LA Times Crossword 20 Mar 22, Sunday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: Freakonomics!

Themed answers are terms used in economics, but reinterpreted as certain professionals FREAKING OUT:

  • 23A “Surgeon freaks out over higher __!” : OPERATING COSTS
  • 36A “Cattle rancher freaks out over __!” : STOCK MARKET DIP
  • 56A “Landscaper freaks out over cut back __”! : HEDGE FUND
  • 78A “Shrimper captain freaks out over __!” : NET LOSSES
  • 93A “Restaurant owner freaks out over __!” : CONSUMPTION TAX
  • 112A “Car rental agency franchisee freaks out over __!” : BUDGET DEFICITS
  • 17D “Balloonist freaks out over __!” : HYPERINFLATION
  • 49D “Electrician freaks out over drop in his __!” : CURRENT ACCOUNT

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

Bill’s time: 19m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Big do : SHINDIG

“Shindig” is such a lovely word, I think. It describes a party that usually includes some dancing. Although its origin isn’t really clear, the term perhaps comes from “shinty”, a Scottish game that’s similar to field hockey.

20 Traditional Eastern garments : KIMONOS

The lovely Japanese kimono is a garment worn by men, women and children. The word “kimono” translates simply as “thing to wear”, with “ki” meaning “wear” and “mono” meaning “thing”.

22 1974 Top 10 Ringo Starr hit : OH MY MY

“Oh My My” is a 1973 song co-written and recorded by ex-Beatle Ringo Starr. The song’s byline doesn’t credit “Ringo Starr” as such, but “Richard Starkey”, Ringo’s birth name. Another bit of trivia is that American musician Billy Preston played keyboard for the recording. Preston is the only non-Beatle to be given a credit on a Beatles recording (“Get Back” by the Beatles with Billy Preston).

25 Dish out messily, as goulash : SLOP ON

Goulash is a soup or stew that is seasoned with spices, especially paprika. It is a national dish of Hungary, and the term “goulash” comes from the Hungarian word “gulyás”, which actually translates as “herdsman”. The original goulash was a meat dish prepared by herdsmen.

26 Email clutter : SPAM

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

27 Nerve cell transmitter : AXON

A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron. The branched projections that receive electrochemical signals from other neurons are known as dendrites. The long nerve fiber that conducts signals away from the neuron is known as the axon. A neuron that has no definite axon is referred to as “apolar” or “nonpolar”. In apolar neurons the nerve impulses radiate in all directions.

30 Jared of “Fight Club” : LETO

Jared Leto is an actor and musician. In the world of music, he is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. In the film world, one of his most critically acclaimed roles was that of a heroin addict in “Requiem for a Dream”. Leto also appeared in “American Psycho”, “Panic Room” and “Lord of War”. He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in 2013’s “Dallas Buyers Club”, in which he portrayed a transgender woman.

“Fight Club” is a 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk about an insomniac who uses an underground fighting club as psychotherapy for his sleeping disorder. Palahniuk’s novel was adapted into a famous 1999 movie starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.

32 TV Drs. Isles and Quincy : MES

Medical examiner (ME)

“Rizzoli & Isles” is a detective drama that is inspired by the “Maura Isles/Jane Rizzoli” series of novels by Tess Gerritsen. In the show, Angie Harmon plays detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander plays medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles.

“Quincy, M.E.” is a medical mystery series that originally aired in the seventies and eighties starring Jack Klugman in the title role. The show was loosely based on a book by former FBI agent Marshall Houts called “Where Death Delights”.

34 Build-it-yourself furniture chain : IKEA

The IKEA furniture chain was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

35 Scott in an 1857 case : DRED

The landmark case of Dred Scott vs. Sandford came before the US Supreme Court in 1857. Scott had been born a slave, but lived with his owner in a free state for several years before returning to the slave state of Missouri. Scott’s argument was that living in a free state entitled him to emancipation. A divided US Supreme Court sided with Scott’s owner John Sandford. The decision was that no African American, free or enslaved, was entitled to US citizenship and therefore Scott was unable to petition the court for his freedom. The decision heightened tensions between the North and South, and the American Civil War erupted just three years later.

44 White option, briefly : CHARD

The chardonnay grape is believed to have originated in the Burgundy wine region of France. Now it’s grown “everywhere”. Drinkers of California “chards” seem to be particularly fond of oak flavor, so most chardonnay wines are aged in oak barrels or with oak chips.

45 “__ go down to the seas again”: Masefield : I MUST

John Masefield was an English poet and author, and the UK’s Poet Laureate from 1930 until 1967. Masefield’s most famous poem is “Sea-Fever”, first published in 1902:

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face and a grey dawn breaking.

47 Ones at home on the range : ARCHERS

An archer is someone who shoots with a bow and arrow. The term “archer” comes from the Latin “arcus” meaning “bow, arc”.

50 Stock seller, often : BEAR

The terms “bull market” and “bear market” come from the way in which each animal attacks. A bull thrusts his horns upwards (an “up” market), whereas a bear swipes with his paws downward (a “down” market).

52 Vaccine safety agcy. : FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its roots in the Division of Chemistry (later “Bureau of Chemistry”) that was part of the US Department of Agriculture. President Theodore Roosevelt gave responsibility for examination of food and drugs to the Bureau of Chemistry with the signing of the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Bureau’s name was changed to the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization in 1927, and to the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

A vaccine used to be a modified virus administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity, until RNA vaccines were introduced to combat COVID-19. British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

55 It may accompany vertigo : NAUSEA

Nausea is a sick feeling in the stomach. The term “nausea” derives from the Greek “naus” meaning “ship”. Originally, nausea was associated only with seasickness.

“Vertigo” is a Latin word meaning “dizziness”, and has the same meaning in English. The Latin term comes from the Latin verb “vertere”, which means “to turn”.

56 “Landscaper freaks out over cut back __”! : HEDGE FUND

Originally, a hedge fund was a fund that paired long and short positions in a strategy designed to hedge market risk, to avoid major losses. That’s far from the case today, as hedge funds are now relatively high risk/reward investments that are not available to the general public as they avoid or partially avoid regulatory oversight.

60 Write “mispell,” e.g. : ERR

Speaking as someone who misspells all the time, I find it somewhat amusing that one of the more common words to misspell is “misspell” (written incorrectly as “mispell”).

61 Hard-to-move type : STOIC

Zeno of Citium was a Greek philosopher famous for teaching at the Stoa Poikile, the “Painted Porch”, located on the north side of the Ancient Agora of Athens. Because of the location of his classes, his philosophy became known as stoicism (from “stoa”, the word for “porch”). We get our adjective “stoic”, meaning “indifferent to pleasure or pain”, from the same root.

63 Hawks : SELLS

The verb “to hawk” has a Germanic origin, and comes from the Low German word “hoken” meaning “to peddle”. A hawker is actually slightly different from a peddler by definition, as a hawker is a peddler that uses a horse and cart, or a van nowadays perhaps, to sell his or her wares.

64 Popeye’s stop : AVAST

“Avast” is a nautical term used to tell someone to stop or desist from what they are doing. The word comes from the Dutch “hou vast” meaning “hold fast”.

65 Country singer Haggard : MERLE

Merle Haggard was a country singer and songwriter whose most famous recording has to be “Okie from Muskogee” released in 1969. Haggard would tell you that the song was actually meant as a spoof, but it has become a country “anthem”.

67 Mekong River land : LAOS

At over 2,700 miles in length, the Mekong is the twelfth longest river in the world. It rises in the Tibetan Plateau and empties into the South China Sea at the famed Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

70 All, in scores : TUTTI

“Tutti” (singular “tutto”) are pieces of music performed by all the artists in a group, as opposed to “soli” (singular “solo”). “Tutto” is the Italian word for “all”.

71 Curved moldings : OGEES

An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically, it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

72 Ski resort near Montpelier : STOWE

Stowe ski resort is located on the slopes of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, near the town of Stowe, Vermont. Alpine skiing was brought first to Mount Mansfield, after the Civilian Conservation Corps cut trails back in 1933. The following year, Mount Mansfield was home to the first ski patrol in the nation, which became the model for the National Ski Patrol.

Montpelier is the capital of the state of Vermont, the smallest state in the Union in terms of population. The city was named for the French city of Montpelier in the days when there was great enthusiasm for things French after the aid received during the American Revolution.

76 Dr. Seuss’ Sam-__ : I-AM

Dr. Seuss’s famous children’s book “Green Eggs and Ham” was first published in 1960. “Green Eggs and Ham” now ranks twelfth in the list of top selling children’s books. By the way, “Harry Potter” books hold the top four slots in that list. The text of “Green Eggs and Ham” has a lot of “I am” going on. It starts with:

I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am

and ends with:

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Sam-I-am

77 Billionth: Pref. : NANO-

The prefix “nano-” is used for units of one thousand-millionth part. “Nano-” comes from the Greek “nanos” meaning “dwarf”.

78 “Shrimper captain freaks out over __!” : NET LOSSES

The terms “prawn” and “shrimp” are often used interchangeably on menus. Over in the UK, the term “prawn” is most common, while “shrimp” is seen more often here in North America. Sometimes there is a differentiation from a food standpoint, with “prawn” being used for larger species and “shrimp” for smaller species. As a result, “jumbo prawns” seems to be an acceptable descriptor for a dish, whereas “jumbo shrimp” seems to be an oxymoron.

80 Punk rock’s Joey or Dee Dee : RAMONE

The Ramones were an American punk rock band. The group formed in Forest Hills, New York in the mid-seventies. The band members took on the stage names Dee Dee, Joey, and Johnny Ramone, even though they were not related. The “Ramone” name was imitative of the pseudonym used by Paul McCartney when he booked into hotels anonymously, namely “Paul Ramon”. Arguably, the Ramones were the first punk rock group, defining the genre. Something else that’s not my cup of tea …

82 No. on a landscaper’s doc : EST

Estimate (est.)

84 Newspaper stand? : OP-ED

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

85 Some fictional turtles : MUTANTS

The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” started out as a parody of comic book superheroes, first appearing in a self-published comic book in 1984. A couple of years later the characters were picked up by someone who built a whole line of toys around the characters, and then television and movies followed. Do you remember the names of all four of the Turtles? Their names were all taken from Renaissance artists:

  • Leonardo
  • Raphael
  • Michelangelo
  • Donatello

86 Name in early Genesis chapters : ADAM

“Genesis” is a Greek word meaning “origin, creation” that was absorbed into Latin, and then into English. We use the Latin plural “geneses”.

The Book of Genesis is the first book in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. Some of the main figures in the book are Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses and Abraham. “Genesis” is a Greek word meaning “origin, creation”.

88 Auricle, in anatomy : PINNA

The auricle is the visible part of the ear that sits outside of the head. The term “pinna” can be used for the same structure, with “auricle” mainly used in a human anatomical context, and “piina” in a zoology. “Pinna” is the Latin for “feather” and is also used anatomically to describe a wing, fin or other external appendage.

90 Sombrero wearer’s title, often : SENOR

In English we think of a sombrero as a wide-brimmed hat, but in Spanish “sombrero” is the word for any hat. “Sombrero” is derived from “sombra” meaning “shade”.

91 Breakfast strips : BACON

“Bacon” is an Old French word that we imported into English. The term ultimately comes from the Proto-Germanic “bakkon” meaning “back meat”.

98 Card relative? : RIOT

A very amusing person might be referred to as a card, stitch, wag or riot.

99 NBA great Ming : YAO

Yao Ming is a retired professional basketball player from Shanghai who played for the Houston Rockets. At 7’6″, Yao was the tallest man playing in the NBA.

102 New Mexico art colony : TAOS

The town of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo. Taos is famous for its art colony. Artists began settling in Taos in 1899, and the Taos Society of Artists was founded in 1915.

103 Julie with multiple Tonys and Emmys : HARRIS

Julie Harris was an actress best-known for her work on the stage, and the winner of five Best Actress in a Play Tony Awards. She is best-known to movie audiences probably for playing the female lead in 1955’s “East of Eden”, opposite James Dean in his first major film role. On the small screen, Harris played country singer Lilimae Clements on “Knots Landing” in the 1980s.

106 TriBeCa neighbor : SOHO

The Manhattan neighborhood known today as SoHo was very fashionable in the early 1900s, but as the well-heeled started to move uptown the area became very run down and poorly maintained. Noted for the number of fires that erupted in derelict buildings, SoHo earned the nickname “Hell’s Hundred Acres”. The area was then zoned for manufacturing and became home to many sweatshops. In the mid-1900s artists started to move into open loft spaces and renovating old buildings as the lofts were ideal locations in which an artist could both live and work. In 1968, artists and others organized themselves so that they could legalize their residential use of an area zoned for manufacturing. The group they formed took its name from the name given to the area by the city’s Planning Commission i.e “South of Houston”. This was shortened from So-uth of Ho-uston to SoHo as in “SoHo Artists Association”, and the name stuck.

“TriBeCa” is a clever little acronym that expands into “TRI-angle BE-low CA-nal Street”. The name of the New York City neighborhood was developed by local residents who basically copied the naming technique used by residents of the adjacent area of SoHo, with “SoHo” being short for “SO-uth of HO-uston Street”.

109 How many ER orders are given : STAT

The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.

110 Perceptiveness : ACUITY

Acuity is an acuteness of perception, a mental sharpness. The term comes into English via French from the Latin “acuere” meaning “to sharpen”.

112 “Car rental agency franchisee freaks out over __!” : BUDGET DEFICITS

The Budget Rent a Car company started out in 1958 with the intent of undercutting the existing price of renting a car at airports. Budget was founded by Morris Mirkin. Mirkin enlisted Julius Lederer as a co-founder the following year. Lederer was the husband of newspaper columnist “Ann Landers”.

We started using the word “budget” in a financial sense in the mid-1700s. The term comes from the Latin “bulga” meaning “leather bag”. The idea was that a minister of the treasury would keep fiscal plans (budgets) in a wallet or leather bag.

116 “Swan Lake” heroine : ODETTE

“Swan Lake” is such a delightfully light and enjoyable ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. “Swan Lake” tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by a sorcerer. The ballet also features Odile, Odette’s “evil twin”. Odile is disguised to look like Odette with the goal of tricking the prince to fall in love with her. In the ballet, the roles of Odette and Odile are played by the same ballerina. Odette’s love interest is Prince Siegfried, the only character in the ballet to appear in all four acts.

117 Longtime “General Hospital” actress : ANNA LEE

English actress Anna Lee was promoted by Hollywood studios as “The British Bombshell”. She was best known in her later years for playing the matriarch Lila Quartermaine in the soap opera “General Hospital”. Lee’s godfather was novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the character Sherlock Holmes.

The daytime soap opera “General Hospital” is the longest-running such drama still in production in the US, and is the second-longest running soap in the world. The first episode of “General Hospital” aired on April 1, 1963. The UK soap “Coronation Street” has been on TV since 9 December 1960.

118 Major course : ENTREE

“Entrée” means “entry” in French. An entrée can be something that helps one get “a way in”, an interview for example perhaps helped along by a recommendation letter. In Europe, even in English-speaking countries, the entrée is the name for the “entry” to the meal, the first course. I found the ordering of meals to be very confusing when I first came to America!

120 Taco truck fare : TOSTADA

In Mexican cuisine, a tostada is a flat or bowl-shaped tortilla

Down

1 Itty bit : SKOSH

“Skosh” is a slang term meaning “a little bit”, and was originally military slang that came out of the Korean War. “Skosh” derives from the Japanese word “sukoshi” which translates as “few, little, some”.

2 “Hungry, hungry” game beasts : HIPPOS

Hungry Hungry Hippos is a children’s game in which players use plastic hippos to gobble up marbles.

5 __ kit : DNA

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relatives.

6 Itty bit : IOTA

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

7 Unofficial EU leaders group : G-SIX

The European Union’s Group of Six (G6) was an unofficial grouping of six members of the EU. The six were France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the UK. They were the most populous states in the EU, giving them the majority of the votes in the Council of the European Union. The UK left the EU in 2020, and so the equivalent group today is the G5.

9 Letter abbr. : ENC

Enclosure (enc.)

10 General __ chicken : TSO’S

General Tso’s chicken is an American creation, and a dish often found on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The name General Tso may be a reference to General Zuo Zongtang of the Qing Dynasty, but there is no clear link.

12 Tin mints : ALTOIDS

Altoids breath mints have been around since 1780, when they were introduced in Britain. The famous tin in which Altoids are sold is often reused for other purposes. The most famous use is as a container to hold a mini-survival kit.

13 Radon detection aid : TEST KIT

The element radon (Rn) is a radioactive gas, and a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

14 Book before Joel : HOSEA

Hosea was one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible. The Twelve Prophets are also known as the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.

15 Minor league rink org. : AHL

The American Hockey League (AHL) is the so-called development circuit for the National Hockey League (NHL), the equivalent of the minors in professional baseball. The AHL’s playoff trophy is called the Calder Cup, which is named for Frank Calder who was the first president of the NHL.

19 Church councils : SYNODS

The word “synod” comes from the Greek word for “assembly, meeting”. A synod is a church council, usually one in the Christian faith.

24 Bedouin, e.g. : NOMAD

Bedouin tribes are Arab ethnic groups that predominantly live in the Middle East, in desert areas. Bedouin tribes tend to be nomadic, not settling permanently in one location.

33 Tackled moguls : SKIED

Moguls are the series of bumps in the surface of snow that arise naturally as a succession of skiers make turns on a slope.

37 Folk legend Phil : OCHS

Phil Ochs was an American protest singer who was active in the days of the Vietnam War. Sadly, the singer’s mental health declined at the very time the war was winding down. Saigon fell in 1975, and Ochs committed suicide in 1976.

38 Cocktail hour array : CHEESES

Our word “cocktail” first appeared in the early 1800s. The exact origin of the term is not clear, but it is thought to be a corruption of the French word “coquetier” meaning “egg cup”, a container that was used at that time for serving mixed drinks.

39 Gold measure : KARAT

A karat (also “carat”, the spelling outside of North America) is a measure of the purity of gold alloys, with 24-karat representing pure gold.

40 Woolf’s “__ Dalloway” : MRS

“Mrs. Dalloway” is a novel by Virginia Woolf that was first published in 1925. The story tells of a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a day in which she is preparing for a party that she is hosting. The novel has been compared to “Ulysses” by James Joyce, a story about a day in the life of Leopold Bloom.

41 Salon and Slate : E-MAGS

Salon.com is a popular online magazine, one of the first “ezines” ever published. “Salon” focuses on American politics and current affairs, but also has articles about books, music and films. The magazine was launched in 1995, and managed to survive many loss-making years. Most of Salon’s content is free, but it does make money by offering a premium service with extra content, and by selling ad space.

“Slate” is an online magazine that was founded in 1996. “Slate” was originally owned by Microsoft and was part of the MSN online offering. The magazine has been available for free since 1999 (it is ad-supported) and has been owned by the Washington Post Company since 2004.

42 Large serving bowl : TUREEN

A terrine (also “tureen”) is a cooking dish with a tightly-fitting lid made from glazed earthenware. A terrine is used for cooking in an oven, and for serving soups and stews.

46 Subj. of arms negotiations : WMD

The first recorded use of the term “Weapon of Mass Destruction” (WMD) was in 1937. The words were used by Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, in reference to the bombardment of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War by the German Luftwaffe. He said, “Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction?”

47 Buttercup relative : ANEMONE

The name “anemone” means “daughter of the wind” in Greek, and at one time it was believed that the wind was what actually caused the flower to bloom.

The Ranunculus genus of flowering plants can also be referred to as “buttercups”. The name “buttercup” may be the result of a traditional belief that cows eat buttercups, resulting in the yellow color of butter. However, buttercups are poisonous to cows, and so they avoid them.

48 Krypton, for one : RARE GAS

The noble gases (also “rare gases”) are those elements on the extreme right of the Periodic Table. Because of their “full” complement of electrons, noble gases are very unreactive. The six noble gases that occur naturally are helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon.

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

49 “Electrician freaks out over drop in his __!” : CURRENT ACCOUNT

Checks and checking accounts caused me some language trouble when I first came to the US. Back in Ireland (and the UK) we write “cheques” using funds from our “current” accounts.

56 “Perfectly Good Guitar” singer John : HIATT

John Hiatt is a rock guitarist and singer-songwriter from Indianapolis.

57 Attacked via email : FLAMED

“To flame” is an informal term used in Internet circles and means “to inflame”, to incite anger, to make insulting criticisms or remarks.

58 Arm bones : ULNAS

The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”. The humerus (plural “humeri”) is the long bone in the upper arm.

59 “Law & Order: __” : SVU

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin-off from the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly (to me), there is a very successful Russian adaptation of the show that is set in Moscow.

62 Daily Planet name : OLSEN

In the “Superman” stories, Jimmy Olsen is a cub photographer who works on the “Daily Planet” newspaper with Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

66 Sign of summer : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

73 College sports airer : ESPNU

ESPNU (short for “ESPN Universities”) is a sports channel focused on college athletics.

75 Netflix title puggle dog : BRUNO

“It’s Bruno!” is a Netflix comedy series about New Yorker Malcom Bartello and his puggle dog Bruno. The show was created by, written by and stars rapper Slick Naim, along with his real-life dog Bruno.

78 __ de guerre: alias : NOM

“Nom de guerre” is a French term meaning “name of war”. It describes the practice of adopting a pseudonym when in a conflict, perhaps to protect family or to symbolize a separation between one’s life in the military and as a civilian. The term originates with the French Foreign Legion, in which recruits routinely adopted noms de guerre as they broke with their past lives and started afresh.

79 Morally repugnant : SEAMY

We’ve used “seamy” to mean “the least pleasant, the worst” since the 1600s. The idea comes from the seamed side of a sewn garment being the less attractive.

85 Travis Tritt’s “Tell __ Was Dreaming” : ME I

“Tell Me I Was Dreaming” is a song recorded by Travis Tritt in 1994. One reason the song made such a splash was the accompanying music video. It tells the story of a man whose pregnant wife falls and sustains a fatal head injury. But, the baby survives.

87 FBI file : DOSSIER

A dossier is a collection of papers with information about a person or subject. “Dossier” is a French term meaning “bundle of papers”.

88 Original name of a classic NOLA sandwich : POOR BOY

A po’ boy is a submarine sandwich from Louisiana. The name of the sandwich apparently dates back to 1929. It was a sandwich given away free to streetcar workers in New Orleans during a strike, i.e. to “poor boys” not earning a wage. A po’ boy differs from a regular submarine sandwich in that it uses Louisiana French bread, which is soft in the middle and crusty on the outside.

91 Lighter fluid : BUTANE

Butane is a highly flammable organic gas, one that is used as a fuel for lighters, for example. Butane was discovered in 1849, and is closely related to butyric acid, a compound discovered in 1814 and from which the gas gets its name. In turn, butyric acid gets its name from “butyrum”, the Latin for butter. Butyric acid was first isolated from butter.

92 Pain relief brand : ANACIN

Anacin is a brand of pain reliever that comprises aspirin and caffeine as active ingredients.

93 “Argo” spy org. : CIA

“Argo” is a 2012 movie that is based on the true story of the rescue of six diplomats hiding out during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The film was directed by and stars Ben Affleck and is produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the same pair who produced the excellent “Good Night, and Good Luck”. I highly recommend “Argo”, although I found the scenes of religious fervor to be very frightening …

95 Fifth-century enemy of Rome : ATTILA

In his day, Attila the Hun was the most feared enemy of the Roman Empire, until he died in 453 AD. Attila was the leader of the Hunnic Empire of central Europe and was famous for invading much of the continent. However, he never directly attacked Rome.

96 Explicit, in a way : X-RATED

When the Motion Picture Association (MPAA) film rating system was introduced in 1968, the most restrictive class was an X-rating. Persons under 16 were not admitted to such films. A few years later, the guidelines were changed for all ratings, and no one under the age of 17 was admitted to films rated X. Over time, the term “X-rating” became associated with pornographic films, and so the under-17 restriction was relabeled in 1990 to “NC-17”.

98 What’s done for fun? : RHYME

The word “done” rhymes with “fun”.

101 On the briny : AT SEA

The briny is the sea, with “brine” meaning “salty water”. The term “briny” was originally used for “tears”.

104 Dire day for Caesar : IDES

In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, a soothsayer warns the doomed leader to “beware the ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.

105 Pepper et al.: Abbr. : SGTS

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was the alter-ego of the Beatles, and the title of a famous studio album released in 1967, as well as the name of the album’s title track.

111 __ Bo : TAE

Tae Bo isn’t an ancient martial art, even though it perhaps sounds like one. The discipline was developed as a form of aerobic exercise in the 1990s by taekwondo expert Billy Blanks who gave it the name Tae Bo, a melding of “taekwondo” and “boxing”.

113 Paris Jazz Festival saison : ETE

In French, “été” (summer) is “la saison chaude” (the warm season).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Big do : SHINDIG
8 Attacks : SETS AT
14 Discusses, with “out” : HASHES …
20 Traditional Eastern garments : KIMONOS
21 Arch support : INSOLE
22 1974 Top 10 Ringo Starr hit : OH MY MY
23 “Surgeon freaks out over higher __!” : OPERATING COSTS
25 Dish out messily, as goulash : SLOP ON
26 Email clutter : SPAM
27 Nerve cell transmitter : AXON
28 Bring comfort to : SOOTHE
30 Jared of “Fight Club” : LETO
31 Luv : HON
32 TV Drs. Isles and Quincy : MES
34 Build-it-yourself furniture chain : IKEA
35 Scott in an 1857 case : DRED
36 “Cattle rancher freaks out over __!” : STOCK MARKET DIP
43 Estate planning list : HEIRS
44 White option, briefly : CHARD
45 “__ go down to the seas again”: Masefield : I MUST
46 Put on notice : WARN
47 Ones at home on the range : ARCHERS
50 Stock seller, often : BEAR
51 Hesitant sounds : UMS
52 Vaccine safety agcy. : FDA
55 It may accompany vertigo : NAUSEA
56 “Landscaper freaks out over cut back __”! : HEDGE FUND
59 Open, as an envelope : SLIT
60 Write “mispell,” e.g. : ERR
61 Hard-to-move type : STOIC
63 Hawks : SELLS
64 Popeye’s stop : AVAST
65 Country singer Haggard : MERLE
67 Mekong River land : LAOS
69 Grammy, alternatively : NANA
70 All, in scores : TUTTI
71 Curved moldings : OGEES
72 Ski resort near Montpelier : STOWE
74 “Let me sleep on it” : MAYBE
76 Dr. Seuss’ Sam-__ : I-AM
77 Billionth: Pref. : NANO-
78 “Shrimper captain freaks out over __!” : NET LOSSES
80 Punk rock’s Joey or Dee Dee : RAMONE
82 No. on a landscaper’s doc : EST
83 Came out on top : WON
84 Newspaper stand? : OP-ED
85 Some fictional turtles : MUTANTS
86 Name in early Genesis chapters : ADAM
88 Auricle, in anatomy : PINNA
90 Sombrero wearer’s title, often : SENOR
91 Breakfast strips : BACON
93 “Restaurant owner freaks out over __!” : CONSUMPTION TAX
97 Aunties’ mates : UNCS
98 Card relative? : RIOT
99 NBA great Ming : YAO
100 La-la preceder : TRA-
102 New Mexico art colony : TAOS
103 Julie with multiple Tonys and Emmys : HARRIS
106 TriBeCa neighbor : SOHO
109 How many ER orders are given : STAT
110 Perceptiveness : ACUITY
112 “Car rental agency franchisee freaks out over __!” : BUDGET DEFICITS
115 Common workday starting hr. : NINE AM
116 “Swan Lake” heroine : ODETTE
117 Longtime “General Hospital” actress : ANNA LEE
118 Major course : ENTREE
119 Affirmatives : YESSES
120 Taco truck fare : TOSTADA

Down

1 Itty bit : SKOSH
2 “Hungry, hungry” game beasts : HIPPOS
3 “Let me clarify … ” : I MEANT …
4 It’s not unusual : NORM
5 __ kit : DNA
6 Itty bit : IOTA
7 Unofficial EU leaders group : G-SIX
8 Bottom-line name : SIGNER
9 Letter abbr. : ENC
10 General __ chicken : TSO’S
11 Just okay : SO-SO
12 Tin mints : ALTOIDS
13 Radon detection aid : TEST KIT
14 Book before Joel : HOSEA
15 Minor league rink org. : AHL
16 Burn sans flames : SMOLDER
17 “Balloonist freaks out over __!” : HYPERINFLATION
18 Stage attention-getter : EMOTER
19 Church councils : SYNODS
24 Bedouin, e.g. : NOMAD
29 With it, old-style : HEP
33 Tackled moguls : SKIED
37 Folk legend Phil : OCHS
38 Cocktail hour array : CHEESES
39 Gold measure : KARAT
40 Woolf’s “__ Dalloway” : MRS
41 Salon and Slate : E-MAGS
42 Large serving bowl : TUREEN
43 Is down with : HAS
46 Subj. of arms negotiations : WMD
47 Buttercup relative : ANEMONE
48 Krypton, for one : RARE GAS
49 “Electrician freaks out over drop in his __!” : CURRENT ACCOUNT
50 Chill : BE COOL
51 Retract : UNSAY
53 A long ways off : DISTANT
54 Now and then : AT TIMES
56 “Perfectly Good Guitar” singer John : HIATT
57 Attacked via email : FLAMED
58 Arm bones : ULNAS
59 “Law & Order: __” : SVU
62 Daily Planet name : OLSEN
64 Gorged oneself : ATE A TON
66 Sign of summer : LEO
68 Passes out : SWOONS
73 College sports airer : ESPNU
75 Netflix title puggle dog : BRUNO
78 __ de guerre: alias : NOM
79 Morally repugnant : SEAMY
81 Trade center : MART
83 Sickly looking : WAN
85 Travis Tritt’s “Tell __ Was Dreaming” : ME I
87 FBI file : DOSSIER
88 Original name of a classic NOLA sandwich : POOR BOY
89 Offer an unwelcome opinion, maybe : INTRUDE
90 Left one’s seat : STOOD
91 Lighter fluid : BUTANE
92 Pain relief brand : ANACIN
93 “Argo” spy org. : CIA
94 Cuts partner : PASTES
95 Fifth-century enemy of Rome : ATTILA
96 Explicit, in a way : X-RATED
98 What’s done for fun? : RHYME
101 On the briny : AT SEA
104 Dire day for Caesar : IDES
105 Pepper et al.: Abbr. : SGTS
107 Pressure : HEAT
108 __ consequence : OF NO
109 “Beat it!” : SCAT!
111 __ Bo : TAE
113 Paris Jazz Festival saison : ETE
114 Seat holders : INS

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Mar 22, Sunday”

  1. 23:54, 2 errors. 1 blatant typo/overwrite, the other dumb on my part. Definitely some cluing to side-eye in this one.

  2. @glen an @nonnymus – Saturday stumper did me in. I got half way and did 2 lookups. Thanks for tip on “Lester ruff”!
    When I got done and looked at it, I said “huh” that doesn’t look that hard! Humbled again.

    For today, got the theme. But Cluing?
    UNSAY ARCHERS…

    How about a PINNA or two.

    Then that sneaky CHARD.

    Had fun… can’t wait to see who else loses in the NCAA March madness bracket. Boy, what a bust for me!!! Lots of bleeding on my bracket and we are not even done with the second round.

  3. 17:32

    This was fun! Financial puns are right up my alley. I even set a Sunday record for me.

    There were several clues that didn’t make sense to me, so I thank you again for the elucidations!

  4. 31 mins 41 sec, and needed Check Grid to root out 6 errors. Had a lot of rough patches with this one.

  5. Finished without final error but I have at least one query for the usual suspects among our little gang of crossword’ers…16 Down “Burn sans flames” ended in er. Is that correct? It goofed me up for awhile because I had ed on the end.

    Fairly tricky Sunday puzzle…no doubt.

    1. Normal words can have endings similar to standard suffix modifiers. Smolder is a great instance. One that smolders would be a smolderer. Akin to the word fling. One in the act of doing that is flinging something. Indeed, smold is not a dictionary word.

      1. Thanks, Glenn. I couldn’t see it but your example made it clear to me…so ta! as the Brits say.

  6. This one took me a long time…no final errors, but too many proper
    name lookups. One name I didn’t have to lookup was
    Yao because I had just completed another puzzle that had that same
    name as the answer.

    1. Whew! 41:32 with one letter error at PINNe/SEeMY.

      Revisions were: CANAPES>CHOICES>CHEESES, TURINE>TUREEN, CLARK>OLSEN, ATEALOT>ATEATON, PORT>MART.

      New items: RAMONE, PINNA, ODETTE, BUTTERCUP:ANEMONE, BRUNO.

      Figured out the the theme early, and it helped with several answers. Also many trial and error fills.

    1. Hi Mike. The area where archers practice is called a range so it was the puzzle makers little “arrow” to point us to the right answer.

  7. Hi sunshine. The clue refers to political seats and those that are “in” power…so political seat holders are the ins.

      1. Hi Brady. I think if that was the case the constructor would need to have something like “abrev” or a “for short” notation with the clue. Besides the parts that loses is “out” of power so we have the ins and the outs and no longer word as part of out as far as I can figure.

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