LA Times Crossword 13 May 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Stefan Fatsis
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Abridged Titles

Themed answers are famous titles in the format “X of a Y”, but rewritten as “X’s Y”. Clever puzzle …

  • 20A Play about the shortcomings of capitalism, abridged? : SALESMAN’S DEATH (from “Death of a Salesman”)
  • 25A YA series about an insecure preadolescent, abridged? : WIMPY KID’S DIARY (from “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”)
  • 42A Film about a crime in a small town, abridged? : MURDER’S ANATOMY (from “Anatomy of a Murder”)
  • 49A Novel about a Japanese entertainer, abridged? : GEISHA’S MEMOIRS (from “Memoirs of a Geisha”)

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

Bill’s time: 12m 18s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Steinbeck surname : JOAD

John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” is set during the Great Depression. The novel tells the story of the Joad family from Oklahoma, farmers who had to leave their home and head for California due to economic hardship.

5 Russian assembly : DUMA

A duma is a representative assembly in Russia. The related Russian word “dumat” means “to think, consider”.

9 Overdoes the fandom, in slang : STANS

“Stan” is a song by rapper Eminem (featuring Dido) that was recorded in 2000. The title refers to a fictional Eminem fan named “Stan” who becomes obsessed with the rapper, and who grows irate when his letters to his idol go unanswered. Stan’s final act is to make a voice recording as he drives into a river, with his pregnant girlfriend locked in the trunk. One of the legacies of the song is that “stan” is now used as a slang term for an obsessed and maniacal fan.

14 Liqueur that water turns cloudy : OUZO

Ouzo is an apéritif from Greece that is colorless and flavored with anise. Ouzo is similar to French pastis and Italian sambuca. All three liqueurs turn cloudy with the addition of water.

15 NASDAQ newbies : 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).

The NASDAQ trading system created in 1971 is the successor to the over-the-counter (OTC) trading system that was common at the time. OTC trading is done directly between two parties without being facilitated by an exchange.

16 Convent outfit : HABIT

A convent is a community devoted to religious life, and especially a community of nuns. The term “convent” ultimately comes from the Latin “com” (with, together) and “venire” (to come).

17 Inadequate Wikipedia entry : STUB

The Wikipedia community uses the term “stub” to denote an article considered too short. A stub is deemed inadequate in that it provides information about a subject that is insufficient for inclusion in an encyclopedia.

20 Play about the shortcomings of capitalism, abridged? : SALESMAN’S DEATH (from “Death of a Salesman”)

“Death of a Salesman” is a famous play by Arthur Miller that was first produced in 1949. “Death of a Salesman” won a Pulitzer and several Tony Awards over the years. The “Salesman” is the famous character Willy Loman. The play originally opened up on Broadway and ran for 724 performances. It was directed by Elia Kazan, and the lead role was played by veteran actor Lee J. Cobb.

23 Capital of Iran : RIAL

The rial is the currency of Iran (as well as Yemen, Oman and Tunisia). Generally, there are 1,000 baisa in one rial.

24 Stately tree : ELM

The Ulmus laevis deciduous tree that is native to Europe is commonly referred to as the European white elm, spreading elm and stately elm.

25 YA series about an insecure preadolescent, abridged? : WIMPY KID’S DIARY (from “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”)

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is a series of humorous novels for children and teens by cartoonist and author Jeff Kinney. The central character in the books is a middle school student named Greg Heffley. The series is very successful, and there is now a series of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movies.

Young adult (YA)

32 Nutrition bar marketed to women : LUNA

The LUNA Bar is a nutrition bar introduced in 1999 that is aimed at women. Apparently, the bar was created by a group of female employees at the Clif Bar company to address nutritional needs specific to women.

33 Acorn trees : OAKS

These days, we don’t usually consider acorns as a foodstuff. But in days past, many cultures around the world have used acorns as food. Usually, bitter tannins that occur in acorns need to be leached out in water. Acorn meal can be a substitute for grain flour, which can then be used to make bread. Acorns have also been used as a substitute for coffee, especially when coffee was rationed. Notably, acorn coffee was brewed up by Confederates during the American Civil War, and by Germans during World War II.

34 University of Pennsylvania swimmer Thomas : LIA

Lia Thomas is a competitive swimmer who won the NCAA Division I 500-yard freestyle national championship in 2022, while she was a student at the University of Pennsylvania. In doing so, Thomas became the first openly transgender athlete to win any NCAA Division I championship.

35 “Love __ Open Door”: “Frozen” duet : IS AN

“Love Is an Open Door” is a romantic duet from the 2013 animated feature film “Frozen”. It is performed by Kristen Bell as Anna, and by Santino Fontanan as Prince Hans.

38 Savor the sun : BASK

Our verb “to bask”, meaning “to expose one to pleasant warmth”, is derived from the gruesome, 14th-century term “basken”, meaning “to wallow in blood”. The contemporary usage apparently originated with Shakespeare, who employed “bask” with reference to sunshine in “As You Like It”.

39 Poke tuna : AHI

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

Poke is a Native-Hawaiian dish featuring diced raw fish. “Poke” is a Hawaiian word meaning “to slice”.

40 Garment worn with a choli : SARI

A choli is a blouse worn by women in the Indian subcontinent. It is a relatively short garment, and is usually worn along with a sari.

42 Film about a crime in a small town, abridged? : MURDER’S ANATOMY (from “Anatomy of a Murder”)

“Anatomy of a Murder” is a novel by Robert Traver, the pen name of Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker. The novel’s storyline, about a murder trial and rape, is based on a real case in which the author participated as a defense attorney. The novel was adapted into a ground-breaking 1959 film starring James Stewart, George C. Scott and Lee Remick.

47 Sci-fi aviators : ETS

One might speculate that an unidentified flying object (UFO) is flown by an extraterrestrial (ET).

48 Apple gadget : IPOD

The iPod is Apple’s signature line of portable media players. The iPod first hit the market in 2001 with a hard drive-based device, now known as the iPod Classic. Later models all use flash memory, allowing a smaller form factor. The smallest of the flash-based models is the iPod Shuffle, which was introduced in 2005.

49 Novel about a Japanese entertainer, abridged? : GEISHA’S MEMOIRS (from “Memoirs of a Geisha”)

“Memoirs of a Geisha” is a novel by American writer Arthur Golden that recounts the life of a geisha working in Kyoto, Japan before, during and after WWII. Golden was helped in his research by a retired geisha called Mineko Iwasaki who claimed that she provided assistance on condition of anonymity. When her name was published in the book, Iwasaki sued and ended up with an undisclosed settlement. There was a 2005 movie adaption of the novel, which also led to some criticism in Japan. The concern was that Chinese actresses were used for the main female roles instead of Japanese actresses.

56 Nursery supply : MULCH

Mulch is a layer of material applied by gardeners over the top of soil. The intent can be to retain moisture, to add nutrients, to reduce weed growth, or just to improve the look of the garden.

57 SALT weapon : ICBM

An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) is a ballistic missile with the range necessary to cross between continents. Being ballistic (unlike a cruise missile), an ICBM is guided during the initial launch phase, but later in flight just relies on thrust and gravity to arrive at its target. It is defined as intercontinental as it has a range greater than 3,500 miles. ICBMs are really only used for delivering nuclear warheads. Scary stuff …

There were two rounds of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the US and the Soviet Union, and two resulting treaties (SALT I & SALT II). The opening round of SALT I talks were held in Helsinki as far back as 1970, with the resulting treaty signed by President Richard Nixon and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in 1972. Brezhnev also signed the SALT II treaty, with President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

58 Bubbly name : MOET

Moët & Chandon is a French winery, and one of the world’s largest producers of champagne. The company was founded by wine trader Claude Moët in 1743. The name was changed to Moët & Chandon in the 1830s when Pierre-Gabriel Chandon, an in-law to the Moët family, was given co-ownership. Moët & Chandon owns the famous Dom Pérignon brand name, honoring the Benedictine monk who did so much to improve the quality of champagne.

59 Hunter-gatherer diet : PALEO

The paleolithic (or “paleo, caveman”) diet is a fad diet that became popular in the 2000s. The idea is to eat wild plants and animals that would have been available to humans during the Paleolithic era (roughly the Stone Age). This period precedes the introduction of agriculture and the domestication of animals. As a result, someone on the diet avoids consuming grains, legumes, dairy and processed foods. The diet consists mainly of lean meat (about 45-65% of the total calorie intake), non-starchy vegetables, fruits, berries and nuts.

60 Hill partner : DALE

Dales are open valleys, especially in the Lowlands of Scotland and in the North of England. In the same locales, it is common to find dales flanked by fells, which are mountains or hills flanking the valley.

61 Craftsy etailer : 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.

62 “Hacks” Emmy winner Jean : SMART

Actress Jean Smart is best known perhaps for her comedic roles, for example Charlene Frazier on CBS’s “Designing Women”. She also did a great job playing the dramatic role of First Lady Martha Logan on Fox’s “24”, and the Governor of Hawaii in the remake by CBS of “Hawaii Five-0”. Smart was married to fellow actor Richard Gilliland, whom she met while he was playing J.D. Shackelford on “Designing Women”.

“Hacks” is a comedy-drama TV series featuring Jean Smart as legendary stand-up Deborah Vance, and Hannah Einbender as young comedy writer Ava Daniels. The show premiered on HBO Max in 2021.

Down

1 “You Had Me” singer Stone : JOSS

Joss Stone is a singer-songwriter from England. She also dabbles in acting, and portrayed Anne of Cleves in the excellent period drama series “The Tudors”.

3 Un color primario : AZUL

In Spanish, “azul” (blue) is “un color primario” (a primary color).

4 El Diablo of “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” e.g. : DOBERMAN

“Beverly Hills Chihuahua” is a 2008 comedy film that launched a series of “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” movies. The title character is voiced by Drew Barrymore, and is a female chihuahua named Chloe that is dognapped in Mexico.

6 Rise in pitch that can make a statement sound like a question : UPTALK

Uptalk (also “high rising terminal”) is a form of speech in which a declarative sentence ends with a rising inflection, so that it sounds like a question. The phenomenon has been labeled “Valley Girl Speak”, and there is indeed evidence that it is more associated with women than men, and with younger rather than older people.

7 Apollo theater? : MOON

The Apollo program is very much associated with President Kennedy, as he gave NASA the challenge to land men on the moon by the end of the sixties. However, the Apollo program was conceived during the Eisenhower administration as a follow-up to Project Mercury that put the first Americans in space.

8 “Raiders of the Lost Ark” snakes : ASPS

According to the “Indiana Jones” series of films, Indy’s fear of snakes goes back when he was a young man. In “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, we see actor River Phoenix playing young Indie as a Boy Scout and falling into a huge pit of snakes during a chase scene.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is, in my humble opinion, the best of the Indiana Jones franchise of movies. This first Indiana Jones film was released in 1981, produced by George Lucas and directed by Steven Spielberg. Harrison Ford was Spielberg’s first choice to play the lead, but Lucas resisted as he was concerned that he would be too closely associated with the actor (as Ford played Han Solo in “Star Wars”, and also appeared in Lucas’s “American Graffiti”). Tom Selleck was offered the role but he couldn’t get out of his commitments to “Magnum, P.I.” Eventually Spielberg got his way and Ford was hired, a good thing I say …

9 Claressa who is the only American boxer to win consecutive Olympic gold medals : SHIELDS

Claressa Shields is a boxer from Flint, Michigan who became a professional mixed martial artist in 2020.

10 Woven floor mat : TATAMI

A tatami is a traditional mat used on floors in Japan. The term “tatami” comes from the Japanese word “tatamu” meaning “to fold”, reflecting the fact that the mat is designed to be folded up for storage.

11 Lie for, say : 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.

12 “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of __” : NIMH

“The Secret of NIMH” is the 1982 screen adaptation of a book written by Robert C. O’Brien. The novel’s title is “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH”. “Mrs. Frisby” doesn’t actually appear in the movie version, at least not under the same name. In the film her character is called Mrs. “Brisby”, with the name change being made due to concerns about a potential trademark dispute with “Frisbee” discs.

13 D and C in D.C. : STS

Famously, the layout of the streets in Washington was designed by French-born American architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant. The L’Enfant Plan called for a grid of east-west and north-south streets. This grid was crisscrossed with diagonal avenues. The avenues and streets met at circles and rectangular plazas. The east-west streets are generally named for letters, while the north-south streets are numbered. Later, many of the diagonal avenues were named for states of the union.

25 Chinese martial art : WUSHU

“Wushu” is a Mandarin term describing Chinese martial arts. An equivalent term is “kung fu”, a term that we might recognise more readily.

26 “… bombs bursting __” : IN AIR

The words “bombs bursting in air” come from “The Star-Spangled Banner” written by Francis Scott Key.

27 Ancient Greek region : IONIA

The geographic region called Ionia is located in present-day Turkey. Ionia was prominent in the days of ancient Greece, although it wasn’t a unified state and rather a collection of tribes. The tribal confederacy was more based on religious and cultural similarities than a political or military alliance. Nowadays we often refer to this arrangement as the Ionian League.

28 Black Hills terr. : DAK

The Dakota Territory was formed in 1861 and ceased to exist with the admission to the Union of the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. The territory was split into two states in 1889 largely due to lobbying by the Republican Party, which enjoyed a lot of support in the Dakota Territory. The admission of two states added to the political power of the party in the US Senate, by adding four safe Republican seats.

The Black Hills are a mountain range in South Dakota and Wyoming. The Black Hills are home to some celebrated locations including Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park, the Crazy Horse Memorial and the historic city of Deadwood.

29 Chili rating unit : ALARM

The spiciness or “heat” of a serving of chili is often designated by an unofficial scale ranging from one-alarm upwards.

30 Like junk bonds : RISKY

Financier Michael Milken is the man most associated with the founding of the “junk bond” market in the 1980s. Milken made a personal fortune, but ended up spending two years in jail after being found guilty of securities fraud in 1989.

31 Shaggy Himalayan locals : YAKS

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

32 Payne of One Direction : LIAM

One Direction (1D) is a UK-based boy band. Each member of the band competed in the reality show “The X Factor”, and didn’t do very well. The five were then combined in a boy band at a later stage of the competition. They only finished in third place, but I don’t think they care. They’re doing very, very well for “losers” …

36 “Don’t __ my mellow!” : HARSH

“Don’t harsh my mellow” is American slang meaning “don’t treat me badly, don’t make life difficult for me”. New to me …

37 Rolling Rock openers? : ARS

The opening letters of the brand name “Rolling Rocks” are letters R (ars).

Rolling Rock is a lager beer that first went for sale in 1939 as a local beer in Pennsylvania. Every bottle of Rolling Rock bears the number 33 printed quite prominently. Although there are many, many theories about the significance of this number, nobody seems to know why it’s there.

38 Closed ecosystems : BIODOMES

A biodome is an enclosed ecological system, and usually a man-made structure. I visited one of the more famous biodomes a few years ago, namely Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona. The Arizona facility was built as a closed-system experiment and used during the nineties as home to two small teams of people for extended periods. Both experiments ran into problems. The first group confronted insufficient generation of food and oxygen. The second group generated sufficient food, but oxygen eventually had to be injected into the habitat.

40 Basket made without weaving? : SET SHOT

That would be basketball …

43 Severe cold remedy? : DEICER

Deicing is the process of removing snow and ice from a surface. Deicing is particularly important for aircraft operating in freezing conditions. Ice on the surface of a plane can change its aerodynamics, and dislodged ice can cause damage to engines.

45 Zaius, Thade, et al. : APEMEN

Dr. Zaius and General Thade are characters in “Planet of the Apes” movies. Both are apemen.

46 With 36-Across, “Big” star : TOM …
36A See 46-Down : … HANKS

Tom Hanks is such a great actor. He has played so many iconic roles in a relatively short career. Hanks is from California, and studied theater for a couple of years in Hayward, California not far from here. Tom’s son Colin Hanks is one of the stars of the TV comedy “Life in Pieces”. Hanks is married to the talented actress Rita Wilson.

49 Island in Micronesia : GUAM

Guam is a US territory in the western Pacific Ocean, and is the largest of the Mariana Islands. Guam is also the first territory in the United States to see the sun rise on any particular day. As such, the territory has adopted the motto, “Where America’s day begins”. During WWII, the US territory of Guam was occupied by the Japanese for 31 months until it was liberated in the Battle of Guam in July 1944. Of the 18,000 Japanese men holding the island, only 485 surrendered, so almost all perished in the invasion. One Japanese sergeant hid out on the island for an incredible 28 years, finally surrendering in 1972!

Micronesia is one of the three island regions of Oceania, along with Polynesia and Melanesia. The sovereign nations included in the region are the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru and Palau. Also in Micronesia are the US territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Wake Island.

50 Fashion designer Emhoff : ELLA

Ella Emhoff is a model and fashion designer. She is the stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris and daughter of Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff. The outfit that Ella designed for herself to wear to the Biden inauguration garnered a lot of favorable attention from the media, and really gave her career a boost.

51 Turturro of “The Sopranos” : AIDA

Actress Aida Turturro is best known for playing Tony Soprano’s elder sister Janice on the TV drama “The Sopranos”.

53 Whit : IOTA

Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet, and one that gave rise to our letters I and J. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small, as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.

Both “whit” and “fig” are used to describe a trivial amount, a mere trifle.

55 Ocular malady : STYE

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands at the base of the eyelashes, and is also known as a hordeolum.

“Oculus” (plural “oculi”) is the Latin word for “eye”, and gives us our term “ocular” meaning “eye-related”.

56 U.K. lawmakers : MPS

Member of Parliament (MP)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Steinbeck surname : JOAD
5 Russian assembly : DUMA
9 Overdoes the fandom, in slang : STANS
14 Liqueur that water turns cloudy : OUZO
15 NASDAQ newbies : IPOS
16 Convent outfit : HABIT
17 Inadequate Wikipedia entry : STUB
18 “Cool it!” : STOP!
19 Things : ITEMS
20 Play about the shortcomings of capitalism, abridged? : SALESMAN’S DEATH (from “Death of a Salesman”)
23 Capital of Iran : RIAL
24 Stately tree : ELM
25 YA series about an insecure preadolescent, abridged? : WIMPY KID’S DIARY (from “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”)
32 Nutrition bar marketed to women : LUNA
33 Acorn trees : OAKS
34 University of Pennsylvania swimmer Thomas : LIA
35 “Love __ Open Door”: “Frozen” duet : IS AN
36 See 46-Down : … HANKS
38 Savor the sun : BASK
39 Poke tuna : AHI
40 Garment worn with a choli : SARI
41 Annoys : IRKS
42 Film about a crime in a small town, abridged? : MURDER’S ANATOMY (from “Anatomy of a Murder”)
47 Sci-fi aviators : ETS
48 Apple gadget : IPOD
49 Novel about a Japanese entertainer, abridged? : GEISHA’S MEMOIRS (from “Memoirs of a Geisha”)
56 Nursery supply : MULCH
57 SALT weapon : ICBM
58 Bubbly name : MOET
59 Hunter-gatherer diet : PALEO
60 Hill partner : DALE
61 Craftsy etailer : ETSY
62 “Hacks” Emmy winner Jean : SMART
63 “Preach!” : AMEN!
64 Gratify : SATE

Down

1 “You Had Me” singer Stone : JOSS
2 “I’m __ here!” : OUTA
3 Un color primario : AZUL
4 El Diablo of “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” e.g. : DOBERMAN
5 Consternation : DISMAY
6 Rise in pitch that can make a statement sound like a question : UPTALK
7 Apollo theater? : MOON
8 “Raiders of the Lost Ark” snakes : ASPS
9 Claressa who is the only American boxer to win consecutive Olympic gold medals : SHIELDS
10 Woven floor mat : TATAMI
11 Lie for, say : ABET
12 “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of __” : NIMH
13 D and C in D.C. : STS
21 Sample : SIP
22 Newsroom bureaus : DESKS
25 Chinese martial art : WUSHU
26 “… bombs bursting __” : IN AIR
27 Ancient Greek region : IONIA
28 Black Hills terr. : DAK
29 Chili rating unit : ALARM
30 Like junk bonds : RISKY
31 Shaggy Himalayan locals : YAKS
32 Payne of One Direction : LIAM
36 “Don’t __ my mellow!” : HARSH
37 Rolling Rock openers? : ARS
38 Closed ecosystems : BIODOMES
40 Basket made without weaving? : SET SHOT
43 Severe cold remedy? : DEICER
44 Agile : NIMBLE
45 Zaius, Thade, et al. : APEMEN
46 With 36-Across, “Big” star : TOM …
49 Island in Micronesia : GUAM
50 Fashion designer Emhoff : ELLA
51 Turturro of “The Sopranos” : AIDA
52 Con job : SCAM
53 Whit : IOTA
54 Take ten : REST
55 Ocular malady : STYE
56 U.K. lawmakers : MPS

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 13 May 22, Friday”

  1. 14:10 with two errors. Had never heard of STANS at 9-A, but that would have self-corrected had I put together the 13-D clue. D’oh!

  2. Misspelled (or didn’t know) LUNA and WUSHU. Guessed LANA and WASHU.

    I guessed at all the other proper names. Guessed right. Reminds me of a crossword version of the old TV Guide.

    Never heard the phrase “Don’t HARSH my mellow”?

  3. Didn’t figure out what was going on until we finished. Two of us working together took nearly an hour. Lots of stuff we had no idea what they were talking about. Not much fun.

  4. “Don’t harsh my mellow” is old, 1960s, drug culture slang. It’s a request not to bring (someone) down from a pleasant drug high. It went mainstream to mean “Don’t disturb my peace (bring me down) with your upsetting words (thoughts, comments, actions).” “Mellow yellow” was a slang term for the psychedelic, LSD.

  5. 9:37

    Once I got SALESMANSDEATH, the others fell into place. So the theme helped quite a bit, but I was still seriously stuck in the SW corner. I barely managed to figure it out without lookups.

    I had the impression the STANS came from the “stans” of Central Asia. I first heard the term about the Korean stans acting together almost like tribes or countries.

  6. I somehow thought “STAN” was a reference to Stan Lee! I just watched the video of Eminem’s “Stan” and I must say that, although it’s pretty effectively done, it’s also sick, sick, sick! (Okay, go ahead … call me a stodgy old fart … I don’t mind … 😜!)

  7. Getting ridiculouser and ridiculouser. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too many proper names.
    D. Chatswood

  8. More than 30 proper names/nouns, ridiculous clues (“Things” at 19D). Next time I see the constructor’s name, I’m OUTA* here … I don’t need the slog.

    * (2D answer, properly spelled OUTTA)

  9. 17 minutes 47 seconds, and needed Check Grid help to fix 6 entries.

    I’m sorry, this is not “clever” at all, it’s just forced, labored, and plain stupid. As well as full of naticks, arcana, and people no one has ever heard of.

    Poor all around.

  10. 17:44 – no errors or lookups. Revisions: LARA>LUNA, LIMBER>NIMBLE, BRUT>MOET.

    New items: STANS (sounTurturrods like an ugly “song”), JOSS, LIA, Claressa SHIELDS, WUSHU, LIAM Payne, Don’t HARSH my mellow (that’s weird), ELLA Emhoff, AIDA Turturro – lots of names!

    The Wimpy Kid Diary is what finally clued me in to the theme answers which helped finalize a couple of the others.

    It was a slow start. Took some initial guessing to really get something going.

    I agree that “outa” is not “spelled” correctly.

  11. Fairly tough Friday for me; took 31:10 with 2 errors discovered at about 90% fill, with a “check-grid.” Kinda surprised that I only had two, since I haven’t heard of most of the people mentioned. I did know JOSH – although I had JOSs – and I remembered the STAN thing from an Eminem video and I knew about HARSH as well. Anyway, after fixing the 2 errors, I was able to figure out the first theme answer and the last one, and finally the other two. Just had to dance around in the SW and S for a little to finally get the banner.

  12. At least two dictionaries list “OUTA” as a variant spelling of “OUTTA” (Merriam-Webster and Collins). As always, I’m convinced that setters do actually check to see what’s in the dictionaries and are completely justified in using what they find there. (And I also realize that some here are certain to disagree … 😜.)

  13. “the format “X of a Y”, but rewritten as “X’s Y”—- should say rewritten as “Y’s X.”

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