LA Times Crossword 13 Apr 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Brent Sverdloff
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Shift Gears

Themed answers each include the letter sequence G-E-A-R-S, but the order of those letters has been SHIFTED:

  • 63A Go from neutral to reverse … and a hint to each set of circles : SHIFT GEARS
  • 17A Orson Scott Card sci-fi novel : ENDER’S GAME
  • 24A Toon spouse with a blue beehive : MARGE SIMPSON
  • 39A Park warning sign : KEEP OFF THE GRASS
  • 51A Cheddar shredder : CHEESEGRATER

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

Bill’s time: 5m 26s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 King-sized : JUMBO

James Anthony Bailey collaborated with P. T. Barnum to establish Barnum and Bailey’s Circus. It was Bailey who negotiated the deal to buy a famous elephant from London Zoo in 1882, the one called “Jumbo”. It was the exposure Jumbo got with the circus that brought into common usage our term “jumbo” meaning “huge”.

6 Seat in un parc : BANC

In France, one might sit on a “banc” (bench) in the “parc” (park).

14 Scarlett of Tara : O’HARA

In Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”, Scarlett O’Hara’s home is the Tara plantation. Tara was founded not far from the Georgia city of Jonesboro by Scarlett’s father, Irish immigrant Gerald O’Hara. Gerald won the square mile of land on which Tara was built in an all-night poker game. He named his new abode after the Hill of Tara back in his home country, the ancient seat of the High King of Ireland. Rhett’s rival for the affections of Scarlet is Ashley Wilkes who lives at the nearby Twelve Oaks plantation.

15 “Young Frankenstein” aide : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

I am not really a big fan of movies by Mel Brooks, but “Young Frankenstein” is the exception. I think the cast has a lot to do with me liking the film, as it includes Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein), Teri Garr (Inga), Marty Feldman (Igor) and Gene Hackman (Harold, the blind man).

16 Dark purple berry : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

17 Orson Scott Card sci-fi novel : ENDER’S GAME

Orson Scott Card is a science fiction author (mainly). Card’s most famous work is his novel “Ender’s Game” first published in 1985. “Ender’s Game” was adapted into a movie and released in 2013, with a cast that includes Harrison Ford.

19 Pinball no-no : TILT

In a game of pinball, some players get an irresistible urge to “nudge” the machine . Such a nudge, a movement of the machine designed to influence the path taken by the ball, is called a “tilt”. Most pinball machines have sensors designed to detect a tilt, and when activated a “tilt” warning light comes on and the player’s controls are temporarily disabled.

Our modern game of pinball evolved from an earlier table game called bagatelle that used balls, pins and holes (and I remember playing bagatelle as a boy in a pub in Ireland). The first pinball machine was made by a British inventor who settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. He modified the game of bagatelle, adding a coiled spring and a plunger to introduce balls at the end of the table, a device that is still in use today. From there, manufacturers developed coin-operated versions of pinball, which became popular during the depression as they provided a little entertainment for a few pennies. One distributor of the coin-operated pinball machines started manufacturing them himself as he couldn’t source new games fast enough. He called his pinball game Ballyhoo, and eventually named his company Bally, a brand name well known in the gambling industry to this day.

20 “Anger, fear, aggression: the dark side of the Force are they” speaker : YODA

In the “Star Wars” series of films, the character named Yoda has a unique speech pattern. He often uses the word order object-subject-verb. For example:

  • Patience you must have …
  • Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.
  • To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not.

22 Radiant pigment : DAY-GLO

“Day-Glo” is a registered trademark used for an ink or paint that glows when exposed to a black light in a darkened room. When Day-Glo paint is viewed in daylight, the colors can look particularly vivid because they respond to UV light present in sunlight.

24 Toon spouse with a blue beehive : MARGE SIMPSON

Marge Simpson is the matriarch of the family in “The Simpsons” animated sitcom. Marge is voiced by actress Julie Kavner, who is also well known for playing Brenda Morgenstern in the TV show “Rhoda” in the seventies.

That distinctive beehive hairstyle is also called a B-52, because the round, beehive-shape also resembles the bulbous nose of a B-52 bomber! The style originated in 1958, and is credited to Margaret Vinci Heldt, the owner of a hair salon in downtown Chicago. I’m not a fan of the beehive, but I do have to say that Audrey Hepburn carried it off in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, as did Dusty Springfield in her heyday.

30 Old Faithful’s st. : WYO

Wyoming is the least populous state in the Union, and the second-least sparsely populated. The state with the lowest population density is Alaska.

Old Faithful is a geyser in Yellowstone National Park. It erupts almost every 63 minutes on the nose, making it one of the most predictable geographic features on the planet. It was this predictability that led to the name “Old Faithful”. In the early days of Yellowstone’s existence as a park, the geyser was used as a laundry. Dirty linen clothing was placed in the geyser’s crater during the quiet period. The clothing was ejected during the eruption, thoroughly washed.

31 “__ Baby”: “Hair” song : ABIE

The full name of the famed show from the sixties is “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”, although the 1979 film adaptation was simply titled “Hair”. This controversial work outraged many when it was first performed in the sixties, as it attacked many aspects of life at the time. For example, the song “Air” is a satirical look at pollution, sung by a character who comes onto the stage wearing a gas mask. The opening lines are “Welcome, sulfur dioxide. Hello carbon monoxide. The air … is everywhere”. How things have changed over the past few decades said he … satirically …

34 Couture initials : YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) was an Algerian-born French fashion designer. Saint Laurent started off working as an assistant to Christian Dior at the age of 17. Dior died just four years later, and as a very young man Saint-Laurent was named head of the House of Dior. However, in 1950 Saint Laurent was conscripted into the French Army and ended up in a military hospital after suffering a mental breakdown from the hazing inflicted on him by his fellow soldiers. His treatment included electroshock therapy and administration of sedatives and psychoactive drugs. He was released from hospital, managed to pull his life back together and started his own fashion house. A remarkable story …

“Haute couture”, literally “high dressmaking” in French, is a name given to the creation of exclusive fashions. A couturier is someone who creates or sells such fashions.

35 Ostrich cousin : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

43 Hairy Himalayan : YETI

The yeti, also known as the abominable snowman, is a beast of legend. “Yeti” is a Tibetan term, and the beast is fabled to live in the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our equivalent legend in North America is that of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch. The study of animals whose existence have not yet been substantiated is called cryptozoology, and a cryptid is a creature or plant that isn’t recognized by the scientific community, but the existence of which has been suggested.

The magnificent Himalaya range of mountains in Asia takes its name from the Sanskrit for “abode of snow”. Geographically, the Himalaya separates the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau to the north.

44 Like King Cole : OLD

Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe, and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.
Every fiddler he had a fiddle,
And a very fine fiddle had he;
Oh there’s none so rare, as can compare
With King Cole and his fiddlers three.

45 Kind of node : LYMPH

Lymph is a fluid that exists alongside blood in the body that is transported through lymph vessels. One of the functions of the system is to pick up bacteria in the body, transporting them to lymph nodes where they are destroyed by lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Lymph can also carry metastatic cancer cells that can lodge in lymph nodes, making lymph nodes a common site where tumors may be found growing.

46 Filmmaker Ephron : NORA

Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, which deals in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

48 Sch. north of Denver : CSU

Colorado State University (CSU) was founded in Fort Collins in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College. The school’s athletic teams are known as the Colorado State Rams, although back in the days of the Colorado Agricultural College, the teams were referred to as the Aggies.

Denver, Colorado is nicknamed the “Mile-High City” because its official elevation is listed as exactly one mile. Denver City was founded in 1858 as a mining town. The name was chosen in honor of the Kansas Territorial Governor at the time, James W. Denver.

50 Bean used in nondairy milk : SOY

What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.

51 Cheddar shredder : CHEESEGRATER

Cheddar cheese takes its name from the English village of Cheddar in Somerset. Over 50% of the cheese sold in the UK is cheddar. Here in the US, cheddar is the second-most popular cheese sold, behind mozzarella.

56 Elizabeth Arden parent company : REVLON

Revlon was founded in the depths of the Great Depression in 1932 by Charles and Joseph Revson. The “S” in the “Revson” name was replaced by the “L” from Charles “Lachman”, a chemist who partnered with the two brothers.

“Elizabeth Arden” was the business name used by Canadian-American Florence Nightingale Graham. Arden built a cosmetics empire that made her one of the wealthiest women in the world. Arden had a famous rivalry with fellow cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein, and that rivalry even spawned a 2016 stage musical called “War Paint”.

57 Coleridge’s “before” : ERE

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a pioneer for the Romantic Movement in England, along with his friend William Wordsworth. Coleridge’s most famous works are “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan”, which is my wife’s favorite poem.

58 Harleys, familiarly : HOGS

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle company was founded in the very early 1900s by two childhood friends, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, . Their first design was in effect an engine hooked up to a pedal bicycle, but the 116 cc cylinder capacity simply couldn’t generate enough power to get up the hills of their native city of Milwaukee. The pair came up with a redesigned model that had a cylinder capacity of 405 cc, which the partners built in a shed at the back of Davidson’s house. In 1906, the partners built their first factory, located where the company’s headquarters is to this day, on Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Famously, Harley motorcycles are nicknamed “hogs”.

62 Burn balm : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

67 Island near Mull : IONA

Although the small island of Iona lies just off the west coast of Scotland, it was the site of a monastery built in the Middle Ages by a monk from Ireland named Colm Cille (also known as Columba). Colm Cille and his followers were sent into exile from the Irish mainland and settled in Iona, as at that time the island was part of an Irish kingdom. This monastery in Iona expanded its influence over the decades and founded other institutions all over Ireland and Great Britain. It is believed that the famous Book of Kells may have been written, or at least started, at the monastery on Iona. Iona is also the burial site for Macbeth, King of Scotland who was immortalized in Shakespeare’s fictional account of the king’s life.

The Isle of Mull (sometimes called just “Mull”) is part of the Inner Hebrides, which lie off the west coast of Scotland. Mull is the fourth-largest island in the whole of Great Britain.

68 Vermont patriot Allen : ETHAN

Ethan Allen was one of the founders of the state of Vermont. Allen was also a hero in the American Revolutionary War, famous for leading (along with Benedict Arnold) the small band of men known as the Green Mountain Boys that captured Fort Ticonderoga. And yes, the Ethan Allen store and furniture line is named for Ethan Allen the patriot, even though he had nothing to do with the furniture business.

The state name “Vermont” probably comes from the French “les Verts Monts”, meaning “The Green Mountains”.

70 Sweet-talk : COAX

To coax is to cajole, to influence using gentle persuasion. Back in the 16th century, “coax” was a noun meaning “fool”, and was used in the sense of “make a coax of, make a fool of”.

Down

1 Baby in a pouch : JOEY

In Australia, male kangaroos are known by several names including bucks, boomers, jacks or old men. Females are called does, flyers, or jills. There seems to be just the one name for young kangaroos, i.e. joeys. A group of kangaroos might be called a mob, troop or court.

3 Alcohol awareness-raising org. : MADD

Candace Lightner lost her 13-year-old child to a drink-driver in 1980. Soon after, Lightner formed the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

4 Another name for bluegill : BREAM

The bluegill is a member of the sunfish family, although it is a freshwater fish. It is also known as bream, brim or copper nose. The bluegill has the honor of being the state fish of Illinois.

5 Dinghy mover : OAR

Our term “dinghy” comes from the Hindi “dingi”, a word meaning “small boat”.

7 Playground marble : AGATE

A playing marble made from agate is called just that, an agate. Steelies on the other hand, are made from solid steel.

10 “I Kissed a Girl” singer : KATY PERRY

Katy Perry is an American singer who grew up listening to and singing gospel music, as she was the daughter of two Christian pastors. In fact, her first musical release was a gospel album in 2001. She has branched out since then. Her first successful single was “Ur so Gay”, followed by “I Kissed A Girl”. She was married (only for a year) to the British comedian Russell Brand, until 2012.

11 Vaping smokes, briefly : E-CIGS

An electronic cigarette (also called an “e-cigarette”) is a battery-powered device that resembles a real cigarette. The e-cigarette vaporizes a solution that contains nicotine, forming a vapor that resembles smoke. The vapor is inhaled in a process called “vaping”, delivering nicotine into the body. The assumption is that an e-cigarette is healthier than a regular cigarette as the inhaled vapor is less harmful than inhaled smoke. But, that may not be so …

12 Ernest or Julio of wine fame : GALLO

E & J Gallo Winery was founded by Ernest and Julio Gallo in Modesto, California in 1933. Gallo is the largest exporter of wine from the state of California.

23 Parisian pal : AMI

A male friend in France is “un ami”, and a female friend is “une amie”.

25 Dr. Seuss’ “Horton Hears __” : A WHO

Horton the Elephant turns up in two books by Dr. Seuss, “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Horton Hears a Who!”

29 Christmas pudding fat : SUET

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

Christmas pudding is a traditional holiday dish served mainly in Britain and Ireland. It is also referred to as plum pudding, even though there aren’t any plums included in the list of ingredients. “Plums” was a term that used to mean “raisins”, which are included. One of the appetizing ingredients is suet, animal fat. There’s also a lot of alcohol, which allows the pudding to be aged for months if desired. I must admit, I love Christmas pudding, soaked in brandy that’s set alight. And a little brandy butter on the side …

34 Since Jan. 1 : YTD

Year-to-date (YTD)

36 Unlikely Oscar nominees : HAMS

The word “ham”, describing a performer who overacts, is a shortened form of “hamfatter” and dates back to the late 1800s. “Hamfatter” comes from a song in old minstrel shows called “The Ham-Fat Man”. It seems that a poorly performing actor was deemed to have the “acting” qualities of a minstrel made up in blackface.

37 Hockey legend Phil, to fans : ESPO

Phil “Espo” Esposito is a former professional hockey player who played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Espo scored 126 points in the 1969 season, hence becoming the first NHL player to score 100 points in a season.

40 Like much court evidence : FORENSIC

Something described as forensic is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.

47 Bolivian bruin : OSO

Brown bears are found over much of northern Europe, Asia, and North America. They are sometimes referred to as bruins, which is a term that persists from Middle English. The biggest subspecies of brown bear is the Kodiak bear, which is the largest land-based predator in the world. Named for the Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska, the Kodiak bear grows to about the same size as the enormous polar bear.

48 Website providing vehicle history reports : CARFAX

Carfax is a company that supplies the history of a used vehicle to a potential buyer. The information mainly comes from motor vehicle departments, and is available to anyone. Carfax just adds a layer of convenience by producing a summary report on demand.

49 “Don’t delete” mark : 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.

51 Bond portrayer Daniel : CRAIG

English actor Daniel Craig rocketed to fame in 2005 when he was chosen to replace Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in the series of films based on Ian Fleming’s character. One of Craig’s most famous appearances as Bond was alongside Queen Elizabeth II in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Craig married actress Rachel Weisz in 2011.

55 Scarlett’s Butler : RHETT

Famously, Clark Gable played Rhett Butler in the 1939 film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone with the Wind”. However, Butler wasn’t the first choice for the role. It was offered to Gary Cooper, but he turned it down. Apparently, Cooper said, “‘Gone With The Wind’ is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. I’m glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling flat on his nose, not Gary Cooper”.

59 Island with a U.S. state capital : OAHU

Honolulu is the largest city in Hawaii, and the state capital. Located on the island of Oahu, the name “Honolulu” translates from Hawaiian as “place of shelter, calm port, sheltered bay”.

61 Taxpayer IDs : SSNS

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So starting in 1986, the IRS made it a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987.

65 Some appliances : GES

The General Electric Company is usually referred to simply as “GE”. One of the precursor companies to GE was Edison General Electric, founded in 1890 by the inventor Thomas Edison. What we know today as GE was formed two years later when Edison merged his company with Charles Coffin’s Thomson-Houston Electric Company. In 1896, GE was selected as one of the 12 companies listed on the newly formed Dow Jones Industrial Average. GE was the last of the original 12 to survive on that list, being replaced by Walgreens in 2018. I spent over ten years with GE at the beginning of my working career, and in fact it was GE that asked me to transfer to the US from Ireland back in the 1980s …

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 King-sized : JUMBO
6 Seat in un parc : BANC
10 Beer party staples : KEGS
14 Scarlett of Tara : O’HARA
15 “Young Frankenstein” aide : IGOR
16 Dark purple berry : ACAI
17 Orson Scott Card sci-fi novel : ENDER’S GAME
19 Pinball no-no : TILT
20 “Anger, fear, aggression: the dark side of the Force are they” speaker : YODA
21 Adopted cat, say : PET
22 Radiant pigment : DAY-GLO
24 Toon spouse with a blue beehive : MARGE SIMPSON
27 Hypotheticals : IFS
30 Old Faithful’s st. : WYO
31 “__ Baby”: “Hair” song : ABIE
32 Beat by a mile : CRUSH
34 Couture initials : YSL
35 Ostrich cousin : RHEA
39 Park warning sign : KEEP OFF THE GRASS
43 Hairy Himalayan : YETI
44 Like King Cole : OLD
45 Kind of node : LYMPH
46 Filmmaker Ephron : NORA
48 Sch. north of Denver : CSU
50 Bean used in nondairy milk : SOY
51 Cheddar shredder : CHEESEGRATER
56 Elizabeth Arden parent company : REVLON
57 Coleridge’s “before” : ERE
58 Harleys, familiarly : HOGS
62 Burn balm : ALOE
63 Go from neutral to reverse … and a hint to each set of circles : SHIFT GEARS
66 Kinds : ILKS
67 Island near Mull : IONA
68 Vermont patriot Allen : ETHAN
69 Leaves : GOES
70 Sweet-talk : COAX
71 Small earrings : STUDS

Down

1 Baby in a pouch : JOEY
2 “Sorry, can’t do it” : UH, NO
3 Alcohol awareness-raising org. : MADD
4 Another name for bluegill : BREAM
5 Dinghy mover : OAR
6 Conceitedness : BIG EGO
7 Playground marble : AGATE
8 When tripled, “Yum!” : NOM
9 Ringing true : CREDIBLE
10 “I Kissed a Girl” singer : KATY PERRY
11 Vaping smokes, briefly : E-CIGS
12 Ernest or Julio of wine fame : GALLO
13 Squelch : SIT ON
18 Agile : SPRY
23 Parisian pal : AMI
25 Dr. Seuss’ “Horton Hears __” : A WHO
26 Merit badge spot : SASH
27 “Gross!” : ICKY!
28 Liberate : FREE
29 Christmas pudding fat : SUET
33 Cowardly : SPINELESS
34 Since Jan. 1 : YTD
36 Unlikely Oscar nominees : HAMS
37 Hockey legend Phil, to fans : ESPO
38 Cinder-covered : ASHY
40 Like much court evidence : FORENSIC
41 “Flying” national symbol : FLAG
42 Modeling adhesive : GLUE
47 Bolivian bruin : OSO
48 Website providing vehicle history reports : CARFAX
49 “Don’t delete” mark : STET
51 Bond portrayer Daniel : CRAIG
52 Greeting word : HELLO
53 Elicit : EVOKE
54 Spanish queen : REINA
55 Scarlett’s Butler : RHETT
59 Island with a U.S. state capital : OAHU
60 One visiting an old prof, perhaps : GRAD
61 Taxpayer IDs : SSNS
64 Boo-__ : HOO
65 Some appliances : GES

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 Apr 21, Tuesday”

  1. 20:07 no errors but I felt like I missed something in the upper middle because I have never in my lifetime heard anyone say NOM NOM NOM to mean yum or anything else for that matter.
    Stay safe😀

  2. Like a lot of you, I don’t equate a triple “NOM” with Yum unless it’s the Cookie Monster thing. Even so, no errors today and no lookups.

  3. Count me in with the “NOM?”

    I would never have read ENDER’S GAME if it hadn’t been recommended by my daughter’s Eng Lit teacher. I was frightened as a teenager by sci-fi “aliens invade the Earth” stories, and of course ENDER’S GAME is an “aliens invade the Earth” story, but it’s so much more. I loved ENDER’S GAME! I enjoyed the subsequent Bean books even more.

  4. Which puzzle are you all referring to? My printed LA Times for 4/13 is the same as Bill’s entries above. No 3x clue at all, nor any NOM stuff.

    1. A bream is a small fresh-water fish and very good eating. You can take care of one with two
      big bites.

  5. @Catherine thanks for the reading suggestion! I’m about to read a Farewell to Arms again just because the Ken Burns/Lynn Nowick documentary on Hemingway has whetted my appetite to read his works again! Taking a week off from work next week and trying to stay out of trouble — Descanso Gardens is on my list as it looked so beautiful in the Spectrum news story about it today! Stay safe everyone!

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