
32 Eye-opening cupful : COFFEE
34 Spanish span : ANO
35 Emphatic type: Abbr. : ITAL
36 They actually prefer fruit and grains to cheese : MICE
37 “Frasier” actress Gilpin : PERI
38 Kitchen counter staple : BLENDER
39 Cocktail order : DRY
41 Coll. senior’s test : GRE
42 One-eighty : UIE
45 Cookout choice : BRAT
46 Babe with a bat : RUTH
47 Dept. of Labor arm : OSHA
49 Tech sch. alumnus : ENGR
50 Big butte : MESA
52 Base figs. : GIS
54 Fast bucks : EASY MONEY
56 Barfly : SOT
58 Represented oneself to be : ACTED AS
59 Casbah headgear : FEZ
60 Morales of “NYPD Blue” : ESAI
61 Agreement : PACT
62 Seemingly forever : AGES AND AGES
63 Lyft rival : UBER
64 Paragon of stubbornness : MULE
66 Denials : NOES
67 Dairy grazer : COW
70 Light fare : SNACKS
73 Street edging piece : CURBSTONE
75 Crash site? : PAD
76 Royal Navy initials : HMS
78 Pizzeria chain, familiarly : UNOS
79 Motorist’s decision point : FORK
80 Donnybrook : FRAY
82 Frites seasoning : SEL
84 Holiday guests, maybe : HOUSEFUL
86 1995 court VIP : ITO
87 Go over : RECAP
88 Cottontail’s tail : SCUT
89 They usually don’t have laces : SLIP-ONS
90 Mythical males with tails : MERMEN
91 Game keeper? : ARCADE
92 Homeowner, vis-à-vis the bank : LIENEE
93 Cooperstown’s lake : OTSEGO
94 Attack, as of an illness : BOUT
97 Foul : NASTY
100 Saigon soup : PHO
101 Word game piece : TILE
102 Bit of progress : DENT
103 Allergic reaction : ITCH
104 Dundee disagreements : NAES
106 Tolkien creature : ENT
107 Wee hour : TWO
108 Information source, with “the” : … WEB
109 __ Schwarz : FAO

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 31 Oct 21, Sunday”

  1. 26:40

    The theme was very helpful. PANELCODE clued me in, even as my brain was grumbling “penal code”. My brain also had unreasoning difficulty with accepting SITUS as a word, even though it’s obviously the ancestor of “site”. Come on, brain! I thought you enjoyed learning new things!

  2. Leave a comment? Sure. I’ll leave four, starting with HAT HEAD and continuing along a trail of SCUT to an undisclosed SITUS — those are just the TORS. Oh, wait. Here’s another one: Boo.

  3. 33 mins 22 sec and 3 errors, all of them courtesy of “WTF?” fills. SITUS? OTSEGO? SCUT? Come ON!!!!

    Then top it off with another worthless “theme”? Come on, Coulter, you can do better than this!!!

  4. Plodded to completion with no final errors. I think this was a slow grind for me, which takes some of the fun out of the puzzle. But on the other hand I used to gripe that the LAT’s Sunday grid was too easy, so I’m trying to have my cake and eat it too…and that won’t do!

  5. 24:17 (with interruptions), no errors, no Naticks to be seen. The crossing of OTSEGO and SITUS made me pause for a moment, but I’d heard of the former and I guessed that the latter was a legal term (which it is).

    If you’re up for a real challenge, try Evan Birkholz’s puzzle (“THE HAUNTED HOUSE”) in today’s Washington Post. It’s actually a collection of eight puzzles and the eighth one involves two steps, the second of which has so far defeated me.

  6. Bill’s reference to a dry martini brought to mind how “Auntie Mame” taught her nephew how to make a perfect martini. She put ice into the shaker followed by a generous amount of dry Vermouth, stirred it gently and then strained out all of the Vermouth. Her claim was that the amount of Vermouth that was able to cling to the ice cubes made a perfect dry martini.

  7. 45 Cookout choice : BRAT
    A bratwurst (sometimes “brat” in the US) is a German sausage. The name comes from “brät-” meaning “finely chopped meat”

    Close. Actually, “brat” comes from the verb “braten” meaning “to roast”. “Bratwurst” literally translates to “roasted sausage”.
    “brät-” (with the Umlaut “ä”) does not mean just any “finely chopped meat”, but the kind that is intended for “braten” – “roasting”.

  8. Tricky Sunday for me; took 49:43 with the same error as seen above: SITeS/SCeT. I also tried to force liNTEL… instead of MANTEL… I just wasn’t into it today.

    @William Pfeifer – I thought that too, being German-Canadian-American myself, but it turns out that the “finely chopped meat” is actually correct.

  9. 33:04 also with an error at 96A/93D – SInUS/OnSEGO. Should have figured out SITUS as coming from “site,” but I liked SINUS for location. However, it’s a cavity, which doesn’t quite get there for location. Live and learn!

  10. What a horrible puzzle! The theme was ridiculous and didn’t help at all. Is it me, or was this puzzle harder than a normal Sunday puzzle? Didn’t get a lot of clue – too many to mention!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.