LA Times Crossword 4 Dec 22, Sunday

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Constructed by: Jill Rafaloff & Michelle Sontarp
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: Hesitations

Themed answers are common phrases with a suffix “-ER” added to one word:

  • 25A Milwaukee slugger who keeps striking out? : COLD BREWER
  • 27A Put an album up for auction? : OFFER THE RECORD
  • 52A Animal hospital amenity? : DOG AND PONY SHOWER
  • 66A Robbery involving a diamond? : BASEBALL CAPER
  • 85A C-suite member who shreds on the half-pipe? : EXECUTIVE BOARDER
  • 115A Selfie taken by a financial professional? : BANKER SHOT

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

Bill’s time: 13m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Stitched loosely : BASTED

To baste is to sew loosely, just holding a join in a fabric together temporarily using large running stitches.

16 Morsel : BIT

A morsel is a small bite, a mouthful of food. The term “morsel” comes from the Latin “morsus” meaning “bite”.

20 Layered snack : OREO

There’s a smartphone app featuring the Oreo cookie. It’s a game in which one twists Oreo cookies apart, “licks” the cream from the center and then dunks the remainder of the cookie in a glass of milk.

21 Slide subject : AMOEBA

An ameba (also “amoeba”) is a single-celled microorganism. The name comes from the Greek “amoibe”, meaning change. The name is quite apt, as the cell changes shape readily as the ameba moves, eats and reproduces.

25 Milwaukee slugger who keeps striking out? : COLD BREWER

The Milwaukee Brewers Major League Baseball (MLB) team was founded in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots. The Pilots only played one season in Seattle before going bankrupt, relocating to Milwaukee and adopting the “Brewers” name. At that time, the Brewers were playing in the American League, and joined the National League in 1998. Only two MLB teams have switched leagues, the other being the Houston Astros.

27 Put an album up for auction? : OFFER THE RECORD

The Latin word “album” translates as “white”. Back in the 17th century, public notices and lists of names were written on a board painted white, or in a souvenir book with white pages known as an “albo” (from “album”). Over time, the term “album” came to be used in English for a blank book created to collect signatures or other mementos. By the end of the 19th century, albums were used to collect photographs. The term “album” was applied to long-playing gramophone records in the early 1950s, because the record sleeves resembled large photographic albums.

30 Actor Neeson : LIAM

Irish actor Liam Neeson got his big break when he played Oskar Schindler in the Spielberg epic, “Schindler’s List”. Neeson was in the news some years later when he lost his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, in a tragic skiing accident in 2009. Earlier in his life, in the 1980s, Neeson lived for several years with Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren.

31 Vuitton of fashion : LOUIS

Louis Vuitton founded his fashion house in Paris in 1854. His first product was a trunk, a piece of traveling luggage.

32 Start of the Common Era : ONE AD

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

35 Fuel additive brand : STP

STP is a brand name of automotive lubricants and additives. The name “STP” is an initialism standing for “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”.

38 Bus. letters : INC

A company that has incorporated uses the abbreviation “Inc.” after its name. By incorporating, a company forms a corporation, which is a legal entity that has legal rights similar to those of an individual. For example, a corporation can sue another corporation or individual. However, a corporation does not have all the rights of citizens. A corporation does not have the Fifth Amendment right of protections against self-incrimination, for example. It is perhaps understandable that the concept of “corporations as persons” is a frequent subject for debate.

39 “¿Qué pasa?” : ‘SUP

“Sup?” is slang for “what’s up?”

In Spanish, ¿Qué pasa? translates literally as “what’s happening?” It is used to mean “how are things going for you?”.

41 Reception problem : STATIC

The background sound produced by an untuned radio can be referred to as white noise. It is also called “static”, because it is caused by the discharge of “static electricity”, with those discharges mainly taking place in the upper atmosphere.

43 Manage, as an art exhibit : CURATE

The term “curator” is Latin and applies to a manager, guardian or overseer. In English, the original curators were the guardians and overseers of minors and those with mental disease. Today, we use the term “curator” particularly for someone in charge of a museum, zoo or other exhibition.

45 Home of BTS : KOREA

BTS is a boy band from South Korea with seven members. The initialism “BTS” stands for the phrase “Bangtan Sonyeondan”, which translates literally as “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. BTS is the best-selling musical act in the history of South Korea.

52 Animal hospital amenity? : DOG AND PONY SHOWER

The idiom “dog and pony show” is used to describe an over-staged and highly promoted event. The phrase arose in the late 1800s in reference to small traveling shows or circuses that featured performing dogs and ponies as their main attractions.

58 Venomous snake : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

59 Iridescent gem : OPAL

An iridescent surface appears to change color gradually with a change in the angle of view, or a change in the angle that the light is hitting that surface.

An opal is often described as having a milky iridescence known as opalescence.

60 Super Bowl XLIV MVP Drew : BREES

Drew Brees is a quarterback who played for the San Diego Chargers before signing with the New Orleans Saints in 2006. On top of his success in the NFL, Brees was an excellent tennis player in his youth. In one competition, he actually beat a young Andy Roddick who later became the world’s number one.

61 Part of GDP : PRODUCT

A country’s Gross National Product (GNP) is the value of all services and products produced by its residents in a particular year. GNP includes all production wherever it is in the world, as long as the business is owned by residents of the country concerned. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is different, although related, and is the value of all services and goods produced within the borders of the country for that year.

63 Cardiff’s country : WALES

Cardiff, located on the country’s south coast, has been the capital of Wales since 1955. “Cardiff” is an anglicized form of “Caerdydd”, the city’s name in Welsh.

70 “Cat’s in the Cradle” singer : CHAPIN

Singer Harry Chapin is perhaps best remembered musically for his 1974 folk rock song “Cat’s in the Cradle”, which was his only number one hit. Sadly, Chapin died after a terrible auto accident that perhaps happened after he suffered a heart attack. Chapin was only 39 years old.

80 Prefix meaning “sun” : HELIO-

Helios was the god of the Sun in Greek mythology, and is the reason that we use the prefix “helio-” to mean “sun”. He was the brother of Selene, the goddess of the moon, and Eos, the goddess of the dawn. Helios drove his chariot of the sun across the sky during the day, returning to the East at night by traveling through the ocean. The Roman equivalent to Helios was Sol.

81 Michael who plays Luis in the “Ant-Man” movies : PENA

Michael Peña is an actor from Chicago. He has had many supporting roles in hit movies, but is also known for playing the title character in “Cesar Chavez” (2014) and for heading the cast of “Narcos: Mexico” on Netflix.

In the Marvel universe, Ant-Man has been the superhero persona of three different fictional characters: Hank Pym, Scott Lang and Eric O’Grady. In the 2015 film “Ant-Man”, Michael Douglas plays Hank Pym, and Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang.

82 Geological span : EON

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

85 C-suite member who shreds on the half-pipe? : EXECUTIVE BOARDER

The C-suite is the suite of offices assigned to senior management. The “C” reference is to the abbreviation for “Chief”, the word that starts the titles of many senior officers in a company, e.g. chief executive officer, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

90 Tropical tangelo : UGLI

The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine that was first discovered growing wild in Jamaica where most ugli fruit comes from today. “UGLI” is a trademark name that is a variant of “ugly”, a nod to the fruit’s unsightly wrinkled rind.

The fruit called a tangelo is a hybrid between a tangerine and either a grapefruit or a pomelo (which gives it the name). A pomelo is a very large, pear-shaped citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. The Jamaican form of tangelo is known as the ugli fruit.

91 Accumulates, as debt : RACKS UP

The verb “to rack up”, meaning “to accumulate”, first appeared in print in 1943, in “Billboard”. It’s likely that the term comes from the system of scoring points in pool halls.

92 Trojan War epic : ILIAD

The ancient city of Troy was located on the west coast of modern-day Turkey. The Trojan War of Greek mythology was precipitated by the elopement of Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, with Paris of Troy. The war itself largely consisted of a nine-year siege of Troy by the Greeks. We know most about the final year of that siege, as it is described extensively in Homer’s “Iliad”. The city eventually fell when the Greeks hid soldiers inside the Trojan Horse, which the Trojans brought inside the city’s walls. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts …

95 Maine-based retailer since 1912 : L.L.BEAN

L.L.Bean (note the lack of spaces in the company name) was founded back in 1912 in Freeport, Maine as a company selling its own line of waterproof boots. The founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, gave his name to the enterprise. Right from the start, L.L.Bean focused on mail-order and sold from a circular he distributed and then from a catalog. Defects in the initial design led to 90% of the first boots sold being returned, and the company made good on its guarantee to replace them or give back the money paid.

98 “The Marvelous __ Maisel” : MRS

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is a comedy drama TV show set in the late fifties and early sixties. The title character, played by Rachel Brosnahan, is a New York housewife who opts for a career as a standup comedian.

99 Bioengineered food source, briefly : GMO

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is one with genetic material that has been altered by genetic engineering. One might argue that the oldest form of genetic engineering is selective breeding, the use of animals or plants with desired traits for the creation of the next generation.

100 Fashion monogram : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was an Algerian-born French fashion designer. Saint Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

101 First name of boy detective Encyclopedia Brown : LEROY

The “Encyclopedia Brown” series of children’s books feature the exploits of boy detective Leroy Brown. The books were written by Donald J. Sobol, starting in 1963.

106 Garlicky mayo : AIOLI

To the purist, especially in Provence in the South of France, aioli is prepared just by grinding garlic with olive oil. However, other ingredients are often added to the mix, particularly egg yolks.

108 Apple variety : IMAC

When Apple chose the letter “I” prefix for the iMac in 1998, that letter “I” stood for “Internet”. Steve Jobs and his marketing team followed up with the message that I also stood for “individual, instruct, inform and inspire”.

115 Selfie taken by a financial professional? : BANKER SHOT

A selfie is a self-portrait, one usually taken with a digital camera or cell phone. A “group selfie” is sometimes referred to as a “groufie” or “wefie”. A “couple selfie” is known as an “usie” or “ussie”, although those terms are sometimes also used for a group picture.

119 Early spring flower : IRIS

Iris is a genus of flowering plants that come in a wide variety of flower colors. The term “iris” is a Greek word meaning “rainbow”. Many species of irises are called “flags”. One suggestion is that the alternate name comes from the Middle English “flagge” meaning “reed”. This term was used because iris leaves look like reeds.

120 Fast Amtrak train : ACELA

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

122 Scandinavia locale : EUROPE

Strictly speaking, Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe that covers the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The broader region that includes Finland and Iceland is referred to locally as “the Nordic countries”.

123 Motorcade vehicle : LIMO

The word “limousine” derives from the name of the French city of Limoges. The area around Limoges is called the Limousin, and it gave its name to a cloak hood worn by local shepherds. In early motor cars, a driver would sit outside in the weather while the passengers would sit in the covered compartment. The driver would often wear a limousin-style protective hood, giving rise to that type of transportation being called a “limousine”. Well, that’s how the story goes …

125 Draft selection? : ALE

The many, many different styles of beer can generally be sorted into two groups: ales and lagers. Ales are fermented at relatively warm temperatures for relatively short periods of time, and use top-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that float on top of the beer as it ferments. Lagers ferment at relatively low temperatures and for relatively long periods of time. Lagers use bottom-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that fall to the bottom of the beer as it ferments.

Down

3 “La Vie en Rose” singer Édith : PIAF

“La Môme Piaf” (the Little Sparrow) was the nickname of France’s most famous singer, Édith Piaf. What a voice this woman had, and what gorgeous ballads she sang. Édith Piaf lived a life that was not without controversy. She was raised by her mother in a brothel in Normandy, and had a pimp as a boyfriend in her teens. She had one child, while very young, born illegitimately and who died at 2-years-old from meningitis. Her singing career started when she was discovered in the Pigalle area of Paris by nightclub owner Louis Leplée. Leplée was murdered soon after, and Piaf was accused of being an accessory to the murder but was later acquitted. During World War II she was branded a traitor by many as she frequently performed for the German occupying forces, although there are other reports of her supporting the resistance movement. Later in her life she was seriously injured in no less than three near-fatal car accidents, including one with her friend, Charles Aznavour. While recovering from her injuries she became addicted to pain medication, an addiction that lasted for the rest of her life. When she died in 1963 she was denied a Catholic funeral mass because of her lifestyle, but the crowds that turned out for her funeral procession managed to stop all traffic in Paris, the only time that has happened since the end of WWII.

The literal translation of the title to the French song “La Vie en rose” is “Life In Pink”, but a better translation would be “Life Through Rose-Colored Glasses”.

4 Short-lived Ford model : EDSEL

The Edsel brand of automobile was named for Edsel Ford, son of Henry. Sadly, the name “Edsel” has become synonymous with “failure”, which was no fault of Edsel himself who had died several years before the Edsel line was introduced. When the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel on 4 September 1957, Ford proclaimed the day to be “E Day”.

5 Largest city on the border between the U.S. and Canada : DETROIT

The city of Detroit was founded in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, a French explorer. The original settlement was named for the Detroit River, which in turn takes its name from the French word “détroit” meaning “strait”. Detroit became inextricably linked with the automotive business from the very early 20th century when Henry Ford and others set up manufacturing in the area. This link to transportation led to Detroit’s nicknames “Motor City” and “Motown”. The city’s economic strength declined at the beginning of the 21st century, resulting in a 25% drop in population between 2000 and 2010. Detroit filed for the country’s largest municipal bankruptcy in history in 2013, facing a debt of $18.8 billion. The city exited bankruptcy at the end of 2014.

6 Like “Dracula” and “Frankenstein” : GOTHIC

Gothic fiction is characterized by remote settings and characters experiencing fear and haunting. The term “gothic” is used because so often the stories are set in locales featuring gothic architecture.

“Dracula” is a novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and first published in 1897. Dracula wasn’t the first vampire of literature, but he certainly was the one who spawned the popularity of vampires in theater, film and television, and indeed more novels. Personally, I can’t stand vampire fiction …

Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel has the full title of “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”. The subtitle underscores one of the themes of the book, i.e. a warning about the expansion into the Industrial Revolution.

7 Many an April birth : ARIES

Aries the Ram is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries you would know that! “Aries” is the Latin word for “ram”.

8 Oracle : SEER

In ancient Greece and Rome, an oracle was someone believed to be inspired by the gods to give wise counsel. The word “oracle” derives from the Latin “orare” meaning “to speak”, which is the same root for our word “orator”. One of the most important oracles of ancient Greece was Pythia, the high priestess to Apollo at Delphi.

10 BLT part : BACON

The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second-most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.

11 Collection of love poems by Ovid : AMORES

Ovid wrote a book of poems called “Amores”, as did English writer D. H. Lawrence.

The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso is known today simply as Ovid. Ovid is usually listed alongside the two other great Roman poets: Horace and Virgil. Although he was immensely popular during his own lifetime, Ovid spent the last ten years of his life in exile. He fell foul of Emperor Augustus and so was banished to Tomis, an island in the Black Sea. What led to this disfavor seems to have been lost in the mists of time.

13 With 74-Across, 2021 and 2022 Emmy winner for Outstanding Comedy Series : TED …
74A See 13-Down : … LASSO

“Ted Lasso” is a marvelous sports-comedy TV show about an American college football coach who moves to the UK to manage an English soccer team. The title character is played very admirably by Jason Sudeikas. Sudeikas first played Lasso in a series of TV commercials commissioned to promote NBC’s coverage of the British Premier League. Great stuff, and highly recommended …

14 Wane : EBB

The verbs “to wax” and “to wane” come from Old English. To wax is to increase gradually in size, strength, intensity or number. To wane is to decrease gradually.

15 __ es Salaam : DAR

Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania, and sits right on the east coast of Africa. The city’s name is usually translated from Arabic as “Haven of Peace”.

16 “Modern Love” singer David : BOWIE

In early 1969, the struggling David Bowie recorded a promotional film in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The film called “Love You Till Tuesday” featured seven of Bowie’s songs in what amounted to an extended music video, with one of the tracks being “Space Oddity”. Somebody smart put two and two together later in the year and decided that a fresh version of “Space Oddity” should be released, to coincide with the Apollo moon landings. Sure enough, the BBC snagged the track for their coverage of the landings and gave Bowie huge audiences. And the song still gets an awful lot of air time on the small screen. Famously, Bowie turned down the honor of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000. The British government tried again in 2003, offering a knighthood, but Bowie stuck to his guns and refused that honor too. Bowie did however accept the French title of Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1999.

“Modern Love” is a 1983 song written and recorded by David Bowie. The lyrics include the phrase “wave bye-bye”, and do Bowie often used the song to close the show while on tour, “waving bye-bye” to the audience.

17 Utopian : IDEAL

The word “Utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More in his book “Utopia” published in 1516 to describe an idyllic fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. More’s use of the name Utopia comes from the Greek “ou” meaning “not” and “topos” meaning “place”. By calling his perfect island “Not Place”, More was apparently making the point that he didn’t think that the ideal could actually exist.

26 Certain college members : ELECTORS

The US Constitution requires that the Electoral College appoint the president and vice president every four years. The states, and the District of Columbia, are responsible for appointing electors to the college. The number of electors assigned to each state (and DC) is equal to the combined number of representatives and senators each state sends to the US Congress. If no candidate gets an absolute majority of votes for president or vice president, then a contingent election is held in the US House and/or the US Senate. The House would then elect a president, and the Senate would elect a vice president.

33 Hannah of “Roxanne” : DARYL

Daryl Hannah is an actress from Chicago who got her big break in movies playing a violent replicant called Pris in the 1982 sci-fi classic “Blade Runner”. A couple of years later she played the female lead opposite Tom Hanks in the hit film “Splash”.

Edmond Rostand wrote the famous play “Cyrano de Bergerac” in 1897. There have been a few interesting film adaptations. Perhaps the most famous is 1950’s Hollywood “Cyrano de Bergerac” starring José Ferrer. 1987’s “Roxanne” is a modern-day resetting of the play starring Steve Martin, and 1990’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” (in French) starring Gérard Depardieu was nominated for several Oscars, winning for Best Costume Design.

34 Laurence who played Pops on “Black-ish” : FISHBURNE

I’d guess that the most famous roles played by actor Laurence Fishburne are Morpheus in “The Matrix” series of movies, and Dr. Raymond Langston on the TV show “CSI”. Fishburne is married to the actress Gina Torres. The pair play a married couple on the TV show “Hannibal”.

“Black-ish” is a sitcom starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross that premiered in 2014. The lead actors play Dre and Rainbow Johnson, a married couple leading an upper-middle class black family. The show is noted for tackling tough issues such as racism, police brutality, attitudes toward the LGBT community, and the 2016 US presidential election.

35 Scalawag : SCAMP

Back in the 16th or 17th centuries, the word “scamp” was used to describe a highway robber. The usage evolved to mean “rascal” in the early 1800s.

“Scallywag” is a term we use in Ireland to describe a rogue, usually one who is harmless, and it comes from the Irish word “sgaileog” meaning “farm servant”. The American use of “scalawag” as a rogue was originally borrowed as a nickname for southern white people who supported reconstruction after the Civil War.

37 Home of Brigham Young University : PROVO

Provo, Utah is a city located just over 40 miles south of South Lake City. It is home to Brigham Young University. The city was originally called Fort Utah, and the name was changed to Provo in 1850 in honor of Étienne Provost. Provost was a French-Canadian fur trader who was perhaps the first man of European descent to see the Great Salt Lake.

Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah has about 34.000 students on campus making it the largest religious university in the country. The school was founded in 1875 by Brigham Young, then President of the Church of Latter-day Saints.

39 Caress, e.g. : SOAP

Caress is a line of body washes and beauty bars owned by Unilever.

40 Banquet coffeepot : URN

A banquet is an elaborate feast. “Banquet” is a term that seems to have reversed in meaning over time. Coming into English via French from Old Italian, “banquet” is derived from “banco” meaning “bench”. The original “banco” meal was simply a snack eaten on a bench, rather than at a table. I guess we eat more these days …

42 QB targets : TES

In American football, a quarterback (QB) might throw to a tight end (TE).

45 Metric wts. : KGS

The gram is defined as one thousandth of a kilogram, with the kilogram being equal to the mass of a physical sample preserved by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (well, up until 2019, when it became more hi-tech than I can explain!). Prior to 1960, the gram was defined as the weight of a cubic centimeter of pure water (at the temperature of melting ice).

46 Twin of Artemis : APOLLO

Artemis was an ancient Greek goddess, and the equivalent of the Roman goddess Diana. Artemis was also a daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. Among other things, she was the goddess of the hunt, and so often is depicted carrying a bow and arrows.

48 Sees red? : OWES

To be in the red is to be in debt, to owe money. The expression “in the red” is a reference to the accounting practice of recording debts and losses in red ink in ledgers. The related phrase “in the black” means “solvent, making a profit”.

50 Irish Gaelic : ERSE

There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be “Gaeilge” (in Ireland), “Gaelg” (on the Isle of Man) and “Gaidhlig” (in Scotland).

54 Crude cartel : OPEC

The OPEC cartel was formally established in 1960 and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965. The US is actually the third largest oil producer in the world (after Russia and Saudi Arabia). One reason America isn’t in OPEC, even though we are a big producer, is that we import a lot more than we export. But we all probably knew that already …

Fossil fuels are refined forms of the complex mixture of hydrocarbons found in pockets under the surface of the Earth. Strictly speaking, the term “petroleum” describes the mixture in all its forms: liquid, gaseous and solid. The liquid form is “crude oil”, the gaseous form is “natural gas” and the solid form is “bitumen”. In common usage, however, crude oil is often referred to as “petroleum”.

55 Mars rover org. : NASA

There have been several rovers sent to Mars from Earth. The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 landed in 1971, and failed. Mars 3 landed the same year, and ceased operation just 20 seconds after landing. NASA’s Sojourner landed in 1997 (what a great day that was!) and operated from July through September. The British rover Beagle 2 was lost six days before its scheduled entry into the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s Spirit landed in 2004, and operated successfully for over six years before getting trapped in sand and eventually ceasing to communicate. NASA’s Opportunity also landed in 2004, and operated for over fourteen years. And then NASA’s Curiosity made a spectacular, hi-tech landing in 2012 and is continuing to explore the planet today. Based on the Curiosity design, NASA’s Perseverance rover landed in 2021, along with the Mars helicopter named Ingenuity. The China National Space Administration landed its first rover, named Zhurong (“Rover” in English), five months after Perseverance started its mission on the planet.

63 Sashimi condiment : WASABI

Sometimes called Japanese horseradish, wasabi is a root used as a condiment in Japanese cooking. The taste of wasabi is more like mustard than a hot pepper in that the vapors that create the “hotness” stimulate the nasal passages rather than the tongue. Personally, I love the stuff …

64 Singer Green and politician Gore : ALS

Al Green is a gospel and soul music singer. He was born in Arkansas, where he started out as a gospel singer and moved into R&B. In 1974, Green was assaulted by a girlfriend who burned him badly on much of his body by pouring boiling grits over him (and then she committed suicide). The incident changed Green’s life and he turned to the church, becoming a pastor in Memphis in 1976. He continued to record music, but never really enjoyed the same success that he had in the early seventies with hits like “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still In Love With You”.

65 Decimal base : TEN

Our base-10 numeral system is also known as the decimal (sometimes “denary”) numeral system. Another common numeral system is base-2, which is also known as the binary system.

67 Mtn. stat : ELEV

Elevation (elev.)

68 Downfall : BANE

Today, we tend to use the word “bane” to mean “anathema, a source of persistent annoyance”. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

69 Christmas candle scent : PINE

Pine oil is an essential oil extracted from several species of pine tree. Natural pine oil is usually steam distilled from parts of the tree that are not used for lumber.

70 “Moonstruck” Oscar winner : CHER

“Moonstruck” is a 1987 movie, a romantic comedy starring Cher and Nicolas Cage. There’s a bit of a love triangle in the storyline, with Danny Aiello playing the man who loses the girl. “Moonstruck” won three Oscars and was a huge success, and somehow, I’ve never seen it …

71 Half dodeca- : HEXA-

The prefix “dodeca-” indicates 12, and the prefix “hexa-” denotes 6.

72 Smart __ : ALEC

Apparently, the original “smart Alec” (sometimes “Aleck”) was one Alec Hoag, a pimp, thief and confidence trickster who plied his trade in New York City in the 1840s.

73 Burglar : PICKLOCK

The crime of burglary is the breaking into and entering of a building with the intent to steal. The actual theft itself is a separate crime.

77 Sport with an oval ball : RUGBY

Rugby is a town in County Warwickshire, England. It is a market town, and is also home to the famous Rugby School, one of the oldest private schools in the country. The school gave its name to the sport of rugby, as the laws of the game were first published by three boys at Rugby School in 1845.

78 Some pickles : DILLS

Often, a dill pickle is actually a pickled gherkin, as the gherkin and cucumber are different cultivars within the same species. Here in the US, dill is commonly added to the pickling vinegar or brine, but this wasn’t the case when I used to eat them back in Ireland (I can’t stand dill!). You might see jars labeled as “cornichons”, but they’re gherkins. “Cornichon” is the French word for “gherkin”.

79 Sales pitch : SPIEL

A spiel is a lengthy speech or argument designed to persuade, like a sales pitch. “Spiel” comes to us from German, either directly (“spiel” is the German for “play”) or via the Yiddish “shpil”.

87 Early Mesoamerican : OLMEC

The Olmecs were an ancient civilization that lived in the lowlands of south-central Mexico from about 1500 BC to about 400 BC.

99 Martini with an onion : GIBSON

A Gibson is simply a regular martini (gin and vermouth) with the traditional olive garnish replaced with a pickled onion.

101 Heavenly scales : LIBRA

The constellation of Libra is named for the scales held by the goddess of justice. Libra is the only sign of the zodiac that isn’t named for a living creature.

106 “Spirited Away” genre : ANIME

The Japanese animated movie “Spirited Away” was released in 2001, and is very highly regarded by film critics. It also won that season’s Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

107 Like a mosquito bite : ITCHY

Mosquitoes have a relatively short life cycle. Males live a matter of days, and females just a few weeks. In order to reproduce, male mosquitoes form large swarms, usually late in the day. Female mosquitoes fly into the swarm when ready to mate.

110 Bagpiper’s skirt : KILT

The Scottish skirt called a “kilt” takes its name from the Middle English word “kilten” meaning “to tuck up”. The idea is that the kilt can be tucked up around the body to give freedom to the legs.

Bagpipes have been played for centuries all across Europe, in parts of Asia and North Africa, and in the Persian Gulf. However, the most famous versions of the instrument today are the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe and the Irish uilleann pipes (my personal favorite; I’m biased!). The bag in the Scottish version is inflated by blowing into it, whereas the Irish version uses a bellows under the arm.

111 Lake near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame : ERIE

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can be visited on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was created in 1983 and started inducting artists in 1986. The Foundation didn’t get a home until the museum was dedicated in Cleveland in 1995. I had the great privilege of visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame some years ago and really enjoyed myself. The magnificent building was designed by famed architect I. M. Pei.

114 Los Angeles team : RAMS

The Los Angeles Rams are the only franchise to have won NFL championships in three different cities, i.e. Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951 & 2021) and St. Louis (1999). The Rams were based in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945, in Los Angeles from 1946 to 1994, in St. Louis from 1995 to 2015, and returned to Los Angeles in 2016.

116 Some Caltech grads : EES

Electrical engineer (EE)

Caltech is more properly known as the California Institute of Technology, and is a private research-oriented school in Pasadena. One of Caltech’s responsibilities is the management and operation of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. If you watch “The Big Bang Theory” on television like me, you might know that the four lead characters all work at Caltech.

118 Sp. address : SRA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Secured, in a way : TAPED
6 Quick inhalation : GASP
10 Stitched loosely : BASTED
16 Morsel : BIT
19 Short digression : ASIDE
20 Layered snack : OREO
21 Slide subject : AMOEBA
22 Written tribute : ODE
23 Sail (through) : COAST
24 Connections : TIES
25 Milwaukee slugger who keeps striking out? : COLD BREWER
27 Put an album up for auction? : OFFER THE RECORD
30 Actor Neeson : LIAM
31 Vuitton of fashion : LOUIS
32 Start of the Common Era : ONE AD
34 Senses : FEELS
35 Fuel additive brand : STP
38 Bus. letters : INC
39 “¿Qué pasa?” : ‘SUP
41 Reception problem : STATIC
43 Manage, as an art exhibit : CURATE
45 Home of BTS : KOREA
47 Put back : RESTORE
51 Sitting upon : ATOP
52 Animal hospital amenity? : DOG AND PONY SHOWER
56 Relocated : MOVED
58 Venomous snake : ASP
59 Iridescent gem : OPAL
60 Super Bowl XLIV MVP Drew : BREES
61 Part of GDP : PRODUCT
63 Cardiff’s country : WALES
65 Scuffle : TUSSLE
66 Robbery involving a diamond? : BASEBALL CAPER
70 “Cat’s in the Cradle” singer : CHAPIN
74 See 13-Down : … LASSO
75 Guts : INNARDS
80 Prefix meaning “sun” : HELIO-
81 Michael who plays Luis in the “Ant-Man” movies : PENA
82 Geological span : EON
84 Supply with gear : EQUIP
85 C-suite member who shreds on the half-pipe? : EXECUTIVE BOARDER
90 Tropical tangelo : UGLI
91 Accumulates, as debt : RACKS UP
92 Trojan War epic : ILIAD
93 Functional : USABLE
95 Maine-based retailer since 1912 : L.L.BEAN
98 “The Marvelous __ Maisel” : MRS
99 Bioengineered food source, briefly : GMO
100 Fashion monogram : YSL
101 First name of boy detective Encyclopedia Brown : LEROY
104 Night noise : SNORE
106 Garlicky mayo : AIOLI
108 Apple variety : IMAC
109 Rooster? : CHICKEN BROTHER
115 Selfie taken by a financial professional? : BANKER SHOT
119 Early spring flower : IRIS
120 Fast Amtrak train : ACELA
121 Oil field sight : RIG
122 Scandinavia locale : EUROPE
123 Motorcade vehicle : LIMO
124 Gorge : CHASM
125 Draft selection? : ALE
126 Gawks : STARES
127 What “T” stands for, in video game ratings : TEEN
128 Sorts : TYPES

Down

1 Snack from a truck : TACO
2 Beginning with : AS OF
3 “La Vie en Rose” singer Édith : PIAF
4 Short-lived Ford model : EDSEL
5 Largest city on the border between the U.S. and Canada : DETROIT
6 Like “Dracula” and “Frankenstein” : GOTHIC
7 Many an April birth : ARIES
8 Oracle : SEER
9 Model : POSE
10 BLT part : BACON
11 Collection of love poems by Ovid : AMORES
12 Were bought for : SOLD AT
13 With 74-Across, 2021 and 2022 Emmy winner for Outstanding Comedy Series : TED …
14 Wane : EBB
15 __ es Salaam : DAR
16 “Modern Love” singer David : BOWIE
17 Utopian : IDEAL
18 School sessions : TERMS
26 Certain college members : ELECTORS
28 Pitched well? : TUNED
29 Managed somehow : COPED
33 Hannah of “Roxanne” : DARYL
34 Laurence who played Pops on “Black-ish” : FISHBURNE
35 Scalawag : SCAMP
36 Teach privately : TUTOR
37 Home of Brigham Young University : PROVO
39 Caress, e.g. : SOAP
40 Banquet coffeepot : URN
42 QB targets : TES
44 Mimicked : APED
45 Metric wts. : KGS
46 Twin of Artemis : APOLLO
48 Sees red? : OWES
49 Stagger : REEL
50 Irish Gaelic : ERSE
53 Muffin grains : OATS
54 Crude cartel : OPEC
55 Mars rover org. : NASA
57 With skepticism : DUBIOUSLY
62 Food drive donation, often : CAN
63 Sashimi condiment : WASABI
64 Singer Green and politician Gore : ALS
65 Decimal base : TEN
67 Mtn. stat : ELEV
68 Downfall : BANE
69 Christmas candle scent : PINE
70 “Moonstruck” Oscar winner : CHER
71 Half dodeca- : HEXA-
72 Smart __ : ALEC
73 Burglar : PICKLOCK
76 Water color : AQUA
77 Sport with an oval ball : RUGBY
78 Some pickles : DILLS
79 Sales pitch : SPIEL
81 Singing voice, informally : PIPES
82 Historical spans : ERAS
83 Not even : ODD
86 Sudsy spot : TUB
87 Early Mesoamerican : OLMEC
88 Ventilate : AIR
89 “__ has it … ” : RUMOR
94 Typical open mic performance : SOLO ACT
96 Last runner in a relay race : ANCHOR
97 Zero chance : NO HOPE
99 Martini with an onion : GIBSON
101 Heavenly scales : LIBRA
102 Inbox message : EMAIL
103 Scope : RANGE
105 Custom-made things? : RITES
106 “Spirited Away” genre : ANIME
107 Like a mosquito bite : ITCHY
110 Bagpiper’s skirt : KILT
111 Lake near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame : ERIE
112 Pile : HEAP
113 Otherwise : ELSE
114 Los Angeles team : RAMS
116 Some Caltech grads : EES
117 Boring routine : RUT
118 Sp. address : SRA

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 4 Dec 22, Sunday”

  1. No errors. Thought it was quick but my wall clock says it took me about 45 minutes.

    Struggling with 105D RITES for “custom made things”?

    I binge-watched Ted Lasso. Loved it. Especially the scene with the dart game. Love the moral ” Don’t judge, ask questions”. Great life motto.

  2. 27:40, no errors. A good puzzle. I got bogged down in the SW with the Burglar & Heavenly Scales clues causing problems.

    1. That’s where I had troubles, as well. The Custom-Made Things and Sp. address clue combined with the clues you mentioned made that portion difficult.

    2. That’s where I stalled out, as well. Those clues combined with Custom-made things and Sp. address really stumped me.

  3. 47:44 no errors which is a win for me on a Sunday.
    I breezed through the first half and then partner #2 must have taken over for the bottom half where I got bogged down.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Ravens🏈

  4. I found today’s puzzle to be enjoyable. Picklock was a new one to me. I like a good Gibson martini, so that was helpful. And I finally know Acela as soon as I see the clue. Pretty far from Minnesota, dontcha know?

  5. 15 mins 25 sec, no errors. This one was remarkably easy. Hardly had to pause for any of these (CHAPIN being one of the few, memory didn’t kick in for a bit).

  6. Like Anon, couldn’t figure RITES but BANKERSHOT forced it. Missed WASABI (had wasibi)–pretty much unforgivable–so, also, PENA but, otherwise, 100%. Neat theme. Getting it early helped.

  7. No errors, no lookups, but it took awhile and involved
    quite a few do-overs. I do the Sunday puzzle with pen so
    correction fluid was called upon a time or two. Have no
    idea how long it took me….and don’t care.

  8. 20:00 – no errors or lookups. False starts: ORT>BIT, PROCTOR>ELECTOR, USEFUL>USABLE, GIMLET>GIBSON (I don’t know much about drinks but some names).

    New: Luis Pena, LEROY Brown (boy detective, not Jim Croce song), AMORES by Ovid, “Modern Love,” PICKLOCK.

    Got the theme early at DOGANDPONY. That helped with the others.

    All in all, a pretty straightforward puzzle. Took a little work, but “no sweat.”

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