LA Times Crossword 4 Sep 22, Sunday - LAXCrossword.com (2022)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Device that may catch a private remark : HOT MIC

One of my favorite hot-mic moments took place in 2005, when Paris and London were vying to host the 2012 Olympics. French President Jacques Chirac compared Paris and London in that context while chatting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Chirac said, over a hot mic:

The only thing that they have ever done for European agriculture is mad cow disease … You cannot trust people who have such bad cuisine.

7 Enemy of ancient Athens : SPARTA

Sparta was a city-state in ancient Greece that was famous for her military might. Spartan children had a tough upbringing, and newborn babies were bathed in wine to see if the child was strong enough to survive. Every child was presented to a council of elders that decided if the baby was suitable for rearing. Those children deemed too puny were executed by tossing them into a chasm. We’ve been using the term “spartan” to describe something self-disciplined or austere since the 1600s.

19 First MLB player inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame : ICHIRO

Ichiro Suzuki holds quite a few batting records, including the single-season record for base hits (262) and a record-breaking streak of 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons. Ichiro Suzuki is a huge celebrity in his native-Japan. His agent says that if you address fan mail to “Ichiro Suzuki, Japan”, he’ll get your letter …

20 More hackneyed : CORNIER

Hackney is a location in London, and it probably gave its name to a “hackney”, an ordinary type of horse around 1300. By 1700 a “hackney” was a person hired to do routine work, and “hackneyed” meant “kept for hire”, and then “stale, uninteresting”. This morphed into a hackney carriage, a carriage or car for hire, and into “hack”, a slang term for a taxi driver or cab.

21 Unlike automobile gasoline : LEADED

Tetraethyllead (TEL) is a fuel additive that was introduced into gasoline starting in the 1920s. The additive allowed for an increase in engine compression, which boosted engine performance and enhanced fuel economy. When TEL combusts, it produces carbon dioxide and water, but also lead and lead oxide. The resulting high levels of lead in the atmosphere caused health problems, especially in children. Countries started banning the use of “leaded” fuels in the 1970s, and auto manufacturers had to start building cars that could better handle “unleaded” gasoline.

22 Film remake about a student who finally finds the right martial arts teacher? : THE SIXTH SENSEI (I in “The Sixth Sense”)

“Sensei” is a Japanese form of address used for figures of authority, from lawyers to martial arts instructors.

“The Sixth Sense” is a fabulous 1999 film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. I remember watching “The Sixth Sense” for the first time on an airplane. Shyamalan wasn’t well known for his famous surprise endings to films at that point. It was very gratifying to hear my fellow passengers join me in a big “gasp” at the appropriate point in the story …

25 Breath mints that contained Retsyn : CERTS

Certs were the first breath mints to be marketed nationally in the US, hitting the shelves in 1956. A Cert is called a mint, but it isn’t really as it contains no mint oil and instead has its famous ingredient named “Retsyn”. Retsyn is a mixture of copper gluconate (giving the green flecks), partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil (not healthy!) and flavoring (maybe mint?).

27 Jerky spot? : KNEE

The foot naturally kicks forward when the tendon/muscle at the front of the leg is tapped just below the knee. The kick takes place due to a reflex reaction, an impulse sent along nerves from the site of the tap to the spine and back to the leg muscle, without direct involvement of the brain.

29 Goodyear city : AKRON

For much of the 1800s, the Ohio city of Akron was the fastest-growing city in the country, feeding off the industrial boom of that era. The city was founded in 1825 and its location, along the Ohio and Erie canal connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River, helped to fuel Akron’s growth. Akron sits at the highest point of the canal and the name “Akron” comes from the Greek word meaning “summit”. Indeed, Akron is the county seat of Summit County. The city earned the moniker “Rubber Capital of the World” for most of the 20th century, as it was home to four major tire companies: Goodrich, Goodyear, Firestone and General Tire.

The Goodyear tire company was founded in 1898. The company was named for Charles Goodyear, the man who invented vulcanized rubber in 1839. Despite the Goodyear name, Charles Goodyear himself had no connection with the company. Sadly, he never really reaped a financial reward for his inventions.

30 Realm from 800 to 1806: Abbr. : HRE

The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) existed from 962 to 1806 AD and was a territory of varying size over the centuries that centered on the Kingdom of Germany. The HRE was a successor to the western half of the Ancient Roman Empire. The empire dissolved in 1806 when Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated after a military defeat by the French under Napoleon at Austerlitz.

Charlemagne was the first king to use the title “Holy Roman Emperor”, starting in the year 800, even though the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) was not actually founded per se until over a century later when Otto I was crowned Emperor. Otto was the first of an unbroken line of Holy Roman Emperors who ruled Central Europe from 962 until 1806.

31 NASA scientist Geoffrey who won a Hugo for his short story “Falling Onto Mars” : LANDIS

As well as being an aerospace engineer working for NASA, Geoffrey A. Landis is an award=winning author of science fiction. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given his technical qualifications, Landis is known for writing “hard” science fiction, science fiction that emphasizes scientific accuracy and logic.

35 “The Coldest Rap” rapper : ICE-T

“Cold Wind Madness” was the first single recorded by rap singer Ice-T, in 1983. The song also went by the title “The Coldest Rap”, and can be described as “an underground success”. It was not played by radio stations, because back then, broadcasters were reluctant to feature songs with hardcore lyrics.

37 Film remake featuring a spooky archaeological site? : MIDNIGHT RUIN (I in “Midnight Run”)

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

“Midnight Run” is a 1988 action comedy film starring Charles Grodin as an embezzler and Robert De Niro as a bounty hunter. I love this movie, and rank it as my favorite comedy performance for both Grodin and De Niro. There’s great chemistry between the two lead actors, and I’m guessing that they had a blast working together …

50 Molecule central to many vaccines : RNA

A vaccine used to be a modified virus administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity, until mRNA vaccines were introduced to combat COVID-19. British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

51 Film remake heavy with art metaphors? : MONA LISA SIMILE (I in “Mona Lisa Smile”)

Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece that we know in English as the “Mona Lisa” is called “La Gioconda” in Italian, the language of the artist. It’s also known as “La Joconde” by the Government of France which owns the painting and displays it in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title comes from the name of the subject, almost certainly Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. Giocondo was a wealthy silk merchant in Florence who commissioned the painting for the couple’s new home to celebrate the birth of their second son.

A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

“Mona Lisa Smile” is a 2003 film set in the 1950s featuring Julia Roberts as an art lecturer at Wellesley College. One notable fact about the film is that Roberts received $25 million for appearing in it, which was a record for an actress at that time.

56 Wharton degs. : MBAS

Wharton is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. The school was established in 1881 largely due to a donation from industrialist Joseph Wharton, co-founder of Bethlehem Steel.

57 __-dried tomatoes : SUN

Tomatoes can be placed in the sun for 4-10 days in order to dry out. They lose about 90% of their weight to become “sun-dried” tomatoes.

58 Lighthouse view : SEA

The oldest lighthouse still in use is the Tower of Hercules located on the coast of Galicia in northwest Spain. Renovated in 1791, this magnificent lighthouse was built by the Romans in 2nd century CE and has been in constant use since that time. It is believed that the structure’s design is based on the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World.

60 Grounation Day celebrant : RASTA

Grounation Day is a holy day in the Rastafarian tradition. It commemorates the visit of Haile Selassie to Jamaica in 1966.

67 JD-to-be’s exam : LSAT

The law degree that is abbreviated to J.D. stands for “Juris Doctor” or “Doctor of Jurisprudence”.

69 Film remake featuring broken raga instruments? : THE FAULT IN OUR SITARS (I in “The Fault in Our Stars”)

The sitar has been around since the Middle Ages. It is a stringed instrument that is played by plucking, and is used most often in Hindustani classical music. In the West we have been exposed to the instrument largely through the performances of Ravi Shankar and some music by George Harrison of the Beatles, a onetime student of Shankar.

Raga isn’t really a genre of music, but has been described as the “tonal framework” in which Indian classical music is composed. Ravi Shankar was perhaps the most famous raga virtuoso (to us Westerners). Western rock music with a heavy Indian influence might be called raga rock.

“The Fault in Our Stars” is a 2014 film based on a novel of the same by John Green. Both film and novel are about two teenage cancer patients who fall in love with each other. The leads are played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. The title is a rewording of lines spoken by Cassius in the play “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

77 Vitals checker, briefly : EMT

There are four primary vital signs that are measured by health professionals:

  1. Body temperature
  2. Blood pressure
  3. Pulse
  4. Breathing rate

79 Speed reader? : RADAR

Radar speed guns were first used to monitor traffic by Connecticut State Police in the town of Glastonbury, way back in 1947!

82 Cul-de-__ : SAC

Even though “cul-de-sac” can indeed mean “bottom-of-the-bag” in French, the term “cul-de-sac” is of English origin (the use of “cul” in French is actually quite rude). The term was introduced in aristocratic circles at a time when it was considered very fashionable to speak French. Dead-end streets in France are usually signposted with just a symbol and no accompanying words, but if words are included they are “voie sans issue”, meaning “way without exit”.

86 Chris of Vampire Weekend : BAIO

Chris Baio is the bass player for the indie rock band Vampire Weekend. He is a first cousin, once removed of actor Scott Baio (who played Chachi on “Happy Days”).

87 Magic charm : AMULET

Amulets are items worn to ward off disease or to protect against harmful magic spells.

89 Film remake that tries to prove all unmarried men are created equal? : BACHELOR PARITY (I in “Bachelor Party”)

“Bachelor Party” is a 1984 sex comedy starring Tom Hanks as the young man about to get married. Not the best movie that Hanks has appeared in, I’d say …

95 First mo. : JAN

January is the first month of our Gregorian calendar. It is named for Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions.

96 Audrey Tautou title role : AMELIE

“Amélie” is a 2001 French film, a romantic comedy about a shy waitress in Montmartre, Paris played by Audrey Tautou (who also played the female lead in “The Da Vinci Code”). The movie was originally released under the French title, “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain” (“The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain”).

99 Film remake featuring spa treatments that are no joke? : A SERIOUS MANI (I in “A Serious Man”)

I haven’t seen “A Serious Man” but it sounds like an interesting storyline. It’s a black comedy written and directed by the Coen Brothers. “A Serious Man” is about an ordinary man trying to make sense of the world and find balance in his life, and is loosely based on the story of Job from the Bible.

104 Emcee : HOST

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

105 Yiddish word meaning “little town” : SHTETL

The Yiddish word for “town” is “shtot”, and so “shtetl” is the diminutive form meaning “small town”.

108 African viper : ASP

The venomous snake called an asp was a symbol of royalty in ancient Egypt.

114 Petrol brand : ESSO

The Esso brand 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.

Petrol is the same thing as gasoline. “Petrol” comes via French from the Latin “petroleum”, itself derived from “petra” meaning “rock” and “oleum” meaning “oil”.

119 Food distribution giant : SYSCO

It’s hard to drive down any highway in the US without coming across a Sysco truck. It really is a huge company, the largest food service enterprise in the country. “Sysco” is an abbreviation for Systems and Services Company.

123 Film remake that documents soapbox sites? : TIRADING PLACES (I in “Trading Places”)

The term “tirade” describes a long and vehement speech, and is a word that came into English from French. “Tirade” can have the same meaning in French, but is also the word for “volley”. So, a tirade is a “volley” of words.

Back in the 1650s, a soapbox was just that, a wooden box for holding or transporting soap. Empty soapboxes were easily carried by a potential orator and used as a stand from which to deliver an address.

“Trading Places” is a fun comedy film released in 1983, starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. The film is all about a high-flying commodities broker (Aykroyd) “trading places” with a street hustler (Murphy). There’s also a great supporting cast that includes Don Ameche and Jamie Lee Curtis.

128 “Blitzkrieg Bop” surname : RAMONE

“Blitzkrieg Bop” is a song by the punk rock band Ramones. The song opens with “Hey! Ho! Let’s go!”, a chant that is now used as a rallying cry at sporting events.

129 Tree decor : TINSEL

Back in the mid-1400s, the word “tinsel” applied to cloth into which was woven gold or silver thread. The term came from the Middle French word “estincelle” meaning “spark, spangle”, which ultimately derived from the Latin “scintilla” meaning “spark”. By the end of the 1500s, “tinsel” described thin strips of shiny metal. The word “Tinseltown” wasn’t applied to Hollywood until 1972.

130 Number with 100 zeroes : GOOGOL

A googol is 10 raised to the power of 100. The term “googol” was coined by the nine-year-old nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner. The uncle had asked the boy to come up with an interesting name for “a very large number”. Kasner then came up with the name “googleplex”, which he defined as 1 followed by as many zeros one could write before getting tired. He later refined the definition of a googolplex to be 10 to the power of a googol. And yes, the search engine called “Google” is a deliberate misspelling of “googol”, and Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California is called the Googleplex, a similar deliberate misspelling.

131 Raw bar choice : OYSTER

Almost all of the shellfish consumed at a raw bar is not only uncooked, it is also still alive.

Down

2 Earth tone : OCHER

Ocher is a light, yellowish-brown color, although variations of the pigment are possible such as red ocher and purple ocher. “Ocher” is usually spelled “ochre” on the other side of the pond.

5 Grammy-nominated folk singer DeMent : IRIS

Iris DeMent is a folk, gospel and country singer-songwriter. She married fellow folk musician Greg Brown in 2002.

6 Crew leader, briefly : COX

The coxswain of a boat is one in charge of steering and navigation. The word “coxswain” is shortened to “cox”, particularly when used for the person steering and calling out the stroke in a competition rowing boat.

8 Early tourney match : PRELIM

“Tourney” is another word for “tournament”. “Tourney” comes from the Old French word “tornei” meaning “contest of armed men”, from “tornoier” meaning “to joust, jilt”.

9 Fashion’s __ Taylor : ANN

There was no actual person named “Ann Taylor” associated with the Ann Taylor line of clothes. The name was chosen by the marketing professionals because “Ann” was considered to be “very New England” back in 1954 when the stores first opened, and “Taylor” suggested that clothes were carefully “tailored”.

11 Many an Olympic gymnast : TEEN

Our word “gymnasium” comes from the Greek “gymnasion” meaning “public place where exercise is taken”. The Greek term comes from “gymnos” meaning “naked”, as that physical training was usually done unclothed in ancient Greece.

12 “Acoustic Soul” singer India.__ : ARIE

India.Arie is an American soul and R&B singer who was born India Arie Simpson in Denver, Colorado.

13 Journalist Velshi of MSNBC : ALI

Ali Velshi is a television journalist from Canada who joined MSNBC in 2016, after having worked with CNN and Al Jazeera America.

15 System infiltrator : HACKER

A computer hacker is a computer expert, and in particular one who uses that expertise to solve problems with hardware and software. So, the original use of the term “hacking” was very positive. Since the 1980s, the term “hacker” is more commonly used for an expert in subverting computer security.

17 Exec’s note : MEMO

“Memorandum” means “thing to be remembered” in Latin, from the verb “memorare” meaning “to call to mind”.

18 Fall setting : EDEN

In the Christian tradition, the “fall of man” took place in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This went against the bidding of God, and was at the urging of the serpent. As a result, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden to prevent them from becoming immortal by eating from the tree of life. The first humans had transitioned from a state of innocent obedience to a state of guilty disobedience.

20 Chinese-American chef and restaurateur Joyce : CHEN

Joyce Chen was a noted chef and restaurateur who grew up in Beijing who left China in 1949 as the Communists took control of the government. She settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts and opened her first restaurant in 1958. Chen was at the forefront of the movement popularizing Chinese cuisine in America. She taught Chinese cooking as an adult education course, published the “Joyce Chen Cook Book”, and starred in her own cooking show on PBS called “Joyce Chen Cooks”.

31 Strauss of denim : LEVI

Levi Strauss was the founder of the first company in the world to manufacture blue jeans. Levi Strauss & Co. opened in 1853 in San Francisco. Strauss and his business partner were awarded a patent in 1873 for the use of copper rivets to strengthen points of strain on working pants.

32 Thailand, once : SIAM

Siam was the official name of Thailand up to 1939 (and again from 1945 to 1949).

35 Funds for later yrs. : IRAS

Individual retirement account (IRA)

36 Ore. neighbor : CAL

“Golden State” has been the official nickname of California since 1968. The nickname reflects the expansion of the state’s economy that followed the discovery of gold in 1848, and also the fields of golden poppies seen growing wild across California in the spring.

38 Soft & __ : DRI

Soft & Dri is an antiperspirant.

39 Guitarist Lofgren : NILS

Musician Nils Lofgren was a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band for over 25 years. Lofgren provided vocals and played guitar, and was hired as the replacement for Steven Van Zandt.

41 Novelist Leon : URIS

Leon Uris is an American writer. Uris’s most famous books are “Exodus” and “Trinity”, two excellent stories, in my humble opinion …

42 Going past the fourth qtr., say : IN OT

In overtime (in OT)

44 “Fleabag” award : EMMY

“Fleabag” is a marvelous tragicomic television show written and created by, and starring British actress and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The very talented Waller-Bridge also adapted the “Codename Villanelle” novels into the hit TV show “Killing Eve”.

48 NASA garb : G-SUIT

A G-suit is needed when astronauts and aviators are subject to high accelerations. Such acceleration can cause blood to pool in the lower part of the body, reducing the supply to the brain and possibly leading to a blackout. A G-suit is basically a special pair of tight-fitting pants that are fitted with inflatable bladders. The bladders inflate during high accelerations, tightening around the legs and abdomen, reducing the amount of blood pooling. So, a “G-suit” is more correctly referred to as an “anti-G suit”.

52 Navel type : INNIE

The navel is basically the scar left behind when the umbilical cord is removed from a newborn baby. One interesting use of the umbilicus (navel, belly button) is to differentiate between identical twins, especially when they are very young.

54 “Parks and Recreation” actor Chris : PRATT

Chris Pratt is an actor who really got his big break playing the rather dopey Andy Dwyer on the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”. Pratt then played a pretty macho role as a SEAL team operator in “Zero Dark Thirty”, before taking leading heroic roles in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Jurassic World”. Pratt was married from 2009 until 2018 to Anna Faris, the comedic actress who plays Christy Plunkett on the sitcom “Mom”.

55 Part of TTFN : TA-TA

Ta-ta for now (TTFN)

63 Beach souvenir : TAN

A souvenir is a memento, a token of remembrance. We imported “souvenir” from French, in which language it has the same meaning. The term comes from the Latin “subvenire” meaning “to come to mind”, or literally “to come up”.

65 Lang. of Jamaica : ENG

The island nation of Jamaica is located just under 100 miles south of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea. Christopher Columbus first visited the island in 1494, and he and his crew were stranded there for over a year from 1503-1504. Spanish rule devastated the local population, through violence and disease. As a result, the Spanish transplanted African slaves to Jamaica to work as labourers. Spain lost Jamaica to the English in 1655. Given the turbulent history, most Jamaicans today are of African descent, and Jamaica is the third-most populous English-speaking country in the Americas (after the US and Canada).

66 Lorna __ cookies : DOONE

Lorna Doone shortbread cookies were introduced by Nabisco in 1912. Presumably, they were named after the famous novel by R. D. Blackmore.

72 Turbine blade : ROTOR

A turbine is a machine that uses the flow of a fluid (sometimes air) to create rotational work. Simple examples of turbines are windmills and waterwheels.

74 Strike down, biblically : SMITE

To smite is to strike with a firm blow. The term “smite” can also mean “strike down and slay”.

78 Little dogs : TOYS

The toy group of dogs is made up of the smallest breeds. The smallest of the small breeds are sometimes called teacup breeds.

79 Indian noble : RAJA

“Raja” (also “rajah”) is a word derived from Sanskrit that is used particularly in India for a monarch or princely ruler. The female form is “rani” (also “ranee”) and is used for a raja’s wife.

80 Middle of a Latin trio : AMAS

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

81 __ buggy : DUNE

Dune buggies are motorized vehicles designed for use on sand dunes and sandy beaches. They are typically made by adding large wheels and wide tires to the chassis of an existing road vehicle. Volkswagen Bugs are a common choice for the base vehicle, which led to the name dune “buggy”.

83 Fivers : ABES

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

86 Like dry champagne : BRUT

Sparkling wines can be classified according to sweetness. These classifications are, from driest to sweetest:

  • Brut Nature
  • Extra Brut
  • Brut
  • Extra Dry
  • Dry
  • Semi-Dry
  • Sweet

Champagne is made primarily using Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier grapes (both of which are mainly used to make red wine), as well as white Chardonnay grapes. Rosé Champagne is made from a blend of all three grapes, Blanc de noir Champagne from Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier, and Blanc de blanc from 100% Chardonnay.

88 Artists’ mecca near Santa Fe : TAOS

The town of Taos, New Mexico is named for the Native American village nearby called Taos Pueblo. Taos is famous for its art colony. Artists began settling in Taos in 1899, and the Taos Society of Artists was founded in 1915.

90 Spy-fi org. : CIA

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the successor to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) formed during WWII. The CIA was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947. The organization is often referred to familiarly as “the Company”.

91 Coop group : HENS

The Old English word “cypa”, meaning “basket”, evolved in the 14th century to the word “coop” to describe a small cage for poultry. We still use “coop” today.

93 Epistle apostle : PAUL

St. Paul the Apostle wrote thirteen epistles, all of which are found in the New Testament of the Bible (although authorship of some is disputed).

100 Savanna beasts : RHINOS

There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

A savanna (also “savannah”) is a grassland. If there are any trees in a savanna, by definition they are small and widely spaced so that light can get to the grasses allowing them to grow unhindered.

101 Give a charge to : IONIZE

As we all recall from science class, a positive ion is called a cation and a negative ion is an anion. The names “cation” and “anion” come from Greek, with “kation” meaning “going down” and “anion” meaning “going up”.

108 Neckwear named for a British racecourse : ASCOT

An ascot is a wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings or part of a dress uniform. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

Ascot Racecourse is used for thoroughbred horse racing, and is located in the town of Ascot, Berkshire in England. The course is located just six miles from Windsor Castle, and is often visited by members of the royal family. Royal Ascot is the name given to the most famous race meeting in the year, at which members of the royal family attend each day, arriving in horse-drawn carriages amidst great ceremony.

109 Tableau : SCENE

A tableau vivant (sometimes just “tableau”) is a silent scene that includes stationary actors. The French term “tableau vivant” translates as “living picture”.

110 Conundrum : POSER

“Conundrum” is a relatively new word, even though it sounds like Latin. It was coined in the late 16th century in Oxford University, England as a slang, pseudo-Latin word meaning “pedant”. Somehow, this meaning evolved into “riddle, puzzle” in the late 18th century.

112 Potent start? : OMNI-

Someone or something described as omnipotent if almighty, possesses infinite power. The term “omnipotent” comes from the Latin “omnis” (all) and “potens” (powerful, potent).

116 Rural tower : 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.

122 __ Aviv : TEL

The full name of Israel’s second largest city is Tel Aviv-Yafo. “Tel Aviv” translates into “Spring Mound”, and is a name that was chosen in 1910. Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 as a housing development outside the port city of Jaffa. Tel Aviv and Jaffa merged in 1950.

124 Braz. neighbor : ARG

Argentina is the second largest country in South America (after Brazil), and the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation. The name “Argentina” comes from the Latin “argentum”, the word for “silver”. It is thought that the name was given by the early Spanish and Portuguese conquerors who also named the Rio de la Plata (the “Silver River”). Those early explorers got hold of lots of silver objects that they found among the native population.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Device that may catch a private remark : HOT MIC
7 Enemy of ancient Athens : SPARTA
13 Comfortable : AT HOME
19 First MLB player inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame : ICHIRO
20 More hackneyed : CORNIER
21 Unlike automobile gasoline : LEADED
22 Film remake about a student who finally finds the right martial arts teacher? : THE SIXTH SENSEI (I in “The Sixth Sense”)
24 Earnings : INCOME
25 Breath mints that contained Retsyn : CERTS
26 Mend : HEAL
27 Jerky spot? : KNEE
29 Goodyear city : AKRON
30 Realm from 800 to 1806: Abbr. : HRE
31 NASA scientist Geoffrey who won a Hugo for his short story “Falling Onto Mars” : LANDIS
33 “Finished!” : DONE!
35 “The Coldest Rap” rapper : ICE-T
37 Film remake featuring a spooky archaeological site? : MIDNIGHT RUIN (I in “Midnight Run”)
44 Etched art : ENGRAVING
49 Comes up : ARISES
50 Molecule central to many vaccines : RNA
51 Film remake heavy with art metaphors? : MONA LISA SIMILE (I in “Mona Lisa Smile”)
53 Choice : OPTION
56 Wharton degs. : MBAS
57 __-dried tomatoes : SUN
58 Lighthouse view : SEA
60 Grounation Day celebrant : RASTA
61 “Affirmative” : YES
62 Got : ATTAINED
67 JD-to-be’s exam : LSAT
69 Film remake featuring broken raga instruments? : THE FAULT IN OUR SITARS (I in “The Fault in Our Stars”)
75 Hue : TINT
76 Result of a sincere compliment : EGO BOOST
77 Vitals checker, briefly : EMT
79 Speed reader? : RADAR
82 Cul-de-__ : SAC
85 “Uh-uh!” : NOT!
86 Chris of Vampire Weekend : BAIO
87 Magic charm : AMULET
89 Film remake that tries to prove all unmarried men are created equal? : BACHELOR PARITY (I in “Bachelor Party”)
95 First mo. : JAN
96 Audrey Tautou title role : AMELIE
98 Holds dear : TREASURES
99 Film remake featuring spa treatments that are no joke? : A SERIOUS MANI (I in “A Serious Man”)
103 Sign of neglect : DUST
104 Emcee : HOST
105 Yiddish word meaning “little town” : SHTETL
108 African viper : ASP
111 Sign on : LOG IN
114 Petrol brand : ESSO
118 Region : AREA
119 Food distribution giant : SYSCO
121 “Leave that to me” : I’M ON IT
123 Film remake that documents soapbox sites? : TIRADING PLACES (I in “Trading Places”)
126 Nod off : SNOOZE
127 With a keen eye : ALERTLY
128 “Blitzkrieg Bop” surname : RAMONE
129 Tree decor : TINSEL
130 Number with 100 zeroes : GOOGOL
131 Raw bar choice : OYSTER

Down

1 Catch : HITCH
2 Earth tone : OCHER
3 “Finished!” : THERE!
4 Visibility reducer : MIST
5 Grammy-nominated folk singer DeMent : IRIS
6 Crew leader, briefly : COX
7 “What a shame” : SO SAD
8 Early tourney match : PRELIM
9 Fashion’s __ Taylor : ANN
10 Underwriter’s assessment : RISK
11 Many an Olympic gymnast : TEEN
12 “Acoustic Soul” singer India.__ : ARIE
13 Journalist Velshi of MSNBC : ALI
14 Rent payer : TENANT
15 System infiltrator : HACKER
16 Litter box concern : ODOR
17 Exec’s note : MEMO
18 Fall setting : EDEN
20 Chinese-American chef and restaurateur Joyce : CHEN
23 “I mean to say … ” : THAT IS …
28 Border : EDGE
31 Strauss of denim : LEVI
32 Thailand, once : SIAM
34 Extremely : OH SO
35 Funds for later yrs. : IRAS
36 Ore. neighbor : CAL
38 Soft & __ : DRI
39 Guitarist Lofgren : NILS
40 “Good to know” : I SEE
41 Novelist Leon : URIS
42 Going past the fourth qtr., say : IN OT
43 Grams : NANA
44 “Fleabag” award : EMMY
45 Poker player’s “pass” : NO BET
46 Grind, as teeth : GNASH
47 __ cavity : NASAL
48 NASA garb : G-SUIT
52 Navel type : INNIE
54 “Parks and Recreation” actor Chris : PRATT
55 Part of TTFN : TA-TA
59 Besides : ALSO
62 Going up in smoke? : AFIRE
63 Beach souvenir : TAN
64 Sounds of reproach : TUTS
65 Lang. of Jamaica : ENG
66 Lorna __ cookies : DOONE
68 Female sib : SIS
70 Abbr. after many names : ET AL
71 Two-headed fastener : U-BOLT
72 Turbine blade : ROTOR
73 Run over : RE-AIR
74 Strike down, biblically : SMITE
78 Little dogs : TOYS
79 Indian noble : RAJA
80 Middle of a Latin trio : AMAS
81 __ buggy : DUNE
83 Fivers : ABES
84 Period of inactivity : CALM
86 Like dry champagne : BRUT
88 Artists’ mecca near Santa Fe : TAOS
90 Spy-fi org. : CIA
91 Coop group : HENS
92 Sale indicator : RED TAG
93 Epistle apostle : PAUL
94 Braying beast : ASS
97 Remote button : MUTE
100 Savanna beasts : RHINOS
101 Give a charge to : IONIZE
102 “Sorry! Couldn’t resist!” : I HAD TO!
106 Bird call : TRILL
107 Bitty : EENY
108 Neckwear named for a British racecourse : ASCOT
109 Tableau : SCENE
110 Conundrum : POSER
111 Tilt : LIST
112 Potent start? : OMNI-
113 “Keep talking” : GO ON
115 Unaccompanied : STAG
116 Rural tower : SILO
117 After-lunch sandwich : OREO
119 Crack up : SLAY
120 Sweet tubers : YAMS
122 __ Aviv : TEL
124 Braz. neighbor : ARG
125 In favor : PRO

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