LA Times Crossword 25 May 21, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Agnes Davidson & C.C. Burnikel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Stuffed Clam

Themed answers each start and end with a divided “CLAM”:

  • 23A Seafood appetizer, and what each answer to a starred clue literally is? : STUFFED CLAM
  • 16A *Historic lifetime golf or tennis achievement : CAREER GRAND SLAM
  • 19A *Cushioned Adidas running shoes : CLOUDFOAM
  • 21A *Social status hierarchy : CLASS SYSTEM

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

Bill’s time: 6m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Aquatic barker : SEAL

Male seals are called bulls, females are cows, and babies are pups. A group of seals comprising one or two males, with several females and their offspring, is known as a harem.

5 “Notorious” justice, initially : RBG

The 2015 book “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” was co-written by Shana Knizhnik and Iris Carmon. Knizhnik had previously authored a “Notorious R.B.G” blog. The moniker “Notorious RBG” is reminiscent of the name of rap star the Notorious B.I.G.

12 Lake that drains via the Niagara River : ERIE

The mighty Niagara River flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, and forms part of the border between the US and Canada. The river is only about 35 miles long, so some describe it as a “strait”. It has a drop in elevation of 325 feet along its length, with 165 feet of that drop taking place at Niagara Falls.

13 City on the Nile : CAIRO

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

16 *Historic lifetime golf or tennis achievement : CAREER GRAND SLAM

To win the Grand Slam of tennis, a player must win the four major tournaments in the same season:

  • The Australian Open (in mid-January, played on hard courts)
  • The French Open (in May/June, played on clay)
  • Wimbledon (in June/July, played on grass)
  • The US Open (in August/September, played on hard courts)

19 *Cushioned Adidas running shoes : CLOUDFOAM

The Adidas brand dates back to when Adolf “Adi” Dassler started making his own sports shoes in his mother’s laundry room in Bavaria after returning from WWI. With his brother, Adi founded Dassler shoes. The company’s big break came in 1936 at the Berlin Olympics, when Adi persuaded American sprinter Jesse Owens to use his shoes, and with the success of Jesse Owens came success for the fledgling shoe company. After WWII the brothers split, acrimoniously. Adi’s brother, Ru-dolf Da-ssler, formed “Ruda” shoes (later to become Puma), and Adi Das-sler formed “Adidas”.

20 TV censoring device : V-CHIP

All television sets produced for the US market since the year 2000 are required by law to include a component called a V-chip. A V-chip allows a TV to be configured so that programming of specific “ratings” can be blocked from viewing. The “V” in V-chip stands for “viewer control”. It sounds like a great idea, but a lot of kids these days quickly do a search online and work out how to reset the password.

22 Do canine care? : FLOSS

The canine teeth of a mammal are also called the eyeteeth or cuspids. The name “canine” is used because these particular teeth are very prominent in dogs. The prefix “eye-” is used because in humans the eyeteeth are located in the upper jaw, directly below the eyes.

26 Dose amt. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

28 Super Bowl org. : NFL

The Super Bowl is used for high-profile advertising because of the high viewership numbers. For example, Super Bowl XLIX (2015) had an average audience of 114 million viewers, making it the most-watched American TV program in history.

29 Bronze component : TIN

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Compare this with bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. Brass and bronze are often mistaken for each other.

33 Tigger’s best friend : ROO

Like most of the characters in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh”, the kangaroo named “Roo” was inspired by a stuffed toy belonging to Milne’s son Christopher Robin.

Tigger is a character in the “Winnie-the-Pooh” stories by A. A. Milne. He is a tiger with a springy tail and just loves to bounce around. Tigger will tell you himself that “bouncing is what tiggers do best.”

35 Clear sky hue : AZURE

The term “azure” came into English from Persian via Old French. The French word “l’azur” was taken from the Persian name for a place in northeastern Afghanistan called “Lazhward” which was the main source of the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. The stone has a vivid blue color, and “azure” has been describing this color since the 14th century.

37 Long-eared equines : ASSES

The Equus genus of animals includes horse, asses and zebras.

41 Oscar-winning actress Berry : HALLE

Actress Halle Berry was the first African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar, which she received for her performance in the 2001 movie “Monster’s Ball”. Berry also won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for playing the title role in “Catwoman”, and she very graciously accepted that award in person. Good for her!

44 Power source for Watt : STEAM

James Watt was a Scottish inventor. He figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, and was named in his honor.

50 Guiding principles : CREDOS

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

53 Driver’s licenses, e.g. : IDS

Identity document (ID)

54 Donnybrook : RHUBARB

A “donnybrook” is a free-for-all, a melee. It is named for a famous historic fair in Donnybrook, a district in Dublin, Ireland. Donnybrook Fair had the reputation as a place where there was lots of drinking and fighting. I used to hang out a lot in Donnybrook in my student days and didn’t see any fighting. Lots of drinking, but no fighting …

58 “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. __ : CHU

Jon M. Chu is a movie and television director who is perhaps known for directing 2018’s highly-acclaimed film “Crazy Rich Asians”. Chu’s firstborn child is named “Willow”, after the 1998n flm “Willow”. His second-born child is named “Jonathan Heights”, after the 2021 movie “In the Heights”.

“Crazy Rich Asians” is a 2018 romcom based on a 2013 novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan. The film garnered a lot of attention and accolades, not only for the quality of the script and performances. It was the first major Hollywood movie to feature a principal cast of Asian descent since 1993’s “The Joy Luck Club”.

59 A or B, but not O : NOTE

Those would be musical notes.

61 “30 Rock” actor __ Morgan : TRACY

Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan plays the role of Tracy Jordan on the TV show “30 Rock”. Morgan got his big break on TV when he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 1996. He stayed with the show for eight seasons.

65 “Mary Magdalene” star Rooney __ : MARA

Actress Rooney Mara is noted for her role in the 2010 film “The Social Network” and for playing the title character in the 2011 hit movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. Mara has American football in her blood. Her mother’s family founded the Pittsburgh Steelers, and her father’s family founded the New York Giants.

“Mary Magdalene” is a 2018 movie starring Rooney Mara in the title role. Mara’s partner, Joaquin Phoenix, plays Jesus Christ.

66 Capital on the Tiber : ROME

The Tiber is the principal river in Italy in that it runs through the capital, Rome. It is the third longest river in the country.

Down

2 Stat for Clayton Kershaw : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

Clayton Kershaw is a pitcher who started playing for the LA Dodgers in 2008. Outside of baseball, Kershaw is noted for his charitable work, especially his efforts to raise money for an orphanage in Zambia.

4 Bloodsucker : LEECH

We are most familiar with medicinal leeches, which feed on the blood of mainly vertebrate animals. However, most leeches are predatory and swallow other invertebrates for food.

5 Pasta sauce brand : RAGU

Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna in Italy, hence the name. The recipe is usually referred to as “ragù alla bolognese” in Italian, or simply “ragù”. Note that the Ragú brand of sauces introduced in North America in 1937 takes its name from the same source (pun … sauce!). However, the brand name uses the wrong accent (“Ragú” instead of “Ragù”), which drives a pedant like me crazy ..

7 Steffi in the Tennis Hall of Fame : GRAF

Steffi Graf is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from Germany. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles, which was more than any other man or woman until Serena Williams came along.. Graf is married to another former World No. 1, namely Andre Agassi.

8 Pink cocktail, familiarly : COSMO

Like so many famous cocktails, the actual origins of the cosmopolitan are disputed. It is a very nice drink, in my humble opinion. One of the standard recipes is 4 parts citrus vodka, 1.5 parts Cointreau, 1.5 parts lime juice and 3 parts cranberry juice.

9 Digital address letters : URL

An Internet address (like NYXCrossword.com and LAXCrossword.com) is more correctly called a uniform resource locator (URL).

11 Common name for a tree-lined street : ELM

The most common street name in the US is “Second Street”. “First Street” comes in only at number three, and this is because many cities and towns forgo the use of “First” and instead go with “Main” or something more historical in nature. The spooky “Elm Street” appears on the list at number fifteen.

18 Cowboys’ home : DALLAS

The Dallas Cowboys play in the National Football Conference (NFC) of the NFL. The Cowboys are famous for a lengthy streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons, from 1966 to 1985. They are the highest-valued sports franchise in the country. The only team in the world that’s worth more money is the UK’s Manchester United soccer team.

20 Chapter companion : VERSE

Chapter and verse.

24 Foals’ fathers : SIRES

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

25 Wax-coated cheese : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

28 Yuletide carols : NOELS

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

30 Roman fiddler : NERO

The Great Fire of Rome raged for five and a half days in 64 AD. Of the fourteen districts of Rome, three were completely destroyed and seven more suffered serious damage. The emperor at the time was Nero, although reports that he fiddled, played his lyre or sang while the city burned; those accounts are probably not true. In fact, Nero was staying outside of Rome when the fire started and rushed home upon hearing the news. He organized a massive relief effort, throwing open his own home to give shelter to many of the citizens who were left living on the street.

32 Basil-based sauce : PESTO

Pesto sauce is more completely called “pesto alla genovese”, i.e. pesto from Genoa. A traditional recipe calls for crushed garlic, pine nuts, salt, basil leaves, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Yum …

34 “Wise” flier : OWL

The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

36 The Congo, formerly : ZAIRE

The African nation once called Zaire is a neighbor of Rwanda. The genocide and war in Rwanda spilled over into Zaire in 1996, with the conflict escalating into what is now called the First Congo War. As part of the war’s fallout there was a regime change, and in 1997 Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo.

41 Word or phrase preceded by “#” : -HASHTAG

A hashtag is a word preceded by the symbol #. Hashtags are big these days because of Twitter, a microblogging service that I don’t think I will ever understand …

47 Uranus or Neptune : ORB

One of the unique features of the planet Uranus is that its north and south poles lie where most other planets have their equators. That means that Uranus’ axis of rotation is almost in its solar orbit.

Neptune is the farthest planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The existence of Neptune was predicted as early as the 1820s by mathematics based on observations of the orbit of Uranus. The planet was actually first observed in 1846.

48 Key that may sound sad or angry : MINOR

Experts, unlike me, can wax lyrical on the technical differences between major and minor keys and scales. To me, music written in major keys is very strident, often very joyful and “honest”. Music written in minor keys (usually my favorite) is more feminine, more delicate and often quite sad.

49 Marinade in Philippine cooking : ADOBO

Philippine adobo is a dish that is sometimes cited as the national dish of the Philippines. The term “adobo” comes from the Spanish “adobar” meaning “marinade, sauce” The marinade used for the dish comprises vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorns.

51 Windy City hub : O’HARE

It seems that the derivation of Chicago’s nickname “Windy City” isn’t as obvious as I would have thought. There are two viable theories. Firstly, that the weather can be breezy with wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. The effect of the wind is exaggerated by the grid-layout adopted by city planners after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The second theory is that “windy” means “being full of bluster”. Sportswriters from the rival city of Cincinnati were fond of calling Chicago supporters “windy” in the 1860s and 1870s, meaning that they were full of hot air in their claims that the Chicago White Stockings were superior to the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

52 Khartoum’s nation : SUDAN

Khartoum is the capital city of Sudan, and is located at the point where the Blue Nile and White Nile meet.

55 Language of Pakistan : URDU

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of the 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

56 Like Hubbard’s cupboard : BARE

The English nursery rhyme “Old Mother Hubbard” was first printed in 1805:

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone;
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

60 Lens location : EYE

The lens in the eye can change shape, and in so doing change its focal length. This change allows the eye to focus on objects at different distances. The shape of the lens alters due to the action of the eye’s ciliary muscles.

62 Controversial food letters : GMO

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is one with genetic material that has been altered by genetic engineering. One might argue that the oldest form of genetic engineering is selective breeding, the use of animals or plants with desired traits for the creation of the next generation.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Aquatic barker : SEAL
5 “Notorious” justice, initially : RBG
8 Frozen rock in a bar? : CUBE
12 Lake that drains via the Niagara River : ERIE
13 City on the Nile : CAIRO
15 Daunting exam : ORAL
16 *Historic lifetime golf or tennis achievement : CAREER GRAND SLAM
19 *Cushioned Adidas running shoes : CLOUDFOAM
20 TV censoring device : V-CHIP
22 Do canine care? : FLOSS
25 Long-bodied fish : EEL
26 Dose amt. : TSP
28 Super Bowl org. : NFL
29 Bronze component : TIN
31 Hang loosely : DRAPE
33 Tigger’s best friend : ROO
35 Clear sky hue : AZURE
37 Long-eared equines : ASSES
38 Need to pay : OWE
39 More secure : SAFER
40 Extreme clutter : MESS
41 Oscar-winning actress Berry : HALLE
43 “Should that happen … ” : IF SO …
44 Power source for Watt : STEAM
46 Sleeping sound : SNORE
48 City hall leaders : MAYORS
50 Guiding principles : CREDOS
53 Driver’s licenses, e.g. : IDS
54 Donnybrook : RHUBARB
58 “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. __ : CHU
59 A or B, but not O : NOTE
61 “30 Rock” actor __ Morgan : TRACY
62 Pleased : GLAD
63 Follow orders : OBEY
64 Product pitcher : AD REP
65 “Mary Magdalene” star Rooney __ : MARA
66 Capital on the Tiber : ROME
67 Party attendee : GUEST
68 Portent : OMEN

Down

1 “Be there in a __!” : SEC
2 Stat for Clayton Kershaw : ERA
3 Breathing necessity : AIR
4 Bloodsucker : LEECH
5 Pasta sauce brand : RAGU
6 Eagle or lark : BIRD
7 Steffi in the Tennis Hall of Fame : GRAF
8 Pink cocktail, familiarly : COSMO
9 Digital address letters : URL
10 Sheep sound : BAA!
11 Common name for a tree-lined street : ELM
13 Corn, wheat, etc. : CROPS
14 Switch type : ON/OFF
17 Privileged groups : ELITES
18 Cowboys’ home : DALLAS
20 Chapter companion : VERSE
21 *Social status hierarchy : CLASS SYSTEM
23 Seafood appetizer, and what each answer to a starred clue literally is? : STUFFED CLAM
24 Foals’ fathers : SIRES
25 Wax-coated cheese : EDAM
27 Links tournament with two-person teams : PRO-AM
28 Yuletide carols : NOELS
30 Roman fiddler : NERO
32 Basil-based sauce : PESTO
34 “Wise” flier : OWL
36 The Congo, formerly : ZAIRE
41 Word or phrase preceded by “#” : -HASHTAG
42 Put into code : ENCRYPT
45 Goof up : ERR
47 Uranus or Neptune : ORB
48 Key that may sound sad or angry : MINOR
49 Marinade in Philippine cooking : ADOBO
51 Windy City hub : O’HARE
52 Khartoum’s nation : SUDAN
55 Language of Pakistan : URDU
56 Like Hubbard’s cupboard : BARE
57 Nails, as a test : ACES
60 Lens location : EYE
62 Controversial food letters : GMO

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 May 21, Tuesday”

  1. No errors.. not being a musician, I didn’t know that about MAJOR and MINOR key tone differences.. thanks Bill!!

  2. No errors or lookups, but never paid attention to the theme.
    How do they think those themes up????

  3. No errors…I got the theme after the fact as I usually do.
    @Bill…you say you don’t understand microblogging on Twitter…I on the other hand don’t much of anything internet related even though I have in recent years learned some of the very basics. If someone or something throws me a curve I have no idea where to go from there.
    Stay safe😀

  4. No errors or Googles, but many unknowns: CLOUDFOAM, VCHIP, COSMO, ADOBO, ERA, PROAM and CHU, though I saw and liked the movie. At 7, there were too many sports clues for me. The authors apparently don’t believe in indicating abbrevs: IDS, AD REP, PRO AM.
    A slodge for a Tuesday.

  5. @JaneBlando almost exactly the same clue difficulties as you. Theme was a complete mystery and no help. Still, a fun puzzle although a few look ups.

  6. so I work with two Filipinas — born in the country/raised there/now working here — and they pointed out that in the Philippines, adobo is a dish! But in Mexico, it is a paste or a marinade! I told them: Ha! Finally I have something pithy to write here! They joked that the crossword writer is pretending to be a Filipino!

  7. Was going to wait until tomorrow before chiming in, but got a really good time and since the late week puzzles keep getting harder and harder; 6:23 with no errors or peeks. I also went with CrAb at first but soon saw that was wrong. Didn’t know CLOADFOAMS and never heard of MARA.

    @Randy – I’ve been wondering about that for a while. I’ve been meaning to look into it, so thanks for the explanation. I kind of knew about the paste/marinade even if I haven’t actually tried it yet and I’m pretty sure I haven’t tried the dish yet either.

    re Kershaw’s ERA (2.95) Hopefully in the next few days my Giants will be able to raise that number a bit 🙂

  8. Re: previous reference to progressive difficulty through the week, Tuesday is statistically harder than Monday … But, today went much faster for me than yesterday – 7:34 vs 10:13 – with no errors. It all depends on one’s knowledge, experience, and clue references coming together.

    The theme was easy after seeing that Stuffed cRaB didn’t work in the SE corner. Being a tennis and golf fan, 16A was an early help.

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