LA Times Crossword 5 Feb 23, Sunday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: Three’s Company

Themed clues are groups of THREE similar items. Themed answers sound like common phrases, but actually describe the corresponding group of items:

  • 24A Dvorak, Masaryk, Havel? : CZECHMATES (sounds like “checkmates”)
  • 39A Holiday, Hampton, Red Roof? : INN CROWD (sounds like “in crowd”)
  • 60A Queen, drone, worker? : BEE TEAM (sounds like “B-team”)
  • 66A Pharoah, Chou, Leno? : JAY CREW (sounds like “J.Crew”)
  • 87A First, Second, Third? : BASE TRIO (sounds like “bass trio”)
  • 103A Galahad, Lancelot, El Cid? : KNIGHT CLUB (sounds like “nightclub”)
  • 3D ChapStick, Burt’s Bees, Lip Smacker? : BALM SQUAD (sounds like “bomb squad”)
  • 34D Bering, Coral, Baltic? : SEA SECTION (sounds like “C-section”)
  • 50D King Arthur, Gold Medal, Pillsbury? : FLOUR CHAIN (sounds like “flower chain”)
  • 73D Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday? : WEEK LINKS (sounds like “weak links”)

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

Bill’s time: 18m 45s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • KIOWA (Kiewa)
  • MOMOA (Momea)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Golden Arches pork sandwich : MCRIB

The McDonald’s McRib sandwich is based on a pork patty. There isn’t any pork rib in the patty though. It is primarily made up of pork shoulder meat reconstituted with tripe, heart and stomach tissue. Enjoy …

15 Crime novelist Buchanan : EDNA

Edna Buchanan is an author, mainly of crime mystery novels. She also worked as a crime journalist for “The Miami Herald”.

20 One-named singer from Ireland : ENYA

Enya’s real name is Eithne Ní Bhraonáin, which can translate from Irish into Enya Brennan. Her Donegal family (in the northwest of Ireland) formed a band called Clannad, which included Enya. In 1980 Enya launched her very successful solo career, eventually becoming Ireland’s best-selling solo musician. And, she sure does turn up a lot in crosswords!

21 Pimento holder, perhaps : OLIVE

A pimiento (also “pimento”) is a cherry pepper in the chili family. It used to be stuffed into Spanish olives by a tool that took out the pit at the same time. Sadly, in these days of modern technology, the pimiento is usually pureed now, mixed with a gum and formed into neat strips, before being stuffed into the olive. Nothing is what it seems anymore …

22 Mireille of “Big Love” : ENOS

Mireille Enos is an actress from Kansas City. She is perhaps best known for her TV work, playing Sarah Linden on “The Killing” and for playing twins Kathy and JoDean Marquart on “Big Love”. Enos is married to actor Alan Ruck, who I mainly remember playing Cameron Frye in the great movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.

“Big Love” is an absolutely superb HBO drama series about a polygamous man and his three families trying to live a relatively “normal” life in Utah. The male lead is played by the late Bill Paxton, and his three wives are played by Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin.

23 Big brawl : MELEE

Our term “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.

24 Dvorak, Masaryk, Havel? : CZECHMATES (sounds like “checkmates”)

Antonín Dvořák was a composer from Czechoslovakia who spent three years working and composing in the United States. He was the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York from 1892 to 1895. Certainly here in the US, Dvořák’s best known work is his Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”, which is often referred to as “The New World Symphony”. His career was very much helped along by fellow composer Johannes Brahms, who very much appreciated Dvořák’s work.

Tomáš Masaryk was the first President of Czechoslovakia, serving from the founding of the state in 1918 until he resigned in 1935 due to old age and poor health.

Václav Havel is a Czech playwright. Starting in the sixties, Havel became very active in the politics of his country. He eventually rose to the position of President, and was the last person to hold the office of President of Czechoslovakia, and the first to hold the office of President of the Czech Republic.

28 Bit of heckling : BOO!

Originally, the verb “to heckle” meant “to question severely”, and for many years was associated with the public questioning of parliamentary candidates in Scotland. In more recent times, the meaning has evolved into questioning that is less polite and that is directed at stand-up comics.

29 Great Plains people : KIOWA

The Kiowa Native Americans have a name that means “Principal People”. Most of the Kiowas today live on a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma.

30 Asian island capital : TAIPEI

Taipei (officially “Taipei City”) is the capital of Taiwan (officially “the Republic of China”). “Taipei” translates from Chinese as “Northern Taiwan City” and indeed, the capital is situated at the northern tip of Taiwan. The city is nicknamed “City of Azaleas” as flowers are said to bloom better in Taipei than in any other city on the island.

34 Sp. misses : SRTAS

“Señorita” (Srta.) is Spanish, and “Mademoiselle” (Mlle.) is French, for “Miss”.

35 Suez Canal ship : OILER

The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. It took ten years to construct, and opened in 1869. The northern terminus of the waterway is Port Said, and the southern is Port Tewfik in the city of Suez, which gives the canal its name.

38 Jeans line : SEAM

The French phrase “bleu de Gênes” (blue of Genoa) gives us our word “jeans”.

39 Holiday, Hampton, Red Roof? : INN CROWD (sounds like “in crowd”)

The first Holiday Inn hotel opened in 1952. The name for the hotel chain was inspired by the 1942 movie “Holiday Inn” starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. The Holiday Inn chain has been British-owned since 1988.

Hampton by Hilton is a chain of moderately-priced hotels that was founded in 1984 by Holiday Inn using the brand name “Hampton Inn”. The first Hampton Inn opened in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Red Roof Inn chain of hotels was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1972, with the intent of providing affordable accommodation. The chain’s original slogan was “Sleep Cheap”.

46 Evergreen tree : FIR

Firs are evergreen coniferous trees, with several species being popular as Christmas trees. The most commonly used species during the holidays are the Nordmann fir, noble fir, Fraser fir and balsam fir. We also see a lot of Douglas fir trees at Christmas, but they’re not actually true firs.

49 Small amphibians : EFTS

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

51 Number of billiard ball colors : NINE

The more correct name for the game of pool is “pocket billiards”. The designation “pool” arose after pocket billiards became a common feature in “pool halls”, places where gamblers “pooled” their money to bet on horse races.

53 Cathedral topper : SPIRE

A cathedral is the church at the center of a Christian diocese or episcopate. The name “cathedral” comes from the “cathedra” that it houses, the “seat” of the bishop. That seat is more like a throne.

56 Music genre with accordions : POLKA

The polka is a dance from central Europe, one that originated in Bohemia in the mid-1800s. It’s thought that “polka” comes from a Czech word meaning “little half”, reflecting the little half-steps included in the basic dance.

57 Voucher : CHIT

A chit is a note or a short letter. The term “chit” tends to be used these days in the sense of an amount owed (as in a poker game). The word used to be “chitty”, which is now obsolete but was closer to the original Hindi term. I feel a tad obsolete myself, because when we are at school we would be excused from class if we had a “chitty”.

58 Home buyer’s option : CONDO

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

60 Queen, drone, worker? : BEE TEAM (sounds like “B-team”)

A queen bee has a stinger, just like worker bees. When a worker bee stings, it leaves its stinger in its victim. The worker bee dies after losing its stinger as the loss rips out part of its insides. However, a queen bee can sting with impunity as her stinger’s anatomy is different.

Drone bees (and ants) are fertile males of the species, whose sole role in life seems to be to mate with a queen. Given that drone bees make no honey, we sometimes use the term “drone” figuratively, to describe a lazy worker, or someone who lives on the labors of others.

62 Two-bit : CHEAPO

The American quarter is a little unusual in the world of decimal currency, if you think about it. Most currencies have a “20-cent” coin, which is easier to work with mathematically. The US went for the quarter in deference to the practice of dividing Spanish Milled Dollars into eight wedge-shaped “bits”. That’s also why the quarter is sometimes referred to as “two bits”. We’ve been using the adjective “two-bit” to mean “cheap, tawdry” at least since 1929. State quarters were introduced in 1999.

64 Continental org. : THE EU

European Union (EU)

65 Measure of brainpower : IQ TEST

Although it is correct these days to say that the abbreviation IQ stands for “intelligence quotient”, the term was actually coined by German psychologist William Stern, and so is actually an abbreviation for the German “Intelligenz-Quotient”.

66 Pharoah, Chou, Leno? : JAY CREW (sounds like “J.Crew”)

“Jay Pharoah” is the stage name of standup comedian and impressionist Jared Farrow, who was a member of the cast of “Saturday Night Live” from 2010 to 2016. As an impressionist, I’d guess that he is best known for his impersonation of Barack Obama.

Jay Chou is a musician, singer and actor who is considered a superstar in his native Taiwan. He made his Hollywood acting debut in the 2011 film “The Green Hornet”, in which he played the title character’s sidekick Kato.

Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counselor. However, years later he went to Emerson College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns over 300 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

67 Aesop’s grasshopper, e.g. : IDLER

In Aesop’s fable “The Ant and the Grasshopper”, the grasshopper spends the warm months singing and having a good time while the ant toils away storing food. When winter arrives, the grasshopper starts to die from hunger and begs the ant for food. The ant tells the grasshopper that he should have been more sensible instead of singing away all summer, and maybe he should dance through the winter!

69 MacDowell of “Four Weddings and a Funeral” : ANDIE

Andie MacDowell is an American actress who seems to turn up in quite a few British productions set in that part of the world. Most famously she was the love interest in the fabulous film “Four Weddings and a Funeral” starring opposite Hugh Grant. I also enjoyed another of her movies, “Groundhog Day”, which is a fun tale set back here in the US.

The 1994 British romcom “Four Weddings and a Funeral” became the highest-grossing British film at that time, bringing in almost $250 million at the box office. That is remarkable, given that the movie only took 6 weeks to shoot, and cost less than $3 million to make. That’s quite a profit …

70 “Stay” singer Lisa : LOEB

Singer Lisa Loeb was discovered by actor Ethan Hawke, who lived just across the street from her in New York City. Hawke took a demo of her song “Stay (I Missed You)” and gave it to director Ben Stiller, who in turn used it over the ending credits of his 1994 movie “Reality Bites”. The movie was a hit, the song went to number one, and Loeb became the first artist ever to hit that number one spot without having signed up with a record label. Good for her!

71 Longtime NPR news analyst Roberts : COKIE

Cokie Roberts was a great journalist and author, and someone best known for her work with National Public Radio.

76 With 92-Across, “The Dragons of Eden” writer : CARL …
[92A See 76-Across : … SAGAN]

Carl Sagan’s 1977, Pulitzer-winning book has the full title “The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence”. In the work, Sagan attempts to explain how intelligence, and human intelligence in particular, may have evolved. The title “Dragons of Eden” embodies the idea that early humans had a fear of reptiles as they struggled for survival, which led to the myth of dragons.

77 Actress Merrill : DINA

Actress Dina Merrill was in 22 movies, including two of my favorites: “Desk Set” with Tracy & Hepburn, and “Operation Petticoat” with Cary Grant. Merrill also carried some sway in the business world. Until 2007, she was on the compensation committee of Lehman Brothers, the merry band that approved all of those big bonuses.

78 Elisabeth of “Leaving Las Vegas” : SHUE

Elisabeth Shue has always been a favorite actress of mine. She has been in several popular films including “The Karate Kid”, “Cocktail”, two of the “Back to the Future” movies, “Leaving Las Vegas”, and my personal favorite “Adventures in Babysitting”. More recently, Shue had a recurring role on the TV crime drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”.

“Leaving Las Vegas” is a 1995 film starring Nicolas Cage as a suicidal alcoholic who tries to drink himself to death in Las Vegas, befriending a prostitute played by Elisabeth Shue along the way. The film is based on a semi-autobiographical novel of the same name written by John O’Brien. Two weeks into production of the movie, O’Brien actually did commit suicide.

81 Prefix with meter : ODO-

An odometer measures distance traveled. “Odometer comes from the Greek “hodos” meaning “path” and “metron” meaning “measure”.

82 “Severance” actor Scott : ADAM

Adam Scott is an actor from Santa Cruz, California who is perhaps best known for playing Ben Wyatt on the hit sitcom “Parks and Recreation”. More recently, Scott has been playing the lead in the sci-fi TV show “Severance”.

86 Panasonic TV line : VIERA

Not so long ago, Panasonic was called Matsushita Electronics, the name it took from its founder when the company started in 1918. The products manufactured back then were lamp sockets, and in 1927 the company introduced a bicycle lamp. Even after the company became famous for producing electrical and electronic goods, Matsushita had a very successful line of Panasonic bicycles, as the founder was raised in a family with a bicycle shop and he was passionate about cycling.

89 Purple 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.

90 Boris who won three Wimbledon championships in the 1980s : BECKER

Boris Becker is a former professional tennis player from Germany. Becker was a World No. 1, and in 1985 won Wimbledon at only 17 years of age. He still holds the record as the youngest ever Wimbledon champion. Becker’s career after he retired from the sport has been less stellar. He was given a two-year suspended sentence in Germany in 2002 for tax evasion, and in 2022 served eight months of a thirty-month sentence in the UK for hiding assets and loans after declaring bankruptcy.

91 City on the Seine : PARIS

The French capital of Paris is named for the Parisii, a Celtic Iron-Age people that lived in the area on the banks of the River Seine.

94 Boardroom stand : EASEL

The word “easel” comes from an old Dutch word meaning “donkey”, would you believe? The idea is that an easel carries its load (an oil painting, say) just as a donkey would be made to carry a load.

95 Azadi Tower city : TEHRAN

Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around a really long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital.

The Azadi Tower is a magnificent gateway that marks the entrance to the city of Tehran. The tower was completed in 1971 to commemorate the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire and was named the Shahyad Tower, or “King’s Memorial”. This was changed to Azadi Tower after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. “Azadi” translates into English as “freedom”.

99 Michelle, to Barack : WIFE

Michelle Obama née Robinson grew up on the South Side of Chicago. Her brother is Craig Robinson, former coach of men’s basketball at Oregon State University. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Michelle Robinson worked as an associate at the Chicago office of the Sidley Austin law firm. Barack Obama joined the firm as a summer associate and Michelle Robinson was assigned to mentor him, and as they say, one thing led to another …

103 Galahad, Lancelot, El Cid? : KNIGHT CLUB (sounds like “nightclub”)

Sir Galahad was one of the Knights of the Round Table of Arthurian legend. Galahad is the illegitimate son of Sir Lancelot, so appears a little later in the tales. He is very gallant and noble, and some see him as the embodiment of Jesus in the Arthurian tradition. Indeed, legend has it that his soul was brought to heaven by Joseph of Arimathea, the man who donated his own tomb for the burial of Jesus according to the Gospels.

Sir Lancelot is one of the knights in the legend of King Arthur and the Round Table. Lancelot is the most trusted of Arthur’s knights when it comes to battle, but off the field he has a poorer reputation. Famously, Lancelot had an affair with Guinevere, Arthur’s wife.

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast in 1094, making it his headquarters and home. He died in Valencia, quite peacefully, in 1099.

106 Strength : SINEW

“Sinew” is another name for “tendon”. Tendons are bands of collagen that connect muscle to bone. Tendons are similar to ligaments and fasciae, which are also connective tissue made out of collagen, but ligaments join bone to bone, and fasciae connect muscle to muscle. We also use the term “sinew” to mean muscular power.

108 Radii neighbors : ULNAE

The bones in the forearm are the radius and ulna. “Ulna” is the Latin word for “elbow”, and “radius” is Latin for “ray”. The humerus (plural “humeri”) is the long bone in the upper arm.

110 Lower joint : ANKLE

The ankle joint proper is the hinge joint connecting the ends of the tibia and fibula in the leg with the top of the talus in the foot.

113 “Probably shouldn’t open this in your cubicle” shorthand : NSFW

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

Down

1 Web programming language : HTML

The initialism “HTML” stands for HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

3 ChapStick, Burt’s Bees, Lip Smacker? : BALM SQUAD (sounds like “bomb squad”)

ChapStick is a brand of lip balm produced by Pfizer, although the brand is so popular that the term “chapstick” tends to be used generically. ChapStick was invented way back in the 1880s by a Dr. Charles Browne Fleet in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Burt’s Bees is a line of personal care products that uses natural ingredients with minimal processing. The company started out in 1984 as a partnership between two entrepreneurs making candles out of excess beeswax from hives owned by one of the partners. Today the company has over $250 million in sales and is a division of Clorox.

Lip Smacker is a line of flavored lip balms that was introduced in 1973 by cosmetics company Bonne Bell. The line was originally aimed at the skiers, and later at teens in general.

7 Automaker Ferrari : ENZO

Enzo Ferrari was an Italian race car driver, and founder of the Ferrari car manufacturing company. Ferrari died in 1988, and in 2003 the company named the Enzo model after its founder.

8 Organ with a lens : EYE

The lens in the eye can change shape, and in so doing change its focal length. This change allows the eye to focus on objects at different distances. The shape of the lens alters due to the action of the eye’s ciliary muscles.

9 Hoarders : PACK RATS

A pack rat is a rodent that can also be called a woodrat. The pack rat is so called because it frequently drags back objects to its nest. We’ve been using the term “pack rat” for a hoarder since the mid 1800s. It’s not certain whether the rodent was named for the human, or the human for the rodent.

10 “Dune” actor Jason : MOMOA

Jason Momoa is a model and actor who is perhaps best known for playing superhero Aquaman in several DC Comics films. He also played warrior leader Khal Drogo in the HBO TV series “Game of Thrones”. In 2017, Momoa married actress Lisa Bonet, who played Denise Huxtable on “The Cosby Show”.

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.

11 Lobster portions : CLAWS

A male lobster is called a cock, and a female a hen. A lobster weighing less than a pound is called a chicken.

12 “Let You Love Me” singer Ora : RITA

Rita Ora is a British singer who was born Rita Sahatçiu in Pristina, Yugoslavia to Albanian parents. The family name “Sahatçiu” comes from a Turkish word meaning “watchmaker”. Rita’s parents changed their name to make it easier to pronounce. So, the family name morphed from “watchmaker” to “time”, which is “ora” in Albanian.

16 Genetic fingerprints : DNA PROFILES

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the DNA of living things is so very similar across different species. Human DNA is almost exactly the same for every individual (to the degree of 99.9%). However, those small differences are sufficient to distinguish one individual from another, and to determine whether or not individuals are close family relatives.

18 Prosecco kin : ASTI

Asti is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy that is named for the town of Asti around which the wine is produced. The wine used to be called Asti Spumante, and it had a very bad reputation as a “poor man’s champagne”. The “Spumante” was dropped in a marketing attempt at rebranding associated with a reduction in the amount of residual sugar in the wine.

Prosecco still and sparkling wines are named for the village of Prosecco in the province of Trieste in northeastern Italy.

25 Blackjack request : HIT ME

The card game known as “twenty-one” was first referred to in print in a book by Cervantes, the author famous for writing “Don Quixote”. He called the game “veintiuna” (Spanish for “twenty-one”). Cervantes wrote his story just after the year 1600, so the game has been around at least since then. Twenty-one came to the US but it wasn’t all that popular so bonus payments were introduced to create more interest. One of the more attractive bonuses was a ten-to-one payout to a player who was dealt an ace of spades and a black jack. This bonus led to the game adopting the moniker “Blackjack”.

31 MLB playoff event : ALCS

American League Championship Series (ALCS)

34 Bering, Coral, Baltic? : SEA SECTION (sounds like “C-section”)

The Bering Sea, in the very north of the Pacific Ocean, is named for the Danish navigator Vitus Bering, who was the first European to systematically explore the area in 1728. Many believe that the first humans arrived in the Americas from Asia when the waters of the Bering Sea were lower during the last ice age, over what is known as the Bering land bridge.

The Coral Sea is part of the South Pacific Ocean lying off the northeast coast of Australia. It is home to the renowned Great Barrier Reef.

The Baltic is a sea in northern Europe that is much less saline than the oceans. The lower amount of salt in the Baltic partially explains why almost half of the sea freezes over during the winter. In fact, the Baltic has been known to completely freeze over several times over the past few centuries.

The story that Julius Caesar was born via cesarean section (C-section) seems to be unfounded. Although such procedures were indeed carried out in ancient Rome, there are no reports of the mother surviving (and Julius Caesar’s mother did raise her child). The term “cesarean” comes not from (Julius) Caesar, but rather directly from the Latin “caedere” meaning “to cut”.

36 Liberal __ : ARTS

37 Red Sox manager Alex : CORA

Alex Cora is a retired baseball player who turned to broadcasting with ESPN after he quit playing. He was named manager of the Boston Red Sox in 2017. Cora was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, where he lives during baseball’s off-season.

43 Bunny slope conveyance : SKI TOW

In North America, ski runs are given a standardized rating in terms of skiing difficulty. The ratings are:

  • Green circles: easy to ski, often termed “bunny slopes”.
  • Blue squares: medium difficulty
  • Black diamond: steep and challenging terrain
  • Double black diamond: experts only (I’ve never braved one!)

50 King Arthur, Gold Medal, Pillsbury? : FLOUR CHAIN (sounds like “flower chain”)

According to legend, King Arthur was the son of Uther Pendragon. Uther magically disguised himself as his enemy Gorlois and slept with Gorlois’ wife Igerna, and the result of the union was Arthur.

The Washburn-Crosby Company entered several brands of flour at the Millers’ International Exhibition in Cincinnati in 1880. The company’s brands won bronze, silver and gold medals at the show, prompting Washburn-Crosby to launch the Gold Medal brand of flour. That Gold Medal brand is now produced by General Mills.

Pillsbury, a producer of grain and other foodstuffs, was founded in 1869 by Charles Alfred Pillsbury and his uncle John S. Pillsbury. The company was famous for the Pillsbury Bake-Off, a national baking competition that it launched in 1949. The Pillsbury brand is now owned by General Mills.

54 Plumbing part : PIPE

“Plumbum” is Latin for “lead”, explaining why the symbol of the element in the Periodic Table is “Pb”. It also explains why the original lead weight on the end of a line used to check vertical was called a “plumb line”. And, as pipes were originally made of lead, it also explains why we would call in a “plumber” if one of those pipes were leaking.

55 16 oz. : ONE LB

The unit of mass that we know today as a pound is descended from the old Roman unit of weight known as a “libra”. That “libra” connection is why we abbreviate “pound” to “lb”. The name “pound” comes from the Latin “pondo” meaning “weight”. Our term “ounce” (abbreviated to “oz.”) comes from the Latin “uncia”, which was 1/12 of a Roman “libra”.

56 Personal sources of aggravation : PET PEEVES

The phrase “pet peeve”, meaning “thing that provokes one most”, seems to be somewhat ironic. A “peeve” is a source of irritation, and the adjective “pet” means “especially cherished”.

57 Poet Day-Lewis who wrote mysteries as Nicholas Blake : CECIL

Cecil Day-Lewis was an Irish poet from County Laois who was appointed Poet Laureate of the UK in 1968. Most known as a poet, he also wrote mystery stories under the name “Nicholas Blake”. Cecil had a famous son, namely actor Daniel Day-Lewis.

59 Worrywart’s lament : OH DEAR

The term “worrywart”, meaning one who dwells unnecessarily on troubles, comes from a cartoon strip. Worry Wart was a character introduced in 1956 in the strip “Out Our Way” that was drawn by American cartoonist J.R. Williams. Worry Wart the character caused others to do the worrying, which is the opposite of the meaning we give the term “worrywart” today.

62 Manitoba’s country : CANADA

Manitoba is the Canadian province that borders the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota. Even though Manitoba has an area of over 250,000 square miles, 60% of its population resides in the province’s capital city of Winnipeg.

63 All the Earth’s water : HYDROSPHERE

The combined mass of all the water on our planet is known as the hydrosphere. 97.5% of that mass is saltwater, and 2.5% is freshwater.

66 Social reformer Riis : JACOB

Journalist Jacob Riis is famous for his photographs and newspaper articles that highlighted the plight of the impoverished in New York City. He wrote “How the Other Half Lives”, originally an extensive article that appeared in “Scribner’s Magazine” at Christmas 1889. The article had such an impact that Riis was commissioned to expand it into a book, which was published the following year.

70 Fancy transport : 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 …

73 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday? : WEEK LINKS (sounds like “weak links”)

We have seven days in a week because there are seven classical planets in the Solar System. The days were named for these “planets” during the Roman era:

  • Sun (Sunday)
  • Moon (Monday)
  • Mars (Tuesday)
  • Mercury (Wednesday)
  • Jupiter (Thursday)
  • Venus (Friday)
  • Saturn (Saturday)

74 Part of a plot, maybe : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. An area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

75 One of Old Glory’s 50 : STAR

The person who coined the phrase “Old Glory” with reference to the American flag was Captain William Driver, a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts. As Driver was leaving on an 1831 voyage aboard the brig Charles Doggett, he unfurled the American flag that he had just been given by a group of friends. As the flag caught the breeze, he uttered the words, “Old Glory!”. That’s the story anyway. On that same voyage, Charles Doggett rescued the famous mutineers of the HMS Bounty, after he encountered them on Pitcairn Island.

77 Place of honor : DAIS

A dais is a raised platform for a speaker. The term “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. I guess that the original daises had such a shape.

78 Graffiti artist’s handful : SPRAY CAN

Graffiti is the plural of “graffito”, the Italian for “scribbling”. The word was first used to describe ancient inscriptions on the walls in the ruins of Pompeii.

80 Fermented beverage in Asian cuisine : RICE WINE

We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

82 Gillette razor : 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.

85 Elite __: March Madness round : EIGHT

In the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship, the teams remaining at various stages of the tournament are known as:

  • The “Sweet Sixteen” (the regional semi-finalists)
  • The “Elite Eight” (the regional finalists)
  • The “Final Four” (the national semi-finalists)

“March Madness” is the name given to the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship (among others), that is held in the spring each year. Another name is “the Big Dance”.

90 __ window : BAY

A bay window is a window that projects outside, beyond the wall. The resulting space inside the wall forms a “bay-like” space inside a room.

94 Macaroni shape : ELBOW

In many cases, the name given to a type of pasta comes from its shape. However, the name macaroni comes from the type of dough used to make the noodles. Here in the US, macaroni is usually elbow-shaped, but it doesn’t have to be.

95 Many an archaeological site : TOMB

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

97 Evergreen tree : PINE

There are many species of pine tree (well over 100). The smallest is probably the Siberian dwarf pine, which usually grows to less than 10-feet tall. The tallest is the ponderosa pine, which regularly grows to over 200-feet tall.

98 Banzai Pipeline feature : SURF

The Banzai Pipeline is an area where the waves start to break off Ehukai Beach on Oahu’s North Shore. The spot was given its name in 1961 by a movie producer filming surfers. At that time there was an underground pipeline being constructed nearby, so the producer named the surf reef break “Pipeline”. The “Banzai” was added to the name in honor of Banzai Beach, where the waves come ashore.

104 Nats’ div. : NLE

National League East (NLE)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Creature of __ : HABIT
6 Profound : DEEP
10 Golden Arches pork sandwich : MCRIB
15 Crime novelist Buchanan : EDNA
19 Lingering evidence : TRACE
20 One-named singer from Ireland : ENYA
21 Pimento holder, perhaps : OLIVE
22 Mireille of “Big Love” : ENOS
23 Big brawl : MELEE
24 Dvorak, Masaryk, Havel? : CZECHMATES (sounds like “checkmates”)
26 Riveted : RAPT
27 Wee woolly one : LAMB
28 Bit of heckling : BOO!
29 Great Plains people : KIOWA
30 Asian island capital : TAIPEI
32 More mad : SORER
34 Sp. misses : SRTAS
35 Suez Canal ship : OILER
36 Find not guilty : ACQUIT
38 Jeans line : SEAM
39 Holiday, Hampton, Red Roof? : INN CROWD (sounds like “in crowd”)
42 Circular : ROUND
43 Declares : STATES
45 Harbor haulers : TUGS
46 Evergreen tree : FIR
47 Fair __ coffee : TRADE
48 Touch lightly : KISS
49 Small amphibians : EFTS
51 Number of billiard ball colors : NINE
52 Down in the dumps : SAD
53 Cathedral topper : SPIRE
55 Exclusively : ONLY
56 Music genre with accordions : POLKA
57 Voucher : CHIT
58 Home buyer’s option : CONDO
60 Queen, drone, worker? : BEE TEAM (sounds like “B-team”)
62 Two-bit : CHEAPO
64 Continental org. : THE EU
65 Measure of brainpower : IQ TEST
66 Pharoah, Chou, Leno? : JAY CREW (sounds like “J.Crew”)
67 Aesop’s grasshopper, e.g. : IDLER
68 Some golf trophies : CUPS
69 MacDowell of “Four Weddings and a Funeral” : ANDIE
70 “Stay” singer Lisa : LOEB
71 Longtime NPR news analyst Roberts : COKIE
73 “I knew it __ you” : WAS
76 With 92-Across, “The Dragons of Eden” writer : CARL
77 Actress Merrill : DINA
78 Elisabeth of “Leaving Las Vegas” : SHUE
79 Put up : ERECT
81 Prefix with meter : ODO-
82 “Severance” actor Scott : ADAM
84 Make right : REPAIR
86 Panasonic TV line : VIERA
87 First, Second, Third? : BASE TRIO (sounds like “bass trio”)
89 Purple flower : IRIS
90 Boris who won three Wimbledon championships in the 1980s : BECKER
91 City on the Seine : PARIS
92 See 76-Across : SAGAN
94 Boardroom stand : EASEL
95 Azadi Tower city : TEHRAN
97 Assertive to a fault : PUSHY
98 Wily : SLY
99 Michelle, to Barack : WIFE
102 Cooking show appliance : OVEN
103 Galahad, Lancelot, El Cid? : KNIGHT CLUB (sounds like “nightclub”)
106 Strength : SINEW
107 Marshy land : MIRE
108 Radii neighbors : ULNAE
109 Dynamic start? : AERO-
110 Lower joint : ANKLE
111 Ran, as dye : BLED
112 Scholarly article reviewers : PEERS
113 “Probably shouldn’t open this in your cubicle” shorthand : NSFW
114 Younger siblings, probably : PESTS

Down

1 Web programming language : HTML
2 Focus of study : AREA
3 ChapStick, Burt’s Bees, Lip Smacker? : BALM SQUAD (sounds like “bomb squad”)
4 Frozen over : ICEBOUND
5 Light shirt : TEE
6 Interior design : DECOR
7 Automaker Ferrari : ENZO
8 Organ with a lens : EYE
9 Hoarders : PACK RATS
10 “Dune” actor Jason : MOMOA
11 Lobster portions : CLAWS
12 “Let You Love Me” singer Ora : RITA
13 “So __ heard” : I’VE
14 Topping : BESTING
15 More creepy : EERIER
16 Genetic fingerprints : DNA PROFILES
17 “Nothing doing” : NOPE
18 Prosecco kin : ASTI
25 Blackjack request : HIT ME
28 Wager : BET
31 MLB playoff event : ALCS
33 Vanpool, e.g. : RIDESHARE
34 Bering, Coral, Baltic? : SEA SECTION (sounds like “C-section”)
35 Responsibility : ONUS
36 Liberal __ : ARTS
37 Red Sox manager Alex : CORA
38 Recipe instruction : STIR
39 __-bitty : ITTY
40 Pretend not to notice : WINK AT
41 __ journal : DREAM
43 Bunny slope conveyance : SKI TOW
44 Mail recipient : SENDEE
50 King Arthur, Gold Medal, Pillsbury? : FLOUR CHAIN (sounds like “flower chain”)
51 Short messages : NOTES
54 Plumbing part : PIPE
55 16 oz. : ONE LB
56 Personal sources of aggravation : PET PEEVES
57 Poet Day-Lewis who wrote mysteries as Nicholas Blake : CECIL
59 Worrywart’s lament : OH DEAR
60 Squabble : BICKER
61 Prefix with distant : EQUI-
62 Manitoba’s country : CANADA
63 All the Earth’s water : HYDROSPHERE
66 Social reformer Riis : JACOB
70 Fancy transport : LIMO
72 French affirmatives : OUIS
73 Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday? : WEEK LINKS (sounds like “weak links”)
74 Part of a plot, maybe : ACRE
75 One of Old Glory’s 50 : STAR
77 Place of honor : DAIS
78 Graffiti artist’s handful : SPRAY CAN
80 Fermented beverage in Asian cuisine : RICE WINE
82 Gillette razor : ATRA
83 “Down the hatch!” : DRINK UP!
85 Elite __: March Madness round : EIGHT
88 Merited : EARNED
90 __ window : BAY
92 Baking staple : SUGAR
93 Campfire remnants : ASHES
94 Macaroni shape : ELBOW
95 Many an archaeological site : TOMB
96 Hardly holy : EVIL
97 Evergreen tree : PINE
98 Banzai Pipeline feature : SURF
100 Sensed : FELT
101 Woolly ones : EWES
104 Nats’ div. : NLE
105 French article : LES
106 Drain : SAP

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Feb 23, Sunday”

  1. LOVE this puzzle! Very clever and fun!! A few small misses here and there, but overall not bad for a Sunday!! 😊

  2. I really enjoyed this one. Of course it took forever even after I figured out what they were doing. Too many things I just didn’t know.

  3. This was a **crappy** puzzle by Ed Sessa’s standards. Every other fill was a proper name. The theme answers were all “groaners” and the entire exercise felt like a bunch of trickery.

    21 mins 23 sec, and 6 “forced errors”, including the two that tripped up Bill.

    BOOO. I say again: BOO.
    Do better.

  4. Except for the way-too-many PPP’s, a really good puzzle and a clever theme. Almost makes up for the last two days.

  5. 26:04, no errors. For me this one was tougher than it seemed, I thought I was blazing along with a time in the low twenties. NE corner and the CHEAPO/JAYCREW section were the most troublesome.

  6. I do the puzzle on-line. I just noticed that for me the clue for 66A was “Pharoah, Chou, Leno?” instead of “Z, Cou, Leno”

    1. Bill, my paper had the same as yours. I googled their names and there are people named Jay Pharoah and Jay Chou. Who knew!?

  7. Great theme which I got right off the bat with “balmsquad” but I
    struggled with the top righthand section and finally had to look up
    the “Mireille” name. No errors and just that one lookup.

  8. Good puzzle I keep looking for three musketeers somewhere….maybe next time I agree some of the three’s were “groaners “but still “Dad joke” funny ..good weekend to all!!

  9. No final errors. I did have a bit of a struggle with 51 Down because I kept trying to make “texts” work and then tried “tweet” before I finally saw that the number of billiard ball colors had to be nine and that’s what finally gave me “notes” as the correct and final answer. D’oh!

    Bill had a nice historical bit on Panasonic making bicycles, but somehow he never explained “Viera” which turns out to be brand of televisions. I was wondering how Meredith Viera was associated with Panasonic until I looked up the spelling on her last name and it “Vieira”. One more D’oh! for that bit of idiocy.

  10. A first for me. I actually finished the puzzle. I did have a lookup and used the check grid tool a few times. Only 1:09 (that’s 1 hour, 9 minutes).

  11. 24:54 – no errors or lookups. False starts: ROBIN>COKIE, VIZIO>VIERA (initially, just quick guesses to fill in something).

    A clever theme to me, and Mr. Sessa got 10 of them in one grid when it’s usually nine or seven.

  12. Nice, relatively quick Sunday for me; took 30:26 with no peeks or errors. A few clever, tricky clues that were ultimately solvable. Struggled a bit in the W section, just above the SW corner, until I remembered JACOB. That got me ODO and I guessed the L in CARL, which got me CECIL and HYDRO. JAYCREW to finish, which got me the banner.

    Decided to do this after fizzling out on Saturday…

  13. Yep, too many PPP. But I did get Kiowa as there is a street in my city (Colorado Springs) named after this tribe, and there is small town in Colorado named Kiowa.

  14. Found this to be a fun puzzle, especially after my first special answer “balm squad”. But wow, quite a few names! And 2 mistakes, my
    Brain kept saying 110A was some obscure Latin word, so I came up with Onele as the answer, since I had Sop for “drain” and Weeklines for Tuesday Wed., Thurs. I wasn’t happy with weeklines but totally stumped. Duh.

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