LA Times Crossword 28 Mar 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Lynn Lempel
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Split-Level

Four rows in today’s grid each include a synonym of “LEVEL”, but with a black square SPLITTING it in two:

  • 60A House with short staircases, and a hint to each row of circles : SPLIT-LEVEL
  • 17A WWII Russian battleground : STALINGRAD
  • 19A “Piece of cake!” : EASY! (hiding split “GRAD-E”)
  • 24A More weird : EERIER
  • 26A Joint covered by a bobby sock : ANKLE (hiding split “R-ANK”)
  • 38A Rap genre : GANGSTA
  • 40A Pisa’s region : TUSCANY (hiding split “STA-TUS”)
  • 47A Multitude : HORDE
  • 49A Mount Olympus country : GREECE (hiding split “DE-GREE”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 46s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Composer of the “Brandenburg” concertos : BACH

The six, beautiful Brandenburg Concertos were composed by Johann Sebastian Bach and presented to the Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt in 1721.

9 Flows back, as the tide : EBBS

Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon on the oceans. At neap tide, the smaller gravitational effect of the sun cancels out some of the moon’s effect. At spring tide, the sun and the moon’s gravitational forces act in concert causing more extreme movement of the oceans.

15 Prefix for second or bot : NANO-

“Nanosecond” is more correctly abbreviated to “ns” (as opposed to “nsec”) and really is a tiny amount of time: one billionth of a second.

Nanorobots (also “nanobots”) are tiny devices that range from 0.1 to 10 micrometers in size. The technology of nanorobotics is in its infancy, but it is hoped that nanobots might be used (for example) in medicine one day. The oft-cited application is the use of nanobots inserted inside the body to identify and destroy cancer cells.

17 WWII Russian battleground : STALINGRAD

Volgograd is a Russian city on the Volga River. Known as Stalingrad from 1925 until 1961, the city is famous for the Battle of Stalingrad against the German Army in WWII. The Soviets emerged victorious after just over five months of fierce and brutal fighting in what is believed to be the bloodiest battle in the history of warfare.

20 Big to-do : HOOPLA

The word “hoopla” means “boisterous excitement”. The term probably comes from “houp-là”, something the French say instead of “upsy-daisy”. Then again, “upsy-daisy” probably isn’t something said very often here in the US …

21 Rooftop satellite fixture : DISH

The first public television signals relayed by satellite were beamed from Europe to North America on 23 July 1962. The satellite used was the famous Telstar 1, which belonged to AT&T. The American earth station built to receive the signal was located in Andover, Maine. It wasn’t until 1979 that the FCC began allowing satellite earth stations in private homes.

23 Animation frame : CEL

In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.

26 Joint covered by a bobby sock : ANKLE (hiding split “R-ANK”)

Bobby socks (or “bobby sox”) are so called because they are shorter than knee socks, they are “bobbed”, shortened, as in a bob haircut. Bobby soxers were young women who were fans of pop music in the 1940s, and who often wore poodle skirts and bobby socks, hence the name.

31 __ Howard, director of the film “Frost/Nixon” : RON

British journalist David Frost is perhaps best known in the US for hosting the television show “Through the Keyhole” and for his celebrity interviews, most notably with former President Richard Nixon. That interview was adapted as a play and then a movie called “Frost/Nixon”. The movie was directed by Ron Howard. “Frost/Nixon” is a little slow, but it is a must-see for political history addicts like me.

33 Ostrich’s kin : EMU

Emu eggs are very large, with a thick shell that is dark-green in color. One emu egg weighs about the same as a dozen chicken eggs. It is the male emu that incubates the eggs. The incubation period lasts about 8 weeks, during which time the male neither eats nor drinks, just lapping up any morning dew that is nearby. While incubating a clutch of eggs, male emus lose about a third of their weight.

38 Rap genre : GANGSTA

Gangsta rap is a type of hip hop music with lyrics that reflect the violent lifestyle experienced by some inner-city youth.

40 Pisa’s region : TUSCANY (hiding split “STA-TUS”)

Tuscany is a beautiful region in central Italy, the capital of which is the city of Florence. Tuscany is considered to be the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, which was centered around Florence. It was home to great artistic icons such as Dante, Botticelli, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Galileo and Puccini.

43 Sleepy Van Winkle : RIP

“Rip Van Winkle” is a short story written by Washington Irving. In the tale, the hero falls asleep in the Catskill Mountains for twenty years. Van Winkle awakens to a much-changed world having snoozed right through the American Revolution. The story was an instant hit, and was adapted for the stage just a few years after its first publication in 1819. Since then “Rip” has featured on the small screen, big screen and even in an operetta.

44 Brewpub libations : ALES

Back in the 14th century, libation was the pouring of wine in the honor of a god. The term “libation” comes from the Latin word “libare”, which basically means the same thing. Nowadays we tend to use “libation” as a somewhat ornate word meaning “drink”.

47 Multitude : HORDE

A horde is a large crowd. “Horde” ultimately derives from the Turkish “ordu” meaning “camp, army”.

49 Mount Olympus country : GREECE (hiding split “DE-GREE”)

Mount Olympus is the highest peak in Greece. In Greek mythology, it was home to the gods, and in particular home to the principal gods known as the Twelve Olympians.

52 Biblical kingdom near the Dead Sea : MOAB

In the Bible, Moab was the first son of Lot, and the founder of the Kingdom of Moab. Moab was located on a plateau above the Dead Sea.

54 Beethoven’s “Moonlight,” e.g. : SONATA

Beethoven subtitled his “Piano Sonata No. 14, Op. 27, No. 2” as “Quasi una fantasia”, or “sonata in the manner of a fantasy” in English. Five years after Beethoven died, a music critic wrote that the first movement of the piece had an effect like that of moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne. Since then, the work has been known as the “Moonlight Sonata”.

62 Moist and chilly : DANK

“Dank” is such a lovely word that has largely been superseded by “damp”, another nice word. It is thought that “dank” came into English from Scandinavia some time before the 14th century. The modern Swedish word “dank” means “moist place”.

63 Lascivious look : LEER

“Lascivious” is such an appropriate-sounding word, I always think. It means “lecherous, salacious”.

65 Samberg of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” : ANDY

Andy Samberg is an actor and comedian who was a “Saturday Night Live” cast member from 2005 until 2012. Samberg also plays the lead on the police sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”.

67 First Bond film : DR NO

“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer. If you’ve read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you’ll recognize the similarities between the characters Dr. Julius No and Fu Manchu. By the way, the author Ian Fleming tells us that Julius No attended medical school in Milwaukee.

Down

2 Choir voice : ALTO

In choral music, an alto (plural “alti”) is the second-highest voice in a four-part chorus made up of soprano, contr(alto), tenor and bass. The word “alto” describes the vocal range, that of the deepest female singing-voice, whereas the term “contralto” describes more than just the alto range, but also its quality and timbre. An adult male’s voice (not a boy’s) with the same range as an alto is called a “countertenor”.

3 Turin “ta-ta” : CIAO

“Ciao” is Italian for “‘bye”. “Arrivederci” is more formal, and translates as “goodbye”.

5 “Life of Pi” director Lee : ANG

Taiwanese director Ang Lee sure has directed a mixed bag of films, mixed in terms of genre but not in terms of quality. He was at the helm for such classics as “Sense & Sensibility” (my personal favorite), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk”, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Life of Pi”.

The 2012 movie “Life of Pi” is based on a 2001 novel of the same name by Yann Martel. The “Pi” in the title is an Indian boy named Pi Patel who finds himself adrift for 227 days in a small boat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

8 Many figures in the Marvel Universe : GODS

Marvel Comics was founded in 1939 as Timely Comics, before becoming Atlas Comics in 1951 and eventually Marvel Comics in 1961. The “Marvel” brand had existed from day one, and Timely Comics’ first publication was “Marvel Comics #1” in October 1939. That first comic featured the superhero the Human Torch.

10 Ursine hibernators that might actually be brown : BLACK BEARS

The American black bear is the most common bear found in North America, and indeed the world.

11 Swiss city on the Rhine : BASEL

The city of Basel in Switzerland lies right where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, and so has suburbs that lie in both France and Germany.

12 Subject for Vogue : STYLE

“Vogue” magazine has been published for an awfully long time, with the first issue appearing in 1892. Over the decades the magazine has picked up a lot of criticism as well as its many fans. Famously, an assistant to the editor wrote a novel based on her experiences working with the magazine’s editor, and called it “The Devil Wears Prada”.

14 Cairo’s river : NILE

Depending on definition, the Nile is regarded generally as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which join together near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for those living along its length.

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.

25 Greek “i” : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

27 Agent pursuing a dealer : NARC

“Narc” and “narco” are slang terms describing a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. Both words are short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

28 Toymaker with worldwide theme parks : LEGO

There are currently six Legoland theme parks in the world, with two here in North America. One of the US parks is in Winter Haven, Florida and the other is in Carlsbad, California (which is the one that I’ve visited … a fun place).

29 Arabian sultanate : OMAN

Qaboos bin Said al Said is the current Sultan of Oman, who came to power in a coup in 1970 by deposing his own father. Qaboos has no children, and no agreed heir. His current instructions are for the royal family to agree on a successor after his death. Qaboos has also specified that should the royal not be able to agree on a successor, then the country’s Defense Council will make the decision, choosing between two names that the Sultan placed in a sealed envelope to be opened after his passing.

39 __ the lily: overembellish : GILD

To gild is to coat with gold. The phrase “to gild the lily” means to add unnecessary ornamentation, to try to improve something that is already ideal.

40 Goodyear product : TIRE

The Goodyear tire company was founded in 1898. The company was named for Charles Goodyear, the man who invented vulcanized rubber in 1839. Despite the Goodyear name, Charles Goodyear himself had no connection with the company. Sadly, he never really reaped a financial reward for his inventions.

46 Virgil epic : AENEID

Aeneas was a Trojan hero of myth who traveled to Italy and became the ancestor of all Romans. Aeneas’s story is told in Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid”.

47 Ibsen’s “__ Gabler” : HEDDA

“Hedda Gabler” is a play by the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen that was first published in 1890. Considered one of the greatest theater roles, the title character of Hedda Gabler is sometimes referred to as the female Hamlet.

50 Young horse : COLT

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less than one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

53 Norwegian capital : OSLO

The Norwegian capital of Oslo is located at the northern end of a fjord known as Oslofjord. The fjord is home to 40 islands that lie within the city’s limits. Oslo also has 343 lakes.

56 Seagull kin : TERN

Terns are a family of seabirds. They are similar to gulls, but are more slender and more lightly built. Many species of tern are known for their long-distance migrations, with the Arctic tern migrating so far that it is believed to see more daylight in a year than any other animal.

61 Form 1040 org. : IRS

Form 1040, issued by the IRS, is the “US Individual Income Tax Return”. It was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Composer of the “Brandenburg” concertos : BACH
5 Slack-jawed : AGOG
9 Flows back, as the tide : EBBS
13 Sci-fi visitor : ALIEN
15 Prefix for second or bot : NANO-
16 Paneling strip : SLAT
17 WWII Russian battleground : STALINGRAD
19 “Piece of cake!” : EASY! (hiding split “GRAD-E”)
20 Big to-do : HOOPLA
21 Rooftop satellite fixture : DISH
23 Animation frame : CEL
24 More weird : EERIER
26 Joint covered by a bobby sock : ANKLE (hiding split “R-ANK”)
28 Head of a manor : LORD
31 __ Howard, director of the film “Frost/Nixon” : RON
32 Dull-looking : DRAB
33 Ostrich’s kin : EMU
34 Responds to hunger pangs : EATS
35 Least common : RAREST
38 Rap genre : GANGSTA
40 Pisa’s region : TUSCANY (hiding split “STA-TUS”)
41 Done in the factory, as training : ON-SITE
42 Hairpieces : WIGS
43 Sleepy Van Winkle : RIP
44 Brewpub libations : ALES
45 Gallery hangings : ART
46 Concerning : AS TO
47 Multitude : HORDE
49 Mount Olympus country : GREECE (hiding split “DE-GREE”)
51 Earth-friendly prefix : ECO-
52 Biblical kingdom near the Dead Sea : MOAB
54 Beethoven’s “Moonlight,” e.g. : SONATA
58 Latin god : DEUS
60 House with short staircases, and a hint to each row of circles : SPLIT-LEVEL
62 Moist and chilly : DANK
63 Lascivious look : LEER
64 Fancy cake layers : TIERS
65 Samberg of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” : ANDY
66 Gambler’s chances : ODDS
67 First Bond film : DR NO

Down

1 Boisterous party : BASH
2 Choir voice : ALTO
3 Turin “ta-ta” : CIAO
4 Lent a hand : HELPED
5 “Life of Pi” director Lee : ANG
6 Floral exhibits : GARDENS
7 “We’re broadcasting” sign : ON AIR
8 Many figures in the Marvel Universe : GODS
9 Language suffix with Japan : -ESE
10 Ursine hibernators that might actually be brown : BLACK BEARS
11 Swiss city on the Rhine : BASEL
12 Subject for Vogue : STYLE
14 Cairo’s river : NILE
18 Tells a story : NARRATES
22 Annoy to death : HARASS
25 Greek “i” : IOTA
27 Agent pursuing a dealer : NARC
28 Toymaker with worldwide theme parks : LEGO
29 Arabian sultanate : OMAN
30 Hangs out (with) : RUNS AROUND
32 Lab procedure required of many athletes : DRUG TEST
34 High regard : ESTEEM
36 Agitated state : SNIT
37 Keyboarder’s goof : TYPO
39 __ the lily: overembellish : GILD
40 Goodyear product : TIRE
42 Trilled like a bird : WARBLED
46 Virgil epic : AENEID
47 Ibsen’s “__ Gabler” : HEDDA
48 Salty expanse : OCEAN
49 Stared in wonder : GAPED
50 Young horse : COLT
53 Norwegian capital : OSLO
55 Assert as true : AVER
56 Seagull kin : TERN
57 “What’s more … ” : ALSO …
59 It can be cloudy or sunny : SKY
61 Form 1040 org. : IRS

16 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 28 Mar 22, Monday”

    1. 3:39 is faster than I can write even if I didn’t have to stop and think about anything. Congratulations

  1. 5:05

    Awesome time, @Glenn!

    For some reason, RECOUNTED came to my mind before NARRATES. I know, I didn’t get the tense right.

  2. 7:39 – no errors or lookups. Revised LATH>SLAT. Easy theme.

    Would like to tour Tuscany someday, and the northern Lake District of Italy around Lake Como.

  3. Nice Monday. Snowing again in Upstate NY. Must always remember we had snow on a Mother’s Day. Watched it from my Brother-in-Law’s country club.

  4. 5 minutes 14 seconds, no errors. First time this year my time was better than Bill’s!!! That’s saying something!!!

  5. Nice and easy Monday; took 7:17 with no peeks or errors. Had to change emir to OMAN when I realized I read the clue wrong and beer to ALES.

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