LA Times Crossword 26 Jul 22, Tuesday

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Constructed by: Mary Lou Guizzo & Jeff Chen
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Endgame

Themed answers each END with the name of a board GAME:

  • 62A Last stage of a chess match, and what each answer to a starred clue literally has : ENDGAME
  • 16A *”Now you see what I deal with every day” : WELCOME TO MY LIFE
  • 26A *”Our goose is cooked” : WE’RE IN TROUBLE
  • 40A *Tools that may make one say, “Damn you, autocorrect!” : SPELLCHECKERS
  • 54A *”No idea” : I HAVEN’T GOT A CLUE

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

Bill’s time: 5m 03s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Rental for some exercise classes : YOGA MAT

In the West, we tend to think of yoga as just a physical discipline, a means of exercise that uses specific poses to stretch and strengthen muscles. While it is true that the ancient Indian practice of yoga does involve such physical discipline, the corporeal aspect of the practice plays a relatively small part in the whole philosophy. Other major components are meditation, ethical behavior, breathing and contemplation.

8 Vice President Harris : KAMALA

Kamala Harris was a US Senator for California starting in 2017, after serving for six years as the Attorney General of California. In early 2019, Harris announced her run for the Democratic nomination for US president in the 2020 election. Although she dropped out of the race, she was chosen by eventual nominee Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. When the Biden-Harris ticket won the election, Harris became the highest-ranking female politician in the history of the US.

14 Make move, as a cartoon : ANIMATE

The word “cartoon” was originally used for a “drawing on strong paper”, a durable drawing used as a model for a work of art. The term comes from the French word “carton” meaning “heavy paper, pasteboard”. Cartoons have been around a long time, with some of the most famous having been drawn by Leonardo da Vinci.

15 Grapefruit kin : POMELOS

A pomelo is a very large, pear-shaped citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia.

The somewhat bitter fruit that we know as “grapefruit” originated in the island nation of Barbados in the Caribbean. It developed as a hybrid (possibly accidentally) of the Jamaican sweet orange and the Indonesian pomelo. Back in the mid-1700s, the new hybrid was referred to as “the forbidden fruit”, and later as the shaddock. Some believe that a “Captain Shaddock” brought Indonesian pomelo seeds to Barbados and was responsible for developing the hybrid. The contemporary name is perhaps an allusion to the fact that grapefruit grow in clusters like grapes.

18 Clandestine org. : NSA

National Security Agency (NSA)

19 Shortfin shark : MAKO

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”.

20 Facts and figures : DATA

Our word “data” (singular “datum”) comes from the Latin “datum” meaning “given”. The idea is that data are “things given”.

21 EMT’s skill : CPR

An emergency medical technician (EMT) might administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

33 Defeat badly : TROMP

“Tromp” is a variant of “tramp”, so to tromp all over someone is to give them a shellacking.

35 Extended a performance, in a way : ENCORED

“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request perhaps another song. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”

36 “The Good Doctor” actress Thomas : ANTONIA

Antonia Thomas is an actress and singer from England who is perhaps best known in North America for playing Dr. Claire Browne on the American TV show “The Good Doctor”.

“The Good Doctor” is a medical-drama TV series that first aired in 2017. The title character, played by English actor Freddie Highmore, is an autistic savant surgeon working at a hospital in San Jose, California. Actor Daniel Dae Kim produces the show, which is a remake of a very successful South Korean series of the same name.

38 “Their Eyes Were Watching God” novelist Zora __ Hurston : NEALE

1937’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” is the best-known work penned by American author Zora Neale Hurston. The novel gained popularity in the late 1900s after a mediocre reception when first published. It is now associated with the Harlem Renaissance, and in 2005 was named as one of the 100 best English-language novels since 1923.

39 Stereo components : SPEAKERS

Monophonic sound (“mono”) is sound reproduced using just one audio channel, which is usually played out of just one speaker. Stereophonic sound is reproduced using two audio channels, with the sound from each channel played out of two different speakers. The pair of stereo speakers are usually positioned apart from each other so that sound appears to come from between the two. Quadraphonic sound (4.0 surround sound) uses four audio channels with the sound played back through four speakers that are often positioned at the corners of the room in which one is listening.

44 “Jeopardy!” co-host Jennings : KEN

Ken Jennings is a remarkable man, the person who had the longest winning streak on television’s “Jeopardy!”. He has also won more game show money than any other person. He was defeated after 75 appearances on the show, after racking up over $2.5 million in the prior episodes. In 2020, Jennings was named as the first interim host of “Jeopardy!” following the passing of Alex Trebek.

54 *”No idea” : I HAVEN’T GOT A CLUE

Either have I …

59 Desert illusions : MIRAGES

A mirage occurs when light rays are bent by passing from cold air to warmer air. The most often cited mirage is a “lake” seen in a desert, which is actually the blue of the sky and not water at all. The word “mirage” comes to us via French from the Latin “mirare” meaning “to look at in wonder”. “Mirage” has the same root as our words “admire” and “mirror”.

Down

3 __ monster: lizard : GILA

A Gila monster is a venomous lizard found in the southwestern US and northern Mexico, and is the only venomous lizard native to America. Gila monsters move along at a snail’s pace so aren’t normally a danger to humans. The name “Gila” is a reference to the Gila River Basin in the American Southwest, where the Gila monster was prevalent.

4 Theater chain initials : AMC

The AMC theater chain used to go by the name American Multi-Cinema Inc., hence the initialism “AMC”.

5 Chairman who led China’s Cultural Revolution : MAO

China’s Cultural Revolution was started by Mao Zedong in 1966, and continued until Mao’s death in 1976. The Cultural Revolution replaced the Great Leap Forward, the economically and socially disastrous movement that Mao launched in 1958.

6 Bank drive-thru device : ATM

Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)

8 __ dragon: lizard : KOMODO

The large lizard called a Komodo dragon is so named because it is found on the island of Komodo (and others) in Indonesia. It can grow to a length of over 9 1/2 feet, so I guess that explains the dragon part of the name …

9 “Vice” Oscar nominee Adams : AMY

Amy Adams is an American actress, although she was actually born in Vicenza, Italy while her father was a US serviceman stationed on an Italian base. My favorite Amy Adams film so far is the outstanding “Julie & Julia” in which she acted alongside Meryl Streep. I highly recommend this truly delightful movie.

“Vice” is a very interesting and entertaining 2018 biopic that tells the story of the road Dick Cheney took to become possibly the most powerful US vice president in history. Christian Bale does a remarkable job playing Cheney, with Amy Adams playing Cheney’s wife Lynne Vincent Cheney. Anyone thinking about viewing “Vice” should be aware that there’s a lot of satire included …

11 “Search Party” actress Shawkat : ALIA

Alia Shawkat is an actor who might be best known for playing Maeby Fünke on the sitcom “Arrested Development”. Shawkat is best friends with fellow actor Elliot Page (formerly Ellen Page), whom she met while filming the 2009 movie “Whip It”.

“Search Party” is a sitcom that started airing in 2016. It is a dark comedy that is noted for its changing themes from season to season. For example, the first season focuses on a mystery, and is reminiscent of Nancy Drew stories. The second season includes elements used by Hitchcock in his psychological thrillers. The third season features a courtroom drama narrative, reminiscent of the novels of John Grisham. Interesting idea …

15 “__ Face”: Lady Gaga hit : POKER

“Poker Face” is a 2008 song co-written and recorded by Lady Gaga. Having sold over 14 million copies, it is one of the best-selling singles ever released. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it …

21 New Orleans cuisine : CREOLE

Here in North America, we tend to associate Creole cuisine with Louisiana. However, the term “Creole cuisine” applies to several areas of the world, areas within the reach of the French, Portuguese and Spanish colonial empires. One definition of Creole culture refers to peoples of European origin, born in the New World, and who have integrated with local cultures. As a result, we encounter a variety of Creole-named cuisines beyond Louisiana, in places like Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Jamaica, Réunion and Cape Verde. All the variations share a leaning towards spiciness, the use of simpler techniques in preparing the food (stewing, frying, etc.), and the use of local products in traditional European dishes.

22 Seabirds that often follow ships : PETRELS

The petrel is a migratory seabird known for hovering just above the waves, with feet barely touching the water. This behavior gives rise to the name “petrel” after the Christian Saint Peter, as “Peter” was said to have walked on the water. Included in the petrel grouping are the various species of storm petrels.

27 Yosemite peak, familiarly : EL CAP

El Capitan is a stunning vertical rock formation in Yosemite National Park in California. The top of El Capitan has been used as the take-off point for many BASE jumps, parachute jumps made by diving off the top of the rock face. The National Park Service put a stop to the practice in 1999. Soon afterwards, a BASE jumper made an illegal jump to protest the ban. She died …

28 “The Simpsons” neighbor Flanders : NED

Ned Flanders lives next door to Homer Simpson on TV’s “The Simpsons”. Ned is voiced by actor Harry Shearer, and has been around since the very first episode aired in 1989.

29 Kaput : BROKEN

“Kaput” is a familiar term meaning “incapacitated, destroyed”, and comes to us from French (via German). The original word “capot” means “not having won a single trick” in the French card game Piquet.

31 Kuwaiti rulers : EMIRS

The State of Kuwait sits at the northern tip of the Persian Gulf, sharing a border to the north with Iraq. After WWI, Kuwait was a Protectorate within the British Empire and then gained independence from the UK in 1961. Iraq annexed Kuwait in 1990, which led to the Gulf War of 1990-1991.

32 Ballpoint, e.g. : PEN

The ballpoint pen was invented by László Bíró in the late thirties, a Hungarian newspaper editor. Over in Ireland we use the term “biro” as a generic word for “ballpoint pen”.

34 Faux __ : PAS

The term “faux pas” is French in origin, and translates literally as “false step” (or “false steps”, as the plural has the same spelling in French).

36 Tailless primate : APE

The tailless primates known as apes (also “hominoids”) are divided into two main branches: gibbons (lesser apes) and hominids (great apes). The hominids are the great apes, and belong to the family of primates called Hominidae. Extant genera that make up the family Hominidae are:

  • chimpanzees
  • gorillas
  • humans
  • orangutans

41 __ Tunes : LOONEY

“Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” are two series of animated short films produced by Warner Bros. from 1930 until 1969. The list of famous “Looney Tunes” characters includes Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird, and my favorites Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

47 Canvas cover : TARP

Originally, tarpaulins were made from canvas covered in tar that rendered the material waterproof. The word “tarpaulin” comes from “tar” and “palling”, with “pall” meaning “heavy cloth covering”.

48 Avocado shape : OVAL

The wonderful avocado comes from a tree that is native to Mexico and Central America. The avocado fruit is sometimes called an avocado pear, because of its shape, even though it is not related to the pear at all. The fruit might also be referred to as an alligator pear, due to the roughness of the green skin of some avocado cultivars.

51 Idris of “Luther” : ELBA

“Luther” is a British television series starring Idris Elba in the title role as Detective Chief Inspector John Luther. There has been talk about developing a US version of “Luther”, and a Russian version first broadcast in 2016 using the title “Klim”.

52 “Where America’s Day Begins” : 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!

53 “Chicago” star Richard : GERE

The 2002 musical film “Chicago” is based on the 1975 stage musical of the same name, which in turn is based on a 1926 play, also of the same name. 2002’s “Chicago” was a big hit, and was the first musical to win the Best Picture Oscar since “Oliver!” in 1968.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Rental for some exercise classes : YOGA MAT
8 Vice President Harris : KAMALA
14 Make move, as a cartoon : ANIMATE
15 Grapefruit kin : POMELOS
16 *”Now you see what I deal with every day” : WELCOME TO MY LIFE
18 Clandestine org. : NSA
19 Shortfin shark : MAKO
20 Facts and figures : DATA
21 EMT’s skill : CPR
24 More than fix up : REDO
26 *”Our goose is cooked” : WE’RE IN TROUBLE
32 Color selection tools : PALETTES
33 Defeat badly : TROMP
35 Extended a performance, in a way : ENCORED
36 “The Good Doctor” actress Thomas : ANTONIA
38 “Their Eyes Were Watching God” novelist Zora __ Hurston : NEALE
39 Stereo components : SPEAKERS
40 *Tools that may make one say, “Damn you, autocorrect!” : SPELLCHECKERS
43 Fly high : SOAR
44 “Jeopardy!” co-host Jennings : KEN
45 Regarding : AS TO
49 Heavy burden : ONUS
51 Cake mix need : EGG
54 *”No idea” : I HAVEN’T GOT A CLUE
59 Desert illusions : MIRAGES
60 Source of pint-sized beverages? : MINIBAR
61 Use : EMPLOY
62 Last stage of a chess match, and what each answer to a starred clue literally has : ENDGAME

Down

1 Show sleepiness : YAWN
2 Tip jar bills : ONES
3 __ monster: lizard : GILA
4 Theater chain initials : AMC
5 Chairman who led China’s Cultural Revolution : MAO
6 Bank drive-thru device : ATM
7 Swarm (with) : TEEM
8 __ dragon: lizard : KOMODO
9 “Vice” Oscar nominee Adams : AMY
10 Blend : MELD
11 “Search Party” actress Shawkat : ALIA
12 Hay storage area : LOFT
13 Drifting aimlessly : ASEA
15 “__ Face”: Lady Gaga hit : POKER
17 Small fruit pastries : TARTS
21 New Orleans cuisine : CREOLE
22 Seabirds that often follow ships : PETRELS
23 Solemn ceremony : RITE
25 Scene not meant to be seen : OUTTAKE
26 Decreases in strength : WANES
27 Yosemite peak, familiarly : EL CAP
28 “The Simpsons” neighbor Flanders : NED
29 Kaput : BROKEN
30 Solitary sort : LONER
31 Kuwaiti rulers : EMIRS
32 Ballpoint, e.g. : PEN
34 Faux __ : PAS
36 Tailless primate : APE
37 Bottle part : NECK
39 “So what” shoulder gesture : SHRUG
41 __ Tunes : LOONEY
42 Leans to one side : CANTS
45 Je t’__: French “I love you” : AIME
46 Leveling device : SHIM
47 Canvas cover : TARP
48 Avocado shape : OVAL
50 A few : SOME
51 Idris of “Luther” : ELBA
52 “Where America’s Day Begins” : GUAM
53 “Chicago” star Richard : GERE
55 Sense of self : EGO
56 Metal container : TIN
57 Plus : AND
58 Smoke, briefly : CIG

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 26 Jul 22, Tuesday”

  1. No errors.
    Learned what a PETREL is.

    Had to look up the reference Bill wrote in GUAM about the Japanese soldier 27 years after WWII. apparently there was another one emerged after 29 years.

  2. Nice puzzle, overall. One nit, and were it not the umpteenth occurrence of the error I would not mention it:

    Regarding the ovate avocado of 49D, it may be reasonably regarded as having an oval outline, but if you’re talking shape you must say ovoid, so if the word sought is OVAL the clue should be ‘Avocado outline.’

    This is a fine distinction, but we are word people and we should strive for accuracy, particularly if it involves changing one word in a clue. Editor, take note.

  3. 3:54, no errors.

    As someone else aptly says, this is indeed a Jeff Chen & partner puzzle…at least according to where I did this.

    @Engineer
    I’ve learned long ago to stop expecting anything accurate, factual, or sane out of crosswords.

  4. Easy Tuesday!!
    ALLAN – if you’ve never heard of TROUBLE you must not have lived through the 1960’s….
    Pop-o-matic pops the dice
    Pop a six and you move twice!
    Fun game!! 😊
    Enjoy your day!!

  5. 18:00 no errors but the K was about the only letter I got right for Komodo until crosses corrected it 🤪.
    How many proper names is too many?
    Stay safe😀

  6. 8:04 with no revisions, but some new items/names worked through: ANTONIA Thomas, ALIA Shawkat, PETREL, “Where America’s Day Begins,” and to CANT for leaning (which I assumed comes from cantilever; but after reviewing the definition of a cantilever, that only remotely makes sense since it’s supported on only one side, but not what I’d call leaning).

    I played all those games at one time or other while growing up (plus a slew of other board games).

  7. 7 minutes, 31 sec, no errors. The “revealing” fill gave me a few pauses though. To be expected when Jeff Chen is involved, eh?

  8. One error: I had a natick at KAMALA crosses ALIA. I had better learn how to spell our vice president’s name.
    Did not notice the theme. Had “RKO” before AMC and misTAKE before OUTTAKE. Did not actually know ANTONIA, ALIA, PETRELS, ELCAP.
    Challenging puzzle for a Tuesday.

  9. 3:31, a new Tuesday record for me.

    I keep reading the clue for 40A as “Damn you, autocrat!”

    I like that the theme answers are board games.

  10. 23 minutes, no errors.
    The theme wasn’t much help, partly because I had faG* instead of CIG, and POKE? was the last square I filled in.
    *Oops, Brit background!

  11. A day late but still pretty fun; took 8:22 with no peeks or errors. Didn’t know most of the names: AMY, ALIA, ANTONIA and only vaguely KEN. The rest wasn’t too hard, if not used very often.

    Theme didn’t really help and never heard of LIFE and TROUBLE, but got those with crosses easily enough.

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