LA Times Crossword Answers 29 Apr 2018, Sunday

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Constructed by: Jeff Eddings
Edited by: Rich Norris

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Today’s Theme: Camera Shy

We have some “SHY” CAMERAS “hiding” in today’s grid. The circled letters in the themed answers spell out well-known camera brand names:

  • 23A. H&R Block calculation : PERSONAL INCOME TAX (hiding “Pentax”)
  • 42A. Individual with limited skills : ONE-TRICK PONY (hiding “Nikon”)
  • 50A. “You can’t be serious!” : I BEG YOUR PARDON (hiding “GoPro”)
  • 70A. Hamilton, for one : AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY (hiding “Minolta”)
  • 91A. Recreational area with pipes, bowls and ramps : SKATEBOARD PARK (hiding “Kodak”)
  • 99A. Dropping-off places? : SLEEPING CARS (hiding “Leica”)
  • 122A. Red choice : CABERNET SAUVIGNON (hiding “Canon”)

Bill’s time: 15m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1. Angled : FISHED

We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” was an Old English word for a hook.

19. Pump measurement : OCTANE

The difference between a premium and regular gasoline is its octane rating. The octane rating is measure of the resistance of the gasoline to auto-ignition i.e. its resistance to ignition just by virtue of being compressed in the cylinder. This auto-ignition is undesirable as multiple-cylinder engines are designed so that ignition within each cylinder takes place precisely when the plug sparks, and not before. If ignition occurs before the spark is created, the resulting phenomenon is called “knocking”. We sometimes use the adjective “high-octane” to mean “intense, dynamic, high-powered”

20. Shooting competition : SKEET

There are three types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports:

  • Skeet shooting
  • Trap shooting
  • Sporting clays

21. Two-dimensional size : AREA

The dimension of an object is defined as the minimum number of coordinates needed to specify each point in the object. Therefore a line is one-dimensional, as you only need an x-coordinate to specify a particular point on the line. A surface is two-dimensional, as you need both an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate to locate a point on the surface. The inside of a solid object is then three-dimensional, needing an x-, y- and z-coordinate to specify a point, say within a cube.

22. ABO system abbr. : NEG

The most important grouping of blood types is the ABO system. Blood is classified as either A, B, AB or O, depending on the type of antigens on the surface of the red blood cells. A secondary designation of blood is the Rh factor, in which other antigens are labelled as either positive or negative. When a patient receives a blood transfusion, ideally the donor blood should be the same type as that of the recipient, as incompatible blood cells can be rejected. However, blood type O-neg can be accepted by recipients with all blood types, A, B, AB or O, and positive or negative. Hence someone with O-neg blood type is called a universal donor.

23. H&R Block calculation : PERSONAL INCOME TAX (hiding “Pentax”)

The Pentax brand has its roots in a company founded in Tokyo in 1919. That company, Asahi Optical, acquired the Pentax brand from the East German optical manufacturer Zeiss in 1957, with the name coming from “pentaprism” and an earlier brand “Contax”. Today, the Pentax brand is a little unusual in that it is used cooperatively by several Japanese companies operating in different fields. Ricoh makes Pentax cameras and binoculars, Hoya Corporation makes Pentax medical products, TI Asahi makes Pentax surveying instruments, and Seiko makes Pentax lenses.

27. K-pop city : SEOUL

K-pop (Korean pop) is a genre of music from South Korea that emerged in the early nineties. It’s a bit beyond me …

28. Long. counterpart : LAT

Lines of latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines surrounding the planet. The most “important” lines of latitude are, from north to south:

  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle

32. They may be footed : PAJAMAS

Our word “pajamas” (“PJs” for short) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. On the other side of the Atlantic, the spelling is “pyjamas”.

35. Peru grazer : 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.

41. Gloomy __ : GUS

The original Gloomy Gus was a pessimistic character in newspaper comics in the early 1900s, who was introduced to the public by illustrator Frederick Burr.

42. Individual with limited skills : ONE-TRICK PONY (hiding “Nikon”)

The Japanese company Nikon was founded in 1917 with the merger of three manufacturers of various optical devices. After the merger, Nikon’s main output was lenses (including the first lenses for Canon cameras, before Canon made its own). During the war, Nikon sales grew rapidly as the company focused on (pun!) equipment for the military including periscopes and bomb sights.

49. First name in makeup : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

50. “You can’t be serious!” : I BEG YOUR PARDON (hiding “GoPro”)

GoPro is a company that makes high-definition video cameras that have a rugged design. Famously, GoPro cameras are used in extreme conditions. For example, they are often mounted on moving vehicles or used by people playing sports. Recently, two astronauts on the International Space Station inserted a GoPro camera inside a floating ball of water, and then showed the view from inside the ball of water. Amazing footage …

54. “Full House,” but not “House” : SITCOM

“Full House” is a sitcom that originally aired from the late eighties through the mid-nineties. It’s all about two men helping a third man raise his three young daughters after his wife is killed by a drunk driver. Bob Saget plays the widowed father, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen play the youngest daughter. A sequel titled “Fuller House” started airing on Netflix in 2016.

I think that “House” is one of the better shows made by Fox television. It is fun for me to see English actor Hugh Laurie in the title role as coming from the other side of the Atlantic I have been watching him in various comedic roles for decades. Famously he played Bertie Wooster opposite Stephen Fry in P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves & Wooster”, as well as one of the bumbling “bad guys” in “101 Dalmatians” (the version starring Glenn Close).

58. Small-runway mil. craft : STOL

STOL is an abbreviation standing for “short take-off and landing”.

59. Cap joint : KNEE

The patella is the kneecap. “Patella” is the Latin name for the bone, and is a diminutive form of “patina”, the word for “pan”. The idea is that the kneecap is pan-shaped.

60. Former sea that’s now part desert : ARAL

The Aral Sea is a great example of how man can have a devastating effect on his environment. In the early sixties the Aral Sea covered 68,000 square miles of Central Asia. Soviet irrigation projects drained the lake to such an extent that today the total area is less than 7,000 square miles, with 90% of the lake now completely dry. Sad …

62. Zany : LOONY

Something described as loony is insane, crazy. “Loony” is short for “lunatic”, an adjective that is now considered offensive. The term arose in the late 1400s when it meant “affected with periodic insanity”, insanity attacks brought on by the cycles of the moon. “Lunatic” comes from the Latin “luna” meaning “moon”.

Something described as zany is clownish and bizarre. “Zany” can also be a noun, a term used for a clown or a buffoon. The original noun was “Zanni”, a Venetian dialect variant of Gianni, short for Giovanni (John). Zanni was a character who appeared in comedy plays of the day, and was someone who aped the principal actors.

63. “Into the Wild” star Hirsch : EMILE

Emile Hirsch is an actor from Topanga, California. Hirsch’s most famous role was the lead in the 2007 drama “Into the Wild”.

“Into the Wild” is an interesting film, directed by Sean Penn and based on a nonfiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer. The book and movie tell the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young man who hiked into the Alaskan wilderness with very little food and equipment, seeking an extended period of solitude. After four months alone he was found dead from starvation. At time of death, he weighed only 67 pounds.

65. Drs.’ publication : JAMA

The American Medical Association (AMA) has been publishing the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) since 1883.

69. PTA member : MOM

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

70. Hamilton, for one : AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY (hiding “Minolta”)

Alexander Hamilton was one of America’s Founding Fathers, chief of staff to General George Washington and the first Secretary of the Treasury. It was Hamilton who established the nation’s first political party, the Federalist Party. He is also famous for fighting a duel with Vice President Aaron Burr, which resulted in Hamilton’s death a few days later.

Minolta was a Japanese manufacturer of cameras and related products. Minolta was founded in 1928 to make cameras using imported German technology. One of the company’s most memorable products was the world’s first integrated autofocus 35mm SLR camera. Minolta merged with Konica in 2003, forming Konica Minolta.

76. High-tech agent : BOT

A bot is computer program that is designed to imitate human behavior. It might crawl around the Web doing searches for example, or it might participate in discussions in chat rooms by giving pre-programmed responses. It might also act as a competitor in a computer game.

77. Schuss or slalom : SKI

A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, one with no turns taken to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.

“Slalom” is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam” that translates as “skiing race”. There is a longer version of the traditional slalom that is called giant slalom

78. UMass’ conference : A-TEN

The Atlantic 10 Conference (A-10) actually has more than 10 member colleges, despite the name. The A-10 was founded in 1975 as the Eastern Collegiate Basketball League.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is the largest public university in New England. UMass was founded back in 1863, although it took a while to get the school into service. Construction work was delayed and the college went through two presidents before William S. Clark took charge. He cracked the whip, completed the construction and enrolled the first students in the same year that he took over the reins, in 1867. As a result, although Clark was the third President of UMass, he is regarded by most as the school’s founding father.

79. Explosive matter, briefly : NITRO

Nitroglycerin (also known as “nitro”) is a very unstable, oily, colorless liquid. It is usually used as the explosive ingredient in a stabilized product like dynamite or cordite. Nitroglycerin is also used medically, as a vasodilator. Right after it hits the bloodstream, nitroglycerin causes the blood vessels to dilate so that the heart has less work to do. I had occasion to take it a couple of times, and boy, what a speedy and fundamental effect it has …

91. Recreational area with pipes, bowls and ramps : SKATEBOARD PARK (hiding “Kodak”)

George Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company, named after the Kodak camera that he had invented four years earlier. He came up with the name of Kodak after careful consideration. Firstly he was a big fan of the letter “K”, calling it “strong, incisive”. He also wanted a word that was short, easy to pronounce and difficult to mispronounce, and a word that was clearly unique with no prior associations. “Kodak” fit the bill.

95. Like the opening of “The Wizard of Oz” : SEPIA

Sepia is that 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. Sepia ink was commonly used for writing and drawing as far back as Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. 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.

In the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”, the tornado scene ended up costing more money than any other special effect in the whole film. The tornado itself was a 35′ tall muslin sock suspended from a gantry that could move the “twister” during the shoot. The bottom of the sock could also be moved, as it was attached to a rod below the sound-stage. Fuller’s earth was poured into the sock and was blown around by compressed air creating the dust storm effect, and hiding the muslin sock.

99. Dropping-off places? : SLEEPING CARS (hiding “Leica”)

Leica is a German optics company that is famous for production of lenses and cameras. The 1913 Leica was the first practical camera that could use 35mm film, a size chosen because it was already the standard for film used in motion pictures.

104. Beehive State native : UTE

The Ute are a group of Native American tribes that now reside in Utah and Colorado. The Ute were not a unified people as such, but rather a loose association of nomadic groups. The word “Ute” means “Land of the Sun”, and “Ute” also gave us the state name “Utah”.

112. Cow chow : ALFALFA

The forage crop known as alfalfa may take its name from the Arabic “al-fisfisa” meaning “fresh fodder”.

116. Ref. for wordsmiths : OED

Work started on what was to become the first “Oxford English Dictionary” (OED) in 1857. Several interim versions of the dictionary were published in the coming years with the first full version appearing, in ten bound volumes, in 1928. The second edition of the OED appeared in 1989 and is made up of twenty volumes. The OED was first published in electronic form in 1988 and went online in 2000. Given the modern use of computers, the publishing house responsible feels that there will never be a third print version of the famous dictionary.

117. Polynesian Disney heroine : MOANA

“Moana” is a 2016 animated feature film and the 56th animated Disney movie. The title character is the daughter of a Polynesian chief who heads off in search of the demigod Maui, hoping that he can save her people.

121. Lao Tzu’s “way” : TAO

The name of the Chinese character “tao” translates as “path”, but the concept of Taoism signifies the true nature of the world.

Lao Tse (also “Lao-Tzu”) was a central figure in the development of the religion/philosophy of Taoism. Tradition holds that Lao-Tzu wrote the “Tao Te Ching”, a classical Chinese text that is fundamental to the philosophy of Taoism.

122. Red choice : CABERNET SAUVIGNON (hiding “Canon”)

The cabernet sauvignon grape has been around since the 17th century, and is the result of a chance crossing in southwestern France of the cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc grapes.

127. Focus for clérigos : DIOS

In Spanish, “clérigos” (clerics) focus on “Dios” (God).

128. Raven’s sound : CROAK

Ravens and crows are very similar species, and it can be difficult to tell them apart. Ravens are a little larger and often travel in pairs, whereas crows are a little smaller are are usually seen in larger groups. Crows make a cawing sound, while the raven’s call is more like a croak.

131. Shooters with straps, for short : SLRS

Single-lens reflex camera (SLR)

132. Tony’s cousins : EMMYS

The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars from the world of film, the Grammy Awards in music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name of “Emmy” is a softened version of the word “immy”, the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras.

Down

1. Dandy guys : FOPS

A dandy is a man who is overly fastidious with regard to his personal appearance. There’s a suggestion that the term originated in Scotland, where “Dandy” is a diminutive of the name “Andrew”. Back in the early 1800s, when the use of “dandy” was at its height, the female equivalent was a dandizette.

2. Drink with a domed cover : ICEE

Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE company now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

3. A.L. West pro, informally : ‘STRO

The Houston baseball team changed its name to the Astros (sometimes “’Stros”) from the Colt .45s in 1965 when they started playing in the Astrodome. The Astrodome was so called in recognition of the city’s long association with the US space program. The Astros moved from the National League to the American League starting in the 2013 season.

4. Entertains at the penthouse : HAS UP

Originally, the term “penthouse” described a modest building attached to a main structure. In fact, in centuries past, the manger in which Jesus was born was often referred to as a penthouse. The modern, more luxurious connotation dates back to the early twenties.

5. Historic WWII B-29 : ENOLA GAY

The Enola Gay was the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb, on Hiroshima in August 1945. Enola Gay was the name of the mother of pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.

7. Five Pillars faith : ISLAM

Followers of the Muslim tradition believe in the Five Pillars of Islam, five obligatory acts that underpin Muslim life. The Five Pillars are:

  1. The Islamic creed
  2. Daily prayer
  3. Almsgiving
  4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan
  5. The pilgrimage to Mecca (haj, hajj, hadj) once during a lifetime

8. Breed from Honshu : AKITA

The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, the Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.

Honshu is the largest island in Japan, with the name “Honshu” translating as “Main Island”. Honshu is the seventh largest island in the world.

9. All NBA players : MEN

The National Basketball Association (NBA) was founded in 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The NBA name was adopted in 1949 following a merger with the rival National Basketball League (NBL). Of the four major sports leagues in North America, the NBA has the highest average annual salary per player.

10. Mennonites, e.g. : SECT

The Mennonites are a group of religious sects that originated in the Friesland region of the Low Countries. The various denominations are named for Menno Simons who was a contemporary of the Protestant Reformers who followed Martin Luther.

11. 1962 Lawrence portrayer : O’TOOLE

Irish actor Peter O’Toole got his big break in movies when he played the title role in the 1962 epic film “Lawrence of Arabia”. My favorite of O’Toole’s movies is much lighter fare, namely “How to Steal a Million” in which he stars opposite Audrey Hepburn. O’Toole never won an Oscar, but holds the record for the greatest number of Best Actor nominations without a win.

“Lawrence of Arabia” is a 1962 movie that recounts the real life story of T. E. Lawrence, a British army officer famous for his role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. The title role in the film is played by Irish actor Peter O’Toole. The role of Sherif Ali ibn el Kharish is played by Omar Sharif.

12. Sweetie, in slang : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”.

13. Twin sister of Apollo : ARTEMIS

Artemis was an ancient Greek goddess, and the equivalent of the Roman goddess Diana. Artemis was also a daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. Among other things, she was the goddess of the hunt, and so often is depicted carrying a bow and arrows.

17. Impulse-conducting cell : NEURON

A nerve cell is more correctly called a neuron. The branched projections that receive electrochemical signals from other neurons are known as dendrites. The long nerve fiber that conducts signals away from the neuron is known as the axon. A neuron that has no definite axon is referred to as “apolar” or “nonpolar”. In apolar neurons the nerve impulses radiate in all directions.

18. Enemy in a Le Carré novel : KGB SPY

“John Le Carré” is the pen name of David Cornwell, an English author who is famous for his spy novels. Cornwell worked for British Intelligence during the fifties and sixties, even as he was writing his spy thrillers. He left MI6 soon after his most famous 1963 novel “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold”, became such a great success.

33. Dojo action : JUDO KICK

Judo is a martial art from Japan that was developed relatively recently, in 1882. The name “judo” translates as “gentle way”. Practitioners of judo proceed through a series of proficiency grades known as the kyu-dan system. At each progression, a different colored belt is awarded.

The Japanese word “dojo” literally means “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

34. Slugging Sammy : SOSA

Sammy Sosa was firmly in the public eye in 1998 when he and Mark McGwire were vying to be the first to surpass the home run record held by Roger Maris. McGwire fell out of public favor due to stories of steroid abuse (stories which he later admitted were true) while Sosa fell out of favor when he was found to be using a corked bat in a 2003 game.

36. Oakland’s Oracle, e.g. : ARENA

The Oracle Arena in Oakland, California is most famous as the home of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. Having opened in 1996, it is the oldest arena in use for NBA games. One might also argue that the Oakland Arena is home for the Grateful Dead as the band played more concerts there (66) than in any other venue.

38. Light controller in a lens : IRIS

The iris diaphragm of a lens is analogous to the iris of the eye, in that it is the opening through which light passes. The size of that aperture changes the amount of light passing through the lens. The size of the aperture is routinely referred to as the f-stop, and can be varied on many cameras.

40. Spread on toast : OLEO

Emperor Louis Napoleon III of France announced a competition to develop a substitute for butter, a substitute that would be more accessible to the lower classes and more practical for the armed forces. A French chemist called Hippolyte Mege-Mouries came up with something he called oleomargarine in 1869, which was eventually manufactured under the trade name “margarine”. The name “oleomargarine” also gives us our generic term “oleo”.

43. “Morning Edition” airer : NPR

NPR’s flagship news program is “Morning Edition”, a 2-hour show broadcast from Monday through Friday. The sister show “Weekend Edition” is broadcast on Saturday and Sunday.

44. Lake Wobegon creator : KEILLOR

Humorist Garrison Keillor is one of Minnesota’s most famous sons. Keillor’s wonderful radio show called “A Prairie Home Companion” made its debut in 1974 and is named after the Prairie Home Cemetery in Moorhead, Minnesota. I saw a live taping of “A Prairie Home Companion” not so long ago in San Francisco and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Lake Wobegon is a fictional town in central Minnesota that features in stories related by Garrison Keillor (now retired) in the long-running radio show “Prairie Home Companion”.

48. Donkey Kong looks like one : APE

The first video game featuring the ape called Donkey Kong was created in 1981. That same game introduced the world to the character known as Mario, four years before the game Super Mario Bros became such a big hit.

52. “The Martian” star : DAMON

Matt Damon is an actor and screenwriter from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Damon’s big break came with the 1997 movie “Good Will Hunting”, in which he starred. He co-wrote the screenplay with his childhood friend Ben Affleck.

“The Martian” is a very intriguing 2015 science fiction film starring Matt Damon as an astronaut who is accidentally stranded on Mars. The movie is based on a 2011 novel of the same name by Andrew Weir. One thing that I liked about the film is that the science cited is fairly realistic. In fact, NASA collaborated with the filmmakers extensively from script development to principal casting.

53. __ contract : ORAL

An oral contract is just as valid as a written contract in most cases. The phrase “verbal contract” is sometimes used to describe a contract that is agreed by spoken communication, but this is inaccurate. A verbal contract is simply one that uses words, and can be either written or spoken.

61. Gloria Estefan, for one : LATINA

Gloria Estefan is a Cuban American singer who was born in Havana. Estefan fled Cuba along with her family after the Cuban Revolution, and ended up in Miami. Her father fought for the US military in Vietnam, and also took part in the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion. Years later, Estefan herself was approached by the CIA to work for the agency due to her skill with languages. She ended up doing quite well singing instead …

65. Volkswagen sedan : JETTA

“Jetta” is one in a series of model names related to winds that has been used by Volkswagen. “Jetta” comes from the German for “jet stream”, and the model name “Passat” comes from the German for “trade wind”.

66. N-S Manhattan road : AVE

The famous grid layout of Manhattan’s streets and avenues was the result of the Commissioner’s Plan of 1811. The plan only applied to streets above Houston Street as almost all of the development in lower Manhattan had taken place organically, as the originally colony of New Amsterdam grew. One notable exception from the 1811 plan was New York’s magnificent Central Park, which was not envisioned until the 1850s.

68. Bookish set : LITERATI

Literati are men and women of letters, learned people. The Latin “literatus” means “lettered”.

75. Unacceptable to some, for short : NOT PC

Non-politically correct (non-PC)

81. Old Spanish bread : PESETA

The peseta is the former currency of Spain, and the de facto currency of Spain’s neighbor, the Principality of Andorra. The peseta was replaced by the euro in 2002.

84. “The X-Files” org. : FBI

“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show are David Duchovny (playing Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (playing Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, “The X-Files” was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history. An “X-Files” reboot started airing in 2016 with Duchovny and Anderson reprising their starring roles.

87. Inventor Rubik : ERNO

What was originally called the “Magic Cube” became better known as Rubik’s Cube, named for its inventor Ernő Rubik. Rubik’s Cube is the world’s biggest selling puzzle game, with over 350 million sold in just over 30 years.

88. Heart lines?: Abbr. : EKGS

An EKG measures electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

90. Cringe-worthy YouTube subject : EPIC FAIL

YouTube is a video-sharing website, launched in 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees. Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Yep, $1.65 billion, less than two years after it was founded …

92. Road goo : TAR

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call tarmac.

93. Standard Oil brand : ESSO

The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Standard Oil of Ohio was formed in 1911, and was one of the companies that resulted from the breakup of John D. Rockefeller’s behemoth Standard Oil. The company used the brand name “Sohio” at service stations within Ohio, and “Boron” in other states. Sohio merged with BP in 1968.

102. Kiss drummer Eric : CARR

“Eric Carr” was the stage name of Paul Caravello, who was best known as the drummer of the rock band Kiss from 1980 until just before his death from heart cancer in 1991. Carr’s passing went relatively unnoticed, because he died on the same day as Queen’s lead singer Freddie Mercury.

104. Hindustani tongue : URDU

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

“Hindustan” is a historical name for the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent.

110. Sources of deck wood : TEAKS

Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family, commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia. Teak’s tight grain and high oil content make it very suitable for constructing outdoor furniture, where weather resistance is valued. For the same reason, teak is the wood of choice for wooden decks on boats.

113. Digital displays, briefly : LCDS

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) are the screens that are found in most laptops today, and in flat panel computer screens and some televisions. LCD monitors basically replaced Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) screens, the old television technology.

115. Earthen wall : BERM

The term “berm” can be used to describe a physical barrier of some kind. For example, berms can be constructed along a highway to protect those living and working nearby from noise pollution.

118. Cornerstone word : ANNO

Anno (plural “anni”) is the Latin for “year”.

119. Film __ : NOIR

The expression “film noir” has French origins, but only in that it was coined by a French critic in describing a style of Hollywood film. The term, meaning “black film” in French, was first used by Nino Frank in 1946. Film noir often applies to a movie with a melodramatic plot and a private eye or detective at its center. Good examples would be “The Big Sleep” and “D.O.A”.

123. Capital of Switzerland? : ESS

The capital letter in the word “Switzerland” is a letter S (ess).

124. Hulce or Hanks : TOM

Former actor Tom Hulce is perhaps best known for playing fraternity pledge Pinto Kroger in the 1978 film “Animal House”, and playing the title role in 1984’s “Amadeus”. Hulce retired from acting in the nineties to focus on stage directing and producing.

Tom Hanks is a such a great actor, I think. He has played so many iconic roles in a relatively short career. Hanks is from California, and studied theater for a couple of years in Hayward, California not far from here. Tom’s son Colin Hanks is one of the stars of the TV comedy “Life in Pieces”. Hanks is married to the talented actress Rita Wilson.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Angled : FISHED
7. Three-word defense : I AM SO!
12. Soother : BALM
16. Sign, as a contract : INK
19. Pump measurement : OCTANE
20. Shooting competition : SKEET
21. Two-dimensional size : AREA
22. ABO system abbr. : NEG
23. H&R Block calculation : PERSONAL INCOME TAX (hiding “Pentax”)
26. Hot __ : TUB
27. K-pop city : SEOUL
28. Long. counterpart : LAT
29. Sock part : TOE
30. Times-changing workers? : EDITORS
32. They may be footed : PAJAMAS
35. Peru grazer : LLAMA
37. On : ATOP
38. Sworn words : I DO
41. Gloomy __ : GUS
42. Individual with limited skills : ONE-TRICK PONY (hiding “Nikon”)
45. Put in new film : RELOAD
47. [Oh no!] : GASP!
49. First name in makeup : ESTEE
50. “You can’t be serious!” : I BEG YOUR PARDON (hiding “GoPro”)
54. “Full House,” but not “House” : SITCOM
58. Small-runway mil. craft : STOL
59. Cap joint : KNEE
60. Former sea that’s now part desert : ARAL
62. Zany : LOONY
63. “Into the Wild” star Hirsch : EMILE
65. Drs.’ publication : JAMA
67. __-out: total : ALL
69. PTA member : MOM
70. Hamilton, for one : AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY (hiding “Minolta”)
76. High-tech agent : BOT
77. Schuss or slalom : SKI
78. UMass’ conference : A-TEN
79. Explosive matter, briefly : NITRO
80. Storm sounds : CLAPS
82. Air carrier : DUCT
84. Judge’s assessment : FINE
85. Olive, for one : TREE
89. Throw away, in a way : DELETE
91. Recreational area with pipes, bowls and ramps : SKATEBOARD PARK (hiding “Kodak”)
95. Like the opening of “The Wizard of Oz” : SEPIA
97. Clarifying words : AS IN
98. Microwave concern : ARCING
99. Dropping-off places? : SLEEPING CARS (hiding “Leica”)
104. Beehive State native : UTE
105. SAT scores, e.g. : NOS
106. Emulate a hot dog : PANT
107. Gridiron gripper : CLEAT
108. Being judged : ON TRIAL
112. Cow chow : ALFALFA
114. Hold up : ROB
116. Ref. for wordsmiths : OED
117. Polynesian Disney heroine : MOANA
121. Lao Tzu’s “way” : TAO
122. Red choice : CABERNET SAUVIGNON (hiding “Canon”)
126. Angled piece : ELL
127. Focus for clérigos : DIOS
128. Raven’s sound : CROAK
129. Part of a plot : IN ON IT
130. Low : SAD
131. Shooters with straps, for short : SLRS
132. Tony’s cousins : EMMYS
133. Skip : IGNORE

Down

1. Dandy guys : FOPS
2. Drink with a domed cover : ICEE
3. A.L. West pro, informally : ‘STRO
4. Entertains at the penthouse : HAS UP
5. Historic WWII B-29 : ENOLA GAY
6. __ mother : DEN
7. Five Pillars faith : ISLAM
8. Breed from Honshu : AKITA
9. All NBA players : MEN
10. Mennonites, e.g. : SECT
11. 1962 Lawrence portrayer : O’TOOLE
12. Sweetie, in slang : BAE
13. Twin sister of Apollo : ARTEMIS
14. Headliners : LEAD ACTS
15. Skirt type : MAXI
16. As a whole : IN TOTO
17. Impulse-conducting cell : NEURON
18. Enemy in a Le Carré novel : KGB SPY
24. “Sad to say … ” : ALAS …
25. Diner sandwich : MELT
31. Stick on, in a way : TAPE TO
33. Dojo action : JUDO KICK
34. Slugging Sammy : SOSA
36. Oakland’s Oracle, e.g. : ARENA
38. Light controller in a lens : IRIS
39. Obligation : DEBT
40. Spread on toast : OLEO
43. “Morning Edition” airer : NPR
44. Lake Wobegon creator : KEILLOR
46. Creepy starer : OGLER
47. Inexperienced : GREEN
48. Donkey Kong looks like one : APE
51. Like rolled carpet : UNLAID
52. “The Martian” star : DAMON
53. __ contract : ORAL
55. Food __: listlessness after a large meal : COMA
56. __ about : ON OR
57. “Oh dear!” : MY MY!
61. Gloria Estefan, for one : LATINA
64. Error : MISSTEP
65. Volkswagen sedan : JETTA
66. N-S Manhattan road : AVE
68. Bookish set : LITERATI
70. Starting quartet : A-B-C-D …
71. 18-Down, at times : MOLE
72. Famous last words? : ET AL
73. Ribs unit : RACK
74. Blue side : UNION
75. Unacceptable to some, for short : NOT PC
81. Old Spanish bread : PESETA
83. Meter measure : USAGE
84. “The X-Files” org. : FBI
86. Pour, e.g. : RAIN
87. Inventor Rubik : ERNO
88. Heart lines?: Abbr. : EKGS
90. Cringe-worthy YouTube subject : EPIC FAIL
92. Road goo : TAR
93. Standard Oil brand : ESSO
94. Unrealistic : DREAMING
96. About to deliver : IN LABOR
99. Outpourings : SPATES
100. Fingers-in-ears syllables : LA LA LA!
101. Embrace : ENFOLD
102. Kiss drummer Eric : CARR
103. Immediately : AT ONCE
104. Hindustani tongue : URDU
109. Zero input : NO SAY
110. Sources of deck wood : TEAKS
111. Sign in : LOG ON
113. Digital displays, briefly : LCDS
115. Earthen wall : BERM
118. Cornerstone word : ANNO
119. Film __ : NOIR
120. Pot starter : ANTE
123. Capital of Switzerland? : ESS
124. Hulce or Hanks : TOM
125. Sundial seven : VII

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