LA Times Crossword 5 Oct 22, Wednesday

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Constructed by: Ed Sessa
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Reveal Answer: Me and My Shadow

Themed answers each include “ME” AND MY SHADOW (the letter string ME-EM) hidden within:

  • 50A Soft-shoe classic, or what can be found in the answers to the starred clues : ME AND MY SHADOW
  • 20A *Kitchen fire, for one : HOME EMERGENCY
  • 24A *Laura Dern’s “Little Women” role : MARMEE MARCH
  • 44A *Lifetime Achievement Award presented to “Sesame Street” in 2009, e.g. : DAYTIME EMMY

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

Bill’s time: 6m 08s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

6 Lettuce variety : BIBB

Bibb is a variety of lettuce in the cultivar known as butterhead. All butterhead varieties have loose-leafed heads and a buttery texture.

10 Testy mood : SNIT

Somebody described as testy is touchy, irritably impatient. The term “testy” comes into English from Old French, ultimately deriving from “testu” meaning “stubborn, headstrong”, literally “heady”. So, our word “testy” comes from the same root as the French word “tête” meaning “head”.

15 __ Bator: former spelling of Mongolia’s capital : ULAN

The name of Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar (formerly anglicized as “Ulan Bator”) translates as “the Red Hero”. The “Red Hero” name was chosen in honor of the country’s national hero Damdin Sükhbaatar. Sükhbaatar fought alongside the Soviet Red Army in the fight for liberation from Chinese occupation.

17 Crooner Mel : TORME

Crooner Mel Tormé fronted a vocal quintet in the 1940s called “Mel Tormé and his Mel-Tones”. Tormé set up the group as Frank Sinatra had been having success singing with the Hoboken Four as well as with the Pied Pipers.

22 To boot : ALSO

The noun “boot” was once used to describe something of advantage in trying to accomplish a goal. This obsolete term really only exists in the adverb “to boot” meaning “in addition, over and above”, literally “to advantage”.

24 *Laura Dern’s “Little Women” role : MARMEE MARCH

The “Little Women” in Louisa May Alcott’s classic (1868) novel are all sisters. The names of the five main characters in the book are a mother and her four daughters:

  • Margaret “Marmee” (the mother)
  • Margaret “Meg”
  • Josephine “Jo”
  • Elizabeth “Beth”
  • Amy Curtis

The 2019 big-screen adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Eliza Acanlen as the March sisters. Laura Dern plays their mother. This one was very well received by critics and audiences alike.

Actress Laura Dern is the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. Among her many notable roles, Laura Dern played the Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the 2008 movie “Recount”, and Dr. Ellie Sattler in the 1993 blockbuster “Jurassic Park”.

30 ’60s protest gp. : SDS

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

33 Bed bug? : APHID

Aphids are called “greenfly” back in Britain and Ireland where I come from. The most effective way to control aphids, in my experience, is to make sure there are plenty of ladybugs in the garden (called “ladybirds” in Ireland!).

34 Vaio laptop maker : SONY

VAIO is a line of computers manufactured by Sony. The name was originally an acronym of Video Audio Integrated Operation, but this was changed to Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer on the occasion of the brand’s 10th anniversary in 2008.

36 Kylo Ren’s mother : LEIA

The full name of the character played by Carrie Fisher in the “Star Wars” series of films is Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan, and later Leia Organa Solo. Leia is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and the daughter of Anakin Skywalker (aka “Darth Vader”) and Padmé Amidala. Leia is raised by her adoptive parents Bail and Breha Organa. She eventually marries Han Solo.

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.

37 Yellowstone bovine : BISON

There are two species of bison left (four species are extinct). We are most familiar with the American bison (commonly called the American buffalo), but there is also a European bison, which is sometimes called a “wisent”.

President Abraham Lincoln passed a bill in 1864 creating the Yosemite Grant, which was the first piece of federal legislature that set aside park land for preservation and public use. The Yosemite Grant paved the way for the creation of Yellowstone as the nation’s first national park in 1872. Yosemite was made a national park in 1890.

39 “I Just Wanna Stop” singer Vannelli : GINO

Gino Vannelli is a Canadian singer from Montreal, Quebec. He is apparently very popular in the Netherlands, and divides his time between homes there and in Oregon in the US.

42 Pitcher’s bagful : ROSIN

Rosin is a solid form of resin derived from plant sources. Rosin is formed into cakes that players of stringed instruments use to rub along the hairs of their bows to help improve sound quality. The rosin increases the degree of friction between the strings and the bow. That same friction-increasing property comes into play when baseball pitchers use rosin to get a better grip on the ball, or when dancers apply rosin to the soles of their shoes.

43 Pvt. address : APO

Army post office (APO)

The lowest military rank of soldier is often a private (pvt.). The term “private” comes from the Middle Ages when “private soldiers” were hired or conscripted by noblemen to form a “private army”. The more generic usage of “private” started in the 1700s.

44 *Lifetime Achievement Award presented to “Sesame Street” in 2009, e.g. : DAYTIME EMMY

Back in 1966, the Carnegie Institute allocated money to study the use of television to help young children prepare for school. The institute gave a multimillion dollar grant to set up the Children’s Television Workshop with the task of creating an educational TV program for young people. The program began to come together, especially after Jim Henson (of Muppet fame) got involved. The name “Sesame Street” was chosen simply because it was the “least disliked” of all names proposed just before the program went on the air.

47 Michael of “SNL” : CHE

Michael Che is a standup comedian from New York City. Che had worked as a writer for “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), and then started to appear in front of SNL cameras in September 2014. One of his roles was co-anchor for the “Weekend Update” segment of the show.

50 Soft-shoe classic, or what can be found in the answers to the starred clues : ME AND MY SHADOW

“Me and My Shadow” is a song first published in 1927. The music was composed by Dave Dreyer and the lyrics written by Billy Rose. Singer and actor Al Jolson was also given credit as a writer. Apparently that used to happen a lot back then, so that Jolson could earn some extra cash.

“Soft shoe” is a type of tap-dancing, a version without metal taps on the heels and toes of the shoes. Makes sense …

56 Common sweetener : CORN SYRUP

Fructose is also known as “fruit sugar”. It is commonly found in plants, and is the most water-soluble of all sugars. Many of us consume a lot of “high-fructose corn syrup”. This is a sweetener made from corn starch that is a mixture of glucose and fructose. The natural ratio of fructose to glucose is altered to produce a sweeter syrup by chemically converting much of the naturally occurring glucose into fructose.

57 Atlanta Dream co-owner Montgomery : RENEE

Renee Montgomery is a retired WNBA basketball player. She was part of a 3-person group of investors that bought the Atlantic Dream in 2021, making her the first WNBA veteran to become an owner of a WNBA team.

60 Wolfe of detective fiction : NERO

Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective and the hero of many stories published by author Rex Stout. There are 33 Nero Wolfe novels for us to read, and 39 short stories. There are also movie adaptations of two of the novels: “Meet Nero Wolfe” (1936) which features a young Rita Hayworth, and “The League of Frightened Men” (1937). One of Wolfe’s endearing traits is his love of good food and beer, so he is a pretty rotund character.

62 Chilean sea __ : BASS

What we know from restaurant menus as “Chilean sea bass” is really Patagonian toothfish. The “Chilean sea bass” moniker was invented by a fish wholesaler named Lee Lantz in 1977 as a name that would be more easily accepted by American consumers. Smart cookie …

Down

1 Butter or lard : FAT

Fat, when extracted from the carcass of an animal, is called suet. Untreated suet decomposes at room temperature quite easily so it has to be rendered, purified to make it stable. Rendered fat from pigs is what we call lard. Rendered beef or mutton fat is known as tallow.

2 Brief “Then again … ” : OTOH …

On the other hand (OTOH)

4 Jukebox musical featuring ABBA songs : MAMMA MIA!

The hit musical “Mamma Mia!” was written to showcase the songs of ABBA. I’m a big fan of ABBA’s music, so I’ve seen this show a couple of times and just love it. “Mamma Mia!” is such a big hit on the stage that on any given day there are at least seven performances going on somewhere in the world. There is a really interesting film version of the show that was released in 2008. I think the female lead Meryl Streep is wonderful in the movie, but the male leads … not so much! By the way, one can tell the difference between “Mamma Mia” the ABBA song and “Mamma Mia!” the musical, by noting the difference in the punctuation in the titles.

7 Nastase of tennis : ILIE

I think that Ilie Nastase was the most entertaining tennis player of the 1970s, the days of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. No matter how much pressure there was in a match, Nastase always had time to share a joke with the crowd. After retiring from the sport, he had a few novels published (in French) during the eighties. Then Nastase went into politics, making an unsuccessful run for the mayorship of Bucharest in 1996. He made a successful run for the Romanian Senate though, and was elected senator in 2014.

8 Mystery writer Nevada : BARR

Nevada Barr is an author noted for her series of mystery novels set in National Parks that feature park ranger and detective Anna Pigeon.

9 Uncommon blood type, briefly : B-NEG

Here is an approximate distribution of blood types across the US population:

  • O-positive: 38 percent
  • O-negative: 7 percent
  • A-positive: 34 percent
  • A-negative: 6 percent
  • B-positive: 9 percent
  • B-negative: 2 percent
  • AB-positive: 3 percent
  • AB-negative: 1 percent

10 Two-time Best Actress winner Hilary : SWANK

Actress Hilary Swank had her first major role in “The Next Karate Kid” released in 1994, in which she played the first female student of the sensei Mr. Miyagi. Her most notable performances were in “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999), in which she played a transgender man, and in “Million Dollar Baby” (2004) playing an aspiring boxer.

11 Self-absorption : NARCISSISM

Narcissus was a proud and vain hunter in Greek mythology. He earned himself a fatal punishment, falling in love with his own reflection in a pool. So, taken was he by his own image that he could not leave it, and wasted away and died by the pool. Narcissus gives us our term “narcissism” meaning “excessive love of oneself”.

13 NFL scores : TDS

A National Football League (NFL) player might score a touchdown (TD).

24 Island near Sicily : MALTA

The island state of Malta is relatively small (122 square miles), but its large number of inhabitants makes it one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Malta’s strategic location has made it a prized possession for the conquering empires of the world. Most recently it was part of the British Empire and was an important fleet headquarters. Malta played a crucial role for the Allies during WWII as it was located very close to the Axis shipping lanes in the Mediterranean. The Siege of Malta lasted from 1940 to 1942, a prolonged attack by the Italians and Germans on the RAF and Royal Navy, and the people of Malta. When the siege was lifted, King George VI awarded the George Cross to the people of Malta collectively in recognition of their heroism and devotion to the Allied cause. The George Cross can still be seen on the Maltese flag, even though Britain granted Malta independence in 1964.

In the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, the “boot” is the mainland of Italy, and the “ball” being kicked by the boot is the island of Sicily.

26 Thick-skinned safari beast : RHINOCEROS

There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.

28 Milne joey : ROO

Like most of the characters in A. A. Milne’s “Winnie-the-Pooh”, the kangaroo named “Roo” was inspired by a stuffed toy belonging to Milne’s son Christopher Robin.

29 Christiane Amanpour’s channel : CNN

Christiane Amanpour is a marvelous television journalist who started her career with CNN in 1983. She is known for her live reporting of major conflicts around the world, including the Iran-Iraq War, the fall of European communism, the Persian Gulf War and the Siege of Sarajevo. In 2018, Amanpour was chosen by PBS to replace Charlie Rose after he resigned his post facing allegations of sexual misconduct. . Amanpur was born in London, but raised in Tehran.

31 Durable fabric : DENIM

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”.

38 Creeping vine : IVY

The species of flowering plant Hedera helix is variously referred to as common ivy, English ivy, or usually just plain “ivy”. “Hedera” is the generic term for “ivy”, and “helix” is Greek for “spiral, twist, turn”.

48 Tom who voices Woody in the “Toy Story” films : HANKS

Tom Hanks is such a great actor. He has played so many iconic roles in a relatively short career. Hanks is from California, and studied theater for a couple of years in Hayward, California not far from here. Tom’s son Colin Hanks is one of the stars of the TV comedy “Life in Pieces”. Hanks is married to the talented actress Rita Wilson.

1995’s “Toy Story” was the world’s first feature-length computer-animated movie. “Toy Story” was also Pixar’s first production. The main roles in the film are Buzz Lightyear and Woody, who are voiced by Tim Allen and Tom Hanks respectively. Hanks was the first choice to voice Woody, but Allen was asked to voice Buzz after Billy Crystal turned down the role.

50 NYC cultural center : MOMA

The founding of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of John D. Rockefeller. Working with two friends, Abby managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA’s sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done so since 1949.

51 Unit of force : DYNE

A dyne is a unit of force. The name “dyne” comes from the Greek “dynamis” meaning “power, force”. Ergs and dynes are related to each other in that one erg is the amount of energy needed to move a force of one dyne over a distance of one centimeter.

52 1960s TV horse : MR ED

The sitcom “Mister Ed” first aired in 1961 and ran for almost five years. It was a very successful show (and even made it to Ireland!). Mister Ed, the talking horse, was a palomino that had the real name of Bamboo Harvester. Mister Ed’s “voice” was that of actor Allan “Rocky” Lane, a star of a lot of B-movie westerns from the forties and fifties. In the show, Mister Ed would only talk to the lead (human) character Wilbur, played by Alan Young, leading to some hilarious situations. Mister Ed had a stunt double and stand-in for the show, another horse called Pumpkin. Pumpkin later made frequent appearances on the show “Green Acres”.

53 Cosmonaut Gagarin : YURI

Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space when his spacecraft Vostok I made a single orbit of the Earth in 1961. Sadly, Gagarin died only seven years later in a plane crash.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Creates suds : FOAMS
6 Lettuce variety : BIBB
10 Testy mood : SNIT
14 Patronized, as a diner : ATE AT
15 __ Bator: former spelling of Mongolia’s capital : ULAN
16 Security checkpoint device : WAND
17 Crooner Mel : TORME
18 Tracks on a muddy road, e.g. : TIRE MARKS
20 *Kitchen fire, for one : HOME EMERGENCY
22 To boot : ALSO
23 __ lodge : SKI
24 *Laura Dern’s “Little Women” role : MARMEE MARCH
30 ’60s protest gp. : SDS
33 Bed bug? : APHID
34 Vaio laptop maker : SONY
35 Game, __, match : SET
36 Kylo Ren’s mother : LEIA
37 Yellowstone bovine : BISON
39 “I Just Wanna Stop” singer Vannelli : GINO
40 Square root of 100 : TEN
41 House overhang : EAVE
42 Pitcher’s bagful : ROSIN
43 Pvt. address : APO
44 *Lifetime Achievement Award presented to “Sesame Street” in 2009, e.g. : DAYTIME EMMY
47 Michael of “SNL” : CHE
49 Latest : NEWS
50 Soft-shoe classic, or what can be found in the answers to the starred clues : ME AND MY SHADOW
56 Common sweetener : CORN SYRUP
57 Atlanta Dream co-owner Montgomery : RENEE
59 “Oh, sure, whatever you say” : UM, OK
60 Wolfe of detective fiction : NERO
61 Try to stop : DETER
62 Chilean sea __ : BASS
63 Revise : EDIT
64 Part of an inner circle? : SPOKE

Down

1 Butter or lard : FAT
2 Brief “Then again … ” : OTOH …
3 Flight-related prefix : AERO-
4 Jukebox musical featuring ABBA songs : MAMMA MIA!
5 Braced (oneself) : STEELED
6 Kid’s dismayed cry : BUT, MOM!
7 Nastase of tennis : ILIE
8 Mystery writer Nevada : BARR
9 Uncommon blood type, briefly : B-NEG
10 Two-time Best Actress winner Hilary : SWANK
11 Self-absorption : NARCISSISM
12 Very dark : INKY
13 NFL scores : TDS
19 Like netting : MESHY
21 Linguistic suffix : -ESE
24 Island near Sicily : MALTA
25 “Not __ out of you!” : A PEEP
26 Thick-skinned safari beast : RHINOCEROS
27 Valuable quality : ASSET
28 Milne joey : ROO
29 Christiane Amanpour’s channel : CNN
31 Durable fabric : DENIM
32 Poker-faced : STONY
37 Shearing day sound : BAA!
38 Creeping vine : IVY
39 Hits a homer, in baseball lingo : GOES DEEP
41 Idyllic places : EDENS
42 Loyalty program perks : REWARDS
45 Trendy place : IN SPOT
46 “I could take it or leave it” : MEH
48 Tom who voices Woody in the “Toy Story” films : HANKS
50 NYC cultural center : MOMA
51 Unit of force : DYNE
52 1960s TV horse : MR ED
53 Cosmonaut Gagarin : YURI
54 Not duped by : ONTO
55 Pay period, for some : WEEK
56 Baby bear : CUB
58 Poetic “before” : ERE

14 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 5 Oct 22, Wednesday”

  1. Messed up BARR ad ULAN. had BORR and ULON. didn’t know either one.

    For the theme , I was trying to force ME and MY to work. It worked in 44A but when I got to 20A and 24A it wasn’t working so well. STEELED seems to be popular lately but I wasn’t sure.
    Then MARMEE MARCH? Holy crap, I stared at that for a while.

    Then I was trying to figure out 20A. The whole e.g. thing had me thinking it was some kind of AGENCY. I overthought it.

    A home emergency to me is when I run out of toilet paper… or peanut butter.. or white creme filled Chocolate covered donuts. Kitchen fire? Meh.. throw a lid on it.

  2. I have to admit staring and thinking “Can Marmee March be right?” for quite awhile. But after looking at all the down answers I had to let it stand.

    Seemed harder than your typical Wednesday crossword, but maybe that’s just me?

  3. 24:21 no errors…got the theme after the fact.
    @Jeff…if you’re out there …your remarks on NYT0831 were very funny👍👍
    Maybe just a little “a head” of their time🤪🤪
    Stay safe😀

  4. 10:36 – with false starts of: ULUN>ULAN, STOIC>STONY, KAROSYRUP>CORNSYRUP.

    New: ULAN Bator, Nevada BARR, RENEE Montgomery.

    Didn’t get the theme on my own – wanted to find “me” and “my” in the themed answers (which worked in 44A, and kind of worked in 20A; but not at all in 24A).

  5. 10:31 and three errors… you guessed it, that T-shaped natick clump in the top center. I just accepted those three errors and decided to move on with my day.

    A name, possibly the least-known lettuce variety ever, and an equally presumptuous blood classification … all crossing each other. Fiendish for a Wednesday.

  6. 5:13

    Theme didn’t make much sense, but it didn’t get in the way.

    EM feels more like a reflection of ME, not a shadow.

    MEH.

  7. Kinda tricky for a Wednesday, but still doable. Finished in 12:52 with no peeks or errors, but a bit of dancing around and waiting for a crosses. Theme makes a little sense now that I’ve seen it…but…

    Don’t know much about the WNBA, so it’s good to find out that Renee Montgomery took over ownership of the Atlanta Dream, with two other women, from former Georgia senator Kelly Loeffler.

    @Bill – I think you’ve still got yesterday’s reveal answer.

  8. Hi Every Buddy!!
    I’ve missed y’all….I did the puzzle for the first time in several months today.

    This went pretty quickly for me, altho somehow I blanked on Mr. Ed, even tho I could picture the opening titles of the show. Ha ha!!

    I guess women are more likely to know MARMEE MARCH than men, since Little Women was required reading for us as 12-year-olds. I reckon the film versions don’t show the name spelled out anywhere.

    Didn’t get the whole of the theme till I came here; I just saw ME.

    Hi Dirk!!

    Be well~~

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