LA Times Crossword 8 May 22, Sunday

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Constructed by: Matthew Stock
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: Monsters Incorporated

Themed answers each have a MONSTER INCORPORATED as a hidden word:

  • 22A Just okay : NO GREAT SHAKES (incorporating “OGRE”)
  • 36A Hitting the market soon : NOT YET IN STORES (incorporating “YETI”)
  • 66A Style maven : FASHION ICON (incorporating “ONI”)
  • 96A Bread options in morning buffets : BREAKFAST ROLLS (incorporating “TROLL”)
  • 112A Strong ale brewed by Trappists in the Low Countries : BELGIAN TRIPEL (incorporating “GIANT”)
  • 16D Take longer than necessary : DRAG ONE’S FEET (incorporating “DRAGON”)
  • 60D Genghis Khan’s realm : MONGOL EMPIRE (incorporating “GOLEM”)

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

Bill’s time: 17m 42s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • JELANI (Julani)
  • SER (sur!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Movie that may feature a meet-cute scene : ROMCOM

“Meet-cute” is a term used since the 1930s or 1940s for a scene in a film or TV show in which a future couple have an amusing first encounter.

13 Odysseys, e.g. : HONDAS

The Honda Odyssey is a minivan that has been around since 1994. We had one for many years …

19 “God Is a Woman” singer Grande : ARIANA

Ariana Grande is a singer and actress from Boca Raton, Florida. Grande plays the role of Cat Valentine on the sitcom “Victorious” that aired for four seasons on Nickelodeon. Grande’s singing career took off with the release of the 2011 album “Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show”.

21 Sicilian seaport : PALERMO

Palermo is the capital of the Italian autonomous region of Sicily. Palermo was founded by the Phoenicians over 2,700 years ago.

22 Just okay : NO GREAT SHAKES (incorporating “OGRE”)

The idiomatic phrase “no great shakes” means “not very skilful”, as in “Bill is no great shakes at solving sports clues in the crossword”. There is a suggestion that the term comes from the act of shaking dice, as some shakes result in great numbers, and some don’t.

25 One of the Big Five in Hollywood’s Golden Age : RKO

During the Golden Age of Cinema (roughly, the thirties and forties), the “Big Five” Hollywood studios were:

  • Lowe’s/MGM
  • Paramount
  • Fox (later “20th Century Fox”)
  • Warner Bros.
  • RKO

29 Golfo contents : AGUA

In Spanish, “agua” (water) might be found in a “golfo” (gulf).

30 Hip hop dance move : NAE NAE

The Nae Nae is a hip hop dance that is named for the 2013 song “Drop that NaeNae” recorded by We Are Toon. The main move in the dance involves swaying with one hand in the air and one hand down, with both feet firmly planted on the dancefloor. Go on, do it. You know you want to …

34 “Okay, that’s enough from me” : I’LL STOP

Not me. I’ll go on and on and on, as always …

36 Hitting the market soon : NOT YET IN STORES (incorporating “YETI”)

The yeti, also known as the abominable snowman, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology, and a cryptid is a creature or plant that isn’t recognized by the scientific community, but the existence of which has been suggested.

40 North Carolina university : ELON

Elon is a city in the Piedmont region of North Carolina located close to the city of Burlington. Elon University is a private liberal arts school founded in 1889.

46 Smidge : TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

47 Boatloads : SLEWS

Our usage of “slew” to mean “large number” has nothing to do with the verb “to slew” meaning “to turn, skid”. The noun “slew” came into English in the early 1800s from the Irish word “sluagh” meaning “host, crowd, multitude”.

49 Horde : HOST

A horde is a large crowd. “Horde” ultimately derives from the Turkish “ordu” meaning “camp, army”.

51 Wet wipes brand : LYSOL

Lysol disinfectant takes its name from the words “lysosome” and “solvent”. Lysosomes are structures found within cells that have the job of breaking up waste material and cellular debris.

53 Historian Cobb who writes for The New Yorker : JELANI

Jelani Cobb is an author and educator. He has been a staff writer at “The New Yorker” since 2015, and is also the Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism at Columbia University.

54 __ guzzler : GAS

A gas guzzler is a vehicle that uses a lot fuel/gas. Apparently, the term “gas guzzler” was coined around 1980 when the US Congress passed Energy Tax Act, which was intended to promote energy conservation. Part of the Act imposed a Gas Guzzler Tax, which was levied on the sales of vehicles that had gas mileages below specified levels.

55 The Yoko of “Dear Yoko” and “Oh Yoko!” : ONO

“Dear Yoko” is a song by John Lennon from the 1980 album “Double Fantasy”, which was released by Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono. “Double Fantasy” was released just three weeks before Lennon was murdered.

“Oh Yoko!” is a song written and performed by John Lennon in 1971 that appears on his iconic album “Imagine”. The title refers to Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono.

57 Egg __ yung : FOO

Egg foo yung is a dish served in Chinese restaurants, and is basically an omelet. It probably takes its name from a flower called the Fu Yung.

58 Madagascar primate : LEMUR

Lemurs are unusual-looking creatures that are native to the island of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa. With their white fur and dark eyes that are very reflective at night, they have a “ghostly” appearance. Indeed, the animals take their name from Roman mythology in which “lemures” were spirits of the restless dead.

Madagascar is a large island nation lying off the southeast coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. The main island of Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world (after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo).

Primates are mammals, many of whom are omnivorous and make good use of their hands. They also have larger brains relative to their body size, compared to other animals. The order Primates includes apes, lemurs, baboons and humans.

61 Spur to action : EGG ON

The verb “to edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

66 Style maven : FASHION ICON (incorporating “ONI”)

Oni are demons and ghosts in Japanese folklore. Children in Japan might play “oni gokko”, which is the same as the game of “tag” played in the Western world. The person who is “it” is referred to as the “oni”.

I’ve always loved the term “maven”, which is another word for “expert”. Maven comes into English from the Yiddish “meyvn” describing someone who appreciates and is a connoisseur.

73 “Misery” Oscar winner : BATES

Actress Kathy Bates started her on-screen career in the early seventies, but it wasn’t until 1990 that she landed her breakthrough role, playing Annie Wilkes in the psychological thriller “Misery”. Her performance in “Misery” won her that season’s Best Actress Oscar.

The 1990 film “Misery” is an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. I think it’s the only movie from a King book that I’ve watched and enjoyed. I can’t stomach his books, not because of the writing, but because of the gruesome scenes that are part of the plots. The screen version of “Misery” is toned down a little from the original storyline. In the novel, the Kathy Bates character amputates the James Caan character’s foot to incapacitate him. In the movie she just smashes his ankles. Big difference …

74 Comedian Notaro : TIG

Tig Notaro is a stand-up comedian known for her deadpan delivery.

75 __-ball pens : UNI

Uni-ball is a brand of pens and pencils made by the Mitsubishi Pencil Company. The Mitsubishi Pencil Company is unrelated to the Mitsubishi Group company that makes so many products, including the Mitsubishi line of cars and trucks that we see on our roads.

76 Novelist Tan : AMY

Amy Tan lives not too far from here, in Sausalito just north of San Francisco. Tan is an American writer of Chinese descent whose most successful work is “The Joy Luck Club”. “The Joy Luck Club” was made into a movie produced by Oliver Stone in 1993. The novel and movie tell of four Chinese-American immigrant families in San Francisco who start the Joy Luck Club, a group playing Mahjong for money and eating delicious food.

82 Maker of Berryblossom White tea : TAZO

The Tazo Tea Company was founded in 1994 in Portland, Oregon. Tazo was purchased in 1999 by Starbucks, and then by Unilever in 2017.

84 Balm additives : ALOES

Aloe vera has a number of alternate names that are descriptive of its efficacy as a medicine. ancient Egyptians knew it as the plant of immortality, and Native Americans called it the wand of heaven.

85 Nintendo console : WII

Introduced in 2006, Nintendo’s Wii quickly became the biggest-selling game console in the world.

88 “Political Gabfest” podcast producer : SLATE

“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.

90 Supercharged : TURBO

A turbocharger is a device that is designed to extract more power out of an internal combustion engine. It does so by increasing the pressure of the air entering the intake. The pressure increase comes from the use of a compressor that is powered, cleverly enough, by the engine’s own exhaust gases.

93 Vinyl records, briefly : LPS

The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.

96 Bread options in morning buffets : BREAKFAST ROLLS (incorporating “TROLL”)

“Troll” is a term that comes from Norse mythology. Trolls are less-than-helpful creatures that tend to live on isolated mountains, in caves and under bridges.

99 Ferrera of “Superstore” : AMERICA

America Ferrera is an actress best known for playing the title role in the TV comedy “Ugly Betty”. She is a smart lady and earned herself a presidential scholarship to study at the University of Southern California. However, Ferrera dropped out just one semester shy of graduating when she decided to turn her full attention to her role in “Ugly Betty”.

“Superstore” is a sitcom that started airing in 2015. It’s all about employees working at a fictional big-box store in St. Louis called Cloud 9.

103 Some political campaign research, for short : OPPO

In the world of politics, “oppo” is “opposition research”. The idea is to collect information on one’s opponent that can be used against him or her.

107 South Asian rice cake : IDLI

Idli (also “idly”) are savoury rice cakes in the cuisine from the Indian subcontinent. The cakes are made from de-husked, ferment black lentils incorporated into a batter and then steamed.

109 Ballyhoo : ADO

“Ballyhoo”, meaning “hype, publicity”, was originally circus slang dating back to the early 1900s. No one really knows where the term comes from, but I can tell you there is a village in Co. Cork in Ireland called Ballyhooly!

112 Strong ale brewed by Trappists in the Low Countries : BELGIAN TRIPEL (incorporating “GIANT”)

“Tripel” is primarily a European term used to describe a strong pale ale. It is often placed as intermediate in strength with “dubbel” and “quadrupel”.

119 Painter Diego : RIVERA

Diego Rivera was a Mexican painter who was famous for his murals. His wife was the equally famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

121 Fight like a country kid : RASSLE

“Rassle” is a slang word meaning “wrestle”.

Down

4 Valet’s array : CAR KEYS

A varlet was an attendant or servant, and perhaps a knight’s page. The term “varlet” comes from the Old French “vaslet” meaning “squire, young man”. “Vaslet” also gave us our contemporary word “valet”. The term “varlet” came to be pejorative, describing an unprincipled person.

7 __ box : FUSE

Fuses include a metal component that melts when too much current passes through it, hence breaking the circuit.

8 Leaf-eating pests : APHIDS

Aphids are called “greenfly” back in Britain and Ireland where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids, in my experience, is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called “ladybirds” in Ireland!).

10 “Jeepers!” : EEK!

“Jeepers” is slang dating back at least to 1929, and a euphemism for “Jesus”.

11 Uno y dos : TRES

In Spanish, “tres” (three) is “uno y dos” (one plus two).

12 Brief meeting? : SESH

Session (abbreviated to “sess.” formally, and “sesh” informally)

13 Argued over prices : HAGGLED

Our verb “to haggle”, meaning “to argue about the price”, originally meant “to cut unevenly”. The suggestion is that haggling is chopping away at the price.

14 La Liga cheer : OLE!

The premier division of Spanish club soccer is the “Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División”, or more usually “La Liga” (The League).

18 Argentine singer Mercedes known for “Gracias a la Vida” : SOSA

Mercedes Sosa was a singer from Argentina who was hugely popular throughout Latin America and performed all over the world. So popular was she in her homeland that when she passed away in 2009 the Argentine president ordered three days of national mourning, and her body was placed on display at the National Congress building in Buenos Aires.

30 Bossa __ : NOVA

Bossa nova is a style of music from Brazil that evolved from samba. The most famous piece of bossa nova is the song “The Girl from Ipanema”. The term “bossa nova” translates from Portuguese as “new trend”, or more colloquially as “new wave”.

31 Bikini, e.g. : ATOLL

The name of Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands comes from the Marshallese name “Pikinni”, meaning “coconut place”. Famously, Bikini Atoll was the site of 23 nuclear detonations by the US from 1946 to 1958.

33 __ juice : MOO

“Moo juice” is a slang term meaning “milk”.

35 Sinuous ski race : SLALOM

“Slalom” is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam” that translates as “skiing race”. There is a longer version of the traditional slalom that is called giant slalom

37 Currency : NEWNESS

“Currency” is the quality of being “current”, being up to date.

38 Musician honored as a National Hero of Barbados : RIHANNA

Singer Rihanna was born and grew up on the island of Barbados and moved to the US when she was 16-years-old to pursue a singing career. The name “Rihanna” is derived from the Welsh name “Rhiannon”. And, Rihanna sometimes goes by the nickname “RiRi”, which is also the name of her line of beauty products.

Now that Barbados is an independent country, by all measures it is a very developed country. Using the Human Development Index (HDI), Barbados is the third most developed country in the western hemisphere, coming up right behind the US and Canada.

39 Mireille of “Big Love” : ENOS

Mireille Enos is an actress from Kansas City. Enos is perhaps best known for her TV work, playing Sarah Linden on “The Killing” and for playing twins Kathy and JoDean Marquart on “Big Love”. Enos is married to actor Alan Ruck, who I mainly remember playing Cameron Frye in the great movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.

“Big Love” is an absolutely superb HBO drama series about a polygamous man and his three families trying to live a relatively “normal” life in Utah. The male lead is played by the late Bill Paxton, and his three wives are played by Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin.

47 Spanish 101 verb : SER

The verb “to be” is “ser” in Spanish and “être” in French.

50 Fatty tuna, to a sushi chef : TORO

In a sushi restaurant, the dish called “toro” is the fatty tissue from the belly of the bluefin tuna.

52 Topples the Jenga tower, say : LOSES

Jenga is a relatively simple but entertaining game, one in which one stacks wooden blocks as high as possible until the resulting tower collapses. “Jenga” is the Swahili word for “to build”

53 Summer month : JUNE

Our contemporary calendar has its roots in the old Roman calendar, which originally had ten months and was attributed to Romulus:

  1. March (Month of Mars)
  2. April (Month of Apru/Aphrodite)
  3. May (Month of Maia)
  4. June (Month of Juno)
  5. Quintilis (Fifth Month)
  6. Sextilis (Sixth Month)
  7. September (Seventh Month)
  8. October (Eighth Month)
  9. November (Ninth Month)
  10. December (Tenth Month)

Julius Caesar order the calendar realigned, adding two months at the beginning of the year (our “January” and “February”). Subsequently, the former “fifth” month of Quintilis was renamed in honor of Julius Caesar giving our “July”, and then the former “sixth” month of Sextilis was renamed in honor of Augustus Caesar giving our “August”.

54 Like undercooked brownies : GOOEY

Apparently, the first brownies were created for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The recipe was developed by a pastry chef at the city’s Palmer House Hotel. The idea was to produce a cake-like dessert that was small enough and dainty enough to be eaten by ladies as part of a boxed lunch.

56 Many a “Call the Midwife” character : NUN

“Call the Midwife” is a BBC drama about midwives working in the East End of London in the late fifties and early sixties. I must admit, one of the reasons I am intrigued by this show is that I can well remember the midwife coming to our house in the East End of London in 1959 for the delivery of my younger brother. I am sure the attending nurse was a wonderful person, but I remember being scared every time she pulled up outside our flat on her bicycle!

60 Genghis Khan’s realm : MONGOL EMPIRE (incorporating “GOLEM”)

At its height, the Mongol Empire extended from the Sea of Japan in the east to parts of modern-day Europe in the east, and from the Indian subcontinent in the south to parts of the Arctic in the north. Holding sway in the 13th and 14th centuries, it was the largest contiguous land empire in the history of the world.

Genghis Khan was the founder of the Mongol Empire that was destined to be the largest contiguous empire in the history of the world. He first built his empire by uniting nomadic tribes of northeast Asia, but once Genghis Khan had consolidated his position, he initiated Mongol invasions throughout Eurasia. At its height, the Mongol Empire stretched from the River Danube to the Sea of Japan.

“Golem” is Yiddish slang for “dimwit”. In Jewish folklore, a golem is an anthropomorphic being made out of inanimate matter, and is somewhat like an unintelligent robot.

62 Surname well known in Stars Hollow : GILMORE

“Gilmore Girls” is a comedy show that originally aired from 2000 to 2007 on the WB. The title characters are mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. All the action takes place in the fictional Connecticut town of Stars Hollow.

63 “Black Panther” role for Chadwick Boseman : T’CHALLA

“Black Panther” is a 2018 superhero film starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role. Black Panther is a Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. When not a superhero, Black Panther is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, and goes by the name “T’Challa”.

Actor Chadwick Boseman’s big break came with the lead role in the excellent 2013 biopic “42”, in which he played baseball legend Jackie Robinson. He followed that by playing singer James Brown in 2014’s “Get on Up” and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 2017’s “Marshall”. Boseman’s career really took off when he started playing superhero Black Panther in 2016. Tragically, Boseman developed colon cancer in 2016, and he passed away in 2020.

64 “Cool,” in dated slang : PHAT

In hip-hop circles, the term “phat” means “excellent, first-rate”.

66 Fiver : FIN

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

68 “Insecure” star Rae : ISSA

Issa Rae is a Stanford University graduate who created a YouTube web series called “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”. Rae also plays the title role in the series, a young lady named “J”. “Awkward Black Girl” was adapted into an HBO comedy-drama called “Insecure”, in which Issa Rae stars.

73 Mass-transit option : BUS

We use the term “bus” for a mode of transportation as it is an abbreviated form of the original “omnibus”. We imported “omnibus” via French from Latin, in which language it means “for all”. The idea is that an omnibus is a “carriage for all”.

76 Bleu hue : AZUR

In French, “azur” is a shade of “bleu” (blue).

79 Sunset dirección : OESTE

“Oeste” (west) is a “dirección” (direction), in Spanish.

81 Big A-ha moment? : TAKE ON ME

Here’s a 2002 list of one-hit wonders that VH1 dubbed the top-10 greatest of all time:

  1. “Macarena” – Los del Río (1996)
  2. “Tainted Love” – Soft Cell (1982)
  3. “Come on Eileen” – Dexys Midnight Runners (1982)
  4. “I’m Too Sexy” – Right Said Fred (1991)
  5. “Mickey” – Toni Basil (1982)
  6. “Who Let the Dogs Out?” – Baha Men (2000)
  7. “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice (1990)
  8. “Take On Me” – A-ha (1985)
  9. “Rico Suave” – Gerardo (1990)
  10. “99 Luftballons” – Nena (1984)

86 __ of Wight : ISLE

The Isle of Wight is the largest island in England, and lies about five miles off the south coast of the country. For many centuries, the island was a kingdom in its own right. One popular tourist attraction on the Isle of Wight is Osborne House, a former royal residence that was built as a summer home for Queen Victoria, and that was designed by the queen’s consort Prince Albert. Queen Victoria died in Osborne House, in 1901.

87 Mag. unit : ISS

One edition of a magazine (mag) is an issue (iss.).

91 Antioxidant beverage brand : BAI

Bai Brands is a beverage company that specializes in low-cal soft drinks that include antioxidants.

97 Radio knob : FM DIAL

In telecommunications, a radio signal is transmitted using a sinusoidal carrier wave. Information is transmitted using this carrier wave in two main ways, by varying (modulating) the instantaneous amplitude (signal strength) of the carrier wave, and by modulating the instantaneous frequency of the carrier wave. The former is referred to as an AM signal (“amplitude modulation”), and the latter as an FM signal (“frequency modulation”).

99 Splatter guard : 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”.

100 Sticks by the pool table : CUES

The name of the game billiards comes from the French word “billiard” that originally described the wooden cue stick. The Old French “bille” translates as “stick of wood”.

105 Retro ski lift : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

106 Blood fluids : SERA

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

108 Cut with a surgical beam : LASE

The term “laser” is an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. It has been pointed out that a more precise name for laser technology is “light oscillation by stimulated emission of radiation”, but the resulting acronym isn’t quite so appealing, namely “loser”.

111 Cassis apéritif : KIR

Kir is a French cocktail made by adding a teaspoon or so of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) to a glass, and then topping it off with white wine. The drink is named after Felix Kir, the Mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, who used to offer the drink to his guests. My wife is particularly fond of a variant called a kir royale, in which the white wine is replaced with champagne.

An apéritif is an alcoholic drink served before a meal, to stimulate the palate. A digestif is an alcoholic drink served after a meal, to aid digestion.

113 With 21-Down, guitarist in the National Inventors Hall of Fame : LES … 21D See 113-Down : … PAUL

Les Paul was a guitarist, songwriter and inventor. When he was 33 years old, Paul was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his right arm and elbow shattered. Surgeons offered him the choice of amputation or a rebuilding of the limb that would leave him unable to bend his elbow. He told them to set his arm at just under 90 degrees so that he could at least hold his guitar and perhaps play it.

114 TNT part : TRI-

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Movie that may feature a meet-cute scene : ROMCOM
7 Components : FACETS
13 Odysseys, e.g. : HONDAS
19 “God Is a Woman” singer Grande : ARIANA
20 Inviting call from a treehouse : UP HERE!
21 Sicilian seaport : PALERMO
22 Just okay : NO GREAT SHAKES (incorporating “OGRE”)
24 Generational divides : AGE GAPS
25 One of the Big Five in Hollywood’s Golden Age : RKO
26 Name in a will : HEIR
27 Befuddled gesture : SHRUG
29 Golfo contents : AGUA
30 Hip hop dance move : NAE NAE
32 Poorly lit : DIM
34 “Okay, that’s enough from me” : I’LL STOP
36 Hitting the market soon : NOT YET IN STORES (incorporating “YETI”)
40 North Carolina university : ELON
41 Nights of anticipation : EVES
42 Lines from an admirer : ODE
43 “Aaaand that’s mine now!” : YOINK!
44 Challenges : DARES
46 Smidge : TAD
47 Boatloads : SLEWS
49 Horde : HOST
51 Wet wipes brand : LYSOL
53 Historian Cobb who writes for The New Yorker : JELANI
54 __ guzzler : GAS
55 The Yoko of “Dear Yoko” and “Oh Yoko!” : ONO
57 Egg __ yung : FOO
58 Madagascar primate : LEMUR
61 Spur to action : EGG ON
63 Proclaims : TRUMPETS
65 “That’s my cue!” : I’M ON!
66 Style maven : FASHION ICON (incorporating “ONI”)
69 “v funny” : HEHE
70 Film versions made by devotees : FAN EDITS
72 Line of work for a dog walker? : LEASH
73 “Misery” Oscar winner : BATES
74 Comedian Notaro : TIG
75 __-ball pens : UNI
76 Novelist Tan : AMY
77 Didn’t play : SAT OUT
80 Keycard receivers : SLOTS
82 Maker of Berryblossom White tea : TAZO
84 Balm additives : ALOES
85 Nintendo console : WII
88 “Political Gabfest” podcast producer : SLATE
90 Supercharged : TURBO
93 Vinyl records, briefly : LPS
94 “I’d rather not” : PASS
95 __ out a win (almost lost) : EKED
96 Bread options in morning buffets : BREAKFAST ROLLS (incorporating “TROLL”)
99 Ferrera of “Superstore” : AMERICA
101 Philosophy : ISM
102 __ skills : PEOPLE
103 Some political campaign research, for short : OPPO
104 Ashtray debris : BUTTS
107 South Asian rice cake : IDLI
109 Ballyhoo : ADO
110 Snag in a plan : WRINKLE
112 Strong ale brewed by Trappists in the Low Countries : BELGIAN TRIPEL (incorporating “GIANT”)
117 Counter-counterculture folks : NORMIES
118 Sports venues : ARENAS
119 Painter Diego : RIVERA
120 Contemptuous looks : SNEERS
121 Fight like a country kid : RASSLE
122 Tomorrow : IN A DAY

Down

1 Competed in a track meet : RAN
2 Spanish gold : ORO
3 Flew south for the winter, say : MIGRATED
4 Valet’s array : CAR KEYS
5 Low-scoring tie : ONE-ONE
6 [I’m a goat!] : [MAA!]
7 __ box : FUSE
8 Leaf-eating pests : APHIDS
9 Many a tax-exempt organization : CHARITY
10 “Jeepers!” : EEK!
11 Uno y dos : TRES
12 Brief meeting? : SESH
13 Argued over prices : HAGGLED
14 La Liga cheer : OLE!
15 “No siree” : NEGATORY
16 Take longer than necessary : DRAG ONE’S FEET (incorporating “DRAGON”)
17 Energize : AMP UP
18 Argentine singer Mercedes known for “Gracias a la Vida” : SOSA
21 See 113-Down : … PAUL
23 “How could you even sugGEST that?” : THE IDEA!
28 Puts on the line : RISKS
30 Bossa __ : NOVA
31 Bikini, e.g. : ATOLL
33 __ juice : MOO
35 Sinuous ski race : SLALOM
36 After taxes : NET
37 Currency : NEWNESS
38 Musician honored as a National Hero of Barbados : RIHANNA
39 Mireille of “Big Love” : ENOS
45 Console : SOOTHE
47 Spanish 101 verb : SER
48 [What a relief!] : [SIGH!]
50 Fatty tuna, to a sushi chef : TORO
52 Topples the Jenga tower, say : LOSES
53 Summer month : JUNE
54 Like undercooked brownies : GOOEY
56 Many a “Call the Midwife” character : NUN
58 Brings up : LIFTS
59 Inbox fillers : EMAILS
60 Genghis Khan’s realm : MONGOL EMPIRE (incorporating “GOLEM”)
62 Surname well known in Stars Hollow : GILMORE
63 “Black Panther” role for Chadwick Boseman : T’CHALLA
64 “Cool,” in dated slang : PHAT
66 Fiver : FIN
67 Quarreling : AT IT
68 “Insecure” star Rae : ISSA
71 Feather __ : DUSTER
73 Mass-transit option : BUS
76 Bleu hue : AZUR
78 Curveball element : TOPSPIN
79 Sunset dirección : OESTE
81 Big A-ha moment? : TAKE ON ME
83 Trip to the plate : AT-BAT
85 Clobbered : WALLOPED
86 __ of Wight : ISLE
87 Mag. unit : ISS
89 Food : EDIBLES
91 Antioxidant beverage brand : BAI
92 Thumbs-up gestures : OK SIGNS
94 38-Down, notably : POP DIVA
97 Radio knob : FM DIAL
98 Make quite an entrance : ROAR IN
99 Splatter guard : APRON
100 Sticks by the pool table : CUES
103 Possesses : OWNS
105 Retro ski lift : T-BAR
106 Blood fluids : SERA
108 Cut with a surgical beam : LASE
111 Cassis apéritif : KIR
113 With 21-Down, guitarist in the National Inventors Hall of Fame : LES …
114 TNT part : TRI-
115 Time period often named for an art movement : ERA
116 __ down the law : LAY

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 May 22, Sunday”

  1. Never heard of “take on me” and never heard of “normies”.
    And the assorted other things I didn’t know.
    And what is “oppo” short for? Opposition? Opportunity?

    1. “Take On Me” was a one-hit wonder for Ah-Ha in the 1980s. Almost as famous for its animated pencil drawing video as for its super-falsetto chorus hook: “I’ll be gone… in eterni-*teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*”

  2. When I started this one I thought “finally a puzzle that I can finish this weekend” but then came the onslaught of foreign words, obscure proper names, hip hop clues etc….After 1:26:50 and some lucky guesses I finished with no errors.
    Happy Mothers Day to all the moms and grand moms out there😀😀😀
    Stay safe😀

  3. This puzzle was the most difficult and in my opinion the worst puzzle ever in your series. There were at least a dozen words/abbreviations/incorrect usage that I have ever seen.

  4. 32 minutes 28 seconds, and needed Check Grid help on 8 fills.

    This was jam-packed with obscure cultural references (which always grates when there’s also a Queen’s English ‘[verb] one’s [noun]’ fill elsewhere in the puzzle. Can’t say I much enjoyed it. Was happy to finish.

    Overall, though, I’m happy that Patti Varol is bringing in her own constructors. Haven’t seen hide nor hair of a few real irritants (*cough*, Wechsler, *cough, wheeeeeeze*) in a few weeks, and I hope that continues.

  5. No errors, but two proper name lookups. Jelani and Bates. Although
    I had seen “Misery” many years ago and would never forget it, I
    couldn’t remember Kathy Bates name. This was one puzzle that
    left me feeling that even though I had the answers right….I still
    didn’t know what they meant. Like “oppo” and “takeon me” and
    Belgian tripel.

  6. C’mon!
    Yoink, Nae nae, Oni, oppo, Tripel, Toro, Golem, Take on Me, among others.
    What kind of sadist is putting these together?
    Don C.

    1. The kind who evidently has fewer Merriam-Webster skills than he does “People” skills, if you ask me. This farm pond of trivia and arcana makes it an early candidate for 2022 Slog o’ the Year.

      1. The way I see it, Merriam-Webster is THE source for alternate spellings and usages that lazy constructors use to snow their editors. I don’t consider it a “real” dictionary for that very reason.

        I wonder if they have an entry for “said NO ONE EVER…”

  7. 55:02 – three lookups: Belgian brew, National Hero of Barbados, and Mireille.

    Revisions of: COMEUP>UPHERE, IMPEL>AMPUP, CAST>HOST, HAHA>HEHE, NEAT>PHAT, DIN>ADO, POPICON>POPDIVA, MONDAY>INADAY.

    Lots of twists and maybes in this one. Wasn’t sure if TNT was the explosive or perhaps the TV station (and so possibly TCM for 114D) with both being Turner somethings. After all “Tomorrow,” 122A, is MONDAY! The SE corner was the last to fall.

    I echo several of the other gripes about esoteric answers, such as NAENAE, ONI, TIG, IDLI, TORO (in sushi context), NORMIES. Also new were: Mercedes SOSA, YOINK, “Misery” actor, did not recall that A-ha was a singing group.

    For a long while, Sundays just took a while; but this one strained the brain!

  8. We so enjoy reading the comments you guys have regarding the Sunday crossword. Sometimes better than the puzzle itself!

  9. 18:43

    Fun and very helpful theme. It seems fitting that the last bit I figured out was NORMIES, who are the very opposite of monsters.

    @Allen Dickerson, an ONI is a Japanese demon. Japanese tradition holds a wonderful array of ghosts and monsters. The anime classic SPIRITED AWAY is full of them.

  10. Yep! there’s a new sheriff in town!

    Theme wasn’t so bad. Like others, ONI was an oddball.

    But wow! Lots of other stuff. Looks like Sundays might not be the relief I look for after Saturdays. Looks like Sundays may be a saturday with twice as many clues.

  11. This puzzle takes the cake for unknowable obscurities. Without Google help in almost every section, it’s practically impossible to solve.

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