LA Times Crossword 20 Aug 22, Saturday

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Constructed by: Matthew Stock & Christina Iverson
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 53m 31s!

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 __ shop : MALT

Walgreens claims to have introduced the malted milkshake, back in 1922.

13 World Golf Hall of Famer Lorena : OCHOA

Lorena Ochoa is a retired professional golfer from Mexico who was ranked as the number one female golfer in the world from 2007 to 2010.

15 Jelly that may be added to boba tea : ALOE

Bubble tea, sometimes called “boba tea”, is a tea-based drink from Taiwan. The “bubbles” are chewy tapioca balls that are usually added to the drink.

16 Device with threads : LOOM

There are many types of loom used to weave cloth, but they all hold parallel threads in tension in one direction, while allowing the interweaving of threads in the perpendicular direction. The threads held under tension are the warp threads, and the “woven” threads are the “weft” threads.

18 Dark days or long days : SOLSTICES

A solstice occurs twice in every year. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year (has the most daylight), and the winter solstice is the shortest.

20 Woman whose immortalized cell line was used in developing the polio vaccine : HENRIETTA LACKS

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is a 2017 TV movie adapted from a 2010 non-fiction book of the same name by Rebecca Skloot. The film stars Oprah Winfrey, who was also a driving force behind getting the film produced. Winfrey plays Henrietta Lacks’ daughter Deborah, and Rose Byrne portrays the author Skloot. Both film and book deal with the use of Henrietta’s cervical cancer cells to create the HeLa cell line that is still used for medical research.

22 “I feel seen” : IT ME

“It me” is a slang phrase used mainly on the Internet to indicate that one identifies with something. Usually, the phrase is used somewhat humorously.

23 “RuPaul’s Drag Race Live!” regular O’Hara : ASIA

RuPaul is a famous drag queen who has developed a diverse career beyond performing on stage. He works as an actor, model, author and a recording artist. Famously, RuPaul doesn’t mind whether one addresses him as “he” or as “she” …

You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee; I don’t care! Just as long as you call me.

He currently hosts his own reality TV show called “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, which is billed as a search for “America’s next drag superstar”.

Asia O’Hara is the stage name of drag queen Antwan Lee. O’Hara’s popularity took off after competing in “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in 2018. She won the Miss Gay America pageant, a competition for female impersonators, in 2016.

24 Taxing time? : MID-APRIL

April 15th wasn’t always Tax Day in the US. The deadline for returns was March 1st from 1913-18, when it was moved to March 15th. Tax Day has been April 15th since 1955.

28 __ bar : TAPAS

“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”. There is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.

32 Go for the win, in Clue : ACCUSE

Clue is a board game that we knew under a different name growing up in Ireland. Outside of North America, Clue is marketed as “Cluedo”. Cluedo was the original name of the game, introduced in 1949 by the famous British board game manufacturer Waddingtons. There are cute differences between the US and UK versions. For example, the man who is murdered is called Dr. Black (Mr. Boddy in the US), one of the suspects is the Reverend Green (Mr. Green in the US), and the suspect weapons include a dagger (a knife in the US), and a spanner (a wrench in the US). I think it’s a fabulous game, a must during the holidays …

34 “__ Luna”: Allende novel : EVA

“Eva Luna” is a 1987 novel penned by Chilean novelist Isabel Allende. The title character is an orphan who grows up in an unnamed South American country. In the novel, we learn about Eva’s life as she narrates the life story of Rolf Carlé, a photojournalist who grew up in post-WWII Europe. Eva and Rolf meet up while he is covering the guerilla movement, and eventually fall in love.

Isabel Allende is a Chilean writer, and the world’s most widely-read, Spanish-language author. Isabel is related to Salvador Allende, the ex-President of Chile.

35 Accutane target : ACNE

Accutane is the brand name used by Roche for the drug isotretinoin. Primarily used to treat acne, the drug was withdrawn from the US market in 2009 after Roche had paid out millions of dollars to settle lawsuits by users of the drug who claimed that it caused inflammatory bowel disease.

38 “Awkward Black Girl” creator : RAE

Issa Rae is a Stanford University graduate who created a YouTube web series called “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”. Rae also plays the title role in the series, a young lady named “J”. “Awkward Black Girl” was adapted into an HBO comedy-drama called “Insecure”, in which Issa Rae stars.

40 French dip? : PLIE

The French word for “bent” is “plié”. In the ballet move known as a plié, the knees are bent. A “demi-plié” is a similar move, but with less bending of the knees. A fondu is similar to a plié, except that only one leg remains on the ground.

41 Traditional Islamic garment : BURQA

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

48 “That’s what you’re bragging about? You do you … ” : WEIRD FLEX BUT OK

“Weird flex but OK” is Internet slang. “To flex” (as in “flex one’s muscles”) means “to boast”, and the phrase is used in response to someone boasting about something odd. It’s a bit of a put down, telling the boaster, “that’s not appropriate”.

55 Japanese mushroom : ENOKI

Enokitake (also known as “enoki”) are long and thin white mushrooms often added to soups or salads.

57 Emily Oster’s subj. : ECON

Emily Oster is an American economist who has economics in her blood. Both of her parents (Sharon Oster and Ray Fair) are also economists, and professors at Yale University. In 2006, Emily married Jesse Shapiro, a professor of economics at Harvard University.

58 Court apparel : SKORT

The garment called a “skort” is a hybrid between a “skirt” and “shorts”.

Down

3 One guarded on a soccer pitch : SHIN

Soccer players wear shin guards, padding that’s worn inside the socks protecting the shin.

4 Fabled food that’s bear-ly eaten? : PORRIDGE

The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837 in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family-oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was originally an elderly woman, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.

5 Competition series that features Mystery Box and Pressure Test challenges : MASTERCHEF

“MasterChef” is a cooking competition TV show franchise that originated on the BBC in the UK in 1990. There are now versions of MasterChef made all over the world, from Albania to Vietnam. I quite enjoy the US version of the “MasterChef Junior” manifestation of the show. But, I have no time for host Gordan Ramsay …

7 “Mozart in the Jungle” star Kirke : LOLA

Lola Kirke is an actress and singer-songwriter who is perhaps best known for playing the lead in the TV show “Mozart in the Jungle”. Although raised in New York City, she was actually born in London.

8 Electric company? : TESLA

Tesla Motors shortened its name to just “Tesla” in early 2017.

9 Keys on a piano : ALICIA

“Alicia Keys” is the stage name of Alicia Cook, an R&B and soul singer from Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

10 “She put the Miss in misdemeanor when she stole the beans from Lima” singers : ROCKAPELLA

Rockapella is an a cappella group from New York City. Formed in 1986, the 5-man group is particularly popular in Japan.

12 Texting inits. : SMS

Short Message Service (SMS) is the name for the text messaging service that many of us still use on our cell phones to contact friends and family.

14 Breed from Honshu : AKITA

The Akita breed of dog is named for its point of origin, Akita Prefecture in Japan. When Helen Keller visited Japan in 1937, she asked for and was given an Akita breed of dog, with the name of Kamikaze-go. Sadly, the dog died within a year from distemper. The following year the Japanese government officially presented Keller with a replacement dog. Supposedly Keller’s dogs were the first members of the breed to be introduced into the US.

Honshu is the largest island in Japan, and the seventh largest island in the world. The name “Honshu” translates as “Main Island”.

19 Work with one’s buds? : TASTE

There are 2,000 to 8,000 taste buds on the human tongue, and together they detect five different tastes: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami. Taste buds have a short lifetime, and are replaced about every ten days.

21 Mantis of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” for one : EMPATH

Mantis is a character in the Marvel Comics universe who is now best known as one of the Guardians of the Galaxy because of her appearance in “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies (played by French actress Pom Klementieff).

24 Gambling mecca near Hong Kong : MACAU

Macau (also “Macao”) is an autonomous territory of China located on the Pearl River estuary about 40 miles west of Hong Kong. It was a Portuguese colony from the mid-1500s until 1999. Macau was in fact the first European colony in China, and the last, having been handed back to the Chinese in 1999, two years after Hong Kong was returned by the British. Macau’s economy is driven by tourism and gambling. The territory’s gaming revenue is the highest for any gambling center in the world.

26 More aloof : ICIER

I suppose one might guess from the “feel” of the word “aloof” that it has nautical roots. Originally “aloof” meant “to windward” and was the opposite of “alee”. A helmsman might be instructed to stay aloof, to steer the boat into the weather to keep a distance from a lee-shore. It is from this sense of maintaining a distance that aloof came to mean “distant” in terms of personality. Interesting, huh …?

30 Mint family herb : SAGE

In Britain and Ireland, sage is listed as one of the four essential herbs. And those would be “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme”.

33 Stadium suite : SKYBOX

The Greek word “stadion” was a measure of length, about 600 feet. The name “stadion” then came to be used for a running track of that length. That “running track” meaning led to our contemporary term “stadium” (plural “stadia”).

37 Goes underground : SPELUNKS

“Spelunking” is an American term describing recreational caving, although the word has Latin roots (“spelunca” is the Latin for “cave”). The term originated in the 1940s in New England when it was adopted by a group of men who explored caves in the area.

39 Three-time Best Director of the 1930s : CAPRA

Frank Capra won the Best Director Oscar three times:

  1. “It Happened One Night” (1934)
  2. “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” (1936)
  3. “You Can’t Take It with You” (1938)

42 Mollifies : QUIETS

To mollify is to appease. “Mollify” comes from the Latin “mollis” meaning “soft”, as in “to soften”.

48 Soyinka who was the first Literature Nobelist from sub-Saharan Africa : WOLE

Wole Soyinka is a playwright and novelist from Nigeria, and the winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature. Soyinka devoted his Nobel acceptance speech to future President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, who was still in prison at the time.

50 Sword-wielding animal on Sri Lanka’s flag : LION

The Sri Lankan flag features two vertical stripes next to a lion holding a sword. The lion represents the majority Sinhalese people, and the stripes represent the two largest minority populations, i.e. the Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils, and the Sri Lankan Moors.

51 A crow’s twig, e.g. : TOOL

Ravens and crows are very similar species, and it can be difficult to tell them apart. Ravens are a little larger and often travel in pairs, whereas crows are a little smaller and are usually seen in larger groups. Crows make a cawing sound, while the raven’s call is more like a croak.

52 Cajun staple : OKRA

Cajun cuisine is named for the French-speaking Acadian people who were deported from Acadia in Canada to Louisiana in the 18th century.

53 Catwoman player : KITT

Eartha Kitt really did have a unique voice and singing style. Her rendition of “Santa Baby” has to be one of the most distinctive and memorable recordings in the popular repertoire. Some of you will no doubt remember Eartha playing Catwoman on the final series of the 1960s TV show “Batman”.

Catwoman, the alter ego of Selina Kyle, is a supervillain who is usually depicted as an adversary of Batman in comics. In the sixties television show “Batman”, Catwoman was first portrayed by actress Julie Newmar, but then the more memorable Eartha Kitt took over, with the marvelously “feline voice”. On the big screen, Catwoman has been played by Lee Meriwether in “Batman” (1966), Michelle Pfeiffer in “Batman Returns” (1992), Halle Berry in “Catwoman” (2004) and Anne Hathaway in “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012).

54 Oil in some pet treats, for short : CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical extracted from cannabis plants that is used as a herbal drug. CBD oil does not contain the chemical THC, which is responsible for the marijuana “high”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Sign of shock : GASP
5 __ shop : MALT
9 Pottery and printmaking : ARTS
13 World Golf Hall of Famer Lorena : OCHOA
15 Jelly that may be added to boba tea : ALOE
16 Device with threads : LOOM
17 Skirt : SHIRK
18 Dark days or long days : SOLSTICES
20 Woman whose immortalized cell line was used in developing the polio vaccine : HENRIETTA LACKS
22 “I feel seen” : IT ME
23 “RuPaul’s Drag Race Live!” regular O’Hara : ASIA
24 Taxing time? : MID-APRIL
28 __ bar : TAPAS
31 Big finish : BANG
32 Go for the win, in Clue : ACCUSE
34 “__ Luna”: Allende novel : EVA
35 Accutane target : ACNE
36 Inseparable : THICK
37 Tough going : SLOG
38 “Awkward Black Girl” creator : RAE
39 Insolent : CHEEKY
40 French dip? : PLIE
41 Traditional Islamic garment : BURQA
43 Navajo taco base : FRYBREAD
45 Trick : DUPE
47 __ noodle : POOL
48 “That’s what you’re bragging about? You do you … ” : WEIRD FLEX BUT OK
54 “Say what?” : COME AGAIN?
55 Japanese mushroom : ENOKI
56 Smudge : BLOT
57 Emily Oster’s subj. : ECON
58 Court apparel : SKORT
59 Bonus rooms : DENS
60 Disallow : DENY
61 Shutter part : SLAT

Down

1 “Goodness me” : GOSH
2 Heating pad target : ACHE
3 One guarded on a soccer pitch : SHIN
4 Fabled food that’s bear-ly eaten? : PORRIDGE
5 Competition series that features Mystery Box and Pressure Test challenges : MASTERCHEF
6 So much : A LOT
7 “Mozart in the Jungle” star Kirke : LOLA
8 Electric company? : TESLA
9 Keys on a piano : ALICIA
10 “She put the Miss in misdemeanor when she stole the beans from Lima” singers : ROCKAPELLA
11 Low digits : TOES
12 Texting inits. : SMS
14 Breed from Honshu : AKITA
19 Work with one’s buds? : TASTE
21 Mantis of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” for one : EMPATH
24 Gambling mecca near Hong Kong : MACAU
25 Dark aspect of one’s persona : INNER DEMON
26 More aloof : ICIER
27 Change of fortune? : LUCKY PENNY
29 Skirt : AVOID
30 Mint family herb : SAGE
31 Fence-sitter’s deterrent : BARB
33 Stadium suite : SKYBOX
37 Goes underground : SPELUNKS
39 Three-time Best Director of the 1930s : CAPRA
42 Mollifies : QUIETS
44 Court apparel : ROBES
46 Having clear boundaries : EDGED
48 Soyinka who was the first Literature Nobelist from sub-Saharan Africa : WOLE
49 Head space? : FACE
50 Sword-wielding animal on Sri Lanka’s flag : LION
51 A crow’s twig, e.g. : TOOL
52 Cajun staple : OKRA
53 Catwoman player : KITT
54 Oil in some pet treats, for short : CBD

25 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 20 Aug 22, Saturday”

  1. Crossword creators tried too hard to be slick and pushed the ole “look at us and see how hip we are with internet slang” language boundary. ITME WEIRD FLEX ?
    those that do these online, does the APP know this internet slang?

    The good part of today, even though I didn’t know HENRIETTA LACKS (which I got by crosses), I looked her up. Amazing story on her cells!

    Having said that, looks like we are going to get more female themed crosswords. Several in today. Except for the unknown ROCKAPELLA group. How did they make it in here today?

  2. 14:19, 2 errors. Seemed odd “SKiRT” was in a puzzle where it was also a clue twice, so I probably should’ve realized that it wasn’t actually “SKiRT” but “SKORT”. Surprised I got through the rest of the puzzle without a hitch, with the names and modern slang (which I do know, but never expect or really want to see in a puzzle).

  3. (Don’t know if my last comment took)

    LAT: Couldn’t finish. Felt the clues were too remote, arcane, and “modern.” I was especially bothered by “You do you …”. Thought for the longest time a comma was missing; even so, I couldn’t understand most of the answer that I did correctly enter. Didn’t enjoy this puzzle at all.

  4. 18:28 no errors but a couple leaps of faith

    Knowing HENRIETTA LACKS and ROCKAPELLA early really helped me on this one… Bill didn’t mention that the Rockapella lyric in the puzzle is actually from the theme song to Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego?, one of my favourite shows from my childhood

    ITME really should have been clued with ‘in Reddit slang’ or something

    Finally, is an INNER DEMON part of the self? I always thought of it as something the self had to battle, but not part of the self exactly

  5. What a joke! “It me” ????
    “you do you weird flex but ok” Can flex be something you call somebody?
    I wish I’d quit after 30 minutes when I had about 5 words in…

  6. 25:29, no errors. Difficult puzzle. I’m familiar with the story of the “HeLa” cell line, but I had forgotten the exact name “Henrietta Lacks” until sometime last week, when I listened to an NPR story that refreshed my memory just enough to help with the entry. (Every so often, the universe has a benevolent moment and indulges in a tiny bit of kindness … 😜.)

    (However, it was apparently unwilling to help with “WEIRD FLEX” or “ROCKAPELLA” … 😳.)

  7. Guessed one wrong letter (so two errors) when I put in a y where it should have been an a for where Asia at 23 across met Rockapella for 10 down. I’ll take it. Bill’s solve time says everything you need to know about the level of difficulty of this puzzle.

  8. Hats off to anyone who finished this egotistical piece of crap👎👎👎👎
    23A…really?.What’s next?
    Stay safe😀

  9. 23:31 3 lookups, for MASTERCHEF, WOLE Soyinka, and the LION on Sri Lanka’s flag. 1 error because I thought SKORT but wrote SKIRT and somehow still thought that the crow’s TOIL might be another bit of weird slang. I feel like such a TOOL!

    Even knowing the name of HENRIETTALACKS didn’t help much.

  10. Even knowing the answers for two long clues (8D & 20A) the rest of the clues did not help me complete this egotistical entry without some help. There were a few clever clues, but too many ‘people’ clues for my unPeople brain.

  11. 17 mins, 43 sec and needed Check Grid to ferret out 6 errors.

    Second puzzle in a row that was chock-a-block with bad clues, fills nobody has ever heard of, and general crap. Can’t believe it took TWO constructors to crank out this horrible grid.

  12. I believe that that those who know and use such terms as the 22A and 48A clues and answers are not the type that gravitate to the LAT puzzles. Maybe I’m wrong. It seems to me that the constructors are in effect saying “Behold how hip I am!”

    In toto, and even though I FIR’d it, this puzzle left me with a distinct lack of enthusiasm, although I did appreciate the inclusion of Henrietta Lacks.

  13. No look ups, no errors. 2 changes on the fly,
    goal/shin and Burka/Burqa. Wow tough one
    today, did not expect to finish much less
    finish with no errors! Only finished thanks
    to many crosses. A good example is Burqa,
    never seen it spelled that way. Don’t care
    for all the PPP’s but it felt good to get the
    banner on this one…

  14. ITME and WEIRDFLEX = not fun or amusing, just annoying. No problem with the puzzle otherwise. Was very happy to immediately write in the long answer of
    HENRIETTALACKS!

  15. Too tough for me today; took 1:01:35, but with about 30 “check-grids” to get me to the finish. It would be easier to list the things I knew, than the things I had no idea of. I knew about Henrietta but had forgot her name, so it’s good to get a reminder.

  16. Saturdays seem to be regularly difficult these days. 46:56 with one error similar to others: SKiRT/TOiL. Three lookups for ALOE, LACKS, ASIA. Had no idea that aloe vera is considered a jelly. I had HENRIETTA, but could not get the last name.

    Revisions of: BAIT>MALT, PRUNE>TASTE, BETTERCHEF>MASTERCHEF, BURKA>BURQA, INNERJUDAS>DEVIL>DEMON, UDON>POOL.

    New: OCHOA, ITME, WEIRDFLEX, ASIA O’HARA, ROCKAPELLA, EVA Luna, LOLA Kirke, WOLE Soyinka.

    I also blanched at ITME and WEIRDFLEX. Internet slang may be ruining language. I can’t see that these are improvements.

    Took a while to get that “keys” was ALICIA, what kind of bar was needed, and based on my where my lookups were, the NE and N central sections were the last to fill in.

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