LA Times Crossword 13 Apr 19, Saturday

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Constructed by: C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 9m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Bikini-ready physique, informally : BEACH BOD

The origin of the word “bikini”, describing a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

16 Yale sobriquet : OLD ELI

Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.

A sobriquet is an affectionate nickname. The term “sobriquet” is French, in which language it has the same meaning.

18 Compound in much tea : TANNIN

The terms “tannic acid” and “tannin” are often used interchangeably, but strictly speaking this usage is incorrect. Tannic acid is a specific type of tannin, a tannin that doesn’t occur naturally in wines to any significant amount. Tannic acid can be added to wines as a clarifying agent, color stabilizer or even taste enhancer.

19 Pol. site : EUR

The continent of Europe was named for Europa, a Phoenician princess of Greek mythology.

20 Cyclotron bits : IONS

A cyclotron accelerates charged particles (ions) using a magnetic field, usually directing the particles round and round a huge underground circular structure.

22 Sacred musical work : MOTET

A motet is a simple musical composition based on a sacred text that is usually sung without an accompaniment. The term “motet” is a diminutive form of “mot”, the French for “word”.

23 Lascaux cave paintings, e.g. : ANCIENT ART

The cave paintings in a cave complex near the village of Lascaux in southwestern France are perhaps the best-known examples in the world of Upper Paleolithic art. The paintings are about 17,300 years old, are about 2,000 in number and mainly depict large animals and human figures. The cave complex was discovered in 1940 by an 18-year-old man, and was opened to the public in 1948. However, public access has created many problems with damage to the paintings caused by carbon dioxide and by fungus and mold. Right now, human access to the caves is extremely limited.

33 Postal motto conjunction : NOR

There is no official creed or motto for the US Postal Service (USPS). However, there is the oft-quoted inscription that is posted (pun!) over the entrance to the James Farley Post Office in New York City:

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

34 Keeps in the email loop : CCS

I wonder do the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle? A kind blog reader pointed out to me recently that the abbreviation has evolved and taken on the meaning “courtesy copy” in our modern world.

36 Fictional boxer Joe : PALOOKA

The word “palooka” was originally used to describe a mediocre prizefighter and dates back to the 1920s. Then there was a comic strip called “Joe Palooka”, and I guess the meanings got melded somehow. Today we use “palooka” as a slang term for an oaf or a clumsy person.

43 DOJ honchos : AGS

Attorneys General (AGs) head up the Department of Justice (DOJ). When the office of the Attorney General was created in 1789 it was a part-time job, with no departmental support. The Department of Justice came into being in 1870.

“Honcho” is a slang term meaning “leader”. The word comes to us from Japanese military, in which language a “hancho” is a “squad” (han) “leader” (cho).

45 Stadium vendor’s stack : ONES

Conspiracy theorists love to point out “suspicious” symbols on the one-dollar bill. The pyramid on the bill is unfinished, with 13 steps. The number 13 has been associated with the occult, but it is also the number of original colonies that declared independence from Britain forming the United States. Not so suspicious after all …

53 “Hidden Figures” actress Janelle __ : MONAE

Janelle Monáe is a singer and actress. I’m not familiar with her as a singer, but did see Monáe play NASA engineer Mary Jackson in the excellent 2016 film “Hidden Figures”.

“Hidden Figures” is an excellent 2016 film based on a book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. Both book and film tell the story of female African American mathematicians who worked for NASA during the Mercury and Apollo programs in the 1960s.

55 Cinematographer Nykvist : SVEN

Swedish cinematographer Sven Nykvist won two Academy Awards and is best known for his work with Ingmar Bergman. In fact, his Oscars came for his contribution to two Bergman films, “Cries and Whispers” and “Fanny and Alexander”.

56 Fried rice additive : MSG

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of a naturally-occurring,non-essential amino acid called glutamic acid. It is used widely as a flavor enhancer, particularly in many Asian cuisines. Whether or not it is harmful seems to be still under debate. I say that something produced in a test tube shouldn’t be in our food …

59 Spheres of influence : AMBITS

An ambit is an outer boundary or limit, a circumference. The term can also be used to mean the sphere or scope of influence. “Ambit” comes from the Latin “ambire” meaning “to go around”.

61 Sandwich spread : EGG SALAD

Meats placed between slices of bread was first called a sandwich in the 18th century, named after the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. The Earl was fond of eating “sandwiches” while playing cards at his club.

64 __ Agron, Quinn portrayer on “Glee” : DIANNA

Actress Dianna Agron played cheerleading captain Quinn Fabray on the musical-comedy TV show “Glee”. Agron married Winston Marshall, lead guitarist for the band Mumford & Sons, in 2016.

65 “The Big Bang Theory” main male characters, notably : TREKKIES

Fans of “Star Trek” refer to themselves as “trekkies”.

“The Big Bang Theory” is very clever sitcom that first aired in 2007. “The Big Bang Theory” theme song was specially commissioned for the show, and was composed and is sung by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies. The theme song was released in 2007 as a single and is featured on a Barenaked Ladies greatest hits album.

66 Emulate YouTube : STREAM

YouTube is a video-sharing website that was 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 …

67 Zinfandel, for one : VARIETAL

Zinfandel is one of my favorite red wine varietals. It amazes me that the rich and heavy red Zinfandel comes from the same grape as does the sweet White Zinfandel.

Down

1 Arthur with Lead Actress Emmys for two different sitcoms : BEA

Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

2 Glamour rival : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

The women’s monthly magazine “Glamour” was founded in 1939 as “Glamour of Hollywood”.

3 Org. involved in many Supreme Court cases : ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War when it was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

7 Modern crisis subject : OPIOIDS

The name of the class of drugs called “opioids” comes from the word “opium”, which describes the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy. Drugs derived from opium are known as “opiates”. The broader term “opioids” covers both natural and synthetic drugs that behave in the same way as opiates, i.e. those drugs that bind to opioid receptors in the brain.

8 Sierra Nevada’s __ Pass : DONNER

The Donner Pass is a famous mountain pass in the northern Sierra Nevada in California. The pass is named for the Donner Party wagon train that was trapped in the area during the 1846/1847 winter. The Donner Party’s fate has received so much attention over the years because several members of the group were forced to resort to cannibalism in order to survive.

9 Many a Tweeter : 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.

10 Alpaca relative : LLAMA

Alpacas are like small llamas, but unlike llamas were never beasts of burden. Alpacas were bred specifically for the fleece. As such, there are no known wild alpacas these days, even in their native Peru.

11 Ralph Kramden’s pal : ED NORTON

Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton are two characters in “The Honeymooners”, played by Jackie Gleason and Art Carney. Kramden is a bus driver, and Norton works with the New York City sewer department.

13 Nastase of tennis : ILIE

I think that Ilie Nastase was the most entertaining tennis player of the 1970s, the days of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. No matter how much pressure there was in a match, Nastase always had time to give the crowd a laugh. After retiring from the sport, he had a few novels published (in French) during the eighties. Then Nastase went into politics, making an unsuccessful run for the mayorship of Bucharest in 1996. He made a successful run for the Romanian Senate though, and was elected senator in 2014.

24 Longtime Clark Bar maker : NECCO

The Clark Bar is a candy bar that was named for its inventor, David L. Clark, who created the confection way back in 1917.

25 Bluegrass sound : TWANG

Bluegrass is a subgenre of country music, and has its roots in the traditional music brought over from the British Isles, particularly from Ireland and Scotland. The style of music really evolved quite recently, just before WWII. Musician Bill Monroe is referred to as its “founding father”, and indeed bluegrass takes its name from Monroe’s band, the Blue Grass Boys.

26 Dried chili pepper : ANCHO

An ancho is a dried poblano pepper that is used in Mexican cuisine. The poblano is a mild chili.

27 No-brainer? : MORON

The unsavory term “moron” was formerly used by the medical community to describe someone with a degree of mental retardation. The term comes from the Greek “moros” meaning “foolish, dull”. Back in the early 1900s, IQ tests were used to classify those suffering from mental retardation into categories:

  • “idiot” … IQ of 0-20
  • “imbecile” … IQ of 21-50
  • “moron” …IQ of 51-70

31 Stingray cousin : SKATE

Skates (formally “Rajidae”) are a family of fish in the superorder of rays (formally “batoidea”). Skates look very similar to stingrays, but they lack stinging spines.

32 Gratified and then some : SATED

“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.

35 Banter : CHAFF

Chaff is light, joking talk.

39 1898 Havana Harbor sinker : USS MAINE

The USS Maine was a pre-dreadnought battleship launched in 1890. The Maine sunk in Havana Harbor in 1898 due to a massive explosion. A Naval Court of Inquiry found that the explosion was caused by a mine, a finding that helped precipitate the start of the Spanish-American War that began one month later. Those advocating the war were often heard crying, “Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain!”

42 Rio and Soul : KIAS

South Korean automaker Kia have been making the subcompact model called the Rio since 2000. The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …

43 Pollen season drug brand : ALLEGRA

Allegra is a brand name for fexofenadine, and antihistamine drug used to treat hay fever. Fexofenadine is considered less dangerous than other antihistamines as is does easily cross into the brain, and so is less likely to cause drowsiness.

49 2006’s “Casino Royale,” for example : REMAKE

2006’s “Casino Royale” is the 21st film in the “James Bond” series, and the first to star Daniel Craig in the lead role. The film was directed by New Zealander Martin Campbell, someone who my next door neighbor for a couple of years (my only claim to fame!). Campbell also directed “GoldenEye” in 1995, which introduced Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. I find it interesting that Campbell was asked back to oversee the introduction of Daniel Craig to the role.

1967’s “Casino Royale” is a comedy spy film that spoofs the celebrated series of James Bond films, of which four had been produced at the time starring Sean Connery. “Casino Royale” is loosely based on the Ian Fleming novel of the same name, and stars David Niven as James Bond 007. The film features Dusty Springfield singing “The Look of Love”, which was nominated for a Best Song Oscar.

51 Blue Cross alternative : AETNA

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

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association formed in 1982 with the merger of Blue Shield and Blue Cross Association in 1982. Blue Cross health insurance plans were established in 1929 based on a plan used at Baylor University in Dallas. Blue Shield plans were first developed by employers in lumber and mining camps in the Pacific Northwest in 1910.

52 Fussy Felix : UNGER

“The Odd Couple” is a play by the wonderfully talented Neil Simon first performed on Broadway, in 1965. This great play was adapted for the big screen in 1968, famously starring Jack Lemmon (as Felix Unger) and Walter Matthau (as Oscar Madison). The success of the play and the film gave rise to an excellent television sitcom that ran from 1970-1975, starring Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. In 1985, Neil Simon even went so far as to adapt the play for an all-female cast, renaming it “The Female Odd Couple”. I’d like to see that one …

53 Satirical issues since 1952 : MADS

“Mad” magazine has been around since 1952, although back then it was more of a comic book than a magazine. The original founder and editor was Harvey Kurtzman and in order to convince him to stay, the publisher changed the format to a magazine in 1955. That’s when the publication really took off in terms of popularity.

58 Greek Mother Earth : GAEA

The Greek goddess personifying the earth was Gaea (meaning “land” or “earth” in Greek). The Roman equivalent goddess was Terra Mater, “Mother Earth”.

60 Frodo’s sidekick : SAM

Samwise Gamgee is the sidekick to Frodo Baggins in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. “Sam” is portrayed by American actor Sean Astin in the Peter Jackson big screen adaptations of the novels.

62 Deal with moguls : SKI

Moguls are the series of bumps in the surface of snow that arise naturally as a succession of skiers make turns on a slope.

63 Broadband option, for short : DSL

The abbreviation “DSL” originally stood for Digital Subscriber Loop, but is now accepted to mean (Asymmetric) Digital Subscriber Line. DSL is the technology that allows Internet service be delivered down the same telephone line as voice service, by separating the two into different frequency signals.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Bikini-ready physique, informally : BEACH BOD
9 Missed an easy one : BLEW IT
15 One who finesses the tab, facetiously : EL CHEAPO
16 Yale sobriquet : OLD ELI
17 Admits : ALLOWS IN
18 Compound in much tea : TANNIN
19 Pol. site : EUR
20 Cyclotron bits : IONS
22 Sacred musical work : MOTET
23 Lascaux cave paintings, e.g. : ANCIENT ART
26 Plentiful : AMPLE
29 Attraction : DRAW
30 Trash : TOSS
33 Postal motto conjunction : NOR
34 Keeps in the email loop : CCS
36 Fictional boxer Joe : PALOOKA
38 Prepare to spring : CROUCH
40 Like some ice cream : NONFAT
41 Relief for aching muscles : HOT SOAK
43 DOJ honchos : AGS
44 Finished a dish : ATE
45 Stadium vendor’s stack : ONES
46 Word to a service station attendant : FILL
48 Missed the note, say : ERRED
50 Dejected words : I’M A FAILURE
53 “Hidden Figures” actress Janelle __ : MONAE
55 Cinematographer Nykvist : SVEN
56 Fried rice additive : MSG
59 Spheres of influence : AMBITS
61 Sandwich spread : EGG SALAD
64 __ Agron, Quinn portrayer on “Glee” : DIANNA
65 “The Big Bang Theory” main male characters, notably : TREKKIES
66 Emulate YouTube : STREAM
67 Zinfandel, for one : VARIETAL

Down

1 Arthur with Lead Actress Emmys for two different sitcoms : BEA
2 Glamour rival : ELLE
3 Org. involved in many Supreme Court cases : ACLU
4 Like some gospel music : CHORAL
5 Chop down : HEW
6 Elementary : BASIC
7 Modern crisis subject : OPIOIDS
8 Sierra Nevada’s __ Pass : DONNER
9 Many a Tweeter : BOT
10 Alpaca relative : LLAMA
11 Ralph Kramden’s pal : ED NORTON
12 Overdid it : WENT TOO FAR
13 Nastase of tennis : ILIE
14 Window shade? : TINT
21 Lose it : SNAP
24 Longtime Clark Bar maker : NECCO
25 Bluegrass sound : TWANG
26 Dried chili pepper : ANCHO
27 No-brainer? : MORON
28 Bodybuilder’s snack : PROTEIN BAR
31 Stingray cousin : SKATE
32 Gratified and then some : SATED
35 Banter : CHAFF
37 Many a gambler : LOSER
39 1898 Havana Harbor sinker : USS MAINE
42 Rio and Soul : KIAS
43 Pollen season drug brand : ALLEGRA
47 Sportscast, usually : LIVE TV
49 2006’s “Casino Royale,” for example : REMAKE
51 Blue Cross alternative : AETNA
52 Fussy Felix : UNGER
53 Satirical issues since 1952 : MADS
54 Skip over : OMIT
57 Skirt feature : SLIT
58 Greek Mother Earth : GAEA
60 Frodo’s sidekick : SAM
62 Deal with moguls : SKI
63 Broadband option, for short : DSL

25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 Apr 19, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 23:03, no errors. Pretty routine (and oddly enough almost exactly what I did with the Fri NYT). WSJ: 24:38, 4 random errors on things I never heard of or made no sense. Newsday: DNF after 1:23:15, 9 errors, managed filling in all of it but the upper right.

    1. @Glenn – I found today’s 21 X 21 in the WSJ challenging. I had to really consider 44 Across as well as 88 Down and 95 & 98 Across for quite sometime before I was satisfied that I got the right answers.

      I didn’t think today’s LAT’s grid was all that difficult for a Saturday.

  2. LAT: Half hour, no errors but a lot of good guesses. Had “Eur” for Pol. site, thinking Pol. stood for Poland in Europe.

    1. @RJB … I think that’s the correct interpretation of the clue. Bill’s comment is sort of tangential …

  3. Missed Thursday’s comments. So please, can anyone explain how “Snickers almond” is the answer to “You overreact when you’re hungry” candy bar?

    1. See the tv commercial. They start out being mean and nasty then they eat a Snickers and come back to their nice “sweet “ self

  4. No errors, but had to look up the actress Janelle item. Don’t do well
    with TV or movie names. Not as hard as some Saturdays.

  5. CC’s a favorite constructor, but not for puzzles like this one. I’m not up for any CHAFF about it. Maybe if I’d ever heard of Ms. MONAE or Mr. SVEN Nykvist, or memorized the credits after a “Glee” episode … Nah, I’d enjoy a stack of plural MADS more. Sheesh!

  6. Late to the party today, due to yesterday’s activities, but I think I’m caught up on most of the things that needed attention in the house. My principal task for the day suggests tomorrow’s headline in the local paper: “Aging Mountain Climber Falls from Ladder while Changing Smoke Alarm Batteries”. (What the heck … I always enjoyed irony … 😜.)

      1. Ah. Alex Honnold. The very mention of his name gives me sweaty palms. Actually, I did my share of solo rock-climbing; it’s just that the rocks I was on were a bit less vertical and less difficult than Honnold’s (like … 5.5 and below instead of 5.12 and above) … 😜.

    1. @DJ – As I might say if you misidentified an animal on the Serengti, “Fake Gnus”?

      Keep up the positivity!

    2. @DJ (Joe?) … As I said last week, there are people capable of doing this puzzle in two or three minutes, with no errors, but I think those people have way too much class to post what you just did … 😳.

  7. Hi all, been away. Have alot of puzzles to catch up on. Did today’s and thought it pretty easy for Saturday. Everyone be safe.

  8. 33:36 with no errors….never heard of mad magazine being pluralized as mads before. NYT 0309 1 hr and 6 min with 1 error.
    @dj wow you’re good. Can I have your autograph?

  9. 19:13. Usually CC has a few sports clues in her puzzles so I assume she’s a sports fan.

    Interesting origin of “honcho”. I would have guessed it had some Spanish root, but I guess not.

    As I suspected, AMBIT is from the same Latin verb, “ambire”, as the word “ambitious”. Apparently it used to be assumed that “to go around” was a sign of a desire for honor or power which led to the word “ambition”. I assume they were referring to go around the accepted rules or norms.

    Yet another person visiting Las Vegas whom I haven’t seen in over 30 years. I think if I never leave Las Vegas, everyone I’ve ever known will pass through here so I never have to go visit anyone again..

    Best –

  10. Moderately easy Saturday for me; took 31:22 on-line with no peeking for once, since things kept flowing. Didn’t know MONAE, SVEN, SAM, DIANNA, KIAS and AMBITS was new to me.

    Had to change HOTSOAp, orBITS and pIAe to KIAS but that was it, although I did wait for a lot of crosses. I guess I’m going to have to watch “The Big Bang Theory” to get through some of these puzzles.

  11. 19 mins 46 sec, and lucky to survive error free. The bottom left was just a real BEAR!!!! I had ORBIT for 59A, and couldn’t make it work. I had a feeling that 53D was MADS (a really poor pluralization, I must say), so in the end, I gave up, filled that in, held my nose and let AMBITS be, and filled in the rest. Was never so happy to see the auto “done” message.

  12. Greetings!!😎

    No errors, altho I also got hung up in that SW. Didn’t know DIANNA or SAM and I didn’t think there were any Tolkien characters with normal names, but I went with SAM and I’m glad I did. This was somewhat easy for a Saturday, but I still always take great satisfaction in completing one. 😊

    DAVE, YOU FELL OFF A LADDER?? ARE YOU OKAY? 😬 Be careful!

    Hey Jeff! Yes your Cardinals swept the Dodgers, and it looks like the Brewers are about to do the same to us! I don’t suppose anyone saw Saturday’s game?? It seems the Dodgers used relievers the whole game … unless they’re grooming Ferguson as a starter– but he was gone by the 3rd inning and for no clear reason… I’ve never seen that before, an all-relievers game…. 🤔

    Be well~~⚾️🐔🚋

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