LA Times Crossword 7 Mar 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Janice Luttrell
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Gimme a Break

Themed answers each start with a synonym of “BREAK”:

  • 53A Kit Kat bar slogan … and hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : GIMME A BREAK
  • 20A *”Come to your senses!” : SNAP OUT OF IT!
  • 11D *Do some stand-up : CRACK A JOKE
  • 28D *Debate tiny details : SPLIT HAIRS

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

Bill’s time: 5m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Book of maps : ATLAS

The famous Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his first collection of maps in 1578. Mercator’s collection contained a frontispiece with an image of Atlas the Titan from Greek mythology holding up the world on his shoulders. That image gave us our term “atlas” that is used for a book of maps.

10 Read, as a bar code : SCAN

There are two types of barcode widely used today:

  1. Linear, or one-dimensional, barcodes usually comprise vertical black and white lines (“bars”) of varying thickness.
  2. Matrix, or two-dimensional, evolved from linear barcodes. They are often square in shape, and are usually made up of an array of rectangles, dots, hexagons and other shapes. A common example is a QR code.

15 Rectangle calculation : AREA

The area of a rectangle is calculated by multiplying the length of one side (base) by another side (height).

A rectangle is a four-sided figure with four right angles. A square is a rectangle with four equal sides. A rectangle that isn’t a square is an oblong.

16 “Alice’s Restaurant” singer Guthrie : ARLO

Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for singing protest songs about social injustice. Arlo is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m 34s. In the song Guthrie tells how, after being drafted, he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War based on his criminal record. He had only one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.

17 Word with bear or vortex : POLAR …

Polar bears are close cousins of brown bears, and are thought to have evolved from a population of brown bears that became isolated during a period of glaciation. Most polar bears live north of the Arctic Circle, and live mainly on seals that they capture near the edge of ice floes.

The polar vortices are two persistent cyclones that are found over the Earth’s poles, one over the Arctic and one over the Antarctic. It is within the southern polar vortex that we now have a hole in the ozone layer, but there is also a depletion of ozone taking place in the northern polar vortex.

19 Single __ whisky : MALT

In order to be labeled as “single malt” scotch, the whisky must come from a single distillery (hence “single”), and from a mash of malted grain (hence “malt”) that has been processed in a pot still.

24 Chicago Bulls’ org. : NBA

The Chicago Bulls have won six NBA championships in the life of the franchise, all of them in the nineties. They won in the 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons (a so-called “three-peat”), and then again in 1996, 1997 and 1998 (a second “three-peat”).

25 Stallone’s boxer : ROCKY

If ever there was a movie that defined a career breakthrough for an actor, it would have to be “Rocky” for Sylvester Stallone. Stallone was a struggling actor in 1975 when a Muhammad Ali fight inspired Stallone to write a screenplay for a boxing movie, which he did in just three days. His efforts to sell the script went well but for the fact that the interested studios wanted a big name for the lead role, and Stallone was determined to be the star himself. Stallone persevered and “Rocky” was eventually made with him playing the title role of Rocky Balboa. The movie won three Oscars, and “Sly” Stallone had arrived …

27 Cellphone bill statistic : USAGE

What we mostly call a “cell phone” here in North America is more usually referred to as a “mobile phone” in Britain and Ireland. My favorite term for the device is used in Germany, where it is called a “Handy”.

30 __ Artois: Belgian beer : STELLA

The Belgian beer Stella Artois is named for the brewer Sebastianus Artois. Artois was the master brewer at the Den Hoorn Brewery in Leuven, Belgium in the early 1700s. The Den Hoorn Brewery has been around at least since 1366 … yes, 1366!

32 Dadaist collection : ARPS

Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement was launched in Zurich, Switzerland by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire. The same group frequently expressed disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

35 Mustard named for a French city : DIJON

Dijon is a city in eastern France in the Burgundy region. Dijon is famous for its mustard, a particularly strong variation of the condiment. The European Union doesn’t protect the name “Dijon” so anyone can use it on a label. That seems fair enough to me, given that 90% of the mustard made in and around Dijon is produced using mustard seed imported from Canada!

38 Pitcher’s goof : BALK

To balk is to stop and refuse to go on. It’s not just a baseball term …

41 Response to “Marco!” in a pool game : POLO

Marco Polo is a game of tag that is played in a swimming pool.

42 “Ghostbusters” goo : SLIME

1984’s “Ghostbusters” really is an entertaining movie. It stars Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, and was directed by Ivan Reitman (a trio that also worked together on 1981’s “Stripes”). The first draft of the screenplay was written by another star of the movie, Dan Aykroyd. Aykroyd originally envisioned “Ghostbusters” as a vehicle for himself and John Belushi, but sadly Belushi passed away before the project could be realized.

44 Raggedy doll : ANDY

Raggedy Andy was introduced as the brother to Raggedy Ann in the 1920 book “Raggedy Andy Stories”.

Raggedy Ann is a rag doll that was created by Johnny Gruelle in 1915 for his daughter, Marcella. He decided to name the doll by combining the titles of two poems by James Whitcomb Riley, “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie”. Gruelle introduced Raggedy Ann in a series of books three years later. Sadly, Marcella died at 13 years of age with her father blaming a smallpox vaccination she was given at school. Gruelle became very active in the movement against mass vaccination, for which Raggedy Ann became a symbol.

45 Rubber-stamped : OK’ED

Back in the late 1830s, there were some slang abbreviations coined mainly in Boston. The craze called for two-letter abbreviations of deliberately misspelled phrases. For example “no use” became “KY” from “know yuse”, and “enough said” became “NC” from “‘nuff ced”. Fortunately (I say!), the practice was short-lived. But, one of those abbreviations persists to this day. “All correct” was misspelled to give “oll korrect”, abbreviated to “OK”.

46 Popular Campbell’s soup : TOMATO

The Campbell’s Soup company is named for one of the enterprise’s two founders, Joseph A. Campbell. He and Abraham Anderson started the business in 1869. The iconic design of the Campbell’s can was introduced in 1898 and has hardly changed since then. The gold seal in the design comes from the 1900 Paris Exhibition.

51 Ruby or emerald : GEM

Ruby is a precious stone made from the mineral corundum, also called aluminum oxide. The corundum includes some of the element chromium, which results in the red or pink color.

Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl that is green in color due to traces of chromium. Beryl containing traces of vanadium are also considered to be emeralds, at least here in the US. “Vanadium emeralds” aren’t recognized as emeralds in Europe.

52 Airport safety org. : TSA

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency that employs the good folks who check passengers and baggage at airports.

53 Kit Kat bar slogan … and hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : GIMME A BREAK

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. I’ve been told that there are even more varieties available in Japan.

62 Small-town parade street : MAIN

The most common street name in the US is “Second Street”. “First Street” comes in only at number three, and this is because many cities and towns forgo the use of “First” and instead go with “Main” or something more historical in nature. The spooky “Elm Street” appears on the list at number fifteen.

67 Bear in two constellation names : URSA

Ursa Minor (Latin for “Smaller Bear”) sits right beside the constellation Draco (Latin for “Dragon”). Ursa Minor used to be considered the wing of Draco, and was once called “Dragon’s Wing”. The tail of the “Smaller Bear” might also be considered as the handle of a ladle, and so the constellation is often referred to as the Little Dipper.

The constellation Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called “the Big Dipper” because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, “the Plough”.

68 Dieter’s beer choice : LITE

The first light beer was produced by Chicago’s Meister Brau brewery in the sixties. Miller took over Meister Brau, reformulated the light beer using the same process and became the first of the big breweries to come out with a light beer, “Lite Beer from Miller” introduced in 1973. There really wasn’t a serious competitor to Miller Lite until Anheuser-Busch finally came up with a process and a product in 1982 that they called Bud Light.

Down

1 Concert blasters : AMPS

An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.

2 Bart Simpson, e.g. : TOON

Bart Simpson is the main character in television’s “The Simpsons”. Bart’s name was chosen by the writers as it is an anagram of “brat”. Bart is voiced by actress and comedian Nancy Cartwright.

3 Country singer McCann : LILA

Lila McCann is a country singer who released her first single “Down Came a Blackbird” when she was just 16 years old. The first song made it into the “Billboard” country charts, peaking at number 28.

4 “I need it now!” letters : ASAP!

As soon as possible (ASAP)

6 Ziti, for example : PASTA

Cylindrical pasta is known in general as “penne”, and there are many variants. For example, ziti is a particularly large and long tube with square-cut ends. “Penne” is the plural of “penna”, the Italian for “feather, quill”.

7 Suffix with buck : -AROO

The American-English word “buckaroo” (sometimes “buckeroo”) comes from “vaquero”, the Spanish for cowboy.

8 Spongy ball brand : NERF

Nerf is a soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

9 Stephen Colbert device : SATIRE

Stephen Colbert is a political satirist who hosted his own show on Comedy Central, “The Colbert Report”. Colbert’s first love was theater, and so he studied to become an actor. He then moved into comedy, and ended up on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. He left “The Daily Show” in 2005 to set up his own spin-off, “The Colbert Report”. In his own inimitable way, Colbert likes to use a “French” pronunciation for the name of his show, so “The Colbert Report” comes out as “The Col-bear Rep-oar”. Colbert took over the “Late Show” when David Letterman retired.

10 “Cheers” bartender : SAM

On the sitcom “Cheers”, bartender Sam Malone was played by Ted Danson. Malone was a retired relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, and a recovering alcoholic. Great show …

12 Bowling venue : ALLEY

Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.

21 Taxi alternatives : UBERS

The rideshare service Uber takes its name from the English colloquial word “uber” meaning “super, topmost”, which in turn comes from the German “über” meaning “above”.

22 Let the cat out of the bag, so to speak : TOLD

To let the cat out of the bag means to reveal hidden facts. Apparently, there’s no really clear derivation of the phrase “Letting the cat out of the bag”, but one suggestion is that it is a reference to the whip known as the “cat o’nine tails”. The story is that the “cat” was stored in a red bag, and so someone reporting a punishable offense would be “letting the cat out of the bag”.

The cat o’ nine tails was a vicious instrument of punishment, particularly popular in the Royal Navy. The “cat” was made up of nine cord thongs and at the end of each thong was a knot. The specialty knot was aptly called a blood knot, and was designed to bite into the skin and draw blood. It was these “claws” at the end of the thongs, along with the nine “tails” that gave the name to the whip, the “cat o’ nine tails”.

27 Eurasian range : URAL

The eastern side of the Ural Mountains in Russia and Kazakhstan is generally regarded as the natural divide between the continents of Europe and Asia.

28 *Debate tiny details : SPLIT HAIRS

We’ve been using the phrase “to split hairs” to mean “to make over-fine distinctions” for a long time, at least since 1650.

30 Shorthand ace : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

32 Core muscles : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They might be referred to as a “six-pack”, or even a “ten-pack”, in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

34 “Never try to outstubborn __”: Heinlein : A CAT

Robert A. Heinlein was an author of science fiction who famously adhered to scientific accuracy in his works. Such works fall into the subgenre of “hard science fiction”. Heinlein is sometimes labeled as one of the “Big Three” of science fiction, along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke.

36 World Cup cheers : OLES

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament in the sport of soccer. The competition has been held every four years (excluding the WWII years) since the inaugural event held in Uruguay in 1930. The men’s World Cup is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, even outranking the Olympic Games. And, the women’s World Cup is fast catching up …

40 Ultracompetitive personality : TYPE A

The Type-A and Type-B personality theory originated in the fifties. Back then, individuals were labeled as Type A in order to emphasize a perceived increased risk of heart disease. Type-A personality types are so-called “stress junkies”, whereas Type Bs are relaxed and laid back. But there doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence to support the linkage between the Type-A personality and heart problems.

47 Zoo inhabitant : ANIMAL

The world’s first zoo opened in Britain in 1820. Now known as “London Zoo”, the facility was referred to back then as the “Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society of London”. The term “zoo” is a shortening of “zoological”.

49 Sleep aid brand : AMBIEN

Ambien is a brand name for the prescription drug zolpidem. I have a friend who used to swear by Ambien for helping cope with jet lag. I once had to deal with jet lag almost monthly and swear by the diet supplement melatonin, which you can buy over the counter here in the US. But, I am no doctor so don’t listen to anything I say …

50 Hollywood award : OSCAR

Legend has it that actor Emilio Fernández was the model for the Oscar statuette. Cedric Gibbons, art director at MGM, created the design and supposedly convinced a reluctant Fernández to pose nude for “Oscar”.

51 Fabled lamp occupant : GENIE

The “genie” in the bottle takes his or her name from “djinn”. “Djinns” were various spirits considered lesser than angels, with people exhibiting unsavory characteristics said to be possessed by djinn. When the book “The Thousand and One Nights” was translated into French, the word “djinn” was transformed into the existing word “génie”, because of the similarity in sound and the related spiritual meaning. This “génie” from the Arabian tale became confused with the Latin-derived “genius”, a guardian spirit thought to be assigned to each person at birth. Purely as a result of that mistranslation the word genie has come to mean the “djinn” that pops out of the bottle. A little hard to follow, I know, but still quite interesting …

52 “Forbidden” perfume : TABU

Tabu is a whole line of cosmetics and perfumes produced by the House of Dana. The company’s brand names were purchased by a Florida company called Dana Classic Fragrances in 1999.

The word “taboo” was introduced into English by Captain Cook in his book “A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean”. Cook described “tabu” (likely imitative of a Tongan word that he had heard) as something that was both consecrated and forbidden.

54 __-pedi : MANI

Manicure & pedicure (mani-pedi)

56 Actress Seehorn : RHEA

Rhea Seehorn is an actress best known for playing lawyer Kim Wexler in the TV crime drama “Better Call Saul”.

58 Reebok rival : AVIA

The “Avia” brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

61 Forensic evidence : DNA

Something described as forensic is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Book of maps : ATLAS
6 Pots’ cookware partners : PANS
10 Read, as a bar code : SCAN
14 Not dry, as a cake : MOIST
15 Rectangle calculation : AREA
16 “Alice’s Restaurant” singer Guthrie : ARLO
17 Word with bear or vortex : POLAR …
18 Put in order : SORT
19 Single __ whisky : MALT
20 *”Come to your senses!” : SNAP OUT OF IT!
23 So-so grade : CEE
24 Chicago Bulls’ org. : NBA
25 Stallone’s boxer : ROCKY
27 Cellphone bill statistic : USAGE
30 __ Artois: Belgian beer : STELLA
32 Dadaist collection : ARPS
33 Hourly charge, e.g. : RATE
35 Mustard named for a French city : DIJON
38 Pitcher’s goof : BALK
39 Hunting dog’s pickup : SCENT
41 Response to “Marco!” in a pool game : POLO
42 “Ghostbusters” goo : SLIME
44 Raggedy doll : ANDY
45 Rubber-stamped : OK’ED
46 Popular Campbell’s soup : TOMATO
48 Window sections : PANES
50 “You’ve got to be kidding” : OH MAN
51 Ruby or emerald : GEM
52 Airport safety org. : TSA
53 Kit Kat bar slogan … and hint to the starts of the answers to starred clues : GIMME A BREAK
60 Corrosive stuff : ACID
62 Small-town parade street : MAIN
63 “__ no choice” : I HAVE
64 Farm building : BARN
65 Voting against : ANTI
66 Spooky : EERIE
67 Bear in two constellation names : URSA
68 Dieter’s beer choice : LITE
69 Stuffy-sounding : NASAL

Down

1 Concert blasters : AMPS
2 Bart Simpson, e.g. : TOON
3 Country singer McCann : LILA
4 “I need it now!” letters : ASAP!
5 Stiff, as a drink : STRONG
6 Ziti, for example : PASTA
7 Suffix with buck : -AROO
8 Spongy ball brand : NERF
9 Stephen Colbert device : SATIRE
10 “Cheers” bartender : SAM
11 *Do some stand-up : CRACK A JOKE
12 Bowling venue : ALLEY
13 Musical scale part : NOTE
21 Taxi alternatives : UBERS
22 Let the cat out of the bag, so to speak : TOLD
26 Pre-tied tie, e.g. : CLIP-ON
27 Eurasian range : URAL
28 *Debate tiny details : SPLIT HAIRS
29 Dad’s punting words : ASK MOM
30 Shorthand ace : STENO
31 Work the bar : TEND
32 Core muscles : ABS
34 “Never try to outstubborn __”: Heinlein : A CAT
36 World Cup cheers : OLES
37 Wordless consent : NOD
40 Ultracompetitive personality : TYPE A
43 Online periodical : E-MAG
47 Zoo inhabitant : ANIMAL
49 Sleep aid brand : AMBIEN
50 Hollywood award : OSCAR
51 Fabled lamp occupant : GENIE
52 “Forbidden” perfume : TABU
54 __-pedi : MANI
55 Catcher’s glove : MITT
56 Actress Seehorn : RHEA
57 Corn units : EARS
58 Reebok rival : AVIA
59 Boat backbone : KEEL
61 Forensic evidence : DNA

21 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 7 Mar 22, Monday”

  1. No errors, no lookups today. However I didn’t understand Bill’s
    answer for 42A…Ghostbuster’s goo…and Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
    I had the pleasure of attending a movie at Grauman’s way back in
    the 60’s. If I remember right, the movie was ‘The Apartment” but
    that’s a long time to remember…so maybe not.

    1. Mary S. – probably just a “paste-o” (versus “typo) on Bill’s part. It looks to be alphabetically one or two off in his library of interesting tidbits (Ghostbuster’s versus Grauman’s).

    2. Apologies, Mary S. As Ray C said, quite rightly, it was a case of copying and pasting the wrong “blurb” from a prior post of mine. More haste, less speed. All fixed now.

  2. No errors, no Googles. Did not know RHEA Seehorn, probably because I believe Better Call Saul one of the worst tv series ever.

  3. @glen. – what blog do you go to for the NEWSDAY SATUDAY CROSSWORD STUMPER?

    I’m getting more intrigued with that Saturday puzzle.

    1. There’s really not a formal blog that does all the Newsday puzzles. A couple of spots do a small little blurb on the Saturday puzzle, but there really isn’t a blog I go to for Newsday.

      As a suggestion for those here that want more to do on an easier level, Sunday through Thursday puzzles there will mostly be good options that can be handled if you can manage up to about Thursday or so here. In fact, Newsday (and WSJ) is where I started branching out once I wanted more than just the daily LA Times. (I definitely remember my reaction when I saw that Saturday puzzle for the first time!)

      1. @Glenn – yes, I’ve been doing Stan Newman’s daily and it’s about what you described it as. If you’re solving LAX Mon-Wed, this is a good spot, IMO.

        Mon – Tue probably a bit too easy, but all in all, good stuff. For me, forget Saturday …

        I usually solve them at https://www.arkadium.com/games/stan-newmans-daily-crossword/

        If you’re just starting out try Stan Newman’s easy at https://www.arkadium.com/games/stan-newmans-easy-crossword/

        Be Well

  4. I’m now caught up after working, and posting to, the Sat, Sun, and Mon puzzles today due to other activities over the weekend!

    7:25 – no errors or lookups. I was able to mainly work the Acrosses, with assists from about half of the Downs

    Interesting to see the references to Campbell’s tomato soup and Jean Arp after also being in recent puzzles. Only three themed answers, hmm.

  5. Greetings !! 🤗

    Easy as expected for a Monday, and a well constructed grid, I thought. No errors, altho I paused over the reveal answer — couldn’t remember the slogan!!

    DIRK!! I’m so upset about the lockout! Thanks for the info….and the DH for the NL!! That’s blasphemy!!! Apparently we’re for sure losing the first two weeks now. I heard one concession the players’ union may make – adding a “ghost win” for the wild card series to give the best team going in a leg up. I don’t mind that, tho I doubt it’s enough to resolve the lockout. DANG!!!😟

    Be well ~~⚾️

  6. Mostly easy Monday for me; took 7:06 with no peeks or errors. Just a tiny bit of dancing around to get to the finish.

    TOMATO is good, but I prefer Bean with Bacon mostly. Tried STELLA a few times but it doesn’t do anything for me. And, being a TYPE B, I’ll never need AMBIEN, so I always have to work around that clue for crosses.

    @Carrie – Well, if they’re going to use the DH, I’m not that upset with a lockout. I just don’t like watching AL style baseball, where some overweight older guy comes in and hits for the pitcher. I read a bit about what they’re arguing about and it’s mostly esoterica to me. They are getting closer to that magic 80 games, a real advantage for LA. 🙂

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