LA Times Crossword 17 Sep 22, Saturday

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Constructed by: John Lieb
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 15m 10s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

8 Spot for a note to self : POST-IT

The Post-it note was invented at 3M following the accidental discovery of a low-tack, reusable adhesive. The actual intent of the development program was to produce a super-strong adhesive.

15 Univision language : ESPANOL

“Español” is Spanish for “Spanish”.

Univision is a Spanish-language television broadcaster based in New York City, with production facilities in Doral, Florida.

19 Delivers à la Tig Notaro : DEADPANS

The term “deadpan”, slang for “impassive expression”, comes from “dead” (expressionless) and “pan” (slang for “face”).

Tig Notaro is a stand-up comedian known for her deadpan delivery.

22 Calls a ball a strike, say : ERRS

That would be baseball.

23 Contracts of confidentiality, briefly : NDAS

Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

25 Bone: Prefix : OSTE-

The prefix “osteo-” is a combining form meaning “bone”. The term comes from “steon”, the Greek for “bone”.

26 __ milk : SOY

What are known as soybeans here in the US are called “soya beans” in most other English-speaking countries. So, I drink soy milk here in America, but when I am over in Ireland I drink “soya milk”.

33 Amy and Molly in “Booksmart,” e.g. : PALS
[4D Amy and Molly in “Booksmart,” e.g. : NERDS]

“Booksmart” is a 2019 comedy film about two high school students breaking out of their relatively bookish ways just prior to graduation. The movie was actress Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, and apparently, the critics loved this film.

36 Church recess : APSE

An apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.

37 YA novel by Matt de la Peña about a gifted athlete : BALL DON’T LIE

“Ball Don’t Lie” is a 2005 novel by children’s author Matt de la Peña written for young adults (YA). It was adapted into a 2008 film of the same name. Both novel and film cover a day in the life of a high school basketball prodigy.

42 Time toggle : AM/PM

The 12-hour clock has been around a long time, and was even used in sundial format in ancient Egypt. Our use of AM and PM dates back to Roman times, with AM standing for Ante Meridiem (before noon) and PM standing for Post Meridiem (after noon). However, the Romans originally used the AM concept a little differently, by counting backwards from noon. So, 2AM to the Romans would be two hours before noon, or 10AM as we would call it today.

44 Object formed by two faces in a classic illusion : VASE

There is a famous set of images that can be interpreted as either a vase, or two faces looking at each other. The images are known as Rubin’s vase, and are the 1915 creation of Danish psychologist Edgar Rubin.

45 Augurs : BODES

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.

52 Phoenix team : THE SUNS

The Phoenix Suns NBA team are in the Pacific Division, and are the only team in that division not based in California.

55 Uranus, e.g. : SKY GOD

According to Greek mythology, Uranus was the god of the sky. He was both the son and the husband of Gaia, the personification of the Earth. Gaia and Uranus are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth and Father Sky.

56 HS class with a mean teacher? : AP STATS

The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school (HS). After being tested at the end of an AP course, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

In a set of numbers, the mean is the average value of those numbers. The median is the numeric value at which half the numbers have a lower value, and half the numbers a higher value. The mode is the value that appears most often in the whole set of numbers.

Down

2 Horror film pioneer : ROMERO

George A. Romero was a film director noted for making satirical horror films such as “Night of the Living Dead”, “Dawn of the Dead” and “Day of the Dead”. Ugh …

3 Place with great buzz? : APIARY

An apiary is an area where bees are kept, apiculture is beekeeping, and an apiphobe has a fear of bees. The Latin word for “bee” is “apis”.

7 Handouts from a chair : AGENDAS

“Agenda” is a Latin word that translates as “things to be done”, coming from the verb “agere” meaning “to do”.

9 Sugar suffix : -OSE

Sugars are usually named using the “-ose” suffix e.g., glucose, fructose, sucrose.

10 Adoption org. : SPCA

Unlike most developed countries, the US has no umbrella organization with the goal of preventing cruelty to animals. Instead there are independent organizations set up all over the nation using the name SPCA. Having said that, there is an organization called the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that was originally intended to operate across the country, but really it now focuses its efforts in New York City.

11 Word game option for Swifties : TAYLORDLE

Taylordle is a variant of the game Wordle that features words related to singer Taylor Swift.

Wordle is a web-based word game that a Welsh software engineer developed to play with his partner during the COVID pandemic. The name “Wordle” is a play on the engineer’s own name: Josh Wardle. Wardle published the game on its own website in 2021, primarily for the use of Wardle’s family. One month later, the game had 90 players, and a month later 300,000 players. A week later, the number of daily players had grown to two million! The New York Times purchased Wordle in 2022 “for an undisclosed price in the low-seven figures”.

12 Teeth lost by some hockey players : INCISORS

The incisors are the front teeth, of which humans have eight. The term “incisor” comes from the Latin “incidere” meaning “to cut”.

13 Novelist who fought in the Crimean War : TOLSTOY

Russian author Leo Tolstoy is best known for his novels “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina”. He also wrote the much-respected novellas “Hadji Murad” and “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”.

The Crimean War of 1855-1856 was fought between Russia and an alliance comprising France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire and Sardinia. One of the most famous engagements of the Crimean War was the 1854 Battle of Balaclava, which involved the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade.

20 __ trombone : SAD

The so-called “sad trombone” sound is used a lot in game shows to indicate that a player is losing. It’s that plaintive “wah wah” sound.

24 Shuttle stop: Abbr. : STA

A station (“stn.” or “sta.”) is a railroad (RR) or bus stop.

28 Toy also called a kangaroo ball : HIPPITY HOP

A hippity hop is a large ball made of heavy rubber, with rubber handles, on which a child can sit and bounce around. I knew it as a space hopper when I was growing up in Ireland.

29 Sabotage with a magnet, maybe : ERASE

One might use a magnet to erase data on a hard disk or credit card perhaps.

34 1976 debut punk album : RAMONES

The Ramones were an American punk rock band. The group formed in Forest Hills, New York in the mid-seventies. The band members took on the stage names Dee Dee, Joey, and Johnny Ramone, even though they were not related. The “Ramone” name was imitative of the pseudonym used by Paul McCartney when he booked into hotels anonymously, namely “Paul Ramon”. Arguably, the Ramones were the first punk rock group, defining the genre. Something else that’s not my cup of tea …

35 NBC show Jay Mohr writes about in “Gasping for Airtime” : SNL

Jay Mohr is an American actor, one I most remember playing a supporting role in the wonderful HBO series “From the Earth to the Moon” (must-see-TV!). Mohr also created and hosted a reality show called “Last Comic Standing”.

36 Ancient French region : ALSATIA

“Alsatia” is the Latin name for the region in France known as Alsace. Alsace is home to Strasbourg, a beautiful city that I had the privilege to visit some years ago. Strasbourg is home to many international organizations, including the European Court of Human Rights.

37 Fictional king who “lived among men and learned much” : BABAR

“Babar the Elephant” originated in France, a creation of Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. The first book was “Histoire de Babar”, a book so successful it was translated into English two years later for publication in Britain and the US. Jean de Brunhoff wrote six more Babar stories before he died in 1937, and then his son Laurent continued his father’s work.

39 Japanese crime syndicate : YAKUZA

The Yakuza are members of a Mafia-like criminal organization that originated in Japan in the 17th century. Today, the Yakuza seem to be regarded as semi-legitimate organizations, and do not engage in overt crimes like theft.

40 Early web forum : USENET

Remember the good old days, when you read messages online in “newsgroups”? Well, that system of aggregating public messages is known as Usenet, and it’s still around today. Usenet started operating in 1980, some ten years before the World Wide Web was introduced (which system has displaced Usenet in terms of popularity). Usenet definitely played a significant part in the history of the Internet. For instance, the terms “FAQ” and “spam” were both born on Usenet.

41 Salutation abbreviation : MESSRS

The abbreviation “Messrs.” is used at the head of a list of male names in place of “Misters”. It is an abbreviation of the French “messieurs”, the plural of “monsieur”. The equivalent female term is “mesdames”, the plural of “madame”, and is shortened to “Mmes.”

46 Foundry waste : SLAG

The better ores are processed in a blast furnace, to extract the metal. The waste from this process is called “slag”. Slag does contain some residual metal and it can be processed further in a slag furnace to extract the balance. Slag furnaces also accept lower-quality ores as a raw material.

48 Female lobsters : HENS

A male lobster is called a cock, and a female a hen. A lobster weighing less than a pound is called a chicken.

50 Two places higher than bronce : ORO

In Spanish, “oro, plata, bronce” is “gold, silver, bronze”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Consultant on a family history project, perhaps : GRANDPA
8 Spot for a note to self : POST-IT
14 Braided accent piece : ROPE RUG
15 Univision language : ESPANOL
17 “Ya feel me?” : AM I RITE?
18 Get more out of : RECYCLE
19 Delivers à la Tig Notaro : DEADPANS
21 Elite : A-LIST
22 Calls a ball a strike, say : ERRS
23 Contracts of confidentiality, briefly : NDAS
25 Bone: Prefix : OSTE-
26 __ milk : SOY
27 “Do you see anyone laughing?” : READ THE ROOM?
30 Cannery row : TINS
31 Put on the line? : AIR DRY
32 Grasped : HELD
33 Amy and Molly in “Booksmart,” e.g. : PALS
34 Fills a flat again : RE-LETS
36 Church recess : APSE
37 YA novel by Matt de la Peña about a gifted athlete : BALL DON’T LIE
39 “Scrumptious!” : YUM!
42 Time toggle : AM/PM
43 Lacking direction? : LOST
44 Object formed by two faces in a classic illusion : VASE
45 Augurs : BODES
47 Jumps on a scale? : PAY HIKES
49 “This is bad, even for you” : A NEW LOW
52 Phoenix team : THE SUNS
53 Pass on to one’s followers, say : RESHARE
54 Device that is never free of charge? : IONIZER
55 Uranus, e.g. : SKY GOD
56 HS class with a mean teacher? : AP STATS

Down

1 Marks : GRADES
2 Horror film pioneer : ROMERO
3 Place with great buzz? : APIARY
4 Amy and Molly in “Booksmart,” e.g. : NERDS
5 Dullard : DRIP
6 Cut short : PUT AN END TO
7 Handouts from a chair : AGENDAS
8 Each : PER
9 Sugar suffix : -OSE
10 Adoption org. : SPCA
11 Word game option for Swifties : TAYLORDLE
12 Teeth lost by some hockey players : INCISORS
13 Novelist who fought in the Crimean War : TOLSTOY
16 “They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do” : LET ‘EM
20 __ trombone : SAD
24 Shuttle stop: Abbr. : STA
27 Stirred (up) : RILED
28 Toy also called a kangaroo ball : HIPPITY HOP
29 Sabotage with a magnet, maybe : ERASE
30 “I need to understand” : TELL ME WHY
32 Troubleshooting locale : HELP DESK
34 1976 debut punk album : RAMONES
35 NBC show Jay Mohr writes about in “Gasping for Airtime” : SNL
36 Ancient French region : ALSATIA
37 Fictional king who “lived among men and learned much” : BABAR
38 Leading : TOP
39 Japanese crime syndicate : YAKUZA
40 Early web forum : USENET
41 Salutation abbreviation : MESSRS
44 Pop in : VISIT
46 Foundry waste : SLAG
48 Female lobsters : HENS
50 Two places higher than bronce : ORO
51 Join : WED

11 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 17 Sep 22, Saturday”

  1. No errors, but not without a couple of lookups; did not have a
    clue about the Japanese syndicate. But it was changing “grandma”
    to “grandpa” that was the final stroke. Too many words I had
    never heard before in this one.

  2. Very fun, but a bit too tricky for me; took 1:09:17 with 2 “check-grids” to get to the finish. I had 4 wrong after the 1st “check-grid”, mostly because I couldn’t get AIRDRY. Also had PaSTIT and cABAR, since I didn’t know BABAR was a king. Took one more check before I finally nailed down AIRDRY.

    Still, challenging and very enjoyable puzzle.

  3. Couldn’t post yesterday. Not sure if this one will show up.
    No errors but a hard fill for me. When I look at the answers , they don’t seem like they are hard.
    BALL DONT LIE and TOP in the middle were “puzzling” to me. Then throwing in a french region all in the middle like that held me up for a while.

    SAD trombone and TAYLORDLE made no sense but I guess they are a thing.

    Am I rite?

  4. 18:18, tough one, 3 lookups for HIPPITYHOP, PALS/NERDS, TOLSTOY, plus a search to find out what the heck a TAYLORDLE is.

    Good to see the comments are back.

    The Wordle empire marches on, even though it’s already conquered the Worldle.
    https://worldle.teuteuf.fr/

  5. 36:51 with one look up for the Matt de la Pena novel.

    False starts: DOLT>DRIP, GRANDMA>GRANDPA, GROK>HELD, SIBS>PALS, ALSACIA>ALSATIA.

    New: “Tig Notaro” (maybe), “Booksmart,” BALLDONTLIE, ROMERO, TAYLORDLE, “kangaroo ball,” HIPPITYHOP toy, RAMONES, ALSATIA (knew only Alsace).

    Several proper nouns in this one, but knew most of them, and solved all but one.

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