LA Times Crossword 28 Aug 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Craig Stowe
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 12m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Dangerous Beijing blanket : SMOG

“Smog” is a portmanteau formed by melding “smoke” and “fog”. The term was first used to describe the air around London in the early 1900s. Several cities around the world have a reputation of being particularly smoggy. For example, the most smog-plagued city in Latin America is Mexico City, which is located in a highland “bowl” that traps industrial and vehicle pollution.

The city of Beijing in China was given its name in 1403, with “Beijing” chosen as it translates as “Northern Capital”. The name distinguishes it from the city of Nanjing, whose name translates as “Southern Capital”. “Beijing” was written in English as “Peking” for centuries.

5 Many an online host : PODCASTER

A podcast is basically an audio or video media file that is made available for download. The name comes from the acronym “POD” meaning “playable on demand”, and “cast” from “broadcasting”. So, basically a podcast is a broadcast that one can play on demand, simply by downloading and opening the podcast file.

14 Unladen weight : TARE

Tare is the weight of a container that is deducted from the gross weight to determine the net weight, the weight of the container’s contents.

15 Ephemeral emporium : POP-UP STORE

A pop-up store is one that is temporary. The idea is that a pop-up store opens in empty retail space for a limited period of time, often to meet the needs of a particular season or holiday. Examples of the genre might be Halloween stores or Christmas stores.

“Ephemera” was originally a medical term used to describe a fever that only lasted a day. The use of the term was expanded in the 17th century to include insects that were short-lived. By the end of the 18th century, ephemera were any items of transitory existence.

16 Biblical Rodin work : ADAM

Auguste Rodin was a French sculptor who was known for realistic representations of the human form. Two of Rodin’s most famous works started out as details from a larger work called “The Gates of Hell”. One of these details is “The Thinker”, and the other “The Kiss”.

19 Honduran hands : MANOS

Honduras is a country in Central America that used to be known as Spanish Honduras, in order to differentiate it from British Honduras that is now called Belize. “Honduras” is the Spanish word for “the depths”, which is probably a reference to deep coastal waters.

21 May birthstones : EMERALDS

Here is the “official” list of birthstones, by month, that we tend to use today:

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Bloodstone or Aquamarine
  • April: Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Moonstone
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Sardonyx or Peridot
  • September: Sapphire or Lapis Lazuli
  • October: Opal or Pink Tourmaline
  • November: Topaz or Citrine
  • December: Turquoise or Zircon (also now, Tanzanite)

27 Muse with a lyre : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry. She is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses, and playing a lyre.

28 Classical theaters : ODEA

In ancient Greece an odeon (also “odeum”) was like a small theater, with “odeon” literally meaning “building for musical competition”. Odea were used in both Greece and Rome for entertainments such as musical shows and poetry readings.

29 Brit’s nap : KIP

In Britain, a person taking a nap might announce that he or she is going for a “kip”. The term “kip” likely migrated from Ireland, where “kip” was a slang term for a brothel. In Britain, the term “kip” continues to have the relatively innocuous sleeping connotation. In Ireland, the use of “kip” extended over the years as a pejorative term describing perhaps a hotel that is judged to be seedy, or a room that is particularly unclean.

32 Georgia neighbor : ARMENIA

Armenia is a landlocked country located east of Turkey, and is a former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). Back in the year 301 CE, the ancient Kingdom of Armenia became the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its national religion.

The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.

34 Its capital is St. George’s : GRENADA

Grenada is an island nation in the British Commonwealth (or Commonwealth Realm, as it is now called). When President Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada in 1983, after a pro-communist coup, the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II and her government were not amused …

37 Lille lily : LYS

“Lys” (sometimes “lis”) is the French word for “lily” as in “fleur-de-lys”, the heraldic symbol often associated with the French monarchy.

38 Ostrichlike bird : RHEA

The rhea is a flightless bird that is native to South America. The rhea takes its name from the Greek Titan Rhea. It’s an apt name for a flightless bird as “rhea” comes from the Greek word meaning “ground”.

48 Mackerel type : CHUB

The chub mackerel is a saltwater fish that is particularly common in the Pacific Ocean. It has been around a long time, with fossil records dating back to 2-3 million years ago.

53 Woody Guthrie, e.g. : OKIE

Woody Guthrie was a singer-songwriter. He was best known for his recording of the folk song “This Land is Your Land”, the lyrics of which were written by Guthrie himself.

55 Brief bio : VITA

A curriculum vitae (“CV” or “vita”) is a listing of someone’s work experience and qualifications, and is used mainly in making a job application. The term “curriculum vitae” can be translated from Latin as “course of life”.

56 Ergo : AS A RESULT

“Ergo” is a Latin word meaning “hence, therefore”, and one that we absorbed directly into English.

57 River partly on the Poland-Germany border : ODER

The Oder river rises in the Czech Republic, and forms just over a hundred miles of the border between Germany and Poland. Downstream, the Oder breaks into three branches that empty into the Gulf of Pomerania in the Baltic Sea.

Down

1 Washington’s features George : STATE SEAL

The Seal of the State of Washington is relatively simple, consisting of a portrait of President George Washington surrounded by the words “The Seal of the State of Washington” and the date 1889. The state was named for the nation’s first president, and was granted statehood in 1889.

3 Deterrents to ghostwriting : ORAL EXAMS

Some students might attempt to cheat by having someone ghostwrite homework assignments or even written exams.

8 ER technique : CPR

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

9 He played Michael in “That ’70s Show” : ASHTON

Ashton Kutcher played the character Michael Kelso on Fox’s “That ‘70s Show”. Kelso was Kutcher’s breakthrough acting role. Kutcher then starred in the sitcom “Two and a Half Men”, replacing the “disgraced” Charlie Sheen. In 2009, Kutcher became the first user on Twitter to get over 1 million followers. I wasn’t one of them …

“That ‘70s Show” is a sitcom that originally aired from 1998 to 2006. As the title suggests, it is set in the 1970s and explores the issues of the time. Two actors from the show that made it particularly big are Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.

10 Mary, Queen of Scots’ house : STUART

Mary, Queen of Scots ruled over Scotland from 1542 until 1567, even though she spent most of that reign in France where she had grown up. 16-year-old Mary married 9-year-old Francis, the Dauphin of France in 1558, and the following year became queen consort when her husband acceded to the throne. Francis only ruled for a year before dying of natural causes. The young widow returned to Scotland, the country of her birth, in 1561. In 1567, Mary was forced to abdicate the Scottish throne in favor of her one-year-old son James, after an uprising against Mary and her third husband, the Earl of Bothwell. Mary fled south to seek the protection of her cousin, Elizabeth I of England. As Mary had once claimed Elizabeth’s throne as her own, Elizabeth had Mary imprisoned. Mary was held in confinement for over 18 years and eventually beheaded in 1587, having been found guilty of plotting to assassinate Elizabeth.

13 __ Zhengfei, CEO/founder of smartphone giant Huawei : REN

Huawei is a telecommunications and consumer electronics company based in China that was founded in 1987. In 2020, Huawei shipped more smartphones than any other company in the world, beating out even Samsung and Apple. Huawei’s activities are viewed with concern by many governments around the world, particularly in the areas of cybersecurity, intellectual property and human rights violations.

15 Church reading : PSALM

The Greek word “psalmoi” originally meant “songs sung to a harp”, and gave us the word “psalms”. In the Jewish and Western Christian traditions, the Book of Psalms contains 150 individual psalms, divided into five sections.

22 Liturgy : RITE

A liturgy is a rite of public worship performed by a religious group. The term “liturgy” comes from Greek, and ultimately from “litos ergos” meaning “public service, work for the people”.

26 Lyra’s brightest star : VEGA

Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. Vega (along with Altair and Deneb from other constellations) is also part of the group of three stars that is called the Summer Triangle. Vega is the star at the right-angle of this triangle.

28 Home to most of Hawaii’s population : OAHU

Oahu has been called “The Gathering Place”, although the word “O’ahu” has no translation in Hawaiian. It seems that “O’ahu” is simply the name of the island. One story is that it is named after the son of the Polynesian navigator who first found the islands. The island is made up of two volcanoes, Wai’anae and Ko’olau, joined together by a broad valley, the O’ahu Plain.

29 Mr. Miyagi’s charge, with “The” : … KARATE KID

The 1984 film “The Karate Kid” starred Ralph Macchio in the title role, with Pat Morita playing the enigmatic karate teacher Mr. Miyagi. There is an excellent 2010 remake, starring Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son) as the Karate Kid himself, with Jackie Chan playing the teacher. In the original 1984 movie, the Karate Kid was named Daniel LaRusso, and in the 2010 remake was named Dre Parker.

31 Black-and-white Chinese native : PANDA BEAR

The phrase “panda diplomacy” is used to describe China’s practice of presenting giant pandas to other countries as diplomatic gifts. One of the more famous examples of panda diplomacy was the presentation of Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing to the US following President Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972.

35 Pulitzer Prize-winning critic : EBERT

Roger Ebert was a film critic for “The Chicago Sun-Times” for 50 years. He also co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed. Ebert was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, which he did in 1975. He was diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer in 2002, and finally succumbed to a recurrence of the disease in April 2013.

39 Earth-shattering : EPOCHAL

Something described as epochal, relates to an epoch, a memorable period of time. An extended meaning of “epoch” is “highly significant, earth-shattering”.

41 Person of interest? : USURER

Usury used to be the practice of simply lending money at interest, but the term now refers to lending at rates of interest that are excessive.

42 “Father of Eng. History” : ST BEDE

The Venerable Bede was a monk in the north of England in the eighth century AD. Saint Bede is mainly known as an author and scholar, publisher of “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People”. In his writings, Bede struggled with the two common ways of referring to dates at that time. Bede turned to the anno domini dating method that had been devised by Dionysius Exiguus in 525. Bede’s writings of circa 730 were extremely influential and helped popularize the “anno domini” method. He is sometimes referred to as “The Father of English History”.

45 Superheroine Adora, more commonly : SHE-RA

“She-Ra: Princess of Power” is an animated television show, and a spinoff of the very successful “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe”. Both shows are aimed at young people, with “He-Man” targeted at boys and “She-Ra” at girls.

47 Rush drummer Neil : PEART

Rush is a Canadian rock band that has been around since 1968. The band has three members: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart.

49 Alaskan island in the Eastern Hemisphere : ATTU

Attu is the westernmost island in the Aleutian chain and so is the westernmost part of Alaska (and is in the Eastern Hemisphere). Japanese forces took the island in October 1942, eventually landing as many as 2,900 soldiers there. In May 1943, the US Army retook the island in twenty days of fighting that is now called the Battle of Attu, the only land battle to take place on US soil during WWII. I am very proud of my father-in-law, who served in the Aleutians during WWII …

51 Lil Wayne’s “__ Block Is Hot” : THA

“Lil Wayne” is the stage name used by rap artist Dwayne Carter, Jr. from New Orleans.

53 Ab __: from day one : OVO

“Ab ovo” translates literally from Latin as “from the egg”, and is used in English to mean “from the beginning”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Dangerous Beijing blanket : SMOG
5 Many an online host : PODCASTER
14 Unladen weight : TARE
15 Ephemeral emporium : POP-UP STORE
16 Biblical Rodin work : ADAM
17 Phenomenal : SUPERHUMAN
18 Business card abbr. : TEL
19 Honduran hands : MANOS
20 Filing aids : TABS
21 May birthstones : EMERALDS
23 Not as nice : WORSE
24 Pay equity concern : SEXISM
25 Word with social or media : … EVENT
27 Muse with a lyre : ERATO
28 Classical theaters : ODEA
29 Brit’s nap : KIP
32 Georgia neighbor : ARMENIA
34 Its capital is St. George’s : GRENADA
37 Lille lily : LYS
38 Ostrichlike bird : RHEA
40 Industrial heavyweight : BARON
41 Deplete : USE UP
43 Economic curve : DEMAND
44 Brief aides? : ASSTS
46 Precursor of today’s musical theater : OPERETTA
48 Mackerel type : CHUB
49 Make short work of the test : ACE IT
50 Subside : EBB
51 “Point taken” : THERE’S THAT
53 Woody Guthrie, e.g. : OKIE
54 Like some feuds : HEREDITARY
55 Brief bio : VITA
56 Ergo : AS A RESULT
57 River partly on the Poland-Germany border : ODER

Down

1 Washington’s features George : STATE SEAL
2 Partied hearty : MADE MERRY
3 Deterrents to ghostwriting : ORAL EXAMS
4 Treasure : GEM
5 Hammer : POUND
6 Not in favor : OPPOSED
7 Some charges : DUES
8 ER technique : CPR
9 He played Michael in “That ’70s Show” : ASHTON
10 Mary, Queen of Scots’ house : STUART
11 Some memorials : TOMBS
12 Wipe out : ERASE
13 __ Zhengfei, CEO/founder of smartphone giant Huawei : REN
15 Church reading : PSALM
19 Cement mixer : MASON
22 Liturgy : RITE
23 Grate (on) : WEAR
26 Lyra’s brightest star : VEGA
28 Home to most of Hawaii’s population : OAHU
29 Mr. Miyagi’s charge, with “The” : … KARATE KID
30 “It’s ok, you can trust me” : I DON’T BITE
31 Black-and-white Chinese native : PANDA BEAR
33 More than displeases : IRES
35 Pulitzer Prize-winning critic : EBERT
36 Title : NAME
39 Earth-shattering : EPOCHAL
41 Person of interest? : USURER
42 “Father of Eng. History” : ST BEDE
43 Exalted one : DEITY
44 Smarts : ACHES
45 Superheroine Adora, more commonly : SHE-RA
47 Rush drummer Neil : PEART
49 Alaskan island in the Eastern Hemisphere : ATTU
51 Lil Wayne’s “__ Block Is Hot” : THA
52 Household nickname : SIS
53 Ab __: from day one : OVO

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Aug 21, Saturday”

  1. I started out really slow.. everything just took a while to materialize..
    VITA had me stumped but I remembered it as a French word?? So I wasn’t sure. I left because everything else fit.

  2. LAT: About an hour. All correct but really never heard of Adora or a hereditary feud. I guess that’s a generations-long family feud.

  3. Not as hard as some Saturdays. No errors, but had trouble with
    the bottom area and had to look up the Rush drummer and the
    Father of the Eng. History. Learned a new word…”kip”.

  4. It took an hour and that was with plenty of letter, word, and grid checks. I should have quit after 15 minutes. Oh well.

  5. This puzzle seemed to have a case of dissociative identity disorder. Some sections were extremely simple and others were much tougher. I dashed off one quarter of the grid with no problem at all and then the next section had me flummoxed for awhile. Finally finished without any final errors.

  6. 22:23

    Bit of a slog with many changes. When I had it filled, the random looking assortment of letters I had in 56A was clearly wrong. So I removed all the ones I wasn’t sure about and as a result, ASARESULT popped out.

    It looks like we got a lot of new posters yesterday, desperately trying to understand the theme. I hope some of them stick around.

    Pandas are not bears!

  7. 30:23 – too many erros/lookups to cite.

    I found it difficult, even for a Saturday. I wonder how other newbies felt about it.

    Look forward to another Monday …

  8. I loved Tony’s “DID” because this puzzle had several clues that were way off the mark as related to their answers. Sure do wish the editor (Mr. Norris) would be more active in the task to which he has assigned himself.

  9. 9:24, no errors. Hopefully people will stick around. Always opportunities to learn. Or entertainment for when stuff like yesterday dropped.

  10. About an hour and 20 min. but it’s the first puzzle today that I finished with no errors…a rough Saturday 👍
    Stay safe😀
    While watching the baseball game last night I determined that if I was as bad at my job as major league umpires are at calling balls and strikes I would have spent a lot of time in the unemployment line🤪

  11. Better than the last two days at 29:22 with lookups for the mackerel type and Father of Eng History. Also new were KIP, PEART, and SHE-RA.

    Had to change EDEN>ADAM and ALABAMA>ARMENIA.

  12. This newbie got lost in the puzzle; but, learned alot about alot! Stared at “asa result” forever! Got a headache from pounding my forehead. Don’t know how you guys work so fast. I sure enjoy your notes though.

  13. Tough Saturday for me; had most of the SW, SE and good parts of the NW and a little bit of the NE when I gave up. Did a few “check-grids” and was able to get across the finish line. Learned a lot today that I had no idea about before…

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