LA Times Crossword 13 Oct 21, Wednesday

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Constructed by: August Miller
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: The IT Crowd

Themed answers collectively form a CROWD of celebrities with the initials IT:

  • 59A ’00s Britcom about an underappreciated computer support squad … or what the answers to starred clues comprise? : THE IT CROWD
  • 16A *Progressive Era muckraker : IDA TARBELL
  • 28A *12-time 35-Down All Star and TV analyst : ISIAH THOMAS
  • 34A *Australian swimmer with five Olympic golds : IAN THORPE
  • 46A *First daughter and senior adviser to #45 : IVANKA TRUMP

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

Bill’s time: 7m 24s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 “Bolero” composer : RAVEL

Maurice Ravel’s “Boléro” is a remarkable piece of music that has a very insistent theme that just builds and builds, with instruments being added to the mix as the piece develops. Famously, “Boléro” played a significant role in the 1979 film “10” starring Bo Derek, Dudley Moore and Julie Andrews. Not a bad movie …

16 *Progressive Era muckraker : IDA TARBELL

Ida Tarbell was a teacher and what we would call today an “investigative journalist”, although back in her day she was known as a “muckraker”. Her most famous work is her 1904 book “The History of the Standard Oil Company”. It is an exposé that is credited with hastening the breakup of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil in 1911. She also wrote several books about President Abraham Lincoln.

18 Socially aware : WOKE

The term “woke” can be used as a slang term, and adjective meaning “aware of issues of racial and social justice”.

19 Tundra deer : CARIBOU

“Caribou” is the North American name for “reindeer”.

Tundra is an ecosystem that is treeless, or very nearly so. There are three types of tundra. Arctic and Antarctic tundra can’t support the growth of trees as the ground is pretty much frozen. Alpine tundra cannot support tree-growth due to high altitude.

20 Plane engine type : FANJET

Turbofans and turbojets are types of aircraft engines. Turbofan engines are quite common on large passenger aircraft. Turbojet engines are more efficient at speeds higher than Mach 2, so are more likely to be found on something like a cruise missile.

22 CNN anchor Burnett : ERIN

Erin Burnett is a television journalist and the host of her own show on CNN called “Erin Burnett OutFront”. Apparently Burnett also used to show up occasionally as advisor to Donald Trump on “The Celebrity Apprentice”.

26 Whack, biblically : SMITE

“Smitten” is the past participle of “to smite”, meaning “to inflict a heavy blow”. We tend to use “smitten” to mean “affected by love, love-struck”.

27 Stephen of “Citizen X” : REA

“Citizen X” is a 1995 TV movie, a crime thriller about a seven-year hunt by Soviet authorities for a Russian serial killer who murdered 53 women and children. Stars of the film are Stephen Rea, Donald Sutherland and Max von Sydow.

28 *12-time 35-Down All Star and TV analyst : ISIAH THOMAS

Isiah Thomas played his whole professional career with the Detroit Pistons, and he is now the head coach with the Florida International University Golden Panthers. When you’re out shopping for popcorn, keep an eye out for the Dale & Thomas brand, as it’s co-owned by Isiah Thomas.

30 Wall St. “500” : S AND P

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) is a financial services company that is famous for its stock market indices, especially the S&P 500. The company also publishes credit ratings for sovereign governments, and in 2011 famously lowered the rating of the US federal government from AAA to AA+.

32 PreCheck org. : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) operates its precheck program known as “TSA Pre✓” (or “TSA PreCheck”). Members of the program receive expedited screening at most airports. In order to become a member, a traveler must apply online, appear in person at a designated office for a background check and fingerprinting, and pay a fee for a 5-year membership.

34 *Australian swimmer with five Olympic golds : IAN THORPE

Ian Thorpe is a retired competitive swimmer from Australia. Thorpe won five Olympic gold medals, and earned himself the nickname “The Thorpedo”.

38 Tijuana home : CASA

Tijuana is the largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and lies just across the US-Mexico border from San Diego. Tijuana is also the most westerly of all Mexican cities. A lot of Tijuana’s growth took place in the twenties as tourists flocked south of the border during the days of prohibition in the US. One of the many casinos and hotels that flourished at that time was Hotel Caesar’s in the Avenida Revolución area. Hotel Caesar’s claims to be the birthplace of the now ubiquitous Caesar Salad.

41 Gen-Z sweetheart : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”, although I’ve also read that it is an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

Definitions vary, but it seems that the term “Generation Z” is reserved for the children of “Generation X”, and for the generation that follows the “Millennials” (Generation Y).

46 *First daughter and senior adviser to #45 : IVANKA TRUMP

Ivanka Trump is the daughter of President Donald Trump and his first wife, Ivana Trump. Ivanka’s birth name is Ivana Marie Trump. “Ivanka” is a diminutive of “Ivana”, and has been the First Daughter’s nickname for most of her life. Ivanka converted to the Jewish faith after marrying Jared Kushner in 2009. Ivanka’s Hebrew name is “Yael”.

50 Fig. of interest to a dietitian : RDA

Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) in 1997.

52 Petro-Canada competitor : ESSO

The Esso brand has its roots in the old Standard Oil company as it uses the initial letters of “Standard” and “Oil” (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but ESSO is still used in many other countries.

Petro-Canada started out as a government-owned corporation in 1976. Petro-Canada is now a brand name of Suncor Energy.

56 Mass-times-velocity measures : MOMENTA

In physics, momentum is a property of a moving body that is calculated by multiplying the body’s mass by its velocity. Conceptually, it is a property that defines the length of time it would take to bring the moving body to rest by applying a constant force. The greater the mass and the greater the velocity, the harder it is to bring the body to rest, i.e. the greater is the body’s momentum.

58 Swimming great Torres : DARA

Dara Torres is a US swimmer who has won twelve Olympic medals. Torres is also the only American swimmer to have competed in five Olympic Games, and is the oldest swimmer to have made it onto the Olympic team, at 41.

59 ’00s Britcom about an underappreciated computer support squad … or what the answers to starred clues comprise? : THE IT CROWD

“The IT Crowd” is a marvelous British sitcom starring Chris O’Dowd and Richard Ayoade as two employees in the information technology (IT) department of a London corporation. The show was created by Graham Linehan, an Irish TV writer who also came up with “Father Ted” and “Black Books”.

62 Early garden spot : EDEN

According to the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve lived in a garden “in” Eden, with Eden being geographically located by reference to four rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. Some scholars hypothesize that Eden was located in Mesopotamia, which encompasses much of modern-day Iraq.

63 Muscat’s land : OMAN

Muscat is the capital of Oman. The city lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.

64 Book with roads : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

66 X-rated material : SMUT

“Smut” means “dirt, smudge” and more recently “pornographic material”. The term comes from the Yiddish “schmutz”, which is a slang word used in English for dirt, as in “dirt on one’s face”.

When the Motion Picture Association film rating system was introduced in 1968, the most restrictive class was an X-rating. Persons under 16 were not admitted to such films. A few years later, the guidelines were changed for all ratings, and no one under the age of 17 was admitted to films rated X. Over time, the term “X-rating” became associated with pornographic films, and so the under-17 restriction was relabeled in 1990 to “NC-17”.

67 “__ she blows!” : THAR

“Thar she blows!” is a phrase that originated on whaling ships. A lookout spotting a whale surfacing to breathe might see the spray from the blowhole caused by the expulsion of carbon dioxide. Thar (there) she blows!

Down

2 Of a certain reproductive gland : OVARIAN

The ovaries are the female reproductive organs. Most female vertebrates have two ovaries. However, only the left ovary develops in female birds, with the right remaining vestigial.

5 Japanese dance-drama : KABUKI

Kabuki is a Japanese form of theater involving dance and drama. In the original Kabuki theater, both male and female parts were played by women. In contrast, the Noh dramas have the male and female parts played by men.

7 NBC skit show : SNL

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) was named “NBC’s Saturday Night” during its first season. This was to differentiate it from the ABC show airing at that time, called “Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell”. Chevy Chase uttered the famous line “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night” in the very first SNL episode on October 11, 1975. That careful wording has persisted, even though the NBC show’s name was changed to “Saturday Night Live” after Cosell’s show went off the air in 1976.

10 WWII flag-raising island : IWO JIMA

The Pulitzer-winning photograph “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” was taken in 1945 by photographer Joe Rosenthal. The image was used for the Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington, DC that was dedicated in 1954.

12 Evaluation with a capital E? : EYE TEST

The commonly used eye chart (that starts with the letters “E FP TOZ LPED”) is called a Snellen chart. The test is named after its developer Herman Snellen, who introduced it way back in 1862.

13 Kitchen cutters : RICERS

A potato ricer is a kitchen tool used to force potatoes through small holes that are about the diameter of a grain of rice. It usually looks like a large garlic press.

17 Outback hoppers : ROOS

The word “kangaroo” comes from the Australian Aborigine term for the animal. There’s an oft-quoted story that the explorer James Cook (later Captain Cook) asked a local native what was the name of this remarkable-looking animal, and the native responded with “Kangaroo”. The story is that the native was actually saying “I don’t understand you”, but as cute as that tale is, it’s just an urban myth.

In Australia, the land outside of urban areas is referred to as the outback or the bush. That said, I think that the term “outback” is sometimes reserved for the more remote parts of the bush.

28 Pub drink, briefly : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

31 “Unfaithful” Oscar nominee : DIANE LANE

Diane Lane is an American film actress, who was born and raised in New York City. Not so long ago, I saw Lane with Richard Gere in “Nights in Rodanthe” (a movie that I recommend). My absolute favorite movie of hers is “Under the Tuscan Sun”, which is based on the memoir of the same name by Frances Mayes (a writer from San Francisco). It’s a lovely romantic story, not without humor, and set in the gorgeous Tuscan landscape.

“Unfaithful” is a 2002 drama film with leads played by Richard Gere and Diane Lane. The Hollywood movie is a remake of a French film called “La Femme infidèle” (The Unfaithful Wife).

35 Hoops org. : NBA

Basketball is truly a North American sport. It was created in 1891 by Canadian James Naismith at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. His goal was to create something active and interesting for his students in the gym. The first “hoops” were actually peach baskets, with the bottoms of the baskets intact. When a player got the ball into the “net”, someone had to clamber up and get the ball back out again in order to continue the game!

36 London gallery : TATE

The museum known as “the Tate” is actually made up of four separate galleries in England. The original Tate gallery was founded by Sir Henry Tate as the National Gallery of British Art. It is located on Millbank in London, on the site of the old Millbank Prison, and is now called Tate Britain. There is also the Tate Liverpool in the north of England that is located in an old warehouse, and the Tate St. Ives in the west country located in an old gas works. My favorite of the Tate galleries is the Tate Modern which lies on the banks of the Thames in London. It’s a beautiful building, a converted power station that you have to see to believe. As of 2018, the Tate Modern was the most visited art museum in the UK.

38 Fortress : CITADEL

A citadel is a fortress built to protect a town or a city. Both the words “city” and “citadel” come from the Latin word “civis” meaning “citizen”.

39 Much of guacamole : AVOCADO

The wonderful avocado comes from a tree that is native to Mexico and Central America. The avocado fruit is sometimes called an avocado pear, because of its shape, even though it is not related to the pear at all. The fruit might also be referred to as an alligator pear, due to the roughness of the green skin of some avocado cultivars.

Guacamole is one of my favorite dishes. It is prepared by mashing avocados and perhaps adding the likes of tomato, onion and lime juice. The guacamole recipe dates back as early as the 16th century, to the time of the Aztecs. “Guacamole” translates as “avocado sauce”.

40 H.S. course pioneered by Stanley Kaplan : SAT PREP

Kaplan Inc. was founded in 1938 by Stanley Kaplan, who started his career tutoring students for the New York State Regents Exam in the basement of his parents’ home in Brooklyn. He opened up locations for tuition around the country, and in 1984 sold the company to the Washington Post. Revenue for Kaplan was over 2½ billion dollars in 2009.

43 Crunchy bar stuff : GRANOLA

The names “Granola” and “Granula” were trademarked back in the late 1800s for whole-grain foods that were crumbled and baked until crisp. Granola was created in Dansville, New York in 1894.

44 Battle waged on Wikipedia : EDIT WAR

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, and is the most-used reference site on the Internet. The site was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001. I, for one, am very grateful …

45 Tossed courses : SALADS

Our word “salad” comes from the Latin “salare” meaning “to salt”. The Latin “herba salata” translates as “salted vegetables”, which I guess could be a salad …

47 The NCAA’s Wildcats : KSU

Kansas State University (KSU) was founded as the Kansas State Agricultural College in 1863 during the Civil War. The main KSU campus is located in the city of Manhattan, which is 56 miles northwest of Topeka, Kansas.

The athletic teams of Kansas State University (KSU) are called the Wildcats. The Wildcats official “colors” are just one: the color royal purple.

48 Govt. moneymaker : US MINT

The nation’s first mint was established in Philadelphia in 1792, as back then Philadelphia was the capital of the United States. That first mint was located in a building that previously housed a whiskey distillery.

49 Academic : MOOT

To moot is to bring up as a subject for discussion or debate. So, something that is moot is open to debate. Something that is no longer moot, is no longer worth debating. We don’t seem to be able to get that right, which drives me crazy …

55 Sporty muscle cars : GTOS

The initialism “GTO” was used on several touring cars (including a famous Pontiac) and stands for “Gran Turismo Omologato”. Italian car manufacturers started the tradition of calling their luxury performance cars “Gran Turismo”, and calling those cars they approved for racing “Gran Turismo Omologato”. The phrase “gran turismo omologato” translates as “grand touring homologated”, “homologated” being a technical term signifying official approval.

57 Future MD’s exam : MCAT

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

61 Lac contents : EAU

In French, a “lac” (lake) is a body of “eau” (water).

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Mires : BOGS
5 Loving smack : KISS
9 Kind of coach or jacket : LIFE …
13 “Bolero” composer : RAVEL
14 Spots to clear up : ACNE
15 Not at one’s desk : AWAY
16 *Progressive Era muckraker : IDA TARBELL
18 Socially aware : WOKE
19 Tundra deer : CARIBOU
20 Plane engine type : FANJET
22 CNN anchor Burnett : ERIN
23 “Your turn” : OK, GO
26 Whack, biblically : SMITE
27 Stephen of “Citizen X” : REA
28 *12-time 35-Down All Star and TV analyst : ISIAH THOMAS
30 Wall St. “500” : S AND P
32 PreCheck org. : TSA
33 Crave, e.g. : WANT
34 *Australian swimmer with five Olympic golds : IAN THORPE
38 Tijuana home : CASA
41 Gen-Z sweetheart : BAE
42 Prompts : URGES
46 *First daughter and senior adviser to #45 : IVANKA TRUMP
50 Fig. of interest to a dietitian : RDA
51 Slangy “Absolutely!” : TOTES!
52 Petro-Canada competitor : ESSO
53 Leave early : BAIL
54 Appliance connection, briefly : AC PLUG
56 Mass-times-velocity measures : MOMENTA
58 Swimming great Torres : DARA
59 ’00s Britcom about an underappreciated computer support squad … or what the answers to starred clues comprise? : THE IT CROWD
62 Early garden spot : EDEN
63 Muscat’s land : OMAN
64 Book with roads : ATLAS
65 Easy gait : LOPE
66 X-rated material : SMUT
67 “__ she blows!” : THAR

Down

1 Shady part of town : BAD AREA
2 Of a certain reproductive gland : OVARIAN
3 Arrive : GET IN
4 Thick slice : SLAB
5 Japanese dance-drama : KABUKI
6 Party bucket item : ICE
7 NBC skit show : SNL
8 Lead-in to made or love : SELF-
9 Blades that cut blades : LAWN MOWER
10 WWII flag-raising island : IWO JIMA
11 Faux glow : FAKE TAN
12 Evaluation with a capital E? : EYE TEST
13 Kitchen cutters : RICERS
17 Outback hoppers : ROOS
21 Outdoor grill residue : ASH
24 Amasses : GATHERS
25 Very, very : OH SO
28 Pub drink, briefly : IPA
29 Roofing goo : TAR
31 “Unfaithful” Oscar nominee : DIANE LANE
35 Hoops org. : NBA
36 London gallery : TATE
37 Yipping adoptee : PUP
38 Fortress : CITADEL
39 Much of guacamole : AVOCADO
40 H.S. course pioneered by Stanley Kaplan : SAT PREP
43 Crunchy bar stuff : GRANOLA
44 Battle waged on Wikipedia : EDIT WAR
45 Tossed courses : SALADS
47 The NCAA’s Wildcats : KSU
48 Govt. moneymaker : US MINT
49 Academic : MOOT
53 Sailor’s quarters : BERTH
55 Sporty muscle cars : GTOS
57 Future MD’s exam : MCAT
60 “Let’s see … ” : HMM …
61 Lac contents : EAU

24 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 Oct 21, Wednesday”

  1. No errors..
    Never heard of being “woke” or the Brit tv series “The IT Crowd”. Have to check that out. I’ve seen Chris Dowd in a few movies. I like him.
    Have to ask my BAE if she would like to watch it!!!

  2. No errors, one lookup i.e. the Oscar nominee name.

    Probably my last contribution for a good while as my
    rotator cuff surgery is today. Wish me luck.

    1. Mary,

      Good Luck! I had rotator cuff surgery in 1998. It took a long time and lots of physical therapy, but I got back 95% or better of range of motion and strength. I wish you as good or better results!

    2. Take good care of yourself. I hope you come back soon.

      You’ll just have to save your fastballs and throw more curves and sliders now 🙂

  3. 9:43 1 lookup for the Oscar nominee.

    I usually don’t complain about names, but it’s really unfair to cross one name with three more. Maybe I’m feeling disagreeable because I have no respect for the fourth IT name. Bleh.

  4. 32:50 no errors…I thought after doing the NYT0908 that I would get a break on the usually easier LAT but not the case.
    Stay safe😀
    Best of luck to @Mary S 👍👍👍

  5. It must be some sort of positive sign that, for the life of me I could come up with 46 Across until I got the “I” in Citadel going down. Out of sight. Out of mind?

    No real problem with the grid. Maybe a bit on the easy side?

  6. No problems with today’s LAT’s puzzle. For those who work the WSJ crossword like, Glenn I just want to acknowledge a really well done puzzle with tough, but fair cluing and no junk answers or other annoying puzzle bits that you so often find these days. I had a real sense of satisfaction when I completed it just now.

    1. Definitely agreed about today’s puzzle. One thing I admire about Mike Shenk as editor is that most of what I’ve seen at the WSJ has been very clean from both a grid and clue perspective. I can’t say I’ve had a lot to complain about even when I wasn’t very successful at doing them.

  7. 26:47 – 3 lookups/3 errors.

    Whew, seemed more like Friday (or at least a Thursday) to me, but very fair.

    I did not know that Ivanka Trump was an advisor to Isiah Thomas. Learn something every day.

    Got IANTHORPE, BAE, DATA and THEITCROWD from crosses.

    Be Well

    1. @Lou Lu …

      I think the “#45” in the clue for 46-Across refers to the 45th president, rather than to Isiah Thomas. Perhaps you were making a joke that I don’t understand?

  8. Fun and only slightly tricky Wednesday for me; took 16:24 with 2 -3 minutes in TOTES/SATPREP/KSU/DARA mess. Finally remembered DARA and changed Ken to KSU which gleaned SAT PREP…then I just had to figure out the TOTES slang to get the banner….shesh, I coulda had a 13-14…

    Only vaguely aware of ERIN and remembered DARA from at least two appearances here in the crosswords, although I did forget her first name. Had trouble typing out IVANK…eww! spit! spit!

    Go Giants!! (that’s a baseball team)

  9. Kitchen Cutters = Ricers. Never heard of a ricer. Googled it and I wouldn’t describer it as a “cutter”. Also, never heard of “totes” meaning absolutely. Author seems to like French words. Had no clue what “Lac contents” meant. I got most of the names, but it didn’t dawn on me that they all started with IT, as I spelled Ivanka’s name with an E.

  10. A ricer is absolutely not a cutter. I often rely on accurate clues to fill in proper nouns–obviously not a workable strategy if the puzzlemaker doesn’t cooperate. Guess I could have searched for the Bolero composer, but if I don’t have the information in my head, it doesn’t get used to complete crosswords. More and more, I think that puzzlemakers are building puzzles for people who use the internet as a resource to solve them.

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