LA Times Crossword 3 Jul 22, Sunday

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Constructed by: Pam Amick Klawitter
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: Ease Off

Themed answers are common phrases, but with an E-sound replaced with an A-sound:

  • 22A Cleaner who doesn’t bother with corners? : STRAIGHT SWEEPER (from “street sweeper”)
  • 45A Soft sounds from the barnyard? : GENTLE BRAYS (from “gentle breeze”)
  • 68A Gardeners who can tend a plot really, really fast? : SPADE DEMONS (from “speed demons”)
  • 93A Words on a sale poster? : PRICE PHRASE (from “price freeze”)
  • 120A Squabble over whose turn it is to get the car fixed? : MAINTENANCE FRAY (from “maintenance-free”)
  • 15D Interruption during the America’s Cup? : SUSPENDED SAILING (from “suspended ceiling”)
  • 37D Race official? : JUSTICE OF THE PACE (from “justice of the peace”)

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

Bill’s time: 18m 50s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Playwright Henrik : IBSEN

Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian playwright who is considered by many to be the greatest playwright since William Shakespeare. Ibsen was famous for shocking his audiences by exploring subjects that offended the sensibilities of the day (the late 1800s).

18 Jetson canine : ASTRO

“The Jetsons” is an animated show from Hanna-Barbera that had its first run in 1962-1963, and then was recreated in 1985-1987. When it debuted in 1963 on ABC, “The Jetsons” was the network’s first ever color broadcast. “The Jetsons” is like a space-age version of “The Flintstones”. The four Jetson family members are George and Jane, the parents, and children Judy and Elroy. Residing with the family in Orbit City are their household robot Rosie and pet dog Astro.

19 Actor MacFarlane : SETH

Seth MacFarlane is best known for creating the very successful (although they don’t get my vote!) animated TV shows “Family Guy” and “American Dad!”. My kids love ’em …

25 Celeb’s entourage : POSSE

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

26 Epic journey : ODYSSEY

“Odyssey” is one of two epic poems from ancient Greece that are attributed to Homer. “Odyssey” is largely a sequel to Homer’s other epic “Iliad”. “Odyssey” centers on the heroic figure Odysseus, and his adventures on his journey home to Greece following the fall of Troy. We now use the term “odyssey” to describe any long series of adventures.

28 Director DuVernay : AVA

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

32 Encore presentation : RERUN

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request perhaps another song. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

35 Army bigwigs: Abbr. : MAJS

A bigwig is someone important. The use of the term “bigwig” harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore … big wigs.

38 __ Jima : IWO

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island located south of Tokyo that today is uninhabited. The name is Japanese for “Sulfur Island”, referring to the sulfur mining on which Iwo Jima’s economy once depended. There were about a thousand Japanese civilians living on the island prior to WWII. In 1944, there was a massive influx of Japanese military personnel in anticipation of the inevitable US invasion. As the Japanese military moved in, the civilians were forced out and no one has lived there since. Control of the island was wrested from the Japanese in the five-week Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Said battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific theater in WWII.

44 Terre Haute sch. : ISU

Indiana State University (ISU) was established in Terre Haute in 1865, as the Indiana State Normal School. ISU’s sports teams are called the Sycamores.

Terre Haute, Indiana is a city close to the state’s western border with Illinois. The city is home to a state prison which in turn is home to the state’s death row. The name “Terre Haute” was chosen by French explorers in the 18th century to describe the location, as “terre haute” is French for “high ground”.

51 Cotton thread : LISLE

Lisle is a cotton fabric that has been through an extra process at the end of its manufacture that burns off lint and the ends of fibers leaving the fabric very smooth and with a clean edge. Cotton lisle is mainly used in the manufacture of underwear and stockings. The process to make the thread was invented in the French city of Lille (formerly “Lisle”), hence the name.

53 Rosary unit : BEAD

The Rosary is a set of prayer beads used in the Roman Catholic tradition. The name “Rosary” comes from the Latin “rosarium”, the word for a “rose garden” or a “garland of roses”. The term is used figuratively, in the sense of a “garden of prayers”.

54 Sporty Chevy : ‘VETTE

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the world in 1953, and was named after the small maneuverable warship called a corvette. The “Vette” has legs. It is the only American sports car that has been around for over 50 years.

57 Some D.C. pros : NATIONALS

The Washington Nationals (“Nats”) started out life as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and were the first Major League Baseball team in Canada. The Expos moved to Washington in 2005 becoming the Nats.

62 Head-scratcher : ENIGMA

Our term “enigma” meaning “puzzle, riddle” comes from the Greek “ainigma”, which means the same thing.

65 Mortise inserts : TENONS

One simple type of joint used in carpentry is a mortise and tenon. It is basically a projection carved at the end of one piece of wood that fits into a hole cut into the end of another. In the related dovetail joint, the projecting tenon is not rectangular but is cut at a bias, so that when the dovetails are joined they resist being pulled apart. You’ll see dovetail joints in drawers around the house.

72 __ de cologne : EAU

Back in 1709, an Italian perfume-maker moved to Cologne in Germany. There he invented a new fragrance that he named Eau de Cologne after his newly adopted town. The fragrance is still produced in Cologne, using a secret formulation. However, the terms “Eau de Cologne” and “cologne”, are now used generically.

82 Trio-quartet combos : SEPTETS

A septet is a musical work for seven voices or instruments. More generally, a septet is any group of seven.

84 Rainy day gear : UMBRELLAS

Our term “umbrella” ultimately derives from the Latin “umbra” meaning “shade, shadow”.

89 “The Checklist Manifesto” surgeon/author Gawande : ATUL

Atul Gawande is a surgeon and author. One of his books is a 2009 work titled “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right”, in which he makes a powerful argument that formal checklists improve efficiency, consistency and even safety.

90 Besmirch : TAINT

“Besmirch” is a derivative of “smirch”, with both words meaning to “make dirty”. In particular, to besmirch is to sully someone’s reputation.

91 D.C. subway : METRO

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) provides transit service within and around Washington, D.C. The service generally goes by the name “Metro”. The authority’s two main services are Metrorail and Metrobus.

97 Confidentiality contract: Abbr. : NDA

Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

101 __ Dhabi : ABU

Abu Dhabi is one of the seven Emirates that make up the federation known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The two largest members of the UAE (geographically) are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the only two of the seven members that have veto power over UAE policy. Before 1971, the UAE was a British Protectorate, a collection of sheikdoms. The sheikdoms entered into a maritime truce with Britain in 1835, after which they became known as the Trucial States, derived from the word “truce”.

102 Thickener used in molecular gastronomy : AGAR

Agar (also “agar-agar”) is a jelly extracted from seaweed that has many uses. Agar is found in Japanese desserts, and can also be used as a food thickener or even as a laxative. In the world of science, it is the most common medium used for growing bacteria in Petri dishes.

Molecular gastronomy is a branch of food science that approaches nutrition from the perspective of chemistry. Chefs practicing molecular gastronomy can utilize some specialized techniques and tools such as liquid nitrogen, centrifuges, enzymes and even edible paper.

108 Helena hrs. : MST

Helena is the capital of the state of Montana, and is known as the Queen City of the Rockies. Helena’s main street has a very colorful name, i.e. Last Chance Gulch.

114 Lactose-free coffee additive : OAT MILK

Oat milk is one of the alternatives to cow’s milk, and is lactose free. I’m a big fan …

The sugar known as lactose is a disaccharide, comprising a molecule of galactose combined with a molecule of glucose. Lactose is a major component in milk, and it is broken down in the body by an enzyme called lactase. The production of lactase used to diminish over time in humans, as babies stopped nursing and transitioned to solid food. Many human populations have evolved to maintain lactose production throughout life, in response to the inclusion of animal milk in the diet. Individuals and populations that do not have the genes enabling lifelong production of lactase are said to be lactose intolerant.

118 Literature Nobelist who served in the Irish Senate : YEATS

Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate.

The legislature of Ireland is known as the “Oireachtas”, and consists of:

  • Uachtarán na hÉireann (President of Ireland)
  • Dáil Éireann (Assembly of Ireland, the lower house)
  • Seanad Éireann (Senate of Ireland, the upper house)

123 Hard-to-handle plants : CACTI

The cactus (plural “cacti”) is a member of a family of plants that are particularly well-adapted to extremely dry environments. Almost all cacti are native to the Americas, although some succulent plants from the old world are similar in appearance and are often mislabeled as “cacti”.

125 Alaskan seaport : NOME

In 1899, the Alaska city of Nome was briefly known as Anvil City by locals to avoid confusion with the nearby city of Cape Nome. However, the US Post Office refused to approve the change, and so the name was immediately changed back to Nome.

126 Earring in a Vermeer painting : PEARL

Johannes (also “Jan”) Vermeer was born in the city of Delft in 1632, and died there some 43 years later. The name “Vermeer” is a contraction of “van der meer”, which translates as “from the sea/lake”. I just love Vermeer’s paintings, and his wonderful use of light. A great example of such a work is his “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. If you haven’t seen it, I thoroughly recommend the 2003 movie “Girl with a Pearl Earring” starring Scarlett Johansson as the girl in the painting, and Colin Firth as Vermeer. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Tracy Chevalier, so it’s all just a great story as opposed to a documentary. The way the movie is shot really reflects the qualities of a Vermeer work of art.

127 Creme-filled cookies : OREOS

The Oreo was the best-selling cookie in the 20th century, and almost 500 billion of them have been sold since they were introduced in 1912 by Nabisco. In those early days the creme filling was made with pork fat, but today vegetable oils are used instead. If you take a bite out of an Oreo sold outside of America you might notice a difference from the homegrown cookie, as coconut oil is added in the overseas version to give a different taste.

128 Surname separator : 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.

129 Short “So long!” : TTYL

Talk to you later (TTYL)

Down

1 Burkina __: West African country : FASO

Burkina Faso is an inland country in western Africa. The country used to be called the Republic of Upper Volta and was renamed in 1984 to “Burkina Faso”, meaning “the land of upright people”.

9 Scuppered : THWARTED

The scuppers of an ocean-going vessel are openings just above the deck in the side of the ship. They allow water to flow off the deck. Presumably, the verb “to scupper”, meaning “to scuttle”, is an oblique reference to water flowing through these openings.

11 “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” novelist Vuong : OCEAN

Ocean Vuong is a Vietnamese-American poet and novelist. He was born in Ho Chi Minh City in 1988, under the name Vương Quốc Vinh. His mother gave him the English given name “Beach”, but changed it to “Ocean” after someone pointed out that “Beach” sounded like “Bitch” when pronounced with a Vietnamese accent. Vuong’s 2016 collection of poetry “Night Sky with Exit Wounds” won the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2017. His debut novel “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” was published in 2019.

15 Interruption during the America’s Cup? : SUSPENDED SAILING (from “suspended ceiling”)

The America’s Cup is a trophy that has been awarded for yacht racing since 1851. It was first presented to the winner of a race around the Isle of Wight in England that was won by a schooner called “America”. The trophy was eventually renamed to “The America’s Cup” in honor of that first race winner.

16 Petro-Canada rival : ESSO

The Esso brand has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Petro-Canada started out as a government-owned corporation in 1976. “Petro-Canada” is now a brand name owned by Suncor Energy.

17 Russian “no” : NYET

The English word “no” translates into Russian as “nyet”, and into German as “nein”.

20 “The Princess Bride” director : REINER

“The Princess Bride” is a novel by William Goldman written in 1973. Famously, the book was adapted into a 1987 film of the same name directed by Rob Reiner that has become a cult classic.

23 Fabled wish-granter : GENIE

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

24 Outlying community : EXURB

An extension to the term “suburb”, “exurb” describes an area beyond the suburbs at the very outskirts of a city. The related term “exurbia” is often used to denote an area inhabited by more wealthy people.

32 Canned tomatoes brand : RO-TEL

Ro-Tel is a line of canned tomatoes and green chile that was introduced in the 1940s by Carl Roettele in Elsa, Texas.

34 Active Naturals skin care brand : AVEENO

Aveeno is a manufacturer of skincare and haircare products that was founded in 1945. The name Aveeno comes from the Latin name for the common oat, i.e. Avena sativa.

35 Writer who created Pooh and Roo : MILNE

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

36 Seoul airline : ASIANA

Asiana is the second-largest airline in South Korea, behind Korean Air. Asiana was founded in 1988, and as a result ended the monopoly that had been enjoyed by Korean Air.

39 Org. whose 2021 MVP was Jonquel Jones : WNBA

WNBA player Jonquel Jones was born in the Bahamas. She is also a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and plays for the Bosnian national team. Jones played in the Russian League from 2018 until 2022, leaving her Russian team after the 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

43 Easily improvised costume : TOGA

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

45 Math subj. : GEOM

Our word “geometry” comes from Greek. The Greek “geometria” translates as “geometry, measurement of earth or land”. Hence, there is a link between terms like “geography” and “geology”, and the mathematical word “geometry”.

46 Shined a light on? : LASED

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”.

48 Dutch painter Jan : STEEN

Jan Steen was a painter from the Netherlands who was active in the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century. Steen’s most famous work is probably “The Feast of Saint Nicholas”, which we can see at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

50 __ liver oil : COD

Cod liver oil is a nutritional supplement that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A and D. I remember being dosed with the stuff as a kid. Ugh …

52 Hybrid big cat : LIGER

The tiger is the largest species in the cat family. Tigers have been known to breed with lions. A liger is a cross between a male lion and female tiger. A tigon is a cross between a female lion and a male tiger.

55 Stretching muscle : TENSOR

A tensor muscle is one that tightens or stretches a part of the body.

58 Lake on the Nile : NASSER

Lake Nasser is a large artificial lake created as a result of the construction of the Aswan High Dam (initiated by President Nasser). Lake Nasser lies in southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Strictly speaking, the section of the lake in Sudan is called Lake Nubia.

66 Harlem Renaissance novelist Larsen : NELLA

Author Nella Larsen wrote only two novels: “Quicksand” (1928) and “Passing” (1929). Despite the modest output, she is regarded as a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. A central theme of Larsen’s writing is the plight of mixed-race individuals in American society. “Passing” deals with a mixed-race woman “passing” as white, and was made into a powerful film of the same name released in 2021.

69 Caffeinate, perhaps : PEP UP

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in several plants. The chemical serves as a natural pesticide by paralyzing and killing certain insects that would otherwise feed on the plant. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug that is consumed by humans across the world.

70 Flower that sounds like a furrier : ASTER

Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

71 River delta area : MOUTH

A river delta is a triangular landform at the mouth of a river created by the deposition of sediment. The Nile Delta in Northern Egypt is one of the world’s largest river deltas, and covers 150 miles of coastline on the Mediterranean. The most famous “delta” in the United States isn’t actually a delta at all. The Mississippi Delta is an alluvial plain that lies 300 miles north of the river’s actual delta, yet it is known as the “Mississippi River Delta”. Very confusing …

73 Kenya neighbor : UGANDA

Uganda is a landlocked county in East Africa lying just to the west of Kenya. Uganda was ruled by the British as a protectorate from 1894 and gained independence in 1962. Uganda is very much associated with the tyrannical rule of Idi Amin in the 1970s.

75 Furriers who sound like flowers : ASTORS

John Jacob Astor was the patriarch of the famous American Astor dynasty. He was the country’s first multi-millionaire, making his fortune in the trade of fur, real estate and opium. In today’s terms, it has been calculated that by the time of his death he has accumulated a fortune big enough to make him the fourth wealthiest man in American history (in the company of the likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller).

78 __ noire : BETE

“Bête noire” translates from French as “black beast”, and is used in English to describe something or someone that is disliked.

79 Basic Spanish infinitive : ESTAR

The Spanish verb “estar” translates as “to be”.

80 GoPro product, briefly : CAM

GoPro is a company that makes high-definition video cameras that have a rugged design. Famously, GoPro cameras are used in extreme conditions. For example, they are often mounted on moving vehicles or used by people playing sports. Two astronauts on the International Space Station inserted a GoPro camera inside a floating ball of water, and then showed the view from inside the ball of water. Amazing footage …

83 Stonestreet of “Modern Family” : ERIC

Actor Eric Stonestreet is best-known for playing Cameron Tucker on the hit comedy show “Modern Family”. Stonestreet is openly straight, but plays the gay partner of the character Mitchell Pritchett. Pritchett is played by openly-gay actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Ferguson jokingly describes Stonestreet as being “gay for pay”.

85 Big picture? : MURAL

A mural is a painting that is applied directly to a wall or a ceiling. The term “mural” comes from the Latin “murus” meaning “wall”.

86 Spill the beans : BLAB

To spill the beans is to divulge a secret. The expression first appeared in American English, in the early 1900s. The phrase arose as an alternative to “spoil the beans” or “upset the applecart”. The similarly meaning phrase “spill the tea” is more prevalent on the other side of the Atlantic.

92 Ristorante dish : RISOTTO

Risotto is an Italian rice dish that is usually served as a first course in Italy, but as a main course here in North America.

94 Spruces up : CLEANS

Our verb “to spruce up” means “to make trim or neat”. The term comes from the adjective “spruce”, meaning “smart, neat”. In turn, the adjective comes from “spruce leather”, which was a Prussian leather that was used in England in the 15th and 16th centuries to make a popular style of jerkin that was widely considered to look quite smart.

96 Poison __ : SUMAC

Poison sumac is a nasty plant (from a human perspective). Also known as thunderwood, it produces the resin urushiol that irritates human skin. Inhaling the smoke from burning poison sumac can irritate the lining of the lungs causing pain, and maybe even death.

99 Faucet : TAP

The common “faucet” in an American house is almost always referred to as a “tap” on the other side of the pond.

104 Oman neighbor : YEMEN

Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, and lies just south of Saudi Arabia and west of Oman. Yemen is the only state on the peninsula that is a republic (its official name is the Republic of Yemen). Everyone over the age of 18 gets to vote, but only Muslims can hold elected office.

110 Bygone name in toys : TYCO

The Tyco brand of toys was founded in 1926 as Mantua Metal Products by John Tyler. The first products made were scale model trains using die-cast metal. The company introduced the Tyco brand in the fifties, with “Tyco” standing for “Tyler Company”.

114 Turow book : ONE L

Scott Turow is an author and lawyer from Chicago. Turow has had several bestselling novels including “Presumed Innocent”, “The Burden of Proof” and “Reversible Errors”, all three of which were made into films. He also wrote the autobiographical book “One L: The Turbulent True Story of a First Year at Harvard Law School”.

115 Setting of the memoir “Reading Lolita in Tehran” : IRAN

“Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books” is a 2003 book by Azar Nafisi. The memoir is about the author’s experiences after she returned home to Iran during the Iranian Revolution of 1978-1981. Nafisi was a professor at the University of Tehran, and while there refused to submit to practices that restricted her freedom as a woman. She was eventually dismissed from her post for refusing to wear a veil, which Nafisi regarded as an icon of oppression.

116 Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS

Lars Ulrich is a drummer from Denmark, and one of the founding members of the American heavy metal band called Metallica. Lars is the son of former professional tennis player Torben Ulrich, the oldest Davis Cup player in history.

117 “Friday Night Lights” actor Chandler : KYLE

I know Kyle Chandler best from playing the lead in the excellent TV show “Friday Night Lights”. Chandler started playing the lead in another show in 2015: “Bloodline”, a Netflix original. Off the screen, Chandler serves his community as a volunteer firefighter.

“Friday Night Lights” is a TV series about a high school football team in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. The television show was inspired by the book “Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, and a Dream”, as well as the 2004 movie based on the book. I binge-watched the show some years back, and really enjoyed the characters and the writing …

119 “__-boom-bah!” : SIS

Apparently, “Sis boom bah” is a popular cheer in American high schools and colleges (I didn’t know that!). The term was also used by Johnny Carson when he was playing the character Carnac the Magnificent.

122 Minnesota senator Klobuchar : AMY

Amy Klobuchar was elected to the US Senate in 2006, and became the first elected female senator for Minnesota when she took her seat in the following January. Former Second Lady of the US Muriel Humphrey was Minnesota’s first female senator. Ms. Humphrey was appointed to serve out the balance of her husband’s term after Hubert Humphrey died.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pretend : FEIGN
6 Came down : ALIT
10 Sweets : HON
13 Playwright Henrik : IBSEN
18 Jetson canine : ASTRO
19 Actor MacFarlane : SETH
20 92-Down base : RICE
21 Timid : MOUSY
22 Cleaner who doesn’t bother with corners? : STRAIGHT SWEEPER (from “street sweeper”)
25 Celeb’s entourage : POSSE
26 Epic journey : ODYSSEY
27 Long skirt : MAXI
28 Director DuVernay : AVA
30 Ad : SPOT
31 Signature piece? : PEN
32 Encore presentation : RERUN
33 Nullify : NEGATE
35 Army bigwigs: Abbr. : MAJS
38 __ Jima : IWO
40 Nursery purchase : TREE
42 Occasion : EVENT
44 Terre Haute sch. : ISU
45 Soft sounds from the barnyard? : GENTLE BRAYS (from “gentle breeze”)
49 Urgent-care pro : ER DOC
51 Cotton thread : LISLE
53 Rosary unit : BEAD
54 Sporty Chevy : ‘VETTE
56 Self-image : EGO
57 Some D.C. pros : NATIONALS
59 Many a middle schooler : PRETEEN
61 Family man : DAD
62 Head-scratcher : ENIGMA
63 Fencing sword : EPEE
65 Mortise inserts : TENONS
67 Expert : ACE
68 Gardeners who can tend a plot really, really fast? : SPADE DEMONS (from “speed demons”)
72 __ de cologne : EAU
74 Deletes : ERASES
76 Farm tower : SILO
77 Accommodate : OBLIGE
80 Loving murmur : COO
82 Trio-quartet combos : SEPTETS
84 Rainy day gear : UMBRELLAS
87 “Walk me!” : ARF!
88 More faithful : TRUER
89 “The Checklist Manifesto” surgeon/author Gawande : ATUL
90 Besmirch : TAINT
91 D.C. subway : METRO
93 Words on a sale poster? : PRICE PHRASE (from “price freeze”)
97 Confidentiality contract: Abbr. : NDA
98 “Keep your __ on!” : SHIRT
100 Applaud : CLAP
101 __ Dhabi : ABU
102 Thickener used in molecular gastronomy : AGAR
103 Prose pieces : ESSAYS
106 Cybersales : ETAIL
108 Helena hrs. : MST
110 Tit for tat, say? : TYPO
112 Furry friend : PET
113 Broadcasts : AIRS
114 Lactose-free coffee additive : OAT MILK
118 Literature Nobelist who served in the Irish Senate : YEATS
120 Squabble over whose turn it is to get the car fixed? : MAINTENANCE FRAY (from “maintenance-free”)
123 Hard-to-handle plants : CACTI
124 Goes astray : ERRS
125 Alaskan seaport : NOME
126 Earring in a Vermeer painting : PEARL
127 Creme-filled cookies : OREOS
128 Surname separator : NEE
129 Short “So long!” : TTYL
130 Common __ : SENSE

Down

1 Burkina __: West African country : FASO
2 Cornerstone abbr. : ESTD
3 “It was nothing” : I TRY
4 Understands : GRASPS
5 __-canceling headphones : NOISE
6 Like a used firepit : ASHY
7 Allowed : LET
8 Personal identification? : IT’S ME
9 Scuppered : THWARTED
10 With it : HIP
11 “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” novelist Vuong : OCEAN
12 Audacity : NERVE
13 Troublemaking kid : IMP
14 Second shot : BOOSTER
15 Interruption during the America’s Cup? : SUSPENDED SAILING (from “suspended ceiling”)
16 Petro-Canada rival : ESSO
17 Russian “no” : NYET
20 “The Princess Bride” director : REINER
23 Fabled wish-granter : GENIE
24 Outlying community : EXURB
29 Info requested by winery websites : AGE
32 Canned tomatoes brand : RO-TEL
34 Active Naturals skin care brand : AVEENO
35 Writer who created Pooh and Roo : MILNE
36 Seoul airline : ASIANA
37 Race official? : JUSTICE OF THE PACE (from “justice of the peace”)
39 Org. whose 2021 MVP was Jonquel Jones : WNBA
41 Roof overhang : EAVE
43 Easily improvised costume : TOGA
45 Math subj. : GEOM
46 Shined a light on? : LASED
47 “The best is __ come” : YET TO
48 Dutch painter Jan : STEEN
50 __ liver oil : COD
52 Hybrid big cat : LIGER
55 Stretching muscle : TENSOR
58 Lake on the Nile : NASSER
59 Mani-__: spa treatments : PEDIS
60 Fishing line holder : REEL
64 Irksome one : PEST
66 Harlem Renaissance novelist Larsen : NELLA
69 Caffeinate, perhaps : PEP UP
70 Flower that sounds like a furrier : ASTER
71 River delta area : MOUTH
73 Kenya neighbor : UGANDA
75 Furriers who sound like flowers : ASTORS
78 __ noire : BETE
79 Basic Spanish infinitive : ESTAR
80 GoPro product, briefly : CAM
81 Mined finds : ORES
83 Stonestreet of “Modern Family” : ERIC
85 Big picture? : MURAL
86 Spill the beans : BLAB
89 Plain to see : APPARENT
92 Ristorante dish : RISOTTO
94 Spruces up : CLEANS
95 Totally face-plant : EAT IT
96 Poison __ : SUMAC
99 Faucet : TAP
102 Money paid to get money : ATM FEE
104 Oman neighbor : YEMEN
105 Fixed gaze : STARE
107 Immature comeback : IS NOT!
109 Dance moves : STEPS
110 Bygone name in toys : TYCO
111 Wine label number : YEAR
114 Turow book : ONE L
115 Setting of the memoir “Reading Lolita in Tehran” : IRAN
116 Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS
117 “Friday Night Lights” actor Chandler : KYLE
119 “__-boom-bah!” : SIS
121 Anger : IRE
122 Minnesota senator Klobuchar : AMY

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 3 Jul 22, Sunday”

  1. I was able to suss out a complete solution, but needed Bill’s help afterwards with the theme. I had been trying for letter(s)-to-letter(s) exchanges instead of sound-to-sound ones.

    The 52D answer reminded me of a beastie that was one time believed to be made of a camel’s head on a leopard’s body. It was called a cameleopard. What it was, was a giraffe. Watch for that word in a puzzle!

  2. 58:25 with one very dumb error resulting from an old man being too lazy to check his answers👎👎
    In my defense I just got an email from Pay Pal that said my credit card on file had expired and to update…when I tried one of the things they wanted was my mobile phone #…I am one of the 3 people in the world that doesn’t have a mobile phone…their is no provision to explain that to them…VERY FRUSTRATING 😥😥
    Stay safe and have a happy 4th

    1. @Jack
      I’ve run into that kind of problem myself until I recently got a mobile phone #. If you’re dealing with a reputable site, what they want to do is text you a response code, or sometimes they’ll even call you with an automated read-out code. It’s called “two-factor authentication” (2FA) and something so many places insist on doing these days, along with other things such as billing. You’ll also see 2FA done a lot of times through e-mail, but text is inevitably the most common. Which makes it pretty incumbent to have a phone that will at least receive texts these days.

      Of course, what this whole problem highlights is the issue of forcing people to have certain things in order to do business, which only will get worse. As for Paypal (legit) you can call their voice number, which comes up on web search, and they’re usually quick to help on such things, as your verified phone number and the call will satisfy their 2FA question. It’s a pain, time-wise, but worked for me the two times I had to do it before I finally could get a regular mobile phone.

  3. I live in total awe of folks who can construct crossword puzzles, but this one had a VERY lame theme.

  4. Puzzle title was very weak as a clue for the theme. Maybe Ease Away would have been better? (E’s a A)

  5. No problem with this one with the exception of some unfamiliar
    proper names: i.e. Atul Gawande and the Seoul airline name. In my
    opinion, this one was fun and the theme became evident
    pretty fast. No errors.

  6. 18:02

    The theme helped. Slowly. With much thinking and sounding out.

    The title didn’t help. It sounds like the “EE” sound will be dropped, not altered to to Fonzian “AAAY!” The constructors missed a chance at some “Easy A’s.”

  7. 35A: I started with “GENS” and took a while to get to “MAJS” as in no universe is a major a military “bigwig.” Mid level at the most generous.

  8. 27:47 with revisions of: GENS>MAJS (yeah, not bigwigs), TENSOR>TENDON, TALK>BLAB.

    Figured out the theme early on and used it to confirm the answers I filled in with the intersections.

    Otherwise, it wasn’t difficult to work.

  9. Ug, no, bad theme, no help at all. Also, shouldn’t 51A say “cotton fabric” not “cotton thread”? I had to look here for that entire area- not understanding the theme meant I could not get justice of the pace.

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