LA Times Crossword 21 Apr 22, Thursday

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Constructed by: Stella Zawistowski
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Back-to-Back Games

Themed answers each comprise two GAMES placed BACK-TO-BACK:

  • 58A Doubleheader feature, and what are literally found in 17-, 23-, and 44-Across : BACK-TO-BACK GAMES
  • 17A Mission to go after imaginary germs? : COOTIE OPERATION
  • 23A Military vessel in terrible condition? : SORRY BATTLESHIP
  • 44A Antitrust lawsuit, perhaps? : MONOPOLY TROUBLE

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

Bill’s time: 9m 23s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

9 App with Social and Promotions tabs : GMAIL

Gmail is a free webmail service provided by Google, and my favorite of the free email services. Gmail made a big splash when it was introduced because it offered a whopping 1GB of storage whereas other services offered a measly 2-4MB on average.

14 Instrument for a Swiss mountaineer : ALPENHORN

The alphorn (also “alpenhorn”) is a wooden horn that can be several meters long. Today, it is used as a musical instrument, but historically, the alphorn was used for communication.

16 “The Big Bang Theory” co-creator Chuck : LORRE

Chuck Lorre created many great sitcoms that have stood the test of time. Included in the list of his shows are “Grace Under Fire”, “Cybil”, “Dharma & Greg”, “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory”. Lorre is famous for the “vanity cards” that appear for a few seconds at the end of his shows. The cards include a message directly from Lorre, perhaps an observation on life, and maybe something quite controversial. CBS has had to censor several of Lorre’s vanity cards, but you can read the uncensored versions on his website.

17 Mission to go after imaginary germs? : COOTIE OPERATION

“Cooties” is WWI British slang for “body lice”. Ugh …

The Game of Cootie is a dice-rolling game for children. The object of the game is to build a three-dimensional “cootie”, an object resembling a bug.

The game called Operation was invented by John Spinello and was first produced in 1965 by Milton Bradley. The game is based on the old electric wire loop game where players had to guide a loop along a winding wire without touching it. Touching the wires completed a circuit causing a buzzer to go off and/or a light to come on.

21 Old French coin : ECU

The ecu is an Old French coin. When introduced in 1640, the ecu was worth three livres (an older coin, called a “pound” in English). The word “ecu” comes from the Latin “scutum” meaning “shield”. The original ecu had a coat of arms on it, a shield.

22 “I’m so mean, I make medicine sick” boxer : ALI

Boxing icon Muhammed Ali came up with some great boasts. Try this one for size:

I’ve wrestled with alligators. I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning, and throw thunder in jail. You know I’m bad. Just last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.

23 Military vessel in terrible condition? : SORRY BATTLESHIP

Sorry! is a board game that dates back at least to 1934 when it was introduced in the UK market by Waddingtons. The game itself is based on the ancient game of pachisi, and involves players racing against each other to move their playing pieces around the board as quickly as possible. Players can cause opponents to return to the start, hopefully while saying “Sorry!” in the process.

Battleship is a remarkably fun guessing game that I used to play as a child. Back then, we would play it just using pencil and paper. These days kids are more likely to play an electronic version of the game.

32 Calendar col. : TUE

The name “Tuesday” comes from an Old English word that translates as “Tiw’s Day”. In turn, “Tiw” was the Old English name for the Norse god “Týr”. Týr was the Norse god of single combat, victory and heroic glory.

33 Sporty Camaro : IROC

The IROC-Z is a model of Camaro that was introduced by Chevrolet in 1978. The IROC-Z takes its name from a famous stock car race, the International Race of Champions.

34 Huge herbivore : RHINO

There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

35 Site to find a handmade wedding dress, perhaps : ETSY

Etsy.com is an e-commerce website where you can buy and sell the kind of items that you might find at a craft fair.

37 Powerful sharks : MAKOS

The shortfin mako shark can appear on restaurant menus, and as a result the species is dying out in some parts of the world. The mako gets its own back sometimes though, as attacks on humans are not unknown. It is the fastest-swimming shark, and has been clocked at speeds of over 40 miles/hour. And the shark in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”, that’s a mako. “Mako” is the Maori word for “shark” or “shark tooth”.

39 Ventura County tourist town : OJAI

The city of Ojai, California is located just northwest of Los Angeles. One of the city’s claims to fame is that according to the TV shows “The Bionic Woman” and “The Six Million Dollar Man”, Jaime Sommers and Steve Austin grew up in Ojai and were childhood sweethearts!

40 Parting word : ADIOS

The term “adiós” is Spanish for “goodbye”. “Adiós” comes from the phrase “a Dios vos acomiendo” meaning “I commend you to God”.

43 __ Toy Barn: “Toy Story 2” shop : AL’S

“Toy Story 2” is a Pixar feature film that was released in 1999. The film was an even bigger hit than the original “Toy Story”, and grossed just under $500 million.

44 Antitrust lawsuit, perhaps? : MONOPOLY TROUBLE

The commercial game of Monopoly is supposedly a remake of “The Landlord’s Game” created in 1903 by a Quaker woman named Lizzie Phillips. Phillips used her game as a tool to explain the single tax theory of American economist Henry George. The Landlord’s Game was first produced commercially in 1924. The incredibly successful derivative game called Monopoly was introduced in 1933 by Charles Darrow, who became a very rich man when Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game just two years later in 1935.

The board game Trouble was introduced in the US in 1965, and is very similar to the competing game Sorry! that was already on the market. Both games are in turn based on the ancient game of Pachisi. The big selling feature of Trouble was the Pop-O-Matic dice container in the center of the board. I remember it well …

49 Abbr. on a pill bottle : USP

A pharmacopoeia is a reference book describing medicinal compounds and their use. The term “pharmacopoeia” often applies to such a book published by a government agency or pharmaceutical society. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) is published annually by the nonprofit United States Pharmacopeial Convention, and sets quality standards for drugs made available for both human and animal consumption. Prescribed drugs must meet those standards, and be marked with the designation “USP”.

50 Crowning point : ZENITH

The nadir is the direction pointing immediately below a particular location (through to the other side of the Earth for example). The opposite direction, that pointing immediately above, is called the zenith. We use the terms “nadir” and “zenith” figuratively to mean the low and high points in a person’s fortunes.

62 Feature of many a TV show summary : SCREENCAP

A screenshot (also “screen capture, screen grab”) is an image that shows the contents of a computer screen or perhap a still from a TV show.

63 Aptly named novelist Charles : READE

Charles Reade was an English author who came to public attention with a two-act comedy play called “Masks and Faces”. Reade turned the play into a prose story in 1852 that he called “Peg Woffington”. Reade also wrote a historical novel called “The Cloister and the Hearth” about a married man who becomes a Dominican friar on hearing that his wife has died. Years later he discovers that his wife is in fact still living and a struggle develops between the man’s obligation to family and his obligation to the Roman Catholic Church.

65 “Madam Secretary” actor Tim : DALY

Actor Tim Daly played the husband of Secretary of State Ellizabeth McCord (played by Téa Leoni) on the political drama TV show “Madam Secretary”. The onscreen couple started dating in real life in 2014.

Down

2 Part of a sunburn treatment, often : ALOE

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in relatively dry climates. The plant’s leaves are full of biologically-active compounds that have been studied extensively. Aloe vera has been used for centuries in herbal medicine, mainly for topical treatment of wounds.

3 Deprivatization events, for short : IPOS

An initial public offering (IPO) is the very first offer of stock for sale by a company on the open market. In other words, an IPO marks the first time that a company is traded on a public exchange. Companies have an IPO to raise capital to expand (usually).

4 Alphabet soup bite : LETTER

Believe it or not, alphabet pasta (pasta shaped like letters of the alphabet) has been around since the 1870s. Campbell’s introduced its Alphabet Soup brand in the 1950s.

5 Guardians of the Tree of Life : CHERUBIM

A cherub (plural “cherubim”) is an angel. The term “cherub” ultimately comes from the Hebrew “kerubh” (plural “kerubhim”) meaning “winged angel”. In the Jewish tradition, cherubim play a key role in protecting the Garden of Eden, and in particular the Tree of Life.

6 “Gigi” playwright Anita : LOOS

Anita Loos was an American screenwriter and author who was most famous for her novel “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” that was first published in 1925. “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was originally published as a series of short stories in “Harper’s Bazaar”. The heroine of the story was Lorelei Lee, a “flapper” who was less interested in marriage than she was in collecting expensive gifts from her many gentleman admirers. Loos also adapted Colette’s novel “Gigl” for the Broadway stage in 1951.

The best known work of French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette is “Gigi”, the source material for the wonderful film starring Leslie Caron in the title role. The novel that brought Colette celebrity was published in 1920, called “Cheri”. “Gigi” followed much later, in 1944. “Cheri” was adapted into a screen version starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Colette led a very colorful life. She had three marriages, an affair with her stepson, and many affairs with other women.

7 Dada pioneer Jean : ARP

Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …

Dadaism thrived during and just after WWI, and was an anti-war, anti-bourgeois and anti-art culture. The movement was launched in Zurich, Switzerland by a group of artists and writers who met to discuss art and put on performances in the Cabaret Voltaire. The same group frequently expressed disgust at the war that was raging across Europe.

9 Montana’s __ National Park : GLACIER

Beautiful Glacier National Park has been a park since 1910, and covers over one million acres of Montana.

10 Sunbeam speck : MOTE

A mote is a tiny particle, often a speck of dust.

11 Number for soprano Pretty Yende : ARIA

Pretty Yende is an operatic soprano from South Africa. She has been performing professionally since 2009, and says that she was inspired to take up opera as a teenager after seeing a famous British Airways ad featuring the Flower Duet from the opera “Lakmé” by Léo Delibes.

12 Hemoglobin mineral : IRON

Red blood cells are also known as erythrocytes, and are responsible for delivering oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues. Iron-rich hemoglobin in the cell binds the oxygen molecules, and is also responsible for the red color. While some waste carbon dioxide (CO2) is carried back to the lungs by red blood cells, most of the CO2 is transported back to the lungs as bicarbonate ions dissolved in the blood plasma.

Heme (also “haem”) is an organic structure containing iron, and is a component of hemoglobin, the protein that transports primarily oxygen around the body. It is the “heme” in “hemoglobin” that binds the oxygen atoms. A plant-derived version of heme is the magic ingredient in the famous Impossible Burger that has become so popular on vegetarian menus.

13 Optometrist’s concern : LENS

Starting in the mid-1700s, a device known as an optometer was used for measuring prescriptions for eyeglasses. Over time, a professional using an optometer came to be known as an optometrist.

15 Nash of “When They See Us” : NIECY

Niecy Nash is a comedian and actress who played Deputy Raineesha Williams in the comedy show “Reno 911!” Nash is one of the celebrities to have participated in the reality competition “Dancing with the Stars”, taking fifth place in the tenth season.

“When They See Us” is a miniseries created by Ava DuVernay and first aired in 2019. It is a crime drama based on events surrounding the Central Park jogger case from 1989. The show explores the lives of the Central Park Five, the five Black males who were falsely accused and prosecuted on charges related to the rape of a White woman.

18 Hand __: sushi order : ROLL

Temaki is a sushi dish comprising a cone made from nori (edible seaweed) filled with rice and sushi. The term “temaki” translates as “hand roll”.

23 Cook, as bao buns : STEAM

A baozi (also “bou, bao”) is a steamed, filled bun in Chinese cuisine.

25 Piney ooze : RESIN

Resinous trees have evolved the ability to secrete resins in response to an injury. The resin serves as a barrier, protecting the tree from insects and pathogens that might otherwise exploit the site of the injury.

27 Hungarian wine : TOKAY

“Tokay” is the English version of what are more correctly called Tokaji wines, those from the Tokaj-Hegyalja region of Hungary and southeastern Slovakia. Most Tokaji wines are relatively sweet.

28 “The Chi” airer, briefly : SHO

“The Chi” is a TV drama set on the South Side of Chicago. It was created by screenwriter Lena Waithe, who grew up in the area depicted in the show.

29 Traditional religious garment : HIJAB

Some Muslim women wear a hijab in the presence of males outside of their immediate family. A hijab is a veil covering the head and chest. Some also wear a niqab as part of the hijab, which is a cloth that covers the face. Other Muslim women wear a burqa, which covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground.

36 Fashion designer Jenny : YOO

Jenny Yoo is a fashion designer based in New York City. She is noted in particular for her designs of dresses for brides and bridesmaids.

45 Tres y cinco : OCHO

In Spanish, “tres y cinco” (three plus five) is “ocho” (eight).

46 “August: __ County” : OSAGE

“August: Osage County” is a dark comedy play by Tracy Letts that won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. I saw the 2013 movie adaptation that has a great cast including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, and Benedict Cumberbatch. I really enjoyed it …

50 Energy snack brand for kids : ZBAR

Zbar is a whole grain energy snack made by Clif Bar and Company as part of the Clif Kid line of products.

A CLIF Bar is an energy bar, and is the flagship product of Clif Bar and Company based in Emeryville, California. The CLIF Bar was developed by baker and former mountain guide Gary Erickson in 1990. He named it for his father Clifford.

52 Frozen Four org. : NCAA

The semi-finals and finals of the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship tournaments are collectively referred to as the “Frozen Four”. This term is a play on “Final Four”, which is the name given to the final round of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship tournament.

54 Hobby farm measure : ACRE

A hobby farm is a relatively small farm that is maintained and worked, but not as the owner’s main source of income.

55 Where it’s fun to stay, per the Village People : YMCA

“YMCA” was released in 1978 by Village People and has been adopted as an anthem by the gay community. The song was written by Victor Willis, a straight member of the mostly gay band, and he clarifies that the lyrics are extolling the virtues of the “YMCA” as a source of recreation for black urban youth. I think he might have been winking when he said that …

Village People is a disco group formed in New York City in 1977. From day one, the band’s act and music was aimed at the gay community. The name refers to New York’s Greenwich Village, which at the time had a large gay population. The group’s members dressed up as characters associated with stereotypical gay culture, including a cop, Native American, GI, construction worker and cowboy. The biggest hits for Village People are “Y.M.C.A.” and “In the Navy”.

56 Evangelist’s quality : ZEAL

In the Christian tradition, an Evangelist is one of the writers of the four gospels: Mathew, Mark, Luke or John. Also in the Christian tradition, an evangelist is someone who spreads the gospel. More generally, an evangelist is an enthusiastic advocate of any cause.

57 2021 award for Naomi Osaka : ESPY

The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes.

Naomi Osaka is a Japanese-born tennis professional who became the first Asian player to be ranked number-one in singles. She was also the first ever tennis player to light the Olympic cauldron during an opening ceremony, doing so for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

59 Degrees for EEs : BSS

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Electrical engineer (EE)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Epic __ : FAIL
5 Family unit : CLAN
9 App with Social and Promotions tabs : GMAIL
14 Instrument for a Swiss mountaineer : ALPENHORN
16 “The Big Bang Theory” co-creator Chuck : LORRE
17 Mission to go after imaginary germs? : COOTIE OPERATION
19 Perfume samples : TESTERS
20 Loads : OCEANS
21 Old French coin : ECU
22 “I’m so mean, I make medicine sick” boxer : ALI
23 Military vessel in terrible condition? : SORRY BATTLESHIP
32 Calendar col. : TUE
33 Sporty Camaro : IROC
34 Huge herbivore : RHINO
35 Site to find a handmade wedding dress, perhaps : ETSY
37 Powerful sharks : MAKOS
39 Ventura County tourist town : OJAI
40 Parting word : ADIOS
42 Epic party : BASH
43 __ Toy Barn: “Toy Story 2” shop : AL’S
44 Antitrust lawsuit, perhaps? : MONOPOLY TROUBLE
48 Hard water? : ICE
49 Abbr. on a pill bottle : USP
50 Crowning point : ZENITH
54 Break down : ANALYZE
58 Doubleheader feature, and what are literally found in 17-, 23-, and 44-Across : BACK-TO-BACK GAMES
61 Benefit : AVAIL
62 Feature of many a TV show summary : SCREENCAP
63 Aptly named novelist Charles : READE
64 “I feel __”: “It’s like you know me!” : SEEN
65 “Madam Secretary” actor Tim : DALY

Down

1 No mere opinion : FACT
2 Part of a sunburn treatment, often : ALOE
3 Deprivatization events, for short : IPOS
4 Alphabet soup bite : LETTER
5 Guardians of the Tree of Life : CHERUBIM
6 “Gigi” playwright Anita : LOOS
7 Dada pioneer Jean : ARP
8 22.5 deg. : NNE
9 Montana’s __ National Park : GLACIER
10 Sunbeam speck : MOTE
11 Number for soprano Pretty Yende : ARIA
12 Hemoglobin mineral : IRON
13 Optometrist’s concern : LENS
15 Nash of “When They See Us” : NIECY
18 Hand __: sushi order : ROLL
22 With no overhead added : AT COST
23 Cook, as bao buns : STEAM
24 One-up : OUTDO
25 Piney ooze : RESIN
26 Good for farming : ARABLE
27 Hungarian wine : TOKAY
28 “The Chi” airer, briefly : SHO
29 Traditional religious garment : HIJAB
30 As a whole : IN ALL
31 Composure : POISE
36 Fashion designer Jenny : YOO
38 No longer large : SHRUNKEN
41 Angry speaker’s droplet : SPITTLE
45 Tres y cinco : OCHO
46 “August: __ County” : OSAGE
47 Plateau : UPLAND
50 Energy snack brand for kids : ZBAR
51 Nesting site : EAVE
52 Frozen Four org. : NCAA
53 “Joke, joke” : I KID
54 Hobby farm measure : ACRE
55 Where it’s fun to stay, per the Village People : YMCA
56 Evangelist’s quality : ZEAL
57 2021 award for Naomi Osaka : ESPY
59 Degrees for EEs : BSS
60 Unreturned serve : ACE

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 21 Apr 22, Thursday”

  1. Well we’ll. Wasn’t this fun. There is just a whole new vibe here.
    Got hit with a couple of “didn’t know that” words. Got the theme okay. But never heard of the game COOTIE?

    15D got me. Thought 14A was ALPESHORN as opposed to ALPENHORN so I guessed 15D as SIENY. which meant I either forgot or didn’t know 21A was ECA.
    Then I messed up 39A and 29D. I either forgot or didn’t remember 29D was a HIJAB and not a HIBAB. So 39A was a guess at OBAI. wrong guess both times.

    Spent a long time In SE corner but I got it right. Never heard of a “SCREEN CAP”? and the phrase “I feel SEEN”?

  2. This seemed like an unusually difficult Thursday level grid to me. I finished without final error but an ocean of ink overs. If this was Thursday level then I don’t have high hopes for tomorrow or Saturday being solvable. We shall see…

  3. 14:24 – no errors or lookups. One revision: ADIEU>ADIOS.

    Partial fill-ins as I worked through the Acrosses. Got to 58A and saw that answer, which greatly helped with the 3 long themed answers, which helped fill in around them!

    New items: LOOS, ECU, TOKAY, USP, ZBAR. Yes to screen shot or screen grab; but screen cap? Meh.

    Welcome to Glenda!

  4. Puzzle of the year! Clever, accurate clues — but not as clever as that forehead-slapping theme! A mere sprinkle of People, Places, Products and other proper names. Loved it! More like this, please.*

    * 53D, 53D

  5. No look ups,1 error. 15D got me as well. Was
    having a rough go until I got 58A then
    things opened up nicely! Liked the theme
    and was looking for “Clue”. Woulda been a
    natural 😂

    “Glenda” sounds like a nom de plume…

  6. 18:22 – more than a few peeks, but happy (for me ) for a Thursday.

    Go the theme early from BACKTOBABGAMES and, for once, it really helped.

    A lot “new” stuff but got most of the crosses.

    I really enjoyed this puzzle.

    @Joe Bleaux – yeah, very few PPPs!

    It’s often said you don’t “need” to know trivia to do crosswords, but boy, it sure helps your times. I found my best times were when I either knew the trivia or there wasn’t that much of it.

    Be Well.

  7. This entire grid was an impenetrable natick. 10:40 and only half done, with no hope of any further progress. Might as well have been in cyrillic.

  8. No errors; two lookups “niecy” and Ojai. I had to let this one sit
    for awhile and when I went back to it, everything seemed to come
    together. But I agree….”I feel seen” seems far out.

  9. Nice, fun, enjoyable Thursday; took me 25:54 with 1 dumb error: ADIeS where I changed the S but forgot about the e/O. Didn’t know NIECY, YOO, TOKAY, ZBAR or OSAGE, but managed nicely with crosses.

    Enjoyed the WSJ today as well, and got a better time 24:34 there.

    I highly recommend listening to the Flower Duet from the opera “Lakmé” whether by Pretty Yende & Sibongile Khumalo or Anna Netrebko & Elina Garanca.

    I also want to put in a good word for the YMCA; as a pre-teen/early teen I spent many, many weekends there learning to become an expert swimmer, a white belt in Judo, learned basic woodworking and watched many Flash Gordon/Three Stooges/various oater movies.

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