LA Times Crossword 9 May 20, Saturday

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Constructed by: Christopher Adams
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 15m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 “Gracie’s Choice” Emmy nominee : ANNE HECHE

My favorite movie starring the actress Anne Heche is “Six Days Seven Nights”, a romantic comedy in which she plays opposite Harrison Ford. Heche is noted for her difficult private life. She wrote that her father had molested her as a child and gave her a sexually transmitted disease (he later revealed that he was homosexual, and died of AIDS). Heche dated comedian Steve Martin for two years, and then lived with comedian Ellen DeGeneres for three. Soon after breaking up with DeGeneres, she started exhibiting eccentric behavior for a while, claiming that she was the daughter of God, and that she would take everyone back to heaven in her spaceship. Happily, I think things have calmed down for her in recent years.

“Gracie’s Choice” is a 2004 movie about a 16-year-old with a self-destructive mother. This one premiered on the Lifetime channel. Probably not my cup of tea, even though the impressive cast includes Kristen Bell, Diane Ladd and Anne Heche.

17 Dangerous bar : THIRD RAIL

The first commercial uses of a third rail to power trains were actually in Ireland, with the Giant’s Causeway Tramway in 1883, and the Bessbrook and Newry Tramway in 1885.

19 Jersey chew : CUD

Ruminants are animals that “chew the cud”. Ruminants eat vegetable matter but cannot extract any nutritional value from cellulose without the help of microbes in the gut. Ruminants collect roughage in the first part of the alimentary canal, allowing microbes to work on it. The partially digested material (the cud) is regurgitated into the mouth so that the ruminant can chew the food more completely exposing more surface area for microbes to do their work. We also use the verb “to ruminate” in a figurative sense, to mean “to muse, ponder, chew over”.

Jersey cattle were originally bred on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands, off the coast of France. If you’ve seen Elsie the Cow, the mascot of Borden in the US, then you’ve seen a Jersey cow.

20 Virtual citizens in a video game : SIMS

SimCity is a very clever computer game. Players build and grow cities and societies by creating the conditions necessary for people (the Sims) to move in and thrive. SimCity was launched in 1989, and to this day it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest computer games of all time.

21 Cristina __, Sandra Oh’s “Grey’s Anatomy” role : YANG

Canadian actress Sandra Oh is very much associated with the role of Dr. Cristina Yang on “Grey’s Anatomy”, and more recently with the role of Eve Polastri on “Killing Eve” . However, my favorite of Oh’s performances are in the movies “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Sideways”.

22 Iowa Department of Transportation city : AMES

The city of Ames, Iowa is famous for holding the now-defunct Ames Straw Poll (also “Iowa Straw Poll) in advance of presidential elections. The poll in question was used to gauge the level of support for two or more Republican candidates, although non-Republicans were allowed to cast a vote. To vote one had to be an Iowa resident and had to buy a ticket to the fundraising dinner at which the vote was taken. The event got a lot of coverage, so it boosted the local economy as journalists hit the town. It was a very successful fundraiser for the Republican Party in Iowa as well, but the usefulness of the straw poll in predicting the eventual winner of the nomination was less clear. There were six straw polls from its inception in 1979, and just 2 out of the 6 times the poll winner went on to capture the party’s nomination. The Republican Party decided to pull the plug on the event in 2015.

24 Kurosawa’s “Ran,” for one : EPIC

“Ran” is a 1985 Japanese-French film directed by Akira Kurosawa that is in part based on William Shakespeare’s play “King Lear”. The movie tells of an aging warlord who steps down in favor of his three sons. The title translates from Japanese “Chaos” or “Rebellion”.

26 Cravat cousin : ASCOT

An Ascot is a horrible-looking (I think!), wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings. 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.

29 Five Pillars faith : ISLAM

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

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

32 Esther who co-founded In-N-Out Burger : SNYDER

In-N-Out Burger is a fast food chain that’s very popular out here on the left coast. Unusually for a fast food business, In-N-Out Burger has no franchises and is privately owned. The company also prides itself on paying all employees above minimum wage. Also, if you check the packaging of the food and drink items, you’ll find a bible verse discreetly printed on the bottom of cups and wrappers, reflecting the Christian beliefs held by the company ownership. In-N-Out Burger was founded in 1948 by Harry and Esther Snyder, and is now owned by Lynsi Snyder, the couple’s only grandchild.

45 __ Energy: PepsiCo drink : AMP

Amp Energy is an energy drink from PepsiCo that was introduced in 2001 as an extension to the Mountain Dew line. Amp Energy became so popular that the Mountain Dew branding was dropped. Now, you can even buy Amp Energy gum.

46 Australian city named for a Scottish city : PERTH

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia. Perth earned itself the nickname of “City of Light” in 1962 as virtually all the town’s lights were turned on at full power when astronaut John Glenn passed overhead in earth orbit in Friendship 7, so that he could see the city below. The city gave a repeat performance for Glenn in 1998 when he passed overhead in the Space Shuttle in 1998.

Perth is a city in central Scotland that lies on the River Tay. It is sometimes referred to the Fair City after Sir Walter Scott published his novel “The Fair Maid of Perth”.

48 Muslim face veil : NIQAB

Some Muslim women wear a hijab in the presence of males outside of their immediate family. A hijab is a veil covering the head and chest. Some also wear a niqab as part of the hijab, which is a cloth that covers the face. Other Muslim women wear a burqa, which covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground.

49 Beaufort scale listings : GALES

A gale is a very strong wind, one defined by the Beaufort scale as having wind speeds from 50 to just over 100 kilometers per hour.

The Beaufort wind scale is named after Irishman Sir Francis Beaufort, a Rear-Admiral in the Royal Navy. Beaufort was a hydrographer as well as a career navy man.

53 Robin portrayer Ward : BURT

The television show “Batman” aired from 1966-1968. Burt Ward played Robin opposite Adam West’s Batman. Supposedly, Burt Ward was offered the part taken by Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate”, but Ward couldn’t get out of his contract for the “Batman” television series. Holy xxxx, Batman!

54 “Midnight in Paris” actor Wilson : OWEN

The 2011 Woody Allen movie called “Midnight in Paris” is a real gem in my opinion. I’ve never liked Woody Allen films, to be honest, mainly because I’m not a fan of Woody Allen as an actor. “Midnight in Paris” is very much a Woody Allen script, with Owen Wilson playing the role that Allen would usually reserve for himself. Wilson plays a much better Woody Allen! Highly recommended …

55 Chica’s “other” : OTRA

In Spanish, a “niña” is a young girl, a child. The term “chica” applies to an older girl or perhaps a young woman.. The term “muchacha” applies to girls in general, I think …

60 Winter : hibernates :: summer : __ : ESTIVATES

Estivation is a process of hibernation in some animal species that takes place during the summer months. Hibernation is often associated with low temperatures, whereas estivation is a strategy to avoid activity during high temperature.

Down

3 Dudley’s nemesis, in toons : SNIDELY

Dudley Do-Right appeared on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, a cartoon that appeared on television in a couple of different versions from 1959-1964. Dudley was a bungling Mountie who struggled with his nemesis, the evil Snidely Whiplash, while pursuing the romantic intentions of Nell Fenwick (who always seemed to prefer Dudley’s horse!).

Nemesis was a Greek goddess, the goddess of retribution. Her role was to make pay those individuals who were either haughty or arrogant. In modern parlance, one’s nemesis (plural “nemeses”) is one’s sworn enemy, often someone who is the exact opposite in character but someone who still shares some important characteristics. A nemesis is often someone one cannot seem to beat in competition.

4 Part of HRH : HER

His/Her Royal Highness (HRH)

5 Advanced degs. : PHDS

“Ph.D.” is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for a PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

6 Aptly named American Eagle store : AERIE

Aerie (stylized as “aerie”) is a retailer of lingerie and general undergarments that was founded in 2006. Aptly enough, Aerie was initially a sub-brand of American Eagle.

7 Seafood order : SCAMPI

The Italian dish known as “scampi” is a serving of shrimp in garlic butter and dry white wine.

9 Sushi order : EEL

Anyone going to a sushi restaurant can order all types of raw fish (known collectively as “sashimi”). However, eel is always served cooked, and that’s because the blood of eels contains a protein that cramps muscles if eaten. If the heart muscle “cramps”, the result can be death. The protein is easily rendered harmless by applying heat, i.e. by cooking.

10 Fort Sumter summer hrs. : EDT

Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Fort Sumter is a fortification lying on an artificially constructed island in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. In December 1860, when South Carolina seceded from the Union, US Army forces relocated to Fort Sumter deeming it to be a relatively defensible location. On 11 April 1861, confederate forces demanded that the fort be surrendered. When the defenders refused to budge, confederate artillery opened fire at 4:30 in the morning on 12 April 1861, starting the American Civil War.

11 Diagnostic tests : X-RAYS

X-rays were first studied comprehensively by the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen (also “Roentgen”), and it was he who gave the name “X-rays” to this particular type of radiation. Paradoxically, in Röntgen’s native language of German, X-rays are routinely referred to as “Röntgen rays”. In 1901, Röntgen’s work on X-rays won him the first Nobel Prize in Physics that was ever awarded.

12 Title 2019 Pokémon film detective : PIKACHU

“Detective Pikachu” is a 2019 live-action film adaptation of the 2016 video game of the same name. Pikachu is a Pokémon character, and is portrayed in the movie by Ryan Reynolds. I’m probably way too old and cranky to see this one …

23 Ritual in the month of Nisan : SEDER

The Passover Seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover holiday, celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

The Jewish holiday of Passover begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for seven or eight days, depending on the Jewish denomination. Nisan usually falls in March-April on the Gregorian calendar.

26 “The Kitchen God’s Wife” novelist : AMY TAN

“The Kitchen God’s Wife” is a 1991 novel by Amy Tan. It was Tan’s second book, and followed the remarkable success of her 1989 story “The Joy Luck Club”.

30 Liberal group? : ARTS

The term “liberal arts” dates back to classical antiquity. The liberal arts were those subjects deemed essential to master for a citizen to take an active part in civil life. “Citizens” were “free people”, hence the use of the term “liberal arts”. The list of subjects studied in olden times were generally sevenfold: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy/astrology.

35 Emergency treatment, for short : DEFIB

You might find a defibrillator (defib.) in an emergency room (ER) of a hospital.

38 Swampy “Star Wars” planet : DAGOBAH

Dagobah is a fictional planet in the “Star Wars” universe. Jedi Master Yoda chose Dagobah as a place to hide from the Galactic Empire, and was where he trained Luke Skywalker to become a Jedi Knight.

40 Low-calorie sweetener : SPLENDA

Splenda and Equal are brand names for the artificial sweetener sucralose.

43 Portraitist John Singer __ : SARGENT

John Singer Sargent was an American artist, one best known for his portrait painting. Sargent trained as an artist mainly in Paris, although he found that he had to leave the city after one of his paintings was deemed “scandalous” by French society. The work was “Portrait of Madame X” (1884), a painting of a noted lady in society that was considered too risque and sensual. After the painting was exhibited, his commissions dried up and Sargent moved to London in order to continue his career. Today the “Portrait of Madame X” is considered by many to be Sargent’s best work.

44 Certain intradermal exams, for short : TB TESTS

The Mantoux test is a skin test used to screen for tuberculosis (TB). The test is named for French physician Charles Mantoux who developed it in 1907. The procedure involves the injection of a small amount of tuberculin into the skin to check for an immune response. Tuberculin is a protein that is extracted from the outer membrane of the bacterium that causes TB.

50 Home of the Ewoks : ENDOR

The fictional forested moon of Endor features prominently in the “Star Wars” movie “Return of the Jedi”. The moon is home to the race of furry aliens known as Ewoks. Filming for the forest scenes actually took place in Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern California.

56 “__ plaisir!” : AVEC

“Avec plaisir!” is French for “with pleasure!”.

60 CPR specialist : EMT

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

61 “Queen Sugar” creator DuVernay : AVA

Ava DuVernay is a filmmaker who became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a feat she achieved in 2012 for her feature film “Middle of Nowhere”. “Middle of Nowhere” tells the story of a woman who drops out of medical school to focus on her husband when he is sentenced to 8 years in prison. DuVernay also directed the 2014 film “Selma” about the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

“Queen Sugar” is a TV drama that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name by Natalie Baszile. It’s all about three estranged siblings who reunite to save their family’s failing sugarcane farm in Louisiana.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pureed condiment : FISH PASTE
10 Boot : EXPEL
15 “Gracie’s Choice” Emmy nominee : ANNE HECHE
16 Inner determination : DRIVE
17 Dangerous bar : THIRD RAIL
18 Selected : TAKEN
19 Jersey chew : CUD
20 Virtual citizens in a video game : SIMS
21 Cristina __, Sandra Oh’s “Grey’s Anatomy” role : YANG
22 Iowa Department of Transportation city : AMES
24 Kurosawa’s “Ran,” for one : EPIC
26 Cravat cousin : ASCOT
27 Campfire exchange : TALES
29 Five Pillars faith : ISLAM
31 “Come again?” : HUH?
32 Esther who co-founded In-N-Out Burger : SNYDER
34 Court service : JURY DUTY
36 Proprieties : ETIQUETTE
38 Breaks up : DISRUPTS
41 Best of the bets : SAFEST
45 __ Energy: PepsiCo drink : AMP
46 Australian city named for a Scottish city : PERTH
48 Muslim face veil : NIQAB
49 Beaufort scale listings : GALES
51 Shot : STAB
53 Robin portrayer Ward : BURT
54 “Midnight in Paris” actor Wilson : OWEN
55 Chica’s “other” : OTRA
57 Get better, perhaps : AGE
58 Exchange, as words : BANDY
60 Winter : hibernates :: summer : __ : ESTIVATES
62 Intensity : ARDOR
63 Title bout, say : MAIN EVENT
64 Gets wind of : HEARS
65 Gives a fitting role : TYPECASTS

Down

1 Wealthy donors : FAT CATS
2 Barbaric : INHUMAN
3 Dudley’s nemesis, in toons : SNIDELY
4 Part of HRH : HER
5 Advanced degs. : PHDS
6 Aptly named American Eagle store : AERIE
7 Seafood order : SCAMPI
8 “I’m writing so you’ll know … ” : THIS IS JUST TO SAY …
9 Sushi order : EEL
10 Fort Sumter summer hrs. : EDT
11 Diagnostic tests : X-RAYS
12 Title 2019 Pokémon film detective : PIKACHU
13 Balance : EVEN OUT
14 Protracted : LENGTHY
23 Ritual in the month of Nisan : SEDER
25 Footprint, maybe : CLUE
26 “The Kitchen God’s Wife” novelist : AMY TAN
28 Stings : SETUPS
30 Liberal group? : ARTS
33 Fully developed : RIPE
35 Emergency treatment, for short : DEFIB
37 NBA periods : QTRS
38 Swampy “Star Wars” planet : DAGOBAH
39 “You don’t need to tell me” : I’M AWARE
40 Low-calorie sweetener : SPLENDA
42 Represents as identical : EQUATES
43 Portraitist John Singer __ : SARGENT
44 Certain intradermal exams, for short : TB TESTS
47 Polite gesture : HAT TIP
50 Home of the Ewoks : ENDOR
52 Pickle juice : BRINE
56 “__ plaisir!” : AVEC
59 Jr. and sr. : YRS
60 CPR specialist : EMT
61 “Queen Sugar” creator DuVernay : AVA

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 9 May 20, Saturday”

  1. LAT: 25 minutes, no errors. Didn’t know many of the proper names and nouns but got lucky with letter-guessing.

  2. 16:38, no errors. Had OCTOPI before SCAMPI, DISBANDS before DISRUPTS, and SUREST before SAFEST. Like RJB, I didn’t know a lot of the “PPP’s” and had to get them from crossing entries.

    @John Daigle (re yesterday’s comment) … If a referee WORKS a game, one can say that he REFS it (a slang shortening of REFEREES).

  3. 3 errors.. I got hung up on the right side. Get this , for 35D I put DERIB… because surely 41A is SUREST!!! Wow, that’s funny.. Who woulda thunk DEFIB is better than DERIB? Maybe it’s a thing, ..
    It was a quick puzzle. Should have checked it. Fun too.
    Be safe.

  4. No errors at the end but used a bit of whiteout to get out of bad
    choices. I guessed at “amp” and “dagobah” but lucked out.

  5. I had less trouble with today’s puzzle, then all the rest this week. Figured I wouldn’t even get today’s done. Surprise, surprise.

  6. Better lucky than good. “Safest'” not my choice but it fit, among other fill ins. Left no blanks, looked at results, all was right in this world. Maybe someone can similarly stumble onto a cure and ease my compromised existence. Until luego, be well.

  7. Had to straighten out a few self inflicted wounds but finally the last bit came together in the NE corner when I finally saw expel for 10 Across and that gave me the down answers. And, for some reason I put in urchin for 7 Down instead of scampi. That was a clear violation of Occam’s Razor.

  8. Typically nice Saturday puzzle — took a little longer to solve, but when finished (no errors) very satisfying.

  9. Took longer than usual, and had to Google a few people and places (I tend not to watch movies). I have never heard of fishpaste, and the imagery of making it is not appetizing at all, throw a fish in a blender! Etiquette to forever, as I misread the clue as “properties”, got the answer eventually, and couldn’t for the life of me figure out how etiquette came from “properties”! May be time for better glasses.
    BTW, I have seen “PPP” several times now, and I assume it means “people-places-plants”, yes?

  10. 45:39 no errors…I misread the same clue as Lawrence but left the answer because all the crosses fit…sometimes you get lucky.
    Stay safe

  11. I googled fish paste. Here in the south I have never heard of it and after google I never want to again.

  12. 18 mins on the dot, and DNF. I couldn’t make head nor tails of many of these clues. Some I got with crossfills, others, no help.

  13. Was doing pretty good until I got to the SW corner. Even though I forced myself to watch all those movies, I sure didn’t waste any brain space in memorizing a bunch of goofball planets. I had GALES and then switched to windS, but still no insights. Never heard of AMP or even had a Pepsi in eons. Had argue instead of BANDY. Also, Estivates is a new word for me – Didn’t have the “V”

    Oh well…

    RIP Little Richard

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