LA Times Crossword 8 Apr 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Coconut

Today’s puzzle may have been created by a COCO NUT, as “COCO” is hidden in each of the themed answers:

  • 34A Palm fruit … or what the creator of this puzzle’s theme apparently is? : COCONUT or COCO NUT
  • 14A Attempted coup participants : CO-CONSPIRATORS
  • 20A Many an 18th-century painter : ROCOCO ARTIST
  • 42A Environmentally concerned : ECO-CONSCIOUS
  • 51A Source of an organic fiber : SILKWORM COCOON

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

Bill’s time: 7m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 #1 Toto song that mentions the Serengeti : AFRICA

Toto is an American rock band dating back to 1977. As well as their big hit “Rosanna”, Toto also sang another good tune titled “Africa”.

The Serengeti is a region in Africa located in northern Tanzania and southwest Kenya. The name “Serengeti” comes from the Maasai language and means “Endless Plains”.

12 Wavy patterns in some op art : MOIRES

A moiré pattern is a phenomenon in physics, a so-called interference pattern. If you lay two sheets of mesh over each other for example, slightly offset, then what you see is a moiré pattern. “Moiré” is the French name for a textile that we know simply as “moire”. The rippled pattern of the textile resembles that of the interference pattern.

Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

14 Attempted coup participants : CO-CONSPIRATORS

To conspire is to act in harmony, often to do something unlawful. The term “conspire” comes from the Latin “com” (meaning “with”) and “spirare” (meaning “to breathe”). Perhaps “conspire” evolved from the concept of breathing together, so closely gathered while plotting that the same was breathed.

17 Stretching muscles : TENSORS

A tensor muscle is one that tightens or stretches a part of the body.

18 Iowa State city : AMES

The Iowa city of Ames was founded as a stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad in 1864. It was named for US Congressman Oakes Ames from the state of Massachusetts in honor of the role that Ames played in the building of the transcontinental railroad.

20 Many an 18th-century painter : ROCOCO ARTIST

The Rococo style is also known as “Late Baroque”. Rococo is a very floral and playful style, very ornate.

26 CFO’s degree : MBA

A chief financial officer (CFO) might have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

27 Intelligence org. : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

34 Palm fruit … or what the creator of this puzzle’s theme apparently is? : COCONUT or COCO NUT

The coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm. The term “coconut” comes from “coco” and “nut”, with “coco” being 16th-century Spanish and Portuguese for “head”, and more specifically “grinning face”. The three holes found in the base of a coconut shell might be said to resemble a human face.

36 Classic Pontiac : GTO

The Pontiac GTO was produced by GM from 1964 to 1974, and again by a GM subsidiary in Australia from 2004 to 2006. The original GTO’s design is credited to Pontiac chief engineer at the time John DeLorean, who later founded the DeLorean Motor Company.

38 Desires : YENS

The word “yen”, meaning “urge”, has been around in English since the very early 1900s. It comes from the earlier word “yin” imported from Chinese, which was used in English to describe an intense craving for opium.

39 Bellows of “The Agency” : GIL

Character actor Gil Bellows is perhaps best known for his first movie role, playing young convict Tommy Williams in the 1994 movie “The Shawshank Redemption”.

40 Dessert order : PIE

Our word “dessert” comes from the French verb “desservir” meaning “to clear the table”. The idea is that dessert is usually the last course to be cleared from the table.

47 Old Venetian judge : DOGE

Doges were the elected chief magistrates of the former republics of Venice and Genoa.

51 Source of an organic fiber : SILKWORM COCOON

The textile known as silk is made from a natural protein fiber produced from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm. Ethical vegans tend to avoid silk as many, many silkworms die in order to produce a relatively small amount of fabric. Raw silk is obtained by boiling the silkworms alive inside the cocoons that yield the fibers.

Strictly speaking, the term “cocoon” only applies to the tough outer casing created by moth caterpillars. Butterfly caterpillars protect themselves in a hard outer skin to form a pupa known as a chrysalis. But, butterfly caterpillars don’t go the extra step by spinning a silky cocoon. Famously, silk thread comes from silk cocoons created by silkworms, which mature into silk moths.

58 Weighty reading : TOMES

“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century, “tome” had come to mean “large book”.

59 Guiding principles : TENETS

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

Down

1 Film lover’s TV option : AMC

AMC, formerly known as “American Movie Classics”, is one of my favorite television channels. Although the channel’s focus has shifted from airing classic movies to including other programming, there’s still a lot of quality output. AMC’s flagship shows are “Mad Men”, “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”.

2 Pay, as a bill : FOOT

To foot the bill is pay it, to pay the total at the “foot” of the bill.

4 Piece of rebar, essentially : IRON ROD

A steel bar or mesh used to reinforce concrete is called “rebar”, which is short for “reinforcing bar”.

5 Suppress, in a way : CENSOR

The original “censor” was an officer in ancient Rome who had responsibility for taking the “census”, as well as supervising public morality.

6 Part of NAACP: Abbr. : ASSOC

The full name of the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is remarkable in that it still uses the offensive term “colored people”. The NAACP was founded in 1909, by a group that included suffragette and journalist Mary White Ovington, wealthy socialist William English Walling, and civil rights activist Henry Moskowitz. Another member of the founding group was W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African-American to earn a doctorate at Harvard University. The date chosen for the founding of the NAACP was February 12th, 1909, the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, the man most visibly associated with the emancipation of African-American slaves.

7 Jaguar, e.g. : CAR

Auto manufacturer Jaguar started out as a manufacturer of sidecars for motorcycles back in 1922, when the company was known as the Swallow Sidecar Company (SS for short). The company changed its name to Jaguar after WWII, because of the unfortunate connotations of the letters “SS” in that era (i.e. the Nazi paramilitary organization).

8 Genetic molecule : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

9 Actor’s rep. : AGT

Agent (agt.)

19 Some can be used forever–but only once : STAMPS

The forever stamp for first-class postage was introduced in 2006 (and about time!). Now we have stamps that are good for first-class postage forever, no matter how often the rates change.

24 Elaborate entryways : PORTICOS

“Portico” is an Italian word that describes a porch or roofed walkway leading to the entrance of a building.

25 Physician wearing a pink ribbon, perhaps : ONCOLOGIST

The pink ribbon is a symbol used to promote breast cancer awareness. It was introduced during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) by “Self” magazine in 1992.

Oncology is that branch of medicine devoted to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The prefix “onco-” means “bulk, mass”, although these days it is used almost exclusively to mean “tumor”.

30 Farm measures : ACRES

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. An area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

31 Curly slapper : MOE

If you’ve seen a few of the films starring “The Three Stooges” you might have noticed that the line-up changed over the years. The original trio was made up of Moe and Shemp Howard (two brothers) and Larry Fine (a good friend of the Howards). This line up was usually known as “Moe, Larry and Shemp”. Then Curly Howard replaced his brother when Shemp quit the act, creating the most famous trio, “Moe, Larry And Curly”. Shemp returned when Curly had a debilitating stroke in 1946. Shemp stayed with the troupe until he himself died in 1955. Shemp was replaced by Joe Besser, and then “Curly-Joe” DeRita. When Larry Fine suffered a stroke in 1970, it effectively marked the end of the act.

34 Crime boss : CAPO

More properly called a caporegime, a capo is a high-ranking member of the Mafia (Cosa Nostra).

41 How to receive a freebie, perhaps : BUY ONE

Buy one, get one (BOGO) or buy one, get one free (BOGOF).

43 Yo-Yo strings? : CELLO

Yo-Yo Ma is a marvelous American cellist who was born in Paris to Chinese parents. Ma started studying the violin when he was very young, working his way up (in size) to the viola and finally to the cello. He has said that he wanted to play the double bass, but it was just too big for his relatively small frame.

46 In the previously mentioned work, briefly : OP CIT

“Op. cit.” is short for “opus citatum”, Latin for “the work cited”. Op. cit. is used in footnotes to refer the reader to an earlier citation. It is similar to ibid, except that ibid refers the reader to the last citation, the one immediately above.

50 Initialism for Tom Brady, according to most : GOAT

Greatest of all time (GOAT)

Quarterback Tom Brady signed up with the New England Patriots in 2000, and led the team to more Super Bowl appearances than any other player in history. He signed up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, and led them to win the Super Bowl in his first season. Brady is from San Mateo, California, which isn’t very far from here. He dated actress Bridget Moynahan for a couple of years, and the pair have a child together. Brady has been married to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen since 2009.

52 2000s toon heroine __ Possible : KIM

“Kim Possible” is an animated Disney TV series for kids that originally ran from 2002 until 2007. The title character is a teenage crimefighter, with a partner named Ron Stoppable.

54 CIA predecessor : OSS

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was formed during WWII in order to carry out espionage behind enemy lines. A few years after the end of the war the OSS functions were taken up by a new group, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that was chartered by the National Security Act of 1947.

55 Finger Lakes locale: Abbr. : NYS

When I first moved to the US, I settled in Upstate New York and was lucky enough to live near the beautiful Finger Lakes. The largest of the eleven lakes is Seneca Lake, which is one of the deepest bodies of water in the United States.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 #1 Toto song that mentions the Serengeti : AFRICA
7 Whittling, for one : CRAFT
12 Wavy patterns in some op art : MOIRES
13 Cool one’s feet at streamside, say : DANGLE
14 Attempted coup participants : CO-CONSPIRATORS
17 Stretching muscles : TENSORS
18 Iowa State city : AMES
20 Many an 18th-century painter : ROCOCO ARTIST
24 Low-quality : POOR
26 CFO’s degree : MBA
27 Intelligence org. : NSA
28 Form close ties (with) : BOND
29 “Let’s have at it!” : GAME ON!
32 Point : AIM
33 Circle segment : ARC
34 Palm fruit … or what the creator of this puzzle’s theme apparently is? : COCONUT or COCO NUT
35 __ dog : TOP
36 Classic Pontiac : GTO
37 Not moving : AT REST
38 Desires : YENS
39 Bellows of “The Agency” : GIL
40 Dessert order : PIE
41 Flower holders : BEDS
42 Environmentally concerned : ECO-CONSCIOUS
47 Old Venetian judge : DOGE
48 Catching a glimpse of : ESPYING
51 Source of an organic fiber : SILKWORM COCOON
56 Most cunning : SLIEST
57 When Rome wasn’t built? : IN A DAY
58 Weighty reading : TOMES
59 Guiding principles : TENETS

Down

1 Film lover’s TV option : AMC
2 Pay, as a bill : FOOT
3 It may be fried or puffed : RICE
4 Piece of rebar, essentially : IRON ROD
5 Suppress, in a way : CENSOR
6 Part of NAACP: Abbr. : ASSOC
7 Jaguar, e.g. : CAR
8 Genetic molecule : RNA
9 Actor’s rep. : AGT
10 Parade staple : FLOAT
11 Closed : TERMINATED
13 Data storage medium : DISC
15 Country club employee : PRO
16 Stretches on a couch? : SESSIONS
19 Some can be used forever–but only once : STAMPS
21 Signs : OMENS
22 In the neighborhood of : ABOUT
23 Overblown critique : RANT
24 Elaborate entryways : PORTICOS
25 Physician wearing a pink ribbon, perhaps : ONCOLOGIST
28 Like potato chips, often : BAGGED
29 Showed up : GOT IN
30 Farm measures : ACRES
31 Curly slapper : MOE
34 Crime boss : CAPO
38 “That’s well within my abilities” : YES I CAN
41 How to receive a freebie, perhaps : BUY ONE
43 Yo-Yo strings? : CELLO
44 Official doc. : CERT
45 Belief system : ISM
46 In the previously mentioned work, briefly : OP CIT
49 Connection point : NODE
50 Initialism for Tom Brady, according to most : GOAT
52 2000s toon heroine __ Possible : KIM
53 Tiny : WEE
54 CIA predecessor : OSS
55 Finger Lakes locale: Abbr. : NYS

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Apr 21, Thursday”

  1. Tom Brady plays for the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers (BUCS) not the Rays. The Rays are the MLB team in Tampa. The Lightning are the NHL team in Tampa.

    1. Hi Vince. Just checking to see where you saw something incorrectly listing which team Brady plays for? All I saw/see is a clue about Tom and his status as, arguably, the G.O.A.T. (unless I’m missing something?).

    2. Thanks, Vince. Proof-reading is a problem for me, as I have to do it myself. Proof-reading and relying on my sports knowledge is a perfect storm …

  2. Got turned around with TENDONS, CANDOR, MOIRAS, then TENSORS, CENSOR, MOIRES… whew!!!

    Bill, should the word in 39A be CONVICT instead of CONVINCE??
    Thanks for all you do!

  3. Got the theme quite early and would have had no errors except,
    once again, I forgot to recheck my answers and didn’t
    complete “Africa” the number 1 clue. Mea culpa.

  4. I spelled the answer to 56A as “slyest.” I remembered the toon character, and thought that Kim with a Y, “Kym” was a possible spelling, given the current propensity for unusual spellings of names.

    I assume that my fury at the spelling of “sliest” to allow for the toon name is caused by pandemic frustration!

    Thus ends my rant.

    Stay safe.

  5. Loved the theme, love COCONUTs. No Googles, no errors. Didn’t know GOAT – there’s an acronym!
    Almost didn’t get CELLO. Almost asked my husband if there was something special about the strings on yoyos. In the 1950s, Fillipino fellows would come around demonstrating and selling yoyos. Some say yo-yo is a Tagalog word meaning “to return.”

  6. 11:33

    I liked the CO-COs. They missed a chance to put in something about Conan O’Brien’s fans being Team Coco.

    Not only did I not have much to say yesterday, when I tried to post, it told me I was posting too fast!

    1. That happens occasionally, Pam … a glitch in the software that I see once or twice a year (if that) …

    2. Pam, I also have a problem with posting. I never get to see my comments.
      I only heard that Bill was afraid of hackers doing something or other.

  7. Happy to report that this came fast and easy for me for a Thursday! Almost felt like a Monday or a Tuesday…

  8. Nice quick Thursday for me; took 16:28, albeit with one error: the same as Ken Mick – KyM instead of KIM. Now that I’ve seen Miss Possible in action, I kinda wish I hadn’t… Also didn’t know GIL, but the crosses helped out there.

  9. Hi folks!!🤗 Just here long enough to say I DON’T like Toto but for some reason I really like the song AFRICA!!! 😍 Why does that sometimes happen, with an artist you don’t like???🤔 Maybe it’s true for other bands too……!!! ….. but I don’t think I’ll investigate….

  10. That was an entertaining puzzle! I used to start one of your pieces of work and look to see who the hell did this?… then I’d say your name the way Seinfeld said “Newman”. I might be getting better or your getting worse. I’m loving you!

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