LA Times Crossword 18 Mar 23, Saturday

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Constructed by: Hoang-Kim Vu
Edited by: Patti Varol

Today’s Theme: None

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

Bill’s time: 16m 07s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

16 Dating milestones : MONTHIVERSARIES

The informal term “monthiversary” describes something like an anniversary. A monthiversary is celebrated monthly, as opposed to annually.

17 Fare for some Catholics on Lenten Fridays : PESCATARIAN DIET

A person on a pescatarian diet follows a vegetarian regimen, while incorporating seafood into some meals.

In some Roman Catholic traditions, it is customary to avoid the consumption of meat on a Friday, In other traditions, avoiding meat is limited to Fridays during the 40-day period of Lent. While eschewing meat, many Catholics will eat fish.

18 GPS heading : SSE

Global positioning system (GPS)

19 Comedian Foxx : REDD

“Redd Foxx” was the stage name of John Elroy Sanford, who was best known for starring in “Sanford and Son”. “Sanford and Son” was an American version of a celebrated hit BBC sitcom that I grew up with in Ireland called “Steptoe and Son”.

20 Dubious ability : ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP)

27 Warts and all : AS IS

It is said that the phrase “warts and all” was coined by Oliver Cromwell, although there is no real evidence that he ever uttered the phrase. Cromwell had his portrait painted by Sir Peter Lely, an artist who had a reputation for producing works that flattered the subject. Cromwell was a puritan, and may indeed have instructed Lely to produce a less flattering and more objective image. Indeed, the painting includes warts on Cromwell’s face, imperfections that could easily have been omitted.

32 Smooch in a lift, say : SNOG

“Snogging” is British slang of unknown origin that dates back to the end of WWII. The term is used for “kissing and cuddling”, what we call “making out” over here in the US.

33 Sportswear portmanteau : ATHLEISURE

The wearing of clothing designed for athletic activity in casual, non-athletic environments is termed “athleisure”, which is a portmanteau of “athletic” and “leisure”.

40 Sister who brings the snowman Olaf to life : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Elsa was originally intended to be a villain, a malicious and power-hungry character. By the final version of the film, Elsa had transformed from a one-dimensional villain into a fully fleshed-out protagonist.

41 “Chopped” host Allen : TED

Ted Allen is a TV personality who found fame as the food and wine expert on the Bravo show “Queer Eye”. He started as host of the cooking competition show “Chopped” in 2009.

42 Post-WWII alliance : OAS

The Organization of American States (OAS) was founded in 1948, and has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Not all of the independent states in the Americas are members. Cuba was barred from participation in the organization after a vote in 1962. Honduras had her membership suspended after the country’s 2009 coup.

46 __-Rooter : ROTO

The Roto-Rooter is an invention of Samuel Oscar Blanc. Blanc came up with the idea in 1933 after having to deal with a sewer line in his son’s apartment that was blocked with roots from a tree, a common problem. He put together his first version of the device using a washing machine motor, roller skate wheels and a steel cable. The “rotating rooter” snaked down the sewer line, and rotating blades at the tip of the cable cut through the troublesome roots. Blanc sold his machine for decades to people who set up their own drain clearing businesses. In 1980 the Blanc family sold the Roto-Rooter company to a Cincinnati concern that started buying up independent franchises that used the Roto-Rooter and created the national service with which we are familiar today. Oh, and my advice is, save yourself the cost of the service call and just rent a machine. That’s what I do …

47 Gibbon, for one : APE

Gibbons are referred to as lesser apes as they differ in size and behavior from the great apes e.g. chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and humans.

51 “CrazySexyCool” trio : TLC

“CrazySexyCool” is a 1994 studio album released by girl group TLC. The album was a commercial success. About 20 years later, a 2013 TV movie about the trio was released under the title “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story”.

54 The Marshall Project cause : PRISON ABOLITION

The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization focused on criminal justice It was founded in 2014 by former hedge fund manager Neil Barsky and named after Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice.

59 Lacrosse strategy : ONE-ON-ONE DEFENSE

Even though lacrosse was dropped from the Olympics after the 1908 games, the sport is currently enjoying a resurgence of popularity outside of North America. It is the oldest organized sport on the continent, and was declared as “Canada’s National Summer Sport” in 1994.

Down

8 Steers steers : HERDS

A steer is a male bovine that was castrated when young and is then raised for beef. The term “steer” comes from the Old English “steor” meaning “bullock”.

9 Graynor of “The Disaster Artist” : ARI

Ari Graynor is an American actress who first came to national attention playing the character Caitlin Rucker in a few episodes of the HBO series “The Sopranos”. Caitlin Rucker is Meadow Soprano’s roommate at Columbia University.

“The Disaster Artist” is a 2017 biographical comedy-drama film directed by James Franco, based on the 2013 book of the same name by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. The film tells the real-life story of the making of the 2003 cult film “The Room,” which apparently is one of the worst films ever made, a real “disaster”.

10 Gp. known for screenings : TSA

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

13 Social reformer Jacob : RIIS

Journalist Jacob Riis is famous for his photographs and newspaper articles that highlighted the plight of the impoverished in New York City. He wrote “How the Other Half Lives”, originally an extensive article that appeared in “Scribner’s Magazine” at Christmas 1889. The article had such an impact that Riis was commissioned to expand it into a book, which was published the following year.

15 Retired boomer : SST

Supersonic transports (SSTs) like the Concorde broke Mach 1, the speed of sound. 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.

22 “Bad and Boujee” hip-hop group : MIGOS

The Migos were a hip hop group founded in 2008 comprising rappers named Quavo, Takeoff and Offset. The trio originally performed as the Polo Club, but adopted the name “Migos” as a play on “Three Amigos”. Sadly, Takeoff was shot and killed in 2022.

24 Fictional detective who was born in Montenegro : WOLFE

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.

25 Pentathlon equipment : EPEES

The original pentathlon of the ancient Olympic games consisted of a foot race, wrestling, long jump, javelin and discus. When a new pentathlon was created as a sport for the modern Olympic Games, it was given the name the “modern pentathlon”. First introduced in 1912, the modern pentathlon consists of:

  1. pistol shooting
  2. épée fencing
  3. 200m freestyle swimming
  4. show jumping
  5. 3km cross-country running

29 French Revolution device : GUILLOTINE

The guillotine is a device for executing people by decapitating them. The guillotine is most associated with France where it was used most notably and extensively during the French Revolution. The guillotine was used as the standard method of execution in France right up until 1981 when capital punishment was finally abolished.

30 “The Elephant Celebes” painter Max : ERNST

“The Elephant Celebes” is a painting by the German artist Max Ernst, created in 1921. It is a surrealist work that features a mechanical elephant, one looking like a large boiler with a metal hose as a trunk. The painting can be seen at the Tate Modern gallery in London.

31 Hertz prefix : MEGA-

The unit of frequency measure is the hertz (Hz). It is the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. The unit is named for Heinrich Hertz, the German physicist who proved the existence of electromagnetic waves.

33 Perfume oil : ATTAR

Attar is a fragrant essential oil obtained from flowers. The term “attar” often refers to the attar of roses in particular.

35 Female lobster : HEN

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

36 Nasty fall : 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.

44 Mexican cheese? : PESOS

The peso is used in many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. The coin originated in Spain where the word “peso” means “weight”. The original peso was what we know in English as a “piece of eight”, a silver coin of a specific weight that had a nominal value of eight “reales”.

45 “Jojo Rabbit” actress Wilson : REBEL

Rebel Wilson is an Australian comedic actress whose big break in the US came with a role in the 2011 film “Bridesmaids”. Wilson has a law degree, and had plans to become a lawyer. She also has an arts degree, and opted instead to come to the US to continue her training as an actor. I’ve heard her interviewed several times on TV, and would have to say that she is “a hoot” …

46 Fill a flat again : RELET

“Flat”, in the sense of an apartment or condominium, is a word more commonly used in Britain and Ireland than on this side of the pond. The term “flat” is Scottish in origin, in which language it used to mean “floor in a house”.

47 “Rule, Britannia” composer : ARNE

Thomas Arne was an English composer from London. Arne wrote some iconic compositions, most notably “Rule, Britannia!” He also wrote a version of “God Save the King” that became the British national anthem.

50 “The Power of the Dog” Oscar nominee Smit-McPhee : KODI

Kodi Smit-McPhee is an Australian actor who is perhaps best known for playing a troubled teen in the 2021 Western drama film “The Power of the Dog”. HIs older sister is Sianoa Smit-McPhee, an actress in the long-running Australian soap opera “Neighbours”.

53 Tech news dot-com : C|NET

c|net is an excellent technology website. It started out in 1994 as a television network specializing in technology news. The host of “American Idol”, Ryan Seacrest, started off his career as host of a c|net show.

54 Grammy category : POP

The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held in 1959 and focused on recognizing outstanding achievement in the recording industry. The idea of a Grammy Award came up when recording executives were working on the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the fifties. These executives concluded that there were many people in the recording industry deserving of accolades but who would probably never make it to the Walk of Fame. As a result, they founded the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The Academy considered naming the award the “Eddies” after Thomas Edison, but then opted for “Grammy” after Edison’s invention: the gramophone.

55 Half an iconic 1981 Rolling Stone cover : ONO

The wonderful, wonderful photographer Annie Leibovitz was given the assignment to capture images of the iconic musician John Lennon. During the photoshoot, Lennon insisted that his wife Yoko Ono be included in the shot. The result was the memorable “Rolling Stones” cover in which a naked Lennon is kissing Yoko Ono while the two lie on the ground. Sadly, very sadly, Lennon was shot and killed just five hours later.

57 __ Matronic of Scissor Sisters : ANA

Scissor Sisters was a pop rock band that formed in 2001 in New York City, originally performing under the name Dead Lesbian.

58 Holiday celebrated with bánh chu’ng : TET

Bánh chu’ng is a steamed cake mainly made from glutinous rice, mung bean and pork. The eating of bánh chu’ng is an important part of the Tet holiday in Vietnam.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 “Not my first choice, but it’s fine” : I GUESS THAT WORKS
16 Dating milestones : MONTHIVERSARIES
17 Fare for some Catholics on Lenten Fridays : PESCATARIAN DIET
18 GPS heading : SSE
19 Comedian Foxx : REDD
20 Dubious ability : ESP
21 Cranks (up) : AMPS
23 Talk dirty : SWEAR
27 Warts and all : AS IS
28 Select : OPT
29 Peach : GEM
32 Smooch in a lift, say : SNOG
33 Sportswear portmanteau : ATHLEISURE
37 “Been there” : I KNOW THE FEELING
39 Color choices for bandages, e.g. : FLESH TONES
40 Sister who brings the snowman Olaf to life : ELSA
41 “Chopped” host Allen : TED
42 Post-WWII alliance : OAS
43 Soften up : MELT
44 Knife block insert : PARER
46 __-Rooter : ROTO
47 Gibbon, for one : APE
49 Squeezed (out) : EKED
51 “CrazySexyCool” trio : TLC
54 The Marshall Project cause : PRISON ABOLITION
59 Lacrosse strategy : ONE-ON-ONE DEFENSE
60 Quality inspection? : PERSONALITY TEST

Down

1 Rascals : IMPS
2 Says : GOES
3 Lacking flavor or experience : UNSEASONED
4 More succinctly? : ETC
5 Medical waste collected in red containers : SHARPS
6 Spots : SITES
7 Spot : TV AD
8 Steers steers : HERDS
9 Graynor of “The Disaster Artist” : ARI
10 Gp. known for screenings : TSA
11 Haggard, perhaps : WAN
12 Sequence : ORDER
13 Social reformer Jacob : RIIS
14 Last : KEEP
15 Retired boomer : SST
22 “Bad and Boujee” hip-hop group : MIGOS
24 Fictional detective who was born in Montenegro : WOLFE
25 Pentathlon equipment : EPEES
26 End in __ : A TIE
27 Tattoo joint? : ANKLE
29 French Revolution device : GUILLOTINE
30 “The Elephant Celebes” painter Max : ERNST
31 Hertz prefix : MEGA-
32 Filter (through) : SIFT
33 Perfume oil : ATTAR
34 “All __ in favor … ” : THOSE
35 Female lobster : HEN
36 Nasty fall : SLEET
38 “Mind. Blown.” : WHOA!
43 Change : MODIFY
44 Mexican cheese? : PESOS
45 “Jojo Rabbit” actress Wilson : REBEL
46 Fill a flat again : RELET
47 “Rule, Britannia” composer : ARNE
48 Docking station : PIER
50 “The Power of the Dog” Oscar nominee Smit-McPhee : KODI
52 “Your __” : LOSS
53 Tech news dot-com : C|NET
54 Grammy category : POP
55 Half an iconic 1981 Rolling Stone cover : ONO
56 Start to sense? : NON-
57 __ Matronic of Scissor Sisters : ANA
58 Holiday celebrated with bánh chu’ng : TET

19 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 18 Mar 23, Saturday”

  1. Took about an hour. Most of it in the top.

    Got it all but one letter.
    Had ART for 9D. That mad PESCATARTAN DIET. My T could become an I real easy??

    1. @ Anon Mike: I guess that would be a Scottish Fish Diet? ;-D>

      I had put in “port” for 48 Down’s clue of “Docking Station” early on and that hung up the bottom for much, much, MUCH too long. When I finally decided it must be something other than port I fiddle farted around until pier got lightly inked in over port and then the puzzle came together and was done. AT LAST!

  2. No errors, after some good guesses and a few more lookups.
    It was that “monthiversaries ” that hung me up for a long time.
    Not as difficult as some Saturday puzzles, but hard enough
    that my coffee got cold.

  3. A good (bad) two hours and, in agreement with Anon Mike, most of the time spent on the three answers across the top of the puzzle. Although I was able to guess right, I never heard of many answers in the puzzle’s context, e.g., Personality Test, Sharps, Monthiversaries, etc.

  4. This was not the puzzle on my paper (atlanta journal constitution). I figured it out, but really wanted to see explanations of some answers. In the puzzle I solved, the 1A clue was “chimpanzee relative”

  5. DNF…16,17,54,59 and 60A did me in.
    To put goes in a puzzle for says is disgusting. Every time I hear someone say “he goes or I go” it makes me cringe. It sounds like 10 year olds talking.
    End of rant👎👎
    Stay safe😀

  6. 20:19 seconds and DNF, with 8 unfilled or incorrect at the bottom.

    This puzzle was just too “cute”, plus too filled with obscure arcana for me to finish.

  7. No look ups,no errors. Bit of a slog for me
    and didn’t think I was going to finish but
    it all came together nicely. It scratched the
    Saturday itch…

  8. 26:30, no errors. Good puzzle (i.e., very puzzling, in spots … 😜). I’d never heard of “MONTHIVERSARIES” and, just to complicate things, my evil index finger had rendered 4-Down as “ESC” instead of “ETC”, so, near the end, I was staring at “MONS_IVERSARIES” and I did want to put in an “H” to get “SHARPS”, but, but … “MONSHIVERSARIES”??! I stared at it for half a minute before I realized what was going on … 😜.

    This is probably too late to do anyone any good, but … today’s “Saturday Stumper”, from Newsday, contains a misspelled Spanish word. I think it probably left the constructor (Stella Zawistowski) intact, with an “ñ” in it, and some piece of computer software left that letter out. (That said, it’s a pretty difficult puzzle. I finished with no errors and, in the end, all the answers make total sense, but it took me an hour and twenty-one minutes.)

  9. 51:21 – took a lot of cogitating to work out the three side-to-side answers on the top and bottom, especially the bottom! The middle filled in relatively quickly. I suspected it would be difficult when I saw all those side-to-side answers.

    False starts: SAD>WAN, REAIR>RELET, RAP>POP, ESS>NON, IKE (and Tina?)>ONO, ____ZONEDEFENSE>ONEONONEDEFENSE.

    New: MONTHIVERSARIES, “Chopped,” TED Allen, ARI Graynor, Jacob RIIS, “Bad and Boujee,” MIGOS, ARNE, KODI Smit-McPhee, ANA Matronic, “Scissor Sisters.”

    Use of repetition: “Spots,” “Spot,” “Steers steers.”

  10. To a couple of people who post comments on this blog, maybe you should find another activity to occupy your time, because you clearly do not enjoy the challenge or journey. Too busy looking at the timer? And on another point, as a high school teacher, I thought if I heard “like” or “goes” one more time, I would scream. (I might have screamed a couple of times.)

    1. Regarding “like” and “goes”: I empathize, but …

      Crossword puzzles do not serve as arbiters of “proper” English. If a usage is common enough, however offensive to my aging ear, it’s fair game for use in a puzzle. And, who knows … a hundred years from now, such usages may have achieved respectability. (Shudder … 😳.)

  11. A bit too tough for me today; took 1:12:06 with lots of errors in the top 1/3. After struggling for a while, I was able to get most of the bottom 2/3, but only had IMPS, ETC, HERDS, TSA and SST in the top. Slowly managed to get GOES, SITES, WAN, RIIS and KEEP, which got me PESCATARIANDIET, but that pretty much ended it for me…

    Might try Sunday…not sure yet…

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