LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Feb 17, Sunday










Constructed by: Ed Sessa

Edited by: Rich Norris

Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

Quicklink to comments

Theme: First Things First

The FIRST word in each of today’s themed answers is often seen following the word FIRST:

  • 23A. Trust builder? : ESTATE PLANNER (giving “First Estate”)
  • 31A. Result of losing two points, perhaps : LOVE-THIRTY (giving “first love”)
  • 52A. Concern for gardeners : FROST WARNING (giving “first frost”)
  • 75A. Wriggler on a hook : NIGHTCRAWLER (giving “first night”)
  • 92A. Teacher’s bane, at times : CLASS CLOWN (giving “first class”)
  • 104A. Mozart’s “The Hunt,” for one : STRING QUARTET (giving “first string”)
  • 37D. Any one of the NFL’s top 25 career scoring leaders : PLACE KICKER (giving “first place”)
  • 40D. They’re spoken in anger : CHOICE WORDS (giving “first choice”)

Bill’s time: 17m 35s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Unflappability : APLOMB

“Aplomb” is such a lovely word, meaning confidence and assurance. It is a French word that literally means “perpendicularity”, or “on the plumb line”. The idea is that someone with aplomb is poised, upright, balanced.

20. Counterman? : GEIGER

A Geiger counter is a particle detector that measures ionizing radiation, such as alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays. Often a Geiger counter is equipped with a speaker through which clicks are broadcast each time a particle is detected. We’ve all heard those terrifying clicks in the movies, I am sure …

22. “Raging Bull” fighter : LAMOTTA

Jake LaMotta is a retired Italian-American boxer and former world champion. Famously. LaMotta was played by Robert De Niro in the 1980 movie “Raging Bull”. LaMotta’s nickname is “The Bronx Bull” as well as “The Raging Bull”.

23. Trust builder? : ESTATE PLANNER (giving “First Estate”)

Starting in the Middle Ages, several societies operated with a hierarchical social order known as “the estates of the realm”. For example, the French used a scheme known as the “Ancien Régime” in which the clergy made up the First Estate, the nobility the Second Estate, and the commoners the Third Estate. The English used a two-estate system in which the bishops and nobility made up the First Estate (“the Lords”) and the commoners the Second Estate (“the Commons”). In modern parlance, the press and media are considered forces outside of the established power structure, and can be referred to as the Fourth Estate.

25. Clink : SLAMMER

The cooler, the pen, the slammer … prison.

The Clink (also “the Clynke”) was a celebrated prison in Southwark, England owned by the Bishop of Winchester. The prison was given the name “the clink”, probably from the sound made by metal keys in metal locks and metal chains around ankles. The prison was closed down in 1780, and around the same time “clink” entered the English language as a slang term for “jail”.

26. Sent messages, before faxes and email : TELEXED

Telex grew out of the world of the telegraph. What Telex brought to telegraphy was the ability to route messages. Instead of having to talk to an operator to route a particular message to the intended party, the user of a telex could route the message directly to another telex machine by way of a rotary dial, very similar to that on a telephone.

27. Bit of body art : TAT

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are also sometimes referred to as “ink”.

29. Julia of “Legends of the Fall” : ORMOND

Julia Ormond is an actress from England who is perhaps best known for her performances in the movies “Legends of the Fall” (1994) and the excellent remake of “Sabrina” (1995).

“Legends of the Fall” is a 1994 film based on a 1979 novella of the same name by Jim Harrison. The film stars Anthony Hopkins as a man living with his three sons in the plains of the Montana in the early 1900s. The sons are played by Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn and Henry Thomas.

30. Meat cut : LOIN

Loin is the tissue along the top of the ribs.

31. Result of losing two points, perhaps : LOVE-THIRTY (giving “first love”)

In tennis the score of zero is designated as “love”. Some people believe that this usage originates from the French “l’oeuf” (meaning “the egg”). The idea is that the written character “0” looks like an egg.

38. Descendant of the English Bulldog : BOXER

The boxer breed of dog (one of my favorites!) originated in Germany. My first dog was a boxer/Labrador mix, a beautiful animal. Our current family dog is a boxer/pug mix, another gorgeous creature.

39. Son of Donald : ERIC

Eric Trump is the second son of Donald Trump and his first wife Ivana Zelníčková. Eric works for his father, and in particular manages Donald’s golf courses and the Trump Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia. Eric also used to appear in the boardroom alongside his Dad on the reality show “The Apprentice”.

40. Shares an email with : CCS

I wonder do the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle?

43. Pigeon hangouts : SILLS

“Sill plate” or simply “sill” is an architectural term for a bottom horizontal member to which vertical members are attached. A “window sill” is specific sill plate that is found at the bottom of a window opening.

44. Voice of TV’s Fat Albert : COSBY

Fat Albert is a character who was created by comedian Bill Cosby. The character starred in an animated television series called “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” that originally aired from 1972 to 1085. Fat Albert was voiced by Bill Cosby himself, and his catchphrase was “hey hey hey!”

47. Sports org. with three major divisions : NCAA

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) dates back to the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. When his son broke his nose playing football at Harvard, President Roosevelt turned his attention to the number of serious injuries and even deaths occurring in college sports. He instigated meetings between the major educational institutions leading to the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) in 1906, which was given the remit of regulating college sports. The IAAUS became the NCAA in 1910.

48. Student of Socrates : PLATO

Plato was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He was a student of the equally famous and respected Socrates, and Plato in turn was the teacher and mentor of the celebrated Aristotle.

50. TV exec Arledge : ROONE

Roone Arledge was an executive at ABC. Arledge made a name for himself in sports broadcasting and then took over ABC News in 1977, a position he held until his death in 2002.

51. Tolkien monster : ORC

Orcs are mythical humanoid creatures that appear in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien’s use of orcs, they have also been featured in other fantasy fiction and in fantasy games.

56. Piggy : TOE

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home.

57. Gambling game : LOTTO

Originally “Lotto” was a type of card game, with “lotto” being the Italian for “a lot”. We’ve used “lotto” to mean a gambling game since the late 1700s.

59. Pound units : OUNCES

The everyday system of weights that we use in the US is known as the avoirdupois system and is based on one pound consisting of sixteen ounces. The name “avoirdupois” comes from the Anglo-Norman French “aveir de peis” meaning “goods of weights”. “Goods of weights” were items sold in bulk that were weighed on a balance.

61. Urban of country : KEITH

Keith Urban is a country singer from Australia, who was actually born in New Zealand. Urban moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1992. He married Australian actress Nicole Kidman in 2006.

63. Rooting area : STY

The verb “to root” can be used for a pig’s action with the snout, turning objects over.

64. Shot with English : MASSE

In billiards, a massé shot is one in which the cue ball makes an extreme curve due to the player imparting heavy spin on the ball with his or her cue held relatively vertically.

In my misspent youth, I’d play a little snooker. When deliberately placing sidespin on the cue ball, we Irish (and British) players would simply say “I put some ‘side’ on that shot”. The term used over here in the US for the same shot is putting “english” on the ball. Ironically, the term “english” comes from the French “anglé” meaning “angled”. “Anglé” sounds exactly like the word “Anglais”, which is French for “English”. There you have it …

65. Reach by schooner, say : SAIL TO

By definition, a schooner is sailing vessel with two or more masts, but one on which the foremast is shorter than the rear mast(s).

67. Canal through Oneida Lake : ERIE

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

Oneida Lake is the largest lake lying entirely within the state of New York. Oneida is situated close to New York’s Finger Lakes, but it isn’t one of them. Having said that, some regard Oneida Lake as the “thumb” that goes along with the “fingers”.

74. Gremlins, e.g. : AMCS

The Gremlin is a subcompact car that was made by AMC in the 1970s. The Gremlin was positioned to compete with the Chevy Vega and Ford Pinto from the US, and with imports like the VW Beetle and Toyota Corona. On the list of ex-Gremlin drivers are Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush.

75. Wriggler on a hook : NIGHTCRAWLER (giving “first night”)

The most common species of earthworm found worldwide is Lumbricus terrestris, often referred to in Europe as the common earthworm and in North America as the nightcrawler.

78. __-Wan Kenobi : OBI

Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the more beloved of the “Star Wars” characters. Kenobi was portrayed by two fabulous actors in the series of films. As a young man he is played by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, and as an older man he is played by Alec Guinness.

82. WWII issue : E BOND

Series E Savings Bonds were introduced in 1941, just before the start of WWII, as “defense bonds”. After the attack on Pearl Harbor they became known as “war bonds”.

83. Suffix with Jumbo : -TRON

A JumboTron is a big-screen television system from Sony, often seen in sports stadiums. The brand name “JumboTron” is used pretty generically now for any big-screen system in such venues, even though Sony exited the business in 2001.

88. Happy hour sponsor : BAR

I always think that happy hour is best enjoyed with a good crossword, shaken, not stirred …

89. Kyrgyzstan range : ALAI

The Alay (also “Alai”) Mountains are located in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The highest peak in the range is Pik Tandykul, which lies on the international border between the two countries.

Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country in Central Asia that is a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). The country name’s root “Kyrgyz” translates as “We are forty”. This a reference to the forty united clans in the region that united under a legendary hero named Manas. The Kyrgyzstan flag also features a sun with forty rays, a further reference to the clans.

90. Refrigerant trade name : FREON

Freon is a DuPont trade name for a group of compounds used as a refrigerant and also as a propellant in aerosols. Freon is used in the compressors of air conditioners as a vital component in the air-cooling mechanism. Freon used to contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which had a devastating effect on the Earth’s ozone layer. Use of CFCs is now banned, or at least severely restricted.

92. Teacher’s bane, at times : CLASS CLOWN (giving “first class”)

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

95. Like Jack and Jill, ultimately : FALLEN

The “Jack and Jill” nursery rhyme dates back at least to the 1700s:

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

98. __ lepton: physics particle : TAU

Leptons are subatomic particles, of which there are two major classes. There are charged leptons, and neutral leptons. The most common charged leptons are electrons. Neutral leptons are also known as “neutrinos”.

102. The littlest bit : ONE IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

104. Mozart’s “The Hunt,” for one : STRING QUARTET (giving “first string”)

Mozart’s “String Quartet No. 17” is often referred to as “The Hunt”. “The Hunt” seems to turn up on the scores of movies a lot, including the “Royal Tenenbaums” (2001) and “Star Trek: Insurrection” (1998).

111. Bawled (out) : REAMED

I must admit that I find the slang term “to ream out”, with its meaning “to scold harshly”, to be quite distasteful. The usage of the word as a reprimand dates back to about 1950.

113. Hill group : SENATE

Washington D.C.’s designer Pierre L’Enfant chose the crest of a hill as the site for the future Congress House. He called the location “Jenkins Hill” and “Jenkins Heights”. Earlier records show the name as “New Troy”. Today we call it “Capitol Hill”.

Down

2. Fruit fly or gnat : PEST

The common fruit fly is used in biological research because it is easy to care for, it breeds very quickly, and lays lots of eggs. The average lifespan of a fruit fly in nature is about a month.

Gnats are attracted to the smell of rotting food, and to vinegar. Simple homemade traps that use vinegar are often constructed to attract and kill gnats.

4. Nebraska city named for a Native American tribe : OGALLALA

The city of Ogallala, Nebraska used be a Pony Express stop, and then Union Pacific railhead. After the railhead was built, Ogallala became a significant terminus for cattle drives from Texas.

5. Streakers in showers : METEORS

The two most famous meteor showers are the Perseids and Leonids. The Perseid meteor shower is most visible around August 12th each year, and the Leonid meteor shower is most notable around November 17th. The Perseids appear to emanate from the constellation Perseus, and the Leonids from the constellation Leo (hence the names “Perseids” and “Leonids”).

6. Withdrawal in 2016 headlines : BREXIT

The UK held a referendum in June 2016 in which 52% of voters chose to leave the European Union (EU). The term “Brexit” was used for vote, a portmanteau of “Britain” and “exit”. The vote has led to some debate about the future of the UK. The Scottish electorate voted for the UK to stay in the EU, and so there’s a lot of new talk about Scotland leaving the UK. There’s also some discussion about Northern Ireland’s future in the UK, as the Northern Irish electorate also voted to stay in the EU.

7. “Should __ acquaintance … ” : AULD

The song “Auld Lang Syne” is a staple at New Year’s Eve (well, actually in the opening minutes of New Year’s Day). The words were written by Scottish poet Robbie Burns. The literal translation of “Auld Lang Syne” is “old long since”, but is better translated as “old times”. The sentiment of the song is “for old time’s sake”.

8. FDR program : WPA

The Work Progress Administration (WPA) was the largest of the New Deal agencies. The WPA employed millions of people during the Depression, putting them to work on various public works projects. The total spending through the WPA from 1936 to 1939 was nearly $7 billion. We have to give the federal government credit for taking an enlightened view of what types of project qualified for financial support, so artists who could not get commissions privately were hired by the government itself. The result is a collection of “New Deal Art”, including a series of murals that can be found in post offices around the country to this day.

9. Gothic novelist Radcliffe : ANN

Ann Radcliffe was an English author famous for her Gothic novels, a genre that she helped to pioneer in the late 18th century.

10. Understanding : KEN

“Ken” is a noun meaning “understanding, perception”. One might say, for example, “half the clues in Saturday’s crossword are beyond my ken, beyond my understanding”.

11. Oxford college : EXETER

Exeter is the fourth oldest college in the University of Oxford in England, having been founded way back in 1314. One of Exeter’s more famous graduates was J. R. R. Tolkien, author of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”.

12. Classic Fender guitar, briefly : STRAT

The Stratocaster (often “Strat”) is an electric guitar made by Fender since 1954. The company that made Fender electric guitars was founded in Fullerton, California in 1946 by Leo Fender.

13. Golfing countryman of Player : ELS

Ernie Els is a South African golfer. Els a big guy but he has an easy fluid golf swing that has earned him the nickname “The Big Easy”. He is a former World No. 1 and has won four majors: the US Open (1994 & 1997) and the British Open (2002 & 2012).

Gary Player is a professional golfer from South Africa. To me, Player has always come across as a real gentleman with a great personality. Living in South Africa and playing mainly in the US, he has logged over 15 million air miles. That’s believed to be a record for any athlete.

14. Unit of heat : CALORIE

I wish we’d stop using the term “calorie”, because it is so confusing. In terms of physics, a calorie is amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree celsius (at one atmosphere of pressure). The so called “food calorie” is one thousand times as large, as is defined in terms of kilograms instead of grams. In attempts to differentiate between these two definitions, the former is sometimes referred to as the “small calorie” and is given the symbol “cal”. The latter is referred to as the “large calorie” and given the symbol “Cal”, with a capital C. If only we’d use the SI system of units, we’d be think in just joules, instead of large and small and food calories.

15. Diminutive two-seater : SMART CAR

“smart cars” are manufactured by Daimler AG, the same company that makes Mercedes-Benz automobiles. The smart car was developed in cooperation with the wristwatch brand Swatch. The name “smart” (always in lowercase letters) stands for Swatch Mercedes ART.

16. “Pinball Wizard” opera : TOMMY

“Tommy” is the fourth album recorded by the British band called the Who. “Tommy” was the original “rock opera” and was adapted for both the stage and screen, with both adaptations becoming huge successes. The title character has an uncanny ability to play pinball, giving rise to the hit song “Pinball Wizard”.

18. WWII British firearm : STEN

The STEN gun is an iconic armament that was used by the British military. The name STEN is an acronym. The S and the T comes from the name of the gun’s designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.

28. WWII alliance : THE AXIS

Before WWII, Hungary’s prime minister was lobbying for an alliance between Germany, Hungary and Italy and worked towards such a relationship that he called an “axis”. The main Axis powers during the war were Germany, Italy and Japan. However, also included in the relationship were Romania, Bulgaria and the aforementioned Hungary.

32. U-shaped river bend : OXBOW

The term “oxbow” can describe both a meander in the course of a river as well as the lake that forms if such a meander gets cut off from the main stream.

33. “Oy __!” : VEY

“Oy vey” is a Yiddish expression of dismay that literally translates as “oh, pain”. The more usual translation is “woe is me”.

34. Monte of Cooperstown : IRVIN

Monte Irvin was a professional baseball player who started his career with the Newark Eagles of the Negro League in 1938. Irvin played Major League baseball with the New York Giants and the Chicago Cubs, retiring in 1956. At the time of his passing in 2016 at the age of 96, Irvin was the oldest living former player with Negro Leagues, and oldest living former New York Giant and Chicago Cub.

38. Bit of braggadocio : BOAST

A “braggadocio” is one who brags. The term was coined by poet Edmund Spenser in his epic poem “The Faerie Queen”. One of the characters in the poem is a comic knight who is prone to bragging, someone Spenser names “Braggadocchio”.

41. Transport for Chingachgook : CANOE

Chingachgook is a character in the “Leatherstocking Tales” by James Fenimore Cooper. He was a friend of Natty Bumppo, the hero of Cooper’s stories.

42. Editors’ marks : STETS

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

48. Subatomic particle : PROTON

A proton is a subatomic particle, with at least one found in the nucleus of every atom. A proton is not a “fundamental particle”, as it itself is made up of three quarks; two up quarks and one down quark.

53. Templo Mayor builder : AZTEC

The Templo Mayor in the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan was one of the main temples. Tenochtitlan is now Mexico City, and we can only see excavated ruins today as the Spanish destroyed the site in 1521.

64. Pooh creator : MILNE

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author, best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

65. Ahmedabad address : SAHIB

“Sahib” is most recognized as a term of address used in India, where it is used in much the same way as we use “mister” in English. The term was also used to address male Europeans in the days of the British Raj. The correct female form of address is “sahiba”, but in the colonial days the address used was “memsahib”, a melding of “ma’am” and “sahib”

Ahmedabad is a large city in western India, the sixth largest in the country.

66. Livorno lady friend : AMICA

Livorno is a port city on the west coast of Italy. The city is often called “Leghorn” in English and gave its name to the leghorn breed of chicken, and by extension to the cartoon character known as Foghorn Leghorn.

68. P-like letters : RHOS

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

69. Thick-furred primate : BABOON

Baboons are ground-dwelling primates native to Africa that are found in open woodland and hills. A group of baboons is usually referred to as a “troop”.

72. Virus first identified in Zaire : EBOLA

The Ebola virus causes a very nasty form of hemorrhagic fever. The name of the virus comes from the site of the first known outbreak, in a mission hospital in the Ebola River Valley in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then known as Zaire). The disease is transmitted from human to human by exposure to bodily fluids. In nature, the main carrier of Ebola is the fruit bat.

73. IQ test pioneer : BINET

The first usable intelligence test was invented by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet. Binet collaborated with Théodore Simon and together they produced the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale that is still in use today for IQ tests.

77. Extend one’s Self? : RENEW

“Self” is a women’s magazine that has been published since 1979. It is a publication that focuses on health, beauty, wellness and style.

80. Petroleum produced from rock fragments : SHALE OIL

Shale oil can be extracted from oil shale (!), although the extraction process is more expensive than that used to produce crude oil.

83. Jazz standard that became an LSU fight song : TIGER RAG

“Tiger Rag” was first recorded in 1917, a jazz standard that has been recorded many times by many artists over the years. The first recording was made by the Original Dixieland Jass Band. Note that the “Jass” spelling was used by the band at the time of the recording, changing to “Jazz” later in the same year. “Tiger Rag” has been adopted as the fight song for several school teams that use a tiger as their mascot.

85. Hyundai compact : ELANTRA

The Elantra is a compact car made by Hyundai of South Korea. There was a long-standing dispute between Hyundai and manufacturers Lotus and Mitsubishi. Lotus contended that the Elantra name was too close the Lotus Elan, and Mitsubishi didn’t like the similarity to the Mitsubishi Elante.

86. “No seats” letters : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

87. Performed a ballroom dance : SAMBAED

The Samba is a Brazilian dance, very much symbolic of the festival known as Carnival. Like so much culture around the world, the Samba has its roots in Africa, as the dance is derived from dances performed by former slaves who migrated into urban Rio de Janeiro in the late 1800s. The exact roots of the name “samba” seem to have been lost in the mists of time. However, my favorite explanation is that it comes from an African Kikongo word “Semba” which means “a blow struck with the belly button”. We don’t seem to have a need for such a word in English …

90. 1984 Heisman Trophy winner Doug : FLUTIE

Doug Flutie is a former NFL football player, but is most famous as a Boston College quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner. Outside of sports Doug plays drums in the Flutie Brothers Band, along with his brother Darren (a famed wide receiver) on guitar.

The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding college football player each season. The trophy was first awarded in 1935, and the following year was given the name Heisman after the death of John Heisman, a noted college football player and football director.

93. Playbill listings : CASTS

I get quite a kick out of reading the bios in “Playbill” as some of them can be really goofy and entertaining. “Playbill” started off in 1884 in New York as an in-house publication for just one theater on 21st St. You can’t see any decent-sized production these days anywhere in the United States without being handed a copy of “Playbill”.

94. 60-Down’s info source : FAQ
(60D. Tablet buyer, usually : USER)

Most websites have a page listing answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Even this blog has one!

96. In short order, in verse : ANON

“Anon” originally meant “at once” and evolved into today’s meaning of “soon” apparently just because the word was misused over time.

97. Dunham of “Girls” : LENA

Lena Dunham is a co-star in the HBO series “Girls”, and is also the show’s creator. Dunham garnered a lot of attention for herself during the 2012 US Presidential election cycle as she starred in ad focused on getting out the youth vote. In the spot she compared voting for the first time with having sex for the first time.

99. Ornate arch : OGEE

An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

103. Band accessory : AMP

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

105. Neurotic toon pooch : REN

“The Ren & Stimpy Show” is an animated television show that ran on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 1996. The title characters are Marland “Ren” Höek, a scrawny and neurotic Chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat, a rotund and good-natured Manx cat. Not my cup of tea …

106. Potato source: Abbr. : IDA

Idaho has the nickname the Gem State, mainly because almost every known type of gemstone has been found there. Idaho is also sometimes called the Potato State as potatoes are such a popular crop in the state. I’d go for the potatoes over the gems, but that’s probably just me …

107. Paper read on the LIRR, perhaps : NYT

“The New York Times” has been published since 1851. These days a viable alternative to buying the paper is to read the news online. NYTimes.com is the most popular online newspaper website in the country.

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is the commuter rail service that runs all over Long Island, New York with 124 stations and 700 miles of track. More people use the LIRR than any other commuter railroad in the US. It is also the only commuter railroad in the country that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

108. Cardinal points, briefly? : TDS

Touchdowns (TDs)

Return to top of page

Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Unflappability : APLOMB

7. Responds to an alarm : AWAKES

13. Bliss : ECSTASY

20. Counterman? : GEIGER

21. On deck : UP NEXT

22. “Raging Bull” fighter : LAMOTTA

23. Trust builder? : ESTATE PLANNER (giving “First Estate”)

25. Clink : SLAMMER

26. Sent messages, before faxes and email : TELEXED

27. Bit of body art : TAT

29. Julia of “Legends of the Fall” : ORMOND

30. Meat cut : LOIN

31. Result of losing two points, perhaps : LOVE-THIRTY (giving “first love”)

35. Convey : IMPART

38. Descendant of the English Bulldog : BOXER

39. Son of Donald : ERIC

40. Shares an email with : CCS

43. Pigeon hangouts : SILLS

44. Voice of TV’s Fat Albert : COSBY

45. Get online shopping help, say : HAVE A CHAT

47. Sports org. with three major divisions : NCAA

48. Student of Socrates : PLATO

49. Hired car : TAXI

50. TV exec Arledge : ROONE

51. Tolkien monster : ORC

52. Concern for gardeners : FROST WARNING (giving “first frost”)

55. Protest gone bad : RIOT

56. Piggy : TOE

57. Gambling game : LOTTO

58. Veers : ZAGS

59. Pound units : OUNCES

61. Urban of country : KEITH

63. Rooting area : STY

64. Shot with English : MASSE

65. Reach by schooner, say : SAIL TO

67. Canal through Oneida Lake: ERIE

69. Half of a record : B-SIDE

71. Trap that’s spun : WEB

74. Gremlins, e.g. : AMCS

75. Wriggler on a hook : NIGHTCRAWLER (giving “first night”)

78. __-Wan Kenobi : OBI

79. Some price changes : HIKES

81. Whoop-de-__: lively parties : DOOS

82. WWII issue : E BOND

83. Suffix with Jumbo : -TRON

84. Glacial expanses : ICE SHEETS

86. Night noise : SNORE

87. Edge along : SIDLE

88. Happy hour sponsor : BAR

89. Kyrgyzstan range : ALAI

90. Refrigerant trade name : FREON

91. Troubles : NAGS AT

92. Teacher’s bane, at times : CLASS CLOWN (giving “first class”)

94. Celebrity : FAME

95. Like Jack and Jill, ultimately : FALLEN

98. __ lepton: physics particle : TAU

99. Fiber source : OAT BRAN

102. The littlest bit : ONE IOTA

104. Mozart’s “The Hunt,” for one : STRING QUARTET (giving “first string”)

109. Verify : CONFIRM

110. Colored tee, perhaps : TIE-DYE

111. Bawled (out) : REAMED

112. Aflutter : IN A FLAP

113. Hill group : SENATE

114. Border maintainers : EDGERS

Down

1. Time of one’s life : AGE

2. Fruit fly or gnat : PEST

3. Loser’s ad word : LITE

4. Nebraska city named for a Native American tribe : OGALLALA

5. Streakers in showers : METEORS

6. Withdrawal in 2016 headlines : BREXIT

7. “Should __ acquaintance … ” : AULD

8. FDR program : WPA

9. Gothic novelist Radcliffe : ANN

10. Understanding : KEN

11. Oxford college : EXETER

12. Classic Fender guitar, briefly : STRAT

13. Golfing countryman of Player : ELS

14. Unit of heat : CALORIE

15. Diminutive two-seater : SMART CAR

16. “Pinball Wizard” opera : TOMMY

17. Spherical opening? : ATMO-

18. WWII British firearm : STEN

19. Spot to spot Spot : YARD

24. See 25-Across : PEN

28. WWII alliance : THE AXIS

31. Was beaten by : LOST TO

32. U-shaped river bend : OXBOW

33. “Oy __!” : VEY

34. Monte of Cooperstown : IRVIN

35. Schoolyard argument : IS NOT!

36. Itsy-bitsy : MICRO

37. Any one of the NFL’s top 25 career scoring leaders : PLACE KICKER (giving “first place”)

38. Bit of braggadocio : BOAST

40. They’re spoken in anger : CHOICE WORDS (giving “first choice”)

41. Transport for Chingachgook : CANOE

42. Editors’ marks : STETS

44. Quilter’s need : CLOTH

45. Dangle : HANG

46. Pedal problems : CORNS

48. Subatomic particle : PROTON

49. Serving convenience : TRAY

52. Flutter by like a butterfly : FLIT

53. Templo Mayor builder : AZTEC

54. Driven to act : GOADED

60. Tablet buyer, usually : USER

62. “It’s nobody __ business” : ELSE’S

63. Poses : SITS

64. Pooh creator : MILNE

65. Ahmedabad address : SAHIB

66. Livorno lady friend : AMICA

67. Hard one to work with : EGOTIST

68. P-like letters : RHOS

69. Thick-furred primate : BABOON

70. Like court testimony : SWORN

72. Virus first identified in Zaire : EBOLA

73. IQ test pioneer : BINET

76. Thoughts : IDEAS

77. Extend one’s Self? : RENEW

80. Petroleum produced from rock fragments : SHALE OIL

83. Jazz standard that became an LSU fight song : TIGER RAG

85. Hyundai compact : ELANTRA

86. “No seats” letters : SRO

87. Performed a ballroom dance : SAMBAED

90. 1984 Heisman Trophy winner Doug : FLUTIE

91. The great outdoors : NATURE

92. Site of an ascent : CLIFF

93. Playbill listings : CASTS

94. 60-Down’s info source : FAQ

95. Central points : FOCI

96. In short order, in verse : ANON

97. Dunham of “Girls” : LENA

99. Ornate arch : OGEE

100. My way : AT ME

101. __-do-well : NE’ER

103. Band accessory : AMP

105. Neurotic toon pooch : REN

106. Potato source: Abbr. : IDA

107. Paper read on the LIRR, perhaps : NYT

108. Cardinal points, briefly? : TDS

Return to top of page

4 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword Answers 12 Feb 17, Sunday”

  1. 20:35, no errors. A remarkably easy one. I think the only entry I really didn’t know was ANN Radcliffe, though I misspelled OGALLALA at first and a few other things took their time in coming to mind, like Doug FLUTIE and AT ME. So … good … more time for other things today … 🙂

  2. Easier than most Sunday LATs. I finished quickly, but the clock kept going so I spent another 5 minutes searching for my error but never found it. I had ageSHEET with AMIgA and SAHaB. Saw it when I came to the blog.

    Ed Sessa normally produces very challenging grids here and over at the NYT. I guess he’s taking it easy on us today. This was news to me, but he’s a pediatrician when he’s not constructing crosswords. I wonder which he considers his hobby?

    I liked the blurb about the origin of “English” for the billiards shot. I love the game, but I don’t play it often these days.

    Best –

  3. The first Sunday I stuck with it, but was done in by COOPS for SILLS.
    POINT KICKER instead of PLACE.
    I THOUGHT SMALL CAR was a stupid answer and it was.
    SMART CAR!!!!!!!!!! (That was for Carrie 🙂 )
    @Carrie, My biggest annoyance is FAKE Southern accents in movies and television. There were an awful lot of Tennessee Williams movies on TV back in the 60s.
    I had NO IDEA whatsever as to the theme, so thank you Bill!

  4. Fuzzle! Easy Sunday, with some cute stuff. Didn’t see the theme til I had almost finished the whole thing. For awhile there I had ORT instead of ORC, which gave me PLATE KICKER. LOL! I kinda liked that, but even knowing so little about football I AM aware that they don’t kick plates– do they?? 😁
    Thanks Pookie for the exclamation marks. ..😊 Not sure how long I can avoid excessive use… RE southern accents: OMG they’re so poorly done sometimes. How’s this: apparently, when Leslie Howard was cast as Ashley in Gone With the Wind, he didn’t deign even to try a southern accent. So there he is in Georgia speaking the King’s English. One of my fave movies, so I have to forgive him: in the novel, Ashley Wilkes had spent some months in England, before the war, so I must assume that he picked up the accent there. Otherwise it would bug me.

    Beautiful weather here in LA; warm, and the air is clean thanks to our recent rains.
    Makes me feel like Spring is here 🌿
    Sweet dreams~~™🌎✌

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.