LA Times Crossword 3 Sep 21, Friday

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Constructed by: August Miller
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Nervous Wreck

Themed answers each include the letter string “N-E-R-V-O-U-S”, but with the order “WRECKED”:

  • 49A Epitome of anxiety … or what’s hidden in three puzzle answers? : NERVOUS WRECK
  • 20A 2013 Mark Wahlberg war film : LONE SURVIVOR
  • 28A Warning on some serving containers : NOT FOR OVEN USE
  • 42A 1960 Melina Mercouri rom-com : NEVER ON SUNDAY

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

Bill’s time: 11m 37s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Asian noodle : UDON

Udon noodles are made from wheat-flour and are very popular in Japanese cuisines such as tempura.

14 Smoothie ingredient : ACAI

Açaí (pronounced “ass-aye-ee”) is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

15 Endangered Pacific bird : NENE

The nene is a bird that is native to Hawaii, and is also known as the Hawaiian goose. The name “nene” is imitative of its call. When Captain Cook landed on the islands in 1778, there were 25,000 nene living there. By 1950, the number was reduced by hunting to just 30 birds. Conservation efforts in recent years have been somewhat successful. The nene was named State Bird of Hawaii in 1957.

16 Big name in games : ATARI

Founded in 1972, electronics and video game manufacturer Atari was once the fastest-growing company in US history. However, Atari never really recovered from the video game industry crash of 1983.

17 You might take a day trip on one : WHIM

“Whim”, meaning “sudden fancy”, is such a lovely word, and one that we’ve been using in English since the 1640s. “Whim” is actually a shortened form of “whimwham”, which has a similar meaning and has been around since the early 1500s.

18 Suffragist Carrie Chapman __ : CATT

Carrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters and the International Alliance of Women. Catt was also very close to Susan B. Anthony and succeeded Anthony as head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

19 Evening course for many college students : RAMEN

Ramen is a noodle dish composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles in a meat or fish broth flavored with soy or miso sauce. Ramen is usually topped with sliced pork and dried seaweed. The term “ramen” is also used for precooked, instant noodles that come in single-serving, solid blocks.

20 2013 Mark Wahlberg war film : LONE SURVIVOR

“Lone Survivor” is a 2013 war film starring Mark Wahlberg as a US Navy SEAL who is the only survivor from a 4-man team on a mission in Afghanistan. The film is based on a 2007 book that recounts the real-life experience of Marcus Luttrell and the comrades that he lost on that mission. It’s a powerful movie …

24 NBA player since 2013 : PELICAN

The New Orleans Hornets joined the NBA in 1988 as an expansion team, originally based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The team was going to be called the Charlotte Spirit, but the name was changed following a “name the team” contest run in the local area. During the Revolutionary War, Lord General Cornwallis had referred to Charlotte as a “veritable nest of hornets” due the city’s resistance to British occupation, which explains the local fans’ fondness for the name “Hornets”. The franchise was moved to New Orleans for the 2002 season, as attendance wasn’t big enough to sustain the team in Charlotte. The team had to play two seasons in Oklahoma City due to damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, and played as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. After several years back in New Orleans, the franchise was renamed to the Pelicans, a nod to the Brown Pelican that is the Louisiana state bird.

31 Great Plains tribe : OTOE

The Otoe (also “Oto”) Native American tribe originated in the Great Lakes region as part of the Winnebago or Siouan tribes. The group that would become the Otoe broke away from the Winnebago and migrated southwestward, ending up in the Great Plains. In the plains the Otoe adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle dependent on the horse, with the American bison becoming central to their diet.

The Great Plains lie between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains in North America. This vast grassland is known as “the Prairies” in Canada.

32 Homeland Security org. : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in 2002 after the September 11th attacks. Today, the DHS has over 200,000 employees making it the third largest department in the cabinet (the biggest employers are the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs). The formation of the DHS was the biggest government reorganization in US history, with 22 government agencies drawn into a single organization.

35 Info on rap sheets : MOS

“Modus operandi” (plural “modi operandi”) is the Latin for “mode of operating”, a term we’ve been using since the mid-1600s. It’s often used by the police when referring to the methods typically employed by a particular perpetrator of a crime, and is usually abbreviated to “M.O.”

38 Prefix with -logue : EPI-

Our word “epilog” (also “epilogue”) applies to an addition at the end of a play or other literary work. The term ultimately comes from the Greek “epi-” signifying “in addition”, and “logos” meaning “speech”.

42 1960 Melina Mercouri rom-com : NEVER ON SUNDAY

“Never on Sunday” is a Greek rom-com film released in 1960. Even though it was an award-winning movie, it is perhaps best known today for its Oscar-winning theme song, also titled “Never on Sunday”. Lovely tune …

As an actress, Melina Mercouri is best remembered for playing the lead role in the 1960 Greek movie “Never on Sunday”. As a politician, Mercouri was Greece’s first female Minister of Culture and Sports, serving in the post for nine years.

47 Long Island university : ADELPHI

Adelphi University is located in Garden City, New York on Long Island. The university started out as Adelphi Academy in Brooklyn in 1863. By 1929, the academy had moved to Garden City and was a women’s college. Adelphi reverted to co-education after WWII when it admitted many students under the GI Bill.

49 Epitome of anxiety … or what’s hidden in three puzzle answers? : NERVOUS WRECK

The more common meaning of “epitome” is “perfect example of a group, quality, type”. An epitome is also an abstract or summary of a book or article.

54 Bishop in “Alien” films, for short : DROID

“Droid” is short for “android” and is used to describe a robot that resembles a human. The Latin word “androides” was used in English in the 18th century to mean “like a man”. Science fiction writers introduced us to “android” in the early 1950s.

“Aliens” is a 1986 sequel to the very successful science-fiction movie “Alien” released in 1979. “Aliens” was filmed at Pinewood Studios in England, and at the decommissioned Acton Lane Power Station in London. The film was directed by James Cameron, and starred Sigourney Weaver reprising her role as Ellen Ripley from “Alien”.

57 Pokémon species whose final form is Alakazam : ABRA

In the “Pokémon” universe, the species known as “Abra” can evolve into “Kadabra”, and then into “Alakazam”.

“Pokémon” is the second-biggest video game franchise in the world, second only to the “Mario” franchise. “Pokémon” is a contraction of “Pocket Monsters”.

59 “TODAY with Hoda & __” : JENNA

“Today with Hoda & Jenna” is a talk-show segment of NBC’s morning show “Today”. The spot has been hosted by Hoda Kotb since 2007, and by Jenna Bush Hager since 2019.

Hoda Kotb is an Egyptian-American television journalist who is perhaps best known as a co-host of the NBC morning show “Today”. She is also the author of the bestselling autobiography “Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee”.

Jenna Bush is one of the twin daughters of President George W. Bush. During her father’s 2004 presidential campaign, Jenna met and started dating Henry Hager who was a White House aide for deputy chief of staff Karl Rove. The couple were married in 2008.

60 Winter air? : NOEL

“Noël” is the French word for the Christmas season, and ultimately comes from the Latin word for “birth” (natalis). “Noel” has come to be used as an alternative for “Christmas carol”.

61 Slinky, e.g. : COIL

The marvelous Slinky toy was invented in the early forties by a naval engineer named Richard James. James was developing springs for the navy that could stabilize sensitive instruments in rough seas. One day he accidentally knocked one of his experimental coils off a shelf and watched it “step” onto a stack of books, then onto a table and from there onto the floor where it recoiled itself very neatly. The Slinky was born …

63 Spanish muralist : SERT

José Maria Sert was a painter of murals from Catalan. He was a good friend of fellow-artist Salvador Dali.

64 Skater Michelle : KWAN

Michelle Kwan is perhaps the most successful American figure skater in history. As well as being an Olympic medalist twice, World champion five times, Kwan was US champion a record nine times.

Down

8 Sinus-clearing aids : NETI POTS

A neti pot is a spouted vessel that is used for nasal irrigation. “Neti” is a Sanskrit word meaning “nasal cleansing”.

In anatomical terms, a sinus is a cavity in tissue. Sinuses are found all over the body, in the kidney and heart for example, but we most commonly think of the paranasal sinuses that surround the nose.

9 Some former inmates : PAROLEES

“Parole” is a French word that we use in English, with the French “parole” meaning “word, speech”. Of particular interest is the French phrase “parole d’honneur” which translates as “word of honor”. In the early 1600s we started using “parole” to mean a promise by a prisoner of war not to escape, as in the prisoner giving his “word of honor” not to run off. Over time, parole has come to mean conditional release of a prisoner before he or she has served the full term of a sentence.

22 Video hosting service with a big YouTube presence : VEVO

Vevo is a video hosting service that is best known as a provider of music videos for YouTube. It is a joint venture launched in 2009 by record companies looking for advertising revenue in exchange for sharing their music videos. The name “Vevo” is a portmanteau of “video” and “evolution”.

29 Turnips, say : ROOTS

The names of veggies cause me grief sometimes. What’s called a turnip here in the US, we call a swede back in Ireland. An Irishman’s turnip is a rutabaga over here. Thank goodness a potato is a potato, or I’d just give up altogether 🙂

33 Actress Rowlands : GENA

Gena Rowlands is an actress best known for the films made with her husband, actor and director John Cassavetes. Notably, Rowlands played a lead role opposite James Garner in the weepy, weepy 2004 film “The Notebook”. “The Notebook” was directed by her son Nick Cassavetes. Rowlands was nominated for Oscars for her performances in two films: “Gloria” (1980) and “A Woman Under the Influence” (1974).

34 Complained about : CARPED AT

The word “carp” used to mean simply “talk” back in the 13th century, with its roots in the Old Norwegian “karpa” meaning “to brag”. A century later, the Latin word “carpere” meaning “to slander” influenced the use of “to carp” so that it came to mean “to find fault with”.

40 Nobelist Niels : BOHR

Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who won his 1922 Nobel Prize for his work on quantum mechanics and atomic structure. Later in his life, Bohr was part of the team working on the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb. Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein had a series of public debates and disputes in the twenties and thirties. Although the two respected each other very highly, they held very different views on quantum theory, different views on the laws of physics at the atomic level. The passage of time has shown that Bohr won out in those debates.

43 Weather-affecting current : EL NINO

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more than half a degree celsius, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

44 Kind of shark : 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.

45 Margarita order : NO SALT

No one seems to know for sure who first created the cocktail known as a margarita. The most plausible and oft-quoted is that it was invented in 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico. The barman mixed the drink for an important visitor, the daughter of the German ambassador. The daughter’s name was Margarita Henkel, and she lent her name to the new drink. The basic recipe for a margarita is a mixture of tequila, orange-flavored liqueur (like Cointreau) and lime juice.

46 Notable index, with “the” : … DOW

Charles Dow was a journalist who moved to New York City (from Providence, Rhode Island) in 1880 as he was developing an interest in reporting financial and business news. He teamed up with statistician Edward David Jones, and in 1882, the pair formed the Dow, Jones & Company news agency. The following year, the fledgling company started to publish the “Customers’ Afternoon Letter”, a two-page summary of the day’s financial news. Included in the newsletter was the now celebrated Dow Jones stock average. The two-page “Customers’ Afternoon Letter” evolved into the newspaper that we now call “The Wall Street Journal”, which first appeared in 1889.

50 It’s found among the reeds : OBOE

The oboe is perhaps my favorite of the reed instruments. The name “oboe” comes from the French “hautbois” which means “high wood”.

51 Site for DIYers : EHOW

eHow is a how-to website that was founded in 1999. eHow has an awful lot of content but doesn’t do a great job of assessing the value of that content. I wouldn’t recommend it …

52 Trendy smoothie seed : CHIA

Chia is a flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seeds are an excellent food source and are often added to breakfast cereals and energy bars. There is also the famous Chia Pet, an invention of a San Francisco company. Chia Pets are terra-cotta figurines to which moistened chia seeds are applied. The seeds sprout and the seedlings become the “fur” of the Chia Pet.

54 Supplies the tunes, briefly : DJS

The world’s first radio disc jockey (DJ) was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

55 “Parks and __” : REC

“Parks and Recreation” is a sitcom that started airing on NBC in 2009, and is a show that has grown on me. It stars the “Saturday Night Live” alum Amy Poehler. The creators of “Parks and Recreation” are part of the team responsible for the American version of “The Office”, so you’ll notice some similarities in the style of the two shows, and some actors that have appeared in both.

56 Artist Yoko : ONO

Yoko Ono is an avant-garde artist. Ono actually met her future husband John Lennon for the first time while she was preparing her conceptual art exhibit called “Hammer a Nail”. Visitors were encouraged to hammer in a nail into a wooden board, creating the artwork. Lennon wanted to hammer in the first nail, but Ono stopped him as the exhibition had not yet opened. Apparently Ono relented when Lennon paid her an imaginary five shillings to hammer an imaginary nail into the wood.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Wind instrument’s flared end : BELL
5 Asian noodle : UDON
9 “As if!” : PSHAW!
14 Smoothie ingredient : ACAI
15 Endangered Pacific bird : NENE
16 Big name in games : ATARI
17 You might take a day trip on one : WHIM
18 Suffragist Carrie Chapman __ : CATT
19 Evening course for many college students : RAMEN
20 2013 Mark Wahlberg war film : LONE SURVIVOR
23 Comb : SIFT
24 NBA player since 2013 : PELICAN
28 Warning on some serving containers : NOT FOR OVEN USE
30 Previously owned : HAD
31 Great Plains tribe : OTOE
32 Homeland Security org. : TSA
33 Passed unremarkably : GOT A C
35 Info on rap sheets : MOS
36 Not hiding much : SHEER
38 Prefix with -logue : EPI-
39 Minimal, with “of” : A BIT …
41 Proposal amt. : EST
42 1960 Melina Mercouri rom-com : NEVER ON SUNDAY
47 Long Island university : ADELPHI
48 Coat for Santa? : SOOT
49 Epitome of anxiety … or what’s hidden in three puzzle answers? : NERVOUS WRECK
54 Bishop in “Alien” films, for short : DROID
57 Pokémon species whose final form is Alakazam : ABRA
58 “Fancy seeing you here!” : OH HI!
59 “TODAY with Hoda & __” : JENNA
60 Winter air? : NOEL
61 Slinky, e.g. : COIL
62 With “over,” request for room : SCOOT …
63 Spanish muralist : SERT
64 Skater Michelle : KWAN

Down

1 Cry out loud : BAWL
2 Call back? : ECHO
3 Stretched out : LAIN
4 Citrus soft drink : LIME SODA
5 Free from shackles : UNCUFF
6 Treasured by : DEAR TO
7 Airing : ON TV
8 Sinus-clearing aids : NETI POTS
9 Some former inmates : PAROLEES
10 Lead the cast of : STAR IN
11 Omelet choice : HAM
12 “__ you serious?” : ARE
13 Succeed : WIN
21 Command before “Stay,” maybe : SIT
22 Video hosting service with a big YouTube presence : VEVO
25 Too adorable : CUTESY
26 It’s a plus : ASSET
27 Approaching : NEAR
28 __ lands : NATIVE
29 Turnips, say : ROOTS
30 Was optimistic : HOPED
33 Actress Rowlands : GENA
34 Complained about : CARPED AT
35 Common sights at kids’ soccer games : MINIVANS
37 Pet lizard’s basking spot : HEAT ROCK
40 Nobelist Niels : BOHR
43 Weather-affecting current : EL NINO
44 Kind of shark : USURER
45 Margarita order : NO SALT
46 Notable index, with “the” : … DOW
50 It’s found among the reeds : OBOE
51 Site for DIYers : EHOW
52 Trendy smoothie seed : CHIA
53 Pottery basic : KILN
54 Supplies the tunes, briefly : DJS
55 “Parks and __” : REC
56 Artist Yoko : ONO

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 3 Sep 21, Friday”

  1. A little bit of a WRECK for me today.. got the theme ok. Never heard of a NETIPOT but got it with crosses. I crashed at 34D and 47A. Went with BARKED AT and ADELKEI because I couldn’t remember BOHR or BOER. It was ADELPHI and BOHR and CARPED AT!!!
    CREWK!

  2. No errors but never got the theme. I had trouble with the
    bottom SE corner because I didn’t know EHOW and had to
    look up that one. Wanted to use ETSY but that didn’t fit
    with Kwan, which I was sure was right. Eventually it all
    came together. I thought it was an obscure idea for a theme…
    just sayin’.

  3. 44:36 1 error, because I just could not figure out 33A

    Got the theme, but it didn’t help me, because anagrams.

  4. Had to put it down or awhile while my puzzle processor in my head was running in the background. When I finally came back to it I got rid of “soba” for 5 Across “Asian noodle” and figured out udon. From there the last bits fell into place. Definitely a challenging Friday grid.

  5. A nice 15:14 with no errors or lookups on a Friday. I got the theme answer, but had the other 3 answers already solved.

    Started out with HOTTO____ before NOTFORovenuse, CUTEST>CUTESY, TOYS>COIL, ETSY> EHOW. I think I would’ve laiD out instead of laiN out.

    Did not know CATT, VEVO, ABRA, SERT.

    I noticed we got OTOE today instead of OTOS as on Tuesday. Have to be ready for either one!

  6. Tricky but solvable Friday for me; took 22:43 with no errors or peeks, even though I’m not exactly sure how. Just managed enough of a clue fill to make an educated guess and fortunately knew enough esoteric stuff to have a hope at the fill at others.

    Never heard of CATT, ABRA or LONE SURVIVOR. Only vaguely aware of NEVER ON SUNDAY, ADELPHI and JENNA.

    And, the SF Giants, for the 1st time since Aug 31st, have retaken 1st place in the NL West! 🙂 Good game, though, to both sides.

  7. Never figured out the theme, but it didn’t matter in the end. Too much obscurity for my tastes as some of the clues/answers seemed forced.

  8. 24A A team is not a player.
    44D Should have had a question mark at the end to indicate there’s a twist involved.

    A number of these clues are too “too adorable”, as we are led to believe this puzzlemaker would say.

    The theme was not helpful, but then I get the feeling it wasn’t intended to be.

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