LA Times Crossword 22 Jan 23, Sunday

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Constructed by: Alan Massengill & Doug Peterson
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: Play It Again

Themed answers are song titles that sound like they’re remakes of older songs cited in the corresponding clues:

  • 23A Lizzo “remake” of the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine”? : GOOD AS HELL
  • 25A Dua Lipa “remake” of Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine”? : LEVITATING
  • 35A Taylor Swift “remake” of the Eagles’ “Take It Easy”? : YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN
  • 61A Marvin Gaye “remake” of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood”? : LET’S GET IT ON
  • 70A Steve Miller Band “remake” of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You”? : ABRACADABRA
  • 91A Jay-Z/Alicia Keys “remake” of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”? : EMPIRE STATE OF MIND
  • 111A Ed Sheeran “remake” of the Rays’ “Silhouettes”? : SHAPE OF YOU
  • 113A Lady Gaga “remake” of the J. Geils Band’s “Love Stinks”? : BAD ROMANCE

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

Bill’s time: 20m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Pesters online, in a way : SPAMS

The term “spam”, used for unwanted email, is taken from a “Monty Python” sketch. In the sketch (which I’ve seen) the dialog is taken over by the word Spam, a play on the glut of canned meat in the markets of Britain after WWII. So “spam” is used for the glut of emails that takes over online communication. I can just imagine nerdy Internet types (like me) adopting something from a “Monty Python” sketch to describe an online phenomenon …

6 Dorothy Gale’s dog : 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.

Dorothy Gale is the protagonist in L. Frank Baum’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, and indeed a major character in almost all of the “Oz” series of novels. There is a suggestion that the young heroine was named for Baum’s own niece Dorothy Gage, who died as an infant.

15 Three-time WNBA MVP Leslie : LISA

Lisa Leslie is a former professional basketball player who played in the WNBA with the Los Angeles Sparks. Leslie is rather tall, and was the first player to dunk the ball in a WNBA game.

20 Husband of Psyche : EROS

In the myth of Cupid (aka Eros) and Psyche, the two title characters must overcome many obstacles to fulfill their love for each other. Overcome them they do, and the pair marry and enjoy immortal love.

22 Iraq neighbor : IRAN

The Iran-Iraq border extends for just under 1,000 miles. The northern end of the boundary is the tripoint where the borders of Iran, Iraq and Turkey meet. The southern end is the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab river that empties into the Persian Gulf.

23 Lizzo “remake” of the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine”? : GOOD AS HELL

“Good as Hell” is a 2016 song co-written and released by rapper Lizzo. It was originally recorded for the soundtrack of the 2016 comedy film “Barbershop: The Next Cut”.

“I Feel Fine” is a 1964 song recorded by the Beatles. The song starts out with a distinctive single note played by John Lennon. He moves his guitar against the amplifier while playing the note, so as to get a feedback effect. The claim is that this was the first note ever to deliberately use guitar feedback during the recording of a pop song.

25 Dua Lipa “remake” of Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine”? : LEVITATING

“Levitating” is a 2020 song co-written and released by English-Albanian singer Dua Lipa. Apparently, the writing team composed the song while imagining themselves in an “Austin Powers” movie with Mike Myers dancing to the tune. Yeah, baby!

“Walking on Sunshine” is a 1983 song recorded by the British rock band Katrina and Waves. The band re-recorded it in 1985, after which it became their most successful release. The group made a lot of money from royalties from airplay, and also royalties from numerous advertisements.

27 Snookums : SWEETIE

The term of endearment “snookums” comes from the family name “Snooks”. Snooks was a name used in Britain in the 1800s for some hypothetical, unknown individual (as we would use the name “Joe Blow” today).

33 Early console letters : NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to 1995. It was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.

34 Accessory for Mr. Monopoly : TOP HAT

Mr. Monopoly is also known as Rich Uncle Pennybags, and is the mascot of the game Monopoly. For years, we could spot Mr. Monopoly reaching out of the “O” in the word Monopoly on the game board.

35 Taylor Swift “remake” of the Eagles’ “Take It Easy”? : YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN

“You Need to Calm Down” is a 2019 song co-written and recorded by Taylor Swift. It is regarded by many as a gay anthem, and the lyrics express support for the LGBTQ+ community and address Internet trolls and homophones.

“Take It Easy” is a 1972 song released by the rock band Eagles. It was the group’s debut single, and was written by band member Glenn Frey with Jackson Browne. Two famous lines in the song are “Well, I’m a-standing on a corner / In Winslow, Arizona”. If you go to Winslow, Arizona today, you can visit Standin’ on the Corner Park and see a bronze of a male figure, the “Take It Easy” statue.

42 “Creed” director Coogler : RYAN

Film director Ryan Coogler was at the helm for a string of successful movies early in his career, namely “Fruitvale Station” (2013), “Creed” (2015) and “Black Panther” (2018). Coogler works a lot with actor Michael B. Jordan, who appeared in all of the aforementioned films.

“Creed” is a 2015 boxing movie, the seventh in the “Rocky” franchise. Sylvester Stallone returns as Rocky Balboa, but this time as a trainer. Rocky trains Apollo Creed’s son Adonis. Stallone was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in the film. It was the first Academy Award nomination he had received since the first “Rocky” film, which was released almost forty years earlier.

43 Wimbledon surface : RYE GRASS

To win the Grand Slam of tennis, a player must win the four major tournaments in the same season:

  • The Australian Open (in mid-January, played on hard courts)
  • The French Open (in May/June, played on clay)
  • Wimbledon (in June/July, played on grass)
  • The US Open (in August/September, played on hard courts)

49 LAX regulator : FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was set up in 1958 (as the Federal Aviation Agency). The agency was established at that particular time largely in response to an increasing number of midair collisions. The worst of these disasters had taken place two years earlier over the Grand Canyon, a crash between two commercial passenger airplanes that resulted in 128 fatalities.

Los Angeles International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the busiest here on the West Coast of the US. The airport was opened in 1930 as Mines Field and was renamed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941. On the airport property is the iconic white structure that resembles a flying saucer. This is called the Theme Building and I believe it is mainly used as a restaurant and observation deck for the public. The airport used to be identified by the letters “LA”, but when the aviation industry went to a three-letter standard for airport identification, this was changed to “LAX”. Apparently, the “X” has no significant meaning.

54 Folder’s loss : ANTE

That might be poker, the card game.

55 Doo-wop syllable : SHA

Doo-wop developed in the 1940s and can be described as a vocal-based R&B music. Even though the style has been around since the forties, the name doo-wop wasn’t introduced until the early sixties.

59 Descendant : SCION

“Scion” comes from the old French word “sion” or “cion”, meaning “a shoot or a twig”. In botanical terms today, a scion is used in grafting two compatible plants together. In grafting, one plant is selected for its root system (the “rootstock”), and the other plant is selected for its stems, leaves and fruit (the “scion”). The term scion migrated naturally into the world of family history. A scion is simply a descendant, a son or a daughter and therefore a branching point in the family tree.

61 Marvin Gaye “remake” of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood”? : LET’S GET IT ON

“Let’s Get It On” is a song by Marvin Gaye, one first recorded in 1973. The song’s lyrics have to be among the most sexually charged in the popular repertoire, and helped to earn Gaye a reputation as a sex icon.

Glenn Miller’s 1939 version of “In the Mood” is perhaps the most famous recording of the jazz standard. It was released with the song “I Want to Be Happy” on the B-side, and garnered more sales than any other instrumental from the Swing Era.

69 Anthem played at Blue Jays games : O CANADA

Canada’s national anthem “O Canada” was commissioned in 1880 by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, so the original words are in French. The first English translation was made in 1906. The current English lyrics have been revised a few times, but the French version remains the same as it did back in 1880.

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

70 Steve Miller Band “remake” of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You”? : ABRACADABRA

“Abracadabra” is a 1982 song written by Steve Miller, and recorded by the Steve Miller Band. Apparently, Miller’s inspiration for the song was singer Diana Ross. Miller met Ross when they both appeared on the TV show “Hullabaloo” in the sixties.

“I Put a Spell on You” is a song written and recorded by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins that was released in 1956. Nina Simone recorded a popular cover version that was released in 1965, and re-released in 1969. Another cover version of the song was released in 2010 by Shane MacGowan and Friends, a record that was sold to help Concern Worldwide’s work in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake that killed so many. Included in the list of “friends” was Johnny Depp, playing the guitar.

72 Conditional release : PAROLE

“Parole” is a French word that we use in English, with the French “parole” meaning “word, speech”. Of particular interest is the French phrase “parole d’honneur” which translates as “word of honor”. In the early 1600s we started using “parole” to mean a promise by a prisoner of war not to escape, as in the prisoner giving his “word of honor” not to run off. Over time, parole has come to mean conditional release of a prisoner before he or she has served the full term of a sentence.

74 “Rumble in the Jungle” locale : ZAIRE

The African nation once called Zaire is a neighbor of Rwanda. The genocide and war in Rwanda spilled over into Zaire in 1996, with the conflict escalating into what is now called the First Congo War. As part of the war’s fallout there was a regime change, and in 1997 Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Rumble in the Jungle was the celebrated 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman that took place in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The fight was set in Zaire because of financial arrangements between promoter Don King and Zaire’s President Mobutu Seko. Ali coined the term “rope-a-dope” to describe his incredibly successful strategy in the contest. From the second round onwards, Ali adopted a protected stance on the ropes letting Foreman pound him with blows to the body and head, with Ali using his arms to dissipate the power of the punches. He kept this up until the eighth round, and then opened up and downed the exhausted Foreman with a left-right combination. I hate boxing but I have to say, that was an interesting fight …

75 Trifling amount : SOU

A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

77 Media-regulating gp. : FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been around since 1934, when it replaced the Federal Radio Commission.

80 One-named supermodel : EMME

Emme is the highest-paid plus-size model in the world. Emme was born Melissa Miller in New York City, and was raised in Saudi Arabia.

84 __ socket : EYE

The orbits are the eye sockets in the skull.

85 Corn holder : SILO

“Silo” is a Spanish word that we absorbed into English. The term ultimately derives from the Greek “siros”, which described a pit in which one kept corn.

88 Pet food brand : IAMS

Iams dog food was introduced by animal nutritionist Paul Iams. He felt that household pets were suffering somewhat by being fed a diet of table scraps, so he developed dry dog food that he felt was more nutritious and suitable for pet dogs. He founded the Iams company, now part of Procter & Gamble, in 1946.

90 Allowing a draft : AJAR

Question: When is a door not a door?
Answer: When it’s ajar (a jar)!

91 Jay-Z/Alicia Keys “remake” of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”? : EMPIRE STATE OF MIND

“Empire State of Mind” is a 2009 song released by Jay-Z, and featuring Alicia Keys. The song’s writers, Angela Hunte and Janet Sewell-Ulepic, wrote it as a tribute to New York City, their hometown. The title is reminiscent of the title of the Billy Joel 1976 hit “New York State of Mind”, and may be a reference to the “Empire State” and/or the “Empire State Building”.

The classic Frank Sinatra hit “New York, New York” is actually the theme song from a 1977 Martin Scorsese film of the same name. Liza Minnelli performed the song for the movie

These little town blues
Are melting away
I’ll make a brand new start of it
In old New York

97 Dicey : UNSAFE

Something described as “dicey” is unpredictable or risky, as in rolling the “dice”. The term “dicey” originated in the 1940s as aviator jargon.

102 Paste-up pieces : REPROS

“Repro” is short for “reproduction proof”, which is one of the final stages in the non-digital printing process. A repro is a fine quality proof of text and images, of high enough quality to be photographed for the making of a printing plate.

103 Cola originally named Brad’s Drink : PEPSI

The Pepsi-Cola formulation was developed by one Caleb Bradham who made the drink at home and sold it as Brad’s Drink. Bradham’s aim was to provide a drink that was pleasant to taste, that would aid digestion and boost energy. Included in the formula were pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and kola nuts. These two ingredients inspired the brand name Pepsi-Cola. That name was shortened to just “Pepsi” in 1961.

111 Ed Sheeran “remake” of the Rays’ “Silhouettes”? : SHAPE OF YOU

“Shape of You” is a 2017 song co-written and recorded by Ed Sheeran. In 2018, it became the first song on Spotify to hit two billion streams. By the end of 2019, it was Spotify’s most streamed song of the whole decade.

“Silhouettes” is a 1957 song that was first recorded by the Rays, a doo-wop group from New York City. Successful versions of the song were subsequently recorded by the Diamonds (1957), Herman’s Hermits (1965) and Cliff Richard (1990).

113 Lady Gaga “remake” of the J. Geils Band’s “Love Stinks”? : BAD ROMANCE

The music video released with Lady Gaga’s 2009 hit “Bad Romance” involves drugs, supermodels, the Russian Mafia and sexual slavery. All a little out of my league …

“Love Stinks” is a song released as a single by the J. Geils Band in 1980. It was co-written by the band’s lead vocalist Peter Wolf. The suggestion is that the lyrics were inspired by Wolf’s rocky marriage with actress Faye Dunaway, which ended with divorce in 1979.

115 Actor Stonestreet : ERIC

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

116 Yankee manager before Girardi : TORRE

As a manager, Joe Torre was part of four World Series wins, all of them with the New York Yankees baseball team. Torre is an Italian American who was born in Brooklyn, New York. During the run up (pun intended!) to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Torre carried the Olympic flame part of the way through Florence in Italy, handing it over to the next runner at the famous Ponte Vecchio. I’d guess that was quite a thrill for him …

Joe Girardi is the manager of the New York Yankees baseball team, having taken over from Joe Torre in 2007. Girardi opted to wear the number 27 on his uniform, a visible reminder of his plan to lead the Yankees to their 27th World Series win, a feat that was achieved in 2009.

117 Big name in footwear : ALDO

ALDO is a chain of shoe stores that was founded in Montreal in 1972 by Moroccan-born Canadian Aldo Bensadoun. Bensadoun is the son of a retailer of shoes in Morocco and France, and the grandchild of a cobbler. A man with shoe leather in his blood …

119 Ahi, for one : TUNA

There are 15 species of tuna, the size of which varies greatly. The smallest is the bullet tuna, which can grow to about 4 pounds in weight and just over 1½ feet in length. The Atlantic bluefin tuna can weigh over 1,500 pounds, and reach about 15 feet in length. That’s a lot of tuna …

122 Station : DEPOT

Our term “depot”, meaning “station, warehouse”, comes from the French word “dépôt”. The French term translates into English as “deposit” or “place of deposit”.

Down

8 “Anna Karenina” novelist : TOLSTOY

I have to admit to not having read Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”, but I did see the excellent 1977 British television adaptation starring Nicola Pagett. I also saw the 2012 film adaptation with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard and found that to be far from excellent, awful in fact. I am no Stoppard fan …

9 Scandinavian capital : OSLO

Oslo, the capital of Norway, is an ancient city that was founded around 1048. The medieval city was destroyed by fire in 1624 and was rebuilt by the Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV and renamed to Christiana. In 1877 there was an official change of the spelling of the city’s name to “Kristiana”, and then more recently in 1925 the name was restored to the original Oslo. Things have almost gone full circle and now the center of Oslo, the area that would have been contained by the original medieval walls, has apparently been renamed to Christiana.

10 Jewish campus group : HILLEL

Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life is a Jewish campus organization that operates throughout the world. Hillel was founded at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1923. The organization is named for a first-century Jewish sage called Hillel the Elder.

11 AARP concern : AGEISM

“AARP” is now the official name for the interest group that used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons. The name change reflects the current focus of the group on all Americans aged 50 or over, as opposed to just people who have retired.

13 “Metamorphoses” poet : OVID

“Metamorphoses” is a narrative poem by Roman poet Ovid that deals with a lofty subject. It describes the history of the world from creation until the “present day”, that is Ovid’s “present day”, the era of Julius Caesar. A lot of the storyline makes use of Greek mythology (rather than Roman).

16 Like Oscar Wilde : IRISH

Oscar Wilde was an Irish writer who led a very public life in his adopted home of London. Although he was a prolific writer of many forms of literature, Wilde penned only one novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. He was perhaps more renowned in his own time as a dramatist. Several of his plays are performed regularly today, including “Lady Windermere’s Fan”, “An Ideal Husband” and “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Wilde’s last work was a poem titled “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”, which recounted his time in prison after being convicted of homosexual offenses in 1895 and sentenced to two years’ hard labor. Oscar Wilde died in 1900 at the age of 46 in Paris, destitute.

17 With 45-Down, West Coast racing venue : SANTA …
[45D See 17-Down : … ANITA]

Santa Anita Park is a racetrack for horses located in Arcadia, California. The most famous races on the track’s calendar are the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap.

29 Harebrained : INANE

Our word “inane” meaning “silly, lacking substance” comes from the Latin “inanitis” meaning “empty space”.

36 Brief “Then again … ” : OTOH …

On the other hand (OTOH)

38 Suffragist Elizabeth __ Stanton : CADY

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the earliest leaders of the women’s rights and women’s suffrage movements in the United States. Notably, she opposed the extension of voting rights to African-American men (the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments), even though she was an outspoken abolitionist. She believed that increasing the number of male voters in the country would just make it harder for women to get the vote.

39 Faucet problems : DRIPS

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

44 Wisconsin city between Milwaukee and Chicago : RACINE

Racine is a Wisconsin city on Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Root River. French explorers set up a trading post in 1699 where the Root River emptied into the lake, which developed into today’s city. The name “Racine” is French for “root”.

47 Medicinal shrub : SENNA

Sennas are plants in the legume family. Historically, the pods and leaves of the senna plant have been used as a laxative.

49 Flora partner : FAUNA

The fauna is the animal life of a particular region, and the flora is that region’s plant life. The term “fauna” comes from the Roman goddess of earth and fertility who was called Fauna. Flora was the Roman goddess of plants, flowers and fertility.

56 Word with mail or box : VOICE-

The voice box or larynx is where pitch and volume of sound are manipulated when we talk. The structure called the Adam’s apple that protrudes from the human neck is formed by the thyroid cartilage that surrounds the larynx. The Adam’s apple of males tends to increase in size during puberty, so the feature tended to be associated more with males in days gone by, perhaps leading to the name “Adam’s” apple. A doctor specializing in treating the larynx is a laryngologist.

57 Iberian capital : LISBON

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal. It is the westernmost capital city in Europe, and indeed is the westernmost large city on the continent. Lisbon is also the oldest city in Western Europe, and was founded hundreds of years before London, Paris and Rome.

The Ebro is the longest river in Spain. The river was known by the Romans as the Iber, and it is the “Iber” river that gives the “Iberian” Peninsula its name.

60 Dry red wine : CLARET

Clairet is a dark rosé wine. Although it is uncommon today, clairet used to be the most common wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. For centuries now, British consumers have used the derivative term “claret” to describe any red wine from Bordeaux.

61 Actress Thompson : LEA

Lea Thompson is well known as the star of “Caroline in the City“, the TV show from the nineties. That said, the Thompson performance that I most remember is her playing Marty McFly’s mother in the “Back to the Future” trilogy.

62 Motown Records founder Berry : GORDY

Motown is a record label that was founded in 1959 in Detroit (aka “Motor City” or “Motown”). The founder of Motown records was Berry Gordy, Jr.

63 Maître’s milieu : ECOLE

In French, one might learn from a “maître” (master) in “une école” (a school).

65 First president with a Twitter account : OBAMA

President Barack Obama was the first US president to use a Twitter account. The president sent his first tweet from the newly created @POTUS account on May 18, 2015. That first message was a somewhat humorous reply to an earlier tweet from President Bill Clinton (@billclinton).

71 Tokyo-based brewery : ASAHI

Asahi is a Japanese beer, and the brewery that produces it. “Asahi” is Japanese for “morning sun”. Asahi introduced a “dry beer” in 1987, igniting a craze that rocketed the brewery to the number one spot in terms of beer production in Japan, with Sapporo close behind.

73 “__ Fideles” : ADESTE

The lovely Christmas hymn “Adeste Fideles” (entitled “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in English) was written by one John Francis Wade in the 13th century. Well, he wrote the original four verses, with four more verses being added over time. A kind blog reader pointed out to me that the English translation is in fact a little “off”. The term “adeste” best translates from Latin as “be present, attend”, rather than “come”. The verb “come” appears later in the lyrics in “venite adoremus”, meaning “come, let us worship”.

77 Vanuatu neighbor : FIJI

The island nation of Fiji is an archipelago in the South Pacific made up of over 330 islands, 110 of which are inhabited. Fiji was occupied by the British for over a century and finally gained its independence in 1970.

The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific. The country became independent in 1980 after having suffered through Spanish, French and British rule.

79 Twine : CORD

Our word “twine”, meaning “light string”, has the same root as our word “twin”. The original Old English “twin” was a double thread.

81 Guacamole ingredient : LIME

Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes. It is prepared by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

82 Predict-ability? : ESP

The so-called sixth sense is extrasensory perception (ESP). It is also referred to as second sight.

83 Spacek of “Bloodline” : SISSY

Actress Sissy Spacek got her big break in the movies when she played the title role in the 1976 horror movie “Carrie”, which is based on a Stephen King novel. Her most acclaimed role is the lead in the 1980 biopic about Loretta Lynn called “Coal MIner’s Daughter”, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar. Spacek’s first cousin was the actor Rip Torn.

“Bloodline” is a Netflix-original thriller television series. It’s a cleverly constructed program about a well-off family in the Florida Keys. As the show progresses, more and more dark secrets are revealed about each of the family members. I enjoyed this one …

85 1941 Bogart role : SAM SPADE

Private detective Sam Spade is the main character in Dashiell Hammett’s novel “The Maltese Falcon”. Spade was played by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film adaptation directed by John Huston.

87 Group pic : WEFIE

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.

89 Italian dessert wine : MARSALA

Marsala is a seaport lying in the very west of Sicily. If you visit Marsala, you’ll find what’s called “vintage” Marsala wine, a “regular” red wine. If you buy a bottle of Marsala at your local store though, it will be a “fortified” wine, wine with a higher alcohol content.

94 “Julie & Julia” writer/director : EPHRON

Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, which deals in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

“Julie & Julia” is a wonderful 2009 Nora Ephron film that juxtaposes the lives of celebrity chef Julia Childs and home cook/blogger Julie Powell. Childs is played by Meryl Streep, and Powell by Amy Adams. Ephron’s screenplay is based on two nonfiction books: Child’s autobiography “My Life in France”, and Powell’s memoir “Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously”. Highly recommended …

95 Froyo topping : OREO

Frozen yogurt (“froyo” or “fro-yo”)

98 1960s jacket style : NEHRU

A Nehru jacket is very like a regular suit jacket, except that the collar buttons at the neck. It was originally created in the 1940s in India, and then marketed as the Nehru jacket in the west in the sixties. The name Nehru was lifted from Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India from 1947 to 1964.

99 Nadal’s birthplace : SPAIN

Rafael “Rafa” Nadal is a Spanish tennis player. He is noted for his expertise on clay courts, which earned him the nickname “The King of Clay”.

100 Pet adoption org. : ASPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

104 __ effort : E FOR

Apparently the phrase “E for effort” originated as a WWII campaign in the US to help boost productivity in factories.

105 Sandwich with tzatziki sauce : GYRO

A gyro is a traditional Greek dish of meat roasted on a tall vertical spit that is sliced from the spit as required. Gyros are usually served inside a lightly grilled piece of pita bread, along with tomato, onion and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber sauce).

106 Site for a bidding war : EBAY

There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:

  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo – $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone – $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois – $1,350
  • A single corn flake – $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies – $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign – $450,400
  • The meaning of life – $3.26

110 Place for a clutch : NEST

The group of eggs in a bird’s nest is referred to as a clutch.

112 Non-Rx : OTC

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t need a prescription (Rx).

114 Musical arcade game, for short : DDR

Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is a series of music video games that launched in 1998. DDR is usually found in arcades, as players have to stand on a special dance stage and hit arrows with their feet on cue.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pesters online, in a way : SPAMS
6 Dorothy Gale’s dog : TOTO
10 Wore : HAD ON
15 Three-time WNBA MVP Leslie : LISA
19 Divvy up : ALLOT
20 Husband of Psyche : EROS
21 “Just tell me” : I GIVE
22 Iraq neighbor : IRAN
23 Lizzo “remake” of the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine”? : GOOD AS HELL
25 Dua Lipa “remake” of Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine”? : LEVITATING
27 Snookums : SWEETIE
28 Defiant admission of dishonesty : SO I LIED!
30 Thirsts (for) : LUSTS
31 Least refined : RUDEST
33 Early console letters : NES
34 Accessory for Mr. Monopoly : TOP HAT
35 Taylor Swift “remake” of the Eagles’ “Take It Easy”? : YOU NEED TO CALM DOWN
41 “__ have to do” : IT’LL
42 “Creed” director Coogler : RYAN
43 Wimbledon surface : RYE GRASS
48 Petting zoo horse : PONY
49 LAX regulator : FAA
51 Find repugnant : DESPISE
54 Folder’s loss : ANTE
55 Doo-wop syllable : SHA
56 To no avail : VAINLY
58 Get-up-and-go : PEP
59 Descendant : SCION
60 “Will you let me?” : COULD I?
61 Marvin Gaye “remake” of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood”? : LET’S GET IT ON
64 Direct means of access : HOTLINE
67 Slow-cooked courses : STEWS
69 Anthem played at Blue Jays games : O CANADA
70 Steve Miller Band “remake” of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You”? : ABRACADABRA
72 Conditional release : PAROLE
74 “Rumble in the Jungle” locale : ZAIRE
75 Trifling amount : SOU
76 Cowhand’s seat : SADDLE
77 Media-regulating gp. : FCC
80 One-named supermodel : EMME
81 Most efficient : LEANEST
84 __ socket : EYE
85 Corn holder : SILO
86 Final request : LAST WISH
88 Pet food brand : IAMS
90 Allowing a draft : AJAR
91 Jay-Z/Alicia Keys “remake” of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”? : EMPIRE STATE OF MIND
97 Dicey : UNSAFE
101 Connections : INS
102 Paste-up pieces : REPROS
103 Cola originally named Brad’s Drink : PEPSI
104 Dips for Easter : EGG DYES
107 Keeps adding to, as mashed potatoes : HEAPS ON
111 Ed Sheeran “remake” of the Rays’ “Silhouettes”? : SHAPE OF YOU
113 Lady Gaga “remake” of the J. Geils Band’s “Love Stinks”? : BAD ROMANCE
115 Actor Stonestreet : ERIC
116 Yankee manager before Girardi : TORRE
117 Big name in footwear : ALDO
118 Resolves a tense problem, say : EDITS
119 Ahi, for one : TUNA
120 Irritable : CROSS
121 Knitter’s ball : YARN
122 Station : DEPOT

Down

1 Hangs loosely : SAGS
2 Snowbank creator : PLOW
3 Banana Boat After Sun Gel ingredient : ALOE
4 Using contemporary styles : MODERNLY
5 Work in a park, perhaps : STATUE
6 Snickered : TEHEED
7 Vein contents : ORE
8 “Anna Karenina” novelist : TOLSTOY
9 Scandinavian capital : OSLO
10 Jewish campus group : HILLEL
11 AARP concern : AGEISM
12 Plunge : DIVE
13 “Metamorphoses” poet : OVID
14 __ worth : NET
15 Brightened : LIT UP
16 Like Oscar Wilde : IRISH
17 With 45-Down, West Coast racing venue : SANTA …
18 Teen sensation, perhaps : ANGST
24 Fries, e.g. : SIDE
26 As a companion : ALONG
29 Harebrained : INANE
32 Maroon : STRAND
34 Affectedly dainty : TWEE
35 Litter cries : YIPS
36 Brief “Then again … ” : OTOH …
37 Wing support : ULNA
38 Suffragist Elizabeth __ Stanton : CADY
39 Faucet problems : DRIPS
40 Cries of dismay : OYS
44 Wisconsin city between Milwaukee and Chicago : RACINE
45 See 17-Down : … ANITA
46 Tolerated : STOOD
47 Medicinal shrub : SENNA
49 Flora partner : FAUNA
50 Had a bug : AILED
52 Gush forth : SPEW
53 Place for a pawdicure : PET SPA
56 Word with mail or box : VOICE-
57 Iberian capital : LISBON
59 No longer novel : STALE
60 Dry red wine : CLARET
61 Actress Thompson : LEA
62 Motown Records founder Berry : GORDY
63 Maître’s milieu : ECOLE
64 Brownish green : HAZEL
65 First president with a Twitter account : OBAMA
66 Pares : TRIMS
68 Accurate : TRUE
71 Tokyo-based brewery : ASAHI
73 “__ Fideles” : ADESTE
76 ESPN datum : STAT
77 Vanuatu neighbor : FIJI
78 Family circle : CLAN
79 Twine : CORD
81 Guacamole ingredient : LIME
82 Predict-ability? : ESP
83 Spacek of “Bloodline” : SISSY
85 1941 Bogart role : SAM SPADE
87 Group pic : WEFIE
89 Italian dessert wine : MARSALA
92 Struggles : RIGORS
93 Provides (with) : ENDUES
94 “Julie & Julia” writer/director : EPHRON
95 Froyo topping : OREO
96 Made bubbles : FOAMED
97 In a huff : UPSET
98 1960s jacket style : NEHRU
99 Nadal’s birthplace : SPAIN
100 Pet adoption org. : ASPCA
104 __ effort : E FOR
105 Sandwich with tzatziki sauce : GYRO
106 Site for a bidding war : EBAY
108 Salon sound : SNIP
109 Bi- quadrupled : OCTO-
110 Place for a clutch : NEST
112 Non-Rx : OTC
114 Musical arcade game, for short : DDR

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 22 Jan 23, Sunday”

  1. Struggled with all these musicians . I worked all that out. But that wasn’t the worst.

    WEFIE? Really?

    Got stuck on 22A . Thought it was OMAN. That took awhile to unscramble to IRAN.

    my error came at 117A ALTO instead of ALDO. 114D DTR instead of DDR. never heard of either one.

    How about that “allowing a draft ” clue. (Groan)

    All in all, someone put a lot of work into finding some kind of connection between titles of songs but I found it weak.

  2. It took a while…1:17:44 but no errors.
    It took a minute to change Trump to Obama
    Way too many song titles and artists IMO👎👎
    Stay safe😀

  3. Struggled with this one and ended up with no errors after 3 lookups:
    i.e. 33A-early console letters ,85D-Sam Spade role, and 114D-musical
    arcade game. I got wefie (87D) through crosses….but I always heard
    group picss were “ussies”. All those musical remake clues never made
    any sense to me but got them all through crosses and guesses.

  4. Sailed pretty well on this one. I was kinda amazed someone wanted to spend the time to find song connections, but definitely agree about it being super-weak on the solving experience end of it. But definitely surprised how much I did fill in on those entries.

    That said, I notice they cancelled the usual NYT syndicated run puzzle I see today in favor of one from 2020. I get why (and I think this is the fourth time I’ve seen ’em do it since I started doing puzzles), but half-wondering if they just delete the puzzle for subscribers and if one did want to see what was there past the grid shape if it’d even be easily possible.

    1. I’m not sure who you mean by “they”. My guess is that the puzzle with the “offensive” grid was replaced in syndication in some papers, but not in others. It certainly ran on 12/18/22 in the print edition of the NYT delivered in New York and in the NYT crossword app. I think it was a mistake to run it with the title “SOME THEME’S MISSING”, but I seriously doubt that any evil intentions were involved. In any case, I view the flap over it as a tempest in a teapot.

      I can send you the puzzle, if you can’t get it from the “xwordinfo” site.

  5. AAAARRRGGGHH! Echoing most of the above, way too many oddities. Plus, the theme was ridiculously off the wall. Too much for a Sunday.

  6. Ditto what Anon Mike said except I had
    Iran for 22A. Got most of it but it was a slog.

    @ Dirk
    I was a big FC Koln fan in the ‘80’s when
    Pierre Littbarski and Toni Schumacher
    were there. They also starred for the West
    German team. Strange to remember there
    once was a West Germany! My current team
    is Manchester City….

  7. Once again the L.A. Times has proven that its so-called crossword puzzles have become little more than sports and entertainment industry trivia quizzes.

  8. 28 minutes + and DNF, with 7 left unfilled.
    Where do I start with this one? Just chock-a-block with poor clues like the nonsensical 102A, and poor fills, too (ex: TEE HEE is spelled with TWO Es on each syllable, it’s not “tehee” and it’s not a verb, either, its an onomatopoeia).

    The theme was OK, but the convenient addition of what can only be described as ways to work out of a construction corner just hamstring this grid.

  9. I didn’t think I’d get anywhere with this. But once I realized I didn’t need to know the groups (I do not Dua Lipa or Katrina and the Waves), it made things a little easier. Lots of People I didn’t know and of course … wefie!

  10. Thanks to all of you for your comments, which confirmed my suspicions. This unfinished waste of time is headed to the recycling bin.

  11. i have never seen so many words that really weren’t words and so many many text abbreviations that only exist in Alan and Douglas imagination

  12. 34:01, no errors. Tough for a Sunday but enjoyable. I don’t understand the kvetching by others; in my opinion, the only legitimate complaint was about teheed. That said, it has appeared in other puzzles and does show up in dictionaries.

  13. A little tough for a Sunday; took 39:16 with 1, maybe 2 errors. I had 1 square left at AL?O and did a check-grid, which showed I misspelled HILLaL – which I should’ve known better. That left the empty square, where I ended up doing an alphabet roll to finally get the D.

    Still, mostly enjoyable, except for DDR which I’ve never heard of. We’ve had ALDO before though, so I’ll have to try and remember that.

    @Saul – Yeah, after accidentally flipping to Univision on UHF when I happened on the 1982 QF between France and W. Germany, I was hooked. I needed a club team, and it was between RW Essen (Grandmother) and 1. FC Köln (Aunt). Since Toni played such for Köln, I picked them and been with them ever since. They’ve finally got a really good trainer and management…just not so much money at the moment – but improving. Over in England, I’ve had sympathies with Tottenham(Klinsmann played there), Leeds (favorite Who album) and Liverpool (favorite accent and Klopp – their manager.)

  14. So I started doing the Sunday crossword during lockdown (2020), and this is finally the first one I did with NO errors! And I was quite frightened when I saw all the song references- I don’t know pop songs! But I was able to get them all through crosses. And you notice it takes me 2 days. It took me so long to think of Claret, that was my last area to fill in. I didn’t like Teheed, Senna, Wefie, Repros, and just guessed at Endues crossed with Torre, just guessed right. So glad I found this site, thanks Bill!

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