LA Times Crossword 21 Apr 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Matt Skoczen
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Gimme

Themed answers each start with something that might follow “GIMME …”:

  • 17A *Lamb Chop, e.g. : HAND PUPPET (“Gimme a hand”)
  • 31A *Start a number : BREAK INTO SONG (“Gimme a break”)
  • 48A *Sheriff Woody’s sidekick : BUZZ LIGHTYEAR (“Gimme a buzz”)
  • 64A *Spoken language, in semiotics : SIGN SYSTEM (“Gimme a sign”)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 34s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Formal ties : ASCOTS

An ascot is a wide tie that narrows at the neck, which these days is only really worn at weddings or part of a dress uniform. The tie takes its name from the Royal Ascot horse race at which punters still turn up in formal wear at Ascot Racecourse in England.

7 Corp. homes : HQS

Headquarters (HQ)

We use the term “quarters” for a place of abode, especially housing for military personnel. Back in the late 16th century, quarters were a portion (quarter) of a town reserved for a military force.

10 Govt. farming monitor : 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.

14 Symphony type pioneered by Beethoven : CHORAL

Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” is his wonderful “Choral” symphony. When it was composed in 1824 it was the first time that a major composer had used voices in a symphony. By the time of the Ninth’s premier, Beethoven was essentially deaf. He insisted on sharing the stage with the musical director (who was conducting), and was visibly counting out time but was off by quite a few measures. When the last notes were played there was enthusiastic applause, although Beethoven was still conducting. The lead contralto had to walk over to Beethoven, stop him, and turn him to the audience to receive his adulation.

15 Agreement that sounds like fun? : OUI

I guess “oui” sounds like “whee!”

In French, a response on “un questionnaire” (a questionnaire) might be “oui” (yes) or “non” (no).

16 Clogging is one of its two st. dances : N CAR

The states of North and South Carolina are referred to collectively as “the Carolinas”. Before statehood, the Carolinas were known as the Province of the Carolinas. The province was given the name in honor of King Charles II of England (“Carolinus” is Latin for Charles). The father of Charles II, Charles I, had given a land grant for the area in the name of “Corolana”. Earlier still, French settlers called the region “Caroline”, in honor of King Charles IX of France.

17 *Lamb Chop, e.g. : HAND PUPPET (“Gimme a hand”)

Shari Lewis was the original puppeteer behind the PBS children’s show “Lamb Chop”. After Shari Lewis died in 1998, her daughter Mallory took over the role of puppeteer on the show.

19 Laura with an Oscar : DERN

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of the actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura Dern played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

26 DJIA listings : COS

Company (co.)

Dow Jones & Company was founded as a publishing house in 1882 by three newspaper reporters, Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Today, the company’s most famous publication has to be “The Wall Street Journal”. In 1884, Charles Dow started reporting the average dollar value of the stock of eleven companies, an index which spawned a whole host of metrics that carry the Dow Jones name to this day. The most famous of these metrics is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), also known as “the Dow 30” or simply “the Dow”.

29 Candy cup creator : REESE

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented by Harry Burnett “HB” Reese. Peanut Butter Cups were originally called penny cups, reflecting the price at which they were sold. Then inflation took over, and maybe that’s why they were broken into smaller “Pieces” …

35 Forbes competitor : INC

“Inc.” is a business magazine that specializes in articles about growing companies. “Inc.” publishes a list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the country each year, calling it the “Inc. 500”. The “Inc. 5000” is an expanded list also published by the magazine.

36 Legal encumbrance : LIEN

A lien is a right that one has to retain or secure someone’s property until a debt is paid. When an individual takes out a car loan, for example, the lending bank is usually a lien holder. The bank releases the lien on the car when the loan is paid in full.

37 Holiday drink : NOG

It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.

38 Lions and tigers and … not bears : BIG CATS

The four “big cats” are the tiger, lion, jaguar and leopard. The largest of the big cats is the tiger, and the smallest is the leopard.

44 Busy-bee link : … AS A …

A simile is a figure of speech in which a comparison is made between two things that are unalike. For example, a person might be described as “cute as a kitten” or as “busy as a bee”.

45 “Très __” : BIEN

“Very good” is written as “sehr gut” in German, and as “très bien” in French.

47 GPS info : RTE

A global positioning system (GPS) might point out a route (rte.).

48 *Sheriff Woody’s sidekick : BUZZ LIGHTYEAR (“Gimme a buzz”)

1995’s “Toy Story” was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. “Toy Story” was also the studio Pixar’s first production. The main roles in the film are Buzz Lightyear and Woody, who are voiced by Tim Allen and Tom Hanks respectively. Hanks was the first choice to voice Woody, but Allen was asked to voice Buzz after Billy Crystal turned down the role.

52 “Silas Marner” child : EPPIE

“Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe” is a novel written by George Eliot and first published in 1861. There’s an excellent BBC TV version of the tale (shown on PBS) starring Ben Kingsley in the title role, with Patsy Kensit playing Eppie, the young orphaned child that Marner takes under his wing.

53 Plaza de toros cry : OLE!

We translate the Spanish phrase “Plaza de Toros” as “bullring”, and bullfighting is known as “corrida de toros” in Spain. Bullfighting can also be seen in Portugal, southern France and in parts of Latin America.

54 Lily pad squatter : FROG

Water lilies have leaves and flowers that float on the surface of a body of water. However, the roots of the plant are embedded in soil, soil at the bottom of the pond or lake.

57 Sap : PATSY

The etymology of the word “patsy” meaning “fall guy” isn’t really understood. One colorful theory suggests that the term comes from an 1890s vaudeville character named Patsy Bolivar. Patsy always got the blame when something went wrong.

“Sap” is slang for “fool, someone easily scammed”. The term arose in the early 1800s in Britain when it was used in “saphead” and “sapskull”. All these words are derived from “sapwood”, which is the softwood found in tree trunks between the bark and the heartwood at the center.

62 Team’s lack, in a cliché : AN I

There’s no “I” in “team”.

63 Scot’s swimming spot : LOCH

“Loch” is the Scottish-Gaelic word for “lake”. The Irish-Gaelic word is “lough”, and the Welsh word is “llyn”.

64 *Spoken language, in semiotics : SIGN SYSTEM (“Gimme a sign”)

Semiotics is a branch of linguistics, the study of signs and symbols.

68 Tennis great who wrote “Days of Grace” : ASHE

The great American tennis player Arthur Ashe spent the last years of his life writing his memoir called “Days of Grace”. He finished the manuscript just a few days before he passed away, dying from AIDS caused by a tainted blood transfusion.

69 First lady not married to a president? : EVE

According to the Bible, Eve was created as Adam’s companion by God, creating her from Adam’s rib.

70 1996 slasher film : SCREAM

The first installment of the “Scream” franchise of horror films was released in 1996. Each movie features a murderer who adopts the persona of “Ghostface”, a man wearing a mask that resembles the subject in the Edvard Munch painting “The Scream”. Even though the murderer behind the mask changes in each film, the victim is always Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell.

71 “To __ not … ” : BE OR

There has been centuries of debate about how one interprets Hamlet’s soliloquy that begins “To be or not to be …”. My favorite opinion is that Hamlet is weighing up the pros and cons of suicide (“to not be”).

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles …

Down

1 Workout aftermath : ACHES

The suffix “math” evolved from an Old English word meaning “a mowing, cutting of grass”. So, as strange as it seems, an aftermath was a second crop of grass grown after harvesting the first. An aftermath was also known as an aftergrass or an aftercrop. By the 16th century, the term “aftermath” was being used figuratively to mean “period following a ruinous event”. That’s quite a leap …

3 Chitchat : CONFAB

“Confab”, meaning “chat” is a shortened form of “confabulation”. The word “confabulation” derives from the Latin from “com” (together) and “fabula” (a tale). “Fabula” is also the root of our word “fable”.

4 O’Hare, on tix : ORD

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

5 Chorizo snack : TAPA

“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”. There is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

Chorizo is a type of pork sausage that is made with different recipes around the world. The term “chorizo” originated in the Iberian Peninsula.

13 Valiant’s son : ARN

In the comic strip “Prince Valiant”, Arn is the eldest son of the title character, and Aleta is his wife. Edward, Duke of Windsor, once declared that “Prince Valiant” comic strip the “greatest contribution to English Literature in the past one hundred years”. I’m not so sure …

23 Rotate so the palm faces down or backward : PRONATE

“Pronation” is the medical term for rotation of the forearm.

25 __-a-brac : BRIC

“Bric-a-brac” is a French phrase (actually “bric-à-brac”) that was used as far back as the 16th century. Back then, it was a nonsense term meaning “at random” or “any old way”. Since Victorian times we have used the phrase in English to describe a collection of curios, statues and the like. In modern usage, bric-a-brac tends to be a selection of cheaper items.

28 Tizzy : SNIT

The exact etymology of “snit”, meaning “fit of temper”, isn’t really known. The term was first used in print in the play “Kiss the Boys Goodbye” by Clare Boothe Luce, which dates back to the 1930s and is set in the American South.

30 French Toaster Sticks brand : EGGO

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles and related products made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

34 Towel material : TERRY

Terry cloth is a fabric designed to absorb lots of liquid. The fabric has relatively large loops of thread that improve the absorption properties. The larger the loop, the more thread, the better the absorption.

38 Ruth on a diamond : BABE

Jack Dunn was the owner/manager of the Baltimore Orioles back in 1913, when he signed on George Herman Ruth as a pitcher. The other players called Ruth “Jack’s newest babe”, and the name “Babe” stuck.

40 Andalusian vegetable soup served cold : GAZPACHO

Gazpacho is a cold soup made from vegetables in a tomato base. It originated in Andalusia in southern Spain.

Andalusia (“Andalucía” in Spanish) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities in the Kingdom of Spain, and is the most southerly. The capital of Andalusia is the old city of Seville. The name Andalusia comes from its Arabic name, Al-Andalus, reflecting the region’s history as the center of Muslim power in Iberia during medieval times.

41 Bell-shaped lily : SEGO

The sego lily is the state flower of Utah, and is a perennial plant found throughout the Western United States.

46 Org. with Jets and Flyers : NHL

Winnipeg’s professional hockey team is the Winnipeg Jets. The team was founded as the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999 and relocated to Winnipeg in 2011. The new team name was chosen in honor of the Manitoba city’s former professional hockey team called the Jets, a franchise that was founded in 1972 but relocated to become the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996.

The Philadelphia Flyers hockey team was founded in 1967. The team’s name was chosen using a “name-the-team” fan contest.

49 Instrument laid flat during play : ZITHER

The zither is a stringed instrument, one in which the strings do not extend beyond the bounds of the sounding box. That means that the instrument has no neck, unlike a guitar say.

55 “Paper Moon” Oscar winner : O’NEAL

Tatum O’Neal is the youngest actress to win a competitive Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress Award in 1974 when she was just 10 years old, for her role as Addie in “Paper Moon”. The youngest person to win an honorary Academy Award was Shirley Temple, who was only 5 years old when she was presented with an Oscar in 1934.

58 River of Flanders : YSER

The Yser river flows into the North Sea at Nieuwpoort in the Flemish province of West Flanders in Belgium.

60 YWCA part: Abbr. : ASSN

The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) was founded in the mid-1800s about 50 years after the YMCA, although the two organizations have always been independent of each other. Having said that, some YWCA and YMCA organizations have amalgamated at the local level and often share facilities. The YWCA is quite the organization, and is the largest women’s group in the whole world.

61 1997 Mattel acquisition : TYCO

The Tyco brand of toys was founded in 1926 as Mantua Metal Products by John Tyler. The first products made were scale model trains using die-cast metal. The company introduced the Tyco brand in the fifties, with “Tyco” standing for “Tyler Company”.

63 Chem class part : LAB

Our term “laboratory”, often shortened to “lab”, comes from the Medieval Latin word “laboratorium” meaning “place for labor, work”. This in turn comes from the Latin verb “laborare” meaning “to work”.

67 Sellout letters : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Formal ties : ASCOTS
7 Corp. homes : HQS
10 Govt. farming monitor : USDA
14 Symphony type pioneered by Beethoven : CHORAL
15 Agreement that sounds like fun? : OUI
16 Clogging is one of its two st. dances : N CAR
17 *Lamb Chop, e.g. : HAND PUPPET (“Gimme a hand”)
19 Laura with an Oscar : DERN
20 Holiday aide : ELF
21 Back : AGO
22 Decisiveness : SPINE
24 Hunk : SLAB
26 DJIA listings : COS
29 Candy cup creator : REESE
31 *Start a number : BREAK INTO SONG (“Gimme a break”)
35 Forbes competitor : INC
36 Legal encumbrance : LIEN
37 Holiday drink : NOG
38 Lions and tigers and … not bears : BIG CATS
42 Swap with, as in a player-for-player deal : TRADE TO
44 Busy-bee link : … AS A …
45 “Très __” : BIEN
47 GPS info : RTE
48 *Sheriff Woody’s sidekick : BUZZ LIGHTYEAR (“Gimme a buzz”)
52 “Silas Marner” child : EPPIE
53 Plaza de toros cry : OLE!
54 Lily pad squatter : FROG
57 Sap : PATSY
59 Erode, with “away” : EAT …
62 Team’s lack, in a cliché : AN I
63 Scot’s swimming spot : LOCH
64 *Spoken language, in semiotics : SIGN SYSTEM (“Gimme a sign”)
68 Tennis great who wrote “Days of Grace” : ASHE
69 First lady not married to a president? : EVE
70 1996 slasher film : SCREAM
71 “To __ not … ” : BE OR
72 Lunch bread : RYE
73 Pasta unit : NOODLE

Down

1 Workout aftermath : ACHES
2 Word of intent : SHALL
3 Chitchat : CONFAB
4 O’Hare, on tix : ORD
5 Chorizo snack : TAPA
6 Belt : SLUG
7 Word with hip or bunny : -HOP
8 Hernando’s “Huh?” : QUE?
9 Has a capacity of, as a diner : SITS
10 Briefs : UNDIES
11 33-Down start, usually : SCENE ONE
12 Wouldn’t dream of it : DARES NOT
13 Valiant’s son : ARN
18 Indented blemish : POCK
23 Rotate so the palm faces down or backward : PRONATE
25 __-a-brac : BRIC
27 Kind of lamp : OIL
28 Tizzy : SNIT
30 French Toaster Sticks brand : EGGO
32 Provides with the means : ENABLES
33 Intermission follower, perhaps : ACT II
34 Towel material : TERRY
38 Ruth on a diamond : BABE
39 “Sure, probably” : I SUPPOSE
40 Andalusian vegetable soup served cold : GAZPACHO
41 Bell-shaped lily : SEGO
43 Ignoring, with “to” : DEAF …
46 Org. with Jets and Flyers : NHL
49 Instrument laid flat during play : ZITHER
50 Many a freshman : TEEN
51 Like 70-Across : R-RATED
55 “Paper Moon” Oscar winner : O’NEAL
56 Tot’s sassy demand … or a hint to the start of the answers to starred clues : GIMME!
58 River of Flanders : YSER
60 YWCA part: Abbr. : ASSN
61 1997 Mattel acquisition : TYCO
63 Chem class part : LAB
65 Climbing greenery : IVY
66 “Wow!” : GEE!
67 Sellout letters : SRO

15 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Apr 21, Wednesday”

    1. “I went 10 days ago.” I not only have no problem with that sentence, but I actually would use it in every day language, oral or written.

  1. Easy Wednesday puzzle…either that or my mind was working in
    sync with the setter. No errors or lookups.

  2. 9:05

    Steady fill. Theme didn’t really gel in my mind until after I was done. Is “gimme a buzz” what we say now instead of “gimme a ring?”

    @Carrie, I hear you on some of those audiobook readers. I highly recommend looking into the Rivers of London series, by Ben Aaronovitch. The narrator, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, is wonderful.

    1. Pam – Right?! Some are terrible!! Thanks for the tip – I will check it out!🤗
      BTW – Enjoyed your Friday comments about ERDOS and between you and Bill I learned something! “Hungarian mathematician” is exactly the type of clue that puts me in a PANIC….!!!

  3. 10 minutes, 37 seconds, no errors. Never really felt like I was on firm footing with this puzzle… kept me off balance… and then, suddenly, it was done.

  4. No errors or Googles, but did not know NCAR, COS, SCREAM, TAPA, PRONATE.
    Is sign language, or visual signs, referred to as a “spoken” language?
    I think I wouldhave caught the theme sooner if Matt had referenced t the article “a” after GIMME. But, I got it eventually.

  5. Kind of tricky for a Wednesday; took me 22:18 with one dumb error. I decided to hunt for it and spent a few minutes without finding it, so I did a “check-grid” and it was QUi/…PUPPiT.

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