LA Times Crossword 18 Dec 22, Sunday

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Constructed by: Brad Wiegmann
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: It’s a Mouse!

Themed answers are common phrases ending with an “EE” sound that’s changed to an “EEK” sound:

  • 22A One who’s a really big fan of promos and trailers? : COMMERCIAL FREAK (from “commercial-free”)
  • 39A Go along with harsh criticism of an ancient Athenian? : AGREE TO DIS A GREEK (from “agree to disagree”)
  • 46A Annual stint at a Buckingham Palace timeshare? : THE ROYAL WEEK (from “the royal ‘we’”)
  • 66A Story about a Disney girl who climbs Mount Everest? : THE PRINCESS AND THE PEAK (from “The Princess and the Pea”)
  • 86A Expensive block for a woodworking apprentice? : PRACTICE TEAK (from “practice tee”)
  • 93A Poultry dish served in a Punjabi restaurant? : CHICKEN OF THE SIKH (from “Chicken of the Sea”)
  • 117A Shop selling gold earrings and bandanas? : PIRATES’ BOUTIQUE (from “pirates’ booty”)

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

Bill’s time: 19m 09s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 WWII sea threat : U-BOAT

The term “U-boat” comes from the German word “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). U-boats were primarily used in WWII to enforce a blockade against enemy commercial shipping, with a main objective being to cut off the supplies being transported to Britain from the British colonies and the US. The epic fight for control of the supply routes became known as the Battle of the Atlantic.

20 NutraSweet developer : SEARLE

Searle is mainly a pharmaceutical company, and was founded in Omaha, Nebraska in 1888. The company is famous for introducing the first birth control pill in the late 1950s, as well as the artificial sweetener NutraSweet. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was Searle’s CEO and then President in the seventies and eighties.

NutraSweet is a brand name for the artificial sweetener aspartame. Aspartame was discovered by a chemist working for Searle in 1965, but it took 15 years for the company to be granted approval for its sale. I wonder why …???

27 “Your guide to a better future” site : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. It started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

29 Best of the best, initially : GOAT

Greatest of all time (GOAT)

30 Balance sheet abbr. : YTD

Year-to-date (YTD)

The balance sheet of a company is a snapshot (single-point-in-time) view of a company’s financial position. The balance sheet lists all the company’s liabilities, all of its assets, and all of its ownership equity. The assets of a company, less its liabilities equals the ownership equity. The term “balance” is used because assets always balance out with the sum of liabilities and shareholder equity.

32 Styling aid : POMADE

Pomade is perfumed ointment, one mainly used for grooming the hair. The word “pomade” comes from the Latin “pomum” meaning “apple”, as the original ointment recipe used smashed apples.

36 Main squeeze : BAE

Back in the late 1800s, the “main squeeze” was the “most important person”. It wasn’t until almost a century later that one’s main squeeze became one’s sweetheart.

39 Go along with harsh criticism of an ancient Athenian? : AGREE TO DIS A GREEK (from “agree to disagree”)

Athens is the capital city of Greece and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with a history that goes back around 3,400 years. In its heyday, Classical Athens was a remarkable center for the arts and philosophical debate, and was home to Plato and Aristotle. Athens is often called “the cradle of Western civilization” and “the birthplace of democracy”. The city was named for the Greek goddess Athena.

44 Plum kin : SLOE

The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin. A sloe looks like a small plum, but is usually much more tart in taste.

46 Annual stint at a Buckingham Palace timeshare? : THE ROYAL WEEK (from “the royal ‘we’”)

Buckingham Palace is a stately home that has been the official residence of the British monarch since the days of Queen Victoria. Buckingham Palace was originally a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703, hence the name.

The “royal we” is more correctly called the “majestic plural”, and is the use of a plural pronoun to describe a single person in a high office. I suppose the most often quoted phrase that uses the majestic plural is “We are not amused”, which is often attributed to Queen Victoria. The “editorial we” is a similar concept, in which a newspaper editor or columnist refers to himself or herself as “we” when giving an opinion.

56 Leaf under a petal : SEPAL

In a flower, the sepals are the green, leaf-like structures that are “interleaved” with the petals, providing support. Prior to acting as support for the petals, the sepals protect the flower in bud.

57 Fat used in baking : LARD

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

58 Lyft alternative : CAB
59 Lyft offer : RIDE

Lyft is a ridesharing service that is based in San Francisco, as is Uber, Lyft’s biggest competitor.

60 Apple device that might have a Smart Cover : IPAD

Apple’s Smart Cover attaches to the side of an iPad with a magnetic strip, and then covers the screen to protect it. The cover has folds, which allow the user to place it in configurations that facilitate typing and watching videos (for example).

62 Mauna __ : LOA

Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

63 Minecraft resources : ORES

Minecraft is a video game that was released in 2011. It has been cited as one of the most influential video games of all time.

65 Sea eagles : ERNS

The ern (sometimes “erne”) is also known as the white-tailed eagle or the sea eagle.

66 Story about a Disney girl who climbs Mount Everest? : THE PRINCESS AND THE PEAK (from “The Princess and the Pea”)

Mount Everest was first summited in 1953 by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese-Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hillary and Norgay were part of an expedition from which two pairs of climbers were selected to make a summit attempt. The first pair were Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, and they came within 330 feet of their goal but had to turn back. The expedition sent up the second pair two days later, and history was made on 29 May 1953.

“The Princess and the Pea” is a fairy tale from the pen of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The essence of the story is that a prince’s mother tests the royal blood of an apparent princess by placing a pea under a pile of mattresses on which the young girl sleeps. The girl complains of a restless night, demonstrating a physical sensitivity that can only be attributed to a princess. And they all lived happily ever after …

72 Brazos River city : WACO

The Texas city of Waco is named for the Wichita people known as the “Waco”, who occupied the area for thousands of years.

The Brazos River is the longest river in the state of Texas. It was originally called “Rio de los Brazos de Dios” by the Spanish, which translates as “the River of the Arms of God”. So, the Brazos is literally “the arms” in English.

75 Harbor, perhaps : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (literally “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

77 Lily of France garment : BRA

Lily of France is a brand of women’s underwear that was launched in 1915, not in a French city but rather in New York.

80 Seal sounds : BARKS

There are three families of seals. The first is the walrus family, the second the eared seals (like sea lions), and thirdly the earless seals (like elephant seals).

83 “1984” superstate : EASTASIA

The action in George Orwell’s 1949 novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” takes place in the intercontinental superstate of Oceania. Orwell also created two other superstates, one called Eurasia and the other Eastasia.

89 Gershwin classic : SWANEE

“Swanee” was written in 1919 by George Gershwin. Gershwin was very young at the time and came up with the music in just ten minutes while riding on a Manhattan bus. Al Jolson was already a star, and he heard Gershwin playing the song at a party. Jolson made a deal to include the song in his show “Sinbad”, and then “Swanee” just took off.

91 “Sunday Night Baseball” analyst, familiarly : A-ROD

Baseball player Alex Rodriguez, nicknamed “A-Rod”, hit his 600th home run on August 4th, 2010. He had hit his 500th home run exactly three years earlier, on August 4th, 2007, when he became the youngest player in Major League history to join the 500-home run club.

92 Oscar winner Mahershala : ALI

Mahershala Ali is an actor and sometime rapper. Among the more memorable roles Ali has had are lobbyist Remy Danton in TV’s “House of Cards”, and Colonel Boggs in “The Hunger Games” series of movies. He also won Best Supporting Actor Oscars for playing Juan in the 2016 drama “Moonlight”, and Dr. Don Shirley in 2018’s “Green Book”.

93 Poultry dish served in a Punjabi restaurant? : CHICKEN OF THE SIKH (from “Chicken of the Sea”)

Sikhism is a religion that was founded in the Punjab region, which straddles the India-Pakistan border. Even though Sikhism was established relatively recently, it is now the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. Sikhism was founded in the 15th century by Guru Nanak.

The Chicken of the Sea brand of tuna is named for a phrase once used by fishermen for the “meat” from white albacore tuna.

106 Aloha Tower island : OAHU

Aloha Tower is a lighthouse that sits at Pier 9 in Honolulu Harbor. Aloha Tower was the tallest structure in Hawaii for many years, standing at 10 stories with a 40 foot flag mast on top.

107 Dog who visits Oz : TOTO

Toto is Dorothy’s dog in the film “The Wizard of Oz”, and in the original book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Toto was played in the movie by a dog called Terry, but Terry’s name was soon changed to Toto in real life due to the success of the film.

117 Shop selling gold earrings and bandanas? : PIRATES’ BOUTIQUE (from “pirates’ booty”)

A bandana is a large, patterned, colorful handkerchief. The term “bandana” comes from the Hindi “bandhu”, which is a method of dyeing.

“Booty”, meaning “plunder, profit”, is derived from the Old French word “butin” that has the same meaning.

122 Mozart’s “Così fan __” : TUTTE

Mozart’s comic opera “Così fan tutte” is also known in English as “The School for Lovers”. The literal translation of the opera’s Italian title is “Thus do all (women)”, or “Women are like that”.

123 Buck horn : ANTLER

The antlers on a deer come to points. The higher the number of points, the more prized the head of the deer as a trophy, so I am told …

126 Surgical beam : LASER

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”.

127 Jazz headliners? : NBA STARS

The Utah Jazz professional basketball team moved to Salt Lake City in 1979. As one might guess from the name, the team originated in New Orleans, but only played there for five seasons. New Orleans was a tough place to be based because venues were hard to come by, and Mardi Gras forced the team to play on the road for a whole month.

Down

1 Confidentially informs : BCCS

A blind carbon copy (bcc) is a copy of a document or message that is sent to someone without other recipients of the message knowing about that extra copy.

4 Hagar of Van Halen : SAMMY

Rock vocalist and guitarist Sammy Hagar achieved fame in the seventies as a member of the group Montrose. He then carved out a successful solo career, and in 1985 took over from David Lee Roth as the lead vocalist of Van Halen.

6 Needlefish : GAR

“Gar” was originally the name given to a species of needlefish found in the North Atlantic. The term “gar” is now used to describe several species of fish with elongated bodies that inhabit North and Central America and the Caribbean. The gar is unusual in that it is often found in very brackish water. What I find interesting is that the gar’s swim bladders are vascularized so that they can actually function as lungs. Many species of gar can actually be seen coming to the surface and taking a gulp of air. This adaptation makes it possible for them to live in conditions highly unsuitable for other fish that rely on their gills to get oxygen out of the water. Indeed, quite interesting …

7 Actor Cage, informally : NIC

Actor Nicolas “Nic” Cage was born Nicolas Coppola. Cage is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, both of whom are Nic Cage’s father’s siblings.

8 __ Lanka : SRI

The island nation of Sri Lanka lies off the southeast coast of India. The name “Sri Lanka” translates from Sanskrit into English as “venerable island”. Before 1970, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, a name given to the country during British rule.

10 Lock insert : OAR

Oarlocks are swiveling braces on the sides of a rowing boat that hold the oars as the boat is being propelled. Back in Ireland, we call them “rowlocks” (pronounced “rollox”).

12 Panache : ELAN

Someone exhibiting panache is showing dash and verve, and perhaps has a swagger. “Panache” is a French word used for a plume of feathers, especially one in a hat.

13 Feint on the ice : DEKE

A deke, also known as a dangle, is a technique used to get past an opponent in ice hockey. “Deke” is a colloquial shortening of the word “decoy”.

14 Mixed martial arts org. : UFC

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the largest promoter in the world of mixed martial arts competitions. I think the idea is that competitors fight each other in various disciplines to see who is the “best of the best” …

15 Tabbouleh wheat : BULGUR

Bulgur is a cereal made from the groats (hulled kernels) of wheat, usually durum wheat.

Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish made from tomatoes, and chopped parsley, mint, bulgur and onion, along with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. The name “tabbouleh” comes from the Arabic “taabil” meaning “seasoning”. I love tabbouleh …

23 Lotion additive : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

28 Scottish feudal lord : THANE

Thanes were Scottish aristocrats. The most famous thanes have to be the Shakespearean characters Macbeth (Thane of Glamis, later “Thane of Cawdor”, and still later “King of Scotland”) and MacDuff (Thane of Fife). Other thanes in “Macbeth” are Ross, Lennox and Angus, as well as Menteith and Caithness.

31 “The Voice” host Carson : DALY

Carson Daly is a radio and television personality who is perhaps best known today as host of the reality show “The Voice”. If you stay up late enough on New Year’s Eve, you might also know him from NBC’s “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly”.

32 Green shampoo : PRELL

Prell shampoo was introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1947. Back then it was a clear green concentrate sold in a tube (like toothpaste).

33 Nerdy sort : DORK

I consider “dork” and “adorkable” to be pretty offensive slang. “Dork” originated in the sixties among American students, and has its roots in another slang term, a term for male genitalia.

35 Like much brandy : AGED

Brandy is a spirit distilled from wine. The term “brandy” ultimately comes from the Dutch “gebrande wijn” meaning “burnt wine”. The length of this aging of the spirit defines the various grades of brandy:

  • VS: Very Special … at least 2 years storage
  • VSOP: Very Special (or Superior) Old Pale … at least 4 years storage
  • XO: Extra Old … at least 6 years
  • VSO: Very Superior Old … 12-17 years

37 Tylenol target : ACHE

Tylenol is a pain-relieving drug with the active ingredient acetaminophen (which is known as “paracetamol” outside of the US).

40 Smallest state in India : GOA

Goa is the smallest state in India, and is located in the southwest of the country. The Portuguese landed in Goa in the early 1500s, at first peacefully carrying out trade, but then took the area by force creating Portuguese India. Portugal held onto Portuguese India even after the British pulled out of India in 1947, until the Indian Army marched into the area in 1961.

42 Granita kin : SORBET

Granita is a semi-frozen dessert in Italian cuisine that resembles sorbet, with the difference being that granita is usually less smooth and more crystalline.

48 Polish Solidarity hero Lech : WALESA

Lech Walesa worked as an electrician in the Gdansk Shipyards in Poland. Walesa was active in the trade union movement in the days when unions were not welcome behind the Iron Curtain. His efforts resulted in the founding of Solidarity, the first independent trade union in Soviet-controlled territory. For his work, Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and in 1990 he became the first democratically elected President of Poland. He has lost support in Poland in recent years, but he is a very popular booking on the international speaking circuit.

49 Mythical matchmaker : EROS

The name of Eros, the Greek god of love, gives rise to our word “erotic” meaning “arousing sexual desire”. Eros was referred to in Latin as both “Amor” (meaning “love”) and “Cupid” (meaning “desire”).

50 Lou Grant player : ED ASNER

Ed Asner was most famous for playing the irascible but lovable Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and on the spin-off drama “Lou Grant”. Off-screen Asner was noted for his political activism. He served two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and was very involved in the 1980 SAG strike. When “Lou Grant” was canceled in 1982, despite decent ratings, there was a lot of talk that the cancellation was a move by the network against Asner personally. In fact, one of Asner’s activist colleagues, Howard Hesseman (who played Johnny Fever) found that his show “WKRP in Cincinnati” was also canceled … on the very same day.

52 “To reiterate … ” : I REPEAT …

The verb “to iterate” means to repeat over again. The verb “reiterate” means the same thing. One might suspect that “reiterate” is one of those words that has crept into the language due to repeated (reiterated?!) misuse. Well, that’s not quite the case, but close. Back in the 1400s, “iterate” meant “repeat”, and “reiterate” meant “repeat again and again”. We’ve lost the distinction between those two definitions over time.

53 Goodyear surface : TIRE TREAD

The Goodyear tire company was founded in 1898. The company was named for Charles Goodyear, the man who invented vulcanized rubber in 1839. Despite the Goodyear name, Charles Goodyear himself had no connection with the company. Sadly, he never really reaped a financial reward for his inventions.

54 Novelist O’Brien : EDNA

Edna O’Brien is an Irish novelist and playwright who is known for her works that shine a light on the problems of women relating to men and society in general. O’Brien’s first novel, “The Country Girls”, was banned, burned and denounced by the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. As a result, O’Brien left the country and now lives in London.

58 Claritin rival : CONTAC

Contac is a GlaxoSmithKline product used to treat the symptoms of a cold and influenza. The medicine’s active ingredient is pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine is a drug with decongestant properties, although it is also a stimulant. Personally, I’d go with hot tea and lemon …

Claritin is a Bayer brand name for the drug loratadine, which is used to treat allergies.

61 Archaeological site : DIG

“Archaeology” is a word that looks like it’s British English, and one might be forgiven for using the spelling “archeology” in American English. Even though the latter spelling has been around for a couple of hundred years, the former is the standard spelling on both sides of the Atlantic.

64 __ cha beef: stir-fry dish : SHA

Sha cha beef is a dish from Chinese cuisine that is native to the Chinese province of Gansu.

66 Oh-so-precious : TWEE

In the UK, something “twee” is cutesy or overly nice. “Twee” came from “tweet”, which is the cutesy, baby-talk way of saying “sweet”.

67 “__ Nagila” : HAVA

“Hava Nagila” is a Hebrew folk song, with the title translating into “Let Us Rejoice”. The melody is from a Ukrainian folk song. The words to “Hava Nagila” were composed in 1918 to celebrate the British victory in Palestine during WWI.

68 Africa’s __ Desert: eastern region of the Sahara : NUBIAN

Nubia is a region shared by Egypt and Sudan that lies along the Nile river. The name “Nubia” comes from the Nuba people who settled in the area in the 4th century.

69 2021 title role for Peter Dinklage : CYRANO

“Cyrano” is a 2021 big-screen adaptation of a 2018 stage musical of the same name by Erica Schmidt. In turn, the musical is based on the 1897 play “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand. The title role in the film is played by New Jersey actor Peter Dinklage, who is perhaps best known for portraying Tyrion Lannister on the TV series “Game of Thrones”.

Cyrano de Bergerac was a French dramatist who lived in the 17th century. Paintings and drawings show that Bergerac had a large nose, although the size was exaggerated by those who wrote about his life. Reputedly, Cyrano fought in over 1000 duels, mostly instigated by someone insulting his nose. In the play written about his life, Cyrano had a famous lover named Roxane. It is thought that the Roxane character was modeled on Cyrano’s cousin who lived with his sister in a convent.

79 Unflappable : STAID

Something described as staid is unwavering, fixed. This usage expanded to mean “sober, sedate”. The term dates back to the 16th century, and comes from the verb “to stay”. “Staid” is a rewriting of the past participle “stayed”.

86 Fur-protesting gp. : PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is famous for ad campaigns featuring implied nudity, often with celebrities appearing front and center. Networks showing the Super Bowl have been known to ban such ads.

88 Sportscaster Linda : COHN

Linda Cohn is a sportscaster who started anchoring ESPN’s “SportsCenter” in 1992. When Cohn was in high school, she played hockey on the boys team.

93 Dalmatians, e.g. : CROATS

Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, with most of its area falling in modern-day Croatia.

95 Old Apple app for pics : IPHOTO

iPhoto is a digital photo manipulation application that Apple no longer supports, having replaced it with the Photos app.

97 Player who doesn’t mind making bloopers? : HITTER

In baseball, a bloop single is more usually called a blooper. It’s a fly ball that drops for a single between an infielder and an outfielder.

104 Singers below mezzo-sopranos : ALTOS

A mezzo-soprano is a female singing voice below a soprano but above a contralto. “Mezzo” is Italian for “half”.

105 “Money __”: Spanish TV drama : HEIST

“Money Heist” (“La casa de papel” in Spanish) is a very successful crime drama series from Spain that transferred to Netflix, after which the show’s run was extended. The show was so successful that Netflix made a documentary called “Money Herist: The Phenomenon”.

108 Fall birthstone : OPAL

Here is the “official” list of birthstones, by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

109 Fey of “Mean Girls” : TINA

Comedian and actress Tina Fey was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Fey is perhaps best known to television viewers as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1997-2006), and as the creator and star of the sitcom “30 Rock” (2006-2013).

“Mean Girls” is a teen comedy movie released in 2004 starring Lindsay Lohan. Tina Fey also puts in an appearance, which really isn’t surprising as Fey wrote the screenplay.

118 Blonde __ : ALE

Blonde ales are a loosely-related group of beers that share a very pale color. I’d guess that the most famous of the genre in North America are Belgian blondes.

120 Govt. fiscal monitor : OMB

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is the successor to the Bureau of the Budget that was formed in 1970 during the Nixon administration. The main task of the OMB is to prepare the budget for the federal government. The Director of the OMB is a member of the Cabinet.

121 Mex. neighbor : USA

The Mexico-US border stretches almost 2,000 miles, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. It is the most frequently crossed international border in the whole world, with about 350 million legal crossings annually.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Unwelcome omens : BAD SIGNS
9 Sussed (out) : DOPED
14 WWII sea threat : U-BOAT
19 Pollution legislation goal : CLEAN AIR
20 NutraSweet developer : SEARLE
21 Bankrolls : FUNDS
22 One who’s a really big fan of promos and trailers? : COMMERCIAL FREAK (from “commercial-free”)
24 Store employee : CLERK
25 Walk heavily : STOMP
26 Untruth : LIE
27 “Your guide to a better future” site : C|NET
29 Best of the best, initially : GOAT
30 Balance sheet abbr. : YTD
32 Styling aid : POMADE
34 Weighs on : HAUNTS
36 Main squeeze : BAE
39 Go along with harsh criticism of an ancient Athenian? : AGREE TO DIS A GREEK (from “agree to disagree”)
43 Like granita and 42-Down : ICY
44 Plum kin : SLOE
45 Completely overhauled : REDONE
46 Annual stint at a Buckingham Palace timeshare? : THE ROYAL WEEK (from “the royal ‘we’”)
51 Attributed : CREDITED
56 Leaf under a petal : SEPAL
57 Fat used in baking : LARD
58 Lyft alternative : CAB
59 Lyft offer : RIDE
60 Apple device that might have a Smart Cover : IPAD
62 Mauna __ : LOA
63 Minecraft resources : ORES
65 Sea eagles : ERNS
66 Story about a Disney girl who climbs Mount Everest? : THE PRINCESS AND THE PEAK (from “The Princess and the Pea”)
72 Brazos River city : WACO
73 Fellows : GUYS
74 Trail mix morsel : NUT
75 Harbor, perhaps : ABET
76 Hardly __: rarely : EVER
77 Lily of France garment : BRA
78 Periods often named for leaders : ERAS
80 Seal sounds : BARKS
83 “1984” superstate : EASTASIA
86 Expensive block for a woodworking apprentice? : PRACTICE TEAK (from “practice tee”)
89 Gershwin classic : SWANEE
91 “Sunday Night Baseball” analyst, familiarly : A-ROD
92 Oscar winner Mahershala : ALI
93 Poultry dish served in a Punjabi restaurant? : CHICKEN OF THE SIKH (from “Chicken of the Sea”)
100 Study : DEN
101 State of rest : REPOSE
102 Didn’t work out : FAILED
103 “Not buying it” : NAH
106 Aloha Tower island : OAHU
107 Dog who visits Oz : TOTO
110 NFL scores : TDS
111 Springs : LEAPS
115 Embellish : ADORN
117 Shop selling gold earrings and bandanas? : PIRATES’ BOUTIQUE (from “pirates’ booty”)
122 Mozart’s “Così fan __” : TUTTE
123 Buck horn : ANTLER
124 Words said with an eyeroll : I’M SO SURE
125 Informal “What if … ” : S’POSE …
126 Surgical beam : LASER
127 Jazz headliners? : NBA STARS

Down

1 Confidentially informs : BCCS
2 Often : A LOT
3 Trial version : DEMO
4 Hagar of Van Halen : SAMMY
5 Bumbling : INEPT
6 Needlefish : GAR
7 Actor Cage, informally : NIC
8 __ Lanka : SRI
9 Take down : DEFEAT
10 Lock insert : OAR
11 Pave the way for : PRECEDE
12 Panache : ELAN
13 Feint on the ice : DEKE
14 Mixed martial arts org. : UFC
15 Tabbouleh wheat : BULGUR
16 Low tie : ONE-ONE
17 Cost for an online pop-up, e.g. : AD RATE
18 “Shame on you!” : TSK TSK!
20 Goo made at home with glue, food coloring, and saline solution : SLIME
23 Lotion additive : ALOE
28 Scottish feudal lord : THANE
31 “The Voice” host Carson : DALY
32 Green shampoo : PRELL
33 Nerdy sort : DORK
35 Like much brandy : AGED
36 Routine parts : BITS
37 Tylenol target : ACHE
38 See-through devices? : EYEPIECES
40 Smallest state in India : GOA
41 Security checkpoint request : ID CARD
42 Granita kin : SORBET
44 Pool-heating option : SOLAR
47 Bond that promotes easy communication : RAPPORT
48 Polish Solidarity hero Lech : WALESA
49 Mythical matchmaker : EROS
50 Lou Grant player : ED ASNER
52 “To reiterate … ” : I REPEAT …
53 Goodyear surface : TIRE TREAD
54 Novelist O’Brien : EDNA
55 Workstation : DESK
58 Claritin rival : CONTAC
61 Archaeological site : DIG
64 __ cha beef: stir-fry dish : SHA
66 Oh-so-precious : TWEE
67 “__ Nagila” : HAVA
68 Africa’s __ Desert: eastern region of the Sahara : NUBIAN
69 2021 title role for Peter Dinklage : CYRANO
70 Vibe : AURA
71 Died down : EBBED
79 Unflappable : STAID
81 Leaves in smoothies : KALE
82 Hide : SKIN
84 Makes a request : ASKS
85 Like dessert wines : SWEET
86 Fur-protesting gp. : PETA
87 Irritate : IRK
88 Sportscaster Linda : COHN
90 Sincere attempts : EFFORTS
93 Dalmatians, e.g. : CROATS
94 Be in charge of : HEAD UP
95 Old Apple app for pics : IPHOTO
96 Woos : COURTS
97 Player who doesn’t mind making bloopers? : HITTER
98 Church leader : ELDER
99 Brief meeting? : SESS
104 Singers below mezzo-sopranos : ALTOS
105 “Money __”: Spanish TV drama : HEIST
108 Fall birthstone : OPAL
109 Fey of “Mean Girls” : TINA
112 Bluish hue : AQUA
113 Copy cats? : PURR
114 Spots : SEES
116 Once named : NEE
118 Blonde __ : ALE
119 Recycling __ : BIN
120 Govt. fiscal monitor : OMB
121 Mex. neighbor : USA

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Dec 22, Sunday”

  1. No errors. Never heard if TWEE?

    @SAUL – reference to Vikings. I fell asleep at half time when it was 33-0. Woke up and voila! Missed the best part of the game.

  2. Got it done, eventually. Really had to let my mind kind of wander… or something. My favorite was turning pirates’ booty into pirates’ boutique. Clever and fun.

  3. Tricky one today…but finished with no errors; but many do-overs.
    Also looked up 3 proper names–Cohn, Goa, and Searle.

    I liked “chicken of the Sikh”

  4. Too tough for me to finish. Even after getting the theme until I was most of the way through and although helping, couldn’t get a handle on the SE area. Whew! No fun at all.

  5. 25 minutes 26 seconds, no errors. This “theme” was WEAK, MAN (a play on Wiegman). If you’re going to base it on “EEK”, then you don’t get to use IQUE or EAK “soundalikes” to bail you out of bad puns you can’t figure out a way to fit into the grid.

    Patti, you should know better than to let this crap get past your editor’s pen.

    1. Well, Allen, all one can say is “Your rules are just that – your rules.” A rhyming theme made perfect sense to me and to others … 🤨.

      1. Last week my friend, a Greek Sikh (who really is a marvelous dancer…you should have SEEN him do “the Freak” at his peak), walked into the Teak Boutique… and saw a mouse.

        Well, you know the rest.

  6. I learned something today. In grammar school, I was introduced to and became a fan of Stephen Foster and his soulful southern music. When I first heard the song “Swanee”, I just assumed it was one of Foster’s and never bothered to check it out. I guess this is proof we’re never too old to learn something new.

  7. 38:30 – no errors or lookups. False starts: EDDIE>SAMMY, EST>YTD, PREPARE>PRECEDE, KEY>OAR, LADS>GUYS, GAO>OMB. The SE corner was the last to fill in.

    New: POMADE, “granita,” EDNA O’Brien, SHA, Money HEIST.

    A rhyming theme today! Initially got thrown by the last two answers since they didn’t end in EEK or EAK as the first five did.

    Granita and Lyft used in multiple clues.

  8. Very clever and enjoyable Sunday for me; took 37:38 with 3 errors, which I could’ve avoided if I’d paid attention to the darn theme. Couldn’t figure out the COHN/AROD/IRK/SIKH section, which the theme clearly pointed to…sigh!

    Way to go Argentina, what a WC win!! The only football I care about!!

    @Saul – I checked into that “Word” stuff a little more and if you just google ‘”Word” meaning”‘ you get “my word is my bond” or “I agree with you.”

    1. @Judy …

      I think I see where you were going with this, but the clue refers to putting an oar into an oarlock (on a rowboat).

  9. Nine across: What’s the connection between the clue “sussed (out)” and the answer “doped”? I’ve never heard of this meaning for “sussed” and couldn’t find it by searching online.

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