LA Times Crossword 29 Apr 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Ryan Hecht & Doug Peterson
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Great Buzzle

Themed answers sound like common phrases with a p-sound replaced with a b-sound:

  • 20A Group of apartments made of gingerbread? : EDIBLE COMPLEX (from “Oedipal complex”)
  • 35A Gang made up of very light eaters? : NIBBLE RING (from “nipple ring”)
  • 43A Logo designer’s day-to-day existence? : SYMBOL LIFE (from “simple life”)
  • 53A Cute, furry problem for Captain Kirk? : TRIBBLE THREAT (from “triple threat”)

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

Bill’s time: 8m 22s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Swedish pop group with the 2021 album “Voyage” : ABBA

“Voyage” is a 2021 album released by ABBA, the first collection of new songs recorded by the group since “The Visitors” in 1981. The album’s release was much anticipated all around the world, and sold one million units in the first week.

9 Manhattan Project project, briefly : A-BOMB

The Manhattan project was the joint US-Canada-UK project to develop an atomic bomb during WWII. Initially, the Army headquarters for the program was located on the 18th floor of a building on Broadway in New York City. Eventually, because of that first location, the project adopted the name “Manhattan”.

15 Country that outlawed alcohol in 1979 : IRAN

Before 1935, the country we know today as Iran was referred to as Persia by the Western world. The official name of the country since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 is the “Islamic Republic of Iran”.

16 Home of the world’s tallest building : DUBAI

Burj Khalifa is a spectacular skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the tallest man-made structure in the world, and has been so since the completion of its exterior in 2009. The space in the building came onto the market at a really bad time, during the global financial crisis. The building was part of a US$20 billion development of downtown Dubai that was backed by the city government which had to go looking for a bailout from the neighboring city of Abu Dhabi. The tower was given the name Burj Khalifa at the last minute, apparently as a nod to UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who helped to broker the bailout.

18 Disney title character from Hawaii : LILO

“Lilo & Stitch” was released by Disney in 2002. Compared to other Disney feature-length cartoons, “Lilo & Stitch” was relatively cheaply produced, using the voices of lesser-known actors. One interesting change had to take place in the storyline during production, when Lilo was meant to fly a Jumbo Jet through downtown Honolulu in one sequence. This was replaced with a sequence using a spaceship instead, as the producers were sensitive to public sentiment after the September 11 attacks.

20 Group of apartments made of gingerbread? : EDIBLE COMPLEX (from “Oedipal complex”)

The first documented use of gingerbread shaped in the form of human figures was in the court of Queen Elizabeth I. She used to have figures made to represent her important guests.

An oedipal relationship is one in which a child exhibits sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex. A child exhibiting such behavior is said to have an Oedipus complex, named for the play “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles.

25 Card game with a Pixar version : UNO!

UNO! is a card game that was developed in the early seventies and that has been sold by Mattel since 1992. UNO falls into the shedding family of card games, meaning that the goal is to get rid of all your cards while preventing opponents from doing the same.

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.

28 Worship leader : IMAM

An imam is a Muslim leader, and often the person in charge of a mosque and/or perhaps a Muslim community.

31 Trio for Bergman and Streep : OSCARS

Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman won three Academy Awards over the course of her career:

  1. Best Actress for “Gaslight” (1944)
  2. Best Actress for “Anastasia” (1956)
  3. Best Supporting Actress for “Murder on the Orient Express” (1974)

Actress Meryl Streep won three Academy Awards over the course of her career:

  1. Best Actress for “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979)
  2. Best Actress for “Sophie’s Choice” (1982)
  3. Best Actress for “The Iron Lady” (2011)

38 Keep hidden, perhaps : ABET

The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (literally “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.

40 Letter from ancient Troy : TAU

Tau is the 19th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the letter that gave rise to our Roman “T”. Both the letters tau (T) and chi (X) have long been symbolically associated with the cross.

The ancient city of Troy was located on the west coast of modern-day Turkey. The Trojan War of Greek mythology was precipitated by the elopement of Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, with Paris of Troy. The war itself largely consisted of a nine-year siege of Troy by the Greeks. We know most about the final year of that siege, as it is described extensively in Homer’s “Iliad”. The city eventually fell when the Greeks hid soldiers inside the Trojan Horse, which the Trojans brought inside the city’s walls. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts …

41 “Three Tall Women” playwright : ALBEE

The 1991 play “Three Tall Women” by Edward Albee won him the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The title characters have the inventive names A, B and C.

42 __ chic : GEEK

Geek chic was a fashion trend in which mainly young people adopted clothing and accessories associated with stereotypical “geeks”. The trend popularized capri pants, suspenders and oversized black horn-rimmed glasses.

48 Hard-to-prove skill : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

49 Soft ball : NERF

Nerf is a soft material used in a whole series of toys designed for “safe” play indoors. The Nerf product is used to make darts, balls and ammunition for toy guns. “NERF” is an acronym, standing for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam.

51 Toon spinner : TAZ

The “Looney Tunes” character known as the Tasmanian Devil, or “Taz”, first appeared in a cartoon short with Bugs Bunny called “Devil May Care” in 1954.

53 Cute, furry problem for Captain Kirk? : TRIBBLE THREAT (from “triple threat”)

Fans of the original “Star Trek” TV series will probably remember the tribbles. They are very cute, furry creatures that reproduce very rapidly. It’s the rapid rate of reproduction that makes tribbles dangerous, as they can quickly overpopulate an ecosystem. Screenwriter David Garrold shared that his idea for the tribbles was inspired by the problems associated with an overpopulation of rabbits in Australia.

According to the storyline in “Star Trek”, Captain James Tiberius Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa on March 22, 2233. The town of Riverside displays a plaque, noting Riverside as the “future birthplace of James T. Kirk”, but the date given is March 22, 2228. I sense a disturbance in the space-time continuum …

59 Roadster since 1989 : MIATA

The Mazda MX-5 is sold as the Miata in North America, and as the Roadster in Japan. I’ve always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan. The name “Miata” comes from an Old High German word meaning “reward”.

A roadster is a two-seater car with an open body and a sporty appearance. The term “roadster” is American in origin, and was first used back in the 19th century to describe a horse that was used when traveling by road.

61 Tarot’s swords, e.g. : SUIT

Tarot cards have been around since the mid-1400s, and for centuries were simply used for entertainment as a game. It has only been since the late 1800s that the cards have been used by fortune tellers to predict the future. The list of tarot cards includes the Wheel of Fortune, the Hanged Man and the Lovers.

64 Crypto.com Arena statue honoree, familiarly : SHAQ

The Crypto.com Arena (formerly “Staples Center”) is a sports arena in Los Angeles that opened in 1999. It is home to several sporting franchises, including the LA Lakers and LA Clippers NBA teams, the LA Sparks WNBA team and the LA Kings hockey team.

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.”

66 Brownish gray : TAUPE

Taupe is a dark, gray-brown color. The word “taupe” comes from the Latin name of the European Mole, which has skin with the same color.

67 Folk singer Axton : HOYT

Hoyt Axton was a singer-songwriter best known for his folk-style songs. The Axton song most familiar to me is “Joy to the World”, which was a big hit for Three Dog Night in 1971.

Down

1 2022 Australian Open winner Barty, familiarly : ASH

Ashleigh Barty is a retired professional tennis player from Australia. She was ranked No. 1 in the world in singles when she retired in March of 2022. Barty is the only the second Australian to earn the WTA’s No. 1 ranking, after Evonne Goolagong Cawley. Barty is a natural athlete. She took a break from tennis from 2014 to 2016, during which time she played semi-professional cricket. She had never played competitive cricket before, and yet earned her place as a regular member of her team.

3 Jay or oriole : BIRD

The bird known as a “jay” is sometimes called a “magpie”, although the terms are not completely interchangeable.

The songbird called an oriole builds an interesting nest. It is a woven cup-like structure that is suspended from a branch like a hammock.

4 Surprise the director, maybe : AD LIB

“Ad libitum” is a Latin phrase meaning “at one’s pleasure”. In common usage, the phrase is usually shortened to “ad lib”. On the stage, the concept of an ad lib is very familiar.

6 Empire State county : ERIE

There are three Erie Counties in the US:

  • Erie County, New York (with Buffalo as the county seat)
  • Erie County, Ohio (with Sandusky as the county seat)
  • Erie County, Pennsylvania (with Erie as the county seat)

The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo in the state of New York. What the canal does is allow shipping to proceed from New York Harbor right up the Hudson River, through the canal and into the Great Lakes. When it was opened in 1825, the Erie Canal had an immediate impact on the economy of New York City and locations along its route. It was the first means of “cheap” transportation from a port on the Atlantic seaboard into the interior of the United States. Arguably it was the most important factor contributing to the growth of New York City over competing ports such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. It was largely because of the Erie Canal that New York became such an economic powerhouse, earning it the nickname of “the Empire State”. Paradoxically, one of the project’s main proponents was severely criticized. New York Governor DeWitt Clinton received so much ridicule that the canal was nicknamed “Clinton’s Folly” and “Clinton’s Ditch”.

7 Puff stuff : TALC

Talc is a mineral, hydrated magnesium silicate. Talcum powder is composed of loose talc, although these days “baby powder” is also made from cornstarch.

8 Elitist : SNOOT

“Snoot” is a variant of “snout”, and is a word that originated in Scotland. The idea is that someone who is snooty, or “snouty”, tends to look down his or her nose at the rest of the world.

10 Taps, say : BUGLE CALL

“Taps” is played nightly by the US military to indicate “lights out”. It’s also known as “Butterfield’s Lullaby” as it is a variation of an older bugle called the “Scott Tattoo”, arranged during the Civil War by the Union Army’s Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield. The tune is called “Taps”, from the notion of drum taps, as it was originally played on a drum, and only later on a bugle. The whole tune comprises just 24 notes, with there only being four different notes within the 24, i.e. “low G”, C, E and “high G”. Minimalism at its best …

11 Tony’s cousin : OBIE

The Obies are the Off-Broadway Theater Awards. They have been presented annually since 1956. The recipients used to be chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper, but now are jointly administered with the American Theatre Wing.

12 Tailless pet : MANX

I’ve seen Manx cats by the dozen on their native island. They’re found all over the Isle of Man (hence the name “Manx”) that is located in the middle of the Irish Sea. Manx cats have just a stub of a tail, and hence are called “stubbins” by the locals.

21 Complete a LEGO set : BUILD

Lego produces some wonderful specialized sets with which you can build models of celebrated structures, including:

  • The Statue of Liberty (2,882 pieces)
  • The Sydney Opera House (2,989 pieces)
  • The Eiffel Tower (3,428 pieces)
  • Tower Bridge (4,295 pieces)
  • The Taj Mahal (5,922 pieces)

22 Synthesizer pioneer : MOOG

In the sixties, Robert Moog invented the Moog Synthesizer, an electronic device that he used to produce music. I used to own a few of his albums, including a Moog version of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. What a great performance that was …

25 Kabayaki fish : UNAGI

“Unagi” is the Japanese term for” freshwater eel”, and “anago” is the term for “saltwater eel”.

“Unadon” is the Japanese word for “eel bowl”. “Unadon” is actually a contraction of “unagi no kabayaki” (grilled eel) and “donburi” (rice bowl dish).

26 Bond player in the original “Casino Royale” : NIVEN

1967’s “Casino Royale” is a comedy spy film that spoofs the celebrated series of James Bond films, of which four had been produced at the time starring Sean Connery. “Casino Royale” is loosely based on the Ian Fleming novel of the same name, and stars David Niven as James Bond 007. The film features Dusty Springfield singing “The Look of Love”, which was nominated for a Best Song Oscar.

27 Yamaha products : OBOES

The Japanese company Yamaha started out way back in 1888 as a manufacturer of pianos and reed organs. Even though the company has diversified since then, Yamaha’s logo still reflects its musical roots. Said logo is made up of three intersecting tuning forks, and can even be seen on Yamaha motorcycles and ATVs.

30 Heat setting? : MIAMI

The Miami Heat basketball team debuted in the NBA in the 1988-89 season. The franchise name was chosen in a competitive survey, with “Miami Heat” beating out “Miami Vice”.

32 “Three Billboards … ” actress Cornish : ABBIE

Abbie Cornish is an actress and rap singer from Australia. As an actress, Cornish played the wife of Police Chief Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) in the excellent movie “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. She also plays the title character’s love interest in the TV series “Jack Ryan”. As a rapper, Cornish performs under the name “Dusk”.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is an excellent 2017 crime film starring Frances McDormand as a mother of a daughter who was raped and murdered. The crime goes unsolved, and so McDormand’s character rents three billboards to bring attention to the case.

33 Sailing hazards : REEFS

A reef is a ridge of stable material lying beneath the surface of a body of water. They can be made up of sand or rock, and also of coral. The largest coral reef on the planet is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which stretches over 1,400 miles.

36 Two-piece piece : BIKINI TOP

The origin of the word “bikini”, describing a type of bathing suit, seems very uncertain. One story is that it is named after the Bikini Atoll, site of American A-bomb tests in the forties and fifties. The name “bikini” was chosen for the swim-wear because of the “explosive” effect it had on men who saw a woman wearing the garment …

37 Remnants in a crayon box : NUBS

A much-used pencil or crayon might be worn down to a “nub”.

We use the word “crayon” for a stick of colored wax used for drawing. The term was imported in the 16th century from French, in which language it means “pencil”.

43 Tesla, e.g. : SERB

Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved to the US. Tesla’s work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of alternating current technology, the same technology that is used by equipment at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.

44 Hush-hush : ON THE QT

“On the qt” is a slang term for “on the quiet”. It has been around since the 1870s.

46 Pre-election event : DEBATE

US presidential debates are not mandated, but have become routine since the televised debates between candidates Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter in 1976. A famous series of televised debates took place between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy during the 1960 campaign, after which no inter-party debates were held for 16 years.

50 Superhero who taps into the Speed Force : FLASH

The Flash is a DC Comics superhero who is nicknamed “the Scarlet Speedster” or “the Crimson Comet”. The Flash’s superpower is his ability to move extremely quickly, with speed that defies the laws of physics.

53 Mother of Beyoncé and Solange Knowles : TINA

Tina Knowles is the ex-wife of Mathew Knowles who managed the group Destiny’s Child. The most famous former member of Destiny’s Child is Beyoncé Knowles, who is Tina and Mathew’s daughter.

Beyoncé Knowles established herself in the entertainment industry as the lead singer with the R&B group Destiny’s Child. She launched her solo singing career in 2002, after making her first appearance as an actor. In 2006 she played the lead in the very successful movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls”. Beyoncé is married to rap star Jay-Z. She is also referred to affectionately as “Queen Bey”, a play on the phrase “the queen bee”. Her fan base goes by the name “Beyhive”.

Solange Knowles is a singer/songwriter, and the younger sister of the incredibly successful singer Beyoncé. Solange was in the news a while back when security camera footage was released showing her punching and kicking Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z in an elevator.

54 Trattoria sauce : RAGU

The Ragú brand of pasta sauce was introduced in 1937. The name ”Ragù” is the Italian word for a sauce used to dress pasta, however the spelling is a little off in the name of the sauce. In Italian, the word is “Ragù” with a grave accent over the “u”, but if you look at a jar of the sauce on the supermarket shelf it is spelled “Ragú” on the label, with an acute accent. Sometimes I think we just don’t try …

A trattoria is an Italian restaurant. In Italian, a “trattore” is the keeper of said eating house.

56 DVD holder : TRAY

The abbreviation “DVD” doesn’t actually stand for anything these days, although it was originally short for “digital video disk”. The use of the word “video” was dropped as DVDs started to be used for storing a lot more than video. As a result, some folks assign the phrase “digital versatile disk” to “DVD”.

57 Special glow : AURA

An aura (plural “aurae”) is an intangible quality that surrounds a person or thing, a “je ne sais quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is French for “I don’t know what”.

59 I.M. Pei’s alma mater : MIT

Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei was raised in Shanghai. He moved to the US to study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Although he transferred soon after to MIT. The list of his designs includes the John F. Kennedy Library in Massachusetts, the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, and the celebrated glass-and-steel pyramid in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

62 Score half : TEN

Our verb “to score” meaning “to tally”, comes from the Old Norse “skor”, which is a “mark, notch”. It is likely that items such as livestock were counted by placing a notch in a stick for each set of twenty, hence our use of the noun “score” to mean “twenty”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Swedish pop group with the 2021 album “Voyage” : ABBA
5 Gels : SETS
9 Manhattan Project project, briefly : A-BOMB
14 Moved smoothly : SLID
15 Country that outlawed alcohol in 1979 : IRAN
16 Home of the world’s tallest building : DUBAI
17 Throw hard : HURL
18 Disney title character from Hawaii : LILO
19 Like cellared wine : AGING
20 Group of apartments made of gingerbread? : EDIBLE COMPLEX (from “Oedipal complex”)
23 Fall for : BUY
24 Convention giveaway : TOTE
25 Card game with a Pixar version : UNO!
28 Worship leader : IMAM
31 Trio for Bergman and Streep : OSCARS
35 Gang made up of very light eaters? : NIBBLE RING (from “nipple ring”)
38 Keep hidden, perhaps : ABET
39 Skirt : AVOID
40 Letter from ancient Troy : TAU
41 “Three Tall Women” playwright : ALBEE
42 __ chic : GEEK
43 Logo designer’s day-to-day existence? : SYMBOL LIFE (from “simple life”)
45 Like some jokes : INSIDE
47 “__ it obvious?” : ISN’T
48 Hard-to-prove skill : ESP
49 Soft ball : NERF
51 Toon spinner : TAZ
53 Cute, furry problem for Captain Kirk? : TRIBBLE THREAT (from “triple threat”)
59 Roadster since 1989 : MIATA
60 Part of a plot : ACRE
61 Tarot’s swords, e.g. : SUIT
63 Heavy metal bar : INGOT
64 Crypto.com Arena statue honoree, familiarly : SHAQ
65 Corner : TREE
66 Brownish gray : TAUPE
67 Folk singer Axton : HOYT
68 Simple cat toy : YARN

Down

1 2022 Australian Open winner Barty, familiarly : ASH
2 Bummed out : BLUE
3 Jay or oriole : BIRD
4 Surprise the director, maybe : AD LIB
5 “Wow, I am dumb!” : SILLY ME!
6 Empire State county : ERIE
7 Puff stuff : TALC
8 Elitist : SNOOT
9 Rolls with the punches : ADAPTS
10 Taps, say : BUGLE CALL
11 Tony’s cousin : OBIE
12 Tailless pet : MANX
13 Not insignificant : BIG
21 Complete a LEGO set : BUILD
22 Synthesizer pioneer : MOOG
25 Kabayaki fish : UNAGI
26 Bond player in the original “Casino Royale” : NIVEN
27 Yamaha products : OBOES
29 Pretentious : ARTY
30 Heat setting? : MIAMI
32 “Three Billboards … ” actress Cornish : ABBIE
33 Sailing hazards : REEFS
34 Quite expensive : STEEP
36 Two-piece piece : BIKINI TOP
37 Remnants in a crayon box : NUBS
41 Sacred stand : ALTAR
43 Tesla, e.g. : SERB
44 Hush-hush : ON THE QT
46 Pre-election event : DEBATE
50 Superhero who taps into the Speed Force : FLASH
52 Hot : ZESTY
53 Mother of Beyoncé and Solange Knowles : TINA
54 Trattoria sauce : RAGU
55 Unoriginal reply : ECHO
56 DVD holder : TRAY
57 Special glow : AURA
58 Management level : TIER
59 I.M. Pei’s alma mater : MIT
62 Score half : TEN

13 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 29 Apr 22, Friday”

  1. 20:44, 3 errors (I had ANGIE instead of ABBIE for the 3 Billboards actress). I enjoyed this puzzle, still getting used to the new editor.

  2. 15:16 – no errors or lookups. Revisions of MOORE>NIVEN (didn’t think first, just went with an obvious fit), TRES>GEEK.

    An unusually short time for me on a Friday! The west-middle section was the last to fill in for me; but once I swapped out MOORE for NIVEN and TRES for GEEK, it quickly resolved.

    Cute theme.

  3. Old editor, new editor. Not much difference between them and the same gripes I had with Mr. Norris I now have the new editor. 38A clue vs. the answer to it, 7D clue vs the answer to it, no abbreviation noted when the answer is clearly an abbreviation and so on.
    All that being said, there were several very clever clues for some of the answers and I appreciate that kind of effort.

  4. No errors… took me much longer than I wanted. Found the theme and the answers very weak…
    NIPPLE RING??? is that what I think it is?

    Isn’t it an OEDIPUS COMPLEX due to an OEDIPAL relationship? Is there such a thing as an OEDIPAL COMPLEX?

  5. Slightly tricky, but doable Friday for me; took 24:26 with no peeks or errors. Didn’t know a few things, at first or at all: SHAQ, TINA, OBIE, ALBEE, tres before GEEK, BUGLEsong (hah!) and LILO. But, they came with crosses or short thought.

    I agree with Anon Mike on OEDIPUS Complex. Hmm, checking on Google, it appears you can use either, but Oedipus is prevalent.

  6. 45 minutes, many blanks before I looked at the solution. W was worst area … Moore prevented my first guess UNO. Ashamed as a mathematician that I didn’t get TEN.

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