LA Times Crossword 2 Jan 22, Sunday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Decision Making

Themed answers are common phrases after we TOSS A “CO” IN, insert “CO”:

  • 121A Perform a pregame NFL ritual … or, in four parts, phrase that hints at seven long Across answers : TOSS A COIN … or TOSS A CO IN
  • 22A Candle used in a lighthouse? : WAX BEACON (from “wax bean”)
  • 28A Snake that can walk on water? : MIRACLE COBRA (from “Miracle Bra”)
  • 42A Imitations of disapproving sounds? : RASPBERRY COPIES (from “raspberry pies”)
  • 63A Workout trainers? : MUSCLE COACHES (from “muscle aches”)
  • 72A Reward for a fan at a smokehouse drawing? : LIFETIME BACON (from “lifetime ban”)
  • 97A Traveling jokester? : HIGHWAY COMEDIAN (from “highway median”)
  • 112A Problem that plagues the grid? : POWER SCOURGE (from “power surge”)

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

Bill’s time: 17m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Safari find : SITE

Safari is Apple’s flagship Internet browser, one that is used on its Mac line of computers. A mobile version of Safari is included with all iPhones.

9 First-string squad : A-TEAM

We’ve been using the phrases “first string” and “second string” in athletics since the mid-19th century. The expressions come from archery, in which a competitor would carry a second bowstring in case the first broke.

18 Graceful horse : ARAB

The Arab (also “Arabian”) breed of horse takes its name from its original home, the Arabian Peninsula. Like any animal that humans have over-bred, the horse falls prey to genetic diseases, some of which are fatal and some of which require the horse to be euthanized.

20 James Gang associate Starr : BELLE

Belle Starr was an outlaw in the Wild West, a descendent of the famous feuding Hatfields. Born Myra Maybelle Shirley, she married a Cherokee man named Sam Starr in 1880. After a life of crime that included a nine-month stint in jail, Belle was ambushed and shot twice in 1889, in an unsolved crime. Belle Starr wasn’t at all notorious during her life, but her story was told quite colorfully in the Richard K. Fox novel “Bella Starr, the Bandit Queen, or the Female Jesse James”. The novel was published the year she died, and decades later Starr was portrayed in several movies, including 1941’s “Belle Starr” with Gene Tierney in the title role.

Jesse James was an outlaw from Missouri who became a legendary figure of the Wild West. James somehow earned the reputation that he was a Robin Hood figure, robbing the rich and giving to the poor, but in fact this is far from the truth. After being chased persistently by law enforcement officers, he was eventually killed by one of his own gang members who hoped to collect a reward. As soon as newspapers reported his death in 1882, rumors started that Jesse James had in fact survived. Eventually, the body buried in the grave marked with Jesse James’ name was exhumed in 1995, and DNA testing showed that almost certainly it was the resting place of the infamous outlaw.

21 Summa cum __ : LAUDE

When an academic degree is awarded, a level of distinction can be noted depending on the degree of success achieved by the student. There are three types of honor, each with a Latin name:

  • cum laude: meaning “with honor” (literally “with praise”)
  • magna cum laude: meaning “with great honor”
  • summa cum laude: meaning “with highest honor”

24 Genesis tower locale : BABEL

We use the word “babel” now to describe a scene of confusion, lifting the term from the biblical story of the Tower of Babel. The Tower was built in the city of Babylon, and the construction was cursed with a confusion of languages due to the varied origins of all the builders.

26 Casper-to-Denver dir. : SSE

The Wyoming city of Casper was established just a few miles east of the former site of Fort Caspar, which gave the settlement its name. In turn, Fort Caspar was named for US Army officer Caspar Collins, who was killed in 1865 at the Battle of the Plate Bridge Station. “Platte Bridge Station” was the name of the trading post that had existed at the site of Fort Caspar.

Denver, Colorado is nicknamed “Mile-High City” because its official elevation is listed as exactly one mile. Denver City was founded in 1858 as a mining town. The name was chosen in honor of the Kansas Territorial Governor at the time, James W. Denver.

27 Word in a beauty brand since 1952 : OLAY

Oil of Olay was developed in South Africa in 1952. When Oil of Olay was introduced internationally, it was given slightly different brand names designed to appeal in the different geographies. In Ireland we know it as Oil of Ulay, for example, and in France it is Oil of Olaz.

28 Snake that can walk on water? : MIRACLE COBRA (from “Miracle Bra”)

“Cobra” is the name given to a group of snakes, some of which are in different families. The term is reserved for those snakes that can expand their neck ribs to create a hood. The name “cobra” is an abbreviated form of “cobra de capello” which translates from Portuguese as “snake with hood”.

The Miracle Bra is a line of bras introduced in 1993 by Victoria’s Secret.

30 Snake secretion : VENOM

Antivenom (also “antivenin”) is made by extracting venom from say a snake (so called “milking”) and then diluting it and injecting it into a host animal (like a cat, horse or sheep). The animal undergoes an immune response and produces antibodies to neutralize the poison. The antibodies are harvested from the animal’s blood and are stored for use with victims who are bitten by the same snake, or by some other creature that injects the same or a similar venom. I guess antivenom might also be called antiserum …

33 Brightly plumed songbird : ORIOLE

The songbird called an oriole builds an interesting nest. It is a woven cup-like structure that is suspended from a branch like a hammock.

34 Tax prep pros : CPAS

Certified public accountant (CPA)

41 Russo of “Thor” : RENE

The talented actress Rene Russo is a native of Burbank, California. Russo went to high school (with actor/director Ron Howard), but dropped out in tenth grade. At seventeen, she was given the opportunity to train as a model and within a very short time appeared on the cover of “Vogue”. As her modelling jobs slowed down in her early thirties, Russo made a career change and studied theater and acting.

42 Imitations of disapproving sounds? : RASPBERRY COPIES (from “raspberry pies”)

Not so much here in America, but over in Britain and Ireland “blowing a raspberry” is a way of insulting someone (I think that it’s usually called “a Bronx cheer” in the US). The verb “to razz” comes from a shortened form of “raspberry”.

49 Goree who played Cassius Clay in “One Night in Miami…” : ELI

Actor Eli Goree is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He started his acting career at only six years of age, when he appeared in “Sesame Park”, the Canadian version of the children’s show “Sesame Street”.

“One Night in Miami…” is a 2020 movie written by Kemp Powers that is based on his own 2013 stage play of the same name. The “Night” referred to in the title is a reference to a real meeting that took place in February of 1964 to celebrate the victory of Muhammad Ali (then “Cassius Clay”) over Sonny Liston. The attendees were Muhammad Ali (played by Eli Goree), Malcolm X (played by Kingsley Ben-Adir), Jim Brown (played by Aldis Hodge) and Sam Cooke (played by Leslie Odom Jr.). I haven’t seen this one yet, but I hear really good things about it …

50 Actor Morales : 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”.

51 Baconator chain : WENDY’S

Famously, the Wendy’s chain of fast food restaurants was founded by Dave Thomas, in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. Dave named his establishment after his fourth child, Melinda Lou “Wendy” Thomas.

54 Expressive chat image : EMOJI

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but is more elaborate. “Emoji” is a Japanese word meaning “picture word”.

59 Treasury Dept. variable : GNP

A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, although related, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

61 Big name in bread : PANERA

Panera Bread is a chain of bakery/coffeehouses. A Panera restaurant is a good place to get online while having a cup of coffee. Back in 2006 and 2007, Panera was the largest provider of free Wi-Fi access in the whole of the US.

69 Rochelle Walensky’s org. : CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The CDC started out life during WWII as the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities. The CDC worries about much more than malaria these days …

Rochelle Walensky is a physician and scientist who was put in charge of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2021.

70 “This __ to stop” : HAS

It certainly does …

71 Mt. Hood’s state : ORE

Mount Hood is a volcanic peak in northern Oregon. It is the highest peak in the state, and is located about 50 miles southeast of Portland. There are six ski areas on the mountain, including a resort called Timberline that has North America’s only lift that operates year-round for skiing.

77 iRobot vacuum : ROOMBA

The Roomba vacuum cleaner is a cool-looking device that navigates its way around a room by itself, picking up dirt as it goes. Like I said, it’s cool-looking but I am not sure how effective it is …

81 Sci-fi author Palmer : ADA

Author Ada Palmer’s first published work was 2016’s science fiction novel “Too Like the Lightning”. It was to be the first of a quartet of novels, followed by “Seven Surrenders” (2017), “The Will to Battle” (2017) and “Perhaps the Star” (2021). Collectively, the four books are referred to as the “Terra Ignota” series.

82 Liquid meas. : GAL

The name of our fluid measure called a “gallon” ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin term “galleta” meaning “bucket, pail”.

87 Lauderdale neighbor : BOCA

The name of the city of Boca Raton in Florida translates from Spanish as “Mouse Mouth”. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive etymology of the name but one plausible explanation is a nautical one. “Boca”, as well as meaning “mouth” can mean “inlet”. “Ratón”, as well as meaning “mouse” was also used to describe rocks that chewed away at a ship’s anchor cable. So possibly Boca Raton was named for a rocky inlet.

Fort Lauderdale in Florida is named for a series of 19th-century forts built during the Second Seminole War. The first of the forts was built under the command of Major William Lauderdale, with three of the structures being named “Fort Lauderdale”.

89 Pump number : OCTANE

The difference between a premium and regular gasoline is its octane rating. The octane rating is a measure of the resistance of the gasoline to auto-ignition i.e. its resistance to ignition just by virtue of being compressed in the cylinder. This auto-ignition is undesirable as multiple-cylinder engines are designed so that ignition within each cylinder takes place precisely when the plug sparks, and not before. If ignition occurs before the spark is created, the resulting phenomenon is called “knocking”. We sometimes use the adjective “high-octane” to mean “intense, dynamic, high-powered”

94 “Billions” airer, briefly : SHO

“Billions” is a Showtime drama series starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis. It’s about a federal prosecutor going after a hedge fund manager in New York. Excellent show …

97 Traveling jokester? : HIGHWAY COMEDIAN (from “highway median”)

Here in the US, the area separating opposing lanes of traffic on a divided highway called the “median strip”. Over in Britain and Ireland, that median strip is known as the “central reservation”.

101 Barcelona bar bite : TAPA

“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”. There is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after the capital Madrid. It is also the largest European city that sits on the Mediterranean coast, and the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.

103 Goofy drawing? : CEL

Disney’s Goofy first appeared as Dippy Dawg in 1932. Goofy became famous for his “How to …” series of cartoons in the 1940s which dealt with everything from snow skiing to sleeping, and from football to riding a horse. Goofy’s last theatrical appearance was in a 2007 work called “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater”.

104 “Level Up” singer : CIARA

Ciara is a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas. She used to date rapper Bow Wow, but married Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in 2016.

105 Vaper’s stick, for short : E-CIG

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

106 Colombian capital : BOGOTA

Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia. Noted for having many libraries and universities, Bogotá is sometimes referred to as “The Athens of South America”.

110 Fr. misses : MLLES

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

115 Pitcher Sparky, first American League reliever to win the Cy Young Award : LYLE

Sparky Lyle is a retired MLB relief pitcher who played from 1967 to 1982, winning the Cy Young Award in 1977.

116 Jeter’s jersey number : TWO

Derek Jeter played his entire professional baseball career with the New York Yankees, and was the team’s captain. Jeter is the all-time career leader for the Yankees in hits, games played, stolen bases and at bats. He is also the all-time leader in hits by a shortstop in the whole of professional baseball. Jeter’s performances in the postseason earned him the nicknames “Captain Clutch” and “Mr. November”. Jeter retired from the game in 2014.

120 Yearly record : ANNAL

“Annal” is a rarely used word, and is the singular of the more common “annals”. An annal would be the recorded events of one year, with annals being the chronological record of events in successive years. The term “annal” comes from the Latin “annus” meaning “year”.

121 Perform a pregame NFL ritual … or, in four parts, phrase that hints at seven long Across answers : TOSS A COIN

The two sides of a coin are known as the “obverse” and the “reverse”. The obverse is commonly referred to as “heads”, as it often depicts someone’s head. The reverse is commonly called “tails”, as it is the opposite of “heads”.

123 Soft minerals : TALCS

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

124 “Stranger Things” genre : SCI-FI

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror, and so haven’t seen it …

125 Foil alternative : EPEE

Before the foil was introduced as a sporting weapon, it was used as a blunted weapon for sword practice. It has been suggested that the sword was blunted by wrapping metal foil around the tip, hence the name.

127 Craftsy etailer : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

128 Dry runs : TESTS

A dry run is a performance held privately before appearing in front of the public. Apparently, the term “dry run” comes from US firefighters. Back in the day, fire crews would make practise “runs” to the location of a supposed fire. As water was not pumped, the exercise was known as a “dry run”.

130 Julia’s “Ocean’s Eleven” role : TESS

“Ocean’s 11” is a great film from 1960, starring Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. The original storyline is updated for the excellent 2001 remake, with George Clooney playing the lead. In the 1960 movie, the love interest is a character called Beatrice Ocean, played by Angie Dickinson. In the 2001 version, the love interest gets a new name, Tess Ocean, and is played by Julia Roberts. The 2001 remake (titled “Ocean’s Eleven”, note the spelling) spawned two sequels: “Ocean’s Twelve” in 2004 and “Ocean’s Thirteen” in 2007.

Hollywood actress Julia Roberts is from Smyrna, Georgia. Roberts got her big break after starring opposite Richard Gere in the 1990 romantic comedy “Pretty Woman”. She was paid $300,000 for her performance in “Pretty Woman”, a little less than the $25 million paycheck she was to earn for appearing in 2003’s “Mona Lisa Smile”. Roberts was married for a couple of years to country singer Lyle Lovett, and her older brother is actor Eric Roberts.R

Down

1 Bits of wisdom : SAWS

A saw is an old saying, one that is often repeated and is very familiar. The term “old saw” is actually a tautology, as by definition a “saw” is “old”.

2 Golden years funds : IRAS

Individual retirement account (IRA)

5 Rock-clinging mollusks : ABALONES

The large edible sea snails that we call abalone are called ormer in Britain and Ireland, and are served as “awabi” at a sushi bar. The abalone shell resembles a human ear, giving rise to the alternative names “ear shell” and “sea ear”.

7 Horse victim? : TROY

The story of the Wooden Horse of Troy is told in the Virgil’s poem “The Aeneid”. According to the tale, the city of Troy finally fell to Greeks after a siege that had lasted for ten years. In a ruse, the Greeks sailed away in apparent defeat, leaving behind a large wooden horse. Inside the horse were hidden 30 crack soldiers. When the horse was dragged into the city as a victory trophy, the soldiers sneaked out and opened the city’s gates. The Greeks returned under cover of night and entered the open city.

9 Cornish of “Jack Ryan” : ABBIE

Abbie Cornish is an actress and rap singer from Australia. As an actress, Cornish played the wife of Police Chief Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) in the excellent movie “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. She also plays the title character’s love interest in the TV series “Jack Ryan”. As a rapper, Cornish performs under the name “Dusk”.

11 Island off Tuscany : ELBA

I had a lovely two-week vacation in Tuscany once, including what was supposed to be a two-night stay on the island of Elba. I had envisioned Elba as a place full of history, and maybe it is, but it is also overrun with tourists who use it as a beach getaway. We left after one day and we won’t be going back again …

12 Smart guy? : ALEC

Apparently, the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

13 __ Yello : MELLO

Like so many beverages introduced by the Coca-Cola Company, Mello Yello was launched to compete against a successful drink already on the market. Mello Yello first hit the shelves in 1979, and was designed to take market share from Pepsico’s “Mountain Dew”.

14 Like “Lost” characters : MAROONED

“Lost” is a science fiction drama that originally aired from 2004 to 2010. The show kicks off with a passenger airliner crashing a tropical island as it flies from Sydney bound for Los Angeles. I haven’t seen the show myself and hear that the intriguing plot didn’t really come to a satisfying conclusion. Others would disagree …

17 Blood drive fluids : SERA

Blood serum (plural “sera”) is the clear, yellowish part of blood i.e. that part which is neither a blood cell nor a clotting factor. Included in blood serum are antibodies, the proteins that are central to our immune system. Blood serum from animals that have immunity to a particular disease can be transferred to another individual, hence providing that second individual with some level of immunity. Blood serum used to pass on immunity can be called “antiserum”.

28 Bygone Ford div. : MERC

The Mercury brand of car was made by Ford from 1938 until 2011. Mercury was introduced by Henry Ford’s son Edsel Ford. Mercury vehicles were positioned as being more luxurious that the regular Ford models, and more economical than Ford’s high-end Lincoln models.

31 Medium gift : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

32 “Wine Country” actress : FEY

“Wine Country” is a 2019 comedy movie directed by, produced by and co-starring Amy Poehler. It’s about some women celebrating the 50th birthday of one member of their group by spending a weekend in Napa County’s wine country.

35 Mallorcan seaport : PALMA

Palma is the main city and port on the island of Majorca in the Mediterranean Sea off the east coast of Spain.

The Island of Majorca (“Isla Mallorca” in Spanish) is Spain’s largest island, and is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The population of the island ballooned over the past few decades as Majorca became a mecca for tourists from all over Europe.

37 Legal order : WRIT

A writ is an order issued by some formal body (these days, usually a court) with the order being in “written” form. Warrants and subpoenas are examples of writs.

43 Lebanon’s capital : BEIRUT

Beirut is the capital city of Lebanon. After WWI, Lebanon was placed under administrative control of the French and Beirut flourished as a financial center in the Middle East and as a major world tourist destination. The city was devastated in the Lebanese Civil War that raged from 1975 to 1990, but reconstruction has restored the city to much of its former glory, making it a major cultural center once again.

44 Head-turning birds : OWLS

Owls have 14 vertebrae in their necks (compared to our 7). The extra bones in the neck, along with other adaptations allow owls to rotate the head and neck about 270 degrees.

47 Great Lake near Detroit : ERIE

The city of Detroit was founded in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, a French explorer. The original settlement was named for the Detroit River, which in turn takes its name from the French word “détroit” meaning “strait”. Detroit became inextricably linked with the automotive business from the very early 20th century when Henry Ford and others set up manufacturing in the area. This link to transportation led to Detroit’s nicknames “Motor City” and “Motown”. The city’s economic strength declined at the beginning of the 21st century, resulting in a 25% drop in population between 2000 and 2010. Detroit filed for the country’s largest municipal bankruptcy in history in 2013, facing a debt of $18.8 billion. The city exited bankruptcy at the end of 2014.

52 Wildlife trail : SPOOR

“Spoor” is both a verb and a noun. The word describes the track left by an animal, or the act of following said track. We’ve been using it in English since the early 1800s, having imported it from the Afrikaans language.

55 Jump in a tutu : JETE

A jeté is a leap in ballet, with the term “jeté” coming from the French word “jeter” meaning “to throw”. A “jeté en avant” is a “leap to the front”, towards the audience. A “grand jeté” is a long horizontal jump, a split in the air, leaping from one foot to the other.

The word “tutu”, used for a ballet dancer’s skirt, is actually a somewhat “naughty” term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French “tutu” is an alteration of the word “cucu”, a childish word meaning “bottom, backside”.

57 Online source for film buffs : IMDB

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) website was launched in 1990, and is now owned by Amazon.com. It’s a great site for answering questions one has about movies and actors.

58 2021 Pixar film set in Italy : LUCA

“Luca” is a 2021 Pixar animated film. The title character is a sea monster boy who can take the form of a human while on land.

62 Panama pal : AMIGO

The nation that we now know as Panama sits on an isthmus that formed about 3 million years ago. The isthmus was the result of a land bridge forming between North and South America as two tectonic plates of the Earth’s crust slowly collided. Man first attempted to create a waterway across the Isthmus of Panama in 1881, but the 48-mile long Panama Canal only opened for business in 1914.

65 Pop singer Del Rey : LANA

“Lana Del Rey” is the stage name of singer/songwriter Elizabeth Grant. Del Rey calls herself a “self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra”. Nice …

67 Corp. honchos : CEOS

“Honcho” is a slang term meaning “leader”. The word comes to us from the Japanese military, in which language a “hancho” is a “squad” (han) “leader” (cho).

69 TD Garden NBAer : CELTIC

TD Garden is a sports arena that was built in the 1990s to replace the aging Boston Garden as home for the Boston Celtics basketball team and the Boston Bruins hockey team.

72 Research places : LABS

Our term “laboratory”, often shortened to “lab”, comes from the Medieval Latin word “laboratorium” meaning “place for labor, work”. This in turn comes from the Latin verb “laborare” meaning “to work”.

75 Jet speed measure : MACH

The Mach number of a moving object (like say an airplane) is its speed relative to the speed of sound. A plane travelling at Mach 2, for example, is moving at twice the speed of sound. The term “Mach” takes its name from the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach who published a groundbreaking paper in 1877 that even predicted the “sonic boom”.

79 Its supreme body is the Universal House of Justice : BAHA’I

The Universal House of Justice is the ruling body of the Baha’i Faith. The body has nine members, and any adult male in the Baha’i Faith is eligible for election to the House. The Seat of the Universal House of Justice is a large building in Haifa, Israel, on the slope of Mount Carmel.

84 Costa __ : RICA

Costa Rica is a country in Central America that is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is remarkable in my opinion, a leader on the world stage in many areas. It has been referred to as the “greenest” country in the world, the “happiest” country in the world, and has a highly educated populace. In 1949, the country unilaterally abolished its own army … permanently!

85 Nolde watercolor with a turbulent title : STORMY SEA

Emil Nolde was a German expressionist painter. He was actually born Emil Hansen, near the village of Nolde in the Prussian Duchy of Schleswig in 1867. Hansen officially changed his name to Nolde on the occasion of his marriage in 1902.

88 “Mad Men” business : AD AGENCY

“Mad Men” was the flagship show on the AMC television channel for several seasons. Set in the sixties, it’s all about an advertising agency located on Madison Avenue in New York (hence the title). “Mad Men” became the first show created by a basic cable channel to win an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.

96 Pool and pickleball : SPORTS

The more correct name for the game of pool is “pocket billiards”. The designation “pool” arose after pocket billiards became a common feature in “pool halls”, places where gamblers “pooled” their money to bet on horse races.

Pickleball is a sport invented in the 1960s, and which combines elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton. Originally marketed as a game for children to play in backyards, pickleball is now played on purpose-built courts by many, many adults, but mainly in North and South America.

100 “Mudbound” director Rees : DEE

Dee Rees is a screenwriter and director who might be best known for directing the historical drama film “Mudbound” (2017). Rees also wrote and directed the 2011 movie “Pariah”, which she describes as semi-autobiographical.

2008’s “Mudbound” was the first novel written by author Hillary Jordan. It was adapted into a 2017 film directed by Dee Rees and starring Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund and Jason Clarke. I haven’t read the book or seen the film, but I do know that the critics loved the movie …

102 Common tweet symbols : ATS

The “at symbol” (@) originated in the commercial word, as shorthand for “each at, per” and similar phrases. I suppose we see the symbol most commonly these days as part of email addresses.

106 Fictional Kazakh journalist : BORAT

The full name of the 2006 “mockumentary” is “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”. Borat is played by a British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Not my cup of tea …

109 Jamaican citrus fruits : UGLIS

The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine that was first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today. “UGLI” is a trademark name that is a variant of “ugly”, a nod to the fruit’s unsightly wrinkled rind.

112 Bánh mì condiment : PATE

The French introduced the baguette into Vietnam in the days the country was a French colony. Today, a single-serving baguette is known in Vietnam as “bánh mì” (meaning “wheat bread”). The term has been extended, particularly here in the US, to describe a Vietnamese sandwich.

114 Aussie colleges : UNIS

In Australia (Down Under), and in Britain and Ireland, the term “uni” is used routinely for “university”.

117 Drag show toppers : WIGS

The etymology of the term “drag”, as used in the transvestite world, seems to be unclear. It perhaps relates to the tendency of a transvestite’s skirts to drag along the ground in days of old (although why they just didn’t hitch up their skirts is beyond me!).

121 Decathlon number : TEN

The decathlon event is a track and field competition, with the name “decathlon” coming from the Greek “deka” (ten) and “athlos” (contest). The ten events in the men’s decathlon are:

  • 100 meters
  • Long jump
  • Shot put
  • High jump
  • 400 meters
  • 110 meters hurdles
  • Discus throw
  • Pole vault
  • Javelin throw
  • 1500 meters

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Safari find : SITE
5 Debate side : ANTI
9 First-string squad : A-TEAM
14 Degrees for some execs : MBAS
18 Graceful horse : ARAB
19 Created : BORN
20 James Gang associate Starr : BELLE
21 Summa cum __ : LAUDE
22 Candle used in a lighthouse? : WAX BEACON (from “wax bean”)
24 Genesis tower locale : BABEL
25 Place out of the sun : ARBOR
26 Casper-to-Denver dir. : SSE
27 Word in a beauty brand since 1952 : OLAY
28 Snake that can walk on water? : MIRACLE COBRA (from “Miracle Bra”)
30 Snake secretion : VENOM
32 On one’s __: having recovered : FEET
33 Brightly plumed songbird : ORIOLE
34 Tax prep pros : CPAS
36 More current : NEWER
38 “Such a cute cat!” : AWW!
41 Russo of “Thor” : RENE
42 Imitations of disapproving sounds? : RASPBERRY COPIES (from “raspberry pies”)
46 Disobedient : REBEL
49 Goree who played Cassius Clay in “One Night in Miami…” : ELI
50 Actor Morales : ESAI
51 Baconator chain : WENDY’S
53 Truth alternative : DARE
54 Expressive chat image : EMOJI
56 Even now : STILL
59 Treasury Dept. variable : GNP
60 Small container : TIN
61 Big name in bread : PANERA
63 Workout trainers? : MUSCLE COACHES (from “muscle aches”)
68 Tot’s belly : TUM
69 Rochelle Walensky’s org. : CDC
70 “This __ to stop” : HAS
71 Mt. Hood’s state : ORE
72 Reward for a fan at a smokehouse drawing? : LIFETIME BACON (from “lifetime ban”)
77 iRobot vacuum : ROOMBA
81 Sci-fi author Palmer : ADA
82 Liquid meas. : GAL
83 Loud laughs : ROARS
86 Garden-variety : USUAL
87 Lauderdale neighbor : BOCA
89 Pump number : OCTANE
92 Short statement or question : IT IS
94 “Billions” airer, briefly : SHO
95 Snow day coasters : SLEDS
97 Traveling jokester? : HIGHWAY COMEDIAN (from “highway median”)
101 Barcelona bar bite : TAPA
103 Goofy drawing? : CEL
104 “Level Up” singer : CIARA
105 Vaper’s stick, for short : E-CIG
106 Colombian capital : BOGOTA
108 Throw out : DUMP
110 Fr. misses : MLLES
112 Problem that plagues the grid? : POWER SCOURGE (from “power surge”)
115 Pitcher Sparky, first American League reliever to win the Cy Young Award : LYLE
116 Jeter’s jersey number : TWO
119 “__ we all?” : AREN’T
120 Yearly record : ANNAL
121 Perform a pregame NFL ritual … or, in four parts, phrase that hints at seven long Across answers : TOSS A COIN
123 Soft minerals : TALCS
124 “Stranger Things” genre : SCI-FI
125 Foil alternative : EPEE
126 Craving : URGE
127 Craftsy etailer : ETSY
128 Dry runs : TESTS
129 Orderly : NEAT
130 Julia’s “Ocean’s Eleven” role : TESS

Down

1 Bits of wisdom : SAWS
2 Golden years funds : IRAS
3 Risky way to save : TAX EVASION
4 Recede : EBB
5 Rock-clinging mollusks : ABALONES
6 Museum tour rule : NO CAMERAS
7 Horse victim? : TROY
8 Travel stop : INN
9 Cornish of “Jack Ryan” : ABBIE
10 Convenient envelope-opening strip : TEAR TAPE
11 Island off Tuscany : ELBA
12 Smart guy? : ALEC
13 __ Yello : MELLO
14 Like “Lost” characters : MAROONED
15 Unwinding luxury : BUBBLE BATH
16 Love to pieces : ADORE
17 Blood drive fluids : SERA
21 More frilly : LACIER
23 Many, many years : EON
28 Bygone Ford div. : MERC
29 Make an oopsie : ERR
31 Medium gift : ESP
32 “Wine Country” actress : FEY
34 Obnoxious sort : CREEP
35 Mallorcan seaport : PALMA
37 Legal order : WRIT
39 Come out on top : WIN
40 Thick-heeled shoes : WEDGES
43 Lebanon’s capital : BEIRUT
44 Head-turning birds : OWLS
45 Match sound to video : SYNC
47 Great Lake near Detroit : ERIE
48 Microscope part : LENS
52 Wildlife trail : SPOOR
55 Jump in a tutu : JETE
57 Online source for film buffs : IMDB
58 2021 Pixar film set in Italy : LUCA
62 Panama pal : AMIGO
64 Half a toy train? : CHOO
65 Pop singer Del Rey : LANA
66 Stir up : AROUSE
67 Corp. honchos : CEOS
69 TD Garden NBAer : CELTIC
72 Research places : LABS
73 Childhood hero, perhaps : IDOL
74 Small drying aids : FACE TOWELS
75 Jet speed measure : MACH
76 Staff for sailing : CREW
78 Shop with record sales : MUSIC STORE
79 Its supreme body is the Universal House of Justice : BAHA’I
80 Word after string or sing : … ALONG
84 Costa __ : RICA
85 Nolde watercolor with a turbulent title : STORMY SEA
88 “Mad Men” business : AD AGENCY
90 Candle count, maybe : AGE
91 Where teams annually make ice picks? : NHL DRAFT
93 “Ready when you are!” : I’M ALL SET!
96 Pool and pickleball : SPORTS
98 Pinnacle : ACME
99 Shrill bark : YIP
100 “Mudbound” director Rees : DEE
102 Common tweet symbols : ATS
106 Fictional Kazakh journalist : BORAT
107 “… and __ of thousands!” : A CAST
109 Jamaican citrus fruits : UGLIS
111 Grazing area : LEA
112 Bánh mì condiment : PATE
113 At the moment when : ONCE
114 Aussie colleges : UNIS
115 A bit less than a canter : LOPE
117 Drag show toppers : WIGS
118 People : ONES
121 Decathlon number : TEN
122 Edit, in a way : CUT

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 2 Jan 22, Sunday”

  1. 1/2 error.. for 77A I had ZOOMBA. that made 52D SPOOZ.. Hmmmm. What is SPOOZ? must be an African thing.
    AAAANNNNNNNKKKK! It’s ROOMBA! DOH!

    Does anyone remember the ZOOMBA workout routine? Somehow, that got in my head..

  2. 1:06:35 but no errors so I’ll take it…didn’t get the theme until I finished the grid…pretty clever👍
    Stay safe😀

  3. A fun puzzle but I needed to see Bill’s explanation of the theme.
    I suppose I could have figured it out but why bother?

  4. 22 mins, 14 sec and needed Check Grid to uncover SPOOR, a real bit of esoterica that affected 3 fills.

  5. 27:03, 1 error

    Didn’t break apart the theme until I was on the final pass, trying to find my error.

    That’s when I changed
    DENNYS -> WENDYS

    But didn’t see
    PARMA/ERI->PALMA/ELI

  6. I had Lucy instead of Luca so I missed the lifetime bacon. Never, never
    tumbled to the theme, but I can see it all now. If I’d only finished reading
    that long 121 across clue I might have “had a clue.”

  7. I got a Roomba for Christmas, otherwise I would not have known IRobot. I named mine George, and he’s very entertaining. He works very hard to get all around chairs and tables, and wanted badly to go behind the Christmas tree. When going under one chair didn’t work, he tried the chair on the other side, and then back again. I wouldn’t say he’s thorough, but he’ll be good for mid-week touch-ups. My daughters with kids and pets love theirs.
    I am puzzled at calling pool a sport. More of a game, I would think.
    Otherwise, for a Sunday, a pleasure.

  8. Fairly tough Sunday, but managed to finish with no peeks or errors in 44:15. Almost gave up in the NW corner, but finally got TAX… and then SITE and SAWS. Didn’t know 90% of the names, but they fell in places where crosses or good guesses helped out. Had to fix my spelling of BEIRUT, which held me up there for a long while.

    Didn’t try to figure out the theme, so just saw it when I got here. Jeesh, what a week!!

  9. 27:47 with no errors or lookups. A couple of minor revisions. No particular issues, but took a bit to figure out that “Safari” was the web browser and not an outing in Africa.

    Clever theme.

  10. I’ve never thought of “creep” meaning “obnoxious person” but it does appear to be the case. I guess I’ll never stop expanding my vocabulary.

  11. 36:00, 2 errors, had PARMA instead of PALMA. Initially had FLIP a coin, once that got figured out then I did use the theme to get the NW corner.

  12. Could someone explain TOSSACOIN – and it’s relevance to the seven, long Across answers. I’m sorry – I just can’t seem to decipher the underlying pattern at work here.
    Many thanks.

    1. Read it as toss a co in, so co was dropped into the phrases, e.g., waxbeacon, so you remove the co to get wax bean. Same with miraclecobra. Remove the tossed in co to get miracle bra.

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