LA Times Crossword 8 Mar 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Catherine Cetta
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Pea Soup

Themed answers each include the letter string “P-E-A”, but with the order mixed, “in a SOUP”:

  • 68A Thick fog metaphor … and what each set of circled letters is? : PEA SOUP
  • 13A Wannabe IRS agent’s test : CPA EXAM
  • 21A “When Harry Met Sally…” screenwriter : NORA EPHRON
  • 33A Annual LGBTQ celebration : PRIDE PARADE
  • 44A Mug for the camera : STRIKE A POSE
  • 55A Slippery slapstick prop : BANANA PEEL

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

Bill’s time: 4m 56s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

4 The-lower-the-better MLB stat : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

10 James Bond, for one : SPY

Ian Fleming’s spy first introduced himself with the words “Bond, James Bond” in the 1953 novel “Casino Royale”. Sean Connery first uttered the words on the silver screen in the first Bond movie, “Dr. No”.

13 Wannabe IRS agent’s test : CPA EXAM

Certified public accountant (CPA)

15 Glass of “This American Life” : IRA

Ira Glass is a well-respected presenter on American Public Radio who is perhaps best known for his show “This American Life”. I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira’s first cousin.

17 Vitamin capsule material : GELATIN

Gelatin capsules (gelcaps) might be an issue for those on a strict vegan diet. The gelatin used in the capsule is made from collagen extracted from animal skin and bone.

18 Prayer books : MISSALS

Missals came into being in medieval times and were used primarily by priests and ministers. A missal is a book containing all the texts necessary for the celebration of Mass through the liturgical year. Nowadays missals are used by the congregation and not just by the celebrants. The term “missal” comes from the Latin for “Mass book”.

21 “When Harry Met Sally…” screenwriter : NORA EPHRON

Nora Ephron had many talents, including writing film scripts and novels. Many of the movies that she wrote, she also directed. These would include some of my favorite movies of all time like “Sleepless in Seattle”, “You’ve Got Mail” and most recently, the wonderful “Julie & Julia”. And, did you know that Nora Ephron’s second marriage was to journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame? She wrote an autobiographical novel based on her life with Bernstein, which deals in particular with Bernstein’s affair with the daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan.

“When Harry Met Sally… “ is a 1989 romantic comedy starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in the title roles. This marvelous film was written by the late Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner. There’s a famous scene in the movie, filmed in Katz’s Deli in Manhattan, in which the character Sally (fully clothed, while eating) fakes an orgasm at the table in front of Harry. A woman at a nearby table places her order saying, “I’ll have what she’s having”. That woman was Estelle Reiner, director Carl Reiner’s mother. To this day, there is a sign in Katz’s, pointing to Harry and Sally’s table, that reads “Where Harry met Sally… hope you have what she had! Enjoy!”

26 Full range : GAMUT

In medieval times, the musical scale was denoted by the notes “ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la”. The term “gamma ut”, shortened to “gamut”, was used to describe the whole scale. By the 1620s, “gamut” was being used to mean the entire range of anything, the whole gamut.

33 Annual LGBTQ celebration : PRIDE PARADE

The first gay pride parades were held all on the same weekend in 1970, in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ)

36 Sign of success : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

40 Green New Deal co-sponsor, initially : AOC

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a politician who is often referred to by her initials “AOC”. A Democrat, she was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 2018, representing part of the Bronx, Queens and Rikers Island in New York City. When she took office in 2019 at the age of 29, AOC became the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress.

The Green New Deal (GND) is a set of proposals addressing climate change that is modeled on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal that boosted the economy and introduced new public services in the 1930s. The GND calls for policy changes to combat climate change, while creating green jobs and reducing economic inequality.

41 35mm camera type : SLR

The initialism “SLR” stands for “single lens reflex”. Usually, cameras with changeable lenses are the SLR type. The main feature of an SLR is that a mirror reflects the image seen through the lens out through the viewfinder, so that the photographer sees exactly what the lens sees. The mirror moves out of the way as the picture is taken, and the image that comes through the lens falls onto unexposed film, or nowadays onto a digital sensor.

42 Bagel go-with : LOX

Lox is a brine-cured salmon fillet that is finely sliced. The term “lox” comes into English via Yiddish, and derives from the German word for salmon, namely “Lachs”.

43 Frodo’s sidekick : SAM

Samwise Gamgee is the sidekick to Frodo Baggins in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. “Sam” is portrayed by American actor Sean Astin in the Peter Jackson big screen adaptations of the novels.

Frodo Baggins is a principal character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. Frodo is a Hobbit, and is charged with the quest of destroying Sauron’s Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Frodo is portrayed by American actor Elijah Wood in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of the novels.

44 Mug for the camera : STRIKE A POSE

The verb “to mug” means “to make an exaggerated facial expression”. The term comes from mugs used to drink beer (called Toby mugs) that are made in the shape of heads with grotesque expressions. “Mug” can also be a noun meaning “face”.

49 Cedar Rapids resident : IOWAN

Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in the state of Iowa. It is named for rapids on the Cedar River on which the city is located. The river itself was named for the red cedars growing along the river’s banks.

50 Taj Mahal city : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India. Agra was also the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. It was built after the death of the fourth wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth delivering the couple’s 14th child. When Shah Jahan himself passed away 35 years later, he was buried beside his wife Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

52 Pandora’s box emanations : EVILS

According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. She was created by the gods, with each god bestowing on her a gift. Her name can be translated from Greek as “all-gifted”. Pandora is famous for the story of “Pandora’s Box”. The story should be about Pandora’s “Jar”,as a 16th-century error in translation created a “box” out of the “jar”. In the story of Pandora’s Box, curiosity got the better of her and she opened up a box she was meant to leave alone. As a result she released all the evils of mankind, just closing it in time to trap hope inside.

55 Slippery slapstick prop : BANANA PEEL

Slapstick is a physical form of comedy or horseplay. Back in the late 19th century, the term “slapstick” described a device made from two sticks loosely fastened together, which could be “slapped” together to create a sound effect offstage. The sound effect augmented the audience reaction when a clown or actor was given a slap on stage.

63 Like dark clouds : OMINOUS

In the 16th century, something described as “ominous” was significant, conveying an “omen”. Back then, the omen could be portending something good, or bad. Today, something ominous indicates bad, nothing good.

69 Joule fraction : ERG

An erg is a unit of mechanical work or energy. It is a small unit, with one joule comprising 10 million ergs. It has been suggested that an erg is about the amount of energy required for a mosquito to take off. The term comes from “ergon”, the Greek word for work.

James Joule was an English physicist who spent much of his life working in the family brewing business. Joule used his work in the brewery to study the relationship between heat and mechanical work. In honor of his achievements, his name is used for the unit of energy in the International System of Units (i.e. the joule).

72 Recipe amt. : TSP

Teaspoon (tsp.)

Down

1 Heart charts, for short : ECGS

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.

2 Blunt-tipped sword : EPEE

The French word for sword is “épée”. In competitive fencing the épée is connected to a system that records an electrical signal when legal contact is made on an opponent’s body.

4 Business card no. : EXT

Extension (ext.)

7 __ bean : LIMA

The lima bean is also known as the butter bean or madagascar bean. It was introduced to Europe from the area around Lima, Peru, hence the name.

8 Part of HOMES : ERIE

A well-known mnemonic for remembering the names of the Great Lakes is HOMES, an acronym standing for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

11 Amelia Earhart, e.g. : PILOT

Amelia Earhart is as famous today as she was during her lifetime. When she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Congress, and the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government. She made two attempts to circumnavigate the globe by air (not solo). Her first attempt in March 1937 had to be abandoned when her aircraft was damaged during takeoff. The second attempt in June/July of the same year ended when Earhart and her navigator disappeared flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island in the Central Pacific.

12 Like 20 Questions questions : YES/NO

The parlor game called Twenty Questions originated in the US and really took off in the late forties as it became a weekly quiz show on the radio. Am I the only one who thinks that there aren’t enough quiz shows on the radio these days? Apart from a couple of great shows on NPR, I have to resort to listening to the BBC game shows over the Internet …

14 Jogger’s speaker : EARBUD

Earbuds are small headphones that plug directly into the user’s ear canals.

19 Clog or Croc : SHOE

Clogs are shoes made from wood, at least in part. The clog originated as a protective item of footwear for use by farm, factory and mine workers.

Crocs are foam clogs that were originally designed as shoes to be worn at health spas.

26 Student stats : GPAS

Grade point average (GPA)

27 “Nessun dorma,” e.g. : ARIA

“Nessun dorma” has to be the tenor aria that most tugs at the heartstrings. It is taken from the last act of Puccini’s opera “Turandot”, and translates as “None shall sleep”. Back in my part of the world, “Nessun dorma” became a hit in the popular music charts, with a version by Pavarotti being used as the theme song to the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. No other classical recording has ever done better in the charts.

30 Revel (in) : BASK

Our verb “to bask”, meaning “to expose one to pleasant warmth”, is derived from the gruesome, 14th-century term “basken”, meaning “to wallow in blood”. The contemporary usage apparently originated with Shakespeare, who employed “bask” with reference to sunshine in “As You Like It”.

35 43,560 square feet : ACRE

At one time, an acre was defined as the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day. Then, an acre was more precisely defined as a strip of land “one furrow long” (i.e. one furlong) and one chain wide. The length of one furlong was equal to 10 chains, or 40 rods. An area of one furlong times 10 rods was one rood.

37 Parks who took a seat to take a stand : ROSA

Rosa Parks was one of a few brave women in days gone by who refused to give up their seats on a bus to white women. It was the stand taken by Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955 that sparked the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott. President Clinton presented Ms. Parks with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996. When she died in 2005, Rosa Parks became the first ever woman to have her body lie in honor in the US Capitol Rotunda.

38 Team in a yoke : OXEN

A yoke is a wooden beam used between a pair of animals so that they are forced to work together.

45 Slurpee rival : ICEE

Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

46 Wild West enforcers : POSSES

Our word “posse” comes from an Anglo-Latin term from the early 15th century “posse comitatus” meaning “the force of the county”.

48 Bread with palak paneer : NAAN

Palak paneer is a dish from Indian cuisine. It consists mainly of paneer (a freshly-made cheese) in a puréed spinach paste. Saag paneer is a more generic form of the dish, one in which other leafy vegetables can be used to make the paste, e.g. mustard greens, collard greens or broccoli.

50 Condo or co-op : ABODE

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

Housing co-operatives (co-ops) and condos are similar, but there are important differences. Both co-ops and condos are multi-unit buildings. A condo is a private residence in such a building, with ownership of common areas shared. An owner of a co-op has an interest in the entire multi-unit building, and a contract allowing occupation of a specific unit. So, condo owners own their units, and co-op owners do not.

51 Minecraft player : GAMER

Minecraft is a video game that was released in 2011. It has been cited as one of the most influential video games of all time.

53 Italian scooter : VESPA

Vespa is a brand of motor scooter that was originally made in Italy (and now all over the world) by Piaggio. “Vespa” is Italian for “wasp”.

56 Ark builder : NOAH

The term “ark”, when used with reference to Noah, is a translation of the Hebrew word “tebah”. The word “tebah” is also used in the Bible for the basket in which Moses was placed by his mother when she floated him down the Nile. It seems that the word “tebah” doesn’t mean “boat” and nor does it mean “basket”. Rather, a more appropriate translation is “life-preserver” or “life-saver”. So, Noah’s ark was Noah’s life-preserver during the flood.

57 Q5 automaker : AUDI

The Q5 is a compact crossover made by Audi starting in 2008. The Q in “Q5” stands for “Quattro”, which is Audi’s four-wheel drive system.

60 Sea speed unit : KNOT

A knot (kt.) is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour. Traditionally a vessel’s speed was determined by using a “chip log”. A chip log is made up of a wooden board attached to a line wrapped around a reel. The line (called a “log-line”) had knots tied in it at uniform spacings. To determine the vessel’s speed the board was thrown overboard and the line allowed to unroll. The speed was then the “number of knots” paid out in a fixed time interval.

61 Hosp. areas : ICUS

Many a hospital (hosp.) includes an intensive care unit (ICU).

62 “Pirates of the Caribbean” star : DEPP

Johnny Depp got his big break as an actor on television, in the eighties television show “21 Jump Street”. Depp’s first film success came when he played the title role in 1990’s “Edward Scissorhands”. He has twice been named Sexiest Man Alive by “People” magazine.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” series of films is inspired by the wonderful ride at the Disney theme parks. The first movie in the series is “The Curse of the Black Pearl”, which was released in 2003. The film is remarkable in many ways, including the fact that it was the first Disney movie to be given a PG-13 rating.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Frightened cry : EEK!
4 The-lower-the-better MLB stat : ERA
7 Relay segment : LEG
10 James Bond, for one : SPY
13 Wannabe IRS agent’s test : CPA EXAM
15 Glass of “This American Life” : IRA
16 Make, as a knot : TIE
17 Vitamin capsule material : GELATIN
18 Prayer books : MISSALS
20 Crystal ball gazer : SEER
21 “When Harry Met Sally…” screenwriter : NORA EPHRON
23 Turkey roasting instruction : BASTE
25 Name for a man going either way? : OTTO
26 Full range : GAMUT
29 Puts up with : ABIDES
33 Annual LGBTQ celebration : PRIDE PARADE
36 Sign of success : SRO
39 Help : AID
40 Green New Deal co-sponsor, initially : AOC
41 35mm camera type : SLR
42 Bagel go-with : LOX
43 Frodo’s sidekick : SAM
44 Mug for the camera : STRIKE A POSE
47 “Be right there!” : ONE SEC!
49 Cedar Rapids resident : IOWAN
50 Taj Mahal city : AGRA
52 Pandora’s box emanations : EVILS
55 Slippery slapstick prop : BANANA PEEL
59 Slide on the icy road : SKID
63 Like dark clouds : OMINOUS
64 “Quiet!” : SILENCE!
66 Lair : DEN
67 Many pop-ups : ADS
68 Thick fog metaphor … and what each set of circled letters is? : PEA SOUP
69 Joule fraction : ERG
70 Home run, for one : HIT
71 Put two and two together : ADD
72 Recipe amt. : TSP

Down

1 Heart charts, for short : ECGS
2 Blunt-tipped sword : EPEE
3 Popular smoothie veggie : KALE
4 Business card no. : EXT
5 Drizzles, say : RAINS
6 Playground retort : AM NOT!
7 __ bean : LIMA
8 Part of HOMES : ERIE
9 [OMG!] : [GASP!]
10 Paces oneself, maybe : STARTS SLOW
11 Amelia Earhart, e.g. : PILOT
12 Like 20 Questions questions : YES/NO
14 Jogger’s speaker : EARBUD
19 Clog or Croc : SHOE
22 Stern, at sea : REAR
24 “Relax, soldier” : AT EASE
26 Student stats : GPAS
27 “Nessun dorma,” e.g. : ARIA
28 Common coffee break time : MID-MORNING
30 Revel (in) : BASK
31 Just sitting around : IDLE
32 Knock off the track : DERAIL
34 Plant places : POTS
35 43,560 square feet : ACRE
37 Parks who took a seat to take a stand : ROSA
38 Team in a yoke : OXEN
45 Slurpee rival : ICEE
46 Wild West enforcers : POSSES
48 Bread with palak paneer : NAAN
50 Condo or co-op : ABODE
51 Minecraft player : GAMER
53 Italian scooter : VESPA
54 “That part was made-up” : I LIED
56 Ark builder : NOAH
57 Q5 automaker : AUDI
58 Soft “Over here!” : PSST!
60 Sea speed unit : KNOT
61 Hosp. areas : ICUS
62 “Pirates of the Caribbean” star : DEPP
65 “Wee” boy : LAD

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 8 Mar 22, Tuesday”

  1. Love doing the puzzle today. Enjoy learning new things. Love that you have the answers with explanations! Constructionists must have a good sense of humor for you make me smile everyday! Thank you! Your puzzle made my day!

  2. No errors
    @glenn – thanks for replying on that Saturday Newsday puzzle. Appreciate it.

    Happy Tuesday. Good luck everyone with gas prices. Hope it all knocks some sense into Mr Putin.

  3. 4:20

    A fine little puzzle. So was yesterday’s but I got timed out when I tried to post my content-free comment.

  4. 4:09, no errors.

    @Anon Mike
    As far as what was said yesterday, there’s a hard track of old puzzles over on that site too: https://www.arkadium.com/games/stan-newmans-hard-crossword/ I don’t know exactly how difficult those are, as the Saturday Stumpers seem to vary pretty widely in difficulty depending on the time they came out. Just be sure to note the “Themed” tags and avoid those and you should mostly get what ran on Saturdays over there.

  5. 8:39 – no errors, lookups. One small revision of EKGS>ECGS.

    Interesting to note that on the theme answers the P-E-A sequence always spans two words instead of being embedded in a single word.

  6. Mostly easy Tuesday for me; took 8:42 with no peeks or errors. Just had to dance around MISSALS and SAM to get those.

    In San Francisco they have a Pride Parade, but it’s the Dikes on Bikes that draws most of the attention. 🙂

    12 or 14 game baseball playoffs…geez, talk about participation trophies.

    and, another 3 word Wordle and 3 country Worldle – although I should have got that in 1.

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