LA Times Crossword 19 Apr 21, Monday

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Constructed by: Jana Persky
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Start Directing

Themed answers each start with a direction:

  • 17A Well-suited to a person’s abilities : UP ONE’S ALLEY
  • 62A Unpretentious : DOWN TO EARTH
  • 11D “Correctamundo!” : RIGHT YOU ARE!
  • 25D Made certain : LEFT NO DOUBT

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

Bill’s time: 4m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Pats down in a weapons search : FRISKS

Back in the 1500s, the verb “to frisk” meant “to dance, frolic”, a sense that carries through to our contemporary adjective “frisky”. “Frisk” somehow took on the meaning “pat down in a search” in the late 1700s.

14 __ Beach: Southern California city : LAGUNA

Laguna Beach is a seaside resort city in Orange County in southern California. The city takes its name from nearby Laguna Canyon, and was originally known as Lagonas.

15 Memorable lioness : ELSA

The life story of Elsa the lion was told by game warden Joy Adamson, who had a very close relationship with the lioness from when Elsa was orphaned as a young cub. Adamson wrote the book “Born Free” about Elsa, and then “Living Free” which tells the story of Elsa and her three lion cubs. In the 1966 film based on “Born Free”, Adamson is played by the talented actress Virginia McKenna.

19 Pontiac muscle car : GTO

The initialism “GTO” was used on several touring cars (including a famous Pontiac) and stands for “Gran Turismo Omologato”. Italian car manufacturers started the tradition of calling their luxury performance cars “Gran Turismo”, and calling those cars they approved for racing “Gran Turismo Omologato”. The phrase “gran turismo omologato” translates as “grand touring homologated”, “homologated” being a technical term signifying official approval.

20 One-named “Tik Tok” singer : KESHA

“Kesha” (formerly “Ke$ha”) is the stage name used by singer Kesha Rose Sebert.

21 College-level HS science course : AP CHEM

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

28 Range above 41-Down : ALTO
(41D Range below 28-Across : TENOR)

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

34 Like Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony” : IN F

Ludwig van Beethoven wrote his magnificent Symphony No. 6 (The Pastoral) in the key of F major. He then wrote his shorter Symphony No. 8 in the same key, and referred to it as “my little symphony in F”.

35 Arrow controlled by a mouse : CURSOR

The cursor on a computer screen is named for the cursor on a slide rule, which is the part that slides on the device. In turn, a slide rule cursor was named for an even earlier cursor, which was a running messenger, from the Latin “cursor” meaning “runner, errand boy”.

40 Salad green : LETTUCE

Lettuce is a leaf vegetable in the daisy family.

42 LinkedIn user’s quest : JOB HUNT

LinkedIn is a website used by professionals wishing to network with other professionals. From what I’ve heard, LinkedIn is mainly used by folks looking for a job, and other folks looking for suitable candidates to hire.

45 Fancy fish eggs : CAVIAR

Caviar is the roe of a large fish that has been salted and seasoned, and especially the roe of a sturgeon. Beluga caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon, which is found primarily in the Caspian Sea. It is the most expensive type of caviar in the world. 8 ounces of US-farmed beluga caviar can be purchased through Amazon.com for just over $850, in case you’re feeling peckish …

47 Shapiro of NPR : ARI

Ari Shapiro served very ably as White House correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) for several years. He then became a co-host of the network’s drive-time program “All Things Considered” in 2015. When he’s not working, Shapiro likes to sing. He regularly appears as a guest singer with the group Pink Martini, and has appeared on several of the band’s albums.

50 __ of honor: wedding party VIP : MATRON

The members of the bride’s party in a wedding are the bridesmaids. The principal bridesmaid is the maid of honor. The principal bridesmaid might be referred to as the matron of honor if she is married.

53 Late-night NYC show : SNL

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) was named “NBC’s Saturday Night” during its first season. This was to differentiate it from the ABC show airing at that time, called “Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell”. Chevy Chase uttered the famous line “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night” in the very first SNL episode on October 11, 1975. That careful wording has persisted, even though the NBC show’s name was changed to “Saturday Night Live” after Cosell’s show went off the air in 1976.

56 Like bouquets of roses : FLORAL

“Bouquet” comes from the French word for “bunch” in the sense of “bunch of flowers”. In French, the term is derived from an older word describing a little wood or small grove of trees.

61 Former soccer phenom Freddy : ADU

Freddy Adu is an American soccer player who grew up in Ghana. Adu signed for D.C. United in 2004 when he was only 14 years old. That made him the youngest athlete ever to sign a professional contract in the US.

67 Pen tip : NIB

“Nib” is a Scottish variant of the Old English word “neb”, with both meaning the beak of a bird. This usage of “nib” as a beak dates back to the 14th century, with “nib” meaning the tip of a pen or quill coming a little later, in the early 1600s.

69 Science journal since 1869 : NATURE

“Nature” is a weekly, multidisciplinary scientific journal that has been published since 1869. The magazine is and always has been based in London. The title was chosen by the original publishers from a line by William Wordsworth: “To the solid ground of nature trusts the Mind that builds for aye”.

Down

1 Annual shot target : FLU

Influenza (the “flu”) is an ailment that is caused by a virus. The virus is readily inactivated by the use of soap, so washing hands and surfaces is especially helpful in containing flu outbreaks … and other virus pandemics …

10 Online remittance app : PAYPAL

PayPal is an e-commerce business that has been around since the year 2000, born out of a merger of two older companies: Confinity and X.com. PayPal performs payment processing for online vendors. The company was so successful that it was the first of the beleaguered dot.com companies to successfully complete an IPO after the attacks of 9/11. Then in 2002, PayPal was bought by eBay for a whopping $1.5 billion.

11 “Correctamundo!” : RIGHT YOU ARE!

“Correctamundo” is a slang term meaning “intensely correct”. The use of the word was popularized by the character Fonzy in the sitcom “Happy Days”.

23 Reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit : BOILS

When Gabriel Fahrenheit first defined his temperature scale he set 0 degrees as the temperature of a mixture of ice, water and salt. He defined 100 degrees as the temperature under his wife’s armpit! Using this scale he determined that water boiled at 210 degrees. Later refinements moved the boiling point of water up to 212 degrees, and as a result “body temperature” was shifted downwards to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

24 Sleep disorder : APNEA

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

27 Expressive online image : EMOJI

An emoji is a character found on many cell phones that is much like an emoticon, but is more elaborate. “Emoji” is a Japanese word meaning “picture word”.

30 RN’s workplace : ICU

Registered nurses (RNs) are considered very important people (VIPs) in an intensive care unit (ICU).

31 Stanley of “The Hunger Games” : TUCCI

Stanley Tucci is a UK-based, American actor. Of his many fine performances, my favorite is in 2009’s “Julie & Julia” in which he plays the husband of celebrity chef Julia Child. Tucci is quite the cook himself in real life and released “The Tucci Cookbook” in 2012. He is also a co-owner of the Finch Tavern restaurant in Croton Falls, New York.

“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, and the first in a series of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.

36 Paper purchases : REAMS

A ream is 500 sheets of paper. As there were 24 sheets in a quire, and 20 quires made up a ream, there used to be 480 sheets in a ream. Ever since the standard was changed to 500, a 480-sheet packet of paper has been called a “short ream”. We also use the term “reams” to mean a great amount, evolving from the idea of a lot of printed material.

38 Disgraced energy firm : ENRON

After all the trials following the exposure of fraud at Enron, several of the key players ended up in jail. Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Officer. He plea-bargained and received ten years without parole, and became the key witness in the trials of others. Even Fastow’s wife was involved and she was sentenced to one year for helping her husband hide money. Jeffrey Skilling (ex-CEO) was sentenced to 24 years and 4 months. Kenneth Lay (CEO) died in 2006 after he had been found guilty but before he could be sentenced. The accounting firm Arthur Andersen was found guilty of obstruction of justice for shredding thousands of pertinent documents and deleting emails and files (a decision that the Supreme Court later overturned on a technicality). But still, Arthur Andersen collapsed under the weight of the scandal and 85,000 people lost their jobs (despite only a handful being directly involved with Enron).

43 Half a bikini : BRA

The origin of the word “bikini”, describing a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. My favorite story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment!

46 Only “V” Monopoly avenue not named for a state : VENTNOR

Ventnor Avenue is a property in the game of Monopoly. The street names in the US version of Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey. Ventnor Avenue is named for neighboring Ventnor City. In turn, Ventnor City is named for the coastal resort of Ventnor on the Isle of Wight in England.

49 __ Joe’s : TRADER

Trader Joe’s is a grocery store chain based in Monrovia, California that was founded in 1979 by Joe Coulombe. Trader Joe’s is very popular where I live, even though it stocks less than 10% of the items found in a typical grocery store. 80% of the items on the shelves are sold under a Trader Joe’s brand name, and are obviously chosen well. One of the more successful items is Charles Shaw wine, known as “Two Buck Chuck” here in California as it sold for many years at a price of $1.99.

54 Chin-up muscle, briefly : LAT

The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, and are the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is the Latin for “broadest” and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.

56 Vampire tooth : FANG

Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defines where the body should be pierced. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.

57 Not of sound mind : LOCO

In Spanish, if one isn’t “sano” (sane) one might be described as “loco” (crazy).

59 “007” James : BOND

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number “007” was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th-century English spy named John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

60 Kind of jet : LEAR

Learjet is a company making business jets that was founded in 1960 by William Powell Lear. The original Learjet was a modified Swiss ground-attack fighter aircraft.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Pats down in a weapons search : FRISKS
7 Gather, as crops : REAP
11 Theater ticket word : ROW
14 __ Beach: Southern California city : LAGUNA
15 Memorable lioness : ELSA
16 Imprecise suffix : -ISH
17 Well-suited to a person’s abilities : UP ONE’S ALLEY
19 Pontiac muscle car : GTO
20 One-named “Tik Tok” singer : KESHA
21 College-level HS science course : AP CHEM
23 Bundle of hay : BALE
26 Kid’s riddle: “Why is six afraid of seven?” “Because seven __ nine!” : ATE
28 Range above 41-Down : ALTO
29 Gift giver’s eager urging : OPEN IT!
32 Hire : EMPLOY
34 Like Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony” : IN F
35 Arrow controlled by a mouse : CURSOR
37 Little piggies : TOES
40 Salad green : LETTUCE
42 LinkedIn user’s quest : JOB HUNT
44 Of sound mind : SANE
45 Fancy fish eggs : CAVIAR
47 Shapiro of NPR : ARI
48 Punctual : ON TIME
50 __ of honor: wedding party VIP : MATRON
52 Smell : ODOR
53 Late-night NYC show : SNL
55 Tenant’s payment : RENT
56 Like bouquets of roses : FLORAL
58 Dining room piece : TABLE
61 Former soccer phenom Freddy : ADU
62 Unpretentious : DOWN TO EARTH
67 Pen tip : NIB
68 Reverberate : ECHO
69 Science journal since 1869 : NATURE
70 Obtain : GET
71 Lion’s warning : ROAR
72 What there may not be “in the house” during a tearjerker : DRY EYE

Down

1 Annual shot target : FLU
2 Knock (on) : RAP
3 “Here __ again!” : I GO
4 Submerged : SUNKEN
5 Joint above the ankle : KNEE
6 Cheeky talk : SASS
7 Tells, as a story : RELATES
8 Building wing : ELL
9 On the ocean : ASEA
10 Online remittance app : PAYPAL
11 “Correctamundo!” : RIGHT YOU ARE!
12 Bone: Pref. : OSTEO-
13 “To __ it may concern” : WHOM
18 “Figured it out!” : AHA!
22 Fabric : CLOTH
23 Reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit : BOILS
24 Sleep disorder : APNEA
25 Made certain : LEFT NO DOUBT
27 Expressive online image : EMOJI
30 RN’s workplace : ICU
31 Stanley of “The Hunger Games” : TUCCI
33 Golf tournament kickoff : PRO-AM
36 Paper purchases : REAMS
38 Disgraced energy firm : ENRON
39 Period of work : STINT
41 Range below 28-Across : TENOR
43 Half a bikini : BRA
46 Only “V” Monopoly avenue not named for a state : VENTNOR
49 __ Joe’s : TRADER
51 Peace agreement : TREATY
52 Song from the past : OLDIE
54 Chin-up muscle, briefly : LAT
56 Vampire tooth : FANG
57 Not of sound mind : LOCO
59 “007” James : BOND
60 Kind of jet : LEAR
63 “Huh!?” : WHA?!
64 Regret : RUE
65 The old college __ : TRY
66 Giggle sound : HEE

9 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Apr 21, Monday”

  1. Easy Monday. Had “arm” before FLU.
    GTO and PRO AM should be abbrev.
    Did not actuallyknow ADU, PRO AM, KESHA, NATURE. I’ll have to check out that magazine.

  2. Fun puzzle!
    For the theme, it seemed to me to be no so much a direction, but the location of the long answer: “up” is at the top of the puzzle, “left” was on the left side, etc.

  3. 5:17

    A delightful puzzle on any day. Having the direction words in the correct quadrants is so pleasing.

  4. Greetings!!🤗

    Easy Monday, altho I stumbled around for awhile trying to get LEFT NO DOUBT….had I looked for the theme I would have solved that one more quickly.

    I also notice that CURSOR is (almost) dead center in the puzzle. Seems like a wink at the theme.

    Be well~~⚾️

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