LA Times Crossword 25 Aug 22, Thursday

Advertisement

Constructed by: Hoang-Kim Vu
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Administrative Job Descriptions

Themed answers are each an administrative task reinterpreted as the descriptions of a job called out in the clue:

  • 17A Part of a DJ’s job description? : KEEP RECORDS
  • 28A Part of a matchmaker’s job description? : PLAN MEETINGS
  • 50A Part of an umpire’s job description? : WORK FROM HOME
  • 65A Part of a squire’s job description? : DELIVER MAIL

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

Bill’s time: 6m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 Savory jelly made with meat stock : ASPIC

Aspic is a dish in which the main ingredients are served in a gelatin made from meat stock. “Aspic” is a French word meaning “jelly”.

6 Focus of many HGTV shows : DECOR

HGTV first went on air in 1994 as the “Home, Lawn and Garden Channel”. The name was shortened soon after (the lawn was “cut”!). Nowadays, it’s referred to as HGTV.

11 Animal that brays : ASS

A bray is the sound made by a donkey. Hee-haw!

14 Animal native to the 54-Down : LLAMA
[54D Chilean range : ANDES]

The llama is a camelid mammal very much associated with the Andean cultures. Despite the association with South America, it is thought that the ancestors of the modern llama migrated south from the Great Plains of North America about 40 million years ago.

15 Produce concern : E COLI

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are usually harmless bacteria found in the human gut, working away quite happily. However, there are some strains that can produce lethal toxins. These strains can make their way into the food chain from animal fecal matter that comes into contact with food designated for human consumption.

17 Part of a DJ’s job description? : KEEP RECORDS

The world’s first radio disc jockey (DJ) was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California who made his debut broadcast in 1909, would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, Newby started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.

19 Gene messenger : RNA

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is an essential catalyst in the manufacture of proteins in the body. The genetic code in DNA determines the sequence of amino acids that make up each protein. That sequence is read in DNA by messenger RNA, and amino acids are delivered for protein manufacture in the correct sequence by transfer RNA. The amino acids are then formed into proteins by ribosomal RNA.

20 Belt-maker’s tool : AWL

An awl is a pointed tool used for marking a surface or for piercing small holes. The earliest awls were used to pierce ears, apparently. The tool then became very much associated with shoemakers.

21 Pop-folk singer Williams : DAR

Dar Williams (born “Dorothy Williams”) is a pop-folk singer-songwriter from New York State.

27 Gift to new parents : ONESIE

A onesie is a baby’s one-piece bodysuit, and is a common gift at a baby shower.

33 Snooty sort : SNOB

Back in the 1780s, a snob was a shoemaker or a shoemaker’s apprentice. By the end of the 18th century the word “snob” was being used by students at Cambridge University in England to refer to all local merchants and people of the town. The term evolved to mean one who copies those who are his or her social superior (and not in a good way). From there it wasn’t a big leap for “snob” to include anyone who emphasized their superior social standing and not just those who aspired to rank. Nowadays a snob is anyone who looks down on those considered to be of inferior standing.

37 Pitching stat : ERA

Earned run average (ERA)

38 Sport for Amanda Nunes, briefly : MMA

Amanda Nunes is a mixed martial arts (MMA) athlete who was born and raised in Brazil.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport in which competitors use a variety of techniques from a variety of traditional combat sports and martial arts.

41 Single, for one: Abbr. : SYN

Synonym (syn.)

43 “Hadestown” Tony nominee Noblezada : EVA

Eva Noblezada is an actress and singer who debuted on Broadway playing the lead in a 2017 revival of “Miss Saigon”. That performance earned her a Tony nomination, as did her portrayal of Eurydice in “Hadestown”.

Anaïs Mitchell is a Vermont-based singer-songwriter. One of Mitchell’s more famous works is a 2010 concept album titled “Hadestown” that is based on the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. She adapted the album into a stage musical that opened Off-Broadway in 2016 as “Hadestown: The Myth. The Musical”.

46 “Christopher Robin” hopper : ROO

“Christopher Robin” is a 2018 movie inspired by A. A. Milne’s series of “Winnie-the-Pooh” children’s books. The title character is Milne’s son, who features in the stories. In the film, Christopher Robin has grown up, and lost touch with his sense of imagination, but is ultimately reunited with the characters created by his father. Christopher Robin is portrayed by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor.

48 Portend : AUGUR

The verb “to augur” means “to bode, serve as an omen”. The term comes from the name of religious officials in ancient Rome called augurs whose job it was to interpret signs and omens.

50 Part of an umpire’s job description? : WORK FROM HOME

Back in the 15th century, “an umpire” was referred to as “a noumpere”, which was misheard and hence causing the dropping of the initial letter N. The term “noumpere” came from Old French “nonper” meaning “not even, odd number”. The idea was that the original umpire was a third person called on to arbitrate between two, providing that “odd number” needed to decide the dispute.

54 “Mother of Democracy,” to Filipinos : AQUINO

Corazon Aquino was the first woman to hold the office of President of the Philippines. She led the popular revolt against President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 which led to the restoration of democracy in the country. She came to lead the movement against Marcos upon the assassination of her husband, the most visible opponent of Marcos. She took to the role reluctantly, proclaiming herself a “plain housewife”.

58 Tricky soccer moves : NUTMEGS

In soccer (and also in hockey and basketball), the maneuver known as a nutmeg” is the passing of the ball through the opponent’s legs.

60 “__ Mubarak”: holiday greeting : EID

“Eid Mubarak” translates from Arabic as “Blessed festival/feast”. It is a greeting used by many Muslins at the two main holidays celebrated in Islam: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

61 L’eau land : ILE

In French, an “île” (island) is land in “l’eau” (the water).

64 “The Chronic” rapper, familiarly : DRE

“The Chronic” is a 1992 studio album by hip hop artist Dr. Dre. The title is a slang term for high-grade cannabis.

65 Part of a squire’s job description? : DELIVER MAIL

A squire can be an escort, say one attending to a woman. A squire is also a young nobleman who attended a knight in days of yore. A fun example would be Sancho Panza who accompanied the deluded Don Quixote.

70 One “She’s Gone” vocalist : OATES

“She’s Gone” is a song written and released by Daryl Hall and John Oates in 1973, and later recorded by the band Tavares.

71 __-Cat : SNO

The brand name “Sno-Cat” is owned by the Tucker company. All snowcats are tracked vehicles built to work in snow, and are famously used in expeditions to the polar regions. The modern Sno-Cat from Tucker differs from its competitors in that it has four independently-mounted tracks.

72 Best Upset and Best Driver, e.g. : ESPYS

The ESPY Awards are a creation of the ESPN sports television network. One difference with similarly named awards in the entertainment industry is that ESPY winners are chosen solely based on viewer votes. The acronym “ESPY” stands for “Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly”.

73 Pet __ : PEEVE

The phrase “pet peeve”, meaning “thing that provokes one most”, seems to be somewhat ironic. A “peeve” is a source of irritation, and the adjective “pet” means “especially cherished”.

Down

1 __-Seltzer : ALKA

Alka-Seltzer is a brand of fizzy antacid that has been marketed since 1931. In terms of ingredients, it is a mix of sodium bicarbonate, aspirin and anhydrous citric acid.

2 Boatload : SLEW

Our usage of “slew” to mean “large number” has nothing to do with the verb “to slew” meaning “to turn, skid”. The noun “slew” came into English in the early 1800s from the Irish word “sluagh” meaning “host, crowd, multitude”.

3 Redundantly named equipment for a rice-and-seafood dish : PAELLA PAN

Paella is sometimes referred to as the Spanish national dish, but not by Spaniards. In Spain, paella is regarded as a typical regional dish from Valencia. The name “paella” means “frying pan” in Valencian, and is a reference to the shallow vessel traditionally used to cook the dish over an open fire.

5 Spice in many chai mixes : CARDAMOM

The spice known as cardamom comes from the seeds of several plants that are native to India. Those plants were introduced to Guatemala in the early 20th century, and now Guatemala produces and exports more cardamom than any other country in the world, even India. Cardamom is the third-priciest spice on the market today by weight, after vanilla and saffron.

Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.

8 Plank target : CORE

The plank is an isometric exercise that strengthens the abdominals, as well as the back and shoulder muscles. There are variations of the plank, such as the side plank and the reverse plank.

9 Nouveau riche counterpart : OLD MONEY

The nouveau riche are people who have achieved their wealth themselves, and not from an inheritance. “Nouveau riche” is French for “new rich”.

11 Griffith Park’s 4,210+ : ACRES

Griffith Park in Los Angeles is often referred to as the city’s “Central Park”, a reference to magnificent park in New York City. However, Griffith Park covers over 4,300 acres, and Central Park is less than a fifth of that size, at just under 780 acres.

12 Largest division of Islam : SUNNI

The Islamic sects of Sunni and Shia Muslims differ in the belief of who should have taken over leadership of the Muslim faithful after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Followers of the Sunni tradition agree with the decision that the Prophet Muhammad’s confidante Abu Bakr was the right choice to become the first Caliph of the Islamic nation. Followers of the Shia tradition believe that leadership should have stayed within the Prophet Muhammad’s own family, and favored the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali.

23 Loch in hoax photos : NESS

The Surgeon’s Photograph is an image that was taken in 1934, supposedly of the Loch Ness Monster. It is perhaps the most famous picture of Nessie to this day, the one with a “head” and “neck” sticking up out of the water. The picture’s renown doesn’t seem to have abated, even though in the mid-nineties the photograph was shown to be a hoax. The picture is called the Surgeon’s Photograph because it was taken by a Dr. Wilson.

25 Tolkien talking tree : ENT

Ents are tree-like creatures that live in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth in his series of books “The Lord of the Rings”. “Ent” is an Old English word for “giant”.

26 Metro stop: Abbr. : STA

Station (sta.)

The Paris Métro is the busiest underground transportation system in western Europe. The network carries about 4.5 million passengers a day, which is about the same ridership as the New York City Subway. The system took its name from the company that originally operated it, namely “La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris”, which was shortened to “Métro”. The term “Metro” was then adopted for similar systems in cities all over the world.

29 Greiner of “Shark Tank” : LORI

On the TV show “Shark Tank”, Lori Greiner is one of the “sharks”, one of the investors who choose whether or not to back entrepreneurs making a pitch for their businesses. Greiner has been described as a “serial inventor” and made millions selling those inventions on QVC. Her success on the shopping channel earned her the nickname “the Queen of QVC”.

“Shark Tank” is a reality television show that features aspiring entrepreneurs making pitches to potential investors (the “sharks”) as they try to grow their businesses. The show is a Mark Burnett production and is based on a British series called “Dragons’ Den”.

30 Org. to report tax fraud to : IRS

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

35 Certain gamete : OVUM

A gamete is a reproductive cell that has half the full complement of genes needed to make a normal cell. In sexual reproduction, it takes two gametes, one from each parent, to fuse into one cell which then develops into a new organism. The female gamete is the ovum, and the male the sperm.

39 Neighborhood guy : MR ROGERS

The “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show starred Fred Rogers. It was the second-longest running series on PBS television, after that other iconic children’s show “Sesame Street”.

40 Hunky-dory : A-OK

Our term “A-OK” is supposedly an abbreviation for “A(ll systems are) OK”, and arose at NASA in the sixties during the space program.

Surprisingly (to me), the term “hunky-dory” has been around a long time, and is documented back in the mid-1800s. Nobody’s really sure of its origin, but some say it is an Anglicization of Honcho dori, that back in the day was a street of ill repute in Yokohama, Japan.

45 Triathlon part : SWIM

An Ironman Triathlon is a race involving a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon run of just over 26 miles. The idea for the race came out of a debate between some runners in the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay. They were questioning whether runners, swimmers or bikers were the most fit athletes. The debaters decided to combine three local events to determine the answer, inviting athletes from all three disciplines. The events that were mimicked in the first triathlon were the Waikiki Roughwater swim (2.4 miles), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles). The idea was that whoever finishes first would be called “the Iron Man”. The first triathlon was run in 1978, with fifteen starters and only twelve finishers. The race format is used all over the world now, but the Hawaiian Ironman is the event that everyone wants to win.

47 Switch position : OFF

Not only did I have to learn new spellings of words when I moved here from Ireland (here I go, whining again!) but I had to learn that down is the “off” position for a switch most times, and up is the “on” position. It’s exactly the opposite on the other side of the pond. Aaargh …!

52 Actor who plays himself in “Always Be My Maybe” : REEVES

Keanu Reeves is a Canadian actor whose most celebrated roles were a metalhead in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989), a cop in “Speed” (1994) and the protagonist Neo in “The Matrix” series of films. Although Reeves is a Canadian national, he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Reeves has some Hawaiian descent, and the name “Keanu” is Hawaiian for “the coolness” or “cool breeze”.

“Always Be My Maybe” is a 2019 romantic comedy film starring Ali Wong and Randall Park. The pair play two people who are reunited as adults after having experienced a romantic fling as teenagers that had ended badly. Keanu Reeves has an interesting supporting role in the movie playing himself, and a love interest for the female lead.

54 Chilean range : ANDES

The Andes range is the longest continuous chain of mountains in the world. It runs down the length of the west coast of South America for about 4,300 miles, from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. The highest peak in the Andes is Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, at an elevation of 22,841 feet. Interestingly, the peak of Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador is the furthest point on the Earth’s surface from the center of the planet. That’s because of the equatorial “bulge” around the Earth’s “waist”.

The nation of Chile has a very distinctive shape. It is a narrow strip that runs up the west coast of South America. The average width of the country is only a little over 100 miles, and yet its length is about 2,700 miles. Chile is touted as the longest country in the world, although I am not so sure what that means exactly. I mean, Russia extends about 4,800 miles from east-to west, so maybe “longest” implies long in the north-south direction?

55 Sacred text read during Tarawih : QURAN

The Koran is also known as the “Qur’an” and “Quran” in English. “Qur’an” a transliteration of the Arabic name for the holy text of the Muslim faith. The literal translation of “Koran” is “the recitation”.

In the Islamic tradition, Tarawih (sometimes “Taraweeh” in English) is a special night prayer that involves the reading of long portions of the Quran. It is only performed in the month of Ramadan. “Tarawih” comes from the Arabic word meaning “to rest and relax”.

56 In __: not yet born : UTERO

“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” (plural “uteri”) translates as both “womb” and “belly”. “Uterys” comes from the Greek “hystera” that also means “womb”, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.

62 Actor Schreiber : LIEV

Liev Schreiber is highly regarded as a stage actor, and has many classical roles under his belt. He won a Tony in 2005 for his Broadway performance in “Glengarry Glen Ross”, and earned excellent reviews for his performance in Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline”.

66 Needing salt, maybe : ICY

Halite is the mineral form of sodium chloride, and is also known as “rock salt”. Halite is used to melt ice, as salt water has a lower freezing point than pure water. Adding salt to icy sidewalks can therefore cause any ice to melt (as long as the ambient temperature isn’t too low). A mixture of halite and ice can also be used to cool things below the freezing point of water, perhaps to make ice cream.

67 Actress Whitman : MAE

Actress Mae Whitman played “the daughter” in some successful movies early in her career. She was Meg Ryan’s daughter in “When a Man Loves a Woman”, George Clooney’s daughter in “One Fine Day” and Bill Pullman’s daughter in “Independence Day”. More recently, she played the lead in the 2015 teen comedy film “The Duff”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Savory jelly made with meat stock : ASPIC
6 Focus of many HGTV shows : DECOR
11 Animal that brays : ASS
14 Animal native to the 54-Down : LLAMA
15 Produce concern : E COLI
16 Deep __ : CUT
17 Part of a DJ’s job description? : KEEP RECORDS
19 Gene messenger : RNA
20 Belt-maker’s tool : AWL
21 Pop-folk singer Williams : DAR
22 Celebrated : EMINENT
24 Some car deals : LEASES
27 Gift to new parents : ONESIE
28 Part of a matchmaker’s job description? : PLAN MEETINGS
31 “Look alive!” : HOP TO!
32 Have a life : ARE
33 Snooty sort : SNOB
37 Pitching stat : ERA
38 Sport for Amanda Nunes, briefly : MMA
41 Single, for one: Abbr. : SYN
43 “Hadestown” Tony nominee Noblezada : EVA
44 Pitching stat : WINS
46 “Christopher Robin” hopper : ROO
48 Portend : AUGUR
50 Part of an umpire’s job description? : WORK FROM HOME
54 “Mother of Democracy,” to Filipinos : AQUINO
57 Least possible : FEWEST
58 Tricky soccer moves : NUTMEGS
60 “__ Mubarak”: holiday greeting : EID
61 L’eau land : ILE
64 “The Chronic” rapper, familiarly : DRE
65 Part of a squire’s job description? : DELIVER MAIL
68 Tuner’s asset : EAR
69 Elegance : GRACE
70 One “She’s Gone” vocalist : OATES
71 __-Cat : SNO
72 Best Upset and Best Driver, e.g. : ESPYS
73 Pet __ : PEEVE

Down

1 __-Seltzer : ALKA
2 Boatload : SLEW
3 Redundantly named equipment for a rice-and-seafood dish : PAELLA PAN
4 Little troublemaker : IMP
5 Spice in many chai mixes : CARDAMOM
6 Edict : DECREE
7 Fuel-saving mode in some cars : ECO
8 Plank target : CORE
9 Nouveau riche counterpart : OLD MONEY
10 On the up and up? : RISING
11 Griffith Park’s 4,210+ : ACRES
12 Largest division of Islam : SUNNI
13 Condition : STATE
18 Slide (into) : EASE
23 Loch in hoax photos : NESS
25 Tolkien talking tree : ENT
26 Metro stop: Abbr. : STA
28 “That was close!” : PHEW!
29 Greiner of “Shark Tank” : LORI
30 Org. to report tax fraud to : IRS
34 Discuss terms : NEGOTIATE
35 Certain gamete : OVUM
36 Austere : BARE
39 Neighborhood guy : MR ROGERS
40 Hunky-dory : A-OK
42 Try to impress by association, say : NAME-DROP
45 Triathlon part : SWIM
47 Switch position : OFF
49 Stumbling blocks? : UHS
51 Jittery : ON EDGE
52 Actor who plays himself in “Always Be My Maybe” : REEVES
53 Boo-boo : OWIE
54 Chilean range : ANDES
55 Sacred text read during Tarawih : QURAN
56 In __: not yet born : UTERO
59 Put (on) hastily : SLAP
62 Actor Schreiber : LIEV
63 Besides : ELSE
66 Needing salt, maybe : ICY
67 Actress Whitman : MAE

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 25 Aug 22, Thursday”

  1. Well, I got hit with some words / people I didn’t know. CARDAMOM and DAR. I had CARHAMOM and HAR. HAR sounded more folksy than DAR WILLIAMS. I looked up DAR WILLIAMS . Heck of a singer.

    Was held up in SW corner when I was stuck on KORAN for a while. AKUINO and NOTMEGS didn’t sound right. Even though I wasn’t sure of either. Then QURAN hit me. That sounded better.

    BARE for Austere? Hmmm

  2. Lots of names in this one. Almost all of them were pretty much obscure, too. I don’t even understand the clue (much less the answer) to 41A.

  3. One wrong letter (two errors) with putting in “crossers” for 39 down instead of Mr. Rogers and that ended up giving me “MCA” for 38 Across “Sport for Amanda Nunes, briefly” instead of MMA (or Mixed Martial Arts).

  4. 34:36 no errors…I relied on crosses for the obscure names and foreign words.
    I am not a fan of reality TV but Shark Tank is addictive.
    Stay safe😀

  5. 16:04 with revisions of: REMOD>DECOR, WHEW>PHEW, KORAN>QURAN, AWARD>ESPYS (should have recognized the plural nature of the clue).

    New: DAR Williams, “Amanda Nunes,” EVA Noblezada, EID Mubarak, “The Chronic,” “Griffith Park,” “Always Be My Maybe,” “Tarawih,” MAE Whitman.

    A decent theme.

  6. Well, I guess my personal record of three-in-a-row perfect streak was bound to end. Notwhithstanding the fact that these puzzles are constructed well in advance of publishing, it would appear that the composers saw my comment of a few days ago about their work being too easy so they had to load this up with little or unknown people (EVA, DAR), foreign events (EID) or other oddities no one’s heard of. Being a fan of baseball for a long time, I’d never heard the term NUTMEGS. PHEW!

  7. 15:13 1 error because I thought I knew how to spell CARDAMOM. Crossing it with NMA instead MMA seemed like a possibility after all the names I didn’t know.

    Does NUTMEGS have as racy an origin as I think it does?

  8. 2 errors = 4 wrongs. Both on obscure PPP’s,
    what else? Good theme but I’ve never
    drank a cup of chai so why would I ever
    care what spice goes in to some mixes. Which would be ok if not crossed with
    obscure proper names. Oh well, bring on
    Friday!

  9. 6:09. In my experience NUTMEG belongs next to CARDAMOM in the spice drawer! Perhaps the move is called a nutmeg because when you buy fresh whole nutmeg and grate it yourself, it comes in the shape of a little ball.

  10. Phew, tricky Thursday for me; took 29:51 with no peeks or errors, but plenty of long pauses, guesses and waiting for crosses. Didn’t know most of the names, except for Amanda Nunes, AQUINO and MR ROGERS. Still, felt pretty good to get the banner when I finished.

    @Steve – I didn’t get it until I looked at the clue after the finish, but the answer is in the clue itself – Single – for one. Which are synonyms for each other.

    @Pam – You’re right, it does have the racy origin that you’re thinking 🙂 And, in 3 weeks, hopefully I’ll be watching my team 1. FC Köln produce a goal through a clever nutmeg in the box, prior to a tap in on the line, against Union Berlin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *