LA Times Crossword 20 Mar 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Stella Zawistowski
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 9m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Garbage delivery vehicle? : SPAMBOT

Spambots are nasty little computer programs that send out spam emails and messages, often from fake accounts. This blog gets about 300 spam comments a day that I have to delete, almost all of which are written by spambots.

8 World Chess Champion Carlsen : MAGNUS

Magnus Carlsen is a chess grandmaster from Norway who first became World Chess Champion in 2013. Carlsen achieved world no. 1 ranking for the first time in 2010 when he was just 19 years of age, making him the youngest player ever to be so honored.

14 Susan Ruttan’s “L.A. Law” role : ROXANNE

Actress Susan Ruttan is best known for playing law firm secretary Roxanne Melman on the legal drama “LA Law” in the eighties and nineties.

21 “Who __?”: New Orleans Saints chant : DAT

The entire community of fans of the New Orleans Saints are sometimes referred to as the “Who Dat Nation”. The name comes from a popular chant heard at a Saints game:

Who dat?
Who dat?
Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?

26 Beginning of an apology : MEA …

Many Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase “mea culpa” meaning “my fault”, as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term “mea maxima culpa” translates as “my most grievous fault”.

27 One Pillar Pagoda city : HANOI

The One Pillar Pagoda is a remarkable structure in Hanoi, Vietnam that serves as a Buddhist temple. The pagoda is built over water and sits on just one central pillar. The original structure was built in 1049 CE.

28 Riding a Segway, say : ON WHEELS

The Segway PT is a self-balancing two-wheel electric vehicle introduced to the world in 2001 by American inventor Dean Kamen.

38 “Absentia” co-star __ Katic : STANA

Stana Katic is a Canadian-American actress who is perhaps best known for playing homicide detective Kate Beckett on the crime series “Castle”. After “CastleA” ended its run, Katic took the lead role of FBI Agent Emily Byrne on the thriller show “Absentia”.

47 Big name in portable illumination : MAGLITE

Maglite is a brand of flashlight. Many Maglite models are extremely sturdy and have been used as defensive weapons, serving as makeshift batons.

48 Bond first bought by FDR in 1941 : SERIES E

Series E Savings Bonds were introduced in 1941, just before the start of WWII, as “defense bonds”. After the attack on Pearl Harbor they became known as “war bonds”. The first Series E bond was sold to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

52 New York natives : ONEIDAS

The Oneida people originally lived in the area that is now Central New York. The Oneida were one of the five founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, also known as the Five Nations (the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca).

53 Emergency sorting systems : TRIAGES

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

54 Tubular pastries : CANNOLI

Cannoli (singular “connolo”) are Italian sweet pastries that originated in Sicily. Cannoli are made by filling tubes of fried pastry dough with a creamy filling that usually contains ricotta cheese. “Cannolo” is Italian for “little tube”.

55 Fruit in some Chinese New Year customs : ORANGES

One of the traditional foods served at Chinese New Year is the orange, particularly the mandarin orange. The Chinese word for “orange” sounds very like the word for “success”. And, the spelling of the Chinese word for “tangerine” contains the character meaning “luck”.

57 Innocently charming : WINSOME

“Winsome” is such a lovely-sounding word, with a lovely meaning. Someone described as winsome has a childlike charm and innocence.

Down

1 Quinceañera honoree: Abbr. : SRTA

“Quinceañera” is a celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday, and is an event common in many parts of Latin America.

3 “Beverly Hills Cop” cop Foley : AXEL

“Beverly Hills Cop” is a fun 1984 action comedy movie starring Eddie Murphy as Detroit cop Axel Foley who heads to Beverly Hills to solve the murder of a friend. The film was the biggest hit of 1984 at the box office, and spawned two sequels.

4 All thumbs : MALADROIT

The French for “to the right” is “à droit”, from which we get our word “adroit”. The original meaning of “adroit” was “rightly, properly”, but it has come to mean dexterous and skillful. Someone described as “maladroit” is unskilled and awkward.

5 Less than 2% have this type : B-NEGATIVE

Here is an approximate distribution of blood types across the US population:

  • O-positive: 38 percent
  • O-negative: 7 percent
  • A-positive: 34 percent
  • A-negative: 6 percent
  • B-positive: 9 percent
  • B-negative: 2 percent
  • AB-positive: 3 percent
  • AB-negative: 1 percent

7 Rizzoli and Isles creator Gerritsen : TESS

“Rizzoli & Isles” is a detective drama that is inspired by the “Maura Isles/Jane Rizzoli” series of novels by Tess Gerritsen. In the show, Angie Harmon plays detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander plays medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles.

8 Popular ’90s dance : MACARENA

“Macarena” is a dance song in Spanish that was a huge hit worldwide for Los Del Río in 1995-1996.

10 Beau __ : GESTE

“Beau geste” (plural “beaux gestes”) is a French term meaning “noble deed”, or literally “beautiful gesture”.

11 Physics Nobelist the year after Albert : NIELS

Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who won his 1922 Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Later in his life, Bohr was part of the team working on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb. Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein had a series of public debates and disputes in the twenties and thirties. Although the two respected each other very highly, they held very different views on quantum theory, different views on the laws of physics at the atomic level. The passage of time has shown that Bohr won out in those debates.

23 Homemade knife : SHIV

“Shiv” is a slang term describing a weapon crudely fashioned to resemble a knife. Mostly we hear of shivs that have been fashioned by prison inmates to do harm to others.

30 Tallinn natives : ESTONIANS

Tallinn is the largest city in the former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Estonia, and is now the nation’s capital. Tallinn is sometimes referred to as the Silicon Valley of Europe, and indeed it was in Tallinn that the video chat service Skype was developed. It is also home to NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence that is sponsored by several NATO members, including the US.

31 Too many to name, for short : ET AL

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names.

36 Umlaut lookalike : DIERESIS

The umlaut and the dieresis are diacritical marks that look identical, as they comprise two dots placed over a letter. However, each serves a different purpose in phonology. An example of a dieresis is found in the English word “naïve”, where it tells us to pronounce the letter I separately from the preceding letter A.

40 Shepherd formerly of “The View” : SHERRI

Sherri Shepherd is a comedian and television personality who is best known by many as one of the co-hosts of the ABC daytime talk show “The View”. I remember Shepherd playing a police officer who was partnered with Robert Barone on the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond”.

41 Coll. QB, stereotypically : BMOC

Big Man On Campus (BMOC)

42 Turner and Wachowski : LANAS

Lana Turner started work as a Hollywood actress at a very young age, signing up with MGM at only sixteen. Early in her career she earned the nickname “The Sweater Girl” after wearing a pretty tight sweater in the film “They Won’t Forget”, which was her film debut. She married eight times, to seven different husbands, the first of which was bandleader Artie Shaw. Shaw and Turner eloped and married on their very first date, when the young actress was just nineteen years old. After divorcing Shaw she married restaurateur Steve Crane, but had the marriage annulled when she found out that Crane was still married to his first wife. The two had a daughter together, and so remarried when Crane’s divorce was finalized. Cheryl Crane was the daughter from the marriage to Joseph and she lived with Turner after her parents split up. When Cheryl was 14-years-old, her mother was romantically involved with a shady character named Johnny Stompanato. One evening Cheryl found her mother engaged in a violent argument with Stompanato, and Cheryl became so scared that she pulled out a gun and killed him in what was deemed to be justifiable homicide. Turner’s last marriage was to a nightclub hypnotist named Ronald Pellar, and that union lasted just six months as Pellar disappeared one day with a lot of Turner’s money and jewelry. Years later Turner said, “My goal was to have one husband and seven children, but it turned out to be the other way around.”

Lana and Lilly Wachowski, referred to collectively as “the Wachowskis”, are a film and television directing team. Perhaps most famously, the Wachowskis wrote and directed the two sequels in “The Matrix” trilogy of movies. Both Wachoskis were born male; Lana was named Larry, and Lilly was Andy.

44 Pancakes served with sour cream : BLINI

A blintz (also “blintze” and “blin”, plural “blini”) is a thin pancake similar to a crêpe, although unlike a crêpe, a blintz may contain yeast.

49 Eleven’s favorite breakfast brand, in “Stranger Things” : EGGO

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles and related products made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

“Stranger Things” is a sci-fi horror TV show made for Netflix that aired its first season in 2016. I don’t do horror, and so haven’t seen it …

51 Ancient being? : ESSE

“Esse” is the Latin for “to be”. “Sum” means “I am”, “est” means “he, she is”, and “erat” means “he, she was”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Garbage delivery vehicle? : SPAMBOT
8 World Chess Champion Carlsen : MAGNUS
14 Susan Ruttan’s “L.A. Law” role : ROXANNE
15 Used up some of : ATE INTO
17 Like some stockings : TOELESS
18 Attorney’s knowledge base : CASE LAW
19 “Anyone can play,” on game boxes : ALL AGES
20 Pretend : ACT LIKE
21 “Who __?”: New Orleans Saints chant : DAT
22 Slowed : ARRESTED
23 Intelligence : SMARTS
26 Beginning of an apology : MEA …
27 One Pillar Pagoda city : HANOI
28 Riding a Segway, say : ON WHEELS
34 Free-spirited : INDIVIDUALISTIC
37 Bestowed on : VESTED IN
38 “Absentia” co-star __ Katic : STANA
39 Permit : LET
40 Dishonestly obtained : STOLEN
41 Runs on : BLABBERS
46 Term of affection : HON
47 Big name in portable illumination : MAGLITE
48 Bond first bought by FDR in 1941 : SERIES E
52 New York natives : ONEIDAS
53 Emergency sorting systems : TRIAGES
54 Tubular pastries : CANNOLI
55 Fruit in some Chinese New Year customs : ORANGES
56 Hardly shines : STINKS
57 Innocently charming : WINSOME

Down

1 Quinceañera honoree: Abbr. : SRTA
2 Group to select from : POOL
3 “Beverly Hills Cop” cop Foley : AXEL
4 All thumbs : MALADROIT
5 Less than 2% have this type : B-NEGATIVE
6 Beginnings : ONSETS
7 Rizzoli and Isles creator Gerritsen : TESS
8 Popular ’90s dance : MACARENA
9 How rush-hour traffic often moves : AT A CRAWL
10 Beau __ : GESTE
11 Physics Nobelist the year after Albert : NIELS
12 Hard to see in, at times : UNLIT
13 Chips on the table : STAKE
16 Wasn’t square : OWED
22 Comes (to) : AMOUNTS
23 Homemade knife : SHIV
24 It may be braided for competition : MANE
25 Additions : ANDS
29 One focused on the past : HISTORIAN
30 Tallinn natives : ESTONIANS
31 Too many to name, for short : ET AL
32 It may be a cue : LINE
33 Medical procedure : SCAN
35 Chatter : IDLE TALK
36 Umlaut lookalike : DIERESIS
40 Shepherd formerly of “The View” : SHERRI
41 Coll. QB, stereotypically : BMOC
42 Turner and Wachowski : LANAS
43 Office plant, perhaps : AGENT
44 Pancakes served with sour cream : BLINI
45 Try to buy : BID ON
48 Put overhead, maybe : STOW
49 Eleven’s favorite breakfast brand, in “Stranger Things” : EGGO
50 Look : SEEM
51 Ancient being? : ESSE

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Mar 21, Saturday”

  1. Tough one.. lots of long words. Messed up on WINSOME. I went with WANSONE. I don’t think they are the same thing??? Ha!

    11D initially went with TESLA but that didn’t work. NIELS was the guy. Interesting story on EDISON winning the Nobel prize and TESLA thought he did too??

  2. Seemed much too easy for a Saturday, imo….more like a Thursday. NYT much more challenging. Fun puzzle, though.

    Miles

  3. LAT: About 40 minutes with no errors. Very good Saturday puzzle lending itself to “educated” guessing at correct answers. Proper names all over the puzzle were stumbling blocks: I knew none of them.

  4. Hard to get started on this puzzle; ended up with one error because I
    inadvertently left the “n” out of 32down. I guess that’s two errors as it
    affected two words. I had to look up the chess champion name and the
    Gerritsen name. “Spambot” was an unfamiliar term to me but it fit
    with BNegative, so went with it. I get two spambots every day from the
    same two sources.

  5. Not bad for a Saturday. Little bits of trouble here and there, but nothing major. Lucky that crosses helped fill in things I didn’t know.

  6. 11:25, no errors. Given the constructor, it was definitely a pleasant surprise.

    @Dirk (Thursday)
    That was one of the annoyances of Thursday puzzles for me. It’s meant to be
    CAB IT as in “take a cab”. The problem should be obvious from a language standpoint, and if it’s a common phrase it’s got to be local/exclusive to places like New York or Los Angeles.

    @Clay3454 (Friday)
    I’ve given up trying to explain what I see in these puzzles. Generally though, language tends to be used a lot more elastically in these puzzles that would not be passable in normal writing to the point that it’s hard to tell the intent of the constructor/editor (1A is a great example of that in that puzzle), or are just flat out inaccurate clues. I’ve commented, often times, that a lot of these people were high-level ACPT competitors at one time or another, so I’m not sure they see these things that most of us point out here. Then there’s things like 26A, which really isn’t a thing at all. That clue needed to be more like [SoCal team in scores] if they were looking for accuracy.

    Most of the established constructors will point out that easy (Monday) or hard (Fri/Sat) puzzles are the harder ones to do simply because of such language issues.

    1. @Glenn … Again you complain that the language used in crossword puzzles doesn’t obey rules that would be applied to the language in a piece of expository writing. And I have to ask: Why should it? Puzzles are meant to be puzzling, and the language used in them is often very playful.

      Would you complain that “Toddler’s parent” is a horrible clue because the answer could be either “MAMA” or “PAPA”? (Or even “DADA”?)

      A couple of specifics: “Cab it” is as meaningful to me as “bus it” or “hoof it” (and I’m not from Los Angeles or New York). And, for someone who doesn’t pay much attention to spectator sports, “SoCal team” works just as well to suggest the abbreviated name of the LA Dodgers as of the LA Rams. (I just checked and Google doesn’t have much trouble figuring out what LAD and LAR stand for.)

    2. Thanks Glenn, I did figure it out eventually when I took another look at “fare.” And, I do agree with Nonny, that “hoof it” and “bike it” are perfectly good expressions. I just rarely if ever take a cab and have never used the expression “cab it” before.

      Oh, LAD is “Dodgers” …I may have misled Catherine yesterday 🙂

  7. I was chugging right along until I hit the SW corner. That slowed up my march to victory considerably. Finally got things sorted out after I got Maglite and finally Blabbers finished the puzzle.

  8. 15 minutes on the dot, and no errors, although I needed Check Grid to find some “fat-fingered” typing errors I introduced. Not too hard for a Saturday, and only a few clues that furrowed the brow.

  9. 30:00 4 errors

    Quite the slog. Even after I had it filled, I still couldn’t figure that NW corner until I threw in the towel and pressed Check. 4 squares.

    Good discussion about blintzes and blini yesterday. One option is to get blinis and sweet cheese filling from the Russian stores and turn that into blintzes. Depending on the season, we might top them with blueberries or homemade raspberry jam. The staff in the Russian stores never told us about the egg and caviar dish described by @Nathan! Sadly, it’s over a year since we’ve been to one; we shall have to fix that soon.

  10. Slightly tough Saturday for me; cruising along until I hit the SW, like Tony, and then I got stuck. I had tiNA and couldn’t get BMOC for the life of me, even though I had __OC. I have heard of Lana W. and Maglite before and I’ve seen BMOC here before, so hopefully I’ll remember those. I also misspelled MACARaNA, so 5 errors…sigh!

    re blini, blintzes and crepes – When I visited my cousin in Köln a few years ago, her husband made crepes for us, which I’ve never really eaten. I put maple syrup on them and awkwardly ate them half way open, and my little niece giggled and criticized my “technique.” I pled “crepe illiteracy”, which got a good laugh from everyone. 🙂

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