LA Times Crossword 13 Mar 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Mary Lou Guizzo
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 9m 04s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Game-watching, maybe : ON SAFARI

“Safari” is a Swahili word meaning “journey” or “expedition”.

15 “Y Is for Yesterday” sleuth Millhone : KINSEY

Sue Grafton wrote detective novels, and her “alphabet series” feature the private investigator Kinsey Millhone. She started off with “’A’ Is for Alibi” in 1982 and worked her way up to “‘Y’ is for Yesterday” before she passed away in 2017.

18 Rocky time? : STONE AGE

Ancient societies can be classified by the “three-age system”, which depends on the prevalence of materials used to make tools. The three ages are:

  • The Stone Age
  • The Bronze Age
  • The Iron Age

The actual dates defined by each age depend on the society, as the timing of the transition from the use of one material to another varied around the globe.

19 Slow-witted Bergen puppet : SNERD

Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen’s most famous character was Charlie McCarthy, but Bergen also worked with Mortimer Snerd.

23 Key contraction : O’ER

The words “o’er the land of the free” come from the US national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

The lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” were written first as a poem by Francis Scott Key. Key’s inspiration was the bombardment by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry that he witnessed during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song penned by John Stafford Smith called “The Anacreontic Song”, with the Anacreontic Society being a men’s club in London.

28 One presented for payment : IOU

I owe you (IOU)

32 Legal show for 40 years, with “The” : … PEOPLE’S COURT

“The People’s Court” is a reality court show that first appeared on our screens in 1981. The judge in each episode handles disputes that would usually end up in small claims court. This list of judges presiding over the court includes Joseph Wapner (1981-1993), Ed Koch (1997-1999), Jerry Sheindlin (1999-2001) and Marilyn Milian (from 2001).

36 Youngest-ever “Time” Person of the Year : GRETA THUNBERG

Greta Thurnberg is an environmental activist from Sweden who came to national attention in her homeland when she was just 15 years old. In 2018, she went on strike from school and paraded with placards in front of the Swedish parliament to pressure the government to take stronger action to address climate change. She then took part in demonstrations across Europe, and became a regular speaker at such events. She addressed the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit at the UN headquarters, opting to sail to New York from Sweden, rather than fly. When she was named “Time” Person of the Year in 2019, at 16 years-old was the youngest person ever to be so honored.

“Time” magazine started naming a “Man of the Year” in 1927, only changing the concept to “Person of the Year” in 1999. Prior to 1999, the magazine did recognize four females as “Woman of the Year”: Wallis Simpson (1936), Soong May-ling a.k.a. Madame Chiang Kai-shek (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986). “Time” named Albert Einstein as Person of the Century in 1999, with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi as runners-up.

39 Formal seizure : CONFISCATION

To confiscate is to seize something by authority. The term “confiscation” ultimately derives from the Latin “con-” meaning “with” and “fiscus” meaning “public treasury”. To confiscate was to appropriate something and forfeit it to the public treasury.

41 Tyke : TOT

“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902 For centuries before that, a tyke was a cur or mongrel, or perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.

44 Early Beatle Sutcliffe : STU

Stu Sutcliffe was one of the original four members of The Silver Beatles (as The Beatles were known in their early days), along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Sutcliffe apparently came up with the name “Beatles” along with John Lennon, as a homage to their hero Buddy Holly who was backed by the “Crickets”. By all reports, Sutcliffe wasn’t a very talented musician and was more interested in painting. He went with the group to Hamburg, more than once, but he eventually left the Beatles and went back to art school, actually studying for a while at the Hamburg College of Art. In 1962 in Hamburg, Sutcliffe collapsed with blinding headaches. He died in the ambulance on the way to hospital, his death attributed to cerebral paralysis.

45 “The Last Jedi” villain Kylo : REN

Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa in the “Star Wars” universe. The character’s birth name was Ben Solo. He was trained as a Jedi knight by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. However, Ben came to embrace the Dark Side, and changed his name to Kylo Ren. Ren is played by actor Adam Driver.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a 2017 movie from the “Star Wars” film franchise, and the second installment of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy. The title character is Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill. Ah, but is Luke in fact the “last Jedi”?

47 Pique : WHET

The words “whet” and “pique” can both be used in the sense of sharpening or awaking one’s interest or desire.

51 Brits’ luxury cars : JAGS

Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

52 Singer who founded a sewing company : ISAAC

Isaac Singer was not only an inventor, but also an actor. For much of his life, profits made from his inventions supported him while he pursued his acting career. Singer didn’t actually invent the sewing machine, and never claimed to have done so. What he did do though, was to invent a version of the machine that was practical and easily used in the home.

54 Seasonal drink : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

55 “Romeo Must Die” star : JET LI

Actor Jet Li’s real name is Li Jian Jie. Jet Li is a martial artist and international film star from Beijing, China. Li played a villain in “Lethal Weapon 4”, and had a leading role in the 2000 movie “Romeo Must Die”.

“Romeo Must Die” is an action movie released in 2000 starring Jet Li and singer Aaliyah. There is a loose link to the storyline of William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”, hence the film’s title.

56 Riviera resort, briefly : ST-TROPEZ

Saint-Tropez is a town in southeastern France on the French Riviera. These days, Saint-Tropez is very much associated with the European and American jet set. The town is named for a legendary martyr named Saint Torpes of Pisa. Torpes was supposedly executed on the orders of the Roman Emperor Nero. Having been beheaded, his head was tossed into the river Arno, and his body placed in a boat along with a cock and a dog who were to eat the body. The boat came ashore at the present-day location of Saint-Tropez, with the body untouched by the cock and the dog. The local people named their village in honor of Saint Torpes.

“Riviera” is an Italian word meaning “coastline”. The term is often applied to a coastline that is sunny and popular with tourists. The term “the Riviera” is usually reserved for the French Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France), and the Italian Riviera (the Mediterranean coastline centered on Genoa).

58 President, at times : VETOER

The verb “veto” comes directly from Latin and means “I forbid”. The term was used by tribunes of ancient Rome to indicate that they opposed measures passed by the Senate.

59 “__ Wins By a Hare”: Bugs Bunny cartoon : TORTOISE

“Tortoise Wins by a Hare” is a Bugs Bunny cartoon released by Merrie Melodies in 1943. Given the timing, at the height of WWII, the film contains some wartime references. One reference is to the suicide of Adolf Hitler, something that happened two years after the cartoon was made.

60 Dog on a bun : WEENIE

“Wienie” and “weenie” are informal variants of “wiener”.

What we call a wiener in this country is known as a Vienna sausage in Germany. It was first produced by a butcher from Frankfurt who was living in Vienna, hence the name “Wiener”, which is German for “of Vienna”. Paradoxically, the same sausage is called a Frankfurter in Vienna, as it was created by someone from Frankfurt. It’s all very confusing …

61 Throw that anticipates the receiver’s timely arrival : SPOT PASS

In football, a spot pass is one aimed at a spot where a receiver is anticipated to reach at the same time as the ball.

62 Puck : SPRITE

A sprite is an elfin or fairy-like creature of European myth. The term “sprite” comes from the Latin “spiritus” meaning “spirit”.

Puck (aka “Robin Goodfellow”) is a character in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, one of the Fairies in the tale. One of Puck’s tasks in the storyline is to use love juice that is made from a flower that has been hit by cupid’s arrow. The magical juice is applied to the eyelids of someone sleeping, so that the person wakes and falls in love with the first living things he or she sees. Of course, Puck drops the love juice on the wrong character …

Down

2 Jets’ home : WINNIPEG

The Manitoba city of Winnipeg is the largest city in the province, and its capital. The city is named for the nearby Lake Winnipeg, which in turn is an anglicization of a Cree word meaning “muddy waters”.

Winnipeg’s professional hockey team is the Winnipeg Jets. The team was founded as the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999 and relocated to Winnipeg in 2011. The new team name was chosen in honor of the Manitoba city’s former professional hockey team called the Jets, a franchise that was founded in 1972 but relocated to become the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996.

4 Nicholas II et al. : TSARS

The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.

6 Word with chart or color : EYE …

The commonly used eye chart (that starts with the letters “E FP TOZ LPED”) is called a Snellen chart. The test is named after its developer Herman Snellen, who introduced it way back in 1862.

7 Actor Davis : OSSIE

Ossie Davis was a very successful actor, and also a director, poet, playwright and social activist. One of Davis’s better known performances was in the 1993 movie “Grumpy Old Men”, in which he played the owner of the bait shop by the lake.

8 2015 best-selling 20-Across : NOTORIOUS RBG
(20A 8-Down, e.g. : BIO)

The 2015 book “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” was co-written by Shana Knizhnik and Iris Carmon. Knizhnik had previously authored a “Notorious R.B.G” blog. The moniker “Notorious RBG” is reminiscent of the name of rap star the Notorious B.I.G.

9 Full house sign : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

12 Co-Nobelist with Rabin and Peres : ARAFAT

Yasser (also “Yasir”) Arafat was born in Cairo in 1929, the son of two Palestinians and the second-youngest of seven children. Arafat was beaten by his father as a child and so did not have a good relationship with him. Arafat did not attend his father’s funeral, nor did he visit his grave. The beatings were apparently administered because the young Arafat was repeatedly attending religious services in the Jewish quarter of Cairo. Arafat’s explanation was that he wanted to “study the mentality” of the Jewish people.

Yitzhak Rabin was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, and the first Prime Minister to have been born in the relatively young state of Israel. Rabin was a signatory of the Oslo Accords in 1993, along with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, and US President Bill Clinton. Sadly, this led to his death as he was assassinated two years later by a right-wing radical who opposed the Accords.

Shimon Peres was an Israeli statesman who was born in Poland, in a township that is now part of Belarus. Peres served as President of the State of Israel from 2007 to 2014. Born Szymon Perski, Peres was the oldest head of state in the world while he served as president of Israel. While serving as foreign minister, he represented Israel in the secret negotiations that led to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. For that work, Peres was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.

13 Ruling period : REGIME

Quite often, the terms “regime” and “regimen” seem to be used interchangeably. In contemporary usage, “regime” is applied more generally, and “regimen” more specifically. A “regimen” is a systematic approach that one might apply to something, to exercise or diet for example. The term “regime” can also be used in such contexts, but can have additional definitions, such as “government in power”. A form of government cannot be described as a “regimen”.

14 The “I” in “E.I. du Pont” : IRENEE

The full name of the DuPont company is E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. This American chemical company was founded as a gunpowder mill in 1802 by one Eleuthere Irenee du Pont. Du Pont was born in Paris, and immigrated to the US with his rather large family in 1800 and settled in Brandywine Creek in Delaware. Back in France, du Pont had been an assistant to the celebrated French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (“father of modern chemistry” and the man who discovered and named oxygen).

26 Some saxes : ALTOS

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, hence the name. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

27 Listed in Liverpool? : LEANT

The past tense of the verb “to lean” can be “leaned” or “leant”. The form “leant” is commonly used in British English, whereas “learned” is favored in American English.

29 Cup fraction : OUNCE

There are six teaspoons (tsps.) in an ounce (oz.), and eight ounces (oz.) in a cup.

30 NFL coach Meyer : URBAN

Urban Meyer took over as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team in 2021.

33 Chest muscle, briefly : PEC

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

34 Phi follower : CHI

The Greek letter chi is the one that looks like our letter X.

35 Vietnamese festival : TET

The full name for the New Year holiday in Vietnam is “Tet Nguyen Dan” meaning “Feast of the First Morning”, with the reference being to the arrival of the season of spring. Tet usually falls on the same day as Chinese New Year.

37 Pasta order : RIGATONI

Rigatoni is a tubular pasta that is relatively short, and with ridges along its length. The name “rigatoni” comes from the Italian “rigato” meaning “ridged, lined”.

38 Modern-day checking suggestion : GOOGLE IT

The Google search engine was originally called “BackRub” would you believe? The name was eventually changed to “Google”, an intentional misspelling of the word “googol”. A googol is a pretty big number, 10 to the power of 100. That would be the digit 1 followed by 100 zeros.

48 Pulitzer-winning “The Goldfinch” novelist Donna : TARTT

Novelist Donna Tartt won a Pulitzer for her 2013 novel “The Goldfinch”. That same novel was adapted into a 2019 film, which sadly bombed at the box office.

51 Yankee whose #2 was retired in 2017 : JETER

Derek Jeter played his entire professional baseball career with the New York Yankees, and was the team’s captain. Jeter is the all-time career leader for the Yankees in hits, games played, stolen bases and at bats. He is also the all-time leader in hits by a shortstop in the whole of professional baseball. Jeter’s performances in the postseason earned him the nicknames “Captain Clutch” and “Mr. November”. Jeter retired from the game in 2014.

53 Fowl area : COOP

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.

55 Cherokee on wheels : JEEP

The Jeep Cherokee is an SUV with some legs. The original SJ series Jeep Cherokee was produced from 1974 until 1983, and derivative models are very much alive today.

57 __ mater : PIA

Pia mater is Latin, and means “tender mother”. It is the name given to the mesh-like envelope that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The pia mater brings blood to some of the exterior parts of the brain, and provides physical support for larger blood vessels passing over the brain’s surface.

58 Golfs on wheels, briefly : VWS

The Volkswagen Golf used to be sold as the Volkswagen Rabbit here in North America. The Golf was introduced in 1974 as a front-wheel drive replacement for the hugely successful Volkswagen Beetle.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Wrap up : SWATHE
7 Game-watching, maybe : ON SAFARI
15 “Y Is for Yesterday” sleuth Millhone : KINSEY
16 One skilled at spelling : SORCERER
17 __ of: address words : IN CARE
18 Rocky time? : STONE AGE
19 Slow-witted Bergen puppet : SNERD
20 8-Down, e.g. : BIO
21 Impish : ELFIN
22 Boo follower : -HISS
23 Key contraction : O’ER
24 “Likewise” : SAME
25 Elect : OPT
26 Attributive term : A LA
28 One presented for payment : IOU
31 Driver’s aid : TEE
32 Legal show for 40 years, with “The” : … PEOPLE’S COURT
36 Youngest-ever “Time” Person of the Year : GRETA THUNBERG
39 Formal seizure : CONFISCATION
41 Tyke : TOT
44 Early Beatle Sutcliffe : STU
45 “The Last Jedi” villain Kylo : REN
46 Sticky substance : GOO
47 Pique : WHET
49 Tennis strategy : LOB
51 Brits’ luxury cars : JAGS
52 Singer who founded a sewing company : ISAAC
54 Seasonal drink : NOG
55 “Romeo Must Die” star : JET LI
56 Riviera resort, briefly : ST-TROPEZ
58 President, at times : VETOER
59 “__ Wins By a Hare”: Bugs Bunny cartoon : TORTOISE
60 Dog on a bun : WEENIE
61 Throw that anticipates the receiver’s timely arrival : SPOT PASS
62 Puck : SPRITE

Down

1 Business concerned with going downhill : SKI SHOP
2 Jets’ home : WINNIPEG
3 Great-grandmother, say : ANCESTOR
4 Nicholas II et al. : TSARS
5 Round up : HERD
6 Word with chart or color : EYE …
7 Actor Davis : OSSIE
8 2015 best-selling 20-Across : NOTORIOUS RBG
9 Full house sign : SRO
10 Bad marks : ACNE
11 Touches : FEELS
12 Co-Nobelist with Rabin and Peres : ARAFAT
13 Ruling period : REGIME
14 The “I” in “E.I. du Pont” : IRENEE
20 Hot air : BOASTFULNESS
26 Some saxes : ALTOS
27 Listed in Liverpool? : LEANT
29 Cup fraction : OUNCE
30 NFL coach Meyer : URBAN
33 Chest muscle, briefly : PEC
34 Phi follower : CHI
35 Vietnamese festival : TET
37 Pasta order : RIGATONI
38 Modern-day checking suggestion : GOOGLE IT
40 “Nuh-uh!” : NO SIREE!
41 Citrus garnishes : TWISTS
42 “C’mon, I’m not that good!” : OH STOP!
43 Italian playhouse : TEATRO
48 Pulitzer-winning “The Goldfinch” novelist Donna : TARTT
50 Inches : OOZES
51 Yankee whose #2 was retired in 2017 : JETER
53 Fowl area : COOP
55 Cherokee on wheels : JEEP
57 __ mater : PIA
58 Golfs on wheels, briefly : VWS

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 Mar 21, Saturday”

  1. 28:28, no errors. Bad Saturday streak at two. At least maybe it’s a testament that I at least WAGged my way through an unintelligible mess like this one.

    @Anon Mike
    You posted to Thursday’s post late on Friday so I wasn’t sure what you were talking about. The Thursday Newsday was kind of a cross-fest on the themers, but the Friday one was pretty much the opposite in that all the themers were gimmes for me, especially after I figured out the theme. About 2 minutes difference on them for me (Thu > Fri) time wise. While we’re on the topic of Newsday, 37 (ish) minutes, 1 error for today. A lot less eventful than this one.

  2. Had a tough go in SW and NE corner on this one… I wasn’t of PIA MATER , didn’t know Author Donna, kinda knew Italian playhouse then I just let the crosses play out. It then emerged. Lots of cross outs but it worked. Struggled in NE with10D and 11D. Both were giving me trouble in the horizontal clues. ACNE? DEES?, then 21A I switched from SCAMP to ELFIN and all of a sudden words started to appear. Even though I didn’t know 14D, the crosses fell into place.

    @glen – haven’t done the themeless saturday NEWSDAY yet. Getting to it next. Yes the Friday one I enjoyed.

  3. LAT: About an hour and surprisingly (for me) no errors. Had a lot of trouble in the SW corner caused by entering “lead” pass instead of the correct “spot” pass.

  4. Finally got through this one. Was able to get most of it out of my brain,
    but had to look up too many proper names…like JetLi. Had some struggle
    with the spelling of “weenie” in the southeast corner, so that threw that
    quarter off for a time. No errors when it came time to look up Bill’s
    blog.

  5. I thought this was a clever and enjoyable puzzle. It took awhile to catch on to what some of the clues were even talking about, but that’s part of the fun.

  6. The most horrible spelling mistake ever on 59 Across when I entered “tortorse” giving me a one square (2 errors) goof. D’oh! Otherwise I didn’t find this puzzle all that difficult (says the bonehead who doesn’t know how to spell tortoise).

  7. @glen – just got done with NEWSDAY after many interruptions. Several words I didn’t know but got them through crosses AGOUTI? STEAKUMM? but fun.

  8. 16 minutes, 54 seconds and finished error-free, but needed Check Grid help to do so, on about 6 fills.

    This puzzle’s clueing was too “tricksy” by half, with lots of clues “edited” to mislead by sounding like something else in one’s head.

  9. Greetings y’all!!🤗

    Tony, Glenn, and Dirk, thanks for the kind words on Friday!! I think I’ve lost some brain power this pandemic – or maybe that’s just an excuse for laziness — but I’ve been less inclined to do puzzles. I did do today’s, and Tony I will post more often and hold you to doing the same!!😎

    Re Saturday– DNF — I couldn’t quite crack the SW OR the SE corners, but I rather liked what I did do of the puzzle. I got SPRITE totally by chance …. it’s weird how sometimes we retrieve arcane words when we need them but can’t find everyday words at critical moments (at least I can’t)….🤔

    Be well~~🐧

  10. Tough Saturday for me; took 59:45 with 3 “check grids” to get the NW and NE. Learned all kinds of things today…although I did make some good guesses too.

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