LA Times Crossword 24 Apr 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 8m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Fight stopper : KAYO

A kayo is a knockout (KO).

14 Vonnegut literary device : IRONY

Kurt Vonnegut was a writer from Indianapolis whose most famous work is probably the novel “Slaughterhouse-Five” from 1969. Beyond his writing, Vonnegut was noted for his support of the American Civil Liberties Union and American Humanist Association. Kurt had a brother who made a big contribution to society. Bernard Vonnegut was the atmospheric scientist who discovered that silver iodide could be used to seed clouds and artificially create rain.

15 Old-fashioned leaves? : HIES

To hie is to move quickly, to bolt.

16 Polynesian beverage : KAVA

Kava is a plant found in the western Pacific. Its roots are used to make an intoxicating drink also called kava, which acts as a sedative.

17 Comic-Con attendees : NERDS

San Diego’s Comic-Con was founded in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention. Held over four days each summer, apparently Comic-Con is the largest show in North America.

20 Self-declared republic in Ukraine : DONETSK

The Donetsk People’s Republic declared independence from Ukraine in 2014.

22 Breakfast on the go, perhaps : POP-TART

Pop-Tart is the most successful single brand for the Kellogg company, as millions of the sugary treats are sold every year. The US Military bought quite a few in 2001, and dropped 2.4 million Pop-Tarts into Afghanistan during the invasion after 9/11.

27 Blue Jays, in crawls : TOR

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball franchise was founded in 1977. The Blue Jays are the only team based outside the US to have won a World Series, doing so in 1992 and 1993. And since the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, the Blue Jays are the only Major League Baseball team now headquartered outside of the US.

29 Omega, to an electrician : OHM

The unit of electrical resistance is the ohm (with the symbol omega) named after German physicist Georg Simon Ohm. Ohm was the guy who established experimentally that the amount of current flowing through a circuit is directly proportional to the voltage applied, (V=IR) a relationship that every school kid knows as Ohm’s Law.

32 Bass appendage : FIN

The freshwater and marine species of fish called bass resemble perch. The word “bass” comes from the Middle English “bars” meaning “perch”.

33 Residential cliché : HOME SWEET HOME

“Home! Sweet Home!” is a song that has been around at least since 1827. The melody was composed by Englishman Sir Henry Bishop, using lyrics written by American John Howard Payne.

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home;
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which seek thro’ the world, is ne’er met elsewhere.
Home! Home!
Sweet, sweet home!
There’s no place like home
There’s no place like home!

38 It gets last licks : POPSICLE STICK

The term “ice pop” has largely been supplanted in the US by “popsicle”, as the Popsicle brand of ice pop became so popular. We still use “ice pop” in Ireland, and in the UK the same thing is called an “ice lolly”, and in Australia it’s an “ice block”.

40 Ad trailer? : … HOC

The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and disbanded after making its final report.

41 Rival sch. of Duke : UNC

The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill started enrolling students way back in 1795, making it the first public university in the country to open its door to students.

42 What closers often open, with “the” : … NINTH

That would be baseball.

47 Some fancy sheepskin boots : UGGS

Uggs are sheepskin boots that were first produced in Australia and New Zealand. The original Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. “Ugg” is a generic term Down Under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

54 It helps a mouse communicate : USB PORT

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard dealing with how computers and electronic devices connect and communicate, and deal with electrical power through those connections.

The computer mouse was invented at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963, by one Douglas Engelbart. Sadly for him, his patent ran out before mice became standard equipment on computers, so he never made any money from his amazing invention.

56 Candy in a roll : LIFE SAVER

Life Savers were introduced in 1912. The candy was created by Clarence Crane who contracted a pill manufacturer to press his formulation for mints into shape. The pill manufacturer found that the pieces of candy were produced more easily if a hole was stamped in the middle. The Life Saver name was chosen as the candy had the same shape as lifebuoys.

58 Difficult high school sci. course : AP BIO

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.

59 Subj. for Janet Yellen : ECON

The economist Janet Yellen was appointed Chair of the Federal Reserve in 2014 by President Obama. When her appointment was confirmed by the US Senate, Yellen became the first woman to hold the position. In the Biden administration, Yellen became the first woman to hold the post of Secretary of the Treasury.

60 Pixar clownfish : NEMO

“Finding Nemo” is a 2003 animated blockbuster from Pixar. The film was the winner of the Oscar that year for Best Animated Feature. Believe it or not, “Finding Nemo” is the best-selling DVD of all time and, until 2010’s “Toy Story 3”, it was the highest-grossing, G-rated movie at the box office.

Clownfish are very colorful, attractive-looking fish. They are orange and often have broad strips of white and black on their bodies depending on species. Clownfish spend their lives in a symbiotic relationship with sea anemones.

61 Latin lover’s declaration : TE AMO

“I love you” translates into “te amo” in Spanish, “Ich liebe dich” in German, and “je t’aime” in French.

63 Fangorn Forest creatures : ENTS

Fangorn Forest is a location in the fictional world of Middle-earth created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Notably, it is the home of the Ents, a race of beings who closely resemble trees.

Down

1 Many an Indian : HINDU

Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.

2 Two-wafer snacks : OREOS

There is an “official” competition involving Oreo cookies, in case anyone is interested in participating. A competitor has to take several steps to finish an OREO Lick Race:

  1. Twist open the cookie.
  2. Lick each half clean of creme.
  3. Show the clean cookie halves to the fellow competitors.
  4. Dunk the cookie halves in a glass of milk.
  5. Eat the cookie halves.
  6. Drink the milk.
  7. Ready, set, go …

3 Mezzo Marilyn : HORNE

Marilyn Horne is a mezzo-soprano opera singer from Bradford, Pennsylvania. Her first major engagement was to dub the female lead voice in the 1954 film “Carmen Jones”.

4 Sneaky currents : UNDERTOWS

Undertows are coastal under-currents that flow away from the land, in the opposite direction to encroaching waves. The presence of undertows is practically inevitable, as the water brought in by waves has to recede.

5 Computer game title island : MYST

In the days when I played the occasional video game, the best of the bunch was undoubtedly Myst. It is a game full of puzzles with the player wandering through a beautifully-designed (for its day) interactive world.

6 Base shade? : KHAKI

“Khaki” is an Urdu word that translates literally as “dusty”. The word was adopted for its current use as the name of a fabric by the British cavalry in India in the mid-1800s.

8 It acquired SeatMe in 2013 : YELP

SeatMe is an online reservation service that has been owned and operated by Yelp since 2013.

yelp.com is a website that provides a local business directory and reviews of services. The site is sort of like Yellow Pages on steroids, and the term “yelp” is derived from “yel-low p-ages”.

9 Bone on a menu : OSSO

“Osso” is the Italian word for bone, as in the name of the dish “osso buco” (bone with a hole), which features braised veal shanks.

10 Husky relative : AKITA

The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.

11 Piece of silver : SALAD FORK

Our word “salad” comes from the Latin “salare” meaning “to salt”. The Latin “herba salata” translates as “salted vegetables”, which I guess could be a salad …

19 Letters on a dashboard : MPH

Back in the 1800s, “dashboard” was the name given to a board placed at the front of a carriage to stop mud from “dashing” against the passengers in the carriage, mud that was kicked up by the hoofs of the horses. Quite interesting …

36 Slightly malfunctioned : HICCUPPED

Hiccups is a series of forced intakes of breath, the result of spasms in the muscles of the chest and throat. The most common cause of hiccups is some sort of irritation to the stomach or oesophagus, usually taking place while eating. Apparently, we don’t really understand the reason why we hiccup, but a favored suggestion is that it may be something that we inherited from our ancestors of long ago who didn’t stand up quite as straight as we do. Gravity helps us swallow our food, but animals who walk on all fours don’t have that advantage as the food moves horizontally down the throat and into the stomach. Such beasts are in greater need of an involuntary hiccup should some food get stuck. Just a theory …

37 Caribbean island country : DOMINICA

Dominica is an island nation in the Caribbean, one not to be confused with the Dominican Republic. Christopher Columbus and his crew first spotted the island on a Sunday. Columbus named it “Dominica”, as “dominica” is Latin for “Sunday”.

43 16th-century council setting : TRENT

Trento is a city in northern Italy that is famous as the host of the 16th-century Council of Trent held by the Roman Catholic Church. This Ecumenical Council meeting was held largely in response to the growing Protestant Reformation. The decisions made at the Council of Trent led to the Counter-Reformation, the revival of the Catholic church over the following 100 years.

46 Mark replacements : EUROS

One of the currencies replaced by the euro was Germany’s Deutsche Mark (known as “deutschmark” in English).

48 Evacuee’s emergency kit : GO-BAG

A bug-out bag (also “go-bag”) is a portable collection of items that one would grab when evacuating from a disaster. One well-accepted guideline is that a bug-out bag contains all that would be needed to survive for 72 hours. A related kit is a get-home bag that might be kept in one’s car or place of work. A get-home bag contains the items needed to get back home in the absence of public transportation. My wife and I put together bug-out bags recently, having moved into an area that is at high risk for wildfires …

49 Tide target : GRIME

Tide is a laundry detergent that has been made by Procter & Gamble since 1946. Back then, Tide was marketed as “America’s Washday Favorite”.

57 Home delivery asst., perhaps : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Yielding no interest? : HO-HUM
6 Fight stopper : KAYO
10 Beginning on : AS OF
14 Vonnegut literary device : IRONY
15 Old-fashioned leaves? : HIES
16 Polynesian beverage : KAVA
17 Comic-Con attendees : NERDS
18 Happy : ALL SMILES
20 Self-declared republic in Ukraine : DONETSK
22 Breakfast on the go, perhaps : POP-TART
23 No real friend : USER
24 Shop __ you drop : ‘TIL
26 Lacked alternatives : HAD TO
27 Blue Jays, in crawls : TOR
29 Omega, to an electrician : OHM
32 Bass appendage : FIN
33 Residential cliché : HOME SWEET HOME
37 How a close race may go : DOWN TO THE WIRE
38 It gets last licks : POPSICLE STICK
39 “__ dreaming?” : AM I
40 Ad trailer? : … HOC
41 Rival sch. of Duke : UNC
42 What closers often open, with “the” : … NINTH
45 Cool : HEP
47 Some fancy sheepskin boots : UGGS
51 Make an impression on? : ENGRAVE
54 It helps a mouse communicate : USB PORT
56 Candy in a roll : LIFE SAVER
58 Difficult high school sci. course : AP BIO
59 Subj. for Janet Yellen : ECON
60 Pixar clownfish : NEMO
61 Latin lover’s declaration : TE AMO
62 Pointed missile : DART
63 Fangorn Forest creatures : ENTS
64 Barely avoided tying : EDGED

Down

1 Many an Indian : HINDU
2 Two-wafer snacks : OREOS
3 Mezzo Marilyn : HORNE
4 Sneaky currents : UNDERTOWS
5 Computer game title island : MYST
6 Base shade? : KHAKI
7 Afflict : AIL
8 It acquired SeatMe in 2013 : YELP
9 Bone on a menu : OSSO
10 Husky relative : AKITA
11 Piece of silver : SALAD FORK
12 Extended work period : OVERTIME
13 Bit of deceit : FAST ONE
19 Letters on a dashboard : MPH
21 Period of time : STRETCH
25 Like landlines, nowadays : LOW-TECH
28 Official hotel of the PGA Tour : OMNI
30 Sneaky snickers : HEHS
31 Informal get-togethers : MEETUPS
33 Anticipating : HOPING FOR
34 With no assistance : SOLO
35 __ bed : TWIN
36 Slightly malfunctioned : HICCUPPED
37 Caribbean island country : DOMINICA
38 Like some office walls : PANELED
43 16th-century council setting : TRENT
44 Attacks, with “at” : HAS …
46 Mark replacements : EUROS
48 Evacuee’s emergency kit : GO-BAG
49 Tide target : GRIME
50 Got off one’s rocker? : STOOD
52 Windmill part : VANE
53 Tied up : EVEN
55 Lessen in intensity : BATE
57 Home delivery asst., perhaps : EMT

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 Apr 21, Saturday”

  1. 5:25, no errors. Amazing how so many of these puzzles can be maddeningly inconsistent. It’s it Saturday or Monday?

  2. @glen AGREED. This one was a fast track. Slowed down in NW section. HORNE and DONETSK were a bit of trial and error until the crosses fit.

    @BILL – might want to take a look at the word OESOPHAGUS in your 36D explanation. Should it be ESOPHAGUS??

  3. Pretty typical hard Saturday puzzle. No errors, but had to look
    up the Ukrainian republic and Janet Yellen. For me, the long
    answers were the easiest.

  4. LAT: Less than 20 minutes. Way too easy for Saturday (unless I’m really improving, which I don’t think so). Only really unsure of “uggs” and “go bag.” A few others (e.g., “donetsk,” and “yelp”) were easily solved by surrounding answers.

  5. Shouldn’t the answer for the clue cool be hip, not hep. According to the latest dictionary hep means old-fashioned. I did read that hip may have originated from hep, but that is disputed.

  6. Easy puzzle for a Saturday. To me Saturday puzzles are the most fun because they seem to always have extra clever clues.

  7. 20:06 no errors…I thought I made good time for a Saturday until I read the other times posted…it is what it is.⏱
    Stay safe😀

  8. Well, that was fast: I got through the first 15 clues in either direction, and they were all worse than worthless. I did not fill in a single square.

    So, I suppose we are getting close to a time when we will get puzzles so impenetrable that we’ll be expected to read the constructor’s mind.

  9. A while back, some comments were posted here about Newsday’s “Saturday Stumpers”, which have now become just “Themeless Saturdays” and are usually a good deal easier than they were before. Well … hmmm … I think today’s Newsday puzzle is an echo from the past! Late last night, I spent 19 minutes on it and got pretty much nowhere. Today, I spent another 49:29 on it, corrected all the errors I’d made in that first ill-advised 19 minutes, and managed to finish, with no errors, but I’d say the cluing was pretty difficult. (Either that, or I’m just having yet another serious attack of senioritis … 😜.)

    1. I get the feeling that decision didn’t go over very well (and I understand why), and noticed the puzzles have been getting harder again. I was contemplating about posting on that one. Took around 70 minutes on that one (85 minutes on the timer, but I got interrupted by a couple of things and didn’t stop the timer), no errors. Mainly a few spots where it could have been multiple things.

      At least it’s better than the roughly 12 hours or so me and another person spent on the crossword jigsaw this week…but was proud to finally see it put together…

  10. Mostly easy for me; took 17:14 with no errors or peeks. I was a bit nervous when I saw it was a Sessa puzzle, but everything came remarkably easy, save the SE corner. Even there, it only took a bit longer and I was done.

    re Newsday puzzle – How are you guys doing the Newsday? This last week I was prompted for a subscription for the first time. Stanxword points to Newday as well, so that wasn’t any help.

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