LA Times Crossword 16 Apr 22, Saturday

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Constructed by: John Ewbank
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 6m 39s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Brew orders : CREAM ALES

A cream ale is an American beer that is similar to a pale lager, even though it truly is a top-fermented ale.

14 Actress Polo : TERI

Teri Polo’s most prominent role on the big screen was Pam Focker in “Meet the Fockers” and its sequels. Pam is the wife of the character played by Ben Stiller. Polo also played the wife of Presidential candidate Matt Santos in “The West Wing”.

16 Actor McGregor who’s a UNICEF ambassador : EWAN

Ewan McGregor is a very talented Scottish actor, one who got his break in the 1996 film “Trainspotting”. McGregor’s first big Hollywood role was playing the young Obi-Wan-Kenobi in the “Star Wars” prequels. Less known is his televised marathon motorcycle journey from London to New York via central Europe, Ukraine, Siberia, Mongolia and Canada. The 2004 trip was shown as “Long Way Round” on TV. McGregor did a similar trip in 2007 called “Long Way Down”, which took him and the same traveling companion from the north of Scotland to Cape Town in South Africa.

The United Nations Children’s Fund is known by the acronym UNICEF because the organization’s original name when it was founded in 1946 was the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. The original focus of the fund was to provide relief to children in countries that had been devastated by WWII. UNICEF is supported by contributions from governments, but also by individual donors. One of the more successful programs for collecting private donations is the Trick-or-Treat UNICEF box that has been a tradition here in North America since 1950.

18 Criticize : DISS

“Dis” (also “diss”) is a slang term meaning “insult” that originated in the eighties. It is a shortened form of “disrespect” or “dismiss”.

19 They’re minimal in a keto diet : CARBS

A ketogenic (also “keto”) diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. When a body consumes insufficient carbohydrates to meet the need for energy, then the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies in order to make up the energy deficit. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the bloodstream is known as “ketosis”, a term that gives rise to the name “ketogenic diet”. Medical professionals sometimes prescribe a ketogenic diet in order to control epilepsy in children. A condition of ketosis can reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures.

20 Killer __ : BEE

Killer bees are descended from European and African bees that were deliberately interbred by a Brazilian geneticist in 1957. The resulting hybrid was intended to be isolated from local populations, but 28 swarms were accidentally released into the wild. Over the coming decades, the Africanized bees have been remarkably successful in ecological terms and have spread right through South and Central America. The first to be found in the US were discovered in California in 1985.

21 Its common tuning is known as “My dog has fleas” : UKULELE

The ukulele (uke) originated in the 1800s and mimicked a small guitar brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants.

“My Dog Has Fleas” is a little song used to tune the strings of a ukulele. The words “my dog has fleas” represent the notes G4–C4–E4–A4.

23 Damon and Affleck, often : COSTARS

Matt Damon is an actor and screenwriter from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Damon’s big break came with the 1997 movie “Good Will Hunting”, in which he starred. He co-wrote the screenplay with his childhood friend Ben Affleck.

Actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck started his career as a child actor in the PBS show “The Voyage of the Mimi”. His big break came with the release of the film “Good Will Hunting” which he co-wrote and co-starred in with his childhood friend Matt Damon. Affleck had a relationship with actress and singer Jennifer Lopez, with the celebrity couple often being referred to as “Bennifer” in the media. He was also married for several years to actress Jennifer Garner, with whom he has three children.

27 “The Big Bang Theory” regular : RAJ

Raj Koothrappali is a character on the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” who is played by British-Indian actor Kunal Nayyar. Nayyar is married to Neha Kapur, a former Miss India.

28 Net judge’s call : LET!

That would be tennis.

29 Moving pictures? : OP ART

Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

30 Music genre term coined by Nigeria’s Fela Kuti : AFROBEAT

Fela Kuti was a Nigerian musician, a pioneer in the genre known as “Afrobeat”. Fela had an interesting relationship with women, and actually married twenty-seven different women in the same year, in 1978. He then slowed down a little and maintained a rotating roster of only twelve wives at any one time. Fela died from AIDS in 1997.

33 Young partner : ERNST

Ernst & Young is one of the Big Four accountancy firms, alongside Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ernst & Young is headquartered in London. The company was founded in 1989 with the merger of Ernst & Whinney with Young & Co.

35 Put in a hold : LADE

The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.

38 Canadian put-down : HOSER

The derogatory word “hoser”, meaning “foolish or uncultivated person”, is apparently attributed to Canadians. That said, I just read that the term is in fact rarely used north of the border.

39 “__: Vegas” : CSI

The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been tremendously successful, and seems to really have legs. “CSI: Miami” (the “worst” of the franchise, I think) was canceled in 2012 after ten seasons. “CSI: NY” (the “best” of the franchise) was canceled in 2013 after nine seasons. The original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” was set in Las Vegas, and hung in there until 2015 when it ended with a two-hour TV movie. Then there was “CSI: Cyber”. It lasted for two seasons, before being canceled in 2016. “CSI: Vegas”, a sequel to the original “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, launched in 2021.

43 Iberian titles : SENORAS

The Ebro is the longest river in Spain. The river was known by the Romans as the Iber, and it is the “Iber” river that gives the “Iberian” Peninsula its name.

45 Sound often heard at Cirque du Soleil : OOH!

Cirque du Soleil is an entertainment company based in Montreal. The company was founded in 1984, by two former street performers, and stages spectacular shows that are a dramatic mix of circus and street entertainment. I’ve seen several Cirque du Soleil shows over the years, and have thoroughly enjoyed every single one.

46 LPGA golfer Yani, the youngest to win five majors : TSENG

Yani Tseng is a professional golfer from Taiwan. She was ranked number one in the Women’s World Golf Rankings from 2011 to 2013, and is the youngest player (male or female) to win five majors.

54 Combat tradition : MARTIAL ART

Martial arts are various fighting traditions and systems used in combat or simply to promote physical well-being. The term “martial” ultimately derives from Latin and means “Arts of Mars”, a reference to Mars, the Roman god of war.

56 Format favored by big-shot directors? : IMAX

The IMAX Corporation, which is behind the IMAX film format, is a Canadian company. The impetus for developing the system came after Expo ’67 in Montreal. Back then large format screenings were accomplished using multiple projectors with multiple screens, with images basically stitched together. The team behind the IMAX technology set out to simplify things, and developed a single-camera, single-projector system.

57 Church staple : ORGAN MUSIC

The organ that we often see in churches, synagogues and concert halls is a pipe organ. Sound is produced by pressurized air driven through particular pipes selected by keys on a keyboard.

59 Chucks : DEEP-SIXES

To deep-six something is to toss it, possibly overboard, or to completely destroy it. The derivation of this slang term is from “six feet deep”, not the length of a fathom but rather the traditional depth of a grave.

Down

1 République de __ d’Ivoire : COTE

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is located in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. The country is often referred to in English as “the Ivory Coast”, the direct translation from the French. The official language of the country is French, as for many years it was a French colony.

2 Symbol of Lancaster or York : ROSE

The Wars of the Roses was a series of civil wars fought for the throne of England between the rival Houses of Lancaster (with a symbol of a red rose) and York (with a symbol of a white rose). Ultimately the Lancastrians emerged victorious after Henry Tudor defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Henry was crowned King Henry VII, and so began the Tudor dynasty. Henry Tudor united the rival houses by marrying his cousin Elizabeth of York. Henry VII had a relatively long reign of 23 years that lasted until his death, after which his son succeeded to the throne as Henry VIII, continuing the relatively short-lived Tudor dynasty. Henry VIII ruled from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry VIII was the last male to lead the House of Tudor, as his daughter Queen Elizabeth I died without issue. When Elizabeth died, the Scottish King James VI succeeded to the throne as James I of England and Ireland. James I was the first English monarch of the House of Stuart.

4 Internet pioneer : AOL

America Online (AOL)

5 Crumble : MOLDER

To “molder” is to crumble away, to turn to dust or “mold”.

6 Texas A&M athletes : AGGIES

Texas A&M is the seventh largest university in the country, and was the first public higher education institute in the state when it accepted its first students in 1876. The full name of the school was the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (hence “A&M”) and its primary mission used to be the education of males in the techniques of farming and military warfare. That’s quite a combination! Because of the agricultural connection, the college’s sports teams use the moniker “Aggies”. Texas A&M is also home to the George Bush Presidential Library.

7 Only landlocked country in Southeast Asia : LAOS

The official name for the country of Laos is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In the Lao language, the country’s name is “Meuang Lao”. The French ruled Laos as part of French Indochina, having united three separate Lao kingdoms. As there was a plural of “Lao” entities united into one, the French added the “S” and so today we tend to use “Laos” instead of “Lao”.

8 Tries to find oneself? : EGOSURFS

We’ve all done it, googling our own names to see what comes up. It’s called “egosurfing”.

11 Oman’s Haitham bin Tariq, e.g. : ARAB LEADER

Qaboos bin Said al Said was Sultan of Oman, until his death in 2020, after coming to power in a coup in 1970 by deposing his own father. Qaboos had no children, and no agreed heir. After his death, the country’s Defense Council opened a letter left by Qaboos that named his successor, his cousin Haitham bin Tariq.

12 Ones working after strikes : PINSETTERS

A pinsetter is a mechanical device that puts bowling pins into position, returns balls, and clears fallen pins. Prior to the invention of the pinsetting machine, young men known as pinboys used to reset the pins by hand.

13 Part of a Bond order : GIN

Ian Fleming created a cocktail for James Bond in his 1953 novel “Casino Royale”. Here’s the recipe, from 007’s very own lips:

Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.

Soon after ordering the drink, Bond meets a beautiful young lady named Vesper Lynd. He names his drink the Vesper in her honor. Bond fans will note that the Vesper is not the spy’s usual drink of choice, preferring instead a vodka martini, shaken not stirred, and served with an olive.

14 Turquoise kin : TEAL

The beautiful color teal takes its name from the duck called a teal, which has dark greenish-blue (teal) markings on its head and wings.

“Turquoise” is the Old French word for “Turkish”. The name was given to the blue mineral because much of it was brought into Europe from Turkey, although most of the turquoise mines were located in the Khorasan Province of Iran.

19 King work : CUJO

“Cujo” is a 1981 Stephen King horror novel, which means that I haven’t read it (I don’t do horror). The character Cujo is a rabid St. Bernard dog which besieges a young couple for three days in their stalled car. King tells us that he lifted the dog’s name from real life, as Cujo was the nickname of Willie Wolfe, one of the men responsible for the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

20 Sonar operator? : BAT

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.

22 Mario __ : KART

“Mario Kart” is a go-kart racing video game series from Nintendo.

24 Password that’s weak by modern standards : OPEN SESAME

In the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, the title character is a poor woodcutter who discovers the magic phrase “Open sesame!” that opens the thieves’ den.

25 Rush hour metaphor : SARDINE CAN

The commuters were packed in like sardines in a can.

26 Baobab, for one : TREE

“Baobab” is the common name for an Adansonia tree, most species of which are native to Madagascar. The name Adansonia was given in honor of the French naturalist and explorer Michel Adanson.

33 Peak also known as Mongibello : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy, and indeed the largest of all active volcanoes in Europe. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts. It is sometimes referred to as “Mongibello” in Italian, and as “Mungibeddu” (sometimes “Muncibeddu”) in Sicilian. The English name “Etna” comes from the Greek “aitho” meaning “I eat”.

34 It led to the blacklisting of Trumbo and Chaplin : RED SCARE

After WWII, the United States went through a “Red Scare”, the fear of communist infiltration in American society and government. Senator Joseph McCarthy became a lightning rod for this movement when he chaired Senate hearings in the fifties designed to root out communist infiltrators. The period (1947-1956) is referred to as the Second Red Scare. The First Red Scare was at its height in 1919-1920, and was a fear of Bolshevism that arose after the Russian Revolution.

Dalton Trumbo was an American novelist and screenwriter, and one of the famous “Hollywood Ten” film professionals who testified in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947. Trumbo refused to give information to the committee and was found in contempt, and served 11 months in prison. Trumbo had his anti-war novel “Johnny Got His Gun” published in 1938. He also directed a film adaption that was released in 1971 that starred Timothy Bottoms.

Charlie Chaplin earned the nickname “The Tramp” (also “Little Tramp”) from the much-loved character that he frequently played on the screen. Chaplin was much-respected as a performer. The great George Bernard Shaw referred to him as “the only genius to come out of the movie industry”.

37 Notable unsinkable ship sinker : BERG

An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that is floating freely after having broken away from a glacier or ice shelf. Our use of “iceberg” comes from the Dutch word for the same phenomenon “ijsberg”, which translates literally as “ice mountain”.

The RMS Titanic set off on her tragic maiden voyage in 1912, sailing from Southampton, England bound for New York City. Regulations only required that the ship have lifeboat capacity for 1,178 people, even though a full complement of passengers and crew was 3,547. When the order was given to abandon ship, the captain adhered to the traditional protocol of “women and children first”. As a result, only 20% of male passengers survived the disaster, compared to 75% of the female passengers. Perhaps more telling is that 61% of those in first class survived, and only 25% of those in third class. The crew fared even worse though, with only 24% making it.

42 Bow applications : ROSINS

Rosin is a solid form of resin derived from plant sources. Rosin is formed into cakes that players of stringed instruments use to rub along the hairs of their bows to help improve sound quality. The rosin increases the degree of friction between the strings and the bow. That same friction-increasing property comes into play when baseball pitchers use rosin to get a better grip on the ball, or when dancers apply rosin to the soles of their shoes.

44 Banded gemstone : ONYX

Onyx is a form of quartz that comes in many different shades, but most often it’s the black version that’s used for jewelry. The name “onyx” comes from the Greek word for “fingernail”, as onyx in the flesh color is said to resemble a fingernail.

51 Shailene’s “Divergent” role : TRIS

Beatrice “Tris” Prior is the protagonist in the “Divergent” series of movies, and is played by actress Shailene Woodley.

The “Divergent” series of movies is based on the “Divergent” novels written by Veronica Roth. The movies and novels are set in a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago called the Divergent Universe. The story is about a citizenry that is divided into five different factions based on personality traits. The critics weren’t crazy about the first movie in the series, but I really enjoyed it …

54 One who might delete a Reddit post, briefly : MOD

Moderator (mod)

Reddit.com is a networking and news website that started up in 2005. It is essentially a bulletin board system with posts that are voted up and down by users, which determines the ranking of posts. The name “Reddit” is a play on “read it”, as in “I read it on Reddit”. One popular feature of the Reddit site is an online forum that is similar to a press conference. Known as an AMA (for “ask me anything”), participants have included the likes of President Barack Obama, Madonna, Bill Gates, Stephen Colbert and Gordon Ramsay. President Obama’s AMA was so popular that the high level of traffic brought down many parts of the Reddit site.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Brew orders : CREAM ALES
10 Rest of the day? : NAP
13 Baby talk : GOO GOO GAGA
14 Actress Polo : TERI
15 “No worries” : IT’S ALL GOOD
16 Actor McGregor who’s a UNICEF ambassador : EWAN
17 Big ask, sometimes : NEED
18 Criticize : DISS
19 They’re minimal in a keto diet : CARBS
20 Killer __ : BEE
21 Its common tuning is known as “My dog has fleas” : UKULELE
23 Damon and Affleck, often : COSTARS
27 “The Big Bang Theory” regular : RAJ
28 Net judge’s call : LET!
29 Moving pictures? : OP ART
30 Music genre term coined by Nigeria’s Fela Kuti : AFROBEAT
32 Just : MERE
33 Young partner : ERNST
35 Put in a hold : LADE
36 Beholden : INDEBTED
38 Canadian put-down : HOSER
39 “__: Vegas” : CSI
40 It might be bitter : END
41 Post office inquiries : TRACERS
43 Iberian titles : SENORAS
45 Sound often heard at Cirque du Soleil : OOH!
46 LPGA golfer Yani, the youngest to win five majors : TSENG
47 What players sometimes miss : CUES
49 Big party : FETE
53 Not for the prudish : RACY
54 Combat tradition : MARTIAL ART
56 Format favored by big-shot directors? : IMAX
57 Church staple : ORGAN MUSIC
58 Signature piece? : PEN
59 Chucks : DEEP-SIXES

Down

1 République de __ d’Ivoire : COTE
2 Symbol of Lancaster or York : ROSE
3 “Yikes!” : EGAD!
4 Internet pioneer : AOL
5 Crumble : MOLDER
6 Texas A&M athletes : AGGIES
7 Only landlocked country in Southeast Asia : LAOS
8 Tries to find oneself? : EGOSURFS
9 In need of perking up : SAD
10 Latest movie, say : NEW RELEASE
11 Oman’s Haitham bin Tariq, e.g. : ARAB LEADER
12 Ones working after strikes : PINSETTERS
13 Part of a Bond order : GIN
14 Turquoise kin : TEAL
19 King work : CUJO
20 Sonar operator? : BAT
22 Mario __ : KART
23 Regular line in a newspaper : COMIC STRIP
24 Password that’s weak by modern standards : OPEN SESAME
25 Rush hour metaphor : SARDINE CAN
26 Baobab, for one : TREE
30 As well as : AND
31 Group working together : BLOC
33 Peak also known as Mongibello : ETNA
34 It led to the blacklisting of Trumbo and Chaplin : RED SCARE
37 Notable unsinkable ship sinker : BERG
38 “A likely story!” : HAH!
41 Keep the beat, in a way : TOE-TAP
42 Bow applications : ROSINS
44 Banded gemstone : ONYX
48 Hard-to-resist thing : URGE
49 Continuous movement : FLUX
50 Little difficulty : EASE
51 Shailene’s “Divergent” role : TRIS
52 Space-saving letters : ETC
54 One who might delete a Reddit post, briefly : MOD
55 “__ to believe … ” : AM I

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Apr 22, Saturday”

  1. LAT: Little less than an hour. As usual, I didn’t know quite a few, but guesses and crosses got me through. Good Saturday puzzle.

  2. I often get hung up on things that I think others take for granted. I have never seen the Big Bang Theory, so I had no idea what that could be. I figured they were talking about Stephen King, but couldn’t think of the book. I put in Cuzo, which sounded plausible. And as for Mario, I knew Mario Lanza and maybe Mario Brothers, but have never heard of Mario Kart. And it took forever to figure out comic strip, open sesame and sardine can. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  3. Have to question the clue for 59A “Chucks” which implies casually disposing of something whereas DEEPSIXES usually has a more determined sense of disposing of something irretrievably. So I had GETS RID OF for 59A which doomed the whole bottom right corner.

  4. No errors. About 40 minutes for me. Not many ink scratches so that’s a good sign.

    Got hung up on MOLDER. Wasn’t familiar to me but when I went from “BESTIES” to “COSTARS” for 23A then I let it go. That west side gave me some fits.

    Feel good about it. On to Sunday!

  5. I happen to agree with most of the comments relating to some of the clues and their answers. Chucks, Hoser, regular line (?), signature piece, moving pictures, password, and several more. Methinks the editor took the Easter weekend off.

    1. Our editor has been asleep at the wheel for years. I heard recently he’s being replaced, and I say it can’t come too soon.

  6. No errors but several proper name lookups–notably entertainment
    terms and names…Teri–Raj–Tseng and the “afrobeat”.

  7. 16:29 and two errors: BA[T]/OPAR[T]. Horrible clues, a fill that doesn’t work without a hyphen, and just another thing a good editor would catch.

    WHEN are we getting that new editor (or better said, a “real” editor)???

  8. 9:05, no errors. Bill did very well to get what he did.

    As far as cluing and answers, nothing about crosswords use accurate, sensible, sane language and to some extent sadly there’s always failures on those points in any grid. So in essence most times, it just becomes a mind-reading exercise.

  9. No look ups,no errors. Seemed a little easy
    for a Saturday although the South East
    corner was problematic until “cues”
    opened it up for me….

  10. 46:00 no errors…any of you guys and gals who are not fans of “The Big Bang Theory you’re missing one of the funniest shows ever…It is in reruns now

  11. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The phrases in those lists aren’t called “definitions”; they’re called “clues”. What some here see as a failure to communicate clearly, others see as a scrim of obfuscation that can be seen through (and enjoyed), but you have to be willing to spend the time required to do it and, if you do it, you may well get better at it.

  12. 22:27

    Just barely managed to guess enough crosses to figure out the ones I didn’t know.

    I liked “signature piece” = PEN.

  13. Better than yesterday! 28:30 – no errors or lookups. The SE corner was the last to fall due to some inaccurate initial answers.

    Revisions were: BROS>KART, TEAM>BLOC, EASE>LADE, NOT>HAH, FLOW>FLUX. The initial TEAM & EASE answers threw me for a while; but when 50D was also EASE, I looked for a different answer to 35A. That got things rolling. I was wanting 30A to be AFROTECH, but it wouldn’t work with PINSETTERS. BEAT/BLOC worked much better.

    I agree with @A Nonny Muss. Crossword cluing is not factual definitions, but clues to an answer; perhaps like a riddle, perhaps like in a mystery story. In any case, it’s up to the solver to “figure it out.” It’s helpful that there are clues of fact interspersed so that there can be progress to solving it all and not entirely be a “mind-reading” exercise, nor simply all recall, either.

  14. I agree with A Nonny Muss and Ray C. I always thought of crossword puzzles as an exercise in using logic and memory, and applying what you have learned from previous puzzles. The more of them you do, the better you get at solving them. I love the Saturday LA Times puzzle. Every time I start it, I think, there is no way I can even fill in half of this. You plug away, are forced to reject original thoughts, and then cast your nets further. It’s a hobby, not an IRS audit.

  15. Whew!! Fun but tough Saturday; took me 42:07 with no peeks or errors – but just barely. Had to change a lot of my first guesses: puzo to cART to KART, haH to OOH, FLow to FLUX, Clue to CUES, Opal to ONYX and CRaft ALES to CREAM ALES.

    Didn’t know TRIS, TERI, TSENG and I had C__O before CUJO. Also, trying to remember all the Big Bang Theory parts…lucky it came down to RAJ. And, the dreaded Killer BEES…let me tell, you I’ve had mean bees before….not fun at all.

    Liked the “Signature piece?”, “Sonar operator?” and “Ones working after strikes” clues.

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