LA Times Crossword 8 May 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Debbie Ellerin
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 11m 30s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 TV’s “Ozark,” e.g. : DRAMA

“Ozark” is an excellent TV crime show starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as a married couple who relocate from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks. The couple fall foul of Mexican drug lord after a money laundering scheme goes awry. The show is set at a lake resort in the Ozarks, although filming actually takes place at lakes in the Atlanta area in order to take advantage of tax breaks offered by the State of Georgia.

6 Comedy club regulars : MCS

The term “emcee” comes from “MC”, an initialism used for a Master or Mistress of Ceremonies.

16 Bright, loyal breed : BOXER

The boxer breed of dog (one of my favorites) originated in Germany. My first dog was a boxer/Labrador mix, a beautiful combination. Our current family dog is a boxer/pug mix, and is another gorgeous animal.

17 1998 Academy Honorary Award-winning director : ELIA KAZAN

Elia Kazan won Oscars for best director in 1948 for “Gentleman’s Agreement” and in 1955 for “On The Waterfront”. He was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when he was given the 1998 Academy Honorary Award citing his lifetime achievement in the industry. Kazan also directed “East of Eden”, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences, and “Splendor in the Grass” that included Warren Beatty in his debut role.

18 Dried chili pepper : ANCHO

An ancho is a dried poblano pepper used in Mexican cuisine. The poblano is a mild chili.

22 Sky cat? : LEO

The constellation named Leo can be said to resemble a lion. Others say that it resembles a bent coat hanger. “Leo” is the Latin for “lion”, but I’m not sure how to translate “coat hanger” into Latin …

23 “Madam Secretary” star : TEA LEONI

Téa Leoni is an American actress. One of Leoni’s early parts was in the great film “A League of Their Own” (a minor role: Racine at first base). She also played the fiancée of Sam Malone from “Cheers” on the spin-off sitcom “Frasier”. A leading role on the big screen was opposite Adam Sandler in “Spanglish”. My favorite of her more prominent movie roles was as Jane in “Fun with Dick and Jane”. Leoni started playing the title role in the drama series “Madam Secretary” in 2014, and that’s a show I quite enjoy …

“Madam Secretary” is A TV show that first aired from 2014 to 2019. It is about an ex-CIA analyst who is appointed as US Secretary of State. Téa Leoni plays the title role, ably supported by a favorite actress of mine, Bebe Neuwirth. I like this show …

29 Curling spots : RINKS

I think curling is such a cool game (pun!). It’s somewhat like bowls, but played on a sheet of ice. The sport was supposedly invented in medieval Scotland, and is called curling because of the action of the granite stone as it moves across the ice. A player can make the stone take a curved path (“curl”) by causing it to slowly rotate as it slides.

31 Bike chain alternative : U-LOCK

One might use a chain or a u-lock to fasten a bicycle to say a railing, for security.

32 Word from the German for “spirit of the age” : ZEITGEIST

“Zeit” is the German word for “time”, as in “zeitgeist”, a word imported into English meaning “the spirit of the times”.

36 Corner piece : ROOK

The corner piece in the game of chess is called a “rook”, a word coming from the Persian “rokh” meaning a “chariot”. The rook has also been called, perhaps incorrectly, the castle, tower, marquess and rector.

37 Guinness orders : PINTS

A US pint comprises 16 fluid ounces, and an imperial pint is 20 fluid ounces. The term “pint” comes into English via Old French, ultimately from the Latin “picta” meaning “painted”. The name arose from a line painted on the side of a beer glass that marked a full measure of ale.

The world-famous Guinness brewery at St. James’s Gate in Dublin, Ireland was founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness. By 1838, St. James’s Gate was the largest brewery in Ireland, and by 1886 it was the largest brewery in the world. While no longer the largest brewer of beer, Guinness is still the largest brewer of stout on the planet.

39 Ride in the sand : DUNE BUGGY

Dune buggies are motorized vehicles designed for use on sand dunes and sandy beaches. They are typically made by adding large wheels and wide tires to the chassis of an existing road vehicle. Volkswagen Bugs are a common choice for the base vehicle, which choice led the name dune “buggy”.

41 Drop, as dough : SPEND

Lettuce, cabbage, kale, dough, bread, scratch, cheddar, simoleons, clams and moola(h) are all slang terms for money.

42 Lionsgate premium cable subsidiary : STARZ

The Starz premium cable channel is owned by Lionsgate, the same company that owns the Encore cable channel. Starz was launched in 1994 and mainly shows movies.

43 Prince Harry’s dukedom : SUSSEX

Harry, Duke of Sussex is the younger of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. Famously, “Prince” Harry married American actress Meghan Markle in 2018. The groom’s name was Prince Henry of Wales until the marriage, at which time his name officially changed to “Prince Harry”. In January 2020, Harry and Meghan stepped back from their official duties, resulting in Harry losing the “Prince” title and becoming plain old “Harry, Duke of Sussex”.

46 Dry deliveries : DEADPANS

The term “deadpan”, slang for “impassive expression”, comes from “dead” (expressionless) and “pan” (slang for “face”).

49 Game of luck : WAR

War is a card game, one played mainly by children.

51 Little elephant : CALF

The gestation period for elephants is around two years, with only one calf being born at a time, and rarely two. The newborn calf weighs about 260 pounds. Female elephants become secually mature at about nine years of age, whereas males mature at 14-15 years. Typically, elephants live to 60 or 70 years old, with at least captive male reported to have lived for 86 years.

55 “Hotel du Lac” author Brookner : ANITA

Anita Brookner is a British novelist and art historian. Brookner’s fourth book was “Hotel du Lac”, which was published in 1984 and won that year’s Booker Prize.

57 Chaotic situation, in slang : GOAT RODEO

The phrases “goat rodeo” and “goat rope” are used to describe chaotic situations, especially in a business or in government. New to me …

60 Posse : ENTOURAGE

A rap star’s entourage is usually called his or her “posse”.

61 Putin’s denials : NYETS

Vladimir Putin became acting President of Russia at the very end of 1999 when Boris Yeltsin resigned. Putin was elected in his own right in 2000, re-elected in 2004, and then ran up against a term limit in 2008. In 2008 Putin was appointed by his successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, to the position of Prime Minister. Putin is a controversial figure, inside and outside Russia. On the one hand he led the country out of an economic crisis into a period of stability and relative prosperity. On the other hand he has been associated with government corruption and accused of allowing private concerns to have undue influence on government actions. And then, along came the 2016 US presidential election …

62 “The Partridge Family” actress : DEY

Actress Susan Dey first appeared on “The Partridge Family” when she was 17-years-old when she had no acting experience. Years later, Dey won a Golden Globe for playing the leading role of Grace Van Owen in “L.A. Law”.

The 1970s musical sitcom “The Partridge Family” stars Shirley Jones as a widowed mother of five children who launch a musical career as a family. The show’s storyline is loosely based on the careers of the real-life singing family The Cowsills.

Down

1 Scott in a landmark Supreme Court case : DRED

The landmark case of Dred Scott vs. Sandford came before the US Supreme Court in 1857. Scott had been born a slave, but lived with his owner in a free state for several years before returning to the slave state of Missouri. Scott’s argument was that living in a free state entitled him to emancipation. A divided US Supreme Court sided with Scott’s owner John Sandford. The decision was that no African American, free or enslaved, was entitled to US citizenship and therefore Scott was unable to petition the court for his freedom. The decision heightened tensions between the North and South, and the American Civil War erupted just three years later.

3 1998 hit from the Sarah McLachlan album “Surfacing” : ADIA

Sarah McLachlan is a singer/songwriter from Halifax, Nova Scotia who lives in Vancouver. In 1997, McLachlan married Ashwin Sood, the drummer in her band. The 1998 hit song “Adia”, which she co-wrote and recorded, was intended as an apology to her best friend … for stealing her ex-boyfriend and then marrying him!

5 Part of AMA, on Reddit : ASK

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

6 Yiddish fortune : MAZEL

“Mazel” is a Yiddish word meaning “luck, fortune”, as in “mazel tov” meaning “good luck”.

10 Word in many German names : VON

“Von” is a German word meaning “of, from”.

13 Brownie bunch : TROOP

Brownies are members of the Girl Guiding organization who are seven to ten years old. When the group was founded in 1914 by Lord Baden-Powell, they were known as Rosebuds. That name wasn’t popular with the membership and so was changed, taking inspiration from an 1870 story by Juliana Horatia Ewing called “The Brownies”.

15 Horrible comic? : HAGAR

“Hägar the Horrible” is a comic strip that was created by the late Dik Browne and is now drawn by his son, Chris Browne. “Hägar the Terrible” (not “Horrible”) was the nickname given to Dik by his sons. The strip’s title character is a red-bearded Viking living on the Norwegian coast during the Middle Ages. Hägar lives with his overbearing wife Helga, his sensitive son Hamlet, his pretty daughter Honi, and his clever dog Snert.

21 Hands and feet : UNITS

A hand is a 4-inch unit of measure used primarily for giving the height of a horse. The original “hand” was the width of the hand, held without splaying the thumb or fingers. The height of a horse is measured from the ground to the withers, the ridge between the shoulder blades.

The measurement known as the “international yard” was defined as exactly 0.9144 meters in a 1959 agreement between six nations, including the US, the UK and Canada. Today, the US is the sole industrialized nation preferring the use of the yard over the meter as a standard measurement.

26 Morsel for Miss Muffet : CURD

“Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey”, in the popular nursery rhyme. A tuffet is a low seat or a footstool, another word for a pouffe or a hassock. When milk curdles it separates into two parts, solid curds and liquid whey. Then “along came a spider and sat down beside her”.

27 Baseball brother : ALOU

Jesus Alou played Major League Baseball, as did his brothers Matty and Felipe, and as did Felipe’s son Moises.

30 Tallies : KEEPS SCORE

Back in the mid-1600s, a tally was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or paid. The term “tally” came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”. The act of “scoring” the stick with notches gave rise to our word “score” for the number in a tally.

33 Lang. of Belize : ENG

Belize was formerly known as British Honduras, which explains why English is the country’s official language. Belize is located on the northeastern coast of Central America, and borders Mexico and Guatemala.

34 Geometry calculation : SINE

The most familiar trigonometric functions are sine, cosine and tangent (abbreviated to “sin, cos and tan”). Each of these is a ratio: a ratio of two sides of a right-angled triangle. The “reciprocal” of these three functions are cosecant, secant and cotangent. The reciprocal functions are simply the inverted ratios, the inverted sine, cosine and tangent. These inverted ratios should not be confused with the “inverse” trigonometric functions e.g. arcsine, arccosine and arctangent. These inverse functions are the reverse of the sine, cosine and tangent.

35 Acronymic term for some local talks : TEDX

The acronym “TED” stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design”. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”. There are also TEDx events, which are locally-run talks presented under license from TED.

37 Baby food, usually : PUREE

A purée is a food that has been made smooth by straining or blending. “Purée” is a French term, which I believe is now used to mean “pea soup” (more completely written as “purée de pois”). The French verb “purer” means “to strain, clean”, from the Latin “purare” meaning “to purify, clean”.

40 Undeserved charges : BAD RAPS

A rap sheet is a criminal record. “Rap” is a slang term dating back to the 1700s that means “blame, responsibility” as in “to take the rap”, “bad rap” and “to beat the rap”. This usage morphed into “rap sheet” in the early 1900s.

41 Bask : SUN

Our verb “to bask”, meaning “to expose one to pleasant warmth”, is derived from the gruesome, 14th-century term “basken”, meaning “to wallow in blood”. The contemporary usage apparently originated with Shakespeare, who employed “bask” with reference to sunshine in “As You Like It”.

44 “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade” writer : TWAIN

“Samuel Langhorne Clemens” was the real name of the author Mark Twain. Twain wasn’t the only pen name used by Clemens. Early in his career he signed some sketches as “Josh”, and signed some humorous letters that he wrote under the name “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass”. The name of Mark Twain came from the days when Clemens was working on riverboats on the Mississippi. A riverboatman would call out “by the mark twain” when measuring the depth of water. This meant that on the sounding line, according to the “mark” on the line, the depth was two (“twain”) fathoms, and so it was safe for the riverboat to proceed.

48 Boglike : PEATY

When dead plant matter accumulates in marshy areas, it may not fully decay due to a lack of oxygen or acidic conditions. We are familiar with this in Ireland, because this decaying matter can form peat, and we have lots and lots of peat bogs around the country.

52 Scott of “Big Little Lies” : ADAM

Adam Scott is an actor from Santa Cruz, California who is best known for playing Ben Wyatt on the hit sitcom “Parks and Recreation”.

“Big Little Lies” is a 2017 TV miniseries that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name. It stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley as three women who, while dealing with their own emotional problems, find themselves involved in a murder investigation. I haven’t seen this one, but hear very good things …

53 Danish toy maker : LEGO

Lego is manufactured by the Lego Group, a privately held company headquartered in Billund, Denmark. The company was founded by a carpenter called Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1934 and the now-famous plastic interlocking blocks were introduced in 1949. The blocks were originally sold under the name “Automatic Binding Bricks” but I think “Lego” is easier to remember! The name “Lego” comes from the Danish term “leg godt” meaning “play well”.

58 Hurricane component : RUM

The hurricane is a daiquiri-like cocktail that is very much associated with the French Quarter in New Orleans. It comprises rum, lemon juice and passion fruit syrup and is traditionally served in what’s now known as a hurricane glass. Supposedly, the drink was created in the 1940s by a bar owner who wanted to sell off some overstocked rum. He mixed up the drink and sold it to sailors in glass shaped like hurricane lamps, hence the name of the cocktail.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 TV’s “Ozark,” e.g. : DRAMA
6 Comedy club regulars : MCS
9 Dodge : AVERT
14 Pool service? : RIDE-SHARE
16 Bright, loyal breed : BOXER
17 1998 Academy Honorary Award-winning director : ELIA KAZAN
18 Dried chili pepper : ANCHO
19 Reason to shake : DEAL
20 Brilliant : GENIUS
22 Sky cat? : LEO
23 “Madam Secretary” star : TEA LEONI
25 Make calls at home, maybe : UMP
26 More shrewd : CAGIER
29 Curling spots : RINKS
31 Bike chain alternative : U-LOCK
32 Word from the German for “spirit of the age” : ZEITGEIST
36 Corner piece : ROOK
37 Guinness orders : PINTS
38 Woman’s name that sounds like two letters : EVIE
39 Ride in the sand : DUNE BUGGY
41 Drop, as dough : SPEND
42 Lionsgate premium cable subsidiary : STARZ
43 Prince Harry’s dukedom : SUSSEX
44 NBA on __ : TNT
46 Dry deliveries : DEADPANS
49 Game of luck : WAR
50 Generated again : REGREW
51 Little elephant : CALF
55 “Hotel du Lac” author Brookner : ANITA
57 Chaotic situation, in slang : GOAT RODEO
59 Finish, as a tat : INK UP
60 Posse : ENTOURAGE
61 Putin’s denials : NYETS
62 “The Partridge Family” actress : DEY
63 Nonmusical notes : MEMOS

Down

1 Scott in a landmark Supreme Court case : DRED
2 Upset : RILE
3 1998 hit from the Sarah McLachlan album “Surfacing” : ADIA
4 Singer’s voice, e.g. : MEAL TICKET
5 Part of AMA, on Reddit : ASK
6 Yiddish fortune : MAZEL
7 Bird at a construction site? : CRANE
8 Asset on the corporate ladder : SENIORITY
9 Taking down a peg : ABASING
10 Word in many German names : VON
11 Some scoops : EXCLUSIVES
12 Take up again, in a way : REHEM
13 Brownie bunch : TROOP
15 Horrible comic? : HAGAR
21 Hands and feet : UNITS
24 Cry of dismay : EEK!
26 Morsel for Miss Muffet : CURD
27 Baseball brother : ALOU
28 Walk out : GO ON STRIKE
30 Tallies : KEEPS SCORE
32 Didn’t go straight : ZIGZAGGED
33 Lang. of Belize : ENG
34 Geometry calculation : SINE
35 Acronymic term for some local talks : TEDX
37 Baby food, usually : PUREE
40 Undeserved charges : BAD RAPS
41 Bask : SUN
43 Took care of : SAW TO
44 “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade” writer : TWAIN
45 Household helper : NANNY
47 Modern delivery vehicle : DRONE
48 Boglike : PEATY
52 Scott of “Big Little Lies” : ADAM
53 Danish toy maker : LEGO
54 Ones at odds : FOES
56 Mild rebuke : TUT
58 Hurricane component : RUM

12 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 May 21, Saturday”

  1. 12:32, no errors. In other news, evidently the era of Stumperless Newsday is over, as today’s seems to be a particularly hard one (in my view)…so given trend it seems they’re done with the Sat NYT level of stuff…

    1. FWIW, I finished the Newsday with no errors, but it took me 31:11 and I think I was doing well to finish it that fast. (OTOH, I looked at it again just now and had difficulty seeing what it was that I found so difficult last night.) So I mostly agree with your assessment.

      Yesterday’s Croce, on the other hand, took me an hour and forty-one minutes and I finished with a one-square error (of the stupid variety, because I got impatient and neglected to do a final check).

      Today’s LAT: 14:47, no errors. Had not heard of “goat rodeo” and had trouble coming up with “rum” as a “hurricane component”, so that corner took a while.

  2. LAT: 45 minutes, no errors. Seemed an average Saturday puzzle, although the crosses helped in quite a few answers. Goat rodeo and tedx were completely new to me.

  3. Not quite as difficult as some Saturday fare; but no errors after two
    proper name lookups. Although I had it right, I question the posse
    answer: entourage. Never heard it that way before. Which doesn’t
    preclude it.

  4. After completion, with a fair number of “ink overs” I came to Bill’s blog swearing if his completion time was under 10 minutes with no errors I was going to swear at full volume. Luckily for me and the Poodles I was able stay silent. Whew!

  5. 29:51 no errors…goat rodeo and zeitgeist were both new to me.
    My first and only error free puzzle of the day👍
    Stay safe😀

  6. 20:30

    I think I first encountered the term “goat rodeo” in a column discussing its origins, but I don’t remember where they said it came from.

  7. Sleepy Saturday; took me 35:24 with no errors or peeks surprisingly. Lots of false starts and redos today, probably due to 6 hrs sleep. I laughed at “goat rodeo” but seem to vaguely remember it from somewhere…here I thought. Never heard of a lot of the people in this puzzle, but somehow managed with crosses and guesses.

    Supposedly the middle stage of the recent Chinese space station rocket will fall in large pieces this weekend…stay safe and hope most of it lands in the ocean…

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