LA Times Crossword 22 Sep 22, Thursday

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Constructed by: Garrett Herzfeld
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Two of a Kind

Themed answers each have a COUPLE of parts, and are in the format x AND y:

  • 17A Married couple? : TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
  • 26A Perfect couple? : PRIM AND PROPER
  • 42A Celebrity couple? : RICH AND FAMOUS
  • 56A Power couple? : BIGGER AND BETTER

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

Bill’s time: 7m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 “Calvin and Hobbes,” for one : COMIC

The comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” is still widely syndicated, but hasn’t been written since 1995. The cartoonist Bill Watterson named the character Calvin after John Calvin, the 16th century theologian. Hobbes was named for Thomas Hobbes, a 17th century English political philosopher.

14 Catherine of “Schitt’s Creek” : O’HARA

Catherine O’Hara is an actress and comedian from Toronto, Ontario. One of O’Hara’s more famous film roles is Kevin’s mother in the Christmas classic “Home Alone”. She also plays a lead character (Moira) in the excellent sitcom “Schitt’s Creek” alongside Eugen Levy.

“Schitt’s Creek” is a very entertaining Canadian sitcom created by two of the four leading actors: Dan Levy and his father Eugene Levy. The other two leads are played by Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy. It is about a very wealthy family who lose their money and relocate to a small town called Schitt’s Creek, which they had once purchased as a joke. Recommended …

15 Ultrasound goo : GEL

A sonogram is an image made using ultrasound. “Ultrasound” is the name given to sound energy that has frequencies above the audible range.

20 Navigate black diamond slopes : SKI

In North America, ski runs are given a standardized rating in terms of skiing difficulty. The ratings are:

  • Green circles: easy to ski, often termed “bunny slopes”.
  • Blue squares: medium difficulty
  • Black diamond: steep and challenging terrain
  • Double black diamond: experts only (I’ve never braved one!)

21 Telephone no. addition : EXT

Extension (ext.)

23 Craters of the Moon locale : IDAHO

Craters of the Moon National Monument in Central Idaho is a breathtakingly beautiful spot. The park includes three extensive lava fields that really do give one the impression that one is looking at craters on the moon. The term “Craters of the Moon” was coined in 1923 during a campaign to convince the National Park Service to protect the area. Apollo astronauts actually trained in the park, learning to seek out and collect rock specimens just as they would be doing on the actual moon.

31 Basic bagel order : PLAIN

The bagel was invented in the Polish city of Kraków in the 16th century. Bagels were brought to this country by Jewish immigrants from Poland who mainly established homes in and around New York City.

33 Uber __ : EATS

Uber Eats is a food-delivery platform offered by ride-sharing service Uber. For a delivery fee of a few bucks, users can order food from local restaurants using an app. That food might be delivered by car, bike or foot depending on the city and courier.

34 Many a Monopoly sq. : AVE

The street names in the original US version of the board game Monopoly are locations in or around Atlantic City, New Jersey.

35 Forever, seemingly : EONS

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

36 Sonic explosions : BOOMS

As a plane flies through the air, it creates pressure waves in front (and behind) rather like the bow and stern waves of a boat. These pressure waves travel at the speed of sound, so as an aircraft itself accelerates towards the speed of sound it catches up with the pressure waves until they cannot “get out of the way”. When the aircraft reaches the speed of sound, the compressed waves merge into one single shock wave, creating a sonic boom.

39 “Pressure” singer Lennox : ARI

“Ari Lennox” is the stage name of R&B singer Courtney Salter. In choosing her stage name, Salter was influenced by a character named Mary Lennox in the 1993 movie version of “The Secret Garden”.

40 Artificial grass : TURF

“AstroTurf” is the trademarked name of an artificial playing surface suitable for many ball sports. AstroTurf was invented in 1965 and originally went on the market as ChemGrass. The first really big application was in 1966 in the Houston Astrodome, so the name “AstroTurf” was applied and has remained ever since.

41 City north of Memphis : CAIRO

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.

Memphis was an ancient city on the River Nile. The ruins of Memphis are located just south of Cairo, Egypt. It was a magnificent city that eventually failed due to the economic success of the city of Alexandria, which was located further down the river and right on the Mediterranean coast.

46 Large deer : ELK

The elk (also “wapiti”) is one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …

47 Olfactory sense : SMELL

The adjective “olfactory” means “relating to the sense of smell”. The term comes from the Latin verb “olfacere” meaning “to get the smell of”.

53 Mobile download : APP

What we mostly call a “cell phone” here in North America is more usually referred to as a “mobile phone” in Britain and Ireland. My favorite term for the device is used in Germany, where it is called a “Handy”.

60 Rapper Lil __ X : NAS

“Lil Nas X” is the stage name of rapper Montero Lamar Hill. He was born and raised just outside of Atlanta. His first hit was “Old Town Road”, which is classified as country rap.

61 Pond honker : GOOSE

A male goose is called a gander, with the female simply being referred to as a goose. Young geese are called goslings.

Down

3 Fish tacos fish, on menus : MAHI

“Mahi-mahi” (meaning “very strong”) is the Hawaiian name for the dolphinfish, which is also known as the dorado. The mahi-mahi is an ugly looking creature if ever I saw one …

4 Sportswriter Berkow : IRA

Ira Berkow is a sports reporter and writer who worked from 1981 until 2007 for “The New York Times”.

6 Kathryn’s “WandaVision” role : AGATHA

“WandaVision” is a TV miniseries featuring characters from Marvel Comics. The title characters are Wanda Maximoff (aka Scarlet Witch) played by Elizabeth Olsen and Vision played by Paul Bettany. I am by no means a fan of screen adaptations of comic characters, but I might take a look at “WandaVision”. Wanda and Vision are living in suburbia, trying to conceal their superhero identities. Each episode progresses the storyline through several decades, using situations encountered in sitcoms of the day. Episodes use the format of shows such as:

  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • I Love Lucy
  • Bewitched
  • I Dream of Jeannie
  • The Brady Bunch
  • Good Times
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Full House
  • Malcolm in the Middle
  • Modern Family
  • Out of this World
  • The Twilight Zone

Sounds very intriguing …

Kathryn Hahn is an actress and comedian who is perhaps best known for playing grief counselor Lily Lebowski on the crime drama show “Crossing Jordan”. In 2002, Hahn married fellow actor Ethan Sandler who is known for playing Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Brandau on the same show.

7 Kylo of the “Star Wars” sequels : REN

Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa in the “Star Wars” universe. The character’s birth name was Ben Solo. He was trained as a Jedi knight by his uncle, Luke Skywalker. However, Ben came to embrace the Dark Side, and changed his name to Kylo Ren. Ren is played by actor Adam Driver.

8 Letters before a summary : TLDR

Too long, didn’t read (TLDR)

9 Bullpen aces : CLOSERS

That could be baseball.

10 Santa’s laugh : HO! HO! HO!

The name “Santa Claus” is American English, and came into the language as a phonetic variant of “Sinterklaas”, the Dutch for “Saint Nicholas”.

11 Archetypal lab assistant : IGOR

In the world of movies, Igor has been the assistant to Dracula, Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein among others. Igor is almost invariably portrayed as a hunchback.

19 Dangles a carrot in front of : TEMPTS

There is some debate about the “carrot/stick” metaphor. Some say that a carrot represents an incentive and a stick represents a threat, with the idea being that an incentive is more effective than a threat. Another version of the metaphor is that the carrot is dangled on a stick before a donkey, incentivizing the animal to move forward. There’s no threat, just a reward that never gets any more attainable …

23 Fashion icon Apfel : IRIS

Iris Apfel is a fashion icon from New York. Along with her husband Carl Apfel, Iris started the textile firm Old World Weavers in 1950. Through Old World Weavers, she had a contract with the White House through nine administrations, from President Truman through President Clinton. Apfel signed a modeling contract in 2019, at the age of 97!

26 “Pray for the Wicked” band __! at the Disco : PANIC

Panic! at the Disco was formed as a pop rock band from Las Vegas in 2004. Two of the original four members left the group in 2009, to form their own band, and Panic! at the Disco was reinvented as a duo. One of the two remaining musicians also moved on, in 2015, leaving just the original lead vocalist Brendon Urie. Urie decided to continue performing as Panic! at the Disco, and treats it as a solo project.

28 Musée d’Orsay city : PARIS

The Musée d’Orsay is one of the premier museums in Paris, and holds the world’s largest collection of impressionist art. A truly beautiful building, the d’Orsay is a former Beaux-Arts railway station.

30 Credit report blot : REPO

Repossession (repo)

32 Chicago mayor Lightfoot : LORI

Lori Lightfoot assumed the office of Mayor of Chicago in 2019. She is the first LGBT black female mayor of any major city in the US.

36 “All in the Family” surname : BUNKER

“All in the Family” is an American sitcom, and a remake of the incredibly successful BBC show called “Till Death Us Do Part”. Both the UK and US versions of the sitcom were groundbreaking in that the storyline brought into focus topics previously considered unsuitable for a television comedy, including racism, homosexuality, women’s liberation, menopause and impotence. “All in the Family” is one of only three TV shows that has topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive seasons (the other two are “The Cosby Show” and “American Idol”). Stars of the show are:

  • Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker
  • Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker
  • Sally Struthers as Gloria Stivic née Bunker
  • Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic

37 Chicago airport code : ORD

The IATA airport code for O’Hare International in Chicago is ORD, which comes from Orchard Place Airport/Douglas Field (OR-D).

38 Simon & Garfunkel half : PAUL

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon’s career took off when he partnered with Art Garfunkel. Simon was really the writing powerhouse of Simon & Garfunkel, and wrote most of their big hits, including “The Sound of Silence”, “Mrs. Robinson”, and “Bridge over Troubled Water”. Simon has had three wives, including actress Carrie Fisher (1983-1984), and singer Edie Brickell whom he wed in 1992.

40 Like Denali, among North American peaks : TALLEST

Denali’s summit stands at 20,310 feet, making it the highest mountain peak in North America. Denali means “the high one” in the native Athabaskan language. The peak was known as Mount McKinley for many years, named in 1896 for future president William McKinley. The state of Alaska changed the name back to Denali in 1975, and the federal government followed suit in 2015.

41 Morehouse, e.g. : COLLEGE

Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia is one of only three all-male liberal arts colleges left in the US. The other two are Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and Wabash College in Indiana.

45 Former Spice Girl who was a judge on “America’s Got Talent” : MEL B

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” is part of a global franchise based in the UK. The original show is called “Britain’s Got Talent”, and the whole franchise is owned by Simon Cowell. The first host of “America’s Got Talent” was Regis Philbin (2006), followed by Jerry Springer, Nick Cannon, Tyra Banks and Terry Crews.

“Mel B” is the stage name of Melanie Brown, who came to fame as a member of the Spice Girls musical group. She took the name Mel B to distinguish herself from fellow band member Melanie Chisholm (Melanie C). Mel B was also known as “Scary Spice”, a nickname given to her by the media. American viewers saw Mel B on the TV show “America’s Got Talent” from 2013 through 2019, on which show she served as a judge.

48 Longtime NYC punk rock club : CBGB

The music club known as CBGB opened in 1973 intending to feature country, bluegrass and blues music (hence the name “CBGB”, Country, BlueGrass and Blues). The club developed an association in the eighties with New York’s underground hardcore punk music.

50 Desierto’s lack : AGUA

In Spanish, “agua” (water) is “lo que un desierto no tiene” (what a desert does not have).

55 2022 prequel film in the “Predator” franchise : PREY

“Prey” is a 2022 sci-fi horror film written as a prequel to the 1987 movie “Predator”. I don’t do horror films and so can’t personally comment on the film, but critics seem to rate this as one of the best in the “Predator” franchise …

58 Spider-Man player Holland : TOM

Tom Holland is an English actor whose big break came when he was cast in London’s West End production of “Billy Elliot the Musical”. Several years later, Holland landed the part of Spider-Man, starting with the 2016 film “Captain America: Civil War”. Tom’s father is Dominic Holland, who is quite a successful stand-up comedian in the UK.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Calvin and Hobbes,” for one : COMIC
6 Cave __ : ART
9 Church bell sound : CHIME
14 Catherine of “Schitt’s Creek” : O’HARA
15 Ultrasound goo : GEL
16 Enter one’s credentials : LOG ON
17 Married couple? : TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
20 Navigate black diamond slopes : SKI
21 Telephone no. addition : EXT
22 Destinations in some getaway plans? : RESORTS
23 Craters of the Moon locale : IDAHO
25 “Big whoop” : MEH
26 Perfect couple? : PRIM AND PROPER
31 Basic bagel order : PLAIN
33 Uber __ : EATS
34 Many a Monopoly sq. : AVE
35 Forever, seemingly : EONS
36 Sonic explosions : BOOMS
38 Kitchen job : PREP
39 “Pressure” singer Lennox : ARI
40 Artificial grass : TURF
41 City north of Memphis : CAIRO
42 Celebrity couple? : RICH AND FAMOUS
46 Large deer : ELK
47 Olfactory sense : SMELL
48 Holds carefully : CRADLES
52 Not feeling well : ILL
53 Mobile download : APP
56 Power couple? : BIGGER AND BETTER
59 Uses Liquid Nails, say : GLUES
60 Rapper Lil __ X : NAS
61 Pond honker : GOOSE
62 Brute : BEAST
63 Procure : GET
64 Ready for a refill : EMPTY

Down

1 Camp beds : COTS
2 “Aw, what the heck” : OH, OK
3 Fish tacos fish, on menus : MAHI
4 Sportswriter Berkow : IRA
5 Collapsed : CAVED IN
6 Kathryn’s “WandaVision” role : AGATHA
7 Kylo of the “Star Wars” sequels : REN
8 Letters before a summary : TLDR
9 Bullpen aces : CLOSERS
10 Santa’s laugh : HO! HO! HO!
11 Archetypal lab assistant : IGOR
12 Shed feathers : MOLT
13 Burnt __ : ENDS
18 Checkup : EXAM
19 Dangles a carrot in front of : TEMPTS
23 Fashion icon Apfel : IRIS
24 Singular events : ONE-OFFS
26 “Pray for the Wicked” band __! at the Disco : PANIC
27 Reservoir creator : DAM
28 Musée d’Orsay city : PARIS
29 At any point in time : EVER
30 Credit report blot : REPO
31 Bottom-heavy fruit : PEAR
32 Chicago mayor Lightfoot : LORI
36 “All in the Family” surname : BUNKER
37 Chicago airport code : ORD
38 Simon & Garfunkel half : PAUL
40 Like Denali, among North American peaks : TALLEST
41 Morehouse, e.g. : COLLEGE
43 Shrubbery : HEDGES
44 In the thick of : AMIDST
45 Former Spice Girl who was a judge on “America’s Got Talent” : MEL B
48 Longtime NYC punk rock club : CBGB
49 Stir up : RILE
50 Desierto’s lack : AGUA
51 Belted out a tune : SANG
53 Situated on : ATOP
54 Vexation : PEST
55 2022 prequel film in the “Predator” franchise : PREY
57 Scottish no : NAE
58 Spider-Man player Holland : TOM

18 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 22 Sep 22, Thursday”

  1. No errors, but had to look up 8down;I had no idea of the
    letters before a summary. For a long time I had
    Bucket for the All In The Family surname. Tell me, what program
    had the surname Bucket?….I can remember the woman rolling
    her eyes and saying “It’s Bouquet!”

  2. 29:04 no errors…I spent a long time trying to match a fruit starting with F but finally realized that this theme answer wasn’t like the rest🤪
    Stay safe😀

  3. 4:28, no errors. On the talk about yesterday, I’m almost more scared that I’m not noticing that much of a difficulty climb on Monday-Friday most of these days in LAT land. Saturdays and Sundays are another story, but there’s reasons for that. More or less though, if I’m consistent and getting better I’ll be happy with how I do.

    @Mike
    Online typically when people put up text walls in forums such as reddit or on blogs such as this one. Usually TL;DR is where people respond to that with exactly that. Or sometimes people will do that themselves if they know what they wrote turned into a lot to read.

    @Mary
    It’s a British show that appeared in the 90’s called “Keeping Up Appearances”

  4. The city of Cairo is a small town on the Ohio River in Illinois. Further south is Memphis, TN. My guess is these 2 cities are what the puzzle creator intended.

  5. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many naticks! One miss (LORI/LONI) cuz I didn’t know either one. Also didn’t have any idea of CDBG or TLDR. Whew.

  6. 8:57 – no lookups, errors, or false starts.

    New: Catherine OHARA, IRA Berkow, “Kathryn Hahn,” IRIS Apfel, PANIC! at the Disco, CBGB club.

    The theme construction was useful in solving the theme answers.

    Interesting that in geologic terms, era is a very long time (e.g., Paleozoic Era), because we often [mis?]use it to define a president’s term of office (e.g., Reagan era, Obama era), and other relatively short time periods. For 41A, I initially thought there must be a Cairo, Tennessee.

    @Anon Mike, I suspect that TLDR is typically used these days in business emails, or in commentary referring to certain tomes.

  7. 7 mins 54 sec, no errors.

    Glad to see more unfamiliar names in the constructor by-line (thanks, Patti!), but still feel we’re seeing too damned many obscure proper names for my liking. Even the “common” ones, like PAUL Simon, rankle when they’re referred to so often.

  8. 6:06

    Fun and helpful theme.

    My biggest stumbling block was changing Cave MAN-> Cave ART.

    I smiled at TLDR.

    I think TL;DR started as a way to put down writings whose cups runneth over with verbiage. Think “your post is so dense and wordy, my eyes glazed over and I won’t even try to read it.”

    Using it as a summary is a more recent development, coming from writers who realize what they have to say is long-winded, so they provide a TLDR of their own to head off the snarky comments.

    I think I’ve already gone on Too Long, so Don’t Read.

  9. Never heard of TLDR, so that stumped me. Several other things were beyond me, but I’ve always thought Thursdays were a big jump from Wednesdays. Oh well, tomorrow is Friday. Maybe there’ll be a TGIF.

  10. No look ups, no errors. 2 changes on the fly,
    clang/chime and peel/prep. Thought it was
    gonna be a breeze at first then I hit a snag,
    TLDR. Gotta agree with Glenn, the degree
    of difficulty M-F doesn’t seem as incremental as it was in the old regime…

  11. I was going to read all the explanations and comments…TL;DR 🙂

    Actually a very fun 10:30 with no peeks or errors. A little fumbling around in the lower half, but eventually got everything straightened out.

    I too have noticed that I’ve mostly breezed this week so far; probably get my comeuppance on Friday(today) a little later.

  12. Actually, CBGB’s became a mecca for Punk Rock in the mid to late 70’s with The Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, et. al..

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