LA Times Crossword 25 Apr 19, Thursday

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Constructed by: Andrew Linzer
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Dude, Nice …

Themed answers are common phrases that have been reinterpreted to fit a clue starting with “Dude, nice …”

  • 21A “Dude, nice triatomic molecule!” : FRESH WATER!
  • 23A “Dude, nice metered text!” : EPIC POEM!
  • 34A “Dude, nice root vegetable!” : SWEET POTATO!
  • 49A “Dude, nice riding crop!” : COOL WHIP!
  • 51A “Dude, nice buzzer collection!” : KILLER BEES!

Bill’s time: 8m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Color in a darkroom : 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.

14 Lake named for a tribe : HURON

Lake Huron takes its name from the Huron Native-American people that lived by its shores. Early French explorers often called the lake “La Mer Douce”, which translates as “the freshwater sea”.

15 Folk hero Crockett : DAVY

The pioneer Davy Crockett is often referred to as “King of the Wild Frontier”. Crockett was from East Tennessee. After serving in the local militia he entered politics and represented his state in the US House of Representatives from 1827 to 1831. He disapproved of many of the policies of President Andrew Jackson, which led to his defeat in the 1834 election for the House. The defeat prompted Crockett to leave Tennessee for Texas. Famously, he died there in 1836 at the Battle of the Alamo.

18 One not found on a violin : FRET

A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, like a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.

19 Communist icon : MARX

Karl Marx was a German philosopher and revolutionary who helped develop the principles of modern communism and socialism. Marx argued that feudal society created internal strife due to class inequalities which led to its destruction and replacement by capitalism. He further argued that the inequalities created in a capitalist society create tensions that will also lead to its self-destruction. His thesis was that the inevitable replacement of capitalism was a classless (and stateless) society, which he called pure communism.

20 Former U.N. leader Annan : KOFI

Kofi Annan was a diplomat from Ghana who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007. Annan was born into an aristocratic family, and had a twin sister named Efua Atta. Efua and Kofi shared the middle name “Atta”, which means “twin” in the Akan language of Ghana. Annan attended the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1971-72, and graduated with a Master of Science degree.

21 “Dude, nice triatomic molecule!” : FRESH WATER!

A water molecule is composed of an oxygen atom with two hydrogen atoms on roughly opposite sides (about a 150-degree angle). So, sometimes the molecule is represented by “HOH”, although more usually it’s “H2O”.

26 Letters after T? : … REX

The Tyrannosaurus rex (usually written “T. rex”) was a spectacular looking dinosaur. “Tyrannosaurus” comes from the Greek words “tyrannos” (tyrant) and “sauros” (lizard) and “rex” the Latin for “king”. They were big beasts, measuring 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, and weighing 7.5 tons.

30 Scabbers, in the Potterverse : RAT

The fictional universe of “Harry Potter” is known as the Potterverse.

32 Like : A LA

The phrase “in the style of” can be translated into “alla” in Italian and “à la” in French.

37 Oompa-Loompa creator : DAHL

The Oompa-Loompas are characters in the Roald Dahl book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and indeed in the sequel story “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator”. Willy Wonka came across the Oompa-Loompas on an isolated island in the Atlantic and invited them to work in his factory in order to escape those hunting them on the island. Right before Dahl’s book was first published, he was intending to call the Oompa-Loompas the “Whipple-Scrumpets”.

40 Conan’s network : TBS

Before Conan O’Brien came to fame as a late night talk show host, he was a writer. He wrote for both “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons”. While attending Harvard, O’Brien was president of “The Harvard Lampoon”.

41 Novelist Umberto : ECO

Umberto Eco is an Italian writer who is probably best known for his novel “The Name of the Rose”, published in 1980. In 1986, “The Name of the Rose” was adapted into a movie with the same title starring Sean Connery.

42 Cyclops organ : EYE

Cyclops was a one-eyed giant in Greek and Roman mythology. Cyclops lived inside Mount Etna, the Sicilian volcano.

43 Animal that sounds like a musical note : DOE

Doe, a deer, a female deer
Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name I call myself
Far, a long, long way to run
Sew, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow Sew
Tea, a drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to Do

47 Open, as oysters : SHUCK

To shuck is to remove the husk from (say an ear of corn) or to remove the shell from (say an oyster).

55 Yoda trainee : JEDI

The Jedi are the “good guys” in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

Yoda is one of the most beloved characters of the “Star Wars” series of films. Yoda’s voice is provided by the great modern-day puppeteer Frank Oz of “Muppets” fame.

56 Many millennia : EONS

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

57 “Sesame Street” woman for 44 years : MARIA

American actress Maria Manzano is best known for playing Maria on the children’s show “Sesame Street” for an incredible 44 years, from 1971 until 2015.

61 “Sesame Street” Muppet : BERT

For many years, I believed that the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie were named after two roles played in the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In the movie, the policeman’s name is Bert and his taxi-driving buddy is named Ernie. However, the “Sesame Street” folks have stated that the use of the same names is just a coincidence. Aww, I don’t wanna believe that’s a coincidence …

62 Mexican coin : PESO

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

63 Bad spells : HEXES

“Hexen” is a German word meaning “to practice witchcraft”. The use of the word “hex” in English started with the Pennsylvania Dutch in the early 1800s.

Down

2 Where Andorra is : EUROPE

Andorra is a small principality nestled in the Pyrénées between France and Spain. Andorra is a very prosperous country, mainly due to its status as a tax haven and thriving tourist industry. We used help out the tourist industry there in the winters, enjoying a couple of skiing holidays there. Happy memories …

4 Jefferson Memorial column type : IONIC

The Ionic was one of the three classical orders of architecture, the others being the Doric and the Corinthian. An Ionic column is relatively ornate. It usually has grooves running up and down its length and at the top there is a “scroll” design called a “volute”. The scroll motif makes Ionic columns popular for the design of academic buildings. The term “Ionic” means “pertaining to Ionia”, with Ionia being an ancient territory that is located in modern-day Turkey.

The beautiful Jefferson Memorial was completed in 1947 and sits on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. The idea for the memorial really came from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as he was a great admirer of President Jefferson.

5 Gasteyer of “Lady Dynamite” : ANA

Ana Gasteyer is an actress best known for being a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) from 1996 to 2002. Gasteyer was famous on SNL for playing Martha Stewart … topless!

“Lady Dynamite” is a Netflix comedy series that stars stand-up comedian Maria Bamford. The show is loosely based on Bamford’s own life.

7 Word from Arabic for “sacred, inviolable place” : HAREM

“Harem” is a Turkish word derived from the Arabic for “forbidden place”. Traditionally a harem was the female quarters in a household in which a man had more than one wife. Not only wives (and concubines) would use the harem, but also young children and other female relatives. The main point was that no men were allowed in the area.

10 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music winner Kendrick : LAMAR

Kendrick Lamar is a hip-hop singer from Compton, California. Lamar’s full name is Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, with the singer’s given name honoring Motown artist Eddie Kendricks. Notably, his 2017 album “Damn” won a Pulitzer Prize for Music, becoming the first non-classical or non-jazz album to do so.

11 “Messiah,” e.g. : ORATORIO

An oratorio is a large musical work for orchestra, choir and solo singers. Oratorios usually have a religious theme and are similar to operas, but without the action, costume and scenery.

“Messiah” is a famous oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel that was first performed in Dublin, Ireland in 1742. The libretto is a text from the King James Bible that was compiled by Handel’s friend Charles Jennens. Not long after he received the libretto from Jennens, Handel took just 24 days to compose the full oratorio. He was obviously on a roll, became Handel started into his next oratorio, “Samson” just one week after finishing “Messiah”. He finished the first draft of “Samson” within a month.

29 Parlor pictures : TATTOOS

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

31 Hermes, in the Potterverse : OWL

The “Harry Potter” universe is referred to as the Potterverse.

36 Genesis casualty : ABEL

In the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis, Cain murders his brother Abel. Subsequently, God asks Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?” Cain replies, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

44 Insect midsection : THORAX

By definition, an insect has a body made up of three parts: head, thorax and abdomen.

45 Redness-removing brand : VISINE

Visine is a brand of eye drops made by Johnson & Johnson that are advertised to “get the red out”. The red in the eye is reduced because Visine contains tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride, a vasoconstrictor. The blood vessels creating the redness constrict when Visine is applied, and you “get the red out” as the blood is “squeezed” away from the surface of the eye.

48 Director Eastwood : CLINT

Actor and director Clint Eastwood is a native of San Francisco, California. As many of us perhaps remember, Eastwood’s big break was playing the supporting role of Rowdy Yates in the TV show “Rawhide” in the late fifties and early sixties. He then became the face of the spaghetti western genre of movie in the sixties, most notably in the classic “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. In later years Eastwood has branched out into directing and producing with remarkable success. And of course in the late eighties he also served as mayor of his hometown, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

50 Pod member : WHALE

A group of whales can be called a gam, as well as a pod.

53 Study, with “up” : BONE

The phrasal verb “to bone up” means “to study”, and is student slang that dates back to the 1880s. The term probably comes a series of books used by students back then called “Bohn’s Classical Library”.

57 Indy 500 stat : MPH

The Indianapolis 500 race is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race is run around a 2.5 mile oval, hence requiring 200 laps for completion. The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. Harroun had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly, that was the first ever use of a rear view mirror on a motor vehicle.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Color in a darkroom : SEPIA
6 “May I say something?” : AHEM
10 Flat for an artist : LOFT
14 Lake named for a tribe : HURON
15 Folk hero Crockett : DAVY
16 Song for one : ARIA
17 Olympics infrastructure project : ARENA
18 One not found on a violin : FRET
19 Communist icon : MARX
20 Former U.N. leader Annan : KOFI
21 “Dude, nice triatomic molecule!” : FRESH WATER!
23 “Dude, nice metered text!” : EPIC POEM!
25 Free bakery treat? : AROMA
26 Letters after T? : … REX
27 Get a lode of this : ORE
28 Muddy home : STY
30 Scabbers, in the Potterverse : RAT
31 Nonprofit URL ending : ORG
32 Like : A LA
33 Producer of cones and needles : PINE
34 “Dude, nice root vegetable!” : SWEET POTATO!
37 Oompa-Loompa creator : DAHL
39 Tear : RIP
40 Conan’s network : TBS
41 Novelist Umberto : ECO
42 Cyclops organ : EYE
43 Animal that sounds like a musical note : DOE
44 Sports bar fixtures : TVS
47 Open, as oysters : SHUCK
49 “Dude, nice riding crop!” : COOL WHIP!
51 “Dude, nice buzzer collection!” : KILLER BEES!
54 Aid in battling blazes : HOSE
55 Yoda trainee : JEDI
56 Many millennia : EONS
57 “Sesame Street” woman for 44 years : MARIA
58 Broiling spot : OVEN
59 Crumb carriers : ANTS
60 Yoga pose similar to a push-up : PLANK
61 “Sesame Street” Muppet : BERT
62 Mexican coin : PESO
63 Bad spells : HEXES

Down

1 Salt dispenser : SHAKER
2 Where Andorra is : EUROPE
3 In or out, at times : PREFIX
4 Jefferson Memorial column type : IONIC
5 Gasteyer of “Lady Dynamite” : ANA
6 Like some subscription-based sites : AD-FREE
7 Word from Arabic for “sacred, inviolable place” : HAREM
8 Party times, often : EVES
9 Bit of folklore : MYTH
10 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music winner Kendrick : LAMAR
11 “Messiah,” e.g. : ORATORIO
12 Relief pitcher, in baseball lingo : FIREMAN
13 IRS table column : TAX RATE
21 Fake : FORGERY
22 Method : WAY
24 Opening on a sweater? : PORE
28 __-mo replay : SLO
29 Parlor pictures : TATTOOS
31 Hermes, in the Potterverse : OWL
32 Handy program : APP
33 NBA stats : PTS
34 Place to pull over : SHOULDER
35 Rare NFL result : TIE
36 Genesis casualty : ABEL
37 Office position : DESK JOB
38 Accomplish : ACHIEVE
42 __ out a living : EKE
43 Playground retort : DOES SO!
44 Insect midsection : THORAX
45 Redness-removing brand : VISINE
46 Appeals (to) : SPEAKS
48 Director Eastwood : CLINT
49 They’re beside the point : CENTS
50 Pod member : WHALE
52 Bring in : REAP
53 Study, with “up” : BONE
57 Indy 500 stat : MPH

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Apr 19, Thursday”

  1. Neato theme, done well … but TWO Harry Potter and TWO Sesame Street clues? Not cool (or epic, or fresh, or … 😉). @Sallee, the garment doesn’t have pores, but the “sweater” (a sweating person) does. Tricky.

  2. 38:40 no errors…..Spent 10 min. in the upper right corner.. Any clue that refers to RAP is only going to be solved by me via crosses

  3. LAT: 13:29, no errors. WSJ: 20:07, no errors. Newsday: 8:07, no errors. Fireball: 17:40, no errors. A bit disappointing given what Fireball is supposed to be.

    BEQ: I won’t ruin the fun on this one (if there was fun to be had). All I can say it’s another constructor-feat with a ultimately very stupid unsatisfying result for the solver. Don’t bother with trying this one today. Needless to say, I DNFed this thing. Not that there was anything to solve in the first place, unless you consider that I saw what was going on pretty quickly.

  4. Had to Google 4 today, which is usually on a Friday. The first, was for ARENA, which made it so I could even start, though the clue was acceptable but wierd. Then PLANK, LAMAR, and HAREM, which I absolutely did not know.
    Never heard of, but got from crosses: FIREMAN, OWL, RAT. I suppose I should read Harry Potter, but there are so many other things I’d rather.
    Had “uvw” before REX, which leads me to all the clever homonyms: REX, WHALE, KILLER BEES, PORE, TATTOOS. Gotta think outta that box.
    Never got the theme.
    I did learn a lot. Especially gonna check out LAMAR.
    Mr. Linzer – keep ’em coming, but save for Friday!

  5. 12:35. Fun theme (rad theme?…tubular?). I got stuck on ABEL because I read the clue as “Genesis, casually” and I’m thinking, “Who calls Genesis, ‘Abel’??”

    “Triatomic” now shows up two days in a row. Conspiracy theorists will come out of the woodwork.

    Best –

    1. I see that phenomenon way too often to think that there aren’t some commonly used crossword generation apps/programs that the constructors make use of to fill out grids. Either the same day, or within a day, the same rarely seen word will appear in multiples of the same puzzles we all favor. Simply cannot be a coincidence.

  6. When my oldest daughter was a preschooler Maria was quite young. Last time I saw Sesame Street, Maria had gray hair. My oldest is 40 now; that’s a long time to be hanging out with Big Bird, but I guess there are worse places to spend your career.
    I got the theme early on, and made excellent time for a Thursday, but I am unfamiliar with Fresh Water, the last to fall.

  7. I thought we had a 100, but Dumbo flew again and I missed SWEET POTATO;
    used SWEET TOMATO. That would take some doing, because tomatoes are not roots; they grow above the ground. I was brain dead by then, fighting with the
    Southeast quadrant for a pretty long time. Had some good guesses and some answers just flashed into my brain. Judging by Bill’s time, it was a hard puzzle. But, I too enjoyed the struggle.

  8. Fun but tricky Thursday; took about 35 minutes with no errors. Had to change eries to HURON and fix my spelling of ABle. Had to rush over to the store in the middle of solving, before they closed, so that probably added to my time a bit. The theme came to me early, but my misspelling of ABEL slowed things down. Also, was thinking luke instead of JEDI but never put it in. SHUCK and KILLER… finally helped me get the SW corner.

  9. Hiya folks!! 😎

    No errors– rad puzzle with some gnarly moments to it. Dope theme!

    Almost never hear FIREMAN for a relief pitcher…that’s weird. Other than that, some clever cluing, like “Bad spell” = HEX. 😊

    For some reason it took me awhile to get COOL WHIP even tho I use the stuff all the time!! (In moderation, of course…)

    Sfingi! If you do check out Kendrick LAMAR, be forewarned: lots of vulgar language!!! Even embarrasses ME! I’m not a fan, tho I can acknowledge the talent….

    Be well~~⚾️🚋

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