LA Times Crossword 30 Apr 21, Friday

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Constructed by: Gary Larson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): In the Arctic

Themed answers are common phrases related to chilly weather that have been reinterpreted with reference to the Arctic:

  • 17A Hors d’oeuvre in the Arctic? : FROST BITE
  • 24A Window treatment in the Arctic? : SNOW BLIND
  • 36A Brittle cookies in the Arctic? : COLD SNAPS
  • 51A Linens in the Arctic? : ICE SHEETS
  • 60A Money for a rainy day in the Arctic? : SLUSH FUND

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

Bill’s time: 6m 41s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 Tree with catkins : ALDER

Alder trees are deciduous (i.e. not evergreen), and the fruit of the tree is called a “catkin”. The tree carries both male and female catkins that look very similar to each other, but the male catkin is longer than the female. Alders are pollinated by wind usually, although bees can play a role.

9 Gives for free : COMPS

To comp is to give for free, with “comp” coming from “complimentary”.

14 Thai language : LAO

Lao, the language of Laos, does not use spaces between words (or periods!), although this is apparently changing. Spaces are used between sentences and clauses.

15 Reading from an ark : TORAH

The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which the Torah scrolls are stored. The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching” or “law”, I am told.

17 Hors d’oeuvre in the Arctic? : FROST BITE

An hors d’oeuvre is a first course in a meal. “Hors d’oeuvre” translates from French as “apart from the work”, which really means “not the main course”.

19 LPGA star Korda : NELLY

Nelly Korda is an LPGA golfer from Florida. She has professional sports in her blood. Her parents are retired professional tennis players from the Czech Republic Petr Korda and Regina Rajchrtová.

20 Skywalker mentor : KENOBI

The Jedi are the good guys in the “Star Wars” series of movies. The most famous Jedi knights from the films are Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Alec Guinness, and later Ewan McGregor) and Yoda (voiced by Frank Oz). Well, they’re my favorites anyway …

When the character Luke Skywalker was created for “Star Wars”, he was named “Annikin Starkiller”. Conceptually, he was a 60-year-old war veteran for a while, and also a female at one point. Luke is played by actor Mark Hamill in the “Star Wars” films.

21 Others, in Oaxaca : OTRAS

Oaxaca (officially “Oaxaca de Juárez”) is the capital city of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, which is located in the south of the country.

27 Jumpsuit : ONESIE

A jumpsuit is a one-piece item of clothing that covers the torso, arms and legs, but not the hands or feet. The term “jumpsuit” comes from skydiving, as parachutists make their “jumps” in a one-piece “suit” designed for purpose.

31 Tournament pass : BYE

The word “bye”, as used in sport, originated in cricket. A bye is a run scored due to an error by the wicketkeeper (similar to a catcher in baseball) when he fails to stop a ball bowled by the bowler (like a pitcher in baseball). Later the word “bye” in sport came to mean the position of a player in a tournament who is left without a competitor when the rest have drawn pairs. In these commercial times, those byes tend to be awarded to the best (seeded) players, so that the most popular players always advance past the first round of competition.

39 Samoa’s capital : APIA

Apia is the capital city, and in fact the only city, of the Pacific island-nation of Samoa. The harbor of Apia is famous for a very foolish incident in 1889 involving seven naval vessels from Germany, the US and Britain. A typhoon was approaching so the safest thing to do was to head for open water away from land, but no nation would move its ships for fear of losing face in front of others. Six of the ships were lost in the typhoon as a result and 200 American and German sailors perished. The British cruiser HMS Calliope barely managed to escape from the harbor and rode out the storm safely. Apia is also known as the home of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, for the last four years of his life.

43 Maa, in the movie “Babe” : EWE

The hit 1995 film “Babe” was produced and filmed in Australia. The movie is an adaptation of a 1983 novel called “The Sheep-Pig” written by Dick King-Smith. “Babe” was a smash hit at the box office and was extremely well received by the critics. The film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, but lost out to “Braveheart”. However, it did win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects by beating out “Apollo 13”, which was an amazing feat, I’d say…

49 Arcade game gobbler : PAC-MAN

The Pac-Man arcade game was first released in Japan in 1980, and is as popular today as it ever was. The game features characters that are maneuvered around the screen to eat up dots and earn points, while being pursued by ghosts named Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. The name of the game comes from the Japanese folk hero “Paku”, who is known for his voracious appetite. The spin-off game called Ms. Pac-Man was released in 1981.

54 Actress Cheryl or Jordan : LADD

Cheryl Ladd’s most famous role was Kris Munroe in television’s “Charlie’s Angels”. Ladd replaced Farrah Fawcett-Majors when the latter opted out of the show. Cheryl Ladd was the daughter-in-law of famed Hollywood actor Alan Ladd, as she was married to Ladd’s son, David. After the couple divorced, Cheryl retained the Ladd name.

Actress Jordan Ladd is perhaps best known for appearances in a string of horror movies, resulting in her being labeled as a “scream queen”. Jordan is the daughter of actress Cheryl Ladd, and granddaughter of actor Alan Ladd.

55 Words to live by : CREED

A creed or credo is a confession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

56 Bond preference? : SHAKEN

Why have a vodka martini shaken and not stirred (as does James Bond, 007)? For one thing, the shaken drink tends to be colder. And with more melted ice in the drink, it isn’t as strong. These are my personal observations. No need to write in …

60 Money for a rainy day in the Arctic? : SLUSH FUND

A slush fund is a sum of money that is held in reserve, or in the case of illicit dealings, a sum that is used for paying bribes.

Slush is a mixture of partially melted solid, a mixture of liquid and solid. The classic example is partly melted snow.

64 Book before Joel : HOSEA

Hosea was one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible. The Twelve Prophets are also known as the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.

66 Drink to : TOAST

The tradition of toasting someone probably dates back to the reign of Charles II, when the practice was to drink a glass of wine to the health of a beautiful or favored woman. In those days, spiced toast was added to beverages to add flavor, so the use of the word “toast” was an indicator that the lady’s beauty would enhance the wine. Very charming, I must say …

67 Wharton’s “__ Frome” : ETHAN

“Ethan Frome” is a novel by New York and Massachusetts author Edith Wharton, first published in 1911. Wharton started “Ethan Frome” as a composition in French that she wrote while studying the language in Paris. The novel was adapted into a 1993 film of the same name starring Liam Neeson in the title role, opposite Patricia Arquette.

68 Soap-making supply : LYE

Soap is basically made by adding a strong alkali (like lye) to a fat (like olive oil or palm oil). The fats break down in the basic solution in a process called saponification. The crude soap is extracted from the mixture, washed, purified and finished in molds.

Down

1 TV ET : ALF

“ALF” is a sitcom that aired in the late eighties. The title character is a hand-puppet, and supposedly an alien named Gordon Shumway from the planet Melmac. The alien crash-landed into the house of amateur radio enthusiast Willie Tanner. Tanner renamed the intruder “ALF”, standing for “alien life form”.

2 1970 #1 hit with the line “What is it good for?” : WAR

“War (What Is It Good For?) is an anti-Vietnam soul song performed by Edwin Starr that hit the top of the charts in 1970. The song had originally been recorded by the Temptations a few months earlier, but it was the Edwin Starr version that resonated with the public.

3 One of a “Star Wars” race with its own -pedia : WOOKIEE

Wookiees are a biped race featured in “Star Wars”. The most notable Wookiee is Chewbacca (aka “Chewie”), the loyal friend and associate of Han Solo who serves as co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon spaceship.

5 Western wolf : LOBO

The timber wolf is also known as the gray wolf, tundra wolf or lobo.

6 Small amounts : DRIBS

A drib is a negligible amount, as in “dribs and drabs”. The term “drib” arose in Scotland in the 18th century, and might possibly come from the verb “to dribble”.

8 MLB scoreboard letters : RHE

In baseball, the line square is a summary set of statistics for the game. It is seen at every baseball stadium, and includes the number of runs (R) scored by each team per innings, as well as the total number of hits (H) and errors (E). The more comprehensive box score includes the line score, but also shows the individual performance of each player.

11 Listlessness : MALAISE

A malaise is a general but undefined feeling of discomfort or illness. The term “malaise” ultimately comes from Old French with the prefix “mal-” meaning “bad” and “aise” meaning “ease”.

12 Hoppy lager : PILSNER

Pilsener (also “pilsner” or “pils”) is a pale lager. The name “pilsener” comes from the city of Pilsen, now in the Czech Republic. It was in Pilsen, in 1842, that the first bottom-fermented lager was produced. A bottom-fermented beer is much clearer that a top-fermented beer, and has a crisper taste. The “top” and “bottom” refers to where the yeast gathers during the brewing process.

The foodstuff that we call “hops” are actually the female flowers of the hop plant. The main use of hops is to add flavor to beer. The town in which I live here in California used to be home to the largest hop farm in the whole world. Most of the harvested hops were exported all the way to the breweries of London, where they could fetch the best price.

21 Hogwarts mail carrier : OWL

In the “Harry Potter” universe, messages are sent by owl post, which uses owls as mail carriers.

22 Short cut : BOB

A bob cut is a short hairstyle in which the hair is cut straight around the head, at about the line of the jaw. Back in the 1570s, “bob” was the name given to a horse’s tail that was cut short, and about a century later it was being used to describe short hair on humans. The style became very popular with women in the early 1900s (as worn by actress Clara Bow, for example), with the fashion dying out in the thirties. The style reemerged in the sixties around the time the Beatles introduced their “mop tops”, with Vidal Sassoon leading the way in styling women’s hair in a bob cut again. Personally, I like it …

26 2000 Gere title role : DR T

The 2000 movie “Dr. T & the Women” is a pretty good film, and stars Richard Gere in the title role. It’s a romantic comedy about a gynecologist, and the women in his private and public life. The list of actresses playing those women is impressive, and includes Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Laura Dern, Shelley Long, Kate Hudson and Liv Tyler.

28 2019 Uber landmark, briefly : IPO

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

When transportation company Uber went public in 2019, it was a well-subscribed offering. However, Uber’s shares dropped in value soon after trading opened, and finished the day 11% down. As a result, Uber shares suffered the biggest IPO first-day dollar loss in US history.

29 Fish in unadon : EEL

“Unadon” is the Japanese word for “eel bowl”. “Unadon” is actually a contraction of “unagi no kabayaki” (grilled eel) and “donburi” (rice bowl dish).

34 CBS forensic series : CSI

I quite enjoyed the “CSI” franchise of television shows, all except “CSI: Miami”. I find the character played by David Caruso to be extremely annoying. “CSI: Miami” was cancelled in 2012. No loss …

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”.

36 Reflective gemstones : CAT’S EYES

Cat’s eye is a semiprecious stone also known as cymophane.

37 Swiss peak : ALP

There are eight Alpine countries:

  • Austria
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Italy

39 Yellowfin tuna : AHI

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

40 Highest-pitched woodwind : PICCOLO

The piccolo is a woodwind instrument that looks like a small flute. Piccolos play one octave higher than flutes, and so the instrument is known by Italian musicians as an “ottavino”, Italian for “little octave”. “Piccolo” is Italian for “small”.

41 Resistance to change : INERTIA

Newton’s first law of motion states that a body that is moving maintains the same velocity unless it is acted upon by an external force. That resistance to changing velocity is known as “inertia”. Johann Kepler introduced the Latin word “inertia” to describe the physical phenomenon in the 17th century. The Latin term translates as “apathy, inactiveness”. We started using the Latin “inertia” in English to mean the same thing only in the 19th century, after the term had bopped around in science texts for a couple of centuries.

43 Obama’s first chief of staff : EMANUEL

Rahm Emanuel was an Illinois representative in the US House before resigning in 2009 to take up President Obama’s offer to become the White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel moved on from the White House the following year in order to run as a candidate in Chicago’s mayoral election in 2011. He won the 2011 race, and was re-elected in 2015.

45 Put the kibosh on : END

A kibosh is something that constrains or checks. “Kibosh” looks like a Yiddish word but it isn’t, and is more likely English slang from the early 1800s.

48 Outlaw Kelly : NED

Ned Kelly was an Irish-Australian outlaw who is regarded by many as a symbol of resistance against the British ruling class in Australia in the 19th century. There have been two famous films made of his life story. “The Story of the Kelly Gang” was released in 1906, and is recognized today as the first feature film ever made. We might be more familiar with the film called “Ned Kelly” released in 1970, as it starred Mick Jagger in the title role.

50 Staff leader? : CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on a stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

The set of five horizontal lines and four spaces used in Western musical notation can be called a staff or stave. Either way, the plural form is “staves”.

58 Top medieval Tatar : KHAN

A “khan” was a medieval sovereign, more specifically a ruler over Mongol, Turkish and Tatar tribes.

59 Clock-setting std. : GST

Greenwich Sidereal Time (GST)

Astronomers use sidereal time to know where to locate given stars in the night sky. Sidereal time is a time scale that takes into account the Earth’s rotation relative to stars with a fixed location in the night sky.

60 Pop duo __ & Him : SHE

Singer-songwriter M. Ward and actress/singer Zooey Deschanel perform as the musical duo “She & Him”. The pair met on set when Deschanel was filming the 2007 film “The Go-Getter”. Deschanel had a starring role, and M. Ward provided most of the movie’s music. Ward and Deschanel recorded a duet for the closing credits, and have been singing together ever since.

62 Hip-hop Dr. : DRE

“Dr. Dre” is the stage name of rapper Andre Romelle Young. Dr. Dre is known for his own singing career as well as for producing records and starting the careers of others such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “How cute!” : AWW!
4 Tree with catkins : ALDER
9 Gives for free : COMPS
14 Thai language : LAO
15 Reading from an ark : TORAH
16 Use : AVAIL
17 Hors d’oeuvre in the Arctic? : FROST BITE
19 LPGA star Korda : NELLY
20 Skywalker mentor : KENOBI
21 Others, in Oaxaca : OTRAS
22 Tempt : BAIT
24 Window treatment in the Arctic? : SNOW BLIND
27 Jumpsuit : ONESIE
30 Crowd-__ : PLEASER
31 Tournament pass : BYE
32 Treaty subject : PEACE
35 Vivacious : PERT
36 Brittle cookies in the Arctic? : COLD SNAPS
39 Samoa’s capital : APIA
42 Something numbered in groceries : AISLE
43 Maa, in the movie “Babe” : EWE
46 Clue’s function : HINTING
49 Arcade game gobbler : PAC-MAN
51 Linens in the Arctic? : ICE SHEETS
54 Actress Cheryl or Jordan : LADD
55 Words to live by : CREED
56 Bond preference? : SHAKEN
59 “Aha!” : GOT YA!
60 Money for a rainy day in the Arctic? : SLUSH FUND
63 More cunning : SLIER
64 Book before Joel : HOSEA
65 Singer’s asset : EAR
66 Drink to : TOAST
67 Wharton’s “__ Frome” : ETHAN
68 Soap-making supply : LYE

Down

1 TV ET : ALF
2 1970 #1 hit with the line “What is it good for?” : WAR
3 One of a “Star Wars” race with its own -pedia : WOOKIEE
4 Memo abbr. : ATTN
5 Western wolf : LOBO
6 Small amounts : DRIBS
7 Like some kitchens : EAT-IN
8 MLB scoreboard letters : RHE
9 “Not possible” : CAN’T BE
10 Isn’t discrete : OVERLAPS
11 Listlessness : MALAISE
12 Hoppy lager : PILSNER
13 Wily : SLY
18 Tennis units : SETS
21 Hogwarts mail carrier : OWL
22 Short cut : BOB
23 “__ thoughts?” : ANY
25 Is the first act : OPENS
26 2000 Gere title role : DR T
28 2019 Uber landmark, briefly : IPO
29 Fish in unadon : EEL
33 Words of wisdom : ADAGE
34 CBS forensic series : CSI
36 Reflective gemstones : CAT’S EYES
37 Swiss peak : ALP
38 Kind of green : PEA
39 Yellowfin tuna : AHI
40 Highest-pitched woodwind : PICCOLO
41 Resistance to change : INERTIA
43 Obama’s first chief of staff : EMANUEL
44 Walletful : WAD
45 Put the kibosh on : END
47 Common start of a bumper sticker slogan : I HEART …
48 Outlaw Kelly : NED
50 Staff leader? : CLEF
52 Letter-shaped opening : T-SLOT
53 Silence : SHUSH
57 Voyaging : ASEA
58 Top medieval Tatar : KHAN
59 Clock-setting std. : GST
60 Pop duo __ & Him : SHE
61 Thumbs-down : NAY
62 Hip-hop Dr. : DRE

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Apr 21, Friday”

  1. I thought that it was a cardinal rule not to use the same root word twice. Isn’t SLY & SLIER the same root word?!

  2. 8:57

    I was also surprised to see SLY & SLIER. But then I put ADAGE in twice (33D & 55A), even though I knew that could only be right once.

    I learned about Ned Kelly because of his armor. Or should I write “armour”?

    I liked the Bond clue. Is there really a difference between shaken and stirred? I always thought that was a joke.

    1. Yes, shaking a cocktail is a much more vigorous agitation. Technically only cocktails with ingredients that wouldn’t normally mix (like cream, sour mix, egg whites, etc) should be shaken. Shaking helps form an emulsion and prevents the ingredients from separating out after serving. It also makes the drink much much colder which is why martinis are often shaken even though “by the book” they should not be. Another problem with shaking is that the action melts a lot of the ice, diluting the drink.

      By contrast, stirring is just that… a gentle mixing of the ingredients in the ice with a spoon before serving.

  3. No errors; I thought the theme answers were the easiest
    parts of the puzzle and helped me get the crossing answers.
    Really liked this one!

  4. 8:03 was my time.. I was really thrown, as it seems others were, by both SLY and SLIER being in the grid. I just assumed that could not be possible and thus struggled a lot more in the SW than I might have otherwise.

    I did like that, once the theme became manifest, it really helped in getting the rest of the theme answers. To me, that’s one of the functions of a good theme.

  5. 12 minutes, 20 seconds, and 2 errors, where PERT and DRT meet. The fill of OVERLAPS didn’t seem to fit with the clue at all. Maybe I’m misreading “discrete” as “discreet” in the clue? I dunno….

    I have to admit, though, the arctic punnery theme was … pretty cool! I had a few smiles and chuckles filling those in.

    1. Think of a Venn diagram, with overlapping circles. A circle that doesn’t overlap any others could be said to be discrete. Of course, it could be discreetly discrete, or discretely discreet…

    2. Hi Allen. I think in this instance discreet is being used as something standing alone and not overlapping or making an incursion into some other topic or area.

      Hope that helps?

  6. “How’d you get here so quick, Bob? And what’s with the new do?”
    So began the legend of Short Cut Bob.

  7. My thoughts on the “shaken” not stirred differ slightly in that Bond referred to not bruising the gin by shaking which prevents bruising which is dilution.
    If you fill a stainless steel shaker with ice and add your beverage of choice then shake vigorously, the outside of the shaker freezes quickly. Conversely, if you just stir the drink in the open shaker you are mixing but not chilling, hence diluting, or bruising.

  8. Slightly tricky Friday for me; took 23:22 with no errors or peeks. I spent about 5 minutes in the NE, struggling with OVERLAPS, PERT, DRT and …BLIND. Finally sorted it out and got the banner.

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