LA Times Crossword 27 Feb 22, Sunday

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Constructed by: Katrina Lee
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Juicy Tidbits

Themed answers each include a type of TEA that has SPILLED in the down-direction, and is shown in circled letters in the grid:

  • 130A “Give me some gossip!” … and a hint to this puzzle’s sets of circles, which affect four Across answers : SPILL THE TEA!
  • 1A Often abbreviated reaction to information overload : T(OO LONG); DIDN’T READ
  • 2D Chinese for “black dragon” : OOLONG
  • 32A Completely different situation : A WHOLE OT(HER BAL)L GAME
  • 35D Like some remedies : HERBAL
  • 70A Middle-earth ring bearer : BIL(BO BA)GGINS
  • 71D Fett in “The Mandalorian” : BOBA
  • 106A Résumé alert about an unfinished goal : DE(GREE N)OT COMPLETED
  • 108D Putting __ : GREEN

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

Bill’s time: 19m 33s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Often abbreviated reaction to information overload : T(OO LONG); DIDN’T READ

Too longl Didn’t read (TL;DR) is a slang phrase used on the Internet in response to a particularly verbose post.

12 Ukulele ridge : FRET

A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.

19 Starter : HORS D’OEUVRE

An hors d’oeuvre is a first course in a meal. “Hors d’oeuvre” translates from French as “apart from the work”, which really means “not the main course”.

20 Indian flatbread : ROTI

In an Indian restaurant, naan bread is very popular. Roti is an unleavened cousin of naan.

22 Altruism : SELFLESSNESS

An egoist (also “egotist”) is a selfish and conceited person. The opposite would be an altruist.

26 That, in Madrid : ESA

Madrid is the most populous city in Spain, and is the nation’s capital. It is located very close to the geographical center of the country. Madrid is the second-largest city in the European Union by population, after Berlin. People from Madrid called themselves Madrileños.

27 Gucci of fashion : ALDO

Gucci was founded in Rome, in 1921, by Guccio Gucci. Guccio’s son Aldo took over the company after his father’s death in 1953. It was Aldo who established the international presence for the brand and opened the company’s first overseas store, in New York City.

29 “Elements of Algebra” author : EULER

Leonhard Euler was a brilliant Swiss mathematician and physicist, and a pioneer in the fields of logarithms and graph theory. Euler’s eyesight deteriorated during his working life, and he eventually became almost totally blind.

40 Café freebie : EAU

In French, Perrier “par exemple” (for example) is a bottled “eau” (water).

42 Nos. for alums : YRS

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

48 “The Misery Index” network : TBS

“The Misery Index” is an American comedy game show hosted by English presenter Jameela Jamil. The game involves rating and ranking miserable stories that are true.

In the world of economics, the misery index is the sum of the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate and the annual inflation rate. As such, higher rates of unemployment and inflation make us all miserable. Since WWII, the largest improvement in the misery index for the US occurred during the administration of President Harry Truman. The largest deterioration in the misery index took place during the administration of President Richard Nixon.

51 Bulgarian’s neighbor : SERB

Serbia is a landlocked country in southeast Europe. After WWII, Serbia became one of several states making up the nation called Yugoslavia. Serbia became independent again in 2006 as Yugoslavia broke up after the declaration of independence by Montenegro.

Bulgaria is a country in Southeastern Europe lying on the west coast of the Black Sea. Bulgaria’s capital city is Sofia.

53 Type of diet that might replace potatoes with cauliflower : LOW-CARB

A ketogenic (also “keto”) diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. When a body consumes insufficient carbohydrates to meet the need for energy, then the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies in order to make up the energy deficit. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the bloodstream is known as “ketosis”, a term that gives rise to the name “ketogenic diet”. Medical professionals sometimes prescribe a ketogenic diet in order to control epilepsy in children. A condition of ketosis can reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures.

56 New Deal agcy. : NRA

The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was one of the first agencies set up under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. On the one hand, the NRA helped set minimum wages and maximum working hours for workers in industry, and on the other hand it helped set minimum prices for goods produced by companies. The NRA was very popular with the public, and businesses that didn’t opt to participate in the program found themselves boycotted. The NRA didn’t survive for long though, as after two years of operation it was deemed to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and so it ceased operations in 1935.

The New Deal was the series of economic programs championed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. The New Deal was focused on three objectives, the “3 Rs”:

  1. Relief for the unemployed and poor
  2. Recovery of the economy to normal levels
  3. Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression

57 “High Rollers” co-host __ Lee : RUTA

Ruta Lee is a Canadian actress and dancer who is best known for playing one of the brides in the 1954 movie “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”. Lee also appeared as a regular panelist on the game shows “Hollywood Squares” and “What’s My Line?”

“High Rollers” is a TV game show that originally aired from 1978-1980, and again from 1987-1988. Hosts of the show were Alex Trebek and Wink Martindale.

69 Sellers of KAFFEREP cinnamon buns : IKEAS

In addition to retailing furniture and home accessories, IKEA sells a line of cookies under the brand name “KAFFEREP”. The Swedish term “kafferep” describes coffee “party”, a gathering of friends over coffee.

70 Middle-earth ring bearer : BIL(BO BA)GGINS

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel “The Hobbit”, the title character is Bilbo Baggins. He is a hobbit who stumbles across a magical ring and then embarks on a series of adventures.

74 Following : POSSE

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

75 Tokyo airport : NARITA

Plans were put together for the construction of Narita International Airport back in 1966. However, the airport was not a popular addition to the metropolis in some quarters and demonstrations, often violent, delayed the project. Originally planned for completion in 1971, the airport didn’t open until 1978. The opening ceremony was attended by about 6,000 protesters and 14,000 security police.

77 Apple runs on it : IOS

iOS is what Apple now calls its mobile operating system. Previously, it was known as iPhone OS.

78 Raggedy : MOTH-EATEN

The larvae of several types of moth are noted for eating fabrics made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton. Many people store woolens in cedar chests believing that the scent of the wood prevents a moth infestation. In fact, the only known effective repellent is the naphthalene found in mothballs, which might be a health concern for humans. One way to kill moth larvae in fabric is to freeze the garment for several days at a temperature below -8 degrees celsius.

81 How three nursery-rhyme merchants went to sea : IN A TUB

The nursery rhyme “Rub-a-Dub-Dub” dates back to at least 1798 when it was first published in London:

Rub-a-dub-dub,
Three men in a tub,
And how do you think they got there?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker,
They all jumped out of a rotten potato,
‘Twas enough to make a man stare.

84 Trailer follower : MOVIE

The term “trailer” was originally used in the film industry to describe advertisements for upcoming features. These trailers were originally shown at the end of a movie being screened, hence the name. This practice quickly fell out of favor as theater patrons usually left at the end of the movie without paying much attention to the trailers. So, the trailers were moved to the beginning of the show, but the term “trailer” persisted.

85 Laker legend, familiarly : KOBE

Kobe Bryant played basketball for the LA Lakers. Bryant got his given name from a menu, would you believe? His parents were in a Japanese restaurant and liked the name of “Kobe” beef, the beef from around the city of Kobe on the island of Honshu in Japan.

87 Soybeans served in the pod : EDAMAME

Edamame is a simple dish made of immature soybeans still in the pod. The pods are boiled and then salted before serving, usually as a snack or side dish. The name “edamame” translates as “twig bean”.

91 With 6-Down, Rudolph’s guiding light : RED …
(6D See 91-Across : … NOSE)

We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:

  • Dasher
  • Dancer
  • Prancer
  • Vixen
  • Comet
  • Cupid
  • Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
  • Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)

Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

95 Boarding precedes it: Abbr. : ETD

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

97 Penicillium, e.g. : MOLD

The antibiotic called penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928. He noted that a blue-green mold growing in a Petri dish produced a substance that inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus bacteria, which was growing on the same substrate. The mold was Penicillium notatum, and Fleming named the antibiotic penicillin after the mold.

99 Half a martial art : TAI …

More correctly called “t‘ai chi ch‘uan”, tai chi is a martial art that is mostly practiced to improve overall health and increase longevity.

100 Kendrick with a Pulitzer : LAMAR

Kendrick Lamar is a hip-hop singer from Compton, California. Lamar’s full name is Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, with the singer’s given name honoring Motown artist Eddie Kendricks. Notably, his 2017 album “Damn” won a Pulitzer Prize for Music, becoming the first non-classical or non-jazz album to do so.

102 On the lam : AT LARGE

To be on the lam is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.

106 Résumé alert about an unfinished goal : DE(GREE N)OT COMPLETED

A résumé is a summary of a person’s job experience and education and is used as a tool by a job seeker. In many countries, a résumé is equivalent to a curriculum vitae. “Résumé” is the French word for “summary”.

112 Like a romantic dinner, in Paris : A DEUX

We use the French term “à deux” to describe something involving two people, usually in a private arrangement (like maybe a dinner together).

113 Chef’s protection : APRON

In Old French, a “naperon” was a “small table-cloth”. The term was absorbed into English as “napron”, describing a cloth used to cover the front of a person at work. Over time, “a napron” was heard as “an apron”, giving us our contemporary noun “apron”.

115 Org. with many returns : IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was set up during the Civil War to raise money to cover war expenses. Prior to the introduction of income tax in 1862, the government was funded by levies on trade and property.

125 Maiden name preceder : NEE

“Née” is the French word for “born” when referring to a female. The male equivalent is “né”. The term “née” is mainly used in English when referring to a married woman’s birth name, assuming that she has adopted her husband’s name, e.g. Michelle Obama née Robinson, Melania Trump née Knavs, and Jill Biden née Jacobs.

126 __-Ball : SKEE

Skee-Ball is the arcade game in which you roll balls up a ramp trying to “bounce” it into rings for varying numbers of points. The game was first introduced in Philadelphia, in 1909.

127 “The Crocodile” of early tennis : RENE LACOSTE

René Lacoste was a French tennis player who went into the clothing business, and came up with a more comfortable shirt that players could use. This became known as a “tennis shirt”. When it was adopted for use in the sport of polo, the shirts also became known as “polo shirts”. The “golf shirt” is basically the same thing. The Lacoste line of clothing features a crocodile logo, because René was nicknamed “The Crocodile”.

128 ID on many returns : SSN

Social Security number (SSN)

130 “Give me some gossip!” … and a hint to this puzzle’s sets of circles, which affect four Across answers : SPILL THE TEA!

“Tea” is a slang term used mainly in social media to denote “gossip”.

Down

1 What Rickey Henderson often beat : THE TAG

Rickey Henderson is a former professional baseball player believed by many to have been the sport’s greatest baserunner. Henderson holds the major league record for career stolen bases, at 1,406. This compares with the second highest number of career stolen bases of “only” 938, by Lou Brock.

2 Chinese for “black dragon” : OOLONG

The name for the Chinese tea called “oolong” translates into English as “black dragon” or “dark dragon”.

3 NIAID director : DR FAUCI

Anthony Fauci took over as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 1984. He has been an advisor to every US president since Ronald Reagan. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian award, By President George W. Bush in 2008.

4 Luzon, for one: Abbr. : ISL

Luzon is the largest of the Philippine Islands, and home to the capital city of Manila.

5 JFK predecessor : DDE

Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) was the 34th US president, but he wanted to be remembered as a soldier. He was a five-star general during WWII in charge of the Allied Forces in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). President Eisenhower died in 1969 at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He was buried in an $80 standard soldier’s casket in his army uniform in a chapel on the grounds of the beautiful Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.

7 Thompson of Marvel movies : TESSA

Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”. She also portrays superheroine Valkyrie in movies based on Marvel Comics characters.

10 ___ Technica: tech news website : ARS

Ars Technica is a technology news website that launched in 1998. The site was purchased by Condé Nast Publications in 2008.

12 70-Across nephew : FRODO
(70A Middle-earth ring bearer : BIL(BO BA)GGINS)

Frodo Baggins is a principal character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. Frodo is a Hobbit, and is charged with the quest of destroying Sauron’s Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Frodo is portrayed by American actor Elijah Wood in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of the novels.

13 “Mr. __”: Rami Malek drama : ROBOT

Actor Rami Malek’s big break came with the leading role in the television series “Mr. Robot”. In 2018, Malik gave an Oscar-winning performance playing Freddie Mercury in the hit biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. That marked the first time that an actor of Egyptian descent won an Academy Award for Best Actor.

“Mr. Robot” is an engaging drama series about an anxious and clinically depressed computer hacker. Said hacker joins an anarchic group of hackers known as “Mr. Robot” who are intent on taking down the largest conglomerate in the world. I binge-watched the first two series, and really enjoyed the experience …

14 ORD posting : ETA

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

15 Zoom annoyance : TIME LAG

In Internet terms, lag is a delay in response caused by network latency. We might notice lag when streaming a video, for example.

16 Amtrak speedster : ACELA

The Acela Express is the fastest train routinely running in the US, as it gets up to 150 mph at times. The service runs between Boston and Washington D.C. via Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Introduced in 2000, the brand name “Acela” was created to evoke “acceleration” and “excellence”.

Amtrak is the name used commercially by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. “Amtrak” comes from a melding of the words “America” and “track”.

17 Sultan’s group : HAREM

“Harem” is a Turkish word derived from the Arabic for “forbidden place”. Traditionally, a harem was the female quarters in a household in which a man had more than one wife. Not only wives (and concubines) would use the harem, but also young children and other female relatives. The main point was that no men were allowed in the area. The term “harem” is also applied to the women, children and staff occupying the quarters.

24 Foretell : AUGUR

The verb “to augur” means “to bode, serve as an omen”. The term comes from the name of religious officials in ancient Rome called augurs whose job it was to interpret signs and omens.

31 Trivia night settings : PUBS

Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …

37 Hammer parts : PEENS

The peen of a hammer is on the head, and is the side of the head that is opposite the striking surface. Often the peen is in the shape of a hemisphere (as in a ball-peen hammer), but usually it is shaped like a claw (mainly for removing nails).

38 “Ghost Story” author Peter : STRAUB

“Ghost Story” is a 1979 horror novel penned by Peter Straub. It was the novel that established Straub’s reputation as an author of horror. “Ghost Story” was made into a film of the same name in 1981, with an impressive cast that includes Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and John Houseman.

44 Flood shelter : ARK

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

45 23andMe discovery : ANCESTOR

23andMe was the first company to offer direct-to-consumer genetic testing, doing so in 2007. Initially, 23andMe offered a test that determined a subject’s predisposition to a list of specific genetic traits, including baldness and blindness. The company now offers a cost-effective ancestry DNA test as well. The name “23andMe” is a reference to the 23 pairs of chromosomes in the cells of a human.

49 “__ Holiday”: opening section of Copland’s “Rodeo” : BUCKAROO

“Rodeo” is a ballet with a score by Aaron Copland that was originally choreographed by Agnes de Mille. First performed in 1942, “Rodeo” is one of the earliest examples of a truly American classical ballet.

50 First woman to be named Doctor of the Church, briefly : ST TERESA

The Roman Catholic church designates some saints as Doctors of the Church. The title is reserved for those who made a significant contribution to theology or doctrine. The first woman to be named Doctor of the Church was Teresa of Ávila, who was so designated in 1970.

52 __ B’rith : B’NAI

B’nai B’rith is a Jewish service organization founded in New York City in 1843. “B’nai B’rith” is Hebrew for “Sons of the Covenant”.

54 Tory adversary : WHIG

The Whig Party (in the US) was active from 1833 to 1856, and was the opposition party to the Democrats at that time. One of the tenets of the Whig Party was the supremacy of Congress over the Executive branch. Prominent members of the party included Presidents Zachary Taylor and John Tyler. Abraham Lincoln was also a Whig while he served a two-year term as a US Representative for the state of Illinois. By the time he became President, Lincoln was a member of the Republican Party.

“Tory” comes from the Irish word “tóraí” meaning “outlaw, robber”. The term “tory” was originally used for an Irish outlaw and later became a term of abuse for Irish rebels. At the end of the reign of King Charles II in Britain, there was a political divide with one side being called “Whigs” and the other “Tories”. Historically, the term “Tory” evolved to basically mean a supporter of the British monarchy, and indeed was used to describe those who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. Today, “Tory” is used for a member of the British Conservative Party.

55 __ de’ Medici, first de facto Lord of Florence : COSIMO

Cosimo de’ Medici was a 15th-century banker and politician who established his family as de facto rulers of the Republic of Florence.

58 Berry in a bowl : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

60 Garlic genus : ALLIUM

Our word “garlic” evolved via Old English from “gar” (spear) and “leac” (leek). The use of “spear” is apparently a reference to the shape of a clove.

62 Get plastered : TOPE

To tope is to drink alcohol excessively and habitually.

65 Piedmont bubbly : ASTI

Asti is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy that is named for the town of Asti around which the wine is produced. The wine used to be called Asti Spumante, and it had a very bad reputation as a “poor man’s champagne”. The “Spumante” was dropped in a marketing attempt at rebranding associated with a reduction in the amount of residual sugar in the wine.

66 Classic U.K. sports cars : MGS

My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG initialism standing for “Morris Garages”.

71 Fett in “The Mandalorian” : BOBA

Boba Fett is one of the principal bad guys in the “Star Wars” universe. Boba Fett appears in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” and in “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”. A young version of Boba Fett also appears in “Episode II: Attack of the Clones”.

72 De __: again : NOVO

“De novo” is Latin for “anew”, and is a term that we use in English with the same meaning.

73 Stain : STIGMA

A stigma (plural “stigmata”), in a social sense, is a distinguishing mark of disgrace. For example, one might have to suffer the stigma of being in prison. The term derives from the Greek “stigma” meaning “mark, brand”.

76 Short on iron, maybe : ANEMIC

The term “anemia” (or “anaemia”, as we write it back in Ireland) comes from a Greek word meaning “lack of blood”. Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood, or a low red blood cell count. Tiredness is a symptom of the condition, and so we use the term “anemic” figuratively to mean “lacking in vitality or substance”.

79 Serf of Sparta : HELOT

The helots were a population of poorly-treated slaves who served the citizens of Sparta. The helots were primarily used to work the land. It is thought that the helots actually outnumbered the Spartans by about seven to one. Despite the numerical advantage, the several rebellions that took place were unsuccessful at freeing them from servitude..

83 Cap with a pompon : TAM

A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap worn traditionally by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”) but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of the Robert Burns poem “Tam o’ Shanter”.

The French call a ball made of tufted wool a “pompon”, a word that we imported into English directly as “pompon”. We use “pompon” to describe perhaps bobbles on some hats, or the tufted balls that are shaken by cheerleaders at sports events. Over time, the spelling “pompom” has become common in English, probably due to mishearing. To confuse matters a little, we also use the word “pom-pom”, which is a nickname for a British autocannon used mainly as an anti-aircraft weapon, particularly during WWII.

88 Idea that spreads in a culture : MEME

A meme (from “mineme”) is a cultural practice or idea that is passed on verbally or by repetition from one person to another. The term lends itself very well to the online world where links, emails, files etc. are so easily propagated.

90 “First Lady of Song” : ELLA

Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.

93 Entrance porch : STOOP

A stoop is a raised platform at the door of a house. “Stoop” came into American and Canadian English in the mid-1700s from the Dutch “stoep” meaning “flight of steps”.

94 Teen dystopian novel narrator : KATNISS

Katniss Everdeen is a protagonist in “The Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The character’s name is taken from the edible plant called katniss. On the big screen, Everdeen is played by actress Jennifer Lawrence.

96 Hanukkah top : DREIDEL

A dreidel is a spinning top with four sides that is often associated with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Each of the four sides on a dreidel bears a letter from the Hebrew alphabet (nun, gimel, hei and shin). The four letters are the initials of the Hebrew phrase “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham” meaning “a great miracle happened there”. According to tradition, children would be taught Torah while hiding in caves away from the Greeks. When Greek soldiers approached, the children would hide their torah scrolls and play with their dreidels instead.

98 Duchamp, for one : DADAIST

Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose works are associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. One of his most celebrated “works” is simply what he called “readymade” art, a urinal which he titled “Fountain”. Even though this work is considered to be “a major landmark in 20th century art”, the original that was submitted for exhibition was never actually displayed and had been lost forever. Replicas were commissioned by Duchamp, and are on display in many museums around the world. I have no further comment …

104 Kind of pig that’s not a pig : GUINEA

The guinea pig species of rodent is also known as a cavy. Guinea pigs aren’t related to pigs, and they are not from Guinea (in West Africa). They actually come from the Andes. Guinea pigs were used widely for research in the 1800s and 1900s, and as a result we use the term “guinea pig” for a test subject to this day.

107 Foil relatives : EPEES

The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. It is similar to a foil and sabre, although the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. The épée is similar to a foil and sabre, although the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

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.

109 Designer Ashley : OLSEN

I know very little about the Olsen twins, but I am told that many folks believe Mary-Kate and Ashley to be identical twins. They look very much alike, but are in fact fraternal twins. The sisters were cast as Michelle Tanner on the eighties sitcom “Full House”, taking turns playing the role.

110 Like some cornered kings : MATED

In the game of chess, when the king is under immediate threat of capture it is said to be “in check”. If the king cannot escape from check, then the game ends in “checkmate” and the player in check loses. In the original Sanskrit game of chess, the king could actually be captured. Then a rule was introduced requiring that a warning be given if capture was imminent (today we announce “check!”) so that an accidental and early ending to the game doesn’t occur.

116 90-Down’s improv : SCAT
(90D “First Lady of Song” : ELLA)

Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.

121 Good name, briefly : REP

Reputation (rep)

122 “Star Wars” nickname : ANI

Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in the first six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:

  • Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
  • Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
  • Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
  • Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
  • Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …

124 __ the line : TOE

The idiomatic expression “to toe the line” means “to obey”. The etymology of the phrase is disputed, although it is likely to come from the Royal Navy. Barefooted sailors were required to stand to attention for inspection lined up along the seams for the wooden deck, hence “toeing the line”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Often abbreviated reaction to information overload : T(OO LONG); DIDN’T READ
12 Ukulele ridge : FRET
16 “Gotcha” sounds : AHS
19 Starter : HORS D’OEUVRE
20 Indian flatbread : ROTI
21 Laser pointer chaser : CAT
22 Altruism : SELFLESSNESS
23 Most of the 2010s : OBAMA ERA
25 Span of a scale with three sharps : A TO A
26 That, in Madrid : ESA
27 Gucci of fashion : ALDO
29 “Elements of Algebra” author : EULER
30 “Don’t back down, bro!” : MAN UP!
32 Completely different situation : A WHOLE OT(HER BAL)L GAME
36 Certain carton components : EGGCUPS
39 Reunion attendees : AUNTS
40 Café freebie : EAU
41 “Don’t think so” : I BET
42 Nos. for alums : YRS
43 Comparative data diagram : BAR GRAPH
48 “The Misery Index” network : TBS
51 Bulgarian’s neighbor : SERB
53 Type of diet that might replace potatoes with cauliflower : LOW-CARB
56 New Deal agcy. : NRA
57 “High Rollers” co-host __ Lee : RUTA
59 Grams : NANAS
61 Alert on the road : HONK AT
63 __ in Charlie : C AS
64 “Play it cool” : ACT CASUAL
66 Prefix with treat or giving : MIS-
67 Blow a fuse : LOSE IT
69 Sellers of KAFFEREP cinnamon buns : IKEAS
70 Middle-earth ring bearer : BIL(BO BA)GGINS
74 Following : POSSE
75 Tokyo airport : NARITA
77 Apple runs on it : IOS
78 Raggedy : MOTH-EATEN
80 Hot state : IRE
81 How three nursery-rhyme merchants went to sea : IN A TUB
84 Trailer follower : MOVIE
85 Laker legend, familiarly : KOBE
86 Votes against : NOS
87 Soybeans served in the pod : EDAMAME
89 Gawk at : OGLE
91 With 6-Down, Rudolph’s guiding light : RED …
92 Dad’s referral? : GO ASK MOM
95 Boarding precedes it: Abbr. : ETD
97 Penicillium, e.g. : MOLD
99 Half a martial art : TAI …
100 Kendrick with a Pulitzer : LAMAR
102 On the lam : AT LARGE
106 Résumé alert about an unfinished goal : DE(GREE N)OT COMPLETED
112 Like a romantic dinner, in Paris : A DEUX
113 Chef’s protection : APRON
114 Word with words or chance : LAST …
115 Org. with many returns : IRS
117 Paris gal pal : AMIE
118 Most sentimental : WEEPIEST
120 Total removals : ERADICATIONS
125 Maiden name preceder : NEE
126 __-Ball : SKEE
127 “The Crocodile” of early tennis : RENE LACOSTE
128 ID on many returns : SSN
129 Post : SEND
130 “Give me some gossip!” … and a hint to this puzzle’s sets of circles, which affect four Across answers : SPILL THE TEA!

Down

1 What Rickey Henderson often beat : THE TAG
2 Chinese for “black dragon” : OOLONG
3 NIAID director : DR FAUCI
4 Luzon, for one: Abbr. : ISL
5 JFK predecessor : DDE
6 See 91-Across : … NOSE
7 Thompson of Marvel movies : TESSA
8 Beat it : RUN AWAY
9 Night before : EVE
10 ___ Technica: tech news website : ARS
11 Make drinkable, as seawater : DESALT
12 70-Across nephew : FRODO
13 “Mr. __”: Rami Malek drama : ROBOT
14 ORD posting : ETA
15 Zoom annoyance : TIME LAG
16 Amtrak speedster : ACELA
17 Sultan’s group : HAREM
18 Intimidate, with “down” : STARE …
22 Identical : SAME
24 Foretell : AUGUR
28 Paris article : LES
31 Trivia night settings : PUBS
33 Flings : HURLS
34 “That’s wrong __ many levels” : ON SO
35 Like some remedies : HERBAL
37 Hammer parts : PEENS
38 “Ghost Story” author Peter : STRAUB
43 Forbid : BAN
44 Flood shelter : ARK
45 23andMe discovery : ANCESTOR
46 “Thank the Lord!” : PRAISE BE!
47 Got a move on : HASTENED
48 Instruction : TRAINING
49 “__ Holiday”: opening section of Copland’s “Rodeo” : BUCKAROO
50 First woman to be named Doctor of the Church, briefly : ST TERESA
52 __ B’rith : B’NAI
54 Tory adversary : WHIG
55 __ de’ Medici, first de facto Lord of Florence : COSIMO
58 Berry in a bowl : ACAI
60 Garlic genus : ALLIUM
62 Get plastered : TOPE
65 Piedmont bubbly : ASTI
66 Classic U.K. sports cars : MGS
68 Prepare, as beans : SOAK
71 Fett in “The Mandalorian” : BOBA
72 De __: again : NOVO
73 Stain : STIGMA
76 Short on iron, maybe : ANEMIC
79 Serf of Sparta : HELOT
82 Ruckus : ADO
83 Cap with a pompon : TAM
84 Convened in : MET AT
88 Idea that spreads in a culture : MEME
90 “First Lady of Song” : ELLA
93 Entrance porch : STOOP
94 Teen dystopian novel narrator : KATNISS
96 Hanukkah top : DREIDEL
98 Duchamp, for one : DADAIST
100 CD precursors : LPS
101 Lets out, say : ALTERS
103 Channel changer : REMOTE
104 Kind of pig that’s not a pig : GUINEA
105 They can be tricky to run into : EXES
106 Daybreaks : DAWNS
107 Foil relatives : EPEES
108 Putting __ : GREEN
109 Designer Ashley : OLSEN
110 Like some cornered kings : MATED
111 “You know the __” : DRILL
116 90-Down’s improv : SCAT
119 Just make, with “out” : EKE …
121 Good name, briefly : REP
122 “Star Wars” nickname : ANI
123 German “Alas!” : ACH!
124 __ the line : TOE

28 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 27 Feb 22, Sunday”

  1. I really did not like this one. The Upper right quadrant tripped me up badly with 63A “Cas in Charlie”, 43A I originally had barchart, and obviously did not get the trick of herbal being part of 32A. Did not see 62D as TOPE and 74D as POSSE either as the clues are really odd.

  2. Your paper has published some really stupid puzzles but this one tops them all. Not only is it stupid, it was NOT FUN and that is why I subscribe at all, for the crosswird and jumble. I’ll be skipping any other puzzle by Katrina Lee for SURE, and any other puzzle has mispelled words like “awhileothlgame” or “degotcompmeted.” Those made NO SENSE AT ALL and are NOT the way crosseords are supposed to work. At the very least SPELL THE WORDS correctly snd STOP STOP STOP publishing these idiotic “cute” puzzles. I hate this type puzzle, in case I have not been clear!

  3. LOVED this puzzle! There was nothing misspelled in the solution to this puzzle, but it is kind of funny that you did misspell crossword…twice!

  4. Approximately 30% of the clues were either names, foreign words, acronyms, or abbreviations. Actually it was a combination of name and abbreviation that tripped me up. 50-down could have been either St. or Sr. (for sister). It crossed with “High Rollers” co-host, Lee. Never heard of either one.
    While the theme was clever, I did not enjoy this puzzle at all for the above noted reasons.

    1. Ruta Lee is a delightful actress and dancer. Check out her Web site: http://rutalee.com/.
      Also, you might remember her from (three, only, episodes of) “Hogan’s Heroes.”
      For her contributions to the television industry, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.

  5. I love the previous comments. Two of us working together took an hour and 45 minutes to finish this one. Most of that time was spent trying to figure out what was going on. I can’t wait to see how long it took you know who.

  6. 22:46

    BIL(BOBA)GGINS had me looking for the Rebus button. Then the tea spilled. That part was fun. But filling in the theme answers didn’t help with the really knotty clues. The last square to fall was the MGS that I have MISgivings about MIStreating.

    The last clue I understood is “___ in Charlie”

    CAS in Charlie? What’s that? CAS in Charlie? A search slowly led to an ancient crossword discussion of: C AS in “Charlie”.

    The AHS have it.

  7. Took a while to get the trick but I enjoyed the puzzle.
    First time seeing “tope”
    Was never asked to spill the tea.

  8. 24:32, no errors. Not bad past the very noticeable number of proper nouns, especially how low energy/sick I felt last night while doing all of the Sunday ones. But definitely could predict this wouldn’t be generally liked and it seems to not be.

    @Anon Mike
    The Saturday Stumper was disappointingly easy to me (17 min, no errors, about what the Friday one turned out for me). Newman uses “Lester Ruff” to denote easier, but this was easier than “Lester”‘s “usual” for sure.

  9. I totally agree with Charles, Mary, Robert and Anon. As to the misspellings, yes she did but she probably meant crosswierd. Ugh!

  10. 38 minutes, 4 seconds, needed a LOT of Check Grid help to finish. Oddly, the worst fill was 48 down; so many things could fit there, and the crosses were all naticks.

    The teabagging theme gimmick was “cute”, but of course left me with that NYT puzzle feeling … like I’d been HAD the whole time. It also didn’t really work with the reveal. “Dunking” a teabag can also be referred to as “steeping” … but you don’t dunk a tea bag with an aim to “spill” the tea. And I’ve never heard of “spill the tea” as a way of saying, “Dish!” or even the much-more-common “spill the BEANS”. In the end, it was just “forced”.

  11. Even after reading Bill’s explanation I’m not sure what juicy tidbits had to do with anything.
    Spare me any more like this.

  12. I kept wanting to walk away from this
    puzzle but I was determined to see it
    through. No look ups,no errors but too
    many on the fly revisions to list not to
    mention too much time spent. Clever
    theme and it helped once I got it.
    Spilt tea = mess ☹️

  13. Yes, a bit of a tough one – 1:00:09 with no errors or lookups. Several revisions along the way: GET>GOT>RAN>RUNAWAY, NAAN>ROTI, ALUMS>AUNTS, BAGGINS>LBGGINS once I understood how the themed answers worked, JAVU>NOVO.

    130A SPILLTHE___ didn’t solve until I figured out HERBAL. Never heard of “spilling the tea” as giving gossip; it’s always been the “beans!” However, the theme answer (130A) does fit the circled answers.

    New words & names were: NARITA, De NOVO, STRAUB, KAFFEREP, ALLIUM, ADEUX, ARS Technica, COSIMO, HELOT, Duchamp (although I am aware of the DADA movement in general).

    All in all, a pretty good challenge from a Sunday puzzle.

  14. I hated this puzzle! Even though there are always many obscure clues & those with double meanings, usually the pattern becomes clear after a few of the longer answers are filled in. With this puzzle, however, I had no idea at all what was going on & some of the answers made no sense to me, even after I looked up the puzzle’s solution. Stop with the “cleverness” & go back to publishing a puzzle whose challenges can be met by those of us with determination & some word skills.

  15. I always complete the LA Times Sunday. And it’s one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning. This puzzle….not even close. Too many far-reaching “out there” answers. It was ridiculous.

  16. In what world does “I bet” mean “Don’t think so”? If anything it means the exact opposite!

    “Is it going to rain today?”
    “I bet.”

  17. I wish puzzlemakers would keep in mind that they make puzzles for others instead of for themselves… I’m sure Ms. Lee is quite happy with herself and the puzzle she clearly made for herself.

  18. A terrible puzzle! Terrible and all counts in all phases.

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