LA Times Crossword 16 Sep 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Taylor Johnson
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Flipping Crossword!

Themed answers are common 3-part phrases using “AFTER”, but represented LITERALLY in the grid as just two parts. The phrases are revealed as “part-2 AFTER part-1”:

  • 17A Teacher’s request, literally? : CLASS SEE ME (SEE ME after CLASS)
  • 29A Like falling dominoes, literally? : THE OTHER ONE (ONE after THE OTHER)
  • 47A Note to a spy, literally? : READING BURN (BURN after READING)
  • 63A Enticing ad words, literally? : REBATE FREE (FREE after REBATE)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 Common bugs : COLDS

The common cold (also known as a “head cold”) is caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. There are over 200 strains of virus that are known to cause the disease.

14 Weird sensation before some migraines : AURA

A person who suffers from migraines might experience visual disturbances known as auras. Often, an aura may signal the onset of the migraine.

The name of the searing headache called a “migraine” comes from the Greek words “hemi” meaning “half”, and “kranion” meaning “skull”.

20 Belief : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “holds”.

21 Bar bowlful : BEER NUTS

“Beer Nuts” is the brand name for a snack consisting of peanuts in a sweet-and-salty glaze. There’s no beer in the recipe, just the suggestion that the snack goes well with beer.

23 Grok : GRASP

To grok is to understand. “To grok” is a slang term that’s really only used in “techie” circles. “Grok” is the creation of science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who coined it in his 1961 novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

27 “That’s all __ wrote” : SHE

No one seems to be very certain of the origin of “that’s all she wrote”, meaning “there’s nothing more to be said”. One popular story is that it stems from the unfortunate “Dear John” letters that some soldiers received during WWII.

29 Like falling dominoes, literally? : THE OTHER ONE (ONE after THE OTHER)

White masks with black spots were commonly seen in the old Venetian Carnival. The masks were known as “domini”. The domini loaned their name to the game of dominoes, due to the similarity in appearance between the mask and a domino tile.

35 “The Handmaid’s Tale” Emmy winner : MOSS

I first encountered actress Elizabeth Moss playing Zoey Bartlet, the President’s daughter, on “The West Wing”. She followed that successful run of performances with the key role of Peggy Olson on another hit series, “Mad Men”. More recently, she took the leading role of June Osborne (“Offred”) in yet another hit show, “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a 1985 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. It is a set in a dystopian New England of the near future, after the overthrow of the US government. The central character is named Offred, who is a “handmaid” forced to bear children for the male ruling class. The novel was adapted into a highly successful TV series of the same name, starring Elisabeth Moss as Offred.

37 Taj Mahal city : AGRA

Agra is a medieval city on the banks of the river Yamuna in India that was the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The Taj Mahal: the famous mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
  • Agra Fort: the site where the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond was seized.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: a historic city that’s home to well-preserved Mughal architecture.

39 “Star Wars” critter who lives on Endor : EWOK

The fictional forested moon of Endor features prominently in the “Star Wars” movie “Return of the Jedi”. The moon is home to the race of furry aliens known as Ewoks. Filming for the forest scenes actually took place in Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern California.

42 “Make tracks!” : SCAT!

Our word “scat!” means “get lost!” It comes from a 19th-century expression “quicker than s’cat”, which meant “in a great hurry”. The original phrase probably came from the words “hiss” and “cat”.

45 Sister who sings “Into the Unknown” in “Frozen II” : ELSA

“Frozen II” is a 2019 sequel to the 2013 hit Disney movie “Frozen”. The sequel was highly anticipated by audiences, and so had the highest worldwide opening of any animated film in the history of movies.

50 Eggs in a chirashi bowl : ROE

Chirashizushi is a type of sushi, with the name “chirashizushi” translating as “scattered sushi”. Each serving consists of vinegared rice in a bowl, with the raw fish and vegetable garnish “scattered” on top of the rice.

66 Cash drawer : TILL

What we usually call a cash register here in North America, we mostly call a “till” in Ireland and the UK. I haven’t heard the word “till” used much here in that sense …

68 Like some emphasized text: Abbr. : ITAL

Italic type leans to the right, and is often used to provide emphasis in text. The style is known as “italic” because the stylized calligraphic form of writing originated in Italy, probably in the Vatican.

Down

3 Fizzy ingredient in a Creamsicle float : ORANGE SODA

A creamsicle is a popsicle with vanilla ice cream in the middle.

5 Low-risk IRA components : CDS

A certificate of deposit (CD) is like a less-flexible and higher-paying savings account. Instead of depositing money into a savings account and earning interest periodically, one can open a CD. With a CD one deposits a minimum amount of money but must leave it there for a specified length of time. In return for committing the funds for a fixed period, one is given a higher interest rate than a savings account and can redeem that interest and the initial deposit when the term has expired. CDs are relatively low-risk investments as they are FDIC insured, just like savings accounts.

6 Some Minecraft blocks : ORE

Minecraft is a video game that was released in 2011. It has been cited as one of the most influential video games of all time.

7 “Feel What U Feel” Grammy winner Lisa : LOEB

“Feel What U Feel” is an album released by musician Lisa Loeb. It is a collection of children’s songs, and won the Grammy for the Best Children’s Album in 2018.

8 Planetarium roof : DOME

The largest planetarium in the world is Planetarium 1 in St. Petersburg in Russia, having a dome of 37 meters in diameter. The largest in the Western Hemisphere is the Jennifer Chaisty Planetarium in the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, with a dome of diameter 27 meters. The Birla Planetarium in Kolkata, India has the largest seating capacity, for 630 patrons.

22 Colorful ecosystem : REEF

Polyps are tiny sea creatures that are found attached to underwater structures or to other polyps. Polyps have a mouth at one end of a cylindrical “body” that is surrounded by tentacles. Some polyps cluster into groups called stony corals, with stony corals being the building blocks of coral reefs. The structure of the reef comprises calcium carbonate exoskeletons secreted by the coral polyps.

24 __ carpet : SHAG

Shag carpet is one with a deep pile, one with a “shaggy” appearance.

28 Singer Dorough who co-founded the Backstreet Boys : HOWIE

The Backstreet Boys (BSB) are a male vocal group that formed in 1993 in Orlando, Florida. In fact, the group’s first performance was in SeaWorld Orlando in May of that year. They’ve come a long way since SeaWorld, and have sold more records than any other boy band in history.

30 Sonicare rival : ORAL-B

The Oral-B toothbrush was introduced to the world in 1950, designed by a California periodontist. The first “model” was the Oral-B 60, a name given to reflect the 60 tufts in the brush. In 1969, the Oral-B was the first toothbrush to get to the moon as it was the toothbrush of choice for the crew of the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

Sonicare is a brand of electric toothbrush made by Dutch electronics giant Philips. I’ve been using my Sonicare for years now, which earns me a pat on the back from my dentist every time I visit her …

31 Ankle bones : TARSUS

The collection of seven bones in the foot just below the ankle are known collectively as the tarsus. One of those bones is the talus (plural “tali”), more commonly called “ankle bone”. The talus is the lower part of the ankle joint and articulates with the lower ends of the tibia and fibula in the lower leg.

32 Awards night gathering : OSCAR PARTY

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

34 Big name in cosmetics : ESTEE

Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, and someone with a great reputation as a salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …

36 Make tracks : SKEDADDLE

“Skedaddle” is a slang term meaning “run away” that dates back to the Civil War.

41 House of Lords figure : EARL

The UK Parliament is divided into two houses, with the upper house known as the House of Lords and the lower house as the House of Commons. The members of the House of Commons (MPs) are elected, but most new members of the House of Lords are appointed. Historically, a large proportion of the membership of the upper house were hereditary peers, but recent legislative changes are reducing the numbers who can sit in the House of Lords by virtue of birthright.

44 Egg salad herb : DILL

Dill is a herb in the celery family. Dill seeds can be used for flavoring food, as can dill leaves. In this sense, dill “leaves” are sometimes referred to as dill “weed”.

49 Hose shade : NUDE

The word “hose” meaning “covering for the leg” has the same roots as the contemporary German word “Hose” meaning “trousers, pants”.

54 Palm fruit : DATE

Date palms can be either male or female. Only the female tree bears fruit (called “dates”).

55 Pernicious : EVIL

Something pernicious is very harmful, causing death or serious injury. The term ultimately comes from the Latin “per-” meaning “completely” and “necis” meaning “violent death”.

57 Ward of “Gone Girl” : SELA

Actress Sela Ward turns up in crosswords a lot. She played Teddy Reed in the TV show “Sisters” in the nineties, and was in “Once and Again” from 1999-2002. I don’t know either show, but I do know Ward from the medical drama “House” in which she played the hospital’s lawyer and Greg House’s ex-partner. That was a fun role, I thought. More recently, Ward played a lead role on “CSI: NY” and was a very welcome and much-needed addition to the cast. And, Ward played Dr. Richard Kimble’s murdered wife in the 1993 film version of “The Fugitive”.

“Gone Girl” is a thriller novel written by Gillian Flynn that was first published in 2012. The story tells of a man whose wife has disappeared, with the reader not being certain if the husband is involved in the disappearance. The book was adapted into a movie of the same name released in 2014, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

58 Way up the slope : T-BAR

A T-bar is a ski lift on which the skiers are pulled up the hill in pairs, with each pair standing (not sitting!) either side of a T-shaped metal bar. The bar is placed behind the thighs, pulling along the skiers as they remain standing on their skis (hopefully!). There’s also a J-bar, which is a similar device but with each J-shaped bar used by one skier at a time.

61 Start to commute? : TELE-

Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …

65 Many “NFL Live” highlights : TDS

Touchdown (TD)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Sure, no __!” : PROB
5 Common bugs : COLDS
10 __-bitty : ITTY
14 Weird sensation before some migraines : AURA
15 Sag : DROOP
16 Cuisine with green curry : THAI
17 Teacher’s request, literally? : CLASS SEE ME (SEE ME after CLASS)
19 Part of many a lunch special : SOUP
20 Belief : TENET
21 Bar bowlful : BEER NUTS
23 Grok : GRASP
26 Corp. head : CEO
27 “That’s all __ wrote” : SHE
29 Like falling dominoes, literally? : THE OTHER ONE (ONE after THE OTHER)
35 “The Handmaid’s Tale” Emmy winner : MOSS
37 Taj Mahal city : AGRA
38 Binds : FUSES
39 “Star Wars” critter who lives on Endor : EWOK
40 Stare angrily : GLARE
42 “Make tracks!” : SCAT!
43 Helped : AIDED
45 Sister who sings “Into the Unknown” in “Frozen II” : ELSA
46 Abhor : HATE
47 Note to a spy, literally? : READING BURN (BURN after READING)
50 Eggs in a chirashi bowl : ROE
51 Drink that may be brown, blonde, or red : ALE
52 Eat inelegantly : SLURP
54 Bringing up the rear : DEAD LAST
59 Coped (with) : DEALT
62 Enthusiastic : AVID
63 Enticing ad words, literally? : REBATE FREE (FREE after REBATE)
66 Cash drawer : TILL
67 Short on flavor : BLAND
68 Like some emphasized text: Abbr. : ITAL
69 Option word : ELSE
70 Fabric measures : YARDS
71 Kind : TYPE

Down

1 Agreement : PACT
2 “No cellphones at dinner,” say : RULE
3 Fizzy ingredient in a Creamsicle float : ORANGE SODA
4 More wicked : BASER
5 Low-risk IRA components : CDS
6 Some Minecraft blocks : ORE
7 “Feel What U Feel” Grammy winner Lisa : LOEB
8 Planetarium roof : DOME
9 Address : SPEECH
10 “At your leisure!” : IT’S NO RUSH
11 The old you? : THOU
12 At a breaking point, maybe : TAUT
13 Pound sounds : YIPS
18 Fantasy league no. : STAT
22 Colorful ecosystem : REEF
24 __ carpet : SHAG
25 Stereotypical pirate feature : PEG LEG
27 Spread messily : SMEAR
28 Singer Dorough who co-founded the Backstreet Boys : HOWIE
30 Sonicare rival : ORAL-B
31 Ankle bones : TARSUS
32 Awards night gathering : OSCAR PARTY
33 “Groovy!” : NEATO!
34 Big name in cosmetics : ESTEE
36 Make tracks : SKEDADDLE
41 House of Lords figure : EARL
44 Egg salad herb : DILL
48 Close : NEARBY
49 Hose shade : NUDE
53 Provide new equipment for : REFIT
54 Palm fruit : DATE
55 Pernicious : EVIL
56 Feels crummy : AILS
57 Ward of “Gone Girl” : SELA
58 Way up the slope : T-BAR
60 Big advance : LEAP
61 Start to commute? : TELE-
64 “Your point being … ?” : AND …?
65 Many “NFL Live” highlights : TDS

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 16 Sep 22, Friday”

  1. Slightly tricky Friday for me; took 19:13 with one dumb error: ITsY/sAUT. Didn’t really understand the theme while working it, but I worked with what I could to get a few theme answers. Didn’t know LOEB, MOSS, HOWIE and struggled with TARSUS – thanks for the explanation, Bill – but otherwise enjoyed the puzzle.

  2. 27:02 with one error…again I had no idea what the theme was about until reading it here…kinda glass half empty feeling.🤪🤪
    Stay safe😀
    It took a while to get this website up today.

  3. Just wondering what’s going on with the blog. All comments for the last seven days (the 9th through the 16th) appear to have vanished.

  4. No errors, but never got the theme…lucky guessing I suppose.
    I too, could not get this site up all morning….glad to hear it wasn’t
    just my computer!

  5. 5:31, no errors.

    As for yesterday, I made a post that never appeared about the whole Michigan-Ontario border question. While what I said was a lot more elaborate with map link included, St. Mary’s River borders Ontario on the upper peninsula. St. Clair River forms part of the eastern boundary of the lower peninsula with Ontario.

    Nothing “Tricky”, just a lot of estoteric knowledge of local Michigan geography that most of us in the other 49 states will have no clue about.

  6. 12:40 with false starts of: ONEAFTERONE>THEOTHERONE, ECRU>NUDE. No errors or lookups.

    New: “Handmaid’s Tale” MOSS, “chirashi,” Lisa LOEB, HOWIE Dorough. Wrestled with the plural for 31D a bit – tarsas? tarsi? tarsal? TARSUS seemed singular, but of course it’s not.

    Didn’t understand the theme construction nosing AFTER until reading Bill’s explanation, which eased my mind.

  7. Dumb, dumber and dumbest. Can we make the themes weirder or more esoteric? Was gonna challenge the Back Street Boys as having the most records sold by a “boy band”–couldn’t believe some group outsold the Beatles–until I googled them. Guess it depends on your definition of boy band. Nevertheless, still not an enjoyable puzzle with one mistake: Tarsis.

  8. 10 mins 18 sec, no errors.

    Just when I thought a theme couldn’t be stupider than the last outrage, some constructor’s ego proves me wrong.

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