LA Times Crossword 30 Oct 21, Saturday

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Constructed by: Adrian Johnson
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 14m 39s

Bill’s errors: 3

  • AVENGERS: ENDGAME(Adenaers: Endgame!!!)
  • EVIE (Edie)
  • GAH! (Aah!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

7 Advanced degree candidate’s no. : GRE SCORE

Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.

17 Hobby : OUTSIDE INTEREST

Back in the 16th century, a hobbyhorse was a mock horse that was used as a prop in morris dancing. The figure was wrapped around the waist of a dancer, creating the impression that the horse was being ridden. By the 1580s, the term “hobbyhorse” began to describe toy riding horse used by a child. A century later, the word “hobby” was being used for a favorite pastime, an activity that doesn’t real go anywhere, just like a hobbyhorse.

18 Peck in the park, informally : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

19 Controversial oil well verb : FRACK

“Fracking” is a familiar term for “hydraulic fracturing”. Fracking involves the injection of chemicals and sand in water at high pressure into a wellbore. This creates cracks in layers of rock deep in the earth allowing perhaps oil or natural gas to flow more freely to the surface.

21 Philosophy 101 subject : PLATO

The greatest work of the Greek philosopher Plato is said by most to be his treatise called “The Republic”. The work takes the form of a Socratic dialogue, meaning that it features Plato’s teacher Socrates in dialogue with others discussing the subject matter. Much of the text deals with justice and various forms of government.

22 Headey of “Game of Thrones” : LENA

English actress Lena Headey is best known for playing Cersei Lannister on the fantasy series “Game of Thrones”. Although a British citizen, Headey was actually born in Bermuda, where her father was stationed as a police officer.

24 “Turning Tables” singer : ADELE

“Turning Tables” is a 2011 single co-written and recorded by Adele. There’s also a cover version out there recorded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow as she performed the song in an episode of the TV show “Glee”.

27 Main ingredients in the Thai dish tam som : PAPAYAS

The papaya (also “papaw”) tropical fruit is native to Mexico and South America. When cultivating papaya trees, only female plants are used. Female plants produce just one, high-quality fruit per tree. Male plants produce several fruit per tree, but they are very poor quality.

The dish usually listed as green papaya salad on menus in Thai restaurants in North America is referred to as “som tam” in Thailand. Som tam really goes for all of one’s taste buds, as it includes sour lime, hot chili, savory fish sauce and palm sugar for sweetness.

30 Shuffle alternative : NANO

The iPod Nano was the successor to the iPod Mini and was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. There were seven versions of the Nano, until it was discontinued in 2017.

The iPod Shuffle was introduced in 2005 and is the smallest of Apple’s line of audio players. The Shuffle was the first iPod to use flash memory.

34 One-named “Chandelier” singer : SIA

“Sia” is the stage name of Australian singer Sia Furler from Adelaide. Sia is a cousin of Australian Christian Rock musician Peter Furler.

38 Stately tree : ELM

The Ulmus laevis deciduous tree that is native to Europe is commonly referred to as the European white elm, spreading elm and stately elm.

40 World’s largest fashion magazine : ELLE

“Elle” magazine was founded in 1945 in France and today has the highest circulation of any fashion magazine in the world. “Elle” is the French word for “she”. “Elle” is published monthly worldwide, although you can pick up a weekly edition if you live in France.

43 Coarse cloth : TWEED

Tweed is a rough woolen fabric that is very much associated with Scotland in the UK, and with County Donegal in Ireland. The cloth was originally called “tweel”, the Scots word for “twill”. Apparently a London merchant misinterpreted some handwriting in the early 1800s and assumed the fabric was called “tweed”, a reference to the Scottish River Tweed, and the name stuck …

45 Sources of suffering : BANES

Today, we tend to use the word “bane” to mean “anathema, a source of persistent annoyance”. A few centuries ago, a bane was a cause of harm or death, perhaps a deadly poison.

48 Ginormous : MEGA

“Ginormous” is a melding of the words “gigantic” and “enormous” and, surprisingly to me, one that dates back to about 1948. I thought that the term was far more contemporary …

51 Food is tossed in it : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, and is the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

54 2019 culmination of a 22-film story : AVENGERS: ENDGAME

“Avengers: Endgame” is a 3029 superhero movie. It is the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that features several superheroes made famous in Marvel Comics. “Avengers: Endgame” closes out the story arcs for several superheroes from prior films in the series.

Down

3 Romance writers’ award until 2019 : RITA

The RITA Awards were presented by Romance Writers of America (RWA) to authors exhibiting excellence in the genre of romantic fiction. The RITA was named for the RWA’s first president, Rita Clay Estrada. The RITA was replaced by the Vivian Award in 2021 in recognition that RITA Award winners were overwhelmingly white. The Vivian Award was named for RWA founder Vivian Stephens, who was an African-American editor of romance novels.

4 Assassin standout? : ESS

The four letters S in the word “assassin” sure do stand out.

6 Libya’s Gulf of __ : SIDRA

Sidra is a port on the Libyan coast. It is the country’s largest oil depot. The Gulf of Sirte, on which the port sits, is sometimes referred to as the Gulf of Sidra.

7 Company with woodchuck ads : GEICO

GEICO was founded in 1936 with a very specific mission, to provide auto insurance for employees of the federal government and their families, hence the name Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO). GEICO is a private company, despite the word “government” in its name. The founders’ idea was to focus on government employees as they believed such a group represented a lower risk profile than the rest of the population. Nowadays any qualifying person can take out a policy with GEICO.

The woodchuck is also known as the groundhog, and is one in a group of large ground squirrels called marmots. Repeat after me:

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

8 Stars’ play area : RINK

The Dallas Stars hockey team was founded in 1967, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, and was back then called the Minnesota North Stars. The team moved to Dallas in 1993.

9 Lifesaver, briefly : EMT

Emergency medical technician (EMT)

11 Canopus’ constellation : CARINA

The constellation of Carina used to be part of the larger constellation Argo Navis. Argo Navis (“Argo the Ship” in Latin) was divided into three parts: Puppis (“The Poop Deck”), Vela (“The Sails”) and Carina (“The Keel”). Carina is home to Canopus, the second brightest star in the night sky (after Sirius).

14 Place Sundance liked to see : ETTA

Etta Place is the schoolteacher character played by Katharine Ross in the superb 1969 movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.

23 Heaviest of the three modern fencing swords : EPEE

There are three fencing events in the modern Olympics, with each distinguished by the weapon used:

  • Foil
  • Épée
  • Sabre

24 Quito’s range : ANDES

The full name of the capital city of Ecuador is San Francisco de Quito. Quito is the second highest administrative capital city in the world, after La Paz, Bolivia.

25 Alfalfa’s love interest : DARLA

Alfalfa’s love interest in “Our Gang” was Darla, whose real name was Darla Hood. Hood became quite a successful singer after she grew out of her “Our Gang” role.

27 The Panthers of the ACC : PITT

The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) chose the nickname for its sporting teams in 1909, and claims that it was the first team in the country to adopt the name “Panthers”.

32 Latvian capital : EURO

Latvia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). People from Latvia are called Letts.

33 Pro concerned with returns : CPA

Certified public accountant (CPA)

36 Olympic sprinter Devers : GAIL

Gail Devers is a US Olympic champion, winning the 100m gold at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, and winning the 100m individual and relay golds at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Back in 1990, doctors considered amputating Devers’ feet as they were in such poor condition as a result of treatment for Graves’ disease.

37 Prayer supports? : PEWS

A pew is a church bench, one usually with a high back. The original pews were raised and sometimes enclosed seats in the church used by women and important men or families. “Pew” comes from the Old French “puie” meaning “balcony, elevation”.

42 Op-ed features : SLANTS

“Op-ed” is an abbreviation for “opposite the editorial page”. Op-eds started in “The New York Evening World” in 1921 when the page opposite the editorials was used for articles written by a named guest writer, someone independent of the editorial board.

45 Bartlett relatives : BOSCS

Bosc is a cultivar of the European pear that is grown mainly in the northwest of the United States. It is named for French horticulturist Louis Bosc. The cultivar originated in Belgium or France in the early 19th century. The Bosc is that pear with a skin the color of a potato, with a long neck.

The Bartlett is the most commonly grown pear outside of Asia, a cultivar of the European pear. Back in the UK, where the Bartlett originated, it is called a Williams Pear, or more completely a Williams’ Bon Chretien (Williams’ good Christian). Several Williams trees were imported to the US in 1799 and planted in Massachusetts. The land on which the trees were planted was eventually bought by one Enoch Bartlett, and he started to distribute the pears and basically introduced the variety to the US. He didn’t know that the pears were called Williams, so he named them after himself!

46 Double or triple skating move : AXEL

An axel is a forward take-off jump in figure skating. The maneuver was first performed by Norwegian Axel Paulsen at the 1882 World Figure Skating championships.

47 Boys of Sevilla : NINOS

The city of Seville (“Sevilla” in Spanish) is the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain. Seville is a favored setting for many operas including “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini, “Fidelio” by Beethoven and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “The Marriage of Figaro”.

48 Cuban team, for short : MAVS

The Mavericks (also “Mavs”) are an NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

Mark Cuban is a successful businessman, and the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. If you’ve seen the reality TV show “Shark Tank”, you’ll know Cuban as one of the investors putting up their money i.e. one of the “sharks”. If you’re a “Dancing with the Stars” fan, you might recall Cuban as a contestant on the 5th series of that show, partnered with Kym Johnson.

50 Poison lead singer Michaels : BRET

Bret Michaels is a singer-songwriter who came to fame as the lead vocalist of the glam metal band called Poison. Michaels also won the third season of the reality show “Celebrity Apprentice”.

52 Start to science? : OMNI-

Omniscience is the quality of having complete knowledge and awareness. The term comes from the Latin “omnis” meaning “all” and “scientia” meaning “knowledge”.

56 Word with surf or trip : EGO-

We’ve all done it, googling our own names to see what comes up. It’s called “egosurfing”.

57 Letters next to a 4 : GHI

Those would be letters on the 4-key of a phone.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Make bold, maybe : STRESS
7 Advanced degree candidate’s no. : GRE SCORE
15 “No more kidding around!” : THIS TIME I MEAN IT!
17 Hobby : OUTSIDE INTEREST
18 Peck in the park, informally : PDA
19 Controversial oil well verb : FRACK
20 “Whose __ was that?” : IDEA
21 Philosophy 101 subject : PLATO
22 Headey of “Game of Thrones” : LENA
24 “Turning Tables” singer : ADELE
27 Main ingredients in the Thai dish tam som : PAPAYAS
30 Shuffle alternative : NANO
31 Speak from memory : RECITE
34 One-named “Chandelier” singer : SIA
35 Start thinking about old unpleasantness : DREDGE UP THE PAST
38 Stately tree : ELM
39 Gas up? : AERATE
40 World’s largest fashion magazine : ELLE
41 Responds to a minister, in a way : SAYS I DO
43 Coarse cloth : TWEED
44 Join (with) : ALLY
45 Sources of suffering : BANES
48 Ginormous : MEGA
50 Completely surround : BOX IN
51 Food is tossed in it : WOK
54 2019 culmination of a 22-film story : AVENGERS: ENDGAME
58 Thrift store merchandise : VINTAGE CLOTHING
59 Free throws, usually : SET SHOTS
60 “You’re absolutely right” : SO IT IS

Down

1 “That’s enough!” : STOP!
2 Sound of a flop : THUD
3 Romance writers’ award until 2019 : RITA
4 Assassin standout? : ESS
5 Smother : STIFLE
6 Libya’s Gulf of __ : SIDRA
7 Company with woodchuck ads : GEICO
8 Stars’ play area : RINK
9 Lifesaver, briefly : EMT
10 “Catch my drift?” : SEE?
11 Canopus’ constellation : CARINA
12 Short promotion : ONE-DAY SALE
13 Hilltop : RISE
14 Place Sundance liked to see : ETTA
16 Substance : MEAT
21 Drudge or trudge : PLOD
22 Woodshop tool : LATHE
23 Heaviest of the three modern fencing swords : EPEE
24 Quito’s range : ANDES
25 Alfalfa’s love interest : DARLA
26 Suspicious plant : ENEMY AGENT
27 The Panthers of the ACC : PITT
28 Symbolic compromise crossing : AISLE
29 Having no more room, perhaps : SATED
31 Thin in tone : REEDY
32 Latvian capital : EURO
33 Pro concerned with returns : CPA
36 Olympic sprinter Devers : GAIL
37 Prayer supports? : PEWS
42 Op-ed features : SLANTS
43 Care for : TEND TO
45 Bartlett relatives : BOSCS
46 Double or triple skating move : AXEL
47 Boys of Sevilla : NINOS
48 Cuban team, for short : MAVS
49 Name that sounds like its first two letters : EVIE
50 Poison lead singer Michaels : BRET
51 Stand by : WAIT
52 Start to science? : OMNI-
53 Bar supply : KEGS
55 Cry of exasperation : GAH!
56 Word with surf or trip : EGO-
57 Letters next to a 4 : GHI

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 30 Oct 21, Saturday”

  1. 48D really got me bad… I was on a COMPLETELY different wave length. It started with 48A.. I ended with GIGA. Then I had MONTAGE CLOTHING for 58A.
    Then I ended 49D with IVOE??? wow, what was I thinking… but then how many names can a CUBAN team have??

    Wait, there’s a guy named Mark Cuban that owns a team called the MAVS?
    you got me Adrian. Hook line and sinker!

  2. LAT: One tough puzzle! About two hours with no errors but so much guessing. Never heard of many answers such as gah, sia, sidra, etc. Able to finish only because of crosses.

  3. Maybe EVIE liked this puz, or maybe EDIE😏. But as for ETTA, DARLA, GAIL, BRET, PLATO, ADELE, SIA and me … GAH!

  4. 20:55

    I had to PLOD through the grid over and over. Along the way I changed RIGA->EURO, PEARS->BOSCS, HUGE->MEGA, ACH->GAH. Nearly all of the ones I didn’t know were downs, which foiled my usual strategy of doing the downs first:
    Gulf of SIDRA, constellation CARINA, ETTA Place, DARLA, PITT Panthers, GAIL Devers, BRET Michaels, EPEE being heavier than saber.

  5. Plenty of ink overs but no final errors. Instead of “frack” I had crude there for awhile. But eventually got that straightened out. The last letter to fall was the “v” in Avenger’s End Game. That brought this fairly tough Saturday grid to fruition.

  6. 15:37, no errors. Easier than yesterday, but still a bit … thoughtful … and puzzling (IMHO, a very good thing … in puzzles).

    Thanks, @Anon Mike, for explaining the Cuban thing!

    @Dirk … I responded to your comment about Mount Elbert on yesterday’s blog.

    And … I’m tempted to indulge in a bit of “sanctimonious moralizing” in reaction to some of yesterday’s complaints, but … I won’t … 😜.

  7. 14 mins, 13 seconds, and four errors. Because I don’t know a thing about any AVENGERS END GAME, I couldn’t see EVIE from EDIE, couldn’t detect the Dilbertine “GAH” , or the incredibly lame phone button reference.

  8. About 30 minutes with no errors(for a change).
    In my 80 years on this planet I don’t recall ever saying GAH and most likely won’t ever say it. What a rediculous clue and answer👎👎👎👎
    Stay safe😀

  9. 37:21 with 3 letter errors on 4 words. I did a “check grid” online because I doubted that SLeNTS was correct for “Op-ed features” due to having “huGe” for “Ginormous.” It seemed to possibly be a variant spelling of SLANTS which would be better, but then I’d have HUGA for “Ginormous.” hAVS seemed like a shortened version of HAVANAS for the “Cuban team,” and uVIE could be a legit name.

    Discovered that all of my assumptions were wrong! Had to be MAVS for Mark Cuban’s team, EVIE for the name (not very common, ivie is better?), SLANTS as above, and therefore MEGA for huge (which I think should have been clued as an abbreviation). Should have pushed myself on SLANT and looked for an alternative to HUGA.

    Previously had to change DREDGINGTHEPAST>DREDGEUPTHEPAST, ADDAIR>AERATE, UGH>GAH.

  10. Never got past donatedCLOTHING, so whole bottom left was a disaster. In my world, VINTAGE means items between 50 and 100 yrs old. Over 100 is an actual antique, and under 50 is just old, unless one is a very good salesperson, and then it might be retro. What I donate or see in thrift stores is nearly always just old, not vintage.

  11. 30 Across… Explain it to me, got it thru the crosses BUUUT…still wanna know…
    Otherwise, I like this sort of “think outside the box” puzzle!

  12. Tough but enjoyable Saturday for me; got the exact same errors that Bill did, but I’m counting them as two 🙂 After doing the “check-grid” I tried R instead of L but that didn’t do it…finally tried V and then I saw AVENGERS…tricky but doable. Oh and all that in 34:58 with about 10 minutes in the SW.

    I think I’ve accidentally seen two of those Avenger’s movies…mostly just to see Brie Larson..but still, I didn’t know there were 22 of them.

    @Nonny – Wow, 86 miles, that’s pretty impressive for any age. I used to be in really good shape with either a 40 mile bike ride or a 10 mile hike/run up/down the Coastal range here, every two weeks, along with my daily 1 hour workout. Now I’m down to the daily workout which really isn’t enough. I’m going to slowly work my way back into that what I used to do!

  13. Kinda enjoyed that puzzle but it took me 2 days. Just kept going back to it. Margie, I thought the same thing! Riga…but I bet your friend uses euros! Capital

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