LA Times Crossword 23 Sep 22, Friday

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Constructed by: Taylor Johnson
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: I’m Out

Themed answers are common phrases with “IM” taken OUT:

  • 37A “Peace!,” and a hint to how the answers to the starred clues were formed : I’M OUT
  • 17A *Blazer to wear to Cub Scout meetings? : DEN JACKET (“denim jacket” -IM)
  • 23A *Music for couch potatoes? : SEDENTARY ROCK (“sedimentary rock” – IM)
  • 45A *Professional who helps name timeline segments? : AGE CONSULTANT (“image consultant” – IM)
  • 54A *Stance taken by a Marvel character, perhaps? : SUPER POSE (“superimpose” – IM)

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

Bill’s time: 7m 59s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Communication syst. used in the film “CODA” : ASL

American Sign Language (ASL)

“CODA” is a 2021 movie, a remake of the 2014 French-Belgian film “La Famille Bélier”. The English-language version stars Emilia Jones as the only hearing member of a deaf family struggling with a fishing business in Gloucester, Massachusetts. “CODA” was the first film distributed by a streaming service (Apple TV+) to win a Best Picture Oscar. The title “CODA” is an acronym standing for “child of deaf adults”.

17 *Blazer to wear to Cub Scout meetings? : DEN JACKET (“denim jacket” -IM)

Denim fabric originated in Nîmes in France. The French phrase “de Nîmes” (meaning “from Nîmes”) gives us the word “denim”. Also, the French phrase “bleu de Genes” (meaning “blue of Genoa”) gives us our word “jeans”.

19 Language that gives us “pajamas” and “shampoo” : HINDI

Our word “pajamas” (sometimes “PJs” or “jammies”) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. On the other side of the Atlantic, the spelling is “pyjamas”.

Back in the 1760s, the verb “to shampoo” was an Anglo-Indian word meaning “to massage”. A century later we started to shampoo our hair.

22 __ collar : ETON

An Eton collar is a wide, stiff, buttoned collar that is still part of the formal school uniform at Eton College near Windsor in England.

23 *Music for couch potatoes? : SEDENTARY ROCK (“sedimentary rock” – IM)

The three main classes of rocks are sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic. The latter make up most of the volume of the Earth’s crust, but sedimentary rock dominates the upper layer to which humans are most often exposed. That veneer of sedimentary material contains almost all of the fossils that give us insight into ancient life forms on our planet.

26 Pad sharer : ROOMIE

Back in the 16th century a pad was a bundle of straw to lie on. “Pad” came to mean “place for sleeping” in the early 1700s. The term was revitalized in the hippie era.

38 Clooney Foundation for Justice co-founder : AMAL

Amal Alamuddin married celebrated Hollywood actor George Clooney in 2014. Alamuddin was born in Beirut, Lebanon and moved with her family to London when she was a toddler. She is a lawyer specializing in international law, with one of her more renowned clients being the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.

41 Curly-tailed dog : 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.

42 Malek of “Mr. Robot” : RAMI

Actor Rami Malek’s big break came with the leading role in the television series “Mr. Robot”. In 2018, Malik gave an Oscar-winning performance playing Freddie Mercury in the hit biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. That marked the first time that an actor of Egyptian descent won an Academy Award for Best Actor.

“Mr. Robot” is an engaging drama series about an anxious and clinically depressed computer hacker. Said hacker joins an anarchic group of hackers known as “Mr. Robot” who are intent on taking down the largest conglomerate in the world. I binge-watched the first two series, and really enjoyed the experience …

60 Undefeated boxer Laila : ALI

Laila Ali is the daughter of the great Muhammad Ali and is a very capable boxer in her own right. Laila’s professional record is an impressive 24 wins, including 21 knockouts. Now retired, she never lost a fight, and nor did she ever draw. One of those victories was against Jackie Frazier-Lyde, daughter of her father’s nemesis Joe Frazier. Laila is not a bad dancer either, coming in third place in the fourth season of “Dancing with the Stars”.

Down

1 PBS “Science Kid” : SID

“Sid the Science Kid” is a children’s show aired by PBS. “Sid the Science Kid” is made using CGI technology, and is a production of the Jim Henson Company that was founded on the success of “The Muppets”.

3 “The Villain in Black” rapper MC __ : REN

“MC Ren” is the stage name of rapper Lorenzo Patterson. The “Ren” in his stage name comes from the middle letters in his given name “Lorenzo”.

4 __ Mahal : TAJ

“Mahal” is the Urdu word for “palace”, as in “Taj Mahal” meaning “crown of palaces”. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum holding the body of Mumtaz Mahal, the third wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The name “Mumtaz Mahal” translates as “the chosen one of the palace”.

5 “A Whole New World” film : ALADDIN

The theme song of the 1992 Disney movie “Aladdin” is “A Whole New World”, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. It is performed in the film by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga, who provided the singing voices for Aladdin and Jasmine. In the movie’s storyline, Aladdin and Jasmine sing the song as they ride a magic carpet together.

7 Freezing rain : SLEET

Apparently, “sleet” is a term used to describe two different weather conditions. One is a shower of ice pellets that are smaller than hail, and the second is a mixture of rain and snow, with the snow melting as it falls.

10 Toolbox item : PLIERS

The verb “to ply” can mean “to twist together”, and used to mean “to bend”. A pair of “pliers” can be used to bend something, hence the tool’s name.

11 Specialist in body language? : PANTOMIMIST

Our word “pantomime” comes from the Greek word “pantomimos” meaning “actor”. The literal translation of the Greek is “imitator of all”, from “panto-” (all) and “mimos” (imitator). We use the term today to describe communication by means of facial expression and physical gestures. On the other side of the Atlantic, pantomimes (often “pantos”) are also very popular Christmas entertainments based on nursery tales like “Mother Goose”, “Aladdin” and “Jack and the Beanstalk”. Great, great stuff …

12 Triage M.D. : ER DOC

Triage is the process of prioritizing patients for treatment, especially on the battlefield. The term “triage” is French and means “sorting”.

18 First Nations people of Canada : CREE

“First Nations” is a term used in Canada describing the ethnicity of Native Americans who are neither Inuit nor Métis people.

21 Rendezvous best not posted on Facebook : TRYST

In the most general sense, a tryst is a meeting at an agreed time and place. More usually we consider a tryst to be a pre-arranged meeting between lovers. The term comes from the Old French “triste”, a waiting place designated when hunting. Further, a tryst taking place at lunchtime is sometimes referred to as a nooner.

A rendezvous is a meeting. The noun used in English comes from the French phrase “rendez vous” meaning “present yourselves”.

23 Ballpark snack : SOFT PRETZEL

Pretzels originated in Europe and are especially popular in Southern Germany where a pretzel is known as “Brezel”. Pretzels were introduced into the US in the 1800s by immigrants from Germany and Switzerland who came to be known over here as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

24 Outback flock : EMUS

In Australia, the land outside of urban areas is referred to as the outback or the bush. That said, I think that the term “outback” is sometimes reserved for the more remote parts of the bush.

26 “Dress for Less” clothing chain : ROSS

Ross Dress for Less is a chain of discount clothes stores. The first store opened, under the name Ross Department Store, in San Bruno, California in 1950. That store was established by Morris “Morrie” Ross, but Ross sold it on to William Isackson. It was Isackson who expanded the business and established the chain of stores.

27 River connecting Pittsburgh to the Mississippi : OHIO

The Ohio River forms in Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. It empties into the Mississippi near the city of Cairo, Illinois.

32 Mercury Seven astronaut Grissom : GUS

Gus Grissom was the second American to fly in space, and the first astronaut at NASA to make two space flights. Sadly, Grissom was one of the three astronauts who died in that terrible launch pad fire in 1967.

The Mercury Seven were the original NASA astronauts. Several members of the 7-man team actually flew on all the major NASA programs: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and the Space Shuttle. The seven astronauts were:

  • Alan Shepherd
  • Gus Grissom
  • John Glenn
  • Scott Carpenter
  • Wally Schirra
  • Gordon Cooper
  • Deke Slayton

34 Brussels-based gp. : NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an international military alliance that was established in 1949. NATO headquarters was initially set up in London, moved to Paris in 1952, and then to Brussels 1967.

40 Word in a Spanish love poem : AMO

In Spanish, “amor” (love) might lead to “un matrimonio” (a marriage).

41 Cried for cider? : ANAGRAM

Here are some of my favorite anagrams:

  • “Dormitory” and “dirty room”
  • “Elvis” and “lives”
  • “The eyes” and “they see”
  • “Eleven plus two” and “twelve plus one”
  • “William Shakespeare” and “I’ll make a wise phrase”
  • “Schoolmaster” and “the classroom”

44 “Cure Ignorance” online anthology : UTNE

The “Utne Reader” is known for aggregation and republishing of articles on politics, culture and the environment from other sources in the media. It was founded in 1984 by Eric Utne, with management taken over by Eric’s wife Nina Rothschild Utne in 1990.

45 __-ski : APRES

“Après-ski” is a French term meaning “after skiing”. It refers to the good times to be had after coming off the slopes.

46 Preserves fruit : GUAVA

The name “guava” applies to several tropical fruit species. The most frequently eaten species is the apple guava (also “common guava”). Almost half of the world’s guava is produced by India.

47 Rope fiber : SISAL

The sisal plant is an agave, the flesh of which is not generally used in making tequila. Sisal is grown instead for the fibers that run the length of its leaves. The fiber is used extensively for twine, rope, carpeting, wall coverings etc. My favorite application though, is in the construction of dartboards. Sisal takes its name from the port of Sisal in Yucatan, Mexico that was a major shipping point for sisal plants.

48 Soft palate part : UVULA

The uvula is a conical fleshy projection hanging down at the back of the soft palate. The uvula plays an important role in human speech, particularly in the making of “guttural” sounds. The Latin word for “grape” is “uva”, so “uvula” is a “little grape”.

The roof of the mouth is known as the palate. The anterior part of the palate is very bony, and is called the hard palate. The posterior part is very fleshy and is called the soft palate. The soft palate is muscular and moves to close off the nasal passages while swallowing. We often use the term “palate” figuratively, to describe the sense of taste.

49 Fatty compound : LIPID

Lipids are a group of naturally occurring molecules including fats, waxes and fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D and E). Sometimes we use the words “fat” and “lipid” interchangeably but fats are a subgroup of lipids, specifically a group best called triglycerides.

53 ACLU concern : RTS

Rights (rts.)

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its roots in the First World War. It grew out of the National Civil Liberties Bureau (CLB) that was founded to provide legal advice and support to conscientious objectors. The ACLU’s motto is “Because Freedom Can’t Protect Itself”. The ACLU also hosts a blog on the ACLU.org website called “Speak Freely”.

55 Kissing on the kiss cam, say : PDA

Public display of affection (PDA)

The kiss cam is a diversion during some sporting events in which a video camera picks out random couples in the crowd, projecting their image onto the giant screen at the venue. The couples are encouraged to kiss, for the entertainment of the fans. Famously, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama kissed for the kiss cam at a basketball game a few years ago, as did former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

57 Kraken’s home : SEA

Kraken are huge sea monsters of legend that were reputed to live off the coasts of Iceland and Norway. It’s possible that the kraken legend was inspired by real-life giant squid.

58 NYC summer hrs. : EDT

Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “More or less” : SORTA
6 Communication syst. used in the film “CODA” : ASL
9 Start to cut? : UPPER-
14 Flawless : IDEAL
15 __-mo : SLO
16 Withering look : GLARE
17 *Blazer to wear to Cub Scout meetings? : DEN JACKET (“denim jacket” -IM)
19 Language that gives us “pajamas” and “shampoo” : HINDI
20 Most arid : DRIEST
22 __ collar : ETON
23 *Music for couch potatoes? : SEDENTARY ROCK (“sedimentary rock” – IM)
26 Pad sharer : ROOMIE
28 Quaint affirmative : YES’M
29 “Sounds like a good time” : OH FUN
30 Acute anxiety : ANGST
33 Bus. letters : INC
36 Convenes : SITS
37 “Peace!,” and a hint to how the answers to the starred clues were formed : I’M OUT
38 Clooney Foundation for Justice co-founder : AMAL
39 Absorb, with “up” : SOP …
40 Etching supply : ACIDS
41 Curly-tailed dog : AKITA
42 Malek of “Mr. Robot” : RAMI
44 Synchronicity : UNISON
45 *Professional who helps name timeline segments? : AGE CONSULTANT (“image consultant” – IM)
50 Golf stroke that can be practiced in a hallway : PUTT
51 Charitable : GIVING
52 Stubble remover : RAZOR
54 *Stance taken by a Marvel character, perhaps? : SUPER POSE (“superimpose” – IM)
59 Happening : EVENT
60 Undefeated boxer Laila : ALI
61 Put two and two together? : ADDED
62 Pitching area : SALES
63 Fellow : LAD
64 Cross with : MAD AT

Down

1 PBS “Science Kid” : SID
2 Literary homage : ODE
3 “The Villain in Black” rapper MC __ : REN
4 __ Mahal : TAJ
5 “A Whole New World” film : ALADDIN
6 Invite to enter : ASK IN
7 Freezing rain : SLEET
8 Much, casually : LOTSA
9 Annoyed sound : UGH!
10 Toolbox item : PLIERS
11 Specialist in body language? : PANTOMIMIST
12 Triage M.D. : ER DOC
13 Freshen, as a stamp pad : REINK
18 First Nations people of Canada : CREE
21 Rendezvous best not posted on Facebook : TRYST
23 Ballpark snack : SOFT PRETZEL
24 Outback flock : EMUS
25 “Although … ” : YET …
26 “Dress for Less” clothing chain : ROSS
27 River connecting Pittsburgh to the Mississippi : OHIO
30 “What __ missing?” : AM I
31 Drift off : NOD
32 Mercury Seven astronaut Grissom : GUS
34 Brussels-based gp. : NATO
35 Family group : CLAN
37 Pastry bag filler : ICING
38 Related : AKIN
40 Word in a Spanish love poem : AMO
41 Cried for cider? : ANAGRAM
43 Musical introduction? : ACT ONE
44 “Cure Ignorance” online anthology : UTNE
45 __-ski : APRES
46 Preserves fruit : GUAVA
47 Rope fiber : SISAL
48 Soft palate part : UVULA
49 Fatty compound : LIPID
53 ACLU concern : RTS
55 Kissing on the kiss cam, say : PDA
56 Peculiar : ODD
57 Kraken’s home : SEA
58 NYC summer hrs. : EDT

23 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Sep 22, Friday”

  1. No errors but some odd cluing.

    GUAVA is preserves fruits? I thought it WAS the fruit?

    Never heard of ROSS

    just didn’t have a rhythm to this grid. A lot of “?”. It was like IM OUT of it.

    1. Guava is a fruit that can be used to make preserves. “Preserves” is a noun, not a verb in the clue.

      I had difficulties in the SW because of the GUAVA issue & RTS for the ACLU clue; the latter was a stretch imo. Also had brain cramp with roomies/emus. I kept trying to force EWES in for the flock.

    2. @Anon Mike
      Preserve is an adjective in this case. Figured that after I had the boxes filled in. Aha. Not the verb ‘to preserve.’ Instead, a fruit used in preserves. Although I prefer raspberry. Never had guava preserves.

  2. No errors, 1 lookup: the kissing cam info. I was thinking TMI but
    that didn’t fit, so gave up and looked it up. Fun puzzle and I did
    get the theme early on.

  3. 6:25, 4 errors (4 words). Don’t know exactly what happened on that one. Of course, I never see these errors when I check the grid back over. Don’t know why on that one either.

    @Mike
    Bill didn’t explain the right part on that IMO. “Preserves” is one of the modes one can use to keep fruit beyond its normal season. Jam, jelly, and preserves are three of the ways and varies depending on the amount of the fruit kept and the method. Most of us will have one of the three we use for PBJ, toast in the morning, ice cream topping, or other reasons. See the link below for a very good explanation of the exact difference of the three.

    https://www.britannica.com/story/whats-the-difference-between-jam-jelly-and-preserves

  4. Got ’em all even though not “getting” a couple: PDA and SEDimENTARY. Nice, enjoyable puzzle, especially for a Friday.

  5. 8:18, 1 lookup for SID the science kid, then brute forcing the alphabet to get the ‘N’ in the last square of MC REN crossing DENJACKET.

    Amusing, slightly helpful theme.

    I also think GUAVA is not the first fruit I think of in preserves.

    Today’s stumbling block was pulling a HAMMER out of the toolbox, then going back in for the PLIERS.

    Has a SOFTPRETZEL become a common ballpark snack? I thought it was more of the street corner snack.

    At least taking up the Spelling Bee this year helped me see the ANAGRAM.

  6. 12:00 – no errors or lookups. False starts: LISLE>SISAL (yeah, different uses).

    New: “The Villain in Black,” MC REN, AMO as a Spanish word, Hindi as the source for pajamas and shampoo.

    Having the puzzle theme clue (37A) in the middle of the Acrosses helped to solve most of the theme answers.

  7. 11 mins 20 sec, and no errors, but needed Check Grid on 4 entries to unravel the cynical, poorly edited clues for 46D/62A. Also 61A, which I read in the present tense, not past. *Hate* those “sound-alike” clues that you “read” or “hear in your head” wrong!!!!

  8. “Peace” translates to “I’m out?” How so . . .? 29A seems like it would have a more enthusiastic answer. Finally, I practice ALL of my golf strokes in the hallway, not just one of them in 50D.

  9. I also don’t get the connection between Peace and I’m out. Although I wasn’t a hippie, we called ourselves hippie sympathizers. 🙂

  10. No look ups, no errors. Too many changes
    on the fly to recount. Although I prefer a
    tougher puzzle and a good challenge this
    one made me glad I don’t keep track of my
    times. I wish I had said “I’m out” but I hung
    in there…
    I used to ski once upon a time but have
    never heard the term Apres-ski. And
    Guava Jelly? really?
    @ Steve
    Thanks for the belly laugh 🤣🤣

  11. The LATimes tends to make late-in-the-week crossword puzzles that are artificially hard by giving very vague clues (not cricket) and lengthy answers that consist of a lot of words (sometimes artificially omitting a few letters with no context given up front, and occasionally stretching a meaning artificially (like “preserves fruit”) tricking us into thinking it’s a verb when used as a noun. I often give up in disgust when Fridays crossword comes along, as opposed to really difficult puzzles in the NYTimes and NewYorker. The LATimes can do better than the easy sloppy ways to make puzzles difficult.

  12. A bit too tough for me today; took 27:12 with 2 “check-grids” to get me to the finish. I couldn’t get DEN JACKET and AGE CONSULTANT for the life of me, even though I was trying to work with the theme (unsuccessfully). Of course I see it now as plain as day…a little too late.

    Anyway after I got the SID, REN and GUAVA, ACT ONE and fixed liSA, everything came together after a long alphabet roll on the “N” in REN – apparently a pretty famous rapper and costar of Ice Cube in NWA, who is now mostly retired.

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