LA Times Crossword 1 Jan 23, Sunday

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Constructed by: Laura Effinger-Dean & Christina Iverson
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: Before Tea

Themed answers are common phrases with a starting letter B FOR T, a starting T replaced by a B:

  • 22A Give orders, even while dreaming? : BOSS IN ONE’S SLEEP (from “toss in one’s sleep”)
  • 42A Request from one robot to another in “Futurama”? : LOVE ME, BENDER (from “Love Me Tender”)
  • 70A One who starts a fight over the last crustacean at a seafood buffet? : SHRIMP BRAWLER (from “shrimp trawler”)
  • 99A Decorations for a “Bob the Builder” birthday cake? : BRICK CANDLES (from “trick candles”)
  • 120A “Oh, you’re not acting so brave now, are you!”? : LOOK WHO’S BALKING (from “Look Who’s Talking”)
  • 15D Maintain forest health with a planned fire? : DO A GOOD BURN (from “do a good turn”)
  • 69D Illustrative tools in a neuroscience lab? : MODEL BRAINS (from “model trains”)

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

Bill’s time: 16m 19s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Dweeb : 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.

20 Fencing implement : EPEE

The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. It is similar to a foil and saber, although the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

21 Dark beer : STOUT

The term “stout” was first used for a type of beer in the 1600s when it was used to describe a “strong, stout” brew, and not necessarily a dark beer as it is today.

25 Muse of poetry : ERATO

In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

26 Tolkien creature : ENT

Ents are tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

28 Swiss chocolatier : LINDT

The delicious Swiss chocolate sold under the Lindt brand name has its origins in a small confectionery store in Zurich in the 1840s. Lindt purchased the San Francisco-based chocolate company Ghirardelli back in 1998.

29 Light beer : LAGER

Lager is so called because of the tradition of cold-storing the beer during fermentation. “Lager” is the German word for “storage”.

35 Bauxite, e.g. : ORE

Bauxite is an aluminum ore. It takes its name from the absolutely beautiful village of Les Baux in southern France, the home of the geologist who first recognized that the mineral was a useful source of the metal.

38 Mining engineer who became president in 1929 : HOOVER

President Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa, and is the only president to have been born in that state. His birthplace is now a National Landmark, and he and his wife were buried in the grounds of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch. President Hoover died at the age of 90 years old in 1964, outliving his nemesis Franklin Delano Roosevelt by almost 20 years.

40 Maine college town : ORONO

The town of Orono is home to the University of Maine that was founded in 1862. The college is actually located on an island (Marsh island) lying between the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers. The town of Orono is named after Joseph Orono, a chief of the Penobscot Nation. The school’s athletic teams are named the Maine Black Bears.

42 Request from one robot to another in “Futurama”? : LOVE ME, BENDER (from “Love Me Tender”)

“Futurama” is an animated sci-fi show that airs on Fox. It was co-created by cartoonist Matt Groening, who also created “The Simpsons”.

“Love Me Tender” is a 1956 ballad recorded by Elvis Presley. The song puts new lyrics to a Civil War ballad “Aura Lea” written by Englishman George R. Poulton.

53 Vintage ski lift : T-BAR

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

54 Davis of “Grumpy Old Men” : OSSIE

Ossie Davis was a very successful actor, and also a director, poet, playwright and social activist. One of Davis’s better known performances was in the 1993 movie “Grumpy Old Men”, in which he played the owner of the bait shop by the lake.

56 2022 World Cup city : DOHA

Doha is the capital city of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The name “Doha” translates from Arabic as “the big tree”.

58 “Dune” director Villeneuve : DENIS

Denis Villeneuve is a Canadian filmmaker who has directed several hit movies, including “Sicario” (2015), “Arrival” (2016), “Blade Runner 2049” (2017) and “Dune” (2021).

2021’s epic film “Dune” is the first of a two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel of the same name. The version of “Dune” did a lot better than the 1984 big-screen adaptation of the same novel, which really flopped at the box office.

63 Target of some bark beetles : ELM

Bark beetles are so named because some species reproduce in the bark of trees. This can be a problem for the elm tree, as bark beetles are known to transmit the devastating Dutch elm disease. There is another species of bark beetle that is known as the coffee berry borer, and it is the major pest attacking coffee plants around the world.

65 Gets there in no time? : TELEPORTS

Teleportation is a favorite of authors of science fiction. The hypothetical process results in the transfer of matter from one point to another, with actually crossing the intervening space. Beam me up, Scotty!

67 Rapper will.__ : I.AM

“Will.i.am” is the stage name of rap artist and singer William Adams Jr. who is famous as the lead member of the Black Eyed Peas.

70 One who starts a fight over the last crustacean at a seafood buffet? : SHRIMP BRAWLER (from “shrimp trawler”)

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

74 “Hip Hop Is Dead” rapper : NAS

Rapper Nas used to go by an earlier stage name “Nasty Nas”, and before that by his real name “Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones”. Nas released his first album “Illmatic” in 1994, and inventively titled his fifth studio album “Stillmatic”, released in 2001.

“Hip Hop is Dead” is a 2006 recording by rap singer Nas. The song as recorded was highly censored, removing a lot of profanity and gun references.

78 Bobs and weaves : DOS

A bob cut is a short hairstyle in which the hair is cut straight around the head, at about the line of the jaw. Back in the 1570s, “bob” was the name given to a horse’s tail that was cut short, and about a century later it was being used to describe short hair on humans. The style became very popular with women in the early 1900s (as worn by actress Clara Bow, for example), with the fashion dying out in the thirties. The style reemerged in the sixties around the time the Beatles introduced their “mop tops”, with Vidal Sassoon leading the way in styling women’s hair in a bob cut again. Personally, I like it …

80 Put on board : LADE

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

81 Colleague of Sonia and Ketanji : ELENA

Elena Kagan was the Solicitor General of the United States who replaced Justice John Paul Stevens on the US Supreme Court. That made Justice Kagan the first female US Solicitor General and the fourth female US Supreme Court justice. I hear she is a fan of Jane Austen, and used to reread “Pride and Prejudice” once a year. Not a bad thing to do, I’d say …

83 Latch (onto) : GLOM

“Glom” is a slang term meaning “steal”, although it can also be used to mean “latch onto” when used as “glom onto”. The term probably comes from the Scots word “glam” meaning “to snatch at”.

86 Like Wiccans and Druids : PAGAN

A pagan is someone who holds religious beliefs that are different from the main religions of the world, and especially someone who believes in polytheism. In classical Latin, “paganus” means “villager, rustic”.

Wicca is a relatively new phenomenon. It is a Neopagan religion that developed in the twentieth century. Typically, followers of Wicca worship one goddess and one god, namely the Moon Goddess and the Horned God. A follower of Wicca is called a Wiccan or a Witch.

Druids were priests of Celtic Europe during the Iron Age.

91 Diploma word : LAUDE

When an academic degree is awarded, a level of distinction can be noted depending on the degree of success achieved by the student. There are three types of honor, each with a Latin name:

  • cum laude: meaning “with honor” (literally “with praise”)
  • magna cum laude: meaning “with great honor”
  • summa cum laude: meaning “with highest honor”

93 Monogram pt. : INIT

A monogram is a design with two or more letters intertwined or combined in some way to make a single symbol. The term “monogram” comes from the Greek “mono” meaning “single” and “gramma” meaning “letter”.

95 Humorist Barry : DAVE

Dave Barry is a very humorous guy, an author and columnist. Barry also plays lead guitar in a rock band called The Rock Bottom Remainders. Also included in the band are noted authors Stephen King, Amy Tan and Scott Turow.

99 Decorations for a “Bob the Builder” birthday cake? : BRICK CANDLES (from “trick candles”)

“Bob the Builder” is a very successful animated TV show made in Britain. Star of the series is Bob, a building contractor. Bob often asks, “Can we fix it?”, earning the reply “Yes we can!” The words “Can We Fix It” are used as the title of the show’s theme song. Believe it or not, that theme song made it to number-one in the British charts at Christmas 2000.

105 Large grinders : MOLARS

Molars are grinding teeth. The term “molar” comes from the Latin “mola” meaning “millstone”.

111 Poet who wrote, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt” : PLATH

Sylvia Plath was a poet from Boston, Massachusetts who lived much of her life in the UK where she married fellow poet Ted Hughes. The couple had a tumultuous relationship, and Plath had a long battle with depression. Plath wrote just one novel, called “The Bell Jar”, which is semi-autobiographical. It describes the main character’s descent into mental illness. Plath herself lost her battle with depression in 1963, committing suicide at the age of 30 years, and just one month after “The Bell Jar” was published.

116 Narrow inlet : RIA

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, and both are formed as sea levels rise. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

119 Chateau-dotted valley : LOIRE

The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet. It is also home to some of the nation’s most spectacular châteaux. There are over 300 castles along the river, built by French kings and their courtiers.

120 “Oh, you’re not acting so brave now, are you!”? : LOOK WHO’S BALKING (from “Look Who’s Talking”)

To balk is to stop and refuse to go on. It’s not just a baseball term …

“Look Who’s Talking” is a 1989 romantic comedy starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley, assisted by Bruce Willis as the voice of a baby born to the Kirstie Alley character.

125 Capri, for one : ISLE

The island of Capri off the coast of Southern Italy has been a tourist resort since the days of ancient Rome. Capri is home to the famous Blue Grotto, a sea cave that is illuminated with sunlight that’s colored blue as it passes through the seawater into the cave.

131 Introductory course : SALAD

Our word “salad” comes from the Latin “salare” meaning “to salt”. The Latin “herba salata” translates as “salted vegetables”, which I guess could be a salad …

Down

2 “East of Eden” brother : ARON

John Steinbeck considered his 1952 novel “East of Eden” to be his magnum opus. Most of the storyline takes place near Salinas, just south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Two of the characters in the story are brothers Cal and Aron Trask, representative of the biblical Cain and Abel.

5 Outdoor gear giant : REI

REI is a sporting goods store, with the initialism standing for Recreational Equipment Inc. REI was founded in Seattle by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in 1938 as a cooperative that supplies quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The first full-time employee hired by the Andersons was Jim Whittaker, who was the first American to climb Mount Everest.

6 Old Apple devices : IPODS

The iPod is Apple’s discontinued signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all used flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

9 RN workplaces : ORS

A registered nurse (RN) might work in an operating room (OR).

14 Razor brand : ATRA

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

16 Word with space and planet : OUTER …

The exploration and use of outer space is governed by the Outer Space Treaty that came into force in 1967. The initial signatories were the US, UK and USSR, and now 102 nations are party to the treaty. For the purposes of the treaty, outer space begins at the Kármán line, a theoretical sphere that lies at an altitude of 100km about the Earth’s sea level.

The four outer planets in our solar system are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

31 Iron deficiency : ANEMIA

The term “anemia” (or “anaemia”, as we write it back in Ireland) comes from a Greek word meaning “lack of blood”. Anemia is a lack of iron in the blood, or a low red blood cell count. Tiredness is a symptom of the condition, and so we use the term “anemic” figuratively to mean “lacking in vitality or substance”.

32 Fall flower, for short : MUM

Chrysanthemums are perennial flowering plants that are often called “mums”.

33 Pentagon org. : DOD

The incredible building known as the Pentagon was built during WWII, and dedicated on January 15, 1943. It is the largest office building in the world (by floor space) covering an area of about 6.5 million square feet. As it was built during the war years, a major requirement was that it use a minimum amount of steel. That steel shortage dictated that the building be no more than four stories in height, and hence cover an awful lot of real estate.

34 “Mrs. America” political cause, briefly : ERA

The 2020 miniseries “Mrs. America” chronicles the (so far) unsuccessful campaign to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. This historical drama has quite the cast, including Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Tracy Ullman and Sarah Paulson. I haven’t seen this one yet, but it’s on my “Must See” list …

36 Advertising award : CLIO

The Clio Awards are the Oscars of the advertising world and are named after Clio, the Greek Muse of History. Clio was also the recorder of great deeds, the proclaimer and celebrator of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration and genius. The Clio Awards were first presented in 1959.

37 Red __: spicy candies : HOTS

Red Hots are cinnamon-flavored candy pieces. I recently found out that Red Hots are sometimes used in apple sauce …

41 Drag racer’s fuel, briefly : NITRO

“Laughing gas” is a common name for nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is used as an anesthetic, particularly by dentists. It is also used in motor racing to increase the power output of engines. Laughing gas was first synthesized by the English chemist Joseph Priestley, but it was Humphry Davy who discovered its potential as an anesthetic. Once it was realized that the gas could give the patient a fit of the giggles, “laughing gas parties” became common among those who could afford them.

45 Sleigh driver : SANTA

The notion of Santa landing in his sleigh on the roofs of houses originated in the celebrated 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

50 “Enter Sandman” band : METALLICA

Metallica is a heavy metal band from Los Angeles that formed in 1981.

57 Jungfrau, e.g. : ALP

The Jungfrau is a peak in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. “Jungfrau” translates from German as “maiden” or “virgin”.

64 Many an exec : MBA

The world’s first Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree was offered by Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, in 1908.

67 Quran faith : ISLAM

The Koran is also known as the “Qur’an” and “Quran” in English. “Qur’an” a transliteration of the Arabic name for the holy text of the Muslim faith. The literal translation of “Koran” is “the recitation”.

68 Breakout gaming company : ATARI

Breakout is an Atari arcade game that was released in 1976. It is really like a complex version of Pong, and involves destroying a layer of bricks in the top third of the screen using a “ball” that is “batted” against the brick wall. I wasted a few hours playing Breakout back in the day …

72 Inkling : IDEA

Our word “inkling” apparently comes from the Middle English word “inclen” meaning “to hint”.

84 Cleaning up the mess, say : ON KP

The initialism “KP” is US military slang that stands for either “kitchen police” or “kitchen patrol”.

87 Cate Blanchett’s “The Lord of the Rings” role : GALADRIEL

Galadriel is a royal elf in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of The Rings” books. She is played by Cate Blanchett in the Peter Jackson movie adaptations of the novels.

Cate Blanchett is a great actress from Australia, and a winner of an Academy Award for playing Katharine Hepburn in “The Aviator”. Winning for that role made Blanchett the first person to win an Academy Award for playing an actor (Hepburn) who had also won an Oscar. Now that, that is trivial information …

89 “Queer Eye” expert Jonathan Van __ : NESS

Hairdresser Jonathan Van Ness is best known as the grooming expert on the TV show “Queer Eye” (the Netflix revival of the original series). He joined the cast in 2018.

94 “The Savages” filmmaker Jenkins : TAMARA

“The Savages” is a 2007 comedy-drama film starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman as two siblings working together to care for their estranged father, who is developing dementia. The film was written and directed by Tamara Jenkins.

97 Artist known for optical illusions : ESCHER

M. C. Escher was a graphic artist from the Netherlands. Escher was noted for creating works inspired by mathematics, often works that were physical impossibilities. One such work is “Drawing Hands” (1948) in which a pair of hands emerge from a piece of paper and actually draw themselves. He also created a drawing in which a group of red ants are crawling around a Möbius strip, never reaching the end.

98 __ Speedwagon : REO

REO Speedwagon is an American rock band that formed in 1967, and is still going strong. The band’s biggest hits are “Keep On Loving You” (1980) and “Can’t Fight This Feeling” (1985). The founding members chose the name for the REO Speed Wagon flatbed truck. Note that the band’s name is one word “Speedwagon”, whereas the vehicle’s name uses two words “Speed Wagon”.

100 Hairy Addams cousin : ITT

In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor named Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. He was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

103 Old English : ANGLIC

The Anglic group of languages includes Old English and the various languages descended from it, e.g. Middle English, Middle Scots, Modern English and Modern Scots.

104 Ring of color : AREOLA

An areola (sometimes “areole”) in anatomy is a small ring of color, as in the areola surrounding the nipple, and the areola surrounding the pupil of the eye. “Areola” (plural “areolae”) comes from Latin, meaning “small open space”, and is a diminutive of the Latin word “area”, meaning “open space”.

107 Massey of old films : ILONA

Ilona Massey was a Hollywood actress, and a native of Budapest in Hungary. Given her cultural background and the period at which she hit the big screen, Massey was marketed by the studios as “the new Dietrich”.

109 College newbie : FROSH

“Frosh” is a slang term for a college freshperson (formerly “freshman”). We call such a person a “fresher” back in Ireland …

115 “¿Cómo __ usted?” : ESTA

“¿Cómo está usted?” is the more formal way of asking “How are you?” in Spanish.

117 Ancient Cuzco dweller : INCA

Cusco (also “Cuzco”) is a city in the southeast of Peru. Historically, Cusco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

118 Like much cheddar : AGED

Cheddar cheese takes its name from the English village of Cheddar in Somerset. Over 50% of the cheese sold in the UK is cheddar. Here in the US, cheddar is the second-most popular cheese sold, behind mozzarella.

122 Record collector’s collection : LPS

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

123 Carnival maker : KIA

The Kia Sedona is a minivan that is also sold as the Kia Carnival.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Humidifier output : VAPOR
6 Ratio phrase : IS TO
10 Dweeb : DORK
14 Hubbubs : ADOS
18 Angry : IRATE
19 Twosome : PAIR
20 Fencing implement : EPEE
21 Dark beer : STOUT
22 Give orders, even while dreaming? : BOSS IN ONE’S SLEEP (from “toss in one’s sleep”)
25 Muse of poetry : ERATO
26 Tolkien creature : ENT
27 Contributes : ADDS
28 Swiss chocolatier : LINDT
29 Light beer : LAGER
30 Tanning bed fixtures : LAMPS
33 Stripped (of) : DIVESTED
35 Bauxite, e.g. : ORE
36 “Don’t lose hope!” : CHIN UP!
38 Mining engineer who became president in 1929 : HOOVER
40 Maine college town : ORONO
42 Request from one robot to another in “Futurama”? : LOVE ME, BENDER (from “Love Me Tender”)
44 In the center of : AMIDST
47 List unit : ITEM
48 Flit : DART
49 Update, as charts : REMAP
53 Vintage ski lift : T-BAR
54 Davis of “Grumpy Old Men” : OSSIE
56 2022 World Cup city : DOHA
58 “Dune” director Villeneuve : DENIS
60 Ancient character : RUNE
61 Small battery : AAA
63 Target of some bark beetles : ELM
65 Gets there in no time? : TELEPORTS
67 Rapper will.__ : I.AM
70 One who starts a fight over the last crustacean at a seafood buffet? : SHRIMP BRAWLER (from “shrimp trawler”)
74 “Hip Hop Is Dead” rapper : NAS
75 Episodic option in some games : STORY MODE
77 Feel crummy : AIL
78 Bobs and weaves : DOS
80 Put on board : LADE
81 Colleague of Sonia and Ketanji : ELENA
83 Latch (onto) : GLOM
86 Like Wiccans and Druids : PAGAN
90 Domain : AREA
91 Diploma word : LAUDE
93 Monogram pt. : INIT
95 Humorist Barry : DAVE
96 Not as harsh : MILDER
99 Decorations for a “Bob the Builder” birthday cake? : BRICK CANDLES (from “trick candles”)
102 Via ship, e.g. : BY SEA
104 Brewpub handle : ALE TAP
105 Large grinders : MOLARS
106 Polite title : SIR
108 Face up to : CONFRONT
110 Found loathsome : HATED
111 Poet who wrote, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt” : PLATH
113 __-Roman : GRECO
114 Darling : DEAR
116 Narrow inlet : RIA
119 Chateau-dotted valley : LOIRE
120 “Oh, you’re not acting so brave now, are you!”? : LOOK WHO’S BALKING (from “Look Who’s Talking”)
124 Word with circle and tube : INNER …
125 Capri, for one : ISLE
126 Voting no : ANTI
127 Pizza slice, say : PIECE
128 Charge (with) : TASK
129 Really, really overcook : CHAR
130 Deli array : MEAT
131 Introductory course : SALAD

Down

1 Hard-to-describe feeling : VIBE
2 “East of Eden” brother : ARON
3 Old incarnations : PAST LIVES
4 Extra NFL periods : OTS
5 Outdoor gear giant : REI
6 Old Apple devices : IPODS
7 Beachfront property? : SAND
8 Links : TIES
9 RN workplaces : ORS
10 Came through : DELIVERED
11 First act : OPENER
12 Swamp grasses : REEDS
13 Didn’t stray from : KEPT TO
14 Razor brand : ATRA
15 Maintain forest health with a planned fire? : DO A GOOD BURN (from “do a good turn”)
16 Word with space and planet : OUTER …
17 Put away for later : STORE
21 Rarely : SELDOM
23 Was out briefly : NAPPED
24 Thin shard : SLIVER
31 Iron deficiency : ANEMIA
32 Fall flower, for short : MUM
33 Pentagon org. : DOD
34 “Mrs. America” political cause, briefly : ERA
36 Advertising award : CLIO
37 Red __: spicy candies : HOTS
38 Protagonist : HERO
39 Available, in a way : ON THE MENU
41 Drag racer’s fuel, briefly : NITRO
43 Awful : BAD
45 Sleigh driver : SANTA
46 Lock of hair : TRESS
50 “Enter Sandman” band : METALLICA
51 Fresh : ANEW
52 Caplet : PILL
55 “Gentle, gentle” : EASY
57 Jungfrau, e.g. : ALP
59 Germ : SEED
62 Sighed line : AH ME
64 Many an exec : MBA
66 Hold (up) : PROP
67 Quran faith : ISLAM
68 Breakout gaming company : ATARI
69 Illustrative tools in a neuroscience lab? : MODEL BRAINS (from “model trains”)
71 Wallpaper unit : ROLL
72 Inkling : IDEA
73 Fix unlawfully : RIG
76 Hide-and-seek word : READY
79 Prepare to ride, in a way : SADDLE
82 Ghostery, for one : AD BLOCKER
84 Cleaning up the mess, say : ON KP
85 Audio jack abbr. : MIC
87 Cate Blanchett’s “The Lord of the Rings” role : GALADRIEL
88 Declare : AVER
89 “Queer Eye” expert Jonathan Van __ : NESS
92 Prior to today, poetically : ERE NOW
94 “The Savages” filmmaker Jenkins : TAMARA
97 Artist known for optical illusions : ESCHER
98 __ Speedwagon : REO
100 Hairy Addams cousin : ITT
101 “__ so fast!” : NOT
103 Old English : ANGLIC
104 Ring of color : AREOLA
106 Go 50-50 on : SPLIT
107 Massey of old films : ILONA
109 College newbie : FROSH
110 Sister’s attire : HABIT
112 Long haul : TREK
114 Thoroughly cooked : DONE
115 “¿Cómo __ usted?” : ESTA
117 Ancient Cuzco dweller : INCA
118 Like much cheddar : AGED
121 Hawaiian-style pizza topping : HAM
122 Record collector’s collection : LPS
123 Carnival maker : KIA

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 1 Jan 23, Sunday”

  1. Had it all filled in before I figured out what was going on. Finally had to do a grid check. Had Plato instead of Plath. What was I thinking? Of course I’ve never heard of Escher.

  2. 56:27 no errors👍
    Happy new year to all😀
    The NYT puzzle in my paper today is titled WHATS SHAKING and is a Rebus with NACL in many squares but it doesn’t come up as todays puzzle. Can anyone tell me what it is?
    Stay safe😀

  3. Had a problem sending my comment, so if this is a duplicate, bear
    with me. Ended with no errors after at least 2 lookups: i.e. aletap and
    Escher.

  4. Wow! Toughest Sunday in a long time. Didn’t quite finish before giving up–the middle gave me too much trouble, not getting MENU, ROLL, LAUDE, ELENA, __BLOCKER or AH__. Hope this is not a forecast of things to come in 2023. 2022 was bad enough and glad to see it go. Happy New Year to all.

  5. Happy New Year!

    I’m still doing the puzzle daily, but lost the urge to comment on them. Hope everyone is well and looking forward to a good year.

  6. No look ups, no errors. This was a slog but a
    good slog if that’s possible. Good theme and
    it helped. I too had trouble with the middle
    but if I had just penned in my first guesses
    it woulda been a breeze! I was under the
    weather last week but I meant to wish
    everybody a happy National Crossword
    Puzzle Day on 12-21, that’s a thing apparently….

  7. 26:06 with one error at PLATo/ESCoer.

    False starts: SCENEI>OPENER, ALAS>AHME.

    Got the theme early, which helped.

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