LA Times Crossword 15 Apr 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Mike Peluso
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: It’s a Job

Themed answers each end with a kind of JOB:

  • 36A Comment about routine work … and hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues : IT’S A JOB
  • 17A *Closest to the rail, at Churchill Downs : ON THE INSIDE (giving “inside job”)
  • 53A *It may be used with a grunt or two : ELBOW GREASE (giving “grease job”)
  • 11D *Suzanne Somers’ “Three’s Company” role : CHRISSY SNOW (giving “snow job”)
  • 25D *Barely triumphs : WINS BY A NOSE (giving “nose job”)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Hair-raising experiences? : PERMS

“Perm” is the common name given to a permanent wave, a chemical or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls.

14 Egypt’s Mubarak : HOSNI

Hosni Mubarak was the fourth President of Egypt, taking over after Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981. Mubarak resigned in 2011 in the early months of the Arab Spring after 18 days of public demonstrations. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012, released in 2017, and passed away in 2020.

15 Font that’s a homophone for a mermaid : ARIAL

“The Little Mermaid” is a 1989 animated feature from Disney that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the same name. It tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric. Ariel’s father is chief merman King Triton. Her best friend is Flounder, who despite his name is not a flounder at all and is actually a tropical fish. Ariel is also friends with Sebastian, a red Jamaican crab whose full name is Horatio Thelonious Ignacious Crustaceous Sebastian.

17 *Closest to the rail, at Churchill Downs : ON THE INSIDE (giving “inside job”)

Churchill Downs is a thoroughbred racetrack located in Louisville, Kentucky that is famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby each year. The track is named for John and Henry Churchill who once owned the land on which the course was built.

19 Mitch McConnell’s org. : RNC

National leadership of the Republican Party is provided by the Republican National Committee (RNC). Only one former chairperson of the RNC has been elected to the office of US president, and that was George H. W. Bush.

Senator Mitch McConnell is a Republican Senator who was Majority Leader in the US Senate from 2015 through 2021. McConnell is married to Elaine Chao, who served as Secretary of Labor in the George W. Bush administration, and as Secretary of Transportation in the administration of Donald Trump.

20 Balance sheet category : ASSETS

The balance sheet of a company is a snapshot (single-point-in-time) view of a company’s financial position. The balance sheet lists all the company’s liabilities, all of its assets, and all of its ownership equity. The assets of a company, less its liabilities equals the ownership equity. The term “balance” is used because assets always balance out with the sum of liabilities and shareholder equity.

21 “Love Story” author Segal : ERICH

Erich Segal wrote two hit screenplays, namely “Yellow Submarine” (the Beatles’ animated movie) and “Love Story” (starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw). He wrote the novel “Love Story” after the screenplay. As the novel was published before the film was released, there is a popular misconception that the movie is based on the book.

There’s no doubt that the 1970 movie “Love Story” is one of the great romantic dramas of all time, but I just think Ali MacGraw was hopelessly miscast and really took the shine off the film for me. I know I am in a small minority that holds that view, as she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.

23 The Big Easy, locally : N’AWLINS

Apparently the “N’awlins” pronunciation of “New Orleans” is common, but is usually uttered by tourists. Locals are more likely to say “New Awlins”.

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana has the nickname “The Big Easy”. This name might come from the early 1900s when musicians found it relatively “easy” to find work there. The city is also known by the acronym NOLA, standing for New Orleans (NO), Louisiana (LA).

26 Works : OPUSES

The Latin for “work” is “opus”, with the plural being “opera”. We sometimes use the plural “opuses” in English, but that just annoys me …

28 Refines, as ore : SMELTS

Metals are found in ore in the form of oxides. In order to get pure metal from the ore, the ore is heated and the metal oxides within are reduced (i.e. the oxygen is removed) in the chemical process known as smelting. The oxygen is extracted by adding a source of carbon or carbon monoxide which uses up the excess oxygen atoms to make carbon dioxide, a waste product of smelting (and, a greenhouse gas).

31 “Dandy for your teeth” old toothpaste : IPANA

Ipana toothpaste was introduced in 1915 and was at the height of its popularity in the forties and fifties. Sales declined in the sixties and the product was withdrawn from the US market in the seventies. Bucky Beaver was the “spokesman” for Ipana. Bucky Beaver’s slogan was “Brusha… Brusha… Brusha. Get the New Ipana – it’s dandy for your teeth!” Bucky’s nemesis in commercials was Mr. Decay Germ.

35 Ambulance letters : EMS

Emergency medical services (EMS)

38 Wee, in Dundee : SMA’

The Scots dialect word sma’ means “small”. The word famously appears in the Robert Burns poem, “To a Mouse”. The pertinent lines read:

A daimen icker in a thrave
’S a sma’ request;
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
An’ never miss’t!

which “translates” to:

An occasional ear of corn out of twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I’ll be blest with the rest of the corn,
And never miss the ear you took!

40 Novgorod nos : NYETS

Veliky Novgorod (formerly just “Novgorod”) is located in eastern Russia. It is one of the nation’s oldest cities, and was founded over a thousand years ago. The name “Novgorod” translates as “Newtown”. The term “Veliky” (meaning “Great”) was added to distinguish it from the city of Nizhny Novgorod in central Russian (“Nizhny” translates as “Lower”).

41 Financial news channel : CNBC

CNBC is a business news channel owned by NBC. Launched in 1989, CNBC was known as the Consumer News and Business Channel up until 1991.

42 Judge of baseball, for one : YANKEE

Aaron Judge is a baseball outfielder who was selected as 2017’s American League Rookie of the Year. Judge is a big guy. He weighs 282 pounds, and is 6 foot 7 inches tall.

44 Pakistani metropolis : LAHORE

Lahore is a large city in Pakistan that is second in size only to Karachi. It is known as the Garden of the Mughals (or in English, Moguls) because of its association with the Mughal Empire. The Mughals ruled much of India from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

46 Jolson classic : SWANEE

“Swanee” was written in 1919 by George Gershwin. Gershwin was very young at the time and came up with the music in just ten minutes while riding on a Manhattan bus. Al Jolson was already a star, and he heard Gershwin playing the song at a party. Jolson made a deal to include the song in his show “Sinbad”, and then “Swanee” just took off.

52 Latin 101 verb : AMO

“Amo, amas, amat” translates from Latin as “I love, you love, he/she/it loves”.

53 *It may be used with a grunt or two : ELBOW GREASE (giving “grease job”)

In aviation terms, a grease job is a particularly smooth landing.

58 Network soliciting donors : PBS

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was founded in 1970, and is my favorite of the broadcast networks. I love PBS’s drama and science shows in particular, and always watch election results coming in with the NewsHour team.

60 Stubborn : BALKY

To balk is to stop and refuse to go on. It’s not just a baseball term …

63 Everly Brothers song sleepyhead : SUSIE

“Wake Up, Little Susie” is a song most famously associated with the Everly Brothers, as it was a hit for the duo in 1957. “Wake Up, Little Susie” is, or at least used to be, the favorite song of President George W. Bush.

The Everly Brothers were noted for their steel guitar sound, and their great use of harmony. Their harmony onstage wasn’t reflected off the stage though. In 1973 the brothers decided to pursue separate careers and scheduled a farewell performance attended by many fans, family and stalwarts from the music industry. Don Everly came on stage too drunk to perform, and eventually brother Phil just stormed off into the wings, smashing his guitar as he left. The boys didn’t talk to each other for ten years after that incident. Phil Everly passed away in January 2014.

Down

1 Pi follower : RHO

Rho is the Greek letter that looks just like our Roman letter “p”, although it is equivalent to the Roman letter R.

3 Casper winter hrs. : MST

The Wyoming city of Casper was established just a few miles east of the former site of Fort Caspar, which gave the settlement its name. In turn, Fort Caspar was named for US Army officer Caspar Collins, who was killed in 1865 at the Battle of the Plate Bridge Station. “Platte Bridge Station” was the name of the trading post that had existed at the site of Fort Caspar.

8 Social reformer Jacob : RIIS

Journalist Jacob Riis is famous for his photographs and newspaper articles that highlighted the plight of the impoverished in New York City. He wrote “How the Other Half Lives”, originally an extensive article that appeared in “Scribner’s Magazine” at Christmas 1889. The article had such an impact that Riis was commissioned to expand it into a book, which was published the following year.

9 Magazine with “The Lighter Side of…” features : MAD

“The Lighter Side of…” is a series of comic strips published in “Mad” magazine starting in 1961. The strip was the most famous work from the pen of cartoonist Dave Berg. The series ended in 2002 when Berg passed away.

10 Where apnea might be diagnosed : SLEEP LAB

Sleep apnea (“apnoea” in British English) can be caused by an obstruction in the airways, possibly due to obesity or enlarged tonsils.

11 *Suzanne Somers’ “Three’s Company” role : CHRISSY SNOW (giving “snow job”)

Suzanne Somers is an actress whose big break came playing the ditzy Chrissy Snow on the sitcom “Three’s Company”. When contracts came up for renewal for the cast in the fifth season, the relationship between Somers and the producers soured rapidly. Somers went on a strike of sorts and for most of the fifth season made only token appearances in the show in scenes that were filmed without other members of the regular cast. The Chrissy Snow character was replaced in the sixth season.

13 Many Microsoft employees : TECHS

Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen met and became friends in high school. The Gates was three years younger than Allen, but the pair gravitated towards each other due to a shared interest in computers. One of their first programming projects was to create a computerized version of tic-tac-toe, which they did together on a time-shared computer that was donated to the school by the Mothers’ Association. The two parted company when they graduated and went to different colleges, Allen to Washington State and Gates to Harvard. Allen dropped out of school to start work as a programmer, and he later convinced Gates to drop out of Harvard so that they could create Microsoft.

26 Napa prefix : OENO-

In Greek mythology, Oeno was the goddess of wine, giving us “oeno-” as a prefix meaning “wine”. For example, oenology is the study of wine and an oenophile is a wine-lover.

33 Eclipse shadow : UMBRA

A shadow usually has three distinct parts called the umbra, penumbra and antumbra, with the terms most often used with reference to the shadows cast by celestial bodies. The terms can also be used to describe the levels of darkness in sunspots. The umbra (Latin for “shadow”) is the innermost, darkest part of a shadow. The penumbra (“almost shadow”, from Latin) is a lighter part of a shadow, where part of the light source “leaks” around the body casting the shadow. The antumbra phenomenon is experienced when the object casting the shadow is sufficiently far away from the viewer so that it appears smaller than the light source, with an annular ring around it. When the eye is in the shadow cast by an object that has light passing around it, the eye is in the antumbra.

34 Country singer Musgraves with six Grammys : KACEY

Kacey Musgraves is a country singer from Golden, Texas.

36 Cochlea site : INNER EAR

The cochlea is a spiral structure in the inner ear. Included in the cochlea are hair cells that receive sound vibrations, causing them to move. The movement of the hairs is converted into nerve impulses that are interpreted in the brain.

37 Child : TYKE

“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.

41 Loire Valley sight : CHATEAU

The Loire is the longest river in France. It is so long that it drains one-fifth of the nation’s land mass. The Loire rises in the southeast, in the Cevennes mountain range, then heads north then due west, emptying into the Bay of Biscay at the city of Nantes. The Loire Valley is home to some of France’s most famous wine production, and includes the wine regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Muscadet. It is also home to some of the nation’s most spectacular châteaux. There are over 300 castles along the river, built by French kings and their courtiers.

43 2021, por ejemplo : ANO

In Spanish, “por ejemplo” means “for example”.

44 __ cod: Pacific Coast catch : LING

Lingcod is a fish endemic to North America’s west coast. It somewhat resembles both ling and cod, even though it isn’t related to either species.

46 Fitness magazine : SHAPE

“Shape” is a women’s fitness magazine that has been published since 1981.

54 JFK alternative : LGA

The three big airports serving New York City (NYC) are John F. Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR).

55 Pacino and Capone : ALS

Al Pacino seems to be best known for playing characters on both sides of the law. Pacino’s big break in the movies came when he played Michael Corleone in “The Godfather”, a role that grew for him as the series of films progressed. But his Oscar-winning role was that of a blind ex-military officer in “Scent of a Woman”.

When Al Capone was a young man, he worked as a bouncer in nightclubs and saloons. He was working the door of a Brooklyn night spot one evening when he apparently insulted a woman, sparking off a fight with her brother. In the tussle, Capone’s face was slashed three times. Capone wasn’t too proud of the incident, nor the “Scarface” moniker that he was given as a result. He always hid the scars as best he could when being photographed, and was also fond of telling people that the scars were from old war wounds.

56 Water __ : SKI

The sport of water-skiing dates back to 1922, when it was invented by one Ralph Samuelson on Lake Pepin, located on the Mississippi River near Saint Paul in Minnesota.

57 Hurricane center : EYE

A severe tropical storm is called a hurricane when it occurs in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, a typhoon in the Northwest Pacific, and a cyclone in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. Tropical storms form over warm water, picking up energy from the evaporation from the ocean surface.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Mail in : REMIT
6 Hair-raising experiences? : PERMS
11 Bare-bones sleeper : COT
14 Egypt’s Mubarak : HOSNI
15 Font that’s a homophone for a mermaid : ARIAL
16 Color : HUE
17 *Closest to the rail, at Churchill Downs : ON THE INSIDE (giving “inside job”)
19 Mitch McConnell’s org. : RNC
20 Balance sheet category : ASSETS
21 “Love Story” author Segal : ERICH
23 The Big Easy, locally : N’AWLINS
26 Works : OPUSES
27 Get one’s bearings : ORIENT
28 Refines, as ore : SMELTS
30 Loads : TONS
31 “Dandy for your teeth” old toothpaste : IPANA
32 Guffaw : YUK
35 Ambulance letters : EMS
36 Comment about routine work … and hint to the ends of the answers to starred clues : IT’S A JOB
38 Wee, in Dundee : SMA’
39 Apply gently : DAB
40 Novgorod nos : NYETS
41 Financial news channel : CNBC
42 Judge of baseball, for one : YANKEE
44 Pakistani metropolis : LAHORE
46 Jolson classic : SWANEE
48 Dispensed (with) : DID AWAY
49 Privilege of playing first, in golf : HONOR
50 Kid’s retort : ARE NOT!
52 Latin 101 verb : AMO
53 *It may be used with a grunt or two : ELBOW GREASE (giving “grease job”)
58 Network soliciting donors : PBS
59 Spry : AGILE
60 Stubborn : BALKY
61 Atlanta-to-Charleston dir. : ESE
62 Evaluated : RATED
63 Everly Brothers song sleepyhead : SUSIE

Down

1 Pi follower : RHO
2 Ages and ages : EON
3 Casper winter hrs. : MST
4 Consumes eagerly : INHALES
5 Connects logically : TIES IN
6 See-through sheets : PANES
7 Once, old-style : ERST
8 Social reformer Jacob : RIIS
9 Magazine with “The Lighter Side of…” features : MAD
10 Where apnea might be diagnosed : SLEEP LAB
11 *Suzanne Somers’ “Three’s Company” role : CHRISSY SNOW (giving “snow job”)
12 Prevention unit : OUNCE
13 Many Microsoft employees : TECHS
18 “It __ fair!” : ISN’T
22 Tire track : RUT
23 Famous : NOTED
24 Bakery draw : AROMA
25 *Barely triumphs : WINS BY A NOSE (giving “nose job”)
26 Napa prefix : OENO-
28 Overflow : SPATE
29 Some mil. brass : MAJS
31 “Understood” : I SEE
33 Eclipse shadow : UMBRA
34 Country singer Musgraves with six Grammys : KACEY
36 Cochlea site : INNER EAR
37 Child : TYKE
41 Loire Valley sight : CHATEAU
43 2021, por ejemplo : ANO
44 __ cod: Pacific Coast catch : LING
45 “Totes __!”: really cute : ADORBS
46 Fitness magazine : SHAPE
47 Development sites : WOMBS
48 Like morning grass : DEWED
50 Somewhat : A BIT
51 Part : ROLE
54 JFK alternative : LGA
55 Pacino and Capone : ALS
56 Water __ : SKI
57 Hurricane center : EYE

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Apr 21, Thursday”

  1. Got stuck in the right middle, so had to do some checks.
    Funny how we remember old jingles, like the one for Ipana.
    When I was trying to increase my typing speed, I used to memorize things to practice. One was “Crest has been shown to be an effective decay preventive dentifrice that can be of significant value when used (as directed) in a conscientiously applied program of oral hygiene and regular professional care.” hahaha

  2. 14 mins 46 sec, 3 errors. Felt like this had more than its share of “iffy” fills and poorly-worded clues.

  3. 18:56 1 error that wasn’t where I thought it was

    The theme helped a little.

    SWANEE, IPANA, and SUSIE feel like references to a time before mine.

    OPUSES? YUK!

  4. No errors, but had to guess at Kacey Musgraves because I
    wasn’t sure of CNBC channel. But…I guessed right. First time
    this week I didn’t have dumb errors.

  5. A little quirky for me – 24:00 with 3 googles. For a Thursday puzzle for me I’ll take it.
    38A – SMA, should’ve gotten it
    44A – LAHORE, should have gotten it with crossings

    49D – C’mon – ADORBS ….

  6. ADORBS??? Is that a french word meaning “adorable?”
    “Early 21st century alteration of adorable”… according to online dictionary. Hmm…?

  7. Late to the show but all was quick. Couple of errors in the east grid. Didn’t know LAHORE or LING.

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