LA Times Crossword 19 Apr 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Billy Ouska
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: X-Men

Themed answers each end with the name of an X-Man:

  • 67A Marvel Comics mutants, four of whom can be found at the ends of the answers to the starred clues : X-MEN
  • 17A *Extremely hostile situation : BELLY OF THE BEAST
  • 33A *Toyota RAV4 alternative : NISSAN ROGUE
  • 42A *Offensive in the First Gulf War : DESERT STORM
  • 59A *Netflix series about a chess prodigy : THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

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

Bill’s time: 5m 32s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Mark that may be covered by a tattoo : SCAR

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”.

5 Craigslist caveat : AS IS

Craigslist (usually written as “craigslist”) is an online network of communities that features classified advertisements organized geographically. Craigslist was started by Craig Newmark in 1995, originally as an email distribution list for his friends who lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A caveat is a warning or a qualification. “Caveat” is the Latin for “let him beware”.

9 Andalusian poet García __ : LORCA

García Lorca was a Spanish poet and dramatist. He is as famous for his poems and his plays as he is for the circumstances of his death. Although it has never been irrefutably proven, many believe that Lorca was shot and killed while in the custody of Nationalist militia, one month after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.

Andalusia (“Andalucía” in Spanish) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities in the Kingdom of Spain, and is the most southerly. The capital of Andalusia is the old city of Seville. The name Andalusia comes from its Arabic name, Al-Andalus, reflecting the region’s history as the center of Muslim power in Iberia during medieval times.

14 Folk singer Guthrie : ARLO

Singer Arlo Guthrie is known for his protest songs, just like his father Woody Guthrie. The younger Guthrie only ever had one song in the top 40: a cover version of “City of New Orleans”. He has lived for years in the town of Washington, just outside Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His 1976 song “Massachusetts” has been the official folk song of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1981.

15 “The Flintstones” pet : DINO

In the Hanna-Barbera cartoon “The Flintstones”, Dino the pet dinosaur was voiced by the famous Mel Blanc, until Blanc passed away in 1989.

16 Retired NBA great Shaquille : O’NEAL

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality shows: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

17 *Extremely hostile situation : BELLY OF THE BEAST

Beast is a founding member of the Marvel Comics team of mutants known as the “X-Men”. He is a big brute, strong with oversized hands and feet. He is also an expert in biochemistry and genetics and serves as the X-Men’s doctor.

20 “Farewell” : ADIEU

“Adieu” is French for “goodbye, farewell”, from “à Dieu” meaning “to God”. The plural of “adieu” is “adieux”.

21 Pixar character : TOON

Pixar Animation Studios started out as part of Lucasfilm in 1979, George Lucas’s production company. Lucas sold what was to become Pixar to Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 1986. Pixar produced its first feature film in 1995, the fabulous “Toy Story”, and followed up with a string of hits. The company was then sold to Walt Disney in 2006, when valued at $7.4 billion. That transaction resulted in Steve Jobs becoming the biggest shareholder in Walt Disney.

23 __ sequitur : NON

We use the Latin term “non sequitur” to describe an illogical statement, usually irrelevant to what has immediately preceded. The literal translation of “non sequitur” is “it does not follow”.

24 Loops in, in a way : CCS

I wonder if the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle? A kind blog reader pointed out to me a while back that the abbreviation has evolved and taken on the meaning “courtesy copy” in our modern world.

26 2019 N.L. MVP Bellinger : CODY

Cody Bellinger is a Major League Baseball player, and the son of Clay Bellinger, who also played in the Majors. Cody was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 2017.

28 Blackjack card : ACE

In the card game blackjack, an ace has the point value of one or eleven. When one of the two cards dealt to a player is an ace, the hand is called “soft”. This means that the player cannot go bust by taking another card, as the ace can be revalued at “one” if necessary in order to stay under 21.

33 *Toyota RAV4 alternative : NISSAN ROGUE

The Rogue is a compact SUV that Nissan introduced in the 2008 model year. Outside of North America, the same vehicle is sold as the X-Trail.

Rogue is a superhuman mutant in the Marvel Comics universe. She was introduced as a supervillain in 1981, but eventually abandoned her evil ways and joined the X-Men team of superheroes.

39 Wyoming’s Grand __ National Park : TETON

Grand Teton National Park (NP) is located just south of Yellowstone NP, and a must-see if you are visiting the latter. The park is named after the tallest peak in the magnificent Teton Range known as Grand Teton. The origins of the name “Teton” is not very clear, although one story is that it was named by French trappers, as the word “tetons” in French is a slang term meaning “breasts”.

40 Miracle Mets outfielder Tommie : AGEE

Tommie Agee was a Major League Baseball player who played mainly with the Indians, White Sox and Mets. He was one of the “Amazin’ Mets”, and was famous for making two phenomenal catches in game three of the 1969 world series, potentially saving five runs. Agee was also the first Mets outfielder to win a Gold Glove, doing so in 1970.

42 *Offensive in the First Gulf War : DESERT STORM

Many of us tend to use “Operation Desert Storm” as the overall name for the conflict more correctly called the Persian Gulf War. Operation Desert Storm was in fact just the air and land battle that took place between January 17th and April 11th 1991. The buildup of forces was called Operation Desert Shield, and the withdrawal of forces after the liberation of Kuwait was known as Operation Desert Farewell.

Storm is a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe whose superpower is the ability to control the weather. Storm was played by Halle Berry in the “X-Men” series of movies.

44 Sporadically : IN SPURTS

An event described as sporadic occurs in irregular instances. The term “sporadic” comes from the Greek “sporas” meaning “scattered, dispersed”. “Sporas” comes from “spora” meaning “a sowing”, and so our word “sporadic” is etymologically related to our word “spore”. Quite interesting …

46 French summer : ETE

In French, “printemps: (spring) is followed by “été” (summer).

47 “The Time Machine” race : ELOI

In the 1895 novella by H. G. Wells called “The Time Machine”, there are two races that the hero encounters in his travels into the future. The Eloi are the “beautiful people” who live on the planet’s surface. The Morlocks are a domineering race living underground who use the Eloi as food.

48 “Dude!” : BRO!

Our term “dude” arose as slang in New York City in the 1880s, when it was used to describe a fastidious man. In the early 1900s, the term was extended to mean “city slickers”, easterners who vacationed in the West. The first use of the term “dude ranch” was recorded in 1921.

49 Comm. for the hearing-impaired : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

52 Toni Morrison title character : SULA

“Sula” is a 1973 novel by Toni Morrison. The title character is a young woman who returns to her hometown in Ohio. Sula’s return disrupts the community as she defies social norms.

54 Cardamom-infused tea : CHAI

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

The spice known as cardamom comes from the seeds of several plants that are native to India. Those plants were introduced to Guatemala in the early 20th century, and now Guatemala produces and exports more cardamom than any other country in the world, even India. Cardamom is the third-priciest spice on the market today by weight, after vanilla and saffron.

57 Winnie-the-Pooh’s creator : MILNE

Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne was an English author who is best known for his delightful “Winnie-the-Pooh” series of books. He had only one son, Christopher Robin Milne, born in 1920. The young Milne was the inspiration for the Christopher Robin character in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Winnie-the-Pooh was named after Christopher Robin’s real teddy bear, one he called Winnie, who in turn was named after a Canadian black bear called Winnie that the Milnes would visit in London Zoo. The original Winnie teddy bear is on display at the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York.

59 *Netflix series about a chess prodigy : THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a wonderful 2020 miniseries based on a 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Anya Taylor-Joy plays a young chess prodigy who has a tough upbringing in an orphanage, and who then struggles with alcohol and drug dependency. The series was so popular with viewers that it sparked a renewed interest in the game of chess, with sales of chess sets and chess books increasing dramatically.

Gambit is a superhuman mutant in the Marvel Comics universe. He was introduced as a “baddy” in 1990, as part of the thieves’ guild. In time, he joined the X-Men team of superheroes.

64 Automaker with a four-ring logo : AUDI

The predecessor to today’s Audi company was called Auto Union. Auto Union was formed with the merger of four individual entities: Audi, Horch, DKW and Wanderer. The Audi logo comprises four intersecting rings, each representing one of the four companies that merged.

65 Walk casually : MOSEY

“Mosey” is American slang for “amble”, and is of unknown origin.

66 Microscope part : LENS

The ocular lens is the eyepiece of many optical devices, e.g. telescopes and microscopes. In those same devices, light from the observed object is gathered by the objective lens.

67 Marvel Comics mutants, four of whom can be found at the ends of the answers to the starred clues : X-MEN

The X-Men are a team of superheroes created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics. Nowadays, the X-Men are perhaps best known as the subject of a series of movies, with Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine and Patrick Stewart playing Professor Xavier (or simply “Professor X”). Some very respected actors have also played the villains whom the X-Men have to battle. For example, the enemy called Magneto is portrayed by veteran Shakespearean actor Sir Ian McKellen.

Down

1 Alabama head football coach Nick : SABAN

Nick Saban is a former NFL coach with the Miami Dolphins, and head football coach at the University of Alabama starting in 2007.

2 Belief system : CREDO

A creed or credo is a profession of faith, or a system of belief or principles. “Credo” is Latin for “I believe”.

8 NYC nabe : SOHO

The Manhattan neighborhood known today as SoHo was very fashionable in the early 1900s, but as the well-heeled started to move uptown the area became very run down and poorly maintained. Noted for the number of fires that erupted in derelict buildings, SoHo earned the nickname “Hell’s Hundred Acres”. The area was then zoned for manufacturing and became home to many sweatshops. In the mid-1900s artists started to move into open loft spaces and renovating old buildings as the lofts were ideal locations in which an artist could both live and work. In 1968, artists and others organized themselves so that they could legalize their residential use of an area zoned for manufacturing. The group they formed took its name from the name given to the area by the city’s Planning Commission i.e “South of Houston”. This was shortened from So-uth of Ho-uston to SoHo as in “SoHo Artists Association”, and the name stuck.

“Nabe” is a familiar term used to describe a neighborhood, or a local movie theater.

10 New York lake near Utica : ONEIDA

Oneida Lake is the largest lake lying entirely within the state of New York. Oneida is situated close to New York’s Finger Lakes, but it isn’t one of them. Having said that, some regard Oneida Lake as the “thumb” that goes along with the “fingers”.

Utica in New York is known as “Second Chance City” these days, due to the recent influx of refugees from war-torn parts of the world and from Bosnia in particular. These immigrants have helped revitalize the area and reverse a trend of population loss.

13 Utah ski resort : ALTA

Alta ski resort actually lies within the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. The first ski lift in the resort was opened way back in 1939. Today, Alta is one of only three ski resorts in the country that prohibits snowboarding (along with Deer Valley, Utah and Mad River Glen, Vermont. The ski resort of Snowbird, located next to Alta, has been in operation since 1971.

18 New Mexico’s state flower : YUCCA

Yuccas are a genus of shrubs and trees that live in hot and dry areas of North and South America. One of the more famous species of Yucca is the Joshua tree. Yuccas has a unique pollination system, with moths transferring pollen from plant to plant. New Mexico adopted the yucca as its state flower in 1927. By the way, the yucca is in the asparagus family.

25 Hockey face-off spot : CENTER ICE

A face-off is a technique used to start or restart play in a number of sports, e.g. hockey. The idea is that one player from each team faces the other and the ball or puck is dropped between them so that they can contest for possession.

27 The Grand __ Opry : OLE

The Grand Ole Opry started out as a radio show in 1925 originally called the WSM “Barn Dance”. In 1927, the “Barn Dance” radio show was broadcast in a slot after an NBC production called “Musical Appreciation Hour”, a collection of classical works including Grand Opera. In a December show, the host of “Barn Dance” announced, “For the past hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from Grand Opera. From now on we will present the ‘Grand Ole Opry'”. That name was used for the radio show from then on.

28 Donkey : ASS

A female donkey/ass is known as a jenny and a male is known as a jack, or sometimes “jackass”. We started using the term “jackass” to mean “fool” in the 1820s.

29 Casts a ballot : VOTES

Today, a ballot is a piece of paper or equivalent used to cast a vote. Back in the 1500s, a “ballot” was a small “ball” used in the process of voting.

30 Composer Stravinsky : IGOR

Composer Igor Stravinsky’s most famous works were completed relatively early in his career, when he was quite young. His three ballets “The Firebird”, “Petrushka” and “The Rite of Spring” were published in 1910-1913, when Stravinsky was in his early thirties.

31 Vase-shaped jug : EWER

A pitcher is a container for liquid that has a handle, mouth and spout. The term “jug” is used for the same container in other English-speaking countries. “Ewer” is an older term describing a pitcher/jug. Today, a ewer is a highly decorative pitcher, often with a base and flared spout.

33 Seaweed for sushi : NORI

Nori is an edible seaweed that we used to know as “laver” when we were living in Wales. Nori is usually dried into thin sheets. Here in the US, we are most familiar with nori as the seaweed used as a wrap for sushi.

34 Tehran’s country : IRAN

Tehran is the capital of Iran and is the largest city in the Middle East, with a population of about 8.5 million. Iran has been around a really long time and Tehran is actually the country’s 31st national capital.

42 She & Him, e.g. : DUO

She & Him is a musical duo comprising guitarist M. Ward and vocalist Zooey Deschanel, the noted actress. Ward and Deschanel met on the film set for “The Go-Getter” in 2007, and got together to sing over the film’s end credits.

43 Leaf pore : STOMA

Stomata (the usual plural of “stoma”, and not “stomas”) are pores found under almost every leaf, clearly visible under a simple microscope. The stomata take in air rich in carbon dioxide. Through the process of photosynthesis, the plants generate oxygen, which is released back into the air though the same stomata.

48 Badlands bovine : BISON

There are two species of bison left (four species are extinct). We are most familiar with the American bison (commonly called the American buffalo), but there is also a European bison, which is sometimes called a “wisent”.

Badlands may be “bad lands” for agriculture (hence the name), but they can be beautiful. A badlands is an extensive area from which the topsoil has been eroded by wind and water, leaving exposed rock and very little vegetation. One of the most beautiful badlands in the US is preserved for the nation as South Dakota’s Badlands National Park.

58 Big name in theaters? : 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.

60 Driver’s turn, for short : UEY

Hang a “uey” or “uie”, make a u-turn, make a 180.

61 Driver’s aid, for short : GPS

A global positioning system (GPS) is known as a satellite navigation system (Sat Nav) in Britain and Ireland.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Mark that may be covered by a tattoo : SCAR
5 Craigslist caveat : AS IS
9 Andalusian poet García __ : LORCA
14 Folk singer Guthrie : ARLO
15 “The Flintstones” pet : DINO
16 Retired NBA great Shaquille : O’NEAL
17 *Extremely hostile situation : BELLY OF THE BEAST
20 “Farewell” : ADIEU
21 Pixar character : TOON
22 Notion : IDEA
23 __ sequitur : NON
24 Loops in, in a way : CCS
26 2019 N.L. MVP Bellinger : CODY
28 Blackjack card : ACE
29 Broke, as a law : VIOLATED
33 *Toyota RAV4 alternative : NISSAN ROGUE
37 Have bills to pay : OWE
38 Mine extractions : ORES
39 Wyoming’s Grand __ National Park : TETON
40 Miracle Mets outfielder Tommie : AGEE
41 Legged it : RAN
42 *Offensive in the First Gulf War : DESERT STORM
44 Sporadically : IN SPURTS
46 French summer : ETE
47 “The Time Machine” race : ELOI
48 “Dude!” : BRO!
49 Comm. for the hearing-impaired : ASL
52 Toni Morrison title character : SULA
54 Cardamom-infused tea : CHAI
57 Winnie-the-Pooh’s creator : MILNE
59 *Netflix series about a chess prodigy : THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
62 Come after : ENSUE
63 Perched upon : ATOP
64 Automaker with a four-ring logo : AUDI
65 Walk casually : MOSEY
66 Microscope part : LENS
67 Marvel Comics mutants, four of whom can be found at the ends of the answers to the starred clues : X-MEN

Down

1 Alabama head football coach Nick : SABAN
2 Belief system : CREDO
3 Bold poker play : ALL IN
4 Function : ROLE
5 Hubbub : ADO
6 Uses a sieve : SIFTS
7 Gaga over : INTO
8 NYC nabe : SOHO
9 Soft toss : LOB
10 New York lake near Utica : ONEIDA
11 “Shall we head out?” : READY TO GO?
12 12 bottles of wine : CASE
13 Utah ski resort : ALTA
18 New Mexico’s state flower : YUCCA
19 Meet : ENCOUNTER
25 Hockey face-off spot : CENTER ICE
27 The Grand __ Opry : OLE
28 Donkey : ASS
29 Casts a ballot : VOTES
30 Composer Stravinsky : IGOR
31 Vase-shaped jug : EWER
32 Consider to be : DEEM
33 Seaweed for sushi : NORI
34 Tehran’s country : IRAN
35 Foolish : SENSELESS
36 “I __ my case” : REST
40 Had for dinner : ATE
42 She & Him, e.g. : DUO
43 Leaf pore : STOMA
45 Memorial tablet : PLAQUE
48 Badlands bovine : BISON
49 Scrapbook : ALBUM
50 Slyly cutting, as a remark : SNIDE
51 Open the door for : LET IN
52 Wineglass part : STEM
53 “Hmm … I doubt that” : UH … NO
55 Recover : HEAL
56 Start the poker pot : ANTE
58 Big name in theaters? : IMAX
60 Driver’s turn, for short : UEY
61 Driver’s aid, for short : GPS

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 19 Apr 22, Tuesday”

  1. Well, no errors but it looks like the bar for a tuesday has been moved.
    Several “never heard of” words.

    Don’t know a lot about Xmen characters let alone one named “Gambit”.

  2. Nabe for neighborhood is not a familiar term to me — in fact, this is the first time I’ve ever seen it.

  3. No errors; two lookups: i.e. Saban and Lorca. There were some
    unfamiliar terms, but they came with the cross letters. Enjoyed
    the puzzle.

  4. 4:06

    As I filled in the rows, I wondered what the theme was. Then I got to XMEN, and the penny dropped. The original X-Men team may have been created by Stan Lee, but credit for their enduring popularity goes to the comics written from 1975 to 1991 by Chris Claremont. I enjoyed some of the early years, but then life got busy, and now it just seems like too much saga to catch up on.

    STOMA is a cool word.

    UEY is quite the spelling.

    1. Uey is simply “convenient”. I’ll bet it comes from Merriam-Webster, the usual source for lenient “alternative” spellings of words that no one uses.

  5. 8:41 – no errors or lookups. One revision: UIE>UEY. I would never think of the “UEY” spelling for that term.

    New names: LORCA, CODY, SULA.

    Piling on to yesterday’s comments, there does seem to be a lot of new shortening of words these days: ‘rents, sibs, bro, peeps (people), vacay[tion], fash[ion], nabe (new one to me). But, that’s the evolution of our language. I’m sure that most people use, or have heard of, things like limo[usine], med[ication]s, legit[imate], prep[aration], rep[resentative], max[imum], rehab[ilitation], ad[vertisement], admin[istrator], etc. Word shortening that’s awkward-sounding or not useful will fade away.

  6. 6 mins 18 sec, no errors.

    But, come ON with the editing. Nobody refers to a neighborhood as a “nabe”. Quarter. District. Area. Even the fully spelt “neighborhood” would do. Stop trying (and failing) to sound “hep” and “cool”.

  7. No Googles, no errors. Many guesses.
    The Bosnians are now 10% of our city (Utica). They came educated and the tallest immigrants since the Irish. They’re great at rehabbing old houses, and Bosnify is my word for their stucco treatment. They turned an old church into a mosque next to city hall, but I consider them “lite” Muslims: no veils. At that time,we also received Burmese, who are great gardeners, and Somalians. In the last century came the Polish, Southern Italians and Christian Arabs. We look forward to the Ukrainians.

  8. Easier than yesterday for me; took 8:27 with no peeks or errors. Since I don’t really know anything about the X Men, the theme didn’t register with me.

    Curiously, I was stopped at a light today, after picking up my first honey super of the year, and noticed an suv on the right in front of me…it was a “Rogue”, although I didn’t know it was a Nissan. 🙂

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