LA Times Crossword 28 Nov 21, Sunday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Two for Two

Themed answers each comprise a MIX of two words that often follow “DOUBLE”:

  • 121A Wimbledon category, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : MIXED DOUBLES
  • 23A *Band aide : BOOKING AGENT (“double booking” & “double agent”)
  • 34A *Period after a crash, perhaps : DOWNTIME (“double down” & “double time”)
  • 43A *Figure in many Monty Python routines : CROSSDRESSER (“doublecross” & “double dresser”)
  • 60A *Figurative place for deferred options : BACK BURNER (“double back” & “double burner”)
  • 68A *Airbags in cars, e.g. : STANDARD FEATURE (“double standard” & “double feature”)
  • 82A *Hoops buzzer-beater, for one : CLUTCH PLAY (“double clutch” & “double play”)
  • 96A *Mall rarity on Black Friday : PARKING SPACE (“double parking” & “double-space”)
  • 105A *Nightly barracks routine : BED CHECK (“double bed” & “double check”)

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

Bill’s time: 14m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Balls and some apples : GALAS

Gala is the second-most popular apple cultivar in the US, after red delicious. The gala apple tree originated in New Zealand in 1930, and is a cross between a golden delicious and a Kidd’s orange red.

6 “Bicycle Thieves” director Vittorio : DE SICA

Vittoria De Sica was an Italian director and actor. De Sica was director of the film “The Bicycle Thief”, released in 1948. Many deem “The Bicycle Thief” to be the greatest movie ever made.

12 Cleopatra’s killer : ASP

In William Shakespeare’s play “Antony and Cleopatra”, the heroine of the piece addresses the asp as she uses the snake to commit suicide:

Come, thou mortal wretch,
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool,
Be angry, and dispatch.

Later she says:

Peace, peace!
Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
That sucks the nurse asleep?

Cleopatra was the last pharaoh to rule Egypt. After she died, Egypt became a province in the Roman Empire.

15 Hindu epic hero : RAMA

In the Hindu tradition, the god known as Vishnu has several different avatars i.e. incarnations or manifestations. Rama is the seventh of these avatars.

21 Lobbying gp. : PAC

A political action committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent, expenditure-only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.

22 Airline whose name means “to the skies” : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

27 Pacific current : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more than half a degree celsius, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

30 Incomplete body of art : TORSO

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

40 Time VIPs : EDS

“TIME” was the first weekly news magazine in the US. It was founded in 1923 by Briton Hadden and Henry Luce. Hadden and Luce had previously worked together as chairman and managing editor of the “Yale Daily News”.

42 Burglar’s take : HAUL

The crime of burglary is the breaking into and entering of a building with the intent to steal. The actual theft itself is a separate crime.

43 *Figure in many Monty Python routines : CROSSDRESSER (“doublecross” & “double dresser”)

The zany comedy show called “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” first aired in 1969 on the BBC. The show ran for four seasons and finished up soon after John Cleese decided to leave the team and move onto other projects.

48 Ones using mixers, for short : DJS

The world’s first radio disc jockey (DJ) was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

51 Former Sony brand : AIWA

Aiwa was a Japanese company that produced consumer electronics, mainly audio and video equipment. Sony bought Aiwa in 2002 and eventually discontinued the brand in 2006. The Aiwa trademark was acquired by a Chicago-based consumer electronics company in 2015.

52 Afghanistan neighbor : IRAN

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

53 Saucer, briefly : UFO

Disc-shaped flying objects have been reported in the sky since the Middle Ages. In the modern era, the event that launched the term “flying saucer” was a UFO sighting in 1947, which was covered widely in the media. Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine unidentified flying objects in formation near Mount Rainier in Washington. In describing the objects, he repeatedly used the words “saucer”, “disc” and “pie-plate”. Newspapers latched onto the terminology, and we’ve been seeing flying “saucers” ever since.

59 “Family Circus” creator Bil : KEANE

Bil Keane was a cartoonist most associated with his strip “The Family Circus”. Once Bil sketched out the text and idea for the cartoon, he used to send it off to his son Jeff Keane who inked and colored the pictures for him in preparation for publication. In the storyline itself, the main characters are based on Bil’s own family. In fact, the son “Jeffy” in the story is based on Jeff, Bil’s son and longtime production assistant. After Bil passed away in 2011, Jeff took over as the author of the strip.

64 MLB’s “Splendid Splinter” Williams : TED

As well as playing in left field for the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams served as a pilot in the Marine Corps in World War II and the Korean War. Williams earned a few colorful nicknames during his baseball career, including “The Splendid Splinter”, “Teddy Ballgame”, “The Thumper” and “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived”.

66 Phi follower : CHI

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

77 Rum __ Tugger: “Cats” role : TUM

Rum Tum Tugger is one of the characters in T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”. Rum Tum Tugger also appears in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats”, the musical based on Eliot’s book. In the musical, Rum Tum Tugger’s persona was written as a homage to Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. So, the character tends to strut around the stage a lot.

88 Emulate a frigatebird : SOAR

Frigatebirds are seabirds with largely black plumage. The females have white underbellies, and the males red. The males exaggerate the red underbelly to attract females during mating season by inflating a throat pouch.

89 “Godzilla” franchise co-creator Tomoyuki __ : TANAKA

Tomoyuki Tanaka was a Japanese film producer. He is best remembered as the co-creator of the “Godzilla” series of movies.

The terrifying monster Godzilla is a Japanese invention. The first in a very long series of “Godzilla” films was released way back in 1954. The original name in Japanese was “Gojira”, but this was changed to Godzilla for audiences outside of Japan. “Gojira” is a combination of “gorira” and “kujira”, the Japanese words for gorilla and whale, apt because Godzilla is a big ape-like creature that came out of the deep.

90 LAX posting : ETA

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

91 Job safety org. : OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

92 Eclectic magazine : UTNE

The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. It was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.

93 Cephalopod’s discharge : INK

Cephalopods are a class of molluscs with arms or tentacles, a prominent head and a body with bilateral symmetry. Most cephalopods have the ability to squirt ink as a defensive mechanism. Examples of the class are the octopus, squid and cuttlefish. The name “cephalopod” comes from the Greek for “head-feet”.

94 “__L”: “Bye for now” : TTY-

Talk to you later (ttyl)

96 *Mall rarity on Black Friday : PARKING SPACE (“double parking” & “double-space”)

In the world of retail, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. It is also the day when many stores start the holiday shopping season, and so offer deep discounts to get ahead of the competition.

102 Bank account ID : SSN

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

104 Pink Floyd’s Barrett : SYD

Syd Barrett was the lead singer and a founding member of the English rock band Pink Floyd. Barrett was only active as a musician for just over ten years. He retired from the music scene in 1975 and spent the next 30 years living off Pink Floyd royalties until he passed away in 2006.

108 Biometric security procedure : IRIS SCAN

An iris scan is a method of biometric identification. It relies on the fact that the complex patterns in the irises are unique to an individual. Not that an iris scan differs from a retinal scan. The latter uses technology that scans the unique pattern of blood vessels in an individual’s retina.

112 Mtge. issuer : S AND L

Savings and Loan (S&L)

115 Pharaoh depicted on the Sphinx : KHAFRE

Khafre (also “Khafra”) was a pharaoh in ancient Egypt. The Pyramid of Khafre is the second-largest of the three Pyramids of Giza. The Great Sphinx dates back to the same time as the building of the Pyramid of Khafre, and Egyptologists believe that the face of the sphinx represents Khafre himself.

119 Capital east of New Delhi : KATMANDU

Although Kathmandu (sometimes “Katmandu”) is the capital city of the lofty nation of Nepal, it sits in a bowl-shaped valley at an elevation of only 4,600 ft. Air pollution is a huge problem in the city. Industry and residents launch a lot of smog into the air, and given the surrounding geography and climate, any pollution blown away during the day tends to fall back into the valley at night.

121 Wimbledon category, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : MIXED DOUBLES

The Wimbledon Championships of tennis are held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club located in Wimbledon, a district of London. The Wimbledon Championships started in 1877, and have been played on grass since day one.

124 Gillette blade : ATRA

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

125 Cool, like a cat : HEP

The slang term “hep” meaning “cool” has the same meaning as the later derivative term “hip”. The origins of “hep” seem unclear, but it was adopted by jazz musicians of the early 1900s.

126 Crib outfit : ONESIE

A onesie is a baby’s one-piece bodysuit, and is a common gift at a baby shower.

127 Gaming rookies : NOOBS

“Noob” is a not-so-nice slang term for a “newbie”, and often refers to someone who is new to an online community.

The term “rookie”, used for a raw recruit, first appeared in Rudyard Kipling’s collection of songs and poems called the “Barrack-Room Ballads”, which was originally published in 1892.

129 Holiday song syllables : LAS

The music for the Christmas song “Deck the Halls” is a traditional Welsh tune that dates back to the 16th century. The same tune was used by Mozart for a violin and piano duet. The lyrics with which we are familiar (other than the “f-la-la”) are American in origin, and were recorded in the 19th century.

“’Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la!”

130 Lipton rival : NESTEA

Nestea is a brand of iced tea made by Nestlé. The name is a portmanteau of “Nestlé” and “tea”.

131 Forum garments : TOGAE

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

Down

2 Base runner? : AWOL

MPs (military police officers) often track down personnel who go AWOL (absent without leave).

3 Oz traveler : LION

The Cowardly Lion in L. Frank Baum’s “Land of Oz” books was portrayed by Bert Lahr in the celebrated 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”. The costume that Lahr wore in the film was made from real lion fur, and weighed a whopping 60 pounds.

5 Fight souvenirs : SHINERS

A shiner is something that shines. The term “shiner” has been used to mean “black eye” since 1904.

6 Hammarskjöld of the U.N. : DAG

Dag Hammarskjöld was the second secretary-general of the United Nations, right up until his death in a plane crash in Rhodesia in 1961. The crash was considered suspicious at the time as the bodyguards were found to have bullet wounds when they died, but this was put down to bullets exploding in the fire after the crash.

8 “Sonic” consoles : SEGAS

Sonic the Hedgehog is a title character in a videogame and the mascot of Sega, the computer game developer. Sonic was set up as a rival to Nintendo’s mascot Mario.

9 Like krypton and xenon : INERT

Krypton was discovered in 1898 by two British chemists, Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers. They chilled a sample of air, turning it into a liquid. They then warmed that liquid and separated out the gases that boiled off. Along with nitrogen, oxygen and argon (already known), the pair of scientists discovered two new gases. The first they called “krypton” and the second “neon”. “Krypton” is Greek for “the hidden one” and “neon” is Greek for “new”.

The element xenon was the first of the noble gases to be made into a compound, which was somewhat remarkable in that the noble gases were thought by many to be completely inert, unreactive.

11 Piedmont bubbly : ASTI

Asti is a city in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The region is perhaps most famous for its Asti Spumante sparkling white wine.

14 Angel dust, briefly : PCP

Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as “PCP” or “angel dust”.

17 Vertical billiards shot : MASSE

In billiards, a massé shot is one in which the cue ball makes an extreme curve due to the player imparting heavy spin on the ball with his or her cue held relatively vertically. Some pool halls don’t allow massé shots as there’s a risk of ripping the cloth covering the table.

18 __ sax : ALTO

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, hence the name. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

26 Julius’ cry to Marcus : ET TU?!

The most famous man with the name “Brutus” in ancient Rome was Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger. It was this Brutus that Julius Caesar turned to when he was assassinated on the steps of the Senate. William Shakespeare immortalized Brutus by featuring him in his play, “Julius Caesar”, and giving his victim the line “Et tu, Brute?”

29 ’60s activist gp. : SDS

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

32 Nobelist of 1903 and 1911 : CURIE

Marie Curie lived a life of firsts. She was the first female professor at the University of Paris, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and indeed was the first person to win two Nobel prizes (in Physics in 1903, and in Chemistry in 1911). Most of Curie’s work was in the field of radioactivity, and was carried out in the days when the impact of excessive radiation on the human body was not understood. She died from aplastic anemia, caused by high exposure to radiation. To this day, Curie’s personal papers are kept preserved in lead-lined boxes as they are highly radioactive, even her personal cookbook.

33 “William Tell,” e.g. : OPERA

“Guillaume Tell” is an opera by Gioachino Rossini based on the legend of William Tell. It is actually Rossini’s last opera, and is certainly the Rossini opera with the most recognizable overture. The whole of the overture is superb, but the driving finale is widely recognized as the theme from the television show “The Lone Ranger”.

35 Big cheese : NABOB

A nabob is a person of wealth and prominence. “Nabob” was once used as a title for a governor in India.

36 Rogaine target : SCALP

Rogaine is a brand name for the drug minoxidil. It was developed as an oral medication to treat high blood pressure, but was found to have an exploitable side-effect. It caused an increase in the rate of hair growth. A topical solution was marketed to promote growth of hair especially in balding men. The drug seems to work well, but when the patient stops using it, things go back to normal in about 60 days. Wouldn’t dream of touching the stuff myself …

38 “Holy Toledo!” : WOWIE!

The origin of the term “Holy Toledo!” is much debated. My favorite story is that it comes from the days of Vaudeville. Back then, the week before Easter (Holy Week) was the worst week at the box office. Old Vaudeville entertainers used to quip that any week in Toledo was Holy Week, that ticket sales were always bad there. They referred to the city as “Holy Toledo”.

41 Beat handily : DRUB

A drubbing is a beating, one given either literally or figuratively. The term “drub” dates back in English to the 17th century when it was imported from the Arabic word for a beating, i.e. “darb”.

44 Florida coastal city or its county : SARASOTA

Sarasota is a city on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The area was noted on maps in the mid-1700s as “Zara Zote”, which was perhaps a local name. The name became “Sara Sota” when European settlers arrived in the late 1840s, and eventually “Sarasota” in 1902.

45 Red-and-white topper : SANTA HAT

The name “Santa Claus” is American English, and came into the language as a phonetic variant of “Sinterklaas”, the Dutch for “Saint Nicholas”.

47 Latte variant : MOCHA

A caffè mocha is a caffè latte that has been flavored with chocolate. One might also regard a caffè mocha as hot chocolate with the addition of a shot of espresso.

49 “An Innocent Man” songwriter : JOEL

“An Innocent Man” is a 1983 song written and recorded by Billy Joel. Joel noted in an interview that there are some pretty high notes in the song, and he figured that he would include them at a time when he was still young enough to hit them!

50 Canon AE-1 et al., for short : SLRS

The Canon AE-1 is a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera that had incredibly successful sales numbers (almost 6 million) units. It was introduced in the mid-1970s. I didn’t own an AE-1, but my first SLR was a derivative model, an AL-1 that I purchased in the 1980s. Happy memories …

59 Mauna __ : KEA

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, the peak of which is the highest point in the whole state. Mauna Kea is in effect the tip of a gigantic volcano rising up from the seabed.

65 Rachel Carson subject : DDT

DDT is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (don’t forget now!). DDT was used with great success to control disease-carrying insects during WWII, and when made available for use after the war it became by far the most popular pesticide. And then Rachel Carson published her famous book “Silent Spring”, suggesting there was a link between DDT and diminishing populations of certain wildlife. It was the public outcry sparked by the book, and reports of links between DDT and cancer, that led to the ban on the use of the chemical in 1972. That ban is touted as the main reason that the bald eagle was rescued from near extinction.

70 Family name in Chicago politics : DALEY

Richard J. Daley was the Mayor of Chicago for 21 years (1955-1976), making him the longest-serving mayor for the city in history. His son, Richard M. Daley, was mayor from 1989 to 2011, and was the city’s second-longest serving mayor.

75 Tarzan type : HUNK

Tarzan is the title character in the series of books created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The line “Me Tarzan, you Jane” never appeared in the books, and indeed doesn’t even figure in the movies. Apparently Johnny Weissmuller (who played Tarzan in the thirties and forties) saw Maureen O’Sullivan (“Jane”, to Weissmuller’s “Tarzan”) struggling with a suitcase in the parking lot during filming. He grabbed the bag from her, jokingly saying “Me Tarzan, you Jane”, and people have been quoting those words ever since.

79 Little bits : IOTAS

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

80 Rival of Tonya : NANCY

Tonya Harding won the US Figure Skating Championships in 1991. Harding’s reputation was greatly tarnished in the run up to the 1994 Olympics, when her former husband and her bodyguard contracted someone to attack Harding’s main competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. During a practice session for the US Championship, a hired thug assaulted Kerrigan with a police baton, attempting to break her leg. Kerrigan was forced to withdraw, and Harding won the championship. Both Harding and Kerrigan were selected for the Olympic team, and despite attempts to get Harding removed, both skated at the Games in Lillehammer. Harding finished in eighth place, and Kerrigan won the silver medal. Harding admitted that she helped cover up the attack when she found out about it, and was stripped of her US Championship title.

81 Devotion to Mammon, biblically : GREED

According to the Christian New Testament, Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and mammon”. The term “mammon” translates as “money, wealth”.

87 Philatelist’s buys : PANES

Stamp collectors (philatelists) might purchase a whole pane of stamps.

97 Dye-making compound : ANILINE

Aniline is a relatively simple organic compound. It is used primarily in the manufacture of urethane polymers, but also in the synthetic dye industry. Hopefully aniline’s strong smell warns one to stay away, as it is a poison.

98 Insurance lizard : GECKO

Gecko is the “spokes-lizard” for GEICO. When Gecko was introduced in 1999, he was voiced by actor Kelsey Grammer of “Cheers” and “Frasier” fame. Since then, Gecko has been voiced by British radio presenter Dave Kelly and most recently by actor Jake Wood, who plays Max Branning on the British soap opera “EastEnders”.

99 Old TV series with a scuba-diving hero : SEA HUNT

“Sea Hunt” is an entertaining adventure TV show that originally aired in the late fifties and early sixties. Star of the series is Lloyd Bridges, playing a retired US Navy frogman and free-lance SCUBA diver. Lloyd’s sons Jeff and Beau made a couple of appearances on the show. A few not-yet-famous actors also appeared in “Sea Hunt”, including Larry Hagman, Jack Nicholson, Leonard Nimoy, Ted Knight and Bruce Dern.

101 Pac-12’s Bruins : UCLA

The UCLA Bruins’ mascots are Joe and Josephine Bruin, characters that have evolved over the years. There used to be “mean” Bruin mascots but they weren’t very popular with the fans, so now there are only “happy” Bruin mascots at the games.

105 Saddam’s party : BA’ATH

Saddam Hussein served as president of Iraq from 1979 until the US-led invasion of the country in 2003. The Iraqi Interim Government put him on trial for crimes against humanity, for which he was convicted and executed in 2006.

106 Between, in Brest : ENTRE

Brest is a port city in northwest France, and is the second largest military port in the country. Brest was an important base for German U-boats during WWII when France was occupied by the Nazis. Brest is the most westerly city in the whole country.

107 Some bra features : C-CUPS

The word “brassière” is French in origin, but it isn’t the word that the French use for a “bra”. In France, what we call a bra is known as a “soutien-gorge”, translating to “held under the neck”. The word “brassière” is indeed used in France but there it describes a baby’s undershirt, a lifebelt or a harness. “Brassière” comes from the Old French word for an “arm protector” in a military uniform (“bras” is the French for “arm”). Later “brassière” came to mean “breastplate” and from there the word was used for a type of woman’s corset. The word jumped into English around 1900.

109 Curly-coated cats : REXES

“Rex cat” is the name given to a number of different breeds. The common characteristic is that, due to a genetic mutation, every rex cat has wavy or curly hair.

110 That is, to Cicero : ID EST

Cicero was a very influential senator in ancient Rome,in part due to his renowned ability to deliver a persuasive speech. His full name was Marcus Tullius Cicero.

111 Jar Jar Binks’ planet : NABOO

Jar Jar Binks is a comedic character who appears in Episodes I-III of the “Star Wars” movies. Binks hails from the planet Naboo, which is eventually ruled by Queen Padmé Amidala (played by Natalie Portman). Apparently, the hardcore “Star Wars” fans aren’t big fans of Mr. Binks.

112 Card game for three : SKAT

When I was a teenager in Ireland, I had a friend with a German father. The father taught us the game of Skat, and what a great game it is. Skat originated in Germany in the 1800s and is to this day the most popular card game in the country. I haven’t played it in decades, but would love to play it again …

116 Aggressively promote : FLOG

“To flog” is a slang term meaning “to sell, to promote vigorously”.

117 Singer McEntire : REBA

Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007. She is sometimes referred to as “The Queen of Country”.

120 Devils org. : NHL

The New Jersey Devils are the professional ice hockey team based in Newark. The club was founded in 1974 in Kansas City, originally as the Mohawks, and then quickly renamed the Scouts. The franchise moved to Denver in 1976, becoming the Colorado Rockies. The move to Newark happened in 1982, when the team was renamed the New Jersey Devils.

123 Org. that makes traffic stops? : DEA

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Balls and some apples : GALAS
6 “Bicycle Thieves” director Vittorio : DE SICA
12 Cleopatra’s killer : ASP
15 Hindu epic hero : RAMA
19 Wanting words : I WISH
20 Spots for spectacles : ARENAS
21 Lobbying gp. : PAC
22 Airline whose name means “to the skies” : EL AL
23 *Band aide : BOOKING AGENT (“double booking” & “double agent”)
25 Stuck playing a familiar role : TYPECAST
27 Pacific current : EL NINO
28 Top drawers? : ARTISTS
30 Incomplete body of art : TORSO
31 Budgetary figures : NET COSTS
34 *Period after a crash, perhaps : DOWNTIME (“double down” & “double time”)
36 Wood cutter : SAW
39 Do another hitch : REUP
40 Time VIPs : EDS
42 Burglar’s take : HAUL
43 *Figure in many Monty Python routines : CROSSDRESSER (“doublecross” & “double dresser”)
47 __ mentality : MOB
48 Ones using mixers, for short : DJS
51 Former Sony brand : AIWA
52 Afghanistan neighbor : IRAN
53 Saucer, briefly : UFO
55 “Hey, that’s great!” : OH, COOL!
58 Animal shelter : LAIR
59 “Family Circus” creator Bil : KEANE
60 *Figurative place for deferred options : BACK BURNER (“double back” & “double burner”)
62 “Give me a break!” : PLEASE!
64 MLB’s “Splendid Splinter” Williams : TED
66 Phi follower : CHI
67 Staggers : REELS
68 *Airbags in cars, e.g. : STANDARD FEATURE (“double standard” & “double feature”)
73 “Bless you” evoker : ACHOO!
76 “That feels good” : AAH
77 Rum __ Tugger: “Cats” role : TUM
78 Making a big deal out of : HYPING
82 *Hoops buzzer-beater, for one : CLUTCH PLAY (“double clutch” & “double play”)
85 Files in shop class : RASPS
88 Emulate a frigatebird : SOAR
89 “Godzilla” franchise co-creator Tomoyuki __ : TANAKA
90 LAX posting : ETA
91 Job safety org. : OSHA
92 Eclectic magazine : UTNE
93 Cephalopod’s discharge : INK
94 “__L”: “Bye for now” : TTY-
96 *Mall rarity on Black Friday : PARKING SPACE (“double parking” & “double-space”)
100 Pained expression : OUCH!
102 Bank account ID : SSN
103 Very wide shoe : EEEE
104 Pink Floyd’s Barrett : SYD
105 *Nightly barracks routine : BED CHECK (“double bed” & “double check”)
108 Biometric security procedure : IRIS SCAN
112 Mtge. issuer : S AND L
113 Like some eaves in winter : ICICLED
115 Pharaoh depicted on the Sphinx : KHAFRE
119 Capital east of New Delhi : KATMANDU
121 Wimbledon category, and a hint to the answers to starred clues : MIXED DOUBLES
124 Gillette blade : ATRA
125 Cool, like a cat : HEP
126 Crib outfit : ONESIE
127 Gaming rookies : NOOBS
128 Back in the day : THEN
129 Holiday song syllables : LAS
130 Lipton rival : NESTEA
131 Forum garments : TOGAE

Down

1 Barb : GIBE
2 Base runner? : AWOL
3 Oz traveler : LION
4 Welcome at the door : ASK IN
5 Fight souvenirs : SHINERS
6 Hammarskjöld of the U.N. : DAG
7 Historical period : ERA
8 “Sonic” consoles : SEGAS
9 Like krypton and xenon : INERT
10 Don’t get : CAN’T SEE
11 Piedmont bubbly : ASTI
12 Likely will, after “is” : … APT TO
13 “Oh yeah?” : SAYS WHO?
14 Angel dust, briefly : PCP
15 Snap back : RECOIL
16 Cause to sweat : ALARM
17 Vertical billiards shot : MASSE
18 __ sax : ALTO
24 Well-known : NOTED
26 Julius’ cry to Marcus : ET TU?!
29 ’60s activist gp. : SDS
32 Nobelist of 1903 and 1911 : CURIE
33 “William Tell,” e.g. : OPERA
35 Big cheese : NABOB
36 Rogaine target : SCALP
37 No-frills font : ARIAL
38 “Holy Toledo!” : WOWIE!
41 Beat handily : DRUB
44 Florida coastal city or its county : SARASOTA
45 Red-and-white topper : SANTA HAT
46 Scornful look : SNEER
47 Latte variant : MOCHA
48 Ready to eat : DONE
49 “An Innocent Man” songwriter : JOEL
50 Canon AE-1 et al., for short : SLRS
54 Cover for some superheroes : FACE MASK
56 “We don’t have much time!” : HURRY!
57 Stealthily nears, with “on” : CREEPS UP …
59 Mauna __ : KEA
61 Modeler’s buy : KIT
63 Seller’s supply : STOCK
65 Rachel Carson subject : DDT
69 Quick snooze : NAP
70 Family name in Chicago politics : DALEY
71 Hubbub : FUROR
72 Sounds of hesitation : UHS
73 Musical opening : ACT I
74 Family group : CLAN
75 Tarzan type : HUNK
79 Little bits : IOTAS
80 Rival of Tonya : NANCY
81 Devotion to Mammon, biblically : GREED
83 Come out of one’s shell : HATCH
84 Toy dog’s barks : YAPS
86 Draws back : SHIES
87 Philatelist’s buys : PANES
95 “What nerve!” : THE IDEA!
97 Dye-making compound : ANILINE
98 Insurance lizard : GECKO
99 Old TV series with a scuba-diving hero : SEA HUNT
100 Guy who’s often out : ODD MAN
101 Pac-12’s Bruins : UCLA
102 Go downhill fast : SKI
105 Saddam’s party : BA’ATH
106 Between, in Brest : ENTRE
107 Some bra features : C-CUPS
109 Curly-coated cats : REXES
110 That is, to Cicero : ID EST
111 Jar Jar Binks’ planet : NABOO
112 Card game for three : SKAT
114 “Let’s do it!” : C’MON!
116 Aggressively promote : FLOG
117 Singer McEntire : REBA
118 Latin “to be” : ESSE
120 Devils org. : NHL
122 Lose power, as a battery : DIE
123 Org. that makes traffic stops? : DEA

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Nov 21, Sunday”

  1. 34:08 2 errors.

    One because my brain couldn’t get from NOEL Coward to Billy JOEL.
    Two because I thought maybe Khufu was KHUFRE, when it was Khufu’s son KHAFRE on the sphinx. Maybe I should pay more attention to that History of Egypt podcast.

    I figured out MIXEDDOUBLES okay, but I didn’t get and couldn’t see the double phrases.

  2. Just a regular slog..
    Not sure about WOWIE as a HOLY TOLEDO?? Or FLOG to aggressively promote??
    “YOU WILL LIKE THIS (whip/snap), YOU WILL LIKE THIS (whip/snap), YOU WILL LIKE THIS (whip/snap), etc…

  3. 116D- “Flog” means to sell, promote? That’s news to me. I always thought it meant to beat, to whip, especially aboard a ship. I picture a poor man stripped to the waist while hugging a mast and being whipped with a “cat ‘o nine tails”.

    This puzzle had an awful lot of words with 2 or more spellings. And, since most of the answers were the lesser known, it was my downfall.

  4. 28:46 and DNF, 6 tightly grouped naticks centered on IRIS SCAN and KHA[F]RE/[F]LOG.

    Once again, some extremely esoteric fills and poorly-edited clues ruin a grid.

  5. One of the meanings of “FLOG” is “to promote or talk about (something) repetitively or at excessive length”. So, yeah, it’s in the dictionary … 🤨.

  6. 28:11 with no lookups, but errors on KHApRE/NOuBS. I had NOOBS, but PLOG wouldn’t work, so went with NOUBS as an alt. spelling. Didn’t recall or know the Sphinx’s pharaoh. I agree with others’ assessment of FLOG for “Aggressively promote.”

    I get the theme as Bill explained it, but I fail to see the “mixed” aspect of it.

  7. Slightly tricky Sunday for me; took 49:46 with 10 errors, all in the NE and SE corners. Didn’t get RAMA, TORSO, …TIME and NOOBS, NABOO, KHAFRE.

    I’ve definitely heard FLOG as aggressively promote, as in “flog it to death”. Unfortunately I had plug instead.

    There’s a similar situation to Nancy/Tonya going on in France at the moment between two women soccer players for PSG. A player offered another a ride home from practice and when they stopped at a light, “suddenly” two attackers forced the player out of the passenger seat and whacked her legs with steel bars, while doing nothing to the driver. The cops smelled a rat straight away.

    @Ray – I think the “mixed” just applies literally, in that two things, in one answer, can have mixed attached to them to form a phrase.

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