LA Times Crossword 24 Sep 22, Saturday

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Constructed by: Adrian Johnson
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 12m 05s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

15 Italian for “entrepreneur” : IMPRESARIO

An impresario is a stage-art equivalent of television or movie producer. He or she organizes and perhaps finances concerts, plays and operas.

16 Banks on a runway : TYRA

Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosted the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also had her own talk show. She was also the first African-American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.

17 Revue element : VARIETY ACT

“Revue” is the French word for “review”.

19 Music producer Estefan : EMILIO

Musician and producer Emilio Estefan started his professional life in music when founded the band Miami Latin Boys in 1975. A few months later, cousins Gloria Fajardo and Merci Navarro joined the band, and the group changed its name to Miami Sound Machine. Fajardo was to become the group’s lead singer over time, and Emilio’s wife. Emilio and Gloria Estefan married in 1978.

23 __ pad : STENO

Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

25 Gravel size : PEA

Gravel is a loose mixture of rock fragments. Gravel is classified by the size of those fragments. For example, pea gravel comprises pea-size, rounded stones.

40 Actress Headey : LENA

English actress Lena Headey is best known for playing Cersei Lannister on the fantasy series “Game of Thrones”. Although a British citizen, Headey was actually born in Bermuda, where her father was stationed as a police officer.

41 City near Nîmes : ARLES

Quite a few years ago now, I had the privilege of living just a short car-ride from the beautiful city of Arles in the South of France. Although Arles has a long and colorful history, the Romans had a prevailing influence over the city’s design. Arles has a spectacular Roman amphitheater, arch, circus as well as old walls that surround the center of the city. In more modern times, it was a place Vincent van Gogh often visited, and was where he painted many of his most famous works, including “Cafe Terrace at Night” and “Bedroom in Arles”.

Nîmes is a lovely city in the south of France. One of the claims to fame of the city is the invention of denim fabric. The French phrase “de Nîmes” (from Nîmes) gives us the word “denim”.

43 Collection that often happens by default : REPO

Repossession (repo)

44 “The Secret of the Old Clock” sleuth : DREW

“The Secret of the Old Clock” is the first of the celebrated “Nancy Drew Mystery Stories”. Published in 1930, it was penned by Mildred Wirt Benson under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, a pseudonym used by the publisher for the team of authors who wrote the “Nancy Drew” books. Nancy is 16 years old in the original story, although her age is upped to 18 years in a 1959 rewrite by Harriet Stratemeyer Adams.

45 Food service giant : SYSCO

It’s hard to drive down any highway in the US without coming across a Sysco truck. It really is a huge company, the largest food service enterprise in the country. “Sysco” is an abbreviation for Systems and Services Company.

47 Asian peninsula : SINAI

The Sinai Peninsula is in the eastern part of Egypt, and is a triangular landform bounded by the Mediterranean to the north and the Red Sea to the south. It is the only part of Egypt that lies in Asia as opposed to Africa. The eastern land border of the peninsula is shared with Israel, and Israel occupied the Sinai during the 1956 Suez Crisis and the Six-Day War of 1967.

52 Label on some bean bags : DECAF

The first successful process for removing caffeine from coffee involved steaming the beans in salt water, and then extracting the caffeine using benzene (a potent carcinogen) as a solvent. Coffee processed this way was sold as Sanka here in the US. There are other processes used these days, and let’s hope they are safer …

56 Empty words : PRATTLE

Prattle is idle talk. The term comes via the verb “to prate” from the Swedish “prata” meaning “to talk, chatter”.

58 Comoros capital : MORONI

Moroni is the capital and largest city of the Comoros, an archipelagic nation off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. Moroni is situated on Ngazida, the largest of the republic’s three main islands.

The Comoros is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the eastern coast of Africa. The Comoros gained independence from France in 1975.

60 Early aircraft navigation system : RADIO RANGE

Back in the 1930s and 1940s, low-frequency radio range was the main system of instrument navigation used by aircraft. “The range” used a network of radio towers that transmitted directional radio signals defining airways used by aircraft. Pilots would hear a Morse code “A” if they needed to turn the plane to the left, a Morse code “N” if they needed to turn to the right, and a steady tone when on the correct path.

63 Frozen treat with Mermaid and Baby Narwhal flavors : ICEE

Slush Puppie and ICEE are brands of frozen, slushy drinks. Ostensibly competing brands, ICEE now owns the Slush Puppie brand.

65 Bird found on all seven continents : TERN

Terns are seabirds that are found all over the world. The Arctic Tern makes a very long-distance migration. One Arctic Tern that was tagged as a chick in Great Britain in the summer of 1982, was spotted in Melbourne, Australia just three months later. The bird had traveled over 14,000 miles in over those three months, an average of about 150 miles a day. Remarkable …

Down

1 Gets into swing : JIVES

The word “jive” meaning “style of fast, dance music”, is probably of African origin coming into American English through the African-American population.

2 Taste found in shrimp paste : UMAMI

Umami is one of the five basic tastes, along with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. “Umami” is a Japanese word used to describe “a pleasant savory taste”. Umami was proposed as a basic taste in 1908, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the scientific community finally accepted it as such.

3 Diagonal spar : SPRIT

A sprit is a pole that extends out from a mast, one often supporting a special sail called a spritsail.

4 Paleozoic marine arthropods : TRILOBITES

Trilobites were marine arthropods (invertebrates with an exoskeleton) that existed across most oceans from about 500 until 250 million years ago. Because of their exoskeletons, and because of their large population size, trilobite fossils are found relatively often. And some trilobites were quite large, measuring over 18 inches in length and weighing almost ten pounds.

5 Believing, so they say : SEEING

Seeing is believing.

9 Recess : NICHE

The literal meaning of the word “niche” is “recess in a wall”. The term came into English from French in the early 17th century. The French term described a recess in a wall for a dog, a kind of kennel.

11 Building site code? : HTML

The initialism “HTML” stands for HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).

14 Southeast Asian spicy noodle soup : LAKSA

Laksa is a spicy noodle dish that is popular in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It usually comprises thick rice noodles in a rich coconut broth with a chicken or fish topping.

21 Front : LOAN

A person might front someone a loan, advance them some money.

29 Colonial protector? : SOLDIER ANT

In an ant colony, soldier ants differ from worker ants in that they have stronger mandibles and are hence more suitable for fighting. However, when they aren’t fighting, they basically carry out the same functions as the workers. All worker and soldier ants are sterile females.

30 “Let You Love Me” and “You for Me” singer : ORA

Rita Ora is a British singer who was born Rita Sahatçiu in Pristina, Yugoslavia to Albanian parents. The family name “Sahatçiu” comes from a Turkish word meaning “watchmaker”. Rita’s parents changed their name to make it easier to pronounce. So, the family name morphed from “watchmaker” to “time”, which is “ora” in Albanian.

42 “Git!” : 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”.

51 Chow line? : LEASH

The chow chow is a breed of dog that originated in China. The Chinese name for the breed is “Songshi Quan”, which translates as “puffy-lion dog”, a rather apt name given its appearance …

53 Complex part? : CONDO

The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, namely a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).

54 Emotion voiced by Lewis Black in “Inside Out” : ANGER

Lewis Black is a standup comedian who is known for using an angry demeanor during his routines.

58 Lemur in the “Madagascar” films : MORT

In the “Madagascar” franchise of films, the character Mort is a mouse lemur. He is voiced by Andy Richter, who is best known as the sidekick for Conan O’Brien.

62 Org. led by Charles P. Rettig : IRS

Charles Rettig was appointed head of the IRS (formally “Commissioner of Internal Revenue”) in 2018. Nominated by President Donald Trump, he continued to serve under the Biden administration.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “No offense” : JUST SAYING
11 Get better : HEAL
15 Italian for “entrepreneur” : IMPRESARIO
16 Banks on a runway : TYRA
17 Revue element : VARIETY ACT
18 Not at all assertive : MEEK
19 Music producer Estefan : EMILIO
20 Valleys : HOLLOWS
22 Squelch : SIT ON
23 __ pad : STENO
25 Gravel size : PEA
26 So-so effort : B-GAME
28 Soothed : EASED
30 “Didn’t think I’d see you here!” : OH HI!
33 Audition dismissal : NEXT!
35 “Tsk” evokers : NO-NOS
37 Etymology concern : ROOT
38 List on a concert T-shirt : DATES
40 Actress Headey : LENA
41 City near Nîmes : ARLES
43 Collection that often happens by default : REPO
44 “The Secret of the Old Clock” sleuth : DREW
45 Food service giant : SYSCO
47 Asian peninsula : SINAI
49 Make ends meet? : SEW
50 Felt lousy : AILED
52 Label on some bean bags : DECAF
56 Empty words : PRATTLE
58 Comoros capital : MORONI
59 Stuck in traffic, say : LATE
60 Early aircraft navigation system : RADIO RANGE
63 Frozen treat with Mermaid and Baby Narwhal flavors : ICEE
64 Caver’s cry : I SURRENDER!
65 Bird found on all seven continents : TERN
66 Spirited tale : GHOST STORY

Down

1 Gets into swing : JIVES
2 Taste found in shrimp paste : UMAMI
3 Diagonal spar : SPRIT
4 Paleozoic marine arthropods : TRILOBITES
5 Believing, so they say : SEEING
6 Phrase that may start a verdict : AS TO …
7 “Yesss!” : YAY!
8 Plan for the future, in a way : IRA
9 Recess : NICHE
10 Happy cry on a fishing boat : GOT ONE!
11 Building site code? : HTML
12 Dose of reality, perhaps : EYE-OPENER
13 “Is that all?” : ARE WE DONE?
14 Southeast Asian spicy noodle soup : LAKSA
21 Front : LOAN
23 Application error, perhaps : SMEAR
24 Informal language that includes many abbreviations : TEXTESE
27 “Then what happened!?” : AND?!
29 Colonial protector? : SOLDIER ANT
30 “Let You Love Me” and “You for Me” singer : ORA
31 Close political contest : HORSE RACE
32 Symbol of purification : HOLY WATER
34 Not so hot : TEPID
36 Prop for a classic magic trick : SAW
39 Junior : SON
42 “Git!” : SCAT!
46 Groundbreaking technology? : OIL RIG
48 Digs a lot : ADORES
49 Left : SPLIT
51 Chow line? : LEASH
53 Complex part? : CONDO
54 Emotion voiced by Lewis Black in “Inside Out” : ANGER
55 Like some emotional speeches : FIERY
57 44-Across, for one : TEEN
58 Lemur in the “Madagascar” films : MORT
61 Pair : DUO
62 Org. led by Charles P. Rettig : IRS

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 24 Sep 22, Saturday”

  1. Well, this was a toughy for me.
    1 typo. For 49A, my first pass was SIT. then I realized 31D was HORSERACE. then I started to fix 32D with HOLY something. I had the _ATER part. Got distracted somewhere else. Probably the NW corner where I started with GLORIA at 19A then realizing that wasn’t working, shifted to her husband… NW corner solved! Boom!

    So I left 32D as HOLY TATER! ha! That’s kinda spiritual isn’t it?

  2. Actually had another error. 26A. Went from B GAME to C game. TRILOCITE vs TRILOBITE??? hmmm… TRILOCITE it is!
    Wrong.

  3. LAT: About two hours but done without error. It took me to my limits. Almost gave up after my first go-round. To be able to do such a puzzle in under a half hour is truly astounding.

  4. Took me what seemed like forever today.Did not know Moroni….only one Estefan I knew was Gloria…needed to fix that grid got it to fill …hard but fun and kinda fair.

  5. 25:33, 6 Naticks. Simply atrocious grid overall.

    @Lawrence Light (yesterday)
    Generally agree. Extends to one’s like today too. Part of me says I should keep my mouth shut (for reasons), but part of me says I can’t be a simp over these things either. Like with the WSJ and NYT, some garbage gets through occasionally, but it seems to be a consistent late week occurrence with the LAT.

  6. Worse than the usual Saturday puzzle. Anyone who says they finished without lookups of any kind are either lying or named Ken Jennings. Just saying.

    1. Oh, please. Don’t denigrate others because your attempt falls short. It took me over an hour, almost gave up twice, erased and re-tried a lot, had a couple of “aha” moments and solved it. No lookups. That’s my usual routine and I suspect it’s the same for many solvers who are less interested in speed than in eventually getting there. While I savor clues that misdirect or have multiple meanings, I admit frustration with obscure facts/names clues. These have to await crossing entries before a good guess can be made. Hey, that’s the game!

  7. 23 mins 14 sec, DNF with 8 left unfilled. This constructor’s smarmy, “cute” clueing is really annoying. “Manufactured difficulty” at its lowest base.

  8. Saturdays are becoming mental battles! 55:32 with two lookups – EMILIO Estefan (Gloria didn’t work), and MORONI; and two letter errors in RADarRANGE (didn’t know enough about Charles Rettig or recall the movie lemur’s name to fix that). Lots of erasures in the NW corner.

    False starts: SINGS>JIVES, NOVELTYACT>VARIETYACT, GLORIA>EMILIO, HTTP>HTML, TAME>MEEK, HAT>SAW, NAME>ROOT, ONO>ORA, TEARY>FIERY, KORONA>MORONI, RADARRANGE>RADIORANGE.

    New: LENA Headey, “The Secret of the Old Clock,” MORONI, LAKSA, TEXTESE, ORA. Textese seems to be a dubious word.

    Multiple clue meanings to decipher where no “?” is used: default, bean bags, caver, spirited, recess, front, pair.

    Overall, I’m happy with only two lookups, but should have worked more at 58D and 62D (MrRT and aRS).

  9. Really tough for me today. Took over an hour. Had Gloria for 19 across and tried to make that work to no avail. Things fell into place after several look ups and changing Gloria to Emilio

  10. Thought I had gotten the banner and I was
    feeling pretty smug and then I found I had
    written Radar Range and not revisited it.
    Can you imagine trying to navigate with a
    Microwave oven 😵‍💫 In any event I thought
    it was a good challenge and I enjoyed the
    Puzzle….

  11. 20:25

    Mostly spent going through the grid, downs, acrosses, downs, acrosses, with a couple fills, and a lot of no idea, until suddenly I got a bunch at once, then back to no idea, then a couple of guesses, and finally trudging through to see what I needed to fix, and at last done.

    Worth it to see TRILOBITES. It brings back a memory of a geology outing when we went to an outcrop of shales with abundant trilobites. Somewhere around here, I still have a few little bits of rock with the imprints of ancient anthropods.

  12. Yes, it was hard. But I have to admit I kind of like what I call misleading clues, like “Caver’s cry”. So many times I look at a clue and think “Oh, it sounds like it’s about this, but I bet there’s some other meaning.” However, two of us working together still had to look things up for this.

  13. Made the move to the L A Times puzzle when the St.Louis Post-Dispatch dropped the syndicated N Y Times. Found the difficulty I was looking for in this puzzle.

    I could see the the finish line and then stumbled crossing it. 2 look-ups.

  14. Tough but eventually doable Saturday for me; took 30:22 with no peeks or errors. I stepped around this puzzle very gingerly, only getting a little fill here or there. Finally got some traction in the SE, then the middle and NE. TEXTESE 🙂 After changing JIVEd, I got SIT ON and then was able to guess Gloria’s husbands name 🙂 I pretty much had PRATTLE and put in ICEE, SPLIT and LATE…which allowed me to see …WATER..hmm okay HOLY WATER. Remembered all those SYSCO semis driving around. Finally finished in the W section…singer, singer hmm…ORA. That helped get the rest in no time.

    Just had to change the above mentioned JIVEd and LEdA – which I really should’ve known.

    So, very enjoyable and satisfying; of course mostly because I finished without error!

  15. C’mon grousers! It’s challenges like this that create those new little gray cells. I need all of those I can get. It took both the hubby and I to get the southeast corner…he’s the one who twigged to the caver’s cry, which gave me enough crosses to finish.

  16. Tough one but lots of fun. I do them on paper so no “chimes” or “bells” to tell me if things are OK. Took me about 45 minutes to an hour…I don’t time myself.

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