LA Times Crossword 23 Apr 22, Saturday

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Constructed by: Robyn Weintraub
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 9m 00s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Cutting-edge name? : ATRA

Fortunately for crossword constructors, the Atra was introduced by Gillette in 1977, as the first razor with a pivoting head. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.

5 Scenery in Road Runner cartoons : MESAS

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; it’s definitely one of the best …

18 Revolution : GYRE

Every Irish school child has to read “The Second Coming” by W. B. Yeats. And when it comes to interpreting and understanding it, as kids we were in trouble right from the first line:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Because of this poem, I reckon more Irish kids know what a “gyre” is than kids from any other nation! A gyre is basically a vortex …

20 Class stat : GPA

Grade point average (GPA)

26 Bon __ : MOT

“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean “quip, witticism”.

34 Aegean capital : ATHENS

Athens is the capital city of Greece and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with a history that goes back around 3,400 years. In its heyday, Classical Athens was a remarkable center for the arts and philosophical debate, and was home to Plato and Aristotle. Athens is often called “the cradle of Western civilization” and “the birthplace of democracy”. The city was named for the Greek goddess Athena.

The Aegean Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and Turkey. Within the Aegean Sea are found the Aegean Islands, a group that includes Crete and Rhodes.

37 Folk dance : REEL

The reel is a Scottish country dance that is also extremely popular in Ireland.

38 Like all tigers : ASIAN

Tigers are the largest of all the cat species. They are referred to as “apex predators” (as are lions and humans, for example), meaning that tigers are at the top of the food chain and aren’t the prey of any other animal.

40 Draft status : ONE-A

The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System (SSS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).

45 “__ Gabler” : HEDDA

“Hedda Gabler” is a play by the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen that was first published in 1890. Considered one of the greatest theater roles, the title character of Hedda Gabler is sometimes referred to as the female Hamlet.

47 U.N. agency : ILO

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is an agency, one now administered by the UN, that was established by the League of Nations after WWI. The ILO deals with important issues such as health and safety, discrimination, child labor and forced labor. The organization was recognized for its work in 1969 when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

54 Bread machine : ATM

The use of the word “bread” as a slang term meaning “money” dates back to the 1940s. The term comes from the term “breadwinner” meaning the person in the house who puts bread on the table, who brings in the money.

55 Source of some lumber : PINES

There are many species of pine tree (well over 100). The smallest is probably the Siberian dwarf pine, which usually grows to less than 10-feet tall. The tallest is the ponderosa pine, which regularly grows to over 200-feet tall.

59 Audio brand : BOSE

Bose Corporation was founded in 1964 by Amar G. Bose, and is a company that specializes in manufacture of audio equipment.

63 Central German river : EDER

The Eder is a river in Germany, and a tributary of the Fulda River. The Eder has a dam near the small town of Waldeck which holds water in the large Edersee reservoir. This was one of the dams that was attacked by the RAF during WWII with the famous Barnes Wallis bouncing bombs. It was destroyed in the Dam Busters raid in 1943, but rebuilt the same year.

65 Ms. enclosure : SASE

An SAE is a “stamped, addressed envelope”. An SASE is a “self-addressed, stamped envelope”.

Down

2 Australian novelist Astley : THEA

Thea Astley was an Australian author of novels and short stories. When she passed away in 2004, Astley had won more Miles Franklin Awards than any other writer. The Miles Franklin Award is the most prestigious literary prize awarded in Australia each year.

4 Cyclotron units : ATOMS

A cyclotron accelerates charged particles (ions) using a magnetic field, usually directing the particles round and round a huge underground circular structure.

5 Publication credited to the “Usual Gang of Idiots” : MAD

“Mad” is noted for having a long-standing list of creative personnel who contribute to the magazine’s content. If you read the magazine, you’ll see the list of contributors under the tongue-in-cheek heading “The Usual Gang of Idiots”.

7 Military blockade : SIEGE

Our word “siege” comes from a 13th-century word for a “seat”. The military usage derives from the concept of a besieging force “sitting down” outside a fortress until it falls.

“Embargo” and “blockade” are two similar yet different terms. An embargo is a legal prohibition of trade with a particular country, whilst a blockade is an act of war, a militarily enforced prevention of the movement of goods and services. The term “embargo” came into English from Spanish, in the late 16th century.

9 Array for catching rays : SOLAR PANELS

Solar panels are arrays of solar cells that make use of what’s known as the photovoltaic effect. We are more likely to have learned about the photoelectric effect in school, in which electrons were ejected from the surface of some materials when it was exposed to light or other forms of radiation. The photovoltaic effect is related but different. Instead of being electrons ejected from the surface, in the photovoltaic effect electrons move around in the material creating a difference in voltage.

12 Aweigh : ATRIP

When an anchor is “aweigh” or “atrip”, it is just clear of the ocean bottom, has just been lifted.

13 “With Reagan” memoirist : MEESE

Ed Meese was born in Oakland, California and spent 24 years in the office of the Treasurer of Alameda County, the county in which I used to live. After military service, Meese earned himself a law degree at UC Berkeley. Later, as chief of staff for President Reagan, he was instrumental in a famous decision to crack down on student protesters at Berkeley which resulted in one protester dying and a two-week occupation of the city by the California National Guard.

24 USPS assignments : RTES

Route (rte.)

The US Postal Service (USPS) is a remarkable agency in many ways. For starters, the government’s right and responsibility to establish the Post Office is specifically called out in Article One of the US constitution. Also, the first postmaster general was none other than Benjamin Franklin. And, the USPS operates over 200,000 vehicles, which is the largest vehicle fleet in the world.

26 Helgenberger of “CSI” : MARG

Marg Helgenberger is an actress best known for roles she plays on television. She played investigator Catherine Willows on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. Helgenberger also played drug-addicted prostitute K.C. Koloski in the Vietnam War drama “China Beach”.

27 Cookie with the same colors as a crossword : OREO

The Oreo cookie was introduced in 1912. The Oreo was intended to be a competitor to the very similar Hydrox cookie which had debuted four years earlier. The Oreo won the resulting battle on the grocery store shelves …

33 “Rainbow in the Dark” metal band : DIO

Dio is an American heavy metal band that has its roots in the English rock group Black Sabbath. Dio was formed in 1982 by vocalist Ronnie James Dio and drummer Vinny Appice, two former members of Black Sabbath. Ronnie James Dio died in 2010, at which point the band dissolved.

35 Fictional Wolfe : NERO

Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective and the hero of many stories published by author Rex Stout. There are 33 Nero Wolfe novels for us to read, and 39 short stories. There are also movie adaptations of two of the novels: “Meet Nero Wolfe” (1936) which features a young Rita Hayworth, and “The League of Frightened Men” (1937). One of Wolfe’s endearing traits is his love of good food and beer, so he is a pretty rotund character.

36 Drink that may be served warm : SAKE

We refer to the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice as “sake”. We’ve gotten things a bit mixed up in the West. “Sake” is actually the word that the Japanese use for all alcoholic drinks. What we know as sake, we sometimes refer to as rice wine. Also, the starch in the rice is first converted to sugars that are then fermented into alcohol. This is more akin to a beer-brewing process than wine production, so the end product is really a rice “beer” rather than a rice “wine”.

39 Brand with a Vanessa Hudgens workout collection : AVIA

The “Avia” brand name for athletic shoes was chosen as “avia” is the Latin word for “to fly”, and suggests the concept of aviation. Avia was founded in Oregon in 1979.

Vanessa Hudgens is an actress who made her name playing Gabriella Montez in the “High School Musical” series of films. More recently, Hudgens played the title role in the musical “Gigi” on Broadway.

42 Like 2021 : ODD

Ain’t that the truth …

44 Educator Annemarie who co-founded a school in Greater Detroit : ROEPER

The Roeper School is a private school in Detroit that was founded in 1941 by George and Annemarie Roeper. The Roepers had fled Nazi Germany, and they established their school with the intent of teaching children critical thinking skills so that they would not follow a leader blindly, as had happened in Germany between the two world wars. They also encouraged children to respect individuality and not to harbor prejudice. Admirable goals …

50 Sitcom whose 1974 pilot episode was titled “Joe” : RHODA

The seventies sitcom “Rhoda” was a spinoff of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” that starred Valerie Harper. The eighth episode of the show was an hour-long special in which Rhoda married her fiance Joe (played by David Groh). At the time of airing it was the second-most watched television episode in history, second only to the 1953 birth of Little Ricky on “I Love Lucy”.

56 Beyoncé voice role : NALA

In “The Lion King”, Nala is a lioness and the childhood friend of Simba. By the end of the story, Nala and Simba become wedded. “The Lion King” is inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, with Simba representing the title character, and Nala representing Hamlet’s love interest Ophelia.

2019’s “The Lion King” is described as a “photorealistic” remake of 1994’s movie of the same name, which was made using “traditional animation”. The voice cast for the 2019 film is different from the 1994 version, with one notable exception. We hear the magnificent voice of actor James Earl Jones as Mufasa in both productions. In fact, the lines spoken by Jones are almost identical in both films.

57 Airline whose first flight was from Geneva to Tel Aviv : EL AL

El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv. Famously, El Al only operates six days a week, not flying on the Sabbath.

58 Have a heated exchange? : SEXT

Sexting (a portmanteau of “sex” and “texting”) is the sending of explicit dialog and images between cell phones. The term “sexting” was coined by the UK’s “Sunday Telegraph Magazine” in a 2005 article.

61 School org. : PTA

Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

62 “The Thin Man” star : LOY

The beautiful Myrna Loy was one of my favorite actresses. Her career took off when she was paired up with William Powell in the fabulous “The Thin Man” series of films. Loy also appeared opposite Cary Grant in a couple of films that I like to watch every so often, namely “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer” (1947) and “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” (1948).

“The Thin Man” is a detective novel written by Dashiell Hammett that was first published in the magazine “Redbook” in 1934. Hammett never wrote a sequel to his story, but it spawned a wonderful, wonderful series of “The Thin Man” films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (as Nick and Nora Charles). “The Thin Man” was the last novel that Hammett wrote.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Cutting-edge name? : ATRA
5 Scenery in Road Runner cartoons : MESAS
10 Polite address : MA’AM
14 “Sorry, my hands are tied … ” : WHAT CAN I DO …?
16 Price for hand delivery? : ANTE
17 Musical arrangement? : RECORD DEAL
18 Revolution : GYRE
19 “I rock!” : YAY ME!
20 Class stat : GPA
21 “Can confirm” : IT IS
22 Mystery that may have a stirring message? : SECRET RECIPE
26 Bon __ : MOT
29 Place : PUT
30 Unpredictable jerk : SPASM
31 Checked : ARRESTED
34 Aegean capital : ATHENS
37 Folk dance : REEL
38 Like all tigers : ASIAN
40 Draft status : ONE-A
41 Continues : GOES ON
43 Run ragged : OVERWORK
45 “__ Gabler” : HEDDA
47 U.N. agency : ILO
48 Misery : WOE
49 Popular performer : CROWD PLEASER
53 “Yeah, no” : UH-UH
54 Bread machine : ATM
55 Source of some lumber : PINES
59 Audio brand : BOSE
60 Bridal store event : SAMPLE SALE
63 Central German river : EDER
64 “Deep breaths … ” : TRY TO RELAX …
65 Ms. enclosure : SASE
66 Unlikely assignment from a math teacher : ESSAY
67 Pinch at the table : SALT

Down

1 A bit off : AWRY
2 Australian novelist Astley : THEA
3 Somewhat blue : RACY
4 Cyclotron units : ATOMS
5 Publication credited to the “Usual Gang of Idiots” : MAD
6 Wrap : END
7 Military blockade : SIEGE
8 Makes fit : ADAPTS
9 Array for catching rays : SOLAR PANELS
10 Disappearing act? : MAGIC SHOW
11 “I’m waiting … ” : ANY TIME NOW …
12 Aweigh : ATRIP
13 “With Reagan” memoirist : MEESE
15 Advances slowly : CREEPS
23 Relocation option : CUT AND PASTE
24 USPS assignments : RTES
25 “Have some” : EAT
26 Helgenberger of “CSI” : MARG
27 Cookie with the same colors as a crossword : OREO
28 Construction projects guaranteed to get off the ground : TREE HOUSES
32 Neither here nor there : ELSEWHERE
33 “Rainbow in the Dark” metal band : DIO
35 Fictional Wolfe : NERO
36 Drink that may be served warm : SAKE
39 Brand with a Vanessa Hudgens workout collection : AVIA
42 Like 2021 : ODD
44 Educator Annemarie who co-founded a school in Greater Detroit : ROEPER
46 Sites for some rites : ALTARS
49 Products with triple the power? : CUBES
50 Sitcom whose 1974 pilot episode was titled “Joe” : RHODA
51 Awards won by 50-Down : EMMYS
52 Climbs : RISES
56 Beyoncé voice role : NALA
57 Airline whose first flight was from Geneva to Tel Aviv : EL AL
58 Have a heated exchange? : SEXT
61 School org. : PTA
62 “The Thin Man” star : LOY

17 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Apr 22, Saturday”

  1. LAT: About 20 minutes with one incorrect letter resulting in two wrong answers. I had “vines” instead of “pines” as the source of some lumber; thus “Roever” instead of “Roeper.” Fastest Saturday for me that I remember.

  2. No errors! Woohoo.
    GYRE was new. Thanks Bill for your irish history. Puts it more in perspective.

    Took me a good 30 minutes. But I wasn’t sure what to expect for Patti’s first Saturday. I think it’s the first? My memory isn’t what it was.

  3. No errors, but two lookups: i.e: Thea Astley– and I tried to look up a
    word for “aweigh” in my crossword dictionary. There was no entry,
    but at some point long ago I had handwritten “aweigh-atrip”….must
    have come across that in some former crossword. Glad I didn’t throw
    that tattered book away!

  4. 14:27 and DNF. 6 completely impossible natick fills thwarted my efforts.

    ILO? GYRE? ROEPER? MYER? Who’s even heard of any of those?

    1. The “International Labour Organization” is well-known and “ILO” has been in an awful lot of puzzles (though I’ll admit that I would have said the “L” stood for “Labor” rather than “Labour”). The word “gyre” is in the dictionary (though, again, I remember it more from its use in the poem that begins, “‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe …”). I’ve not heard of Ms. Roeper, but Richard Roeper springs to mind (and I inferred the usage here from crossing entries).

      As for “MYER”: I don’t see it anywhere except in your post.

      A “Natick” is defined as the intersection of two things that most people would not know. IMHO, none of your examples qualifies.

      In any case, it’s Saturday. Most solvers expect to see a few unfamiliar things in end-of-week puzzles; some view it as an opportunity to learn something new (e.g., for me, “THEA” Astley, who turns out to have been a rather interesting person).

      1. Don’t be silly.

        Of course, gyre is in the dictionary, but it doesn’t mean “revolution”. As noted, it is a vortex or spiral.

        The U.N. has more than a dozen agencies (do you know all of them?) and crossing one of them with a proper name that isn’t likely to be known definitely qualifies as a natick except in the mind of certain serial puzzlemaker defenders. ☺ You really think that ‘ILO’ has been in an “awful lot of puzzles”? Perhaps you mean that in your lifetime you’ve seen it in puzzles a couple of times?

        Crossing gyre (which is incorrectly clued) with Meese (how many people have written books about Reagan?) also easily qualifies as a natick, especially when combined with the questionable “can confirm” clueing of “it is”.

  5. 15:41 1 lookup

    I thought for sure I was going to need five lookups, but DIO did the trick.

    Today I learned ATRIP and Annemarie ROEPER.

  6. No look ups,no errors. One change on the
    fly, Oder/Eder. Another one of those Saturday puzzles that seem impossible at
    first then eventually comes together. Fun…

  7. Maybe it’s just me, but today’s “Stumper” (in the WSJ) seemed pretty difficult, even though it was credited to “Lester Ruff” (“Less Rough”). I got’er done, with no errors, but it took me nearly forty minutes.

  8. 29:38 – lotsa cheats, almost a DNF.

    Missed ANTE, PINES and SEXT. Nice wordplays.

    THEA, YAYME, ILO, ROEPER, ILO, NALA, MEESE etc. were just too much for me.

    But it’s a Saturday and I got it done (sorta) …

    Be Well.

  9. Gyre and atrip a total loss for me.
    Also ILO and Roeper, threw me, although I do remember the movie critic so the name was not unfamiliar.

  10. 32:56 – no errors or lookups. Revisions were: GLUM>RACY, STET>ITIS, ATSEA>ATRIP, SET>PUT, HENNA>HEDDA.

    New items: THEA, GYRE, ATRIP, “Beyonce voice role,” DIO, “Vanessa Hudgens workout brand”, ROEPER.

    Not too bad for a Saturday.

  11. Fairly tough Saturday for me; took 51:22 with 3 errors. Was ready to give up with about 70% filled and did a “grid-check”, but had nothing wrong, so I persisted. Did 2 more “grid-checks” but still had nothing wrong and finally had 2 wrong on a 3rd “grid-check” with rHEA and lACY, which I should’ve got right on ATRA. Third fail was lALA instead of FALA, where PINES make a lot more sense then wood PIlES.

    I also had ATSEA before changing it to ATRIP, which is new to me, and I could see that ASIAN was wanted, but really didn’t know that tigers weren’t in Africa as well, so I learned something today. Didn’t know DIO as well, and just vaguely familiar with ROEPER, but I think I’ve seen that here in the crosswords before.

  12. ‘Atoms’ as an answer to “Cyclotron Units” is incorrect. Cyclotrons drive charged particles (subatomic particles or atomic nuclei), not atoms, to high velocities into target material. Cyclotrons are characterized by the energy they can produce, so the answer could have been something like MeV.

    That, including ‘gyre’ makes two blatantly incorrect clues in this puzzle. Disappointing.

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