LA Times Crossword 9 Jan 22, Sunday

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Constructed by: John-Clark Levin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Across America

Themed answers are common phrases. The first word in each phrase is clued as a string of two-letter AMERICAN state abbreviations, referenced by cities cited in the clue:

  • 23A Tournament pairings in Fort Wayne, Denver and Kennebunkport? : INCOME BRACKETS (IN-CO-ME BRACKETS)
  • 33A Regular observance in Bangor, St. Louis, Providence and Mobile? : MEMORIAL DAY (ME-MO-RI-AL DAY)
  • 50A Bread spread in Montgomery, Jefferson City and Fargo? : ALMOND BUTTER (AL-MO-ND BUTTER)
  • 66A Tableware in Boston, South Bend, Baton Rouge and Bismarck? : MAINLAND CHINA (MA-IN-LA-ND CHINA)
  • 86A What can capture Santa Barbara, Grand Forks and Boise? : CANDID CAMERA (CA-ND-ID CAMERA)
  • 98A Olympiads in Little Rock, Fresno and Dover? : ARCADE GAMES (AR-CA-DE GAMES)
  • 114A Traffic cone color in Quincy, Minot, Bentonville and Bloomington? : MANDARIN ORANGE (MA-ND-AR-IN ORANGE)

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

Bill’s time: 17m 44s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Band with horns : CHICAGO

The rock band called Chicago was formed in … Chicago. The band’s biggest hits are “If You Leave Me Now” (1976) and “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” (1982). The band’s lineup has changed a lot over the years. The most tragic reason for a change was in 1978 when Terry Kath, one of the band’s founding members, died from an accidentally self-inflicted gun wound. Kath enjoyed playing with guns and as a joke held a pistol with an empty magazine to his temple and pulled the trigger. A round in the chamber killed him instantly.

21 November pardon recipient : TURKEY

The tradition of the US President “pardoning” a Thanksgiving turkey was only formalized in 1989, during the administration of President George H.W. Bush. The pardoned turkey is taken to a farm where it gets to live out its life. Prior to 1989, the tradition was more focused on the presentation of a turkey to the White House, and less on the fate of the bird. President Eisenhower was presented with a turkey in each year of his two terms, and he ate them both …

22 End of a sentence : PAROLE

“Parole” is a French word that we use in English, with the French “parole” meaning “word, speech”. Of particular interest is the French phrase “parole d’honneur” which translates as “word of honor”. In the early 1600s we started using “parole” to mean a promise by a prisoner of war not to escape, as in the prisoner giving his “word of honor” not to run off. Over time, parole has come to mean conditional release of a prisoner before he or she has served the full term of a sentence.

23 Tournament pairings in Fort Wayne, Denver and Kennebunkport? : INCOME BRACKETS (IN-CO-ME BRACKETS)

The city of Fort Wayne is located in northeast Indiana. The original Fort Wayne was a stockade built by the US Army in 1794 during the Northeast Indian War. The fort was erected as part of the campaign against the Miami people and was named for US Army General “Mad Anthony” Wayne, who ordered its construction.

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.

Kennebunkport is a coastal town in the southern part of Maine. The port town is named for the Kennebunk River on which it sits. Famously, the town is the location of the summer home of former President George H. W. Bush.

27 A 20-sided one may be used in Dungeons & Dragons : DIE

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

28 Bit of Lab love : LICK

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

30 Pericles foe : CLEON

Cleon and Pericles were both statesmen in ancient Greece, specifically in the city-state of Athens. Pericles and Cleon were political opponents, with Pericles falling foul to the maneuvers of Cleon, and eventually dying of the plague.

31 Hot Wheels item : TOY CAR

The Hot Wheels brand of toy car was introduced by Mattel in 1968. Hot Wheels models are all die-cast, with many designs coming from blueprints provided by the manufacturers of the full-size car.

33 Regular observance in Bangor, St. Louis, Providence and Mobile? : MEMORIAL DAY (ME-MO-RI-AL DAY)

The US’s Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the men and women who fell serving their country in the armed forces. The holiday is held on the last Monday in May. It was originally known as Decoration Day and was established after the Civil War to commemorate both the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that conflict. Memorial Day is also the traditional start of the summer season, with the end of the season being Labor Day.

Bangor is the third-most populous city in the state of Maine (after Portland and Lewiston). The city was given its name in 1791, after the hymn “Antiphonary of Bangor” that was written at Bangor Abbey in Northern Ireland.

The city of St. Louis, Missouri was settled by French explorers in 1763. Sitting on the Mississippi River, it grew into a very busy port. By the 1850s, it was the second busiest port in the country, with only New York moving more freight. St. Louis was named for Louis IX of France. Louis was canonized in 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII, and was the only French king to be declared a saint.

Providence is the capital of the state of Rhode Island. The city was founded way back in 1636 by a religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony called Roger Williams. Williams believed that it was “God’s merciful providence” that revealed the location of today’s city as a haven for him and his followers, and so gave the new settlement the name “Providence”.

Mobile, Alabama was founded in 1702, and was the first capital of French Colonial Louisiana. The city takes its name from the Mobilian tribe of Native Americans who lived in that area.

35 Grandpa Simpson : ABE

In the animated TV show called “The Simpsons”, Grandpa Abe Simpson is voiced by Dan Castellaneta, the same actor who provides the voice for Homer.

39 Fill up : SATE

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

40 They may have EIKs : APTS

Eat-in kitchen (EIK)

43 __ Díaz de Vivar (El Cid) : RODRIGO

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast in 1094, making it his headquarters and home. He died in Valencia, quite peacefully, in 1099.

46 Reddit Q&A sessions : AMAS

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

47 Bagel topping : LOX

Lox is a brine-cured salmon fillet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

50 Bread spread in Montgomery, Jefferson City and Fargo? : ALMOND BUTTER (AL-MO-ND BUTTER)

Montgomery is the capital of Alabama, and is the state’s second biggest city (after Birmingham). Montgomery is a port city, located on the Alabama River. The city is actually named for an Irishman. Richard Montgomery was an Irish-born soldier who served in the British Army and later in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

Jefferson City is the capital of the state of Missouri, and is sometimes referred to as “Jeff City”. When the current city was a village, it was known as Lohman’s Landing. In the early 1800s, Lohman’s Landing was chosen as the site of the new capital for the state, with a proposed name of “Missouriopolis”. That name was dropped in favor of “Jefferson”, in honor of the third president of the US. Years later, the capital was habitually referred to as “Jefferson City”, a name that stuck.

53 “Murder, She Wrote” setting Cabot __ : COVE

“Murder, She Wrote” is a mystery television show with the lead character Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer who is also an amateur detective. Fletcher is played by the charming Angela Lansbury. The show was created by Richard Levinson and William Link who had just failed with the TV series “Ellery Queen”, which was pulled after only one season. “Ellery Queen” was also about a mystery writer who was an amateur detective.

55 Screenwriter James : AGEE

James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

56 Fronts divide them : AIR MASSES

A cold front is the leading edge of a relatively cold mass of air, and a warm front is the leading edge of a warm mass of air. Both warm and cold fronts can bring rain to the land below.

58 Cleave : HEW

I’ve always found “to cleave” an interesting verb. When used with an object, to cleave something is to split it, as one would would using a cleaver. When used without an object, to cleave is to cling, to adhere, as in “to cleave to one’s principles in the face of adversity”. Although not exactly so, the two definitions seem to have opposite meanings to me …

59 Hilton rival : OMNI

Omni Hotels & Resorts is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and has properties in the US, Canada and Mexico.

61 Ancient Dead Sea kingdom : MOAB

In the Bible, Moab was the first son of Lot, and the founder of the Kingdom of Moab. Moab was located on a plateau above the Dead Sea.

The Middle East’s Dead Sea lies more than 1,400 feet below sea level, making it the lowest point on the Earth’s landmass. It is also one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, with a salt content that is almost ten times that of most oceans.

65 “A Wrinkle in Time” director DuVernay : AVA

Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on her husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma” about the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

“A Wrinkle in Time” is a book by Madeleine L’Engle. Published in 1962, it is described as a science fantasy. Included in the book’s cast of characters are Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, all of whom turn out to be supernatural beings who transport the antagonists through the universe. “A Wrinkle in Time” was adapted into a 2018 movie of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling as the three “Mrs” characters.

66 Tableware in Boston, South Bend, Baton Rouge and Bismarck? : MAINLAND CHINA (MA-IN-LA-ND CHINA)

Boston is the capital of the state of Massachusetts. The city was founded by Puritan colonists from England in 1630. The city takes its name from Boston, England from where several of the early Puritan settlers hailed.

The city of South Bend, Indiana is located on the St. Joseph River. The actual location is on the most southerly bend of the river, hence the name “South Bend”.

Baton Rouge is the capital city of the state of Louisiana. The name “Baton Rouge” is French for “red stick” or “red staff”. The exact reason why such a name was given to the city isn’t really clear.

Bismarck is the second most populous city in North Dakota (after Fargo), and the state capital. The site that became the city was originally known as Missouri Crossing, as it was the location where the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed the river. Missouri Crossing became Edwinton after an employee of the Northern Pacific Railway. The railway company renamed the city Bismarck in honor of German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, as Northern Pacific was hoping for German investment.

70 Old draft org. : SSS

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

72 Amazon’s sector : E-TAIL

Amazon.com is the largest online retailer in the world. It is also the largest Internet company in the world by revenue. The company was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, in his garage in Bellevue, Washington. I’m a big fan of Amazon’s approach to customer service …

75 Base opposite : ACID

The “opposite” of an acid is a base. Acids turn litmus paper red, and bases turn it blue. Acids and bases react with each other to form salts. An important subset of the chemicals called bases are alkalis, hydroxides of the alkali metals and of ammonium. The term “alkali” is sometimes used interchangeably with “base”, especially if that base is readily soluble in water.

76 Cable station for 45 yrs. : SHO

Showtime (SHO) is a competitor of The Movie Channel (TMC) in terms of program lineup, although both channels are in fact owned by CBS.

77 “Shape of You” Grammy winner : ED SHEERAN

English singer Ed Sheeran has appeared as an actor quite a few times. After several cameos in various films, Sheeran had a substantial role playing himself in the excellent 2019 film “Yesterday”. Sheeran chose some novel names for his first three studio albums: “+” (also “Plus”, released in 2011), “x” (also “Multiply”, released in 2014), and “÷” (also “Divide”, released in 2017).

82 Religion of Mecca : ISLAM

Muhammad was the founder of Islam, and is considered the final prophet of God by most Muslims. He was born in about 570 CE in Mecca, which is now the holiest city in Islam.

84 Some Kias : RIOS

South Korean automaker Kia has been making the subcompact model called the Rio since 2000.

85 Gadot of “Wonder Woman” : GAL

Gal Gadot is an actress and former Miss Israel. She played Gisele Yashar in the “Fast & Furious” film franchise, and then began portraying Wonder Woman in superhero movies.

86 What can capture Santa Barbara, Grand Forks and Boise? : CANDID CAMERA (CA-ND-ID CAMERA)

The hidden-camera prank show called “Candid Camera” was created and produced by Allen Funt, and first aired on television in 1948. The show actually started as “Candid Microphone”, a radio series that was broadcast from 1947 until it was eclipsed by the television version.

The city of Santa Barbara on the California coast was indirectly named by Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno in 1602. He named the channel between the mainland and the Channel Islands “Santa Barbara Channel”, while naming one of the islands “Santa Barbara”. Some time later, the Spanish established the Santa Barbara Mission on the Feast of Saint Barbara in 1786.

Grand Forks is located on the eastern border of North Dakota, alongside the twin city of East Grand Forks, Minnesota. The twin cities are at the center of a metropolitan area often referred to as “the Grand Cities”. Grand Forks is located at the forks of the Red River and Red Lake River. The location was initially referred to as “Les Grandes Fourches” (the Big Forks) by French fur trappers in the early to mid 1700s.

Boise, Idaho is the capital and the largest metropolitan area in the state by far. There are a number of stories pertaining to the etymology of the name “Boise”. One is that French trappers called the tree-lined river that ran through the area “la rivière boisée”, meaning “the wooded river”.

89 Journalist Curry : ANN

Television journalist Ann Curry is perhaps best known for the time she spent as co-host on NBC’s “Today” show. NBC executives asked Curry to resign from the “Today” show because ratings were low. I just read online that Curry was also pushed out because of the way she insisted on dressing and because she refused to dye her gray hair. I hope that isn’t true …

91 Pasta order : AL DENTE

The Italian expression “al dente” literally means “to the tooth” or “to the bite” and is used to describe not only pasta, but also vegetables that are cooked so that they are tender and yet still crisp.

93 Route-finding app : WAZE

Waze is a navigation app that is similar to Google Maps and Apple Maps. Waze was developed in Israel, and was acquired by Google in 2013.

94 Writer Bombeck : ERMA

Erma Bombeck wrote for newspapers for about 35 years. She produced more than 4,000 witty and humorous columns under the title “At Wit’s End”, with all describing her home life in suburbia.

95 Contractor’s no. : EST

Estimate (est.)

97 Power-washing meas. : PSI

Pounds per square inch (PSI) is a measure of pressure.

98 Olympiads in Little Rock, Fresno and Dover? : ARCADE GAMES (AR-CA-DE GAMES)

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.

The Modern Olympic Games came about after the International Olympic Committee was founded by Pierre de Coubertin at a meeting in Paris in 1894. Coubertin suggested that the first Games be held in Paris in 1900, as it would coincide with the 1900 Universal Exposition planned for the French capital that year. The 1900 Games did indeed take place in Paris, but they were preceded by the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896. Organizers at the 1894 meeting were concerned that public interest in a modern Olympiad might wane during a six-year waiting period. The solution was to hold the inaugural Games in 1896. Fittingly, the committee chose Athens, Greece as the first host city.

The city of Little Rock is the capital of Arkansas, and is located in the center of the state. Early French travelers used a small rock formation on the Arkansas River as a landmark, a formation that they named “La Petite Roche” (The Little Rock) in 1722. “The Little Rock” actually lies across the river from a large bluff known as “Big Rock”, which was once the site of a rock quarry.

Fresno is the largest inland city in the state of California. The city was named for the many ash trees that lined the San Joaquin River, as “fresno” is the Spanish for “ash tree”.

The city of Dover is the capital of Delaware, and is the state’s second biggest city (after Wilmington). Dover is named after the town of Dover on the south coast of England, and was given that name by William Penn. The English Dover lies in the county of Kent, and the American Dover resides in Kent County.

102 Modesto Nuts’ baseball level historically : CLASS A

The Modesto Nuts Minor League Baseball team, based in Modesto, California, became an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners in 2017. Founded in 1946 as the Modesto Red’s, the team was also known as the Colts (1962-1964), the Reds (1966-1974), and the A’s (1975-2004). The name “Nuts” was adopted in 2005 in recognition for the various types of nuts grown locally.

105 Tackle neighbor : GUARD

That would be American football.

106 Giants manager Kapler : GABE

Gabe Kapler was an MLB outfielder who played professional ball for 13 seasons. He also spent one season playing in Japan, and in 2013 coached the Israeli national baseball team. He was named manager of the San Francisco Giants in 2020.

107 Orc, to an Elf : FOE

Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction as well as in fantasy video games.

108 JFK’s 109 : PT BOAT

PT boats were motor torpedo boats, small speedy vessels that used torpedoes as their primary weapon against large surface ships. The “PT” stands for “Patrol Torpedo”. The most famous PT boats that served during WWII were probably PT-41 that carried General Douglas MacArthur and his family from Corregidor to Mindanao in his escape from the Philippines, and PT-109 commanded by Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, future President of the United States.

Future US president John F. Kennedy served with the US Navy during WWII. Famously, Lieutenant Kennedy was assigned to a Motor Torpedo Squadron. Kennedy’s most noted command was Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109. PT-109 was sunk in an engagement with a Japanese destroyer in the Solomon Islands. The story of the crew’s evasion of the Japanese and subsequent rescue is told in the 1963 film “PT 109”.

112 Name of six popes : ADRIAN

Adrian I was pope for almost 24 years, from 772 to 795, which is one of the longest reigns in papal history.

Adrian VI was pope from 1522 until his death the following year. He was born Adriaan Florensz in 1459 in Utrecht in the Netherlands. As such, Adrian VI was the only Dutch pope.

114 Traffic cone color in Quincy, Minot, Bentonville and Bloomington? : MANDARIN ORANGE (MA-ND-AR-IN ORANGE)

One of the traditional foods served at Chinese New Year is the orange, particularly the mandarin orange. The Chinese word for “orange” sounds very like the word for “success”. And, the spelling of the Chinese word for “tangerine” contains the character meaning “luck”.

Quincy is a city in Massachusetts, and a suburb of Metropolitan Boston. The town of Quincy was formed in 1792, and named for Colonel John Quincy. John Quincy’s granddaughter was Abigail Adams, wife of President John Adams. Abigail and John named their eldest son John Quincy Adams after her grandfather. Today, the city of Quincy is nicknamed “City of Presidents”. As well as being the birthplace of future US presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, it was also the birthplace of John Hancock, who twice served as President of the Continental Congress.

The city of Minot, North Dakota grew out of a tent city that flourished in 1886 at the end of a railway line that was being constructed in 1886. The tent city marked the end of the line only temporarily, as work stopped there for the winter. By the end of that winter, the tent city was home to 5,000 residents. It had sprung up as if “by magic”, and became known as “Magic City”, a nickname that persists to this day.

The city of Bentonville in Arkansas is perhaps best known as the birthplace and world headquarters of Walmart. Sam Walton bought the Harrison Variety Stone on the Bentonville town square in 1950. He remodeled the building and opened Walton’s 5 and 10 Variety Store (a “five and dime” store) the following year. That store has served as the Walmart Visitor’s Center since 1990.

The Indiana city of Bloomington was established by a group of settlers from the American South. Said settlers referred to the area as “a haven of blooms”, and so chose the name “Bloomington”. Today, Bloomington is home to the original and largest campus of Indiana University.

118 Big Easy cuisine : CREOLE

In the US, the term “Creole” is usually a reference to the people descended from the colonial French and colonial Spanish people who settled in the Louisiana region before it became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

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

122 Mountain wind : ALPHORN

The alphorn is a wooden horn that can be several meters long. Today, it is used as a musical instrument, but historically, the alphorn was used for communication.

Down

1 NFL analyst Collinsworth : CRIS

Cris Collinsworth is a sportscaster for several broadcasting organizations. Collinsworth played as a wide receiver in the NFL for eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

3 Atahualpa, e.g. : INCA

Huáscar Inca was head of the Inca Empire from 1527 to 1532. His rule ended in a civil war with his half-brother Atahualpa, who also laid claim to the title of emperor. Atahualpa emerged victorious, but was left with an army that had been decimated by the bloody war. Historians cite this weakened military strength as a major factor leading to the subsequent downfall of the Inca Empire, and the capture and execution of Atahualpa by Francisco Pizarro.

4 Lara of “Tomb Raider” games : CROFT

Lara Croft was introduced to the world in 1996 as the main character in a pretty cool video game (or so I thought, back then) called “Tomb Raider”. Lara Croft moved to the big screen in 2001 and 2003, in two pretty awful movie adaptations of the game’s storyline. Angelina Jolie played Croft, and she did a very energetic job.

6 Homers, in baseball lingo : GOES YARD

In baseball slang, “to go yard” is to hit a home run, to hit the ball the length of the “ball yard”.

7 Gambling initials : OTB

Off-track betting (OTB) is the legal gambling that takes place on horse races outside of a race track. A betting parlor can be referred to as an OTB.

8 Part of a flight : STAIR

A landing is the area at the top and bottom of a staircase. Apparently, we called the steps between the landings a “flight” of stairs, because one “flies” between landings! Can that be true?

9 Purplish shade : PUCE

The name of the purple shade known as “puce” has a strange derivation. “Puce” came into English from French, in which language “puce” means “flea”. Supposedly, puce is the color of a flea!

10 Target of Indy’s quest : ARK

The title character in the “Indiana Jones” series of movies was born Henry Jones, Junior in Princeton, New Jersey. He adopted the nickname “Indiana” because that was the name of his dog when he was growing up. George Lucas, who created the character, used to have an Alaskan malamute dog named Indiana.

According to the Book of Exodus, the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed were placed in a chest called the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was built according to instructions given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

11 He-Man nemesis : SKELETOR

Masters of the Universe is a sword-and-sorcery multimedia franchise that was introduced by Mattel in the 1980s. The main characters in the storyline are superhero He-Man, who battles against Skeletor on the planet Eternia, and He-Man’s sister She-Ra, who rebels against the Horde on the planet Etheria.

13 Food service giant : SYSCO

It’s hard to drive down any highway in the US without coming across a Sysco truck. It really is a huge company, the largest food service enterprise in the country. “Sysco” is an abbreviation for Systems and Services Company.

14 Pub pick : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

16 Online harassers : TROLLS

In Internet terms, a troll is someone who attempts to disrupt online group activities. The fishing term “troll” is used to describe such a person as he or she throws out off-topic remarks in an attempt to “lure” others into some emotional response. I must admit to feeling sorry for people who have such sad lives …

17 Worked to perfect : HONED

“To hone” is to sharpen, a verb derived from the noun “hone” A “hone” is a whetstone used in sharpening.

18 Big name in metal : ALCOA

The Aluminum Corporation of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum in the United States. The company was founded in 1888 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where its headquarters are to this day.

24 Food label fig. : RDA

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

29 “Seinfeld” doofus : KRAMER

Cosmo Kramer is the outrageous character played by Michael Richards on “Seinfeld”. “Seinfeld” co-creator, Larry David, introduced Kramer into the story, basing the character on real-life comedian Kenny Kramer who used to live across the hall from him.

“Doofus” (also “dufus”) is student slang that has been around since the sixties. Apparently the word is a variant of the equally unattractive term “doo-doo”.

32 Greek-style yogurt brand : CHOBANI

Chobani is a manufacturer of Greek-style yogurt that is based in South Edmeston, New York. The business was started by Turkish-Kurdish businessman Hamdi Ulukaya when he bought a defunct yogurt factory that had launched the Chobani brand in 2007. By all accounts, Chobani is a great place to work. The company opened a second plant in 2012 in Twin Falls, Idaho, which is now the largest yogurt-producing facility in the world.

33 Old wizard : MAGE

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

34 Small tablet : IPAD MINI

The iPad mini is a line of smaller iPads that was introduced by Apple in 2012. The iPad mini has a screen size of 7.9 inches, whereas the regular iPad’s screen is 9.7 inches.

35 First name in mystery : AGATHA

Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, having sold about 4 billion copies worldwide in total. The only books to have sold in higher volume are the works of William Shakespeare and the Bible.

37 Hermione Granger portrayer : EMMA WATSON

Emma Watson is an English actress famous for playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” series of movies. Watson continued her education while pursuing her acting career and studied at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

39 Browsing blueprint : SITEMAP

A sitemap is a hierarchical list of pages on a web site. A well-designed sitemap can be useful to site visitors, but is more commonly used by search engines to get a complete and accurate picture of a site so that it is correctly represented in search results.

Blueprints are reproductions of technical or architectural drawings that are contact prints made on light-sensitive sheets. Blueprints were introduced in the 1800s and the technology available dictated that the drawings were reproduced with white lines on a blue background, hence the name “blue-print”.

42 Campus org. : SOR

A sorority (sor.) is the female counterpart to a fraternity (frat.).

46 Clay became him : ALI

Boxer Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Mercellus Clay Jr. in Lousville, Kentucky in 1942. Clay joined the Nation of Islam in the early sixties, at which point he changed his name to Muhammad Ali. The name he chose translates into “one who is worthy of praise” (Muhammad) and “most high” (Ali).

48 Evokes a “TMI,” say : OVERSHARES

Too much information (TMI)

51 “Moonlight” actress Harris : NAOMIE

English actress Naomie Harris portrays the iconic Miss Eve Moneypenny in several “James Bond” films, starting with 2012’s “Skyfall”. She took on a more serious role in 2013’s “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, playing Winnie Mandela opposite Idris Elba.

“Moonlight” is a 2016 semi-autobiographical film based on an unpublished play by Tarell Alvin McCraney titled “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue”. “Moonlight” won the season’s Best Picture Oscar, thus becoming the first film to do so with an all-black cast, and the first with an LGBT storyline.

53 TV forensics letters : CSI

Crime scene investigation (CSI)

57 Maine coastal park : ACADIA

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

60 Feminist film-criticism subject : MALE GAZE

The term “male gaze” describes the act of depicting women in artistic works as sexual objects for the pleasure of maculine, heterosexual viewer. The male gaze can manifest itself as perhaps a man behind a camera in a movie, a male character in a story, or male spectators of a work.

67 Office PC linkup : LAN

You may have a Local Area Network (LAN) in your house. If you’ve got a PC and a router or switch, likely attached to some modem, then you have a LAN.

71 Kenyan’s neighbor : SOMALI

Somalia is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Sadly, the nation is noted today for a devastating civil war and for its use as a base for pirates who prey on ships passing through the Indian Ocean along the Somali coast.

Kenya lies on the east coast of Africa, right on the equator. The country takes her name from Mount Kenya, the second-highest peak on the continent (after Kilimanjaro). The official languages of Kenya are English and Swahili.

78 Caesar salad dressing ingredient : RAW EGG

The caesar salad was created by restaurateur Caesar Cardini at the Hotel Caesar’s in Tijuana, Mexico. The original recipe called for whole lettuce leaves that were to be lifted up by the stem and eaten with the fingers.

81 Gator’s tail? : -ADE

Gatorade was developed at the University of Florida by a team of researchers at the request of the school’s football team. And so, Gatorade is named after the Gators football team.

83 Texter’s “No way!” : SMH!

Shaking my head (SMH)

86 Lurched : CAREENED

The term “careen” dates back to 1590 when it meant “to turn a ship on its side, exposing the keel”. The word evolved from the Middle French word “carene” meaning “keel”. Our modern usage, meaning to lean or tilt, only dates back as far as the 1880s. Careen should not be confused with “career”, a verb meaning to move rapidly. One has to “career” from side-to-side in order to “careen”.

88 Corruption metaphor : CESSPOOL

A cesspit (also “cesspool”) is a covered tank or pit used for the disposal of human waste. The term can be used figuratively to describe a corrupt place or situation.

94 Head to sea : EMBARK

In getting on and off a seagoing vessel, one embarks and debarks. The terms “embark” and “debark” come from the name of the small ship known as a barque.

100 “Cheers” waitress : CARLA

Rhea Perlman’s most famous role has to be Carla Tortelli, the irascible waitress in the long-running sitcom “Cheers”. Perlman is also a successful children’s author, and has published a series of six books called “Otto Undercover”. She married Hollywood actor Danny DeVito in 1982.

101 Big name in transmission repair : AAMCO

AAMCO is named after one of the two founders, Anthony A. Martino (AAM). The company was founded in 1963 in Philadelphia, and opened its first franchise in Newark that same year. There are now about 800 franchises, and AAMCO is the largest chain in the world specializing in automotive transmissions.

103 Welcoming garland : LEI

“Lei” is a Hawaiian word meaning “garland, wreath”, although in more general terms a lei is any series of objects strung together as an adornment for the body.

107 FDR’s Scottie : FALA

The Aberdeen Terrier is also known as the Scottish Terrier, and is commonly referred to as the Scottie. One of the most famous Scotties in American history was Fala, the much-loved dog belonging to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Also, the Scottie is famous as one of the playing pieces in the original game of Monopoly.

110 New __ : AGER

The New Age Movement is a western philosophy with roots that date back to the early 1800s. The movement focuses on achieving the highest human potential as an individual and embraces many traditionally eastern spiritual practices, but eschews all religious doctrines. New Age music is composed with the intent of supporting this philosophy. It tends to be very minimalistic, very tonal and harmonic. It is often used as a backdrop for relaxation or meditation.

111 Migratory seabird : TERN

Terns are a family of seabirds. They are similar to gulls, but are more slender and more lightly built. Many species of tern are known for their long-distance migrations, with the Arctic tern migrating so far that it is believed to see more daylight in a year than any other animal.

115 One looking for a buck? : DOE

A male deer is usually called a buck, and a female is a doe. However, the male red deer is usually referred to as a stag. The males of even larger species of deer are often called bulls, and the females called cows. In older English, male deer of over 5 years were called harts, and females of over 3 years were called hinds. The young of small species are known as fawns, and of larger species are called calves. All very confusing …

116 Food service trade org. : NRA

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) was founded in 1919. Perhaps the most famous name associated with the association is Herman Cain. Cain ran for US president in 2011, with his 9-9-9 tax plan at the center of his platform. He passed away in 2020 after contracting COVID-19.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Band with horns : CHICAGO
8 Some fits : SPASMS
14 “Or perhaps less” : IF THAT
20 Go on a rampage : RUN RIOT
21 November pardon recipient : TURKEY
22 End of a sentence : PAROLE
23 Tournament pairings in Fort Wayne, Denver and Kennebunkport? : INCOME BRACKETS (IN-CO-ME BRACKETS)
25 Without delay : AT ONCE
26 Personnel groups : STAFFS
27 A 20-sided one may be used in Dungeons & Dragons : DIE
28 Bit of Lab love : LICK
30 Pericles foe : CLEON
31 Hot Wheels item : TOY CAR
33 Regular observance in Bangor, St. Louis, Providence and Mobile? : MEMORIAL DAY (ME-MO-RI-AL DAY)
35 Grandpa Simpson : ABE
38 Cheering noise : RAH!
39 Fill up : SATE
40 They may have EIKs : APTS
41 They may be uncut : GEMS
43 __ Díaz de Vivar (El Cid) : RODRIGO
46 Reddit Q&A sessions : AMAS
47 Bagel topping : LOX
50 Bread spread in Montgomery, Jefferson City and Fargo? : ALMOND BUTTER (AL-MO-ND BUTTER)
52 Showed the way : LED
53 “Murder, She Wrote” setting Cabot __ : COVE
54 Formal topper : TIARA
55 Screenwriter James : AGEE
56 Fronts divide them : AIR MASSES
58 Cleave : HEW
59 Hilton rival : OMNI
61 Ancient Dead Sea kingdom : MOAB
64 Far less friendly : ICIER
65 “A Wrinkle in Time” director DuVernay : AVA
66 Tableware in Boston, South Bend, Baton Rouge and Bismarck? : MAINLAND CHINA (MA-IN-LA-ND CHINA)
70 Old draft org. : SSS
72 Amazon’s sector : E-TAIL
74 Did : APED
75 Base opposite : ACID
76 Cable station for 45 yrs. : SHO
77 “Shape of You” Grammy winner : ED SHEERAN
80 Moderate, with “up” : EASE …
82 Religion of Mecca : ISLAM
84 Some Kias : RIOS
85 Gadot of “Wonder Woman” : GAL
86 What can capture Santa Barbara, Grand Forks and Boise? : CANDID CAMERA (CA-ND-ID CAMERA)
89 Journalist Curry : ANN
90 Cry hard : BAWL
91 Pasta order : AL DENTE
92 Shoe part : HEEL
93 Route-finding app : WAZE
94 Writer Bombeck : ERMA
95 Contractor’s no. : EST
97 Power-washing meas. : PSI
98 Olympiads in Little Rock, Fresno and Dover? : ARCADE GAMES (AR-CA-DE GAMES)
102 Modesto Nuts’ baseball level historically : CLASS A
105 Tackle neighbor : GUARD
106 Giants manager Kapler : GABE
107 Orc, to an Elf : FOE
108 JFK’s 109 : PT BOAT
112 Name of six popes : ADRIAN
114 Traffic cone color in Quincy, Minot, Bentonville and Bloomington? : MANDARIN ORANGE (MA-ND-AR-IN ORANGE)
117 Supply : SELL TO
118 Big Easy cuisine : CREOLE
119 Coffeehouse job : ROASTER
120 Implored : PRAYED
121 Patronizing words, maybe : OK, DEAR
122 Mountain wind : ALPHORN

Down

1 NFL analyst Collinsworth : CRIS
2 Track : HUNT
3 Atahualpa, e.g. : INCA
4 Lara of “Tomb Raider” games : CROFT
5 Try to achieve : AIM FOR
6 Homers, in baseball lingo : GOES YARD
7 Gambling initials : OTB
8 Part of a flight : STAIR
9 Purplish shade : PUCE
10 Target of Indy’s quest : ARK
11 He-Man nemesis : SKELETOR
12 Relaxing bubble bath, say : ME TIME
13 Food service giant : SYSCO
14 Pub pick : IPA
15 Campaign funders : FAT CATS
16 Online harassers : TROLLS
17 Worked to perfect : HONED
18 Big name in metal : ALCOA
19 Itsy-bitsy : TEENY
24 Food label fig. : RDA
29 “Seinfeld” doofus : KRAMER
32 Greek-style yogurt brand : CHOBANI
33 Old wizard : MAGE
34 Small tablet : IPAD MINI
35 First name in mystery : AGATHA
36 Trusted : BELIEVED IN
37 Hermione Granger portrayer : EMMA WATSON
39 Browsing blueprint : SITEMAP
42 Campus org. : SOR
44 Started eating : DUG IN
45 Hwy., e.g. : RTE
46 Clay became him : ALI
47 Worries too much (over) : LOSES SLEEP
48 Evokes a “TMI,” say : OVERSHARES
49 Strikes (out) : XES
51 “Moonlight” actress Harris : NAOMIE
53 TV forensics letters : CSI
56 Easy as __ : ABC
57 Maine coastal park : ACADIA
60 Feminist film-criticism subject : MALE GAZE
62 __-horse town : ONE
63 Riders, e.g. : ADDENDA
67 Office PC linkup : LAN
68 Invites over : HAS IN
69 Summer quencher : ICED TEA
71 Kenyan’s neighbor : SOMALI
73 “I see” reactions : AHS
77 Important period : ERA
78 Caesar salad dressing ingredient : RAW EGG
79 Tie word : ALL
81 Gator’s tail? : -ADE
83 Texter’s “No way!” : SMH!
86 Lurched : CAREENED
87 Donation to the poor : ALMS
88 Corruption metaphor : CESSPOOL
90 Disappointing social outing : BAD DATE
93 In a watchful way : WARILY
94 Head to sea : EMBARK
96 Sandal style : T-STRAP
98 Audibly shocked : AGASP
99 Less tactful : RUDER
100 “Cheers” waitress : CARLA
101 Big name in transmission repair : AAMCO
102 Apple pie-making tool : CORER
103 Welcoming garland : LEI
104 Bring shame to : ABASH
107 FDR’s Scottie : FALA
109 Not duped by : ONTO
110 New __ : AGER
111 Migratory seabird : TERN
113 Quiet go-ahead : NOD
115 One looking for a buck? : DOE
116 Food service trade org. : NRA

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 Jan 22, Sunday”

  1. Caught on to the theme pretty quickly, though I put “Mandaril” and wondered what that was about before actually reading the clue. Putting “Bloomington” in was odd since the rest of the city names given are mainly associated with one place.

  2. 12:01, no errors.

    Another unexpressed thought of the last couple of days: Different venues for crosswords (e.g. this one versus New York Times versus Universal) set different expectations, which end up self-selecting certain solvers. Frankly, most people aren’t going to do a lot of different ones and not really care about what they encounter, as most don’t have that kind of time. You find those expectations out as you do each of them, if you pay attention. Hence, you get certain expectations out of those solvers and when they’re breached, there’s stress and you get what you saw Friday.

  3. Visit Baton Rouge tells the story of its name: a red stick divided land between two Indian tribes — red from meat carcasses hanging from the drying pole. A beautiful sculpture commemorates the story.

  4. Well over an hour. I got Mandarin orange and thought it kind of made sense. Then I got income brackets, at which point I had no idea what was going on. So I gave up on that and just worked on other clues. Had to be told what they were doing (or I was going to quit) and then struggled through.

  5. 1:22:45 with 2 errors…I think I am a pretty good baseball fan and in my 80 years I have never heard “goes yard” before.
    I could have stared at this grid for days without getting the theme (thanks Bill).
    I will say no more for fear of drawing Nonnies wrath.
    Stay safe😀

    1. @Jack …

      Thank you for the comment about “goes yard”. I got from crosses, looked it up to verify that it was a thing, and concluded it was just one more sports term I’d never heard of. Nice to know it’s not just me … 🙂.

      And … Wrath? What wrath? … 😳.

  6. I figured out the theme early on which helped! Fun puzzle!
    Took about 45 minutes – good for me on a Sunday!
    Stay safe 😊

  7. Got the theme fairly early in the game, but this one took awhile. I had one
    error box though i.e. 31A I had towcar instead of toycar. Obviously did not
    know the baseball jargon for homers. Guess I never heard “goes yard”.

  8. 21:15

    I too caught on the theme via MANDARINORANGE traffic cones. Those postal codes filled a lot of empty squares.

    I do sometimes admire clues that lead you to think you guessed right because a couple letters match up, such as 22A going from PERIOD->PAROLE.

  9. Can believe Bill took almost 18 minutes on this puzzle .He must be “slipping “.Ha!fun puzzle got the theme from the heading that help.Easy Monday hurry up!!!

  10. Good challenge today especially since I didn’t pick up on the theme. Did realize
    eventually that they were common phrases
    which helped. No look ups,no errors.

    I played baseball for a team named after
    the Modesto Nuts. Our fans would yell
    “Go Nuts!”. Going yard is a common term
    around the fields but perhaps not on TV

    1. During the Red Sox NESN broadcasts ‘going yard’ is often heard but more common is ‘going bridge’, which really doesn’t make much sense but Dennis Eckersley has cemented it into our jargon.

  11. No errors.. got the theme early..
    But what’s up with GOESYARD MALEGAZE ALPHORN and to top it off, who puts raw eggs in their caesar salad.. yuck! Or did I misinterpret something?

    1. You did. Raw egg is definitely used in making the dressing that goes on the salad. Kind of the same idea as what happens when mayonnaise is made.

  12. 27 minutes, 37 seconds, no errors. Took FOREVER to “get” the theme gimmick, and realization came with a disgusted groan. I mean, really?

    Just don’t enjoy puzzles where I feel I need to be a mind-reader to finish it.

  13. 35:41 with no errors or lookups. The NE corner was my last area to solve. Didn’t understand the clue for 40A as it looked like the 2nd letter in EIKs might’ve been a lower case L; didn’t think of upper case I (which wouldn’t have helped). So, I had guessed APPS which, with not knowing about Pericles and CLEON or the meaning of 14A “Or perhaps less”, slowed down solving that corner. Finally figuring out FATCATS did it, though (initially had PATRONS before solving 33A).

    Figured out the theme’s scheme at 33A, and that helped a lot with the rest of the puzzle.

    New to me were: GOESYARD, AMAs, and SMH. Took a bit to work out BELIEVEDIN after starting with something based on “relied” or “reliable” (didn’t know ABE Simpson). Did not know that “male gaze” had such a specific meaning. Had to revise WAIL>BAWL, ABASE>ABASH, and also pondered PERIOD vs PAROLE.

    Overall, a decently challenging puzzle.

  14. It usually takes me a week to do the Sunday puzzle, this time I had to look up 6 things, pretty bad for me. Never did get the main challenge that it was the STATE ABBREVIATION, I thought it was some sort of anagram of the cities with a “cross” of some sort. And I had Sage for Mage so until I looked that one up that corner was unsolvable.

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