LA Times Crossword 26 Mar 22, Saturday

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Constructed by: Carly Schuna & Will Nediger
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 9m 47s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Scholarly titles, briefly : DRS

“Ph.D.” is an abbreviation for “philosophiae doctor”, Latin for “teacher of philosophy”. Often, candidates for a PhD already hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, so a PhD might be considered a “third degree”.

4 Certain cephalopods : OCTOPI

The name “octopus” comes from the Greek for “eight-footed”. The most common plural used is “octopuses”, although the Greek plural form “octopodes” is also quite correct. The plural “octopi” isn’t really correct as the inference is that “octopus” is like a second-declension Latin noun, which it isn’t. That said, dictionaries are now citing “octopi” as an acceptable plural. Language does evolve, even though it drives me crazy …

Cephalopods are a class of molluscs with arms or tentacles, a prominent head and a body with bilateral symmetry. Most cephalopods have the ability to squirt ink as a defensive mechanism. Examples of the class are the octopus, squid and cuttlefish. The name “cephalopod” comes from the Greek for “head-feet”.

10 Spaghetti strap top : CAMI

A camisole (also “cami”) is a sleeveless undergarment worn by women that extends down to the waist. “Camisole” is a French word that we imported into English that ultimately derives from the Latin “camisia” meaning “shirt, nightgown”.

16 Rights activist Clooney : AMAL

Amal Alamuddin married celebrated Hollywood actor George Clooney in 2014. Alamuddin was born in Beirut, Lebanon and moved with her family to London when she was a toddler. She is a lawyer specializing in international law, with one of her more renowned clients being the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.

19 Strategically placed whoopee cushion, say : JAPE

“To jape” means “to joke or quip”. The exact origins of “jape” are unclear, but it does seem to come from Old French. In the mid-1600s, “to jape” was a slang term meaning “to have sex with”. No joke …!

23 About half the weight of an average car : ONE TON

Here in the US, a ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds. In the UK, a ton is 2,240 pounds. The UK unit is sometimes referred to as an Imperial ton, long ton or gross ton. Folks over there refer to the US ton then as a short ton. To further complicate matters, there is also a metric ton or tonne, which is equivalent to 2,204 pounds. Personally, I wish we’d just stick to kilograms …

26 Request for a distraction : COVER ME

… so they won’t shoot at me.

29 Vulgar : LEWD

Back in the 14th century, something described as vulgar was ordinary, common. The term “vulgar” comes from the Latin “vulgus” meaning “the common people”. Nowadays, we use “vulgar” to mean “coarse, low-bred”, a usage that evolved in the mid-17th century.

33 King nicknamed “Longshanks” : EDWARD I

Edward I of England was on the throne from 1272 to 1307 and was also known as Edward Longshanks. The “Longshanks” name came from Edward’s exceptional height.

36 Cyborg detective of TV and film : INSPECTOR GADGET

“Inspector Gadget” is a cartoon television show from the 1980s in which the title character is a cyborg detective. There’s a lot of similarity in Inspector Gadget’s behavior to the behavior of Maxwell Smart from the sitcom “Get Smart”. Actor Don Adams played the title role in “Get Smart” and also provided the voice for Inspector Gadget.

“Cyborg” is an abbreviation for “cybernetic organism”, a being that is made up of both organic and synthetic parts.

41 Email attention-getters : AT SIGNS

The “at symbol” (@) originated in the commercial word, as shorthand for “each at, per” and similar phrases. I suppose we see the symbol most commonly these days as part of email addresses.

45 Saw from behind? : WAS

The word “was” is “saw” written backwards.

50 “Take a chill pill” : EASE UP

To take a chill pill is to calm down and relax. The expression “take a chill pill” arose in the early eighties. Back then, it referred to the use of medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The use of “chill pills” had the effect of calming someone deemed hyperactive.

53 Popular tech service : GMAIL

Gmail is a free webmail service provided by Google, and my favorite of the free email services. Gmail made a big splash when it was introduced because it offered a whopping 1GB of storage whereas other services offered a measly 2-4MB on average.

56 Goddess credited in a Milky Way origin account : HERA

According to Greek mythology, The Milky Way is the breast milk of the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus. The term “Milky Way” is a translation of the Latin “via lactea”, used by the Romans. The Romans used the Latin name because the older Greek term for the same phenomenon was “galaxias kyklos” meaning “milky circle”.

59 Smallest Central American country : EL SALVADOR

El Salvador is a country in Central America, the smallest country in the region. The capital of El Salvador is the city of San Salvador. “El Salvador” is derived from the name given to the land by the Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century: “Provincia De Nuestro Señor Jesucristo, El Salvador Del Mundo”, which translates as “Province of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World”.

64 “Come Sail Away” rock band : STYX

“Come Sail Away” was a hit for the Chicago band Styx. It was released in 1977, and peaked in the charts the following year. However, “Come Sail Away” is one of those songs that seems to maintain a level of popularity that persists over the decades.

66 Nanjiani’s “The Lovebirds” co-star : RAE

“The Lovebirds” is a 2020 romantic comedy movie starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani as a couple on the run after witnessing a murder. The film’s release schedule was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Netflix stepped in and bought it for online release. As a result, “The Lovebirds” was the top-streamed title on Netflix on the weekend it became available.

Down

2 “Hunger” memoirist __ Gay : ROXANE

Roxane Gay is an author and contributing opinion writer for “The New York Times”. The list of her best-selling works includes the 2014 novel “An Untamed State”, the 2017 collection of short stories “Difficult Women”, and the 2017 memoir “Hunger”.

5 Vinyl successors : CDS

The compact disc (CD) was developed jointly by Philips and Sony as a medium for storing and playing sound recordings. When the first commercial CD was introduced back in 1982, a CD’s storage capacity was far greater than the amount of data that could be stored on the hard drive of personal computers available at that time.

6 Buffoon : TWIT

A buffoon is a clown or jester, although the word “buffoon” tends to be used more figuratively to describe someone foolish and ridiculous. The term comes from the Italian “buffa” meaning “joke”.

8 Near-the-deadline response, at times : PANIC

In Greek mythology, Pan was a lecherous god, one who fell in love with Echo the mountain nymph. Echo refused Pan’s advances so that he became very angry. Pan’s anger created a “panic” (a word derived from the name “Pan”) and a group of shepherds were driven to kill Echo.

10 Farm country avian cry : CAW!

A caw is the harsh cry of a crow, and crows might be found in fields of corn …

12 Husky cousin : MALAMUTE

The Alaskan Malamute was bred as a working dog, and in particular to pull sleds. The breed takes its name from the Mahlemut tribe of Inuit people. The Alaskan Malamute was designated as Alaska’s official state dog in 2010.

21 Dept. in a “Law & Order” spin-off : SVU

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a spin-off from the TV crime drama “Law & Order”. “SVU” has been on the air since 1999, and is set in New York City. Interestingly (to me), there is a very successful Russian adaptation of the show that is set in Moscow.

24 Shoppe name word : OLDE

The word “olde” wasn’t actually used much earlier than the 1920s. “Olde” was introduced to give a quaint antique feel to brand names, shop names etc. as in “Ye Olde Shoppe”.

25 It can be faked with air freshener : NEW CAR SMELL

Most of what we call that “new car smell” comes from adhesives and sealants that are holding together various plastic components in the automobile’s interior. In fact, there is concern in some quarters that the compounds giving that new car smell might pose a health risk.

30 Power measure : WATT

James Watt was a Scottish inventor. He figured prominently in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, largely due to the improvements he made to the fledgling steam engine. The SI unit of power is called the watt, and was named in his honor.

31 Refuse : DROSS

When metals are smelted, there is a scum made up of impurities that floats on the surface of the molten metal. This scum is called “dross” and is drawn off and discarded. The term “dross” has come to mean any waste or impure matter.

33 “Paradise Lost” et al. : EPICS

“Paradise Lost” is an epic poem written by Englishman John Milton. It is indeed an epic work, published originally in ten volumes with over ten thousand lines of verse. The “paradise” that is “lost” is the Garden of Eden, from which Adam and Eve were expelled by God in the “Fall of Man”.

37 Left in disgust or fear, slangily : NOPED OUT

The slang term “nope out” means “to stop doing something in disgust”, to say “nope, no more”.

39 Oscar winner Paquin : ANNA

Anna Paquin is an actress from New Zealand who won an Oscar as an 11-year-old for her role in “The Piano”. In the HBO series “True Blood” she plays Sookie Stackhouse, a role for which she won a Golden Globe.

43 Brain scan inits. : EEG

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a record of electrical activity caused by the firing of neurons within the brain. The EEG might be used to diagnose epilepsy, or perhaps to determine if a patient is “brain dead”.

46 Northern sky sight : AURORA

The spectacular aurora phenomenon is seen lighting up the night sky at both poles of the earth (the Aurora Borealis in the north, and the Aurora Australis in the south). The eerie effect is caused by charged particles colliding with atoms at high latitudes.

49 Shire of “Rocky” : TALIA

You might remember Rocky Balboa saying, “Yo, Adrian!” in the original “Rocky” movie. Adrian was Rocky’s wife, played by Talia Shire, sister of director Francis Ford Coppola.

51 Herring type : SHAD

The shad is also known as the river herring. The eggs (roe) of the shad are prized as a delicacy, especially in the Eastern US.

55 Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS

Lars Ulrich is a drummer from Denmark, and one of the founding members of the American heavy metal band called Metallica. Lars is the son of former professional tennis player Torben Ulrich, the oldest Davis Cup player in history.

58 Census checkbox : SEX

The original census was taken during the days of the Roman Republic, and was a reckoning of all adult males who were fit for military service. The first US Census was taken in 1790, and was conducted by federal marshals.

60 Cancer follower : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

Cancer is the fourth astrological sign of the zodiac, and is associated with the constellation named Cancer. The zodiac symbol for Cancer is the crab, and “cancer” is the Latin word for “crab”. A person born under the sign of Cancer is sometimes referred to as a Moon Child.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Scholarly titles, briefly : DRS
4 Certain cephalopods : OCTOPI
10 Spaghetti strap top : CAMI
14 “Please tell me that didn’t happen!” : YOU DID WHAT?!
16 Rights activist Clooney : AMAL
17 Banishing acts : EXPULSIONS
18 Choice : WILL
19 Strategically placed whoopee cushion, say : JAPE
20 Waters down : THINS
22 Canine greeting : WAG
23 About half the weight of an average car : ONE TON
26 Request for a distraction : COVER ME
28 Flower plot : BED
29 Vulgar : LEWD
32 Hightail it : BUG OUT
33 King nicknamed “Longshanks” : EDWARD I
35 Pro fighter : ANTI
36 Cyborg detective of TV and film : INSPECTOR GADGET
40 Formal denial : NOT I
41 Email attention-getters : AT SIGNS
42 Shim, for example : SPACER
44 Slant : SPIN
45 Saw from behind? : WAS
48 Most charged : TENSEST
50 “Take a chill pill” : EASE UP
52 Include : ADD
53 Popular tech service : GMAIL
56 Goddess credited in a Milky Way origin account : HERA
57 Stat in standings : LOSS
59 Smallest Central American country : EL SALVADOR
62 Job under the hood : LUBE
63 Ones who see what you mean : LIP READERS
64 “Come Sail Away” rock band : STYX
65 Applies, as flattery : LAYS ON
66 Nanjiani’s “The Lovebirds” co-star : RAE

Down

1 Going platinum, maybe : DYE JOB
2 “Hunger” memoirist __ Gay : ROXANE
3 Ate dinner : SUPPED
4 Massage therapist’s supply : OIL
5 Vinyl successors : CDS
6 Buffoon : TWIT
7 Cry from one who knows the answer : OH! OH!
8 Near-the-deadline response, at times : PANIC
9 “Whatevs” : IT’S NO BIGGIE
10 Farm country avian cry : CAW!
11 “You don’t doubt me, do you?” : AM I WRONG?
12 Husky cousin : MALAMUTE
13 Doorbell response : I’LL GET IT
15 Song one can’t perform? : DUET
21 Dept. in a “Law & Order” spin-off : SVU
24 Shoppe name word : OLDE
25 It can be faked with air freshener : NEW CAR SMELL
27 “My heavens!” : EGADS!
30 Power measure : WATT
31 Refuse : DROSS
33 “Paradise Lost” et al. : EPICS
34 __ coffee : DRIP
36 Puts on the hard drive : INSTALLS
37 Left in disgust or fear, slangily : NOPED OUT
38 Is ready to act : STANDS BY
39 Oscar winner Paquin : ANNA
43 Brain scan inits. : EEG
45 Garden tool : WEEDER
46 Northern sky sight : AURORA
47 Minimalist : SPARSE
49 Shire of “Rocky” : TALIA
51 Herring type : SHAD
54 Road game : I SPY
55 Metallica drummer Ulrich : LARS
58 Census checkbox : SEX
60 Cancer follower : LEO
61 Soccer mom’s usual ride : VAN

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 Mar 22, Saturday”

  1. LAT: About 45 minutes with no errors, but finished with uncertainty. I wasn’t satisfied with “will” as the answer to “choice” and still am. I also was unsure with some other answers: “japed” would perhaps fit the clue better than “jape” unless it’s also a noun. Finally, I never heard of “noped out.”

  2. No errors. Got stuck in that SW corner. NOPEDOUT was disgusting. Really?

    @glenn – regards to yesterday comment on NEWSDAY. agreed.

  3. No final errors. I stared long and hard at “noped out” but, being old, I figured it was just one of those expressions that passed me by like (as they say in New Zealand) two sheeps passing in the night.

    On the WSJ 21X21 later today.

  4. Easy for a Sat…came close to beating Bill again. HA!.Down seemed easy helped fill all in quickly .Fun puzzle

  5. 7:31, no errors on this. Nothing incredibly objectionable.

    Looking at the Newsday next once I run an errand…

  6. No look ups,no errors. 2 changes on the
    fly, seeder/weeder and email/gmail. Decent
    challenge today. To “noped out” I say,
    whatevs 😂

  7. I thought “noped out” was fair play, although I had to get it from the crosses.

    My minor quibbles with this one are with 41A and 45A.

    The at sign is hardly an attention getter when reading an email. We’re more likely to give our attention to the subject line or the body of the email, not the minutiae of the address.

    And I would have preferred the clue “Saw backwards?” for 45A. To my mind “Saw from behind?” works best if “S” is bilaterally symmetrical. Which it isn’t.

  8. NOPED OUT … C’mon! (And if anyone asks you to COVER ME, be advised: A “distraction” is not what is being requested😏).

  9. 17:10 and no errors, as luck would have it.

    Some really bad clues and fills in the NE corner: An activist no one has heard of, a horrible clue for WILL, and then the infuriating juxtoposition of formal “Queen’s english” (NOT I) with slang from the 1960’s “BUG OUT”.

    Two constructors couldn’t do a better job than this? I’d hate to see their solo efforts.

  10. 19:57 tough one, surprised I only did one lookup

    That NE corner was a killer.

    Today I learned the expression NOPEDOUT. I like it. It reminds me of Lana Kane’s extended NOOOOPE! from ARCHER.

  11. 24:55 – no errors or lookups. Revisions of: LEAN>SPIN, EMAIL>GMAIL, SUV>VAN.

    The middle was my last fill-in area. Finally figured out DRIP and SPIN, then DROSS and ATSIGNS.

    I agree that ATSIGNS are not an attention getter in emails, unless it refers to calling out someone’s name such as is done in the body of some of these posts.

    NOPEDOUT can’t be something that’s widely used.

  12. Mildly tough Saturday for me; took 36:32 with no peeks or errors. Got the NW and SE and then struggled with the NE and SW. I had AMAL right away and somehow thought of MALAMUTE, which got me most of the NE. Didn’t know INSPECTOR…, but could see that that was wanted. Didn’t like INSTALLS, but went with it, and finally remembered STYX, which got me STANDSBY. Didn’t like LUBE, but went with it and then I just had to fix DRegS to get ATSIGNS, which got me the *banner*

    NOPED OUT left me unsatisfied but since I got the banner, I must have gotten it right.

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