LA Times Crossword 30 Sep 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Yoni Glatt & Dani Raymon
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Vegetarian Singers

Themed answers are a singer with a botanical family name:

  • 17A “Fancy” (2014) singer : IGGY AZALEA
  • 22A “November Rain” lead singer : AXL ROSE
  • 37A “Whole Lotta Love” lead singer : ROBERT PLANT
  • 53A “Walk on the Wild Side” singer : LOU REED
  • 59A “Johnny B. Goode” singer : CHUCK BERRY

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

Bill’s time: 7m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Nursery piece : CRIB

In Old English, the word “cribbe” applied to a manger, an open box holding fodder for livestock. Probably because of the association of a manger used as a bed for the infant Jesus, the word “crib” came to describe an enclosed bed for a child.

5 Orkin target : ROACH

The insect known as a cockroach is closely related to the termite. Although generally considered a pest, the lowly cockroach has at least one claim to fame. A cockroach named Nadezhda was sent into space in 2007 by Russian scientists, where it became the first terrestrial creature to give birth in space. Nadezhda bore 33 cockroaches.

10 Cousin of a sari : TOGA

In ancient Rome, the classical attire known as a toga (plural “togae” or “togas”) was usually worn over a tunic. The tunic was made from linen, and the toga itself was a piece of cloth about twenty feet long made from wool. The toga could only be worn by men, and only if those men were Roman citizens. The female equivalent of the toga was called a “stola”.

14 Jay with lots of wheels : LENO

Jay Leno was born James Leno in New Rochelle, New York. Jay’s father was the son of Italian immigrants, and his mother was from Scotland. Leno grew up in Andover, Massachusetts and actually dropped out of school on the advice of a high school guidance counsellor. However, years later he went to Emerson College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. Leno also started a comedy club at Emerson in 1973. Today Jay Leno is a car nut and owns about 200 vehicles of various types. You can check them out on his website: www.jaylenosgarage.com.

15 Speed skater Ohno : APOLO

Speed-skater Apolo Ohno has won more Winter Olympics medals than any other American. Ohno also did a great job winning the 2007 season of television’s “Dancing with the Stars”.

16 Like webs : SPUN

The silk that makes up a web is a protein fiber that is “spun” by a spider. Spider silk is about one sixth of the density of steel, yet has a comparable tensile strength.

17 “Fancy” (2014) singer : IGGY AZALEA

“Iggy Azalea” is the stage name of Australian rapper Amethyst Kelly. I haven’t heard of her outside of crosswords, I must admit …

21 Seminarian’s subj. : REL

Originally, a seminary was where plants were raised from seeds, as “semen” is the Latin for “seed”. The first schools labeled as seminaries were established in the late 1500s. Those first schools were more likely to be academies for young ladies back then, rather than for trainee priests.

22 “November Rain” lead singer : AXL ROSE

Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band Guns N’ Roses.

27 Org. concerned with secrets : NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) was set up in 1952 by President Truman, a replacement for the Armed Forces Security Agency that had existed in the Department of Defense (DoD) since 1949. The NSA has always been clouded in secrecy and even the 1952 letter from President Truman that established the agency was kept under wraps from the public for over a generation. I really like the organization’s nickname … “No Such Agency”.

28 Barcelona-born muralist : SERT

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

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after the capital Madrid. Barcelona is the largest European city that sits on the Mediterranean coast. It is also the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia.

29 Fiver : ABE

The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.

33 “How chic!” : OO LA LA!

“Chic” is a French word meaning “stylish”.

37 “Whole Lotta Love” lead singer : ROBERT PLANT

English singer/songwriter Robert Plant is best known as the front man for the rock band Led Zeppelin. He is known for a wide vocal range and a powerful voice, as well as for long, blond, curly hair and baring his chest on stage. He was once chosen by a magazine for having the best chest in rock music …

39 Silvery food fish : SMELT

Smelt is the name given to several types of small silvery fish, with examples being Great Lake smelts and whitebait smelts.

42 Handkerchief alternative : TISSUE

A kerchief is a triangular or square piece of cloth used as a covering for the head. So, a handkerchief (“hand-kerchief”) is a square piece of cloth held in the hand and used for personal hygiene.

44 Its capital is Sydney: Abbr. : NSW

New South Wales (NSW) is the most populous state in Australia and is home to Sydney, the most populous city in the country. New South Wales was founded in 1788. When the British took over New Zealand in 1840, New Zealand was actually governed for a while as part of New South Wales.

45 End of a classic palindrome : ELBA

The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

One of my favorite terms is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.

49 Very old: Abbr. : ANC

Ancient (anc.)

50 Metallic residue : SLAG

The better ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The waste from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some residual metal and it can be processed further in a slag furnace to extract the balance. Slag furnaces also accept lower-quality ores as a raw material.

52 Award-winning ’80s-’90s soap opera actress Deborah : ADAIR

Deborah Adair is an actress best known for her roles in soap operas. Adair retired from acting in 1995 when she and her husband adopted two children.

53 “Walk on the Wild Side” singer : LOU REED

Lou Reed was best known as a rock musician and songwriter, and was especially associated with the fabulous 1973 hit “Walk on the Wildside”. Reed is less well known as a photographer, but he published two collections of his work. The first was released in 2003 under the title “Emotions in Action”, and the second in 2006 called “Lou Reed’s New York”. Reed passed away in 2013.

55 Venomous snake : ASP

The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It is so venomous that the asp was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without any painful spasms. When the great queen opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.

57 Trendy boot brand : UGG

Uggs are sheepskin boots that were first produced in Australia and New Zealand. The original Uggs have sheepskin fleece on the inside for comfort and insulation, with a tanned leather surface on the outside for durability. “Ugg” is a generic term Down Under, although it’s a brand name here in the US.

58 Pulitzer-winning author James : AGEE

James Agee was a noted American film critic and screenwriter. Agee wrote an autobiographical novel “A Death in the Family” that won him his Pulitzer in 1958, albeit posthumously. He was also one of the screenwriters for the 1951 classic movie “The African Queen”.

59 “Johnny B. Goode” singer : CHUCK BERRY

Chuck Berry may be a pioneer of rock and roll, but he had an inauspicious start to his life. He was raised in a middle class family in St. Louis, and started playing and performing music in high school. However, while still at school he was arrested and convicted of armed robbery. He served three years for the crime, and was released from prison in 1947 on his 21st birthday. He certainly got his act together after that …

“Johnny B. Goode” is a rock and roll number that was made famous by Chuck Berry in the late fifties. “Johnny B. Goode” even made it into outer space as it was chosen as one of four American songs that were included on the Voyager Golden Record, which was attached to the Voyager spacecraft that left our solar system in 2012.

62 Hanks Oscar role : GUMP

The epic 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” is based on a 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. Groom said that he had envisioned John Goodman playing the title role, and not Tom Hanks.

63 Oscar winner Marisa : TOMEI

Marisa Tomei’s first screen role was in the daytime soap “As the World Turns”, but her break came with a recurring role in “The Cosby Show” spin-off “A Different World”. Tomei won an Oscar for her delightful performance in “My Cousin Vinny” in 1992.

64 Jessica of “Hitchcock” : BIEL

Jessica Biel is an actress who was known by television audiences for portraying Mary Camden on “7th Heaven”. Biel’s first film role was playing Peter Fonda’s granddaughter in “Ulee’s Gold”. Biel married singer and actor Justin Timberlake in 2012.

“Hitchcock” is a 2012 biographical film that gives a comedic slant to the story of famed director Alfred Hitchcock. Anthony Hopkins is in the title role, with an outstanding supporting cast that includes Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette and Jessica Biel. The film’s storyline revolves around the making of the 1960 hit “Psycho”.

66 Surgery souvenirs : SCARS

A souvenir is a memento, a token of remembrance. We imported “souvenir” from French, in which language it has the same meaning. The term comes from the Latin “subvenire” meaning “to come to mind”, or literally “to come up”.

67 George Eliot’s “Adam __” : BEDE

“Adam Bede” was the first novel written by the English writer George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans). It was published in 1859 and has been in print since then, for over 150 years.

“George Eliot” was the pen name of English novelist Mary Anne Evans. As one might think, Evans chose a male pen name in order that her work might be best appreciated in the Victorian era. Eliot wrote seven novels including “Adam Bede” (1859), “The Mill on the Floss” (1860), “Silas Marner” (1861) and “Middlemarch” (1871-72).

Down

1 Dover attraction : CLIFFS

Dover is a town and port in the county of Kent on the south coast of England. Dover lies just 25 miles from the coast of France, and is a terminus on the much-used Dover-Calais ferry service. The town is also famous for its magnificent chalk cliffs that are known as the White Cliffs of Dover.

3 “The Seventh Seal” director Bergman : INGMAR

Ingmar Bergman was a director of movies, stage and television from Sweden. Late in his life, Bergman ceased working for several years and left Sweden when he was wrongly charged with tax evasion, an event that caused him to have a nervous breakdown. Despite pleas from even the Swedish Prime Minister to return to his homeland, Bergman stayed in Germany for eight years before finally picking up his life again in Sweden.

“The Seventh Seal” is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It is a historical fantasy movie in which a medieval knight, played by Max von Sydow, plays a game of chess with Death personified.

5 Totally destroy : RAZE

To raze (“rase”, in UK English) is to level to the ground. I’ve always thought it a little quirky that “raise”, a homophone of “raze”, means “build up”.

6 Autumn gemstone : OPAL

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)

7 Web pioneer : AOL

Founded as Quantum Computer Services in 1983, the company changed its name in 1989 to America Online. As America Online went international, the acronym AOL was used in order to shake off the “America-centric” sound to the name. During the heady days of AOL’s success the company could not keep up with the growing number of subscribers, so people trying to connect often encountered busy signals. That’s when users referred to AOL as “Always Off-Line”.

10 Former Russian ruler : TSAR

The last ruler of Imperial Russia was Tsar Nicholas II (of the House of Romanov). Famously, the Tsar and his family were murdered in 1918 in the basement of a house in Yekaterinburg, Russia by members of the Bolshevik secret police. The Tsar’s youngest daughter was 16-year-old Anastasia and rumors of her escape have persisted for years. The rumors grew with the help of numerous women who claimed to be Anastasia. In 2009, DNA testing finally proved that the remains of all of the Tsar’s immediate family, including Anastasia, have been found and identified.

13 Quechua speakers : ANDEANS

Quechua was the Native-American language adopted by the Incan Empire and favored over other dialects. Today, Quechua is one of the official languages in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, alongside Spanish.

18 Genesis transport : ARK

According to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, Noah was instructed to build his ark 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. That’s about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high.

23 Stretchy fibers : LYCRAS

What we call spandex in the US is known as lycra in Britain and Ireland. “Spandex” was chosen as the name for the elastic fiber as it is an anagram of “expands”.

29 Pub brew : ALE

The many, many different styles of beer can generally be sorted into two groups: ales and lagers. Ales are fermented at relatively warm temperatures for relatively short periods of time, and use top-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that float on top of the beer as it ferments. Lagers ferment at relatively low temperatures and for relatively long periods of time. Lagers use bottom-fermenting yeasts, i.e. yeasts that fall to the bottom of the beer as it ferments.

30 Attorney General under Bush, Sr. : BARR

William Barr was US Attorney General for two years in the administration of President George H. W. Bush before being appointed Attorney General by President Donald Trump in 2019. When not working, Barr is a very enthusiastic player of the Scottish bagpipes.

34 Over 90 degrees, in a way : OBTUSE

In geometry, there are several classes of angles:

  • Acute (< 90 degrees) 
  • Right (= 90 degrees) 
  • Obtuse (> 90 degrees and < 180 degrees) 
  • Straight (180 degrees) 
  • Reflex (> 180 degrees)

35 Pixel purchases : APPS

“Pixel” is a brand of electronic devices introduced by Google that use the Chrome OS and Android operating systems. The list of devices with the Pixel name include smartphones, tablets and laptops.

37 2004-2011 TV series about firefighters : RESCUE ME

“Rescue Me” is a television drama made for the FX Network. Star of the show is Denis Leary who plays a veteran New York City firefighter.

38 __ Zealand, Muppet known for fish-throwing : LEW

The muppet Lew Zealand gets its name from the country “New Zealand” and “Lew Grade”, the name of the media mogul who distributed “The Muppet Show”.

39 WWII prison camps : STALAGS

“Stalag” was the term used for a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany. “Stalag” is an abbreviation for “Stammlager”, which in turn is the short form of” Mannschaft Stamm und Straflager”, literally “crew master and prison camp”.

40 Kylie dubbed “Princess of Pop” by the European press : MINOGUE

Singer Kylie Minogue got her start as a performer with a starring role in the hit Australian soap opera “Neighbors”. As a singer, she earned the nickname “Princess of Pop”.

46 Metcalf of “Lady Bird” : LAURIE

Actress Laurie Metcalf hit the big time when she played the title character’s sister on the hit sitcom “Roseanne”. She had regular roles on several other sitcoms, notably “3rd Rock from the Sun”, “Frasier” and “The Big Bang Theory”. On the big screen, her most acclaimed role was the title character’s mother in the 2017 film “Lady Bird”.

47 Colorful Wrigley product : BIG RED

Big Red is a cinnamon-flavored gum made by Wrigley’s since 1976.

48 Footwear design : ARGYLE

The argyle pattern is based on the Campbell tartan. The Campbell clan is based in the Argyll region (note the spelling) in the west of Scotland, giving the Argyle pattern its name.

51 Committee type : AD HOC

The Latin phrase “ad hoc” means “for this purpose”. An ad hoc committee, for example, is formed for a specific purpose and disbanded after making its final report.

52 Urgent police msg. : APB

An All Points Bulletin (APB) is a broadcast from one US law enforcement agency to another.

55 Big name in PCs : ACER

Acer is a Taiwanese company that I visited a couple of times when I was in the electronics business. I was very impressed back then with the company’s dedication to quality, although I have heard that things haven’t gone so well in recent years …

60 Actress Thurman : UMA

Robert Thurman was the first westerner to be ordained a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Robert raised his children in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and called his daughter “Uma” as it is a phonetic spelling of the Buddhist name “Dbuma”. Uma’s big break in the movies came with her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 hit “Pulp Fiction”. My favorite Uma Thurman film is the wonderful 1996 romantic comedy “The Truth About Cats and Dogs”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Nursery piece : CRIB
5 Orkin target : ROACH
10 Cousin of a sari : TOGA
14 Jay with lots of wheels : LENO
15 Speed skater Ohno : APOLO
16 Like webs : SPUN
17 “Fancy” (2014) singer : IGGY AZALEA
19 Sent up : APED
20 Bro, to sis : FAM
21 Seminarian’s subj. : REL
22 “November Rain” lead singer : AXL ROSE
24 Back-pocket booze holder : FLASK
26 One being hunted : PREY
27 Org. concerned with secrets : NSA
28 Barcelona-born muralist : SERT
29 Fiver : ABE
31 Show in a theater : SCREEN
33 “How chic!” : OO LA LA!
36 Tears : RENDS
37 “Whole Lotta Love” lead singer : ROBERT PLANT
39 Silvery food fish : SMELT
41 Most mature : RIPEST
42 Handkerchief alternative : TISSUE
44 Its capital is Sydney: Abbr. : NSW
45 End of a classic palindrome : ELBA
49 Very old: Abbr. : ANC
50 Metallic residue : SLAG
52 Award-winning ’80s-’90s soap opera actress Deborah : ADAIR
53 “Walk on the Wild Side” singer : LOU REED
55 Venomous snake : ASP
57 Trendy boot brand : UGG
58 Pulitzer-winning author James : AGEE
59 “Johnny B. Goode” singer : CHUCK BERRY
62 Hanks Oscar role : GUMP
63 Oscar winner Marisa : TOMEI
64 Jessica of “Hitchcock” : BIEL
65 Dates : SEES
66 Surgery souvenirs : SCARS
67 George Eliot’s “Adam __” : BEDE

Down

1 Dover attraction : CLIFFS
2 Wine and dine : REGALE
3 “The Seventh Seal” director Bergman : INGMAR
4 Word before and after “oh” : … BOY …
5 Totally destroy : RAZE
6 Autumn gemstone : OPAL
7 Web pioneer : AOL
8 Golf-friendly forecast : CLEAR
9 Counterfeits : HOAXES
10 Former Russian ruler : TSAR
11 Other side : OPPONENT
12 Didn’t know, but got it right : GUESSED
13 Quechua speakers : ANDEANS
18 Genesis transport : ARK
23 Stretchy fibers : LYCRAS
25 Your legs may not touch the ground when you’re on them : STOOLS
26 Snowball action : PELTING
29 Pub brew : ALE
30 Attorney General under Bush, Sr. : BARR
32 Chartered : RENTED
34 Over 90 degrees, in a way : OBTUSE
35 Pixel purchases : APPS
37 2004-2011 TV series about firefighters : RESCUE ME
38 __ Zealand, Muppet known for fish-throwing : LEW
39 WWII prison camps : STALAGS
40 Kylie dubbed “Princess of Pop” by the European press : MINOGUE
43 Gives a seat to : ELECTS
46 Metcalf of “Lady Bird” : LAURIE
47 Colorful Wrigley product : BIG RED
48 Footwear design : ARGYLE
51 Committee type : AD HOC
52 Urgent police msg. : APB
54 Account execs : REPS
55 Big name in PCs : ACER
56 Pair on the slopes : SKIS
60 Actress Thurman : UMA
61 Decline : EBB

22 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Sep 21, Thursday”

  1. One of the all time worst crosswords. Horrible clues!

    Clues for people names!!! Adair, Biel, Bede, and Laurie – all crossing. Terrible construction and editing.

    1. Agreed! This is the worst.
      20 proper names
      7 commercial brand names
      Plus a few TV drama names and absurd slang words.

  2. 10:05, 2 errors (ARGYLS instead of ARGYLE). Thanks to Bill for pointing out the vegetarian aspect of the theme! Out of curiosity, I googled “Is Axl Rose a vegetarian” and was excited when I learned that indeed he is. Unfortunately, the theme does not carry with at least some of the others such as Chuck Berry & Iggy Azalea…

    1. Hi Bill J. When you say “Unfortunately, the theme does not carry with at least some of the others such as Chuck Berry & Iggy Azalea…” it comes to my mind for idiocy that berries and Azaleas are both vegetable matter. ;-D>

    1. Good time, Glenn. We found this one easier than Wed., getting near 90% after
      bombing yesterday (Wed.). We had solved all but one square each on M and T.

      And so it goes.

  3. Not my favorite kind of puzzle as it was loaded with proper names
    unknown to me. (I’m showing my age here!) I got by with mostly
    good guesses and two lookups “Axlrose” and “Gump” No errors after that, but not happy with myself.

  4. 14:50

    I was surprised that I had heard of most of the singers. Didn’t think about whether that was a theme. So today I met Kylie MINOGUE.
    And in looking up Josep Maria SERT, I found he had a nephew, Josep Lluís Sert, who was also an artist.

  5. 15:35 with no errors or lookups. The names I didn’t know, SERT, ADAIR and MINOGUE, were easily filled in with the intersecting answers. For some others, I didn’t know their cited works, but recognized their names enough to complete them.

    Took the longest to resolve the left-center section; had to change STILTS>STOOLS, VIPS>REPS. Also changed initial answers OPPOSITE>OPPONENT, NEW>LEW, AUS>NSW (forgot about Canberra). Generally seemed to be a decent Thursday puzzle.

  6. No errors.. I felt like I was in an old issue of TV Guide with the crossword about TV and movie and daytime shows… wow , not fair!!

    Ref to yesterday about LINES: I have to be honest. I’ve never seen a line at the DMV. Why does everyone wait til the last day?? If that is the cause??

  7. Anon Mike: Where do you live? I’d like to go to your DMV! In LA the lines are waiting when it opens and they often tell the last ones in line to came back the next day.

    I agree with most of you regarding “too many names” and not enough variety in subject.

  8. Mostly easy Thursday for me; took 18:41 with no errors or peeks, although I had to dance around a bit in the NE because I misspelled GUESSED *sigh*. Didn’t know ADAIR, LEW, ADAIR, LAURIE or RESCUE ME, but crosses and guesses helped me get those.

    Definitely knew Kyle Minogue, who had a copyright dispute with Kylie Jenner over copyrighting “Kylie.” She is also known for fabulous legs.

    re DMV lines – Since I stopped speeding so much, I haven’t got a ticket in ages and then, at least around here, they just send you a renewal by mail. I can’t remember the last time I’ve even been in a DMV…although I think I need to go to one to get a Real ID.

    @Carrie – I saw the highlights on MLB YouTube…it was quite a comeback, very impressive! Although, your “ace” pitcher got lit up like a Christmas tree…normally when people put their lights up so early in the year – even before Halloween – I get upset, but in this case it’s fine 🙂 And, Bellinger broke his 0 for ?? was it 2 digit or 3 digit spell, I dunno?

    Our “captain” is out for several weeks so the first mate and the rest of the crew have to step up a bit…It’s a painful loss, but I think we can pull it off.

    1. LOL yes I think before last night Cody was batting .116 —

      We may lose to y’all but to be relegated to Wild Card hurts!! ⚾️

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