LA Times Crossword 23 Oct 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Jamey Smith
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 9m 52s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • SONANT (sonent!!!)
  • TYGA (Tyge)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Yellow __ : LAB

The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

8 Best Actress Oscar winner before Hepburn’s last such award : SPACEK

Actress Sissy Spacek got her big break in the movies when she played the title role in the 1976 horror movie “Carrie”, which is based on a Stephen King novel. Her most acclaimed role is the lead in the 1980 biopic about Loretta Lynn called “Coal MIner’s Daughter”, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar. Spacek’s first cousin was the actor Rip Torn.

Katharine Hepburn has been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar 12 times, and holds the record for Best Actress wins at four. She won for her roles in:

  • “Morning Glory” in 1933
  • “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” in 1967
  • “The Lion in Winter” in 1968
  • “On Golden Pond” in 1981

14 Wong of “American Housewife” : ALI

Ali Wong is a stand-up comedian from San Francisco who is a protégé of Chris Rock. She made two very successful Netflix stand-up specials “Baby Cobra” and “Hard Knock Wife”. She also worked as a writer for the hit sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat”.

“American Housewife” is a sitcom about a wife and mother who is renting a relatively modest home in a wealthy neighborhood. Set in the Connecticut town of Westport, the neighboring housewives are portrayed as very arrogant and pretentious.

19 Aptly nicknamed section of D.C.’s Massachusetts Avenue : EMBASSY ROW

Most of the embassies and diplomatic missions in Washington, D.C. are located in a section of Massachusetts Avenue. As a result, that section of the thoroughfare earned the nickname “Embassy Row”. Some embassies and diplomatic buildings occupy buildings in nearby streets, and so the term “Embassy Row” can be extended to include a whole neighborhood.

21 Campus cadet org. : ROTC

The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) is a training program for officers based in colleges all around the US. The ROTC program was established in 1862 when as a condition of receiving a land-grant to create colleges, the federal government required that military tactics be part of a new school’s curriculum.

22 Sniffish sort : SNOB

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

23 Research outpost co-developed by NASA : ISS

The International Space Station (ISS) is a modular facility that comprises components launched into space by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and by American Space Shuttles. The station has been occupied by astronauts and scientists continually since November, 2000.

31 Sedimentary rock, from the Greek for “egg” : OOLITE

Oolite is a sedimentary rock also called “egg stone”. Indeed, the term “oolite” comes from the Greek “ooion” meaning egg. The rocks are often round and white (hence the name) and are composed of calcium carbonate.

33 French toast part : SANTE

“À votre santé” is French for “to your health”. Cheers!

37 Olds until 1999 : CUTLASS

Oldsmobile introduced the Cutlass in 1961, and used the name on a succession of models right up to 1999.

39 Deep animosity : ODIUM

Odium is a strong dislike or aversion. The term “odium” is Latin in origin and relates to the Latin word “odi” meaning “I hate”.

42 “Law & Order” actor Jeremy : SISTO

Actor Jeremy Sistohad recurring roles in “Six Feet Under” (as Billy Chenowith) and “Law & Order” (as Detective Cyrus Lupo). Sisto wedded actress Marisa Ryan in 1993, but they separated after just two days of marriage.

43 Lawless : ANARCHIC

Our word “anarchy”, used to describe a society without a publicly enforced government, comes from the Greek “an-” (without) and “arkhos” (leader).

47 Wile E. Coyote’s supply : TNT

“TNT” is an abbreviation for “trinitrotoluene”. Trinitrotoluene was first produced in 1863 by the German chemist Joseph Wilbrand, who developed it for use as a yellow dye. TNT is relatively difficult to detonate so it was on the market as a dye for some years before its more explosive properties were discovered.

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; it’s definitely one of the best …

48 “The Dutch House” author Patchett : ANN

Ann Patchett is an author who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Patchett’s most famous work is probably her novel “Bel Canto”, published in 2001. In 2012, “Time” included her in the magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world.

50 Actress Chaplin : OONA

Oona Chaplin is an actress from Madrid in Spain. Chaplin is getting a lot of airtime these days as she plays Talisa Maegyr on HBO’s hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones”. Oona is the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin, and is named for her maternal grandmother Oona O’Neill, the daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill.

53 Test subjects : GUINEA PIGS

The guinea pig species of rodent is also known as a cavy. Guinea pigs aren’t related to pigs, and they are not from Guinea (in West Africa). They actually come from the Andes. Guinea pigs were used widely for research in the 1800s and 1900s, and as a result we use the term “guinea pig” for a test subject to this day.

57 Frank Sinatra School of the Arts co-founder : TONY BENNETT

Tony Bennett launched his singing career after returning from service in Europe with the US Army during WWII. Bennett was at the height of his success in the 1950s and early 1960s, but his popularity then waned in 1970s and 1980s. During that time, Bennett struggled with drug addiction and came close to bankruptcy. Largely due to the support of his son Danny, Bennett turned his life around, and found a new audience of younger people in the 1990s. He hasn’t looked back since.

The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) is a high school in Queens, New York that was founded in 2001 by singer Tony Bennett and his wife Susan Benedetto, a public school teacher. Tony Bennett was born in Queens, and Frank Sinatra was a very close friend.

59 Tennis unit : SET

Our modern sport of tennis evolved from the much older racquet sport known as real tennis. Originally just called “tennis”, the older game was labeled “real tennis” when the modern version began to hold sway. Real tennis is played in a closed court, with the ball frequently bounced off the walls.

60 Many a superhero adaptation : ORIGIN STORY

In the world of superheroes, an origin story outlines how that character gained his or her superpowers.

61 Sully : TAR

To sully is to stain, tarnish. The term is often used in the context of sullying or tarnishing a reputation.

62 Voiced : SONANT

In phonetics, a letter or syllable that is “sonant” is voiced, whereas an “assonant” (also “asonant”) letter is not voiced.

64 “It’s a hit” letters : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

Down

2 Barnard grad, e.g. : ALUMNA

An alumnus (plural “alumni”) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is “alumna” (plural “alumnae”). The term comes into English from Latin, in which an alumnus is a foster-son or pupil. “Alum” is an informal term used for either an alumna or alumnus.

Barnard College is a private women’s school in New York City. Barnard was founded in 1889 and since 1900 has been affiliated with Columbia University.

3 Walmart adjective : BIG-BOX

A big-box store is a very large retail outlet, and one that is often part of a chain.

Walmart (previously “Wal-Mart”) takes in more revenue than any other publicly traded company in the world. Over in my homeland, Walmart operates under the name Asda. Walmart’s worldwide headquarters are in Bentonville, Arkansas, the home of Sam Walton’s original Five and Dime. You can actually go into the original store, as it is now the Walmart Visitor Center.

4 Hornets of the ’70s : AMCS

The Hudson Hornet was a compact produced by AMC in the seventies. The Hornet platform was used in the design of the Gremlin, a smaller subcompact that was basically the front half of the Hornet with a truncated rear.

5 Knoxville-based SEC athletes : VOLS

The Tennessee Volunteers (the Vols) are the men’s sports teams at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The women’s teams are the Lady Volunteers.

Knoxville is the third largest city in Tennessee, after Nashville and Memphis. It was also the state’s first capital, serving as such from 1796 until 1817. The city was named for Henry Knox, who was a general in the Revolutionary War and the US’s first Secretary of War.

6 “Hurlyburly” Tony winner Judith : IVEY

Judith Ivey is an actress from El Paso, Texas. Ivey is perhaps best known for playing B. J. Poteet in the last season of the TV show “Designing Women”.

“Hurlyburly” is a play by David Rabe that was premiered in 1984, and was adapted into a film starring Sean Penn that was released in 1998. The play’s title comes from a line spoken by one of the witches in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”:

When the hurlyburly’s done
When the battle’s lost and won.

7 Anne Frank, say : DIARIST

Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in rooms concealed behind a bookcase in Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.

10 Tiger or Twin, briefly : AL’ER

The origins of the Detroit Tigers baseball team’s name seems a little unclear. One story is that it was taken from the Detroit Light Guard military unit who were known as “The Tigers”. The Light Guard fought with distinction during the Civil War and in the Spanish-American War. Sure enough, when the Detroit baseball team went into the Majors they were formally given permission to use “The Tigers” name by the Detroit Light Guard.

The Minnesota Twins baseball team was founded as the Kansas City Blues in 1894, before becoming the Washington Senators in 1901. The team arrived in Minneapolis in 1961.

11 State name in a James Taylor classic : CAROLINA

“Carolina in My Mind” is a 1969 song written and recorded by James Taylor. The lyrics reflect a sense of homesickness, as Taylor himself grew up in North Carolina.

James Taylor is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who first achieved success with his 1970 song “Fire and Rain”. Famously, Taylor was married to fellow singer Carly Simon, from 1972 to 1983.

12 Beat reporters? : ECG TESTS

An EKG measures the electrical activity in the heart. Back in my homeland of Ireland, an EKG is known as an ECG (for electrocardiogram). We use the German name in the US, Elektrokardiogramm, giving us EKG. Apparently the abbreviation EKG is preferred, as ECG might be confused (if poorly handwritten, I guess) with EEG, the abbreviation for an electroencephalogram.

16 1961 space chimp : ENOS

Enos was a chimpanzee that was launched into Earth orbit in 1961 by NASA on a Mercury Atlas 4 rocket. Enos’s flight was a rehearsal for the first orbital flight made by an American, astronaut John Glenn. Enos returned from his mission safely, but died the following year from dysentery.

20 Popular vodka brand : ABSOLUT

I must admit, if I ever do order a vodka drink by name, I will order the Absolut brand. I must also admit that I do so from the perspective of an enthusiastic amateur photographer. I’ve been swayed by the Absolut marketing campaign that features such outstanding photographic images.

26 Vodka drink, briefly : COSMO

Like so many famous cocktails, the actual origins of the cosmopolitan are disputed. It is a very nice drink, in my humble opinion. One of the standard recipes is 4 parts citrus vodka, 1.5 parts Cointreau, 1.5 parts lime juice and 3 parts cranberry juice.

27 Teléfono greeting : ALO

In Spanish, one might answer “el teléfono” (the telephone) with the word “Aló” (hello).

28 Artistic dynasty : MING

The Ming Dynasty lasted in China from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Dynasty oversaw tremendous innovation in so many areas, including the manufacture of ceramics. In the late Ming period, a shift towards a market economy in China led to the export of porcelain on an unprecedented scale, perhaps explaining why we tend to hear more about Ming vases than we do about porcelain from any other Chinese dynasty.

29 Late bloomer : ASTER

Apparently, most aster species and cultivars bloom relatively late in the year, usually in the fall. The name “aster” comes into English via Latin from the Greek word “astéri” meaning “star”, a reference to the arrangement of the petals of the flower.

32 B-school course : ECON

A B-school is a business school.

34 Snack that comes in Rounds and Triangles : TOSTITOS

Tostitos are a brand of tortilla chips. If you’re a vegetarian, you might want to leave them on the supermarket shelf as Frito-Lay uses pork enzymes to “enhance” flavor.

35 Pennsylvania’s __ University, home of the Fighting Scots : EDINBORO

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1857 as a training school for teachers, and named the Edinboro Academy. The private school was purchased by the state in 1914, and it gained university status in 1983.

38 Where RFK got his LLB : UVA

The University of Virginia (UVA) was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who then sat on the original Board of Visitors alongside former US Presidents James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, the original UVA campus was built on land near Charlottesville that was once a farm belonging to President Monroe.

Robert “Bobby” Francis Kennedy (RFK) was the US Attorney General (AG) in the administration of his brother President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1964. He then served as a US Senator for the State of New York from 1965 until 1968, when he was assassinated. Bobby was killed during his own run for the Democratic nomination for the presidency.

Bachelor of Laws (LLB) is an undergraduate degree in law. The abbreviation “LLB” stands for Legum (“LL”, for the plural “laws”) Baccalaureus (B, for Bachelor).

46 Julián __, HUD secretary under Obama : CASTRO

When Julián Castro was elected to office as mayor of San Antonio, Texas he was 34 years old, making him the youngest ever mayor of the city. In 2012, Castro became the first ever Hispanic to deliver a keynote address at a Democratic National Convention.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has its roots in the “Great Society” program of President Lyndon Johnson. HUD’s mission is to address the housing needs of the citizenry at the national level. HUD can provide mortgage insurance to help people become homeowners and also provide rental subsidies to lower-income families. HUD also is responsible for enforcement of Federal Fair Housing laws.

49 Meryl Streep and Amy Adams played them in “Doubt” (2008) : NUNS

“Doubt” is a 2008 film adaptation of a stage play by John Patrick Shanley, for which he won a Pulitzer. The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a priest accused of wrongdoing with a young boy, and Meryl Streep as a nun who takes up the cause of holding the priest accountable. It’s a powerful and disturbing tale.

Meryl Streep has had more Academy Award nominations, and more Golden Globe nominations, which is both a tribute to her talent and the respect she has earned in the industry. I am not a huge fan of her earlier works but some of her recent movies are now on my list of all-time favorites. I recommend “Mamma Mia!” (you’ll either love it or hate it!), “Julie & Julia”, “It’s Complicated” and ”Hope Springs”.

Amy Adams is an American actress, although she was actually born in Vicenza, Italy while her father was a US serviceman stationed on an Italian base. My favorite Amy Adams film so far is the outstanding “Julie & Julia” in which she acted alongside Meryl Streep. I highly recommend this truly delightful movie.

52 “Rack City” rapper : TYGA

“Tyga” is the stage name of hip hop artist Michael Stevenson from Compton, California. Apparently, the stage name comes from the phrase “thank you God always”.

54 Noble gas : NEON

Neon was discovered in 1898 by two British chemists Sir William Ramsay and Morris Travers. They chilled a sample of air, turning it into a liquid. They then warmed that liquid and separated out the gases that boiled off. Along with nitrogen, oxygen and argon (already known), the pair of scientists discovered two new gases. The first they called “krypton” and the second “neon”. “Krypton” is Greek for “the hidden one” and “neon” is Greek for “new”.

The rare gases are better known as the noble gases, but neither term is really very accurate. “Noble” gas might be a better choice though, as they are all relatively unreactive. But “rare” they are not. Argon, for example, is a major constituent (1%) of the air that we breathe.

55 To be, in Toulouse : ETRE

Toulouse is the fourth largest city in France, and is located in the southwest of the country. These days, Toulouse is noted as home to the Airbus headquarters and is known as the center of the European aerospace industry.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Yellow __ : LAB
4 Keen : AVID
8 Best Actress Oscar winner before Hepburn’s last such award : SPACEK
14 Wong of “American Housewife” : ALI
15 Elaborate theater : MOVIE PALACE
17 Yank : TUG
18 Green juice source : CLEAN ENERGY
19 Aptly nicknamed section of D.C.’s Massachusetts Avenue : EMBASSY ROW
21 Campus cadet org. : ROTC
22 Sniffish sort : SNOB
23 Research outpost co-developed by NASA : ISS
24 Rural expanse : LEA
25 Hoaxes perpetrated by IRS impostors : TAX SCAMS
29 Not right : AMISS
31 Sedimentary rock, from the Greek for “egg” : OOLITE
33 French toast part : SANTE
34 Exposes : TELLS ON
37 Olds until 1999 : CUTLASS
39 Deep animosity : ODIUM
40 Show deference, in a way : GROVEL
42 “Law & Order” actor Jeremy : SISTO
43 Lawless : ANARCHIC
47 Wile E. Coyote’s supply : TNT
48 “The Dutch House” author Patchett : ANN
50 Actress Chaplin : OONA
51 “Ri-i-i-ght” : I BET
53 Test subjects : GUINEA PIGS
57 Frank Sinatra School of the Arts co-founder : TONY BENNETT
59 Tennis unit : SET
60 Many a superhero adaptation : ORIGIN STORY
61 Sully : TAR
62 Voiced : SONANT
63 First-class seat, often : ONE-A
64 “It’s a hit” letters : SRO

Down

1 Cutting-edge : LATEST
2 Barnard grad, e.g. : ALUMNA
3 Walmart adjective : BIG-BOX
4 Hornets of the ’70s : AMCS
5 Knoxville-based SEC athletes : VOLS
6 “Hurlyburly” Tony winner Judith : IVEY
7 Anne Frank, say : DIARIST
8 Gushes : SPEWS
9 Rave’s opposite : PAN
10 Tiger or Twin, briefly : AL’ER
11 State name in a James Taylor classic : CAROLINA
12 Beat reporters? : ECG TESTS
13 Accessories that preserve your access : KEY CASES
16 1961 space chimp : ENOS
20 Popular vodka brand : ABSOLUT
26 Vodka drink, briefly : COSMO
27 Teléfono greeting : ALO
28 Artistic dynasty : MING
29 Late bloomer : ASTER
30 Shoplifter’s concern : MALL COP
32 B-school course : ECON
34 Snack that comes in Rounds and Triangles : TOSTITOS
35 Pennsylvania’s __ University, home of the Fighting Scots : EDINBORO
36 Work with taps, maybe : LISTEN IN
38 Where RFK got his LLB : UVA
41 Met unexpectedly : RAN INTO
44 Lifting things : HOISTS
45 Engaged : IN GEAR
46 Julián __, HUD secretary under Obama : CASTRO
48 Broker : AGENT
49 Meryl Streep and Amy Adams played them in “Doubt” (2008) : NUNS
52 “Rack City” rapper : TYGA
54 Noble gas : NEON
55 To be, in Toulouse : ETRE
56 “Back __!” : AT YA
58 Storage unit : BIN

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Oct 21, Saturday”

  1. LAT: About 20 minutes, no errors. Seemed easy for Saturday. Enjoyed some of the clever clues, particularly “Beat reporters.”

  2. Way too long. Didn’t know Vols. Didn’t even know SEC. Securities and Exchange Commission? And it went downhill from there.

  3. What a hodge podge of off beat answers
    OOLITE SONANT ANARCHIC SISTO

    Throw in a ECG TEST and it makes it a bit tough.
    I messed up at 1A and 14A. Went from FIN to HAT and had OLA for 14A hoping the downs would make sense. Left with HOTEST and TAGBOX. I guess I don’t hang out at Walmart enough to know what a BIGBOX is. If I would have started with yellow LAB I wouldn’t have made a mess up there.

  4. 22 mins 26 seconds and 5 errors. Full of obscure references and proper names. A good challenge, but not a favorite.

  5. yellow CAB and Yank -> LUG threw me for a spin.
    Telefono Greeting, I thought would be OLA. Oh well!
    SONANT was a nice word.

  6. 25:19 1 lookup , 4 errors, mostly because I put in TORTINOS, and not TOSTITOS

    Tough one!

    SONANT is a cool word to learn.

  7. 24:59 with 2 lookups and 1 error. My error was the same as Bill’s with a “e” (forgot how to spell SONaNT and don’t know the rapper). Had to look up SISTo and CoSMo because it seems that I don’t know vodka drinks, minor actors, or Greek geology. I might have guessed COSMO and saved the lookups, but wasn’t confident in that.

    Had to go through SOLAR>CLEAN>CHEAP and SALUT>SANTE.

  8. “Sniffish?” What in the heck? Never heard of the word. I have always used “Ola” when speaking to Spanish individuals and have never been corrected on its use. And then there is the clue 36D. The author (and editor) went off the reservation for that answer!! This trend towards the obscure (or incorrect) is maddening.

  9. Tough Saturday for me; took 38:08 when I threw in the towel and did a “check-grid” to only reveal one error TOSTITaS, although I had plenty of open space, all in the SW and middle. Didn’t have parts of COSMO, EDINBORO, SONANT, OOLITE, ORIGIN…, SISTO and ODIUM for 8 total errors.

    Still, outside of the SW corner, I really enjoyed it and learned a bit. Didn’t really know IVEY, SPACEK, ANN, ALI and changed SEA to CAB to LAB. It doesn’t really speak to the academic quality of Edinboro University that the first google endorsement says: “Grate atmosphere for learning friendly people.”

    Somewhat ashamed that I knew TYGA, from a crossword about a year or two ago, for the world’s worst rap song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE3yia1AJeQ for which even his fellow rap stars made fun of him.

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