LA Times Crossword 15 Apr 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Blaire Bas & Bruce Haight
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Kay’s Puzzle

Themed answers are common phrases with a letter K added at the start of one word:

  • 18A More desirable entanglement? : BETTER KNOT (from “better not”)
  • 23A Political upheaval around the castle? : KNIGHT SHIFT (from “night shift”)
  • 39A Need something warm and fuzzy? : HAVE A KNIT TO PICK (from “have a nit to pick”)
  • 52A Something small, sad, and a-pealing? : LITTLE KNELL (from “Little Nell”)
  • 61A Understood the routine? : KNEW NORMAL (from “new normal”)

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

Bill’s time: 8m 25s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Autumn bloomers : MUMS

Chrysanthemums are perennial flowering plants that are often called “mums”.

5 Toy similar to a Transformer : GOBOT

GoBots are a line of toys that Tonka produced in the 1980s to compete with Hasbro’s Transformers. GoBots made it to the big screen in 1986 in the animated feature “GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords”.

10 Lift for a run : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

14 Too many to name, for short : 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.

16 Westchester college : IONA

Iona College is a Roman Catholic school run by Christian Brothers in New Rochelle, New York. The Brothers named the college for the island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland on which is located Iona Abbey, which was founded by St. Columba. The school’s sports teams are called the Iona Gaels, and the team mascot goes by the name “Killian”.

Westchester County in the Hudson Valley of New York State was named for the cathedral city of Chester in Cheshire, England. The county seat is White Plains, a suburb of New York City. The county’s most populous city is Yonkers.

20 Last name in diets : CRAIG

The Jenny Craig weight control company was started in 1983 by Jenny and Sidney Craig in Melbourne, Australia. Jenny Craig came to North American two years later, and is headquartered in Carlsbad, California.

22 Like some ice cream holders : CONOID

Something described as conoid is cone-shaped, or nearly so.

23 Political upheaval around the castle? : KNIGHT SHIFT (from “night shift”)

In a three-shift working system, the shifts are known by various names:

  1. First shift, day shift
  2. Second shift, swing shift
  3. Third shift, night shift, graveyard shift

26 Club __ : MED

Club Méditerranée is usually referred to as “Club Med”. It is a French company that started in 1950 with a resort on the Spanish island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean. It was originally a “club” with annual membership dues. Now it is an operator of numerous all-inclusive resorts located all over the world.

29 Ireland coat-of-arms image : HARP

Guinness trademarked its famous harp logo way back in 1862. The harp is also a symbol of Ireland. When Ireland became a Free State from the United Kingdom in 1922, the new Irish government had to come up with a different symbol so as not to infringe trademark laws. That’s why Ireland’s harp points in the opposite direction of Guinness’ harp. ‘Tis true, ‘tis true …

30 “The Raven” woman : LENORE

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe that tells of a student who has lost the love of his life, Lenore. A raven enters the student’s bedchamber and perches on a bust of Pallas. The raven can talk, to the student’s surprise, but says nothing but the word “nevermore” (“quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’”). As the student questions all aspects of his life, the raven taunts him with the same comment, “nevermore”. Finally, the student decides that his soul is trapped beneath the raven’s shadow and shall be lifted “nevermore”.

35 Ruhr refusals : NEINS

The English word “no” translates into Russian as “nyet”, and into German as “nein”.

The Ruhr is a large urban region in western Germany. The area is heavily populated, and is the fifth largest urban area in the whole of Europe after Istanbul, Moscow, London and Paris. The Ruhr became heavily industrialized due to its large deposits of coal. By 1850, the area contained nearly 300 operating coal mines. Any coal deposits remaining in the area today are too expensive to exploit.

38 French menu preposition : AVEC

In French, if it’s “pas sans” (not without), it’s “avec” (with).

43 When many plan to take off: Abbr. : ETDS

Estimated time of departure (ETD)

44 Lewis with 12 Emmys : SHARI

Shari Lewis was the original puppeteer behind the PBS children’s show “Lamb Chop”. After Shari Lewis died in 1998, her daughter Mallory took over the role of puppeteer on the show.

45 Very foreign gp.? : ETS

Extraterrestrial (ET)

46 1862 battle site : SHILOH

The Battle of Shiloh was a major engagement in the Civil War, and was fought in 1862 at Pittsburg Landing in southwestern Tennessee. The battle started with a surprise attack by Confederate forces led by Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard. The attackers gained the upper hand on the first day over the Union forces led by Major General Ulysses S. Grant. Union reinforcements arrived during the night and the tide of the battle turned the next day and the Confederates were forced to withdraw. Almost 3,000 men died in the course of the Battle of Shiloh, thus making it the bloodiest battle in US history up to that point in time.

51 ID theft target : SSN

The main purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to track individuals for the purposes of taxation, although given its ubiquitous use, it is looking more and more like an identity number to me. The social security number system was introduced in 1936. Prior to 1986, an SSN was required only for persons with substantial income, so many children under 14 had no number assigned. For some years the IRS had a concern that a lot of people were claiming children on their tax returns who did not actually exist. So starting in 1986, the IRS made it a requirement to get an SSN for any dependents over the age of 5. Sure enough, seven million dependents “disappeared” in 1987. Today, a SSN is required for a child of any age in order to receive a tax exemption.

52 Something small, sad, and a-pealing? : LITTLE KNELL (from “Little Nell”)

The word “knell” is used for a solemn ring from a bell, often associated with death or a funeral. “Knell” comes from the Old English “cnell” and is probably imitative in origin, sounding like a peal from a large bell.

“The Old Curiosity Shop” by Charles Dickens tells the story of 14-year-old “Little Nell” Trent and her grandfather who live in the Old Curiosity Shop in London. If you visit London, there actually is an “Old Curiosity Shop”, in Westminster. It is an establishment selling odds and ends, old curiosities, and is believed to have been the inspiration for the shop in the Dickens story. The building has been around since the 1500s, but the name “The Old Curiosity Shop” was added after the book was published.

60 Cookie with stripes : SAMOA

Depending on which bakery makes the particular variety of Girl Scout cookies, the name can vary. For example, Little Brownie Bakers makes Samoa cookies, while ABC Bakers uses the same recipe and calls the cookies Caramel deLites. The assumption is that these cookies have the exotic name “Samoa” because they contain the tropical ingredients of coconut and cocoa. The most popular variety of Girl Scout cookies sold are Thin Mints.

65 Aquatic diver : LOON

The bird known as a loon here in North America is called a diver in Britain and Ireland. The name “diver” comes from the bird’s habit of swimming calmly and then suddenly diving below the surface to catch a fish. The name “loon” comes from an Old English word meaning “clumsy” and reflects the awkward gait of the bird when walking on land.

66 “Primal Fear” actor : GERE

“Primal Fear” is a very enjoyable crime-thriller film released in 1996 starring Richard Gere. The most acclaimed performance in the movie came from Edward Norton, in his film debut.

67 Worked around home? : UMPED

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

71 Tourney advantages : BYES

The word “bye”, as used in sport, originated in cricket. A bye is a run scored due to an error by the wicketkeeper (similar to a catcher in baseball) when he fails to stop a ball bowled by the bowler (like a pitcher in baseball). Later the word “bye” in sport came to mean the position of a player in a tournament who is left without a competitor when the rest have drawn pairs. In these commercial times, those byes tend to be awarded to the best (seeded) players, so that the most popular players always advance past the first round of competition.

Down

1 Pfizer rival : MERCK

Merck & Co., Inc. is a US company, once a subsidiary of the German company known today as Merck KGaA. The US subsidiary of the German firm was confiscated in 1917 during WWI, and set up as an independent company that grew into the giant that it is today.

Pfizer is a pharmaceutical company based in New York City that was founded in 1849 by cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart. Pfizer has an impressive list of successful products that includes Lipitor (to lower cholesterol), Viagra (to help with erectile dysfunction) and Celebrex (an anti-inflammatory). Oh, and a very effective COVID-19 vaccine …

3 Kenyan native : MASAI

The Masai (also “Maasai”) are a semi-nomadic people found in Kenya and Tanzania. They are semi-nomadic in that over the years they have been migrating from the Lower Nile Valley in northwest Kenya, and are moving into Tanzania.

4 Seasonal transport : SLEIGH

The notion of Santa landing in his sleigh on the roofs of houses originated in the celebrated 1823 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

5 Hudson Riv. crossing : GWB

New York City’s George Washington Bridge (GWB) spans the Hudson River and links the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan with Fort Lee in New Jersey. When the bridge was opened in 1931 it had one deck, allowing six lanes of traffic to traverse the river. The bridge’s designer allowed for the construction of a second deck under the first, and this was added in 1946. Today, the bridge carries 14 lanes of traffic, which is more than any other suspension bridge anywhere. As a result, the GWB is the world’s busiest vehicular bridge. Some locals refer to that second deck as “Martha”, a reference to the president’s wife.

8 10th-century emperor : OTTO I

Otto I the Great ruled the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) in the 10th century, from 962 until his death in 973.

9 Patriots’ org. : THE NFL

The New England Patriots football team was founded in 1959 as the Boston Patriots. The “Patriots” name was selected from suggestions made by football fans in Boston. The team played at several different stadiums in the Boston area for just over ten years, before moving to their current home base in Foxborough, Massachusetts. At the time of the move, the “Boston” name was dropped and changed to “New England”.

10 __ bar : TIKI

The world’s first tiki bar was called “Don the Beachcomber”, and was opened in L.A. in 1933 by Ernest Gantt (also known as “Donn Beach”). The bar became famous for its exotic rum cocktails. Gantt was called to serve in WWII, and the business expanded dramatically under his ex-wife’s management so that there was a 160-restaurant chain waiting for Gantt when he returned stateside.

11 Type of film in which seven actors have played the lead : BOND MOVIE

Here are the first seven actors to portray the iconic English spy in the “James Bond” series of movies:

  1. Sean Connery: 1961–1967, 1970–1971 and 1982–1983
  2. David Niven: 1967
  3. George Lazenby: 1968–1969
  4. Roger Moore: 1972–1985
  5. Timothy Dalton: 1986–1994
  6. Pierce Brosnan: 1994–2004
  7. Daniel Craig: 2005–2021

12 Tijuana time span : ANO

In Spanish, an “año” (year) is a “periodo de tiempo” (time frame, period of time).

21 The Gold Coast, now : GHANA

The country name “Ghana” translates as “warrior king” in the local language. The British established a colony they named the Gold Coast in 1874, later to become Ghana, as part of the scramble by Europeans to settle as much of Africa as they could. One of Ghana’s most famous sons was Kofi Annan, the diplomat who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007.

32 Activity with castles : CHESS

In the game of chess, the move known as “castling” involves the king moving two squares towards one of the rooks, and then placing that rook in the square over which the king crossed. It is the only chess move involving two pieces at the same time.

33 Court recitations : OATHS

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)?

34 Banquet offerings : TV DINNERS

The term “TV dinner”, which describes a prepackaged frozen meal, was actually a trademark for C. A. Swanson & Sons back in 1953. Swanson’s original prepackaged meal was sold as “TV Brand Frozen Dinner” and came in an aluminum tray so that it could be heated in an oven. Swanson stopped using the name in 1962, and now “TV dinner” is a generic term.

Banquet Foods is a brand of food products that was introduced in 1953 as a line of frozen meat pies. Today, Banquet is best known for its frozen dinners.

36 Medical research org. : NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) organization is made up of 27 different institutes that coordinate their research and services. Examples of member institutes are the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging.

40 Night sch. subject : ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) is sometimes referred to as English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

47 Ken who directed many “This Is Us” episodes : OLIN

Ken Olin was one of the stars on the hit television series “thirtysomething”, playing Michael Steadman. After “thirtysomething”, Olin moved behind the camera and is now a producer and director.

“This Is Us” is a television drama that debuted in 2016. The storyline centers on three siblings and their parents. Two of the siblings are the surviving members of a triplet pregnancy. The parents decide to adopt a child born on the same day as the surviving siblings. The adopting family is white, and the adopted child is black.

50 Forensic facility : DNA LAB

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”.

54 Southeastern city on its own bay : TAMPA

The Florida city of Tampa has been known as “the Big Guava” since the seventies. The term is imitative of New York’s “Big Apple”, and refers to the unsuccessful search for the reported wild guava trees that were once hoped to be the basis of a new industry for the area. Tampa has also been called “Cigar City”, a reference to the cigar industry that fueled the area’s growth starting in the 1880s.

55 Georgia campus : EMORY

Emory is a private school in Atlanta, Georgia with a focus on graduate research. The school was named after a Methodist Episcopal bishop called John Emory, who was very popular at the time of the school’s founding in 1836.

56 Sarge’s superior : LOOIE

A “looie” (lieutenant) has a higher rank than a “noncom” (noncommissioned officer) such as a “sarge” (sergeant).

61 Org. seen in some 11-Downs : KGB
(11D Type of film in which seven actors have played the lead : BOND MOVIE)

The “Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti” (KGB) was the national security agency of the Soviet Union until 1991. The KGB was dissolved after the agency’s chairman led a failed attempt at a coup d’état designed to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.

64 Gp. based in SLC, Utah : LDS

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is known colloquially as the Mormon Church.

Salt Lake City (SLC) was founded by Brigham Young, in 1847. The city takes its name from the Great Salt Lake on which it sits, and indeed was known as “Great Salt Lake City” up until 1868.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Autumn bloomers : MUMS
5 Toy similar to a Transformer : GOBOT
10 Lift for a run : T-BAR
14 Too many to name, for short : ET AL
15 Rage : WRATH
16 Westchester college : IONA
17 Con : RUSE
18 More desirable entanglement? : BETTER KNOT (from “better not”)
20 Last name in diets : CRAIG
22 Like some ice cream holders : CONOID
23 Political upheaval around the castle? : KNIGHT SHIFT (from “night shift”)
26 Club __ : MED
29 Ireland coat-of-arms image : HARP
30 “The Raven” woman : LENORE
32 Sleep on it : COT
35 Ruhr refusals : NEINS
38 French menu preposition : AVEC
39 Need something warm and fuzzy? : HAVE A KNIT TO PICK (from “have a nit to pick”)
43 When many plan to take off: Abbr. : ETDS
44 Lewis with 12 Emmys : SHARI
45 Very foreign gp.? : ETS
46 1862 battle site : SHILOH
49 Advance : LEND
51 ID theft target : SSN
52 Something small, sad, and a-pealing? : LITTLE KNELL (from “Little Nell”)
58 “Got me!” : NO IDEA!
60 Cookie with stripes : SAMOA
61 Understood the routine? : KNEW NORMAL (from “new normal”)
65 Aquatic diver : LOON
66 “Primal Fear” actor : GERE
67 Worked around home? : UMPED
68 Dried-up : ARID
69 Superior : BOSS
70 Some old rulers : TSARS
71 Tourney advantages : BYES

Down

1 Pfizer rival : MERCK
2 Option for one who’s lost : U-TURN
3 Kenyan native : MASAI
4 Seasonal transport : SLEIGH
5 Hudson Riv. crossing : GWB
6 You can dig it : ORE
7 Cookie quantity : BATCH
8 10th-century emperor : OTTO I
9 Patriots’ org. : THE NFL
10 __ bar : TIKI
11 Type of film in which seven actors have played the lead : BOND MOVIE
12 Tijuana time span : ANO
13 Double-crosser : RAT
19 __ learning : ROTE
21 The Gold Coast, now : GHANA
24 It’s quite a slog : TREK
25 Short rides : SPINS
27 Standing : ERECT
28 Flattens : DECKS
31 Afternoon refresher : NAP
32 Activity with castles : CHESS
33 Court recitations : OATHS
34 Banquet offerings : TV DINNERS
36 Medical research org. : NIH
37 Stable area : STALL
40 Night sch. subject : ESL
41 Nursery sight : TREE
42 Pen output : OINKS
47 Ken who directed many “This Is Us” episodes : OLIN
48 Holed up : HID OUT
50 Forensic facility : DNA LAB
53 Agreement list : TERMS
54 Southeastern city on its own bay : TAMPA
55 Georgia campus : EMORY
56 Sarge’s superior : LOOIE
57 Secures, as a contract : LANDS
59 Is behind, maybe : OWES
61 Org. seen in some 11-Downs : KGB
62 Modern prefix : NEO-
63 Atmo- kin : AER-
64 Gp. based in SLC, Utah : LDS

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 15 Apr 22, Friday”

  1. Hard to get started at this one but ended up with no errors
    after I looked up the toy “gobot”. Remembering “Lenore” from
    my high school lit. class helped a lot with that section.

  2. 21:52 1 error

    Helpful Theme, once I knoticed what change to make.

    But I had NOIDEA about the ?WB and NOIDEA about the ?OBOT, so I saw nothing wrong with RWB / ROBOT. Should be GWB / GOBOT.

  3. No errors…almost left ROBOT for 5A until I figured out 5D as the George Washington Bridge…that would have been very discouraging 😀

  4. 36:58 – one error (rOBOT vs GOBOT), one lookup for “Westchester college” where IONA seemed the most likely answer. That helped me fill in the NE corner, which then led to completing the puzzle with the upper-middle section. I had to get past SPY before RAT, and DOZEN before BATCH. It took about 10 minutes to get all that resolved.

    The rest of the puzzle took a while to start finding clues that I could solve kear the bottom, several with educated guesses (e.g., NIH, GHANA, HARP, GERE). Other revisions were: ANTI>RUSE, RAZES>DECKS, ETAS>ETDS, CRIB>TREE.

    I first got the theme gimmick at the bottom with 52A and 61A, and that helped with the other three.

    All in all, I guess it was a good Friday challenge.

  5. @RayC from yesterday. Thanks. I did not see that “Y” coming..

    Today’s puzzle.. no errors. Much slower for me than u speed demons. A friday for me is good if I can scribble it all down.

    No “knits” to pick today.

  6. 26:34 – lotsa cheats/check grids, but I got it done. GOBOT/OTTOI among them …

    If you didn’t like Pen output / OINKS you better look for another puzzle!

    Be Well.

  7. Tough Friday for me; took 37:38 with 19 errors, all in the top center and 1 in the NW. The rest was really fun though 🙂 kNOT!

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