LA Times Crossword Answers 4 Mar 2018, Sunday

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Constructed by: John Guzzetta
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Island Hopping

Themed answers include the name of an ISLAND as a (sorta) hidden word, shown with circled letters. One letter of that island’s name has HOPPED up to the line above:

  • 24A. Preliminary negotiations : INFORMAL TALKS (hiding “Malta”)
  • 48A. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale component : VERBAL IQ (hiding “Bali”)
  • 51A. Fluorescent bulb element : KRYPTON GAS (hiding “Tonga”)
  • 67A. “On the Good Ship Lollipop” performer : SHIRLEY TEMPLE (hiding “Leyte”)
  • 84A. Lesser clergy member : MINOR CANON (hiding “Minorca”)
  • 88A. Confirmed : BORNE OUT (hiding “Borneo”)
  • 110A. Check out a wreck, perhaps : GO SCUBA DIVING (hiding “Cuba”)

Bill’s time: 19m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Pond organism : ALGA

Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.

9. Spin, for one : CYCLE

That would be laundry.

14. Niger neighbor : MALI

The Republic of Mali is a landlocked country in western Africa, south of Algeria. Formerly known as French Sudan, the nation’s most famous city is Timbuktu. Mali is the third-largest producer of gold on the continent, after South Africa and Ghana.

20. One dressed for dinner? : CAESAR SALAD

The Caesar salad was created by restaurateur Caesar Cardini at the Hotel Caesar’s in Tijuana, Mexico. The original recipe called for whole lettuce leaves that were to be lifted up by the stem and eaten with the fingers.

24. Preliminary negotiations : INFORMAL TALKS (hiding “Malta”)

The island state of Malta is relatively small (122 square miles), but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

27. Bivouac structure : TENT

A “bivouac” is a temporary camp out of doors. The term comes to us via French from the Swiss/Alsatian word “biwacht” meaning “night guard”. The original bivouac was a group of soldiers camped out as a night guard.

28. Sportage automaker : KIA

Kia’s Sportage is compact SUV that has been manufactured since 1993.

29. Olympic skater Ito : MIDORI

Midori Ito is a Japanese figure skater. Ito was the first woman to land a triple/triple jump and a triple axel in competition. In fact, she landed her first triple jump in training when she was only 8 years old. Ito won Olympic silver in 1992, and was chosen as the person to light the Olympic cauldron at the commencement of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

31. Mag. edition : ISS

Issue (iss.)

40. Canberra school : UNI

In Australia (Down Under) and in the British Isles the term “Uni” is routinely used for “university”.

Canberra is the capital of Australia. The city is located in what’s called the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), an area independent of any of the other Australian territories. In this sense, there is a similarity between Canberra in the ACT and Washington in the District of Columbia. Canberra was chosen as the nation’s capital in 1908, a choice that was a compromise in deference to the two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

41. Benjamin of “Private Practice” : BRATT

The actor Benjamin Bratt’s most noted role has to be Detective Rey Curtis on the NBC cop show “Law & Order”. Bratt dated the actress Julia Roberts for a few years.

“Private Practice” is a medical drama show, a spinoff from “Grey’s Anatomy” that originally aired from 2007 until 2013.

43. Italian peaks : ALPS

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

46. Teachers’ org. : NEA

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the country, and mainly represents public school teachers.

48. Former Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale component : VERBAL IQ (hiding “Bali”)

The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) was developed in the 1950s by Romanian-American psychologist David Wechsler.

Bali is both an island and a province in Indonesia. It is a popular tourist spot, although the number of visitors dropped for a few years as a result of terrorist bombings in 2002 and 2005 that killed mainly tourists. Bali became more popular starting in 2008 due to a significant and favorable change in the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Indonesian rupiah.

51. Fluorescent bulb element : KRYPTON GAS (hiding “Tonga”)

Krypton was discovered in 1898 by two British chemists Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers. They chilled a sample of air, turning it into a liquid, and then warmed the liquid and separated out the gases that boiled off. Along with nitrogen, oxygen and argon (already known), the pair of scientists discovered two new gases. The first they called “krypton” and the second “neon”. “Krypton” is Greek for “the hidden one” and “neon” is Greek for “new”.

The Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands in the South Pacific, 52 of which are inhabited and scattered over an area of 270,000 square miles. Tonga was given the name Friendly Islands in 1773 when Captain James Cook first landed there, a reference to the warm reception given to the visitors.

58. Toffee candy bar : SKOR

Skor is a candy bar produced by Hershey’s. “Skor” is Swedish for “shoes”, and the candy bar’s wrapping features a crown that is identical to that found in the Swedish national emblem. What shoes have to do with candy, I don’t know …

62. Word spoken con affetto : CARA

In Italian, “cara” (dear) is a word of “amore” (love) that is spoken “con affetto” (with affection).

63. Fine-grained wood : YEW

The family of trees known as yews propagate by producing a seed surrounded by soft, sweet and brightly colored aril. Birds eat the fruit and then disperse the seed in their droppings. The birds leave the seed undamaged, and so are unharmed by the potent poisons taxine and taxol that are found within the seed. The seeds are highly toxic to humans.

67. “On the Good Ship Lollipop” performer : SHIRLEY TEMPLE (hiding “Leyte”)

Child star Shirley Temple made her first movie in 1932 at the age of three. She became a star in 1934 with the release of the film “Bright Eyes”. Temple retired from show business at the age of 22, but made a brief attempt to resume her career in the late fifties and early sixties. She served as a board member for several organizations, including the Walt Disney Company. She also ran unsuccessfully for the US Congress in 1874, but was appointed as US Ambassador to Ghana in 1974, and then to Czechoslovakia in 1989.

“On the Good Ship Lollipop” is a song most associated with Shirley Temple in her days as a child actress. She first sang it in the 1934 movie “Bright Eyes”. Believe it or not, the “Lollipop” is an aircraft, and not a boat. If you don’t believe me, go check out the film …

When the Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos discovered the islands of Leyte and Samar, he called them Felipinas, after King Philip II of Spain. Eventually, the name was used for the whole archipelago, becoming what we now call in English, the Philippines.

71. Tach figure : RPM

The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).

72. Youth support group : ALATEEN

Al-Anon and Alateen are fellowships for relatives and friends of alcoholics. Alateen specifically supports teens who are affected by another’s drinking, whereas Al-Anon focuses on people of all ages.

76. Storage facility sometimes found underground : SILO

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

77. New Mexico’s __ Ski Valley : TAOS

Taos Ski Valley is a resort village in New Mexico, founded in 1955. About twelve families live there, making up thirty or so households and a population of about 60 people. It is said to very much resemble a Swiss village, and even includes an elected village council.

80. Part of TNT : TRI-

“TNT” is an abbreviation for trinitrotoluene. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

82. Washington soccer team : DC UNITED

D.C. United is a professional soccer team based in the nation’s capital. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) and plays home games at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.

84. Lesser clergy member : MINOR CANON (hiding “Minorca”)

In the Anglican and Roman Catholic traditions, there are several groups of clerics who are referred to as canons. The original canon was a cleric living in a community associated with a cathedral.

The island of Minorca in the Mediterranean takes its name from the larger neighboring island of Majorca. The names come from the Latin “Insula Minor” meaning “Minor Island” and “Insula Major” meaning “Major Island”. The island is known as “Minorca” in English, and “Menorca” in Spanish and Catalan.

88. Confirmed : BORNE OUT (hiding “Borneo”)

Borneo is the third largest island on the planet (after Greenland and New Guinea), and is located north of Australia in Maritime Southeast Asia. Most of the island is part of Indonesia (taking up 73% of the island) with almost all of the remainder being part of Malaysia (26%). The final 1% is home to the sovereign state of Brunei.

90. Balaam’s mount : ASS

The ass or donkey is mentioned several times in the Bible. One of the most-quoted biblical stories involving an ass is the story of Balaam. Balaam was a diviner who appears in the Book of Numbers in. In one account, Balaam is held to task by an angel for particularly cruel treatment of an ass.

91. Vade __: handbook : MECUM

A vade mecum is a manual, or a notebook routinely about one’s person. “Vade mecum” is Latin for “go with me”.

92. Old Vatican bread : LIRE

Vatican City is not a member of the European Union (EU), but does the euro as its official currency by virtue of a special agreement with the EU. Vatican City is allowed to issue a limited number of its own euro coins, but no banknotes. The cap on the number of coins issued is raised in the year that a new pope is named. As a result of the limitations, Vatican euro coins are highly prized by collectors.

94. Port of __: Trinidad and Tobago’s capital : SPAIN

Port of Spain is the capital of Trinidad and Tobago. The city is located on northwest coast of Trinidad.

Trinidad and Tobago is a republic in the southern Caribbean that largely comprises the two main islands of Trinidad and Tobago.

96. Fashion initials : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was a French fashion designer, actually born in Algeria. Saint Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

98. Hundreds, slangily : C-SPOTS

“C-note” and “C-spot” are slang terms for a $100 bill.

102. Plane wing parts : SLATS

In an airplane wing, a slat is a moving surface on the leading edge of the wing, primarily having the same effect as the flap on the trailing edge. With slats and flaps deployed, a plane can fly more slowly, and take off or land in a shorter distance.

104. Driver’s lic. figure : HGT

One’s driving license (lic.) usually specifies one’s height (hgt.).

107. Mauna __ : LOA

Mauna Loa on the “Big Island” of Hawaii is the largest volcano on the planet (in terms of volume). The name “Mauna Loa” is Hawaiian for “Long Mountain”.

110. Check out a wreck, perhaps : GO SCUBA DIVING (hiding “Cuba”)

The self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) was co-invented by celebrated French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean. The exact etymology of the name “Cuba” seems a little unclear. Most believe “Cuba” to be derived from the Taíno terms for “where fertile land is abundant” (cubao) or “great place” (coabana).

121. Piton user : MOUNTAINEER

A piton is a piece of mountaineering equipment, an anchor designed to protect a climber if he or she falls. It is a metal spike driven into a crack in the rock face with a hammer. Pitons have eye holes through which a rope is attached using carabiners. “Piton” is a French word for a “hook”.

122. How titles may be written : IN ITALICS

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

124. Wonder Woman’s __ of Truth : LASSO

Wonder Woman first appeared in print in 1941, in a publication from DC Comics. As she was created during WWII, Wonder Woman’s first foes were the axis powers. In the less realistic world her biggest foe was and still is Ares, a “baddie” named for the Greek mythological figure. Wonder Woman had several signature expressions, including “Merciful Minerva!”, “Suffering Sappho!” and “Great Hera!”. She also has several devices that she uses in her quest for justice, e.g. the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets and a tiara that can be used as a deadly projectile.

125. Chinese: Pref. : SINO-

The prefix “Sino-” is used to refer to things Chinese. It comes from the Latin word “Sinae” meaning … Chinese!

Down

1. Golfer Sorenstam : ANNIKA

Annika Sorenstam is a Swedish golfer, and perhaps the most successful female golfer of all time. She made history in 2003 when she participated in a men’s PGA tour event, marking the first time that has happened since 1945.

2. Canadian coin : LOONIE

The great northern loon is the provincial bird of Ontario, and the state bird of Minnesota. The loon once appeared on Canadian $20 bills and also appears on the Canadian one-dollar coin, giving the coin the nickname “the loonie”.

5. Classic “Star Trek” order : BEAM ME UP

There’s a story (not sure if it’s really true) about an Irishman who was being sentenced in the dock in a Dublin courtroom years ago. When asked by the judge, “Do you have anything to say before I pass sentence?”, the convicted man took out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket, flipped open the cardboard lid and brought the pack to his lips. He then said, “Beam me up, Scottie”.

6. China’s Zhou __ : ENLAI

Zhou Enlai (also “Chou En-Lai”) was the first government leader of the People’s Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. Zhou Enlai ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, with both deaths leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.

7. Night school subj. : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

8. Manning in Nationwide ads : PEYTON

Peyton Manning is a former NFL quarterback who played most of his professional career with the Indianapolis Colts. Manning retired at the top of his game, holding records for passing yards, touchdown passes, Pro Bowl appearances, and several other records. Peyton is the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, and the older brother of NFL quarterback Eli Manning.

Nationwide is a large insurance and financial services company based in Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide was founded in Columbus in 1926 as the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, and initially wrote only auto policies for Ohio farmers. Reflecting the its expansion across the country, the company changed its name to Nationwide Insurance in 1955.

9. Amontillado holder : CASK

Amontillado is a variety of sherry produced in the Montilla region of Spain. The name “Amontillado” is sometimes used today as a generic name for any sherry that has a color between a fino (the palest and driest sherry) and an oloroso (darker and sweeter).

11. “__: Miami” : CSI

The “CSI” TV show franchise uses hits from the Who as theme music:

  • “Who Are You” … “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”
  • “Baba O’Riley” … “CSI: New York”
  • “Won’t Get Fooled Again” … “CSI: Miami”
  • “I Can See for Miles” … “CSI: Cyber”

13. Art Deco artist : ERTE

“Erté” was the pseudonym of French (Russian born) artist and designer Romain de Tirtoff. Erté is the French pronunciation of his initials “R.T.” Erté’s diverse portfolio of work included costumes and sets for the “Ziegfeld Follies” of 1923, productions of the Parisian cabaret show “Folies Bergère”, as well as the 1925 epic movie “Ben-Hur”. Erté’s most famous work by far is an image titled “Symphony in Black”. It depicts a tall and slender woman dressed in black, holding a black dog on a leash.

14. Watchword : MANTRA

A mantra is a word that is used as a focus for the mind while meditating. The term is Sanskrit in origin, and is now used figuratively in English to describe any oft-repeated word or phrase.

15. PC space bar neighbor : ALT

In early typewriters, the space “bar” was indeed a bar. It was a metal bar that stretched across the full width of the keyboard.

17. Early civil rights activist __ B. Wells : IDA

Ida B. Wells was an African-American journalist and leader of the civil rights movement. She published a pamphlet in 1892 called “Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases”, which publicized the horrors of lynching of African Americans by white mobs in the South.

20. Colombian city : 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. Cali has also been historically associated with the illegal drug trade and money laundering.

26. “Single Ladies (Put __ on It)”: Beyoncé hit : A RING

“Single Ladies” (Put a Ring on It)” is a 2008 hit by singer Beyoncé. The song is all about men in a relationship who are unwilling to commit, unwilling to propose.

Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2003, two years after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z. She is also referred to affectionately as “Queen Bey”, a play on the phrase “the queen bee”.

34. ATV part : ALL-TERRAIN

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

36. Legal titles: Abbr. : ESQS

The title “esquire” is of British origin and is used differently today depending on whether one is in the US or the UK. Here in America the term is usually reserved for those practicing the law (both male and female). In the UK, “esquire” is a term of gentle respect reserved for a male who has no other title that one can use. So a mere commoner like me might receive a letter from the bank say, addressed to W. E. Butler Esq.

38. Actor Lew : AYRES

The Hollywood actor Lew Ayres got his big break in “All Quiet On the Western Front”. Famously, he also played Dr. Kildare in several movies. Ayres’ private life wasn’t too dull. He was married three times, Lola Lane and Ginger Rogers being wives one and two. Ayres was also the man for whom actress Jane Wyman left her husband Ronald Reagan, although the Ayres-Wyman relationship didn’t last very long.

42. Vocal effect : TREMOLO

The tremolo effect was invented by Claudio Monteverdi in the 16th century, and was first applied to the violin (by rapid bowing). Tremolo is a trembling effect that can be achieved in two ways:

  • On stringed instruments, by rapidly reiterating the same note by bowing or plucking.
  • On keyboard instruments, by rapidly reiterating two notes or chords in alternation.

45. Subway line with a Yankee Stadium stop : D TRAIN

The D is a subway service that has been running in Manhattan, New York since 1940.

51. “Laughing” Australian bird : KOOKABURRA

The Kookaburra is a bird, a large type of kingfisher, that is native to Australia and New Guinea. Kookaburras have a very distinctive call that is very similar to a human laugh, and their Aboriginal name is onomatopoeic of its call. The Laughing Kookaburra has a distinctive sound, and was originally known as the Laughing Jackass.

52. “SNL” alum Kevin : NEALON

The actor and comedian Kevin Nealon is probably still best known for his time with the “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) cast from 1986 until 1995. He’s also a regular on the excellent Showtime comedy drama “Weeds” that ran from 2005 until 2012.

54. Paul Bunyan tool : AXE

Paul Bunyan is a character of American myth; Bunyan is a skilled lumberjack, and has a sidekick called Babe the Blue Ox. Both Bunyan and Babe are gigantic in size.

55. Chicago Museum of Science and Industry showpiece : TESLA COIL

A Tesla coil is used to create the high voltages needed to ionize air in those pyrotechnic shows where sparks jump from globe to globe. The same technology was used up to the twenties in spark-gap radio transmitters, which were central to wireless telegraphy back then.

The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts that was built of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The establishment of the MSI was driven largely by an endowment of $3 million from Julius Rosenwald, the part-owner and leader of Sears Roebuck. Opened in 1933, the MSI is home to some impressive exhibits, including a full-size replica coal mine, a captured WWII German submarine, a model railroad covering 3,500 square feet, and the Apollo 8 command module.

57. Bobby on the ice : ORR

Bobby Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. By the time he retired in 1978 he had undergone over a dozen knee surgeries. At 31 years of age, he concluded that he just couldn’t skate anymore. Reportedly, he was even having trouble walking.

61. Windy City transp. org. : CTA

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

It seems that the derivation of Chicago’s nickname as the “Windy City” isn’t as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. First that the weather can be breezy, with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that “windy” means “being full of bluster”. Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters “windy” in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

62. Frito-Lay product with a spokes-feline named Chester : CHEETOS

Cheetos snacks were developed by the same guy who created Fritos, hence the similarity in name. They’ve been on the market since 1948, and up until the turn of the century the name was written as “Chee-tos”. Oh, and Cheetos contain pork enzymes, so vegetarians beware!

65. U.K. heads : PMS

The Prime Minister (PM) of the UK has powers equivalent to the US President, but with major differences. The office of prime minister exists by convention and not by any constitution. The convention is that the King or Queen of England appoints as PM the person most likely to have the confidence of the House of Commons, and that person is usually the leader of the party with the most seats in the Commons. There is no term limit and the PM serves “at his/her majesty’s pleasure”. The first UK PM wasn’t actually called “Prime Minister”, and the person first attributed with the equivalent powers was Sir Robert Walpole, the First Lord of the Treasury in 1721.

67. __ A: Italian soccer league : SERIE

Serie A is the premier soccer league in Italy, and has been operating since 1929. Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan (three of the most famous football clubs in the world) compete in Serie A.

68. “The Simpsons Theme” composer Danny : ELFMAN

Danny Elfman is a singer and songwriter from Los Angeles. Elfman is well known for compositions used for television and films. For example, he wrote the themes for “The Simpsons” and “Desperate Housewives”.

70. 105-Down launch : MIR
(105D. 70-Down launcher : USSR)

The Russian Mir Space Station was a remarkably successful project. It held the record for the longest continuous human presence in space at just under 10 years, until the International Space Station eclipsed that record in 2010. Towards the end of the space station’s life however, the years began to take their toll. There was a dangerous fire, multiple system failures, and a collision with a resupply ship. The Russian commitment to the International Space Station drained funds for repairs, so Mir was allowed to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up in 2001. “Mir” is a Russian word meaning “peace” or “world”.

73. Slew : TON

Our usage of “slew” to mean “large number” has nothing to do with the verb “to slew”. The noun “slew” come into English in the early 1800s from the Irish word “sluagh” meaning “host, crowd, multitude”.

75. “… the worst thing you can __ nothing”: Teddy Roosevelt : DO IS

Here are some inspirational words attributed to President Theodore Roosevelt:

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The next best thing is the wrong thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.

79. Attaché attachment : ID TAG

“Attaché” is a French term which literally means “attached”, and is used for a person who is assigned to the administrative staff of some agency or other service. The term is most recognized as it applies to someone assigned to an Ambassador’s staff at an embassy. The word was extended to “attaché case” at the beginning of the twentieth century, meaning a leather case used for carrying papers, perhaps by an attaché at an embassy.

81. African bovines : GNUS

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

82. Two-baggers: Abbr. : DBLS

That would be baseball.

85. Timberlake’s former band : NSYNC

Justin Timberlake got his break by appearing on TV’s “Star Search” from which he was given a starring role in “The New Mickey Mouse Club”. It was on “The New Mickey Mouse Club” that he met his future girlfriend Britney Spears, as well JC Chasez who would join Timberlake in the lineup of the boy band NSYNC.

91. Commissioner’s Trophy org. : MLB

The Commissioner’s Trophy is the award presented annually to the Major League Baseball team that wins the World Series. The trophy was first awarded in 1967, although it wasn’t until 1985 that the name “Commissioner’s Trophy” was applied. The winning team gets to keep the trophy, as a new one is made each season.

93. Welding fuel : ETHYNE

In organic chemistry, the three basic classes of hydrocarbons are alkanes, alkenes and alkynes. Three of the simplest members of these classes are ethane, ethene (commonly called “ethylene”), and ethyne (commonly called “acetylene”).

95. “And So __”: Billy Joel song : IT GOES

“And So It Goes” is a song by Billy Joel that is described as a lyric poem. Joel wrote the song in 1983 about his dramatic relationship with model Elle Macpherson, although it was not released until 1989.

97. Riyadh residents : SAUDIS

Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, and is located near the center of the country. The name “Riyadh” translates from Arabic as ‘the gardens”.

99. Kid-lit pig : OLIVIA

Olivia is a pig featured in a series of children’s books that is written and illustrated by Ian Falconer. The character was inspired by Falconer’s niece, who was also named Olivia.

100. Elixirs : TONICS

An elixir is a solution of alcohol and water that is used to deliver a medicine. The term “elixir” can also be used to mean a medicine that has the power to cure all ills.

103. Paving stone : SETT

A sett is a small rectangular paving stone with a rounded top used to make a road surface. It’s like a cobblestone, I think …

106. Classic language : LATIN

The Latins were a race who migrated into the Italian peninsula during the Bronze Age, settling in a triangular region on the west coast that became known as Latium. It was the Latins who founded the city of Rome in Latium. The language that developed among the people of Latium is what we now know as “Latin”.

111. It has a Double Stuf variety : OREO

Double Stuf Oreo was introduced in 1975, and has twice the normal amount of white cream filling as the original cookie.

113. The Beatles’ “__ Loser” : I’M A

The Beatles song “I’m a Loser” first appeared on the “Beatles for Sale” album in 1964. The first pressing of the album listed the song’s title as “I’m a Losser”, i.e. with a spelling error. If you have one of those records, I’d say it’s worth a pretty penny …

114. Burrowing rodent : VOLE

Vole populations can really increase rapidly. Mama vole is pregnant for just three weeks before giving birth to litters of 5-10 baby voles. Then the young voles become sexually mature in just one month! If you have one pregnant vole in your yard, within a year you could have over a hundred of the little critters.

115. Aetna offering : HMO

When the healthcare management and insurance company known as Aetna was founded, the name was chosen to evoke images of Mt. Etna, the Italian volcano.

116. Tic-tac-toe win : O-O-O

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

118. ER workers : RNS

One might find a registered nurse (RN) or a medical doctor (MD) in an emergency room (ER).

120. Young Skywalker’s nickname : ANI

Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in the first six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:

  • Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
  • Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
  • Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
  • Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
  • Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Pond organism : ALGA
5. Traffic sound : BEEP
9. Spin, for one : CYCLE
14. Niger neighbor : MALI
18. Slight mitigation? : NO OFFENSE
20. One dressed for dinner? : CAESAR SALAD
22. “I didn’t mean that” : NOT REALLY
23. Defense opponent, briefly : ASSISTANT DA
24. Preliminary negotiations : INFORMAL TALKS (hiding “Malta”)
25. – : TALKS
27. Bivouac structure : TENT
28. Sportage automaker : KIA
29. Olympic skater Ito : MIDORI
31. Mag. edition : ISS
33. Obliterate : ERASE
37. Blow bubbles into : AERATE
40. Canberra school : UNI
41. Benjamin of “Private Practice” : BRATT
43. Italian peaks : ALPS
44. “Seriously?” : YOU DO?
46. Teachers’ org. : NEA
48. Former Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale component : VERBAL IQ (hiding “Bali”)
50. – : L IQ
51. Fluorescent bulb element : KRYPTON GAS (hiding “Tonga”)
52. – : N GAS
53. Functions : OPERATES
55. Ring holders : TOES
56. Fish eggs : ROE
58. Toffee candy bar : SKOR
60. Alloys, e.g. : MIXES
61. Corner office execs : CEOS
62. Word spoken con affetto : CARA
63. Fine-grained wood : YEW
64. Sleep it off : SOBER UP
66. “Shame!” : TSK!
67. “On the Good Ship Lollipop” performer : SHIRLEY TEMPLE (hiding “Leyte”)
69. – : TEMPLE
71. Tach figure : RPM
72. Youth support group : ALATEEN
74. Antique : OLD
76. Storage facility sometimes found underground : SILO
77. New Mexico’s __ Ski Valley : TAOS
78. “What __”: “Ho-hum” : A BORE
79. Scoop : INFO
80. Part of TNT : TRI-
81. Show some teeth : GRIN
82. Washington soccer team : DC UNITED
84. Lesser clergy member : MINOR CANON (hiding “Minorca”)
86. – : CANON
88. Confirmed : BORNE OUT (hiding “Borneo”)
89. – : E OUT
90. Balaam’s mount : ASS
91. Vade __: handbook : MECUM
92. Old Vatican bread : LIRE
94. Port of __: Trinidad and Tobago’s capital : SPAIN
96. Fashion initials : YSL
98. Hundreds, slangily : C-SPOTS
102. Plane wing parts : SLATS
104. Driver’s lic. figure : HGT
105. Lacking what it takes : UNABLE
107. Mauna __ : LOA
108. Blood prefix : HEMO-
110. Check out a wreck, perhaps : GO SCUBA DIVING (hiding “Cuba”)
112. – : A DIVING
115. Babysitters’ woes : HOLY TERRORS
119. Romcom, perhaps : DATE MOVIE
121. Piton user : MOUNTAINEER
122. How titles may be written : IN ITALICS
123. Sludge : OOZE
124. Wonder Woman’s __ of Truth : LASSO
125. Chinese: Pref. : SINO-
126. From Denver to Topeka : EAST

Down

1. Golfer Sorenstam : ANNIKA
2. Canadian coin : LOONIE
3. Had success : GOT FAR
4. Picked hairdo : AFRO
5. Classic “Star Trek” order : BEAM ME UP
6. China’s Zhou __ : ENLAI
7. Night school subj. : ESL
8. Manning in Nationwide ads : PEYTON
9. Amontillado holder : CASK
10. Base reply? : YES, SIR
11. “__: Miami” : CSI
12. Final part of a task : LAST STEP
13. Art Deco artist : ERTE
14. Watchword : MANTRA
15. PC space bar neighbor : ALT
16. Bloke : LAD
17. Early civil rights activist __ B. Wells : IDA
19. Pro, country-style : FER
20. Colombian city : CALI
21. Clear-minded : SANE
26. “Single Ladies (Put __ on It)”: Beyoncé hit : A RING
30. Pair : DUO
32. Relish : SAVOR
34. ATV part : ALL-TERRAIN
35. Watches secretly : SPIES UPON
36. Legal titles: Abbr. : ESQS
38. Actor Lew : AYRES
39. Some action figures : TOYS
41. Successful shot : BASKET
42. Vocal effect : TREMOLO
45. Subway line with a Yankee Stadium stop : D TRAIN
47. “Whoa!” : EASY!
49. Payoff : BRIBE
51. “Laughing” Australian bird : KOOKABURRA
52. “SNL” alum Kevin : NEALON
54. Paul Bunyan tool : AXE
55. Chicago Museum of Science and Industry showpiece : TESLA COIL
57. Bobby on the ice : ORR
59. Has a loan from : OWES TO
61. Windy City transp. org. : CTA
62. Frito-Lay product with a spokes-feline named Chester : CHEETOS
64. Put together, as film : SPLICE
65. U.K. heads : PMS
67. __ A: Italian soccer league : SERIE
68. “The Simpsons Theme” composer Danny : ELFMAN
70. 105-Down launch : MIR
73. Slew : TON
75. “… the worst thing you can __ nothing”: Teddy Roosevelt : DO IS
77. Clobber : TROMP
79. Attaché attachment : ID TAG
81. African bovines : GNUS
82. Two-baggers: Abbr. : DBLS
83. High : EUPHORIA
85. Timberlake’s former band : NSYNC
87. Approve : ACCEDE TO
91. Commissioner’s Trophy org. : MLB
93. Welding fuel : ETHYNE
95. “And So __”: Billy Joel song : IT GOES
97. Riyadh residents : SAUDIS
99. Kid-lit pig : OLIVIA
100. Elixirs : TONICS
101. Like the best wisdom : SAGEST
103. Paving stone : SETT
105. 70-Down launcher : USSR
106. Classic language : LATIN
109. Dinner, for one : MEAL
111. It has a Double Stuf variety : OREO
113. The Beatles’ “__ Loser” : I’M A
114. Burrowing rodent : VOLE
115. Aetna offering : HMO
116. Tic-tac-toe win : O-O-O
117. Spanish light : LUZ
118. ER workers : RNS
120. Young Skywalker’s nickname : ANI

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