LA Times Crossword 7 Apr 20, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Gary Larson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Canned Hams

Themed answers each include “HAM” as a hidden word:

  • 61A Spam relatives … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : CANNED HAMS
  • 17A *New Jersey city on Raritan Bay : PERTH AMBOY
  • 25A *Leader of the pack : ALPHA MALE
  • 38A *It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures : FOURTH AMENDMENT
  • 49A *Light-bulb-over-the-head instance : AHA MOMENT

Bill’s time: 5m 36s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Unresponsive state : COMA

Our term “coma” comes from the Greek “koma” meaning “deep sleep”.

10 Light bulb unit : WATT

James Watt was a Scottish inventor. He figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, and was named in his honor.

Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb as such. What he came up with was a long-lasting bulb, one that enabled the development of electric lighting as a viable alternative to gas- and oil-based illumination. Key to Edison’s success was the use of a carbon filament.

15 African howler : HYENA

The spotted hyena of Sub-Saharan Africa is also known as the laughing hyena because of the sound it oftens makes, which resembles maniacal laughter.

16 “Sin City” actress Jessica : ALBA

Actress Jessica Alba got her big break when she was cast in the Fox science fiction show “Dark Angel”. Alba had a tough life growing up as she spent a lot of time in hospital and so found it difficult to develop friendships. As a youngster she twice had a collapsed lung, frequently caught pneumonia, suffered from asthma, had a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. On top of all that, Alba acknowledges that she suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder as a child.

“Sin City” is a 2005 thriller movie that is based on a series of graphic novels by Frank Miller. Miller also co-directs the film. “Sin City” has a large ensemble cast that includes Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Benicio del Toro, Clive Owen and Mickey Rourke. The author Frank Miller even plays a role himself.

17 *New Jersey city on Raritan Bay : PERTH AMBOY

The city of Perth Amboy in New Jersey is part of the New York metropolitan area. The Arthur Kill tidal strait lies to the east of the city, and separates Perth Amboy from the New York borough of Staten Island. The strait is spanned by a cantilever bridge called the Outerbridge Crossing.

21 Green Gables girl : ANNE

“Anne of Green Gables” is a 1908 novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery that she set in the fictional Prince Edward Island community of Avonlea. Montgomery wrote several sequels to “Anne”, with them all being set on Prince Edward Island (PEI), from where the author hailed.

23 Comic Smirnoff : YAKOV

Ukrainian-born comedian Yakov Pokhis is better known by his stage name, Yakov Smirnoff. Smirnoff was popular on television in the eighties, playing comedic roles with a thick Russian accent. He is a smart cookie, and holds a master’s degree in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

28 Wiener schnitzel meat : VEAL

Schnitzel is an Austrian dish made from slices of meat that have been tenderized and thinned with a wooden mallet, and then coated in breadcrumbs and fried. The variant known as Wiener Schnitzel (i.e. Viennese schnitzel) is usually made from veal, although now that veal has fallen into disfavor due to concerns about animal rights, it is often made from pork.

30 Red Sea country : YEMEN

Yemen is located on the Arabian Peninsula, and lies just south of Saudi Arabia and west of Oman. Yemen is the only state on the peninsula that is a republic (its official name is the Republic of Yemen). Everyone over the age of 18 gets to vote, but only Muslims can hold elected office. Yemen has seen many rebellions over the centuries, and has been suffering through a Shia uprising since February 2015.

The Red Sea (sometimes called the Arabian Gulf) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to the north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.

31 Trembling trees : ASPENS

The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

34 Terrier’s sound : ARF!

Most terrier breeds of dog originated in Britain and Ireland. Terriers were developed as working dogs, with the job of controlling populations of rats, rabbits and foxes by rooting them out above and below the ground. The name “terrier” comes via Middle French from the the Latin “terra” meaning “earth”, a reflection of the breeds habit of burrowing into the earth looking for its prey.

35 Disney frame : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

38 *It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures : FOURTH AMENDMENT

The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution deals primarily with the prohibition of unlawful searches and seizures. It is because of the Fourth Amendment that evidence obtained illegally cannot be introduced into a criminal trial.

42 Boy king : TUT

“King Tut” is a name commonly used for the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. Tutankhamun may not have been the most significant of the pharaohs historically, but he is the most famous today largely because of the discovery of his nearly intact tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter. Prior to this find, any Egyptian tombs uncovered by archaeologists had been ravaged by grave robbers. Tutankhamun’s magnificent burial mask is one of the most recognizable of all Egyptian artifacts.

43 Mr. Rogers : ROY

Cowboy actor and singer Roy Rogers’ real name was Leonard Franklin Slye, and his nickname was “King of the Cowboys”. Roy Rogers married Dale Evans in 1947. Evans’ nickname was “Queen of the West”.

45 Family car : SEDAN

The American sedan car is the equivalent of the British saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in the UK), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

48 Elvis’ middle name : ARON

Elvis Aron Presley (aka “the King”) was the younger of two identical twins. His brother was stillborn, and delivered 35 minutes before Elvis. The brother was named Jesse Garon Presley. So, although born a twin, Elvis was raised as an only child.

52 Sherpa’s land : NEPAL

In the Tibetan language, “Sherpa” means “eastern people” (sher = east, pa = people). Sherpas are an ethnic group from Nepal, but the name is also used for the local guides who assist mountaineers in the Himalayas, and particularly on Mount Everest.

56 Large pears : BOSCS

Bosc is a cultivar of the European pear that is grown mainly in the northwest of the United States. It is named for French horticulturist Louis Bosc. The cultivar originated in Belgium or France in the early 19th century. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck.

57 Actress Skye : IONE

Ione Skye is an American actress born in London, England. She is best known for portraying the character Diane Court in the 1989 high school romance movie “Say Anything…”, starring opposite John Cusack. Skye is the daughter of the Scottish folk singer Donovan.

59 The “E” in BCE : ERA

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

61 Spam relatives … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : CANNED HAMS

Spam is a precooked meat product that is sold in cans. It was introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937. The main meat ingredients are pork shoulder meat and ham. The name “Spam” was chosen as the result of a competition at Hormel, with the winner earning himself a hundred dollars. According to the company, the derivation of the name “Spam” is a secret known by only a few former executives, but the speculation is that it stands for “spiced ham” or “shoulders of pork and ham”. Spam is particularly popular in Hawaii, so popular that it is sometimes referred to as “the Hawaiian steak”.

65 Curved moldings : OGEES

An ogee is a type of S-curve. Specifically it is a figure consisting of two arcs that curve in opposite directions (like an S) but both ends of the curve end up parallel to each other (which is not necessarily true for an S).

67 Souvenir shop apparel : TEES

A souvenir is a memento, a token of remembrance. We imported the word “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”.

69 Rx items : MEDS

There seems to be some uncertainty about the origin of the symbol “Rx” that’s used for a medical prescription. One explanation is that it comes from the astrological sign for Jupiter, a symbol put on prescriptions in days of old to invoke Jupiter’s blessing to help a patient recover.

Down

2 Wagner work : OPERA

Richard Wagner was born in the Jewish quarter of Leipzig in 1813. Decades later, Wagner became known not only for writing magnificent music, but also for his anti-semitic views and writings.

3 Pharmaceutical giant : MERCK

Merck & Co., Inc. is a US company, once a subsidiary of the German company known today as Merck KGaA. The US subsidiary of the German firm was confiscated in 1917 during WWI, and set up as an independent company that grew into the giant that it is today.

6 Pew book : HYMNAL

A pew is a bench in a church, one usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.

8 Beatle bride : ONO

John Lennon and Yoko Ono married at the height of the Vietnam War in 1969. The couple decided to use the inevitable publicity surrounding their wedding and honeymoon to promote peace in the world. They honeymooned in the Presidential Suite of the Amsterdam Hilton, inviting the world’s press to join them and to witness their “bed-in”. They spent the week talking about peace, and an end to war. The marriage and bed-in is chronicled by the Beatles in their song “The Ballad of John and Yoko”. A few weeks after the marriage, Lennon adopted the middle name “Ono” by deed poll.

11 NATO and others : ALLIANCES

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an international military alliance that was established in 1949. NATO headquarters was initially set up in London, moved to Paris in 1952, and then to Brussels 1967.

24 Walkie-talkie word : OVER

The more formal name for a walkie-talkie is “handheld transceiver”. A walkie-talkie is a handheld, two-way radio, and a device first developed for military use during WWII by Motorola (although others developed similar designs soon after). The first walkie-talkie was portable, but large. It was back-mounted and was carried around the battlefield by a radio officer.

27 Playboy founder Hugh : HEFNER

Hugh Hefner (often called “Hef”) was from Chicago. His first publishing job was in the military, where he worked as a writer for a US Army newspaper from 1944-46. He went to college after his military service and then worked as a copywriter for “Esquire” magazine. He left “Esquire” to found his own publication that he called “Playboy”, which first hit the newsstands in 1953. “Playboy” has been around ever since.

29 Hindu retreat : ASHRAM

“Ashram” is a term used in the Hindu tradition to describe a place of spiritual retreat, one that is typically located in a remote location conducive to spiritual instruction and meditation.

32 Trifling amount : SOU

A sou is an old French coin. We use the term “sou” to mean “an almost worthless amount”.

34 __ Ray, one of folk rock’s Indigo Girls : AMY

Indigo Girls are a folk rock music duo made up of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. Ray and Saliers are considered icons in the LGBT community as both identified themselves as lesbians a long time ago, although they have never been a couple.

37 Inc., in England : LTD

In Britain and Ireland, the most common type of business (my perception anyway) is one that has private shareholders whose liability is limited to the value of their investment. Such a company is known as a private limited company, and has the abbreviation “Ltd.” after the name. If the shares are publicly traded, then the company is a public limited company, and has the letters “plc” after the name.

46 Show hosts : EMCEES

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

47 One side of a two-column list of rules : DOS

… and “Don’ts”.

50 Mandel of “America’s Got Talent” : HOWIE

Howie Mandel is a Canadian comic. He was a regular on TV a few years ago as host of “Deal or No Deal”, and more recently as a judge on “America’s Got Talent”. I remember Mandel from “St. Elsewhere” in the eighties, which was the first American TV show that I watched regularly when I moved to the US …

NBC’s show “America’s Got Talent” is part of a global franchise based in the UK. The original show is called “Britain’s Got Talent”, and the whole franchise is owned by Simon Cowell. The first host of “America’s Got Talent” was Regis Philbin (2006), followed by Jerry Springer, Nick Cannon and Tyra Banks.

51 San Fran gridder : NINER

The 49ers football team in San Francisco takes its name from the gold prospectors who flooded into Northern California around 1849 during the California Gold Rush. These “1849 prospectors” became known as the “49ers”.

The California city of San Francisco takes its name from the Presidio of San Francisco and the nearby Mission San Francisco de Asís that were founded in 1776 by Spanish colonists.

55 Does high-tech eye surgery on : LASES

LASIK surgery uses a laser to reshape the cornea of the eye to improve vision. The LASIK acronym stands for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis”.

58 Legendary loch : NESS

The Loch Ness monster has been talked about for centuries, but modern interest started in 1933 when a spate of sightings was reported. Those sightings don’t seem to have stopped, with photographs really sparking the imagination.

63 Pronoun that’s a homonym of a religious song : HIM

“Him” is a homophone of “hymn”.

Homonyms are words that have the same spelling and the same pronunciation but different meanings e.g. skate (a fish) and skate (worn on the foot). However, the term “homonyms” can also apply in common parlance to words that are pronounced OR spelled the same way but have different meanings. So one might also refer to the words ere, air, err and heir as homonyms, as they all can be pronounced the same way. Strictly speaking, this is a list of homophones. I know, I don’t like ambiguity either …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Unresponsive state : COMA
5 Loosen up, to a pitcher : THROW
10 Light bulb unit : WATT
14 Welcoming : OPEN
15 African howler : HYENA
16 “Sin City” actress Jessica : ALBA
17 *New Jersey city on Raritan Bay : PERTH AMBOY
19 Thick slice : SLAB
20 Semicircle, say : ARC
21 Green Gables girl : ANNE
22 Kick back : CHILL
23 Comic Smirnoff : YAKOV
25 *Leader of the pack : ALPHA MALE
28 Wiener schnitzel meat : VEAL
30 Red Sea country : YEMEN
31 Trembling trees : ASPENS
34 Terrier’s sound : ARF!
35 Disney frame : CEL
38 *It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures : FOURTH AMENDMENT
42 Boy king : TUT
43 Mr. Rogers : ROY
44 Cleared from the board : ERASED
45 Family car : SEDAN
48 Elvis’ middle name : ARON
49 *Light-bulb-over-the-head instance : AHA MOMENT
52 Sherpa’s land : NEPAL
56 Large pears : BOSCS
57 Actress Skye : IONE
59 The “E” in BCE : ERA
60 Boo-boo : OWIE
61 Spam relatives … and a hint to the answers to starred clues : CANNED HAMS
64 Tease mercilessly : RIDE
65 Curved moldings : OGEES
66 Frozen drink brand : ICEE
67 Souvenir shop apparel : TEES
68 Lyrics : WORDS
69 Rx items : MEDS

Down

1 Insured’s contribution : COPAY
2 Wagner work : OPERA
3 Pharmaceutical giant : MERCK
4 Industrious crawler : ANT
5 Word in a comparison : THAN
6 Pew book : HYMNAL
7 Buck the system : REBEL
8 Beatle bride : ONO
9 “No __!”: “Uh-uh!” : WAY
10 Message on a dusty car : WASH ME!
11 NATO and others : ALLIANCES
12 Pre-Little League game : T-BALL
13 Card-playing surface : TABLE
18 Lack, briefly : HAVEN’T
22 Cell pic taker : CAM
24 Walkie-talkie word : OVER
26 Combustible pile : PYRE
27 Playboy founder Hugh : HEFNER
29 Hindu retreat : ASHRAM
31 Away from the bow : AFT
32 Trifling amount : SOU
33 Saves for later : PUTS ASIDE
34 __ Ray, one of folk rock’s Indigo Girls : AMY
36 Chicago-to-Lansing dir. : ENE
37 Inc., in England : LTD
39 Top of the line : A-ONE
40 Went on and on : DRONED
41 Pride of lions? : MANE
46 Show hosts : EMCEES
47 One side of a two-column list of rules : DOS
48 Made up (for) : ATONED
49 Scrub the launch : ABORT
50 Mandel of “America’s Got Talent” : HOWIE
51 San Fran gridder : NINER
53 Tranquility : PEACE
54 Packing heat : ARMED
55 Does high-tech eye surgery on : LASES
58 Legendary loch : NESS
61 Milk source : COW
62 Previously : AGO
63 Pronoun that’s a homonym of a religious song : HIM

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Apr 20, Tuesday”

    1. And, like Jack (per his comment on the other blog), I bought enough for a big pot of soup for the coming week! Good idea!

  1. Easy today.
    From yesterday’s comments: I absolutely do not like referring to people as “haters.” That totally turns me off. Right now I’m feeling like I’m not going to be viewing people’s comments anymore because of it, but maybe I’ll cool down in a day or two. Grrr!

    1. I am sorry, Wayne: I should have chosen a better way to express myself.

      A lot of posts here express indignation with what the posters view as the unfair nature of some puzzles and those posters often use language that gets under my skin.

      These are trying times and my feelings are a little closer to the surface than usual … 😳.

  2. @Yesterday – yes, I meant T, not F. I blame old age. I wonder how people reacted to the Great Vowel Shift, 1400-1700?
    Worse than that, I have a tendency to not go back to the blog til the nest day to see responses.

    Easy puzzle. No errors, no Googles.
    Didn’t know AMY or loosen up = throw.

    Have a friend in the hospital with Corona virus. She let her family talk her into taking a plane to visit them in AZ.

  3. Hey, Jeff! … I found a use for the latest bottle of tequila I bought! (I’m still trying to locate some that tastes like that sample from a couple of years ago,) Anyway… what I bought this time makes a great hand sanitizer! If there’s any left after the current madness passes, I’ll have to find a way to get it to you … 😜

  4. 17:34 no errors…I spent a lot of time on 17A just trying to verify a “never heard of” answer.
    Please stay safe everyone

  5. Hello all. I’ve been reading your comments for a month now but this is the first time for me to post. I do the crossword in pen and paper from my local newspaper (NY Post). While I’m amazed at the times of Bill and Glenn, I like to spend more time with the puzzle. If I can, I start with 1A/1D and only fill in further clues from the crosses while also not completing two clues simultaneously (except for the last cross). My ideal puzzle starts in the NW and ends in the SE corner. A little OCD I’ll admit, but it gives me more time with the puzzle. My time today was 26:18. (I can usually follow my rules until Wednesday/Thursday as the puzzles get tougher.)
    From what I’ve read, everyone seems very nice on this website and I appreciate the website’s explanations for clues I miss.

    1. Hi Chris C! Welcome aboard! FWIW– I also like to take my time with the puzzles, altho my approach is totes disorganized compared to yours. I tend to jump all over the grid.🤗

  6. 100%, letter basis, for both M and T. Good start to the week. Today’s was harder for me
    than Monday’s and I almost gave up with 2 omissions. I looked all through my puzzle
    dictionary for Mr. Rogers’ first name, no luck. But when I tried Y for AMY going down, I had
    blank O Y going across and I realized it was the old cowboy’s first name ROY and not the genial
    former host of the show in the neighborhood. Wrong Roy all that time, at least 30 minutes. Bill and Glenn would have had time to do the puzzle 6 times each. They just amaze me.

    I hope we are turning the corner on the virus. We are hardly venturing out at all.

    Stay well, everybody.

  7. In case anyone’s interested … I just completed today’s Croce in 49:44, with no errors. It seemed a little easier than usual, but I think I got lucky in a few key places. (Such judgments are always a bit suspect.)

  8. 5:54. Easy Tuesday. I think I’d feel better knowing that pork is the ONLY meat in Spam. It’s strange that they named canned meat after unwanted emails.

    Still too busy to get into this shutdown thing. As Sam Walton said about recessions “I thought about the recession, but I’ve decided not to participate.” I’m sufficiently behind that I might have to pull an all-nighter this week. Yes – I’m 57 years old and I still do those from time to time.

    Nonny – You can be arrested and thrown in jail in most civilized countries for treating tequila that way. Or at least that SHOULD be the case. At least I finally found some laundry detergent so there goes my excuse for wearing dirty clothes all the time.

    One thing I don’t understand is how can there STILL be no TP anywhere?? Every place sold out weeks ago. Haven’t they made any more since then?? Didn’t word get out to the toilet paper industry to make more??? Somewhere in some people’s houses must be mountains of the stuff. If these vermin ever get exposed, I’m writing my congressman telling them to allow public tarring and feathering as punishment. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

    Best –

  9. Re: 30A, “Red Sea country: YEMEN” – The Red Sea (on the west side of Saudi Arabia) is not a.k.a. the Arabian Gulf. The Persian Gulf (on the east side of Saudi Arabia) is a.k.a. the Arabian Gulf.

  10. Greetings!!🦆

    No errors on a well done puzzle. Good variety and not too many abbreviations. 🤗

    NONNY!! Is that tequila high enough in alcohol content? There’s a vodka that’s like 140 proof, which I think would in fact work as a substitute. I must Google.

    I’m getting to that frightening point where it just SEEMS TO MAKE SENSE to stay in pajamas all day….🙄

    Be safe ~~🍸

    1. @Carrie … Re tequila: I was actually making a little joke that I thought Jeff would appreciate. I do have a bottle of 190 Proof Everclear (basically almost-pure ethanol) that I’m sure would work as a hand sanitizer, but I don’t know about the tequila.

      And yes, by all means, stay in pajamas all day! (Well, if you go out for a walk, you might throw something else on … 😜.)

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