LA Times Crossword 21 Oct 21, Thursday

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Constructed by: Sam Acker
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Page-Turner

The grid includes four sets of letters P-A-G-E. As we go down the grid, those letters TURN in a clockwise directions:

  • 56A You may not need a bookmark for one … and a hint to this puzzle’s circles : PAGE-TURNER

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

Bill’s time: 8m 34s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • DENTS (dints)
  • SLOVENE (Slovine!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Wildfire prevention ads, e.g.: Abbr. : PSAS

Public service announcement (PSA)

9 Valentino classic, with “The” : … SHEIK

“The Sheik” is a 1921 silent movie starring Rudolph Valentino in the title role. The film is based on a bestselling 1919 novel of the same name by English author Edith Maude Hull. Valentino reprised his role in a 1926 sequel called “The Son of the Sheik”, and indeed also played his character’s own son. “The Son of Sheik” was to be Valentino’s last film, and was released about two weeks after his death.

Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor who emigrated to the US when he was 18 years old. He developed a Hollywood career in silent movies that propelled him to the status of sex symbol in the twenties. Valentino died very young, having been admitted to hospital with appendicitis and gastric ulcers. He underwent surgery and developed peritonitis, and passed away when he was only 31 years old.

14 Certain sax : ALTO

The saxophone was invented by Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, hence the name. Sax developed lip cancer at one point in his life, and one has to wonder if his affliction was related to his saxophone playing (I am sure not!). I had the privilege of visiting Sax’s grave in the Cemetery of Montmartre in Paris a few years ago.

15 Cocktail garnish : LIME

Our word “cocktail” first appeared in the early 1800s. The exact origin of the term is not clear, but it is thought to be a corruption of the French word “coquetier” meaning “egg cup”, a container that was used at that time for serving mixed drinks.

16 Redhead of Bedrock : WILMA

Wilma is the wife of cartoon character Fred Flintstone. On the TV show, Wilma was voiced by Jean Vander Pyl. Vander Pyl also provided the voice for Rosie the Robot on “The Jetsons”.

17 Top prize : GOLD MEDAL

In the Ancient Olympic Games, the winner of an event was awarded an olive wreath. When the games were revived in 1896, the winners were originally given a silver medal and an olive branch, with runners-up receiving a bronze medal and a laurel branch. The tradition of giving gold, silver and bronze medals began at the 1904 Summer Olympic Games held in St. Louis, Missouri.

20 Lab eggs : OVA

“Ovum” (plural “ova”) is Latin for “egg”.

25 Mag. edition : ISS

Issue (iss.)

26 Small but distinctive amount : DASH

In cooking, the terms “dash”, “pinch” and “smidgen” can all be used for a very small measure, one that is often undefined. However, you can in fact buy some measuring spoons that define these amounts as follows:

  • a dash is 1/8 teaspoon
  • a pinch is 1/16 teaspoon
  • a smidgen is 1/32 teaspoon

29 __ Bar: Apple support service : GENIUS

The technical support desk found in Apple Retail Stores is rather inventively called the Genius Bar. The certified support technicians are known as “Geniuses”. The trainees are called GYOs: Grow-Your-Own-Geniuses.

32 CIA relative : NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) runs an annual Codebreaker Challenge that is aimed mainly at the student population. As best I can tell, the focus of the challenge is reverse software engineering. Checking out the Codebreaker Challenge website suggests that the NSA runs this program in order to identify and attract potential new employees.

33 Homer’s “Sailing a Dory,” e.g. : SEASCAPE

Winslow Homer was an American landscape painter and illustrator active in the second half of the 19th century. His most famous work is probably the oil painting depicting a man and three boys sailing, which bears the title “Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)”, and which can be seen in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C.

37 __ land : LA-LA

“La-la land” is a euphemism for a state of unconsciousness or a dreamworld.

38 Word with date or dance : RAIN …

A rain date is an alternative date scheduled if an event is postponed due to rain.

43 Scottish winds : BAGPIPES

Bagpipes have been played for centuries all across Europe, in parts of Asia and North Africa, and in the Persian Gulf. However, the most famous versions of the instrument today are the Scottish Great Highland bagpipe and the Irish uilleann pipes, my personal favorite (I’m biased). The bag in the Scottish version is inflated by blowing into it, whereas the Irish version uses a bellows under the arm.

47 Number of “Friends” seasons : TEN

When the incredibly successful sitcom “Friends” was in development it was given the working title “Insomnia Cafe”. This was changed to “Friends Like Us”, before finally going to air as “Friends”.

48 Siesta wrap : SERAPE

“Serape” is the English pronunciation and spelling of the Spanish word “zarape”. A zarape is like a Mexican poncho, a soft woolen blanket with a hole in the middle for the head. Most serapes have colorful designs that use traditional Mayan motifs.

We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, and imported the word into English from Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at the sixth hour after dawn.

51 NYC gallery : MOMA

The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of John D. Rockefeller. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA’s sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

52 Where women click on the links?: Abbr. : LPGA

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) was founded in 1950 by a group of 13 lady golfers, and today it is the oldest ongoing women’s sports professional organization in the US.

55 Course from a bar : SALAD

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 …

60 Feminine side : YIN

The yin and yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.

Down

1 Temples with up-curved roofs : PAGODAS

Pagodas are tiered (“storied”) towers, found in various parts of Asia, that are usually built for religious purposes.

2 Resident of Ljubljana, probably : SLOVENE

The Republic of Slovenia is a country in Central Europe that is bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary. Given its geographic location, the country has been part of various realms over the centuries, most recently being part of Yugoslavia. Slovenia declared independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991, and is now a member of the European Union.

Ljubljana is the Slovenian capital, a status the city was awarded on the creation of the Republic in 1991 following the breakup of Yugoslavia.

3 Margaret Mitchell’s birthplace : ATLANTA

Novelist and journalist Margaret Mitchell was a native of Atlanta. Her home has been converted to a museum, and is located in the city’s Midtown. I was lucky enough to visit the house, although it was a few decades ago …

5 Egyptian queen, familiarly : CLEO

Cleopatra was the last pharaoh to rule Egypt. After she died, Egypt became a province in the Roman Empire.

6 Venetian resort : LIDO

The Lido de Venezia is a famous sandbar in Venice, Italy. About 11 km in length, it is home to about 20,000 residents, as well as the Venice Film Festival that takes place there every September. The Lido is also the setting for Thomas Mann’s famous novel “Death in Venice”. The name “lido” has become a term for any fashionable beach resort. In the UK, the term “lido” is often used for a recreation facility with a pool. This usage has been adopted on cruise ships, where the lido deck is home to the outdoor swimming pool(s) and related facilities.

8 She’s behind Harris in the current presidential line of succession : PELOSI

Nancy Pelosi first became Speaker of the House in 2007, and was the 60th person to hold that position. Ms. Pelosi represents a district not far from here, which covers most of San Francisco. She was the first Californian, the first Italian-American and the first woman to be Speaker of the House. As Speaker of the House is second-in-line to the presidency, after the Vice President, Nancy Pelosi was for many years the highest-ranking female politician in US history. That was until Kamala Harris became Vice President in 2021.

Kamala Harris was a US Senator for California starting in 2017, after serving for six years as the Attorney General of California. In early 2019, Harris announced her run for the Democratic nomination for US president in the 2020 election. Although she dropped out of the race, she was chosen by eventual nominee Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. When the Biden-Harris ticket won the election, Harris became the highest-ranking female politician in the history of the US.

12 Deadlock : IMPASSE

“Impasse” is a French word describing a blind alley or an impassable road, and we use the term to mean “stalemate”.

13 Kit __ : KAT

I grew up eating Kit Kat bars as a kid. The Kit Kat hit the shelves on the other side of the pond in the 1930s, but didn’t make it into US stores until the 1970s. I’ve seen new varieties of Kit Kat bars over in Britain and Ireland, such as an orange-flavored version, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.

18 Classic British sports cars : MGS

My neighbor used to keep his MG Midget roadster in my garage (away from his kids!) back in Ireland many moons ago. The Midget was produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979, with the MG initialism standing for “Morris Garages”.

22 Pac-12’s Beavers : OSU

The athletic teams of Oregon State University (OSU) are known as the Beavers. The big rivals to the Beavers are the Ducks of the University of Oregon, a rivalry that has been dubbed “the Civil War”. The two schools’ football teams play a game every year for the Platypus Trophy.

24 Where Musk is CEO : TESLA

Elon Musk is a successful businessman who has founded or led some very high-profile companies, namely PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Musk received a lot of publicity in early 2018 during a test launch by SpaceX of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. A Tesla Roadster belonging to Musk was carried into space as a dummy payload.

29 Gadot of “Wonder Woman” : GAL

Gal Gadot is an actress and former Miss Israel. She played Gisele Yashar in the “Fast & Furious” film franchise, and then began portraying Wonder Woman in superhero movies.

“Wonder Woman” is a 2017 film starring Gal Gadot as the superhero title character. It is listed by many as one of the best superhero movies of all time. Gadot had played Wonder Woman before, in the 2016 film “Batman v Superman”.

30 Org. concerned with PCB’s : EPA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were banned with good reason. Apart from their link to cancer and other disorders in humans and animals, they are extremely persistent in the environment once contamination has occurred. Among other things, PCBs were used as coolants and insulating fluids in electrical gear such as transformers and large capacitors, as well as a transfer agent in carbonless copy paper.

34 Pixar film in which Paul Newman voiced a Hudson Hornet : CARS

“Cars” is a 2006 animated feature from Pixar. The great cast of voice actors includes Paul Newman in his last movie role before he passed away in 2008.

36 Jung’s inner self : ANIMA

The concepts of anima and animus are found in the Carl Jung school of analytical psychology. The idea is that within each male there resides a feminine inner personality called the anima, and within each female there is a male inner personality known as the animus.

40 Home of the NHL’s Blues : STL

The St. Louis Blues hockey team takes its name from the song “St. Louis Blues”, a jazz and popular music classic.

“St. Louis Blues” is a 1914 song composed by W. C. Handy that really has legs. It was recorded by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Count Basie and Glen Miller. Handy made a great living from the song, with annual royalties amounting to over $25,000 a year by the time he passed away in 1958. That’s a tidy sum for the late fifties …

49 Little newt : EFT

Newts wouldn’t be my favorite animals. They are found all over the world living on land or in water depending on the species, but always associated with water even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start off as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo another metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.

50 Boxer/actor Mickey : ROURKE

Actor Mickey Rourke had trained as a boxer before his acting career took off. He turned to professional boxing when he lost his love for acting. Rourke took a lot of punishment in the ring in the nineties, resulting in a lot of damage to his face. He also admits that some problems with his appearance were aggravated by botched plastic surgery.

55 Spanish Mrs. : SRA

The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).

57 Flight sked info : ETAS

A schedule (sked) might show the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of a plane or bus, perhaps.

58 TV series for 18 seasons : NCIS

NCIS is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates crimes in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The service gives its name to the CBS TV show “NCIS”, a spin-off drama from “JAG” in which the main “NCIS” characters were first introduced. The big star in “NCIS” is the actor Mark Harmon. “NCIS” is now a franchise, with spin-off shows “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans”.

59 Jazz diva Jones : ETTA

Etta Jones was a jazz singer who was sometimes known as the “jazz musician’s jazz singer”. Because she has a similar name to Etta James, Jones was often confused with the more famous singer. Jones never really had any huge commercial success though, despite the respect that she engendered within the inner sanctums of the jazz world.

63 “Straight Outta Compton” group : NWA

“Straight Outta Compton” was the first album by NWA. NWA was a hip hop group from Compton, California. The original five group members included rappers who have made a name for themselves as solo acts, including: Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. The story of NWA is told in a 2015 film, also called “Straight Outta Compton”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Wildfire prevention ads, e.g.: Abbr. : PSAS
5 Short video : CLIP
9 Valentino classic, with “The” : … SHEIK
14 Certain sax : ALTO
15 Cocktail garnish : LIME
16 Redhead of Bedrock : WILMA
17 Top prize : GOLD MEDAL
19 Highly skilled : ADEPT
20 Lab eggs : OVA
21 Stereotypical baby “words” : GOO GOO GAGA
23 Minimal damage : DENTS
25 Mag. edition : ISS
26 Small but distinctive amount : DASH
28 Mandatory bet : ANTE
29 __ Bar: Apple support service : GENIUS
32 CIA relative : NSA
33 Homer’s “Sailing a Dory,” e.g. : SEASCAPE
35 Insults, with “on” : HATES …
37 __ land : LA-LA
38 Word with date or dance : RAIN …
40 Pickle unit : SPEAR
43 Scottish winds : BAGPIPES
47 Number of “Friends” seasons : TEN
48 Siesta wrap : SERAPE
51 NYC gallery : MOMA
52 Where women click on the links?: Abbr. : LPGA
54 Backing : FOR
55 Course from a bar : SALAD
56 You may not need a bookmark for one … and a hint to this puzzle’s circles : PAGE-TURNER
60 Feminine side : YIN
61 Spawn : BEGET
62 Square, for one : RECTANGLE
64 Place for games : ARENA
65 Do some craftwork : KNIT
66 Troubles : WOES
67 CEO’s aides : ASSTS
68 Italian pronoun : ESSA
69 Words in many law firm names : ANDS

Down

1 Temples with up-curved roofs : PAGODAS
2 Resident of Ljubljana, probably : SLOVENE
3 Margaret Mitchell’s birthplace : ATLANTA
4 Gardener’s purchase : SOD
5 Egyptian queen, familiarly : CLEO
6 Venetian resort : LIDO
7 “Just think!” : IMAGINE!
8 She’s behind Harris in the current presidential line of succession : PELOSI
9 Bravado : SWAG
10 Greeting from a sideline, maybe : HI, DAD!
11 Polished : ELEGANT
12 Deadlock : IMPASSE
13 Kit __ : KAT
18 Classic British sports cars : MGS
22 Pac-12’s Beavers : OSU
24 Where Musk is CEO : TESLA
27 Owns : HAS
29 Gadot of “Wonder Woman” : GAL
30 Org. concerned with PCB’s : EPA
31 Mail in a box : SHIP
34 Pixar film in which Paul Newman voiced a Hudson Hornet : CARS
36 Jung’s inner self : ANIMA
38 63-Down genre : RAP
39 It’s just a number, they say : AGE
40 Home of the NHL’s Blues : STL
41 Pizza topping : PEPPERS
42 Fascinates : ENGAGES
43 Scrubby wastelands : BARRENS
44 62-Across, for one : POLYGON
45 Sent a note to, nowadays : EMAILED
46 Blue state : SADNESS
49 Little newt : EFT
50 Boxer/actor Mickey : ROURKE
53 Secret __ : AGENT
55 Spanish Mrs. : SRA
57 Flight sked info : ETAS
58 TV series for 18 seasons : NCIS
59 Jazz diva Jones : ETTA
61 Sheepish remark? : BAA!
63 “Straight Outta Compton” group : NWA

25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Oct 21, Thursday”

  1. No errors.. enjoyed the writeup on LIDO from Bill. The origin of word and his last sentence referring to the LIDO deck on a ship was an AHA moment for me.

  2. 35 across: “Insults” = “hates on” ???? Bill, I see you didn’t comment on that one. That’s always a way to know your thinking on the matter, i.e. it’s too stupid to say anything.

  3. 35 across: “Insults” = “hates on” ???? Bill, I see you didn’t comment on that one. That’s always a way to know your thinking on the matter, i.e. it’s too stupid to say anything.

  4. 19:08 no errors…I’ll take it👍
    NCIS New Orleans has been replaced by NCIS Hawaii.
    Stay safe😀
    Go Broncos tonight against the Browns🙏

    1. With a plethora of ink overs I completed the WSJ grid without final error. Now my brain is warmed up for the weekend pummeling! No issues what-so-ever with today’s LAT’s puzzle.

  5. 5:33

    I am surprised and pleased when a theme with anagrams is so helpful. I also found today’s puzzle surprisingly easy. That includes entering Secret SAUCE instead of Secret AGENT, just for fun.

  6. @Jack

    Today’s Daily Stan Newman had the clue “Baltimore Ravens raven mascot” and I immediately thought of you … POE.

    Didn’t know it but got the crosses.

  7. P.S. to the 35 across “anonymous” comment: Sorry, Bill, I thought I signed it, but let me own up. It’s long-time though sparse “replier,” Doc. I note that you also “non-commented” on 4-down for obvious reasons. A “gardener” does not purchase “sod.” Where is the editing? Best to you!

  8. 19:01 – 2 lookups/ no errors

    Didn’t know Jung’s inner self ANIMA and couldn’t get all the crosses until I got this.

    Also didn’t know Straight Outta Compton NWA and ditto on the crosses.

    As a newb, I’ll take it for a Thursday.

    Be Well

  9. 13:41 with no errors or lookups.

    Interesting about anima/animus. I’d always known animus as an ill feeling or hatred toward someone or something. Being male, myself, that it’s also the hidden male personality of females might be discouraging.

  10. Rarest of rare days: I posted a better finishing time than Bill, AND finished error-free when he did not. I can only assume it was a rare off day for Bill…

    I thought this one super-easy by usual Thursday standards.

  11. @Doc re 4D: a few months back I watched my neighbor’s gardeners install rolls of sod they had brought in (and, presumably, had purchased). The clue certainly worked to my experience.

    1. I enjoy gardening, so when I am pursuing that hobby I am a “gardener,” albeit an amateur one. And I have indeed purchased and laid sod in bare spots in my yard, which my Brit friends call my “garden.” That does not make me I a “landscaper.”

  12. Many writeovers: “poncho” before SERAPE, rounD before SALAD, loro before ESSA. Googled for LPGA; and GOOGOOGAGA threw me.

    Thanks for the interesting discussion yesterday about French. One thing, it certainly isn’t equal to the few words in German, maybe two a month. I’ve notice that on PBS, Saturdays, it’s the same thing. Not a single regular knows a word of German.
    I’m just grumpy.

  13. 25 minutes. Since I haven’t watched TV for 25 years, I didn’t know NCIS or Essa. Otherwise I’m just dumb or so it seems after one Old Fashioned.

  14. Very enjoyable Thursday for me; took 14:37 with no errors or peeks. I didn’t get the banner when I finished and had to hunt down GOLDMEtAL and ROURqE/BARREus where I thought quilt at first, even if it didn’t even fit. After straightening that out I got the banner.

    We had a B&W tv so I knew Wilma was a brunette but never really knew she was a redhead. Fun to know that she voiced Rosie in the Jetsons.

    @Bill – I think your explanation of the Hudson Hornet is a bit off. That vehicle was produced from ’51 – ’54 by Hudson Motor Car. The AMC Hornet retained the rights to the name but the new design doesn’t in any way resemble the original.

    1. Thanks, Dirk. You picked up on yet another of my weaknesses when it comes to crosswords: knowledge of cars. I just deleted my whole comment. I appreciate the help.

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