LA Times Crossword 29 Mar 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Don Gagliardo
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Letters in Shapes

Themed answers are images comprising a letter in a shape:

  • 21A “Parking” image, on signs : P IN A SQUARE
  • 39A “Kosher” image, on labels : K IN A TRIANGLE
  • 59A “Registered” image, on product names : R IN A CIRCLE

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

Bill’s time: 5m 29s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Buckwheat porridge : KASHA

Kasha is a type of porridge made from roasted whole-grain buckwheat. The dish is most popular in the Russian and Jewish cultures.

17 State bordering both Nevada and Canada : IDAHO

Idaho borders six states, and one Canadian province:

  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • British Columbia, Canada

19 Drink brand associated with NASA missions : TANG

Tang is a fruity drink that is sold in powdered form. The sales of Tang “took off” when John Glenn took Tang on his Mercury flight. However, it is a common misconception that Tang was invented for the space program. That’s not true, although it was included in the payload of many missions.

24 “As I see it,” to a texter : IMO

In my opinion (IMO)

27 Ad that spreads awareness, briefly : PSA

Public service announcement (PSA)

28 Baseball’s Musial : STAN

Stan Musial was a baseball player who went by the nickname “Stan the Man”, a moniker he was awarded by the Brooklyn Dodgers fans in 1946. Off the field, Stan was quite the harmonica player.

29 Princess from a galaxy far, far away : LEIA

Princess Leia is Luke Skywalker’s twin sister in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and was played by Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher has stated that she hated the famous “cinnamon bun hairstyle” that she had to wear in the films, as she felt it made her face look too round. She also had to sit for two hours every day just to get her hair styled. Two hours to get your hair done? It takes me just two seconds …

Every “Star Wars” film starts out with an opening crawl announcing “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….”

30 Society newcomer : DEB

“Deb” is short for “debutante”, which translates from French as “beginner” when referring to a female.

32 Minnesota NFLer : VIKING

The Minnesota Vikings joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1960. Founded in Minnesota, the team’s name reflects the location’s reputation as a center of Scandinavian-American culture.

34 Slacks : PANTS

The term “pants”, meaning “trousers”, is an abbreviated form of “pantaloons” and first appeared in the 1840s. Pantaloons were a kind of tights named for a silly old male character in Italian comedy named “Pantaloun” who always wore tight trousers over skinny legs.

The term “slacks” was introduced in the early 1800s with the meaning “loose trousers”. Those early slacks were part of a military uniform.

39 “Kosher” image, on labels : K IN A TRIANGLE

According to Jewish dietary laws, kosher food is fit to eat, and food that is not fit to eat is referred to as treif (or “tref”). The usage of “kosher” has extended to include anything considered legitimate.

43 Wabbit hunter Fudd : ELMER

Elmer Fudd is one of the most famous Looney Tunes cartoon characters, and is the hapless nemesis of Bugs Bunny. If you have never seen it, check out Elmer and Bugs in the marvelous “Rabbit of Seville”, a short cartoon that parodies Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”. Wonderful stuff …

46 Forward, to Fellini : AVANTI

Federico Fellini was a film director and scriptwriter from Rimini in Italy. Fellini won more Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film than anyone else.

56 Potatoes often used for fries : RUSSETS

The full name of the potato that we commonly refer to as a “russet” is a “russet Burbank”. The russet is probably a mutation of the Burbank potato. One Luther Burbank developed the Burbank potato as a disease-resistant Irish potato, and gave the strain its name. The russet Burbank is a relatively large potato. As such, it is the favored potato for restaurant chains like McDonald’s as it can produce long French fries.

58 Cape __, Mass. : COD

Cape Cod is indeed named after the fish. It was first called Cape Cod by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602 as his men caught so many fish there.

63 DIY furniture brand : IKEA

The IKEA furniture chain was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

69 Boredom : ENNUI

“Ennui” is the French word for “boredom”, and a term that we now use in English. It’s one of the few French words we’ve imported that we haven’t anglicized, and actually pronounce “correctly”.

Down

1 Fast-food co. serving buckets : KFC

The famous “Colonel” of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) fame was Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur from Henryville, Indiana. Although not really a “Colonel”, Sanders did indeed serve in the military. He enlisted in the Army as a private in 1906 at the age of 16, lying about his age. He spent the whole of his time in the Army as a soldier in Cuba. It was much later, in the 1930s, that Sanders went into the restaurant business making his specialty deep-fried chicken. By 1935 his reputation as a “character” had grown, so much so that Governor Ruby Laffoon of Kentucky gave Sanders the honorary title of “Kentucky Colonel”. Later in the fifties, Sanders developed his trademark look with the white suit, string tie, mustache and goatee. When Sanders was 65 however, his business failed and in stepped Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s. Thomas simplified the Sanders menu, cutting it back from over a hundred items to just fried chicken and salads. That was enough to launch KFC into the fast food business. Sanders sold the US franchise in 1964 for just $2 million and moved to Canada to grow KFC north of the border. He died in 1980 and is buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is indeed a trade secret. Apparently there is only one copy of the recipe, a handwritten piece of paper, written in pencil and signed by Colonel Sanders. Since 2009, the piece of paper has been locked in a computerized vault surrounded with motion detectors and security cameras.

7 Baghdad’s land : IRAQ

According to the University of Baghdad, the name “Baghdad” dates way back, to the 18th-century BCE (yes, BCE!). The name can be translated into English from the language of ancient Babylon as “old garden” (bagh-) and “beloved” (-dad).

8 Alluring poster : PINUP

In the magazine world, a centerfold is a large illustration that is folded to form the central spread of a publication. Famously, Hugh Hefner used the centerfold of “Playboy” magazine for a large color photograph of a nude model, and since then the term “centerfold” has been used for a model who has featured in such a layout. Playboy’s first centerfold model was Marilyn Monroe.

12 Elk : WAPITI

The elk (also “wapiti”) is one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

14 Chinese tea : OOLONG

The name for the Chinese tea called “oolong” translates into English as “black dragon”.

23 Poetic bird of one word : RAVEN

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally, the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore”.

25 Mont Blanc, e.g. : ALP

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps. The name “Mont Blanc” translates from French into “white mountain”. The mountain lies on the border between France and Italy, and it has been generally accepted for decades that the summit lies within French territory. However, there have been official claims that the summit does in fact fall within the borders of Italy.

26 Arthur of “The Golden Girls” : BEA

Actress Bea Arthur’s most famous roles were on television, as the lead in the “All in the Family” spin-off “Maude” and as Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls”. Arthur also won a Tony for playing Vera Charles on stage in the original cast of “Mame” in 1966, two years after she played Yente the matchmaker in the original cast of “Fiddler on the Roof”.

“The Golden Girls” is a sitcom that originally aired in the eighties and nineties. The show features Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty as four older women who share a house in Miami.

28 King Kong’s home : SKULL ISLAND

The fictional Skull Island is home to King Kong in most of the movies featuring the giant gorilla. Kong has also been found on Farou Island (in “King Kong vs. Godzilla”) and Mondo Island (in “King Kong Escapes”). Skull Island is said to be located off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.

33 “Picnic” playwright : INGE

Playwright William Inge had a run of success on Broadway in the early fifties. Inge’s most celebrated work of that time is the play “Picnic”, for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. The original 1953 cast of “Picnic” included a young male actor making his debut on Broadway. His name was Paul Newman. Many of Inge’s works are set in the American heartland and so he became known as the “Playwright of the Midwest”.

37 Book jacket blurbs : BIOS

The use of the word “blurb”, to describe a publicity notice on a book jacket, dates back to 1907 when it was used by American humorist Gelett Burgess. Burgess used a picture of a fictitious young woman named Miss Belinda Blurb on the dust jacket of a limited run of his 1906 book “Are You a Bromide?” That jacket proclaimed “YES, this is a ‘BLURB’!” The term persists to this day, without the young damsel.

38 “His Dark __”: fantasy trilogy : MATERIALS

“His Dark Materials” is a fantasy television series based on the epic trilogy of novels of the same name by Philip Pullman. Not for me …

40 Defendant’s story : ALIBI

“Alibi” is the Latin word for “elsewhere” as in, “I claim that I was ‘elsewhere’ when the crime was committed, I have an ‘alibi’”.

41 Hosting the roast : EMCEEING

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

45 OR attendants : RNS

Registered nurse (RN)

47 Ritualistic kind of doll : VOODOO

Voodoo is a religion that originated in the French slave colony of Saint-Domingue on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

54 Singer Baker with eight Grammys : ANITA

Anita Baker is an R&B and soul singer who was raised in Detroit, Michigan. Baker’s most successful song is the Grammy-winning “Sweet Love” that was released in 1986.

57 Stony debris : SCREE

When a rock face erodes, lumps of rock and dust fall to the ground. The pile of rocks gathered around the rock face is called “scree”, a word derived from the old Norwegian term for a landslide.

60 Gael or Breton : CELT

The Celts are a very broad group of people across Europe who are linked by common languages. The original Celts were largely absorbed by other cultures, although a relatively modern revival of the “Celtic identity” is alive and well in Britain and Ireland. Such Celtic peoples today are mainly found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany in France.

A Gael is anyone of a race that speaks or spoke one of the Erse tongues. There are actually three Erse languages. Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be “Gaeilge” (in Ireland), “Gaelg” (on the Isle of Man) and “Gaidhlig” (in Scotland).

A Breton is a native of Brittany. Brittany is a large peninsula in the northwest of France that is known in French as “Bretagne”.

66 __ Loin of Beef: Bugs Bunny character : SIR

There are some cleverly named supporting characters that appear in some “Bugs Bunny” cartoons related to knights. One is Sir Loin of Beef, and the other Sir Osis of the Liver.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Buckwheat porridge : KASHA
6 Tears, as paper : RIPS
10 Hobbyist’s book : HOW-TO
15 One submitting a tax return : FILER
16 Operatic solo : ARIA
17 State bordering both Nevada and Canada : IDAHO
18 “Almost!” : CLOSE!
19 Drink brand associated with NASA missions : TANG
20 Fight off : REPEL
21 “Parking” image, on signs : P IN A SQUARE
24 “As I see it,” to a texter : IMO
25 Stay alcohol-free : ABSTAIN
27 Ad that spreads awareness, briefly : PSA
28 Baseball’s Musial : STAN
29 Princess from a galaxy far, far away : LEIA
30 Society newcomer : DEB
32 Minnesota NFLer : VIKING
34 Slacks : PANTS
36 Second drop-down list, say : SUBMENU
39 “Kosher” image, on labels : K IN A TRIANGLE
42 Garage floor blemish : OIL SPOT
43 Wabbit hunter Fudd : ELMER
46 Forward, to Fellini : AVANTI
49 “Just a __!” : SEC
51 “Count on me!” : I CAN!
52 Blubbers : SOBS
53 “Pow!” relative : BAM!
56 Potatoes often used for fries : RUSSETS
58 Cape __, Mass. : COD
59 “Registered” image, on product names : R IN A CIRCLE
61 Draw out : EDUCE
63 DIY furniture brand : IKEA
64 Fridge forays : RAIDS
67 Diet-friendly : NO-CAL
68 Blab : TELL
69 Boredom : ENNUI
70 Eccentric : DOTTY
71 Creative pursuits, with “the” : … ARTS
72 Yard-grooming tool : EDGER

Down

1 Fast-food co. serving buckets : KFC
2 Feel sick : AIL
3 Aptly named clean-up basin : SLOP SINK
4 Speaker’s ers or ums : HESITATIONS
5 Sports spot : ARENA
6 Some rodent homes : RATS’ NESTS
7 Baghdad’s land : IRAQ
8 Alluring poster : PINUP
9 Long stories : SAGAS
10 Add to the staff : HIRE
11 Poetic salute : ODE
12 Elk : WAPITI
13 28-Across nickname : THE MAN
14 Chinese tea : OOLONG
22 Help : AID
23 Poetic bird of one word : RAVEN
25 Mont Blanc, e.g. : ALP
26 Arthur of “The Golden Girls” : BEA
28 King Kong’s home : SKULL ISLAND
31 Patting-the-baby’s-back goal : BURP
33 “Picnic” playwright : INGE
35 Petulant state : SNIT
37 Book jacket blurbs : BIOS
38 “His Dark __”: fantasy trilogy : MATERIALS
40 Defendant’s story : ALIBI
41 Hosting the roast : EMCEEING
44 Use the feed bag : EAT
45 OR attendants : RNS
46 Go up : ASCEND
47 Ritualistic kind of doll : VOODOO
48 Kidnap : ABDUCT
50 Surly mutt : CUR
54 Singer Baker with eight Grammys : ANITA
55 Manufacturer : MAKER
57 Stony debris : SCREE
59 Count (on) : RELY
60 Gael or Breton : CELT
62 Lap-loving pet : CAT
65 Past __: late : DUE
66 __ Loin of Beef: Bugs Bunny character : SIR

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 29 Mar 21, Monday”

  1. No errors. Never heard a CLEAN-UP basin referred to as a SLOP SINK. Its just referred to as a WASH BASIN around here.. And I wasn’t sure what KASHA was so that slowed me up.

    Took a little more time normal for a monday.

    1. Agreed on slop sink. Maybe it’s regional?

      Kinda inventive theme — there are lots of those signs around that I never give much thought to.

      Happy Monday, all.

  2. 5:29, no errors.

    Another thing from last night I found fascinating. I actually did the Newsday in 4:03. Hand-written. Just one of those “astounding” moments to me.

    1. Would be to me as well.

      We solved today’s puzzle with the help of fillers for words we did not know or see.
      I didn’t understand 21, 39 and 59 Across.

      I hope you don’t mind me using “Reply” to your comment. I never see my comments and
      A Nonny Muss told me that Bill suspected a hacker. Anther thing I did not understand.
      Anyway, 100% today.

  3. I’d never heard the term “slop sink”, either. Merriam-Webster says it’s “a sink (as in a hospital) in which chamber pots and bedpans are emptied and washed and scrub water is thrown out”. Yuck … 😜.

    One of my chores, as a kid, was carrying five-gallon buckets of slop from our (farm) kitchen to the hog pen across the road and emptying them in the trough for the pigs. I was barely tall enough and strong enough to lift the buckets off the ground and I had to climb up on a bale of hay to empty the buckets over a fence. Occasionally, the back splash would get me. A clear-cut case of child abuse … 😜.

      1. Gee, Jack, how did you know?! … 😜

        Actually, the school was a little more than a quarter of a mile away through eighth grade. Then, for two years, an older brother drove us to a high school eleven miles away and, after that, I rode a bus for my final two years there. I did walk most of the eleven miles home once, when my brother took off in the car after school.

  4. 7:27

    The shapes helped, but it took me a while to catch on to who PINA, KINA, and RINA are.

    Also I wanted 57D to be TALUS, but it’s not.

  5. Theme threw me before aha moment. Slowed me down, but then so did the unheard of “slop sink.” A bit harder than usual Monday for me, but still fun!

  6. 8 minutes, 20 seconds, no errors. Some really suspect fills (51A is an example; lots of other fills come to mind before “I CAN”), as well as a few clue/fill combos that I am **certain** I’ve just seen in the last 2 or 3 days. I’m more convinced than ever that there are some shared resources our constructors (ab)use to create these grids.

    1. >I’m more convinced than ever that there are some shared resources our constructors (ab)use to create these grids.

      Most all constructors use software which has word lists that are used to suggest answers in the grid. Other than the lists that come with the software, there are a small handful of other lists people either buy or use.

      So no reason to suspect or be convinced. All of this is pretty well admitted and self-evident.

  7. Kasha was a sunday night staple in the (Jewish) home in which I grew up in West LA…It was more like a rice than a porridge in my home. And, yes, my heritage is eastern European! Enjoyable puzzle — a good enuf challenge for a Monday…

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