LA Times Crossword 18 Apr 22, Monday

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Constructed by: Doug Peterson
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Fresh Start

Themed answers each START with something often described as FRESH:

  • 60A New beginning, and what the first words of the answers to the starred clues can literally have : FRESH START
  • 17A *Mobile game with a variety of blades : FRUIT NINJA (giving “fresh fruit”)
  • 23A *Inked designs on one’s chin and cheeks, e.g. : FACE TATTOOS (giving “fresh face”)
  • 39A *Summer cooler : AIR CONDITIONING (giving “fresh air”)
  • 48A *Meghan Markle’s husband : PRINCE HARRY (giving “Fresh Prince”)

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

Bill’s time: 5m 58s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Thor: Ragnarok” actress Thompson : TESSA

Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”. She also portrays superheroine Valkyrie in movies based on Marvel Comics characters.

“Thor: Ragnarok” is a 2017 superhero film in the “Thor” series. Not my cup of tea …

“Ragnarök” is the name given to a set of events in Norse mythology that resulted in the deaths of many famous gods, including Odin and Thor.

6 Traditional dress of India : SARI

The item of clothing called a “sari” (also “saree”) is a strip of cloth, as one might imagine, unusual perhaps in that it is unstitched along the whole of its length. The strip of cloth can range from four to nine meters long (that’s a lot of material!). The sari is usually wrapped around the waist, then draped over the shoulder leaving the midriff bare. I must say, it can be a beautiful item of clothing.

10 Apples reviewed on tech sites : MACS

Macintosh (also “Mac”, since 1998) is a line of computers from Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced in 1984, and I remember someone showing me one at work in those early days of personal computing. There was a piece of white plastic connected to the main computer by a cord, and I was amazed when the guy showed me that it controlled where the cursor was on the screen. My colleague told me that this lump of plastic was called “a mouse” …

14 The NCAA’s Huskies : UCONN

The UConn Huskies are the sports teams of the University of Connecticut. I wasn’t able to uncover the derivation of the “Huskies” moniker. Although it is true that “UConn” sounds like “Yukon”, that isn’t the derivation of the “Huskies” nickname. The school didn’t become the University of Connecticut (UConn) until 1939, and the Huskies name has been used since 1933.

15 Actor Dorsey of “Queen Sugar” : OMAR

Omar Dorsey is an actor from Decatur, Georgia. He played James Orange in the 2014 movie “Selma”, and started playing Hollingsworth “Hollywood” Desonier in the drama series “Queen Sugar”.

“Queen Sugar” is a TV drama that is based on a 2014 novel of the same name by Natalie Baszile. It’s all about three estranged siblings who reunite to save their family’s failing sugarcane farm in Louisiana.

17 *Mobile game with a variety of blades : FRUIT NINJA (giving “fresh fruit”)

Fruit Ninja is a video game that involves slicing of fruit thrown into the air. Apparently, it’s very popular.

19 “Better late __ never” : THAN

Apparently, the expression “better late than never” was first used in print by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1386 in his collection of stories “The Canterbury Tales”. He writes, in “The Yeoman’s Tale”:

For better than never is late; never to succeed would be too long a period.

20 Surf’s partner : TURF

The phrase “surf and turf” hasn’t been around that long, with first known use dating back to 1961 in the “Los Angeles Times”.

21 “Looking for,” in personal ads : ISO

In search of (ISO)

23 *Inked designs on one’s chin and cheeks, e.g. : FACE TATTOOS (giving “fresh face”)

The word “tattoo” (often shortened to “tat”) was first used in English in the writings of the famous English explorer Captain Cook. In his descriptions of the indelible marks adorning the skin of Polynesian natives, Cook anglicized the Tahitian word “tatau” into our “tattoo”. Tattoos are sometimes referred to as “ink”.

27 Convenience called a “cashpoint” in the U.K. : ATM

ATMs are Automated Teller Machines, and are called “cashpoints” back in Britain and Ireland. Well, as students we also called them “drink links”, for obvious reasons …

30 Luau instrument, briefly : UKE

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

Nowadays, the word “luau” denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of poi, the bulbous underground stems of taro.

31 Comic Margaret : CHO

Margaret Cho is a very successful stand-up comedian, and also a fashion designer with her own line of clothing. Cho acts as well, and you might have seen her in the John Travolta/Nicolas Cage movie “Face/Off” in which she played John Travolta’s FBI colleague.

34 Mexican cruise port : ACAPULCO

The Mexican city of Acapulco is on the southwest coast of the country, in the state of Guerrero. The name “Acapulco” translates from the local language into “at the big reeds”.

39 *Summer cooler : AIR CONDITIONING (giving “fresh air”)

The modern form of air conditioning (AC) that is still used today was invented by Willis Carrier in 1902. He co-founded the Carrier Engineering Corporation in New York in 1915. The Carrier Corporation eventually moved to Syracuse, New York in 1937. Beyond the world of air conditioning, the Carrier name has been associated with Syracuse University’s famous Carrier Dome since it opened in 1980. The Carrier Dome is the largest on-campus basketball stadium in the country.

42 Fit together nicely : DOVETAIL

In the world of carpentry, a dovetail joint is one using a “pin” cut into the end of one piece of wood mating with a “tail” cut into another. The shape of that “tail” is said to resemble the tail of a dove, hence the name. We use the verb “to dovetail” in a figurative sense, meaning “to unite closely”.

43 Venomous snake : VIPER

The Viperidae are a family of venomous snakes commonly referred to as vipers.

45 Honeybunny : BAE

“Bae” is a contemporary term of endearment. It is a pet name that is an abbreviation of “babe, baby”, although I’ve also read that it is an acronym standing for “before anyone else”.

47 Fr. holy title : STE

“Sainte” (ste.) is French for “saint”, when referring to a “femme” (woman).

48 *Meghan Markle’s husband : PRINCE HARRY (giving “Fresh Prince”)

Harry, Duke of Sussex is the younger of the two sons of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales. Famously, Prince Harry married American actress Meghan Markle in 2018. The groom’s name was Prince Henry of Wales until the marriage, at which time his name officially changed to “Prince Harry”. In January 2020, Harry and Meghan stepped back from their official duties.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is a former actress, and an American-born member of the British royal family. As an actress, Meghan Markle (her birth name) is best known for playing Rachel Zane on the legal drama “Suits”. Markle met her future husband, Prince Harry, on a blind date set up by a mutual friend in 2016.

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” sitcom originally ran from 1990 to 1996. It starred Will Smith as a teenager from Philadelphia who arrives in Bel Air to live in a mansion with his wealthy aunt and uncle.

53 Literature Nobelist Munro : ALICE

Alice Munro is a writer from southwestern Ontario in Canada. She won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature.

54 PC “oops” key : ESC

The escape key (Esc) was originally used just to control computer peripherals. It was a key that allowed the computer operator to stop what the peripheral was doing (cancel a print job, for example). Nowadays the escape key is used for all sorts of things, especially in gaming programs.

55 Approx. landing hours : ETAS

Estimated time of arrival (ETA)

63 Great Sphinx locale : GIZA

Giza is located on the west bank of the Nile, about 20 km southwest of Cairo. The nearby Giza Plateau is home to some of the most amazing ancient monuments on the planet, including the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx.

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a huge limestone statue of a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human. It is the largest monolithic statue in the world. Famously, the Great Sphinx is missing its nose and beard.

65 Spotted horse : PINTO

A pinto is a horse with patchy markings of white mixed with another color. “Pinto” means “painted” in American Spanish.

66 Black 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.

68 Off-kilter : ASKEW

To be “off-kilter” is to be off-balance, not aligned. To be “out of kilter” is to be out of order, not in good condition.

Down

2 Light beige : ECRU

The color ecru is a grayish, yellowish brown. The word “ecru” comes from French and means “raw, unbleached”. “Ecru” has the same roots as our word “crude”.

3 Whiskey cocktail : SOUR

A whiskey sour is made from whiskey, lemon juice and sugar, and is usually garnished with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry. My favored variant (by far) is the delicious New York sour, which includes a float of dry red wine.

5 Tiny crumb carrier : ANT

The study of ants is known as myrmecology. The term “myrmecology” derives from the Greek “myrmex” meaning “ant”.

8 “The Big Bang Theory” character : 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.

9 Nest egg letters : IRA

A nest egg is an amount of money laid down as a reserve. This is the figurative use of “nest egg” that originally described an artificial egg left in a nest to encourage a hen to lay real eggs in that spot. So our financial nest egg is set aside in anticipation of continued growth, more eggs being laid.

10 Silence-breaking women’s movement : ME TOO

The use of the #MeToo hashtag initially was encouraged by actress Alyssa Milano in 2017 to draw attention to sexual assault and sexual harassment. Milano was acting in response to the growing number of allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. The use of the phrase “Me Too” in the context of sexual misconduct dates back to 2006. Social activist Tarana Burke started to use the phrase on the Myspace social network after a 13-year-old girl told her that she had been sexually assaulted. Apparently, Burke had no response at the time the girl confided in her, but later wished she had responded, “Me too”.

13 Walkman developer : SONY

Walkman is a brand of portable audio and video products manufactured by Sony. The first Walkman was introduced in 1979 and popularized the practice of carrying music around and listening through lightweight headphones.

18 One of the Jonas Brothers : NICK

The Jonas Brothers Pop rock band comprises brothers Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas. They recorded their first song in 2005, and really achieved fame a few years later due to repeated appearances on the Disney Channel. They split up in 2013, citing “creative differences”, but came back as a trio in 2019.

Nick Jonas is the youngest of the three Jonas Brothers. Like his brothers, Nick’s private life draws a lot of public attention. He dated some big stars over the years, including Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. In 2018, he married Indian actress and model Priyanka Chopra.

24 Pitch-correcting vocal effect : AUTO-TUNE

Auto-Tune is a proprietary audio process that is primarily used to alter pitch in a recorded track. One of the main uses of Auto-Tune is to correct voice tracks that are slightly off-pitch, which probably explains why even professional singers tend to sound better on a recording than they do live. More extreme levels of Auto-Tune adjustment are now quite common, creating a sound effect that distorts vocals. Such sound effects really took off with the release of Cher’s 1998 hit song “Believe”, in which you can really notice the vocal distortion.

26 Som tam cuisine : THAI

The dish usually listed as green papaya salad on menus in Thai restaurants in North America is referred to as “som tam” in Thailand. Som tam really goes for all of one’s taste buds, as it includes sour lime, hot chili, savory fish sauce and palm sugar for sweetness.

27 Just barely : A TAD

Back in the 1800s, “tad” was used to describe a young child, and this extended into our usage of “small amount” in the early 1900s. The original use of “tad” for a child is very likely a shortened version of “tadpole”.

28 The Chicks, e.g. : TRIO

The Dixie Chicks (now “the Chicks”) are a country music trio comprising sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, along with lead singer Natalie Maines. The band hit the headlines in 2003 during a London concert that took place around the time of the invasion of Iraq. Maines expressed her opposition to the war to the general acclaim of the British audience, and the general disapproval of conservatives back in the US.

29 “Jeopardy!” creator Griffin : MERV

Merv Griffin was quite the entertainer, and truly a mogul in the business. He started his career as a singer on the radio during the big band era. In the sixties he hosted his own talk show, and then famously developed such great game shows as “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”.

33 Card with one pip : ACE

A pip is a dot on a die or a domino, or a mark on a playing card.

37 Tech review site : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. c|net started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

40 Cop after dealers : NARC

“Narc” and “narco” are slang terms describing a law enforcement officer who tracks down criminals associated with illegal drugs. Both words are short for “narcotics officer”. Narcs might work for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

45 Droopy-eared hound : BASSET

The basset hound wouldn’t be my favorite breed of dog, to be honest. Basset hounds have a great sense of smell with an ability to track a scent that is second only to that of the bloodhound. The name “basset” comes from the French word for “rather low”, a reference to the dog’s short legs.

46 St. Louis landmark : ARCH

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, and is the tallest monument in the United States. It was designed by Eero Saarinen, with the help of structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel. They did their design work back in 1947, but construction wasn’t started until 1963. In 1980, a daredevil took it upon himself to parachute onto the top of the arch, intending to further jump from the apex of the arch and parachute to the ground. He hit the arch all right, and slid all the way down one of the arches to his death. No comment …

49 Very fancy : RITZY

The adjective “ritzy” meaning “high quality and luxurious” derives from the opulent Ritz hotels in New York, London, Paris, etc.

52 Bigfoot relatives : YETIS

The sasquatch or bigfoot is our North American equivalent of the yeti, the ape-like creature said to inhabit the Himalayas. Bigfoot is supposedly hiding out mainly in the Pacific Northwest of North America.

53 Cornstarch brand in yellow-and-blue containers : ARGO

Argo brand cornstarch first hit the store shelves way back in 1892.

56 Aquarium : TANK

“Aquarium” is a Latin word meaning “pertaining to water”, although in Latin the word only existed as a noun with the meaning “drinking place for cattle”. Before the use of the noun “aquarium” (plural “aquaria”) in the context of fish, a tank was sometimes referred to as a marine vivarium.

57 Works in un museo : ARTE

In Spanish, one sees works of “arte” (art) in “un museo” (a museum).

60 Sibs, ‘rents, etc. : FAM

Siblings (sibs) and parents (‘rents) are all members of the family (fam).

61 Stat in softball : RBI

Run batted in (RBI)

62 Self-care getaway : SPA

The word “spa” migrated into English from Belgium, as “Spa” is the name of a municipality in the east of the country that is famous for its healing hot springs. The name “Spa” comes from the Walloon word “espa” meaning “spring, fountain”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Thor: Ragnarok” actress Thompson : TESSA
6 Traditional dress of India : SARI
10 Apples reviewed on tech sites : MACS
14 The NCAA’s Huskies : UCONN
15 Actor Dorsey of “Queen Sugar” : OMAR
16 Sonic rebound : ECHO
17 *Mobile game with a variety of blades : FRUIT NINJA (giving “fresh fruit”)
19 “Better late __ never” : THAN
20 Surf’s partner : TURF
21 “Looking for,” in personal ads : ISO
22 Like a smokestack : SOOTY
23 *Inked designs on one’s chin and cheeks, e.g. : FACE TATTOOS (giving “fresh face”)
27 Convenience called a “cashpoint” in the U.K. : ATM
30 Luau instrument, briefly : UKE
31 Comic Margaret : CHO
32 Obedient puppy’s reward : TREAT
34 Mexican cruise port : ACAPULCO
39 *Summer cooler : AIR CONDITIONING (giving “fresh air”)
42 Fit together nicely : DOVETAIL
43 Venomous snake : VIPER
44 Big coffee vessel : URN
45 Honeybunny : BAE
47 Fr. holy title : STE
48 *Meghan Markle’s husband : PRINCE HARRY (giving “Fresh Prince”)
53 Literature Nobelist Munro : ALICE
54 PC “oops” key : ESC
55 Approx. landing hours : ETAS
59 Insurance quote : RATE
60 New beginning, and what the first words of the answers to the starred clues can literally have : FRESH START
63 Great Sphinx locale : GIZA
64 Adequately skilled : ABLE
65 Spotted horse : PINTO
66 Black gemstone : ONYX
67 Soft drizzle : MIST
68 Off-kilter : ASKEW

Down

1 Small clump : TUFT
2 Light beige : ECRU
3 Whiskey cocktail : SOUR
4 Scratch and __ : SNIFF
5 Tiny crumb carrier : ANT
6 “Evidently” : SO I SEE
7 “Are too!” response : AM NOT!
8 “The Big Bang Theory” character : RAJ
9 Nest egg letters : IRA
10 Silence-breaking women’s movement : ME TOO
11 “Bless you!” trigger : ACHOO!
12 Makes small talk : CHATS
13 Walkman developer : SONY
18 One of the Jonas Brothers : NICK
22 Drop by : STOP OVER
24 Pitch-correcting vocal effect : AUTO-TUNE
25 Pt. of 9-Down : ACCT
26 Som tam cuisine : THAI
27 Just barely : A TAD
28 The Chicks, e.g. : TRIO
29 “Jeopardy!” creator Griffin : MERV
33 Card with one pip : ACE
34 Feel rotten : AIL
35 Verse starter? : UNI-
36 ”My __ are sealed!” : LIPS
37 Tech review site : C|NET
38 Brute of folklore : OGRE
40 Cop after dealers : NARC
41 Eat in style : DINE
45 Droopy-eared hound : BASSET
46 St. Louis landmark : ARCH
48 Not fancy : PLAIN
49 Very fancy : RITZY
50 Alpine climbing tool : ICE AX
51 Dressy footwear : HEELS
52 Bigfoot relatives : YETIS
53 Cornstarch brand in yellow-and-blue containers : ARGO
56 Aquarium : TANK
57 Works in un museo : ARTE
58 Pack away : STOW
60 Sibs, ‘rents, etc. : FAM
61 Stat in softball : RBI
62 Self-care getaway : SPA

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Apr 22, Monday”

  1. 8:22 – no errors, lookups, or revisions. Cruising on a Monday.

    New items: TESSA Thompson, OMAR Dorsey, FRUITNINJA, ISO, ALICE Munro, “Som tam cuisine”.

  2. 6 mins 38 seconds, no errors. Felt bad until I saw Bill was nearly at 6 minutes. I was expecting the usual 4 minutes and change from him on a Monday.

  3. Wow!!! Norris is finally OUT of HERE (Yay!), and the first puzzle edited by the new editor has a boo-boo like ” ‘rents” (a non-existent term if ever I heard one).

    Not a good start, especially since that clue could easily have been just stated as “Fam, peeps, etc.” Well, Patti can only improve from here.

  4. Younger generation refers to parents as rents. I guess they are in such a hurry that they feel the need to shorten “parents” as they chat with their friends. Don’t you just love them?!

  5. 3:40

    I’ve seen ‘rents used, though I don’t personally know anyone who would use it in conversation. It’s as valid (or invalid) as ‘za (pizza) or ‘shrooms (mushrooms).

    I filed our taxes last night, so today I’m feeling FRESH.

    1. Agree. I think ‘rents is one of this words Hollywood thinks people in their 20s use but no one actually does. I do know what it means though.

  6. 7:41 – no cheats/errors., s

    Yes, I noticed Patti Varol immediately.

    I counted about 15-20 PPPs vs the normal 30, so maybe it’s a good thing.

    ‘rents didn’t bother me too much since is was was filled by crosses. Same thing goes for BAE, TESSA. I’m Ok with that.

    Be Well.

  7. My hiccup was that the only NCAA Huskies I know of represent the University of Washington, just 5 or 6 hours up the freeway from me. With the crosses being an unknown actress and FRUIT (seriously?), I stared at
    _C_NN for the longest time.

  8. 8:03, no errors. I thought I was dragging for a Monday but seeing Bill’s time makes me think it was just a harder than usual puzzle.
    Also: I’m not sure why people are complaining about ‘rents but not complaining about sibs…

    1. Because “sibs” is often seen in vernacular, just like “fam” or “peeps”. “Rents” is a figment of someone’s ‘too cool for school’ imagination.

  9. Nice and easy Monday; took me 9:06 with no peeks or errors. A little slow though, but I wasn’t really troubled by anything…dunno.

    I only know U Conn Huskies because when I first heard of the team I was thinking Yukon…and Huskies sure made sense there.

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