LA Times Crossword 8 Mar 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Martha Kimes
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Obedience School

Themed answers each start with a command that a puppy might learn at OBEDIENCE SCHOOL:

  • 62A Where a puppy may learn the starts of 17-, 29- and 46-Across : OBEDIENCE SCHOOL
  • 17A “Make yourself comfortable” : SIT BACK AND RELAX
  • 29A “Don’t be a stranger!” : STAY IN TOUCH!
  • 46A Regardless of how things go : COME WHAT MAY

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

Bill’s time: 5m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 __-à-porter: ready-to-wear : PRET

“Prêt-à-porter” is a common enough phrase in Europe. It is a French expression meaning “ready to wear” that has made it into a number of other languages, including English.

15 Baseball’s Moises : ALOU

Moisés Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his father Felipe and his uncles Matty and Jesús.

20 Editor’s “Don’t change that” : STET

“Stet” is a Latin word meaning “let it stand”. In editorial work, the typesetter is instructed to disregard any change previously marked by writing the word “stet” and then underscoring that change with a line of dots or dashes.

23 Sine __ non: essential : QUA

“Sine qua non” is a Latin phrase that we use to mean “the essential element or condition”. The literal translation is “without which not”. One might say, for example, “a challenging crossword is the sine qua non of a good newspaper”. Well, crossword fans might say that …

25 Quick bite : NOSH

Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”. We use “nosh” as a noun that means “snack”, or as a verb meaning “to eat between meals”.

35 Maple tree fluid : SAP

About 75% of the world’s maple syrup comes from the province of Quebec. The US’s biggest producer is the state of Vermont, which produces 5-6% of the world’s supply.

36 Backless sofa : DIVAN

Divans are essentially couches without backs or arms. The design originated in the Middle East, where the couches were commonly found lining the walls of an office that was known as a “divan” or “diwan” meaning “government office”.

37 “Cheers” actress Perlman : RHEA

Rhea Perlman’s most famous role has to be Carla Tortelli, the irascible waitress in the long-running sitcom “Cheers”. Perlman is also a successful children’s author, and has published a series of six books called “Otto Undercover”. She married Hollywood actor Danny DeVito in 1982.

The wonderful sitcom “Cheers” ran for eleven seasons on NBC, from 1982 to 1993. “Cheers” spawned an equally successful spin-off show called “Frasier”, which also ran for eleven seasons and often featured guest appearances of characters from the original “Cheers”. The Cheers bar was styled on the Bull & Finch Pub in Boston (in which I’ve had a pint of Guinness two!). The owner of the Bill & Finch cleverly agreed to the initial interior and exterior shots, charging only one dollar. Since then he has made millions from selling “Cheers” memorabilia, and also from increased trade.

41 Riyadh resident : SAUDI

Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, and is located near the center of the country. The name “Riyadh” translates from Arabic as “the gardens”.

42 Pooh’s Hundred __ Wood : ACRE

Hundred Acre Wood is where Winnie-the-Pooh lives with his friends. According to a map illustrating the books by A. A. Milne, Hundred Acre Wood is part of a larger forest, with Owl’s house sitting right at the center. Piglet also lives in the Hundred Acre Wood, in a beech tree next to a sign that says “TRESPASSERS W”. Piglet says this is short for Trespassers William, which is his grandfather’s name.

49 Phoenix MLB team, on scoreboards : ARI

The Arizona Diamondbacks (also “D-backs”) joined Major League Baseball’s National League in 1998. By winning the World Series in 2001, the Diamondbacks became the fastest expansion team to do so in Major League history.

50 New Look designer : DIOR

Fashion designer Christian Dior showed off his first collection in 1947, to great acclaim. The editor-in-chief of “Harper’s Bazaar” remarked, “it’s such a new look!” as there was a clear contrast with the austere designs that dominated the war years. The remark resulted in the collection being labeled forever as the “New Look”.

53 Deprived (of) : BEREFT

“Bereft” is the adjectival form of the verb “to bereave” meaning “to deprive of something”.

58 Machu Picchu builder : INCA

Machu Picchu is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”, and it can be visited on a mountain ridge in Peru, 50 miles northwest of the city of Cuzco in the southeast of the country. The name Machu Picchu means “old peak”. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu originates about 50 miles from Cusco on the Urubamba River in Peru. It can take travelers about 5 days to trek the full length of the trail, passing through many Incan ruins before reaching the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The trail was becoming greatly overused, forcing the Peruvian government to limit the number of people on the trail each day to 500. Book early …

66 Capital of Peru : LIMA

Lima is the capital city of Peru. Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who named it “la Ciudad de los Reyes” (the City of Kings). He chose this name because the decision to found the city was made on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany that commemorates the visit of the three kings to Jesus in Bethlehem. Lima is home to the oldest university in all of the Americas, as San Marco University was founded in 1551 during the days of Spanish colonial rule.

67 2000s “American Idol” judge Abdul : PAULA

Paula Abdul is primarily a singer and dancer, and someone who endeared herself even more to the American public in recent years as a judge on “American Idol”. Abdul had a famous husband for a couple of years, as she was married to actor Emilio Estevez from 1992-94.

“American Idol” is a spin-off show that was created after the amazing success of the British television show “Pop Idol”. Aired on Fox from 2002 to 2016, the show “jumped ship” and moved to ABC starting in the 2018 season.

70 Annual Tournament of __ Parade : ROSES

The first Rose Parade was staged in 1890 on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California. The initial parades were organized by the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club, whose members wanted to highlight the mild winter weather in the area. The initial parades did not feature flowers, but these were added to underscore the favorable climate. It was the inclusion of the flowers that gave rise to the name “Tournament of Roses”. The first Rose Bowl football game was played in 1902.

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Down

3 Out past curfew : LATE

Our word “curfew” comes from an Old French word meaning “cover fire”. In medieval days a bell would ring in the evenings as a signal to bank the hearths in preparation for sleeping. The intent was to prevent uncontrolled fires starting from fireplaces that were not tended during the night.

4 Pride parade letters : LGBTQ

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ)

The first gay pride parades were held all on the same weekend in 1970, in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

5 Caribbean, e.g. : SEA

The Caribbean Sea takes its name from the Island Carib people. The Island Caribs are an American Indian people that live in the Lesser Antilles islands, part of the West Indies.

6 Sushi roll type : MAKI

When I’m thinking of sushi, I’m really picturing “makizushi” (also “maki”), which is fish, vegetables and sushi rice combined in layers and rolled up in seaweed. “Makizushi” translates from Japanese as “rolled sushi”.

7 Airline to Tel Aviv : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

8 Luke, to Darth : SON

Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in the first six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:

  • Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
  • Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
  • Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
  • Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
  • Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …

9 Big Apple river : HUDSON

The Hudson River flows through eastern New York State from Henderson Lake in the Adirondacks to the Port of New York and New Jersey. The river is named for the English explorer Henry Hudson, who navigated the waterway in 1609.

Apparently, the first published use of the term “Big Apple” to describe New York City dates back to 1909. Edward Martin wrote the following in his book “The Wayfarer in New York”:

Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city. . . . It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap.

Over ten years later, the term “big apple” was used as a nickname for racetracks in and around New York City. However, the concerted effort to “brand” the city as the Big Apple had to wait until the seventies and was the work of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

10 Large amount : PLETHORA

“Plethora” is such a lovely word, I think. It means “a lot of”, and usually in the sense of “too much”. This usage dates back to about 1700, and before that “plethora” was a word used in the medical field to describe an “excess of bodily fluid”.

11 Chocolate-caramel candy brand : ROLO

Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.

12 Jacob’s twin : ESAU

Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother Rebekah gave birth to the twins “the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)”. As Esau was the first born, he was entitled to inherit his father’s wealth (it was his “birthright”). Instead, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for the price of a “mess of pottage” (a meal of lentils).

13 Modern message : TEXT

Short Message Service (SMS) is the name for the text messaging service that many of us still use on our cell phones to contact friends and family.

18 Raccoon relative : COATI

A coati is a member of the raccoon family and is also known as the Brazilian aardvark, or the snookum bear. The coati is native to Central and South America, but can also be found in the southwest of the United States.

The raccoon is native to North America. In captivity, raccoons can live to over 20 years of age, but in the wild they only live two or three years. The main causes for the shorter lifespan are hunting and road traffic.

24 Meat safety agcy. : USDA

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) dates back to 1862, when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the “people’s department” as our economy had such a vast agrarian base back then.

26 Writer Asimov : ISAAC

Isaac Asimov was a wonderful science fiction writer, and a professor of biochemistry. He was a favorite author as I was growing up and I must admit that some hero worship on my part led me to study and work as a biochemist for a short while early in my career. My favorite of his works is the collection of short stories called “I, Robot”, although Asimov’s most famous work is probably his “Foundation” trilogy of novels. Asimov wrote three autobiographies, the last of which was called “I, Asimov”, which was published in 1994, two years after his death.

27 DEA agent : NARCO

“Narc” and “narco” are slang terms describing a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. Both words are short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

28 Type of whale : SPERM

The massive sperm whale takes its name from “spermaceti”, a waxy liquid that is found in its digestive system. The liquid was originally mistaken for the whale’s sperm, hence the name.

30 Picture next to a username : AVATAR

The Sanskrit word “avatar” describes the concept of a deity descending into earthly life and taking on a persona. It’s easy to see how in the world of online presences one might use the word avatar to describe one’s online identity.

32 “Star Trek” lieutenant : UHURA

Lt. Nyota Uhura is the communications officer on the board the Starship Enterprise, and was played by Nichelle Nichols in the original “Star Trek” television series. The role was significant in that Uhura was one of the first African American characters to figure front and center in US television. In a 1968 episode, Kirk (played by William Shatner) and Uhura kiss, the first interracial kiss to be broadcast in the US. Apparently the scene was meant to be shot twice, with and without the kiss, so that network executives could later decide which version to air. William Shatner claims that he deliberately ran long on the first take (with the kiss) and fluffed the hurried second take (without the kiss), so that the network would have no choice.

33 Fragrant wood : CEDAR

Cedar is used for the manufacture of some wardrobes and chests as it has long been believed that the fragrant oil in the wood is a moth-repellent. However, whether or not cedar oil is actually effective at keeping moths away seems to be in doubt.

34 One side of Hispaniola : HAITI

The Republic of Haiti occupies the smaller, western portion of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. The rest of the island is taken up by the Dominican Republic. Haiti is one of only two nations in the Americas to have French as an official language, the other being Canada.

The island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean, shared between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is known in Spanish as “La Española”.

41 Breed of terrier : SKYE

The Skye terrier is a breed of dog that is actually under threat of extinction. A few years ago, there were only 30 Skye terriers born in the breed’s native land of the UK. The breed was named for the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

47 Coffeehouse amenity : WI-FI

“Wi-Fi” is nothing more than a trademark, a trademark registered by an association of manufacturers of equipment that use wireless LAN (Local Area Network) technology. A device labeled with “Wi-Fi” has to meet certain defined technical standards, basically meaning that the devices can talk to each other. The name “Wi-Fi” suggests “Wireless Fidelity”, although apparently the term was never intended to mean anything at all.

48 Tripadvisor listings : HOTELS

Tripadvisor.com is a travel website dedicated to helping users in most aspects of their travels. Much of Tripadvisor’s content is generated by users, in the form of reviews by travelers.

52 Mandarin greeting : NI HAO

One might say “ni hao” in Chinese to mean “hello”, although a more literal translation is “you good”.

Mandarin Chinese is a group of dialects that are spoken across northern and southwestern China. If Mandarin is considered as one language, then it has more native speakers than any other language on the planet.

53 “Ice cream or cake?” response, perhaps : BOTH

Definitely …

54 Online auction venue : EBAY

There have been some notable things sold on eBay over the years. For example:

  • Ad space on a guy’s forehead, in the form of a temporary tattoo – $37,375
  • William Shatner’s kidney stone – $25,000
  • A cornflake shaped like Illinois – $1,350
  • A single corn flake – $1.63
  • A box of 10 Twinkies – $59.99
  • The original Hollywood sign – $450,400
  • The meaning of life – $3.26

56 Highest point : ACME

The acme is the highest point. The term “acme” comes from the Greek word “akme” that has the same meaning.

59 Entre __: between us : NOUS

In French, something might perhaps be discussed “entre deux” (between two) or “entre nous” (between us).

60 Either of two “Unforgettable” singers : COLE

Natalie Cole is the daughter of Nat King Cole. Natalie’s mother was Maria Cole, a singer with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. The most famous version of the hit song “Unforgettable” was released in 1951 by Nat King Cole. In 1991, Natalie Cole recorded a version that was mixed with an earlier 1961 version sung by her father, creating an “unforgettable” father-daughter duet that was made 26 years after Nat King Cole had passed away.

61 Wistful word : ALAS

“Wistful” is a lovely word, I think, one that can mean “pensively sad, melancholy”.

64 Bit of EMT expertise : CPR

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

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pours to the brim : FILLS
6 Fit together : MESH
10 __-à-porter: ready-to-wear : PRET
14 Cellphone bill statistic : USAGE
15 Baseball’s Moises : ALOU
16 Resign, in chess : LOSE
17 “Make yourself comfortable” : SIT BACK AND RELAX
20 Editor’s “Don’t change that” : STET
21 Lubricate : OIL
22 Start a journey : SET OUT
23 Sine __ non: essential : QUA
25 Quick bite : NOSH
26 Personal connections : INS
29 “Don’t be a stranger!” : STAY IN TOUCH!
35 Maple tree fluid : SAP
36 Backless sofa : DIVAN
37 “Cheers” actress Perlman : RHEA
38 Olympics venue : ARENA
40 It tops a king : ACE
41 Riyadh resident : SAUDI
42 Pooh’s Hundred __ Wood : ACRE
43 Show gratitude to : THANK
45 Squealer : RAT
46 Regardless of how things go : COME WHAT MAY
49 Phoenix MLB team, on scoreboards : ARI
50 New Look designer : DIOR
51 U.S. Presidents, so far : MEN
53 Deprived (of) : BEREFT
56 Broke bread : ATE
58 Machu Picchu builder : INCA
62 Where a puppy may learn the starts of 17-, 29- and 46-Across : OBEDIENCE SCHOOL
65 Stretched tight : TAUT
66 Capital of Peru : LIMA
67 2000s “American Idol” judge Abdul : PAULA
68 Syringe, briefly : HYPO
69 Throwaway part of a cherry : STEM
70 Annual Tournament of __ Parade : ROSES

Down

1 Commotion : FUSS
2 “__ any wonder?” : IS IT
3 Out past curfew : LATE
4 Pride parade letters : LGBTQ
5 Caribbean, e.g. : SEA
6 Sushi roll type : MAKI
7 Airline to Tel Aviv : EL AL
8 Luke, to Darth : SON
9 Big Apple river : HUDSON
10 Large amount : PLETHORA
11 Chocolate-caramel candy brand : ROLO
12 Jacob’s twin : ESAU
13 Modern message : TEXT
18 Raccoon relative : COATI
19 Sabbath activity : REST
24 Meat safety agcy. : USDA
25 Hr. when many workdays begin : NINE AM
26 Writer Asimov : ISAAC
27 DEA agent : NARCO
28 Type of whale : SPERM
30 Picture next to a username : AVATAR
31 Luxury vessel : YACHT
32 “Star Trek” lieutenant : UHURA
33 Fragrant wood : CEDAR
34 One side of Hispaniola : HAITI
39 Had no choice : NEEDED TO
41 Breed of terrier : SKYE
44 Monikers : NAMES
47 Coffeehouse amenity : WI-FI
48 Tripadvisor listings : HOTELS
52 Mandarin greeting : NI HAO
53 “Ice cream or cake?” response, perhaps : BOTH
54 Online auction venue : EBAY
55 Enlist again : RE-UP
56 Highest point : ACME
57 “There’s no ‘I’ in __” : TEAM
59 Entre __: between us : NOUS
60 Either of two “Unforgettable” singers : COLE
61 Wistful word : ALAS
63 Tiny complaint : NIT
64 Bit of EMT expertise : CPR

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Mar 21, Monday”

  1. No Googles, but had an error on Monday! I had UHURu for UHURA. That had me wondering how the University of Rhode Island could have a Phoenix team. Maybe it moved. I know so little about sports, I accepted it.

    Did not know NIHAO or MAKI.

    1. Ha! You are funny, Jane! I’m with you in terms of being clueless about sports! And I have no desire to get educated…

  2. What a great synopsis of the six Star Wars films! I think I saw the first one once a very long time ago, but don’t remember it.
    I have a cassette tape called “Ten Classics in Ten Minutes,” by an extremely fast talker. It’s hilarious. He covers Gone With the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, Moby Dick, and seven others. Just sayin’.

    1. Glenn, I just really admire how fast and good you do these.

      We had 3 errors and 3 omissions for a pretty good 97% solved, letter basis.

      Still trying and we enjoy even the hard ones. I tell my fellow geezers something that I think
      is helping me and that is a One A Day multivitamin, made especially for men over 50. I think
      it is helping my brain, as advertised. I will take all the help I can get.

  3. After the disasters of the past three days, this one was a very welcome breath of fresh air!! I haven’t seen this constructor’s name before, but I sure look forward to her contributions in future.

    One second short of 7 minutes, and no errors. The theme fills and theme answer were very well ideated, and the clues were straightforward and guileless. And although it was Monday-easy, it was nonetheless incredibly enjoyable.

    Credit where credit is due!!! Thank you, Martha, for this *excellent* grid. I hope your work will soon be replacing that of some of the other, self-important and pretentious constructors whose names are better known (and reviled) among us.

  4. 5:51 no errors

    This is such a sweet puzzle! Not only do we get to think about puppies, the theme answers are words of kindness. So sit back and relax, stay in touch, and — come what may — we’ll do another puzzle tomorrow.

  5. I love these comments — but since I do the puzzle so late at night, I don’t think anyone is reading my comments! I’m gonna try reaching out to you fellow aficionados earlier in the day…would be fun to get to know you all better! Or maybe you want to stay anonymous? Me: I’m 59, live in Los Angeles, and I have a super nice/kind son who is auditioning for Jeopardy tomorrow! woo hoo…he’s made it to the third level of auditioning so far — but me, his mom, did not make it past the first!

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