LA Times Crossword 13 Apr 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Joe Deeney
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Reveal Answer: Echolocation

We can LOCATE the hidden word “ECHO” in each of the themed answers:

  • 33A Bat specialty, and what you need to find in four long answers : ECHOLOCATION
  • 15A Test format with options : MULTIPLE CHOICE
  • 21A Dojo move : KARATE CHOP
  • 47A Nocturnal bird that woke up Vinny in “My Cousin Vinny” : SCREECH OWL
  • 55A Cocoa butter confection : WHITE CHOCOLATE

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

Bill’s time: 5m 14s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 L.A. Rams’ __ McVay, youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl : SEAN

Sean McVay was appointed as head coach for the LA Rams in 2017 at the age of 30, making him the youngest head coach in modern NFL history. On top of that, McVay became the youngest head coach of a Super Bowl winning team at the end of the 2021 season, when the Rams beat the Bengals. Sean’s grandfather John McVay was also an NFL head coach, having led the New York Giants from 1976 through 1978.

9 Old NCAA football ranking sys. : BCS

The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was the ranking system used to match up the top ten ranked NCAA football teams for five bowl games. The BCS was abandoned in 2014 with the introduction of the College Football Playoff tournament.

13 Limerick’s land : EIRE

Limerick is the fourth-most populous city in Ireland, after Dublin, Belfast and Cork. It is located on the Shannon Estuary, in the west of the country.

14 Coagulate : CLOT

A blood clot is a very necessary response to an injury and is intended to prevent bleeding. Also called a thrombus (plural “thrombi”), the clot comprises aggregated blood platelets trapped in a mesh made from fibrin, a fibrous protein. If a thrombus forms in a healthy blood vessel, restricting blood flow, that condition is known as thrombosis.

19 Using pointe shoes : ON TOE

“En pointe” is ballet dancing on the tips of the toes, and is a French term. A ballerina wears pointe shoes (sometimes “toe shoes”) to perform this delightful-looking, albeit unhealthy, feat (pun!).

21 Dojo move : KARATE CHOP

The Japanese word “dojo” translates literally as “place of the way”. Originally the term applied to training halls that were found in or beside temples. The teaching in a dojo was not limited to the martial arts, but in the Western world we use the dojo as the name for a training facility for judo, karate and the like.

26 __-pitch : SLO

Slo-pitch (or “slow-pitch”) is a type of softball.

28 Roman who defeated Hannibal : SCIPIO

Scipio Africanus was a general and politician in the Roman Republic. Scipio’s most notable victory as a soldier was in the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage. Scipio was the Roman general who defeated Hannibal at Zama, in the final battle of the war.

Hannibal was a military commander from Ancient Carthage. Hannibal lived during a time of great conflict between Carthage and the Roman Republic, as the Romans worked to extend their influence over the Mediterranean region. Famously, Hannibal took on Rome on their own territory by marching his army, including his war elephants, over the Alps into Italy. His forces occupied much of Italy for 15 years.

31 Triage areas: Abbr. : ERS

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

33 Bat specialty, and what you need to find in four long answers : ECHOLOCATION

Echolocation, when used by animals, is known as biosonar. The best-known example of an animal using biosonar is probably the bat, although not all species of bat use sounds to locate objects.

38 Name in “Kill Bill” credits : UMA

Uma Thurman started her working career as a fashion model, at the age of 15. She appeared in her first movies at 17, with her most acclaimed early role being Cécile de Volanges in 1988’s “Dangerous Liaisons”. Thurman’s career really took off when she played the gangster’s moll Mia in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” in 1994. My favorite of all Thurman’s movies is “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”, a less acclaimed romcom released in 1996. She took a few years off from acting from 1998 until 2002 following the birth of her first child. It was Tarantino who relaunched her career, giving her the lead in the “Kill Bill” films.

“Kill Bill” is a 3-part Quentin Tarantino movie (I haven’t seen it, as I really don’t “do” Tarantino). “Kill Bill” started off as one film, but as the running time was over four hours, it was split into two “volumes”, released several months apart in 2003 and 2004. There has been a lot of talk about making “Kill Bill: Volume 3”.

39 Military jeep successor : HUMVEE

“Humvee” and “Hummer” are nicknames for the military vehicle developed by AM General. The full name is High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle i.e. HMMWV, or simply “Humvee”.

44 They’re not from around here, briefly : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

46 Lowly worker : PEON

A peon is a lowly worker who has no real control over his/her working conditions. The word “peon” comes into English from Spanish, in which language it has the same meaning.

47 Nocturnal bird that woke up Vinny in “My Cousin Vinny” : SCREECH OWL

There are over twenty species of screech owls, all of which are native to the Americas. Named for their eerie trill heard mainly during the night, screech owls are about the size of a pint glass.

“My Cousin Vinny” is a really fun film from 1992 starring Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei. In 2008, the American Bar Association rated “My Cousin Vinny” as the #3 greatest legal movie of all time, after “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “12 Angry Men”!

51 Messenger __ : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

55 Cocoa butter confection : WHITE CHOCOLATE

Ground cocoa beans are melted to form chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor comprises roughly 50% cocoa butter, and 50% cocoa solids. It is the cocoa solids that give chocolate its dark color. White chocolate is white because it contains no cocoa solids.

59 Sell on the street : HAWK

The verb “to hawk” has a Germanic origin, and comes from the Low German word “hoken” meaning “to peddle”. A hawker is actually slightly different from a peddler by definition, as a hawker is a peddler that uses a horse and cart, or a van nowadays perhaps, to sell his or her wares.

60 Series finale: Abbr. : ET AL

“Et alii” (et al.) is the equivalent of “et cetera” (etc.), with “et cetera” being used in place of a list of objects, and “et alii” used for a list of names.

61 “__ the ramparts … ” : O’ER

The words “o’er the ramparts we watched” come from “The Star Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

62 Dire March time : IDES

In Act I of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, a soothsayer warns the doomed leader to “beware the ides of March”. Caesar ignores the prophecy and is subsequently killed on the steps of the Capitol by a group of conspirators on that fateful day.

Down

1 Longtime Agassi rival : SAMPRAS

Pete Sampras is a retired Greek-American tennis professional. Sampras was rated number one in the world rankings for six years in a row in the nineties.

Retired tennis professional Andre Agassi has been married to fellow player Steffi Graf since 2001. Agassi wrote an autobiography called “Open”, published in 2009. An amazing revelation in the book is that Agassi’s famous head of hair was actually a wig for much of his playing career. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to play tennis at his level with a rug stuck on?

2 Online GEICO alternative : ESURANCE

Esurance is a provider of auto insurance direct to customers online and over the phone. Esurance is now owned by Allstate.

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.

3 Brit’s pond : ATLANTIC

The Atlantic Ocean has been referred to as “the pond” for quite a long time. The expression dates back to the 1640s.

5 Photo tint : SEPIA

Sepia is that rich, brown-gray color so common in old photographs. “Sepia” is the Latinized version of the Greek word for cuttlefish, as sepia pigment is derived from the ink sac of the cuttlefish. Sepia ink was commonly used for writing and drawing as far back as ancient Rome and ancient Greece. The “sepia tone” of old photographs is not the result of deterioration over time. Rather, it is the result of a deliberate preservation process which converts the metallic silver in the photographic image to a more stable silver sulfide. Prints that have been sepia-toned can last in excess of 150 years.

6 Persian Gulf ships : OILERS

The Persian Gulf is in effect an inland sea, although it technically is an offshoot of the Indian Ocean. The outlet from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean is one of the most famous maritime “choke points” in the world, and is known as the Strait of Hormuz. About 20% of the world’s supply of petroleum passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

8 “Parks and __” : REC

“Parks and Recreation” (sometimes just “Parks and Rec”) is a sitcom that started airing on NBC in 2009, and is a show that has grown on me. It stars the “Saturday Night Live” alum Amy Poehler. The creators of “Parks and Recreation” are part of the team responsible for the American version of “The Office”, so you’ll notice some similarities in the style of the two shows, and some actors that have appeared in both.

10 Protective covering : COCOON

Strictly speaking, the term “cocoon” only applies to the tough outer casing created by moth caterpillars. Butterfly caterpillars protect themselves in a hard outer skin to form a pupa known as a chrysalis. But, butterfly caterpillars don’t go the extra step by spinning a silky cocoon. Famously, silk thread comes from silk cocoons created by silkworms, which mature into silk moths.

14 Large sea snail : CONCH

Although “conch” is now used as a generic term for largish sea snails and their shells, the true conch belongs to a specific group of gastropods. The “meat” is very popular, and so the conch is the second-most popular edible snail after “escargot”. The conch shell can be used as a wind instrument, and the true conch is also a good source for pearls.

22 Jack Ryan portrayer before Harrison : ALEC

Jack Ryan is the most famous fictional character created by author Tom Clancy. The set of novels (and related media) featuring Ryan are often referred to as the Ryanverse. He has been portrayed on the big screen by several actors, including Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Afleck and Chris Pine. On the small screen, Ryan has been portrayed very ably by John Krasinski.

Alec Baldwin is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think Alec’s big break was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. Baldwin also made a name for himself playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey. More recently, he made a name for himself by impersonating President Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live”.

23 Holy scroll : TORAH

A Torah scroll (also “Sefer Torah”) is a handwritten copy of the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures.

25 Book after Galatians: Abbr. : EPH

It seems that the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians (Eph.) is now regarded by scholars as written “in the style of Paul”, by someone who was influenced by Paul’s thought.

29 Chit : IOU

A chit is a note or a short letter. The term tends to be used these days in the sense of an amount owed (as in a poker game). The word used to be “chitty”, which is now obsolete but was closer to the original Hindi term. I feel a tad obsolete myself, because when we are at school we would be excused from class if we had a “chitty”.

30 Ancient Mesoamerican : OLMEC

The Olmec were an ancient civilization that lived in the lowlands of south-central Mexico from about 1500 BC to about 400 BC.

Mesoamerica is a region extending from Central Mexico, south to Costa Rica. It is known as an area where societies flourished prior to the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries.

34 Court recitation : OATH

Do you solemnly (swear/affirm) that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, (so help you God/under pains and penalties of perjury)?

41 “Scorpion” co-star Katharine : MCPHEE

Katharine McPhee is a singer-songwriter and actress who got her big break as a runner-up in the singing competition TV show “American Idol” in 2006. While developing a very successful singing career, she turned her hand to acting. She is now taking on prominent roles in movies and television shows.

“Scorpion” is an action-drama TV show that aired for four seasons starting in 2014. The title refers to a private team of technically savvy individuals who tackle high-tech threats around the world.

50 Mekong Valley language : LAO

Lao, the language of Laos, does not use spaces between words (or periods!), although this is apparently changing. Spaces are used between sentences and clauses.

At over 2,700 miles in length, the Mekong is the twelfth longest river in the world. It rises in the Tibetan Plateau and empties into the South China Sea at the famed Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

54 Musical series set at McKinley High : GLEE

The TV show “Glee” has proven to be very popular. The storyline focuses on a high school glee club in Lima, Ohio called New Directions.

56 City with two MLB teams : CHI

The Chicago Cubs are one of only two charter members of the baseball’s National League who are still playing, the other being the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs won the World Series in 2016 for the first time since 1908, which is a long time ago. In fact, the Cubs had the longest championship drought of any professional sports team in North America.

The Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball team was established in Chicago in 1900 and originally was called the White Stockings. The name was changed because the abbreviation “Sox” for “Stockings” was regularly used in newspaper headlines.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 L.A. Rams’ __ McVay, youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl : SEAN
5 Fly high : SOAR
9 Old NCAA football ranking sys. : BCS
12 Regarding : AS TO
13 Limerick’s land : EIRE
14 Coagulate : CLOT
15 Test format with options : MULTIPLE CHOICE
18 Grassland : PRAIRIE
19 Using pointe shoes : ON TOE
20 Didn’t stick around : RAN
21 Dojo move : KARATE CHOP
24 Card game requirement, maybe : ANTE
26 __-pitch : SLO
27 Farm female : HEN
28 Roman who defeated Hannibal : SCIPIO
31 Triage areas: Abbr. : ERS
33 Bat specialty, and what you need to find in four long answers : ECHOLOCATION
38 Name in “Kill Bill” credits : UMA
39 Military jeep successor : HUMVEE
41 Aid for the lost : MAP
44 They’re not from around here, briefly : ETS
46 Lowly worker : PEON
47 Nocturnal bird that woke up Vinny in “My Cousin Vinny” : SCREECH OWL
51 Messenger __ : RNA
52 As is fitting : APTLY
53 41-Across, e.g. : DIAGRAM
55 Cocoa butter confection : WHITE CHOCOLATE
58 Golfer’s pocketful : TEES
59 Sell on the street : HAWK
60 Series finale: Abbr. : ET AL
61 “__ the ramparts … ” : O’ER
62 Dire March time : IDES
63 Slithery swimmers : EELS

Down

1 Longtime Agassi rival : SAMPRAS
2 Online GEICO alternative : ESURANCE
3 Brit’s pond : ATLANTIC
4 It wasn’t me : NOT I
5 Photo tint : SEPIA
6 Persian Gulf ships : OILERS
7 Word shortened to its middle letter, in texts : ARE
8 “Parks and __” : REC
9 Devil-may-care : BLITHE
10 Protective covering : COCOON
11 So inclined? : STEEP
14 Large sea snail : CONCH
16 Bug : IRK
17 Soil-moving implement : HOE
22 Jack Ryan portrayer before Harrison : ALEC
23 Holy scroll : TORAH
25 Book after Galatians: Abbr. : EPH
29 Chit : IOU
30 Ancient Mesoamerican : OLMEC
32 Guy found running through the alphabet? : STU
34 Court recitation : OATH
35 Little terror : IMP
36 Give credit where credit isn’t due : OVERRATE
37 Like early childcare : NEONATAL
40 Glossy coats : ENAMELS
41 “Scorpion” co-star Katharine : MCPHEE
42 More pretentious : ARTIER
43 Pummels with snowballs : PELTS
45 “Us, too” : SO DO WE
47 Handled : SAW TO
48 Watch closely : EYE
49 Candlemaker’s supply : WICKS
50 Mekong Valley language : LAO
54 Musical series set at McKinley High : GLEE
56 City with two MLB teams : CHI
57 Possessed : HAD

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 Apr 22, Wednesday”

  1. No errors!! But it was a bit tricky.
    BLITHE SCIPIO OLMEC were a few.

    SCIPIO intrigued me. Hannibal brought several elephants over the Italian mountains to fight with. That was incredible. Even though he was deeated.

    Maybe it was the mountain nymph ECHO that defeated him? Hmmmm.

  2. 13:44 – 2 errors: OLtEC/UtA, HAcK/SODOcE, due to some ignorance and over-thinking.

    Originally had AZTEC for 30D, and so suspected UtA Haggen in the Kill Bill role (not a Quentin Tarantino fan at all), and didn’t know SCIPIO. When I realized it wasn’t AZTEC due to 33A, confusion and guessing set in. So, OLtEC seemed to be a good predecessor name for the Aztecs. I’ll remeber olmec for a little while.

    I didn’t “get” the intent for the clue of “Us, too,” and so a foreign term of some kind seemed plausible (SODOCE in this case). A hack on the street seemed a possible shady street seller, so I didn’t re-evaluate it and 45D.

    I would have caught those errors by working the puzzle online (i.e., no banner display), but I’m a paper & pen solver so as to not be on a screen more than I already am.

  3. As a long time user who is not very good I wonder why you do not explain all your answers. For example today nine down blithe and 11 down steep confused me

    1. Bill graciously provides answers for most of the answers, especially ones that might require a little explanation. Sometimes that leaves out ones we wish to know the reason for. Just as you did, simply put your question to the group and usually someone will provide you the reasoning.

      For 9D blithe is just a straight dictionary definition. There are two provided and one of them “Lacking or showing a lack of due concern; casual” is a synonym for “devil-may-care.”

      11D is a little trickier since you have to pay attention to the “?” at the end of the clue, indicating something is up. You could read the clue as “so inclined” to mean “very inclined” which would be a synonym for “steep.”

  4. Slightly tricky Wednesday for me; took 12:17 with one stupid error: EtH/SCItIO. Even though I now know about the second Punic War, I was not familiar with the Battle of Zama. The rest was pretty straight-forward.

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