LA Times Crossword Answers 31 Jul 2017, Monday










Constructed by: Lila Cherry

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Broken Bat

Each of today’s themed answers includes the hidden letter string BAT. However the order of the letters is BROKEN, changed:

  • 58A. Cause of wood splinters in the infield … and what each set of puzzle circles represents : BROKEN BAT
  • 17A. Popular pool game : EIGHT-BALL
  • 32A. Nearly : JUST ABOUT
  • 40A. Bulletin board sticker : THUMBTACK
  • 5D. Healthful cereal : OAT BRAN
  • 42D. Doctor’s order : LAB TEST

Bill’s time: 5m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

14. Andes beast of burden : LLAMA

Many female mammals lick off their newborn. That’s not an option for llamas as their tongues only reach out of their mouths about half an inch. Instead llama dams nuzzle their young and hum to them.

16. Flashy display : ECLAT

“Éclat” can mean a brilliant show of success, or the applause or accolade that one receives. The word derives from the French “éclater” meaning “to splinter, burst out”.

17. Popular pool game : EIGHT-BALL

Eight-ball and nine-ball are arguably the most popular variants of pool played in North America. In eight-ball, one player sinks the striped balls, and the other the solid balls. The first to sink all his or her balls, and then the black 8-ball, without fouling wins the game. In nine-ball, each player must hit the lowest numbered ball on the table first with the cue ball. The first player to sink the 9-ball wins. Sinking the nine ball can happen when first hitting the lowest bowl on the table, or possibly when balls numbered 1-8 have been sunk.

21. Spinach-eating sailor : POPEYE

The cartoon character Popeye the Sailorman is very fond of spinach, eating cans of the vegetable through his pipe and garnering great strength from it.

22. College dorm VIPs : RAS

RAs are resident assistants or resident advisers, the peer leaders found in residence halls, particularly on a college campus.

23. Loo : LAV

Our word lavatory (sometimes “lav”) originally referred to a washbasin, and comes from the Latin “lavatorium”, a place for washing. In the 1600s a “lavatory” came to mean a washroom, and in the 1920s a toilet.

24. Blame for the crime : RAP

A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

25. Capital One’s “What’s in your wallet?,” e.g. : SLOGAN

Capital One is a financial services company based in McLean, Virginia. The company is known for its mass marketing of credit cards. In fact, it is one of the US Post Office’s largest customers due to the volume of direct mail solicitations sent out.

29. Great Wall continent : ASIA

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications that was built and rebuilt over the centuries to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire. Most of the existing wall was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty. This Ming wall is about 5,000 miles long. There is an urban myth that the Great Wall is visible from the Moon, or from space. NASA has shown that the Great Wall can only be discerned from low Earth orbit (about 100 miles), and that is no more or less visible than any other man-made structure.

31. Singer Rimes : LEANN

LeAnn Rimes has been a country music star since she was 13 years old. In 2008 she disclosed publicly that she suffered from the autoimmune disease psoriasis. She has been active since then in raising money to fight the disease and helping fund cancer research as well. So, not only did Rimes win three Grammy Awards in 1997, she also won a 2009 Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Country Music.

37. Eduardo’s eight : OCHO

In Spanish, “ocho” is “eight”.

38. Brown-toned photo : SEPIA

Sepia is that lovely rich, brown-grey color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish.The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

42. Doone of Exmoor : LORNA

The novel “Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor” was written by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. R. D. Blackmore was an English novelist, very celebrated and in demand in his day (the late 1800s). His romantic story “Lorna Doone” was by no means a personal favorite of his, and yet it is the only one of his works still in print.

43. Israeli statesman Abba : EBAN

Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town, South Africa. While working at the United Nations after WWII, Eban changed his given name to “Abba”, the Hebrew word for “father”. He made this change as reportedly as he could see himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

44. Poland’s capital : WARSAW

The capital city name “Warsaw” in Polish means “belonging to Warsz”. Legend has it that Warsz, was a fisherman who fell in love with a mermaid called Sawa. It’s a nice story, but actually Warsz was a nobleman from the 12th or 13th century who owned a local village.

45. Sophs, two yrs. later : SRS

The term “sophomore” has been used for a student in the second year of university since the 1680’s. The original meaning of the word was “arguer”. The term has Greek roots, from two Greek words that have been artificially combined in English. The Greek “sophos” means “wise”, and “moros” means “foolish”.

48. Milk buys: Abbr. : QTS

The unit of volume “quart” is so called because it is one quarter of a gallon.

50. Bernadette of “Into the Woods” : PETERS

Bernadette Peters is perhaps best known as a Broadway actress, and in particular for her performances in works by Stephen Sondheim. Off the stage and screen, Peters was noted for her 4-year relationship with Steve Martin in the seventies.

“Into the Woods” is Stephen Sondheim musical that premiered in 1986. The storyline uses characters from several fairy tales, including “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel” and “Cinderella”. The borrowed characters are held together with an underlying original tale about a baker and his wife who long to have a child, but cannot due to a curse placed on them by a witch.

52. Surprise winner of fable : TORTOISE

“The Tortoise and the Hare” is perhaps the most famous fable attributed to Aesop. The cocky hare takes a nap during a race against the tortoise, and the tortoise sneaks past the finish line for the win while his speedier friend is sleeping.

57. Japanese mushroom : ENOKI

Enokitake (also known as “enoki”) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

60. Tibetan beast of burden : YAK

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in the Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

63. Ambulance initials : EMS

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Down

2. Et __: and others : ALII

Et alii (et al.) is the equivalent of et cetera (etc.), with et cetera being used in place of a list of objects, and et alii used for a list of names. In fact “et al.” can stand for et alii (for a group of males, or males and females), aliae (for a group of women) and et alia (for a group of neuter nouns, or for a group of people where the intent is to retain gender-neutrality).

4. Texter’s “If you ask me” : IMHO

In my humble opinion (IMHO)

6. Neuters : SPAYS

Our verb “to spay”, meaning “to surgically remove the ovaries of” (an animal) comes from an old Anglo-French word “espeier” meaning “to cut with a sword”.

9. Classical guitarist Andrés : SEGOVIA

Andrés Segovia was a classical guitar player from Andalusia in Spain.

11. Advertising handout : FLIER

Fliers are notices that are circulated. The original fliers (also “flyers”) were police bulletins that were “scatter-broadcast”.

18. Lima or fava : BEAN

The lima bean is also known as the butter bean. The lima bean was introduced to Europe from the area around Lima, Peru, hence the name.

Fava bean is an alternative name for the broad bean. “Broad bean” is used “broadly” (pun!) in the UK, whereas “fava bean” is common in the US. “Fava” is the Italian name for the broad bean.

21. Linguine or tortellini : PASTA

Linguine is a type of pasta that is similar to spaghetti, except that in cross-section linguine is elliptical whereas spaghetti is round. The correct name for the dish is “linguine” meaning “little tongues” in Italian. That said, the misspelling “linguini” is given in some dictionaries as an acceptable Americanized variant..

Tortellini are stuffed pasta that are ring-shaped, or navel shaped. In fact tortellini can also be called “umbellico”, the Italian for “belly button”.

23. Eye surgery acronym : LASIK

LASIK surgery uses a laser to reshape the cornea of the eye to improve vision. The LASIK acronym stands for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis”.

26. Peace Nobelist Walesa : LECH

Lech Walesa worked as an electrician in the Gdansk Shipyards in Poland. Walesa was active in the trade union movement in the days when unions were not welcome behind the Iron Curtain. His efforts resulted in the founding of Solidarity, the first independent trade union in Soviet-controlled territory. For his work, Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and in 1990 he became the first democratically elected President of Poland. He has lost support in Poland in recent years, but he is a very popular booking on the international speaking circuit.

27. Honolulu’s island : OAHU

Honolulu is the largest city in Hawaii, and the state capital. Located on the island of Oahu, the name “Honolulu” translates from Hawaiian as “place of shelter, calm port, sheltered bay”.

28. Pointy-hatted garden decoration : GNOME

In English folklore, the fairy’s anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable so we now have garden gnomes, and even the Travelocity Gnome.

32. Lees on your legs : JEANS

Denim fabric originated in Nimes in France. The French phrase “de Nimes” (meaning “from Nimes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

The Lee company that’s famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.

33. Scannable mdse. bars : UPC

Universal Price Code or Universal Product Code (UPC)

35. Pres. Carter’s alma mater : USNA

President James Earl “Jimmy” Carter (JEC) is a graduate of the US Naval Academy (USNA). Carter served in the Navy on surface ships and submarines, and chose to pursue a career in the submarine service as he was interested in nuclear power and believed it had a great future in submarine design. As a result, he became an expert in nuclear propulsion. In 1952, the Navy sent the young Carter to the Chalk River Laboratories in Canada to lead the US effort to shutdown the reactor after an accident and partial meltdown of a reactor core. He and his team had to be lowered into the leaking reactor core for mechanical disassembly, staying there for only seconds at a time to minimise exposure to radiation. Decades later as US President, it was this experience that influenced Carter’s decision not to complete the development of the neutron bomb.

The literal translation for the Latin term “alma mater” is “nourishing mother”. The phrase was used in Ancient Rome to refer to mother goddesses, and in Medieval Christianity the term was used to refer to the Virgin Mary. Nowadays, one’s alma mater is the school one attended, either high school or college, usually one’s last place of education.

46. Actress Zellweger : RENEE

Renée Zellweger’s big break came in the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire”. A few years later, Zellweger followed that up with a string of successes in “Bridget Jones Diary” (2001), “Chicago” (2002) and “Cold Mountain” (2003). My wife and I love watching her play Bridget Jones, and as someone coming from the British Isles, I have to say that Zellweger does a remarkable job with the accent. She worked hard to perfect that accent, and of course she had a voice coach. She also went “undercover” and worked as a temp in an office for three weeks fine-tuning her skills.

58. “Ciao!” : BYE!

“Ciao” is the Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Outdoor party area : PATIO

6. Hot tub : SPA

9. In-the-wall security devices : SAFES

14. Andes beast of burden : LLAMA

15. Fox foot : PAW

16. Flashy display : ECLAT

17. Popular pool game : EIGHT-BALL

19. Pretense : GUISE

20. Sneaks out after being grounded, say : DISOBEYS

21. Spinach-eating sailor : POPEYE

22. College dorm VIPs : RAS

23. Loo : LAV

24. Blame for the crime : RAP

25. Capital One’s “What’s in your wallet?,” e.g. : SLOGAN

29. Great Wall continent : ASIA

31. Singer Rimes : LEANN

32. Nearly : JUST ABOUT

37. Eduardo’s eight : OCHO

38. Brown-toned photo : SEPIA

39. Crowd silence : HUSH

40. Bulletin board sticker : THUMBTACK

42. Doone of Exmoor : LORNA

43. Israeli statesman Abba : EBAN

44. Poland’s capital : WARSAW

45. Sophs, two yrs. later : SRS

48. Milk buys: Abbr. : QTS

49. Kernel holder : COB

50. Bernadette of “Into the Woods” : PETERS

52. Surprise winner of fable : TORTOISE

57. Japanese mushroom : ENOKI

58. Cause of wood splinters in the infield … and what each set of puzzle circles represents : BROKEN BAT

59. Hollywood VIP : CELEB

60. Tibetan beast of burden : YAK

61. Barely enough : SCANT

62. Garden plantings : SEEDS

63. Ambulance initials : EMS

64. Short and not so sweet : TERSE

Down

1. Asked earnestly (for) : PLED

2. Et __: and others : ALII

3. Clothing price sites : TAGS

4. Texter’s “If you ask me” : IMHO

5. Healthful cereal : OAT BRAN

6. Neuters : SPAYS

7. Buddies : PALS

8. Punching tool : AWL

9. Classical guitarist Andrés : SEGOVIA

10. __ of coffee : A CUP

11. Advertising handout : FLIER

12. No-sweat grade : EASY A

13. Precipitous : STEEP

18. Lima or fava : BEAN

21. Linguine or tortellini : PASTA

23. Eye surgery acronym : LASIK

25. One in a casino row : SLOT

26. Peace Nobelist Walesa : LECH

27. Honolulu’s island : OAHU

28. Pointy-hatted garden decoration : GNOME

30. Detest : ABHOR

32. Lees on your legs : JEANS

33. Scannable mdse. bars : UPC

34. For us : OURS

35. Pres. Carter’s alma mater : USNA

36. Unfreeze : THAW

38. Runs, hits and errors : STATS

41. Backyard beef on the bone, briefly : BBQ RIBS

42. Doctor’s order : LAB TEST

44. Employment : WORK

45. Project details, for short : SPECS

46. Actress Zellweger : RENEE

47. Took badly? : STOLE

49. Broth-spoiling excess? : COOKS

51. Barely managed, with “out” : EKED

52. Theme park transport : TRAM

53. At a former time : ONCE

54. Letter-shaped beam : I-BAR

55. Without, in France : SANS

56. Suffix with kitchen : -ETTE

58. “Ciao!” : BYE!

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LA Times Crossword Answers 30 Jul 2017, Sunday










Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel

Edited by: Rich Norris

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

Quicklink to comments

Theme: Double Trouble

Each of today’s themed answers is a common two-word phrase in which a starting letter D has been replaced by the letters TR, as in “double” becoming “trouble”:

  • 23A. Gathering of zombies? : TRANCE PARTY (from “dance party”)
  • 25A. Vacation including Caribbean dance lessons? : SALSA TRIP (from “salsa dip”)
  • 50A. Dumpster illumination : TRASH LIGHT (from “dash light”)
  • 53A. Case with a strict time limit? : SPEED TRIAL (from “speed dial”)
  • 85A. Semi driver’s superstition? : LUCKY TRUCK (from “lucky duck”)
  • 88A. Bugs’ wealthy heir? : TRUST BUNNY (from “dust bunny”)
  • 113A. Photo including six-pack abs? : TRUNK SHOT (from “dunk shot”)
  • 115A. Vocal technique used at seders? : KOSHER TRILL (from “kosher dill”)

Bill’s time: 14m 17s

Bill’s errors: 0




Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Moving manga : ANIME

Anime is cartoon animation in the style of Japanese Manga comic books.

15. Winter Palace ruler : TSAR

The Winter Palace is a magnificent building in St. Petersburg in Russia, home to the Russian tsars (and tsarinas). The Winter Palace houses the famous Hermitage Museum. I was lucky enough to visit the Palace and museum some years ago, and I have to say that I have rarely been more impressed by a historical building.

19. “Hallelujah” songwriter Leonard : COHEN

I’ve never been a big fan of the music of Canadian singer Leonard Cohen (don’t all yell at me at the same time!). That said, his 1984 song “Hallelujah” is superb, particularly the version recorded by Jeff Buckley in 1994.

20. Mozart work : OPERA

The Austrian composer’s full name was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The name “Wolfgang” translates literally as “wolf journey”. Amadeus translates as “love god”!

21. Sport involving protective suits : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

22. Sch. publishing the Daily Bruin : UCLA

The UCLA Bruins’ mascots are Joe and Josephine Bruin, characters that have evolved over the years. There used to be “mean” Bruin mascots but they weren’t very popular with the fans, so now there are only “happy” Bruin mascots at the games.

23. Gathering of zombies? : TRANCE PARTY (from “dance party”)

A zombie is a corpse that has been brought back to life by some mystical means. Our modern use of the term largely stems from the undead creatures featured in the 1968 horror movie called “Night of the Living Dead”. Now that film I haven’t seen, and probably never will …

25. Vacation including Caribbean dance lessons? : SALSA TRIP (from “salsa dip”)

The genre of music called salsa is a modern interpretation of various Cuban traditional music styles.

“Salsa” is simply the Spanish for “sauce”.

27. Currency exchange table letters : USD

The “$” sign was first used for the Spanish American peso, in the late 18th century. The peso was also called the “Spanish dollar” (and “piece of eight”). The Spanish dollar was to become the model for the US dollar that was adopted in 1785, along with the “$” sign.

28. Dietary figs. : RDAS

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

29. Goad : EGG ON

The verb “edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

32. Awards originally for radio only : PEABODYS

The Peabody Awards have been presented annually since 1941 to individuals and organizations for excellence in broadcasting. They are named for businessman and philanthropist George Foster Peabody, who provided the funds to establish the awards program.

37. Burro bellow : BRAY

Our word “burro” meaning donkey comes from the Spanish word for the same animal, namely “burrico”.

38. Chatty bird : MYNA

Some species of myna (also “mynah”) bird are known for their ability to imitate sounds.

39. Line in an Ellington classic : “A” TRAIN

The A Train in the New York City Subway system runs from 207th Street, through Manhattan and over to Far Rockaway in Queens. The service lends its name to a jazz standard “Take the ‘A’ Train”, the signature tune of Duke Ellington and a song much sung by Ella Fitzgerald. One version of the lyrics are:

You must take the A Train
To go to Sugar Hill way up in Harlem
If you miss the A Train
You’ll find you’ve missed the quickest way to Harlem
Hurry, get on, now, it’s coming
Listen to those rails a-thrumming (All Aboard!)
Get on the A Train
Soon you will be on Sugar Hill in Harlem.

41. Company with a spokesduck : AFLAC

In 1999, Aflac (American Family Life Assurance Company) was huge in the world of insurance but it wasn’t a household name, so a New York advertising agency was given the task of making the Aflac brand more memorable. One of the agency’s art directors, while walking around Central Park one lunchtime, heard a duck quacking and in his mind linked it with “Aflac”, and that duck has been “Aflacking” ever since …

43. South American squeezer : BOA

Boa constrictors are members of the Boidae family of snakes, all of which are non-venomous. Interestingly, the female boa is always larger than the male.

47. Eyelid malady : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

50. Dumpster illumination : TRASH LIGHT (from “dash light”)

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

56. Ranch rope : LARIAT

Our word “lariat” comes from the Spanish “la reater” meaning “the rope”.

58. Leader who resigned in his sixth yr. : RMN

President Richard Milhous Nixon (RMN) used “Milhous” in his name in honor of his mother Hannah Milhous. Richard was born in a house in Yorba Linda, California. You can visit that house today as it is on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. It’s a really interesting way to spend a few hours if you ever get to Yorba Linda …

61. Subdue, in a way : TASE

“To tase” is to use a taser, a stun gun.

62. City WSW of Bogotá : CALI

In terms of population, Cali is the third largest city in Colombia (after Bogotá and Medellin). Santiago de Cali (the full name for the city) lies in western Colombia. Apparently, Cali is a destination for “medical tourists”. The city’s surgeons have a reputation for being expert in cosmetic surgery and so folks head there looking for a “cheap” nose job. Calia has also been historically associated with the illegal drug trade and money laundering.

Bogotá is the capital city of Colombia. Noted for having many libraries and universities, Bogotá is sometimes referred to as “The Athens of South America”.

64. Attorney general before Dick Thornburgh : ED MEESE

Ed Meese was born in Oakland, California just down the road here and spent 24 years in the office of the Treasurer of Alameda County, the county in which I live. After military service, Meese earned himself a law degree at UC Berkeley. Later, as chief of staff for President Reagan, he was instrumental in a famous decision to crack down on student protesters at Berkeley which resulted in one protester dying and a two-week occupation of the city by the California National Guard.

Dick Thornburgh served as the Governor of Pennsylvania for eight years before becoming the US Attorney General in 1988. Thornburgh served in the White House under both President Reagan and President Bush.

67. Pricey mushroom : MOREL

The morel is that genus of mushroom with the honeycomb-like structure on the cap. They’re highly prized, especially in French cuisine. Morels should never be eaten raw as they are toxic, with the toxins being removed by thorough cooking.

68. 2015 Verizon purchase : AOL

Founded as Quantum Computer Services in 1983, the company changed its name in 1989 to America Online. As America Online went international, the acronym AOL was used in order to shake off the “America-centric” sound to the name. During the heady days of AOL’s success the company could not keep up with the growing number of subscribers, so people trying to connect often encountered busy signals. That’s when users referred to AOL as “Always Off-Line”.

69. “Kojak” actor : SAVALAS

I think we all remember Telly Savalas playing the title role in the detective drama “Kojak”, but do we recall his performance in the 1962 “Birdman of Alcatraz”? Savalas played a supporting role opposite Burt Lancaster in that movie, earning himself an Oscar nomination. Another of his more significant roles was Pontius Pilate in the 1965 epic “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. Savalas had to shave his head to play Pilate, and he liked the look so much that he remained bald for the rest of his life.

“Kojak” is a fun police drama that had an original run on TV from 1973 to 1978. The title character was NYPD Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak, played by Telly Savalas. Famously, Kojak sucks away on Tootsie Pops as he tries to quit cigarettes. Kojak is assisted in his cases by Sergeant “Fatso” Stavros, a character played by George Savalas, Telly’s younger brother. Who loves ya, baby?

73. Tinseltown pooch : ASTA

Asta is the wonderful little dog in the superb “The Thin Man” series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). In the original story by Dashiell Hammett, Asta was a female Schnauzer, but on screen Asta was played by a wire-haired fox terrier called “Skippy”. Skippy was also the dog in “Bringing up Baby” with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, the one who kept stealing the dinosaur bone. Skippy retired in 1939, so Asta was played by other dogs in the remainder of “The Thin Man” films.

76. Commonly injured knee ligament, briefly : MCL

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is a ligament of the knee, on the inside (medial) side of the joint.

79. “__ Like You”: Young Rascals hit : A GIRL

The Rascals was a band that was big in the late sixties and early seventies. The list of the best-known songs recorded by the Rascals includes 1967’s “Groovin’” and “A Beautiful Morning”, both favorites of mine. The group originally used the name “the Young Rascals”, but I guess that got too old for that moniker …

80. Baggage-opening org. : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks that check passengers and baggage at airports.

85. Semi driver’s superstition? : LUCKY TRUCK (from “lucky duck”)

A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

90. Antoinette’s head : TETE

Marie Antoinette was the wife of Louis XVI, the last king of France. Marie Antoinette was the fifteenth of sixteen children born to the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. The marriage to Louis, her second cousin once removed, was arranged while the two were very young. The prospective bride was “handed over” to the French at a border crossing in 1770 and two weeks later she was married to the future king. Marie Antoinette was just 14 years of age at the time, and Louis only a year her senior. Both Louis and Marie Antoinette were doomed to lose their heads courtesy of the guillotine during the French Revolution.

93. Apnea-treating doc : ENT

Ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT)

Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

100. Sailor : TAR

A jack tar, or just “tar”, was a seaman in the days of the British Empire. The term probably arose due to a sailor’s various uses of tar back then, including waterproofing his clothes and using tar in his hair to slick down his ponytail.

104. Gmail lifesaver : UNDO SEND

Gmail users (like me) have the advantage of a 10-send grace period in which one can decide to undo the send command for a specific email. I like that “undo send” feature …

108. Safari runner? : IPHONE

Safari is Apple’s flagship Internet browser, one that is used on its Mac line of computers. A mobile version of Safari is included with all iPhones.

111. American assignment : SEAT

American Airlines was founded in 1930 through the acquisition of 82 existing small airlines, and initially operated as American Airways. The company name was changed to “American Air Lines” in 1934. Back then, airlines made their profits by carrying the US mail, and American became the first airline to turn a profit on a route that could solely carry passengers. It did so by working with Donald Douglas to develop the DC-3 passenger plane. At that time, American started calling its aircraft “Flagships” and introduced its more wealthy passengers to the first Admirals Club.

112. John in Wimbledon : LOO

It has been suggested that the British term “loo” comes from Waterloo (water-closet … water-loo), but no one seems to know for sure. Another suggestion is that the term comes from the card game of “lanterloo”, in which the pot was called the loo!

The use of “john” as a slang term for a toilet is peculiar to North America. “John” probably comes from the older slang term of “jack” or “jakes” that had been around since the 16th century. In Ireland, in cruder moments, we still refer to a toilet as “the jacks”.

Wimbledon is a suburb of London located in the southwest of the metropolis. Wimbledon translates from Old English as “Wynnman’s Hill”, with “dun” being an archaic word for “hill”. And, the district is home to the All England Club where the Wimbledon tennis championships are played each year.

115. Vocal technique used at seders? : KOSHER TRILL (from “kosher dill”)

The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. One of the traditions at the meal is that the youngest child at the table asks “The Four Questions”, all relating to why this night is different from all other nights in the year:

  • Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we eat only matzoh?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
  • Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?

118. Theater section : LOGE

In most theaters today, “loge” is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. Loge can also be used for box seating.

121. Kindergarten refrain : E-I-E-I-O

There was an American version of the English children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (E-I-E-I-O), that was around in the days of WWI. The first line of the US version goes “Old MacDougal had a farm, in Ohio-i-o”.

“Kindergarten” is a German term, literally meaning “children’s garden”. The term was coined by the German education authority Friedrich Fröbel in 1837, when he used it as the name for his play and activity institute that he created for young children to use before they headed off to school. His thought was that children should be nourished educationally, like plants in a garden.

122. Slaughter of the Cardinals : ENOS

Enos Slaughter has a remarkable playing record in Major League Baseball over a 19-year career. Slaughter’s record is particularly remarkable given that he left baseball for three years to serve in the military during WWII.

123. River of Flanders : YSER

The Yser river flows into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort in the Flemish province of West Flanders in Belgium.

Down

1. Cause a ruckus : ACT UP

The word “ruckus” is used to mean a commotion, and has been around since the late 1800s. “Ruckus” is possibly a melding of the words “ruction” and “rumpus”.

2. Like Thor : NORSE

In Norse mythology, Thor was the son of Odin. Thor wielded a mighty hammer and was the god of thunder, lightning and storms. Our contemporary word “Thursday” comes from “Thor’s Day”.

11. Cancún cash : PESOS

The coin called a “peso” is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

Cancún is a city and island on the east coast of Mexico, on the other side of the Yucatan Channel from Cuba. The city is growing rapidly due to its booming tourist business. Cancún is the center of what’s often called “The Mexican Caribbean” or the “Mayan Riviera”.

13. Brooks of comedy : MEL

Mel Brooks’ real name is Melvin Kaminsky. Brooks is one of very few entertainers (there are only ten) who has won the “Showbiz Award Grand Slam” i.e. an Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy. He is in good company, as the list also includes the likes of Richard Rogers, Sir John Gielgud, Marvin Hamlisch and Audrey Hepburn.

14. Heckled : PESTERED

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 standup comics.

15. Sugar Plum Fairy’s dress : TUTU

The word “tutu”, used for a ballet dancer’s skirt, is actually a somewhat “naughty” term. It came into English from French in the early 20th century. The French “tutu” is an alteration of the word “cucu”, a childish word meaning “bottom, backside”.

In Tchaikovsky’s delightful ballet “The Nutcracker”, much of the action takes place in the Land of Sweets, which is ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Sugar Plum Fairy’s dance is performed to music that usually features the keyboard instrument known as a celesta, resulting in a unique and memorable sound.

17. O’Connor successor : ALITO

Associate Justice Samuel Alito was nominated to the US Supreme Court by President George W. Bush. Alito is the second Italian-American to serve on the Supreme Court (Antonin Scalia was the first). Alito studied law at Yale and while in his final year he left the country for the first time in his life, heading to Italy to work on his thesis about the Italian legal system.

Sandra Day O’Connor is a former associate justice on the US Supreme Court. O’Connor was the first woman appointed to the court, and was in office from 1981 after being appointed by President Reagan. As the court became more conservative she was viewed as the swing vote in many decisions. As a result, O’Connor was known as one of the most powerful women in the world. She retired in 2006 (replaced by Samuel Alito), and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2009.

26. Plucked instrument, in Padua : ARPA

The city of Padua is in northern Italy, not far from Venice. Padua has many claims to fame. For example, Galileo was one of the lecturers at the University of Padua, and William Shakespeare chose the city as the setting for his play “The Taming of the Shrew”.

35. Hydrocarbon gas : ETHENE

Ethylene (also called “ethene”) has a gazillion uses, including as an anesthetic and an aid to hastening the ripening of fruit. Ethylene’s most common use is as a major raw material in the manufacture of plastics (like polyethylene).

38. When doubled, fish often grilled : MAHI

Mahi-mahi is the Hawaiian name for the dolphin-fish, also called a dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

40. Its anthem is “Hatikvah” : ISRAEL

The title of the national anthem of Israel is “Hatikvah”, which translates from Hebrew into English as “The Hope”. The anthem’s lyrics were adapted from an 1878 poem called “Our Hope” by Jewish poet Naftali Herz Imber. The opening stanza is, in English:

As long as deep within the heart
A Jewish soul stirs,
And forward, to the ends of the East
An eye looks out, towards Zion.

46. National Pecan Month : APRIL

Apparently, we have quite a lot “food months” in the US. Here are some examples:

  • January: National Soup Month
  • March: National Celery Month
  • April: National Pecan Month
  • October: National Pizza Month
  • December: National Egg Nog Month

51. Guanaco cousin : LLAMA

Similar to the llama, the guanaco is a camelid that is native to South America. The wool of the guanaco is valued for its soft feel, and is even more highly prized that the wool of the llama.

54. Marge Simpson or June Cleaver : TV MOM

Marge Simpson is the matriarch of the family in “The Simpsons” animated sitcom. Marge is voiced by actress Julie Kavner, who is also well known for playing Brenda Morgenstern in the TV show “Rhoda” in the seventies.

Wally Cleaver and his younger brother “the Beaver” were the children of Ward and June Cleaver on the fifties sitcom “Leave It to Beaver”.

57. Knave of Hearts’ loot : TARTS

In the Lewis Carroll novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, Alice attends a trial in which the Knave of Hearts is accused of stealing tarts belonging to the Queen of Hearts.

61. Score : TALLY

Back in the mid-1600s, a “tally” was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or had paid. The term came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”. The act of “scoring” the stick with notches gave rise to our word “score” for the number in a tally.

63. Moved like a kangaroo : LEAPT

The word “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “Kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

67. Auto-painting franchise whose name reverses three letters of a transmission franchise : MAACO

MAACO Collision Repair & Auto Painting was founded by Anthony A. Martino ten years after he launched AAMCO Transmissions. The names of both companies was derived from the first letters of his name: AAM.

69. Margarita flavoring : SALT

No one seems to know for sure who first created the cocktail known as a margarita. The most plausible and oft-quoted is that it was invented in 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico. The barman mixed the drink for an important visitor, the daughter of the German ambassador. The daughter’s name was Margarita Henkel, and she lent her name to the new drink. The basic recipe for a margarita is a mixture of tequila, orange-flavored liqueur (like Cointreau) and lime juice.

70. Fever and shivering : AGUE

An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.

71. Quasimodo’s creator : VICTOR HUGO

Victor Hugo was a French poet and playwright, known in his native country mainly for his poetry. However, outside of France, Hugo is perhaps more closely associated with his novels such as “Les Misérables” and “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”.

The title character in Victor Hugo’s novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” is Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bell-ringer . Quasimodo falls for the beautiful Roma girl Esmeralda, and eventually rescues her just before she is due be hanged. He carries Esmeralda into Notre-Dame crying out “Sanctuary!” There is some recent evidence that a hunchbacked stone carver, working at Notre-Dame at the same time Hugo was alive, may have been the inspiration for the Quasimodo the bell-ringer.

72. Mark on a bass : STRIPE

The striped bass (also called “striper”) is found along the Atlantic coast of North America, but also in inland waterways where it has been introduced for sport fishing. It is the state fish of Rhode Island, South Carolina and Maryland.

76. Only state capital without a McDonald’s : MONTPELIER

Montpelier is the capital of the state of Vermont, the smallest state in the Union in terms of population. The city was named for the French city of Montpelier in the days when there was great enthusiasm for things French after the aid received during the American Revolution.

78. Nearly six trillion mi. : LT YR

A light-year (lt. yr.) is a measure of distance, not time. It is the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one year, almost six trillion miles. The accepted abbreviation for a light-year is “ly”. A light-second is a lot shorter distance: about 186,282 miles.

81. Saint’s home : SUPERDOME

The New Orleans Superdome was opened in 1975, and is the largest, fixed-dome structure in the world, covering 13 acres. The seating capacity varies depending on the event being staged, but the Rolling Stones attracted a crowd of more than 87,500 people in 1981. The primary purpose of the structure is to host home games for the New Orleans Saints football team. Famously, in 2005, the Superdome became a shelter of last resort for about 30,000 refugees in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

83. One may be crumbled on a sundae : OREO

There’s a lot of speculation about how the dessert called a sundae got its name, but there seems to be agreement that it is an alteration of the word “Sunday”.

86. Sham : TRAVESTY

Back in the 17th century, a travesty was a burlesque or artistic imitation of a serious work, a parody. The term has come to mean a distorted representation in general, a sham or a mockery.

A sham is something that is imitation, fake. In the world of bed linens a sham is also imitation and fake, in the sense that it is a decorative cover designed to cover up a regular pillow used for sleeping.

87. Harold’s movie pal : KUMAR

“Harold & Kumar” is a trilogy of comedy films about two potheads played by John Cho (Harold) and Kal Penn (Kumar). Not my cup of tea …

92. Radon detection aid : TEST KIT

Radon (Rn) is a radioactive gas, a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.

96. Honky-__ : TONK

A honky-tonk is a bar with musical entertainment, usually country music. The etymology of the term “honky-tonk” seems unclear. The term has evolved to mean any cheap, noisy bar or dance hall.

98. Indian city known for its silk production : MYSORE

Mysore (renamed to “Mysuru”) is a city that lies about 100 miles southwest of Bangalore. Tourists flock to Mysore especially during the ten-day Mysore Dasara festival, a draw not only for Indians but foreigners as well.

99. Purim month : ADAR

Nisan is the first month in the Hebrew ecclesiastical calendar, the month in which Passover falls. Adar is the last month in the same calendar, and is the month that includes the holiday of Purim.

Purim is a festival commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to wipe them out by Haman the Agagite, as recorded in the Book of Esther.

100. Pope, for one : TITLE

The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The term “pope” comes from the Latin “papa”, and ultimately from the Greek “pappas”, with both terms being a child’s word for “father”.

116. Calypso offshoot : SKA

Ska originated in Jamaica in the late fifties and was the precursor to reggae music. No one has a really definitive etymology of the term “ska”, but it is likely to be imitative of some sound.

The musical style of calypso originated in Trinidad and Tobago, but there seems to be some debate about which influences were most important as the genre developed. It is generally agreed that the music was imported by African slaves from their homeland, but others emphasize influences of the medieval French troubadours. To me it sounds more African in nature. Calypso reached the masses when it was first recorded in 1912, and it spread around the world in the thirties and forties. It reached its pinnacle with the release of the famous “Banana Boat Song” by Harry Belafonte.

117. Coastal inlet : RIA

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, with both formed as sea level rises. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

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Complete List of Clues and Answers

Across

1. Moving manga : ANIME

6. Celebratory smoke : CIGAR

11. Cause of inflation? : PUMP

15. Winter Palace ruler : TSAR

19. “Hallelujah” songwriter Leonard : COHEN

20. Mozart work : OPERA

21. Sport involving protective suits : EPEE

22. Sch. publishing the Daily Bruin : UCLA

23. Gathering of zombies? : TRANCE PARTY (from “dance party”)

25. Vacation including Caribbean dance lessons? : SALSA TRIP (from “salsa dip”)

27. Currency exchange table letters : USD

28. Dietary figs. : RDAS

29. Goad : EGG ON

31. Faithfully following : TRUE TO

32. Awards originally for radio only : PEABODYS

34. Is strongly held, as a belief : RUNS DEEP

36. Long while : EON

37. Burro bellow : BRAY

38. Chatty bird : MYNA

39. Line in an Ellington classic : “A” TRAIN

41. Company with a spokesduck : AFLAC

43. South American squeezer : BOA

45. Bundle up : SWATHE

47. Eyelid malady : STYE

50. Dumpster illumination : TRASH LIGHT (from “dash light”)

53. Case with a strict time limit? : SPEED TRIAL (from “speed dial”)

55. Screen door stuff : MESH

56. Ranch rope : LARIAT

58. Leader who resigned in his sixth yr. : RMN

59. Wings it, in jazz : VAMPS

60. Matching pair : SET

61. Subdue, in a way : TASE

62. City WSW of Bogotá : CALI

64. Attorney general before Dick Thornburgh : ED MEESE

66. Water gate : DAM

67. Pricey mushroom : MOREL

68. 2015 Verizon purchase : AOL

69. “Kojak” actor : SAVALAS

73. Tinseltown pooch : ASTA

74. Blighted urban area : SLUM

76. Commonly injured knee ligament, briefly : MCL

79. “__ Like You”: Young Rascals hit : A GIRL

80. Baggage-opening org. : TSA

82. Exactly right : SPOT ON

84. Harbor sound : TOOT

85. Semi driver’s superstition? : LUCKY TRUCK (from “lucky duck”)

88. Bugs’ wealthy heir? : TRUST BUNNY (from “dust bunny”)

90. Antoinette’s head : TETE

91. Remove forcefully : RIP OUT

93. Apnea-treating doc : ENT

94. Come in : ENTER

95. Like some interviews : ON TAPE

97. Note at the office : MEMO

99. “And step on it!” : ASAP

100. Sailor : TAR

102. Flipped before serving, perhaps : OVER EASY

104. Gmail lifesaver : UNDO SEND

108. Safari runner? : IPHONE

110. Pub fun : DARTS

111. American assignment : SEAT

112. John in Wimbledon : LOO

113. Photo including six-pack abs? : TRUNK SHOT (from “dunk shot”)

115. Vocal technique used at seders? : KOSHER TRILL (from “kosher dill”)

118. Theater section : LOGE

119. Unlikely to bite : TAME

120. Irritated : IRKED

121. Kindergarten refrain : E-I-E-I-O

122. Slaughter of the Cardinals : ENOS

123. River of Flanders : YSER

124. Drops of sorrow : TEARS

125. Risk taker : DARER

Down

1. Cause a ruckus : ACT UP

2. Like Thor : NORSE

3. “It’s been fun” : I HAD A BLAST

4. Kings and bishops : MEN

5. Make gradual inroads : ENCROACH

6. Number at a doctor’s office : COPAY

7. “Count me out” : I PASS

8. Lang. where all nouns are capitalized : GER

9. Major route : ARTERY

10. Futuristic arms : RAY GUNS

11. Cancún cash : PESOS

12. “Time to start the day!” : UP AND AT ‘EM

13. Brooks of comedy : MEL

14. Heckled : PESTERED

15. Sugar Plum Fairy’s dress : TUTU

16. Hours often set by parents : SCREEN TIME

17. O’Connor successor : ALITO

18. Knock at : RAP ON

24. Whirlpool : EDDY

26. Plucked instrument, in Padua : ARPA

30. Chews (on) : GNAWS

33. Hardly humble : BRASH

35. Hydrocarbon gas : ETHENE

38. When doubled, fish often grilled : MAHI

40. Its anthem is “Hatikvah” : ISRAEL

41. Devices with shielded keypads : ATMS

42. On the house : FREE

43. Slant : BIAS

44. Mythical monster : OGRE

46. National Pecan Month : APRIL

48. Barks : YAPS

49. Besides : ELSE

51. Guanaco cousin : LLAMA

52. Fiesta fare : TACOS

54. Marge Simpson or June Cleaver : TV MOM

57. Knave of Hearts’ loot : TARTS

61. Score : TALLY

63. Moved like a kangaroo : LEAPT

65. Unnerve : DAUNT

66. Dim : DARKEN

67. Auto-painting franchise whose name reverses three letters of a transmission franchise : MAACO

69. Margarita flavoring : SALT

70. Fever and shivering : AGUE

71. Quasimodo’s creator : VICTOR HUGO

72. Mark on a bass : STRIPE

74. Leave thunderstruck : STUN

75. Going around in circles, say : LOST

76. Only state capital without a McDonald’s : MONTPELIER

77. Roadwork marker : CONE

78. Nearly six trillion mi. : LT-YR

81. Saint’s home : SUPERDOME

83. One may be crumbled on a sundae : OREO

84. Albacore and yellowfin : TUNAS

86. Sham : TRAVESTY

87. Harold’s movie pal : KUMAR

89. Lit : BESOTTED

92. Radon detection aid : TEST KIT

96. Honky-__ : TONK

98. Indian city known for its silk production : MYSORE

99. Purim month : ADAR

100. Pope, for one : TITLE

101. Splash guard : APRON

103. Food processor? : EATER

104. Lead to a seat : USHER

105. Has to have : NEEDS

106. “Seriously!” : NO LIE!

107. Sorrow : DOLOR

109. Slot machine inserts : ONES

114. Exhibits, as doubts : HAS

116. Calypso offshoot : SKA

117. Coastal inlet : RIA

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